In a strange tangent, Stephen A. Smith has declared his dislike for women fighting, plus Nate Diaz calls for a
In a strange tangent, ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith has declared his distaste for female fights
Stephen A Smith Sounds Off On His Dislike Of Women Fighting
ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith has made his feelings known about not liking women being allowed tofight.
In a strange rant spiraling off a question about San Antonio Spurs assitant coach Becky Hammon's ability to coach in the NBA, Smith went off on a tangent that began about men fighting against women, and evolved into being about them fighting in general.
“First of all, I love it." Smith stated (h/t MMA Junkie). "I think that there’s an awful lot of women that are incredibly qualified to do the jobs that they’re doing. Where I jump off the bandwagon is when they try to engage physically. For example, I don’t ever want to see a woman boxing a man. I don’t want to see that. I don’t want to see a woman in the UFC fighting a man even though there are some women out there that’ll kick a dude’s butt. We get all that. When I think about pugilistic sports, I don’t like seeing women involved in that at all. I just don’t like it. I wouldn’t promote legislating laws to prohibit them from doing so, but I don’t want to see women punching each other in the face. I don’t want to see women fighting in the octagon and stuff like that, but that’s just me. What I would adamantly be against is them fighting men. I don’t think that’s cool. Plus, you don’t ever want to give men license to believe that it’s all right to be physical with a woman, to be quite honest with you. You don’t want to do that.
“And so, outside of that, when you think about them in executive positions, first of all they’re smarter than (men) a lot of times, they’re more composed than us a lot of times, they’re incredibly knowledgeable about these respective sports. They’ve had to go through trials and tribulations one couldn’t even imagine most of the time. For them to get to that point, they deserve the opportunity to showcase their skill sets. Just like we have women in corporate America doing an incredible job leading companies, being executives, pushing businesses forward, etc., etc. There’s no reason on earth why they can’t do the same in the sports world. I support it, I’m a fan of it, and I hope we see more of it.”
Smith has been a part of UFC broadcasts in the recent past, and his thoughts were reacted to very negatively by many members of the MMA community, including multiple UFC fighters.
Frankie Edgar Discusses Plans For Cory Sandhagen Fight
Longtime UFC veteran Frankie Edgar sees his upcoming fight against Cory Sandhagen at UFC Vegas 18 as his path back to becoming a UFC champion again.
When disucssing his gameplan for the upcoming bout in an interview with Just Scrap Radio, Edgar laid out his ambitions, and some elements of his gameplan.
“I imagined we would cross paths. Going down to 135, he is a top contender, one of the best in the weight class so I figured we would eventually cross paths,” Edgar said. “I definitely want to be a world champion and fighting guys ranked ahead of me is where I want to be.”
“I always try to use my wrestling in fights. I wanted to use wrestling in my last fight and I wasn’t able to,” Edgar said. “Of course, that is always the plan but you never know what will happen come fight night. It is going to be exciting, new blood vs old blood. His style is very exciting, I am not going to have to look for this guy. He is going to come forward, we will meet in the middle and we will clash.”
The former UFC lightweight champion then discussed his hope that he can use a win over Sandhagen into a title shot at the bantamweight title.
“I think a win over Cory gets me a title shot. This is a perfect fight for me to catapult me into a title shot and make my reign at 135,” Edgar concluded. “The timing is right, I have to go put in a stellar performance and really turn some heads. You go out there and put someone away that puts a stamp on the fight and puts everyone on notice.”
Sandhagen vs. Edgar will co-headline UFC Vegas 18 underneath a main event of Alexander Volkov vs. Alistair Overeem.
Paige VanZant Discusses Return To MMA After Bareknuckle Boxing Experience
With former UFC fighter Paige VanZant set to make her bareknuckle boxing debut at BKFC this Friday, she has already begun discussing a planned return to MMA.
VanZant highlighted the flexibility in her contract with BareKnuckle FC as a reason she signed with the promotion in an interview with TMZ Sports in advance of her fight at Knucklemania.
“BKFC, they did give me the liberty in my contract to be able to take an MMA fight. I was informed of that by my manager, and I didn’t know that at first,” Paige VanZant said (h/t BJPenn.com). “At first, I was like, ‘No, I just want to do the boxing.’ But I think that, coming to American Top Team, it rebirthed my excitement and I now realize how good I am.”
VanZant went on to discuss that despite any future plans, she is fully dedicating her focus to bareknuckle boxing at the moment.
“So that kinda sparked that passion all over the place,” VanZant continued. “So yeah, maybe I will take an MMA fight. I’m strictly focused on the boxing right now, especially for this fight. That’s all I do. But, maybe. Let’s see. The door is open, so it’s definitely there.”
VanZant headlines BKFC's Knucklemania against Britain Hart Friday night available on PPV.
Diego Ferreira Discusses Expecting Brawl With Beneil Dariush
UFC welterweight contender has discussed his upcoming rematch with Beneil Dariush, and promised fans to expect an action brawl at UFC Vegas 18.
Ferreira first discussed wanting the rematch against Dariush, who he has faced and lost to before way back in 2014.
“It is a fight I wanted, especially to get a ranking to prove if I really deserve to be there,” Ferreira said (h/t BJPENN.com). “I think it is a good challenge. We have fought before but it was a long time ago and now it is going to be a great fight. He comes with five wins, I come with six wins, it will be a good fight.”
Despite both being well rounded fighters, Ferreira has said that he is expecting the fight to be a standup brawl, and he invites such a fight.
“I don’t know. I’m ready for everything. The strategy we are building is to be ready for grappling, to stand up, to box, to mix in everything,” Ferreira explained. “I do think we will stay standing and brawl. I like that because those are the fights I like.”
Finally, Ferreira reiterated his desire to fight against Paul Felder, but admitted with those callouts being ineffective, he has shifted his attention to new UFC contender Michael Chandler.
“I have been calling out Paul Felder for the last two years. It would be good to fight RDA or Paul Felder. Felder is coming off two losses and I don’t get how he is ranked ahead of me, but hey I don’t care,” Ferreira concluded. “It would be a good challenge for me. My eye is more on Michael Chandler. That guy jumped in front of everyone.”
Ferreira vs. Dariush is set to kickoff the main card of UFC Vegas 18 set to be headlined by Alexander Volkov vs. Alistair Overeem.
Alistair Overeem Makes Pick In Future Title FIght Between Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou
As someone who has shared the cage with both men, UFC heavyweight Alistair Overeem should have special insight into who could win in the upcoming UFC title fight rematch between Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou.
Overeem has been stopped by both men, first by Miocic in 2016, and then memorably finished by Ngannou in 2017, so he was asked for his opinion in an interview with the South China Morning Post.
“Both are strong, both are fit, both are doing their thing." Overeem stated (h/t BJPenn.com) "I can’t say too much about it. I’ve no idea. If I were to have to go for somebody it would be Stipe.”
Overeem is set to headline UFC Vegas 18 this Saturday night against Alexander Volkov.
Kamaru Usman Has Standing Invitation To Train With Trevor Wittman's Team Elevation
The coaching team at Team Elevation seems to be making a recruitment push to make UFC welterweight champion's move permanent.
With his future championship fight against Gilbert Burns a matchup between American Top Team members, Usman has left the Florida based team for Colorado to train with Team Elevation, and their high profile coach Trevor Witman. In an interview given by Team Elevation striking coach Sean Madden, its been revealed that there is an open door to him joining them full time. Madden began by discussing the impact that Usman has had on the rest of the squad, the dynamic of the current relationship.
“He’s in that position where Trevor is his head coach, but he’s coming to train with the team a little bit too. Madden commented (h/t SCMP). It’s a little bit, I would describe, like a business relationship right now – he’s not necessarily on the team, but he gives back to the guys, he gives them knowledge. He’s a great guy to be around.
“We haven’t had the talk yet. If he wants to be on the team that’s great. If he doesn’t, that’s fine too. His fight is coming up so we just want him to have the resources he needs to be successful, and it’s a benefit for our guys to have him in the room.
Team Elevation has most famously been the team that's led Rose Namajunas rise to become UFC champion, and Justin Gaethje's rise to interim champion. It's known for being a very small team, with an incredibly exclusive group of fighters being trained by Wittman himself.
Joanne Calderwood Discusses Punching "Delusional" Jessica Eye
UFC flyweight Joanne Calderwood has discussed her recent victory over Jessica Eye, and just how satisfied she was burying the beef the two had built up.
To start with "Jojo" discussed her burp that was captured on the PPV feed, saying she was disappointed no one
“I’m a bit disappointed that I didn’t say pardon me, but I don’t even remember doing it,” Calderwood commented “I don’t recall it happening. It was funny that I saw that on Instagram. I was like, oh my gosh, that’s hilarious but also embarrassing.”
“Just burp my way to victory,” she added.
Calderwood then went on to discuss the bad blood that had built up between her and Jessica Eye in advance of their fight, and just how satisfying it was to defeat her.
“Yeah, it was so good,” Calderwood said. “It’s funny because she said she had no beef, but go back, ‘Are you delusional?’ And I think she is. It’s crazy, there is a lot of stuff she says, but she genuinely believes that she didn’t say it.
“It’s funny. But yeah, it definitely felt good punching her and kicking her in the face.”
Tyson Fury Blames Conor McGregor's Loss To Inactivity
Heavyweight champion Tyson Fury has weighed in on the recent loss of Conor McGregor, and chalked up the loss to inactivity, and ring rust.
In an interview given to British journalist Gareth Davies, Fury commented on how he felt the effects of the long layoffs affected McGregor in his recent losses.
“He did [say inactivity was the reason for the loss], and he’s bang on right. Conor McGregor fought in 2016, then he had two years out and then he fought Khabib [in 2018]." Fury commented (h/t BoxingScene). "Then he had another two years out, and then he fought Cerrone [in January 2020]. Then he had another year out, and then he fought this guy, Poirier. So inactivity kills the cat, no doubt about it,"
“When one man’s been active – fighting, sparring and in camps – and one man’s been on the couch, it’s no good. You lose your timing, you lose your distance, you lose it all. You lose it all, it’s all gotta be gained back within camps and within fighting. If you had three fights on the bounce after you’d never been in the ring for three years, in the third one you’d be ten times better than the first.
Fury went on to detail some famous examples of ring rust in the past throughout boxing history to back up his claim.
“I’ve always known it. Because I’m a boxing historian I’ve always known about the inactivity." Fury continued "Gerry Cooney when he fought Larry Holmes – he was out of the ring for 18 months. His timing wasn’t there, he just wasn’t the same fighter as he should’ve been. If one man’s not active and one man’s been in the ring, it’s an uphill battle. Recently we saw Juan Pablo Hernandez, the former IBF cruiserweight champion, he came back after a long lay-off and fought journeyman Kevin Johnson and got knocked out.”
Juan Archuleta Sees Kyoji Horiguchi Matchup As Springboard To Superstardom
Bellator bantamweight champion Juan Archuleta is hoping that a high profile matchup against Japanese star Kyoji Horiguchi at Rizin 27 will be his ticket to stardom within the MMA scope.
In a recent interview given to the South China Morning Post, Archuleta complimented Horiguchi on his recent spectacular comeback fight on New Years Eve, before discussing the hopes he has for his upcoming bout.
“He looked stronger and better than ever so I’m going to get the best Horiguchi there is and I’m excited for that,” Archuleta said.
Horiguchi was forced to vacate both the Rizin and Bellator bantamweight titles after suffering a horrific knee injury, so his return is a big deal for both promotions, and Archuleta discussed his excitement at the prospect.
“I’m fighting a guy who was the first person to simultaneously hold two big promotion belts,” Archuleta said. “That is going to be a treat in itself. Going and defeating him is going to be the start of superstardom for me.”
Archuleta concluded by expressing his excitement for the rare cross-promotional bouts between Rizin and Bellator, and the unique opportunity they present.
“The cross-promotion stuff is awesome,” Archuleta said. “You have your boss having enough confidence in you to go to another promotion and say, ‘Hey, this is my No 1 fighter, who’s yours?’ And they put two champions in the ring. It gives me the jitters thinking about it. I win this title, I’ll fight whomever Japan has me next in line to defend against.”
Petr Yan Comments On Lack Of Trash-Talk From Aljamain Sterling
The war of words between UFC bantamweight champion Petr Yan and challenger Aljamain Sterling has been a fairly epic part of their rivalry, but Yan has noted Sterling's mouth has been shut as of late.
Yan made mocking comments in an interview he gave to MMA Fighting.
“He likes to talk a lot,” Yan said (h/t BJ Penn.com). “He’s a big mouth and sometimes I just happen to answer his tweets. For me, he’s just another opponent, but I understand that he’s the challenger [and] he needs to attract attention that he needs so much. As I started training and preparing, recently he’s gone quiet. I don’t know what happened. I don’t know what happened to his big mouth."
Yan went on to denigrate Sterling's training partner Merab Dvalishvili and give credit to his own partner Denis Lavrentyev.
“Aljamain also has his teammate Merab [Dvalishvili]—Georgian judoken sambo fighter. My training partner Denis Lavrentyev is also a decorated judoka. If they have the guts, we can do it two on two: I’ll fight Sterling and my training partner Dennis can fight his guy Merab, and we’ll show them what the ‘No Mercy’ team is looking like. We’re gonna break them.
“Aljamain has already gone quiet. When he hears that, he’ll be gone for a while.”
Sterling and Yan are set to co-main event UFC 259 in March underneath a main event of Isreael Adesanya vs. Jan Błachowicz