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:

Let's Talk About...

Let’s Talk About… Tyron Woodley

At UFC 214: Cormier vs Jones 2, Tyron Woodley displayed a very impressive performance against Jiu-Jitsu black belt Demian Maia. However, many felt his style of fighting was that of a coward. This has been a common theme of criticism towards Woodley ever since he won the belt last year after knocking out Robbie Lawler. Let’s take a closer look at “The Chosen One” and analyze the criticism he has received:

Personality

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Tyron Woodley became a topic of discussion when he began blaming racism on his poor treatment as a champion. Many, including Dana White, felt this was Woodley just being a drama queen due to the lack of support for his argument. I, on the other hand, feel that his statements may have a bit of substance to them when you look at how much hate the current African-American UFC champions, such as Demetrious Johnson and Jon Jones, are given nowadays by the fans. I think many fans need to be more open to the issues he is trying to highlight instead of ignoring him the moment te word “racism” is uttered. I can understand if you want to disagree with his statements because it is a debated topic but I feel many people do not give him a chance to begin with. Of course, the blame cannot be placed solely on the fans. Woodley could benefit from expressing his opinions in a more clear and concise manner so that there is no confusion. I know Woodley can come off as whiny but I genuinely feel he is just misunderstood in this situation.

Style of Fighting

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In his last three fights, Tyron Woodley was on the fence for the majority of the time. However he ended up winning two of those contests and got a draw in the other. Woodley claims that the reason for this is because it is up to his challengers to try to take the belt from him as he did when he faced off against Robbie Lawler. I can understand this and I also think that his style has been pretty genius. It may not be the most exciting fighting style but if Woodley’s only goal is to win title fights consistently then he has found the perfect strategy. He was able to survive Stephen Thompson’s excellent striking and dropped him in both bouts that they had. In his bout against Demian Maia he was able to stop around 24 takedowns and also landed some powerful punches that both dropped him to the mat at one point and swelled half of his face up. His style may be boring to some but you cannot deny success it has had on his title run as of late.

Willingness to compete

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One thing that is constantly overlooked about Tyron Woodley is how often he fights as well as who he chooses to defend his belt against. So far Woodley has competed in at least two fights every year in his career except for 2015. This is pretty active for a fighter especially a champion. So expect his next fight to be at the end of this year. He also has been facing only the top contenders in his division which is a huge plus as a champion. He has not been pushing for the Georges St-Pierre fight that could give him a pretty generous payday and is instead content with fighting the top contender if the GSP fight does not happen. This is something a lot of his haters like to ignore when they call him a coward. He accepts all contenders and challenges them to take his belt away.

Final Analysis

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As you can probably tell by the way I have described Tyron Woodley in the last few paragraphs, I am 100% behind Woodley and his behaviour. He may come off as a whiner but his ability to win fights (despite the tactic being boring) and face top contenders frequently are the main reasons me and many others are fans of him. I feel if anyone does not like the man then they need to ask themselves what kind of fighters they do like and why. If they answer those questions then they will be surprised to see how much in common “The Chosen One” has with them. If you still hate Woodley after that then you are a R A C I S T! (just kidding)

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? (May The Fourth Be With You Edition)

Welcome to a special Star Wars edition of “They Said What?” We’re going to look at the light and dark side of the force that is MMA this week. So let’s get right into it with some interesting quotes from a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away:

Anderson Silva gives the UFC an ultimatum

The guys no give this fight for me for the interim belt, I’m done. I’ll go be with my family. I’m done… I say, ‘OK, I go fight Yoel Romero,’” Silva said. “Because I know I respect Yoel Romero, he’s a great fighter. He’s No. 1 in the ranks. But one thing — why Yoel Romero come to Brazil for fight me for nothing?…This is perfect bullshit. I’m tired. I’m so tired. I’m respectful long time. Everything, I never talk about bad situations in UFC… I think I’m done. I fight for long time in my life. And I’m tired, bro. I’m so upset. I have my legacy, I have my story. It’s very frustrating, because this is the second time I’m not fighting in my country… I’m far too old and I’m done, bro. I’m sorry. I know I need to respect my fans — I respect my fans. I’m sorry guys. I love the sport. I love fighting. Fighting is my life. But it’s too much bullshit.”

Anderson Silva and Dana White once had a great relationship that has now been disrupted much like Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker’s. I would really like to know what broken promises White has made to Silva other than the ones he listed. Regardless, I for one am open to an interim title match between Silva and Romero. I truly believe that, despite what he has said in the past, Michael Bisping is set on waiting for Georges St-Pierre for his next title defense so this fight makes sense. However, I would much rather like to see Bisping defend his belt against Romero next instead if GSP takes too long. It would be the best matchup in this scenario, but if Bisping wants to hug that belt to bed a while longer and wait for GSP then I want to see Silva vs. Romero in what would be a guaranteed classic just like Luke Skywalker vs. Darth Vader.

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Tyron Woodley calls Demian Maia “stupid”

Unfortunately for Maia, he accepted the fight the week of me and Wonderboy’s fight. In my personal opinion, bad move. Wait and see how the fight went. If nobody came out of the fight hurt, a clear winner, not another draw, you’re already in a position to fight for a world title. Why would you put yourself up against the worst possible matchup outside of a title fight? Why would you put yourself in that position? I don’t want to call him stupid but damn that was stupid.”

I never knew who was the actual chosen one in the Star Wars universe, but in this galaxy Tyron Woodley is the undisputed chosen one. He believes that Demian Maia taking on Jorge Masvidal will be a decision Maia will regret because he was practically next in line for the title already. Although what “The Chosen One” is saying is true, a true warrior would not settl for waiting for a championship match to just be given to them. They go out and fight the next best fighter in their division. But I definitely see both point-of-views when it comes down to it. If Maia wins in the end then it won’t really matter (Linkin Park reference). But if he loses then Woodley will be proven right that Maia really did throw away his title shot.

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Former champ Antonio Tarver on Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather

It’s a money fight. I don’t know if it’s a mockery, but it’s a money fight. That’s what it’s all about. Conor McGregor can’t beat Nate Diaz in a boxing match. In a boxing match, [Diaz] will beat his ass, and there’s a whole lot of other fighters out there who will beat his ass in a boxing match.”

Antonio Tarver is strong in the force that is boxing. He knows the true power that Floyd Mayweather posses. He also knowss that Conor McGregor has much hate and darkness within him that had a difficult time with Nate Diaz. This fight is going to go down like Mace Windu vs. Jengo Fett with Mayweather being Windu and McGregor being Fett.

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Nate Diaz and Tony Ferguson go off on eachother

Nate Diaz:

They’re trying to pressure me to fight Tony Ferguson, but what the f*ck, I’m going to cover for Conor McGregor and do his work while he’s out making f*cking millions of dollars fighting boxers and sh*t? I’m not covering for you, bro. You guys fight each other. I heard Tony’s manager talking, saying that I need to get a fire up under Conor McGregor’s ass if I want to fight him for the third time. Like, I gotta do what? You guys should fight each other, motherf*cker. You guys have the same manager. You guys are working together against me. You guys need me to do the work for you? F*ck off.”

Tony Ferguson:

Well I figured, I was like,’ S**t, man. The next person that beat the dude that’s next in line would be Nate.’ So it had absolutely nothing to do with management and it had nothing to do with the f**king money either. I get paid either way and I get paid good. These dudes want to f**king make it soft and be like, ‘Oh money fight, money fight. This and that money fight.’ Yeah that’s cool. The money will come to you, you’ve just got to keep winning. You’ve gotta keep putting in the time but these b**ches want to fight like one time and then go and retire. I understand it. You’re a p**sy, don’t worry about it. You don’t like to fight. You’re in the wrong sport. Go try tennis. This is a man’s sport. I fight. I like to have job security. Give me somebody in front of me that wants to have their ass beat. Give me somebody that wants to go in there and test their wit against me. I thought this was the UFC and we’re supposed to be the best and toughest fighters in the world. Point and proven, Khabib, McGregor, and Nate Diaz are a bunch of bitches. It’s all fake for them.”

This is a case of two of the best bounty hunters (in the lightweight division) trying to compete for a chance to go after the top bounty which is the always arrogant yet skilled Han Solo (Conor McGregor). Getting said bounty will lead to riches is they are successful. Diaz is basically Boba Fett because of the fact that Fett has already captured that sweet rich bounty already where Ferguson is another hunter trying to get a taste of that action. This fight just needs to happen. I understand Diaz’s reasons for a tiny bit there but it still does not make sense when you think about it. Don’t worry about who you are helping, just worry about if you are helping yourself. This fight can definitely help whoever wins and will definitely set them up for the money fight with McGregor for the lightweight title (assuming he returns to the UFC at all).

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Dominick Cruz discusses possible championship rematch

I’m here to fight the best in the world, to fight for the title, and I think that I’ve earned that position. And if I got completely to where I wasn’t even in that (Garbrandt) fight, I could understand. But I was in that fight from beginning to end, and in that fifth round, I would even say that I won. So there’s still a case for me in this match-up with Cody or T.J., either one of them.”

The Emporer (Dominick Cruz) was dethroned when the true hero from the prophecy showed himself. At first it appeared to be Anakin Skywalker (Urijah Faber), but instead it was his creation in Luke Skywalker (Cody Garbrandt). So I guess that makes TJ Dillashaw Starkiller or something. I digress, Cruz asking for a championship rematch is 100% reasonable since he was the greatest bantamweight in the UFC’s history. He was evemn considered a number one pound for pound fighter by many at one point. The winner of Garbrandt and Dillashaw will more than likely face Cruz at a later date. Cruz better hope it is Dillashaw though because Garbrandt may have his number. Much like when the light conquered he dark side in the original trilogy (until episode VII came out).

Other quotes from around the galaxy:

Joanna Jędrzejczyk on her future jedi duel with Jessica Andrade for the belt

That I can submit her and I can knock her out. But the fight is different. It was in the past. Jessica is a very dangerous opponent. She drops from 125. She’s very strong in the strawweight division.”

Stipe Miocic on how he has learned from his battle with Junior Dos Santos many parsecs ago

The lesson I learned, not even really a lesson as much as, just knowing that I belong. I belong, that I can hang anyone. I went five rounds with a former champ, a guy who has been a knockout artist and I went five rounds with him, I know I belong. I know that I’m not going anywhere, and look at where I’m at now.”

Emporer Dana White on the Diaz Brothers next fight

I don’t know if those guys will ever fight again. We offer them fights all the time.”

Rory MacDonald on his turn to the dark side that is Bellator

I’m totally feeling refreshed. It’s a new beginning. No drama. It’s been all positive on my end and with Bellator. Very happy to be where I’m at.”