Fightful Fix is your one-stop-shop for all of today's biggest combat sports stories — from Derek Brunson accepting Kevin Holland's callout to Yoel Romero commenting on his UFC release and more — conveniently compiled in one place. Take a look below.
Dana White believes UFC 257 rematch between McGregor-Poirier is a 'completely different fight'
UFC President Dana White is expecting a different fight when former UFC lightweight and featherweight champion Conor McGregor, rematches former interim UFC lightweight champion Dustin Poirier at UFC 257. White spoke with BT Sport about the matchup between the two top lightweight contenders.
“It’s a completely different fight,” White said (h/t MMANews.com). “Obviously Conor is a much better fighter than he was when he first faced him, and Poirier is a much better fighter too. I don’t know how that plays out now in the fight, but it’s definitely interesting. You can’t look at the first fight and go, ‘Oh, this is exactly the way that’s gonna go again.’ Because it won’t.”
Derek Brunson accepts callout from Kevin Holland
Kevin Holland cemented himself as a middleweight contender and arguably the Fighter of the Year going 5-0 in 2020. He chatted with ESPN's Ariel Helwani after his most recent victory over Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza at UFC 256 and called out fellow contender Derek Brunson for a fight in 2021. Brunson seemed more than open to the match-up, responding to the call out in multiple tweets.
Ha ha I accept .— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) December 17, 2020
Don’t run now mfer!
See you soon -- https://t.co/pV0LR3Hfi5
Oh yeah ... send me the contract! -- pic.twitter.com/mDQ4vw2FJi— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) December 17, 2020
Geoff Neal had heart issues prior to Stephen Thompson fight
Welterweight contender Geoff Neal lost a tough unanimous decision to Stephen Thompson at UFC Vegas 17 this past weekend and some disturbing news regarding his health has come out following the defeat. Neal posted the following statement to his Instagram, detailing the issues he dealt with leading up to the fight.
This is quite confusing as to how Neal cleared medicals to compete in the fight with 'Wonderboy', as the NSAC requires fighters to pass a pre-fight medical exam before stepping into the Octagon. No comments yet from the UFC or the NSAC on how or why Neal was allowed to compete this past weekend.
Donald Cerrone submits Rafael dos Anjos twice at SUG 19
Former foes Rafael dos Anjos and Donald Cerrone met over the weekend, but not in an Octagon this time. The two were featured in a co-main event grappling match that was apart of Chael Sonnen's Submission Underground 19 event. Cerrone who is 0-2 against RDA inside of the cage, was able to tap out the former UFC lightweight champion twice during the bout.
Deron Winn unimpressed by win at UFC Vegas 17
UFC middleweight Deron Winn got a much-needed victory at UFC Vegas 17 defeating Antonio Arroyo by unanimous decision. Winn snapped a two-fight losing streak with the performance and moved his overall record with the promotion to 2-2. He talked with the media afterward about the win and calling it subpar by his standards.
“Honestly, it was subpar. I know I got it done, but I’ve been working on so many other things than what I showed." Winn said (h/t MMAJunkie). "I’m still young in the game. I’ve done a lot in this past year to improve my overall skill set. I’m not disappointed. I’m happy I got the win. I’ve had a really crazy year. I’m happy with that, but it was a subpar win."
Yoel Romero didn't expect UFC release
Former UFC middleweight title challenger Yoel Romero is now heading into 2021 as a member of the Bellator light heavyweight division, something he didn't expect. This according to Romero who spoke with ESPN's Ariel Helwani about the release from the promotion being related to differences in deciding who he should face next.
“First and foremost, it was something that was completely unexpected,” Romero said (h/t MMAFighting) via his Spanish translator Ray Fundaro. “I was already training very hard, getting ready. We were already thinking about fighting in January or February. We were looking to fight with the top-3 in either division, 185, 205. My managers explained this to the top of the UFC. They wanted me to fight Uriah Hall, Derek Brunson, and we explained to them that it didn’t make sense for me to fight these young men."
“We had an idea we were chasing. The world title. The way that we were training and making it happen, we knew that we had one or two fights and then we would go for the belt. Our thought was that fighting any of these guys in the back of the roster, that it was taking steps backwards, not forwards.”
Maycee Barber responds to criticism from Michael Bisping
UFC women's flyweight contender Maycee Barber talked with BJPenn.com's Cole Shelton on Just Scrap Radio about some criticism that UFC commentator and former middleweight champion Michael Bisping had for her after her loss at UFC 246 to Roxanne Modaferri. Barber will look to get back on the winning track when she returns against Alexa Grasso at UFC 258 on February 13.
“I saw it. I understand where he is coming from. But, I was not at all trying to whine about it or complain about it,” Barber said. “Things happen. I got injured, I lost, there has to be a winner and a loser. I’ve always looked up to Michael Bisping as a fighter and as an athlete that came before me. To me, he is a legend, so have him say what he said stung a little bit. I look up to him. At the same time, it is a kick in the butt, like stuff happens and we don’t make excuses. I’m not making any excuse and that was the truth I got hurt and Roxanne won that night.”
Ryan Bader defeats Anthony "Rumble" Johnson at SUG 19
The theme of rematches was on full display at Chael Sonnen's Submission Underground 19 event over the weekend. Bellator heavyweight champion Ryan Bader competed against former UFC light heavyweight title challenger Anthony "Rumble" Johnson on the main card portion of the event. Bader who was knocked out by Johnson back in January of 2016 was able to secure a win in the overtime period of the match.
Prospect Sabina Mazo excited about the test that Alexis Davis presents
UFC women's flyweight Sabina Mazo will move up to 135 pounds and face former title challenger Alexis Davis in her divisional debut at a yet to be announced UFC event on February 27. When speaking with MMAJunkie's Danny Segura on his podcast Hablemos MMA, she talked about the matchup.
“When they gave me the offer of the fight, I thought it was an ideal fight because she’s a fighter that has a lot of ground in this game,” Mazo said in Spanish. “She’s had a name in MMA for quite some time, so for me it’s a name that can help me get to where I want to get to."
“She’s ranked 12 in the UFC women’s flyweight division, so it also aligns with what I want. It was an excellent offer.”
Bulgarian wrestler and Swiss bank charged with laundering drug money
A Bulgarian wrestler, Credit Suisse which is the second-largest bank in Switzerland, and a former employee are being indicted on charges that they helped launder $39 million of drug money through the bank, according to a report from Forbes's Ollie Williams. The wrestler and former Credit Suisse employee navigated a way to launder profits from cocaine sales within the bank's system.
Between the start of the 2000s and 2012, one of these athletes, a wrestler, found a profitable income from trafficking cocaine and laundering it's proceeds through Swiss banks.
This perpetrator, who is unnamed as is typical in Swiss law, has already been convicted in several European countries, including in Italy in 2017 for transporting "several tons" of cocaine from South America to Europe.
Between 2004 and 2007 the wrestler deposited the proceeds into Swiss bank accounts before using the money to purchase real estate in Europe.
By flowing through accounts at one of Switzerland's most reputable banks and used to buy and sell real estate, these funds were fed into legal economic circulation, erasing all traces of their criminal origins.
The total amount of laundered funds is unknown though the Attorney General's office says that between October 2004 and January 2009 more than CHF 80 million ($89 million) was controlled by the criminal organization the wrestler worked with.