Khabib Nurmagomedov has revealed the "mistake" which he made against Conor McGregor — Fightful has got you covered on all of that and much more on Saturday's Fightful Fix Roundup.
Khabib Nurmagomedov reveals the "mistake" he made when fighting Conor McGregor
Khabib Nurmagomedov revealed he made a mistake in his fight against Conor McGregor.
In the main event of UFC 229, Nurmagomedov and McGregor had their highly-anticipated fight. In the lead-up to the scrap, both men had intense trash-talk that involved their families and religion, among other things. But, after all the talking, they settled their differences inside the Octagon with Nurmagomedov winning by fourth-round submission.
However, now over two years after the fight, Nurmagomedov admitted he fought too emotionally and tried to hurt McGregor too much. He says fighting like that was not smart and impacted his performance.
“Yes, I tried to hurt this guy and it was my mistake. When you become angry, you’re tired. When I try to give him punishment, it was very emotional,” Nurmagomedov said to Din Thomas on Dana White’s Lookin’ For A Fight. “And I think no, no, no, I’m going to calm down now. But not this time.”
Since the fight, McGregor has claimed he wasn’t mentally prepared for that fight and knows in a rematch he beats Nurmagomedov. However, it is interesting to hear the champ say he didn’t fight his best given how dominant he was in that scrap.
Khabib Nurmagomedov, meanwhile, retired from the sport after he submitted Justin Gaethje at UFC 254. However, Dana White has made it clear he wants the lightweight champ to fight one more time and the McGregor rematch is always an option.
Conor McGregor says he has activated “gorilla mode” ahead of UFC 257
Conor McGregor will make his highly anticipated return to the Octagon when he will face off against Dustin Poirier in the main event of UFC 257.
Despite not having competed in the past 12 months, Conor McGregor is confident that he will provide fans with a “masterpiece” on Fight Island. ‘Notorious’ has predicted that he could once again stop Poirier in the first round, possibly in less than sixty seconds.
McGregor took to Instagram to announce that he has activated “gorilla mode” ahead of tomorrow night’s matchup with ‘The Diamond’.
“Gorilla mode activate!” – McGregor captioned a photo of he and Poirier squaring off at the weigh ins.
While Conor McGregor may be planning another quick finish of the former interim champion, Dustin Poirier is hoping to do the same. ‘The Diamond’ recently suggested that he also looking for a first round stoppage win.
What are your predicitions for the main event of UFC 257? Will McGregor repeat history and finish Poirier again or will Dustin get his revenge?
Alex Volkanovski eyes Conor McGregor fight at lightweight to secure “GOAT status”
Alex Volkanovski is hoping to fight Conor McGregor to prove he is the best featherweight of all time.
Although McGregor is focused on staying at lightweight, Volkanovski says he would move up for the fight. He knows it would be a massive bout for the UFC and a legacy fight for him to be considered the GOAT.
“Man, there are a few good fights in that division. There are some big names in that division but there is, I guess you could say a connection, obviously with Conor where I beat every other champion in my division,” Alex Volkanovski said to Submission Radio. “Conor was the featherweight champ, as well. As I said, I want to cement myself as the GOAT in my division. Let’s be honest, there will always be Conor McGregor fans that keep bringing him up and throwing him out there in the conversation."
“To go out there and sort of show the world that I am the greatest featherweight of all time,” Volkanovski continued. “That would be a big fight for me, the money fight, it would be a fun big opportunity and fun fight. And it makes sense because, again, I want that GOAT status.”
Before Alex Volkanovski goes up to lightweight, he does have some more title defenses at featherweight in his future. He is set to fight Brian Ortega at UFC 260 in March. After that, he will need the trilogy with Max Holloway, and bouts with Zabit Magomedsharipov, and Yair Rodriguez.
However, if Volkanovski does beat all of them, perhaps a fight with Conor McGregor would make sense. It would then be a superfight and could be a chance for Volkanovski to become a champ-champ if Volkanovski holds the title.
Claressa Shields gives update on timeframe for PFL debut
Boxer-turned-MMA fighter Claressa Shields gave an update as to when she will be making her mixed martial arts debut with PFL.
Shields shocked many in the combat sports world when she decided to sign with the PFL over the UFC. She had been connected to the UFC for two years and had reportedly even been offered a chance to fight UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes in her UFC and MMA debut. However, Shields decided that PFL was the better opportunity for her to get her feet wet, and so she decided to take her talents to PFL instead of fighting in the UFC.
One of the top pound-for-pound women’s boxers in the world, Shields is the current WBC and WBO female light heavyweight champion and she takes on Marie-Eve Dicaire on March 5 in a big boxing match that was announced this week. But while Shields’ next fight will be in the boxing ring, don’t worry MMA fans, as Shields still plans on making her debut in the PFL in the summer.
Speaking to BoxingScene.com, Shields gave an update as to when she will be fighting for PFL. Shields says she’s planning on fighting in PFL in July, and she hopes to have one more MMA fight before the end of the year. Additionally, Shields said, she also hopes to have two boxing matches this year.
“It’s looking like my debut in MMA will be in the middle of June. So, this will be a busy year for me. I have the boxing match on March 5th, an MMA fight in June and I’m hoping to fight again somewhere around August, September, in a boxing match, and then again in MMA. So, two boxing matches and then two MMA fights throughout the year,” Shields said.
Dan Hooker reveals strict quarantine protocol he has to undergo to return home after UFC 257
When Dan Hooker committed to fighting Michael Chandler in the UFC 257 co-main event, he did so with the knowledge that a trip to Fight Island would ultimately take him away from his family for the better part of two months.
After facing Dustin Poirier this past June, the New Zealand native returned home to a two-week quarantine required by the government as his home country continued to lock down on travel in order to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
It turns out for Hooker to travel from New Zealand to Abu Dhabi and back again for the Chandler fight, he’ll actually have to undergo a similar quarantine period to return home but he won’t actually be able to even travel there for several weeks after his fight.
“It’s way longer than that this time,” Hooker revealed when speaking to MMA Fighting. “So our quarantine now when you get back to New Zealand, you have to book it and I booked it as soon as I caught wind of the fight. So they booked me in like two months ago and the only date they could get was the 21st of February. So I have to stay in Abu Dhabi for another month and then do my two week quarantine."
“I walk out of quarantine I believe March 3. I’m getting on the plane on Tuesday and I’ll see everyone in two months. This is a two month journey for this fight.”
That probably sounds like extreme circumstances in order to return home again but Hooker understood that was part of the deal if he wanted to leave New Zealand to travel to Abu Dhabi for the fight.
Much like his previous quarantine, Hooker will stay in a government funded hotel where he will essentially be cordoned off from the rest of the world while undergoing constant tests to ensure he doesn’t bring the coronavirus back with him.
UFC Fight Island 8 medical suspensions
The UFC Fight Island 8 medical suspensions were released Friday by official records keeper mixedmartialarts.com. See the full list of suspensions below:
Michael Chiesa: Suspended 30 days due to right eye laceration, 21 days no contact
Neil Magny: Suspended seven days (mandatory rest)
Warlley Alves: Suspended seven days (mandatory rest)
Mounir Lazzez: Suspended 30 days due to rib soreness
Ike Villanueva: Suspended seven days (mandatory rest)
Vinicius Moreira: Suspended 60 days for KO loss, 45 days no contact
Viviane Araujo: Suspended seven days (mandatory rest)
Roxanne Modafferi: Suspended 45 days for hard bout, 30 days no contact
Matt Schnell: Suspended seven days (mandatory rest)
Tyson Nam: Suspended seven days (mandatory rest)
Lerone Murphy: Suspended 30 days for right cheek laceration, 21 days no contact
Douglas Silva de Andrade: Suspended for 30 days, 21 Days no contact
Omari Akhmedov: Suspended seven days (mandatory rest)
Tom Breese: Suspended 30 days for hard bout, 21 days no contact
Ricky Simon: Suspended seven days (mandatory rest)
Gaetano Pirrello: Suspended seven days (mandatory rest)
Su Mudaerji: Suspended 30 days for chin laceration, 21 days no contact
Zarrukh Adashev: Suspended 30 days for hard bout, 21 days no contact
Dalcha Lungiambula: Suspended seven days (mandatory rest)
Markus Perez: Suspended 30 days for scalp laceration, 21 days no contact
Francisco Figueiredo: Suspended 30 days for hard bout, 21 days no contact
Jerome Rivera: Suspended seven days (mandatory rest)
Mike Davis: Must have left thumb X-ray and clearance from a physician or no contest for 180 days; minimum suspension no contest for 30 days, no contact for 21 days
Mason Jones: Suspended 45 days for hard bout, 30 days no contact
Umar Nurmagomedov: Suspended seven days (mandatory rest)
Sergey Morozov: Suspended 30 days for hard bout, 21 days no contact
Manon Fiorot: Suspended seven days (mandatory rest)
Victoria Leonardo: Must have right forearm X-ray and clearance from a physician or no contest for 180 days; minimum suspension no contest for 30 days, no contact for 21 days
Michael Chandler believes Beating Dan Hooker should lead to winner of Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier or a title shot or both
It’s not lost on Michael Chandler when it comes to the importance of his UFC debut.
As a multiple-time Bellator lightweight champion now joining a new promotion, Chandler already has high expectations weighing on him, but he knows the future is bright if he can dispatch Dan Hooker in impressive fashion at UFC 257.
Not only would the 34-year-old veteran prove a lot of naysayers wrong, those who have said Chandler isn’t an elite lightweight, but he could also forge an almost immediate path to title contention with a single victory.
“I think going out there and beating Dan Hooker puts me in the number 5 or number 4 spot,” Chandler explained when speaking to MMA Fighting. “I think Tony Ferguson’s sitting at number 5 right now. He’s on a two-fight loss streak. You’ve got Justin Gaethje but he just lost and he’s kind of sitting and waiting for the division to kind of see what happens, to see what clarity coming from the Conor [McGregor] and [Dustin] Poirier fight.
“It’s pretty cut and dry who the top guys are in this weight class. You’ve got Conor and Poirier fighting. You’ve got me and Hooker fighting and I’m ready to fight January 23, take a couple of weeks off, enjoy my family, serve them for a little while and see what’s next in the summer time. I’ll be ready to fight for that title in the summer time.”
Ideally, Chandler would love to challenge Nurmagomedov for the lightweight title but he understands that’s a long-shot fantasy that may never come true.
Michael Chiesa breaks down Dustin Poirier vs. Conor McGregor 2: ‘It’s either gonna be KO of the year, or fight of the year’
Michael Chiesa is no longer a stranger when it comes to competing in main events on Fight Island.
“Maverick” earned a dominant unanimous decision win over Neil Magny at UFC Fight Island 8, the second of three main events during the promotion’s trip to Abu Dhabi to kick off 2021.
The final headliner of the excursion takes place Saturday night in the main event of UFC 257 with the highly anticipated rematch between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor.
The final headliner of the excursion takes place Saturday night in the main event of UFC 257 with the highly anticipated rematch between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor.
Their first meeting took place more than six years ago at UFC 178 where McGregor put Poirier away in the first round in a featherweight grudge match. Clearly, the mutual respect between the two has grown leaps and bounds since the first meeting.
After 15 months away following his UFC 229 loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov, McGregor returned to action with a 40-second finish of Donald Cerrone nearly a year ago at UFC 246. Poirier also bounced back from a submission loss to Nurmagomedov with a win over Dan Hooker in the “Fight of the Night” of UFC Vegas 4 in June.
While the narrative heading in leans towards the improvements Poirier has made since their first meeting, Chiesa is quick to acknowledge that the former two-division champion will enter the octagon on Saturday a more evolved fight in his own right.
“One thing Conor has shown time and time again is this guy, with his time off, is going to show improvements,” Chiesa told MMA Fighting while appearing on What the Heck prior to his win over Magny. “We saw them when he fought ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone. He came out with these shoulder strikes, he put a big stamp on that main event, finished an ultra tough Cerrone."
“Dustin is a guy who has shown new wrinkles in his game through his performances. He’s been a little more active than Conor and I think the move to 155 pounds has been good for his chin. Everybody wants to go back to that first fight saying that he got slept really fast and that’s gonna haunt him in his sleep, and it’s gonna come back to bite him in the butt in this fight. I just don’t know if I truly believe that.”
“Conor is one of the best fighters we’ve ever seen inside the octagon—arguably the best,” Chiesa said. “This guy is versatile, he’s got underrated ground skills. If you go back and watch his fight with Khabib, he was able to defend takedowns. He was able to get back to his feet. He was able to do a lot of the things that Dustin couldn’t. But this fight isn’t going to take place on the ground. These guys are gonna fight on the feet."
“Dustin has shown a lot of new wrinkles on the feet, in his boxing game. He’s shown that his chin is not compromised, that he can take a shot and I think that his activity could benefit him in this fight. And I think the longer the fight goes, the more it’s gonna benefit Dustin.”
“If the fight is finished, it’s gonna be a Conor McGregor knockout,” Chiesa stated. “If this fight goes the distance, I believe Dustin Poirier gets his hand raised. With that being said, I believe Dustin has what it takes to avoid the early onslaught from Conor and take this fight into the deeper waters to win a decision."
“No matter what, I think this fight is going to be absolutely insane. Irregardless, it’s either gonna be a knockout of the year performance from Conor, or it’s gonna be a five-round fight of the year between Conor and Poirier. I just think if the fight goes the distance, it favors Dustin more.”
Amanda Ribas hopes UFC 257 win puts her in the title mix, targets four fights in 2021
Strawweight prospect Amanda Ribas plans to be a prolific athlete in 2021.
Just one day shy of her first bout of the year, a main card contest against striker Marina Rodriguez at UFC 257, the Brazlian jiu-jitsu and judo blackbelt expects an impressive win to catapult her into title contention.
In an interview with Ag Fight, Ribas explained her intentions to fight four times this year, which could include a title fight or a move to the flyweight division. In her opinion, it all depends on how the battle against Rodriguez goes down.
“I think it all depends on how this fight against Marina ends. Some websites were saying Carla Esparza was already close to a title fight. So if Marina is in the position to fight her (Carla). It all depends on the result of this fight. How can I convince the fans to want me to fight for a title. Dana White, too. It all depends on the result of this fight.”
“Looking at my list of professional goals, I do want to fight for the title by the end of the year.” she continued. “I want to have about four fights this year. Not only at strawweight, but at flyweight, too. I think it’s good for me."
Still undefeated in the UFC, Amanda Ribas rides a four-fight winning streak in the Octagon. So far, the 27-year-old scored wins over Emily Whitmire, Mackenzie Dern, Randa Markos and Paige VanZant. Her sole loss happened in November 2015, when got knocked out by Polyana Viana at Jungle Fight 83.
Now, Amanda Ribas is expected to take on Marina Rodriguez at UFC 257, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on January 22. The card is scheduled to be headlined by a lightweight rematch between former double champion Conor McGregor and ex-interim title-holder Dustin Poirier.
Canadian MMA fighter arrested in the Philippines on suspicion of selling marijuana.
According to GMA News Online Gary Espinar, a Canadian pro MMA fighter, has been arrested in the Philippines on drug charges.
Local reports state that Espinar was arrested in Quezon City by the Northern Police District Drug Enforcement Unit. Authorities say Espinar was selling high-grade marijuana aka kush.
Police say that two others arrested on drug charges accused Espinar of supplying them with kush, It is alleged that Espinar was found with eight cans and 10 sachets of kush worth close to $60,000.
According to Daily Guardian Espinar is the head coach of Explosive MMA Academy in Santa Rosa.
Espinar began his pro MMA career in the Western Canada regional scene, taking fights in British Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba. In 2015, after relocating to Malaysia, he fought with the Warrior FC promotion. His most recent fight, in 2018, was in China versus Muay Thai practitioner Vachayan Khamon. His record stands at 5-5.