As we edge closer to a jam-packed card at UFC 262, headliner Charles Oliveira has made his prediction of how he will defeat Michael Chandler for the vacant lightweight championship and much more — Your Fightful Fix has all the latest combat sports news.
Charles Oliveira predicts early finish of Michael Chandler
Charles Oliveira is expecting to shock the world by knocking out Michael Chandler at UFC 262. In the main event of UFC 262, Oliveira and "Iron" are set to fight for the vacant lightweight title in front of a full capacity crowd in Houston, Texas. The Brazilian is a grappling phenom and many corners of the MMA community would expect him to target the former Bellator champion on the ground. But Oliveira is predicting a different finish to build on his eight-fight winning streak.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk targets late August return
Joanna Jedrzejczyk is targeting her return to the Octagon in August of this year. The former strawweight champion hasn't fought since her fight of the year contest against Zhang Weili in March 2020. Weili has since lost the title to a former foe of Jedrzejczyk in Rose Namajunas. But the Polish superstar has no indication of which rematch she will be targeting.
“I really don’t know,” she said when asked about rematching either fighter to BJPenn.com. “It’s up to Dana, the matchmakers, Rose Namajunas, she’s the champ right now. It depends on how long her break is going to be from fighting. She deserves all the best and to enjoy the moment as much as she can.
“I see myself stepping into the Octagon at the earliest; end of August, beginning of September. We’ll be ready. It’s soon – around the corner. In two weeks I fly back to the states to American Top Team. I can’t wait to get back and put in the work. Let’s see what’s going to happen.”
Kayla Harrison scoffs at Dana White’s comments
Kayla Harrison is looking to get paid accordingly before she makes the transition to join the UFC. Harrison, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in judo, extended her unbeaten MMA record to 9-0 last weekend with a first-round TKO against Mariana Morais at PFL 3. Despite her one-sided win, UFC president Dana White questioned whether Harrison is ready for the higher caliber of fighters in the UFC.
The UFC does not have a women’s 155-pound division and talks have also circulated that the women’s featherweight division could soon be removed from the promotion. Harrison isn't worried about this and is happy making history outside the UFC if needs be.
“My job is to take care of Kayla Harrison, my job is to go down as the greatest of all time,” Harrison said. “That is my goal for myself. I begged, I begged the PFL to sign (Cris) Cyborg when she was a free agent. I begged them. I wanted all these girls who are top fighters, who are free agents to be in the PFL. I’m not in control of that. It’s the PFL’s job to bring in top competition. If they cannot bring in top competition, I do not know what’s gonna happen but you know my goal so I’m pretty sure everyone can figure it out."
Tony Bellew: Anthony Joshua is a better athlete than Tyson Fury
Tony Bellew is full of admiration and respect for Anthony Joshua, believing that the former Olympian is a better athlete than his upcoming opponent Tyson Fury. Former WBC cruiserweight world champion Bellew also spoke about how Joshua has managed to stay in shape during the coronavirus pandemic.
"AJ is the best athlete the heavyweight division has seen since Lennox Lewis, he is that good of an athlete," Bellew said to TalkSport. "So he is 365 days of the year, in shape and in camp. For Fury, he likes to get ready before the fight and he will be in camp. But he is not in Vegas through choice; he is in Vegas because that is where the camp is set up. That’s where SugarHill will want him; SugarHill is a brilliant coach, trained by the legend that is his uncle the great Emanuel Steward. So these guys have got it all to do, I just can’t wait until we get it finally done. Put them face-to-face, at the press conference, and let the circus begin."
Stephen Thompson on Joshua Fabia, believes Chiesa should get title fight over Covington
Stephen Thompson hasn't been impressed by the Diego Sanchez saga that has seemingly been caused by his relationship with Joshua Fabia. "Wonderboy" is well known as one of the most sincere and respectful fighters in MMA. But Thompson hasn't been impressed by Fabia's lack of regard for Sanchez's well-being.
“I don’t know what’s going on in this guy’s head, I really don’t,” Thompson said to LowKickMMA. “As a coach, if he was my fighter, I would’ve told him to hang it up a long time ago. He’s taken a lot of damage. As a coach, if you’re out there trying to take over and doing that, you need to get slapped. This guy’s putting Diego through stuff I’ve never seen before. Somebody needs to go poke that guy in the eye.”
Thompson gave his thoughts on what could be next for current champion Kamaru Usman. Thompson believes that Michael Chiesa would likely deserve a title shot over former interim champion Colby Covington, who lost an eventual fifth-round knockout loss to the champion at UFC 245.
“I don’t know, man — he’s (Kamaru Usman’s) already fought Colby Covington,” Thompson said when asked who would deserve a title challenge first between Covington and Chiesa. “He hasn’t fought, (Michael) Chiesa. You know, so we saw what happened the first time that they fought (at UFC 245). And I think Colby Covington has had one fight (since) and that was (against) Tyron Woodley.“
“I would like to see that fight with Chiesa,” Thompson explained to James Lynch. “I mean, I think both fights are very interesting as well and we can see what kind of improvements Colby’s made. I mean — he’s an intelligent guy too, I don’t think he’ll fight him (Usman) the same (way. He might end up using some of the wrestling this time, and not have to stand there and get his jaw broken like what happened last time. Either way, it really doesn’t matter. You know, we’ve already seen that happen. So why not give Chiesa a shot? Go for it, man.“
Valerie Loureda on Bellator 259 and Hannah Guy
Valerie Loureda understands the threat Hannah Guy will pose her but is expecting to come through her latest challenge unscathed and still undefeated. Loureda continues to prove those who believe she is just an Instagram model with some impressive showings in the Bellator cage. At Bellator 259, Loureda is looking to add Guy to her resume.
“Hannah Guy is a lot more experienced than me,” Loureda said to Cageside Press. “She’s tough, good jiu-jitsu, she will come right at me. She is nothing I haven’t seen before, whether in a fight or at American Top Team, nothing I haven’t seen before.”
Tito Ortiz Denies That He Fraudulently Filed For Welfare
Tito Ortiz has refuted the claims he has been on welfare, despite being employed. The Huntington Beach pro-term mayor has reportedly collected $179-per-week checks from the United States government after applying for COVID-19 relief since July 2020. After the report went public, many criticized Ortiz for claiming fraudulent welfare. However, according to the former UFC champion, he says he made over $20 million dollars in his MMA career, but half of that money was taxed, and the rest of the savings he had he apparently spent already, which forced him to apply for the welfare checks.
"This is the first time in my life I’ve had to go to unemployment. I take care of myself, my girlfriend, my three kids, my mother, my stepfather so I have a whole family to take care of,” Ortiz said to Daily Mail. “For the first time in my career, I wasn’t getting paid for the jobs I normally do because of the pandemic. When I heard about the pandemic relief, I thought perhaps I can get some help – they can help with food for my family. I thought I was going to get a lot more money than I did but I made the best of it. This was just help that I needed.
“As a citizen of this country, I needed a little bit of help and when I got the help that I needed, it wasn’t as much as I thought it was going to be but it put food on my table,” Ortiz added. “The city manager letting out my information without my consent – I hope he goes to jail for it because it’s not right what he’s doing.”
Calvin Kattar defends corner not stopping brutal Max Holloway fight
Calvin Kattar has defended his coaches for not stopping his loss to Max Holloway sooner. Kattar was beaten decisively by Holloway in a clinic of striking proficiency by the former champion. Kattar earned plaudits for his toughness and durability but many believed the fight should have been stopped by his coaches, particularly head coach Tyson Chartier. But in an interview on "What The Heck," Kattar dismissed claims that the fight needed to be stopped.
“Tyson gets a lot of slack no matter what he does,” Kattar said to MMA Fighting. “He could have thrown in the towel, he would have got a lot of slack from me. If he didn’t, he’s getting a lot of slack from everybody else. Just through the fourth and fifth rounds, it’s not what I took from it, aside from the things I did I think a lot of people just realized kind of the things that I’m talking about. I’m not gonna take a knee for anybody, how bad I want it. I know how tough I am. Now I think everyone else was able to see that as well and I hope I don’t have to show them again anytime in the near future. Hopefully, I put another guy in that position.
“Like I said, the bonus isn’t the thing you’re really chasing in there. It’s trying to get out and be healthy, so that’s my goal in the next one while putting on a great performance for the fans.”
UFC 262 weigh-in results
UFC 262 fighters have weighed in, where one fighter failed to make weight, but the card’s headliner was made official. The early weigh-ins took place at the UFC host hotel in Houston and precede the ceremonial weigh-ins for the fans, which take place at 5 p.m. ET at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. The nearby Toyota Center hosts Saturday’s event, which has a main card on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and early prelims on ESPN+. Check out the full weigh-in results below.
Main Card (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)
Charles Oliveira (155) vs. Michael Chandler (155) – for vacant lightweight title
Beneil Dariush (156) vs. Tony Ferguson (156)
Rogerio Bontorin (137)* vs. Matt Schnell (136)
Viviane Araujo (126) vs. Katlyn Chookagian (126)
Edson Barboza (146) vs. Shane Burgos (146)
Preliminary Card (ESPN, 8 p.m. ET)
Andre Muniz (186) vs. Ronaldo Souza (186)
Mike Grundy (146) vs. Lando Vannata (146)
Jamie Pickett (186) vs. Jordan Wright (185)
Andrea Lee (126) vs. Antonina Shevchenko (125)
Early Preliminary Card (ESPN+, 5:30 p.m. ET)
Priscila Cachoeira (126) vs. Gina Mazany (126)
Kevin Aguilar (145) vs. Tucker Lutz (146)
Christos Giagos (156) vs. Sean Soriano (156)
* Bontorin was fined 20 percent of his purse but the bout will go on as scheduled