What's Going On?

What’s Going On? (Mar 4th – 10th)

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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Darren Till vs. Rafael Dos Anjos?

Darren Till has expressed interest in fighting former lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos in a recent interview.

Just because of his fan base there, and I’ve obviously lived there. I’ve got a lot of fans there, and I can speak the language. It would be a good sell in Brazil, if he’s willing to do it… I know he’s waiting for [Tyron] Woodley but Woodley doesn’t seem to want to come back.” – Darren Till

As fun as a fight this would be, Dos Anjos has earned the right to fight for the title and should not have to fight the #7 ranked fighter in his division. This would be a repeat of the Jacare Souza situation. Maybe Till can fight Colby Covington in the mean time (I know a lot of people want to see that guy get knocked out badly).

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Mackenzie Dern‘s Debut Draws Viewers

According to Dave Meltzer, Mackenzie Dern’s UFC debut was the most watched portion of the UFC 222: Cyborg vs. Kuntskaya prelims. It was also a bigger draw than the crazy Wilder vs. Ortiz boxing fight. Although Mackenzie Dern herself wasn’t that impressive in her debut (completely lacking in the striking department), she has proven to be a pretty big cash cow for the UFC. I expect them to give her the Sage Northcutt treatment to make he a household name and protect her record. I just hope see fixes her striking or uses her grappling much more effectively, otherwise see will end up like Ronda Rousey when she was exposed in the striking department.

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Conor McGregor, Max Holloway, and Burger King

Conor McGregor and Max Holloway continued to poke jabs at each other after UFC 222: Cyborg vs. Kunitskaya.

So when McGregor announced that he was partnering with Burger King, similar to Anderson Silva, the UFC Featheweight Champion decided to take this opportunity to mock his former advisory.

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Don’t you just love when two fighters get along? In all seriousness, I don’t understand why McGregor is even talking trash to Holloway. I guess he may want to face him when either of those killers, Khabib Nurmagomedov or Tony Ferguson, take his belt. Regardless, in about a month only one of them can call themselves champion.

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Derrick Lewis vs. Francis Ngannou?

Derrick Lewis has been campaigning for a fight with recent title challenger Francis Ngannou. He said recently on a podcast that he would like to get the fight as soon as possible. This would definitely be an entertaining fight and would be easy for the UFC to sell as a must-watch bout. Ngannou may not want to fight Lewis now, especially after coming short against heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic, but this could be the fight that would propel him back into title contention. Plus, the rivalry between these two has been bitter from the start. Let’s just hope that when they do fight, the UFC reinforces the octagon cage walls.

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Fabricio Werdum wants to be in WWE

This is probably the most surprising news of the week. Fabricio Werdum has stated that he will meet with WWE executives to talk about a potential crossover into the world of professional wrestling. Werdum then went on the record to say that the idea was nixed and instead he would be considering lucha libre style wrestling. This is a very off move as Werdum feels that he can balance both worlds which has me skeptical. If he ever does go to WWE, however, then I would love to see him and Brock Lesnar in a cage match. The cage should also be in the shape of an octagon.

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Who You Got?

Who You Got? (UFC 222: Cyborg vs. Kunitskaya)

The UFC returns to Paradise when the most dominant Women’s champion the world has ever seen defends her belt against a massive underdog 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:

Cat Zingano vs. Ketlen Vieira

Undefeated fighter, Ketlen Vieira, looks to continue her winning streak by defeating former title challenger Cat Zingano. With Zingano being on a small losing streak as of late, this win can be do or die for her at this point in her career. I feel her losing streak will continue as both are known for grappling in their fights, and Vieira being the more superior grappler. Zingano has been taken down a few times in her prior fights while Vieira has defended roughly 90% of the takedowns shot at her in last three fights. To further back up this claim, Zingano is only a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu whereas Vieira is a black belt in both Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Judo. Zingano is hard to finish, however, so I predict this fight going the distance.

Ketlen Vieira via Decision

Stefan Struve vs. Andrei Arlovski

This can’t possibly go the distance, right? Two heavyweights who are on the brink of irrelevance clash in this main card bout. Somebody is more than likely getting finished, but who? My answer: Stefan Struve. Let me explain. Andrei Arlovski finally picked up a win after a five fight losing streak. He didn’t get the finish but his opponentat the time, Junior Albini, had never been knocked out before then. So it is safe to assume that he is a hard guy to take out with strikes. Meanwhile, Stefan Struve has had a mixed record as of late with his last knockout win coming against the now released and fragile chinned Antonio Silva. His other knockout win before that, however, was against current champion Stipe Miocic. The problem is that it took place all the way back in 2012. So now let’s look at Arlovski’s recent knockout losses that led some to believe he now has a glass chin. Arlovski’s last three knockout losses were to Francis Ngannou, Alistair Overeem, and Stipe Miocic. How unlucky for him to be thrown in against those monsters. This is honestly a coin flip in terms of how likely each fighter is to win since heavyweight fights are always the most unpredictable fights on every card. But looking at Struve’s striking defense compared to Arlovski, I got to go with the ‘Pitbull.’

Andrei Arlovski via Knockout/Technical Knockout in Round 1

Sean O’Malley vs. Andre Soukhamthath

The latest thing to come out of the UFC hype machine, Sean O’Malley, is set to fight Andre Soukhamthath in what should be an exciting fight. O’Malley is known for his unique striking style and impressive head movement that has made him a fan favorite. Soukhamthath is also an exciting fighter who has the power to knockout his opponents with either punches or a flying knee. The most significant factor in this fight is going to be both fighters’ striking defense. O’Malley showed, especially in his debut fight, that he is an insanely hard fighter to hit as he moves his head around in all sort of angles. Soukhamthath in contrast to O’Malley has been very hittable in his fights. Although he has never been knocked out, I think this will be the time it happens since O’Malley’s striking is lethal.

Sean O’Malley via Knockout/Technical Knockout in Round 1

Frankie Edgar vs. Brian Ortega

Both of these fighters each have large a legion of fans pulling for their fighter to win. Frankie Edgar is known for his impressive boxing and elite level wrestling while Brian Ortega is known for his crazy submission game. Many predict Ortega using his grappling game to submit the former Lightweight Champion. However, I see Edgar using his wrestling to keep the fight on the feet and using his boxing to outstrike Ortega on the feet. Ortega is no slouch on the feet, even though he was largely outstruck by Cub Swanson in his last fight, so I see him surviving the full fifteen minutes with Edgar.

Frankie Edgar via Decision

Cris Cyborg vs. Yana Kunitskaya

This is considered by many a one-sided contest for the UFC title. Not one fighter has been able to even come close to conquering Cris Cyborg. Holly Holm had the best chance of any fighter and even took Cyborg to the distance for the first time since 2008. Yana Kunitskaya is a poor replacement for Holm and will probably not do as well (if you want to call Holm’s performance well). I expect a quick night for Cyborg as she takes care of business as usual.

Cris Cyborg via Knockout/Technical Knockout in Round 1

What's Going On?

What’s Going On? (August 6th – 12th)

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:

Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather to pitch 8-oz gloves for fight to NAC

We discussed last week about these two wanting to fight in smaller gloves. They will finally appear before the NAC and plead their case as to why they should have 8-oz. gloves. I’m surprised by both fighters’ decision as Floyd Mayweather would be giving Conor McGregor a greater chance of beating him and McGregor has stated in his Instagram post above that he does not care which gloves he uses yet he will try to convince a panel as to why they should use smaller gloves. The size difference won’t be that significant as the original size is 10-oz. and MMA gloves are 4-oz. However, this would still make the fight even more competitive (if it ever was to begin one).

Paulie Malignaggi and Conor McGregor sparring session

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Paulie Malignaggi has continued to voice his displeasure of Team McGregor after they leaked pictures of his sparring session with Conor McGregor which made McGregor look superior in comparison to Malignaggi. Although I feel he was used negatively in this situation, I think Malignaggi needs to drop it as it is starting to make him look bad and destroying his reputation more than the pictures. In all honesty, we will never know what happened in the sparring session between these two unless footage is release which I doubt would actually happen. McGregor’s team already did something similar with another boxer and was exposed on a twitter video. If we want to see McGregor’s true skills we will have to wait till August 26th.

Cris Cyborg vs. Holly Holm at UFC 217

This is possibly the biggest female fight the UFC can do right now. Both are amazing strikers who can knockout any other competitor in their division. If the fight stays standing then it would be a fun contest to watch. However, Cyborg should be looking to take this fight to the ground to utilize her jiu-jitsu. It would be a fun contest but the fight still needs to be made. Hopefully the UFC will not take forever in making a matchup with Cyborg this time.

Georges St-Pierre signs contract for fight with Michael Bisping at UFC 217

Can we get this fight over with already? Michael Bisping’s title reign is lasting a lifetime because of his inability to fight top contenders. Hopefully whoever wins this bout will face Robert Whittaker next. Also it is nice to see another of Dana White’s lies after he stated that “the boat has sailed” for this fight to happen.

Rose Namajunas poses nude

The Women’s Health magazine ran a “Naked in 3 Words” series with UFC Strawweight Rose Namajunas posing for it. The three words she chose were Cut, The, Shit. I, for one, cannot wait for her to return to the octagon as I feel she could be a tough challenge for the current champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

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What's Going On?

What’s Going On? (April 28th – May 3rd, 2017)

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:

Paige Vanzant posts sexy Reebok ad of herself then deletes it after backlash

You knew we were going to talk about this. The ad that Paige Vanzant created herself to promote Reebok has created criticism from many of her co-workers and MMA fans alike. I watched the video myself and can see why some people would be upset. Vanzant should be promoting herself as an MMA fighter and not a model. The way she acted was more like one of thos instagram models who get paid to take selfies instead of an actual athlete. However, she does have the power to do whatever the hell she wants (whether I think it makes her look like a jackass or not). Her deleting the post shows that she regretted something about the video when the response came back at her. I think if she wants to be viewed as an actual threat in the UFC strawweight division then she needs to stop creatiing thee softcore porn videos and get back into the octagon as soon as possible to show that this is what she want to do. If not then she can stick to dancing and making these types of videos for her “male followers.”

Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier get into heated Twitter exchange (again)

This was not really much of a huge shocker but the internet has been buzzing of Jon Jones’ pretty funny comeback to Daniel Cormier. I think a guy like Jones who said the PED he used was actually viagra should not be talking about popping anyone’s cherry. Just saying. Still, as an MMA fan I cannot wait for this fight to happen to see if Jones still has it or if DC is the new face of the light heavyweight division.

Anthony Joshua‘s stops Wladimir Klitschko in epic boxing match

This was some good TV right here. I’m not one to watch boxing, but when I heard how good this fight was then I had to watch the replay. For a moment there I (like a lot of people) thought that Wladimir Klitschko was going to hand Anthony Joshua his first loss when he dropped him in the 6th round if I remember correctly. But Joshua came back to put his opponent away. If you have not watched this fight yet then I recommend that you do because this fight may have just put the boxing heavyweight scene back on the map.

ESPN layoffs an its impact on the UFC

This is a bit more grimmer news as ESPN has been laying off employees left and right. Many have associated this as bad news for the UFC as what was once the biggest cable sports network is now starting to realize that live cable sports is no longer what people are interested in. The UFC may realize the same which could drastically change how MMA is presented to audiences. I’m not exactly sure about much of this stuff. I’m just a fan and nothing more. However, I am not too happy about change in my favorite sport broadcast. Here’s to hoping that this signifies good change and will instead enhance our way of viewing MMA.

Bethe Correia vs Holly Holm

This is going to be one of my favorite female matchups of the year because of who is involved. Bether Correia has been trying to get another title shot after blowing it against the once dominant Ronda Rousey. Beating Holly Holm will definitely give her another shot at the title. Holm as actually on a three fight losing streak but still believes she is in the title mix. If she is right then a win will put her in an interesting match against Amanda Nunes or a rematch against Germaine De Randamie. Correia on the other hand believes she can knockout Holm. This is crazy in my opinion but it is this kind of confidence that Correia will need to defeat Holm. This is an interesting contest that a lot of people are immediately giving to Holm, but do not forget that Correia had an impressive winning streak before running into Rousey. This could be anyones and I cannot wait to see how their styles matchup.

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