Dana White reveals the future of the lightweight championship as it pertains to Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier ahead of UFC 257, Daniel Cormier has advice for Michael Chandler ahead of his clash with Dan Hooker, and much more — Fightful Fix has you covered with all the news from around the world of combat sports.
Dana White reveals UFC lightweight championship not on the line at UFC 257
Dana White has revealed that Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 will not be for the lightweight championship. White is still hopeful of convincing Khabib Nurmagomedov of fighting one more time but has revealed that although the belt isn't on the line, the winner of the fight will get the next shot at the lightweight championship against Nurmagomedov or the vacant title should White be unsuccessful in talking "The Eagle" out of retirement.
"If Khabib does retire, then whoever the highest-ranked guy is at the time will end up facing Conor if Conor beats Poirier and would end up fighting for the title, I'm sure," revealed White (h/t Give Me Sport). "As a promoter, you always want the best guys in the world. But when a guy wants to retire, he probably should."
Daniel Cormier believes Michael Chandler and Dan Hooker needs to call out Conor McGregor
Daniel Cormier believes that UFC 257 can "elevate" Dan Hooker or Michael Chandler should they be victorious at UFC 257. The pair will co-main event the Fight Island card headlined by "The Notorious" and with all eyes on his return, Cormier has some advice for rising star Hooker and UFC debutant Chandler.
"For Chandler to be in the co-main event, it puts him in a perfect spot. And Dan Hooker, too. If I’m Dan Hooker and I win, I’m immediately saying something about McGregor. Whoever wins at 155 pounds on that fight card, you say something about McGregor because guess what? McGregor doesn’t have the ability to not respond," admitted Cormier (h/t MMA Fighting). "He will say something back. Because he gets going and he’ll just kind of say something and elevate you. There’s a level of stardom that comes with fighting on and with this dude that I’ve never seen. So I’m calling him out if I’m Michael Chandler and I’m glad to be in that spot.”
Dana White opens up on his current relationship with Conor McGregor
Dan White has revealed that his and Conor McGregor's relationship had soured after "The Notorious" shared private messages the pair exchanged on Twitter. McGregor revealed he was angling for a fight with TUF season 1 winner Diego Sanchez to White's dismay. The UFC president revealed though that what annoyed him most was that the message was concerning "another fighter".
To Diego Sanchez...— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) September 25, 2020
I seen your recent comments about your final bout and I am in!
After you fought Pereira, I had requested for myself and you to compete in Dublin. This was back in February when I was working on opposition for my season, pre covid.
Good luck this weekend! pic.twitter.com/Y0hf6Zr7XF
“We were in a really bad place then. I was really upset. It wasn’t because he put out private messages. It was (because) we were talking about another fighter," stated White (h/t MMA Fighting). "I like Diego Sanchez a lot and I have a lot of respect for Diego Sanchez. I care about Diego Sanchez. I was very upset about that. I talked to Diego face-to-face about it. Being the great human being that he is, we’re all good. Then I was really, really upset with Conor.”
Diego Sanchez has been looking for a retirement fight to curtail his legendary 20-year career that started on TUF 1 and has revealed on Twitter his career is now in the hands of White and not the UFC matchmakers.
It’s my last fight my heart path has changed, it’s time to heal not hurt! One more Nightmare to give! It is honestly in @danawhite hands who I fight, I have no choice in it nor do the match makers #endofanera— Diego Sanchez UFC (@DiegoSanchezUFC) January 10, 2021
Georges St-Pierre reveals his greatest fighter of all time
Georges St-Pierre has revealed ahead of his UFC Hall of Fame induction who he considers the greatest fighter of all time. "GSP" is never far away when the MMA community discusses this hotly contested topic. But he has revealed to UFC.com in an interview who he considers the "GOAT".
“What does being the best of all-time mean?” he asks. “If it's to compare every athlete who competed at their time and who was the most dominant at their time, who had the most achievements, for me, it's Royce Gracie. If you talk about who's the strongest guy, if you would put everybody in the cage, who would come out alive, I think it would maybe be Fedor Emelianenko in his prime," said St-Pierre. "If you talk about the more flamboyant guy, the one who did some crazy stuff that you only see in movies and stuff like that, I would say maybe a guy like Anderson Silva or Vitor Belfort. If you say the more well-rounded guy, I would say maybe Demetrious Johnson. If you ask about who's the guy who faced the most adversity, maybe Jon Jones. But whoever you name, it's a subjective thing, it's an opinion.”
Amanda Ribas believes Paige VanZant will do "really good" at BKFC
Amanda Ribas may have fought Paige VanZant last before she departed for Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship, but she believes that VanZant will thrive in the promotion. The pair fought in July and now regularly train together at American Top Team and there seems to be no bad blood between the pair, with Ribas gearing up for her fight with Marina Rodriguez at UFC 257.
“It’s really different because my last camp was to fight against her, and now she’s helping me in this camp, and I’m helping her for her [BKFC] boxing. It’s cool. It’s amazing and we can show everybody that it’s professional. I’m not mad at her, she’s not mad at me," revealed Ribas (h/t BJPenn.com). "It’s professional. If she can help me, yes she will. If I can help her, I will help her. We are martial artists. We’re artists, not just crazy people throwing punches at each other. We are athletes. It’s amazing.”
Michael Chiesa eyeing up commentator role after fight career is over
Michael Chiesa has no intentions of retiring but after enjoying the transition to being an analyst, he has revealed his goal is to end up as a commentator. Chiesa will headline the UFC Fight Island 8 when he takes on Neil Magny on January 20. But Chiesa is looking at his fellow fighters who have made that jump as a blueprint to behind the announce desk.
“I want to be a (Daniel Cormier), a Dominick (Cruz), a Paul Felder. I love being an analyst, but the end goal is commentary. I put everything into this sport in my life. I am all in. This is all I’ve done for the last 13 years, so I’m very passionate about it," said Chiesa (h/t MMA Junkie). "And I know that the people that have hired me to do the analyst work, they see the passion is there and they know I’m eager to get to that point. But their exact words were, ‘You’ve got to learn how to walk before you can learn how to run.’
Dana White explains why Floyd Mayweather talks never materialized into a deal
Dana White has revealed that COVID-19 caused any potential deal with Floyd Mayweather to never take off. The pair worked together in the negotiations for "Money" to fight Conor McGregor in 2017. Zuffa boxing has never quite taken off as White wanted and now he has revealed that COVID-19 is to blame.
“The world imploded after we were talking about doing some things together. I’m just focused on running my business right now,” White said (h/t BJPenn.com).
Max Holloway and Calvin Kattar go back and forward ahead of their clash
Calvin Kattar is hoping to be the first fighter to finish Max Holloway and to become a top contender in the UFC v featherweight division. The pair will headline the first show of 2021 at UFC: Fight Island 7., and Kattar is hoping for a dream start to the year.
“That’d be a nice way to write it up,” Kattar said (h/t MMA Junkie). “I’m always looking to get the finish – every time I step in there, I’m looking to go for the kill. It’ll be no different stepping across from Max in there. It’s a great test and I’m excited. I’ve been ready all year long, and it couldn’t come at a better time.”
Max Holloway isn't in the business for Kattar to make a name off him and has challenged him to strike with him when they square off on January 16.
“I believe in my heart and soul I was put on this Earth not to only fight but strike,” Holloway said (h/t BJPenn.com). “So, if he believes he is one of the best strikers in the world, come find out, we’ll see… I am not just another man in the way, I am the man, so come get it. I can’t wait.”
Gina Carano "not sure why" her posts have caused a backlash
Gina Carano has transitioned from a former MMA fighter into a thriving actress seamlessly. But #FireGinaCarano was trending in 2020 in an attempt to get her off the popular Disney+ show "The Mandalorian". Carano was criticized for allegedly elevating several dangerous conspiracy theories relating to COVID-19, the 2020 Presidential election, and the QAnon movement.
“I’m going to stay around, and if my presence bothers you, okay, but also a lot of people are not bothered by my Twitter presence or my social media presence,” Carano said (h/t Bloody Elbow). “So I focus more on those people. I don’t know, I bring the fire out in people. I bring stuff out of people and I’m not sure why."
Zabit Magomedsharipov will fight within the next 3 months according to Dana White
Zabit Magomedsharipov will return to the Octagon within the next three months says Dana White. White was speaking to ESPN and revealed that after multiple attempts to get Magomedsharipov vs. Yair Rodriguez have failed. Rodriguez is currently serving a USADA suspension for failing to notify them of his location and White admits that they may need to move on.
“Yeah, we’re looking at (Magomedsharipov) in the next three months. Get him something,” White said (h/t BJPenn.com). “I don’t know (about Rodriguez). We might move on from that one.”
Alessio Di Chirico is fighting for his UFC career against Joaquin Buckley
Alessio Di Chirico knows that another loss to Joaquin Buckley at UFC: Fight island 7 could spell the end of his UFC career. Di Chirico is on a three-fight losing streak and with the UFC looking to trim their roster after very few releases in 2020, the Italian is hoping to make a name for himself off Buckley, who burst onto the scene with an insane KO at UFC Fight Island 5.
“I think a win over Buckley could give me the hype I deserve but I don’t wanna talk about it. First I need to get the ball then I’ll go for a touchdown," says Di Chirico (h/t BJPenn.com). "If I lose my focus it will become another incomplete pass and in my recent UFC career I have had too many incomplete passes. I’d like to fight as soon as possible, I feel good, I want to fight the best guys in the UFC.”
Marcelo Rojo looking to be signed from free agency by UFC
Marcelo Rojo is dreaming of a UFC contract now he is a free agent. Rojo is 16-6 as a professional and has a wealth of experience. Rojo has fought in Combate Americas, ACB, and was also on Season 3 of “The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America. Now he has left Combate and believes he can compete with the best bantamweights the UFC can offer.
“The sport is very big now and it’s beautiful and all, but for me it’s still a fight,” Rojo said. “I’ve fought all my life and I feel very comfortable in that chaos. I hit very hard for the weight class, so I have no problem fighting anybody," said Roko (h/t MMA Junkie). "I’m sure I can get in some tough battles, but that’s what every fighter wants, so your level can go up. But in the top 10, top 15 of the UFC, I feel very comfortable.”
Professional boxer John Jackson gets trial date in child sexual assault case
John Jackson has a court date set involving the alleged sexual assault of a child case. Jackson, who amassed a record 55-6 as a professional, has been held at Metropolitan Detention Center in Guaynabo Puerto Rico since February 23, 2019, according to Virgin Island Daily News. Among the charges levied at Jackson include first-degree rape, five counts of aggravated second-degree rape, two counts of production of child pornography, and three counts of transportation of a minor with intent to engage in sexual activity. If found guilty, Jackson faces a maximum of at least 15 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.