In what I see as the most important news of the week, Derrick Lewis has been out in his hometown of Houston help flood victims. According to reports, the police have been telling people not to call unless it is a life or death situation so Lewis took it upon himself to help others. He added that he has an in-home gym so he isn't worried about his weight for his upcoming fight.
Unfortunately, Germaine de Randamie backed out of her fight on ten days notice with a hand injury. Marion Reneau wasn't looking to back out of this fight and has been told that she is facing Talita Bernardo in her UFC debut.
The UFC announced that the Interim title fight between Tony Ferguson vs Kevin Lee will be the main event for the UFC 216 card. We knew about this fight previously, but they are now locking it in as the headline for the night.
Five more fights have been added to UFC Fight Night: Machida vs Brunson. After his loss to the champ, Demain Maia will be in his hometown against #8 Colby Covington. Other fights include Deiveson Alcantara vs Jared Brooks, winner of Tuesday Night Contender Series, Boston Salmon against Agosto Mendes, TUF Brazil winner Antonio Carlos Junior vs Jack Hermansson and heavyweights Christian Colombo will face off against (for some reason) a currently unnamed Brazilian newcomer.
When UFC returns to The Garden on November 4, Bisping will defend his middlewight title against returning vet, Georges St-Pierre. Also on that card will finally be Garbrandt vs Dillashaw after being pushed back due to injury.
Another fight added to the Norfolk card is an absolute banger when Joe Lauzon squares off against Clay Guida.
This week with Conor: Practically as soon as his match with Mayweather was over, callouts came pouring in. Nate Diaz wants a third match because he knows that's the only way he will make the money he thinks he deserves. Conor responded by saying he would only do it if Nate dropped to 155. Khabib Nurmagomedov is calling out McGregor for a fight at UFC 219 in December, which is interesting because Ferguson is claiming that Khabib ducked Ferguson twice. While nothing even close to official has taken place, some fans are still holding out hope that the UFC will match McGregor up with Georges St-Pierre in a superfight. While I wouldn't be opposed to any of these ideas, I think there is no excuse or option except fighting the winner of the Ferguson/Lee fight. Either defend the belt or vacate it.
Lyoto Machida is finally coming back for his first fight since 2015 and he is facing off against Derek Brunson. If Brunson can stop this Karate master, it will be the biggest win of his career so far. They will meet in Sao Paulo on October 28th.
Added to the UFC Norfolk card this week is Court McGee vs. Sean Strickland. Both are notable standup fighters and that card takes place on November 11.
The Fight Night Sydney card just gained a flyweight matchup. Bec Rawlings and Joanne Calderwood will be moving to the 125 lb division starting this card. It will be Rawlings' debut at this weight and Calderwood's second time with the only other being her first MMA match ever.
Felice Herrig will be looking to increase her streak to four against Cortney Casey at UFC 218 in December. This is the first fight announced for this card. Since Francis Ngannou lost his opponent for UFC 215 last week, he took to social media to call out the champ for a December meeting. In my opinion, Francis may be the only guy who can beat Stipe so if that materializes it will definitely be one to watch.
Not much news has come out for the week because so much time and effort spent on promoting Mayweather vs. McGregor tomorrow. I have seen multiple articles say that no matter the outcome it could still draw more fans and sponsors to the world of MMA, but here at MattandMike we are more looking forward to whenever he actually decides to come back and defend a damn belt. For those that no longer consider him a champion, Tony Ferguson will be defending the "Interim" title against Kevin Lee at UFC 216.
The UFC has been notified of a violation of the USADA policy by Nick Roehrick. It was an out-of-competition sample and therefore handled by the USADA directly. The UFC will be informed of their decision as they come to one.
Bobby Green will stepping in for Abel Trujillo since he was forced to withdraw from his upcoming match. Green will face Lando Vannata at UFC 216. It has been announced that Tony Ferguson will be defending his Interim Lightweight title against Kevin Lee, also at UFC 216. Lastly for 216, Derrick Lewis is facing off against Fabricio Werdum.
A handful of matches have been released for UFC 217 with the title fight between TJ Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt probably taking the main event spot. Other matches include: Johny Hendricks vs Paulo Borrachinha, Aleksei Oleinik vs. Curtis Blaydes, and Corey Anderson vs. Patrick Cummins. On Friday another match was added which will see #1 Stephen Thompson go against #4 Jorge Masvidal.
When the UFC makes it's first ever trip to Shanghai, it will be headlined by Anderson Silva vs. Kelvin Gastelum.
A winner from Tuesday Night Contender Series will be debuting on the Norfolk card in November. Karl Roberson will face off against Darren Stewart. Also added to that card is veteran Nate Marquardt against TUF winner, Cezar Ferreira and Jake Collier vs. Marcel Fortuna.
On December 16, Antonio Nogueira will face Jared Cannonier. Also on this card will be Alessio Di Chirico vs Oluwale Bambgose.
This week with Conor: NSAC has approved the use of 8 oz gloves for the Mayweather vs. McGregor bout. The rules state that all weight classes over 147 pounds must use 10 oz gloves and this marks the first time the commission has changed their stance on this. I'm sure both fighters will make use of this exception because both have claimed that they would go down to 8 oz gloves if allowed.
Week of 6/23
Big news came through at the start of the week with the UFC declaring that Germaine de Randamie had been stripped of the featherweight title due to her unwillingness to fight the #1 competitor, Cris "Cyborg" Justino. It was then stated that Cyborg will fight Megan Anderson for the vacant title at UFC 214 which is something they have been campaigning for a while. This is also the announcement of Megan's signing to the UFC coming from Invicta as their featherweight champ. Later in the day Randamie claimed that she had never been told and found out through social media and is now looking into leaving the organization. There is no response from the UFC as of now.
Nate Diaz is being sued by his old management team. They claim that he fired them "unexpectedly" prior to his UFC 202 fight and as a result never paid them their percentage that they feel they are owed for how much they helped him leading up to the fight.
This week with Conor: Recently a video was put out by McGregor's camp that shows him sparring with a boxer by the name of Chris van Heerden and it looked as if Conor was doing really well. Well, Van Heerden recently spoke up and told his side of the story. Chris van Heerden tells that he was asked to come to their camp for two sparring sessions right around the time Conor was training for the Diaz rematch. He agreed to come out and says when he first got there he made it clear that he didn't want any footage or press because he wasn't getting paid and he was just there to help someone out. Chris goes on to say that on the second session they had asked him to record them sparring and he reiterated that he was against it. Soon after the second session, Van Heerden was alerted to the fact that footage had been put out and was giving a very different view of what had happened. First he contacted the gym who told him that Conor wanted it so they did it anyway without Van Heerden's permission which caused him to respond by putting out the unedited video which is about three minutes long and shows that Conor was getting beat up. He would land a shot here and there, but he was out struck, man handled and showed poor head movement.
Week of 6/30
It was announced on Monday that UFC 215 will be moved from late August to September 9th and it will be the UFC's first trip to Edmonton. Current fights are Gavin Tucker vs. Rick Glenn at feather weight and two ranked light heavyweights, Ilir Latifi vs Tyson Pedro.
For the first time in his career Donald Cerrone had to pull out of a fight and it was due to injury. He was supposed to fight at 213 and rumors are going around that they are just going to push his matcfh back to 214 as he claims he will be ready by then. There are also talks of other people coming in to fight Robbie Lawler at 213 so the UFC doesn't have to lose him as a main card spot.
Megan Anderson is also out with injury so she was pulled from the fight against Cyborg at 214. Her replacement is Tonya Evinger who has a record of 19-5.
This will be the co-main on a card with 3 title fights. The main event is Jones vs Cormier 2 and the fight just before the co-main will be Tyron Woodley and Demian Maia. Upon making this fight official Dana said that GSP is going to fight the winner of this fight which is interesting because that means with the extra time off he is going to get back to his original weight instead of going up and screwing around with Bisping.
On Wednesday, the UFC announced that Francis Ngannou will face off against Junior Dos Santos at UFC 215. Ngannou has been skyrocketing to the top of the heavyweights with all five of his UFC wins ending in finish and he is determined to make Junior next on that list.
In a new development, we learned that the USADA has made contact with Nick Diaz about a potential violation stemming from three whereabouts failures within a twelve month period. Every fighter on the roster has to notify both the UFC and USADA any time they go most places so they know where to be found and can be reached in the event of a random drug test. Nick has been suspended indefinitely until a resolution comes to this case and a proper and appropriate punishment can be enforced.
Finally the most disturbing news I have seen in a while. The UFC and WME-IMG are allegedly looking to sell the entire flyweight division. If this is even close to real it has to have something to do with Dana trying to force Demetrious to fight T.J. As a reminder Dana told Johnson that he had to fight T.J. after Cody had to back out or he would shut down the whole division. D.J. responded by telling to him to just shut it down then. In my opinion this is just another reason that Dana White needs to go. All he is does is care about people who have the largest mouth and favors fights that don't make sense, but draw a crowd as opposed to what's good for divisions or fighters that deserve it. I can't blame him for being a businessman and wanting the company to bring in money, but way too many complaints have been coming from true fight fans and fighters alike as well as fighters actually leaving for his crooked approach to matchmaking and forcing what he wants on the matchmaker.
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.
At the last UFC event they announced that Maurice Smith will be inducted into the Hall of Fame under the Pioneer Wing. He was the second ever heavyweight champion. He had a 14-14 mixed martial arts career and was known for being one of the first strikers introduced in the UFC.
This week is rather light on news. Dan Cormier has started to actively taunt Jon Jones into accepting the title fight at UFC 214. Speaking of taunting, Tony Ferguson is calling out Nate Diaz. T-Ferg doesn't want to wait for Khabib to get healthy to fight again so he is trying to get Nate to accept a fight.
In non-UFC MMA news, Phil Davis is going to defend the Bellator Light Heavyweight title against Ryan Bader in June. On a side note I think it shows the level of Bellator's competition when someone can leave the UFC and immediately get a title fight. 12-year-old MoMo is looking to make her MMA debut against 24-year-old Momoko Yamazaki in Deep Jewels, an organization in Japan.
And this week with Conor: This week Showtime has made a lot of noise about the official standings of the McGregor vs. Mayweather fight. They claim that Dana is only talk right now as there has been no outreachings from the UFC to the boxing promotion. They also say that not only can the fighters not agree on the purse split, but they can't even agrre on official rules of said match. Then they move to claim that the UFC may actually be pushing against the development of this match because once Conor gets paid this well that he probably won't come back to the UFC.
At the beginning of the week, the UFC announced that they have released Michael Graves after a domestic violence arrest back in November. He has been suspended since first news of the incident and decided to release him upon receiving the full investigation.
The UFC announced that they have added Grabowski vs. Colombo as a heavyweight match on the Fight Night card on May 28th.
This week Dana has been telling many news outlets that he is looking to have the Dan Cormier vs. Jon Jones rematch at UFC 214 on July 29th. He also told them that if it gets booked then he will put them at co-main because he does not trust Jones to not ruin another main event slot.
Former WEC champion Miguel Torres announced his retirement from MMA. He chose to step out because he felt he could no longer give what he used to with the added rigors of his business and his family obligations. He leaves the sport at 44-9.
On Thursday, Ronda Rousey and Travis Browne announced that they are engaged. There is currently no news of a wedding date.
Yesterday it was revealed that Frank Mir will be banned for two years for violating the anti-doping policy again.
It was announced that Derrick Lewis will headline Fight Night Auckland against “The Super Samoan” Mark Hunt. That Fight Night will be on June 11th.
And This Week with Conor: Dana decided to let everyone know that he had his people run the numbers and if the match happens, Floyd will make over $100 million and Conor will make about $75 million. Conor quickly chimed in and said Dana is just being modest and he is also making north of $100 million. Meanwhile the official Vegas bookmakers declared that Conor only has a 15% chance of winning and that was their high number.
Sunday morning it got confirmed that Cody Garbrandt will be defending his title against former teammate, T. J. Dillashaw at the co-main event of UFC 213. UFC 213 is the Fight Week pay-per-view and while the main event has not been made official, they are eyeing to lock in Michael Bisping vs. Georges St. Pierre for the middleweight title.
On Monday, Anthony Johnson started looking for legal options against Dan Cormier's weigh-in incident and Chris Weidman put in to appeal his loss to Gegard Mousasi. Anthony Johnson unfortunately had to clarify to the media that he isn't looking for compensation out of this.
Tuesday it was announced that Holly Holm will face Bethe Correia at UFC Fight Night 111 in June. There is no order yet, but they will most likely be on the main card.
On Wednesday it was announced that Charles Oliveira is suspended for 60 days due to leaving the cage immediately after his fight with Will Brooks. It is a NYSAC rule and suspension, but the UFC decided to suspend him completely for those 60 days. Also Nate Diaz's fine for his childish behavior at the presser for UFC 202 was reduced down to $15k and 15 hours of community serviced. Towards the end of the day they also announced that Jessica Aguilar will face Courtney Casey at UFC 211.
Last night they announced that Marlon Moraes will be making his debut against Raphael Assuncao at UFC 212.
And this week with Conor: Conor is facing legal action due to an incident in London this week. Conor McGregor posted on social media a picture of himself standing on a $300k car with choice words towards Liverpool. Well the car he was on is a rental and the conpany he rented it from is taking legal action because he dented the hood from that stunt.