Before looking forward, Jorge Masvidal is already looking ahead against Kamaru Usman, Lyoto Machida is not thinking about retirement — all this and more in Friday's Fightful Fix.
Jorge Masvidal is thinking about a Kamaru Usman trilogy fight
The last time the two fought, Jorge Masvidal was not close to 100%. If he can beat UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman at UFC 261, Masvidal would not say no to a third bout between the two. During a virtual fan Q&A, Masvidal put it into his head that he was going to win the second fight.
“When I win the rematch we definitely will go for the trilogy,” Masvidal said (h/t MMA Fighting).“I will not go down in history 1-1 with this individual. It’s just not going to happen.”
UFC 261 takes place on April 24 in Jacksonville, FL.
Lyoto Machida is not ready to retire
The storied career of Lyoto Machida is not over yet. That is how the former UFC light heavyweight champion sees it. Machida is set to face Ryan Bader on April 9 at Bellator 256 in the first round of the light heavyweight grand prix. A win could propel Machida back to the top, and close to world title.
During Bellator 256 media day, Machida discussed his future and how he feels at the moment at 42.
“We cannot forget that I always try to live the moment,” Machida told MMA Fighting. "I always try to think in the present. I cannot foresee anything in the future. That’s why I try to live every single minute of my life in this moment. As a human being, I just said here you think to go to the future, you think to plan everything, you think to be stuck in the past. The hard task is to keep yourself in the moment.
“In this moment, I just have this fight against Bader and I have a long path ahead of me. That’s why I cannot say anything about retirement or about the future but I have everything in my mind. I have everything that I have to do until I want to do it. Until I believe I can still can do it.”
Eddie Alvarez pleads with ONE FC
It was meant to be Eddie Alvarez's time to shine during this past Wednesday's ONE on TNT event. Facing Iuri Lapicus, Alvarez hit vicious shots that were indicated as illegal after Lapicus moved his head. Hitting blows near the ear, the referee gave Alvarez a red card.
While he cares about the health of Lapicus, Alvarez, who is now 1-2 since joining ONE, wants what he believes is his.
“I went back to my room and I was able to watch the clip of the fight and see everything and it was a bad call on the referee’s side,” said Alvarez (h/t MMA Fighting). “The American media is in uproar right now and so are the American fans. I’m going to respectfully ask them to look back at the video and reverse that call."
Georges St-Pierre has high praise for Khabib Nurmagomedov
Fans have been yearning for a Khabib Nurmagomedov-Georges St-Pierre bout for years. Both were considered one of the top fighters within their divisions. Happily retired since 2017, GSP had nothing but good things to say about Nurmagomedov on the Joe Rogan Podcast.
“To me, Khabib is one of the scariest to do it. Because he’s beating you down," St-Pierre stated (h/t BJ Penn). "He’s not only beating you, but he’s breaking you mentally. And for me, that is worse than anything. For me, he’s the scariest one pound-for-pound."
Nurmagomedov recently retired, his last fight against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254.
Demetrious Johnson OK with ending during ONE championship fight
Former UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson has not changed his mind about knees on a downed opponent, event after it happened to him.
Johnson lost to Adriano Moraes at ONE on TNT I for the ONE flyweight title. The latter hit a knee to the face of Johnson, a deciding blow that helped end the fight. Before this fight, Johnson praised the rule as being legal, following the controversy surrounding the illegal knee strike in the Aljamain Sterling-Petr Yan fight. After his bout, Johnson's mood did not shift.
“I like these rules,” Johnson said (h/t MMA Junkie). “Like I said, it’s a progression of a fight. I went down on my back. I was coming up for an underhook, Adriano had me posted, he blasted a knee, the fight’s over, it’s done, I don’t get anymore concussions. It’s just done, and it was a different position than I’ve been in. Adriano did a good job of using his length. He fully extended me and landed the knee.”
"I’m totally content with what happened. I’m not like, ‘That rule should be taken out.’ That’s what the rule was, Adriano used it to his advantage, and I was on the other end of the stick.”
Jon Jones optimistic about potential Francis Ngannou clash
The past few months have been frustrating and exhausting for Jon Jones. The former UFC light heavyweight champion has made the move to heavyweight and is hoping to fight for the UFC heavyweight title soon. Francis Ngannou, the new champion, just beat Stipe Miocic. Jones wants to face Ngannou while also getting paid, and has been fighting with the UFC in making the salary fair.
Right now, things are silent when it comes to a bout. There were even reports that the UFC might just move forward with Ngannou-Derrick Lewis II. Jones isn't worried, however, as he believes something positive will come out of this.
“I think it’s gonna happen,” Jones stated to Fight Hype (h/t MMA Fighting). “I think the UFC eventually will do the right thing. I think this is one of the greatest fights of our generation and it would be really sad if it weren’t to happen. I believe that it will. It would be a real tragedy [if it didn’t happen]. It’ll happen.
“All in good time. We’re patient and like I said, just doing what we can do and controlling what we can control and doing our part.”
Jones recently had a spat with the UFC last year over salary, which started his move to heavyweight.
Jorge Masvidal not opposed to Leon Edwards fight
While focusing on Kamaru Usman, Jorge Masvidal wouldn't mind messing around with Leon Edwards.
The BMF Champion spoke during a fan Q&A when someone asked him about a fight with Edwards. Masvidal, who is fighting Usman at UFC 261, claimed to have already beaten him but wouldn't mind doing so again.
“Who’s that? Oh, wait, that’s the dude that interrupted our interview,” Masvidal stated (h/t MMA Fighting). “I already dealt with that individual. In his fights, he pokes eyes last I heard. So it’s whatever.
“Win a fight and I’ll be here, man.”
Edwards interrupted Masvidal following a post-fight interview backstage, leading to Masvidal coming up to him and throwing punches. The former recently fought Belal Muhammad to a no-contest and is set to fight Nate Diaz at UFC 262.
Mackenzie Dern excited for big clash against Nina Ansaroff
Going 3-0 in 2020, Mackenzie Dern believes that 2021 will be a big year for her. A win over Nina Ansaroff at the UFC's second show on ABC could potentially propel her to a title opportunity.
Dern faces Nina Ansaroff (now Nunes), the wife of Amanda Nunes. This will be Ansaroff's first fight since June 2019, when she had her four-fight win streak snapped by Tatiana Suarez. Becoming a new mom, Ansaroff, ranked fifth in the UFC's strawweight rankings, is ready to get back in the octagon. Dern, a mother herself, believes a win can be a game-changing moment for her in the division.
“I don’t want to get to the belt fighting people who aren’t ranked," Dern stated to MMA Fighting. "I want to prove myself and the best way is to show that I’m ready. When they said Nina, I know Nina’s gonna fight. I thought it was cool and I know what it’s like [to be in her shoes]. My daughter is going to be two in June and I went through the whole process she’s going through.
“When I saw she was No. 5, I’m just so happy for this opportunity. I’m hoping it will push me far up in the rankings.”
Diana Avsaragova focused on her career
At 22, Diana Avsaragova has caught the eyes of Bellator. She has also caught the eyes of various social media followers. While flattered by all of the messages, Avsaragova wants to prove her looks aren't the only thing people are talking about.
“People look at me and think, ‘Oh my God, she’s an MMA fighter and she’s beautiful. Oh wow,’ and they follow me,” Avsaragova stated to MMA Junkie.
Avsaragova is set to compete at Bellator 256 against Tara Graff. At 2-0, Avsaragova wants to move on up with the promotion. With a unique skillset and a team of warriors by her side, Avsaragova is ready to dominate inside the cage.
“I was on the Russian team (in) wrestling,” Avsaragova went on to say. “I’m a good freestyle wrestler. I have good skills in wrestling, and I want more wrestling in my fights. … I’m a wrestler, but I can work in striking. I’m not only a wrestler, but I can fight in striking. I can (surprise).”
Sasha Palatnikov discusses smoking weed
When it comes to taking care of one's body, Sasha Palatnikov does so in a unique way. Speaking with the Fanatics Fantasy MMA App team, Palatnikov discussed his ways of relaxing. He considers the drugs that he uses a medicine of sorts to help him out.
“I’m a big weed smoker. I’ve been smoking for 12 years, but I’m very controlled with that," Palatnikov stated (h/t BJ Penn). I don’t smoke a month out from my fight. I’m big on shrooms, I’m big on natural stuff, psychedelics. I’ve had a lot of positive experiences with that stuff. Microdosing, things like that. I would love to go on Joe Rogan... For me, it’s medicine dude. I don’t take pharmaceuticals, I don’t take chemicals, I don’t put any of that in my body. I’m all about natural stuff, organic, just making sure we put the good stuff in our body. And especially as an athlete.
Palatnikov is on a two-fight win streak and is not ashamed of what he puts into his body. He believes CBD will be much more prominent in MMA, and believes what is in it and the drugs he takes can help his body in the long run.
Joe Solecki excited to face Jim Miller
After watching him fight for years, Joe Solecki is ready to face off against a game Jim Miller. Fighting at the UFC's second show on ABC, Solecki spoke to BJ Penn about facing a veteran in Miller, someone who he has watched since he was a teenager.
2-0 inside the octagon, Solecki faces one of his toughest challenges to date. Watching him for years, Solecki has been scouting Miller and understands what he is getting himself into.
“He’s super well-rounded. On the feet, he is very dangerous, I sat first or the second row in Jersey and he hurt Clay Guida on the feet,” Solecki stated. “Then he did what he does and snatched his neck up. You can’t turn your back on him at any point. I could be up 2-0 but he is still dangerous until the third round bell goes. Just respecting him and knowing who is in front of me. If I take my eye off the ball for one second I could pay for it.
“These are the kind of fights you want to test yourself in. I’ve been grappling since I was six. I’ve been watching him since I was 12. At some point, we will grapple.”
Jorge Masvidal ready for Colby Covington
Members of American Top Team together at one point, Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington have not gotten along with one another for years. The tension has been building and sparked last year at Super Bowl media day. There were rumors of the two coaching The Ultimate Fighter, but Masvidal will now face Kamaru Usman for the UFC welterweight title. Masvidal explained to ESPN why a fight fell through against Covington.
“Because Colby’s a bitch,” Masvidal said (h/t MMA Junkie). “They offered him good money, and then the Colby deal was that we already knew we had the Usman fight. They already told me, ‘Hey, you have the Usman fight.’ So why am I going to fight the second-place guy that got his jaw broken, left running out of the ring, didn’t talk for months on Twitter because he got his jaw broken? Why don’t I go fight the guy that broke his jaw?
Covington, the former interim welterweight champion, lost to Usman for the title. His last fight was in September against Tyron Woodley, beating the former champion via TKO. Masvidal wants to beat Usman, and eventually face him in a trilogy fight. He won't forget about Covington, however, and believes he holds all the cards for a potential clash.
"And that fight will take place, but when I say so," Masvidal went on to say. "Because remember: Who the fuck is Colby?
“He fought Usman, generated I think under 300,000 pay-per-views. What did he do with Woodley? He just doesn’t generate. So I’m going to go get this title, I’m going to keep generating more views, more knockouts, more violence, and then I’m going to take it all out on Colby at some point as long as he could win. If he could win, he’s dead.”