Kamaru Usman has raised his concerns as to whether Jorge Masvidal will finally face-off with Colby Covington and Nate Diaz expresses an interest in fighting Charles Oliveira and much more — This is your Fightful fix roundup.
Kamaru Usman is unsure if Colby Covington vs. Jorge Masvidal will happen
Kamaru Usman has fought both Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington and he has expressed his concerns as to whether the pair will fight. Usman was speaking ahead of UFC 258 and believes that the struggle in negotiating the details of the fight makes him wonder if the fight will happen.
“So I think, obviously, it’s an intriguing fight, but I don’t know if it’s actually, really gonna happen because I think both guys…I know from my experience trying to get a fight with those guys wasn’t always the easiest, and that’s both of them,” Usman said to MMA Fighting (h/t CDN.MMANews). “So I can imagine how hard it’s gonna be just to get both of them to fight each other.”
Nate Diaz wants to fight Charles Oliveira
Nate Diaz has had an interview with ESPN's Ariel Helwani where he has opened up on all things UFC and his future. Most interestingly, the Stockton native seemed very keen on fighting rising star Charles Oliveira. Diaz however will only be interested in the fight at welterweight.
One of the unexpected things to come out of the interview that Nate Diaz did with @arielhelwani is his interest in a bout with Charles Oliveira.— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) February 9, 2021
With Poirier/McGregor 3 and Chandler/Gaethje the likely bouts, a 170 lbs bout between Diaz and Oliveira would be fun.
Khabib Nurmagomedov reveals his dream fantasy booking fight
Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Georges St-Pierre is a dream fight for most fans. And despite being one of the greatest to fight in the Octagon and undefeated in his professional career, Nurmagomedov has a dream fight of his own if he could book just one.
“If just a fantasy, then I would take Brock Lesnar — a heavyweight. And it would be possible to make him a fight with Fedor Emelianenko in Russia,” Nurmagomedov said to MatchTV via Lenta. “By the way, anything can happen.”
Dan Hooker discusses Israel Adesanya vs. Jan Blachowicz
Dan Hooker has weighed on how he believes his teammate Israel Adesanya's climb to the light heavyweight division will go at UFC 259 when he faces Jan Blachowicz for the belt. Hooker has revealed that although he has concerns for "The Last Stylebender", he wouldn't be putting money either way due to Adesanya's ability to rise to the occasion.
“The Israel fight, that’s one I’m going to be chewing my nails too watching that fight. Jan is a beast. Jan is a very dangerous guy, and that’s a huge fight for him. That’s an incredible fight, but that fight makes me incredibly nervous. But Israel’s a special case, because whenever you put an incredibly tough test in front of him is when he does his best work. It’s funny because every fight he’s gone on to, where I’ve felt this way about… he does his best performances," Hooker said to RT Sport (h/t MiddleEasy). "I can remember from memory, two fights I was nervous about were the Derek Brunson fight and the Rob Whittaker fight, and those are two of his best performances of his entire career. I don’t want to say that’s how the fight’s going to play out, but the quality of his opponents bring out his best performances, so I feel like Jan, this is the most dangerous fight of his entire life. Israel is a fighter that really rises to the occasion, and it’ll be hard to bet against it.”
Rory MacDonald changes training camps ahead of PFL debut
Rory MacDonald has left Bellator and begins a new journey in the PFL for their upcoming season. A new promotion isn't the only change in MacDonald's fighting career, as he has changed gyms having left his native Canada. He was training under Firas Zahabi at Tri-Star but will now train out of Sanford MMA, which is the same team responsible for Gilbert Burns and Michael Chandler.
“We’ve had a hard time getting any good training in,” MacDonald explained when addressing the lockdowns in Canada. “I actually came down to Sanford last February and I’ve been trying to get here ever since. But literally right after we left last February from here, that’s when all the Covid stuff started coming into North America and it kind of threw a wrench into my plans to come back down here since," MacDonald said to MMA Fighting. "But just a couple weeks ago, I felt the Lord was pressing on my heart to move the family down there before any more restrictions in Canada start taking place. Cause they’ve been pretty tight on us in Canada and in my province in Quebec. So we made the decision, very last minute, we got a place to stay, we made the flight and we’re finally settled. We’ve been here for just over one week and life is great. I’m really happy to be here.”
Patricio Pitbull calls out Max Holloway
Patricio "Pitbull" Freire is currently both the lightweight and featherweight champion in Bellator and is considered one of the top featherweights in the world despite not fighting in the UFC. The Brazilian seems quite content in Bellator but has called out Max Holloway to come to Bellator and hinted that money would be no object for the fight to happen.
“(The future) belongs to God. We’ll see what’s next. Maybe Max Holloway gets tired of making pennies in the UFC and comes to Bellator so we can make a huge stadium show in Hawaii. We could see a change from the top guys from the UFC (coming) to Bellator," Freire told Nolan King at MMA Junkie. "If they don’t think there is money here, that’s a lie. Bellator would be willing to pay for those who deserve it. We will see what the future reserves – where I’ll be at, where they’ll be at, and what Bellator will be willing to do. But I don’t have any worries. I know it’s going to do something good.”
Former Bellator Champion Daniel Straus Arrested, Charged After Allegedly Stabbing Partner
Former Bellator featherweight champion Daniel Straus has been arrested and is alleged to have struck a female victim multiple times before stabbing her with “a sharp instrument.” MMA Junkie has obtained the affidavit and reports that the details concerning the arrest are as follows:
According to the arrest affidavit, Straus and the female victim have been involved in “an on and off intimate relationship” with each other for the past three years.
The victim stated that on Jan. 21, the two began arguing via text message, and Straus showed up at her place of employment to discuss the disagreement. The victim then walked outside and eventually entered her parked vehicle with the intention of leaving. She said that Straus then entered the vehicle via the passenger door and initially refused to exit.
The victim stated she then left the vehicle and Straus followed, at which point the argument escalated. Straus then allegedly pushed the victim, and she pushed him back. As she then attempted to get back into her vehicle and leave, the victim said she “was struck multiple times by the defendant and fell to the ground.”
The victim said Straus then got in his car and fled the scene. As the victim returned to her car and drove away, as well, she began receiving multiple calls from Straus, saying that he was at her apartment. Rather than meet him there, the victim says she was concerned about potential destruction of her property and drove to Straus’ residence, instead, in hopes of obtaining the spare key she had given to him.
Once inside Straus’ residence, the victim alleged she tried to get Straus to return her key. At some point, she said Straus told her, “You don’t know me, I’ll stab you,” before later physically pushing her out of the door. The victim says she then said, “You’re big and bad, what are you gonna do? Stab me?”
At that point, the victim alleges Straus reached around to his backside and then used a sharp instrument to stab her in the abdomen. Due to the speed of the sequence, the victim said she “was unable to describe the cutting instrument,” according to the police report.
The victim said Straus then followed her for a few steps as she tried to leave before returning to his residence. She then sought assistance from neighbors, who drove her to a local hospital where she “received a few stitches to close the puncture wound,” according to her statement.
In addition to the puncture wound, the arrest affidavit said the victim also suffered “a large contusion to her right eye.”
According to the affidavit, The victim did not initially wish to provide a statement to the responding detective but eventually said she will fully cooperate with the state attorney’s office. Further, the victim said she “is in complete fear of the defendant and feels that if he is not apprehended that he will come after her and cause further harm to her for notifying the police.”
As of Monday, Straus currently remains in jail on a $100,000 bond, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Tecia Torres explains changes that led to her recent career resurgence
Tecia Torres is on a two-fight win streak and has revealed a change in mentality has seen her career take off. Torres finished Sam Hughes in December and won convincingly against former Invicta FC champion, Brianna Van Buren, in a unanimous decision win earlier in 2020. Torres now believes that she can become a champion at strawweight.
“I think the change was in my mentality. I had issues before with believing in me, and now I feel like I can do anything I want. I feel like one day, I’ll be champion at strawweight," Torres predicted to MMA Junkie in Spanish. "I did have four defeats against Weili Zhang, Marina (Rodriguez), Joanna (Jedrzejczyk) and Jessica Andrade, and the four of them are some of the very best in the UFC. I feel like I’m the only strawweight who’s fought against all the champions. I fought Carla (Esparza), Joanna, Weili, Jessica and Rose (Namajunas).”
Spike Carlyle “stoked” about UFC release
Spike Carlyle may have been released from the UFC, but he has revealed he isn't letting this setback get him down. Carlyle took to Instagram and revealed that he can now go and fight in Japan which has always been a goal of his.
“I had one more fight on my contract and they decided to cut me. They said it was partially based on my last performance. It’s a little bitter, but it’s also [very] sweet. I’m actually pretty stoked on it. The UFC was a great experience and great opportunity,” Carlyle added (h/t MMA Fighting). “I loved it. But people who truly know me know that my heart’s desire has always been to fight in Japan, [and] that is my goal. I think God maybe ordained everything to happen as so because who knows if I would’ve won my next fight—which I know I would’ve won my next fight—or if I would’ve stayed with the UFC, I might never have the opportunity to go to Japan.”
PFL unveils their heavyweight and women's lightweight rosters for the 2021 tournaments
The PFL has released their rosters for the men's heavyweight and women's lightweight rosters for their upcoming season. ESPN's Aaron Bronsteter tweeted the news out and noted that Claressa Shields was missing from the roster.
The PFL has unveiled their heavyweight and women's lightweight rosters for the 2021 tournaments.— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) February 9, 2021
One glaring omission: Claressa Shields. pic.twitter.com/zrMD5Z2qFx
MMA Fighting's Damon Martin then noted that this was always the plan for the former boxing star.
That was always the plan. She wants to get a couple of fights under her belt and then get into the season next year once she has a little bit of experience. It's part of the reason she signed with PFL because they'd give her time to develop.— Damon Martin (@DamonMartin) February 9, 2021
Alexandre Pantoja responds to Sean O’Malley’s claims that he KO'd him in sparring
Alexandre Pantoja has hit back at Sean O'Malley's claim that he KO'd him in training. Sean O'Malley has claimed on his podcast that he finished Pantoja on his podcast last week.
“I knocked out Pantoja in the sparring days back at the old Lab. Henry Cejudo (was there), yelling at me (saying) ‘pull your punches!’ I’m 3-0 as a pro, he’s making his UFC debut, in shape, in camp, (and I) finished him,” O’Malley said (h/t BJPenn.com).
Pantoja hasn't agreed with "Suga" and his version of events and has called out O'Malley to fight him.
“I learned early on that training is not talked about. If he wants to say something, send him to show the video. When I went to the Lab, after traveling 15 hours by plane, the next day, I did sparring at his gym. With 61 kg, I got there to train and beat the guy’s gym with everyone," Pantoja responded to AG Fight. "See if he has the balls to go to Brazil to face anyone? See if he has the balls to get to ATT, after traveling 15 hours and training with anyone? I have a lot! I went there and trained with him. Tell him what happened in the last round, I rode him. I’m going to say to Thomas (Almeida), ‘Throw this guy on the floor, that he has nothing on the floor for you’. If he ever wants to fight me, I will fight him at bantamweight.”
Ode Osbourne sets sights on eventual UFC title
Ode Osbourne finished Jerome Rivera at UFC Vegas 18 by TKO and isn't happy settling on his success. Osbourne steamrolled Rivera in less than 30 seconds and is hoping this is all leading to a path for a title shot in the future.
“Eight of my nine wins are stoppages. I like to go for finishes. That’s what I do. That’s the aim of the game. I like to take risks and try to finish people. Hat’s off to Jerome Rivera for taking the fight. I respect the guy. He’s a nice kid. I hope he gets back on his feet and gets back in there," Osbourne said (h/t MMA Junkie). "I didn’t accomplish anything for me. I’m not happy. That’s why when I’m in there after the win, I’m ready to get the next one. I haven’t fought in a year and I want to be a champion so bad.”