The MMA Ten keeps you updated on the latest news from the world of the UFC and beyond. This week: Leslie Smith’s surgery, Nick Diaz’s bar brawl, the latest on Ronda Rousey and more. Let’s kick it off with some MMA gore!
Your MMA Picture of the Week
Last week, my MMA Nickname Battle of the Week was Tim “The Dirty Bird” Means vs. Sabah “The Problem” Homasi. “The Problem” made a comment about being Means being “off the juice” and Means said he would make him pay for that. He did. He gave him the gift of gash.
Homasi could use that as a coin purse, maybe store a little snack in there, or even keep his mouthguard in there between drills and sparring. “The Dirty Bird” is the gift that keeps on giving, and Homasi will have something to remember him by for the rest of his life.
Let’s Get Surgical
I’m going to label this NSFL — Not Safe For Lunch. UFC bantamweight Leslie Smith had a benign tumor in her stomach and wanted it removed. But UFC fighters are merely independent contractors, and the health insurance they receive from the UFC only covers them for injuries suffered on the job. Inside MMA ran a piece about Smith and her issue, and the UFC flew her out to Vegas to get the tumor removed. Watch as the tumor gets removed, complete with Leslie Smith’s commentary.
Ronda Rousey Won’t Headline UFC in NY
Many moons ago, Cris Cyborg fought Gina Carano, then the face of women’s MMA. Carano was undefeated at 7-0 and Cyborg was on a seven-fight winning streak. Cyborg pulverized Carano, getting a stoppage at the very end of round one. Carano would never fight again, choosing to focus solely on a movie career.
Could this be the same fate for Ronda Rousey after losing her title to Holly Holm? Rousey has not fought since and still doesn’t have a fight scheduled. UFC president Dana White announced this week that Rousey will not be part of UFC 205, the historic first UFC in New York on Nov. 12. The UFC still holds out hope that Rousey will fight before the year’s end, but that doesn’t seem very likely at this point.
Defending your title six times in a row is no easy feat, and I’m not even talking about the fights themselves. That part was cake for Rousey. But all the training, media commitments, photo shoots, interviews, etc., are incredibly draining, and Rousey did it for three straight years before losing to Holm last November. It makes perfect sense for her to reboot and reassess her career during this time.
Will she be back? I think she will, but not until next year. Until then, MMA fandom ought to give her a little grace, a little space, and some appreciation for what she did for the sport. Currently keyboard warriors are ridiculing her and it’s completely out of line. Not only will Rousey return to UFC action, she’ll win the belt again.
If You Jump a Diaz Brother, You’re Gonna Have a Bad Time
Nick Diaz got into a brawl at a Las Vegas nightclub after brother Nate’s battle with Conor McGregor at UFC 202. TMZ broke the story, detailing that Nick didn’t start it, but he sure did finish it. The story has Nick going to a bathroom outside the club around 2:30AM when he accidentally bumped into another customer.
TMZ was told Nick apologized and said he didn’t want any trouble, but the other guy started yapping and three of his buddies joined him and jumped Nick. “I didn’t start it. They didn’t know who I was,” Diaz said.
Diaz got hit in the head and the fight moved onto the Bellagio’s casino floor. Diaz’s ‘opponents’ started swinging chairs and fighting with casino employees. After it ended, Nick didn’t press charges. Why? “They got the worst of it.” Now we just need to get Nick Diaz back in the cage where he can really do his thing.
The Evolution of CM Punk
We’re just a few weeks away from former WWE champ CM Punk’s UFC debut. Punk, aka Phil Brooks, will fight Mickey Gall at UFC 203 on Sept. 10 in Cleveland. The UFC has documented the process of Punk’s training camps with Duke Roufus in Milwaukee with The Evolution of Punk, a mini-series that can be seen on FS1 and YouTube.
Here’s the complete first episode. It’s very well done and viewers are given some insight into what makes Punk tick.
MMA This Weekend
Plenty of MMA to watch this weekend, and with the exception of a few fights on UFC Fight Pass, it’s all free.
Bellator 160 goes down Friday night with former UFC champion Benson Henderson looking to score his first Bellator win. He’ll battle knockout artist Patricio “Pitbull” Friere. The co-main event of Saad Awad vs. Derek “The Barbaric” Anderson should be thrilling, and undefeated A.J. McKee will also fight on the card. It can be seen on Spike at 10 p.m. ET/ 9 CT.
UFC on Fox 21 takes place Saturday night with Demian Maia vs. Carlos Condit in the main event, a matchup that could surely be the lead of a pay-per-view. Maia is widely considered the best grappler to ever fight MMA and Condit isn’t called “The Natural Born Killer” for nothing. Anthony Pettis looks to shake off his three-fight losing streak against Charles “Do Bronx” Oliveira, Paige VanZant is back against the always-tough Bec Rawlings, and Jim Miller and Joe Lauzon go to war in a battle of two of the most well-respected veterans in the sport.
Your MMA Nickname Battle of the Week
Your MMA Nickname battle of the week comes from Bellator 160, where Bubba “The Highlight Reel” Jenkins fights Georgi “Insane” Karakhanyan. This is a rematch of their January 2015 fight, where Karakhanyan choked out Jenkins in the first round. Karakhanyan has lost two straight since beating Jenkins, and “The Highlight Reel” has won three straight since losing that fight.
This should be a straight-up war and it is the first fight on the main card on Spike.
The Ultimate Fighter 24: Champions
This year, 16 flyweight competitors will go to war with the tourney winner immediately getting a shot at Demetrious Johnson and the UFC flyweight title. All 16 fighters are flyweight champions in their current promotions, so this should be an exciting season. Flyweight contenders Joseph Benavidez and former Olympian Henry Cejudo will be the coaches for the 24th season of TUF.
Idris Elba is a Bad Man
Idris Elba (Luther, The Office) is not only a great actor and incredibly handsome, he’s also got some serious kickboxing skills. He’ll show them off in Idris Elba: Fighter, a three-hour mini-series that follows Elba as he trains to become a pro kickboxer and then competes in an actual fight at the end of the series.
This will air on Discovery in 2017. Let’s take a look at some of his recent training.
A video posted by 7dub (@7dub) on
So You Think You Can Punch a UFC Fighter?
BuzzFeed put out a fun video this week with regular folk trying to land punches on former UFC fighter Krzysztof Soszynski. They were given one minute to try and connect. Hilarity ensues.