Fightful MMA News & Notes For 6/7/23: UFC Fight Announcements, PFL 4 Weigh-Ins & Fighter Legal News

Here is the Fightful MMA News & Notes For 6/7/23…

- Beneil Dariush says the UFC has guaranteed him a title shot with victory at UFC 289:

UFC Vegas 79 Weigh-In Results: Fiziev vs. Gamrot

“That is correct,” Dariush told MMA Junkie at the UFC 289 media day. “I spoke with Hunter (Campbell) when they rebooked this fight and that’s what they said, that I will be No. 1 contender.”

- Israel Adesanya, citing inflation, wants to see the UFC raise their bonus money:

“My knockouts alone are worth $50,000,” Adesanya said on IMPAULSIVE (transcript via Farah Hannoun of MMA Junkie). “Alone, that’s knockouts, alone. Like my last one, bonus. I’ve said this, the UFC, sometimes they bump it up to $100(k) for certain cards. UFC 200 I think or UFC 100 they did, bonuses were $100k. When I knock someone I normally get a bonus, so I’m like my knockouts are worth $50,000.

“The UFC and WWE merger, $21.4 billion dollar company. I’m like, ‘Yo, they can go up.’ It’s been a few years, inflation has been going up. The bonus got to go up, that’s how I feel. But, I’ve told them this, I’ve said this publicly, it’s nothing crazy.”

- A press release issued by Bellator has revealed that Danny Sabatello vs. Magomed Magomedov and Lorenz Larkin vs. Andrey Koreshkov has been added to Bellator x Rizin 2.

- Ovince St. Preux will reportedly fight Ion Cutelaba at UFC Fight Night Nashville on August 5, which was first reported by MMA Junkie.

- Ignacio Bahamondes is scheduled to face Ludovit Klein at UFC Fight Night Nashville, which was first reported by MMA Junkie.

- Chael Sonnen isn’t too happy that former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jan Blachowicz and former UFC Middleweight Champion Alex Pereira will co-headline UFC 291:

“From the department of ‘who cares’ comes Blachowicz vs. Pereira,” Sonnen said on his YouTube channel (transcript via Farah Hannoun of MMA Junkie). “Well, I don’t mean that to sound like a jerk, but you got two guys that don’t have the ability to bring interest to anything. They’re just not equipped with that. So you’ve got to understand you’re dealing with two narcissists, both Blachowicz and Pereira. I never met them. You’re dealing with two narcissists clinically.

“Along with that narcissism comes an idea that everybody knows what it is that you have done. Everybody knows the significance of this fight. I could make this a really great spoiler, and I could do it really quickly. They narcissistically believe that I already have, and I don’t mean me, your intellectual superior Chael Sonnen. I’m talking just the average viewer.

“The average viewer has already put together that we have a guy who beat a guy (Adesanya) three times vs. the guy where they fought once, and it was pretty competitive, but he got taken down, and we got a world champion here vs. a former world champion up here. This guy’s first time coming up, and this guy’s known for the power on his feet, but this guy is as technical as they come. They think that the world knows that, and they don’t. The viewer that watches every single Saturday doesn’t find what I just said to be interesting.”

- 2023 PFL 4 Weigh-In Results, Ty Flores comes in 5 pounds heavy:

Main Card (10pm EST., ESPN/ESPN+)

Brendan Loughnane (146) vs. Jesus Pinedo (146)

Tyler Diamond (145.8) vs. Movlid Khaybulaev (146)

Marthin Hamlet (205.8) vs. Sam Kei (206)

Bubba Jenkins (146) vs. Sung Bin Jo (145.8)

Josh Silveira (205.6) vs. Delan Monte (205.8)

Preliminary Card (6:30pm EST., ESPN+)

Gabriel Braga (144.4) vs. Marlon Moraes (145.6)

Ty Flores (211.2) vs. Dan Spohn (206)

Ryoji Kudo (145.6) vs. Chris Wade (145.4)

Tim Caron (205) vs. Impa Kasanganay (204)

Taylor Johnson (205.2) vs. Andrew Sanchez (205.6)

Brandy Hester (145) vs. Abigail Montes (145.8)

Akeem Bashir (146) vs. Alexei Pergande (145.8)

Alternate: Jesse Stirn (144.6)

- Bellator Bantamweight Champion Sergio Pettis is interested in becoming a two-division champion:

“Definitely something I’m interested in,” Pettis told MMA Junkie Radio. “Obviously to have that champ-champ status, but man, that cut to 125 is not fun for anybody. The older I’m getting, I’m like, ‘Man, I don’t know if I really see myself going back down.’ If it made sense and the opportunity presented itself, the competitor in me and the ego in me would be like definitely could make it. But how I feel at 135 is a lot different than how I feel at 125.”

- Tom Aspinall believes former UFC Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou can beat Deontay Wilder in a boxing match:

“I think if there was anybody he (Ngannou) could beat, it would be Wilder,” Aspinall said to JN Media UK (transcript via Farah Hannoun of MMA Junkie). “Wilder is – I don’t wanna slag the guy off because he’s one of the hardest punches ever. But as far as actual boxing ability, his level is way lower than someone like an (Oleksandr) Usyk or a Tyson Fury or somebody like that.

“But the guy’s punching power is absolutely off the chart. It’s absolutely ridiculous, out of this world. But I think he’s quite hittable, and his fight IQ doesn’t seem to be great… If there’s any of them he (Ngannou) could beat, it would definitely be Wilder.”

- Michael Bisping believes Jon Jones vs. Tyson Fury could be as successful as Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather:

“Apparently Floyd Mayweather made a gigantic $280 million (against McGregor). I mean, that is insane,” Bisping said on his YouTube channel (transcript via Farah Hannoun of MMA Junkie). “Poor old Conor, he had to get by with just $130 million. … Would Tyson Fury and Jon Jones do similar numbers? I’m gonna say it would.

“Hypothetically speaking, this would be a very hard fight to make. It’s hard enough getting Tyson Fury in a ring with Oleksandr Usyk or Anthony Joshua or any of the other fighters he’s talking about. Usyk should be the fight. Stipe should be the fight for Jon Jones, but I’m telling you, just as a fan, I would love to see it. I am intrigued.”

- Billy Quarantillo faces Damon Jackson at UFC Fight Night Nashville, which Quarantillo confirmed via OnlyFans.

- UFC has reportedly parted ways with eight fighters, with those fighters being Makwan Amirkhani (reported by MMA Fighting), Danaa Batgerel (first reported by MMA Fighting), Tony Gravely (first reported by MMA Fighting), Joseph Holmes (which Holmes confirmed via Instagram), Trevin Jones (which Jones confirmed via Instagram), Ilir Latifi (first reported by ESPN), Mounir Lazzez (first reported by MMA Fighting) and Omar Morales (first reported by MMA Fighting).

- Chris Weidman plans on throwing “the hardest leg kick of my life” in return against Brad Tavares at UFC 292:

“The first thing I’m doing in that fight against Brad Tavares is throwing the hardest leg kick of my life, right on his shinbone,” Weidman said on The MMA Hour. “I do want to do that. It’s worth it, I think it’s important for you to face your fears. Anything you might be uncomfortable with, just go ahead and do it.”

- Jim Miller is disappointed with Jared Gordon and his team for UFC Vegas 74 withdrawal:

“Sometimes you go through the medicals after a fight and you get to the tent in the back, sometimes you’re not fully, really showing signs of a concussion or anything like that, or even injuries,” Miller said on The Fighter vs. The Writer. “This is actually a conversation I’ve had with doctors on quite a few occasions. You’re taking us when we are still high on adrenaline. We’re still heart pumping at a mile a minute. We are still in fight mode, and you’re asking us if things hurt, or this or that. It’s hard for us to fully assess what exactly is going on.

“From what I understand, he didn’t really feel like he had a concussion until a week or so later. Then [the responsibility] is kind of on him. Like maybe you should have vocalized that to people. Like I said, post-fight, I understand him doing it. I understand him taking the fight. It’s kind of reckless, but we get paid to step into a cage and beat the tar out of each other. I’m disappointed with his team.”

- Cedric Doumbe has revealed on Twitter that he is off the June 23 PFL card due to a wrist injury.

- Anthony Smith says he is looking forward to the day that Amanda Nunes retires:

“Is it weird that, at times, I look forward to Amanda Nunes’ retirement?” Smith asked Monday on The MMA Hour. “It’s a very weird sentiment I have. Sometimes when I see her in these fight weeks, in these interviews, and she’s dragged her whole family there, and then she gets in and she fights — sometimes I almost feel bad for her. Like, just go enjoy your life, and just go have fun. Like, stop doing all this s***. Because a lot of times she doesn’t seem to always enjoy it that much.”

- Kai Kara-France says his loss at UFC Vegas 74 cost him $100,000 and a potential Brandon Royval fight:

“I definitely thought [I won] round one,” Kara-France said on The MMA Hour. “Two was a close round, but I feel like I did enough. He got me down in the third round, took my back, couldn’t finish me, and I ended up finishing on top, raining down elbows. And then fourth and fifth, I was the one dictating the pace, I was the one pressuring, I was the one landing the better shots. And it’s how you finish. It’s momentum. It’s pretty much stamping that you’re winning the fight. He was tired, he was gassed, all he did was push me against the cage, and a few flurries, but mostly it was me those last two rounds. So it’s a tough one when you’re looking at my career right now.

“That cost me $100,000, that loss. It cost me my ranking, No. 3 in the world. Where winning this fight would have just put me right back in with probably [Brandon] Royval to fight for the No. 1 contender. It puts me right back into where I want to be, which is the best in the world...

“It’s a tough one when you look at it like that and you take a step back and you’ve got to think, what are these judges looking at? I wasn’t going to win right from the start if that’s what they’re looking at. So it kind of makes you really question what are the judges even trying to see here. They’re not even giving me a chance if fourth and fifth round, if I didn’t even push, they wouldn’t have given it to me anyway. So it’s a really tough situation, but I guess the game we play is subjective and this stuff happens.”

- AJ Dobson will reportedly be fighting Tafon Nchukwi on August 12 UFC Fight Night card, which was first reported by MMA Fighting.

- Andre Ward says Nate Diaz can be a tougher fight for Jake Paul than most people realize:

“People look at that mitt session that they had and they just misread the play, man, [because] those type of shots, they don’t look pretty, but they keep coming,” Ward said Monday on The MMA Hour. “They keep coming from different angles and he’s got some miles on him. He’s been around a long time.

“[Diaz has] to show that he can take the shot from Jake Paul, because Jake has a natural right hand, it’s got power on it. So if he can take that right hand from Jake Paul, it’s gonna be a tougher fight than people realize, man, because Nate’s going to keep coming.”

- Former UFC fighter Chael Sonnen has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor battery charges, stemming from the fighter allegedly attacking people outside of a Las Vegas hotel in 2021, a bench trial is set for August according to MMA Fighting.

- Former UFC Middleweight Champion Alex Pereira is going to be learning English from fellow UFC fighter and former opponent, Sean Strickland:

“I’m actually giving you breaking news right now,” Pereira said via translator on The MMA Hour. “Sean Strickland’s coming to Connecticut next week for one week to train with me for his next fight. I’m going to learn English with Sean Strickland.”

- Dana White blames Jared Gordon for the fighter’s withdrawal from UFC Vegas 74:

“When you come into here on press day and you announce that you had a concussion six weeks ago and you healed yourself from the concussion, you’re done,” White said at the UFC Vegas 74 post-fight press conference (transcript via Alexander K. Lee of MMA Fighting). “We’re not going to let you fight. Yeah, we pulled him, because he basically said—He should have told us that six weeks ago. He should have showed at least the company and your opponent some respect and at least did that six weeks ago.

“You’re not a f****** doctor. You didn’t cure yourself from a concussion. Not to mention, so what did he do, did he get a concussion, was he self-diagnosed? Or did he go to a doctor and did a doctor diagnose him with a concussion? You have to be honest when you get injuries. Of course, the minute we hear about it, no fight is worth keeping on if it’s going to risk somebody’s health, safety, longevity, whatever it might be. We will pull you out in 2.5 seconds.”

- Former UFC Interim Lightweight Champion Tony Ferguson has pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor DUI charge following a May truck crash involving the fighter, which was first reported by TMZ.

- UFC fighter Paddy Pimblett has revealed on Instagram that he has married his longtime girlfriend.

- The UFC has announced a return to Paris with a UFC Fight Night card scheduled for September 2.

- Shauna Bannon has announced on Twitter that she has signed with the UFC and she will debut at UFC London on July 22.

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