Zabit Magomedsharipov Says He Is Returning In August

MagomedsharipovMagomedsharipov One Win From Title Shot? UFC featherweight contender Zabit Magomedsharipov is looking to compete before the end of the summer. Magomedsharipov hasn’t been in action since November when he outpointed Calvin Kattar in the UFC Moscow headliner. That win put him at 6-0 in the UFC as he called for a title shot soon […]

Magomedsharipov

Magomedsharipov One Win From Title Shot?

UFC featherweight contender Zabit Magomedsharipov is looking to compete before the end of the summer.

Magomedsharipov hasn’t been in action since November when he outpointed Calvin Kattar in the UFC Moscow headliner. That win put him at 6-0 in the UFC as he called for a title shot soon after.

For now, that doesn’t look like it will be the case as current featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski is expected to run things back with Max Holloway in a rematch.

That means the Dagestan native will have to fight another contender with Yair Rodriguez likely to be his next opponent. If that is the case, it could happen in August which is when Magomedsharipov expects to be back in action.

“Returning in August, save your strength, I will need your support,” Magomedsharipov wrote in the caption of an Instagram post (translation via RT).

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Of course, there is some uncertainty right now given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Although UFC events have resumed and the United States is now granting foreign athletes visas to enter, international travel is still restricted in Russia as things stand.

Hopefully, the situation improves in the next few weeks so that the likes of not only Magomedsharipov, but lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and others are able to compete soon.

Who do you think Magomedsharipov will face next?

Timeline: Jon Jones And The UFC Burn Down Their Relationship In 15 days

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Jon Jones and the UFC have been reluctant business partners for over a decade, but things may have finally boiled over for the last time. Two weeks ago, things were looking up for Jon Jones. Following…

UFC 200 New York Press Event

Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Jon Jones and the UFC have been reluctant business partners for over a decade, but things may have finally boiled over for the last time.

Two weeks ago, things were looking up for Jon Jones. Following a worrisome wobble in his personal life that resulted in an aggravated DWI conviction and one year of supervised probation, the light heavyweight champion seemed eager to refocus on his fight career and finally knock off some of the big challenges that would cement his position as GOAT for decades to come.

Jump forward to today, Sunday May 31st. Jones has just announced via social media that he is vacating his light heavyweight title and isn’t coming back unless something serious changes regarding his pay. “Let me know if you guys want to set up a day in 2021 for that Izzy [Israel Adesanya] fight,” he wrote. “Hopefully you guys will be willing to pay by then.”

How did it all go so wrong? The relationship between Jones and the UFC has been extremely complicated over the years, with events being mangled, moved, and occasionally outright cancelled due to various incidents. But since Jones’ latest return from a USADA suspension, the two sides have generally worked well together.

Now let’s take a look at how things went sour over two short weeks, in Jones’ own words on Twitter.

May 12

This gives you a good lay of the land as we get into things. This has been Jones’ position for a while now: if the UFC wants him to do anything other than face the next #1 contender for the light heavyweight belt, then they have to sweeten the pot for him. That means no rematch with Thiago Santos. No rematch with Dominick Reyes. And no move up to heavyweight.

May 14th

With the UFC back and rolling with events, Jones spends fight nights on Twitter interacting with fans. The topic of Francis Ngannou (who just knocked out Jairzinho Rozenstruik at UFC 249) comes up a lot, and Jones starts actively pushing for the fight. For the first time in a while, he sounds energized at the prospect of pushing outside of his standard wheelhouse of holding the 205 pound throne. Fans are excited at the prospect (if a bit skeptical as a move to heavyweight has been teased for years — always with the caveat that the UFC would have to pay him, of course).

May 17th

Even with the MMA Twitterverse buzzing about a potential Jones vs. Ngannou superfight, UFC president Dana White doesn’t sound enthusiastic about the idea at all.

“I don’t know if those guys really want that fight,” White said during the post-fight press conference for Saturday’s final UFC event in Jacksonville Florida. “Let me tell you this … and I’m not saying this is the case with these two. You see a lot of talk online or whatever it might be. Actually making fights is a whole other ball game.”

May 18th

May 19th

May 21st

This is wild: we get to see just how long it takes for Jones to go from super psyched and ready to move to heavyweight for one of the biggest fights of his career to just … shocked at how poorly negotiations with the UFC have gone. At 5:55PM EST, he shares he’s talking to the UFC about the Ngannou fight. By 6:24PM EST, it sounds like things have broken down and the fight is a no go.

Here’s Jones’ first tease of a potential walk away. But before things get out of control, he reigns things in. Back to fighting for his standard contracted rate against the #1 contender.

May 28th

The s**t hits the fan. Dana White tells ESPN that Jones was demanding ‘an absurd amount of money,’ which Jones continued to claim wasn’t true, as they never even made it to a point where they could negotiate money. It’s never good when the word ‘lie’ is used. Jones was quite clear: Dana White was lying about what happened.

May 29th

Jones returns to Twitter to again voice his disappointment in how everything went. The way he tells it, he came to the UFC about the Ngannou fight and had the door slammed in his face. And then UFC president Dana White used his media connections to paint Jones as the unreasonable one.

What’s most interesting to me here: Jones admits he makes $5+ million per fight currently. And then says he’d be happy to ‘settle’ for half of what Deontay Wilder makes, or $15 million. Knowing those numbers, it sounds like the UFC is quibbling over maybe $7 million more in pay for Jones to make the Ngannou fight, something that would undoubtedly rake in the equivalent of a million plus buys. Hmmm.

May 31st

Following Saturday’s UFC on ESPN: Woodley vs. Burns event, Dana White goes into a rant on Jones. “”I tarnished you? You’ve done a very good job of tarnishing you,” White says at one point.

Jones does not react very positively to that, and reveals all of White’s talk about text message demands are completely made up – there are no texts from Jones demanding Deontay Wilder money or anything else. In a sane world when two sides are clearly speaking past each other, now would be the time to sit down and try and salvage things. But then Jones pushes the nuclear button.

And that’s where we sit right now. Of course, it’s worth noting that Jones almost walked away the first time negotiations fell through, and then walked things back. Will he do something similar in a few days? We imagine there’s a process that is more detailed than sending an angry tweet when it comes to vacating your title, since so many of the UFC’s contract terms are involved.

But as it stands, it’s clear that Jones and White have not been on good terms for years. The UFC’s one sided negotiating tactics have been a source of much unhappiness amongst fighters for years, and there’s a very good chance Jones is indeed sick of dealing with the headaches that come from trying to forge one’s own path rather than accept whatever the UFC will give you.

What do you think, Maniacs? Is this move from Jones going to stick or will cooler heads prevail?

Dominick Reyes Responds To Jon Jones’ Supposed Title Vacating

Jones ReyesFor Dominick Reyes, the show must go on — with or without Jon Jones. Jones announced a bombshell Sunday as he claimed he was vacating his light heavyweight title and taking time off from the sport. He went on to announce that Reyes and Jan Blachowicz would fight for the vacant title in the meantime […]

Jones Reyes

For Dominick Reyes, the show must go on — with or without Jon Jones.

Jones announced a bombshell Sunday as he claimed he was vacating his light heavyweight title and taking time off from the sport. He went on to announce that Reyes and Jan Blachowicz would fight for the vacant title in the meantime as he felt he had nothing to gain from facing them.

The decision comes on the back of his recent back-and-forth interactions with UFC president Dana White over failed negotiations for a Francis Ngannou super fight at heavyweight. Jones claims he was shut down by the UFC when he asked for a pay increase to move up and didn’t even have a chance to mention a figure.

White, however, says otherwise as he claims Jones was asking for Deontay Wilder money which “Bones” vehemently denies. All in all, it looks like Jones has had enough of the situation which led to his decision.

Reyes: Jones Vacating Is Disappointing

For Reyes, it was disappointing to hear.

“The Devastator” was the last person to fight Jones as he took the champion to his limit in a close-fought decision defeat in February. Many observers felt Reyes did enough to win and have since called for a rematch.

However, that doesn’t look like that will be the case anymore. That said, Reyes is ready to move on.

“Disappointing if it is true and he is serious, but the show must go on.”

Although Reyes could be robbed of the chance of definitively defeating Jones, he has already spoken in the past of facing someone else like Blachowicz if that led to UFC gold.

“I don’t know if you guys know or remember, I called him out right after the fight [with Jared Cannonier],” Reyes said of Blachowicz last month. “This is a guy I’ve been wanting to fight for a minute, so if there’s an interim then yeah, hell yeah, let’s do it. But I think we’re gonna get that rematch first.”

Do you think we’ll see Reyes and Blachowicz battle for the vacant title?

Georges St-Pierre says he retired because of stress: It really took it out of me

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“I could fight again if I wanted to and I believe I could probably be one of the best, maybe the best. But I stopped because of the stress.” Georges St-Pierre had always suffered with pre-fight nerves, but to…

Georges St-Pierre Press Conference

Photo by Don Arnold/WireImage

“I could fight again if I wanted to and I believe I could probably be one of the best, maybe the best. But I stopped because of the stress.”

Georges St-Pierre had always suffered with pre-fight nerves, but to what extent, we didn’t really know.

St-Pierre was forced to relinquish his UFC middleweight title after being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2017 and, according to a recent interview with South China Morning Post, ‘Rush’ believes stress may have played a factor in his diagnosis.

The 39-year-old believes he could still compete at the highest level if not for feeling so terrified before his fights.

“I was always very scared,” St-Pierre said. “I couldn’t sleep well the night, a few nights, before the fight. It’s my fault a little bit because you control your own mind and I always performed better when I put pressure on myself, when I felt like I was on the edge. So I forced myself to feel that way, scared I wouldn’t win, or I would be humiliated.

“But the stress took a lot out of me and that’s one of the reasons why I retired. I retired not because I can’t fight any more. I could fight again if I wanted to and I believe I could probably be one of the best, maybe the best. But I stopped because of the stress.”

St-Pierre was, at one point, rumored to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov for the lightweight title but the bout never came to fruition because, according to GSP, the UFC didn’t want to risk losing one of their most prized investments.

St-Pierre was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame earlier this month and is widely considered one of, if not the, greatest fighters of all-time. The Canadian fan favorite retired with a professional record of 26-2, having only ever lost to Matt Hughes and Matt Serra.

Tyron Woodley Receives Multiple Stitches For Cut Above Eye (Photo)

WoodleyWoodley: I Got 3,000 Stitches On My Eye Tyron Woodley suffered more visible damage against Gilbert Burns than any other opponent in recent history. Woodley was at the end of a lopsided unanimous decision defeat to Burns in the UFC Vegas headliner on Saturday night. Things got off to a bad start immediately as he […]

Woodley

Woodley: I Got 3,000 Stitches On My Eye

Tyron Woodley suffered more visible damage against Gilbert Burns than any other opponent in recent history.

Woodley was at the end of a lopsided unanimous decision defeat to Burns in the UFC Vegas headliner on Saturday night. Things got off to a bad start immediately as he was dropped by “Durinho” early on in the first before an elbow on the ground opened up a nasty cut above his eye.

Luckily for the former champion, his cutman did an excellent job of fixing it up so it wouldn’t affect him for the rest of the fight. However, that didn’t help Woodley turn the fight around in his favor as he was ultimately outclassed by the Brazilian over 25 minutes.

After the fight, he received a number of stitches to fix the cut above his eye. You can see an image of it below courtesy of UFC doctor Greg Hsu:

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Just like new. All Glory to God #ufc #espn

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Woodley offered no excuses following the defeat as he posted a video on Instagram soon after. He notably questioned how Burns was able to land the elbow and also mentioned the good job Hsu did on his eye.

“I hoped I was going to win the fight to be honest. I know the first round started off rough. I don’t know how that motherf*cker elbowed me. I know he kicked me in my damn leg and that thing hasn’t been right since. I don’t know what he hit me with on the feet if it was a elbow or what. You motherf*ckers saw it but whatever. He kicked me in my damn leg and then ever since then that thing was just not right. I could not get a rhythm going. So injury wise I think I am fine. I’ve got a nice little cut that you can’t see because I’ve got the best plastic surgeon dude on earth Dr. Greg, who hooked me up with some stitches. So I got like 3,000 stitches in my eye. Because that thing was split wide open. But yea my leg, that motherf*cker look like I got a watermelon inside my skin. So I just wanted to come and face you guys. I don’t understand all of this, but I just know that I have to trust God.”

What did you think of Woodley’s cut?

Matches To Make After UFC on ESPN 9

Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

UFC on ESPN 9 went down last night (Sat., May 30, 2020) inside Ultimate Fighting Championship’s (UFC) Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event featured a Welterweight bout that saw Gilbert Burns domina…

UFC Fight Night: Woodley v Burns

Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

UFC on ESPN 9 went down last night (Sat., May 30, 2020) inside Ultimate Fighting Championship’s (UFC) Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event featured a Welterweight bout that saw Gilbert Burns dominate former division king, Tyron Woodley, over 25 minutes (video replay here). Also, Augusto Sakai edged out Blagoy Ivanov to score a split-decision win in their Heavyweight collision, while Mackenzie Dern submitted Hannah Cifers in the very first round (see it). Now let’s take a look at what could be on the horizon for all of the main card winners.

Winner: Gilbert Burns

Who He Should Face Next: Leon Edwards

Yes, Gilbert Burns is on a roll, but if you think he should get a title shot over Leon Edwards you are out of your mind. First off all, Jorge Masvidal should be getting Kamaru Usman, next. After that, it could be a long waiting time for Edwards or Burns to get their shot. That’s why the only option is to be a title eliminator bout between “Rocky” and Durinho.” Edwards has won eight in a row since 2016, while Burns is currently on a six-fight win streak. It’s a shame that one of these two will have their streak and title hopes dashed, but that’s the name of the game when you’re eyeing the biggest prize in the sport. That said, the fight should be fire, as both men are clicking on all cylinders at the moment.

Winner: Augusto Sakai

Who He Should Face Next: Cyril Gane vs Shamil Abdurakhimov winner

Don’t look now, but there’s a new player in the Heavyweight division, as Sakai has now won six straight, including all four of his UFC fights. Sakia’s ascension couldn’t have come at a better time, as the 265-pound weight class could use an infusion of rising talent, especially with the looming departure of Daniel Cormier. The win should be enough to launch Sakai up a few spots in the rankings, though a win over either Shamil or Gane would push him up further. The two were set to face off at UFC 249, but an injury to Gane derailed those plans. Now, they will finally handle their business at UFC 251 on July 11.

Winner: Billy Quarantillo

Who He Should Fight Next: Omar Morales

Quarantillo upped his win streak to seven after defeating Spike Carlyle via unanimous decision. The “Contender Series” alum is now 14-2 and looks to be a promising Lightweight prospect. But the road will be slow and steady for Billy, who can’t rush into things too quickly in a division filled with sharks. For Quarantillo’s next bout, I’d like to see him face off against Omar Morales, who also caught his big break on the “Contender Series.” Morales is 10-0 in his UFC career and was is coming off a big win over Gabriel Benitez at UFC on ESPN 8.

Winner: Roosevelt Roberts

Who He should Face Next: Thiago Moises

Roberts moved his UFC record to 4-1 after submitting Brock Weaver in round number two on UFC on ESPN 9. A fight against Moises I am digging very much, as these two 155-pound contenders have the potential to make some noise in the coming year or so if they can rack up some impressive wins on a consistent basis. Moises is coming off a second round submission win over Michael Johnson at UFC Jacksonville, and is 2-2 so far in his young UFC career. The two rising contenders have a well-rounded and loaded arsenal of attacks, so it would be nice to see them test it all out against one another.

Winner: Mackenzie Dern

Who She Should Face Next: Randa Markos

Mackenzie bounced back nicely from the first loss of her MMA career by submitting Hanna Cifers with a slick kneebar, earning her a cool $50,000 bonus for her efforts. And while the jiu-jitsu ace may have aspirations to become UFC’s first-ever “mom champ,” she has a way to go before she even starts sniffing a title shot. Dern is currently still not ranked at the moment, and she likely won’t break the list this coming week, as Amanda Ribas — who handed Dern her first loss — is holding on to the No. 15 spot. A fight against Markos seems ideal next, as she also suffered her last setback against Ribas. Markos has a wealth of UFC experience but has been rather inconsistent throughout her run, alternating wins and losses over her last 14 fights spanning six years. That odd run has been good enough to keep her spot on the UFC roster, but a win over Dern could be what gets her momentum going. For Mackenzie, defeating a longtime veteran like Markos can help elevate her stock and start eying bigger fights down the road.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC on ESPN 9: “Woodley vs. Burns” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.