UFC 250 is in the books and the last few days in the UFC world have been filled with no shortage of discussion topics. It seems like news and drama are growing by the day in Dana White’s world, so let’s get into everything here on this week’s MMA Round-Up.
A Look Back At UFC 250 Fight Week
- Conor McGregor “retired”. Again. Yawn. He’s doing his best to catch Floyd Mayweather and Terry Funk in retirements. His comments when talking to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani don’t even paint a clear picture for a reason for this “retirement.” He said it’s because nothing interesting him is being offered. I mean, if you’re only going to accept title fights, then nothing offered except for them would be interesting. Also, they’re doing their best to not offer you anything because they don’t want to use you right now, with the excuse being no live gates, but the reality is you’re too expensive and the company is pushing pennies right now for whatever reason. I’m sure there is frustration there on McGregor’s part. The point is — McGregor will be back.
- Jorge Masvidal is another of the growing list of fighters fighting with the company over money. He did sign a new deal with the UFC prior to the fight against Nate Diaz and Dana White pointed this out on Saturday. Yes, he has a deal that pays him well. However, every time a fighter is offered a main event slot or a title fight, there are negotiations that go on for that single bout, and things are far apart between them. Masvidal asked for his release if they weren’t going to compensate him properly for the fight, which isn’t going to happen. This will be interesting to monitor.
- Interesting that there was no mention of UFC 251, the UFC’s next pay-per-view, on the UFC 250 broadcast. It is now less than five weeks away.
- While there has yet to be official announcements, the planned top two fights for UFC 251, which will be on Fight Island, are Kamaru Usman vs. Leon Edwards and Petr Yan vs. Jose Aldo. Edwards is taking the slot that was originally supposed to go to Masvidal before negotiations fell apart. So, unless an 11th hour deal is cut with Masvidal, Edwards is getting the title fight.
- Word has now gotten out that Fight Island will in fact be in Abu Dhabi. But, if you read this every week, you already knew that weeks ago.
- UFC 250 on Saturday was an excellent show with tons of excitement. If you were someone who said they were skipping the card for any sort of reason, you missed out badly.
- It is time for Amanda Nunes to enter the discussion of greatest fighter of all-time. Her dominant win over Felicia Spencer, while not unexpected, was just a master class in skill, patience, composure and determination. It wasn’t a finish, but it was her best performance in fights that have gone the distance.
- Spencer’s corner needs to be criticized a ton. She was getting beaten up badly, especially in the fourth round. The corner should have stopped the fight. It was negligent, and there was no way she was going to finish Nunes in the fifth. Nunes even treated the fifth like a sparring session because she didn’t want to inflict much more damage. It was an ugly sight, and this is happening way too often these days.
- That Cody Garbrandt knockout of Raphael Assuncao was just brutal and incredible. It was a good finish and a much-needed win for Garbrandt. He looked as fast as ever, but fought way smarter than he has since winning the title. I credit that to working with Mark Henry.
- Aljamain Sterling made a statement with his destruction of Cory Sandhagen in just over a minute. That was a man fighting with something to prove — that he was the best bantamweight in the world and he deserved to be in that title fight. He may not be in the next title fight, but he will be in one by the end of the year. I’m going to say it right here — Aljamain Sterling will end 2020 as the UFC Bantamweight Champion.
- With his quick finish, if I’m Sterling, I’m staying ready just in case something happens to either Yan or Aldo here in the next few weeks.
- Sean O’Malley looked even better than I expected him to. That was an incredible knockout of a tough veteran, and the way he set it up was like he’d been fighting for longer than he has. He has everything you need in a future superstar.
- O’Malley has now reached the level of where he can be the headliner of these ESPN+ and even ESPN shows. They should put him in the main event slot for his next fight. He did say it’s time to re-negotiate his contract, so that will be another interesting situation to monitor.
- Neil Magny; here’s another veteran who you can never count out. He has always been on the cusp of breaking into that upper elite tier of welterweights, but has slipped up right before then. He looks like he may be ready to break into that top six or seven range.
- Cody Stamann had the feel-good win of the year after losing his younger brother early in the week. His post-fight interview with Joe Rogan was heart-wrenching.
- Chase Hooper may end up being very good seeing as he isn’t even old enough to legally drink, but it was too fast to put him in there against someone like Alex Caceres. I hope he learns what he needs to work on, especially his striking because his grappling is good, and I hope the matchmakers learn they need to not rush him.
- I love when the commentary team is Jon Anik, Joe Rogan and Daniel Cormier. It feels like you are listening to three friends who got together to watch fights, excepting they’re the guys guiding you through the show. I think Cormier has a lot to do with the great dynamic.
- I originally wasn’t sure if I was going to be a fan of ESPN showing tweets throughout the broadcast. Now, since my tweets have finally shown up, I can now say I’m a huge fan of this.
Fights To Make Following UFC 250
I’m going to add a new section to this where I play matchmaker for fighters who competed on the last fight card. No long explanations or reasonings. Just fights I would make.
- Amanda Nunes vs. Megan Anderson for the UFC Women’s Featherweight Championship
- Cody Garbrandt vs. Marlon Moraes
- Aljamain Sterling vs. Petr Yan/Jose Aldo winner for the UFC Bantamweight Championship
- Neil Magny vs. Michael Chiesa
- Sean O’Malley vs. John Dodson
- Ian Heinisch vs. Krzysztof Jotko
- Cody Stamann vs. Jimmie Rivera
- Alex Perez vs. Joseph Benavidez/Deiveson Figueiredo winner for the UFC Flyweight Championship
- Raphael Assuncao vs. Alejandro Perez
- Cory Sandhagen vs. Dominick Cruz
- Anthony Rocco Martin vs. Alex Oliveira
- Chase Hooper vs. Austin Lingo
- Jussier Formiga vs. Matt Schnell
Coming Up This Week
The UFC is back on Saturday with another event from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, UFC On ESPN+ 30. The card is headlined by a women’s flyweight bout as top-ranked Jessica Eye takes on Cynthia Calvillo. The co-main event is a middleweight battle between Karl Roberson and Marvin Vettori, and there is a lot of bad blood brewing there. The rest of the main card has Merab Dvalishvili vs. Ray Borg, Andre Fili vs. Charles Jourdain, and Jordan Espinosa vs. Mark De La Rosa. It is far from the most exciting card put together, but it has some interesting fights.
This Week In MMA History
On June 14, 2008, EliteXC presented an event in Honolulu, Hawaii, called EliteXC: Return of the King. The event was promoted around EliteXC Lightweight Champion K.J. Noons making a title defense in his native Hawaii against Yves Edwards in the main event. Also on the card was Nick Diaz taking on Mushin Corbbrey. Noons had defeated Diaz for the EliteXC Lightweight Championship in November 2007, and the hopes were for both to win so they could set-up a rematch between the two.
Diaz’ fight with Corbbrey was supposed to be at a 160-pound catchweight. Diaz, in typical fashion, showed up at the weigh-ins at 169 pounds, nine pounds over the limit. He finished Corbbrey in the third round. Noons successfully defended the title against Edwards, winning in 48 seconds.
After the main event, EliteXC officials asked Diaz to come into the cage to hype up the potential rematch with Noons. Nick came in along with his brother, Nate. As you could expect, things didn’t exactly go as planned. Water bottles were thrown by Nate, and a brawl erupted between the Diaz camp and the Noons camp. The Diaz brothers were escorted out by security, telling the fans and Noons’ team that they are number one along with way out. This was also where one of the most-famous quotes in MMA history came to life.
Don’t be scared, homie.