Season two of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series has come to a close and once again we have been treated to a tremendous summer of fights to dwindle away our Tuesday evenings. Over the duration of eight weeks, 33 of the 40 scheduled bouts ended before the judges were called into play, smashing last seasons record of 25 finishes. As we know, Dana White cannot sign every fighter who wins to the ever growing roster of the UFC, but a staggering 23 fighters where handed immediate contracts and others have been called up on short notice opportunities. In this article we will take a look at the 23 fighters who won contracts directly after the show, and I have even been fortunate enough to catch up with some of the fighters for a quick interview to see how they are feeling after achieving the dream of every mixed martial artist on the planet!
Yesterday, UFC President Dana White sat down with entrepreneur, Tony Robbins to discuss all things business. They covered a multitude of topics including a few questions asked by the audience. Continue reading “What You May Have Missed: Highlights from Tony Robbins’ Dana White interview at the Business Mastery event”
The self proclaimed most violent man in the UFC is at something of a cross roads in his career.
Former UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez (29-6-0) is once again a free agent, having fought the final bout of his contract against Dustin Poirier in Calgary last month and UFC President Dana White would be happy to see “The Underground King” move on if he decided it was The right thing to do at this stage of his career.
Despite cruising his way to a dominant victory Kevin “Trailblazer” Holland was not given a UFC contract by president Dana White. Despite Holland’s best efforts, Will Santiago was able to cling on as the fight when to the judges to confirm that Holland was the superior fighter on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series. I have been fortunate enough to catch up with the man himself to see his thoughts on what the future holds for one of the brightest prospects at 185 pounds.
A little over 2 months after wreaking havoc at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, Conor McGregor has today made his second appearance at Kings County Supreme Criminal Court, Brooklyn.
McGregor initially appeared in court on April 6th alongside SGB teammate Cian Cowley to answer to three counts of assault and one count of criminal mischief. Both fighters were released after each posted $50,000 bail.
Both McGregor and Cowley entered the court room at approximately 3pm UK time with the hearing lasting just a couple of minutes.
Dana White and Conor McGregor are finally getting together to discuss the former two weight UFC champion’s future with the promotion.
Speaking to TMZ Sports yesterday, White confirmed that he will be meeting with the outspoken Irishman early next week.
It took just 57 seconds for Greg Hardy (1-0-0) to finish Austin Lane (4-1-0) with a viscous KO during the first episode of Dana Whites Contender Series 9. It was a particularly impressive performance considering the fight was Hardy’s first professional MMA contest, following a brief stint as an amateur which saw the former NFL All-Pro defensive end win all three of his fights.
When the fight with Lane was first announced, Dana White and the UFC received a notable amount of criticism due to Hardy’s 2014 conviction for assaulting his ex-girlfriend. The charges were subsequently dropped during Hardy’s appeal after the victim declined to testify.
Speaking to MMAJunkie after the event, Dana White acknowledged Hardy’s past but explained that he felt that the 29-year-old deserved his opportunity to rebuild his life.
“The reality is, if this guy stays clean for the next 10 years, goes on to win a world title, becomes one of the greatest mixed martial artists to ever live, he’s always going to be looked at – he’s always going to hear it,” White said. “That’s always going to be in the story that’s written about him. Other opponents he fights are going to call him a woman beater. That’s going follow him for the rest of his life. You don’t shed that. That stays with you forever, and he’s done all the things right so far.
“The guy paid his dues. He hit rock bottom. He built himself back up, and the guy’s out there just trying to make a life and a living.”
“People always make mistakes, and the thing about making mistakes is, how do you recover from that? How do you act after you’ve done something bad?” White said. “This guy has paid his dues, and like I said, he hit rock bottom. He built himself back up, he’s going out there, and he’s fighting in these amateur fights where he doesn’t get paid. Now he came here, and I think he made $10,000 and $10,000. He’s working his way back up the ladder. He’s doing the right things. He’s off drugs, he’s off alcohol, and he’s trying to change his life.
White went on to say that he recognises the risks for Hardy now that he is back in the spotlight. As many UFC stars will confirm, the platform the promotion provides leaves very little margin for error.
“He’s the type of athlete, and he’s the type of guy that, if he does anything wrong, there will be no mercy for him,” White said. “I mean, everybody’s going to jump on him. You talk to the people in his camp, they love the guy. Men and women. They think he’s a great guy and a guy who (was) probably doing drugs, drinking and made a big mistake.”
While it isn’t completely unheard of for a fighter with just one professional contest to enter the UFC (shout out CM Punk), White is eager for Hardy to follow a more structured developmental path before making the step up to the biggest stage.
How that plays out is still a mystery for now but it would seem that Hardy is likely to take at least a few fights elsewhere before making his official UFC debut – something the promotion has a history of doing with prospects they have particularly high hopes for.
“The way I see it is, what I would love to do, in a perfect world, this is not what I’m doing, but in a perfect world this is what I would like to do,” White said. “If he can turn around and come back, I would like to have him fight on the last episode of the Contender Series. Then I would like to put him on a bunch of ‘Looking For A Fight’ cards, get him some experience and then we’ll decide when we think he’s ready for the UFC.
“If you see him, you see that he has power. He’s a big heavyweight. He needs to work more. He needs to get some more fights. We’ve done deals where, for example, Cyborg was under contract with the UFC but fought in Invicta. Alexa Grasso was under contract with the UFC. Mackenzie Dern was under contract with the UFC and fought in other places. I have a few ideas of what to do with this guy and let him develop. He’s with a great team already, he’s training with great guys. They say he’s a hard worker. They say all positive things about him out of that gym. We’ll try to build him up and see what he can do.”
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 President Dana White confirmed Saturday afternoon that he and star commodity Conor McGregor will meet at the Echo Arena this Sunday ahead of the promotion’s premier event on Merseyside.
During an interview with Caroline Pearce of BT Sport, White confirmed how he and Conor would sit down for the first time since the fiasco in Brooklyn ahead of UFC 223 in April. Dana refused to hint at a possible return date or a probable opponent for the Dubliner:
“This is the first time we’ve seen eachother since New York, so we’re just going to get in a room together and talk.”
Rumours suggested that the former featherweight and lightweight kingpin will make his first octagon appearance since November 2016. Possibilities include a September return, or possibly at UFC 232 in the curtain closer of 2018 against Russia’s Khabib Nurmagomedov for the 155lbs title. That being said, the rather large roadblock in that may halt those predictions is the New York City justice system, may prevent such a return.
McGregor will return to the Big Apple on June 14th after he was granted a $50,000 bail subsequently paid by Dillon Danis, ahead of a second hearing and verdict. The Crumlin striker was charged with three counts of assault and one count of criminal mischief after he threw a moving dolly through the window of a bus carrying blue corner fighters in the Barclays Centre car park. McGregor and his entoutage’s actions resulted in the removal of Michael Chiesa, Anthony Pettis, Ray Borg, Brandon Moreno, Artem Lobov and Alex Caceres from the Madison Square Garden card. McGregor and SBG teammate Cian Cowley were ultimately arrested and held overnight in a New York City precinct after his private jet was grounded at John F. Kennedy International Airport.
A wide array of lawsuits and criminal damage fines are on the horizon for the Straight Blast Gym product, but he also faces the possibility of a suspension from the UFC. A certainly more realistic result is a severe fine, revoking of his fight license and community service from the NYC judicial system.
Interestingly, independent state athletic commissions such as New York, California or Las Vegas have a history of following suit if a license is revoked or a suspension is issued, casting further doubt on a possible return date or venue.
Father of one McGregor, recently posted on his official Twitter page, a picture of him in a cellar, with a caption hinting at his return:
These comments sent the MMA community into a spiral of chatter regarding a potential come back, further solidified by Khabib Nurmagomedov’s agent Ali Abdelaziz’s Twitter post, hinting at a possible meeting with McGregor:
I believe it’s safe to say, some sort of fight negotiations will be thrashed out between Conor and Dana sometime within this meeting.
More to follow as it happens…
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.