Henry Cejudo has teased that his retirement has been cut short and he is coming back to MMA and a video has emerged of some conflicting information Petr Yan received from his team that led to his DQ loss at UFC 259 and much more — Your Fightful fix has the latest on that development and more MMA news from around the world.
Henry Cejudo potentially ends retirement
Henry Cejudo has been coaxed back to MMA and seems to have ended his retirement following UFC 259. Cejudo is one of the most decorated combat sports athletes in MMA as he has been a former Olympic gold medalist and two-division UFC champion. He announced his retirement from MMA in May of 2020, after defending the UFC bantamweight title with a TKO victory over Dominick Cruz. "Triple C" has been teasing his return ever since then and during an appearance on ESPN’s SportsNation after Saturday’s UFC 259 card, the self-proclaimed "King Of Cringe" declared he has returned.
“I’d like to line up both Petr Yan and Aljamain ‘Curling Sterling’ Silver at the same time,” Cejudo began, referencing UFC’s 259’s Yan vs. Sterling bantamweight title fight, which Yan lost via disqualification due to an illegal knee (h/t BJPenn.com). “I’d like to beat up both of them."
“You guys stay tuned, man,” Cejudo concluded as the interview ended. “Triple C is coming back!”
Petr Yan's corner gave mixed messages during UFC 259
Petr Yan seems to have been the victim of some communication issues that eventually cost him the UFC bantamweight title. Yan was disqualified for illegally kneeing Aljamain Sterling while he was deemed a downed opponent and lost his belt by DQ, an unwanted first-time record in UFC. The video seems to back up the events as seen by UFC commentator Daniel Cormier who summed up the incident as follows—as relayed to him by Russian-speaking Khabib Nurmagomedov.
“Well guys, you can hear, right,” Cormier said (h/t BJPenn.com). “One guy [in the Yan corner] is saying ‘just punch.’ Then somebody in that corner goes ‘yes’ when Yan says ‘kick?’ It’s in Russian. Khabib heard it, sitting over here. We couldn’t understand the language, but somebody in that corner yelled ‘yes [kick],’ and Petr Yan lands an illegal that ultimately cost him the UFC championship.”
John McCarthy believes Aljamain Sterling exaggerated how hurt he was
"Big" John McCarthy has joined the list of MMA personalities who have raised doubts over how hurt new bantamweight champion Aljamin Sterling was after the illegal knee he suffered at the hands of Petr yan. McCarthy doesn't blame Sterling for potentially milking how compromised he was and believes the referee Mark Smith helped his cause by discussing the implications of a DQ finish where Sterling could hear that he was within touching distance of the belt.
“I’m gonna get eaten up by some people, especially Ray Longo. But I’ve seen Aljo take some big shots, he’s a tough dude. When you look at that knee, and you look at that initial response. And then look at what occurred. I’m not sure that it was affecting him as much as it was coming out," McCarthy said to his co-host Josh Thompson on their Fight CAT Youtube show (h/t LowKick MMA). “But once he hears I’m gonna get a win here, that’s money. I’m not saying he made a bad decision. It’s called business, and you’ve got to make a business decision. If that’s what occurred I don’t blame him.”
Many fans have called for the fight to be rematched as soon as possible and they can add UFC president Dana White to that. White admitted in the post-UFC 259 press conference that we will run that back and get a decisive winner this time,
“Yeah, as soon as possible,” White told reporters (h/t MMA Junkie). “Aljo went to the hospital, he’s cleared. Nothing wrong with him. Tuesday we’ll get together and we’ll figure out where that fight fits because Sterling wants the rematch, too. They both want the rematch, we gotta do the rematch. We’ll figure it out.”
Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren Lands at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta
Triller Fight Club today announced that Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, will be the home for TFC’s inaugural event of 2021, the April 17 boxing Pay-Per-View card headlined by YouTuber Jake Paul and former UFC star Ben Askren. This will be the first-ever fighting event at the arena and is the home stadium of the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League (NFL) and Atlanta United of Major League Soccer. The suggested PPV retail price for the event is $49.99 (U.S. & Canada). Triller Fight Club is a partnership between Triller and Snoop Dogg and is spearheaded by Ryan Kavanaugh, who had the following to say on the announcement. For the full press release, please click here.
“Our vision of big fights, big entertainment and world class events can only fit into a world class venue, and Mercedes-Benz Stadium fits that vision,” said Kavanaugh. “April 17th will have an element of surprise and action for everyone, from music fans to the casual and diehard fight fan. The way we will present the night in this state-of-the-art venue will continue to redefine consumer engagement for a global consumer, with world class partners like iNDemand and FITE joining us not just for this event, but for the others we will have in 2021 and beyond.”
“Mercedes-Benz Stadium will continue to be the place where sports and entertainment’s biggest events are held, and we welcome Triller Fight Club for this special event,” said Tim Zulawski, Chief Revenue Officer for AMB Sports and Entertainment. “We look forward to showcasing our stadium to the global audience that Ryan and his team are building, and are proud to be a part of this historic night of boxing and entertainment.”
Ali Abdelaziz shares Dominick Cruz' comments on Monster Energy, Monster responds
Ali Abdelaziz has weighed in on one of the most bizarre call-outs in UFC history. Dominick Cruz ended his two-fight losing streak by defeating Casey Kenney and used his post-fight media duties to call out Monster Energy’s Hans Molenkamp for a charity event. Abdelaziz has weighed in himself on his Instagram and has had some pretty severe words on Molenkamp, an unknown to most fans before the UFC 259 PPV.
Monster Energy has responded to this bizarre media attention and claimed to be investigating the matter.
“We take any such allegations seriously and are looking into it at this time,” a Monster spokesperson wrote to MMA Fighting. No further details were offered.
Leon Edwards blasts Colby Covington for rejecting fight
Leon Edwards has been the most hampered fighter of the pandemic era with Edwards having three fights with Khamzat Chimaev postponed as well as losing out on a fight with Tyron Woodley that would have granted him a title shot that went to Gilbert Burns instead. After Chimaev was forced to pull out due to underlying issues from his COVID-19 infection, Edwards (no.3) was hoping that Colby Covington (no.1) would fight him given their respective rankings.
“I thought he would’ve stepped up. He talks a lot of s**t on social media. But, when it’s time to fight real fighters he goes running and makes excuses. I wasn’t shocked really, its’ kind of his character,” Edwards said to MMANews’ James Lynch (h/t BJPenn.com). “He doesn’t want to fight top guys. He wants to sit on the sideline and say he wants a title shot but doesn’t want to work for a title shot. It is what it is.”
Although a contract was never sent out to either Edwards or Covington, the Birmingham native says it didn’t even get past the verbal agreement as Covington turned it down as he is waiting on a title shot.
“They came to me and said would you fight him. I said yes, and they went to him and said would you fight Leon and he said no. That was it,” Edwards added. “They tried pushing it, they tried getting him to fight me but he wouldn’t do it. He wants a title shot.”
Julianna Pena calls for Mother's Day weekend clash with Amanda Nunes
Julianna Pena is done asking nicely for a shot at Amanda Nunes and bantamweight glory. Pena has been vocal about her desire to fight the "Lioness" giving she's one of the few bantamweights Nunes hasn't defeated. Nunes admitted that she would rather see Pena fight Germaine De Randamie first before a title shot can be granted and Pena believes she has waited long enough.
“She’s going to say whatever she can to continue to skate by and hold onto her belt as long as possible,” Pena said. “She doesn’t want to fight me. I won seven a row, and she didn’t want to fight me. … She fought Miesha (Tate) and won the belt, and ever since then she’s been fighting nothing but strikers. That’s not for any other reason other than the fact she doesn’t want to fight somebody that can actually threaten her and put her in a threatening position to where she could lose the belt. She knows that person is me.”
With UFC president Dana White admitting that the fight could well be next, Pena is chomping at the bit to prove she can not only hang with Nunes but also dethrone her.
“She’s ready to go, I’m ready to go,” Pena said to MMA Junkie. “I don’t see why we couldn’t fight each other next, albeit next there’s pretty much no one else I can think of that has made themselves available for her to fight. I definitely think it’s my turn. It’s my time, and I don’t see why we shouldn’t be fighting next on May 8. I definitely think that it’s great that we’re both moms. That’s why I think that on Mother’s Day would be a perfect time for all of this to happen. There’s no better time than live on ABC on Mother’s Day.”
Israel Adesanya disputes 10-8 round in loss to Jan Blachowicz
Israel Adesanya was on the losing end of a judge's decision that everyone watching agreed with. Adesanya lost by unanimous decision to Jan Blachowicz in a failed attempt to become a double champion. The only point of contention has been the 10-8 round in the fifth where two judges gave Blachowicz a 10-8. Adesanya admitted that although it didn't make much of a difference in the end, that the round was not a 10-8 in his mind.
“It wasn’t that big of a difference. I don’t know about those 10-8 rounds, and I don’t know about some of those scorecards from the judges. But I lost the fight to the better fighter tonight, the craftier fighter tonight. But it wasn’t an ass whooping or anything," Adesanya said post-UFC 259 (h/t MMA Junkie). "When he had me on the ground if he had postured up and then wailed on me and thrown some crazy elbows and some crazy punches and connected crazy, yeah – I can say, ‘Yeah, give it a 10-8. Give it a 10-7, even. Use the whole 10-point must system.’ But it wasn’t under that. He just held on and snuck some shots in to try and keep it busy enough that the referee doesn’t stand it up, and that’s a veteran move because he’s a veteran in this game.”
Dan Hardy on Carlos Condit: “If I fight him, I have to beat him twice on the same night”
Dan Hardy may have parted company with the UFC but he hasn't stopped speculating about a potential return to the Octagon. Hardy has talked about what he would want from a fight with Carlos Condit if they rematched their 2010 clash. Condit TKO'd Hardy in the only knockout loss in the Brit's career. And now he has revealed that he would need to turn the series around in the same night to put that loss at ease.
“The thing is, Condit beat me one time. I’m 0-1 against that guy. If I fight him, I have to beat him twice on the same night," Hardy said to RT Sport (h/t MiddleEasy). "My goal for the Condit fight, if I got that fight, I would take him down and choke him out in the first minute. Then I’d go back to my corner and have the referee restart it so I can knock him out. Then I’d be 2-1 against him. Even if I beat him one time, there’s no closure there. I’ve got to run that back twice. I wanna be 2-1 in the series."
Kennedy Nzechukwu's comeback started by staring into Carlos Ulberg's corner
Kennedy Nzechukwu defeated Carlos Ulberg with a second-round TKO at UFC 259. Nzechukwu, who was fighting for the first time since August 2019, has revealed that staring at Ulberg's coaches got him motivated and knew the finish was coming.
“It was a bit overwhelming because I haven’t been in the octagon for a long time because of injuries. But once I got those couple of legs in, I was like, ‘OK, it’s time to go.’ That killer instinct started to come out," Nzechukwu told the media following UFC 259 (h/t MMA Junkie). “The forward pressure was overwhelming him toward the end of the first round. I saw it. My coaches gave me the advice in between rounds. I was staring right at his corner. I was trying to listen to my coaches, but I was looking right at his corner and his corner was looking at me. I could see him. He was out of it. I just knew he couldn’t push for 25 more minutes if it was a championship round. So I just had to start where I stopped and just keep pressuring him.”