Dana White is willing to hear Jon Jones and his new advisor out - this is your Fightful Fix Roundup.
Dana White talks all things Jon Jones
The drama between the UFC and Jon Jones has taken an interesting turn. Jones, the former UFC light heavyweight champion, is looking to fight Francis Ngannou, the current UFC heavyweight champion. Recently, Jones has been involved in a war of words with Dana White over pay.
Jones decided to shake things up by hiring former Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer as his adviser. Known to represent names like Floyd Mayweather and Canelo Alvarez, Schaefer gets things done. That is exactly what White told Yahoo Sports.
“I like Richard Schaefer and I respect the guy,” White said (h/t MMA Fighting). “I’ve known him for a long time. He’s a real guy. He’s a guy who gets deals done.”
“Listen, this is the way I look at Jon Jones — if he shows up, that’s awesome. If he doesn’t show up, he’s had a great run, he can go out on top and it’s not a bad thing either.”
Jones hasn't fought since the beginning of 2020. He doesn't mind waiting for his chance. That may be something he needs to do, as White is interested in Ngannou v. Derrick Lewis II.
Rob Font wants a title opportunity
On a four-fight win streak, Rob Font is ready to show he is the top guy in the UFC's bantamweight division. Font beat former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt at UFC Vegas 27. When thinking what is next for Font, one has to look at the stacked division.
Champion Aljamian Sterling just recently got surgery for a nagging injury, while former champion T.J. Dillashaw and Cory Sandhagen are set to fight. Font wouldn't mind facing Petr Yan, who lost the title to Sterling following an illegal knee to the face at UFC 259.
“Best case scenario? They give me Petr Yan right now and we get it going,” Font told MMA Fighting. “Maybe do it for an interim belt, but I doubt that happens. We’ll see what’s up, but give me Petr Yan. He’s the only one available, the fans want to see exciting fights and I know that’s an exciting fight and then I’ll take care of the belt for him. Just sit back, don’t worry about the belt, I’ll take it for him.
“Or, the loser, winner, whoever, of the Cory Sandhagen-T.J. Dillashaw fight. I definitely don’t want to wait that long, though. But you never know what happens if someone gets hurt, injured, that’s another waiting list I could potentially be on. Realistically, I know I don’t want to fight backwards. I’ll be patient. I’ve sat a year and I know what that feels like. There’s no need to fight anyone that’s behind me right now.”
Yan is expected to face Sterling in a rematch for the title. Making his MMA debut in 2011, Font joined the UFC in 2014. Going 9-3 with the promotion, Font has been a force to be reckoned with in the division.
Stipe Miocic fires back at Derrick Lewis
Former UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic wants his belt back, and he is not taking any nonsense from anyone.
Speaking with The Schmo, potential title contender Derrick Lewis said that Miocic' is "punch drunk" and that his best days are behind him. Miocic didn't quite know what to make of that.
“I’m punch drunk?” Miocic told Submission Radio (h/t MMA Fighting). “I have no idea what he’s talking about. But okay.
“His balls were probably too hot, that’s probably why he said that.”
Miocic last fought at UFC 260, losing to Francis Ngannou for the heavyweight title. This came after beating Daniel Cormier twice. UFC President Dana White is interested in going straight to Ngannou v. Lewis II, and potentially Miocic after. There is a possibility that Miocic could face Jon Jones, but that is up in the air now.
“It is what it is,” Miocic went on to say. “I mean, listen, I’m not a matchmaker, I’m not worried about what he thinks or says. I just need to get my rematch and get my belt back. My ‘punch-drunk’ ass.”
Colby Covington not a fan of TUF coaches Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega
Former UFC interim welterweight champion Colby Covington is a man who does not mind sharing his opinion. He is not interested in the upcoming Ultimate Fighter season that pits UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski against Brian Ortega.
Speaking to James Lynch, Covington stated that something is missing to really get people interested in this season of TUF.
“Yikes. I know Hunter Campbell and Dana White probably had to go behind closed doors and be smacking themselves in the head because you don’t want those two guys as your coaches as your comeback season of The Ultimate Fighter,” Covington said (h/t BJ Penn). “Those guys are going to make a complete mockery of the show. There’s just no entertainment factor there. Those guys, yeah, they’re decent fighters for the little weights, for the little midgets, but they don’t sell. There’s no controversy, there’s no drama, there’s nothing. There’s no storyline. So I feel bad for the show. I wish I could have came back to the show and give the people what they want.”
Covington last fought in September, beating former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley via TKO. There were rumors that Covington would captain a team on TUF and face Jorge Masvidal, but that never came to fruition.
Dana White has plans for Dustin Poirier v. Conor McGregor III
At UFC 264 in July, Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor will face off in a trilogy fight. With the series tied 1-1, a lot is on the line. UFC President Dana White wants to make sure everything goes off without a hitch. He is ready with a backup plan regardless.
Speaking to Bleacher Report, White stated that a backup fighter for this fight isn't out of the question. He is currently looking for someone to be ready just in case something is wrong with either fighter.
“I’m actually looking for someone right now to be the backup on that card. Nobody’s jumping out. Nobody’s kicking down my door,” White said (h/t BJ Penn).
The fighters that could help out include Justin Gaethje, Beneil Dariush, Islam Makhachev, and Michael Chandler. Chandler, who recently lost to Charles Oliveira for the vacant UFC lightweight title, has already been a backup in his short time with the UFC.
Diego Sanchez always welcomed back to the UFC
Recently, the UFC had to make the tough decision to cut Ultimate Fighter 1 winner Diego Sanchez. This was in part due to the controversy surrounding his ex-manager Joshua Fabia. Dana White would end up telling Yahoo Sports that all Sanchez has to do is call him and he will be welcomed back.
“Diego Sanchez can pick up the phone and call me – any of those ‘TUF (1)’ kids. You know what I mean?” White said (h/t MMA Junkie). “I had a falling out a few years ago with Josh Koscheck. If Josh Koscheck picked up the phone and called me, I would talk to Josh Koscheck. If any of those kids needed me, all they’ve got to do is pick up the phone and call me.”
Sanchez made his MMA debut in 2002. Joining the UFC in 2005, Sanchez has accumulated a 19-13 record with the promotion. His last fight was a loss to Jake Matthews in September, and Sanchez is 2-2 in his last four fights.
Fabia recently was in the news for berating the UFC commentary team, along with a controversial video of him training an upside down Sanchez. While White would welcome him back, he is unsure what to do with Sanchez.
“I don’t know,” White went on to say. “I honestly don’t know. Even when we were doing his farewell fight, I didn’t love the fact that he’s still fighting. No matter what I do, if I let Diego go, he’ll probably end up somewhere else. You know what I mean? That’s what I was thinking at the time. I love the kid. He wanted one more fight (and) I was going to give it to him. Then, all hell broke loose, and here we are today."
Matt Hughes reveals details of his crash
UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes had to learn how to walk and talk again following a 2017 train accident. He suffered severe injuries after a train collided with his truck at a rail crossing. Recently, Hughes spoke to Burt Watson of ‘Legend 2 Legend‘ regarding the crash. When asked how he didn't see the train coming, Hughes went into detail regarding what happened.
“The track is so bad, when you turn to the right it is at such an angle that all you can see is the passenger head rest when looking for the tracks," Hughes said (h/t BJ Penn). "So it is really bad and the track is so narrow that you really don’t look to the side. You’re just worried that some car is going to come across at you. It is a country crossing so there is no cross-arms or anything like that.”
Hughes made his MMA debut in 1998. Making his UFC debut in 1999, Hughes would return in 2000 and 2001. He won the UFC welterweight title twice, and has been involved in legendary fights.
Retiring in 2013, Hughes has been a part of TV shows and podcasts over the years. Going through extensive physical therapy, Hughes almost feels better again.
“No real physical injuries (anymore)," Hughes went on to say. "My left leg doesn’t work quite like it should but I can deal with that. Therapy is really helping me with that. But my injury was in my brain. I had the worst brain injury possible. Some people say that I was messed up before the train but my brain took the big hit. The train was only going about 39 miles an hour but I think it was carrying like 60 tons of coal so it wasn’t going to slow down with that load.”
Potential locations for future UFC events revealed
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the UFC continued to hold events. First they were in Florida, then Vegas, and have since moved around to big arenas with fans. Now, as states lesson restrictions, there are opportunities for multi-state events to take place again.
Speaking with Bleacher Report, UFC President Dana White discussed locations for future events. Fight Night events have been in the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, while bigger events have been in Texas and Florida. White recently discussed staying in those states, but what about down the line?
“We’re sort of kicking things around. I think I told you guys at the last press conference, I’m going to keep the Fight Nights here at the Apex in Las Vegas, and we’re looking at new places to open up for pay-per-view,” White said (h/t BJ Penn).
“In September, I’m looking at Boston, Dallas, Anaheim, Fort Lauderdale, Newark—places like that. I don’t know what’s going to open up or what’s going to work or fit for us, but we’ll see.”
Richard Schaefer believes in Jon Jones
Speaking on Sirius XM's MMA Today, Richard Schaefer discussed being the new advisor to Jon Jones. Schaefer has worked with several top boxers in the past from his days with Golden Boy Promotions. Jones hired him to secure top fights at heavyweight, something he hasn't been able to get when negotiating with Dana White.
Shaefer discussed what he saw when he was introduced to Jones.
“When I sat down with him, I was really impressed how articulate he was, how well he came across, just his thought process and everything,” Schaefer said (h/t MMA Junkie). “I really felt this is the kind of guy I’d like to work with.”
Jones, the former UFC light heavyweight champion, has tried several times to book a fight against current heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou. White believes that he is asking for too much money. Feeling spurned, Jones is willing to bide his time until he gets what he wants. Due to his relationship with White, Schaefer may be the one to get something done.
“Dana and me have a great relationship. We respect each other. We’ve known each other for a long time. And I think you saw that yesterday with his comments, as well,” Schaefer said. “I respect him; he respects me. I know the pay-per-view business as good as probably anyone; so does he. It’s really a matter of finding some common ground, so we will be meeting soon to see if we can structure a deal that everybody can live with.”
Georges St-Pierre talks nixed Oscar De La Hoya fight
Although he is retired from active MMA competition, Georges St-Pierre was unable to secure a boxing fight against Oscar De La Hoya. UFC President Dana White blocked that move from happening, with many critizing him. According to St-Pierre, this wouldn't have been an ordinary boxing match.
St-Pierre spoke to MMA Joe about how the fight would have gone since both were retired.
“The problem with UFC, it’s a really serious sport that you can be really badly damaged. In boxing there are ways of tweaking it. For example, I was offered to have a fight with Oscar De La Hoya, but the rules were different because we were both retired,” St-Pierre said (h/t Boxing Scene).
“It would’ve been bigger gloves, two-minute rounds, eight rounds. So the terms were different to accommodate, to make it more like a show. It’s less dangerous. Part of the profit, part of our purses would have been given to a charity. Unfortunately it did not happen, but it would have been fun."
One of the greatest MMA fighters of all time, GSP made his pro debut in 2002. Joining the UFC in 2004, St-Pierre is a two-time UFC welterweight champion. In his last fight in 2017, St-Pierre beat Michael Bisping to win the UFC middleweight title, ending his career on a thirteen-fight win streak.
Making his boxing debut in 1992, De La Hoya won world titles in six weight classes. "The Golden Boy" last fought in 2008, losing to Manny Pacquiao. Forming Golden Boy Promotions, De La Hoya recently announced he was interested in fighting again.