Eddie Alvarez explains how he will carve out an all-time great legacy, Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler go at each other, Francis Ngannou vs. Jon Jones predictions and more — this is your Fightful Fix news roundup.
Eddie Alvarez thinks he will "be the greatest lightweight that ever lived" with ONE Championship win
Eddie Alvarez is comfortable calling himself the all-time greatest lightweight if he can seize a ONE Championship belt.
Alvarez (30-7-0-1) told TMZ Sports that earning another world title on a grand stage should cement his status in the sport. Adding a ONE Championship belt to his UFC and Bellator titles would be a one-of-a-kind feat.
“I mean, I think in my eyes I’d be the greatest lightweight that ever lived," he asserted. "It’s fine to be great for five years, it’s even good to be great for 10 years. But for two decades, to continue to fight champions all over the world. I’m not staying in one place, I’m not staying in one promotion. I’m going to all parts of the world and fighting every champion from every major promotion and becoming the champion on that platform. No one has done it, no one will ever do it. You have to be as crazy as I am."
“But I love this sport and it’s one fight at a time. It’s one fight at a time, and that’s how I’ve done it. As many belts as I collet and as many champions as I’ve defeated, it will be argued, but I’ll just tell people to check the scoreboard, you know what I mean? I don’t want to argue it. Check the scoreboard. Let’s accumulate the data and check the scoreboard. Then we’ll talk about who’s the greatest lightweight that ever lived.”
Jan Blachowicz open to Francis Ngannou superfight
Jan Blachowicz is willing to test his legendary Polish power vs. Francis Ngannou in a Thor vs. Incredible Hulk scenario.
“If UFC sends me, ‘You want to fight against Francis?’ Why not? I don’t have time for don’t accept fight like this. If they want to make fight like this, I would accept it, no problem,” Blachowicz told RT Sport (h/t MMAFighting). “He’s got amazing power. He’s got power like Predator. He has great power but nobody has power like Legendary Polish Power.”
Anthony Johnson favors Jon Jones over Francis Ngannou
Anthony Johnson believes Jon Jones has too many tools for Francis Ngannou.
The recent Bellator signee gave his prediction for a potential Ngannou vs. Jones match-up in a recent interview at Sandford MMA.
“I think Jon (Jones) just has too many weapons,” Johnson told Helen Yee (h/t BJ Penn). “His team is great. His IQ is up there. You know he may not… And everybody was so hung-up on just knockouts. You know knockouts by Francis (Ngannou), which I get. I get that. But, there is still more to it than just a knockout. You can be a knockout artist and just get beat up. Like ‘DC’ (Daniel Cormier) isn’t a knockout artist, and he beat me up.”
“You know, you don’t have to knock everybody out to be great. And you know, Jon I think has all of the tools to beat Francis. I won’t say that he will finish him. But I think he can beat Francis. But, if Francis gets that one (punch), it can be a long night," he continued. "Well, a short night for Jon if he gets hit. But people say that Jon hasn’t been tested, or that his jaw hasn’t been tested. Jon Jones has fought the who’s who of mixed martial arts. People aren’t realizing that. He’s just made it look easy because of his skill. So, I wish people would stop discrediting the man.”
Aleksandar Rakic says Jon Jones 'should get paid' more
Jon Jones and UFC President Dana White appear far apart on getting a deal done for a Francis Ngannou fight, and Aleksandar Rakic is siding with Jones.
Rakic told Fanatics Views' James Lynch that the former UFC light heavyweight champion deserves a pretty payday.
"He's right, he should get paid ----"— James Lynch (@LynchOnSports) April 1, 2021
Aleksandar Rakic (@rakic_ufc) supports Jon Jones (@JonnyBones) request for a pay increase to fight Francis Ngannou next for the heavyweight title
Full interview-- via @fanaticsview https://t.co/9w89C9NY48 pic.twitter.com/QYLi2M1ya5
“He’s right, you know, he should get paid. He did an amazing job in the light heavyweight division," Rakic said (h/t BJ Penn). "He defended the title for, I don’t know, 13 times? He never basically lost in a fight, and now everybody wants to see Jon in the heavyweight division, he put some pounds on. I understand Jon completely."
Rakic says the next best thing is going to be a sequel to the critically panned Francis Ngannou vs. Derrick Lewis.
“If this fight doesn’t happen, I think it’s going to be the rematch between Ngannou and Derrick Lewis," the light heavyweight contender shared. "But then they need to put some heat on because they are two powerhouses. It’s going to be a great fight if this happens."
Charles Oliveira says all Michael Chandler "has is a heavy hand"
Charles Oliveira is not impressed with the variety of Michael Chandler's skills.
Oliveira will face Chandler for the vacant UFC lightweight title at UFC 262. Ahead of the fight Oliveira broke down the former Bellator champion's range of skills.
“I’ll respect him, but I’ll walk forward the entire time,” he told MMA Fighting. “If he comes to hit me hard, he’ll eat a counter. We both walk forward all the time. It will be two trucks colliding. I’m not afraid of getting hit. Hit me. If he takes me down, I’ll be doing what I love the most, which is jiu-jitsu. I’m not worried if I stay on the feet or get taken down.
“All he has is a heavy hand, a heavy punch. I’m complete on the feet and complete on the ground. The only thing he has better than me is wrestling, but I’ll use my jiu-jitsu if he tries to wrestle me so it makes no difference to me."
Michael Chandler expects first-round KO vs. Charles Oliveira
Charles Oliveira may think that Michael Chandler only has heavy hands at his disposal, but "Iron" Mike think that is exactly what Oliveira has to worry about.
“Charles Oliveira poses a lot of threats on the ground, but I’ve never even come close to getting submitted,” Chandler told TMZ Sports (h/t MMA Mania). “I’ve got kind of a sixth sense when it comes to the ground game to not be submitted. The best way I would like to go out there and finish him is just to hit him as hard as I can numerous times on the feet. Keep the fight standing, put him in panic mode, knock him out in the first round. If not the first round, dig a little deeper and go into the second, go into the third. He’s a guy who starts to slow down, especially once you start putting the pressure on him. I’m very good at keeping my foot on the gas for 25 minutes, I’ve done it a dozen times now. So man, go out there and knock him out in the first or second round, get my hand raised in front of a huge Houston crowd on May 15th, collect my paycheck, kiss my wife, and figure out what’s next.”
Firas Zahabi picks Ben Askren over Jake Paul
“I think Ben Askren wins,” Zahabi said on his podcast (h/t LowKick MMA). “Here’s why, I saw Jake Paul’s last fight, he’d knocked out some guy with a couple overhand rights, stunned him a few times, dropped him. But here’s where Jake Paul — I don’t think he knows what he’s getting into. Number one, Ben Askren is a wrestler, yes and his forte is not striking, we all know that — he’s not the greatest striker. But he’s been in there with killers, he’s been in there with like legitimately dangerous human beings. One of them being Robbie Lawler, Douglas Lima — I can go on and on the list is super long.“
“He’s been in there with real killers, and I know he didn’t use boxing, but he took shots from these guys,” Zahabi explained. “Not everyone got to land a shot on him, but if you remember the fight with Robbie Lawler, Robbie Lawler had him on the floor, he had Ben Askren on the floor and he laid into him, some serious amount of damage. Four, five, six, seven shots maybe, I can’t remember. But it was some serious shots.“
UFC and Venum deal might hit a snag in Brazil
Venum is now UFC's official global apparel sponsor, but Brazil may not be in that sphere.
Venum Brasil boss Andre Vieira was a co-owner of Venum before the company split into two different entities on January 4, 2016 and is not currently a part of UFC's new deal.
“I’ve contacted them, said I was open to negotiations, that I’m not here to be a problem,” Vieira told MMA Fighting. “Quite the opposite, I’m here to add and be part of the business, and so far I haven’t gotten any return [call].”
A UFC official told MMA Fighting the promotion is looking into the matter and declined further comment.
Bellator interested in Megan Anderson
Megan Anderson's stint with the UFC came to an unceremonious end, but she may land on her feet.
Bellator president Scott Coker told MMA Junkie that his promotion should be in talks with Anderson about a future contract.
“I think my guys are talking to her, but I’ll have to confirm that,” Coker said.
Fun Bellator 255 stats
Take a look at some fun statistics from the aftermath of Bellator 255, courtesy of MMA Junkie.
Betting favorites went 4-1 on the main card.
Betting favorites improved to 1-0 in Bellator main events this year.
Total fight time for the five-bout main card was 51:51.
Patricio Freire’s 10 victories in Bellator championship fights are most in company history.
Freire’s 20 victories in Bellator competition are most in company history.
Freire’s 19 victories in Bellator featherweight competition are most in divisional history.
Freire’s 13 stoppage victories in Bellator competition are tied with Michael Chandler for most in company history.
Freire’s 12 stoppage victories in Bellator featherweight competition are tied with A.J. McKee for most in divisional history.
Freire’s five submission victories in Bellator featherweight competition are tied for second most in divisional history behind McKee (six).
Emmanuel Sanchez suffered the first submission loss of his career.
Jason Jackson’s (14-4 MMA, 5-1 BMMA) four-fight Bellator winning streak at welterweight is tied for the third longest active streak in the division behind Joey Davis (six) and Yaroslav Amosov (five).
Jackson has earned four of his five Bellator victories by decision.
Neiman Gracie (10-2 MMA, 8-2 BMMA) fell to 7-2 since he dropped to the welterweight division in February 2015.
Gracie has suffered both of his career losses by decision.
Tyrell Fortune’s (10-1 MMA, 10-1 BMMA) 10 victories in Bellator heavyweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Cheick Kongo (12).
Fortune’s seven stoppage victories in Bellator competition are most in divisional history.
Fortune’s six knockout victories in Bellator competition are most in divisional history.
Jack May (11-8 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) has suffered seven of his eight career losses by stoppage.
Alejandra Lara (9-4 MMA, 3-3 BMMA) has suffered three of her four career losses by decision.
Mandel Nallo (8-1 MMA, 3-1 BMMA) has earned all of his career victories by stoppage. He’s finished all three of his Bellator wins by knockout.
Fabio Aguiar (17-2 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) suffered the first decision loss of his career.
Chris Gonzalez (6-0 MMA, 5-0 BMMA) earned the first stoppage victory of his Bellator career.
Gonzalez’s five-fight Bellator winning streak at lightweight is tied with Patricky Freire for the longest active streak in the division.
Roger Huerta (24-13-1 MMA, 1-6 BMMA) fell to 0-4 since he returned to Bellator for a second stint in April 2018.
Huerta fell to 4-12 in his past 16 fights dating back to August 2008.
Huerta has suffered six of his eight career stoppage losses by knockout.
Jonathan Wilson (9-4 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) suffered the first submission loss of his career.