Finally some good news coming out of the turbulent Featherweight division, that Conor McGregor has seemingly taken hostage. Max Holloway and Anthony Pettis will square off at UFC 206, December 10th in Toronto, and the winner of this fight should expect a fight for the title, whether that be against Jose Aldo or Conor McGregor.
Holloway is one of the greatest young talents in the UFC, and is currently riding a 8-fight win streak, not losing since August 2013, to none other than Conor McGregor via unanimous decision.
Pettis on the other hand, a former Lightweight champ, is a 145 newcomer, dropping down from Lightweight after two tough losses, but enjoyed early success at featherweight, defeating Charles Oliveira by a third round guillotine.
This fight is going to be verryyyyyy exciting folks, and will be a great co-main to Rumble vs. DC (unless the UFC adds an even better co-main). Both these fighters come into fights ready to bang and looking for finishes, usually by knockout.
I am personally very excited to see this, and am happy that the UFC was able to make this fight because they need to get the featherweight division rolling again, and hopefully lure Conor back down or Aldo from the shadows.
Urijah Faber, aka "The California Kid", told Ariel Helwani of "The MMA Hour" that his fight December 17th against Brad Pickett will be the final fight of his illustrious career. Urijah Faber is one of the most popular, and well-liked fighters in MMA history, helping pave the way for the lighter weight classes during his dominant WEC days, and will go down as one of the greatest Bantamweight/Featherweight fighters of all time.
Faber is coming off back-to-back losses for the first time in his career, and to me this announcement seems like the right thing for him. He has over 40 professional fights under his belt, with a record of 33-10, and multiple championship belts to show for it. However, Urijah was unable to ever successfully capture a UFC championship belt, and while he has done and proved more than enough in this sport, that will always be something he missed out on. He lost 4 separate Bantamweight Championship fights, two against his longtime rival Dominick Cruz, and the other two against former champ Renan Barao.
Urijah has been a part of some of the best battles in UFC-WEC history, and he truly is an icon in this sport. He helped launch the UFC further into mainstream when he joined them in 2011, and he helped lower-weight class fighters gain the respect and credit that they were owed. An absolute legend in the world off MMA, and someone who never backed down from any challenge over his 13+ year career. Thank you Urijah, and I hope you go out on top come December.
Well two of MMA's all-time greats will finally matchup, as Tito Ortiz and Chael Shonnen will square off January 21st in California at Bellator 170. Ortiz last fought at Bellator 142, September 19th of 2015, when he lost to Liam McGeary for the Light Heavyweight Championship. Sonnen, is making his Bellator debut, a decision in which shocked the MMA world as he came out of retirement and chose to sign with Bellator.
Sonnen, "The American Gangster", was originally being targeted to take on rival Wanderlei Silva, whom he coached against in The Ultimate Fighter, but the fight worked out with Ortiz instead. Sonnen was suspended July 23rd, 2014 for 2 years for failing multiple drug tests over the years prior. Sonnen's history with PED's troubled him and his success in the UFC, but Sonnen has taken getting clean serious over the past few years and nothing should de-rail his comeback fight against "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy", Tito Ortiz.
This fight should be a good one, as both these men come to brawl, but I see Sonnen coming out victorious via submission.
Georges St-Pierre, former UFC Welterweight champ and all-time UFC great, has announced today on MMA Hour that he is a free agent and is not under contract with the UFC.
Let me start out by saying at this point in his career, GSP needs the UFC more than the UFC needs him - unless all he is looking for is big money. The UFC's welterweight division is currently killing it, with some serious contenders, so the UFC offers GSP the highest competition and greatest challenge. However, other promotions like Bellator can probably give GSP the most bang-for-his-buck with only one or two more fights likely to be a part of his comeback.
But the thing to me about a GSP comeback is, as far as his legacy goes, only a fight in the UFC can either further add to his greatness, or diminish it. A big money fight will be only that, a big money fight. He stands to gain nothing as far as being one of the greatest of all time by beating up someone for a Bellator main event. HOWEVER - there is one fight that can do both - Rory MacDonald. Rory is one of the top welterweights in the world, and just signed a big contract wit Bellator. However, Rory and GSP are friendly and have trained together in the past, so I don't know if they would be willing to go to war against each other.
The UFC and Dana White have yet to comment about GSP announcing he is a free agent, and we will watch this closely in the coming weeks to see if a GSP comeback is real.
Nick Diaz seems ready to return to the Octagon after almost 2 years away. Diaz last fought Anderson Silva in January of 2015, losing via unanimous decision before the fight was eventually ruled a no contest as Silva test positive for PED's and Diaz for marijuana. Nick then received an initial 5-year suspension and $165,000 fine, which was reduced to 18-months and $100,000, $75k worth of which he still owes the NSAC. Diaz must pay this fine before Dec. 1 or prior to his first fight.
Dana White went on "The Buzzer" on FOX Sports, and told them "Nick wants to fight", "Nick's ready to go again. I've got to figure that out".
Nick's return will be monumental, as he is one of the most popular and polarizing fighters in the fight game, and draws a lot of attention for his antics and skill. Diaz is looking for a big money fight and we will just have to see how the 170-pound division shakes out in the coming weeks to find out who Nick will look to go head to head with, with there being rumors of GSP-Nick 2, but those are merely rumors. Nick is one of the best welterweights ever and I am anxiously awaiting his return.
The Diaz brothers are huge for this sport, and Nick poses some of the best boxing and jiu-jitsu in MMA, and brings that fearless, in-you-face Stockton attitude to every fight.
Conor McGregor called Dana White after his hearing for the water bottle incident and told the UFC President that he will no longer look to fight on any cards in Nevada. McGregor, clearly unhappy with the Nevada Athlete Commission ruling of him being forced to pay $150,000 fine and 50 hours of community service, asked Dana to not try and add him to any cards in the state for the remainder of his career.
Well when you are Conor McGregor, the face of the UFC, you kinda get to call these kind of shots. Now obviously if push comes to shove and Conor sabotage's a card in Las Vegas, then Dana should just tell him to suck it up and show up. Otherwise, to me, this is not that big of a deal. Many fighters have voiced their distain for the NAC over the past few years, many of which came in the wake of Nick Diaz's 5 year suspension for weed. Conor even brought that up, showing just how ridiculous the commission can be.
There are still a few very big hearings in the upcoming months involving the NAC, including Nate Diaz, Jon Jones, and Brock Lesnar, so these are all things to keep an eye out for, and hopefully we can get some answers as far as Jon & Brock's situation.
If 15 months ago you would have asked me my opinion on Ronda Rousey, I would have told you that she is the greatest female MMA fighter ever and the biggest star in the sport. But 1 embarrassing loss, and 11 long months later, that has all changed.
It was announced a few hours ago that Ronda Rousey would return from her hiatus and fight Amanda Nunes at UFC 207, December 30th for the UFC Women’s Bantamweight belt. Do I agree with this fight? ABSOLUTELY not.
In Ronda Rousey’s last fight, she was exposed, demoralized, and broken. Holly Holm shocked the world in a way unlike almost anything we have ever seen, and for that second when Holly kicked Ronda in the head and Ronda dropped to the floor, the earth stood still. The seemingly “unbeatable” Ronda, had been embarrassed in front of the entire world.
MMA is unlike every sport in the world, because although it is in no way an only individual sport, because of how important your coaches, teammates and training partners are, the highs of MMA seem to be celebrated by all, the lows seem to be felt only by the fighter themselves. Ronda Rousey had never lost in anything in her life before Holly Holm. She was 3-0 in her amateur career, and 12-0 in her professional up until that fight. She has Olympic and World Championship medals in Judo, and has never for once doubted she was the greatest. Until Holly hit her so hard she couldn’t see straight.
They say that your character is determined by how you handle adversity. We saw Conor McGregor get choked out by Nate Diaz this March, and handle the loss in every such way that a true champion should. He made no excuses. He did not hide. He accepted his defeat and vowed that he would return better. Five months later he had his hand raised in victory and successfully avenged his only UFC loss. Ronda Rousey quit on the fight game when she lost, and turned her back on the sport. One loss does not define your career in MMA; its MMA, you’re not supposed to go undefeated forever. But to me, how you handle that 1 loss, or your 10th, 11th, 12th loss, is what makes you a true champion.
In my opinion Ronda Rousey does not deserve this title shot. I feel she should
1). have to face Holly once again, and subsequently defeat her, to fight for the belt
2). Cyborg has truly gone out of her way to do anything and everything possible to get inside Ronda’s head, and get Ronda to fight her… Cyborg has said multiple times, “I have seen Ronda shadow box, and the shadow wins”, calling her out on social media at least once a week to remind the world that Ronda is not the greatest female fighter in MMA today let alone all-time, and until she gets into the Octagon with Cyborg - not necessarily even having to beat her - Ronda cannot and will not have my utmost respect.
As one of the biggest faces in the sport, it is funny to see just how well the UFC did in 2016 without her help. The rumors from Dana saying that Ronda will fight Cyborg next to me is bullshit. They have tried to get Ronda to fight Cyborg for years now, and unless Ronda comes out and finishes Amanda in 10 seconds and looks to be once again one of the most feared fighters in female MMA, I don’t think Ronda will ever take that fight.
Mark my words, if Ronda loses to Amanda Nunes, who is a damn good striker and all around fighter, we will never again see Ronda Rousey’s face in the Octagon.
But I hope Ronda proves me wrong, and I hope that she can climb back to the top and continue to dominate and promote MMA like she once did, but until then, my respect for Ronda outside of her obvious skill level is minimal.
UFC has absolutely blown up in the last few years, for the most part because of stars like Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey, well in December the sports biggest star Ronda Rousey will return the octagon to fight Amanda Nunes for the Bantamweight championship. It's been 11 months since we last saw Rousey in the octagon, a sight most sports fans will never forget as the UFC's most dominant champion was knocked out. By the time the fight happens it'll be over a year since she last fought, Dana White says she could've came back early but that she wanted to take some time off since she has given the sport so much in such a little time. You can only not fight for so long though, this isn't a sport where you can pull a Michael Jordan and just come back after two years, and still be the greatest. Ronda timed this comeback perfectly, she has had plenty of time get her entire body healthy, we all know what a crazy amount of stress this sport puts on your body so she's probably feeling better physically than she has in years. More importantly, mentally she's had time to get her mind right, no one really knows if her getting knocked out by Holly Holm will alter her career, the only way we'll know is when she takes on Amanda Nunes in December. I've never seen Nunes fight besides her last fight against Miesha Tate. From what I can see though Miesha Tate has been the Bantamweights 2nd best fighter for quite some time now, behind Ronda Rousey of course, and if Nunes was able to massacre Tate like she did she must be for real. Let's not forget Rousey was almost untouchable up until that Holm fight though, so maybe she'll just go back to kicking everyone's ass again, which would be AWESOME. Dana White is most certainly praying that Ronda wins her championship back so he can set up the Cyborg v Rousey fight, the fight everyone really wants to see. As I see it, if you aren't pulling for Rousey to win this fight in December, you're just not a true fan of the sport. Cyborg v Rousey for the belt would be the biggest fight in the sports history, maybe, I don't know if it can top what McGregor and Nate Diaz did, but I'm sure White would make sure it is. Hats off to that guy too, he just keeps bringing fans huge fight after huge fight, that's a real commissioner right there, Roger Goodell should take notes.
Well Conor McGregor's pre-fight/press conference antics have finally caught up to him, as he received a $150,000 fine and 50 hours of community as a punishment from NSAC today for his water bottle incident with Nate Diaz before UFC 202. Diaz was scheduled to have his conference last week, but it was postponed, but the assumption is that Nate will receive a similar punishment to Conor, who was fined 5% of his fight purse from 202, which equaled out to $150,000 of his record setting $3 million purse. Diaz will likely be $100,000 of his 2$, and assumedly 50 hours of community service himself.
This whole situation was definitely blown out of proportion in my opinion, and only because of the fact that the fans were involved because one was "hit" by a water bottle. Nate & Conor both bring a fire and passion to this sport that cannot be controlled, and that was evident as the two fighters and their camps almost came to blows at the pre-fight presser.
Hopefully this blows over and this is the end of the debacle, once Nate too gets his punishment, and maybe these two can just stick to verbal wars, not plastic water bottles.
The MMA world said good-bye to one of the sport's greatest ever, Dan Henderson last night, as he competed in his last fight of his career against Michael Bisping as the main event at UFC 204 in Manchester, England. The main card of last night's fight was not short on action, and we saw multiple finishes.
First fight: Mirsad Bektic vs. Russell Doane
Mirsad Bektic made quick work of Russell Doane, who accepted the fight on short notice, and Bektic showed just why he is the #1 ranked prospect in the featherweight division, and the UFC as a whole. He said post fight that he would love to take over a "lackluster" featherweight division, even saying he would "beat anybody" when asked if he would beat Conor. He is someone to keep an eye on folks, as he improves to 11-0 on his career, 4-0 in the UFC.
Next we had: Stefan Struve vs. Daniel Omielanczuk
The 'Skyscraper' Struve was able to use his great submission and ground game to finish Omielanczuk in the second round with a D'arce choke after taking him down. Struve has now won 3 of his last 4, 2 straight, and both finishes, and he is working his way back into the picture in the heavyweight division. The height advantage seemed to be too much (Struve is 7'0 and Omielanczuk is 6'0) and Struve will look to keep rolling after this win.
Our third fight: Jimi Manuwa vs. Ovince Saint Preux
Jimi Manuwa rebounded nicely from his vicious knockout loss to Anthony 'Rumble' Johnson just over a year ago, as he knocked out OSP in the second round with a huge KO. OSP now has last two straight, after losing to Jon Jones this spring for the interim championship, and he is in need of a win as he will continue to drop in the Light Heayweight rankings.
Check out the knockout if you haven't seen it yet, folded him right up. (The sound doesn't match up with the video)
Co-Main Event: Vitor Belfort vs. Gegard Mousasi
Mousasi came out aggressive and firing, and he was able to defeated 'The Phenom' Belfort in the second round via TKO after he rocked Vitor with a head kick, and came in for the kill by landing punch after punch with Belfort against the cage, before taking him to the ground and finishing him. For Belfort, I feel this should be his last fight. He has had an incredible career, and will go down as one of the greatest, and most feared fighters in MMA history, but at 39, and suffering two straight vicious TKO losses, I think it's time to hang up the gloves. Mousasi, however, earned his 40th career victory, and at only 31 years old. Gegard feels he is deserving of a title shot, but we will have to see how the rest of the division shapes out in the next month or two with the big middleweight fights coming up.
The Main Event: Michael Bisping vs. Dan Henderson for the Middleweight Championship
Last night was Dan Henderson's final fight in what has been a Hall of Fame career, and he unfortunately came up just short of capturing the ever-so-elusive UFC belt. Hendo came out swinging and he did not disappoint, landing multiple big shots in the first two rounds, rocking Bisping and even dropping him. The Champ was able to weather the storm however, and Bisping hung on to win rounds 3, 4, and 5, to make the first defense of his title. I am a big Hendo fan, and would have absolutely loved to see him retire from the UFC with the strap around his waist, but not all stories are fairytales; Hendo did go out in a very noble way, losing an incredibly close decision fight, and giving us a few more 'Hendo-Bomb' highlights.
Salute to you on an incredible career Hendo, and thank you for everything you did for the sport. A 2-weight champion in Pride, the last Heavyweight Champion in Strikeforce, and an Olympic wrestler, he did it all.
One of the baddest dudes ever, enjoy the highlights.
Hendo said post-fight, that he wished the fight was judged on how you looked after the fight, and you can see why ^^^^^ Bisping's face today looks like he is gonna be having Hendo scars forever.