News: Diaz accuses GSP of using steroids

Earlier this week, Dana White dropped the bomb that George St. Pierre vs. Nate Diaz is in the works for August 4th. Via Twitter, Nate has decided to add an extra snap, crackle and pop to procedings and give his side of thought about White’s declaration.

He started the verbal punches by claiming St. Pierre was on steroids during the 2013 bout with brother Nick (where GSP defended his at the time untouchable welterweight championship) with a lop-sided unanimous decision win over the eldest Diaz brother.

A fight between GSP and Nate would argueably be the biggest fight of the UFC year so far, and judging by the first comments from Nate, you can already sense the fire that the press conferences will throw up. The Stockton mentality is something that has been greatly missed in MMA, and Nate has brought it back with a bang in his first public comment.

GSP would be making his lightweight debut, and Diaz would definetly be far from a walk in the park. If the rumoured fight comes to fruition, it seems George may be planning to solidify his name as the “GOAT” by being the first man to win 3 belts in UFC history with the move down to lightweight. If Nate is able to get under the skin of a depleted GSP, this may not be as much of a one sided fight as people think.

One thing is guaranteed, the coming weeks are going to be interesting, and without a doubt entertaining. Let us all hope that the MMA stars align and we see this come together.

Opinion: George St. Pierre vs Nate Diaz: The UFC masterplan

With alot of talk happening of GSP vs Diaz, its clear too see what game the UFC are playing. With the fight happening at lightweight, they are obviously trying to line up a super fight between McGregor and Rush.

In my opinion, that is only one facet of the plan. With a fight of this magnitude, they need to hold the fight in one of the most famous sporting arenas in the world. The MGM grand or Madison Square Garden may be the choice of many a fight fan, but this arena is grander again.

The arena in question goes by the name of Croke Park.

‘Croker’ may not be well known to many off the shores of the emerald isle, but ask any Irish man, woman or child and they will tell you about the folklore and legends that have been created on the hollowed turf.

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Ireland’s finest sporting moments have been seen here, and what finer sporting moment would there be than the fighting pride of Dublin taking on arguably one of the biggest names in combat sports history.

In terms of PPV numbers, GSP vs Mcgregor will be the biggest event ever, a possible 2 million plus buys could be expected for this. The capacity, if this event does happen, will be in excess of 90,000. And with it being held in Conor’s back yard, you can bet your house that the arena will be brimmed. We are quite simply looking at something that could well be the biggest event in sporting history, never mind MMA.

Dana White has teased Croke Park in the past but has never followed through on his word. Possibly because no fight has deserved the right to be held in Croke Park. Not that I am knocking any fighter Mcgregor has fought, but the last fight to be held in “Croker” was a Muhammed Ali fight, so the fight that happens has to be the stuff of absolute legend.

I recently attended Croke Park for a GAA match, and with an attendance of 9000 or so the atmosphere was still electric. I found myself that if McGregor did fight here, there would be an atmosphere that the world would never have seen before, and probably will never see again.

Croke Park is the perfect Arena to house GSP vs McGregor, its just a question of whether everything will fall into place now.

The rocky road to Dublin begins with GSP vs Diaz…

Opinion: A look at what could happen when Khabib and McGregor meet

McGregor vs Khabib. Ireland vs Russia. East vs West. Call it what you want, but this fight is going to be the biggest event ever in the UFC. The beef is real, and both fighters respective countries are at logger heads in the political world and the crime world. This goes beyond just man vs man in the cage.

McGregor has recently displayed interest in this fight, stating he would be willing to fight Khabib for a decreased wage. People have called lies on these rumours, but with a possibility of MayMac II fight getting closer to reality by the day, it is understandable that he would be willing to take a pay cut to finally face Khabib.

Both fighters have shown adaptations in their game recently, with Conor putting pictures on Instagram of him grappling from the bottom, possibly preparing for the takedown onslaught, and the eagle trying to display striking skills against Al Iaquinta.

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I feel that McGregor’s adaptations may be more successful, given that he is a high level jiu jitsu practitioner. He would have been watching the Iaquinta fight with a smile on his face, although he did not put up much a fight against Khabib, I believe the fight showed that The Eagle has holes in his game. Considering the fight IQ of The Notorious one, he will now be able to sufficiently adapt a game plan to beat the Dagestani dynamo.

This fight will be a slobber knocker of all slobber knockers. The Eagle will easily take the first 1-2 rounds on takedowns alone, he will beat McGregor on the ground, but to win this fight he will need to finish the fight early by ground and pound. As he showed against Iaqunita, he starts to slow down after the third round. Khabib does have a legit chance in this fight, but I think given how one dimensional of a fighter he is, it severely cuts his chances of retaining his perfect professional record.

As I explained before, McGregor has been putting up pictures of him on the bottom in training. It is possible that McGregor has been practicing getting up from the bottom. Conor also displayed against Diaz that he does have a very good takedown defense, which if put into practice at the same level against Khabib, the Russian will be breathing heavily come mid fight. People will say ‘McGregor has no gas tank’, but he won’t need too have much of a gas tank, as I believe he will let Khabib do all the hard work on the ground and let him wear him self out early. The eagle may be a grappling monster, but in his last 2 fights he has shown no ground and pound knockout power what so ever. This was evident in the Barboza fight, where he spent most of the fight on top but still couldn’t finish the Brazilian.

That will then leave it down to the striking game……

We all know what’s going to happen there.

Khabib displayed a relatively good striking level in his last fight, but it was B level striking at best. That’s being generous.

Hands down, chin out, no head movement, tripling and quadrupling the jab and always slipping to the right after the jab. His footwork was like a drunk uncle at wedding. This carried him through against Iaquinta, but the “Brooklyn gangster” is nowhere near the level of McGregor.

The Irishman has a huge reach advantage on the Russian, and this will really come into play later on in the fight. The eagle may have displayed quick striking, but he advertises each punch for about 3 weeks before he throws it. This is when he will step into ‘Mac’s world’, and only one fighter will come out successful from this situation.

McGregor will pick Khabib’s chin like a gold mine as the fight starts to wear on, and the patented Celtic cross will land flush.

For this fight I pick McGregor for a 5th round knockout.

Opinion: 5 boxers who could easily transition into MMA

With the worlds of boxing and MMA beginning to intertwine with the the potential of Mayweather vs McGregor II rumours picking up more pace by the day, are there actually any boxers out there who could swap the 12 oz gloves for the 4 oz gloves?

Common knowledge would tell you “no”, that having pure boxing as a style would just leave you with too many holes for a mixed martial artist with the tiniest drop of fight IQ to expose. But I am going to look at some boxers who could possibly break that view, and some of these boxers could actually hang with some of the top guys in MMA.

5 – Ricardo Mayorga

Ricardo Mayorga, probably the toughest and meanest man to step between the ropes. Rumoured to have gang affiliation, he showed on many occasions that his gangster mindset can carry you through a fight.

His trash talking skills are probably better than that of McGregor’s, and his never say die attitude are the biggest assets he would bring into the cage with him.

He was due to make his MMA debut in 2010 against Din Thomas, but this fight never came to fruition.

4 – Vitali Klitsko

Known to have one of the best chins in boxing history, he reigned and dominated, along with his brother Wlad, the heavyweight division for many years. Already a good combat resume to take into the MMA world.

Klitsko also has competed at a high level in judo and wrestling during his childhood. With the wrestling programmes in that part of the being one of the best, its safe to say that not only could he light you up on the feet, but he could also comfortably handle anybody on the ground as well.

He has already stated that he does not want to take part in an MMA fight, but would love to experience the fitness side of things, stating

‘I have no interest in fighting in a cage, but maybe I would like to experience just the training. It is a different kind of fitness from boxing, I would really like to test my self.’

Maybe a bout is out of the question, but he would bring a wealth of knowledge to the coaching game, he definately has enough knowledge to become a striking coach.

3 – David Haye

A very slick and smooth boxer, Haye’s style of fighting could easily be transferred into an MMA situation.

The Hayemaker also has an extensive background in karate and jiu jitsu, so a move to the right gym and he could be a legitimate contender in the light heavyweight division of a smaller promotion.

2 – Anthony Joshua

The current world heavyweight champion only started boxing after he seen it on the 2008 Olympics. He took up boxing at the age of 18, and by the age of 24 was already fighting for world titles. That shows how quickly he can learn and this would benefit him greatly if he were to make the transition.

His style of boxing is very suited to an MMA arena, and his size would scare even the toughest of men.

If AJ does beat Deontay Wilder to unify the heavyweight division, he has basically done everything there is too do in boxing (as of now), so a transition to MMA may tickle his fancy. And how tasty of a prospect is Stipe Miocic vs Anthony Joshua, the unified champ vs the UFC champ. My mouth is watering at the thought of it.

1 – Vasyl Lomachenko

The man is revolutionising the sport of boxing, so much so that Bob Arum has called him the greatest fighter since Muhammed Ali. And with 3 titles in 3 different weight classes its easy to see why.

With 397 amateur fights, ‘hi-tech’ possesses a ring IQ like no other, something that would carry him into the world of MMA rather safely.

He has also won many wrestling, judo and sambo competitions as a child, and still actively practices these disciplines as part of his strength and conditioning for boxing. As we have seen recently, wrestlers coming out of eastern Europe are at a super high level, so Loma would easily be able to handle himself on the ground.

His style of boxing is something that has never been seen before. In 16 professional fights he has only been caught a handful of times hasn’t once been rocked, and his last 4 opponents have quit halfway through the fight. His style of fighting relies on hitting you from weird angles, something that experiences great successful as with in the realms of MMA. He is one of TJ Dillashaws boxing partners, so has the best of the best facilities available to him if decides to make the switch.

I can safely say that given Vasyl’s martial arts experience and being to use Dillashaws gym, he could easily be a champion in the UFC or bellator.

Opinion: Top Irish Prospects for 2018

“We’re not here to take part, we’re here to takeover.”

Those are the famous words uttered by Conor McGregor. And it appears that the Irish takeover may be happening. There is a massive buzz around the fighting scene in Ireland, something that hasn’t been felt since the days of the mighty Steve Collins, and these fighters are the people at the forefront of the buzz.

Glenn Irvine

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Hailing from the Next Gen gym in Ballymena, with a record of 3-2, Glenn ‘the beast’ Irvine has been making waves in the Caged Steel promotion. He is the reigning middleweight champion, with 3 wins from 3 in under 3 minutes of cage time. His both losses have came in BAMMA. In my opinion, the step up in competition was a bit to steep for that stage in his career. He displayed great skills in both fights, but was ultimately beat by experience as he jumped into BAMMA straight from the amateur ranks.

The move to Caged Steel seems to have helped Irvine find his feet with his most recent fight ending in a 12 second knockout. With another one or two fights in Caged Steel, I feel that “The Beast” will have gained enough experience to further his career in one of the bigger promotions. A return to BAMMA maybe?..

Rhys McKee

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Something must be in the water in Ballymena because here we have another Next Gen product. Aged 21 with a a record of 6-1-1 (with his only loss being avenged with a dominating victory), “Skeletor” has shown signs of becoming a true great within the sport.

Not only has he has displayed a high level of striking with 4 wins coming by KO, Rhys also has a dominant, aggressive grappling style with 2 submission victories, both of which he absolutely ragdolled his opponents, it’s safe to say his limits are where he says they are – he currently holds the BAMMA lightweight belt, and I believe its only a matter of time before he shaking up the ranks of either Bellator or the UFC.

Kiefer Crosbie

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Fighting out of the world renowned Straight Blast Gym (SBG) Dublin, Crosbie has shown a style of fighting that is eerily similar to that of his most famous teammate – Conor McGregor.

Crosbie has been out since October with injury, and has shown recently that he has regained his fitness and seems to be raring to go. He has the potential to become a household name, and I feel 2018 will be a massive year for him.

James Gallagher

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James is currently on a huge tear in Bellator. A great grappler, also with the ability to rip it up on the feet if he has to.

He has grown up in the SBG, moving to Dublin from a young age to live to live with John Kavanagh, and you can really see that the wealth of experience has rubbed off on him. Currently 7-0, the UFC seems to be beckoning for Ireland’s brightest prospect. I think that a big future may be ahead for Gallagher as the gym time he has spent with McGregor will give him an edge mentally as well as physically.