Chuck Liddell is punching fools, Michelle Waterson opens up about violence and hate speech against Asian people, and more — this is your Fightful Fix roundup.
Chuck Liddell hit DJ with "the kitchen sink"
Chuck Liddell is getting tired of being asked to punch people.
The former UFC light heavyweight champion talked about one incident that left a DJ writhing on the floor in pain.
“We’re out there for the Kentucky Derby and I was out one night at the club. This DJ comes up to me and goes, ‘I’ve been training, I think I can take a body shot from you.’ I’m like no you’re not, I’ve been drinking and I don’t want to hit you," Liddell told MMA Fighting. "We talked for a minute and he’s like, ‘Can I at least announce you’re at the club, get up on stage with me?’ And I said sure. So he gets on stage and announces to the club that ‘I can take a body shot from Chuck Liddell, and Chuck Liddell is here and I’m going to take a body shot from him."
“Is he really going to do this?" Liddell asked himself. "I mean if we were at a party, I used to hit people every now and again if they bugged me long enough to hit them. I’d tap them, not real hard but just enough to hurt them a little bit. Like a body shot just enough so they know they got hit. Not enough to drop them but I’m giving them a liver shot. But now he’s putting me on blast in front of everybody saying I can’t knock him down with a body shot. Now I’ve got to hit him with the kitchen sink. I’m going to hit him with everything. So I hit him with the hardest shot I could and he goes down to his knees and he’s (moaning) for quite a while.”
Michelle Waterson says violence against Asians "breaks my heart"
Michelle Waterson is opening up about the spike in violence and hate speech against Asian people.
Waterson, who headlines UFC Vegas 26 on Saturday, shared her perspective on the #StopAsianHate movement
“It breaks my heart, I think more so because I am bi-racial,” Waterson told MMA Fighting. “More so than it being just Asian hate crimes exist, I think society, in general, has gotten away from the humanity of their neighbors. I think that we need to have a reality check and take a look at our neighbors, at the people that are in our lives or not even in our lives, that are bystanders, that are bypassers, and remember that they are human.
“I think a lot of the times, especially within this year, everyone being covered up, being sheltered, being kind of separated, it put everyone on the defense. It put everyone in this mode of fear. It put everyone in this mode of hate and we lost connection with each other. I think that’s the most important thing that we have to get back to. Pull away the masks, take a look into my eyes, see that I’m a human, see that all of us that we’re more alike than we are different.”
Waterson touched on how the issue intersects with her life philosophies
“The model that my dad used to always teach me growing up is ‘treat other people the way you want to be treated,’” Waterson continued. “I’ve lived by that my entire life. And with that being said, I also feel like martial arts gave me confidence. Martial arts gave me a voice. Martial arts allowed me to stand up for myself when at times I felt like I wasn’t strong enough to do so. So I’ve always been a huge advocate of everybody getting out there and doing some type of martial arts."
“Can you imagine if everyone knew martial arts, the amount of bullying and hate that would get knocked down, because you know as a martial artist that there’s always somebody out there bigger and badder than you and it really does humble you.”
Waterson admitted the spike in anti-Asian sentiments worries her.
“It is scary,” Waterson said. “My mom, she lives on her own, but I’ve got a pretty hardcore Asian mom. I feel sorry for the person that tries to mess with her, she would go after ‘em. But I think situational awareness is super vital and it’s really sad to say that in our own communities that we have to have situational awareness. But I tell people all this time, I’d rather be a warrior in the garden than a gardener at war. I’d rather be prepared and ready for the worst than if something were to really happen and I wasn’t prepared, I wasn’t ready for this situation."
“With my daughter, she doesn’t see color. She’s all love and she will be your friend because of your character and I think that’s how we should all proceed in life.”
Kamaru Usman on Colby Covington, Leon Edwards as potential title challengers
Kamaru Usman is refusing to reject any potential title challengers, but some make more sense to him than others.
“I’m not gonna say I don’t want the fight,” Usman told ESPN. “I want all the smoke, it doesn’t matter who it is. I want all the smoke. At the end of the day, it’s what have you done to earn this? Your claim to fame can’t be, ‘Oh, I went five rounds and then the guy broke my jaw and finished me.’ That can’t be your claim to fame. Masvidal went five rounds with me too. Tyron Woodley went five rounds with me. You can’t sit around and fight three fights in three years and expect to get a title shot when I just fought three times in nine months. The champion can’t be the most active guy in the division."
“I’ve been through the whole division and now I’m coming back around. So everyone sitting around and going ‘I’m next, I’m next, I’m next!’ I don’t really believe in that. Show me something. Show me some activity. Leon Edwards, granted he was kind of stuck in that funky spot where he didn’t fight for two years and that set him back but look at the guy. Since he fought me he’s put together an impressive resume. Putting together an eight-fight win streak or something like that. You’ve got Michael Chiesa putting together a four-fight win streak, you’ve got Vicente Luque coming back and putting on a four-fight win streak and finishing these guys, so why does he deserve this shot? Just because he went five rounds and then I broke his jaw and finished the fight? That doesn’t make sense to me.”
For the time being, Usman wants to see how UFC 263 plays out.
“Yes I do want to see how those play out because there’s a lot of implications,” Usman said. “If Leon looks spectacular, it makes sense. If Nate looks spectacular, that could make sense as well. With the whole Marvin and Israel situation, I don’t necessarily want to think about that. I’m 100 percent behind Izzy and I think he can pull it out. I love Marvin as well but I think Izzy can pull that one out. He’s done it before and I think he can and I think he will. But if there was a case to where I would actually go up and challenge for that belt it would be without Izzy being in the picture. So if Izzy’s not champ, then it’s something I could take a look at.”
Logan Paul says Floyd Mayweather fight is "so f--king persona" after Jake Paul brawl
Logan Paul has some added motivation for his exhibition boxing match with Floyd Mayweather.
All hell broke loose at a media event on Thursday. Jake Paul stole Mayweather's hat, leading to a physical altercation and pull-apart brawl.
“It’s always a fucking spectacle with that kid,” Logan said of his little brother at a media scrum, per MMA Junkie. “Yeah, he told me he was gonna do it. I told him not to.”
"This sh*t is so personal. This shit is so fucking personal,” Logan said. “I thought this sh*t was gonna be kind of cute, go and put on a good show. It’s gonna be a fucking fight, bro. It’s gonna be a war... Floyd did look pretty emotional. He was angry. He can act cool all he wants on stage, but I think my brother’s kind of doing my job for me.”
Chael Sonnen resigns with ESPN
Chael Sonnen is continuing his working relationship with ESPN.
“To quote the late, great, Glenn Frey ‘So much has happened; but nothing has changed.’ After so many wonderful experiences, I’m glad to say I am STILL with the Worldwide Leader in Sports, ESPN. Just re-signed. Here’s to the future with ESPN,” Sonnen said in a press release published by ESPN.
“We are thrilled that Chael will be with us for years to come,” said Glenn Jacobs, ESPN Vice President of Production. “Even as an analyst, he still has the biggest arm and the greatest charm. Without doubt, Chael remains undefeated and undisputed and helps make ESPN the place to be for UFC fans.”
Marina Rodriguez earned new contract for short notice fight
Marina Rodriguez managed to turn her short-notice main event into a new contract.
Rodriguez will fight Michelle Waterson in the main event of UFC Vegas 26 on Saturday, May 8. Rodriguez revealed why the two strawweights will compete at flyweight and how Rdoriguez earned herself a raise.
“We were negotiating that fight for July in our division,” Rodriguez told Sherdog. “When they [the UFC] called 11 days before the event, we explained that the process to reach the weight on time would certainly compromise my performance, so we proposed to make at flyweight and they accepted."
“It ended up being great for both sides. Once the UFC recognized my effort in helping them save the event, they renewed my contract with better terms," she continued. “Let´s say it will be a strawweight fight in the flyweight division. I worked hard to reach sixth in [the UFC] strawweight rankings. Now that I’m so close to the title shot it doesn’t make any sense to go up and start from the beginning again.”
Diego Ferreira wants a top 10 opponent
Diego Ferreira looks to bounce back from a loss to Beneil Dariush and earn himself a top 10 opponent.
Ferreira will fight Gregor Gillespie on the main card of UFC Vegas 26. Ferreira hope to convert a win over Gillespie into a meaningful top 10 fight.
“I had about a month’s notice for the fight. It was an immediate yes, I always looked up to Gregor because he is a good wrestler and can strike,” Ferreira told Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com. “I thought we would fight one another and it being short notice makes it more exciting. Why not get back in there?”
“To get to my legs he has to go through my hands. I’m getting them really sharp and my jiu-jitsu is sharp. I’m ready to fight and Gregor is a great fighter. It will be a good fight between me and him. His last loss by KO, I’m getting excited because we are both coming from losses and are looking to get back in the win column and have an impressive fight," he explained. “I really like working jiu-jitsu from my back. I attack a lot of submissions. But, I think he will try and stand a little more. I’m going balls to the wall, I want to fight... I’m doing whatever it takes to win, if that’s work off my back if that’s stuff the takedown, or knock him out, I will. I don’t see one way to win, I want to win impressively though. I want to finish the fight. This fight is a lot of pressure on my shoulders. This is the time I need to be hungrier than ever.”
If all goes as expected against Gillespie, Ferreira has his eyes firmly set on the lightweight top 10.
“That is my plan right now. The pressure always makes me better and I have the pressure now. I want to stay as busy as I can and I want to get to the top. Dan Hooker, Paul Felder, those fights make sense," Ferreira concluded. "I want a quick turnaround against a top-10 opponent."
UFC Vegas 26 weigh-in results
The UFC Vegas 26 weigh-in took place on Friday.
Watch the weigh-in highlights below.
You can watch the UFC Vegas 26 weigh-in face-offs below.
Take a look below at the UFC Vegas 26 weigh-in below, courtesy of MMA Fighting.
Main card (ESPN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT)
Marina Rodriguez (125.5) vs. Michelle Waterson (125)
Donald Cerrone (170) vs. Alex Morono (170.5)
Neil Magny (170.5) vs. Geoff Neal (171)
Maurice Greene (237) vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima (264.5)
Diego Ferreira (160.5)* vs. Gregor Gillespie (156)
Angela Hill (116) vs. Amanda Ribas (115.5)
Prelims (ESPN+ at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT)
Ben Rothwell (264.5) vs. Philipe Lins** — cancelled
Kyle Daukaus (186) vs. Phil Hawes (186)
Ludovit Klein (146) vs. Michael Trizano (146)
Ryan Benoit (129)*** vs. Zarrukh Adashev (125.5) — cancelled
Jun Yong Park (186) vs. Tafon Nchukwi (186)
Christian Aguilera (170.5) vs. Carlston Harris (170.5)
*Ferreira missed the lightweight limit by 4.5 pounds. Per the UFC, his bout with Gregor Gillespie will proceed at a catchweight with Ferreira forfeiting 30 percent of his purse to Gillespie.
**Lins did not weigh in. Per the UFC, was not medically cleared to compete and his bout with Ben Rothwell has been cancelled
***Benoit struggled to stand on the scale and missed the flyweight limit by three pounds. His bout with Zarrukh Adashev has been cancelled
Ryan Benoit nearly collapses at UFC Vegas 26 weigh-in
It was an uncomfortable scene for UFC fighter Ryan Benoit at the aforementioned UFC Vegas 26 weigh-in.
Benoit was helped to the scale by a teammate and visibly wobbly on the scale. The Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) sent him to be checked on by doctors and he still sent out again to make weight. It was clear that he was unwell and the fight vs. Zarrukh Adashev was called off.
Merab Dvalishvili eyeing fight with Marlon Moraes
Merab Dvalishvilli is ready to explode up the bantamweight ladder.
Coming off a win vs. Cody Stamann at UFC Vegas 25, Dvalishvili mentioned the UFC is interested in matching him up against former title challenger Marlon Moraes.
“They mentioned Marlon Moraes, and I would love to fight with him,” Dvalishvili told MMA Junkie Radio. “Big respect, he’s a great fighter, he’s a knockout artist, he submitted (Raphael) Assuncao. They mentioned his name, but who knows? Maybe he doesn’t want to fight me because he’s a big name. He’s a former WSOF champion, and he fought for the title against Henry Cejudo. He has a big name, so I don’t know.”
“I was gonna go on a 10-day vacation to my country, but I’m not going. I’m staying here, and I’m training, and I’ll be ready if anything (happens). I’m healthy, no injuries, and I want to fight. I should fight somebody who’s a big name because now six straight wins, and I should be 8-0 in the UFC," he concluded. "I may fight soon, maybe one month, two months. I just want to be ready.”
Luana Pinheiro claps back at Randa Markos
Luana Pinheiro is not taking kindly to Randa Markos suggestions that she played possum en route to a disqualification win at UFC Vegas 25.
“First of all, I’m really upset with how the fight ended. I’ve worked really hard and have waited so long for this day and didn’t imagine winning like that. I wanted to knock her out or submit her, but I’m happy because I worked really hard, followed step-by-step with excellence from my camp to weight-cutting to doing in the fight what we were doing in camp.
“My opponent said her foot only grazed my face – LOL what a joke. It was clear that I was winning the fight, and she got desperate and threw that illegal shot. I can’t say if it was intentional or not, but it was something done in a moment of despair because she was in a horrible situation. The only thing she can do now, after being completely dominated and making the poor decision of throwing an illegal blow, is to talk crap and try to diminish her mistake and put the ‘blame’ on me.
“For the haters: I was always well-taught about the truth in this sport, and dealing with derogatory is part of the journey. People have no idea what we go through to get there, how hard we work to give our best and how much I wanted a beautiful victory. But I see the bright side of having to deal with that right in the start of my career in the UFC, because these type of comments are inevitable. Unfortunately, no matter how hard you work in there and give your best, there will always be people with weak minds and hearts trying to talk you down. And that doesn’t affect me in a negative way, only makes me stronger.
“For those criticizing, go get upkicked in the temple and the chin when you’re not expecting and see how that feels. That’s illegal for a reason. The referee could have given her the victory, or ruled it a no-contest. It was his choice. I didn’t know I had won the fight at that moment. AND AT NO POINT I SAID I COULDN’T CONTINUE FIGHTING! I was using the time, which is my right, to recover at my best in case the fight restarted. The doctor told the referee that I wasn’t capable of continuing. It wasn’t my decision.
“My focus now is on my evolution. I’ll continue treating some small injuries, and I’m already planning what I’m going to focus on to evolve my martial art and get back to training as soon as I’m ready. In the meantime, my manager will work with the UFC to set my next step in the organization.
“Also, I would like to thank my team Nova Uniao for the work done in this camp. Thank you to my training partners and coaches: Dede Pederneiras, Matheus Nicolau, Pedro Falcao, Kaua Fernandes, sensei Daniel Pirata and sensei Gigio Diniz. And thank you to my conditioning coach Itallo Villardo, my doctor Dr. Felipe Pereira, my physical therapist Felipe Maia, and my coach Lilian Villaca.”
Claudio Silva's charity work
Claudio Silva has found new motivation outside of the cage.
Outside of the fight game, Silva is grinding hard to help feed hungry children in his native Brazil.
“I was training here in Rio de Janeiro because I couldn’t go back to London because of COVID. Every day I was walking to the gym, I noticed kids, men and women, elderly people, all trying to find food in the trash bins. It made me feel so sad. How come I can eat every day, and these people, they have to struggle to find food? When I saw it, I felt like a coward," Silva told MMA Junkie. “I have a big platform that is the UFC. I have followers on social media. I know people all around the world. I was like, ‘I have to do something. I must do something.’ I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror if I didn’t do something.”
Silva is looking to be on the ground every step of the way.
“I’m not going to collect the donations and give to someone that I don’t know,” he explained. “I don’t know where the food goes. I prefer for myself to get the money, buy the food and go to the slums myself and give them to their hands, to the people in need, so that’s what I did. I know it’s a drop in the ocean, but it showed me how blessed I am, how many friends I have.”
“I went to the slums, and I saw little kids that don’t have water, don’t have toilets,” Silva added. “The only water they have is like water from the rain. They don’t have anything. It was a big shock to me. I grew up in a slum. I grew up in a bad place, but I always had food. But when you see people that don’t have a toilet, they don’t have water, they don’t have food, that’s so bad.”
Silva is not looking to be one-and-done with his latest project.
“This is something that I really want to work on all the time now,” Silva said. “I think besides fighting, I have a good gift, that is being in the UFC, being a UFC fighter, and being on a big platform. I know I can change lives. I know I can bring food to families in need. I’m fighting against hunger... To do good things, it’s never a waste of time.”
Drakkar Klose shuns Stephen Thompson
Drakkar Klose is not happy with how Jeremy Stephens conduct or the aftermath of their Fight Night staredown.
Stephens pushed Klose at their weigh-in, snapping Klose's head back and causing him concussion-like symptoms. Klose was subsequently forced to pull out of the fight with Stephens.
"You do that in the NFL, NBA, any other major sport, there's a consequence to it," Klose told theScore. "We're professional athletes. We're held at a higher standard... That's a bitch move, that's a cheap shot that he did,"
UFC President Dana White blamed matchmaker Sean Shelby for not preventing the physical encounter, but Klose disagrees.
"It wasn't Sean's fault. I put the blame on Jeremy. Be professional," Klose argued. "I believe 100% I would've been cut. Things play out differently for different people. There are things Conor (McGregor) can do that other people can't. I think they would've made an example out of me."
"I did everything that I was supposed to do," he said. "And because of (Stephens') stupidity, I lost out on an opportunity to fight. A co-main event."
Klose also wagged his finger at the UFC and Nevada State Athletic Commission.
"What are they there for?" Klose said. "Who's there to protect the fighters? If the UFC's not protecting us and the commission's not protecting us, who's protecting us?"
Patricky Pitbull eager to hand SBG Ireland another loss
Patricky Pitbull is eager to hand Peter Queally a loss.
“What motivates me the most is knowing that I’ll be fighting someone from SBG [Ireland], a gym that doesn’t have many good athletes,” Pitbull told MMA Fighting. “I know that my gym has many more high-level athletes than theirs, but isn’t as popular maybe because of their geographic location in Europe."
“I know that my brother, the Pitbull Brothers fighters and I have what it takes to destroy the entire SBG. Just like Patricio beat Pedro Carvalho, I’ll beat Peter Queally the same way. Easy.”
“My next fight will probably be against Brent Primus for the belt,” Pitbull said. “I don’t think he wants to risk his head knowing that this title fight between us may happen. He’s being smart. If he has enough money [to wait], that’s a good decision instead of facing a Russian newcomer that nobody knows, maybe only in Russia.”