Leave it up to the MMA world to give us bigger stories outside of the actual fighting surface than any crazy results that may happen within it. Big fight announcements coupled with alterations on the streets is what has our bubble ready to burst.
For anyone who missed it, the UFC had an Athlete Retreat in Las Vegas this past weekend. Three hundred fighters were invited - to Sin City - to engage in some educational seminars if you will, to learn more about the promotion’s future plans, how to market themselves and enjoy some exclusive entertainment.
But, what do you get when you mix in a variety of alpha-male and alpha-females in an environment known for parties, booze, etc? You get some unscripted Ultimate Fighter type shenanigans.
The biggest story coming out of the Athlete Retreat was Cyborg Santos punching Angela Magana, after the Brazilian featherweight felt the American Strawweight was disrespecting her in person, as well as via many of her social media tweets.
As I discussed on yesterday’s ‘Holy Smokes’ podcast, I’m conflicted about this story as the old school guy within me has been battling the modern version adult mind about who may be right or wrong in this scenario.
I grew up in an environment and culture where if you talked trash to someone, you better be prepared to defend, back-up or throwdown once word gets to the other party. If you don’t want problems like that, choose your words carefully.
In Cyborg’s case, the sentiment was that Magana made fun of her, how she looked, etc, etc. Is this not something Santos has been dealing with for what seems like forever? Perhaps back to her days as a child or teen? People bullying her for the way she looks (despite any PED enhancements thereof)?
Ever have someone half your size talk crap about you or too you and just want to teach them a lesson? Well I’m pretty sure if you said ‘Yes’ to that, you may see the reasoning behind Cyborg blasting Angela in the grill.
On the flip side, you can’t just slap, sucker punch, kick or elbow anyone in the street, no matter what they say to you. Unless you are defending yourself (and even that has a fine line to it), you can’t attack another person based on their vocal outbursts. That’s the law … no matter how many times the legendary Renzo Gracie has told me otherwise. More on that on future podcasts by the way.
For this very story, I am not picking sides … I’m a casual observer who sees both of their points. Cyborg is sick and tired of the trash talk while Magana and her freedom of speech has the law on her side. We’ll see where this one ends up, and unfortunately, it’s not looking good for the Brazilian.
Speaking of being punched in the grill, there are two big fights on the horizon for the already uber stacked UFC 213 in August.
Reports are that Amanda Nunes will defend her Bantamweight Title vs. Valentina Shevchenko in the main event. The co-main event will apparently be for the Interim middleweight title, as Yoel Romero will take on Robert Whittaker. Kind of screw you Anderson Silva and sorry / not sorry Gegard Mousasi.
But now there is also talk that on the same card, UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson may be defending his title vs. TJ Dillashaw, who is contemplating dropping down to 125 lbs as his bout against Bantamweight Champ Cody Garbrandt is off, as the champ deals with a back injury.
To say I’m looking forward to seeing how this all pans out is an understatement. And yes, I am looking forward to Sunday’s UFC card in Sweden, but man does it pale in comparison to some of the headlines the MMA world has been churning out as of late.
I’ll have a Fun Bets article for UFC Sweden up this Friday - make sure you check it out if you like dropping a few dollars on some MMA bouts.