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!

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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?

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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

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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

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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:

Who You Got?

Who You Got? (UFC 214: Cormier vs. Jones 2)

The UFC returns to Anaheim when arguably the two greatest light heavyweights in UFC history go head to head 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:

Jimi “Poster Boy” Manuwa vs. Volkan “No Time” Oezdemir

The first fight features two knockout artists in both Jimi Manuwa and Volkan Oezdemir. Manuwa has been impressive lately with wins knockout wins over Ovince Saint Preux and Corey Anderson. Oezdemir has looked equally impressive with his decision win over Ovince Saint Preux and his 28 second knockout win over Misha Cirkunov. I think the difference between the two is that Manuwa has been knocked out in the past showing that he does indeed have a crack in his armor. Meanwhile Oezdemir has only one loss on his record which was via submission. This gives him the edge for me but Manuwa should put that chin to the test in this matchup. Predicted winner: Volkan Oezdemir via Knockout/Technical Knockout in Round 1

“Ruthless” Robbie Lawler vs. Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone

The dream match is finally happening between these two aggressive yet technical strikers. In one corner we have a fighter who will stop at nothing to get the win and will continue to push forward with an onslaught of strikes. In the other corner we have a cold-blooded black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu who is also a kickboxer who holds the record for most headkick knockouts in UFC history. In this matchup I am leaning more towards the former champion of the division. I feel his resiliency and determination will guide him to overcome “Cowboy.” Plus Cerrone has been susceptible to strikes when overwhelmed in the past. Predicted winner: Robbie Lawler via Knockout/Technical Knockout in Round 2

Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino vs. Tonya “Triple Threat” Evinger

Cyborg is the clear favorite to win this with her incredible speed and power. Tonya Evinger, however, is not someone to sleep on either especially since she has never been knocked out. Yet, Cyborg is such a dominant athlete that it is hard to pick anybody but her to win when she is competing. Expect her to try to finish the fight early. Predicted winner: Cristiane Justino via Knockout/Technical Knockout in Round 1

Tyron “The Chosen One” Woodley vs. Demian Maia

This has the potential to be the most boring fight of the night to many viewers. I actually always enjoy and MMA contest regardless but I can tell this is going to be one that fans are going to hate. We have Tyron Woodley who was very passive in his last two bouts with Stephen Thompson and then we have Demian Maia who loves to grapple only (which is painful to watch for casual fans). I think Woodley is going to use his passive strategy again while also using his superb wrestling defense to stay on his feet. This should give him the victory against Maia’s insane submission skills. I’m not sure if Woodley will be able to knockout Maia though. I think the safe pick is that he will not when you look at it closely. Predicted winner: Tyron Woodley via Decision

Daniel “DC” Cormier vs. Jon “Bones” Jones

Here it is the rematch we have been waiting years for. This pick is pretty tricky considering Jon Jones has been away for over a year. The smart pick here is the undefeated Jones but I got to go with my gut instinct in Daniel Cormier. Out of all of these pick this is the one you may not want to listen to. I think that if anyone is going to conquer “Bones” then it is going to be either Cormier or Alexander Gustafsson. Right now Jones is at his most vulnerable state especially when you look at how he performed over a year ago against Ovince Saint Preux. He appeared slower than his old self and was unable to get a finish against a man who got his hand broken early in the fight. Cormier since then has looked impressive after achieving the championship. It’s going to be a fun fight to watch and I hope Daniel Cormier wins in the end because I truly think Jon Jones is the worst person to be champion after all of his screw ups. Still, he is in the GOAT conversations for a reason. I still have to go with “DC” but will not be shocked one bit if Jon Jones takes the belt on Saturday. Predicted winner: Daniel Cormier via Decision

They Said What?

They Said What? (April 21st – 27th, 2017)

Talking has become a staple in the mixed martial arts world with the colorful personalities that are now present. Here are some of the quotes and tweets that have been making headlines this week:

Michael Bisping talks about Georges St-Pierre’s new look

I don’t know what’s going on, to be quite frank, but he looks like he’s been impregnated by an alien. He’s in his typical GSP little spandex tiny shorts, but they’re black, not white. He’s got his shin pads and his MMA gloves on. And a gigantic belly sticking. I know he said he’s getting bigger. His belly is sticking out and he looks a little weird, so I think he’s having a little fun. I think he’s pushing his belly out.” – Michael “The Count” Bisping

I do have to agree with Michael Bisping here about Georges St-Pierre’s new look. The guy looks like he is going to give birth any moment. However, I can’t say this means he is going to perform poorly. Just look at guys like Roy Nelson and Mark Hunt who do not have the greatest physique but are still top ranked fighters. GSP could also be trolling Bisping like “The Count” suspects but what difference does it make. The fight is going to be tough for Bisping regardless of how he looks.

Chris Weidman says he would have dominated Gegard Mousasi

I think I would have gone on to dominate Mousasi and even finish him” – Chris “The All-American” Weidman on his controversial loss to Gegard Mousasi

Here is our typical nonsense said by a fighter this week. The fight is over with and Weidman got caught playing possom, plain and simple. Instead of making up excuses for his loss, he should better himself and learn from this. He has yet to do that for any of his fights. It would be a nice change of pace for him to take this loss like a man instead of crying like a little you-know-what.

Al Iaquinta goes crazy on twitter then deletes (almost) all of his tweets

Mitch Clarke is a little bitch” – Al Iaquinta

Just got off the phone with @Reebok trying to act cool with me, ether youbwoth me or against me” – Al Iaquinta

You choose little bitch sagenorth cut over me I’m the fucking man.. I’ll take your guy out @Reebok take away my sponsor money” – Al Iaquinta

Fucking dork*” – Al Iaquinta

Reebok has some nice gear though I’ll give t got them@” – Al Iaquinta

Bobby green can actually throw a punch but he’s a mental@sissy bag” – Al Iaquinta

All of them I fight for free” – Al Iaquinta

Kevin Lee responds

This issue with Al Iaquinta has escalated very quickly. He has completely lost his mind with this whole performance bonus issue. He even called out Kevin Lee (the man I chose to fight him next) with which Lee has responded rightfully so. We need to invent a chill pill for him to take because this is going to cost him his job (not like he’d care). If he is so successful with his real estate profession then he should just stick with it because this seems like all he cares about is money. I’m not saying money is not something have as your main priority, but he seems to be losing a lot of people with this type of behavior. It’s not a good look. There are better ways to negotiate your pay then straight up saying “f**k you” to your employers.

TJ Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt continue with war of words

I told him to go for it. Release it, because I, for one, don’t believe it and even if he did, I agree with Matt, I think it’s petty. I think they’re reaching. It’s something like, we put this time and sweat and tears into the gym, and he’s got this one clip of him doing good. What about the 70% of the time that I was doing awesome that [Justin] Buchholz has footage of? You know what, I could care less what happened then. I get to make, on pay-per-view, some film of me beating Cody’s ass that the world’s going to see and I’m going to make a lot more than selling it to TMZ. So iithey can do whatever they want with the practice room because we all know how it went down. So I could care less. Release the footage. The charity should be something for kids without fathers so they don’t grow up to act like Cody.” – TJ Dillashaw on UFC Bantanweight Champion, Cody Garbrandt

https://twitter.com/Cody_Nolove/status/857029002929688576

This is getting crazier than Al Iaquinta. Even though this is in poor taste to many people I still find the feud between Tj Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt as some good TV. Dillashaw’s exit from Team Alpha Male hasn’t been a pleasant one and both sides have had distain for the other. I have little comments about this because I’m a fan of both parties. I just hope that the fight can live up to all this build up.

Tony Ferguson uses Nate Diaz’s catchphrase against him

Nate, you’re not the last option. If you don’t want to fight, go hide in a hole. But you’ve got to admit on Twitter that you don’t want to fight me. You’re f**king scared homie. All that s**t’s gotta go out the f**king window. ‘Don’t be scared homie.’ People are gonna start throwing that s**t away and it’s gonna be crazy. You can wait for McNuggets but we all know if you wait for that fool, if he fights Mayweather and he doesn’t fight again, you might not get another chance for a big money fight besides this guy. So I’m giving you a shot. If you want it, it’s perfect. If you like it, sign on the dotted line.” – Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson to Nate Diaz

Tony Ferguson is really pushing for this Nate Diaz fight while Nate is pushing for a Conor McGregor rematch. This fight does interest me and I hope I get to see it happen soon. It just does not seem likely because of how hard it is to book a Diaz brother. If Nate Diaz does fight then expect me to root for him in this fight, but I’m not sure he will be the victor in the end. This could easily be a fight of the year candidate if it ever happens.

Other quotes:

Glover Teixeria says Jimi Manuwa should not revieve title shot

“Jimi Manuwa isn’t qualified to fight for the belt. He didn’t beat any top fighter yet.” – Glover Teixeria

Mike Perry criticizes Al Iaquinta

I was trying to offer this man some advice. The way I put it may have seemed disrespectful, but … you think you’re going to get a bonus when you just run around disrespecting somebody who’s paying your bills, things like that? You work hard for this, then conduct yourself properly. He said ‘f*ck you’ to the people who are setting this up for you. If you have a sour attitude towards these people who are giving you the opportunity people dream of, you need to fix your priorities.” – Mike Perry

Daniel Cormier delivers strong message to Jon Jones

Take the fight with me, Jon Jones. There’re no tune-up fights in the UFC. If you’re a guy that has dominated the division as he has, why not come back and try to get your title? Come meet your boy, D.C., come get this money. Let’s get money together and give the people in Anaheim a show. No tune up for Jon Jones. He gets to come and get beat by me this time. We’re fighting right now or he doesn’t get to fight me. It’s my rules, I’m the champ now. The guy we saw against Ovince Saint Preux is the new USADA-regulated Jon Jones. Yes, I will beat him up July 29.” – Daniel Cormier

Showtime executive spoke about Conor McGregor vs Floyd Mayweather

It’s largely at a standstill. There hasn’t been a ton of progress and I think if they don’t move relatively quickly, people may move on. People may tire of it. But it really is something that needs to happen this year or it probably won’t happen. Floyd’s on 18 months, two solid years come September since he’s fought. He’s still in great shape, but at a certain point, he’s not gonna do it after a while.” – Chris

Diego Sanchez promises to return following KO loss to Al Iaquinta

View this post on Instagram

This is a heart felt message for all the supporters of what I do but more importantly what I stand for as a athlete a man and warrior of the octagon, after evaluating the situation with a clear mind I have two options? The first is to feel sorry for myself start doubting myself, god and everything that makes me a winner? Thinking negative like many people would and even are the people that are not in my shoes the people who have no clue and just are so fast to throw out retirement and this and that? YOUR NOT ME! So just shut your mouths right now before even saying it, ITS NOT YOURS TO SAY! I speak from the heart and do not sugar coat SHIT! so there's that path the quitters path? Or there is the DIEGO path what being a Lionheart is all about it's about picking your self up when you fall learning how you fell and how to prevent it from happening again? This was the first KO of my career some fighters experience it more than ounce in over a decade of fighting the very best UFC has put in front of a man. Loosing is a part of this sport, I choose to believe in my god given abilities and had work earned talent! I choose to believe in my dream! I am confident, I am experienced, i am still very healthy, young for my physical age and more driven and hungry for success than ever. So I choose to continue to roar like a lion for the lord Jesus and do what I do and that's fight ON! To all my fans and friends that believe in me I love you guys! To all my family that loves me and has there concerns let me assure you I have been tested at the best facilities In The world my cognitive health is the same if not better than it's ever been I'm sharp sober minded and extremely healthy so I know it hurts to see a warrior you love fall but it's part of it and when I am no longer able to compete with the best fighters in the world i will look to what is next! As for now I'm a beast that got caught with a perfect shot I'm all good and will be back with adjustments that will prevent that from ever happening again! So today I thank god I was not injured In The fight , I still have a iron jaw and a lion heart and a sober mind. You doubters you gonna doubt it's what do 🦁❤️💪

A post shared by Diego Sanchez (@diegonightmaresanchezufc) on

UFC 213 to be held in Edmonton, Canada (GSP vs Bisping?)

What Next?

What Next? (UFC Fight Night: Swanson vs. Lobov)

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 from the UFC event that shook Nashville up.

Jake Ellenberger:

Ok, bear with me on this one for a bit. I honestly believe that Jake Ellenberger should just throw in the towel and hang up the gloves because I do not see him doing much in this division other than what he did against his opponent this past Saturday. I do not want to pick an opponent for him because I think he’s done. The UFC was going to let him go before he changed their mind by beating Matt Brown in spectacular fashion at UFC 201. But then he was defeated twice in a row after that via KO/TKO. I know how his next fight is going to end but he more than likely won’t listen to my pleas to stop fighting and will take another fight anyways. His next opponent (if he chooses to have one) should be Bryan Barberena. That guy showed why he is force to be reckon with when he beat Sage Northcutt over a year ago. His recent knockout on, the same card that Ellenberger ate the people’s elbow, was beautifully well done. Now all he needs is a win over a veteran under his belt and he will begin to get more challenging matchups. This is the fight to make.

Next opponent: Bryan Barbarena

Mike “Platinum” Perry:

This was a tricky one to pick because of every fighter in this division and their moms being booked for a fight already. The lone fighter that is available but still at a resonable place on the rankings for Mike Perry is Ryan LaFlare who last fought at UFC 208 where he won a decision victory against Roan Carneiro. If he is down for it, there is a hungry fighter in Mike Perry wuld love to fight in what would be an interesting matchup considering the two fighters’ skill set.

Next opponent: Ryan LaFlare

Joe Lauzon:

Joe Lauzon should keep his head up after this decision loss (that I don’t think was deserved). Lauzon needs to find an opponent that will put him back into relevancy. The opponent I’m thinking of here is Will Brooks who has a record of 19 wins and 3 losses. The veteran Lauzon would see himself having the edge due to his years of experience while Brooks would think his better record is an indicator that he is the superior athlete. I would like this fight to happen because it just says fight of the night contender to me.

Next opponent: Will Brooks

Stevie “Braveheart” Ray:

Stevie Ray is sure looking for a ranked opponent after beating a veteran in the lightweight division. The lowest and most available option he has right now is Rashid Magomedov who actually fought a weekend before Ray did. This is a sign that these two paths are likely to cross in the near future. And I mean VERY near future.

Next opponent: Rashid Magomedov

Eddie Wineland:

Eddie Wineland was clearly outmatched from his much stronger and faster opponent. His best bet is to face off against a lower ranked opponent to build his skillset and technique. Iuri Alcântara is trying to move up and would be a great challenge for Wineland. Both men can look to benefit from this fight.

Next opponent: Iuri Alcântara

John “The Magician” Dodson:

Jimmie Rivera was expected to face Bryan Caraway earlier this year but never got to due to his opponent having and undisclosed injury. He turned down a fight with Marlon Vera due to Vera having a lack of rank or relevance in the division. If Rivera is looking for a rank and some relevance in his opponents then Jon Dodson is his man. Dodson would love the oppurtunnity to move up while Rivera must be hungry for a fight since having his last fight in September of last year.

Next opponent: Jimmie Revera

Marcos “Pezao” Rogerio de Lima:

It is pretty embarassing when you come in heavy and still lose the fight. It shows a lack of seriousness and responsibility in MMA. Marcos Rogerio de Lima should look to bounce back by beating another unranked light heavyweight fighter (and making weight). Devin Clark is a perfect opponent for him seeing how Clark has only suffered one loss in his nine pro fights (via knockout). This could be anyone’s fight and I would love to see who wants to move on up in this division more. Who is willing to dig deep to win this contest? Good luck predicting this one.

Next opponent: Devin Clark

Ovince Saint Preux:

If Ovince Saint Preux wants to move up the rankings quickly and easily then he should look for the fight against the man he had already beat in Shogun Rua. However since we are being fair, OSP’s next opponent should honsetly be Corey Anderson who is looking to bounce back from his knockout loss to Jimi Manuwa this past March.  It would be a great matchup for both fighters seeing as they are both highly touted as young, skilled talent in the division.

Next opponent: Corey Anderson

Diego “Lionheart” Sanchez:

I think Father Time has finally caught up to Diego Sanchez. He tries to be more patient with his strikes because brawling usually sees him getting knocked out. His timidness did not help as he still found him self going to sleep due to punches to the cranium. I want him to retire before he takes anymore serious damage but if he wants to fight and continue to get kncoked out that badly then undefeated prospect Gregor Gillespie is fresh and looking for someone to knockout to become more relevent in a very competitive division.

Next opponent: Gregor Gillespie

Al “Raging” Iaquinta:

This was another tricky one due to the fact that a lot of the fighters around Al Iaquinta’s rank are either MIA or injured. The only one available right now is Kevin Lee who Iaquinta has beaten in the past (yet Lee is somehow ahead of Iaquinta in the rankings). Beneil Dariush wouldn’t be a bad pick if he didn’t have a medical suspension due to that vicious flying knee KO he suffered from Edson Barboza. The fight between Iaquinta and Lee that first happened in 2014 needs a do-over that I’m sure both fighters would want. Lee would love to avenge that loss and Iaquinta would love to move up the rankings. That is assuming Iaquinta isn’t more interested in real estate than fighting.

Next opponent: Kevin Lee

Artem “The Russian Hammer” Lobov:

Artem Lobov needs to go back to facing unranked guys in the featherweight division. He can start by taking on the undefeated Shane Burgos. Both guys like to throw heavy hands and have a bit of jiu-jitsu experience. Plus knocking off an undefeated guy would put you right back into a fight with another ranked fighter. Burgos would also like to beat a guy who just had a five round main event showdown with a number four ranked fighter.

Next opponent: Shane Burgos

Cub Swanson

After showing why he deserves another shot at the title, you would assume Cub Swanson would get it after thiss impressive performance. However, being ranked fourth in the division and beating an unranked fighter doesn’t give you a title shot in my opinion. I believe he needs to go again with a former opponent of his in Ricardo Lamas to truly give him the credibility of a title challenger.

Next opponent: Ricardo Lamas