Billy Joe Saunders has commented on reports that the ring size has caused concerns from his camp and could cause his fight with Canelo Alvarez to be scrapped — Fightful Fix has you covered on the latest reports from combat sports and the status of Saunders vs. Alvarez.
Billy Joe Saunders says the ring issue for his fight against Canelo Alvarez has been “resolved”
Billy Joe Saunders has assured fans that his fight with Canelo Alvarez will go ahead as planned. Saunders's father Tom had sensationally said that the fight was off due to concerns about the ring size. Yet, on Tuesday, it was revealed the size of the ring was an issue as an 18-foot ring was installed, not the 24-foot ring expected. That forced Saunders’ dad, Tom, and team to say they are out of the fight.
“At the end of the day, I’m not going to let my son box in a 20-foot ring against supposed to be the pound-for-pound king of boxing,” Saunders said to IFL TV (h/t BJPenn.com). “We are up against everything here and we spoke to them this morning and they said it’s either 20-feet or book your flights home. Unfortunately, people, we apologize to all the fans, British, American, and around the world. I just can’t let my son box in a 20-foot ring against Canelo Alvarez on Cinco de Mayo weekend. We have given in to a lot of stuff here but this we can just not give into. They are trying to take his legs away, the fight would not be fair.”
Now, after many were worried the fight between Billy Joe Saunders and Canelo Alvarez was off, the Englishman revealed the ring size issue was sorted.
“Just want to say I’m pleased the issue is sorted,” Saunders said on his Instagram story. “The ring is not a problem. Thumbs are up.”
Cory Sandhagen says he turned down a short-notice fight against Pedro Munhoz
Cory Sandhagen had the chance to still headline this weekend's UFC Vegas 26 against Pedro Munhoz. Sandhagen was originally supposed to fight the returning TJ Dillashaw in a fight many fans were looking forward to. The winner would have been arguably next in line at bantamweight but Dillashaw was forced to withdraw due to an eye injury.
“Yeah, I think I only found out a day before you guys did. I found out on Monday. They just told me he was out because he had a cut,” Sandhagen said to James Lynch (h/t BJPenn.com). “That was pretty much all that they told me. Then I was like okay, well I know June has a couple of main events open. Then they told me June doesn’t have a couple of main events open, so now we’re shooting for July.”
After the former champ was forced out, Sandhagen revealed the UFC offered him Munhoz but he decided to wait for Dillashaw.
“Yeah, they offered me Munhoz, but I’m just going to wait for Dillashaw to be honest with you,” Sandhagen said. “I think that’s a fair decision to make and it’s only a couple of months pushback, so no problem.”
Henri Hooft would love to win UFC lightweight title with 'good guy' Michael Chandler
Henri Hooft, the coach of Michael Chandler, is dreaming of winning his second UFC title with "Iron". Hooft won his first UFC title with welterweight champion Kamaru Usman in 2019 and he’d like nothing more than to see former Bellator champion Chandler earn his first UFC title in only his second fight for the promotion.
“I’m very happy that we got the shot,” Hooft said to MMA Junkie. “Of course, because for me I think it’s the fourth or fifth time where we’ll fight for the belt, and after the welterweight belt, I would love to win a lightweight belt with Michael Chandler, especially with Michael Chandler. A really good guy – he’s really good in the gym, a good teammate and he’s a good guy for the company. He’s well-spoken, he’s a real champion, a family man, but he’s got a really tough fight. He has all the experience, he fought very tough guys and he beat Dan Hooker, and now we’ve got Charles Oliveira, who’s really respected. I really like his style of fighting – he’s very good everywhere.”
Drakkar Klose Takes Issue With White’s Comments On Stephens Shove
Drakkar Klose has taken issue with Dana White's comments following his and Jeremy Stephens's altercation at the UFC 24 weigh-in. Klose suffered not only a concussion but a cervical sprain of the neck following Stephens pushing him when they faced off. And Klose has admitted that White's comments in the aftermath annoyed him.
“According to Dana White, that’s a savage move he did,” Klose said to MMAFighting (CDN MMA News). “I had seen some interview and he was talking like, ‘Jeremy’s a savage’ – no, that’s a bitch move. I believe I should’ve gotten paid both [win and show money], I came, I was being professional and I did everything possible. He f*cked it up, not me."
Klose believes that he should have earned his full purse as he did his part, while also highlighting that the actions of Stephens bring about a bad example in the sport.
“I like [UFC matchmaker] Sean [Shelby]. It wasn’t his fault. We signed a contract and we’re professionals. Act professional. “It sucks. I came, I was professional and I got injured on the job,” Klose continued. “All I know is any other sport, if they do something like that, they either get fined or suspended. So it just sets a bad example for everyone else."
Michael Bisping explains how the introduction of a cruiserweight division would benefit numerous UFC fighters
Michael Bisping has weighed in on the hot topic of extra weight classes in the UFC. Many in the MMA community have long wished for more weight classes to help fighters not have to cut weight so drastically. The biggest jump is from the 205lb division to the heavyweights limited at 265lbs. "The Count" has spoken on this now and admits he would like to see a cruiserweight division.
“I just wish everyone would move up a weight class and (the UFC) bring in a cruiserweight division,” Bisping explained to MMA Junkie. “The UFC have done a very good job of running an organization without me involved, but in my humble opinion, in boxing they have the cruiserweight – a 220 division. That way all the heavyweights can stay at heavyweight, light heavyweights move to cruiserweight, and then welterweights fight at middleweight, middleweights fight at light heavy, because that’s essentially what everyone does. I used to be a light heavyweight, but I started cutting weight and fighting at middleweight.”
Bellator's Linton Vassell guns for Ryan Bader rematch, won't try to 'wrestle a wrestler' next time
Bellator heavyweight Linton Vassell admits that he will need a new game plan should he be granted the chance to rematch champion Ryan Bader. The two fighters first fought at Bellator 186 in November, a fight that took place at light heavyweight when Bader held the 205-pound title. Reflecting on his second-round TKO loss, Vassell recognizes that trying to wrestle Bader wasn't the best strategy.
“At heavyweight, my mindset will be different (than), obviously, the first time fighting him, regardless,” Vassell recently told MMA Junkie. “Not that I know what he’s about, but in a way, I know what sort of game plan that I can (craft and) change a few things – a different approach, you know? Like, why am I trying to grapple a wrestler at the end of the day? Obviously, my mindset was, ‘I’ll beat him on the ground.’ I’m not going to wrestle a wrestler. Wrestling will happen, but I’m not going to go in there and wrestle him straight away.”
Jack Hermansson Talks UFC 262 Bout, Goals for 2021
Jack Hermansson had an eventful path to his fight with Marvin Vettori. After being originally scheduled to face Darren Till, but the Scouser pulled out of the fight due to injury, and the UFC drafted in Kevin Holland. Holland was forced to pull out after failing the COVID-19 protocols and Hermanson, the UFC matched up the Norwegian star against Vettori in a five-round war in which he lost by unanimous decision. And Hermansson is looking forward to what he believes is an inevitable rematch.
“I think we’re gonna meet again for sure,” Hermansson told LowKickMMA. "It was a good fight, we fought hard for five rounds, and it just didn’t go my way. Whatever it takes to get to that belt, whatever it takes.”
Hermansson also believes that he has Israel Adesanya's number should they eventually fight.
“I’m probably the hardest matchup for him out there,” Hermansson said when asked about a future bout against Adesanya. “Blachowicz showed some weaknesses in his game, his bottom game is definitely not the best. If I can get on top of him, he’s in big trouble."
PFL chairman Donn Davis: Promotion aims to be most innovative product in sports
Donn Davis, the PFL chairman, is looking to showcase the uniqueness of the PFL. PFL’s pitch to potential viewers always has been about a unique approach to the format, featuring the only MMA organization staged as a season, including playoffs. Davis believes they’ve hit a home run with the concept, which results in every fight on the card holding significance, which isn’t always the case with other promotions.
“The UFC is a fantastic product – it’s just a different product,” Davis said to MMA Junkie. “And if there’s a McGregor-Mayweather, if there is a big Usman fight, if there is a Jon Jones fight, we all love that UFC product, but 95 percent of the UFC fights are not for a belt. They’re not for the big names. And in the PFL, every single fight matters. That fighter doesn’t win, see you next year. We all love a Game 7. Every fight is essentially a Game 7. So if you haven’t seen the PFL before, I encourage you to check it out.”