What's Going On?

What’s Going On? (Mar 11th – 17th)

A whole new week means a whole new set of MMA news and events that needs to be discussed by yours truly. So let’s get right into it with some interesting topics for this week.

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Demetrious Johnson vs. TJ Dillashaw?

The superfight between the UFC’s two smallest male champions has been anticipated for months but still ha not been finalized. This largely in part has to do with Demetrious Johnson being unwilling to fight TJ Dillashaw without the proper pay. Now Johnson is stating that he has no interest in the UFC Bantamweight Championship.

I’m going to be frank and honest, if I went up there and beat T.J. Dillashaw at 135 pounds, I have no interest whatsoever in staying at 135. People are like ‘why not?’ and I’m like I have no interest in fighting guys who walk around at 160 pounds.” – Demetrious Johnson

This is reasonable thinking for the flyweight champion as he would have to deal with a lot of guys who would be considerably bigger than him. His ability to not let the pressure get to him is also admirable. Meanwhile, former middleweight champion Michael Bisping stated that Johnson needs this fight to cement his legacy. Legacy is great and all but nowadays it is all about the green stuff. Bisping should know better than that.

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Amanda Nunes vs. Cris Cyborg?

While we are on the topic of superfights, Amanda Nunes vs. Cris Cyborg has been a women’s fight that many MMA fans are hopeful to see. However, Nunes appears to be backtracking her desire to face off against the dominant featherweight champion. She put emphasis on the fact that her division is starting to grow and that more contenders are lining up to face her. Nunes feels she is obligated to fight the top contenders instead of fight another champion in another division. Some feel that Nunes does not want to fight Cyborg and that she is using this as an excuse to avoid her. Whatever the case, I like the stance. Champions should be obligated to fight their top contenders. Maybe after a few solid defences then they can look for super fights.

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UFC 225 News

UFC 225 is starting to shape up as Chicago has no got three big names added to the show. The main event will be Robert Whittaker defending his middleweight title in a rematch of his last fight against Yoel Romero. But if that isn’t enough then the Chicago crowd will be happy to learn that one of their own, CM Punk, will be making his return to the octagon. His opponent is still unknown. I love the main event, it will be just as exciting as their last bout, but the addition of CM Punk is surely to make the real MMA fans groan. His UFC debut was a disaster and now he is getting a second chance. Hopefully this will be his last bout because, whether he wins or loses, there is pretty much nobody left that CM Punk can even come close to hanging with.

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Ronda Rousey Retired?

In a recent interview, Ronda Rousey stated that a return to the octagon is as likely as a return to the Judo Olympic scene. This is very disappointing for any fan that wanted to see Rousey strap on those gloves again, even if it was one more time. I feel this is the best call for her as she is having tremendous success with her WWE run and seems to be really happy there. Back in the UFC, she may take another beating and will also be boo’d by a bunch of anti-Rousey fans. I still think she can beat a lot of women in the UFC, but her days as champion are done.

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Luke Rockhold vs. Michael Bisping III?

Trash talk has been going back and forth between Luke Rockhold and Michael Bisping on Twitter (I would post it here but there are too many to post). The fight should happen as it is the norm for a trilogy fight to happen if both fighter have one win a piece. However, Bisping doesn’t know if he fights again. He believes he may have fought for the last time but Rockhold is hoping for a final shot to redeem his embarrassing loss to The Count. Let’s all just hope and pray this fight gets made because there is bound to be a finish and this rivalry is as real as it gets.

Bisping doesn’t know if he fights again

Other News:

Let's Talk About...

Let’s Talk About… Yoel Romero’s Kiss to Luke Rockhold

This has been a hot topic recently, and rightfully so, with many questioning what should and shouldn’t be allowed to happen after to a fighter after he/she is put unconsious by his opponent. I’m not going to put filler here and instead just dive right in to the topic at hand.

The Incident

First let’s explain what exactly happened so that nothing is taken out of context. Yoel Romero had just defeated Luke Rockhold by delivering a vicious overhand that shut his opponent’s lights out to get the victory in the third round. Romero then proceeded to celebrate his win with the usual cage wall jump and so on. But the incident then occurred shortly after as Romero ran over to Rockhold to tell him “I love you” while giving him multiple kisses. Rockhold was clearly still out of it as he was looking around with a lot of confusion on his face. It wasn’t pretty and the internet quickly made the incident a trending discussion in the MMA world.

Morally right?

Many see this incident as very irresponsible on Romero’s part. Doctors and referees should be the first to interact with a fighter who has been rendered unconscious. Second, Romero basically took advantage of Rockhold’s poor mental state at the time. Rockhold had no say in the matter and was being pinned to the wall and kissed in front of millions of people around the world without his approval. You can say what you want about Rockhold, but I doubt he deserved the embarrassment of that interaction that night.

Intention

Even though many did not like what Yoel Romero did to Luke Rockhold, it’s pretty clear that he meant well in the end. He only wanted to embrace is opponent and show him respect. His execution may have been poor but he had a good heart in the act. Also, there would be no point in trying to embarrass Rockhold (while also embarrassing himself) any further as he already knocked him out. It just does not make sense that he did it in an attempt to humiliate Rockhold.

Verdict

Yoel Romero should definitely be ashamed of what he did. He had no business in doing what he did to Luke Rockhold, especially before he can be looked at by the medical professionals at ringside. However, that being said, Romero showed nothing but class towards Rockhold and was very apologetic for missing weight. I can tell Romero really wanted to show respect to Rockhold but the whole action just fell flat. It was sloppy as the kiss he gave Rockhold and hopefully we can all put this embarrassing incident behind us.

Tuesday Top Ten

Tuesday Top Ten: MMA Fighters Turned Pro Wrestlers

MMA is not all it’ cracked up to be. You get injured often (it’s fighting after all) and pay can be pretty low, especially if you’re not a big name. So fighters are looking for every possible way to make money outside the cage. Professional wrestling is a great option as companies like WWE are always looking for big men to join the sports entertainment world. So here are the top ten professional fighters turned professional wrestlers. Rules for this list: the fighter must be in MMA then go to wrestling, but could have started in wrestling then jumped back and forth.

10. Stephan Bonnar

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Stephen Bonnar may be best known for his war with Forrest Griffin but now he’s trying to be known for his professional wrestling career as well. He has not done too much but his presence as a UFC Hall of Famer in the world of professional wrestling is definitely noteworthy.

9. Josh Barnett

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Josh Barnett joined Impact Wrestling with multiple other MMA fighters while still under contract with the UFC. It’s pretty insane to see an MMA legend like him join a wrestling company and then being able to fight in a legit fight the next day.

8. Dan Severn

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Dan Severn is an MMA pioneer who was also around during the WWE’s attitude era. He didn’t do much in the promotion but still competed in both companies as one of the earliest examples of crossing over from MMA to professional wrestling.

7. Matt Riddle

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Matt Riddle suffered harsh criticisms from UFC president Dana White for his use of marijuana. After being cut from the company, Riddle enjoyed success in both MMA and professional wrestling. Riddle has no desire to return to the UFC as he is clearly being treated better outside the UFC in the land of professional wrestling

6. Shayna Baszler

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Shayna Baszler has a short UFC stint back in 2014 to 2015 but soon was released from the company. She is now best known for being Ronda Rousey’s friend and being a part of WWE’s developmental territory NXT. She is enjoying great success and hasn’t looked back ever since.

5. Bobby Lashley

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Bobby Lashley was a former world champion in WWE and Impact Wrestling until he tried to be one in MMA. He has a 15-2 record and has been one the more known stars in Bellator MMA. He hasn’t fought in the company since 2016 and is enjoying great success in Impact Wrestling as of now.

4. Ken Shamrock

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Ken Shamrock participated at the first ever UFC event but is also known for his time in WWE. He had multiple feuds with big name wrestlers in the company and fitted in quite well with the other superstars of that era. He is known by many wrestling fans and MMA fans alike.

3. Colby Covington

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Colby Covington is best known as a nasty trash talker and top ranked welterweight in the UFC. A lot of the trash talk stems from his wrestling career that he has on the side. Covington has competed in Impact Wrestling and has plans to join WWE in the near future.

2. Ronda Rousey

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Ronda Rousey is the most recent example of an MMA fighter becoming a professional wrestler. She suffered two brutal losses that caused her to rethink her career choice. Now she has gone from UFC champion to future WWE women’s champion.

1. Brock Lesnar

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Brock Lenar was very popular in WWE in the early 2000’s. He became a mega star once he became UFC champion after leaving the WWE. He soon left the UFC after a few losses and is currently the WWE Universal Champion and is expected to headline this year’s Wrestlemania.

Who You Got?

Who You Got? (UFC Fight Night: Werdum vs. Volkov)

The UFC returns to London when two top ranked heavyweights battle it out in the main event of the evening. Here are my picks and predictions for how all of the main card fights of the night will go down:

Leon “Rocky” Edwards vs. Peter Sobotta

This fight will be a stylistic matchup. Although both are comftorable with a stand-up fight, Leon Edwards would love to get this fight to the mat. That will be easier said than done as Peter Sobotta is a hard competitor to put on his back. This will lead to a striking battle between the two in which I see Sobotta taking the victory. But because Edwards is a tough fighter to finish, I predict Sobotta winning by the judges’ decision.

Predicted winner: Peter Sobotta via Decision

Tom “Fire Kid” Duquesnoy vs. Terrion “Flash” Ware

This will definitely be the most difficult fight to pick on this card. Both Tom Duquesnoy and Terrion Ware love to strike so expect this to stay standing (unless somebody gets dropped). An interesting statistic though is that neither men have been finished due to strikes. This will more than likely go the distance with one of them edging the other out. I pick Duquesnoy due to his slightly better hand speed, knockout power, and ability to mix up his weapons in his arsenal. Ware will have to pressure Duquesnoy immensely but will probably eat an elbow or knee in the process. Tough fight to call, but my gut says Duequesnoy.

Predicted winner: Tom Duequesnoy via Decision

Jimi “Poster Boy” Manuwa vs. Jan Blachowicz

This may be the most exciting fight on the card despite their last encounter not being so eventful. Jimi Manuwa will play the striker in this fight while Jan Blachowicz will play the grappler. Manuwa’s biggest problem in his career has been his inability to takeout top-tier strikers. Although Jan Blachowicz is an excellent fighter, he is by no means a top tier striker. I see Manuwa’s boxing dominating this fight as Blachowicz struggles to take Manuwa down to the canvas. I also feel that Manuwa’s boxing has gotten better since these two mens’ last bout so I think Manuwa gets the finish this time around, but it won’t be immediate. It will probably happen in the second round.

Predicted winner: Jimi Manuwa via Knockout/Technical Knockout in Round 2

Fabricio “Vai Cavalo” Werdum vs. Alexander “Drago” Volkov

An odd main event for this London crowd, but it should be anything but boring. Fabricio Werdum is a master submission artist and is able to submit any of his opponents when he takes them to the ground. Taking down Alexander Volkov is no easy feat though. The striking game will be a bit close but I see Werdum gaining the slight advantage, especially in the later rounds as he gets his rhythm and timing down. Werdum should defeat Volkov but will probably not get the finish as knocking Volkov out or taking him down is too difficult for most fighters to do.

Predicted winner: Fabricio Werdum via Decision