The MMA Ten keeps you updated on the latest news from the world of the UFC and beyond. This week: Happy Birthday (even though you’re dead), UFC Hall of Famer BJ Penn returns, an update on a potential Mayweather-McGregor fight and much more!
Mayweather Still Talking About Conor McGregor
Floyd Mayweather Jr. joined ESPN’s First Take to talk about a possible fight with UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor. This prolonged back-and-forth about the two fighting is about as much fun as it was when Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao did it for years.
The chatter began in 2009 for a Mayweather-Pacquiao tilt, but the two took six years to fight and it was very much a non-event. Floyd turns 40 next month and he hasn’t fought since 2015. Floyd explains the parameters involved for him to agree to a fight.
Would I watch? Of course. But they better get it done this year because interest is waning and there is a good chance McGregor is not the UFC lightweight champ by the end of 2017.
Woodley and Thompson to Run It Back
Let’s run that whole thing back. UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley and Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson are taking the advice of those annoying Gatorade commercials and will rematch at UFC 209 on March 4. The two fought to a majority draw at UFC 205 and Woodley retained his title.
Woodley also has his own podcast — wait for it — called The Morning Wood, and while he entertained a superfight with Michael Bisping, he decided to give Thompson the second fight.
“I saw Wonderboy campaigning online like a childish woman, showing a bout agreement saying, ‘I’m waiting on you.’ He had plenty of opportunities to say something, he saw a little buzz going on with me and Bisping so he wanted to try and get involved. That kind of annoyed me because that’s not what a fighter would do, especially a fighter who clearly was never in controversy of winning the fight.
“The only controversy is if I won the fight or if the fight was a draw. I just don’t like the over-entitlement that Mrs. Wonderboy, Wonder Woman, whatever you want to call him is displaying. It kind of got underneath my skin.”
That sound you hear is the horde of SJWs rushing to Twitter to demand an apology for denigrating women in his rant. “Childish woman” might get him some flak, but I don’t get the Wonder Woman dig. Doesn’t Woodley know what Wonder Woman can do? From Wikipedia, here’s a look at Wonder Woman’s powers:
- Superhuman strength, speed, durability, reflexes and longevity.
- Master hand-to-hand combatant (trained by Goddess of combat Athena, Ares & Hippolyta)
- Utilizes magically indestructible bracelets, Lasso of Truth, sword, and shield bestowed upon her from various Gods of Olympus.
T-Wood is the UFC welterweight champion, but Wonder Woman would destroy him. All nonsense aside, the rematch won’t be a draw. Someone is going to sleep and it will be glorious.
Wonderboy Wants Josh Donaldson to Award Him the Belt
Thompson has trained with Toronto Blue Jays power-hitting third baseman Josh Donaldson, and he told the MMA Hour that he’s already cleared it with the UFC to have Donaldson put the belt on him if he beats Woodley in their rematch at UFC 209. Besides becoming buddies, Wonderboy says Donaldson has demonstrated some legit MMA skills.
“Some of the things that we were doing, I would show advanced guys. Hook kicks. Spin hook kicks. And he was throwing. He sent me a video the other day throwing some spin kicks to his buddy. I’m like, ‘What? Why aren’t you fighting, man?'”
Donaldson made almost $12 million last year and is scheduled to make $17 million this year, so those are pretty good reasons for choosing baseball over MMA. Maybe he can forge a career after he hangs up the spikes and make a late run like Herschel Walker did a few years back. Walker fought twice in Strikeforce at ages 47 and 48, winning both fights.
Walker said last year — at age 54 — he was hoping to have one more MMA fight.
Garbrandt Tweets Rematch Offer to Cruz
New UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt has decided who he’d like to fight next. He tweeted an offer to Dominick Cruz telling him to take a rematch or he will fight T.J. Dillashaw in his first title defense.
— Cody Garbrandt (@Cody_Nolove) January 13, 2017
TMZ caught up with both Garbrandt and Cruz, and everyone but Cody thinks it a bit odd that he’s offering Cruz an immediate rematch — even Cruz himself.
As much as I enjoy watching Cruz fight, T.J. Dillashaw makes the most sense for Garbrandt’s first title defense. Either way, it will be fun, and the trash talk between Dillashaw and Garbrandt should be on point.
Dillashaw: I Owned Garbrandt in Practice
Cody Garbrandt and T.J. Dillashaw used to be teammates at Team Alpha Male, and Garbrandt has insisted there is video of him knocking out the former champion. Dillashaw remembers those days quite differently, and he talked about it on Chael Sonnen’s podcast.
“We trained for at least a couple of years I think. It’s never all about the practices, but if we scored it, I’d definitely be the majority winner there. I would win 75 percent of the time. That’s the way I see it. I know I’m in his head–not only am I in his head, but I’m a better fighter. I’m more well-rounded and I’ve got more dangerous weapons. He’s got a hard right hand and he’s fast, but I’m going to push him and I’m going to break him.”
Maybe that’s why Garbrandt quickly changed his tune from initially wanting Dillashaw to now offering a rematch to Cruz. Either way the fans can’t lose. Garbrandt vs. Dillashaw or Garbrandt vs. Cruz — either one will be amazing both in the cage and with all the pre-fight lead up.
Yoel Romero Has a Nice Little 2017 Planned
NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 12: Yoel Romero of Cuba reacts after his KO victory over Chris Weidman of the United States (not pictured) in their middleweight bout during the UFC 205 event at Madison Square Garden on November 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Yoel Romero sat down with a coffee — maybe a Nespresso — and plotted out the course for the UFC’s middleweight division in 2017. First he will beat Michael Bisping to become the new champion. Then Anderson Silva can get his revenge on Michael Bisping. Then after that, Romero will defend his title against Silva. He’s got it all planned out.
— Yoel Romero (@YoelRomeroMMA) January 13, 2017
Silva has made it known he would like another shot at Bisping after almost finishing him when they fought last February. Remember that Silva had Bisping in serious trouble during that fight. Let me refresh your memory:
— #UFCHouston (@ufc) February 27, 2016
First things first though. We need an official date for a Bisping-Romero bout, and we need to drink up all the delicious trash talk that will come forth in the months leading up to the fight.
Your MMA Nickname Matchup of the Week
This week’s MMA Nickname Matchup of the Week will go down at UFC Fight Night this Sunday. Walt “The Big Ticket” Harris will take on Chase “The Vanilla Gorilla” Sherman in a battle of heavyweights.
Sherman lost his UFC debut to Justin Ledet last August, but he is 9-2 with all nine wins coming by first-round knockout. Harris came to the UFC with some promise back in 2013. He was 6-1 at the time of his UFC debut with all six wins — like Sherman — coming by way of first-round knockout. But Harris is just 1-4 in the UFC and badly needs a win to remain on the roster.
You can see that fight on the early prelim card on UFC Fight Pass.
UFC Fight Pass Free All Weekend
Speaking of UFC Fight Pass, you can watch it for free all weekend long. Saturday night, you can catch Invicta FC 21 and on Sunday, you can watch the UFC Fight Night prelims before the event moves over to FS1. You can also take advantage of checking out the entire library of UFC fights, as well as other fight promotions from across the world.
BJ Penn Returns
UFC Hall of Famer BJ Penn returns to the Octagon to face up-and-comer Yair Rodriguez in the main event of Sunday’s card. It will be Penn’s first fight since losing to Frankie Edgar for a third time back in 2014. Penn is just 1-5-1 in his last seven, leaving a bit of a smudge on his legacy.
But BJ says that he’s coming back, and not just for this one fight.
It’s great to see a legend get back in the cage, but Yair Rodriguez is a horrible matchup for Penn, at least on paper. Rodriguez is just 24, 5-0 in the UFC, and he features constant movement. Penn’s gas tank has been known to empty in later rounds, and if he makes it that far against Rodriguez, he could be in a for a vicious beating.
I hope I’m wrong, but you can’t help but wonder how a 38-year-old who hasn’t fought in two-and-a-half years will fare against a young, fast contender.
Happy Birthday! (Even Though You’re Dead)
The Fox affiliate in Philadelphia allotted a portion of their newscast to wish Happy Birthday to boxing legend Smokin’ Joe Frazier. That was very nice of them! And also very foolish, since Frazier died over five years ago in 2011.
There are just two other problems with their birthday wish. 1) They didn’t even get the actual day right and 2) they reported Frazier would be at City Hall for a boxing event. But other than that, heckuva job.