Khabib Nurmagomedov explains why Conor McGregor disappointed him, Logan Paul launches a scathing attack on Canelo Alvarez, and much much more — this is your Fightful Fix news roundup.
Khabib Nurmagomedov "disappointed" with Conor McGregor
Khabib Nurmagomedov has revealed that he expected Conor McGregor to be "mentally tougher" during their bout at UFC 229. McGregor is infamous for his mental warfare before the fight even begins with his win over Jose Aldo being a prime example of getting into his opponent's mind. And before UFC 229 was no different, but "The Eagle" wasn't impacted in the slightest and dominated McGregor from start to finish, not letting insults about his nationality, culture and even his wife impede him.
“Conor’s trash talk? Yes, he had talked for a while (during the fight), but when I started pushing him, he immediately switched to the ‘It’s just business’ mode. I was even a bit disappointed, " Khabib said (h/t MMANews.com. "I expected him to be mentally tougher. When I was ground-and-pounding him, talking to him, and he responded that it was just business, it looked like he was trying to calm me down to avoid a real beating, just like a son trying to justify himself in front of his angry father. Psychology is a very strong tool.”
Logan Paul responds to Canel Alvarez criticism of him and his brother Logan
Logan Paul hasn't taken criticism from Canelo Alvarez well, by saying he is the one who is "disrespecting boxing" after criticism at him and his brother Logan paul. Alvarez said the Logan brothers "lack respect" and are only fighting for the money but the YouTuber launched a vicious attack on Alvarez and his previous failed drug tests in 2008.
"You wanna talk about ‘disrespecting boxing’, let’s talk about a guy who didn’t play by the rules. Fuck you!" Paul raged (h/t The Sun). "I think he’s salty because I get a chance to beat Mayweather and he lost to him. It’s his one-loss. I get the shot that he failed to do."
Khamzat Chimaev warns UFC to hide Conor McGregor on Fight Island
UFC rising start Khamzat Chimaev has warned that Conor McGregor will need to hide from him on Fight Island. Chimaev hasn't forgotten McGregor's slander on Dagestan during the build-up to his Khabib Nurmagomedov bout and has issued a caution that they will need to be kept apart.
"If I see him on Fight Island, something will definitely happen," Chimaev said. "The UFC needs to hide him."
This isn't the first time Chimaev has been after McGregor, as he previously flew to Dublin to confront him but did not make it into Ireland and was detained upon arrival at the airport.
"Honestly speaking, I wanted to beat him up. Many people thought I was coming there to help him prepare for Khabib [but] I was coming there to protect our pride and honour; I was going there for all of us," admitted Chimaev (h/t The Mirror). "If that would not have happened, I would have maybe thrown, I don't know, some object. I think I was able to stand for myself."
Scott Coker eyeing historic finale for Fedor Emelianenko's last fight
Scott Coker has revealed that Bellator hasn't forgotten about Fedor Emelianenko and has plans for the legend to have his last fight in Russia. Emelianenko hasn't fought since Bellator restarted after COVID-19 stopped sports worldwide and Coker has revealed that Emelianenko deserves more than to fight in a bubble environment for his last hurrah.
“I really wanted Fedor to fight his retirement fight, not in front of just the officials and have the staff and be on a closed environment in a bubble. I really want Fedor to finish his career in front of 30,000 people in Moscow, to be honest, Bellator MMA’s first fight in Russia. Do a fight in Moscow," Coker revealed (h/t MMA Junkie). "For him, the prodigal son has returned. Fedor is the greatest fighter of all-time, and he’s now coming home to retire and put his gloves up and hang it up to retire.”
Vitor Belfort calls Jake Paul a "Joke"
Vitor Belfort has taken aim at Jake Paul and issued a challenge to the YouTuber. Paul has been busy challenging most MMA fighters, most recently agreeing to a bout with Ben Askren and can now add ONE Championships's Belfort to the list. Belfort tweeted a video issuing a challenge to Paul and said he was "going to put you to sleep."
“Listen man. You want respect? You come into my world. This is my kingdom. Your kingdom is doing YouTube videos for this young generation. When I was a champion, you were born. You were just coming to this world," Belfort said (h/t BJPenn.com). "I’m going to put you to sleep. Put you on your knees. And listen, with all the respect that I have, not for you, but for your fans. I’m going to show them who you are. You are ‘Joke’ Paul. You’re not Jake Paul. You are Joke Paul. I put you on my lap. Let’s go to sleep baby."
Paige VanZant "wouldn't get out of the first round with me," says Bec Rawlings
Former Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship fighter Bec Rawlings doesn't have much hope for Paige VanZant in BKFC when she makes her debut. Rawlings is now with Bellator but had a 3-0 record with BKFC and knows what is needed to succeed. VanZant knocked out Rawlings in the UFC but despite this, Rawlings doesn't feel she has the skills to compete and that a rematch with the pair would go different in BKFC.
“I definitely feel like she wouldn’t get out of the first round with me. I’m very confident in that fight and I’d love to avenge my losses as best I could," (h/t MMA Fighting). "Obviously, it’s not MMA, it’s not avenging it completely but I would definitely love to fight her again.”
Rob Font eyeing up T.J. Dillashaw fight after Marlon Moraes victory
Rob Font had a big win over Marlon Moraes and is now looking to take on the returning T.J. Dillashaw next. Dillashaw has been serving a suspension from USADA for failing a drug test before his fight with Henry Cejudo and is now looking to claim back the bantamweight championship that was stripped of him. Font believes after an impressive knockout as he had, this is now the fight to make.
“He’s a former champion, so beating a guy like that, that has to say something,” Font said (h/t MMA Junkie). “I know he’s looking for a fight. He’s not booked. Everybody else is booked, so it makes sense. It’ll be entertaining, so yeah, it’s definitely the fight to make.”
Bellator sign "Russian Ronda" Irina Alekseeva
Bellator have continued bolstering their roster, this time adding Irina Alekseeva for their flyweight division. Alekseeva is a judo specialist and has earned the nickname "Russian Ronda" due to their similar backgrounds. Alekseeva is 3-1 in MMA and is still very new to the sport and only made her debut in 2019.
Scott Coker not opposed to Patricio Freire vacating Bellator lightweight title
Scott Coker doesn't believe that Patricio Freire's future lies at lightweight and is open to him relinquishing the belt so his brother Patricky Freire could fight for it. Patricio Freire defeated Michael Chandler for the 155lb championship to become a two-weight champion having also had the featherweight championship but hasn't defended it since May 2019. Coker is open to either dropping the title or if he wants, to fight at both featherweight and lightweight.
“I think that he would like to continue at 145. Does he want to defend his title at 155? Honestly, I think he wanted to just beat Michael Chandler. I think that’s what he wanted to do. He did it. So, I believe, as his brother gets ready to fight and he has some victories, I think he’ll give up the 155-pound belt. That’s what his manager told me," Coker revealed (h/t MMA Junkie). "If his brother has the opportunity to fight for the title after he gets some fights and gets some wins, then I think that (Patricio) ‘Pitbull’ would give up his belt to have the opportunity. That’s one scenario. The other scenario is we’ll just keep getting fights for him to fight for him at 145 and 155.”
Arnold Allen eyeing up ranked contenders to improve his reputation
Arnold Allen has only fought once this year, with a victory over Nik Lentz his only fight before the pandemic scuppered his 2020 hopes. Allen was scheduled to face Jeremy Stephens in November but that was cancelled as a few weeks before their clash Stephens withdrew from the fight due to injury. The UFC couldn't find a replacement and Allen has been without a fight since.
“It really sucked. To me, that was a breakout fight. I thought Gilbert Melendez would be that, but it didn’t really put me over too much. Stephens is much more relevant right now and one of the most dangerous guys in the division," Allen said (h/t MMA Junkie). "Everyone knows he’s been knocking out people for years. He’s fought, everyone. He’s fought the who’s who at lightweight and featherweight. All the guys who beat him are top-five guys (or) contenders. Obviously, I wanted to put my name there, but unfortunately, he got injured.”
Miyuu Yamamoto eyeing championship glory at Rizin FF 26
Miyuu Yamamoto will fight for the vacant Rizin FF super atomweight title when she takes on former champion Ayaka Hamasaki at Rizin FF 26 December 31. Yamamoto is 46 now but despite her age, she believes she is in the best shape of her career. Yamamoto has won five of her last six bouts for Rizin and is hoping to fulfil her dream.
“I started winning and finally started to climb the ladder,” Yamamoto said (h/t MMA Junkie). “I have come this far (and feel) the strongest in my life at 46 years old. … Now I need to start finishing things.”