UFC fighter/analyst Michael Chiesa is making a bold prediction about a retired fighter returning next year. It seems that many beloved UFC fighters have decided to walk away from the sport recently. Several longtime fighters and former champions set th…
UFC fighter/analyst Michael Chiesa is making a bold prediction about a retired fighter returning next year. It seems that many beloved UFC fighters have decided to walk away from the sport recently. Several longtime fighters and former champions set their sights on retirement in 2022. As is the way in most sports, the careers of…
“The doctor did inform me that the bacteria does not know jujitsu so we should be safe.” —Dustin Poirier Dustin Poirier remains hospitalized with Staph infection and his wife Jolie recently uploaded an Instagram story that gave …
“The doctor did inform me that the bacteria does not know jujitsu so we should be safe.” —Dustin Poirier
Dustin Poirier remains hospitalized with Staph infection and his wife Jolie recently uploaded an Instagram story that gave fans a glimpse of what “The Diamond” is dealing with during his stay. The longtime UFC lightweight contender has extreme swelling in his left foot that left him temporarily deformed.
“Not making much progress,” Jolie wrote. “Actually looking worse. Be patient.”
Poirier, 33, was last seen submitting Michael Chandler at the UFC 281 pay-per-view (PPV) event last month in New York City and has won eight of his last 10 with six finishes. No telling how long this medical setback will keep him out of the cage but it sounds like Poirier is not opposed to a fourth fight against lightweight nemesis and “Road House” actor Conor McGregor.
“Ye I’m in Amsterdam jacked like van damn,” McGregor replied in a since-deleted tweet. “You weren’t just hurt pal. You were scared hurt don’t forget it. I’m coming back to put you in a box. Full of it. I’m sending you off this earth. Permanent. Stay waiting for the road house as well pal you and the missus will love it.”
UFC Bantamweight Champion Aljamain Sterling may feel somewhat hard done by with his treatment from the promotion, but he believes it’s his responsibility to force a change. As far as title runs go, not many have had one as turbulent as Sterling. …
UFC Bantamweight Champion Aljamain Sterling may feel somewhat hard done by with his treatment from the promotion, but he believes it’s his responsibility to force a change. As far as title runs go, not many have had one as turbulent as Sterling. Perhaps the main reason for that has been a common fan consensus, which…
Six unanswered questions from the UFC Orlando fight card | Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC
Does Thompson vs. Holland deserve consideration for best fight of 2022? That and five more questions that demand consideration co…
Does Thompson vs. Holland deserve consideration for best fight of 2022? That and five more questions that demand consideration coming out of UFC Orlando.
Will we see Rafael dos Anjos vs. Connor McGregor in 2023?
Before Conor McGregor became a UFC champ-champ against Eddie Alvarez in November 2016 the then UFC featherweight titleholder was scheduled to face UFC lightweight kingpin Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 196. That bout fell apart in late February of 2016 when a foot injury knocked Dos Anjos from the matchup. Nate Diaz replaced Dos Anjos on that card, defeating McGregor via second-round submission in a welterweight scrap.
We’re closing in on seven years since the Dos Anjos vs. McGregor fight booking and it seems as if the ex-lightweight champ has yet to let the idea go.
In the aftermath of his UFC Orlando win over Bryan Barberena, Dos Anjos told UFC commentator Daniel Cormier, “I wanna call out Conor McGregor. Seven years ago, I earned this fight beating Donald Cerrone. He came up a division, we were supposed to fight, I broke my foot (and the fight got cancelled), but now here I am.
“He has a couple of months to clean his body of all this shit that he is taking, and I will see you in July!”
There are several fighters angling to meet McGregor when he returns to action, but Dos Anjos is the only one of those who had a fight booked against the former two-division UFC champion.
What was Dan Miragliotta thinking?
In one of the stranger moments in an already strange sport, referee Dan Miragliotta seemed to wave off the main event fight between Stephen Thompson and Kevin Holland after an exchange against the cage with 1:57 left in the round. However, seconds later, Miragliotta signaled a time out instead for an accidental low blow.
The above happened after the veteran ref also paused the Darren Elkins vs. Jonathan Pearce fight earlier in the evening, so the doctor could look at a cut near Elkins’ eye. He then restarted the bout on the feet instead of with Pearce on top inside Elkins’ guard near the center of the Octagon.
Both incidents caused some confusion for the UFC commentary team—and I’m sure, for fans in the arena and those watching the broadcast.
Will corners follow the lead of Bob Perez?
Kevin Holland went to his corner after the fourth round of his bout opposite Stephen Thompson and plopped onto his stool. Holland then held up his gloved right hand and told his coach Bob Perez, “Take this off me.”
Perez immediately turned and told referee Dan Miragliotta the fight was over. He then allowed the cageside doctor room to tend to his fighter. What Perez did not do was try and talk his injured fighter into “toughing” it out, nor did he mention that Holland just had “one more round” to go. Instead, Perez listened to Holland and decided to wave off the fight.
Fans and media praised Perez for his actions on Saturday. Hopefully other coaches and corners will take note of that and we’ll see more corner stoppages in MMA. I don’t think that will happen, but if I’m wrong, I will be ecstatic.
What’s going to happen at heavyweight?
The last we heard, the UFC was looking to book heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou against Jon Jones in the main event of UFC 285. That booking is far from a lock as the UFC and Ngannou have not come to an agreement on a new contract. Barring that, there was some discussion of Jones vs. Curtis Blaydes for that event for an interim strap. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if the UFC matchmakers penciled in the name “Sergei Pavlovich” into that spot following UFC Orlando.
The 30-year-old Pavlovich picked up his fifth straight first round KO win on the main card f Saturday’s ESPN event, bloodying and collapsing Tai Tuivasa in 54 seconds of violence. Pavlovich was the No. 5 fighter in the official UFC heavyweight rankings heading into his matchup against the No. 4 ranked Tuivasa.
Blaydes is ranked higher than Pavlovich, but his wrestling-heavy style has never seemed to be a favorite of the UFC matchmakers and that could cost him in this case.
Fight of the year?
There were a lot of “fight of the year” comments thrown around during and after the main event contest between Stephen Thompson and Kevin Holland. I’m willing to forgive those who got caught up in the moment and changed their minds about those accolades upon further consideration on Sunday or Monday. However, those who remain adamant that the Thompson vs. Holland fight deserves consideration for “fight of the year,” allow me to explain why I have hesitations.
Once the fight moved beyond the first round, it was not all that competitive and a lot of that fact had to do with Holland agreeing to fight on Thompson’s terms. Holland is a good mixed martial artist, Thompson is an outstanding striker. By limiting his chances to get the win to forgo everything but striking, Holland cheated himself—but rewarded the fans.
Was the fight one of the more entertaining fights of 2022? Sure, but that entertainment came because Thompson dominated Holland over three rounds and picked him apart on the feet. When I consider a “fight of the year,” I want it to be both competitive and entertaining. I don’t think the main event of UFC Orlando did met both of those criteria for the duration.
On Friday, the Nevada State Athletic Commission suspended James Krause and the UFC informed fighters who continue to work with Krause’s Glory MMA that they will not be eligible to compete for the UFC while investigations continue into betting irregularities surrounding a fight Krause coached at UFC Vegas 64.
That no one from UFC management was on hand to answer any questions from the access media at the event was noticeable. While I’m sure, with the ongoing investigations, that the UFC is limited on what it can answer regarding the situation, the promotion could have at least had someone in Orlando to give what updates it could.
With UFC 282 taking place this week in Las Vegas, the promotion needs to address any questions and the UFC access media needs to ask those questions. For starters, the credentialed UFC media should ask what changed between November 11, when White gave the below answers and December 2.
Dana White on irregular betting activity in the Minner vs. Nuerdanbieke bout: “There’s absolutely zero proof that anybody that was involved bet on it.”
Ahead of their fight at UFC 282 this weekend, lightweight Jared Gordon has questioned whether Paddy Pimblett “deeply cares” about the topic of mental health in the same way that he does. In Saturday’s pay-per-view co-main event, two u…
Ahead of their fight at UFC 282 this weekend, lightweight Jared Gordon has questioned whether Paddy Pimblett “deeply cares” about the topic of mental health in the same way that he does. In Saturday’s pay-per-view co-main event, two unranked 155lbers will look to take a step up the divisional ladder at the other’s expense. While…
As if defending the UFC heavyweight belt on on leg wasn’t tough enough, Ngannou had to deal with a bunch of business-related drama on UFC 270 fight day. Francis Ngannou hasn’t fought since…
As if defending the UFC heavyweight belt on on leg wasn’t tough enough, Ngannou had to deal with a bunch of business-related drama on UFC 270 fight day.
Francis Ngannou hasn’t fought since a January decision win over Ciryl Gane at UFC 270 in January 2022. “The Predator” shredded his knee in training weeks out from that bout, but refused to pull out because he wanted to complete the final fight on his UFC contract. Ngannou and the UFC had been on the outs for over a year, but things really hit their worst on the day of the fight as the UFC threatened to sue Ngannou’s manager.
In a new episode of Ngannou’s Road to Recovery YouTube series, Ngannou’s (reportedly former) manager Marquel Martin detailed the negative vibes they were dealing with coming into the pivotal Gane fight.
“The morning of UFC 270 I get some pretty racist texts, and a little bit threatening,” Martin said. “And you know, listen, it was from a burner phone, but it was sad to see that it’s gotten to this point. And I don’t know who it was. Whoever it was is, you know, to me, a racist coward and probably afraid in what could happen and did happen in Francis being in the position that he’s in today [as a free agent]. But it’s unfortunate, it’s no place in it for society, no place for the sport that we love.”
“To add onto the drama, later on that day we’re getting dressed to go to the arena, I get an email from UFC, kind of a legal letter, maybe a threat to sue,” Martin continued. “But at the time it was just … call it a coincidence, but the timing of it was so interesting to us. I remember showing it to Francis like ‘Hey bro, you know I’m not going to keep anything from you, so listen: this is what I just got, I don’t even know if they’re going to let me into the arena or backstage because I’ve had issues in the past. And in true Francis fashion, he was like ‘So? Let them sue. For what?’”
“For him to not listen to the noise, it was all the negativity, all the bulls— that’s uncalled for and unnecessary, right? Talk about the business after the fight or way before … And we want to talk about contracts the day of his fight? It’s ridiculous. You’re not going up to Lebron James and talking about a contract before game seven of the finals. You’re not doing it. But this is the crazy sport that we’re in and needless to say it was a wild fight week. A crazy, crazy fight day. And at the end of it all, Francis was victorious. We as a team were victorious.”
Martin was the star of this episode but Ngannou put in his two cents throughout.
“I was being frozen because I didn’t want to sign that contract,” Ngannou summed up. “Was having fight like every 10 months or more. And I do believe that was because of that contract situation, because every time I was talking about fight they would bring up the contract. A lot of things got involved and it became more than that.”
“They will fight so hard [against] it, just for you to be free,” he concluded. “They don’t want you to be free. Then as I realized that, it was a goal. I’m like: I will be free, no matter what the price of freedom is never too much.”
While Ngannou’s public content and interviews continue to be extremely pro-free agency, recent reports speculate that negotiations between “The Predator” and the UFC have taken a positive turn in recent weeks. That’s good news for fans eager to see Jon Jones vs. Francis Ngannou in March 2023, or just Ngannou staying in MMA in general. The longer we’ve had to think about this boxing crossover, the less interested we are. Bring on the heavyweight title defenses!