Hello, fight fans, and welcome to this week’s edition of the Monday MMA Round-Up, where we take a look back at the week in the world of mixed martial arts. There were plenty of events, but mostly a quiet week outside of the cage. Let’s dive right in with a look back at the week that was.
Looking Back At The Week That Was
- Anderson Silva’s “retirement” bout saw him look sharp for the first ten minutes, and for the majority of the next five minutes, before he was dropped in the third round by Uriah Hall. Hall finished him soon thereafter in the fourth. Silva’s chin is gone, and he is 45-years-old, but he still showed some quickness and sharp striking for a good while. Hall is a legitimate top-ten middleweight in the world, so he’s no slouch, and Silva would’ve beaten a lot of unranked fighters on this night. It just wasn’t Silva’s night.
- Was it really the final time we see Anderson Silva compete in a mixed martial arts bout? He didn’t seem to fully commit on Saturday night after the fight, but then did on Sunday during a social media post. The real answer, in my opinion, is that we just don’t know, and I don’t think even he knows right now. It seems like he still has a desire to compete, just that it won’t be in the UFC. That is a tricky situation, though, because he still has one fight left on his UFC contract, and a retirement freezes it. I also don’t see Dana White and company releasing him so he could fight elsewhere, and that may be for his own benefit. Silva does look up to Roy Jones Jr., who is still competing in his 50s, so that may be his motivation. I do firmly believe we won’t see him in the UFC again, and I really would like to see him walk away before it gets more sad than it already is.
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Bom dia meu povo, hoje é um dia bem diferente por um simples motivo, ME DESPEDIR DE UMA VIDA INTEIRA DEDICADA AO MEU ESPORTE; ontem foi tão especial quanto, subi lá para fazer o que amo, eu não imaginava que iria ficar tão feliz como eu estou, mesmo perdendo, estou com um sentimento de paz, do fundo do meu coração quero agradecer todos vocês, meu time minha família, meus amigos e todos que viram a luta; saibam que sempre foi uma grande honra lutar todos esses anos com a torcida de vocês!!! Quero agradecer a DEUS por ter me concedido o dom da luta!!! Obrigado meu povo por toda compreensão, por todo apoio de vocês e pelos incríveis momentos que juntos vivemos neste esporte!!! GRATIDÃO ETERNA A TODOS🙏🏾❤️ Espero ter deixado na memória e no coração de cada um de vocês um pouco de quem eu sou, que vocês possam superar dificuldades, cada segundo de incertezas e para superar obstáculos em suas vidas!!! Nunca pensem em desistir, por mais que as coisas se tornem difíceis em algum momento; saiba que “vai passar”; deixo todo meu amor, todo todo o meu respeito para vocês!!! FORÇA e HONRA sempre e que DEUS abençoe todos vocês!!!! Gratidão a todos vocês ❤️😔❤️🙏🏾😘😍DEUS abençoe 🙏🏾🙏🏾 Good morning, my people, today is a very different day for a simple reason, and I wanted to thank you all these years with your cheerleading! I want to thank the God for granting me the gift of the fight! Thank you my people for all understanding, for all your support and for all your amazing moments that we live in this sport together! _ I hope I left it in memory and in the heart of each of you a little of who I am, that you can overcome difficulties, every second of uncertainty and to overcome obstacles in your lives!" Never think about giving up, as hard as things get at some point; know that I leave all my love, all my respect for you!"! "Force and time always and God bless you all!" Thank you all, bless you, and bless you 🙏🏾❤️🙏🏾
- Hall is still an enigma in the sense that you still don’t know what to expect when he fights. He’s gotten way better recently, and he has won four of his last five fights. Dana White was calling him gun shy, but I really think he didn’t want to hurt Silva, which was evident by his post-fight breakdown into tears after he finished Silva.
- Bryce Mitchell finally got to wear his camo shorts, just in case you have yet to hear. He also looked really good in his decision-win over Andre Fili. He was able to weather the storm on the feet from Fili which enabled him to implement his strong ground game. The 145-pound division is heavy with excellent strikers, so he needs to continue to improve on his feet, but he’s worthy of being ranked and fighting ranked competition, and he’s going to be a tough out for anyone even if it takes some time for him to get into the title picture.
- Gegard Mousasi became a two-time Bellator Middleweight Champion with his win over Douglas Lima, denying Lima the chance to become a two-division champion. It’s a nice mark for Mousasi, who is still one of the most underrated fighters in the sport. But when you look at Bellator’s middleweight division, there really is no one there for him to defend against. It is a shame the UFC let him go because Mousasi vs. Israel Adesanya would be a fantastic fight right now.
- Speaking of Adesanya, Dana White announced that his next fight would see him going up to 205 pounds to challenge Jan Blachowicz for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. While many are questioning this fight, it does make sense. Adesanya doesn’t have a clear challenger at 185 pounds, as Robert Whittaker looks to be next in line, but Adesanya did beat him just a little over a year ago, and Whittaker has expressed desire to take some time off. There isn’t a clear next challenger for Blachowicz at 205 pounds, and a lot would depend on how this weekend’s fight between Thiago Santos and Glover Teixeira goes, but Adesanya challenging Blachowicz is a much bigger fight. And, what people really need to do here, is look at the big picture. A win by Adesanya to make him a two-division champion and the top dog at 205 pounds would get the UFC to its destination; a fight between Adesanya and Jon Jones. That is what they want and only Blachowicz currently stands between those plans.
- The UFC announced that The Ultimate Fighter would return in March on ESPN+ and feature bantamweights and middleweights. No coaches were announced, though they did want Conor McGregor as a coach originally. A lot depends on the timeline of fights as the fight between coaches wouldn’t take place until May at the earliest, but more likely in June. This is just a guess, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the coaches end up being Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega.
- While Dana White said that he believes the fight between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier is a done deal, it isn’t quite a done deal at this moment. Everyone is still expecting it to happen, just that it isn’t signed yet, and nothing with McGregor is certain until that happens.
- White also said he expects Khabib Nurmagomedov to come back and go for 30-0, but he is the only one who currently feels this way. Khabib is still talking like he is done. I know White is bringing up that Khabib’s father’s wishes were for him to go 30-0, but that was also while his father was still alive, and his death changed everything. White said they weren’t going to strip Khabib of the UFC Lightweight Championship. If Khabib is done, the right move is to just go ahead and vacate the title, which he may want to do already. We may not have a lightweight champion for quite some time.
- Greg Hardy got another win. Yawn. His post-fight media session was something else though. He kept talking about how he almost didn’t fight and was looking for sympathy, which he doesn’t deserve. He also wanted to remind the media that he wasn’t found guilty of domestic violence, which is absolutely 100% false. He’s trying to improve as a fighter, but he really needs to improve as a human being.
- I don’t talk much about UFC prelim fighters that are 0-2 in the UFC, but the UFC should cut Cole Williams after this past weekend. Not only is he 0-2 in UFC fights, but he is also 0-2 at the scales. He missed weight by 4.5 pounds on Friday and that comes after missing weight by 5 pounds for his UFC debut, which was well over a year ago. He’s a 36-year-old who can’t make weight. Time to cut bait.
- One last thought on the fights from this week: Kevin Holland is awesome. He needs to be pushed a lot harder than he is. And I hope that Mike Perry does fight him. Talk about someone who also needs to improve as a human being. Perry that is.
Here are some fights I would make for some of the fighters who competed at UFC On ESPN+ 39 on Saturday:
- Uriah Hall vs. Chris Weidman
- Bryce Mitchell vs. Ryan Hall
- Greg Hardy vs. Chris Daukaus
- Kevin Holland vs. Mike Perry
- Thiago Moises vs. Alexander Hernandez
- Dustin Jacoby vs. Khalil Rountree
Here are some notable fights that were announced this past week:
- Bryan Barberena vs. Daniel Rodriguez, UFC Fight Night, November 14
- Bellator Women’s Flyweight Champion Ilema-Lei McFarlane vs. Juliana Velasquez, Bellator 254, December 10
- Junior Dos Santos vs. Ciryl Gane, UFC 256, December 12
- Antonio Carlos Junior vs. Brad Tavares, UFC 257, January 23
- Dominick Reyes vs. Jiri Prochazka, UFC Fight Night, February 27 (Main Event)
Coming Up This Week
- UFC On ESPN 17 on Saturday, November 7. The main card airs on ESPN2 at 10 PM eastern time, with the prelims airing on ESPN+ at 7 PM eastern time. Thiago Santos vs. Glover Teixeira is the main event. Be sure to check out my Guide To UFC On ESPN 17 coming out later this week.
- Dana White’s Contender Series returns on Wednesday, November 4 for the first of three weeks of events. It airs on ESPN+ at 8 PM eastern time.
- Bellator 251 on Thursday, November 5. The main card airs on CBS Sports Network at 7 PM eastern time. Corey Anderson vs. Melvin Manhoef is the main event.
This Week In MMA History
It was just a year ago, but UFC 244 took place in front of 20,143 fans with a $6.6 million gate on November 2, 2019 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
In the main event, Jorge Masvidal scored a third-round TKO win over Nate Diaz to win the BMF Championship, which was presented to him by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Masvidal was in complete control of the fight and cut Diaz open, which caused the doctors to stop the fight at the end of the third round. The win catapulted Masvidal into one of the biggest stars currently on the UFC roster.
Also on the show, Darren Till defeated Kelvin Gastelum, Stephen Thompson defeated Vicente Luque, Derrick Lewis defeated Blagoy Ivanov, Kevin Lee knocked out Gregor Gillespie and Corey Anderson knocked out Johnny Walker.
You can watch UFC 244 on UFC Fight Pass here: https://ufcfightpass.com/video/103087/ufc-244-masvidal-vs-diaz?playlistId=2939.