Charles Oliveira has predicted that he will get a submission win over Dustin Poirier when the two fight — Fightful have you covered on Oliveira's prediction and much more in the world of combat sports.
Charles Oliveira predicts a submission win over Dustin Poirier
Top UFC lightweight contender Charles Oliveira is hoping to get a fight booked against Dustin Poirier who is fresh of a win over Conor McGregor. If the fight gets booked, Oliveira has promised a submission win.
After Poirier’s knockout win over Conor McGregor at UFC 257, there have been strong calls for a Poirier vs Oliveira vacant title fight among fans and media. It’s a fight that Oliveira himself badly wants, too.
Speaking to AG Fight, Oliveira reiterated his desire to fight Poirier, while also making a very bold prediction on the fight if it is to happen.
“There is no denying it. Everyone knows my game. Whenever I can, I put the fight on the ground and go to work. Poirier is very tough in the standup department. He has been exchanging and knocking out everyone, but I have evolved in the striking and I exchange punches with these guys on equal terms," Oliveira said (h/t BjPenn.com). "Certainly, I am going to start exchanging, of course respecting him, knowing that he has a heavy hand. But when the opportunity arises, I will put him down and I will finish him."
Oliveira said that he believes the fight will happen in May or June, which makes sense if you look at the UFC’s current slate of events and what title fights will be available then. A lightweight title fight makes a lot of sense for that timeframe.
“If this fight happens, it will probably be for May or June. Poirier just fought, I know he wasn’t hurt or anything, but he doesn’t like fights in a row, close to each other. He likes to hang out with his family. So I think it will be in May or June," Oliveira predicted. "I’m back to training, I’m training every day. I’m focused, waiting, it’s my moment. In 2021, I will be UFC champion, in the name of Jesus. Just keep your feet on the ground and make it happen."
How do you think a fight between Oliveira and Poirier will go down?
Jamahal Hill: "UFC not hyping me like they do other up-and-comers"
It was an eye-opening performance: At December’s UFC on ESPN 19, Jamahal Hill took a huge step up in both platform and caliber of opposition, and he delivered on his opportunity in brilliant fashion.
Hill made a statement as to where he stands in the UFC light heavyweight rankings when he took out one of the division’s most durable veterans, Ovince Saint Preux, via second-round TKO.
Despite getting an impressive victory, Hill doesn’t think the UFC brass is yet on board with him the way he feels they should get behind him.
“Here’s how I look at it: I see how the attention of how they shine the spotlight on certain things fighters do,” Hill recently told MMA Junkie Radio (h/t MMAJunkie). “Things like that and that turn people up and blow them up and get the attention of the whole MMA world, that hasn’t happened to me. Even with the win over ‘OSP,’ that didn’t happen for me.”
“And so the ‘OSP’ fight, I didn’t, I wasn’t promoted at all. I’ve seen this video, ‘prospects to watch,’ and I wasn’t even on that, co-main event and undefeated. Do you know what I mean? Little things like that. The spotlight isn’t shining on me like it is on other people. Which is cool. Do you know what I mean? ‘Cause at the end of the day, what I can do, my abilities, you can’t ignore it.”
“I surprise myself a lot sometimes with the things I can do, honestly,” he said. “I surprised myself the other day when I was at the gym and I was a little sore, so I didn’t do the sparring session, so kind of ran the sparring session and like mentoring the younger guys in the program on that. And from what I was seeing and the things I was talking about, my knowledge of the game is next-level."
“People don’t really understand, I understand fighting on a whole another level,” he continued. “I see things, just little things, even unique, unorthodox things that you might not even think matter, but I can make them matter. It all just started with me and a small thing: All right, how do I throw this punch right? What can I mix with that? All right that punch won’t do that, let me get up to speed with this one, work on this one. And I’ve been doing this for years, and people say I’m new to this. I’ve been doing this for 11 years. I’ve been doing it, every little thing, every little tweak, for 11 years, and now it’s all coming together.
Alistair Overeem reveals his retirement plans
Heavyweight MMA legend Alistair Overeem is hoping to win a UFC belt, then immediately retire from competition.
Overeem is currently on a two stoppage win streak over Augusto Sakai and Walt Harris. He’s hoping to keep that momentum going and, hopefully, win one of the few major titles that have eluded him thus far which is the UFC heavyweight championship.
That being said, the 40-year-old also recognizes that his career is reaching the end. As such, he says he’d probably retire immediately after winning the UFC heavyweight title.
“There definitely is momentum because we’re two wins (in a row),” Overeem claimed (h/t MMAJunkie). “I think my fights are good, they’re exciting. I think we’ve just got to keep this trajectory going and another title shot will be there, and that will be my last because my time is running out, which is fine. I’ve had a great career, I’m having a great career."
“But we also have to be realistic, and that’s a little bit where the final run comes from. I’m not going to keep fighting until I’m 45. It’s going to be one final run, then it’s going to be thank you everybody for watching, and see you in the next life. I would retire immediately (after winning the title). There’s nothing to prove at that point.”
Before his wins over Sakai and Harris, Overeem was stopped in the final second of his fight with Jairzinho Rozenstruik that he was winning fairly comfortably until that point. That loss was put to bed following a pair of TKO victories over Alexey Oleynik and Sergey Pavlovich.
Overeem has challenged for the UFC heavyweight title once before where he was knocked out by still champion, Stipe Miocic.
Kamaru Usman wants Jorge Masvidal rematch
Kamaru Usman wants to rematch Jorge Masvidal on a full camp so he can earn a stoppage victory.
At UFC 251, Masvidal stepped up on a weeks’ notice to battle Usman in a hugely anticipated bout. In the first round, “Gamebred” had success but then Usman got down to business and dominated thoroughly for the next 4 rounds.
“I was unhappy because as much as I put into preparing for fights, I basically was just on autopilot that fight,” Usman expressed to ESPN (h/t BjPenn.com). “A lot of things played a factor in that fight. I’m way better than that. I have way more tools and skills to display than what I showed because out there, I beat him with stuff I’ve been doing for five years."
“It’s me versus me out there,” Usman continued. “So, there’s a potential of that fight happening again if he works himself there, but I want to do it again because I want to put an exclamation on it. I want to finish him. I want to impress myself."
Part of the reason why Usman wants the rematch with Masvidal is due to the fact he wasn’t 100% entering the fight. In his training camp, the welterweight champion revealed that Justin Gaethje broke his nose, so that left Usman being concerned about it.
“Two weeks before, shattered. A lot of people haven’t dealt with a broken nose. When anything comes close to your face, you’re trying to defend and not get that nose hit,” Usman said. “There are a couple of guys here who hit pretty hard. We can blame that one on Carrington Banks and Justin Gaethje.”
Kamaru Usman will defend his welterweight title against Gilbert Burns in the main event of UFC 258. Jorge Masvidal, meanwhile, does not have his next fight booked but he has been touted next to fight with Colby Covington.
Rafael Fiziev focused on winning UFC bonuses
Rafael Fiziev is a serial bonus collected in the UFC and 2020 was his most successful year in the promotion to date.
In 2020, Fiziev fought twice and on both occasions, he walked out with an extra $50,000 to his name. His win over Marc Diakiese in July got both men a Fight of the Night award, while Fiziev’s most recent fight saw him score a first-round TKO over Brazilian Renato Moicano at UFC 256. The Moicano finish netted Fiziev a Performance of the Night bonus on a card that included some extremely difficult competition for post-fight awards, including Charles Oliveira, Tony Ferguson, Cub Swanson, Mackenzie Dern and Ciryl Gane.
“My focus in UFC is to take bonuses, hunt for bonuses,” Fiziev said (h/t MMAFighting). “This, for me, is what I want in the UFC. I don’t think about belt, I don’t think about talk, I think just about bonuses when I fight. I find bonuses. If I fight, I find bonuses for sure."
“When I see this card had big legends on the card and strong guys like Ferguson, like Oliveira, I think this is not easy to take a bonus on this card because there’s so many strong guys, so many people who like bonuses. But I find it and when I do this knockout and finish, I think 100 percent I take bonus because this is a good combo and this is like a real knockout to beat this guy.”
The lack of crowds due to COVID-19 pandemic precautions left Fiziev disappointed when fighting. Fiziev, who fights out of Kyrgyzstan, had the opportunity to compete in Abu Dhabi and Las Vegas for the first time in his career this year, but did this with no fans at the venues.
Fiziev was very honest when asked about the very mixed experience of making his Las Vegas debut under less than ideal circumstances.
“When no have fans in fight, this is really dogsh*t. Because when I walk to cage, when I see fans, when I see people happy, people wanting blood, this gives me more energy. Like, ‘Wow, this is what I want.’ But without fans, you go to fight and you not hear anything, you just hear hear your music. This [doesn’t feel the same as before], but this is what it is.”
As for who he wants to fight next, Fiziev wants to earn his spot in the UFC rankings before naming names, but he’s hoping that his exciting striking style doesn't scare opponents to take fights against him.
“Don’t worry guys, I’m a good man. I just like to punch face. It’s okay.”
Cody Garbrandt reveals he “lost the passion for fighting” after he became champion
Cody Garbrandt has revealed that he lost his love for fighting right after his title winning victory over Dominick Cruz.
In the co-main event, Garbrandt, a then 10-0 fighter shocked a lot of MMA fans and pundits as he finessed Cruz a decision to become the UFC bantamweight champion. However, after that fight, Garbrandt went on to lose three straight fights all by knockout and he says that was because he lost his passion for the sport.
“I was at that point in my career where like am I going to keep going half-heartedly in this because I kind of lost the passion for fighting,” Garbrandt expressed on Food Truck Diaries (h/t BjPenn.com). “I felt like I was going through the motions. Honestly, after I won the world championship (I lost the passion).”
Why Garbrandt thinks he lost the passion was due to the fact he didn’t have another goal besides being the champion. Once he achieved it, he didn’t have anything else to strive for.
“I think I was so fixated on being a world champion and I got there. A lot of people were asking oh how is it? I was like, damn, it wasn’t what I thought it was going to be.”
After being knocked out by his main rival T.J. Dillashaw twice, to lose his bantamweight title as well as be knocked out by Pedro Munhoz, the former champion had to rediscover his passion for the sport. Cody Garbrandt ultimately did that after some time off and returned this past June with a highlight reel knockout win over Raphael Assuncao.
Since his victory over Assuncao, Garbrandt says he is driven once again and is looking to drop down to the flyweight division to fight for the title. But, with Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno set to rematch, Garbrandt says he wants to face UFC veteran Jose Aldo in April.
Eddie Alvarez believes Conor McGregor needs to become “hungry and motivated” like he was in 2015 and 2016
Eddie Alvarez believes his former opponent Conor McGregor needs to become hungry like he was before he became a UFC champion.
Before McGregor fought Khabib Nurmagomedov, he beat Alvarez to become a double champion when he fought one of the best boxers ever, Floyd Mayweather. His only source of income at this time was fighting which made him hungry and motivated.
Yet, at UFC 257, McGregor suffered a TKO loss to Dustin Poirier and many wondered how motivated he was. Alvarez believes Poirier just had a good gameplan to defeat the Irishman.
“(Dustin) put a sprint on (Conor),” Alvarez said to Morning Kombat (h/t Middle Easy) about Conor McGregor’s UFC 257 loss. “Mike Brown had a good game plan of chopping that lead leg down, they chopped that down really well. Then Dustin put that sprint on him that Dustin does so well."
“It caused panic, caused Conor to make mistakes. Conor wasn’t able to stay outside and be creative, and Dustin put him away,” Alvarez continued about. “He has the power to do that. If anybody deserves the accolades and that kind of victory, and a big crowd, it’s Dustin Poirier. He’s fought the best of the best in that division, one after another, and he deserves that victory.”
Although the loss is definitely disappointing for Conor McGregor, he is still one of the best competitors in the UFC. For him to become one of the champions again, Eddie Alvarez believes McGregor needs to return to his 2015 self. But, with over $100 million in the bank, it is uncertain if he can or even will.
“I think it’s difficult to fight with $100 million. It’s very simple to fight when you ain’t got a pot to piss in or a window to throw it off,” Alvarez explained of Conor McGregor. “You almost have to fight. It needs to become part of your character in order to be successful. You need to become a fighter."
“(Conor’s) done that, and he’s showed that he can do that and beat the best guys in the world when he’s hungry and motivated,” Alvarez continued about Conor McGregor. “He’s got to sit down, reevaluate some things, and find that guy again that he was. I think he’s inside of him, but it’s a matter of bringing him out, evoking that ego, evoking that guy again. It’s going to be his own choice and his own desire.”
Anthony Rocco Martin becomes latest fighter to exit UFC roster
Anthony Rocco Martin has become the latest fighter be released from the UFC roster as he announced on Friday he has parted ways with the organization.
Rocco Martin has been in the UFC since 2014, racking up a very decent record in the world’s leading MMA promotion. He told MMAjunkie.com’s Nolan King that he and the UFC decided to mutually part ways after wrapping up the final fight of his contract with a loss to top contender Neil Magny at UFC 250. That fight happened in June, but the UFC recently revealed it was looking to get rid of around 60 fighters from the roster. The most notable of these releases being middleweight veteran Yoel Romero. It sounds like Rocco Martin didn’t make the cut, but the veteran said he’s looking forward to free agency.
“I am excited for what the future holds. I’m ranked 22 on Tapology. I feel like I am entering my prime and can’t wait for a new home. I want to find a place that I can compete to be a world champion and push to be the best in the world,” Martin said (h/t BjPenn.com).
Jorge Masvidal needs a “very big, very entertaining” fight, says coach
American Top Team coach Mike Brown believes top UFC welterweight contender Jorge Masvidal has earned a huge fight.
While Masvidal doesn’t currently have a fight announced, Brown believes he’s earned a huge marquee fight against a big name.
“He’s finally in a place where he can make big money, and it should be something very big,” Brown told MMA Junkie about Masvidal (h/t BjPenn.com). “It should be a title fight. It should be one of the biggest names in the sport. They should sell pay-per-views. It’s not a co-main event on a Fight Night," Brown told MMA Junkie (h/t BjPenn.com) "This should be a pay-per-view headliner against another equally big draw, and I think Jorge is probably the second-biggest draw in the sport probably to Conor (McGregor), honestly. And hopefully he is rewarded for what he’s done and what he’s created and is compensated appropriately."
“Jorge is in a place he has carved his own path and put himself in position more deserved than anybody,” Brown added. “This guy’s like a 50-fight veteran, fought everybody in the world for so long and done it all, I think it will be a very big fight. In his mind, I think he’s right. He wants somebody that will be very big, very entertaining, and where he gets the most money out of it.”
“You train like you always do, except now you know exactly what you need to do to train for, you know?” Brown said. “You know what the guy does, so it’s a little easier to fine-tune the training. You know exactly what his strengths and weakness is. You’re not guessing. I guess it’s very black and white. You know exactly what you need to do, and I think it will be a little easier to train for, to be honest.”
Michael Chiesa takes aim at Mario Yamasaki following news of his return to MMA refereeing
Michael Chiesa took aim at Mario Yamasaki after the controversial referee announced his plans to return to mixed martial arts.
Yamasaki has not worked as a referee since February of 2018, when he was on duty for a Fight Night in Belem, Brazil. Mario was the subject of much controversy that night after he allowed Priscila Cachoeira to absorb a ton of unnecessary punishment in her bout with future UFC flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko.
Fast rising UFC welterweight contender Michael Chiesa has experienced the wrath of Mario Yamasaki in the past when an early stoppage resulted in a submission loss to Kevin Lee. Straight away, following the controversial fight-ending ‘Maverick’ blasted Yamasaki suggesting he should be “f*cking fired”. (h/t BjPenn.com)
Despite his controversial past Mario Yamasaki recently announced that he plans on returning to MMA as a referee.
“I’m waiting for the pandemic to be over so I start applying to the athletic commissions again,” Yamasaki told MMA Fighting, adding that he plans to enroll in an online judging course promoted by the California State Athletic Commission so he’s able to catch up on everything that’s changed during his hiatus.
“I’ll go back to refereeing as soon as possible,” he added. “Maybe not in the UFC, but Bellator, PFL, Shooto, other promotions, so I can be in the sport. It will be up to the athletic commissions to accept me back and license me and start giving me fights to referee.”
That news clearly did not sit well with Chiesa.
Gilbert Burns: Colby Covington, 'real deal' Khamzat Chimaev on deck with UFC 258 title win
Gilbert Burns is confident he’ll be an active UFC welterweight champion and vows to run through each and every contender coming up through the rankings.
“I’m just different for these guys,” Burns told MMA Junkie. “I think I’m a big threat and a big danger everywhere. If I touch you with any of my hands, you can feel it. If you try to wrestle me, I can wrestle you. If you try to grapple with me, it will be even more dangerous. I think I’m a big threat, not only for Kamaru but anyone in that division. I’m about to prove that. Then after that I believe I’m going to fight all these guys very soon."
“After Kamaru there’s Colby (Covington). After Colby there’s (Jorge) Masvidal, Leon Edwards, Khamzat Chimaev, (Stephen) ‘Wonderboy’ (Thompson), Michael Chiesa. Every single one I want to fight, and I will fight all these guys, and they will see soon how dangerous I am.”
Burns is an MMA purist and keeps his eyes peeled on all corners of the sport. He said when scouting the landscape of the 170 pound division, there are two matchups he likely sees narrowing down who will be the number 1 contenders after UFC 258.
“Times are crazy right now, (and) you cannot predict anything,” Burns said. “They might book Jorge Masvidal and Colby, and one guy pulls out, ‘Wonderboy’ gets the fight, and he’s right there, or the opposite. I think any one of those top five guys, top six they’re right there. They must stay ready and hope for the opportunity. With COVID, anyone can pull out, and anyone can get hurt, and you’re right there. If I was one of these guys out there in the top seven all the way to No. 1, I would just be ready because opportunity might come soon.”
“I want to be a very active champion, and I want to be an example for hard work and a guy that will fight anyone,” promised Burns. “I think those are the next in line – Khamzat or Colby – if the fight goes (forward) and nothing gets canceled and nothing gets crazy. I think those are the guys next in line.”
Jim Rome goes in on Tito Ortiz as city council moves to remove powers from his position
After stunning the US political scene (albeit on a smaller level), former UFC light heavyweight king Tito Ortiz was recently hit with a unanimous decision loss to strip him of power.
Jim Rome is very familiar with Tito Ortiz shenanigans, and now he’s joining in on the dogpile but also adding some context as to how severe matters have gotten for Ortiz in such a short period of time.(FullContactMTWF, a.k.a. Borrachinha Depot on Twitter)
“The town that you grew up in, that you were raised in, that you fought out of, that you repped on a national stage, that you repped when you went into the hall of fame, that overwhelmingly voted for you, that town has already had enough of your act less than two months into your act. The Huntington Beach Bad Boy is about to be the Huntington Beach Sad Boy. I mean, let us go back to that very gracious speech, that very gracious victory speech back on election night." (h/t BloodyElbow)
“That’s how Huntington Beach steps up! Did I expect no less, why? Because Huntington Beach loves me, baby. Because winning. Winning“
Rome then said.
“Lemme quote: ‘Huntington Beach loves me’. No, no they don’t. I mean, I dunno what’s worse, having your Mayor Pro Tem status potentially ripped by a vote of your peers on Monday, 52 days into your job, or the fact that it’s happening in your hometown. Like, you embarrass your city to the point where they’re trying to figure out a way to take as much power as they possibly can from you only 52 days into the gig. This is not easy to do Tito. And 1,400 days is a long time to sit in a room with a bunch of people who voted you into submission, and an even longer time to sit in a room knowing that your chances of moving up died in week 7 in your 2008-week term. Well played, my man. Well played. I’d say that it certainly can’t get any worse, but I know it can — and I expect will."
"I mean, didn’t even make it to the two-month number. Like, who had the over/under on that? Who had the over/under on that Pro Tem status getting ripped. Who had the under on two months? You win! That would have been a great prop bet. The over/under at 60 days and he hit 62."
(Full segment available on YouTube)
Where does Tito go from here? He may just grit it out and tough it out for a while in a show of defiance and fight or perhaps he may decide to go home and continue to vie for a shot at being Fedor Emelianenko’s final opponent now that he’s recovered from COVID. We will find out what follows this series of event fairly soon.