Gaethje: I Thought Chandler Clash At UFC 268 Was A Boring Fight

UFC lightweight contender Justin Gaethje had a significantly different take than most fans while he fought Michael Chandler at UFC 268.

In the promotion’s return to Madison Square Garden last November, a host of moments took the roof off the iconic…

Justin Gaethje, UFC 268: Chandler vs. Gaethje

UFC lightweight contender Justin Gaethje had a significantly different take than most fans while he fought Michael Chandler at UFC 268.

In the promotion’s return to Madison Square Garden last November, a host of moments took the roof off the iconic arena and had fans across the world stuck to their TV sets.

From Chris Barnett’s spinning wheel kick, Ian Garry’s McGregor-esque debut knockout, and Alex Pereira’s memorable flying knee KO, to Rose Namajunas and Kamaru Usman’s successful title defenses, the event certainly didn’t disappoint.

But the one fight that left everybody talking was the clash of lightweight contenders between Gaethje and Chandler. Leaving everything in the cage, both men swung hard and put their bodies on the line. After 15 minutes, Gaethje walked away with the unanimous decision verdict, but both played their part in what was the consensus fight of the year bout.

Gaethje Had A Different View During The Fight

Whether it was FOTY or not, everybody has and continues to recognize the incredible contest. But one man had a different version of events at the time, that man being one half of the memorable clash.

During a recent interview with BT Sport while in attendance at UFC 270 last weekend, Gaethje incredibly claimed he thought the fight was “boring” while he was inside the Octagon. “The Highlight” said he didn’t like it because the main card opener represented a rare moment where he favored securing the victory over putting “Iron” to sleep.

“To be completely honest with you, I felt like that was kind of a boring fight when I was in there,” said Gaethje. “Yeah, it just makes no sense. It’s the first time I’ve ever wanted to win more than to knock somebody out. So, yeah, it was not good, I didn’t like it. I wanna go back to just wanting to hurt somebody and finish them. But, now that I’ve won, I got my title shot, I can go back to how it should be.”

Thrilling, exhilarating, exciting, enthralling, memorable, crazy, and a host of other adjectives have been used to describe UFC’s 268’s Fight of the Night. But I guess we now have to add… boring to it? I’m okay leaving that out if you are.

How would you describe Justin Gaethje’s barnburner with Michael Chandler at UFC 268?

Continue Reading Gaethje: I Thought Chandler Clash At UFC 268 Was A Boring Fight at MMA News.

Zhang Has No Regrets After 2nd Namajunas Loss, Makes Vow For Future

UFC women’s strawweight contender Zhang Weili says she has no regrets about her second defeat to Rose Namajunas at UFC 268, and has vowed to come back stronger.

Heading into 2021, Zhang held the 115-pound gold, was riding a 21-fight win streak, boa…

Zhang Weili, UFC 268: Namajunas vs. Zhang 2

UFC women’s strawweight contender Zhang Weili says she has no regrets about her second defeat to Rose Namajunas at UFC 268, and has vowed to come back stronger.

Heading into 2021, Zhang held the 115-pound gold, was riding a 21-fight win streak, boasted a perfect 5-0 UFC record, and already had a successful title defense over the great Joanna J?drzejczyk under her belt. But while 2020 saw her extend her reign in style in a Fight of the Year contender, last year was less successful for the Chinese star.

At UFC 261, Namajunas provided one of the most memorable moments in the promotion’s history, knocking Zhang out with a first-round head kick in front of the first sold-out crowd in over a year. In doing so, “Thug Rose” became the first woman in UFC history to regain a title.

Seven months later, Zhang had her chance for redemption. In the UFC 268 co-main event, she went five round with the champ inside Madison Square Garden. While many believed “Magnum” did enough to leave the Octagon with the belt back in her possession, Namajunas was awarded the nod on two scorecards.

Zhang: “I’m A New Me”

After her KO loss last April, Zhang was visibly unhappy at the stoppage and seemed reluctant to accept the result. She made a number of comments about the defeat in the following months, including a claim that Namajunas made disparaging comments about her in the build-up in order to turn the fans against the-then strawweight queen, as well as a suggestion that Chris Weidman’s leg break played a part in the result.

However, Zhang’s response to her November setback couldn’t have been more different, despite the incredibly tight nature of it. That positive attitude was clear in a recent interview with People Magazine in China. “Magnum” claimed the defeat has provided her with an opportunity to learn and grow, something she says has built a “new me.”

“Failure is not a bad thing for us. It’s a beginning for us to learn and become stronger. Now I start anew. I’m a new me. A new ‘Beijing Drifter’. I will keep grinding for my dream.”

Despite back-to-back losses, Zhang insists she has no regrets about her UFC 268 performance and is not at a low point in her career. Instead, “Magnum” believes she’s on an upwards surge, and is solely focused on accomplishing her goals when she returns to the Octagon this year.

“I don’t think I’m at a low point right now,” Zhang said. “I think I’m at the point of a final sprint, a point of sprinting upwards.

“There’s no need to regret the past or worry about the future. Just focus on accomplishing every single thing in the present. Eat well when it’s time to eat. Train hard when it’s time to train. Do your best at whatever it is you are doing and the future will not be too bad.” (h/t South China Morning Post)

https://www.instagram.com/p/CYNUcz2pBP1/

While her next opponent is yet to be decided, Zhang is seemingly working hard to get back to her best for her next outing. In an exclusive interview with MMA News, Eddie Cha recently revealed Zhang will be returning to the Fight Ready gym in the next few weeks.

When she does begin training again with the likes of Cha and Henry Cejudo, we can expect a fight announcement to come relatively quickly, perhaps in the form of a rematch against J?drzejczyk.

Do you think Zhang Weili will bounce back to the title in the coming months and years?

Continue Reading Zhang Has No Regrets After 2nd Namajunas Loss, Makes Vow For Future at MMA News.

Chandler: I Never Want To Fight Like At UFC 268 Ever Again

Michael Chandler has learned his lesson following UFC 268.

Michael Chandler and Justin Gaethje put on a Fight of the Year contender at UFC 268, but it was too much for Chandler. The main card opening bout went the entire three-round distance.

G…

Michael Chandler Justin Gaethje

Michael Chandler has learned his lesson following UFC 268.

Michael Chandler and Justin Gaethje put on a Fight of the Year contender at UFC 268, but it was too much for Chandler. The main card opening bout went the entire three-round distance.

Gaethje and Chandler went hard and took just as much damage as they gave. Both men were transported to the hospital following the fight. Now a month removed, Chandler is reflecting back on the war.

“I don’t want to fight that way ever again, but 95% of the fight was just a good ol’ fashioned passionate scrap, you know?” Chandler explained on the Bussin’ With The Boys Youtube channel. “5% of it was a little bit of, ‘Dude, what are you doing, man?’ Of course, I’ve gotten criticism like, ‘Hey, if you would have been a little more tactical and not try to put on a show, you would have won the fight.”

Following the loss, Chandler has been open about his performance and the damage he took in the fight. She shared a wholesome video of himself explaining to his son why he looked the way he did following the fight. Chandler has publically gone over details of the fight, and although it didn’t go his way, he is proud of his performance.

“But truthfully, I’m not just saying this. This sounds like something a loser of a fight would say,” Chandler said. “But it’s very genuine when I say it was the first time in my career Mike Beltran, the referee, grabbed my wrist, and it was that moment when I was about to get my hand raised or keep it down while my opponent got his hand raised or kept it down. And at that moment, when he grabbed my wrist, I was like, ‘Oh, shoot. There’s gonna be a winner and a loser right now.’ First time in my life.’”

Chandler is currently healing up and assessing his next move. He has been targeting a fight with Conor McGregor. Whatever his next move is, Chandler still holds Gaethje in high regard, and perhaps we will see these two fight again one day, however, it should be different the next time around.

Do you think the UFC 268 bout between Michael Chandler and Justin Gaethje is the best fight of the year?

Continue Reading Chandler: I Never Want To Fight Like At UFC 268 Ever Again at MMA News.

VIDEO | Colby Covington, Kamaru Usman Share Moment Following UFC 268: ‘It’s All Love, I’m Trying To Sell It’

Colby CovingtonFootage has emerged as part of the UFC’s Trill & Agony series following the fallout from UFC 268 — which appears to show welterweight rivals, division kingpin, Kamaru Usman, and fallen challenger, Colby Covington share a rather wholesome moment — where Covington appears to claim he is only firing barbs at Usman in order to sell the […]

Colby Covington

Footage has emerged as part of the UFC’s Trill & Agony series following the fallout from UFC 268 — which appears to show welterweight rivals, division kingpin, Kamaru Usman, and fallen challenger, Colby Covington share a rather wholesome moment — where Covington appears to claim he is only firing barbs at Usman in order to sell the fight. 

Usman, who headlined UFC 268 at the beginning of November at Madison Square Garden against two-time foe, former interim welterweight champion, Covington — lodged his second career win against the outspoken challenger in the form of a unanimous decision victory.

Dropping Covington twice toward the end of the second round with two heavy knockdowns, Usman initially started brightly against the challenger, who appeared to grow into the fight and arguably stole the third and fourth rounds. However, prior water in the basement, as well as a fifth and final round, closeout from Usman was enough to see him score his second career win over Covington, and in turn, his fifth consecutive defense of his welterweight crown.

Immediately after the final buzzer, however, Usman and Covington — sworn rivals, shared an embrace in the center of the Octagon, with the microphone briefly picking up some words shared between the two before referee, Dan Miragliotta intervened and corralled the two to their corners.

Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington embrace post-UFC 268, and share some wholesome words

In new footage released this week, we can catch an audibly warm reception between the two, with Covington detailing how he had maybe only spoken in such an inflammatory manner to and about Usman in order to help sell the fight.

Covington: You know I’m just trying to sell it for you.

Usman: What?

Covington: You know I’m just trying to sell it for you.

Usman: I know. I know. I know.

Covington: It’s all love.

Despite the warm embrace shared between the two, just moments later, during his post-fight press conference, Covington reverted to a familiar character, claiming that he had no respect for Usman, as well as calling him a “cheater” following an early fight eye poke. 

I can’t respect a guy like that, I mean, go look on YouTube,” Covington told assembled media. “The guy dissected everything that he cheats on and everything. You see that injection marks all over his stomach? The guy’s not a clean fighter. I’m a clean fighter. I’m raw American steel and twisted sex appeal.

He’s a cheating coward, you know I have no respect for that guy. … he’s cheated in multiple fights, I mean he was holding my glove tonight against the cage. In the first round, I shot a takedown and he went bam, bam, twice to the back of the head.

Colby Covington Explains Why Second Round Against Kamaru Usman Wasn’t 10-8

Colby CovingtonColby Covington doesn’t believe there were any 10-8 rounds in his rematch with Kamaru Usman. Covington suffered a unanimous decision defeat to Usman in their welterweight title sequel at UFC 268 earlier this month. Covington was notably dropped twice in the second round with many expecting the finish to come soon. However, “Chaos” survived and […]

Colby Covington

Colby Covington doesn’t believe there were any 10-8 rounds in his rematch with Kamaru Usman.

Covington suffered a unanimous decision defeat to Usman in their welterweight title sequel at UFC 268 earlier this month. Covington was notably dropped twice in the second round with many expecting the finish to come soon.

However, “Chaos” survived and ended the fight strong. In the end, however, it wasn’t enough as Usman still won all three judges’ scorecards.

Colby Covington: Only The Haters Calling It 10-8

Although the three judges didn’t score the second round as a 10-8, many fans, fighters and media alike deemed it a 10-8 on social media.

To that, Covington responded:

“I feel like I was kind of pressing in that round, and that round was mine up until that point,” Covington told James Lynch. “If you look at the tape, you can clearly see that I wobbled him with the jab, he kind of stumbled twice, but he gets his bearings and he throws a 3-2, right hand-left hook and the left hook just kind of caught me on the right spot, the temple. For just a quarter-second it put me down, but I wasn’t hurt. It wasn’t like I was wobbled and he had me completely concussed with a big shot. It just caught me unexpectedly.

“I was rushing in and my defense was down and he just caught a good shot. That’s not a 10-8 round, though. No way that’s a 10-8. 10-8 is when they’re doing damage and freaking almost finishing the guy. I wasn’t even close to getting finished. Those are the haters, man. The clickbait merchants is what I call them. There are just three judges in there. Millions of people watching the fight worldwide can decide for themselves.”

You can watch the snippet below:

Whether it’s a 10-8 or not is irrelevant in the end as Covington would have lost regardless seeing as the judges never scored it a 10-8 in the first place.

Did you think it was a 10-8 round for Kamaru Usman against Colby Covington?

Usman Reveals Injury Suffered 3 Weeks Out From Covington Rematch

In a lot of ways, the rematch between Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington was closer than their first fight, but there may be a reason for that.

The first fight between Usman and Covington was an all-out war, with both men having big moments and the j…

Kamaru Usman Colby Covington

In a lot of ways, the rematch between Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington was closer than their first fight, but there may be a reason for that.

The first fight between Usman and Covington was an all-out war, with both men having big moments and the judges having it even on the scorecards ahead of a fifth-round TKO for the champ. The long-awaited rematch was more of the same, except this time it went all five rounds, leading to a unanimous decision win, once again for the champ after another close fight.

However, there is a potential reason for the second fight being as close as it was, aside from the improvements that Covington obviously made. Speaking on the Nelk Boys’ Full Send podcast, Usman revealed that he had suffered a broken hand courtesy of lightweight contender Justin Gaethje’s head. He says the injury occurred about three weeks out from the fight, and he did not even use it from that point until the day of the fight.

“I broke it before the fight. Most people didn’t know that,” Usman said (h/t BJPenn.com). “I broke it three weeks before and I didn’t throw it until the day of the fight, I didn’t throw it until I was backstage when you are warming up before the fight. I didn’t throw my hands for three weeks, my right hand…

“I broke it on someone’s head, Justin Gaethje’s head.”

If this is true, it is insane to think that Kamaru Usman was able to fight like that while dealing with an injury in his power hand. That said, it did not ultimately matter that his right hand was compromised, as he was able to use his left hand to drop Colby Covington on two occasions at the end of the second round.

With that kind of injury, it is hard not to wonder if the fight would have been as closely contested if Usman was able to use both of his hands to full effect. There is good reason to believe that may not have been the case, but even if it was, the fight was still a treat for fans and arguably better than their first encounter.

Check out the full podcast with Kamaru Usman below:

Continue Reading Usman Reveals Injury Suffered 3 Weeks Out From Covington Rematch at MMA News.