Volkanovski Still Hopeful Of Australia Defense Despite Djokovic Drama

Despite the drama surrounding Novak Djokovic’s inability to play at this year’s Australian Open, UFC Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski is still hoping to defend his title in his home country soon.

Djokovic’s back and forth situation in A…

Novak Djokovic, Alexander Volkanovski

Despite the drama surrounding Novak Djokovic’s inability to play at this year’s Australian Open, UFC Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski is still hoping to defend his title in his home country soon.

Djokovic’s back and forth situation in Australia has been one of the biggest sports stories of 2022 so far. While the country requires individuals to be vaccinated prior to arriving, the tennis star traveled to the Oceanic nation believing he had a medical exemption that would allow him to play at the Australian Open without being vaccinated against COVID-19.

The saga, which lasted over a week, has seen Djokovic denied the chance to defend his title and deported. The decision came despite a last-ditch appeal that the Serb’s camp hoped would reverse the visa cancelation struck on him by Immigration Minister Alex Hawke.

Djokovic was initially granted a medical exemption to enter the country by two independent health panels after he tested positive for the virus in December, although it was later revealed he hadn’t observed self-isolation rules after contracting COVID-19.

After Djokovic left Australia for Dubai at the weekend, the lengthy period of uncertainty was brought to an end but has left fans of the tennis star unhappy and the Australian government under scrutiny by some and supported by others.

But despite the evident strict rules and guidelines for entering Australia, the country’s UFC champion doesn’t believe it’ll stop him from defending his gold in front of a home crowd soon.

Discussing the globally-covered tennis drama during a recent appearance on Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour, Volkanovski suggested Djokovic’s situation is a prime example of why the UFC hasn’t tried to organize a card in the country.

Nevertheless, the New South Wales native expects the current rules and strictness surrounding the virus to die down in the coming months, paving the way for him to throw down in the Octagon with Australian cheers around him.

“Obviously, I care. But I mean, we’re just in this situation just right now. I feel like that’s gonna change. I think things will move on. I’m still hopeful, obviously, of defending my belt, and I’m hoping that’s the one after this one (UFC 273) that we can do it. I think it’s gonna happen, I really do.

“But yeah, (Djokovic) was a big story. I didn’t look too much into it but it was everywhere. But, that’s why, obviously, the UFC aren’t bringing it here. There’s a lot of hurdles to cross, so I think just time is what we need with all that.”

Alexander Volkanovski
USA Today Sports

While he hopes for a home fight soon, Volkanovski will have to make do with the United States for his next outing.

After Max Holloway was forced to withdraw from the pair’s scheduled trilogy clash for UFC 272 in March, the Aussie’s search for a new opponent landed him at the feet of featherweight veteran “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung. The pair are expected to collide at UFC 273 in April.

While the location is yet to be made official, Volkanovski’s next defense is expected to go down at the VyStar Veterans’ Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.

Do you think Alexander Volkanovski could still defend the UFC title in Australia in 2022 despite the result of Novak Djokovic’s situation?

Continue Reading Volkanovski Still Hopeful Of Australia Defense Despite Djokovic Drama at MMA News.

Kayla Harrison Expected To Re-Sign With PFL (Report)

It appears as though Olympic gold medalist Kayla Harrison will be shooting for a three-peat as the PFL’s women’s lightweight champion.

According to a report from MMA journalist Ariel Helwani, the PFL is the strong front-runner to re-sign Harrison. …

Kayla Harrison

It appears as though Olympic gold medalist Kayla Harrison will be shooting for a three-peat as the PFL’s women’s lightweight champion.

According to a report from MMA journalist Ariel Helwani, the PFL is the strong front-runner to re-sign Harrison. In a follow-up tweet to the report, he stated that the deal is as good as done.

Kayla Harrison has been competing in MMA since 2018, with the entirety of her 12 professional fights taking place in the PFL. The Olympian has remained undefeated, with each victory being either a finish or a dominant unanimous decision. Most recently, Harrison won the PFL’s women’s lightweight season for the second time when she defeated Taylor Guardado at PFL 10.

This news may come as a disappointment to many MMA fans who were eager to see Harrison face a fresh batch of competition. But as disappointed as these fans may be, UFC and Bellator executives must be even more bummed.

According to Helwani’s report, the UFC made a strong push to land Harrison. In fact, White publicly invited Harrison to prove how good she is by fighting Amanda Nunes, who at the time of those comments had not lost a fight since 2014. Bellator President Scott Coker also stated that he would try to woo Harrison into the Bellator fold.

Numerous people within the industry, including WMMA legend Miesha Tate, believed Harrison should join the UFC, with others arguing that she should join any larger promotion with a deeper talent pool. Nevertheless, it appears home is still where the heart is for Kayla Harrison, especially if that home is surrounded by bountiful greenery.

If this report becomes official or if there is a sudden aboutface, we’ll bring you the scoop right here on MMA News.

Do you think Kayla Harrison re-signing with the PFL is a good move?

Continue Reading Kayla Harrison Expected To Re-Sign With PFL (Report) at MMA News.

Jake Paul Hints At Announcement Related To Fighter Pay

Jake Paul is teasing an announcement related to Dana White and fighter pay.

Paul has taken shots at White for not paying his fighters enough money and not providing them health care or benefits. It has gotten the attention of the UFC president, who…

Jake Paul

Jake Paul is teasing an announcement related to Dana White and fighter pay.

Paul has taken shots at White for not paying his fighters enough money and not providing them health care or benefits. It has gotten the attention of the UFC president, who responded to Paul in a video on social media.

Now, just recently, UFC Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou said he wouldn’t fight for the UFC again on his current contract.

“No, I will not fight for $500,000, $600,000 anymore,” Ngannou said to ESPN. “I mean, it’s over. It’s over. I just did this. I took this fight for a personal reason, and I want to make sure that regardless, even if it’s unfair, I have been wrongly treated, I can make my case to say I have completed the eight fights. But no.”

To no surprise, that got the attention of Jake Paul who took to social media to let Dana White know he is working on something big.

“give this man what he wants Dana. such a f****d company to be apart of… I got something coming soon,” Paul wrote on social media.

Although many MMA fighters have criticized Jake Paul, he has been vocal in wanting to help fighters get paid more. He donated to former UFC fighter, Sarah Alpar’s GoFundMe to help with her training.

Paul has also offered to retire from boxing and take an MMA fight in the UFC if White ups the minimum amount of pay to $50,000 a fight. However, that still has not happened, so by all outward appearances, the YouTuber-turned-boxer will continue to be an advocate for fighter pay in an attempt to get UFC fighters to make more money.

Jake Paul is coming off a sixth-round KO win over Tyron Woodley back in December, which improved his record to 5-0.

What do you make of Jake Paul being an advocate for fighter pay?

Continue Reading Jake Paul Hints At Announcement Related To Fighter Pay at MMA News.

Francis Ngannou Teases Big Surprises Ahead Of Ciryl Gane Matchup

UFC Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou may have some surprises in store for Ciryl Gane during their clash at UFC 270.

Ngannou will make his first heavyweight title defense against the interim champ Gane to kick-off 2022. This is his first fight i…

Francis Ngannou

UFC Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou may have some surprises in store for Ciryl Gane during their clash at UFC 270.

Ngannou will make his first heavyweight title defense against the interim champ Gane to kick-off 2022. This is his first fight in the Octagon since earning the belt over Stipe Miocic in a vicious knockout at UFC 260 last year.

Ngannou has always been known for his knockout power, but his takedown defense and overall grappling showed big gains in his last fight. While he’ll always be a striker first, he’s looking to prove that he’s not one-dimensional in his approach.

During a recent interview with MMA journalist Megan Olivi, Ngannou tells fans to expect the unexpected at UFC 270.

“I’m cooking something that I’m gonna surprise people with. They think they have seen a lot of my tools, and I’m coming up with something. Having those short fights never really (gave) me an opportunity to showcase what I’m capable of. And I think this might be the opportunity, and I’m getting ready for that, January 22. It’s gonna be like a (completely) different fighter in the best way.

Francis Ngannou
Francis Ngannou (Image Credit: Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)

“Obviously, the power’s still gonna be there. I won’t take that off. It’s a good thing to always have in your pocket in case you need it. Because even though I want to really (put on a show), I won’t say no to a knockout, even if it comes in the first minute. So January 22, you’re gonna understand why I’m the champ.”

Ngannou will more than likely need a balanced approach to his fight with Gane. A former teammate of his at MMA Factory, Gane has shown a diverse skillset in recent wins over Derrick Lewis and Junior dos Santos. His movement has been compared to that of a modern-day welterweight.

Things have become tense between Ngannou and his former coach Fernand Lopez, but Gane recently assured fans that there’s no bad blood between the two heavyweight titans. If the recent buildup and interviews are any indication, Ngannou and Gane look to put on an all-time classic at UFC 270.

What is your prediction for Francis Ngannou vs. Ciryl Gane?

Continue Reading Francis Ngannou Teases Big Surprises Ahead Of Ciryl Gane Matchup at MMA News.

Julianna Peña: Amanda Nunes Got “Exposed” At UFC 269

UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Julianna Peña believes she exposed Amanda Nunes in the UFC 269 co-main event last month.

Delusion, no chance, underdog, zero hope, inevitable loss. What do those words and terms have in common? They’re all along th…

Julianna Peña, UFC 269: Nunes vs. Peña

UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Julianna Peña believes she exposed Amanda Nunes in the UFC 269 co-main event last month.

Delusion, no chance, underdog, zero hope, inevitable loss. What do those words and terms have in common? They’re all along the lines of how most in the MMA community described Peña’s pre-fight confidence and chances of victory on December 11.

That didn’t affect the challenger. She knew something most didn’t. Her self-belief and predictions weren’t an attempt at motivating herself for an uphill battle. They were the truth. In her mind, the performance she delivered at UFC 269 wasn’t shocking; it wasn’t the greatest upset in UFC history,;it wasn’t an underdog triumph; it was as expected.

Despite that, for most fans and pundits, Peña’s seasonal submission success against the “Lioness”, which ended Nunes’ dominant reign over the 135-pound weight class, lengthy win streak, and seven-year unbeaten run, will go down in the history books as one of the biggest shocks the Octagon has ever played host to.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CYHysQivvs7/

Peña Doesn’t Think Nunes Underestimated Her

For many, whether fans of Nunes or adamant believers in the reigning featherweight titleholder’s superiority, the nature of the loss is up in the air. As well as claims the Brazilian quit after being taken to waters she hadn’t swum in since 2014, some have suggested the former bantamweight queen simply underestimated “The Venezuelan Vixen.”

For the new champ, the answers to that are: wrong and wrong.

Having already attempted to bust the myths surrounding her fight-winning choke, which she says was drilled in the training room prior to UFC 269, Peña has now denied the narrative that Nunes underestimated the threat she posed on December 11.

In reality, she believes the consensus female GOAT was simply exposed inside Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena.

“I think Amanda was prepared for the best version of Julianna that she was gonna see. She was ready,” Peña told the New York Post. “I said six months prior to the fight exactly what I was gonna do. I exposed her and I even gave her the message prior to the fight that that’s what I was gonna do. She didn’t underestimate me at all. She trained her ass off and was adamant, in her mind, to win the fight no matter what. She just got exposed, and that’s kind of what it was.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/CXulK21Duae/

While the discussion around her championship-winning performance is likely to continue given the way she toppled the “Lioness” of the top step, Peña will seemingly have the chance to further legitimize her place on the bantamweight throne in an immediate rematch later this year.

After UFC President Dana White revealed the former champ would be offered a quick chance for redemption, Nunes wasted no time in accepting and promising resurrection in 2022.

Do you agree with Julianna Peña? Did she expose Amanda Nunes at UFC 269?

Continue Reading Julianna Peña: Amanda Nunes Got “Exposed” At UFC 269 at MMA News.

The Countdown To UFC 270: Ngannou vs. Gane Officially Begins

The fight week of the first UFC pay-per-view of 2022 is upon us, as we are now days away from an epic heavyweight showdown for the ages at UFC 270.

At UFC 270, the UFC heavyweight championship will be unified when undisputed champion Francis Nganno…

UFC 270

The fight week of the first UFC pay-per-view of 2022 is upon us, as we are now days away from an epic heavyweight showdown for the ages at UFC 270.

At UFC 270, the UFC heavyweight championship will be unified when undisputed champion Francis Ngannou and interim champ Ciryl Gane take center stage in Anaheim California’s Honda Center. “The Predator” will now experience what it feels like to be the hunted as he will look to make his first successful title defense. In order to do so, he’ll try to be the first man to reveal a chink in Bon Gamin’s armor and hand the Frenchman his first career loss.

In the co-main event, we see a flyweight championship trilogy between champion Brandon Moreno and ex-champion Deiveson Figueiredo. The first fight was considered arguably the best flyweight bout of all time. The sequel, however, served as a coming-out party for Mexico’s Brandon Moreno. Will Figueiredo spoil this party, or will Tijuana rejoice once again?

The UFC’s countdown video sets the stage for both title fights.

UFC 270 Ngannou vs. Gane: Countdown

“I know and he knows there’s only one thing that can happen if I connect with him: knock him out.” – Francis Ngannou

Francis Ngannou
Image Credit: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

As Francis Ngannou seeks his 13th career knockout against a former sparring partner, the countdown episode tells the story of the Cameroonian’s history with Gane and the soured relationship Ngannou has with his ex-coach and Gane’s current coach, Fernand Lopez.

“The footwork, the speed, precision, the cardio…every fight, I bring this in the cage.” – Ciryl Gane

Ciryl Gane
ESPN

The post-modern MMA project that is Ciryl Gane has his toughest assignment to date in champion Francis Ngannou. In the countdown video, Gane’s unique skill set and familiarity with Ngannou are documented as well as the swollen confidence Fernand Lopez has in his fighter.

“Sometimes I feel all the weight of my country on my shoulders.” – Brandon Moreno

Brandon Moreno
Brandon Moreno, Credit: AFP

At UFC 263, Brandon Moreno became the first Mexican UFC champion. The countdown video takes you through his range of emotions and how his nation joined him in celebrating his historic achievement.

“I’m going to be more technical, quicker, and more explosive, ready to finish him.” – Deiveson Figueiredo

Midnight Mania! Deiveson Figueiredo considering Bantamweight move following  title loss - MMAmania.com
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Deiveson Figueiredo has vengeance on his mind heading into UFC 270. In the countdown video, we get a glimpse into the measures the Brazilian have taken to ensure there is a different result come Saturday night, including enlisting the services of former flyweight champion, “Triple C” Henry Cejudo.

UFC 270 takes place this Saturday, January 22, from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. You can find the full card and viewing information below.

UFC 270 Main Card (ESPN+ PPV, 10:00 PM ET)

  • UFC Heavyweight Championship Bout: Francis Ngannou (c) vs. Ciryl Gane (ic)
  • UFC Flyweight Championship Bout: Brandon Moreno (c) vs. Deiveson Figueiredo
  • Bantamweight: Cody Stamann vs. Said Nurmagomedov
  • Featherweight: Ilia Topuria vs. Charles Jourdain

UFC 270 Preliminary Card (ESPN2, ESPN+, 8:00 PM ET)

  • Middleweight: Rodolfo Vieira vs. Wellington Turman
  • Bantamweight: Tony Gravely vs. Saimon Oliveira
  • Welterweight Bout: Jack Della Maddalena vs. Pete Rodriguez
  • Welterweight Bout: Michel Pereira vs. Andre Fialho

UFC 270 Early Preliminary Card (ESPN+, UFC Fight Pass, 6:00 PM ET)

  • Bantamweight: Raoni Barcelos vs. Victor Henry
  • Welterweight: Trevin Giles vs. Michael Morales
  • Lightweight: Matt Frevola vs. Genaro Valdez
  • Women’s Flyweight: Kay Hansen vs. Jasmine Jasudavicius
  • Strawweight Bout: Vanessa Demopoulos vs. Silvana Gomez Juarez

And without further ado, you can view the official UFC 270 Countdown video below!

Continue Reading The Countdown To UFC 270: Ngannou vs. Gane Officially Begins at MMA News.