Michael Bisping calls for illegal knees to be penalized more harshly, ONE on TNT 1 debut fizzles in the ratings and more — this is your Fightful Fix news round-up.
Michael Bisping wants "tougher penalties" for illegal knees
Michael Bisping wants to see illegal knees penalized more severely.
“I hate seeing people play this game of putting their hand down," Bisping told MMA Junkie. "It’s a bit of a cowardly move if you ask me. I don’t know, because they always talk about, ‘Was it intentional, or was it not intentional?’ Well, they’re always intentional. You didn’t accidentally knee him. But they didn’t necessarily know that he was technically down. But yes, of course, your brain sends the message to throw the knee, and you throw it to the face."
“And I know a lot of people watching this might be thinking that I’m a hypocrite because they’re probably thinking about Jorge Rivera," he shared. "I did knee him in the face when he was down, but he was getting up and in the heat of the moment, you’re in a fight. Adrenaline is spiking like crazy, and especially if you think you’ve got him hurt and you’re going to win the fight, you’ve got to make these micro judgments in a fraction of a second – and it’s very hard. So I don’t think they need to change the rules necessarily, but just tougher penalties.”
ONE on TNT 1 debut fizzles in the ratings
ONE Championship put on the best card they could on Wednesday night, but the ratings do not reflect a large appetite for its product in the U.S.
ONE on TNT, which featured Demetrious Johnson in a flyweight world title fight and Eddie Alvarez in the co-main event, only managed a 0.08 household Nielsen rating, according to Showbuzz Daily. That translates to approximately 196,000 viewers and ranked 88th in cable ratings.
What makes the news more concerning is that ONE on TNT 1 had a strong lead-in programming. The fights were preceded by AEW Dynamite, which featured an appearance by Mike Tyson and ranked 5th in cable with a 0.28 rating.
Adriano Moraes got help from Jorge Masvidal for Demetrious Johnson knee KO
Adriano Moraes finished Demetrious Johnson with a knee at ONE on TNT 1, and gave a shout-out to flying knee aficionado Jorge Masvidal.
“Some weeks ago, a month ago, when he saw me in fight camp preparing to fight, he said, ‘Adriano, I see how you train and let me tell you something, the knee can change your life. Like the knee I did on Ben Askren, you can do on Demetrious Johnson because you have good knee attacks,'” Moraes told South China Morning Post. “Man, he’s always inside the gym working hard, he’s such an amazing guy. He’s a good teammate. He likes to help his friends. He’s a veteran fighter. He knows what you need to do to get this win and bring that belt home. So I think this fight is going to be tough, but he’s going to do good. I think he’s going to win via TKO in the second or third round."
Ryan Bader wants to kill two birds with one stone in Bellator Grand Prix
Ryan Bader wants to avenge his losses and recapture the Bellator light heavyweight title through the Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix.
“Man, I can make a lot of excuses,” Bader told MMA Junkie on Wednesday. “There are a lot. But at the end of the day, I got kicked in the head, you know? He (Nemkov) was throwing combinations. He was throwing a one-two, and I kept slipping to the outside. I kept doing it over and over again. In my head, I thought, ‘All right. Pick it up.’ I did go out there and take him down. I won that first round on all the judges’ scorecards after looking at that. In my head, I’m like, ‘All right, you need to pick it up. You need to start bringing the fight to him. Use your feints. Use your takedowns.’ That’s when I got kicked. I backed into the fence and he threw a beautiful combo and got me."
“Those things happen. It’s MMA. Sometimes, it’s not your night. I felt flat out there. I just felt like I wasn’t me out there, but it is what it is. He went out there and beat me on that night. For me, I could’ve called for an immediate rematch and this and that," he continued. "To be able to do this in this grand prix tournament and potentially win a belt back by going through the grand prix and beating these killers that are in here, that’s the sweetest way. That was intriguing to me when they came to me with that light heavyweight (offer). Because I could’ve just gone back and stayed a heavyweight.”
Vicente Luque refuses to fight close friend Gilbert Burns
Vicente Luque and Gilbert Burns are sharing similar territory in the welterweight rankings, but do not expect them to scrap.
Luque is coming off a win against Burns' past opponent Tyron Woodley. Burns is scheduled to fight Luque's pat opponent Thompson. That is about as close as they will get to fighting each other.
“We have already said we won’t fight each other. We are more than friends, we are brothers,” Luque told BJ Penn. “Our families are super close and we have a relationship that is different than most teammates. We will figure something out. Both of us want to be champions and that is what we will work for. We both want each other to be champions. For now, there are many other guys we can fight.”
“It is crazy because I just fought a guy he fought and now it will be the other way around. This is why we always help each other,” Luque added. “I’ve fought Wonderboy and knows how he moves in there, so I will let Gilbert know everything I can for him to get the win. I will help him with whatever he needs and I think it is a good matchup for Gilbert.”
Jim Miller wants to fight on Dustin Poirier vs. Conor McGregor 3 card
Jim Miller wants to make quick work of Joe Solecki at UFC Vegas 23 and find himself on UFC 264.
“It’s a fight against a very dangerous up-and-comer, a bit younger than me, you know, the guy that’s chomping at the bit to make his name in the division, so it’s a place that I’ve been before, myself as him, and it’s an opponent that I’ve had before as well,” Miller said of Solecki at Friday's media day (h/t MMA Junkie). “So it’s just a fight, you know? At this point it’s like, yeah, man there’s been quite a few at this point, so you know, I get fired up for every one of them.”
“I would like to fight, you know, come out of this one healthy and fight on the McGregor-Poirier card,” Miller added. “I think that’s a good timeframe for me. I can ease up for a couple of weeks and then just not get too, like, out of shape or put on weight and just get right back into the grind and keep things going.”
Joe Solecki shares admiration for opponent Jim Miller
Joe Solecki has a lot of admiration for the man he looks to hurt at UFC Vegas 23, Jim Miller.
“As far as admiration and stuff, I’m from Jersey, so I’m a Jim Miller fan,” Solecki told MMA Junkie at Wednesday’s UFC Vegas 23 media session. “I grew up a Jim Miller fan, so to be on this platform and fight somebody that I look up to so much, that really speaks to how far I’ve been able to come. So it’s pretty cool moment to be going out there – it just shows that I’m on the level of the guys I used to look up to, so a pretty big night for me.”
“The way I see it, if I can go out there in my first UFC fight in front of the big crowd for the first time, bright lights and all that hoopla against a guy with so many fights like Wiman – Miller’s obviously a big step up from him, but I would assume a fight with Jim Miller at the Apex should be very similar."
Daniel Rodriguez hungry for Mike Perry fight and what comes next
Daniel Rodriguez has no love for Mike Perry, but he dang sure loves this fight.
“That’s a great opportunity, especially coming off a loss,” Rodriguez told MMA Junkie at Wednesday’s UFC Vegas 23 media day. “We’re both coming off losses, and it’s just a great opportunity. It’s kind of a blessing in disguise for me because I need a big-name opponent, and as hungry as I am coming off that loss, this is the perfect opportunity for me.”
“I would like to go out there and dominate,” Rodriguez said. “When I train, in my mind, I envision those wars. That’s what pushes me, that’s what keeps me going. Next thing you know, I’m running, and I’m thinking about these wars, and next thing you know, I’m sprinting. I use it all as motivation and on paper, yeah, this is a great fight. It’s great matchmaking by the UFC... I’m hungry. This is the perfect opportunity on national television to gain the exposure that I’ve always wanted and with the perfect opportunity with Mike Perry. To really gain some momentum and take these next-level, higher-level opponents. I feel like he’s the beginning of the next-level opponents I’m gonna start facing.”
Kathy Long sees a lot of potential in her pupil Daniel Rodriguez.
Kathy Long, a legend of the 1990s martial arts scene, was part of the commentary team for UFC 1.
Ahead of Rodriguez's fight with Perry, Long dished on her pupil's skills.
“He walked in and I could see the hunger in his eyes. I saw it, he wanted it,” Long told UFC.com‘s Thomas Gerbasi. “He came to me as a construction worker by day and he trained harder than anybody else at night. And there were days he’d walk in and I could see in his eyes that he was physically and emotionally exhausted, but he’d train harder than anybody there.”
“Daniel came to me incredibly shy, but he could hit like a mule. If you had ever seen some of his amateur fights, he was knocking them out cold and he wasn’t doing it with any finesse at all," she concluded. "But he was in there to beat the crap out of whoever was in front of him."
Erin Blanchfield not worried about Norma Durmont's size advantage
Eric Blanchfield steps in for Bea Malecki against Norma Durmont at UFC Vegas 23, and she is cool as a cucumber.
“She has kind of a kickboxing background, so she’s a heavy puncher,” Blanchfield told MMA Junkie. “She likes to use her punches a lot, and she’s aggressive, but I think overall in striking, jiu-jitsu and wrestling, I think I’m just superior all around. So if I fight the way I need to, I’m gonna be able to get that finish and get the win.”
“I think it’s gonna be a tough fight. She’s a big girl, but I think I’m just gonna be better than her all around. I think I’m gonna outclass her in there and get the win however I need to," she concluded.