MMA SQUARED: Ngannou and Diaz are in limbo. Time to end UFC contract secrecy

MMA SQUARED, Chris Rini, Combat Wombat, Francis Ngannou, Nate Diaz | Chris Rini

There ain’t no billion dollar back room bonuses. It’s 20% or sit down.

Join me in the art studio today on twitch from 11am-1…


MMA SQUARED, Chris Rini, Combat Wombat, Francis Ngannou, Nate Diaz, Conor McGregor, Dana White, UFC, ESPN
MMA SQUARED, Chris Rini, Combat Wombat, Francis Ngannou, Nate Diaz | Chris Rini

There ain’t no billion dollar back room bonuses. It’s 20% or sit down.

MMA SQUARED, Chris Rini, Combat Wombat, Francis Ngannou, Nate Diaz, Conor McGregor, Dana White, UFC, ESPN

Join me in the art studio today on twitch from 11am-1pm EST, as I work on my book series The Fine Art of Violence, Volume 3. Take care of yourself and I’ll talk to you Wednesday.

Chris

Norma Dumont On The UFC PI: “They Fixed Me, I Was Defeated”

UFC featherweight contender Norma Dumont is crediting the UFC Performance Institute’s staff for her recent success in the Octagon. Dumont earned another dominant win over Aspen Ladd at UFC Vegas 40 in her first career main event. She showcased her elite kickboxing to earn the unanimous decision victory and move up in the featherweight title […]

Continue Reading Norma Dumont On The UFC PI: “They Fixed Me, I Was Defeated” at MMA News.

UFC featherweight contender Norma Dumont is crediting the UFC Performance Institute’s staff for her recent success in the Octagon.

Dumont earned another dominant win over Aspen Ladd at UFC Vegas 40 in her first career main event. She showcased her elite kickboxing to earn the unanimous decision victory and move up in the featherweight title picture.

However, it wasn’t always easy for Dumont in her professional career, as she’s had a history of brutal weight cuts during her time at bantamweight. She was nearly let go from the promotion after missing weight ahead of UFC Vegas 15.

Following her win at UFC Vegas 40, Dumont teared up when thinking about how the UFC PI helped change her weight cutting process and overall nutrition.

Norma Dumont Defeated Aspen Ladd By Unanimous Decision

“I made weight so much better this time,” Dumont said. “I came into the [UFC P.I.] defeated and broken, so I want to thank all of them for all the work they did. Those people put me back together because I was almost fired for missing weight [at UFC Vegas 15]. They fixed me.”

Dumont went on to elaborate on her intentions to make the UFC women’s featherweight division great, despite there being a limited amount of contenders at the moment. Nunes most recently defended her featherweight belt against Megan Anderson at UFC 259.

With her win over Ladd, Dumont is right in the thick of things in the featherweight title picture. She has the Muay Thai background to potentially give Nunes some issues on the feet.

Despite missing weight by almost five pounds ahead of her fight with Ashlee Evans-Smith at UFC Vegas 15, the fight continued and Dumont won by a unanimous decision. Still, Dumont needed to earn the respect and trust of the UFC brass following the bad miss on the scales.

Dumont has one of the true ‘feel good’ stories of 2021, and her escape from a dark moment in her life has proven to be one of the main reasons for her success.

Do you think Norma Dumont should get the next featherweight title shot against Amanda Nunes?

Continue Reading Norma Dumont On The UFC PI: “They Fixed Me, I Was Defeated” at MMA News.

Adesanya On Costa/Vettori Fight: “I Wanna See My Children Do Well”

“If I were to bet money on this fight, it would be hard to bet because they both suck.” – Israel Adesanya Sunday, Israel Adesanya released a video where he pulled up a chair; enjoyed a nice, tall glass of Brazilian wine paired with Italian pizza; and gave a thorough breakdown of the upcoming fight […]

Continue Reading Adesanya On Costa/Vettori Fight: “I Wanna See My Children Do Well” at MMA News.

“If I were to bet money on this fight, it would be hard to bet because they both suck.” – Israel Adesanya

Sunday, Israel Adesanya released a video where he pulled up a chair; enjoyed a nice, tall glass of Brazilian wine paired with Italian pizza; and gave a thorough breakdown of the upcoming fight between his two “children,” Paulo Costa and Marvin Vettori.

It’s fight week again, and the upcoming main event this Saturday features top-5 middleweights Paulo Costa and Marvin Vettori. UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya is no stranger to either competitor, with the Last Stylebender holding a total of three victories over them.

Although both men lost to Adesanya in their most recent contest, Izzy remains an invested observer in the movement around the top of the division. Thus, he will be tuning in this Saturday night along with the rest of us, but don’t expect to catch the champ in the Sportsbooks come fight night.

“How do I see this fight going? To be honest, like I said, if I was gonna bet, I’m not too sure,” Adesanya said on his YouTube channel. “But I’ll go first with Vettori.”

Adesanya Shares Marvin Vettori’s Path To Victory Over Paulo Costa

Israel Adesanya Marvin Vettori
(via Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

Despite making the decision not to put any skin in the game, Adesanya went ahead and provided a free breakdown on par with any gambling sharp’s input.

“I would say Vettori is a guy that, when he fought me the last time, he didn’t want to fight. He wanted to survive,” Adesanya said. “He wasn’t trying to win, if you know what I mean. I’ll give him his improvements. His boxing defense was improved. He had better leg movement. His leg was open to bet hit. His attacks were basic. Nothing’s wrong with basics because basics are good. But yeah, his attacks were basic. He was repetitive. He was predictable, very predictable.”

Notwithstanding the flaws Adesanya picked up on from The Italian Dream and the fact that he has already picked Costa to win, the champion still sees a path to victory for Vettori.

“To be honest, I think Vettori’s biggest weapon in this fight is his chin, is that block head, that fuckin’ LEGO block head,” Adesanya assessed. “That’s his biggest weapon in this fight because he can take Costa to deep water by taking punishment, some rope-a-dope shit without the rope-a-dope. Just walking forward and taking punishment…

“I’d say his method of victory is just taking Costa to deep water by grappling him and stalling or just making him work.” 

Adesanya Gives Advice To ‘Son’ Paulo Costa Ahead Of Main Event

Israel Adesanya, Paulo Costa
Israel Adesanya, Paulo Costa

Adesanya would then turn his attention to Borrachina, whom the champion says must bring the fight to his Italian opposition from the opening stanza.

“Costa’s path to victory in this fight: Get him out early,” Adesanya advised. “I feel like: Do what he did that got you to the dance, that got you this far. Because you’re not fighting me. You’re fighting Vettori. And he’s got shitful work, even worse than you. So I feel like Costa can just do what he does and just bullrush him, bulldoze him. But be careful of the takedowns because Vettori’s gonna try that: to time it and take him down.”

Ultimately, Adesanya claims that as long as his “children” give it their best, that’s all a proud father could really ask for, regardless of the final outcome.

“I don’t really care who wins, to be honest,” Adesanya admitted. “I just wanna see a good fight. I wanna see my children do well. I really wish the best for my kids and my kid’s kid.”

It was at this point in the video that Adesanya was ambushed with “paternity test results,” which revealed in Maury Povich-esque fashion that he is, in fact, the father of Paulo Costa.

You can view Adesanya’s full breakdown as well as the surprise paternity test results in the video below.

Continue Reading Adesanya On Costa/Vettori Fight: “I Wanna See My Children Do Well” at MMA News.

Ninja Sh!t: How did Volkanovski and Ortega survive the best title round ever?

Breaking down what could be among the best title rounds in UFC history. Part 1 of 2. Alexander Volkanovski successfully defended his belt for the second time at UFC 266, beating Brian Ortega with a wide decision. Overall, it wa…


Breaking down UFC 266: Brian Ortega vs Alexander Volkanovski

Breaking down what could be among the best title rounds in UFC history. Part 1 of 2.

Alexander Volkanovski successfully defended his belt for the second time at UFC 266, beating Brian Ortega with a wide decision. Overall, it wasn’t very close, with the featherweight champion winning majority of the exchanges and ending up with the scores of 49-46, 50-45 and 50-44.

Ortega did have his moments though, and he actually came very close to scoring an upset as he flexed his jiujitsu skills and that dynamic submission game he’s been known for. More specifically, the back-and-forth third round could’ve very well ended up as one of the best rounds ever for a UFC title bout. Both men were very close to being finished at numerous points, and it had everyone at the edge of their seats as they each attacked and kept finding ways to survive and turn the tide.

UFC 266: Volkanovski v Ortega
Photo by Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images

Here’s a breakdown of what ended up in a bit of a chess match between two very talented MMA fighters. We go over what they both did, what went right, and what ultimately prevented the finish:

In this stand up exchange, Volkanovski feints with a right hand, and then lands a lead leg kick that Ortega tries to catch and counter. He fails on the catch and tries to follow up with a left straight just as Volkanovski steps his leg back into southpaw stance. The champion effortlessly slips and fires a big right hand. [GIF here]

Although unsuccessful, this read and exchange would prove to be crucial in Ortega getting very close to taking the belt.

Seconds later, Volkanovski leads with the same kick. On this occasion, Ortega times it better and succeeds at the same catch kick to left straight he was looking for. He puts Volkanovski on his back, and immediately jumps on the neck for a guillotine. [GIF here]

Ortega steps over his arm and moves to mount. Had Volkanovski tried to roll and get on top, this arguably could’ve been even more dangerous for him with an arm trapped and unable to fight the grip. Even if Volkanovski manages to eventually free his arm, it’s still a brilliant move that delays his defense on the actual choke. Ortega then locks his legs and continues to squeeze tight! [GIF here]

Volkanovski’s head is starting to turn purple. He’s close to being finished and starts bucking! It looks like he wants to try to open and clear Ortega’s legs to relieve pressure.

As he’s bucking, he’s tries to fight the grip, push the legs lower, and push on Ortega’s body — any attempt just to try to get a bit of space on his arteries, and get more blood to his brain. [GIF here]

Chokes need constant pressure to be more effective. Although not applicable here, for context, a very common mistake beginners make is to squeeze hard 100%, and if they can’t get a tap, they loosen a little to adjust, then squeeze 100% again. That not only burns out your arms quicker, but every adjustment that loosens things up also gets more blood flowing back to his brain. As that keeps happening, it only lengthens the time needed to put him out and finish.

Conversely, there are ways to somewhat recreate that dilemma as well. When defending chokes that are so deep and you don’t have much options, sometimes even just finding a way to buy yourself more time can help tremendously. Volkanovski’s attempts to buck and move and explode constantly is a desperate attempt to keep creating even tiny amounts of space for a fraction of a second — not just to keep inching his defense and grips closer, but so blood can go to his brain and he can stay in the fight longer.

Breaking down UFC 266: Volkanovski v Ortega
Photo by Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images

This choke is obviously very effective already, but one of the many alternatives to finishing from mount — if he’s confident that the choking arm is still deep enough — is a one-arm guillotine. Ortega can put the palm of his left choking arm closer to his sternum, then post that right arm on the mat, ideally while also underhooking and moving Volkanovski’s left arm upwards so he can’t use it to defend. To finish, instead of just posting upwards (which can work, like Rockhold vs Bisping 1) he can also stay low and just rotate to his left.

Staying low keeps your weight on the choking arm and doesn’t create space for the opponent to fight the grip, while rotating makes for a stronger choke. Look at the diagram below. If he rotates and lines up to where Volkanovski’s spine was originally, just imagine the awkward position his body will be left in after. The guillotine will curl his head not only towards his chest, but also to the side, putting immense pressure on both carotid arteries in the neck. It’s a particularly potent choke, which also wouldn’t have to rely on keeping a grip that a tank of an opponent has been constantly pushing on. [GIF here]

That being said, it’s hard to see if the choking arm was even deep enough for that. Ortega was also so close and would probably finish this same scenario any other day.

Anyway, back to the fight, and Volkanovski’s left arm might just be saving him as he keeps bucking, keeps inching away, trying to weaken Ortega’s grip. You can clearly see on Volkanovski’s face just how tight it still is, but if you look closely, Ortega’s hand is already by his chin instead of the other side of his neck. Seconds later, the grip eventually breaks! Was Ortega’s arms starting to burn? Either way, that was very close, and everyone watching goes crazy. [GIF here]

Ortega still has mount, and is keeping a dominant position even after losing the submission. Volkanovski turns to his side, and creates just enough space under Ortega’s right knee. He manages to turn away and get his leg out from there, before turning back in with an underhook. He not only escaped mount, he’s immediately looking to sweep from half guard! Volkanovski now wants to continue turning, get on his knees, then drive forward to get on top. [GIF here]

It was a great job to get out of a dangerous position, but Ortega has seen this defense and reaction a million times. The moment Volkanovski reaches up to underhook, Ortega grabs a neck and gets an overhook on that arm to stop him from getting back to his knees. Ortega has head and arm control again, back in a position to attack. [GIF here]

Ortega falls to his left side, note how he tries to crunch him in and put his chest on the back of the head. From here, he can either try an arm-in guillotine but risk bottom position, or start to attack an anaconda choke but still have to battle Volkanovski’s left arm. Neither seem like sure options just yet, so goes back to his knees on top half guard. [GIF here]

As Ortega resets with less control on his head, Volkanovski posts on his elbow and tries to get back to his knees. Ortega shoots his right arm in, trying to lock a darce choke! He has long arms, but there’s just too much space now to lock it in. He also wasn’t able to kill the left underhook of Volkanovski, who now has grabbed his leg and is looking to get up. [GIF here]

Ortega wants him on his side to finish the darce. Volkanovski being deep on his leg limits his choices, but one option to force a darce is for Ortega to use his left elbow/tricep to crunch in the head close enough for him to lock in a bicep grip. As Volkanovski is already looking to get up, that would likely end up as a darce from bottom, which has its risks. So Ortega picks the logically “safer” option. Instead of controlling the head, he tries to break that posting elbow down, wanting Volkanovski to fall back to his side.

Ortega pulls at it a couple of times, but it just doesn’t work and Volkanovski manages to turn and get on his knees. His same attempt from half guard to sweep or scramble up from earlier is almost complete! [GIF here]

About to lose position, Ortega sticks to the submission attempt he’s been setting up, and jumps for a darce! He was already going to lose the position and just decided to go for it anyway. He’s looking for the same grip, but trying to finish from bottom — the riskier darce we mentioned earlier. Only this time, he has even less control on the head. Things are still loose, so Volkanovski quickly gets his elbow out of there. Nice defense, and now side control for the champ! [GIF here]

The likely reason why Ortega was willing to gamble on that sub attempt is that he’s comfortable grappling from bottom and very confident in his guard retention. He immediately shows this by framing on both the neck and the hip, to effortlessly slide his knee back in. It’s a great way to get out of a bad position, but this is MMA though, and full guard doesn’t mean you’re safe. Volkanovski immediately unleashes brutal ground and pound and makes him pay for that jiujitsu approach. [GIF here]

Just how deep was the guillotine from earlier? Well in his own words, Volkanovski described it as “about-to-lose-the-belt deep.”

There’s already a lot of drama involved from these two submission attempts alone, but as those who watched UFC 266 will remember, that instant classic of a third round did not end here. There were much more that happened in that thrilling back-and-forth nail biter, including a scary triangle choke attempt from the talented grappler aptly called “T-City” for his signature triangles.

Those will all be broken down and discussed in Part 2 of this feature, which will be published in a few days.

Nate Diaz Advised Against Signing New UFC Deal By British Political Figure

Nate DiazNate Diaz has been given some career advice from an unusual source. On Sunday, the UFC fan favourite received a warning about re-signing with MMA’s premier promotion from Dominic Cummings, who served as Chief Adviser to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson until November 2020. Cummings also played a key role in the Vote Leave campaign […]

Nate Diaz

Nate Diaz has been given some career advice from an unusual source.

On Sunday, the UFC fan favourite received a warning about re-signing with MMA’s premier promotion from Dominic Cummings, who served as Chief Adviser to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson until November 2020. Cummings also played a key role in the Vote Leave campaign that saw Britain exit the European Union.

“Do not sign new UFC contract, you will make more cash outside AND @danawhite will come do a deal at some point for trilogy @TheNotoriousMMA fight, but outside you’ll have much more leverage & make more $. Look how they screwed @GeorgesStPierre, now waiting for contract to expire,” Cummings wrote on social media in response to Diaz claiming he’s ready to fight.

Nate Diaz’s Return To Action Is Being Held Up By Contract Issue

Diaz hasn’t fought since dropping to a decision defeat against Leon Edwards at UFC 263 in June. The Stockton, California native was outgunned for large portions of the history-making five-round fight but almost sprung an upset in the dying embers of the bout. Diaz had ‘Rocky’ on wobbly legs in the final frame but was unable to capitalize fully before the round and fight came to an end.

Since then, Diaz has been angling for a fight with rising contender Vicente Luque. The American-born Brazilian has picked up four straight wins including back-to-back victories over Tyron Woodley and Michael Chiesa in his last two bouts.

Both men clearly want to fight and have been publicly calling each other out for some time now but the bout is yet to be finalized. According to MMA manager, Ali Abdelaziz, Diaz has just one fight left on his current UFC deal and the promotion is hoping he signs a new contract before agreeing to book a fight with Luque. Hence the comments from Cummings about opting against re-signing with the UFC to explore lucrative options outside the promotion such as a fight with either of The Paul Brothers.  

Do you agree with Dominic Cummings? Should Nate Diaz opt against re-signing with the UFC?

Vettori: Adesanya wasn’t better than me

Marvin Vettori fighting Israel Adesanya at UFC 263. | Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Marvin Vettori is confident he has the beating of ‘The Last Stylebender’, who he has fought and lost to on two occasions. Self-belief…


UFC 263: Israel Adesanya v Marvin Vettori 2
Marvin Vettori fighting Israel Adesanya at UFC 263. | Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Marvin Vettori is confident he has the beating of ‘The Last Stylebender’, who he has fought and lost to on two occasions.

Self-belief is an important attribute for any athlete. And, whether you like him or not, you can’t deny that Marvin Vettori has it in spades. Recently he told MMA Junkie about how much better he was than Israel Adesanya when they met for the UFC middleweight title at UFC 263 in June. Adesanya won that fight, by the way, by unanimous decision.

“You know I just felt like [Adesanya] was very smart in there,” said Vettori (ht Sportskeeda). “With that being said, he wasn’t better. He wasn’t like more skilled. He didn’t have more cardio. He knew he was a champion and he didn’t really want to engage with me in a lot of exchanges in general.”

UFC 263 wasn’t the first time Vettori fought Adesanya. The pair met in 2018, too, in ‘The Last Stylebender’’s second UFC appearance. Adesanya won that bout by split decision.

Vettori did give Adesanya some props. He declared that his opponent was good at “playing to the crowd” and had an ability to view the fight from afar.

“He was able to see the situation from the outside, from a third eye almost. He used that to his advantage, meanwhile I didn’t use it or almost I let it play against me because I had like blinders on.”

Vettori earned his rematch with Adesanya, for a title, after a five fight win streak that included a finish of Karl Roberson and decisions over Cezar Ferreira, Andrew Sanchez, Jack Hermansson and Kevin Holland.

Next up, the Italian is expected to face Paulo Costa, someone who also probably thinks he’s better than Adesanya, in the main event of UFC Vegas 41.