Ali Abdelaziz has teased a potential Khabib Nurmagomedov WWE run and has called out John Cena as someone that "The Eagle" will smash and much more — This is your Fightful Fix for Tuesday.
Khabib Nurmagomedov "will smash John Cena," says manager
Khabib Nurmagomedov may have retired from MMA but his manager Ali Abdelaziz has teased a potential WWE run for the Dagestani. Abdelaziz has spoken about the switch to Pro-Wrestling and made the claim that his client Nurmagomedov would beat any of the wrestlers for real if he wants to - including WWE legend John Cena.
"Let’s be real, [if] any of these soft steroid freaks wanted to go ahead and have a wrestling match with Khabib and they want to get beat up for real, they know who they need to call," Abdelaziz said to TMZ Sports (h/t RT Sport). "He’ll go there and he’ll smash [WWE legend] John Cena’s face. No problem. He's going to go in there and smash somebody. After he's done with them, they'll never want to wrestle him. Because they understand there is levels to this. He is not going to be a friend, joking – it's going to be real."
Mackenzie Dern ready for a title shot by end of 2021
Mackenzie Dern (11-1) impressed once again when she defeated Nina Nunes at UFC on ABC 2 and is now targeting the upper echelon of the strawweight division. The Brazilian has been on a tear recently and is on a four-fight win streak in the UFC. Dern took Nunes's spot in the rankings at no.5 (Nunes now at no.7) and is aiming to become a champion and believes a fight against a top-five opponent is her ticket.
“I’m ready for the top girls, but maybe fight for the belt, maybe at the end of the year,” Dern told ESPN after her first-round submission of Nina Nunes on the main card of Saturday’s UFC Vegas 23 (h/t MMA Fighting). “A couple more fights, because the belt you want to be 100 percent, and I’m not 100 percent on what I need to do."
“I just need to be 100 percent on the go time, and that’s being able to be calm and to think. I’m getting there, but a first-round submission, you don’t really get to see those other parts. But I know that even if I submit my next [opponents] in the first round, I want to know that when I fight the champ, I’m ready even if I go the whole five rounds.”
Julian Marquez reveals he nearly threw up before fighting Sam Alvey due to nerves
Julian Marquez has revealed that he was happy to take the short-notice fight against Sam Alvey as he was someone that he grew up watching. Marquez fought as recently as UFC 258 and was happy to take his time before his next fight but when the Alvey fight became a possibility, Marquez had to take it.
“Sam was a good stylistic matchup for me, so I jumped on it. I’m very happy we decided to jump on the opportunity. I’ve been watching Sam since I was a kid,” Marquez said to BJPENN.com. “I remember I watched Sam Alvey fight Tom Watson, and a couple of weeks later I met them. I grew up watching him. He is someone who has slept a lot of people, it was one of those fights where I couldn’t give him anything. That is exactly what I did. I couldn’t respect him inside the Octagon.”
"The Cuban Missile Crisis" also revealed the nerves he had before the fight and admitted he nearly got sick.
“I’ll tell you this, I nearly threw up backstage just as I was about to walk out. My nerves were going until I stepped inside the Octagon and then my animal instincts took over. I’ve never been that nervous before, never.”
Julia Budd expects to earn a rematch with Cris Cyborg after Bellator 257
Julia Budd believes a win over Dayana Silva at Bellator 257 can give her the Cris Cyborg rematch she craves. Budd lost the title to Cyborg and having already rebounded with a win, believes that a second win after such disappointment will seal her rematch.
“No, I deserve the rematch. I think I deserved an immediate rematch the second I lost the first fight,” Budd said to BJPenn.com. “Cat is also right there and Bellator will be looking at what kind of statement we make. Again, I’m excited to get in there, do what I do and a win sets me up for a title shot.”
Budd doesn't expect it to be so long before we see the two featherweights run it back.
“Whenever Bellator decides. I don’t expect the fight to be too far away if we both win and come out with no injuries,” Budd concluded. “I’ve also watched that fight back so many times and think it’s a few technical errors I made. The rematch would be a different outcome.”
Adam Borics hopes Bellator 256 win earns title shot vs. Patricio 'Pitbull'-A.J. McKee winner
Adam Borics is hoping his win over Jeremy Kennedy at UFC 256 has earned him the next shot at the featherweight title. Borics is on a three-fight win streak since losing to Darrion Caldwell in January 2020. Patricio Freire (20-5) and undefeated A.J. McKee (17-0 MMA)are set to fight later this summer and Borics is hoping to be next in line.
“This is my goal, but let’s see what Bellator wants,” Borics told MMA Junkie at the post-fight news conference. “I am really happy that I get the opportunity to fight again during this crazy time, so I feel I’m ready to fight for a title. I have eight or nine fights in Bellator, so yes, I’d like to fight for the title next time.”
Arnold Allen targets 'Korean Zombie' vs. Dan Ige winner
Arnold Allen (17-1) is targeting a top contender in the featherweight division following his win over Sodiq Yusuff. Allen extended his overall winning streak to 10 and is eyeing up the winner of the Chan Sung Jung (16-6) vs. Dan Ige (15-3) who main event on June 19.
“I’d like to push forward,” Allen said at the UFC on ABC 2 post-fight news conference (h/t MMA Junkie). “I don’t know if this pushes me up because I think I was No. 10. I don’t know if this pushes me up the rankings or what, but yeah, definitely I wanna go up. I don’t wanna stay No. 10. I don’t want to fight backwards. I want to fight guys above me. The end of 2021, I’d like to be sitting in the top five.”
“Something like ‘Korean Zombie.’ I was always a big fan of him, so accidentally I’ve studied him my whole life, and he’s flat-footed, he doesn’t move great, he doesn’t deal with someone moving around him, and I move very well. But I know he just booked a fight, Dan Ige, so maybe the winner of that fight in the future if they’re above me in the rankings. That’s something that would be cool.”
Joe Solecki wants to model future like Jim Miller
Joe Solecki defeated Jim Miller with a unanimous decision at UFC on ABC 2 and is looking to model his time between his next fight after his opponent. Solecki was asked what he plans next after the win and Solecki said he is looking forward to the simple things and some quality family time.
“Boring answer, but I go home to my wife and baby, then get right back to work. We’ll get right back to work on Monday. We’re going away for a couple days next week, then we’ll come right back the next Monday and start training like we have a fight again," Solecki said (h/t MMA Junkie). "We’ll start sparring twice and week and just wait for the call. That’s the role that I’m ready to play here: Just stay ready all year long, hopefully a couple weeks’ notice every fight, come back in and take somebody out – kind of like Jim Miller does. Disappear for a little while, and keep getting better and better.”
Jack Shore: 'The world's my oyster,' but I've got work to do
Jack Shore beat Hunter Azure via a split decision Saturday on the preliminary card at UFC on ABC 2 and is hoping for a swift return to the Octagon. Shore says he came out unscathed and keeping busy is on his agenda. Shore is targeting a fight in late July for his next fight.
“(Coming back in the) middle of July or end of July would be perfect for me. It would be nice to fight in front of some fans, hopefully. I’m not injured. I’ll take my week of rest and then get back to it," Shore said after the fight to the media (h/t MMA Junkie). “I’m in no rush. I’m 26 years old and have 14 pro fights. The world’s my oyster. I just want to fight consistently. I’ve still got a lot to learn in the game. The division’s full of killers. I have to work my way up and fight some good-level guys to get up there. Let’s see what the future holds.”
Luis Saldana worked through the infamous UFC jitters for his first win in the promotion
Luis Saldana beat Jordan Griffin with a unanimous decision Saturday on the preliminary card at UFC on ABC 2. Saldana was making his UFC debut and despite not having fans there, the UFC nerves were real. Saldana was relieved that the win went his way and he can now build on his performance.
“It feels great. A tough first fight. I definitely felt the jitters. I had an adrenaline dump, but I endured it. I’m just glad I came out with the win," Saldana said to the media following the event (h/t MMA Junkie). “I thought it was a close fight. I didn’t know which way it was going to go. I don’t think I performed my best, especially with that dump. I felt super tired. I don’t know how confident I was that I was going to get the win. Good thing the judges thought I did enough.”
Da Un Jung doesn't care who's next – as long as it's on path to be best Asian fighter ever
Da Un Jung is setting his goals very high for his MMA career. Jung beat William Knight with a unanimous decision Saturday on the preliminary card at UFC on ABC 2 and is targeting greatness and to be the "best fighter Asia has ever produced." Jung is now undefeated in his last 14 fights.
“It doesn’t matter to me. I just want to fight as soon as possible. I’m looking past 2021. I want to be the best fighter Asia has ever produced, and I want to be world champion. I haven’t thought about the timeline too much, but it might take a little bit," Jung said (h/t MMA Junkie).
Impa Kasanganay looking for Daniel Rodriguez after the submission win
Impa Kasanganay (9-1) defeated Sasha Palatnikov with a second-round submission Saturday to open the preliminary card at UFC on ABC 2 to go 2-1 in the UFC. Kasanganay admits he was looking for the knockout but was happy to get the submission win.
“I wanted to come back and get the finish. I wanted the KO, but it was awesome to get the finish and get out healthy and ready to go again. I’m going to take my time and get better. That’s the main focus. It just feels good to be back doing what I love," Kasanganay said (h/t MMA Junkie).
Kasanganay is looking for a swift turnaround and would like to fight either Mike Perry or Daniel Rodriguez.
“I’d love to fight soon, maybe May or sometime this summer. Mike Perry and Daniel Rodriguez, maybe the winner of that would be awesome. Any welterweight. I’m still new.”