Tickets to the rematch between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 was a hot commodity — Fightful has you covered on just how quickly tickets were gone and much more from around the world of MMA.
UFC 257 Tickets Sell Out In Minutes
Tickets to the UFC's first pay-per-view event of 2021 took just minutes to sell out.
UFC 257 is headlined by the rematch of Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier and will also mark the promotion's first event that will have fans in attendance since UFC 248 in March 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The PPV event, slated for Jan. 23 at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi had tickets available starting at $795 Arab Emirates Dirham ($216 USD) and went as high as $4,995 AED ($1,360 USD) and all showed as sold out just minutes after going on-sale.
According to TSN's Aaron Bronsteter, the UFC stated that around 2,000 tickets were available for purchase.
Tickets to UFC's Jan. 16 and Jan. 20 events still remain on-sale through the Etihad Arena's official website.
Alexander Volkanovski Admittedly "Tired" Of Max Holloway Trilogy Talk
UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski is over talking about Max Holloway.
The Australian-born UFC champion defeated Max Holloway to become the UFC featherweight champion at UFC 245 and successfully defended his title against the aforementioned Holloway at UFC 251 but to some, he still hasn't done enough to convince them that there shouldn't be a third fight between the pair.
The 32-year old champion had the following to say about his rivalry with Holloway, when speaking to SCMP MMA.
“It is annoying. People just quickly forget," Volkanovski said. “Luckily enough, I’m so well rounded and I’ve got that grit, I’m going to push myself,” Volkanovski continued. “I ain’t going make excuses but if there was going to be a day that Max Holloway was going to beat me, that was the day. Let me just put that out there. And I was still able to steal the last three rounds so that just shows you how good I am. But people are going to forget that too."
“So again, it is annoying but at the same time, I understand it,” he concluded. “It was a close fight. It was a very competitive fight and it was two of the best going at it. There’s a lot of hate but at the same time, there are so many people who appreciate two of the guys at the highest level having this chess match. A lot of people are missing that and they don’t realize that what they got to see was fucking rare. It is rare to see two of the highest level figuring each other out and really adjusting every minute. The fight IQ that was involved in both our fights was just incredible and people are missing that because obviously they see the first two rounds and that’s all they remember."
“I understand it [the desire for a trilogy] but come on, I ain’t going to keep rematching him 'til he wins."
Daniel Cormier Lays Out Gameplan For Dustin Poirier In Rematch Against Conor McGregor
Former UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier knows a thing or two about looking to avenge a loss when looking ahead to a rematch.
The recently retired former UFC champion laid out a gameplan for fellow Lousiana-native Dustin Poirier in his bid to knock off Conor McGregor at UFC 257 when speaking with SCMP MMA:
“I think when you lose a fight and you go into another fight [with the same person]… I know all about it, I fought ‘Rumble’ [Anthony Johnson] twice, I fought Jon Jones twice, I fought Stipe [Miocic] three times. I fought seven of my 25 fights against three dudes,” Cormier said. “So I think any fighter can convince himself he just got caught, and that’s what Dustin is gonna have to rely on in order to give himself a chance."
“It’s difficult to forget, but you wanna remember it and use it to motivate you in the rematch. Me getting to call the fights has saved me from having to pick fights, because I’m not allowed to,” he added. “Also it saves me having to deal with the fighters, because they’re so sensitive when it comes to whether or not you pick them. Everybody’s like, ‘Oh DC, I saw you picked against me’. God forbid you pick against one guy and then he wins, because he throws it right in your face."
“So I’m lucky I call the fights, I don’t have to pick them no more, so that’s one thing you don’t get out of me.”
UFC Extends Support Of Cleveland Clinic And Long-Term Brain Health Studies
The UFC will continue to commit supoorting the Cleveland Clinic's studies into brain health for another five years, upping their total committment to $3 million.
It was announced in 2011 that the promotion would begin a partnership with the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health which was led by the Cleveland Clinic's Dr. Charles Bernick and Dr. Aaron Ritter.
UFC's Chief Operating Officer Lawrence Epstein released a statement to MMA Junkie, commenting on the continued parternship:
“We have been partnered with the Cleveland Clinic now for a decade, and we’re proud that we’ve already committed more than $2 million in funding the study,” Epstein said. "This entire relationship the UFC, our athletes, and the entire Cleveland Clinic have has frankly become central to the UFC and really intertwined with the DNA of our organization.
“Over the last 10 years, a tremendous amount of data has been generated as a result of the studies that have been done. That data has been used in 31, to date, peer-reviewed articles and journals about the findings from this first-of-its-kind study. From the UFC standpoint, we’re incredibly proud to have been a part of this up to date, and we’re even more proud to be committing for another five years.”
Glover Teixeira Volunteering To Be Backup For UFC 259
UFC 259 boasts a title tripleheader, headlined by middleweight champion Israel Adesanya moving up to 205-pounds to challenge light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz in a champion vs. champion affair.
Perrenial contender Glover Teixeira is considering being the replacement should anything happen to Adesanya or Blachowicz ahead of their UFC 259 clash.
The 41-year old Brazilian-born contender told MMA Fighting "of course" when asked if he had any interest in being a replacement if either man had to pull out of the matchup.
“I’ll be rooting for… [laughs] It sucks, I’ve never rooted for anyone to get hurt, but I’ll be rooting for an injury there [laughs].”
“I just got back from vacation, so I’ll talk to [my manager] ‘Joinha’ [Jorge Guimaraes] and see what we’ll do, but [being a backup fighter] is a possibility,” Teixeira said. “I would have to do a full camp so, even if I have to wait, at least I did a camp, I won’t lose rhythm. COVID is complicated, you really have to pull out if you catch it.”
“If Adesanya wins, what happens then?” Teixeira said. “Will Adesanya defend at 185 or 205? I don’t know. If that means sitting down and waiting until June, August, I don’t know, maybe I would wait, I don’t mind. But, honestly, we don’t know anything. Blachowicz winning would be better for me and everyone else. But if Adesanya wins, what is he going to do? He’s probably going back to 185.”
“Honestly, I’m not stressing about the belt,” Glover continued. “It’s superfights, they come up with belts when there are none in line, like the baddest motherf*cker [belt]. It’s about entertaining, and I’m not against that. They see the business side of it, Dana White sees where the money is coming. Honestly, it delays a bit for us but, hey, we have to follow the evolution of the sport, and that’s how the sport is evolving these days.
“When I started fighting, the sport was more about aggressive fighters, knockouts, Wanderlei Silva-style, Chuck Liddell. To kill or get killed. That’s what I’ve done in my fights. There’s no talk, it’s about going there to kill or get killed. I’ve been knocked out, I go for it no matter who I’m fighting, but that’s not what sells today. I’m stuck with the old school, that’s when I should be fighting. That’s my time. Wanderlei, PRIDE days, Chuck Liddell’s, Tito Ortiz’s"
“I don’t have that in me. [Paulo Costa] ‘Borrachinha’ does that really well. I think Brazilians should really do that because it draws attention. You can’t sit and complain. It’s not my thing, but also I’m 41 and I won’t change now. I’ll continue doing what I’ve always done. But if I were young… People talk crap about Borrachinha, but he’s right. He just got here, he’s in his prime, and he’s using that in his advantage. If I had his age and was just getting started in the UFC, I’d talk a lot as well.”
Dana White Expects Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Brandon Moreno Rematch In March Or April
The final UFC pay-per-view of 2020 may have had the best fight of 2020 in the form of Deiveson Figueiredo defending his UFC flyweight title against Brandon Moreno.
The main event of UFC 256 would see Figueiredo retain his title after the Fight of The Year contender ended in a majority draw after Figueiredo was docked a point for too many low shots, which was the deciding factor and cost Figueiredo the victory.
At the post-fight press conference, UFC President Dana White would announce that the only logical thing to do was run the fight back.
Earlier this week, White took part in a virtual Q&A with ESPN+ and told a fan "April or May," when asked when the rematch for the flyweight championship would take place.
Punahele Soriano Not Concerned About Undefeated Record
One of the biggest sleeper fights during the UFC's return from a three week hiatus at UFC on ABC 1, undefeated prospects Punahele Soriano and Dusko Todorovic will square off on Fight Island.
"I never really put much emphasis into being undefeated," Soriano told MMA Junkie ahead of his upcoming matchup.
“Of course it’s great, but I’ve lost so many times in my athletic career, wrestling in high school and wrestling in college. I lost probably 100 times maybe, I don’t know. But I can lose just as good as I can win. I’ll take it on the chin, but I’m here to win. I go out there to break guys, put the gas pedal on, and every fight I’m here to win.”
He continued, “I feel like I’m kind of in the middle. I don’t necessarily think ‘Oh, it’s gonna happen,’ and I don’t think ‘I gotta stay undefeated.’ I’m in the middle. I just focus on my training, make sure I’m the best fighter I’m gonna be for that date. I just feel that, as long as come fight day, I’m the man that day, nothing else matters.”
Dustin Poirier Offers Prediction For Dan Hooker vs. Michael Chandler
Some clarity to the UFC's stacked lightweight division will be decided at UFC 257 when Conor McGregor takes on Dustin Poirier in the evening's main event.
The co-marquee of the promotion's first pay-per-view event of 2021 will be former Bellator champion Michael Chandler's promotional debut against Dan Hooker. Poirier's last fight came against the aforementioned Hooker at UFC Vegas 4 where Poirier would take a decision victory over Hooker after a thrilling five round main event.
The Lousiana-native Poirier offered up his prediction for the UFC 257 co-headliner when speaking with comedian Theo Von:
“I think Hooker beats him on the feet,” Poirier said. “I think the length—Chandler’s not a tall guy—Hooker’s really long and a better boxer than I thought he was. [He has] good timing, it’s tough to get his rythm. Hooker’s a tough fight for anybody, I think. It’ll be [about] if Chandler can get the takedowns, and if he can, can he keep down?
“If he starts getting takedowns and getting dominant position, he might be able to get a decision,” he added. “I’m not saying he can’t finish Hooker. He can finish him, but I would lean toward Hooker on that one, man. I don’t know the odds, but I would give Hooker a slight edge.
“And it’s Chandler’s first fight in the UFC,” Poirier concluded. “I’m sure he has a lot on his back, a lot to prove. But like you said, he’s a veteran. He’s been fighting big names for a long time, so that might not even phase him.”
Charles Oliveira's Manager Says Title Fight "Has To Be" Next
At UFC 256 Charles Oliviera had the biggest win of his career when he thoroughly beatdown fan-favorite Tony Ferguson en-route to a unanimous decision victory over "El Cucuy" in the night's co-main event.
The submission expert's manager and coach Diego Lima told MMA Fighting that a title fight "has to be" next for his pupil.
“I honestly think he deserves to go straight for the belt,” Lima said. “He’s coming off eight wins in a row, beat Kevin Lee in great fashion and then dominated Ferguson all around—and Ferguson is one of the best of the division, won 12 straight before losing a title fight—so I think Charles is ready and has enough credibility to fight for the belt.”
“We absolutely want to renew the contract and book Charles’ next fight - and God willing, it will be for the belt,” Lima said. “The position he is right now, the amount of wins he has, what he’s done in his last fight, I think he deserves an upgrade in his purse. It’s more than deserving. Not only for his position in the ranking, but also his history in the organization.
“Most bonuses, most finishes, most submissions… He might break two or three records in his next fights. All that, plus his win over Ferguson, will be very important when we renew the contract.”
Amanda Ribas' Father Commemorates Daughter's First UFC Win With Tattoo
Rising UFC women's strawweight contender Amanda Ribas has a very tight-knit relationship with her father and coach Marcelo Ribas.
The father of the 27-year old UFC contender decided to immortalize his daughter's first UFC win which came back in June 2019 when Amanda submitted Emily Whitmare. The feat can now be relived for eternity on Marcelo's left arm.
Cris Cyborg Interested In Fighting Kayla Harrison At Lightweight
Bellator women's featherweight champion Cris Cyborg had a massive 2020 and has even bigger plans ahead for 2021.
The future Hall of Famer has her eyes set on a potential showdown with 2-time Olympic gold medalist, turned undefeated MMA prospect Kayla Harrison at some point this year.
I saw she made the weight,” Cyborg told Lynch. “A couple fights I’ve seen her. I believe she’s fighting girls under, below her skill. The girls aren’t on her level but she’s doing great. This is a strategy of her manager.”
“I believe this year she’s gonna fight for PFL, she’s gonna be in a tournament at 155, and if she becomes the champion of this tournament, for sure I would like to make a match with her that all the fans would like to watch.”
“I would like to go to ‘55,” Cyborg said. “Before I retire, I want to help build the division and if she is young, let’s see if she would like to do a match, one real match for her. . .I’ve never had the opportunity. All the people told me go below, below, below. For me, I walk 170, 175. . . I never had the chance. This is one dream that could come true.”
Tatiana Suarez Aiming For Summer Return Following Neck Injury
The Ultimate Fighter 23 winner Tatian Suarez is hoping for a return during the summer following a neck injury.
Suarez (8-0) has not competed since June 2019 when she defeated Nina Ansaroff due to a lingering neck injury.
Earlier this week, UFC President Dana White told the masses "she hit me up the other day" when asked about a potential return during a Q&A session wioth ESPN+.
Following up on White's response, Suarez told MMA Junkie "“Yes, my team and I are thinking summer."
"At first I thought spring, but I want to make sure my neck will make it through a camp before committing to a fight," Suarez continued. "I tried to spar and my neck hurt after a few rounds so I cut the session. But, slowly but surely I’m introducing live training back in.”
Petr Yan Opens As Betting Favorite Over Aljamain Sterling For UFC 259 Title Fight
UFC 259 is scheduled to host a title tripleheader.
One of those title fights features UFC bantamweight champion Petr Yan defending his title against Aljamain Sterling.
The Russian-born champion has opened as a slight -145 favorite over Sterling who comes in as a +125 underdog for the bout, according to Best Fight Odds.
Conor McGregor Could Return To Featherweight According To Nutritionist
Former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion Conor McGregor could return to where it all started at 145-pounds.
According to his nutritionist Tristan Kennedy, "The Notorious" could "easily" make the weight cut down to 145-pounds should the brash Irishman wish to do so.
"Everything is achievable," Kennedy told ESPN ahead of McGregor's UFC 257 tilt against Dustin Poirier, which will take place at 155-pounds.
“Look at Jose Aldo at bantamweight. But at what cost? Going down so low nowadays," said Kennedy. "When you see a man who fights at 170 no problem and competes very, very well at 170 and has no issues, why would he go down to 145? Especially when he conquered all that.
“Conor loves challenges. The 155 division, he’ll capitalize on that next, no problem. He’s already capitalized, and then probably the 170 division or whatever. That’s the great thing about Conor. He can go in between weight classes. Once you’re consistent with the diet and the training, you can point it wherever you need to go. Right now, it’s 155. Who knows what it’ll be in the future?”
“Several people have commented already that this is the best shape he’s ever been in,” Kennedy said of McGregor. “They’re the people that are closest to him throughout all the camps. [Striking coach] Owen Roddy just said it. John Kavanagh just recently said it. I would absolutely agree. I guess going from what I’ve seen and what I know, the man is phenomenal and ready to take on this fight and do well.”
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