Robert Whittaker is looking to get his revenge on Israel Adesanya as he lays out when he would like to rematch the middleweight champion and all the fallout from Jake Paul's knockout of Ben Askren and much more — Fightful Fix has all the latest news from UFC Vegas 24 and Triller Fight Club all in one article.
Robert Whittaker wants Israel Adesanya in September in New Zealand
Robert Whittaker believes that following his dominant win over Kelvin Gastelum at UFC Vegas 24 that a rematch with Israel Adesanya is what must happen next. Whittaker lost his middleweight title to the Nigerian at UFC 243 but since then has cleaned out most of the top contenders in the division like Jared Cannonier, Darren Till, and now Gastelum. And the Aussie would like his shot at redemption in a full-capacity stadium in New Zealand.
“There is no fight that makes sense for me other than that title shot and that’s the shot that and I want and I’m getting. I think the borders in New Zealand are the best they’ve ever been so I think in September we can get a packed-out stadium there and just once again pump the industry down there and MMA as a whole," Whittaker said (h/t LowKick MMA).
Whittaker has in fine form post-fight and when Michael Bisping, who was conducting the interview, mentioned that the champion commented on his performance and called him "son", "The Reaper" laughed it off and admitted that given that he lost to "The Last Stylebender" he can make all the jokes he wants.
“It’s him. It is what it is. He gets the trash-talking rights, right? He beat me last time. I’m going to work hard. I think I’ve got some tricks he hasn’t seen yet, and I think I’ll give him a good run,” Whittaker said (h/t BJPenn.com).
Jake Paul says Ben Askren was “lucky” the referee stepped in and saved him
Jake Paul went 3-0 as a professional boxer as he made easy work of Ben Askren at Triller Fight Club. The fight lasted less than two minutes and Paul landed a right hand on the former UFC star which dropped him. Askren answered the referee's count but was visibly wobbling and the referee duly stopped the contest. And the YouTuber believes that the referee "saved" Askren from any further damage.
“Of course he’s going to protest it, just like every f*cking fighter who loses does. Lucky for Ben Askren, because I had another big motherf*cking right hand coming for him, and he would’ve been unconscious for a lot longer than that. The ref saved him,” Paul told MMAjunkie.
“He’s lucky. He would’ve been an even bigger meme. It would’ve been more viral if they let him back into the fight. I had a big, big punch coming for him.”
MMA referee Marc Goddard dismissed some suggestions of a premature stoppage or even Askren taking a dive and gave his take on the KO.
The referee made the right call for Ben Askren. No work. No conspiracy. No one was “in on it”. Just a referee preventing a forgone conclusion. We don’t always need to see a kill shot.— Marc Goddard (@marcgoddard_uk) April 18, 2021
Tyson Fury on Jake Paul's boxing ability
Tyson Fury has praised Jake Paul and other YouTube personalities for elevating boxing and bringing a new and younger audience to the sweet science. The Paul Brothers have upset a lot of people in the MMA and boxing communities for diluting the sport. Canel Alvarez notably accused the pair of "disrespecting" boxing but "The Gypsy King" is all for this new hybrid of entertainment and sport.
"Absolutely fantastic for the game," Fury said to FightHype.com (h/t GiveMeSport). "These YouTube guys coming to professional boxing brings more eyes to our sport. The kids and more people are watching from different ages because of these guys. So it's very, very positive for our sport."
Fury could soon be competing in the crossover fights that are becoming more and more popular due to their financial benefits. Fury was speaking to ESPN's Max Kellerman and admitted that he would love to box UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou.
"I'd love to fight Ngannou. I love the celebrity boxers coming into boxing, the UFC fighters, and the wrestlers coming into this game. Whoever they put in front of me, those are the ones I'm going to fight. Ngannou is a massive guy, he has huge muscles and he looks the part," Fury said to ESPN (h/t Irish Mirror). "He's a big name, he just beat Stipe in a fight and he's talking about boxing but this is a different world. I'll eat him up and spit him out seven times a day. If I go into MMA and he starts grabbing me and ripping to the floor it's not going to be an even match. It'll be 10 times harder for him coming to boxing than me going to MMA, it's a different world."
Robert Whittaker says he would fight Jake Paul for less than $500,000
Robert Whittaker missed the Triller Fight Club event as he had his own main event to prepare for and contest in. Whittaker didn't dismiss Jake Paul's knockout of Ben Askren and congratulated him on his own win.
“Askren’s not known for his boxing, is he? But good on him. Good on him. He’s doing his thing. Do your thing. Good on him,” said Whittaker.
The salaries for the Triller Fight Club event were disclosed on Friday and showed that Askren received $500,000 for the bout against Paul. Askren lost the fight but cashed in financially.
Asked if he would box Paul for $500,000, Whittaker responded without hesitation. “I’d fight him for less,” Whittaker said (h/t MMA Weekly).
Dillon Danis calls out Francis Ngannou in a streetfight
Dillon Danis has claimed that should he get into a street fight with UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou that he would beat him. Danis normally competes at welterweight and would be giving up nearly 100lbs to Nagnnou but despite the massive difference in size, the Jiu-Jitsu black-belt fancies his chances.
“I can survive his punch, because I’m very good at weathering the storm,” Danis said on the “Fragrant 2” podcast hosted by comedians Andrew Schulz and Akaash Singh (h/t LowKick MMA). “He’s the kind of guy, he’s like a one-pump chump. In a street fight to the death, where someone’s gonna die, I’ll beat him.”
Kayla Harrison opens up on the dangers of competing in MMA
Two-time PFL champion Kayla Harrison has admitted that despite her dominance in her MMA career so far, that the whole experience is "the most terrifying thing in the world." Harrison (8-0) is a two-time Olympian to add but despite being a huge favorite in her upcoming bout with Mariana Morais (16-10), Harrison still gets the jitters before each fight.
"Have you ever been in a cage with someone? It's the most terrifying thing in the world. It's like this person is trying to take your head off so there's no, I don't have to pump myself. There's no taking her lightly. Everyone is tough until you beat them," Harrison told TMZ Sports.
Since joining the sport, Harrison has been dominant in each of her performances but despite some critics saying her competition isn't what it could be, she believes that's due to her skill level.
"That's fine, say that I'm fighting cans, say that I'm fighting bums. That's just 'cause I'm that good. That's what I want. That's fine, I want people to say that."
Jessica Penne details 'heartbreaking' struggles during four-year layoff
Jessica Penne (13-5) has opened up on the long road she had to make it back to the UFC octagon. Penne defeated UFC newcomer and former LFA champion Lupita Godinez on the preliminary card via split-decision. Penne hadn't fought in four years due to injury and two suspensions from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency that have kept her away from the octagon. The last USADA suspension was a four-year ban but later reduced to 20 months.
“Yeah, I felt that I may never fight again, and that was heartbreaking and painful. The hardest thing of being away was it not being my choice. It was really having to accept and relinquish control of the situation and really accept that I may never get to compete again. I may never get to corner someone again. I may never be able to be a part of the sport again, and that was really heartbreaking," Penne told reporters following UFC Vegas 24 (h/t MMA Junkie) "I love this sport. This sport has changed my life, and I always saw myself competing and getting back to it in whatever way I could. So it was just very heartbreaking for a time, but in accepting that I may not be a part of this sport anymore, it was in the end very freeing. It allowed me to comeback to myself and really appreciate the sport.”
UFC Vegas 24 Estimated Fighter Salaries & Incentive Pay
The Sports Daily has posted the following fighter pay and salaries that have been estimated from UFC Vegas 24: Whittaker vs. Gastelum.
Robert Whittaker: $456,000 ($220,000 to show, $170,000 win bonus, $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus, $16,000 fight week incentive pay)
Andrei Arlovski: $356,000 ($335,000 to show, $21,000 fight week incentive pay)
Kelvin Gastelum: $216,000 ($150,000 to show, $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus, $16,000 fight week incentive pay)
Gerald Meerschaert: $127,000 ($33,000 to show, $33,000 win bonus, $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus, $11,000 fight week incentive pay)
Tony Gravely: $78,000 ($12,000 to show, $12,000 win bonus, $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus, $4,000 fight week incentive pay)
Luis Pena: $60,000 ($27,000 to show, $27,000 win bonus, $6,000 fight week incentive pay)
Austin Hubbard: $60,000 ($27,000 to show, $27,000 win bonus, $6,000 fight week incentive pay)
Jessica Penne: $44,500 ($20,000 to show, $20,000 win bonus, $4,500 fight week incentive pay)
Alexandr Romanov: $44,000 ($20,000 to show, $20,000 win bonus, $4,000 fight week incentive pay)
Tracy Cortez: $40,000 ($20,000 to show, $20,000 win bonus, $4,000 fine for missing weight, $4,000 fight week incentive pay)
Justine Kish: $37,000 ($27,000 to show, $4,000 from Cortez for missing weight, $6,000 fight week incentive pay)
Juan Espino: $34,000 ($30,000 to show, $4,000 fight week incentive pay)
Abdul Razak Alhassan: $30,000 ($24,000 to show, $6,000 fight week incentive pay)
Bartosz Fabinski: $28,000 ($22,000 to show, $6,000 fight week incentive pay)
Jacob Malkoun: $24,000 ($10,000 to show, $10,000 win bonus, $4,000 fight week incentive pay)
Chase Sherman: $22,000 ($16,000 to show, $6,000 fight week incentive pay)
Anthony Birchak: $20,000 ($14,000 to show, $6,000 fight week incentive pay)
Alex Munoz: $14,000 ($10,000 to show, $4,000 fight week incentive pay)
Lupita Godinez: $14,000 ($10,000 to show, $4,000 fight week incentive pay)
Dakota Bush: $14,000 ($10,000 to show, $4,000 fight week incentive pay)