Opinion: Pre-Fight Analysis – Max Holloway vs. Brian Ortega

With Max Holloway set to defend the UFC featherweight title against Brian Ortega this weekend, it’s time to take an in depth look at how the two stars match up.

For my fight analysis, I’ll cover a multitude of variables for each fighter and how they’ll clash, while trying to avoid putting you to sleep while I do it.

Continue reading “Opinion: Pre-Fight Analysis – Max Holloway vs. Brian Ortega”

Results: ONE: Pinnacle of Power – 23 June 2018

23 June 2018 – Macau, China: The largest global sports media property in Asian history, ONE Championship™ (ONE), returned to the glamorous entertainment capital of Asia with another evening of authentic world-class martial arts action. The packed Studio City Event Center in Macau, China played host to ONE: PINNACLE OF POWER, featuring the absolute best in local and international martial arts talent. In the main event, Geje Eustaquio became the undisputed ONE Flyweight World Champion, defeating Adriano Moraes via split decision. In the co-main event, Xiong Jing Nan retained the ONE Women’s Strawweight World Championship by dominating Laura Balin in five rounds to claim a unanimous decision win.

Continue reading “Results: ONE: Pinnacle of Power – 23 June 2018”

News: Lyoto Machida reaches agreement for Bellator deal

It would seem that Bellator MMA have added yet another UFC veteran to it’s ranks.

Per ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida (24-8), has verbally agreed to sign a “multi-fight deal” with Belator MMA.

Continue reading “News: Lyoto Machida reaches agreement for Bellator deal”

Breaking News: Dana White looks to make a U-turn with early weigh ins

On the June 5, 2018 episode of the UFC Unfiltered podcast, Dana White talks to Matt Serra and Jim Norton about an array of topics including the worrying trend of fighters missing weight.

The topic is brought to attention by Serra at 1:20:49 of the episode here.

Notable examples of fighters missing weight for significant match-ups are, Mackenzie Mackenzie Dern at UFC 224, Kevin Lee at UFC Fight Night: Atlantic City, and Darren Till at UFC Fight Night: Liverpool.

He goes further by saying, fighters exploit the weigh’ins by “cutting it close”, and then upping their weight to gain an advantage.

With this change, fighters will only have the ceremonial weigh-ins to officiate their weight for their respective fights, which is 24 hours out from their fight, ratger than the 36 hours specified with the early weigh-in process.

This is one of many new changes Dana announced on the podcast.

It will be interesting to see these changes develop as the year goes on as he not only has the fighters opinions to field, but also athletic commissions…

UFC Breaking News: Yair vs Zabit Magomedsharipov in talks for UFC 228

 

The former UFC featherweight Yair “El Pantera” Rodriguez  is now in talks to figh #12 ranked featherweight Zabit Magomedsharipov at UFC 228 later in September.

Earlier this month, Rodriguez was released from the UFC by Dana White after a spat regarding a fight offer with Zabit. However, as per ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, it appears Yair has done a U-turn, and is back in discussions:

Dana White cut The 25-year-old Mexican prospect after refusing consecutive fight offers.

The news follows reports that Combate Americas, a one time suitor of Rodriguez following his alleged release by the UFC, have withdrawn their contract offer to the young star.

A Combate Americas executive revealed to MMAMotion that they had indeed withdrawn their offer, amid concerns that Rodriguez wasn’t committed to signing with them.

We withdrew the offer to Yair last week.  We felt we made a great offer.  However, if we are going to make an investment in any talent, we feel that the talent should be 100% committed to Combate Americas.  In this case, Yair’s representative was taking what we felt was a prolonged period of time to make any kind of decision, so we felt it was in our best interest to move on.

More on this news as it develops.

News: Nick Diaz arrested on domestic violence charges

Nick Diaz has been arrested in Las Vegas on multiple charges of domestic violence.

The 34-year-old Stockton native has been taken into custody after police were called to his residence on Thursday night. He is currently being held in Clarke County Detention Center pending a court appearance on Saturday to answer to two separate charges, domestic battery by strangulation and 1st degree domestic battery according to online records seen by MMAMotion. Bail has been set at $18,000.

Per MMAJunkie, 12 units were dispatched to the scene, the alleged victim was transported to hospital and Diaz was combative with officers during his arrest.

The news was first reported by Front Row Brian on Twitter earlier today.

https://twitter.com/FrontRowBrian/status/1000024040273268738

https://twitter.com/FrontRowBrian/status/1000107834493865991

https://twitter.com/FrontRowBrian/status/1000120862840893440

This is indeed a dark day for the Diaz brothers, especially since this coincides with Nate Diaz’s investigation pertaining an altercation with Clay Guida a few days back.

More information to come as this story develops.

 

 

News: Dana White targeting Nate Diaz vs Georges St-Pierre for UFC 227 co-main event

Speaking on the UFC Unfiltered podcast with Jim Norton and Matt Serra, UFC President Dana White confirmed that he is working toward matching Nate Diaz (20-11) and the former UFC welterweight and middleweight champion, Georges “Rush” St-Pierre(26-2). The fight is intended to serve as the co-main event for UFC 227.

At the 1:10:00-1:10:57 of the podcast, Dana goes into the topic of Stockton native where he confirms that his intention is for Diaz to fight St-Pierre at UFC 227 in the lightweight division.

St-Pierre was the most dominant welterweight champion in UFC history. After vacating the title and stepping away from the sport, the Canadian returned in dramatic fashion last year, capturing the UFC middleweight title from then champion Michael Bisping at UFC 217. Should the bout with Diaz materialize, it would be yet another new direction for GSP with him dropping to 155lbs for the first time in his storied career.

Diaz however, is a natural lightweight, spending much of his career in the division prior to embarking on a pair of welterweight scraps with Conor McGregor.  While the Stockton native does have a history of fighting at lightweight, he would be facing the not insignificant challenge of handing St-Pierre his first loss since his stunning loss to Matt Sera more than ten years ago at UFC 69.

Since his pair of fights with McGregor in 2016, Diaz has remained on the sidelines, insisting that he will only get back into the octagon for a big money fight. Sitting at number eight in the UFC lightweight rankings it is unlikely that he would jump the lengthy queue to fight reigning champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. With a trilogy bout against longtime foe McGregor not seeming likely in the near future, there are very few options available for Diaz. A fight with the man many consider to be the greatest of all time appears to tick all the necessary boxes to get the brash talking fan favourite back into the octagon.

 

The Warrior Spirit, MMA culture, and Anime: The Yoshitaka Naito interview.

With ONE: Grits and Glory drawing near, one cannot help but wonder what goes into the mind of the fighters as they prepare themselves for battle. Fortunately, the opportunity to interview one of the main event fighters has presented to us here at MMAMotion. We interview former strawweight champion Yoshitaka “Nobita” Naito (12-1) to ask him questions of varying subjects, including his thoughts on once again facing Alex “Little Rock” Silva (7-1) with the title on the line.

Gregory Dorvil: What did you love about the culture of MMA when you were growing up?

Yoshitaka Naito: There were plenty of exciting action that I have never seen and the atmosphere at the venue was great. I seemed like both athletes and fans were having a good time together.

GD: You mention that you liked Sakuraba when he performed in MMA, because of his use of strategy. What made that strategy the most appealing to you out of, say, teeth-gritting brawling?

YN: Sakuraba won against the best fighters by a submission that no one has ever seen so it was mind blowing and it fascinating me.

GD: Do you still read manga, if so what titles do you currently read. Are there any manga characters that resonate with you today, or is Nobita still your top favorite?

YN: I still read comics. I’m currently into this coming called ‘Golden Kamui.’ It’s a bit scary but it has lots of nature in it so I like it. Nobita is always my favorite character.

GD: How would you describe your fighter spirit, that which fuels you and guides you in every fight?

YN: I don’t know if I have the fighters spirit but I always try to show everything that I got in every bout.
That is what I was taught from hero’s in comic books.

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GD: What culture, attidues, or values do you think ONE FC or its roster brings to the world of MMA?

YN: ONE has the best athletes in their roster and is expanding the possibility of the fighters.

GD: Do you approach the MMA world from a classic warrior’s perspective or business perspective? Or a little of both?

YN: I try to approach in both classic warrior’s perspective or business perspective. If both perspective match, I want the organization to gather the best fighters and also succeed in business and be sustainable.

GD: How different do you think the culture of MMA is today as opposed to what it was when you first watched Sakabura, or even when you joined MMA in your adult years?

YN: I feel MMA is expanding to the world and everyone is aware of the sports.

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GD: You mentioned in your biography promo video that fear is what motivates you in your training and in your fights. What is it that you fear, even when you were champion, and how does it affect your fighter spirit, if at all?

YN: One win and one loss can dramatically change your life. It’s a thankful thing but scary at the same time. Fierce never went away even after I became champion but a tough situation is always a chance.

GD: When you became champion, was that your only goal, or one goal of many?

YN: I want become a person who is appropriate to be a champion. Someone who behaves and can be a role model.

GD: What was the reception with your friends and family like after receiving it?

YN: Everyone was happy about me becoming champion and celebrated.

GD: What did you want to accomplish once you attained the status of a champion, either legacy-wise or business wise?

YN: Money is important, but I was proud that I become champion in an organization big as ONE.

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GD: What was your thought process before the fight with Silva, as you studied him, in terms of fighting prowess and mentality?

YN: I knew Alex was good so I was expecting an exciting fight against him.

GD: During the fight, in between rounds, what did you gauge from his skills, his mentality?

YN: I felt spirit from him during the fight but dont remember much because I was totally focussed.

GD: Where is your mind coming into the rematch with Silva?

YN: Same opponent but the big difference is that I dont have a belt to protect. This I will take it as a positive thing and challenge aggressively.

GD: If you win the belt, what are your future plans? Continuation?

YN: I’m only thinking about becoming a champion again at the moment so I will think about the future after get back my belt.

GD: Do you see any fighters within your division or the divisions above that you would like to fight?

YN: I want to fight against someone like Gian! [Gian is the bully character in Doraemon].

Catch ONE: Grits and Glory This Saturday May 12th in the Jakarta Convention Center in Jakarta, Indonesia, as Yoshitaka Naito faces Alex Silva in a main event rematch for the Strawweight championship of the world.