Joanna Jedrzejczyk has targeted the winner of the UFC 261 title fight between Zhang Weili and Rose Namajunas, Khamzat Chimaev makes a bold comparison and much more — Find out who Chimaev is looking to live up to and much more in your Fightful Fix.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk wants the winner of Zhang Weili vs. Rose Namajunas
Joanna Jedrzejczyk has declared that she is ready to return and has already decided who she will fight next. Jedrzejczyk hasn't been seen in the Octagon since her epic fight with reigning strawweight champion Zhang Weili at UFC 248 which was narrowly lost via decision. And according to the Polish star, the call has been made to the UFC for her next fight and she wants the winner of Weili and Rose Namajunas.
“I called Mick [Maynard] a few days ago and I just told him ‘you know what the baddest b*tch on the planet is back’ so book the fight, watch this fight and tell everybody that I’m next,” Jedrzejczyk said.
“I was waiting for this fight. It’s COVID time, so that’s the only reason why the belt was not stripped. Because once a year you have to defend the belt. But we’re having COVID times but when I was the champ, I was defending this belt like crazy.”
The former champ wouldn't give an official prediction on the fight but gave Namajunas some advice on who she's facing.
“I really believe that Rose Namajunas can outscore Weili Zhang but she has to be careful because Weili is powerful,” Jedrzejczyk explained to MMA Fighting. “But you know what, all the videos she’s posting and posting before my fight, these punches aren’t that hard. People will go crazy ‘how is that possible, your head was so big, it was so [swollen].’ Of course it was [swollen] but something happened in my head and the blood was coming out but inside my skin, it was a hematoma but I’ve fought with stronger fighters. I didn’t feel that much power of the punches but I know that Rose can outscore Weili Zhang but Weili is a powerful girl. She’s a very powerful girl. For me, it’s 50/50.”
Khamzat Chimaev believes he will be the Mike Tyson, Muhammad Ali of MMA
Khamzat Chimaev isn't about to take it easy following his turbulent breakout year with the UFC. Chimaev burst onto the scene during the pandemic era and caught the eye of Dana White for his willingness to fight any opponent at any weight class. His year seemed destined to end with a fight with Leon Edwards which could have propelled him to a title fight but after contracting COVID-19, the Chechnyan struggled to get back to full fitness. Now he is rearing to go and is targeting his return for August once he gets a few months of regular training underneath his belt.
“I think it’s [the] right decision,” Chimaev said to ESPN. “I only did [three fights in the UFC]. I didn’t show who I am. People still talk, ‘Ah, he beat bulls**t guys.’ That makes me [feel] inside somewhere. Now I have to show these people who I am and smash everybody, take my belt. I am MMA Mike Tyson. MMA Muhammad Ali. I’m going to show everybody.”
Chris Weidman says he knows he’s a “bad matchup” for Israel Adesanya
Former middleweight champion Chris Weidman believes that a couple of wins should see him in a fight with reigning champion Israel Adesanya. Weidman is facing Uriah Hall at UFC 261 and isn't looking past his opponent at all. But the former champ liked what he saw when Adesanya lost to Jan Blachowicz for the light heavyweight title and that has reaffirmed his belief that he can beat him.
“Seeing that fight, seeing how a strong guy was able to out-grapple him and get the takedowns, it definitely reaffirmed the thoughts that I had on that fight. That being said, I have some work to do,” Weidman said at media day (h/t BJPenn.com). “I got Uriah Hall. I don’t expect to be fighting Adesanya next. I do know I’m a bad matchup for him, and when I’m able to prove it to everybody, people are going to want to see it.”
Eddie Alvarez vs. Oscar de la Hoya “a real possibility,” confirms Chatri Sityodtong
ONE executive Chatri Sityodtong has confirmed that he would sign off on a potential boxing fight of Eddie Alvarez vs. Oscar De La Hoya. de la Hoya announced he would be returning to box and "The Underground King" had thrown his name in the hat to potentially box him. And Sityodtong has said he wouldn't block the fight as he is a huge fan of De La Hoya.
“There is a real possibility. Eddie and I spoke about it when he was in Singapore here. Oscar De La Hoya does want to fight Eddie Alvarez, and I think it would be a barnburner of a fight, and I told Eddie I was supportive. Of course, ONE Championship does have contractual rights, but I’m a big De La Hoya fan, and if he wants to slug it out with Eddie, I’m all for it,” Sityodtong told MMA Junkie.
Drakkar Klose to receive show money, promotional compliance pay following UFC Vegas 24 scratch
Drakkar Klose will be compensated with his show money and promotional guidelines compliance pay after a face-off shove from co-main event opponent Jeremy Stephens led to a late scratch from UFC Vegas 24. ESPN's Ariel Helwani was the first to report the news while MMA Fighting has added that Klose will also receive the promotional guidelines compliance pay from the UFC’s sponsorship deal with Venum. Klose was scheduled to compete in his eighth UFC bout, which would make the sponsorship pay at $6,000.
Anthony Johnson ready for five rounds with "superior athlete" Yoel Romero at Bellator 258
Anthony Johnson is prepared for five rounds for his MMA comeback fight with Yoel Romero at Bellator 258. "Rumble" has never fought past the third round in his career but despite the lack of experience, the former UFC star is in shape to go the distance. Johnson will face Romero in the light heavyweight Grand Prix quarterfinals, which will serve as the co-main event of Bellator 258 on May 7.
“Everybody wants three rounds. Who wants five rounds?” Johnson told MMA Junkie. “That’s 25 minutes of fighting. I’d take 15 over 25 any day, but I’m ready for it. My fights don’t usually last five rounds. It’s either me or them, and that’s fine with me. I don’t like leaving anything to the judges at all. But five rounds, if that’s what it has to be, that’s what it has to be. I’ve heard that number so many times during my fights for main events and stuff like that. I trained for five rounds. If it doesn’t go five rounds, perfect. Win or lose, perfect, but if it goes five rounds, I’m not worried about it. I have been training hard for this whole entire situation that I’m about to be in May 7.”
Curtis Millender: ‘I’m putting Rory down. I have to put him down’
Curtis Millender has stepped in on short notice to fight Rory MacDonald after David Michaud pulled out from the PFL one million dollar welterweight tournament. Millender has fought twice since MacDonald's last Bellator outing but he doesn't envisage this being an advantage due to the Canadian's experience.
“I’m not one to really believe in ring rust,” Millender explained his thinking to James Lynch for MMASucka.com. “I feel like at a certain point, you’ve been doing this for so long, it’s second nature. You’re fighting every day at the gym, you’re training every day at the gym, you have over 15-20 fights, this should be second nature by now, so I’m not a big believer in ring rust. In all honesty, I don’t give a sh*t how he feels, this is the one I need, I’m coming for him.”
After MacDonald’s draw against Jon Fitch under the Bellator banner, the former champion said he didn't know if he wanted to hurt people anymore which seemed to signal the end of his MMA career. And this was music to Millender's ears.
“That’s the first time I’ve heard of him saying that. That just made my confidence go through the roof because for this million dollars I can feed my kids forever, for a long time. I don’t care what I have to do to get it, I’ma get it. I’ll just say a prayer after. I’m putting Rory down. I have to put him down.”
ONE champion Aung La N Sang speaks out on bloodshed amidst Myanmar coup
ONE Championship light heavyweight titleholder Aung La N Sang, a Myanmar-born American, has spoken out about the unrest in Myanmar that has been ongoing since February and has made a plea to U.S. President Joe Biden to do more. Hundreds of protesters have died amidst political turmoil in Myanmar, where the military launched a coup and declared a state of emergency after its leaders were unhappy with the results of a 2020 election in the Southeast Asian nation.
“If there’s any way you can talk some sense into the military, it would be so helpful to the citizens in Myanmar who are suffering every day,” Sang said in a message directed at Biden during an interview with MMA Junkie Radio. “They have no media coverage right now, because all the media are banned. You can’t speak out against them on the internet on social media, or they’ll actually come get you at your house. Please, if you could by any way communicate and talk some sense into the general and the military, all of Myanmar would appreciate it.”
PFL newcomer Raush Manfio offered to fight for free during a three-year layoff
Raush Manfio spent three years away from MMA and fell on his knee and cried when he picked up the phone and was told by his manager that he would be joining the Professional Fighters League lightweight roster in 2021. Manfio has had nine bouts canceled in a little over two years, and his main sponsor, which paid him a monthly fee, eventually cut ties with him.
“I remember I offered to fight for free, man,” Manfio said in an interview with MMA Fighting. “‘Just get me a fight in any promotion, I’ll fight right around the corner just so I don’t lose this sponsor.’ What can I say, that was God’s will and I couldn’t get a fight. I even offered to fight for free at Titan. ‘I need a fight in the next 45 days.’ But I couldn’t get one [fight].”
Clay Collard plans to have a “statement” win over Anthony Pettis to prove “he’s one of the best”
Clay Collard is bursting at the seams in anticipation of his MMA return. Collard is due to welcome Anthony Pettis at the PFL 2021 season. In 2019 and 2020, Collard had 14 boxing fights and he became a big boxing star for Top Rank. He was beating a ton of top prospects but his goal was to return to MMA and now that the PFL is back, Collard is eager for the chance to show off his complete skill set.
“I’m very excited, boxing was fun but I’m a mixed martial artist. I show up to fight no matter what, and I show up to win,” Collard said to BJPENN.com. “I kept showing up and was beating top prospects and guys who were supposed to beat me. Now, though, I’m 100 percent focused on PFL and MMA. I’m also excited to throw knees and kicks again. In boxing, I’m so limited on what I can throw and what I like to do.”
Randy Brown expects to TKO Alex Oliveira in a “banger” of a fight: “I’m preparing for war”
Randy Brown is eager to share the Octagon with Alex Oliveira at UFC 261. Brown and Oliveira were supposed to meet in February, but Brown tested positive for COVID-19. Yet, the good news was the fight was rebooked for a sold-out crowd in Jacksonville at UFC 261, which Brown is excited about.
“For sure. I ended up getting COVID, so obviously we had to rebook and I’m glad the way it worked out. Bigger opportunity, bigger stage,” Randy Brown said to BJPENN.com. “That was the upside of all that. I also hated the silence, I’m so happy the fans are back and I can feed off the energy.”
Against Oliveira, Brown is eager for the opportunity as he knows the Brazilian is always in fan-friendly fights.
“I was excited and I’m excited because he will bring it. He has a great style, high-pace, high-action, big right hand. That is what I’m all about,” Brown said. “You lock us two in a cage it will make for a banger. I’m hyped. It’s a fight that I’m preparing for war and those are the fights I like.”