What's Going On?

What’s Going On? (March 19th – March 25th, 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:

Ryan Bader and Lorenz Larkin leave UFC for Bellator

The UFC just lost two top ten fighters in Ryan Bader and Lorenz Larkin to business rival Bellator. Ryan Bader stated that he left due to Bellator giving him “one of the better contracts out there, outside of being a UFC champion with pay-per-view points and stuff like that.” He last fought against Ilir Latifi where he knocked out the Swede with a well placed knee. Lorenz Larkin said he decided to leave the UFC partly because he felt disrespected by the UFC when they did not immediately try to resign the welterweight after his contract ran out.

I had a deal on the table (from the UFC), and it just didn’t feel right. My whole reasoning for testing free agency was to see what I was worth and get somebody behind me. I want to feel like an asset to a promotion, and I want to feel like the promotion wants to really drive me and really use me. I’ve made this point a lot of times that I’m ready to work. Anything you can use me for, let me know. I’m here. And it just wasn’t happening for me (in the UFC), so I don’t know if it was just the timing or, just, there was no interest in that. But that’s a big thing that I was focused on.” – Lorenz Larkin

He was instead offered a contract by Bellator and the rest is history. This was a good move by Bader as he was a high level athlete who lost to only the elite in the business. He has come close to reaching the top of the mountain but always fell short when at the peak. Moving to Bellator not only gives him a better pay day but also a greater chance at capturing gold. Lorenz Larkin on the other hand has just made a make or break decision with his move to Bellator. He had won four of his last five fights in the UFC and now has to start over in a new promotion. If he fails and ends up losing then it might signal an early end to a once promising career. However, I believe he has the ability to capture the gold with the skillset he has and this may prove to be a wise financial choice for him if he continues to win fights in Bellator.

War Machine found guilty of assault

Dissapointing news as former UFC and Bellator competitor War Machine was found guilty of assaulting his ex-girlfriend, Christy Mack, and Corey Thomas. The charges are very serious and include sexual assault, batter, and kidnapping. He had a record of fourteen wins and only five losses. A very talented athlete that wasted his life by performing such heinous acts. He is awaiting his sentence which could be life in prison. Hopefully others learn from his mistake and try to only use their fighting skills in the octagon instead of on innocent people.

Conor McGregor vs Floyd Mayweather

The rivalry between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather is intensifying as the two continue to trade barbs back and forth. McGregor appeared at Madison Square Garden and shouted t boxing reporters that he was boxing and thet he would make the whole world eat their words by beating Mayweather ina boxing match. Money has told McGregor many times to clear things up with his boss before fighting him. UFC president, Dana White, did say he would not stop Mystic Mac from battling Mayweather ina boxing match but we all know he would like to be involved in the moneey being made there if he could. Then the (in my opinion) future UFC Lightweight Champion, Tony Ferguson, claimed that there is no way McGregor can beat Mayweather ina boxing match. He more than likely is right, I wrote a whole article that agrees with this, but the hype involved here is going to make this an must-see. Let’s just hope it doesn’t mean McGregor gets to keep that belt if he continues to be absent from the real party.

Bellator 180 in New York

The first ever Bellator event in New York is shaping up to rival UFC 205. Headling the card will be Chael Sonnen vs Wanderlei Silva in a grudge match that was supposed to happen in the UFC after they coached against eachother on The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3. In the co-main event, Fedor Emelianenko will finally get to face Matt Mitrione in match that should have happened earlier this year but got cancelled last minute due to Mitrione feeling ill hours before the fight. It may have been for the best because now the card for Bellator in New York appears to be capable of becoming a PPV. This is going to be an exciting match full of legend in the sport and will rival and event that the UFC decides to put on this weeken if they decided to do so.

Nate Diaz rants about Dana White

Nate Diaz and Dana White’s rocky relationship is becoming more and more clearer as the Stockton native is voicing his displeasure at some of the things the UFC president is saying. Diaz last fought Conor McGregor in a five round war at UFC 202 which drew the highest buyrate in UFC history, more than UFC 205 which has Conor McGregor and three title fights. He is a huge draw and demands to be paid for the draw that he is similar to Conor McGregor. Dana White and him obviously have different ideas of how much Diaz so be paide and it is getting ugly between the two. This is evident for both Diaz brothers as Nate along with Nick Diaz are healthy and ready to fight for the right amount of money. I, lik many others, love to see the Diaz brothers fight and would pay for a PPV in a heartbeat if they were on it. But I also see the business side of things and why Dana White might not want to pay Diaz all that much. The two have had problems in the past when deciding on how much Diaz should make for a rematch with McGregor. Hopefully they get on the same page like they did then, even though Diaz felt he got screwed by the UFC after UFC 202. Here’s to hoping for better times for the Diaz brothers. They deserve a good payday after all.

Other news:

What Next?

What Next? (UFC Fight Night: Manuwa vs Anderson)

Fighters do not always like to think what fights they will be in next after feeling the relief of finishing their last fight. The fight game is neverending, however, and so I list ouf the best outcome for the winners and losers for the UFC event that shook London up.

Arnold Allen:

Arnold Allen is still developing as a fighter and might not be cut out yet for a ranked fighter. However, I did see some fight in him as he was always looking to strike and throw down with his opponent while still looking for the takedown. This reminds me of Gray Maynard who just lost to Ryan Hall in a odd contest. Maynard felt it was not a real fight as Hall was constantly going to the ground to get a submission. If a fight is what Maynard wants then Allen is he guy he is looking for. Allen can also use this fight to push him closer to the rankings and see if he truly deserves the record he has accumulated. Gray Maynard

Makwan Amirkhani:

Makwan Amirkhani needs to get back in the win column again by facing a guy who holds a similar record but has lost in their last fight as well. Luke Sanders is the only guy who comes to mind who held an eleven fight win streak to start off his career before he suffered his first loss at UFC 209: Woodley vs Thompson 2 to Iuri Alcantara this past month. It will be interesting to see the to styles matchup and see who could bounce back from a loss to secure a win. Luke Sanders

Marlon Vera:

Malon Vera just beat a retiring Brad Pickett who has one foot out the door. He needs more serious opponents before he can get a top 15 opponent. Franky Saenz would be that perfect opponent even though he is on a three fight losing streak. But because Saenz is a very tough competitor with an impressive record this makes him the right pick. Beating two big names in MMA would definitely put Vera on the map. Franky Saenz

Gunnar Nelson:

This is a tough one as there are several good oponnents for the submission specialist. Donald Cerrone was a high candidate seeing how the two are ranked right next to eachother but this matchup does not appear to be the best one. I believe a match between Gunnar Nelson and Neil Magny would be an exciting one. Magny was able to beat Johnny Hendricks by a controversial unanimous decision at the closing part of last year which makes him a tough opponent to beat. Nelson has the tools to do it though and would love to rise through the ranks fast so this matchup seems like a smart one if Magny doesn’t avoid it like the one with Jorge MasvidalNeil Magny

Alan Jouban:

Another tough selection with all of the great welterweight fighters out there but Jouban needs to go back to the drawing board and face an unranked opponent. At first Alex Oliveira was my pick for him to fight but then I decided that it would not be fair for Oliveira to face another unranked opponent after he has defeated three of them so far. Alex Morono is the next logical choice if he sees himself entering the octagon more recently. He put on a great display in Houston despite losing the contest and would be the perfect opponent for Jouban. This contest would result in fireworks and may make a star out of it. Alex Morono

Jimi Manuwa:

Without question, Jimi Manuwa should be facing the light heavyweight champion after that impressively quick knockout of top contender Corey Anderson. He has a solid case and would love to have a crack at either Daniel Cormier or a rematch with Anthony Johnson. Winner of Daniel Cormier vs Anthony Johnson for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship

Corey Anderson:

I feel sorry for Corey Anderson. He is an incredible athlete who got caught by an impressive striker. I feel like he deserves a rematch with Shogun Rua but that likely won’t happen. Volkan Oezdemir is a great opponent who just beat Ovince Saint Preux not too long ago. The contest between Anderson and Oezdemir would be a good one because of the rankings the two hold plus their all-around skill set. Volkan Oezdemir

News

Dennis Bermudez on knockout loss to The Korean Zombie: “I thought it was a little bit early of a stoppage”

Dennis Bermudez commented on his knockout loss to The Korean Zombie during the post-fight press conference.

Dennis Bermudez: “I thought it was a little bit early of a stoppage. I know I was on Herb’s leg. Like, I knew (Jung) was there trying to hit me, so I was shooting on him. It’s just Herb was – I know Herb was doing his job just to keep us both safe in there. But yeah, I had a big platform to make a rise to the top, and it didn’t go our way tonight.”

After re-watching the finish of the fight, I saw that Bermudez did immediately grab The Korean Zombie’s leg (as shown in the featured image above) and might have moved to a better position if given the chance. However, The Korean Zombie was raining down strikes from above that would have put Bermudez’s future cognitive abilities in serious jeopardy. Don’t get me wrong, I know Herb Dean, the referee that was initiated the stoppage, has been in the middle of many controversial stoppages as of late. He should have stopped the fight between Anderson Silva and Michael Bisping at UFC Fight Night: Silva vs. Bisping when Silva knocked out Bisping with a flying knee but instead chose to let it continue cause the round ended a second later. He would do the exact same thing at UFC on Fox: Shevchenko vs. Peña when Jorge Masvidal knocked out Donald Cerrone at the end of the first round. He waved off the fight and then the round ended a second later. This caused the fight to continue even though he waved the fight off before the round ending horn. Even though Herb Dean is slowly becoming a terrible referee nowadays, this stoppage was justified by the way Bermudez fell face first to the mat. This usually signals that the fighter is unconscious as no sane person would go face first to the mat on perpose. The odds of Bermudez getting out of his situation were very slim and the odds of him taking unnecessary punishment was very high. In Bermudez’s defense, he may not have had a clear memory of what happened because of the circumstances. In the end Herb Dean made the right call for once and stopped the fight when it needed to be stopped. Hopefully he can keep doing this for every fight from now on.