The next UFC event will be a big night Michael Chandler if everything goes according to plan - this is your Fightful Fix Roundup.
Michael Chandler excited to be rewarded against Charles Oliveira
At UFC 262 on May 15, Michael Chandler will look to add more gold to his resume. Taking on Charles Oliveira for the UFC lightweight title, the former Bellator lightweight champion in Chandler is thankful for the opportunity.
Known as a guy who accepts fights when most won't, Chandler believes that has led him to this moment.
“The people that say yes, the people that are willing to step up, the people that are willing to put the work in and raise their hand when everybody else is covering their heads up, those people are usually rewarded for it and the UFC has done right by me so far,” Chandler said to MMA Fighting.
“It’s been a pleasure to be signed by the UFC. It’s been a pleasure since day one and I imagine it’s going to be even more of a pleasure after I get that UFC title strapped around my waist.”
Chandler is on a three fight win streak, his last fight a TKO win over Dan Hooker at UFC 257. Oliveira is on an eight-fight win streak, his last fight a unanimous decision win over Tony Ferguson at UFC 256.
Dan Hardy wants the UFC to release him
Fighter and commentator Dan Hardy wants to be freed from his contract with the UFC. He told Submission Radio that he has requested out of his fight contract after being let go of his commentary duties with the company.
"The only thing that’s happened is I’ve asked two different people for my release from the UFC,” Hardy said (h/t MMA Fighting). “Because obviously with one contract coming to an end, it would make sense for me to leave with my fight contract as well. So I’m currently trying to get my release from the UFC so then I can start looking at other places.
Hardy, 38, hasn't fought since 2012. On a two-fight win streak, Hardy has been a primary voice behind the desk for the UFC. He was recently let go as a result of getting into a disagreement wiith someone within the organization. Hardy has looked into fighting in Japan, and would be interested in fighting Diego Sanchez. One of the things he desires is to fight on his terms, something he believes the UFC wouldn't give him.
“I think even if it got to the stage where I could get the UFC to give me an opponent, it’s not going to be one of the ones I want,” Hardy went on to say. “They’re not matching veterans with veterans anymore. They’re matching veterans with the new guys coming up so they can build the next name and I’m not interested in fighting someone that nobody knows."
Fight between Amanda Ribas and Angela Hill reportedly rebooked for June
It looks like we don't have to wait long to see Angela Hill and Amanda Ribas fight one another after all. MMA Junkie was able to add onto the report from MMA DNA that Hill and Ribas will face off on June 5. Also added to the card will be Ben Rothwell v. Philipe Lins.
Ribas is coming off of a loss against Marina Rodriguez at UFC 257 in January, ending a five-fight win streak. She tested positivie for COVID, nixing the bout between the two from last weekend. Hill last fought in March, beating Ashley Yoder via unanimous decision. Since the start of 2019, Hill is 5-4 in nine fights.
A new division is coming for Kevin Lee
After having a taste at welterweight, Kevin Lee is looking to stay there for the foreseeable future. The former interim lightweight title contender posted on social media that he will be moving out of lightweight.
"I’m moving to 170lbs for the foreseeable future. Oliveira can have the lightweights we’ll get that back later."
Lee last fought in March 2020, losing to Charles Oliveira via submission. He missed weight for the fight, the second time he has done so with the UFC. "The Motown Phenom" made his welterweight debut in 2019, losing to Rafael dos Anjos via submission.
Giga Chikadze ready to step in at UFC 262
Rising featherweight star Giga Chikadze will look to make an impact at UFC 262, even if he is not on the card. The 32-year-old told MMA Junkie that he will be at UFC 262 and is willing to be a replacement opponent for anyone at 145 and 155.
“What I’m doing now is I’m buying my ticket – I will be in Houston. And anybody (falls off), I’ll be there,” Chikadze said. “I think it’s a very good show. My brother (Dariush) is fighting there, and I want to be there. If the fight happens for me, too, it would be amazing. But if the fight doesn’t happen, I’m still going to enjoy supporting Benny.
“145, 155 – yes. Both of them. I’ll be there.”
Chikadze fought on May 1, beating Cub Swanson via TKO. He is on an eight-fight win streak and is 6-0 in the UFC. Chikadze will be supporting Beneil Dariush, who faces Tony Ferguson in the co-main event of the card.
Derek Anderson suspended due to false medical records
If it looked like Derek Anderon was sluggish during his fight against Michael Page at Bellator 258, there may be a reason for that. Anderson failed to disclose prior to the fight that he had suffered kidney failure multiple times during training camp. He has been given a lengthy suspension as a result.
“These fighters have to understand it’s a serious thing to lie on the pre-fight physical,” Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation Executive Director Michael Mazzulli stated to MMA Fighting.
Anderson was already suspended for over 120 days after getting his nose impaled by an MVP kick. Now, he will be suspended an additional six months. The commission found out through an Instagam admission post by Anderson.
Renan Ferreira’s PFL 3 win over Fabricio Werdum overturned
A controversial result has been rectified by the New Jersey Athletic Commission. At PFL 3, Renan Ferreira beat Fabricio Werdum following a few heavy strikes. Replay showed that referee Keith Peterson missed Ferreira tapping out to a Werdum triangle choke. The win has been turned into a no-decision after the New Jersey commission consulted over the matter.
Ali Abdelaziz, Werdum's manager, was one of the maina advocates for a review of the fight. He tweeted out:
"I want to thank the New Jersey Athletic Commission, Mr. Nick Lembo who worked all weekend on over turning Fabricio Werdum’s decision to a NO Contest from his last week at PFL. I also want to thank PFL for quickly providing all of the necessary evidence."
As a result of the change, both fighters recieved one point each in the PFL heavyweight standings.
UFC 262 fight between Jack Hermansson and Edmen Shahbazyan rebooked
Another fight has been taken off of UFC 262 this weekend. Jack Hermansson v. Edmen Shahbazyan will be taking place on May 22 instead of on the PPV. Shahbazyan announced the new date on social media, with no reason for the change as of now.
Hermansson is 2-2 in his last four fights, and is coming off of a loss in December against Marvin Vettori. Shahbazyan is also coming off of a loss, a TKO one, against Derek Brunson back in August. The May 22 UFC event will be main evented by Cody Garbrandt and Rob Font.
Zhang Weili on UFC 261: "Wow, the boos were really loud"
It was a wild night at UFC 261, as Rose Namajunas took out Zhang Weili to become the UFC strawweight champion once again. Leading up to the fight, Namajunas made some controversial comments when talking about Zhang and her country. During fight night, it was expected there was going to be fans favoring Namajunas. Speaking on a live stream, Weili described her experience fighting in Florida with a full crowd.
“How should I put this…” Weili stated (h/t BJ Penn). “Last fight with Joanna [Jedrzejczyk], even though she trained in America, she isn’t American. So we were quite equal and neither of us got any boos. But this time, because Rose is American, and Florida is a bit like that… So when I showed up at the event, wow, the boos were really loud.
“It was my first time experiencing this situation. And I didn’t expect it to be so serious. Even if she had 70 percent of the audience on her side and just a small amount on my side, it wouldn’t have been that loud. When my music started playing even before I showed up, it was already loud. I couldn’t even hear the referee or my coach.”
Weili was knocked out in the first round, suffering only the second loss of her career. A rematch is currently on the table.
Jon Jones weighs in on Diego Sanchez-Joshua Fabia video
Another high-profile fighter is not pleased with what he saw when it came to Joshua Fabia's training methods. Jon Jones recently went off on social media regarding a viral clip of Diego Sanchez upside down while Fabia struck him. The tweet has since been deleted.
“I am without words, really disgusted,” Jones said (h/t MMA Fighting). “As a person that knows Diego, this is the last thing he needs.”
Jones is a former teammate of Sanchez's. The latter was let go from the UFC after another controversial video was leaked of Fabia addressing the UFC commentary team. Sanchez, the winner of the first Ultimate Fighter, last fought at UFC 253, losing to Jake Matthews.