Dana White has explained why fans returning to sold-out arenas is a good idea and Georges St-Pierre punches a colleague on "Falcon And The Winter Soldier" — stay tuned for who was on the receiving end of a right hook by the former two-weight champion and much more MMA news in your Fightful Fix.
Dana White explains why fans are returning
Dana White has defended the decision to allow fans in a full-capacity stadium and claimed that having a jam-packed arena is "the right thing to do." White has come in for some criticism as expected, with some corners of the MMA community believing that the UFC president is jumping the gun by not adhering to social distancing in the arenas. UFC 261 and UFC 262 will have a full capacity crowd in attendance.
“You know what this is kinda like? Everybody who’s getting lazy and used to working at home. You leave your pajama bottoms on, put a nice top on, sit in front of your computer screen and Zoom somebody. It’s the easy, lazy way to do things, but this isn’t the right thing to do. We should be in sold-out arenas, fans packed, going crazy,” White said to the media following UFC 260 (h/t Bloody Elbow). “And unfortunately, we’ll all have to start traveling to all these cities again. But that’s the right thing to do. This is the easy, lazy thing to do, and it’s nice, and it was awesome while it lasted. But hopefully, this is over.”
Francis Ngannou felt like he was "drowning" during his UFC career
Francis Ngannou achieved his dream by becoming the UFC heavyweight champion when he knocked out Stipe Miocic at UFC 260. Ngannou has reflected on the journey that has led him to this glory and admitted that he wasn't always sure he would achieve his goal. The Cameroonian bounced back from defeats to Miocic and Derrick Lewis to climb the mountain and he has admitted he can't look too far ahead now he has accomplished his goal.
"I felt like I was drowning and I had to struggle back, but now, here we are. We are here, we got it done. It’s just amazing. I think I have to really take the time back to collect my emotion and to really feel it. Right now it is just all over the place. I assume this is going to be the biggest thing. I just haven’t had enough time to feel it. Absolutely, it feels great, but as for right now, I can’t think far ahead,” Ngannou said following his UFC 260 triumph (h/t Sherdog). “My mind is just right here, right now. Man, this is great. The emotion of it, thinking about everyone behind it. It’s not just about the belt, it’s about what it represents. It’s the principle, it’s the ethic, the dream, the life. It’s about the people that are behind me, the people that have joined me in the dream and my journey, who believed me and put their hands on the dirt to get this done. It’s all about it. This is something way beyond me.”
Georges St-Pierre accidentally punched Anthony Mackie in the head
Former UFC star Georges St-Pierre has reprised his role as Batroc the Leaper in the Marvel Cinematic Universe series "Falcon And The Winter Soldier" and stars alongside Anthony Mackie. "Rush" has praised the talents of Mackie but has revealed that his fighting background caused a slip of the hand one time they were shooting. The Canadian admitted that he threw a punch one time and clipped his co-star's head. There was no bad blood between them though.
"Anthony's amazing. I'm going to tell you, Anthony's an amazing actor and he's someone who's very charismatic and makes every laugh on the set," St-Pierre told ET Canada (h/t ComicBook.com). "One day we spent hours on a scene during choreography and there's a scene that we punched and he was supposed to duck under and I wasn't able to pull the punch on time. My armed touched his head and I kind of clipped him with my elbow but he's a hell of a tough guy, let me tell you that. He stood up right away and he was okay and I told him, 'You're probably the only human being I ever hit where I got more hurt than you.'"
Zhang Weili says Chinese MMA fighters will impress the world in the future
UFC strawweight champion Zhang Weili is hoping to pave the way for future Chinese MMA fighters. Weili became the first Chinese UFC champion and she has gained a massive following and fame during her rise to the top. And the champion is predicting that there will be much more Chinese representation in the future.
"I believe it won't take long for Chinese fighters to impress the world in MMA competitions," Zhang said to Xinhua News Agency (h/t CGTN). "Once you set a target, don't give up because you encounter difficulty. Keep fighting and never forget why you started it."
When asked what she thinks of the coming fight against Namajunas, Weili has no ill-feeling and predicts they may even become friends.
"Anything can happen in a fight. I think Rose is good. She respects me and I respect her too. This is two fighters communicating with each other in our own way. Sometimes it takes a fight to make friends. Why not us?"
Khamzat Chimaev reveals he thought he had cancer when he coughed up blood
Khamzat Chimaev has admitted that he thought he could have had cancer after he began coughing up blood. Chimaev has had horrid luck and ill health since testing positive for COVID-19. The Chechen had two fights with Leon Edwards cancelled due to his health and he has opened up on the struggles he had even training.
“Yes, (the medical care in Las Vegas) was good but they made me train. I was doing good at first, then they told me that I could start cardio training. And I felt sick again. I went to the bathroom and started coughing up blood," Chimaev said to RT Sport (h/t BJPenn.com). "That just messed up my mind a bit. Honestly, it scared me… cancer? Like, ‘I have been sick so long, why doesn’t it go away?’ Different thoughts were going through my mind. Plus I was alone there in Las Vegas, struggling to overcome it all."
Sean O’Malley believes the final punch on Thomas Almeida was “unnecessary,”
Sean O'Malley didn't think the final punch on Thomas Almeida at UFC 260 was "unnecessary" and that the fight was over after the initial knockdown. "Sugar" got back in the win column by TKO but his attempt at a walk-off finish was unsuccessful as the referee didn't call the fight after he dropped Almeida. And O'Malley believes that he didn't need to take that extra shot but he had no choice but to land it as the referee told him to continue fighting.
“It was still potentially viral. I think it was a good knockout, (but) that shot was unnecessary,” O’Malley said after UFC 260 (h/t MMAJunkie). “I looked into his eyes – he wasn’t there. But in the first round, after (the referee) said, ‘Hey, if I don’t stop it, you have to keep fighting,’ I had to give him my little ‘2,’ a juicer to the lips.”
Dominick Cruz wants Sean O’Malley next, says Chael Sonnen
Former UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz is interested in a fight with Sean O’Malley, according to Chael Sonnen. Cruz recently defeated Casey Kenney via a split decision at UFC 259. Kenney is a teammate of O’Malley at The MMA LAB and according to Sonnen, Cruz has made it clear that it is a fight he would like, who was on the UFC 260 ESPN post-fight show with Michael Bisping.
“Sean O’Malley. We were throwing out some matches and guys, I must confess, I don’t have my glasses on, I couldn’t quite see, but I believe Dominick Cruz just heard our piece and told us to throw his name into the O’Malley mix. I don’t have my glasses on, but Dominick told me something about O’Malley just now,” Sonnen said.
“Dominick Cruz vs. Sean O’Malley please, take my money right now. Sign that fight right now, I think that’s a sensational matchup,” Bisping said.
“Michael, I’ll tell you what he said. He wants the fight. He’s watching us right now and he wants the fight,” Sonnen said (h/t BJPenn.com).
“What’s up Dominick? Hope you’re well, buddy. But get onto the UFC. Speak to Mick Maynard and Sean Shelby because we don’t know if Sean O’Malley wants that fight. That is a fight that needs to happen. That’s a tremendous matchup for Sean O’Malley because it would raise his profile. And for Dominick Cruz, that’s beating a contender, that gets him back to a title shot."
Michal Oleksiejczuk admits he’s a small light-heavyweight but has “one of the biggest hearts” in the UFC
Michal Oleksiejczuk was on the winning side of a split decision in a very close fight against Modestas Bukauskas at UFC 260. The Polish fighter had lost in his last two fights with Jimmy Crute and Ovince St. Preux and could have been forgiven for being nervous heading to the judge's decision. But Oleksiejczuk wasn't worried and felt like he had done enough to win the bout.
“I thought that I won. I may be one of the smallest guys in the light heavyweight division, but I’ve got one of the biggest hearts in the UFC,” Oleksiejczuk said following his win (h/t Cageside Press). “[Bukauskas] was running away, I was chasing him, I was putting the pressure [on], I was the active fighter, I wanted to fight. So I think that’s one I should have.”
While Oleksiejczuk doesn’t have a date in mind for his return, he does have an opponent.
“I need to talk to my team and coaches, but I want to fight Ion Cutelaba. That was the fight in the making before, so let’s do it.”
Marcus Buchecha is open to facing Gordon Ryan in MMA
Marcus Almeida has admitted he would be interested in a rematch with Gordon Ryan under MMA rules. “Buchecha” and Ryan have met once before in the final of the absolute division at ADCC 2019, where Ryan one by the thinnest of margins thanks to a penalty incurred by Buchecha. Almeida hasn’t actually competed in a grappling contest since that loss as he’s been preparing for his MMA debut with ONE Championship ever since. Now that Ryan has signed with ONE to compete in both Submission Grappling and MMA for the Asian promotion, Almeida was speaking to John Hyon Ko of My MMA News, has admitted he is keen on a rematch.
BRAVE CF’s Jarrah Al-Silawi talks title fight with Ismail Naurdiev
Jarrah Al-Silawi will defend his Super Welterweight title in the main event of BRAVE CF 50 against Russian-born Austrian Ismail Naurdiev in his promotional debut. Naurdiev is a former UFC veteran who racked up a 2-2 record before he and the company parted ways. And speaking to Low Kick MMA, Al -Silawi is expecting a tough battle but one he expects to win.
”I watched him, and he looks like a great adversary, but I feel I am better than him in all aspects. But he needs to understand that he is not coming and taking the title away from me. He is in for a battle, and I will keep my title in the end.”