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.

usa_today_10021364.0.jpg

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.

amanda-nunes-ufc-215.jpg

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.

romero-whittaker_1h7e1whczmerd1a3pndbv7vz6y.jpg

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.

https_%2F%2Fblueprint-api-production.s3.amazonaws.com%2Fuploads%2Fcard%2Fimage%2F333306%2Fde79d0a7-117f-4371-a8ee-821d731d9275.jpg

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.

043_Luke_Rockhold_and_Michael_Bisping.0.0.jpg

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:

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

12Krzysztof_Soszynski_v_Stephan_Bonnar.jpg

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

Lashley-Barnett_2.jpg

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

115727289.0

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

Matt-Riddle.0.0.jpg

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

Shayna_Baszler_bio--3b8d1a0accc26b36ed9fa9f13e55279e.jpg

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

010_Bobby_Lashley.0.0

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

shamrock

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

usa_today_10116448.0.jpg

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

ronda.jpg

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

brock-lesnar-696x392

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.

What's Going On?

What’s Going On? (Jan 14th – 20th)

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:

Tony Ferguson vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov is on!

Khabib-Nurmagomedov-Tony-Ferguson-Conor-McGregor

The fight that the MMA world has been waiting for is finally upon us as Tony Ferguson is scheduled to face off against Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223. The big question is whether or not it will be for the interim or actual UFC Lightweight Championship. If it is for the real belt then that means Conor McGregor will be stripped a second time due to inactivity. And if for some reason the fight is for the interim belt, then Dana White will once again go back on his promise (shocker) and the fans will more than likely be upset due to McGregor not defending his belt for almost two years.

Cris Cyborg vs. Amanda Nunes?

amanda-nunes-cris-cyborg.jpg

This is probably the biggest women’s fight the UFC can make. Dana White has expressed interest in making the matchup happen, but Cris Cyborg seems uninterested in the matchup. Cyborg’s reason is that both fighters are from Brazil and she would rather not fight someone from her own country. Amanda Nunes on the other hand does not seem to care about this fact and would love to have the champion vs. champion fight anyways. Regardless, I would love to see this matchup just like every other sane human being.

Michael Bisping says no to fighting Vitor Belfort

belfort_bisping.0.0.jpg

In their first encounter, Vitor Belfort (who may have been juiced to the gills) gave Michael Bisping his lazy eye by kicking his face into oblivion. Bisping has despised Belfort ever since and has become a strong advocate against steroid usage. Belfort called for this rematch to happen with Bisping responding by saying there is a “zero percent chance” it happens. This is another blockbuster fight that would be big especially in Bisping’s home country of England. Plus, Bisping would have a chance to avenge his loss against Belfort. If he really thinks Belfort only won because of testosterone replacement therapy, then he should have no problem beating him in a rematch with both men clean.

Paige VanZant breaks arm in fight

In Paige VanZant’s last fight against Jessica-Rose Clark, she broke her arm sometime in the first half of the fight. VanZant as able to continue fighting and went on to lose a decision to her opponent. Even though this is valiant and makes her one tough chick, it still does not excuse her coaches for letting her continue fighting. VanZant can clearly be heard telling her coaches in between round 2 and 3 that she had broke her arm and yet they let her continue fighting knowing this fact. I feel this is irresponsible and could have caused VanZant’s arm to be damaged even more and potentially beyond repair.

Cynthia Calvillo fails drug test

ufc-209-cynthia-calvillo-backstage-interview_622892_OpenGraphImage

Hot, young prospect Cynthia Calvillo failed an in-competition drug test for marijuana metabolites for her fight against Carla Esparza at UFC 219. Marijuana usage in MMA is a controversial one. While there are many reasons why marijuana should be legal in MMA, the NSAC still has it as an illegal substance. Therefor all fighters must abide by these rules and regulations. There should be no reason to not follow these rules as doing so would just cause a suspension from the commission. Calvillo shouldn’t have taken it knowing thee guidelines and will thus face the price for it. Still, I hope this rule is changed in the near future.

Other News:

Tuesday Top Ten

Tuesday Top Ten: Matt Hughes Moments

Matt Hughes is one of my favorite fighters of all time. He had everything you could like in a fighter. He finished people; he was humble; and he never relied on his strength to win fights. Above all of that, he is a kind human being that has helped many fighters as both a coach and as Vice President of Athlete Development and Government relations in the UFC. His inspiring comeback this past weekend was nothing short of miraculous so I will take this time to list the ten best Matt Hughes moments in his legendary UFC career. Will limit this to only his time in the UFC.

matt-hughes-ricardo-almeida-979402.jpg

#10. His fight with Ricardo Almeida

In what would be Matt Hughes’ first fight as a Hall of Famer would also be his last win inside the octagon. It was an impressive win on top of it. Ricardo Almeida was the younger of the two and was an excellent submission specialist due to his lineage. The two started off with very little action on the feet as both were throwing conservatively and Almeida only stuffing a few of Hughes’ takedown attempts. However, out of nowhere Hughes lands a perfect lead left hook that hurt Almeida which Hughes then capitalized on by locking up a front headlock on his opponent. This gave Almeida his first submission loss to one of the all-time greats.

001_matt_hughes_gallery_post.0.jpg

#9. His Retirement

Matt Hughes’ retirement was bitter-sweet. On one hand he was given the opportunity to become Vice President of Athlete Development and Government relations in the UFC but on the other hand it meant we would never see Hughes fight again. This short press conference moment started with Dana White giving an emotional speech about his trust and friendship with Matt Hughes and then ended with Hughes giving thanks and accepting his new position that would allow him to stay with the UFC.

20180116_160027.jpg

#8. The Ultimate Fighter

Not every moment on this list is going to be great as fighters tend to have ups and downs in their careers. Hughes coaching on The Ultimate Fighter was questionable as only two of his eight fighters won the opening round. And though those two were able to make it to the finals of the whole thing, you can bet his constant push of Christianity on his fighters didn’t sit well with many viewers at home (or his rival coach on the show, Matt Serra). When the two finally faced off at UFC 98, Serra was able to knockdown his opponent in the opening round (with help from an unintentional headbutt). Hughes, however, was able to survive and use his wrestling to dominate the rest of the fight and score the unanimous decision victory over his rival.

022_Matt_Hughes_Hall_of_Fame.jpg

#7. His Hall of Fame Induction

Being inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame is one of the greatest honors a MMA fighter can obtain. Matt Hughes’ induction was special, especially since he was still a competitor in the UFC. He gave an amazing speech and remained humble like he has done throughout his entire career:

I never thought about this, to be honest – I’m just a Midwest guy kinda living the dream. But I’m very privileged and I thank the UFC. Shaking hands, signing autographs, being a world title holder and being inducted into the Hall of Fame, this is beyond what I ever would have pictured my life being.”

royce

#6. His fight with Royce Gracie

At the time, this fight was the biggest super fight the UFC had produced. Two legends in their own eras battling out with nothing on the line except bragging rights. In the fight, Matt Hughes was able to take Royce Gracie down using his strength and wrestling skills. Gracie tried to get something going for him but was completely overwhelmed by Hughes who was able to mount his back and rain punches for the victory.

GettyImages_904995898.0.jpg

#5. His return

This was an emotional moment in UFC history as Matt Hughes was able to return home after a train collided with his truck in a scary incident that left many wondering whether he’d come out ok. But a ‘Country Boy Can Survive’ as Hughes walked down to the octagon with claps and cheers from everyone in attendance (including Dana White) and millions of viewers around the world. He even wore a shirt of his teammate’s name, Robbie Lawler.

KO-of-the-Week-BJ-Penn-vs-Matt-Hughes_617466_OpenGraphImage

#4. His fights with BJ Penn

This is widely regarded as one of the best trilogy fights ever. The first fight with BJ Penn saw Penn upsetting Matt Hughes by submitting him in the very first round to win the UFC Welterweight Championship. Hughes would then come back with a vengeance as he was able to TKO Penn in the third round after a back-and-forth battle. In the third bout, Penn would win the rubber match by taking out Hughes with punches in just 21 seconds! Hughes may not have won the trilogy, but he gave it his all and made all fights as entertaining as possible.

06febb48-1422-0e8c-9a088c02a07598ab.jpg

#3. His fights with Georges St-Pierre

Another trilogy that Hughes did not win was also a memorable part of Matt Hughes career. In the first fight, Georges St-Pierre pushed the pace to capture the gold but was submitted by Hughes in the final second of the first round. GSP shot back by knocking out Hughes in their rematch and capturing the title from Hughes. Finally they had one more title fight which saw GSP turning the table on Hughes by submitting him with an armbar. Each one could be considered a super fight and were instant classics of Matt Hughes collection of fights. And just like his fight with BJ Penn, Hughes showed great heart and will in all three bouts.

hughes-newton

#2. His first UFC title win (against Carlos Newton)

Possibly the most famous slam knockout in UFC history belongs to Matt Hughes when he faced off against then Welterweight Champion Carlos Newton. In the second round of this title fight, Hughes was able to take Newton to the mat with a well executed takedown. He soon found himself locked up in a triangle choke that looked to be on tight. Hughes, being as crafty as he was, lifted Newton up (almost as if to do a WWE powerbomb) and brought him towards the cage. Soon after Hughes sent Newton crashing down to the mat which knocked him out clean. Initially Hughes had no idea he had just one. It will forever go down as one of the craziest and astounding knockouts in UFC history

mma_best_04.jpg

#1. His first fight with Frank Trigg

In what is considered by many to be the greatest fights of all time, Matt Hughes defended his title against heated rival, Frank Trigg. The two combatants were locked up on the cage when Trigg hit Hughes with an unintentional low blow. Hughes, visibly hurt, attempted to stumble away but was chased by a barrage of strikes by Frank Trigg and nearly finished. Trigg secured a rear naked choke that appeared to be the end for Hughes, but to everyone’s surprise, turned into it and was able to reverse position. He then proceeded to do his iconic carry of Trigg from one end of the octagon to the other and then slamming him to the mat. Finally, in ironic fashion, Hughes secured a rear naked choke of his own that finished off the hungry challenger. Hughes’ career had many memorable moments, but this was a moment that would stand the test of time in his truly historic career.