Max Holloway reveals he is willing to step in on short notice at UFC 257, Dustin Poirier opens up on his approach to facing Conor McGregor again, and much more — Fightful Fix has you covered with all the news from around the world of combat sports.
Max Holloway on standby if needed for UFC 257
Max Holloway isn't looking past Calvin Kattar at UFC: Fight Island 7 but should anything happen to either Conor McGregor or Dustin Poirier before UFC 257, "Blessed" is ready to step in on short notice. Holloway has competed at lightweight before, ironically losing to Dustin Poirier for the interim lightweight championship at UFC 236.
“We’ll see what happens. First things first, we’ve got Kattar. But I never count nothing out. UFC, I’m just a call away," revealed Holloway (h/t SCMP). "Any weight can get it. I’m willing to fight at anything. I’m a modern-day gladiator and the last time I checked these gladiators back in the day didn’t walk around with a scale.”
Dustin Poirier discusses tactics for fighting Conor McGregor
Dustin Poirier has opened up on his approach for his huge rematch with Conor McGregor at UFC 257 on Fight Island. Poirier fought "The Notorious" in the featherweight division back in 2014 at the start of their UFC careers. McGregor needed just 1:46 of round one to dismantle Poirier then but "The Diamond" is hoping for a blood and guts contest to see who wants this one more.
“If you’re talking about game plan, what I want is for both of us to be dripping blood and hurting and suffering early in the fight, then we can find out who’s the real fighter,” Poirier said (h/t BJPenn.com). “That’s what I want. I want to be bleeding with a minute off the first round clock.”
Matt Brown aiming to become the first fighter to KO Carlos Condit
Matt Brown and Carlos Condit have been stalwarts of the UFC. Condit is a former welterweight champion and his next fight will be his 45th but he has never lost by KO inside the Octagon. The pair will co-main event UFC: Fight island 7 and "The Immortal" is looking to become the first fighter to do so, especially since he wasn't overly impressed with Condit in his last fight.
“It was a safe win. He played it pretty safe and didn’t take many chances. His confidence is back now and a good confidence booster for him. I expect him to come out and throw fire, it will be different than his last fight. He didn’t look spectacular I guess," said Brown (h/t BJPenn.com). "Court is the type of guy to not make you look spectacular. I envision myself dominating this fight and not really a back-and-forth or a Fight of the Night. I can dominate this fight,” he said. “That is the plan (to KO him).”
Amanda Ribas is hoping her path to a title shot continues with a win over Marina Rodriguez
Amanda Ribas was one of the breakout stars of 2020 in MMA and is hoping that this year can lead her to a shot at the strawweight championship. Ribas was due to face Carla Esparza but after the former champion was forced to withdraw, Marina Rodriguez will step in at UFC 257. Ribas is hoping a win over a ranked opponent like Rodriguez will propel her to a shot at glory.
“I hope so, because I was supposed to fight Carla, and I don’t know what happened. I was supposed to fight Michelle, and they’re both really good in the rankings," admitted Ribas (h/t MMA Junkie). "So if I was supposed to fight against her, maybe if I do a great fight against Marina, I can go up in the rankings and maybe fight for the title.”
Tony Ferguson looks back on failed matches with Khabib Nurmagomedov
Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov is the fight that MMA fans wanted but never materialized, with both fighters pulling out on several occasions due to injury. Just when we thought the fight was finally gonna happen, COVID-19 caused Nurmagomedov to pull out and be replaced with Justin Gaethje at UFC 249. With Ferguson on a losing streak and "The Eagle" potentially retired, it looks like a fight that will never happen.
“UFC--209” Fathead Pulled Out A Day Before Interim Title Fight. He Did Not Make Weighins Due To His Manager Not Following UFC Protocol -- We Were Offered A Different Opponent At Same Weight (155lbs) w/ Different Pay & No Interim Title # MyFavorite SnapJitsu -- -CSO- ---------- # pic.twitter.com/J1lTCmIra3— Tony Ferguson (@TonyFergusonXT) January 12, 2021
Alexander Volkanovski believes he is s "terrible matchup" for Zabit Magomedsharipov
UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski doesn't believe that Zabit Magomedsharipov will stand a chance should they fight. Volkanovski, who revealed he is looking for a busy 2021, believes that his "cardio and endurance" would guide him to victory. Magomedsharipov is 6-0 in the UFC but hasn't fought since defeating Calvin Kattar in 2019.
“I believe that I’m a terrible matchup for him, but at the same time I respect everyone in my division," said Volkanovski (h/t middleeasy). "He’s a great fighter, but I see my success when it comes down to cardio and endurance and that type of stuff.”
Errol Spence three-belt unification a possibility as Manny Pacquiao eyes Conor McGregor
Errol Spence could have the chance to chase a third belt after Manny Pacquiao seemed to lean towards a boxing bout with Conor McGregor. McGregor's manager has said that a clash between his client and Pacquiao "is inevitable" Spence and Pacquiao had seemed destined to clash but if Pacquiao decides to wait for McGregor, he could be stripped of his title. World Boxing News reports the latest updates.
The situation leaves the World Boxing Association with a decision to make regarding Pacquiao’s WBA title. The belt he took from Keith Thurman in the summer of 2019. By July this year, when Pacquiao vs. McGregor is likely, it will be two years without a single defense of his ‘super’ version of the welterweight crown. The WBA could act before then, not to strip Pacquiao in detrimental terms, but to elevate Yordenis Ugas to full ruler position by dissolving the ‘super’ belt due to lack of activity. Ugas would then be the only recognized title-holder at 147 pounds under the jurisdiction of the WBA. After a recent admission by Spence, Ugas is a reliable option for his next outing. With both being under Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions banner, that event becomes a distinct possibility.
Cody Garbrandt eyes up Jose Aldo fight in April
Cody Garbrandt is not looking to wait for the next shot at the flyweight championship and wants to face Jose Aldo in April. Garbrandt has had health issues that have come since he tested positive for COVID-19. Now Garbrandt is fully fit and healthy and wants to face Aldo in April to keep active while he waits for Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Brandon Moreno to have their rematch.
Cody Garbrandt is targeting a bout with Jose Aldo in April. He expects that the flyweight title rematch between Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno will also take place in April.— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) January 13, 2021
He did not want to wait roughly eight months for a flyweight title shot without competing.
Rob Font believes T.J. Dillashaw is "mentally broken"
Rob Font has continued his quest to fight T.J. Dillashaw by questioning how Dillashaw will look like following his USADA suspension. Font has been on the crusade since he knocked out Marlon Moraes and now that Dillashaw is free to fight once more and he believes he is the one to welcome him back to the bantamweight division.
“I’m not going to sit there and bash this dude,” Font told MMA Junkie. “It is what it is. He did what he did. He knows what he did. He has to live up to that. He has to make that walk knowing that that’s not in his system anymore, and that’s going to be big," said Font (h/t MMA Junkie). "Again, it’s all mental with this, so if you’re putting stuff into your body, you’re mentally broke already. So he’s going to have to make that walk knowing that he’s not on anything. He’s not juicing anymore and he’s going to have to fight. I think I’m the guy to welcome him back.”
Stephen Thompson says he will be welterweight champion by the end of the year
Stephen Thompson has been eerily close to welterweight glory and he believes that 2021 is gon a be the year he achieves his dream. "Wonderboy" had two shots at the title in close fights with Tyron Woodley but hasn't had a chance since then. Thompson is on a two-fight win streak following wins over Vicente Luque and Geoff Neal and he is hoping that 2021 will be his year.
“I know I am. And I hope the UFC is on the same page. I think I proved it in my last few fights against some tough guys, some up and comers, undefeated — Geoff Neal was in the UFC. The seven-fight win streak that Vicente Luque had. They’ve got to give me somebody at the top," declared Thompson (h/t BJPenn.com). "I really know that I could fight for the title, for sure. I was telling everybody, 2021’s gonna be my year. It is my year. And I’m gonna have that belt around my waist.”
Li Jingliang weary of fight against Santiago Ponzinibbio
Li Jingliang is set to face off against Santiago Ponzinibbio at UFC Fight Island 7 and he is aware of how "dangerous" the Argentinean can be. Jingliang is a rising star in the UFC and believes that his opponent Ponzinibbio should be higher in the rankings.
“He should be top 15, a very dangerous guy,” Li said (h/t SCMP). “He’s rested for two years but he won seven in a row before that, so he is obviously good. For both of us, there is the thought of the top 15 so I realize how important this fight is for me.”
Dusko Todorovic looking to conquer Punahele Soriano and his undefeated streak
Dusko Todorovic is looking to hand Punahele Soriano his first loss and enhance his own reputation in the meantime. The pair are due to fight at UFC: Fight Island 7 and with both fighters 1-0 in the UFC, Todorovic is looking to prove he is the bigger prospect in the sport.
“We are both undefeated prospects, and I feel it would be huge for me,” Todorovic said (h/t BJPenn.com). “Every win in the UFC is huge on its own, but me staying undefeated is definitely the goal and something that will catch more and more weight as I get more W’s and will push me through the rankings. This win would give me an opportunity to face someone from the top 15."
Maycon Mendonca eyes up UFC debut in 2021
Maycon Mendonca had a great 2020 with Legacy Fighting Alliance. He went 3-0 and won the LFA welterweight championship in a fight of the year bout. It is now time for Mendonca to leave the promotion and there's only one place he wants to go.
“UFC man, UFC. I’m talking to my manager now [and] I’m so excited for my future. I want to fight soon," stated Mendonca (h/t Sherdog). "February, March, I’m ready. I think it’s the time for change. I did a lot of work for this situation right now. I think my next step is going to be outside LFA. But let’s see.”