Santiago Ponzinibbo talks about his career almost ending, and news about Claressa Shields MMA plans and much much more — this is your Fightful Fix news roundup.
John McCarthy Sounds Off On Dana White: "You Little Clickbait B--ch"
Legendary former UFC referee "Big" John McCarthy let loose on UFC president Dana White's latest piece of video propaganda against the media on the most recent episode of his "Weighing In" Podcast with Josh Thomson.
“Here’s a guy that says, ‘I don’t give a fuck about the media,’” McCarthy said. “First off, I don’t even look at us as media, but that’s OK. But, [he said], ‘I don’t give a fuck about the media,’ but then he always complains about clickbait. [He says], ‘These media guys and that clickbait bullshit that they do.’ And it’s like, what the fuck did you and your little team do, man? You little clickbait bitch."
“I just cracked up, man. You are so pathetic that you – first off, that you need to have your pat on the back – OK, let me pat you on the back – because you took everything out of context, you made it to where were you were the hero. Congratulations, hero Dana," he continued. "Oh, let me bow down to you. Unbelievable. My God.”
McCarthy went on to explain the context that his clip White used should've been taken in.
“I was 100 percent supporting [the UFC holding events],” McCarthy said. “When he went to Jacksonville, Fla., I was one of his biggest supporters, because he wasn’t doing what he was doing with the Tachi Palace ... a fight that was illegal. He was leading himself down into a path that the California State Athletic Commission refused to regulate the show ... at the Tachi Palace. They said, ‘We are not going to do that, we do not want you to have that there.’
“And Dana’s part of it. He’s done so much to try to get the sport regulated, and he was taking a huge step backward in trying to put on a show at Tachi Palace. He can sit there and say whatever he wants to say – he was going to self-regulate the show. That was a huge mistake, and it was a mistake for every official. He put California officials – he put Herb Dean in a horrible spot. If it was Jason Herzog or Mike Beltran, they can’t do that show, because they’re going to get unlicensed by the CSAC, or they’re going to get suspended," he exclaimed. "Now they’re giving an opportunity to another athletic commission to say, ‘We’re not going to use you.’ It was putting people in a really bad spot.”
Later in the extended and justified rant, McCarthy took issue with White claiming that his desire was to create jobs, rather than fulfill his lucrative contract with ESPN
“I love what the UFC puts out as a product, but when you take huge steps backward to put on a show, and let’s just be flat out honest about why Dana was so intent on putting out shows,” McCarthy said. “It wasn’t because he was so into, ‘Oh, I want to keep my people employed.’ He needed to put on those shows so he could get the money for ESPN because he had a 42-fight contract that he had to meet for him to get his $750 million.
“Now, by putting on the shows, I love the fat that he kept all the fighters being able to make a living. I love the fact that nobody from the staff got cut. Those are all beautiful things, big-time things. But that all happened from that first show in Jacksonville forward, because he was able to put on those shows. That’s what it was all about," the veteran referee said. "That’s what we were talking about.”
McCarthy closed with a fiery rant directed at White's perceived ownership of the sport.
“Let me make this you clear to you, motherfuckers,” he said. “I was there a long fucking time before Dana White. You want to see a picture of Dana White when I first fucking met him? I’ll show you his little dweebie ass."
“I was not brought in by Dana White. I had to work with Dana White, and, I will tell you Dana White did a great job of making the UFC what it is," McCarthy concluded. "He worked his ass off. He deserves a ton of credit for it. But don’t think that I fucking owe him anything. I don’t owe him anything and he doesn’t owe me anything. Boom.”
The full episode can be seen below, as well as the video from White that they are referring to.
As we roll into 2021, I just wanted to remind everyone there’s ALWAYS a solution to every problem! So, cut through all the bullshit, and don't let these people that don't matter tell you how to live your life. pic.twitter.com/HPMbtojjJx— danawhite (@danawhite) December 21, 2020
Santiago Ponzinibbo Recounts Health Scare
UFC welterweight contender Santiago Ponzinibbio recounted a career-threatening health scare that has kept him out of the cage for over two years.
“For me it’s very tough,” Ponzinibbio said. “The people don’t know the truth. The people don’t really know the truth. When everything happened, it’s a little weird and I don’t talk too much. It was very complicated.
“It started with an infection inside my body and then it goes to my blood. I’ve got two different kinds of bacterial infections," he continued. "It was [an] epidemic [type of bacteria] and the other was pseudomonas, [a bacteria frequently found in water and certain plant seeds]. This is a more complicated bacteria. I had two in my body. I spent eight days in the hospital.”
“It was three days to finish the treatment, and then I started with a fever,” Ponzinibbio explained. “I have two doctors, my general doctor and my [infectious disease] doctor. I go to him, I have a fever, that’s normal? He told me not at all, go to the hospital right now. I go to the hospital and they make a couple tests.
“I stayed 10 days more in the hospital," he concluded. "They couldn’t bring my fever down. They switched my medications. They gave me a lot of different medication. I went back home, still with the PICC line [peripherally inserted central catheter] and more medication. For a couple, maybe two months more.”
Now that he's healthy, the Argentinian contender will look to get his UFC career back on track starting with his next bout against Li Jingliang in January at UFC Fight Island 7.
Amanda Nunes Opens As A Massive Favorite To Megan Anderson
Before their upcoming matchup up at UFC 259, the opening odds have dropped for the featherweight title bout between champion Amanda Nunes and challenger Megan Anderson.
Nunes has opened as a -1000 favorite with Anderson at a corresponding +700 underdog, according to the odds-makers at BetOnline.ag. If these odds hold until fight night, it would make it the most lopsided line in Nunes' long UFC career.
Anthony "Rumble" Johnson Says He Has No Designs On Heavyweight
New Bellator signee Anthony "Rumble" Johnson has closed the door on any future fighting at heavyweight in his new promotion.
“Everybody keeps talking about heavyweight cause I brought it up but everybody also has to realize I was fat whenever I was talking about fighting at heavyweight,” Johnson chuckled (h/t MMA Fighting). “I was fat. So I didn’t have no dreams of weighing 230 [pounds] or less again. But you’ve got monsters at heavyweight.”
Johnson began his career as a welterweight who struggled to make weight, before inflating to heavyweight for a run that included a victory over former UFC champion Andrei Arlovski. He is most well known for his career with the UFC as a light heavyweight, and so it's no surprise to see him settle there as he heads into the Bellator phase of his career.
Claressa Shields Lays Out Timeline For MMA Debut, Plans to Rep
Claressa Shields plans to show boxers can transition to MMA as well as any other martial art.
In an interview with MMA Fighting, the two-time Olympic gold medalist has stated she hopes to dispel the bad impression that boxers like James Toney have left in the MMA world.
“Listen, I’m excited and I’m just ready to prove everybody wrong,” Shields said. “Not everybody but all the doubters. It seems like everybody keeps saying like ‘oh anybody that’s come from boxing can’t be successful in MMA.’
“Like they say look at James Toney and I kind of laugh cause James Toney was 42 years old," she continued. "I’m 25. He was also 42 years old and he went in there, I don’t know how long he prepared but he fought against one of the best guys that they had. It’s like not that I wouldn’t do that but I’m preparing. I’m taking it one step at a time.”
Shields also insisted that she's willing to put in the work and start from the bottom if that's what's required in her new discipline.
“I’m not an egotistic person,” Shields explained. “I am the best woman’s fighter in the world. There is no other woman fighter in boxing that can beat me in boxing, for sure. But going g over to a whole other sport and saying that, it’s just not true now. I have to work my way up from the bottom and learn and train and drill.
“Put in that 10,000 hours to be great at something," Shields said. "I haven’t put in that 10,000 hours yet but I’ve put in a hell of a lot of time in just this past week and I’ve got 10 more days to put in more time.”
Shields also explained her timeline, which includes another boxing fight in February, and then turning her attention to MMA full time.
“We already have a deadline for that,” Shields revealed. “That’s why I’m already working now and learning right now. I’m looking forward to fighting in May-June next year, my MMA pro debut.”
Shields finally explained offered comment on the prospective matchup between herself and fellow Olympic gold medalist, and fellow PFL signee, Kayla Harrison
“The PFL is all about controlling your own destiny,” Shields concluded. “So if me and Kayla Harrison is in the same tournament if we’re in the same season and we both have to fight our way to the top. So who knows who I’ll be fighting against. It may be Kayla, it may not who’ll be in the finals. Cause I envision myself being able to make it to the finals in 2022.”
Claressa Shields Sees Success For Jon Jones In Boxing
Jon Jones could see success as a heavyweight boxer, according to three-division champion Claressa Shields.
While sitting down for a separate interview with Heavy.com, Shields offered her opinions on how her new Jackson Wink teammate, Jones could do in the boxing realm.
“I can see Jonny Bones making a transition from MMA to boxing,” Shields said “Heavyweight boxing, that’s what I see" (h/t Bloody Elbow).
Shields also had very kind things to say about how "Bones" breaks down technique in order to teach, and thinks that type of thinking processes translates to learning in the boxing world.
“Jonny Bones is a serious person especially when it comes to training and his teaching. We’ve had two classes to where I spent countless hours with Johnny Bones and he was teaching me and breaking stuff down that looked so complex, but breaking it down into 1-2-3-4," she added. "Breaking it down into steps from the beginning.
“So I look at him as a serious guy. So if I was to show him what I know in boxing and shows me what he knows in MMA, I believe that when he learns these simple basics with his hands and how to stand… Awww man. I think he would be so freakin’ dangerous in boxing because he’s really just," Shields concluded. "Inside that cage. I mean, we all seen it. He’s a dangerous guy.”
Report: Former Boxing Champ Sergey Kovalev Busted For Illegal Streaming DAZN
Sergey Kovalev, the former light heavyweight boxing champion, was reportedly caught illegally streaming a DAZN event one month before he is expected to fight on the streaming service, per the Athletic. Kovalev allegedly steamed Canelo Alvarez vs. Callum Smith illegally on Instagram Live to approximately 2,500 people. DAZN is now reportedly exploring legal options after potentially losing $50,000 (monthly subscription) to $250,000 (annual).
Frankie Randall, Who Beat Julio Cesar Chavez, Passes Away
Former WBC junior welterweight champion Frankie Randall died on Wednesday, according to his former trainer Aaron Sewell.
I just got word from DeMarcus Randall son of Frankie Randall 3x Champion that the Lord has call him home. The Surgeon...Posted by Aaron Snowell on Wednesday, December 23, 2020
Randall is famously the first person to ever drop and beat Julio Cesar Chavez, the legendary Mexican boxer. Chave was a big favorite coming into the match and boasted a ridiculous 89-0-1 record. The bout occurred at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on January 29, 1994. That evening, Randall came away with a split decision with (116-111, 114-113, 113-114) after dropping Chavez in round 11.
Jake Paul Refuses To Fight Amanda Nunes
UFC President Dana White teased sending Amanda Nunes after YouTuber Jake Paul; however, the latter wants no part of it. Paul expressed his lack of enthusiasm for fighting the women's champ-champ while angling for a boxing match against Dillon Danis.
“I wanna knock out Dilon because we’ve been talkin’ shit back and forth for 2 years, I’ve hooked up with his girlfriend, he’s all butt-hurt about it, there’s history there," Paul continued, suggesting Danis was an express past to a "dream fight" with Conor McGregor. “Why would I waste my time doing some bulls**t like [boxing Nunes?].”
Scott Coker Says Ryan Bader Wants Vadim Nemkov Rematch ASAP
Bellator President Scott Coker says Ryan Bader wants a rematch against new light heavyweight champion Vadim Nemkov before "Darth" Bader defends his heavyweight strap.
“We were definitely heading in that direction, then I got a call recently from his management saying that he would like to consider fighting Nemkov again,” Coker told MMA Junkie. “So to me, we haven’t flushed it out, but I think there is a desire for a rematch for that fight. If it happens, I’m not sure, but we’re definitely going to have a conversation with him about it because we were all about him getting into the heavyweight division and defending his belt, but that could change in the next couple of weeks.”
“I think he might have to make a decision at that point, but we’ll talk it through because he’s our champ, but we also want to let the belt continue on,” Coker continued. “If you really want to fight Nemkov, we have to have a conversation at some point.”
Coker insisted Bader was very interested in fighting Bellator's newer signing, such as Yoel Romero and Anthony Johnson, but the first priority is getting back his 205-pound title.
“I think his management told us he’s basically very excited about these new signings and he’d love to fight these guys," the Bellator boss explained. "Fight Nemkov, get his belt back. He’d also like to fight the other guys we just signed, whether it’s Yoel or ‘Rumble’, but he’s ready to go. Ryan Bader’s afraid of nobody, believe me. This guy is a killer, too.”
Cory Sandhagen Is Not Discriminating Between Champions And Top Contenders
Corey Sandhagen believes a world championship reign is a certainty, so he refuses to rush the process.
“I was supposed to say that (happened) this year, but that didn’t happen this year. So yeah, hopefully, it’ll happen next year,” Sandhagen told MMA Junkie on becoming champion. “I’m kind of in a groove where I’m not being too obsessive about any of that stuff. I think that it locks up my mind too much and it makes me uncreative. It doesn’t do a lot for me in my life other than creating stress that doesn’t really need to be there. Although that stress is a good stress, in the past it’s kind of become something that’s a little too distracting.”
“Of course I want to be a world champion, but I think I value higher just beating the best guys in the world,” Sandhagen continued. “That’s why I’m really excited to fight Frankie because that would be a really big notch in my belt, and it would add to the resume even more."
Sandhagen (13-2) has his eyes set on a February 6 fight with Frankie Edgar (24-8-1). That is enough, for now, to satiate his competitive spirit.
“I’m big, and I value very highly fighting the guys I see as some of the best guys in the world, and that’s what I want to do in the sport," he concluded. "If I’m a world champion, I think that will happen in time, but I’m more concerned with fighting the best guys so I can be the best fighter that I can by the time I retire.”
Darren Stewart Says Khamzat Chimaev "Took A Filling Out Of My tooth," And Ripped His Ear
Darren Stewart has had a hell of a time training with Khamzat Chimaev.
Stewart, appropriately nicknamed "The Dentist", dished to AbzTalks about his painful training sessions with the UFC Fight Island 8 headliner. Stewart insisted fans should not discount Chimaev's chances against Leon Edwards based on the prospect's lack of ranked UFC opponents.
"I know people sit there and say he hasn’t fought certain people,” Stewart said of Chimaev (h/t MMA Junkie). “He hasn’t yet. But look here, bro, the guy took a filling out of my tooth, just by cranking my neck."
“I was grappling with him, and my ear ripped,” he continued. “Then he had to come put tape around my head. It was mad.”
“He’s so strong, bruv. You could sit there and say, ‘It’s not about strength,’ and this. Brother, he’s so technical and so strong," Stewart expressed. “The unfortunate thing is (Chimaev) hasn’t fought no one, but then what do you want him to do? You can only fight who’s in front of you, so yeah, I’m looking forward to that one.”
12th Annual World MMA Awards Air On Saturday Night
A friendly reminder that the 12th Annual Fighters Only World MMA Awards air on Boxing Day 2020.
Saturday's event will take on a different flavor due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The fan-voted awards will be present during an hour-long broadcast on December 26. The ceremony is hosted by karate black belt and actor Dolph Lundgren.
“In an especially challenging year to uphold the annual tradition of the World MMA Awards, I am deeply grateful to Dolph Lundgren for hosting our show and working with our incredible production team so the great athletes in the sport of mixed martial arts can receive their well deserved night of honors and recognition,” said Rob Hewitt, CEO of Fighters Only, per MMA Junkie. “The show will go on – as it has every year since 2008.”
The 12th Annual Fighters Only World MMA Awards broadcasts Saturday, December 26 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on CBS Sports Network.
Raimond Magomedaliev Scores Big Knockout At ONE: Collision Course
Russian middleweight prospect Raimond Magomedaliev has moved to 6-1 with a big knockout at ONE Championship's Collison Course card on Christmas Day.
Raimond Magomedaliev ---- puts Edson Marques OUT in Round 1! #ONECollisionCourse2 #WeAreONE #ONEChampionship— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) December 25, 2020
How to watch ONE: COLLISION COURSE II -- https://t.co/X2djTVGPHP pic.twitter.com/UAkJy3VQO1
With that win Magomedaliev has now won two straight inside the ONE Championship cage, and could be in the mix for champion Reinier de Ridder's middleweight championship in 2021.
Full results from the card include.
Kairat Akhmetov def. Dae Hwan Kim via unanimous decision
Dae Sung Park def. Amir Khan via split decision
Raimond Magomedaliev def. Edson Marques via KO - Round 1
Senzo Ikeda def. Liang Hui via unanimous decision
Jamal Yusupov def. Samy Sana via unanimous decision
Momotaro def. Walter Goncalves via TKO (injury) - Round 1