Remember Jose Aldo, the UFC’s first ever Featherweight champion? The one who cleaned out the entire division over a 19-fight win streak that spanned almost ten years? Once considered a top pound for pound fighter, he truly looked invincible until the Conor McGregor express came along and brought Aldo’s dominant reign to a violent end.
It only took 13 seconds for the long-time champ to lose the title. Surprisingly his name faded from the title picture just as quickly. Everyone from social media, the MMA media, podcasts and radio shows spent the next few weeks speculating about McGregor’s most likely opponent and frankly, a rematch with Aldo was largely absent from the conversation.
Aldo finally returned to the headlines last week when ESPN Brazil scored an exclusive interview with UFC President Dana White, who revealed the status of negotiations with Aldo.
“I call him next Wednesday [which is today, the 10th of February] and we’ll talk to decide who’s next for him,” White told the Brazilian ESPN outlet. He went on to confirm that the fight would definitely be for a title.
Jose Aldo reaffirmed his position about his next move, commenting through social media, “I wanted to make it clear to the UFC that I will not accept any fight other than the belt, for all I did over the years and because of the way the (McGregor) fight ended.”
The belt that Jose Aldo hopes to fight for may not the 145lb title, as Dana White’s cryptic comments leave some questions unanswered. What does he mean by stating that Aldo will fight for a title, yet his agenda for their discussion is who he will fight?
That statement makes it seem that the who it’s not current champion Conor McGregor, as he already has a fight booked for the Lightweight title. The title doesn’t seem to matter as much to Aldo as does the man who took it from him. Aldo had his own confusing comments, like when he told the Brazilian media, “The only exception (to a non-title fight) would be a fight anytime, anywhere against Conor McGregor. Since he is afraid to give me the belt, the fight doesn’t even have to be for the belt. I just want to win.”
Like Dana White, Aldo’s comments raise important concerns. For example, why would he volunteer to fight a champion only to say that he has no desire to reclaim his title? Also, if his next fight is against McGregor the title is guaranteed to be at stake, so why would Aldo even say such things? It sounds like raw emotion talking and Aldo may be overcome with tunnel vision, desperately longing for redemption.
So, what title is Aldo supposedly fighting for? And who will his opponent be if not McGregor?
The obvious answer is Frankie Edgar, which is his nickname after all. It’s been established that McGregor will not be made to relinquish the featherweight title so if Dana makes good on his promise Aldo’s next fight can only be an interim title; unless he elects to wait it out and possibly fight McGregor.
But who’s to say that he’ll return to the Featherweight division right away, if ever? Besides, waiting for a promised title shot has repeatedly proven to be a foolhardy endeavour, especially without an interim strap to force the UFC’s hand. A lot of things could happen in the meantime. Either fighter could get injured or another compelling matchup could overshadow the public’s desire to see Aldo McGregor In the meant time UFC, give that fans what they want EDGAR VS Aldo
UFC Announces Liverpool Event, Darren Till Main Event
Scousers are drowning in celebration this evening. Earlier today, UFC officials announced the addition of a Liverpool show to their 2018 event calendar. Liverpool’s, Echo Arena, plays host for the event, which takes place on May 27th.
Liverpool’s own, Darren Till made the announcement this afternoon with Dan Hardy at the UFC Fight Night: Werdum vs. Volkov, ceremonial weigh-in. When asked by Hardy what it means to have the UFC in Liverpool, he had this to day, “Words can’t describe it. It doesn’t do it justice, words. So, it’s coming and I’m going to be the first Scousers to ever have done it. In 200 years they’re going to remember my name in combat sports in Liverpool. I’m gonna take someones chin off in Liverpool, that’s what’s happening”.
He was also quoted in an release from the promotion saying, “I can’t believe UFC is finally coming to Liverpool and I’m going to be headlining Echo Arena. My name is going to be remembered in 200 years time for being part of this historical event and I can’t even describe how much that means to me”. Till will headline the card, his opponent is yet to be announced.
In the official release, it quotes David Shaw, Senior Vice President International and Content, claiming, “The stars really aligned for the Octagon to touch down in Liverpool. We have seen such phenomenal demand from fans in the region for a live event. Pair that with having such a rising, local star in Darren Till it made absolute sense to bring our first live event to this historical combat sports city in 2018”.
UFC Liverpool lands on a date speculated for a different venue, in a different country. Reports swirled last month, specifically one from MMAFighting.com, which claimed the May 27th date belonged to the UFCs return to Dublin. A return to Dublin doesn’t seem to fall completely out of the realm of possibility. For now, it remains to be seen.
The UFC also announced two bouts, both in the Middleweight division, booked for the event. Elias Therodorou takes on Trevor Smith, and Daniel Kelly goes up against England’s Tom Breese.
Marco Reyes Flagged for Potential Anti-Doping Policy Violation
Earlier today, UFC officials announced that Lightweight, Marco Reyes was flagged for a potential UFC Anti-Doping Policy violation. The potential violation hails from a sample collected on March 8th, 2018, in an out-of-competition test.
Reyes made his way into the UFC through The Ultimate Fighter Latin America, season 2. Competing in the lightweight bracket, Reyes defeated Christhian Soto by 2nd rd. TKO of a preliminary round bout. He then went onto to face Horacio Gutiérrez, in the semifinals of the tournament. Gutiérrez defeated Reyes in the opening round by TKO.
Following his elimination from the tournament, the Mexican fighter met Cezar Arzamendia on the series finale, The Ultimate Fighter Latin America 2 Finale. Reyes impressively defeated Arzamendia, whom was the first overall pick for Team Gastelum, by 1st round KO.
From there, Reyes defeated Dong Hung Kim (rd. 1, KO), and Jason Novelli (Split Decision) respectively, before falling to rising contender James Vick. Most recently, the Lightweight fighter dispatched Matt Frevola in the opening round, ruining the Long Islanders promotional debut. His bout against Frevola took place at UFC Fight Night: Stephens vs. Choi, on January 14th of this year.
The UFC statement on the matter reads as follows:
The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Marco Reyes of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample collected on March 8, 2018.
USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case involving Reyes. Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, there is a full and fair legal process that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed. Additional information will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward.
Dillon Danis to make Pro debut against Kyle Walker at Bellator 198
Mixed Martial Arts officially adopted another incredibly talented jiu-jitsu practioner today. Bellator officials announced today the long-awaited debut of Dillon Danis, whom the promotion had signed in the year previous. After zero amateur and countless jiu-jitsu matches, Danis makes his debut at Bellator 198: Mir vs. Emelianenko, against Kyle Walker.
Kyle Walker enters the match up also making his Bellator debut. Walker recently made a resurgence in 2016 after taking off, almost exactly, 3 years. Since returning to the professional scene his record is 0-3, losing each fight by stoppage (2 Sub, 1 KO).
Walker looks to snap his streak yet, his opponent could provide a major challenge. In terms of advantages for Walker, he has a massive and obvious one. His experience. Walkers opponent fights for the first time in the sport of MMA. While Danis competed in many top-level jiu-jitsu tournaments and matches, comparing the competition would stop and end upon examining the rule sets. It is quite obvious, the difference. Danis will have a bit of adversity to overcome, in that respect.
In spite of this, Danis’ team, he trains out of the highly regarded SBG Ireland. Even before his MMA training, he trained under Marcelo Garcia. He earned his black belt in April of 2015, following an incredible 2014. In that year, Danis became UAEJJF World Champion, winning gold in the 82 kg (181 lb.) Brown belt category.
The prospect of what that could look like inside the cage is exciting. He may have developed some striking techniques but, the lack of time dedicated to that training in undeniable. Experience and time is required to develop skills of any kind.
Bellator 198: Mir vs. Emelianenko, takes place on Saturday, April 28th from the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois. Bellator 198 features the third of four preliminary bouts in the promotions Heavyweight Grand Prix, Fedor Emelianenko takes on Frank Mir. It serves as the nights main event. Other bouts on the card feature; Emmanuel Sanchez against Sam Sicilia, Neiman Gracie faces Javier Torres, Rafael Lavato Jr. vs. John Salter, and more.
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