Hello, fight fans, and welcome to this week’s edition of the Monday MMA Round-Up, where we look back at the week that was and get you prepped for the week that is in the world of mixed martial arts. Let’s dive right in to all of the happenings going on in the sport.
Looking back at UFC, Bellator and PFL
- Marina Rodriguez scored a decision win over Michelle Waterson in the main event of Saturday’s UFC show, and both women deserve credit for taking a five-round fight on less than two weeks’ notice and for turning in a great main event. Rodriguez showed her full skill set in a main event for the first time, and it’s even more impressive considering it wasn’t until Wednesday that she was officially cleared to fight, and she didn’t even arrive to Las Vegas from Brazil until Thursday night, around twelve hours before the weigh-ins. To have that great of a showing with all of that adversity shows just how talented she is. Kudos to Waterson too, who showed how tough she was and she brought a good fight to Rodriguez. Both women deserve all kinds of praise (and hopefully some bonus money as well).
- I don’t know what is the right thing to do with Donald Cerrone now. He was finished by standing strikes at the hands of Alex Morono in the first round, the fourth time in his last six fights he’s been finished. He also hasn’t won in any of those six fights. The years of the constant wars and the fighting all the time have finally caught up to him, as well as the age as he is 38. After the fight, he said that he doesn’t want to retire, as he doesn’t want to go out that way. I know UFC will never let him go, because he would fight elsewhere. I just don’t know what they do with him. They could bench him and not release him, but that might no go over well. If they decide to keep booking him in fights, I would do it against some of the other older fighters on the roster at 155 lbs., guys like Jeremy Stephens, Clay Guida, Bobby Green, Joe Lauzon- those types.
- Neil Magny continues to be one of the more underrated fighters at welterweight, and his win over Geoff Neal showed that. Neal put up a good fight, especially in the first round, but Magny’s grittiness came through in the end. Neal said he would be taking time off after the fight, as he’s still suffering from the effects of when he contracted sepsis last year.
- Other impressive winners on Saturday’s UFC card include Gregor Gillespie, Phil Hawes, Michael Trizano and Carlston Harris. Overall, it was a good UFC show outside of one exception.
- Dear UFC, you do not need a heavyweight fight on every main card, especially between unranked fighters. Yes, they could bring a spectacular knockout. Though, they could also produce one of the worst fights of the year, as Marcos Rogerio de Lima and Maurice Greene did. There were other fights on the card that deserved that main card spot over those two.
- Sergio Pettis finally found gold strapped around his waist after he scored a decision win over Juan Archuleta at Bellator 258 on Friday to become the new Bellator Bantamweight Champion. He joins his brother, Anthony, as the only pair of brothers to have won a championship in the two current big promotions, as Anthony is a former UFC champion. It always felt like a matter of time before the younger Pettis would become a champion, though many thought it would be in UFC. He took a chance on himself leaving UFC for Bellator, and the move paid off on Friday.
- Unpopular opinion: Anthony Johnson vs. Jose Augusto ended up being a better fight than Johnson vs. Yoel Romero would’ve been. The fight was great, and Johnson overcame some big adversity to get the win. It’s worth going back and watching again.
- Fabricio Werdum should absolutely win an appeal to overturn his loss to Renan Ferreira at PFL 3 on Thursday. It was clear that Ferreira tapped to Werdum well before the finish came, where Ferreira knocked Werdum out with big punches in the guard. Werdum got hosed on that call, and it should at least be ruled a no-contest, at worst.
- The situation with Ryan Benoit at UFC’s weigh-ins on Friday turned out to be another scary moment at the scale, and we’ve been seeing way too many of these moments here recently. Fighters need to be fighting at their natural weight classes, not trying to get as down to as low as possible, because we’re going to see a tragic end eventually if this keeps up.
- The biggest news outside of the cage over the past week was the fight between Leon Edwards and Nate Diaz being moved back a month after Diaz suffered a minor injury. It was scheduled to take place this upcoming weekend at UFC 262, but will now take place at UFC 263 on 6/12. That really hurts this weekend’s show, as the majority of the tickets sold for the show were for Diaz on the card, and it will hurt the pay-per-view number, but UFC 263’s numbers will benefit from having both Diaz and Israel Adesanya on the card.
- Khamzat Chimaev said on Saturday that he plans to fight four times this year: in August, September, November, and December. Word to the wise: That is how you quickly burn out in the sport. It sounds good when you’re young and starting out, but once you reach a certain level in UFC fighting top competition, which is where Chimaev is headed, suddenly taking time to rest and recover becomes more of a necessity. I hope he’s able to return at a top level, because he has tons of potential and has proven to be an exciting fighter. Or he could become like Kevin Holland is now, or like Donald Cerrone is now, in the future.
- There was more bizarre stuff that came out in the whole saga of Diego Sanchez and Joshua Fabia. First, Sanchez did an interview with SiriusXM where he claimed UFC set up fake Instagram and YouTube accounts to bad mouth Fabia, claimed UFC would take out a hit on him, and bashed Dana White. Fabia also came out and made claims that all White and Sean Shelby do is just sleep with female fighters. Lastly, a video was released showing the strange training methods that Fabia puts Sanchez through, including hanging him upside down and hitting and kicking him in the head while doing so. This whole situation is just so strange, and it feels like it’s not going to have a happy ending.
Here are some fights I would make next for those who competed at Saturday’s UFC show:
- Marina Rodriguez vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk
- Michelle Waterson vs. Nina Nunes
- Alex Morono vs. Michel Pereira
- Donald Cerrone vs. Joe Lauzon
- Neil Magny vs. Khamzat Chimaev
- Geoff Neal vs. Lyman Good
- Gregor Gillespie vs. Paul Felder
- Diego Ferreira vs. Grant Dawson
- Michael Trizano vs. Chase Hooper-Steven Peterson winner
Here are some fights that were announced over the past week:
- Christos Giagos vs. Sean Soriano — UFC 262 — May 15
- Felicia Spencer vs. Norma Dumont — UFC Fight Night — May 22
- Leon Edwards vs. Nate Diaz — UFC 263 — June 12
- Interim Bellator Heavyweight Championship: Timothy Johnson vs. Valentin Moldavsky — Bellator 261 — June 25 (MAIN EVENT)
- Marcin Prachnio vs. Ike Villanueva — UFC Fight Night — June 26
- Sean O’Malley vs. Louis Smolka — UFC 264 — July 10
- Irene Aldana vs. Yana Kunitskaya — UFC 264 — July 10
- Phil Hawes vs. Deron Winn — UFC Fight Night — July 17
- Amanda Lemos vs. Montserrat Conejo — UFC Fight Night — July 17
- Ian Heinisch vs. Nassourdine Imavov — UFC Fight Night — July 24
- Bryan Barberena vs. Jason Witt — UFC Fight Night — July 31
- Vince Morales vs. Drako Rodriguez — UFC 265 — August 7
- William Knight vs. Fabio Cherant — UFC Fight Night — August 21
- Chase Sherman vs. Parker Porter — UFC Fight Night — August 21
- Sara McMann vs. Ketlen Vieira — UFC Fight Night — August 28
- Gerald Meerschaert vs. Makhmud Muradov — UFC Fight Night — August 28
Here are some of the major MMA events taking place this upcoming week:
- UFC 262 is the big event of the week, taking place on Saturday, May 15 from the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. The main card airs on ESPN+ PPV at 10:00 p.m. ET. Televised prelims are at 8:00 p.m. ET on ESPN, and the opening prelims air on ESPN+ at 6:15 p.m. ET. Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler battle for the vacant UFC Lightweight Championship in the main event.
- Titan FC 69 takes place on Friday, May 14, airing at 6:00 p.m. ET on UFC Fight Pass.
- LFA 107 takes place on Friday, May 14, airing at 9:00 p.m. ET on UFC Fight Pass.
- ONE Championship takes place on Saturday, May 15 at 8:30 a.m. ET. ONE Heavyweight Champion Brandon Vera defends against Arjan Bhullar in the main event.
- Fury FC 46 takes place on Sunday, May 16 in Houston, Texas, airing at 5:00 p.m. ET on UFC Fight Pass, and Dana White will be in attendance filming an episode of Lookin’ For A Fight. Former UFC fighters Anthony Ivy and Juan Adams are among those on the card.
This week in MMA history
On May 14, 2016, the most-attended UFC event in Brazil history took place as the Octagon graced the center of Arena da Baixada in Curitiba for UFC 198. The event drew an attendance of 45,207 fans, with a large crowd also showing up to the weigh-ins, and did 217,000 buys on pay-per-view.
In the main event, Stipe Miocic knocked out hometown hero Fabricio Werdum in the first round to win the UFC Heavyweight Championship. It kicked off the start of a reign that saw Miocic end up with the most heavyweight title defenses in UFC history, and putting him as the best heavyweight in UFC history.
Also on the main card, Jacare Souza finished Vitor Belfort in the first round, Cris Cyborg made her UFC debut in a first-round win over Leslie Smith, Shogun Rua won a split decision over Corey Anderson, and Bryan Barberena scored an upset win over Warlley Alves. In the featured prelim, Demian Maia submitted Matt Brown, and other prelim winners included Thiago Santos, Francisco Trinaldo, John Lineker, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Renato Moicano.
You can watch UFC 198 on UFC Fight Pass here.
In The Clinch
This week on In The Clinch, myself and Paul Fontaine will look back at UFC On ESPN 24, Bellator 258 and PFL 3. We will also look ahead to the big UFC 262 card where we will have a new lightweight champion, and talk all of the news of the week. You can listen to In The Clinch on the Fight Game Media Network, with the Patreon page found here.
Check out last week’s column if you missed it.