Fedor Emelianenko has finally been released from hospital after a battle with COVID-19, hear about Emeliananko's release from hospital and more today in your Fightful Fix roundup.
Fedor Emelianenko released from the hospital
MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko’s lone fight since 2019 has happened to come against the global threat that is COVID-19. As of Monday, the Russian icon is reportedly in much better condition.
Last Thursday, news broke that Emelianenko was hospitalized in Moscow as he attended a location specializing in COVID-19 treatment.
“Thanks to all who are genuinely concerned for my health,” Emelianenko told the community. “I feel fine, I am going into recovery. I’m grateful to the doctors and medical staff for their care and hard work.”
Just a matter of days later and “The Last Emperor” has been released from the hospital according to Tass (via Bruno Massami).
Russian MMA legend, Fedor Emelianenko was released from hospital yesterday (January 25th morning) in Moscow per Tass Agency.— Bruno Massami (Бруно Массами) (@BrMassami) January 26, 2021
Thank you, MMA Gods.
“Russian MMA legend, Fedor Emelianenko was released from hospital yesterday (January 25th morning) in Moscow per Tass Agency. Thank you, MMA Gods.” Massami tweeted.
Boasting a 39-6 record, the now 44-year-old Emelianenko is expected to soon be rounding out the end of his career once and for all.
The last time we saw the heavyweight legend in action was December 2019 in a return to Japan where he spent the prime years of his career. In that appearance, Emelianenko took on a fellow staple of Japan’s PRIDE FC days, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
Despite the fight under-delivering, Emelianenko successfully rebounded off of his quick Bellator title loss to Ryan Bader at the beginning of the year. At the two minute and 44-second mark, the Russian Sambo master put away Rampage with strikes.
Still to this day, Emelianenko is considered one of the greatest heavyweights of all time, if not the greatest. His run from 2001 to 2009 going unbeaten in 28 straight fights will likely never be replicated in that division.
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‘Korean Zombie’ reveals he gained 20 kilograms after losing to Brian Ortega
UFC featherweight Jung Chan-Sung, better known as “The Korean Zombie”, has talked about his crushing defeat to Brian Ortega and how he lost a grip on himself by gaining 20 kilograms.
In a television talk show aired on Monday on SBS Plus, Jung said the training ahead of the fight last October psychologically pressured him so much he could sleep only one and a half hours for two days before the bout.
In the show hosted by television personality Kang Ho-dong, Jung said the loss by unanimous decision was emotionally traumatic, and he perceived it as the end of his career.
He said he had sought a psychiatrist after he returned to Seoul from Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, where the event was held on Fight Island.
“The thought that my career has crashed brought me down to rock bottom,” said Jung, adding that he ate without control for a month and put on 20 kilograms.
Jung (16-6) slipped to number 5 in the featherweight rankings after his beat down by Los Angeles-based jiu-jitsu black belt Ortega (15-1, 1 NC), who will fight champ Alex Volkanovski for the title (22-1) in the UFC 260 co-main event on March 27.
All three judges scored the bout in favor of the Mexican-American in a five-round decision.
Jung said he experienced a blackout after the match from the sustained beatings to his head. “I don't remember anything from the second, third and fourth rounds,” he said.
Colby Covington’s Gifted UFC Title to Donald Trump Valued at $650
Allegedly, the classic UFC championship belts were made out of solid gold and had an estimated value of $333,000. However, the UFC title that Colby Covington gifted former President Donald Trump apparently has a value of just $650. At least, according to sources at The Hollywood Reporter.
Former US President Donald Trump recently packed his belongings and moved out of the White House now that his presidential term is over. Part of that process was listing his assets in a disclosure filing. Inside of the report, a list of Trump’s collectibles were appraised with the value of the items being public. Shockingly, the value of the UFC title gifted to Trump from Colby was listed at a price of $650.
“His final disclosure filing did include a few new additions,” The report read. “Gifts Trump received while in office. They include a championship belt from the MAGA UFC fighter Colby Covington, valued at $650, a bronze bust of Mount Rushmore (with Trump’s face added to it) from South Dakota’s Gov. Kristi Noem, valued at $1,100, and a Mac Pro computer (the first one assembled in Austin, Texas) gifted to Trump by Apple CEO Tim Cook, valued at $5,999."
Now that Donald Trump is officially removed from his Presidential duties, it’ll be interesting to see if Colby chooses to stay aligned with extreme right-winged politics. Especially as a member of Colby Covington, Inc… a new “company” where Covington does whatever he wants.
Jake Paul predicts he'll knock Ben Askren out faster than Jorge Masvidal
Jake Paul does not lack in confidence.
The YouTube superstar turned celebrity boxer announced Tuesday his latest venture, an April 17 boxing match against former UFC star and Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren.
Paul also told ESPN he’ll knock Askren out faster than Jorge Masvidal’s famed flying knee at UFC 239.
“I started boxing two years ago and I’m still going to knock his ass out faster than Masvidal,” he said. “These MMA guys think because they throw punches they know how to box. The world complained because I knocked out a basketball player and not a real fighter. So now I’m giving the people what they want by taking on a ‘real fighter.’ After Ben Askren is added to my knockout meme collection, what can anybody say?”
Masvidal, of course, finished Askren in five seconds, while Paul’s most noteworthy moment was a knockout of Nate Robinson, a retired NBA player.
Paul says he respects what Askren accomplished in MMA, but boxing is another thing entirely.
“Askren has 20-something MMA fights has been in there with Robbie Lawler, he’s a tough guy,” he said. “I think anyone would have been knocked out by Masvidal’s knee. That knee that landed would have knocked anyone out. So I think Danis would have been the easiest one by far. But these MMA guys, just because they throw punches they think they can box. This is why I’m confident in my ability to destroy this guys. They have no head movement, they’re slow, they aren’t going to the gym every day and boxing.”
Paul revealed Askren wasn’t his first choice of opponents, saying serious talks were held with a handful of potential suitors.
“We were talking about five or six guys. MMA fighters, some celebrities,” he said. “NFL guys, and when it came down to the ink meeting the paper and green-lighting this and being “let’s do this,” these guys, it turns out a lot of them weren’t as serious as we thought. I think people don’t like to give me props for my boxing ability, but deep down people are like ‘damn, this kid’s here to fight,’ and Ben Askren was the only one who was serious about it, and wanted to make it happen and was ready to go."
“Kudos to him, but there were guys like Dillon Danis who was all over social media who I threw muddy, piss-filled toilet paper at his face. People wanted that fight. People wanted me to fight Ben Askren. People wanted me to fight McGregor. People wanted me to fight Diaz, and I think all of those fights will happen eventually, but Dillon Danis claimed a knee injury. Conor McGregor just lost. Nate Diaz is tied up by the UFC.”
Patricio Pitbull: Michael Chandler and Eddie Alvarez success showing the “power of Bellator”
Patricio Pitbull says that the success of Michael Chandler and Eddie Alvarez in the UFC is showing the “power of Bellator.”
Chandler had an amazing UFC debut last weekend at UFC 257 when he brutally knocked out the typically-durable Dan Hooker with punches in the first round. Heading into the UFC, there were many question marks about the former three-time Bellator lightweight champion, but Chandler’s win over Hooker showed that he is an elite fighter. And if you think Chandler is good, just remember Pitbull knocked him out in June 2019. Both men are proof Bellator is home to some of the sport’s elite.
In addition to Chandler, Eddie Alvarez is another former Bellator champion who succeeded in the UFC, even winning the lightweight title in 2016. Between Alvarez and Chandler, they are showing that Bellator’s best fighters can hang with the UFC’s. And even though Pitbull doesn’t like him, the Brazilian can’t help but give Chandler –and Alvarez — a little bit of credit for showing, as he says, the “power of Bellator.”
“Everybody knows that I don’t like Chandler, and I don’t cheer for him. But he is showing — like Eddie Alvarez did — the power of Bellator,” Pitbull told Sherdog.com’s, Marcelo Alonso.
Pitbull is the Bellator featherweight and lightweight champion. He is currently awaiting his next date in the Bellator cage against Emmanuel Sanchez in a featherweight tournament semifinal. A win over Sanchez will set him up for a big fight against undefeated prospect AJ McKee in the finale of the Grand Prix.
But while Pitbull is having plenty of success in the Octagon, don’t expect him to join Chandler and Alvarez as former Bellator champions in the UFC anytime soon. A source close to the Pitbull camp confirmed he still has “a few” fights left on his Bellator contract. But in this sport, you can never know what happens in the future.
Do you think Patricio Pitbull will ever join Michael Chandler in the UFC or do you think he will continue to cement his legacy in Bellator?
Kayla Harrison ready to take on "the big names," says coachMike Brown
Coronavirus has made the past year a difficult path for everyone in the fight game, but it was especially troublesome for a competitor like Kayla Harrison.
The two-time Olympic judo gold medalist was just starting to come into her own in mixed martial arts in 2020. Harrison (8-0) was the PFL’s 2019 women’s lightweight champion, and with seven fights under her belt at that point, she was just reaching the point that she no longer felt like a newbie in the cage.
When the pandemic hit, the PFL had to cancel its season, as, unlike other fight promotions, the PFL’s regular season and playoffs format can’t be condensed in a sport as physically demanding as MMA.
Harrison eventually was able to get a fight in under the Invicta FC banner. Meanwhile, her coach, American Top Team’s Mike Brown, says she used her year showing up to the gym as if she had a fight booked anyway,
“This is someone who, whether she’s got a fight or not, she’s in the gym,” Brown told MMA Junkie during UFC 257 fight week. “She’s there pretty much twice a day, every day, whether there’s a fight for her or not. She’s another very, very, very dedicated athlete who’s made huge strides, huge gains. I mean, you would expect this from somebody who is obviously, I would say, gifted genetically and I would say all in, and fully committed in every way. She lives her life to be the best fighter on the planet.”
With the PFL set to resume operations with the 2021 season, which gets underway in April, Brown believes Harrison, who went down to featherweight for her Invicta win over Cortney King, is ready for higher-level competition.
“She’s made unbelievable gains from Day 1, but now she’s 8-0,” Brown said, “Now she’s had eight fights with all the experience and now very comfortable in the cage, and she’s really at the point, I think, to start fighting anyone they can throw at her. Whoever in the world they got, throw it at her. I think she’s at that point she can take big, big challenges, and she’s at that point she can take anybody, I think."
Harrison’s PFL contract expires after the upcoming season, and at times it has appeared she’s running laps around the competition. But given recent high-profile signings like former UFC and WEC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, Brown is confident PFL will find Harrison real challenges this year.
“The big names, she’s ready for,” Brown said. “PFL has been great. PFL is growing, it would be great to see them bring in some big names. They could bring in a (Cris) Cyborg or somebody of this nature to challenge her. I think she’s in a great spot. I think they’re doing good things, and it’s growing. You got guys like Pettis, world champions in other organizations now coming to the organization. I think it’s going to be a different PFL this year.”
'She-Hulk' vs 'Female Khabib'? Women's MMA behemoth Gabi Garcia states terms for Kayla Harrison showdown
The trouble with being a heavyweight in women's MMA is that there isn't a long list of potential opponents but undefeated 'She-Hulk' Gabi Garcia has laid down a gauntlet to Kayla Harrison, described by some as the 'Female Khabib'.
Brazil's Garcia, who stands at 6ft 2in tall and has registered a weight of 235 pounds in the past, has been indomitable throughout her seven professional mixed martial arts fights to date.
The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt has been outside the first round just once to date in her career - largely, some say, due to a lack of opponents to match her fearsome frame.
Now, though, Garcia seems to be looking for a sterner test and has issued a challenge to another fighter whose size has perplexed matchmakers in the past: Kayla Harrison.
American double-Olympic judo champion Harrison, who is 8-0 in her career, is thought to be the finest female lightweight (155 pounds) on the planet but, like Garcia, has struggled to align herself with the type of competition in which her skills might be suitably tested.
Lol we talking real fighting now not some staged fight. How about beat someone that isn’t picked from the old folks home and has a real heartbeat and then you can put my name in your mouth. Until then watch me win another mil. --— Kayla Harrison (@KaylaH) January 26, 2021
@KaylaH I made more money than you winning without a sweat but now you are disrespecting the other girls I fought!— Gabi Garcia -- (@gabijiu) January 26, 2021
do you want to put your single million and I will put a million also to make this fight? or will you make an excuse
u are a joke! pfl made this gp easy for you
Firas Zahabi believes Conor McGregor “gave up” against Dustin Poirier
Firas Zahabi thinks when the going gets tough for Conor McGregor he gives up and believes that was the case against Dustin Poirier.
In the main event of UFC 257, McGregor made his return to the Octagon to rematch Poirier. Early on in the fight, the Irishman had success and landed a solid shut that stunned Poirier. However, “The Diamond” started to leg kick McGregor and after the Irishman’s leg went “dead” Poirier went up top and knocked him out.
“In the second round, when McGregor was getting hit along the fence. I found it strange that he wasn’t — it seemed like he had already gave up on the fight,” Zahabi said on his YouTube channel (via Bloody Elbow). “Before he hit the canvas, I felt like he had given up on the fight, because things were getting tough."
“The fight was getting tough. His left hand didn’t work, and he’s not used to that. He’s not used to hitting guys with the big left, and then (they) keep fighting,” Zahabi continued. “McGregor, in the second round, dropped his best card. He landed that perfect left hand, the one he’s relied on his entire career. But for one reason or another, it didn’t work."
“Poirier did not go down, and it seemed that McGregor got emotional about it. He started covering up, he was getting hit, but it didn’t look like he was trying to circle out and survive,” Zahabi concluded. “He looked like a guy who was like ‘this is the end, I better do something.’ He threw a few punches, but they were like — almost desperate. He seemed to get emotional. I looked at his face and he was very very emotional. Whereas if you contrast that with Poirier, when Poirier got hit… he was cool and looking for his next move.”
After the fight, Conor McGregor congratulated Poirier on the performance and admitted the leg kicks did hurt him. He also hopes the trilogy does happen next.
Dustin Poirier says UFC 257 Fight Island experience was "like I was in prison in my own mind"
Dustin Poirier didn’t enjoy the entire Fight Island experience.
The former UFC interim lightweight champion had a tough time in the final two weeks of preparation for his main event against Conor McGregor at UFC 257.
This was the third installment of events the UFC has held in Abu Dhabi and likely the most restricted. UFC personnel wasn’t able to roam the island.
Poirier, who departed two weeks prior to the fight per protocols, said he didn’t enjoy the pre-fight process, and part of it he thinks has to do with Fight Island.
“I don’t know, part of it might be from spinning my wheels for two weeks sitting in a hotel room,” Poirier told reporters Saturday night. “You couldn’t call this Fight Island. This is Fight Hotel."
“We couldn’t leave the property. I’m sitting here two weeks cutting weight. The furthest I could go was to the workout room. This was like I was in prison in my own mind here.”
Poirier said the feeling translated to the locker room arena Saturday. He said he felt “flat.” However, Poirier was able to turn that feeling around in the fight, putting together one of the best performances of his career.
“Tonight was one of the best (nights) I’ve ever felt,” Poirier said. “I was emotionless. I was an assassin, and I was here to execute. I was locked in and loaded and I felt nothing. I felt very focused. It was a great feeling."
“I didn’t enjoy warming up. I didn’t enjoy the week of sitting in a hotel room for two weeks. But damn, when I let the dog out and perform, I can scrap, man. It feels good, but there was no emotion.”
Jose Guzman Talks Dominique Crowder, UFC’s Michael Chandler, and Mark Breland’s Huge Appetite
It’s a“ bad situation,” Jose Guzman says of the impact of Covid-19, “but it’s what you make of it.” Guzman, a former talented pro boxer with a highly impressive amateur resume, has spent the Covid era continuing to build his reputation as a trainer of note. Not only is the trainer known for working with rising fighters like compelling prospect Dominique Crowder, but he has also left his mark on mixed martial arts. Guzman has trained explosive new phenomenon Michael Chandler, who burst onto the UFC scene this weekend with a first-round knockout of Dan Hooker. Even though it was his UFC debut, Chandler’s fight was featured as the co-main of Conor McGregor’s brutal loss to Dustin Poirier.
“He has one-punch knockout power,” Guzman says of Chandler, the UFC’s newest star. “It’s an honor even working with him.” Guzman is grounded in boxing, but he has nothing but praise for mixed martial artists. “These guys are easier to work with,” he says, “than fighters (boxers).” Although he’s clearly impressed with the seriousness – and politeness – of mixed martial artists, Guzman is still a boxing man through and through. And he’s particularly focused on 7-0 bantamweight Crowder, who headlines a Saturday card in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, taking on fellow undefeated prospect Marvin Sims.
“Literally the best camp we ever had,” Guzman says of the lead up to this weekend. “so far done with ease if the fight was today, I’d have no problem.” Now, of course, it’s all up to Crowder to keep winning, something he has. “The hard work is done,” says Guzman, “we’re just looking for bigger and bigger fights.” Guzman is clearly high on the 7-0 super bantamweight, and with good reason, for 6 of those 7 wins have come by knockout. “This is the year,” Guzman says of Crowder. “Every time he touches you, he puts you to sleep.”
Yet Guzman also indicates that the 27-year-old KO artist can do more than simply punch. “In the amateurs, Dominique was a pure boxer.” To Guzman, Crowder is reminiscent of a young Mark Breland, which is a nice comparison, since Breland also helps train, Crowder. “He also eats a lot,” Guzman says of the famously thin former champion, “every time we sit down.”
Guzman may joke about Breland’s appetite, but he finds Breland’s treatment at the hands of former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, the man Breland helped train, entirely distasteful. After losing to Tyson Fury last winter, Wilder came up with a variety of excuses, one of which was blaming Breland, who had thrown in the towel when it was clear Wilder was taking serious damage in the fight. “He knows he did the right thing,” Guzman says of Breland. “He saved Wilder’s life.”
Gilbert Burns details training history with Kamaru Usman: "200 rounds sparring at least"
Gilbert Burns doesn’t need to do much studying for his first UFC title bout.
The Brazilian takes on former teammate and UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman in the main event of UFC 258 on Feb. 13 in Las Vegas. This fight was originally scheduled to take place last July, but a positive COVID-19 test forced Burns (19-3 MMA, 12-3 UFC) out. The two were later booked for UFC 256 in December, but Usman was unable to fight due to injury.
Now, in a third booking, the duo are set to clash next month, but it will not be the first time the two will trade punches.
“Me and Kamaru had over 200 rounds sparring, at least,” Burns told MMA Junkie. “We started training together in 2012 in Blackzillians. Then Blackzillians broke down, they disappeared, so we moved with Henri Hooft. We went to a place called Combat Club. Then we were there for almost a year, and then we opened up the Hard Knocks. We were at Hard Knocks for two years. Then we moved to Sanford MMA and then we been in Sanford for a total of two years. So I’ve trained with Kamaru for seven years and we both love to train."
“He was a good training partner for me and I was a good partner for him. Just sparring sessions, over 200. And just the grappling sessions, plus the wrestling sessions, for sure I have so many hours on the mat with Kamaru. We know each other very well.”
The training relationship between Usman (17-1 MMA, 12-0 UFC) and Burns came to an end when Burns became a title contender at 170 pounds, picking up wins over Demian Maia and former champ Tyron Woodley in succession in early 2020. Burns’ rise pushed Usman to take his training to Colorado under the tutelage of Trevor Wittman.
UFC signs China academy graduates ‘Dragon Girl’ Na Liang and ‘The Mongolian Murderer’ Aori Qileng
The UFC has signed two more academy graduates out of its state-of-the-art Shanghai Performance Institute.
“Mongolian Murderer” Aori Qileng (18-6) and “Dragon Girl” Na Liang (14-4) become the second and third Chinese fighters to make the grade after “The Mongolian Knight” Alateng Heili (14-8-1).
“We’re so proud to see Aori Qileng and Na Liang graduate from our program and wish them all the best as they continue their journey into the UFC,” said Kevin Chang, the UFC’s APAC senior vice-president.
“The hard work, sacrifice, and dedication our athletes put into improving themselves is tremendous.”