Zabit Magomedsharipov is riding a high under the UFC banner. Currently undefeated and on a four-fight win streak in the UFC and considered as the next UFC star, he is capitalising on the momentum by trying to steer the UFC brass to his next Octagon outing. Continue reading “Report: Zabit wants Chad Mendes in his next UFC outing”
The UFC will be hoping that the third time is the charm when it comes to thks weekend’s UFC Sao Paulo main event.
Originally slated as a long overdue meeting between England’s Jimi Manuwa (17-4-0) and veteran light heavyweight Glover Teixera (27-7-0), UFC matchmakers were forced to call upon Thiago Santos (18-6-0) as a late replacement when Teixera fell victim to a shoulder injury.
It feels like the only Conor-related news in the media lately, is Conor’s lack of media activity in the lead up to UFC 229. It has left many in the MMA world somewhat underwhelmed and speculative around the circumstances as to why McGregor has not been his usual brash and spotlighted self.
Conor McGregor has kept away from any media appearances (other than the occasional social media post) through the build-up of his upcoming title fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 on October 6th in Las Vegas. Reports have come to light that the UFC is “frustrated” that one of their most reliable fight-hypers and prized possession is not hyping the already blockbuster fight enough.
One person thinking that he knows why there is a lull in McGregor’s media game is UFC welterweight Colby “Chaos” Covington. When speaking on an interview with BJPenn.com, Covington stated:
“I completely understand where he’s coming from. He’s over in Ireland, so to come from Ireland, to come do promotion in America, that’s a little tough. It takes out of your training schedule. You want to be training hard, and preparing for your style matchup. I get where he’s coming from. It gets a little tough when you’re cutting weight to travel all over the place when you want to focus on really getting yourself ready to peak for your fight.”
However, as expected, it was not all pleasantries and empathy from Covington.
“But the thing is, he’s gotten a little soft, over the years. He’s doing his little cocaine, and he’s partying a lot with his hookers. He’s getting a little soft. He’s a little, he’s a coked up little leprechaun who’s getting a little soft, so I completely understand why he doesn’t want to do promotion.”
The UFC did announce that there will be a pre-fight press conference for UFC 229, which will be held on September 20th at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City. However, the said media event will be closed off to the public, and only UFC president Dana White along with selected members of the media will be present.
– Brad Dalrymple
Follow me on Twitter @Brad_MMA
“Don’t Sleep On This” is a new segment, produced in the lead up to every UFC card focussing on a fighter and/or matchup that should not be missed (aka slept on). This week we’re talking about and previewing an entire card. The UFC visits Russia for the first time in the organization’s history and if you don’t already have UFC Fight Pass, now is the time to subscribe.
In the wake of USADA’s relatively swift response in dealing with Fabricio Werdum‘s failed drugs test in April, speculation has been rife as to why UFC’s anti-doping partner are taking so long to reach the conclusion of their case against Jon Jones.
UFC 229 will have host it’s premier media day press conference next Thursday in New York City ahead of it’s fast approaching October 6th date. Event headliners Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor will meet face to face for the first time since their highly publicised fracas at the Barclays Centre last April.
ESPN reporter Brett Okamoto offered an update on what feels like a genuinely mismanaged promotional campaign as he confirmed the first official press event at Radio City Music Hall next Thursday evening. A McGregor media tour usually offers a merry-go-round of insults and memorable catchphrases, but also a masterclass of mental warfare in which the Dubliner often tends to beat his opponent before they meet in the Octagon.
Khabib and McGregor are sworn rivals dating back to their backstage clash at UFC 205. Dagestani Khabib, called out the SBG product after a dominant win over Michael Johnson, attempting to comprehend how McGregor was at the time warranted a title shot despite losing to Nate Diaz earlier in the year and making his lightweight debut that night. McGregor secured the Lightweight crown that same night in November, stopping Eddie Alvarez convincingly in the second round.
A 2017 expedition into the boxing world against Floyd Mayweather extended McGregor’s hiatus from the cage, followed by the birth of his son, Conor Jr. October will mark his return to the sport after a two-year absence.
Expect a huge security presence at next Thursday’s media day presser. Both fighters are known to travel with hefty entourages which have been chomping at the bit to get into it with each other in the recent months. I would imagine the UFC will be pulling out all of the stops security-wise, as this is a precious and highly anticipated fight.
It should come as no surprise that UFC heavyweight Mark Hunt isn’t exactly pleased to hear that former opponent Brock Lesnar will be awarded a shot at the UFC heavyweight championship when he makes his return to the Octagon.
Despite the ongoing preparations for his monumental UFC 229 title clash with arch rival Khabib Nurmagomedov, lightweight contender Conor McGregor’s legal troubles away from the Octagon appear to have reared their head once again.
The Dubliner’s criminal case for his involvement in the UFC 223 bus attack in the Barclays Centre at the end of July is now over, but one of the blue corner fighters involved in the incident, Michael Chiesa, has initiated civil legal proceedings against ‘The Notorious’ one.
It seems Brazilian veteran Fabricio Werdum won’t be back in the octagon any time soon.
The 41-year-old former UFC heavyweight champion has been handed a two year suspension by UFC anti-doping partner USADA stemming from a failed drugs test earlier this year.
At UFC 228, welterweight’s front-runner Tyron “The Chosen One” Woodley has defended his belt successfully for the fourth time, against the #1 contender from England Darren Till. Woodley made the fight look easy and landed a right hook to drop Till in the second round, forcing ground and pound upon him before sinking in a D’arce choke and getting the job done in style.
“The Chosen One” has been under criticism for his recent performances after claiming the belt from Robbie Lawler, when he knocked out Lawler in explosive fashion. Many people think he fights too safe for it to be entertaining. However, Woodley banks over $500k per title defence so who can blame him? But let’s take a look at Woodley’s title defences and see why he has played it so “safe”.
Tyron Woodley vs Stephen Thompson 1&2
Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson is a striking maestro of the highest order. A legit karate expert who has converted to MMA and become one of the best fighters on the MMA leaders roster. Before he met Woodley had a 13-1 record and was riding a six-fight win streak where he beat the likes of Robert Whittaker, Johnny Hendricks and Rory McDonald.
In both of the fights, it was slow and calculated with both athletes trying to find their way in to strike each other. Made slower by the fact they are both predominately counter strikers. What we saw was two of the UFC’s top strikers in a chess match of striking without the risk of getting clouted on the chin with a knockout counter shot. The first fight was a majority draw (meaning Woodley retained the belt) and the second fight Woodley won the decision.
Tyron Woodley vs Demian Maia
Demian Maia is possibly the greatest submission expert we have seen inside the UFC since Royce Gracie. There is something quite incredible when you watch Maia get his opponent to the ground and wrap himself around them in a boa constrictor fashion and sink in an unforgiving submission to offer his opponent two options, tap or say goodnight. Prior to fighting Woodley, Maia was on a six-fight win streak where he submitted Niel Magny, Carlos Condit and Matt Brown all by rear naked choke.
So in this fight, it was clear Woodley wanted to avoid the ground game by all costs, a fact that somewhat suppressed his striking prowess as takedowns are much easier to secure on a wild swinging opponent. Despite what seemed like four million takedown attempts, Maia was unable to take down the champion and was forced to show his CM Punk style striking skills where Woodley was able to counter effectively and secure another title defence over a top contender.
So Woodley felt like he had a point to prove against Darren Till and he did just that as previously stated. I think we can all appreciate what an outstanding champion Woodley is. Explosive striking, legit wrestling and now a Brazilian Ju-jitsu black belt are all weapons “The Chosen One” has in his arsenal and he reads the fight game better than anyone in the welterweight division.
I think we will see Woodley as the welterweight champion for a long time and am very excited to see him defend the belt and compete for years to come!