Michael Chandler is hoping to keep on impressing in his UFC run and get the attention of Khabib Nurmagomedov and Georges St-Pierre reveals which fighter he wishes he was on good terms with — More on who "Rush" has mentioned and all the latest combat sports news in your Fightful Fix.
Michael Chandler Believes Khabib Nurmagomedov has "unfinished business"
Michael Chandler (no.4) impressed everyone with his TKO knockout of Dan Hooker (no.8) in his UFC debut and now he is hoping to catch the eye of Khabib Nurmagomedov. Chandler isn't worried about the phenomenal grappling that "The Eagle" possesses and would relish the chance to showcase his skills against him. "Iron" is hoping that if he can earn the title should Nurmagomedov vacate officially that a couple of well-rounded performances against some top contenders could "entice" the Dagestani to return.
“Whether it’s for the title or not, then I’ve got to win the title, maybe defend it once, show that I can knock people out. Show that I can grapple and wrestle people, wrestle with the best of them and I think showing that complete fighter will be enough to entice Khabib to come out and try in his quest for 30-0. But I have a sneaky suspicion that he will end up 29-and-Chandler.”
Chandler realizes that he probably will have to bide his time to earn the Nurmagomedov fight.
“It’s just going to take some time,” Chandler said to MMA Fighting. “Put a couple more people in front of me, I’m going to knock them all down and keep calling him out. If he comes out of retirement, he can go for that 30-0 and that question can be answered. I may be wrong but I think I’m right.”
Georges St-Pierre wishes he "made peace" with Nick Diaz
Georges St-Pierre has admitted on the eight-year anniversary of his unanimous decision, UFC welterweight title defense against Nick Diaz, that he has regret over "personal" battle the two had. The pair have very different approaches to fighting with St-Pierre being quite respectful and relaxed during the build-up to the fights while Diaz has always been brash and outspoken which has earned him the love of the MMA community. Nick's brother Nate Diaz has even tweeted previously saying that the former two-weight champion "cheated" before the fight and St-Pierre has expressed his regret at the fallout from the fight.
“Well, it felt to me — it’s not really the fight, it felt like I never made peace with Nick Diaz. And it’s a little bit unfortunate in the way that I feel — I feel like he took that (fight), not only like a business, he took it like very personal. For him, a fight was very personal. But for me it was very (like) business, you know what I mean," St-Pierre said in an interview with ESPN MMA reporter, Ariel Helwani (h/t LowKick MMA).“And I never had a chance to see Nick Diaz after we fought, but if I ever cross path with him, I’ll go see him and shake his hand, and say, ‘Hey man, I don’t hold any grudge. I hope you don’t as well.’ Maybe he’s going to want to fight me, I don’t know what he feels. But to tell you the truth, I just like to have some form of camaraderie with my opponents because we share a moment — we make money and we share a moment, and we have a moment. And for me, he’s one of the guys that I never had a chance to talk with after the fight, and I feel like it’s missing a little bit in my life.“
Georges St-Pierre says Kamaru Usman 'raising the bar,' expounds on welterweight GOAT talk
Georges St-Pierre has admitted that Kamaru Usman is "raising the bar" for welterweights in the UFC. St-Pierre has tipped his hat to "The Nigerian Nightmare" and believes that he could have held his own against Usman in his prime but admits that the sport and level of talent is increasing "as time goes by."
“We cannot measure the performance like in sprinting or in weight lifting, but we can only speculate and, of course, time for time, maybe he didn’t win 11 (title fights), but he’s raising the bar. And if I don’t admit that, that means I’m insulting the entire UFC roster," St-Pierre said in an interview with ESPN (h/t MMA Junkie). "That means I’m saying the sport is regressing, and it’s not true. I believe the sport is getting better. Do I feel that if I go back in my prime and I could fight Kamaru Usman, I do think, yes, I could have done it. However, I know for a fact that as time goes by, guys get better.”
Nevada Athletic Commission approves three UFC event licenses for April in Las Vegas
Four UFC events in April have been granted approval by the Nevada Athletic Commission. The NAC’s monthly meeting was held Tuesday via conference call with all five commissioners present. The governing body granted approval for events on April 10, April 17, and April 24 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. This could change if the UFC decides to move the show to a different venue as we saw with UFC 261 with Kamaru Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal II being moved to Jacksonville, Florida in a full capacity stadium. Check out our events section to see the full cards for the upcoming cards.
Alexander Volkanovski says no one gets “spoiled” like Max Holloway does
Alexander Volkanovski can't seem to shake Max Holloway (no.1) and talk of a trilogy off. Volkanovski is preparing for a fight with Brian Ortega (no.2) at UFC 260 and even then all the talk has been of a potential trilogy with the former champion despite Volkanovski being 2-0 so far against "Blessed". And the Australian has admitted that he understands why people are clamoring for the fight but insists he will have to get paid well by Dana White to "spoil" Holloway to a second rematch.
"Look, that fight is always going to be there. It’s always going to be a big fight, too. A lot of people still talking about it. So, that’s definitely a fight that will always be there. And I understand that. And again, I’m not scared of nobody. But, I mean, at the same time, everyone’s gotta be real and understand that they’ve given Max every chance, giving opportunity after opportunity, spoiling him pretty, pretty good here. So, if you’re gonna spoil him, give me that money, and then we could talk. You know what I mean? So, that’s all it really comes down to,” Volkanovski said to Submission Radio (h/t BJPenn.com). “Look, right now I’ve got Ortega to worry about. That’s all I’m focused on. Do I think Max will eventually happen? I think it will. But do I need to be paid? Yeah, I reckon we both should get paid good for that fight, because I think that’s going to be a big fight."
"That’s a fight everyone does want to see. But at the same time, let’s remember, I’m 2-0 against the man, and no one gets spoiled like he does. But hey, Uncle Dana wants to spoil him with another opportunity. We’ll see what happens. But again, it probably needs to happen. But I’ve got Ortega in front of me. That’s all I’m focused on.”
Kevin Holland claims Israel Adesanya is a “true loser” after UFC 259 defeat
Kevin Holland (no.10) has no sympathy for Israel Adesanya for losing to Jan Blachowicz despite challenging at a higher weight class and claims that Adesanya is a "true loser" after his loss. Holland will face off against Derek Brunson (no.7) at UFC Vegas 22 and he didn't waste his chance to take aim at the current champion for suffering his first MMA loss.
“He said he didn’t try to put on weight, but I think he put on weight. He may have come in at 200 pounds, I think he did a normal weight cut which was smart,” Holland said at media day (h/t BJPenn.com). “It’s the smart thing to do, take it like you normally would take it. He looked a little slower than he normally does, right? Usually, he is faster than that, he didn’t look as fast. Am I wrong? I could be right here, right? He didn’t look as fast as he normally does. He got beat in the striking aspect, he got beat in the grappling aspect, he got beat."
“In a lot of other sports, when you are the champ and you lose, you are no longer the champ anymore,” Holland added. “Granted he moved up a weight class, but s**t the dude lost. Is there any other fighters right now that has done just about every combat sport and lost in every combat sport? Is there? So I guess you can say he’s a true loser.”
Ex-Monster photographer backs Dominick Cruz's claims on Hans Molenkamp: 'I was blackballed'
The Monster energy saga continues with a former photographer for Monster, Courtney Hendo, who worked closely with Hans Molenkamp, has opened up about his experience and shared more details on the allegations. Hendo claims that his relationship started to disintegrate with Molenkamp when he stopped doing fighter shoots and became more of a personal photographer for Molenkamp’s social media. Hendo also alleged to be mistreated by Molenkamp and even “blackballed” after quitting on him.
“He acts like you’re sh*t, he treats you like you’re nothing. So the way he talked to me in public, around fighters, around other people, it was like I was a kid. … I was at my nephew’s football game, and Hans called me that day and said, ‘I need you to come to L.A. today.’ This was on a Saturday. No prior, ‘Hey, man, tomorrow we’re going to L.A.,’ nothing. It was when he calls you have to stop everything you’re doing – even fighters. When he calls, everything you’re doing, I don’t care if you’re at your wedding, you have to stop everything you’re doing, and you have to attend (to) Hans," Hendo said in a video on his personal YouTube channel (h/t MMA Junkie). “So he called me when I was at my nephew’s game. He told me to come to L.A. because he was going to L.A., and I told him I couldn’t because I was at my nephew’s game. He told me, ‘When I tell you to do something, you do it.’ I’m a 36-year-old man. I’m 36. ‘When I tell you do so something you do it?’ You know what, Hans, you have to find someone else you can talk to like that. That’s it. I had enough, so I quit.”
Rampage Jackson speaks out in support of Hans Molenkamp: ‘He can’t just cancel your contract’
Rampage Jackson has come out to the aid of Hans Molenkamp amidst all the Monster Energy saga. For his part, Jackson said he’s not denying that Molenkamp might be served well to change some of his tactics but thinks it’s important that people understand that contractual relationships weren’t on the line each time a request was made for someone to like, comment, share and subscribe.
“I hang out with Hans when we do Monster shoots and things like. Hans will ask you, ‘Let’s do this sh*t for the Internet, for social media,’ but everybody does that now. If you’re a fighter or anything, and you’re hanging out with your peers or your people, people are going to ask you to do some sh*t."
“Hans doesn’t even have the power to say, ‘You don’t get a contract if you don’t post this or do that,'” Jackson said to MMA Junkie. “I think he can vouch for you, but if you already got a Monster deal, he can’t just cancel your contract because you don’t do something for him. It doesn’t work that way. I just feel bad. It seems like too many people are chiming in, and I’m like, ‘How come nobody is telling the truth about Hans,’ that he isn’t like that?"
“He wants to post funny skits with you and stuff, but everybody does that sh*t. We do it to each other. I did that sh*t with the Diaz brothers. I bumped into them in Vegas, and I said, ‘Hey, let’s do a funny skit.’ They could have said, ‘No.’ We did a funny skit, and that sh*t win t viral, like Nick tried to steal my girlfriend. We all do that sh*t to each other. I don’t know why people are trying to act like that is so f*cked up.”
Colby Covington believes “bum” Leon Edwards should’ve been DQ’d against Belal Muhammad
Colby Covington (no.1) doesn't seem keen to fight Leon Edwards (no.3) and believes that he should have been DQ'd for the eye-poke that caused his fight with Belal Muhammad (no.13) to be called off abruptly. Covington was bemused that Edwards hasn't been yanked from the rankings due to his inactivity. And he believes that as fighters are warned pre-fight about eye-pokes, he should have lost the fight rather than the no-contest ruling.
“I have watched little bits and pieces from the past and I don’t see anything special. I see a bum, I see a guy who hasn’t fought in two years,” Covington said to Submission Radio about Edwards (h/t BJPenn.com). “What’s the criteria for the rankings? How is he still in the rankings? I know before they pulled him out of the rankings because of inactivity and he was ducking fights. He didn’t want to fight little Wonderboy, he didn’t want to fight someone else but now he is back in the rankings."
“He still hasn’t fought for two years, he has a no-contest but by the way, that should’ve been a disqualification because he did poke the guy in the face in the first round,” Covington continued about Edwards. “And, backstage I know Herb Dean gave them a warning, hey don’t poke him in the eye because that is the instruction they give every time before you go out and fight. He should’ve been disqualified, I don’t know how that was a no-contest but that being said he still hasn’t fought in two years how he is still in the rankings? What’s the criteria?”
Jan Blachowicz happy he “destroyed” UFC’s plans by defeating Israel Adesanya
Jan Blachowicz has admitted that he was delighted with his win over Israel Adesanya even more so as it derailed the UFC's plans to line up Jon Jones for Adesanya should he have won. For the master of the "Legendary Polish Power", he is happy he ruined all those plans and tells the UFC to always have a Plan B when they put a big star against him.
“Yeah, I knew they had some plans with Adesanya, they would make the fight with Jon Jones if he beat me,” Blachowicz said on Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com. “But, And Still, and I destroyed those plans. The victory is a little bit better. The UFC will always need to have a Plan B when they have a big star fight me. I understand the business. I know he is one of the biggest stars in the UFC. Maybe it would’ve been better for them but I don’t care. For me, it is better I won.”
Antonio Carlos Junior “happy” to sign with PFL after surprise UFC release
Antonio Carlos Junior didn’t think his UFC 257 loss to Brad Tavares would be his last fight for the UFC. Carlos Junior was making his return to the Octagon and lost by decision. After the fight, it was revealed Carlos Junior was released which caught him by surprise, given he had one more fight on his deal. He is now signed up to the light-heavyweight division in PFL and cannot wait to get started.
“I knew it was a chance but I didn’t think so,” Carlos Junior said on Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com. “I thought they would make me fight out my last fight because I had one fight left on my contract. It is what it is, but to be honest with you, I’m even happier now.”
“I was talking to Ali, my manager, and I told him my interest in PFL,” Carlos Junior said. “I like the system, there are no politics, no trash talk, it is more my style. I told Ali the PFL season will work pretty well for me and I will get what I deserve. In jiu-jitsu, it’s you win and you move on, same as here.”
Vanessa Demopoulos on Dillon Danis Drama
Vanessa Demopoulos has opened up on the Dillon Danis drama that saw her Instagram suspended. Demopoulos had previously offered to train boxer Ryan Garcia to fight Danis, and suggested Garcia could “beat the brakes” off the black belt. Things apparently escalated from there and she has now had to create a new Instagram account and feels she has lost some popularity as a result.
“I was getting a lot of publicity, and I was getting a lot of followers, a lot of fans,” the Contender Series alum and former LFA strawweight champ told Cageside Press. “And then all of a sudden ‘boom,’ my Instagram is suddenly disabled because of some really awesome drama I was having with Dillon Danis.”
“It’s my fault, I’ll take accountability for why my account got disabled. But you really see who has your back in times like this,” said Demopoulos. “Now, I don’t feel like I have the same fanbase that I did, and it doesn’t matter, because I’m always who I am, but it goes to show me the people who really actually were there. The people who really cared. You get to see who your true friends are once all the clout goes away, and once all that dust settles.”
Triller announces musical lineup for Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren card
Triller has announced the musical lineup supporting the upcoming fight card headlined by the boxing match between YouTube celebrity Jake Paul and retired UFC star Ben Askren. The show takes place at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on April 17. The list of artists scheduled to perform include Justin Bieber, The Black Keys, Doja Cat, Saweetie, Diplo, Major Lazer, and the first appearance of hip-hop supergroup Mt. Westmore featuring Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, Too $hort, and E-40.
You can check out the full press release here
Bert Marcus, hailed by Forbes as "American culture's great storyteller," is known for the critically acclaimed Netflix hit "The American Meme," HBO's Emmy award-winning "The Apollo," and the Cannes Film Festival favorite "Bull." Along with Marcus, Executive Producer Malea Rose will also oversee and execute Triller Fight Club's overall creative vision.
"Triller has already begun to revolutionize the great American sport of boxing," said Marcus, "I'm proud to be taking it to the next level and lead the direction of an unprecedented sporting event through the lens of music entertainment and unmatched behind-the-scenes access, particularly during this time when people haven't had many chances to have share important cultural experiences. This incredible lineup of talent is proof that this ground-breaking new format is craved by fans and artists alike. This event will be unlike anything anyone has seen, think 'Stranger Things' meets Tarantino."
The lead up to April 17 officially kicks off on Friday, March 19 with the world premiere of an original series exclusively on Triller and FITE. "PRBLM CHILD" is a raw, all-access look into the life of one of the world's most polarizing and controversial personalities, YouTuber-turned-boxer Jake Paul, as he trains for his fight vs. Ben Askren. The series will include boxing legends Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Ryan Garcia, Ben Askren, Jorge Masvidal and Snoop Dogg, among many more.
"This event is more like making a tentpole movie than a boxing match," said Ryan Kavanaugh. "By bringing in the creative genius Bert Marcus and pairing his unique story-telling vision with his unmatched shooting style, the Fight Club event is going shock and awe people. An all-star artist line-up with a boxing card that mixes pop culture phenoms, legends and rising stars; we are giving the world something that has never been seen or done before."
"From The Black Keys to Justin Bieber, Diplo to Doja Cat, and a special segment by Snoop Dogg and the biggest legends in hip-hop, we have the wide-ranging lineup that will help break records for this four-quadrant PPV event on April 17th," said Bobby Sarnevesht, co-founder and co-owner of Triller Network. "Triller has drawn from all its resources in the music world to deliver as epic a music event as ever there was."