Over the weekend the UFC held a retreat event for all the fighters. It was light-hearted and a good way for them to relax and mingle. For those that follow any of the fighters on social media you got to see some pretty interesting interactions. There are a couple I want to talk about in particular and you may have heard news of them already. First, the interaction between Tyron Woodley and the man coming after his belt, Demian Maia. Someone was filming while Tyron snuck up behind Maia and jumped on his back and jokingly locked in a choke. You could tell both fighters took it as a joke and I think it adds a different kind of excitement for the match because there probably won't be much trash talk between these two and maybe before the fight gets too close, more antics. On a more serious note, Tyron did say that he plans on going through his entire training camp for Maia with a weighted backpack on to adjust his stamina and endurance to the extra weight.
The other news story from the weekend is between Cyborg and Angela Magana. The part we all know is that Cyborg was cited for battery for punching Magana in the face. What led up to this was apparently months of degrading and name-calling from Magana on social media. At the retreat, I'm not sure who started it, one of the fighters made a comment to the other, they exchanged words and Cyborg boiled over. There is no official ruling or statement from the UFC regarding the incident. However, after this Magana went back to social media and said she would fight her, but the UFC wouldn't allow it because of the weight difference (115 vs. 145). So she challenged her to a jiu-jitsu match outside of the UFC and in the days following started calling out other fighters for seemingly no reason. This prompted Jessica Andrade to volunteer to fight her just to shut her up on behalf of everyone she was bothering.
Cyborg later in the week went back to campaigning for her new featherweight division. She wants the UFC to hold a featherweight tournament with the final two coaching season 26 of TUF which is also when they will be creating womens' flyweight. From their those two will fight at the Ultimate Fighter Finale. Dana isn't the kind of guy who would make a whole division for three people (Randamie, Holm and Cyborg) so there must have been people who verbally committed to this division and I think this would be the right way to make these people start owning up to their obligations.
After Dana pulled GSP from his fight against Michael Bisping, it was announced that Yoel Romero would go up against the champ in late July or August. Even sooner than that Bisping pulls out of the fight saying he has a knee injury and has to have surgery before he can fight. This caused Dana to create an interim middleweight title fight between Yoel Romero and Robert Whittaker. This match is going to be insane and give Bisping one hell of a challenge. Bisping then comes out to say that his knee has been injured for months at this point and I don't know if this is true or if he was just thinking of a defense from all of the people claiming he ducked Yoel. What I do know is, if it was this serious for this long we would have lost the Bisping vs. GSP fight anyway because he would have backed out of that. Or even worse because this has happened before, he got his ass beat, blames the knee and we have to watch a rematch that goes the exact same way and we have to suffer through it more times than necessary.
Demetrious Johnson has been in the news a lot recently starting with the Cody Garbrandt vs. T.J. Dillashaw fight. I know "What does he have to do with the title fight above him?" Don't worry I'll get there. Sometime last week Cody announced that he was leaving for Germany to get experimental treatment for his back issues he has been having. Obviously Dana chimes in and claims that it will not effect his upcoming fight against T.J. in just over a month. SPOILER ALERT: it did effect the fight and it is entirely scrapped for the time being. Dillashaw says he doesn't want to wait and he asks Demetrious for a title fight if he goes down to 125 and he says he will make 125 and fight whenever the UFC comes to D.J.'s hometown. Johnson says he would love to fight T.J. at some point, but it's no gain for him at the time because there are others in his division more qualified and Dillashaw has no career flyweight fights. He says if T.J. gets top-ranked wins at flyweight or gets the bantamweight belt then he would do it. Earlier this week, D.J. says that he was sent a contract for Dillashaw by the UFC, but he didn't sign it and he is waiting for them to send him one for Borg because that's who he believes is next and he thought they verbally agreed to him being next. He later says that he was sent a second T.J. contract and still no word about a Ray Borg contract. Dillashaw also told ESPN that he has a nutrionist that is already helping him get to 125 and if Johnson really wanted to get paid and make that record-breaking defense mean something he would pick Dillashaw instead of Borg. At the rate this is going we may not see Mighty Mouse fight for a while because, by his claims, they are trying to force a title fight for someone who doesn't deserve it and Demetrious won't let that happen.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk appeared on UFC Unfiltered yesterday and she made it clear that she wants to fight Rose Namajunas next. I couldn't find what she was referring to, but Joanna was implying Rose was talking trash when she said she would, "shut her mouth for her."
The NYSAC changed their weigh-in rules on April 13th and it is just now making headlines. They won't say if it has to do with Dan Cormier cheating just a few days before the change on April 7th. The official wording is as follows: When on the scale, the combatant shall stand still with his or her feet flat upon the scale and shall not make physical contact with any person or object other than the scale. No other person shall touch the scale when a combatant is in the act of weighing in. While on the scale, the combatant shall follow any direction issued by the Commission.
The Comission noted that due to their previous wording, if he did what everybody accused him of, it wouldn't have been against the rules anyway and they wanted to make that change so it could not be attempted by anyone in the future.
This week with Conor: Nobody is in the news as much as he is and even when he is taking time off people can't stop talking about him. During a conference call that is supposed to be about UFC 212, someone decided to ask Jose Aldo about a Conor rematch. Aldo responded by saying that both he and the UFC tried for an immediate rematch, but Conor kept declining. He also said he has no interest in it anymore because he knows Conor won't come back since he believes Conor took the title and ran. Showtime is claiming that they are eyeing an early fall date for the McGregor vs. Mayweather match. Oscar De La Hoya took to social media to say that this matchup is bad for the sport of boxing. He says its a joke to promote one of the best boxers against someone who has never boxed competitively pro or amateur. He added that he is not trying to discredit Conor as an elite MMA fighter, but just because he is good at one sport doesn't mean he will be good at another.
In boxing, Canelo Alvarez is set to fight Gennady Golovkin in September. The reason I bring this up is because Dana took to the media to complain that they took the date that Floyd and Conor were eyeing. There is no confirmation of that from either camp.
Anderson Silva pulled out of UFC 212 after campaigning for an interim title fight against Yoel Romero. Silva lost his opponent because Gastelum popped for marijuana. These two events caused Silva to pull himself out of the card because he said the UFC was not contacting him about another fight and he did not want to risk spending money on a full fight camp.
In Jose Aldo's toughest moment ever, he suffered an injury in his camp this week and needed 5 stitches in his head. He says he will still fight in June against Holloway.
So Dana White broke his word again when he said Jon Jones will never main event a card again because less than a week later he announced that Jones will face Dan Cormier for the light heavyweight title to main event UFC 214. However he took a shift in the opposite direction and actually did something right when he pulled GSP from his scheduled fight against Michael Bisping. GSP was claiming that he wouldn't be ready to come back until October or November and Dana didn't want to wait that long so he set Bisping up against Yoel Romero. The fight isn't dated but I would expect around July or August.
After the fights this weekend Dana confirmed that Demian Maia will be next to fight Tyron Woodley for the welterweight title. Woodley then voiced his opinion about how he thinks Maia would be too easy and he would rather fight Nate Diaz or Georges St. Pierre.
This week with Conor: Earlier last week Dana said that he is giving Conor until the end of Sunday to come to an agreement or Dana and the UFC will no longer back Conor. If you didn't know, one of the reasons the match between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather is being held up is because part of Conor's contract says he is not allowed to compete for any other promotion, as is usual among most contracts. Well Dana is currently working Conor to be compensated part of his winnings to basically overlook his impending breach of contract. Well, Dana and Conor have agreed to a deal regarding the match. An official percentage has not been given, but rumors are that the UFC is going to make about 50% of Conor's winnings.
We have a good amount of news this week with multiple different categories.
First up is the news of the next season of Ultimate Fighter. It was leaked that the next season will be the introduction of the women's flyweight division and the the finals will be for the first-ever UFC women's flyweight title. It was added that current members of the UFC roster will be eligible to try out. Dana claims not to believe this leak and it was just an idea they were toying with, but don't take his word for it becuase this has happens before with the return of Brock Lesnar and he said it wasn't true and then happened like the leak said it would. Joanna Jedrzejczyk has already claimed that she wants to fight the first champion to become the first women's dual-weight champion.
Next is some fight matchups for UFC 213. Anthony Pettis vs. Jim Miller, Robbie Lawler vs. Donald Cerrone and Fabricio Werdum vs. Alistair Overeem III are all part of the Fight Week pay-per-view.
Megan Anderson who is the Invicta Featherweight Champ has started petitioning the UFC to sign her to their new division and already wants to fight Cyborg. This is good news from all angles because Anderson would be in a higher paying ogarnization, Cyborg would finally be able to fight since the current champ ghosted after Cyborg was cleared, the Featherweight division would add depth and the UFC would pick up one of the top-ranked female featherweights in the world.
Also at the beginning of the week Anderson Silva became uncharacteristically vocal on the MMA Hour. Silva described his thoughts on the current state of his division saying it's "bullshit" that Bisping is holding the division up with this fight against GSP and he finds it disrespectful to every middleweight on the roster that Georges St. Pierre can go on leave for four years and come back and immediately get a title fight at a division above what he used to fight at. Then Anderson went on to say that he wants to fight Yoel Romero for the interim middleweight title since Bisping is ducking him. Romero also called into the show and after a heated discussion they both verbally agreed to trying to make the fight happen and Silva threatened to retire if the UFC didn't make this fight happen. So the ball's in your court UFC...
There has been a large amount of news circling Nate Diaz recently. For those who aren't aware Tony Ferguson has been calling out Nate Diaz because he is tired of waiting for Khabib to get healthy. Not only has he said a fight against him is more than Nate is worth, but he also used outright name-calling to get Nate's attention. Soon after, rumors started swirling that this fight was in the works and it was going to be for the interim lightweight title. Now, early this week Nate has came out and said that he was the one who got them to make the fight for the interim title and he accepted and then rejected the fight because he wasn't going to get paid enough. He also remarked that he won't be fighting for some time because he doesn't "have a reason" to fight anyone. That caused Tony Ferguson to erupt calling him a "scared little bitch" and that Nate is "in the wrong sport. Go try tennis." Dana piled on yesterday saying that he thinks both Diaz brothers don't have the drive to fight anymore and if Nate thinks he can wait until a higher paycheck comes along that he might as well retire now.
Finally on this week with Conor: Floyd Mayweather released a video describing the ways that Conor could actually beat him in a boxing match. I haven't personally seen the video because honestly I think it's just Floyd trying to make this fight more marketable. Just about zero progress is being made on this and I believe this is just a way to try and keep people interested.