With the news that former UFC women’s bantamweight champion, Holly Holm, will face Germaine de Randamie for the inaugural UFC women’s featherweight title at UFC 208 in February of next year, many were quick to question why Cris “Cyborg” Justino was not involved in the title fight, including Justino herself. However, it also seemed logical that the Brazilian would be a certainty to step into the spot as the winner’s first challenger. However, there is an interesting sub-plot to the story, and that is the potential for a high-profile rematch that could be worth a lot of money to the UFC involving the UFC’s biggest female star, Ronda Rousey.
At this stage, it is all ‘ifs’ and ‘maybes’, but should Rousey defeat Amanda Nunes for the UFC women’s bantamweight title at UFC 207 on December 30, then should Holm go on to win the UFC featherweight title next year, the promotion could be tempted to match the women up for a monumental rematch, made all the more special by both women holding UFC gold.
Justino spoke to ESPN and was firm in her belief that the UFC created the Holm vs de Randamie title fight to send a message to her and feels a lack of respect from the organisation.
“My last three weight cuts were very hard. I said I couldn’t continue doing this. They knew I wanted to fight in March, but they were mad at me for not accepting the fights. Yesterday, they said they had no girls to make this division. Today, they rush to make a belt. They are saying something to me. Sometimes I want to fight in another organisation outside the UFC, but I have two fights left on my contract. It’s not just about the money or the belts. It’s really hard when you feel like the company doesn’t respect you.”
UFC president, Dana White, also spoke to ESPN and he baulked at Justino’s suggestions that the UFC were actively disrespecting her, insisting that the only person responsible for Justino missing out on the opportunity to be a part of the first ever UFC women’s featherweight title fight was Justino herself.
“We’re in the fight business – That’s what we do for a living. We’re out to disrespect Cyborg? She said she couldn’t make 145 pounds in eight weeks. We offered her a second and a third fight. She turned them down. With everything I’ve got going on in my life, the last thing I’m thinking is, ‘Hey, let’s get together and disrespect Cyborg.’ We offered three fights, and she turned them all down. This is a business. I had two girls who wanted to fight for the 145-pound title. This is the pros. If you play for the Patriots, you don’t sit around and say, ‘I don’t feel like playing this weekend.’ We brought her (Justino) in because she said she could make 135 pounds. When she couldn’t, when the weight cut was too hard, we created the 145-pound division, and she still doesn’t want to fight.”
His assertion that the decision to match Holm with de Randamie for the title was a business one raised the question of the previously mentioned possibility of a Rousey vs Holm ‘super fight’. On the face of it, there is definitely a strong argument that making that fight would be best for business and, when asked about it, White suggested that such a decision could materialise should all the pieces fall into place.
“This is a business of opportunity. When opportunity arises, you jump up and take it. If you don’t, the bus is gone, and it passes you by. If holly wins and becomes a champion, and that’s the scenario (Rousey defeats Nunes)? I guarantee people will want to see it.”
Of course, there is much to take place before such a situation arises, if indeed it ever does. However, it certainly adds another level of intrigue to both upcoming 135 and 145 pound UFC women’s title matches.
UFC to Sell #VegasStrong Shirts and Donate the Proceeds
Our hearts are heavy this week as we remember our brothers and sisters that lost their lives in Las Vegas.
The perpetrator Stephen Paddock opened fire on a crowd of concertgoers from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel, killing 59 people and injuring over 500 more.
It was the largest mass shooting in Modern American history.
Dana White and the UFC were quick to step up as they donated $1M to the residents of Las Vegas who were affected by this tragedy. White has also stated that this weekend’s UFC 216 card will be “dedicated to the entire city of Las Vegas.”
UFC president Dana White tells me the organization will donate $1 million to the families of those affected by the tragedy in Las Vegas
— Adam Hill (@AdamHillLVRJ) October 2, 2017
The UFC and Fanatics have also teamed up to sell #VegasStrong shirts and 100% percent of the proceeds will be donated.
These shirts are available at UFCStore.com
Dana White posts sparring footage of Conor McGregor and Paulie Malignaggi
What happens in the gym, stays in the gym.
That is, until recently when Conor McGregor’s camp posted photos of his former training partner Paul Malignaggi on the receiving end of what looked to be a knockdown during a sparring session. McGregor, preparing for the blockbuster fight against Floyd Mayweather taking place on August 26, brought in Malinaggi to help sharpen and test his skills in preparation for the boxing contest.
However, when pictures of their sparring battles surfaced, painting Malignaggi in a negative light. The former IBF/WBA World Champion boxer turned analyst took to social media to defend himself stating the images were taken out of context, sparking controversy.
— Paul Malignaggi (@PaulMalignaggi) August 4, 2017
Late Friday evening, UFC President Dana White out all of the rumors to bed by taking to Instagram to post a pair of clips from their sparring session, most notably, the infamous “knock down” that Malignaggi defended adamantly.
Video 1: The video shows McGregor blasting Malignaggi with a hard left hand that popped his head back and then following up with a series of punches causing Malignaggi to retreat from the pressure.
Video 2: The knockdown. Conor hits Malignaggi with a punching combination, sending the former boxing champion to the canvas.
While the knock down does come after a series of punches from McGregor, Malignaggi was not completely knocked out. With this video evidence coming to light, it seems the UFC Lightweight Champion’s hands may be better prepared for the upcoming fight against one of boxing’s best than previously thought.
Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather takes place on August 26, 2017 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series – Week 2 Recap
The second week of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series provided some incredible moments from fighters looking to earn their shot in the UFC.
With five fights on the docket and Dana White handing out only one, possibly two UFC contracts at the end of the show, fighters not only had to win their fights, but make a statement to impress the boss. If nobody makes a strong enough impression, White could also decide to not award anyone with a contract.
That was not the case on Week 2 thanks to three exciting finishes.
Sean O’Malley said in video packages in the lead up that he shows up to knock people out and he did exactly that with an exciting first round finish of Alfred Khashakyan. O’Malley kept his undefeated record in tact by utilizing hard, fight-ending strikes that sent his opponent to the canvas in the closing minute of the first round. A hard right hand dropped Khashakyan for good and O’Malley ran over towards Dana White to let him know he’s ready for his shot.
— UFC Fight Pass (@UFCFightPass) July 19, 2017
The Ultimate Fighter 22 veteran Thanh Le got the fans on their feet with his impressive finish of Lazar Stojadinovic, and made his case with Laura Sanko for Dana White to give him a contract. Stojadinovic, a solid boxer began fighting angry in the second round after getting caught with a few clean strikes, which only left more openings for Le. Moments later, Le would land a beautiful kick followed up by hard strikes to get the second-round stoppage.
— UFC Fight Pass (@UFCFightPass) July 19, 2017
Daniel Spohn, after a rough start to his fight against Angel De Anda, recovered from illegal blows to the back of the head to lock in a submission in the first round. Referee Big John McCarthy paused the action after three illegal blows by De Anda, and once the action resumed, Spohn blitzed across the cage to unleash strikes and eventually find the arm triangle submission.
At the conclusion of the show, Dana White decided to give Sean O’Malley an opportunity on the big stage by awarding him with a UFC contract due to his flashy, exciting style inside the Octagon.
— UFC Fight Pass (@UFCFightPass) July 19, 2017
Below are the full results of Week 2:
- Daniel Spohn (16-5) vs. Angel De Anda (18-6)
- Result: Daniel Spohn def. Angel De Anda via Submission (Arm Triangle), Round 1 – 3:10
- Sean O’Malley (8-0) vs. Alfred Khashakyan (8-4)
- Result: Sean O’Malley def. Alfred Khashakyan via KO (Punch), Round 1 – 4:14
- Thanh Le (7-1) vs. Lazar Stojadinovic (15-6)
- Result: Thanh Le def. Lazar Stojadinovic via KO (Strikes), Round 2 – 1:35
- Sidney Outlaw (9-4) vs. Michael Cora (4-2)
- Result: Sidney Outlaw def. Michael Cora via Unanimous Decision (29-27, 29-28, 29-27)
- CJ Hamilton (11-5) vs. Casey Kenney (7-0-1)
- Result: Casey Kenney def. CJ Hamilton via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
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