Dana White Shuts Down Conor McGregor vs. Manny Pacquiao Rumors

If Manny Pacquiao is really in talks for a fight with Conor McGregor, UFC president Dana White would love to know who he’s negotiating with to make it happen.

On Friday, Pacquiao made an off handed remark to reporters that he had engaged in conversations about a potential boxing match with McGregor as he plots the course for his next fight in April.

McGregor has been in talks with the UFC for several months now trying to iron out a new deal for his return to the Octagon but it appears his boxing career is on hold after fighting Floyd Mayweather in August.

White quickly shot down Pacquiao’s statement while also threatening a potential lawsuit if he really did reach out to McGregor about a fight without the UFC’s knowledge.Manny Pacquiao

“No,” White answered when asked about the rumored fight. “That would be weird cause he’s under contract with us.

“If that’s true, I will be suing Manny Pacquaio and whoever’s representing him. I’m assuming that’s not true.”

As far as what actually comes next for McGregor, White only said ‘yes’ when asked if his return to action would be in the UFC Octagon, but right now there’s still no exact timeline for when that would happen.

Assuming he can come to terms on a new deal, McGregor is expected to unify the lightweight title with Tony Ferguson but the interim champion just underwent minor elbow surgery that’s expected to keep him out until at least March or April next year.

At least that gives McGregor time to hopefully reach an agreement with the UFC so his next fight can be booked as he’s expected to return to the UFC.

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Dana White Sounds Doubtful that Georges St-Pierre Ever Fights Again

Georges St-Pierre is definitely one and done in the middleweight division after surrendering the 185-pound title earlier this week, but from the sound of things he may not return to the UFC for another fight all together.

UFC president Dana White commented on St-Pierre vacating the middleweight belt after being diagnosed with a bout of colitis that will keep him sidelined in the immediate future, while Robert Whittaker will face Luke Rockhold in February for the undisputed championship.

When St-Pierre defeated Michael Bisping in November to become middleweight champion, he stated that there was a stipulation in his contract that his next fight had to be a title defense at 185 pounds.

Obviously, that’s not happening now, and White certainly made it seem like we may have seen the last of St-Pierre inside the Octagon.

“At the end of the day, there’s a reason I put that stuff in the contract for him to sign. There’s a reason. Am I shocked? I don’t think anybody’s shocked. He came out, he hand picked [Michael] Bisping and went away again. Whatever. It is what it is,” White said on Saturday night in Fresno.

“He doesn’t want to fight anybody at welterweight. That’s why he fought Bisping. He didn’t want to fight [Tyron] Woodley. He didn’t want to fight [Stephen] ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson. He didn’t want to fight any of those guys. He wanted to fight Michael Bisping and he did and now he’s off again.”

Last week before this all unfolded, White was adamant that he would be “pissed” if St-Pierre’s next fight took place anywhere other than the middleweight division, but now that he’s faced with that very scenario, he’s actually not all that upset.

TRENDING > Dana White Shuts Down Conor McGregor vs. Manny Pacquiao Rumors

Instead, White says he honestly predicted that this would happen as soon as St-Pierre won the title to become only the fourth fighter in UFC history to win championships in two different divisions.

“Listen, I’m not shocked. I’m not mad. It is what it is,” White said. “I thought I would be [pissed] but I’m not. I expected it. I had him sign a contract saying that he would defend against [Robert] Whittaker for a reason. Because I knew he wouldn’t.”

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Brian Ortega Taps Out Cub Swanson in Statement Win in First UFC Main Event

A new featherweight title contender has emerged after Brian Ortega tapped out Cub Swanson with a nasty guillotine choke in his first UFC main event.

Ortega had been considered a dark horse in the division after racking up several wins in a row inside the Octagon, including four consecutive third round finishes.

This time around, Ortega didn’t need to get to the third round, as the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt earned his third submission since joining the UFC roster in 2014.

As the fight got underway, Swanson was quick on his feet in the opening round, throwing punches in bunches trying to keep Ortega on his toes. Swanson launched every shot with power behind it as he kept head hunting on Ortega, who showed no signs of nervousness in his first UFC main event.

Late in the round, Swanson nearly made a fatal mistake getting locked up in the clinch with Ortega, who wasted no time grabbing onto an anaconda choke and dropping to the mat to look for the submission.

The grimace on Swanson’s face told the story with Ortega doing everything possible to get the finish but he ran out of time as the horn sounded, forcing him to release the hold.

Swanson’s aggression didn’t slow down in the second round but Ortega was calm, cool and collected while playing defense on the feet and then countering by inching closer and closer to get the clinch to show off his world class grappling skills.

Ortega got his wish during a scramble against the cage and he saw an opening to grab onto Swanson’s neck with a guillotine choke before jumping to pull guard, knowing that his submission was in tight.

Swanson did his best to resist the choke but Ortega was not letting go until he got the finish and a few seconds later he felt an emphatic tap on his back as the referee jumped into stop the contest.

The official time was 3:22 into the second round as Ortega picks up his fifth straight win in the UFC and the biggest of his career against a perennial top five opponent like Swanson.

The victory undoubtedly moved Ortega into title contention but rather than demand a shot at champion Max Holloway, he opted to allow Frankie Edgar to fight for the championship as planned and he’ll gladly face the winner in 2018.

“So I know Frankie Edgar got injured, I’m not cocky enough, I’m going to respectfully wait for him to get his shot with Max Holloway,” Ortega said. “See how that goes and hopefully I can just wait it out a little bit and the winner between them, I can get the shot at if it’s a possibility.”

It’s going to be tough to deny Ortega considering the current landscape at 145 pounds, especially after he took out Swanson, who was vying for a shot at the title himself following several impressive wins in a row.

RELATED > UFC Fight Night 123: Swanson vs. Ortega Results and Fight Stats

With the loss on Saturday night, Swanson does find himself in a tough spot as he enters free agency following the last fight on his UFC contract as he looks to ink a new deal with the promotion or potentially move onto a new home after spending most of his career fighting inside the Octagon.

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Marlon Moraes Flattens Aljamain Sterling with Devastating Knee Strike Knockout

When the UFC signed Marlon Moraes earlier this year, the idea was to add another top-level bantamweight to an already deep division.

On Saturday night, Moraes officially arrived with the kind of highlight-reel finishes that decorate his entire resume after he flattened Aljamain Sterling with a devastating knee strike just over a minute into the opening round.

Moraes accepted the fight on short notice but came firing out of the gates as he was head hunting on Sterling early and often, pressing the action and looking to land his punches.

Marlon MoraesSterling looked a little off balance with such aggression from Moraes, who clearly didn’t show up to win a decision, but instead looking for his first knockout in the UFC.

Moraes got it when he threw a head kick and then adjusted just before landing as Sterling ducked his head and the former World Series of Fighting champion blasted him with a knee that sent him crashing face first into the canvas.

The fight was stopped immediately as Moraes earned the win at 1:07 into the first round.

Afterwards, Moraes quickly turned his attention to Sterling, who laid motionless in the ring for several minutes after the knockout.

“I just want to wish Aljamain Sterling a speedy recovery,” Moraes said. “We are here, we want to fight, we want to win but I don’t want to see my opponent hurt.”

RELATED > UFC Fight Night 123: Swanson vs. Ortega Results and Fight Stats

As far as what comes next for him, Moraes now taken out two top 15 ranked opponents in a row with Sterling and his previous victory against John Dodson. Now he’s ready to make his climb towards title contention.

“I think I starting to like it here,” Moraes said. “I’m going to gives some trouble for the 135 [pounders].”

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Alexis Davis Earns Hard Fought Split Decision Over Liz Carmouche in UFC Flyweight Debut

A new contender has arrived in the UFC women’s flyweight division as Alexis Davis picked up a win in her 125-pound debut on Saturday night in Fresno.

It was familiar territory for Davis, who earned a split decision victory over the always tough Liz Carmouche in a rematch the two fighters had back in 2013 while competing in the bantamweight division.

Davis showed off her power in the clinch early, much like her first fight with Carmouche, but this time she wasn’t able to advance her position and referee Frank Trigg ultimately restarted the fighters in the center.

It was Carmouche who then landed a nice takedown of her own as she took Davis to the mat and began working her ground and pound attack from the top.

The decision to take a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt to the mat nearly backfired on Carmouche when Davis locked up a tight armbar from the bottom, extending the elbow and nearly getting the submission. Unfortunately for Davis, time ran out in the round before she could get the finish.

Davis wasted no time grabbing a kick from Carmouche in the second round and taking her to the ground. Davis stayed in control for the majority of the five-minute session but she wasn’t able to do much damage with Carmouche playing defense on the ground.

With about a minute to go in the round, the fighters were stood up and Carmouche managed a takedown of her own with just seconds remaining but the horn sounded almost immediately after the fight hit the ground.

Knowing that she was possibly down after the first two rounds, Carmouche came out swinging heavy leather in the third, connecting with her best punches of the fight and starting to pour on the punishment as Davis was definitely wobbled for a moment.

Carmouche opted for another takedown rather than staying on the feet and once again it nearly cost her as Davis grabbed onto her arm for a second time, nearly locking up the submission. Carmouche stayed patient and eventually slipped free before getting back on top of Davis on the mat.

The fight came to an end after three rounds with the judges ending in a split decision with Davis getting the nod 29-28 from two scorecards with the third going 29-28 for Carmouche.

It was a grueling battle over all 15 minutes, but Davis kicked off her flyweight career with a win as she will undoubtedly jump into the top 10 rankings next week as she takes a step towards title contention at 125 pounds.

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Nate Diaz Claims He Turned Down UFC Offer to Fight for the Title “In Any Weight Class”

Nate Diaz wants the right opportunity to come along if he’s going to fight in the UFC again but that doesn’t mean competing for a title.

Diaz took to Twitter on Friday where he claims that the UFC recently offered him a title shot in any division in the promotion but he just wasn’t interested.

Diaz was offered an interim lightweight title fight against Tony Ferguson during the summer as well as a shot at welterweight champion Tyron Woodley but obviously neither fight came together.

“UFC offered me title fight in any weight class,” Diaz wrote. “I’m cool though. I’ll give [them] a shot when they do something good.

“Onto the next sport for now.”

Diaz then placed a boxing glove at the end of his message, perhaps hinting that he’s interested in pursuing a boxing match rather than anything the UFC is offering right now.

Diaz hasn’t fought since UFC 202 in 2016 when he lost a very close majority decision to Conor McGregor. That fight came five months after Diaz submitted McGregor in their first fight at UFC 196.

Since then, Diaz has declined every offer the UFC has made to him while holding out for more money or the potential to face McGregor for a third time, which would undoubtedly be his biggest payday possible.

As far as boxing goes, Diaz has trained in the sport for years alongside his brother Nick, who had previously teased a possible run in boxing as well. Whether or not that will actually happen remains to be seen but it’s clear Diaz isn’t interested in anything the UFC is offering right now to entice him back into the Octagon.

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Sabah Homasi Doesn’t Want Herb Dean to Referee His Next Fight, Plans to Appeal UFC 218 Loss

Sabah Homasi is currently preparing for a second fight against Abdul Razak Alhassan at UFC 219 thanks to a poor stoppage in their first matchup this past weekend in Detroit.

Alhassan caught Homasi with a punch during a big exchange towards the end of the first round that dropped the American Top Team fighter down to his knee. Homasi quickly latched onto Alhassan’s leg to begin working for a takedown to allow him time to recover but referee Herb Dean quickly swooped in to stop the fight.

Homasi immediately protested, especially with Dean standing on the opposite side of where he was attempting to get the takedown, which gave him a poor line of sight to see how he was recovering after eating the punch.

“I think Herb just had a bad angle but even though with him having a bad angle, if you’re unsure let it go,” Homasi told MMAWeekly this week. “Because I was working, I was moving the whole time but then when he stepped in, I was just shocked that he stepped in to stop the fight.

“Herb’s human, everyone makes mistakes. It just sucked it happened to be one of my fights.”

Still the fight was over and Homasi was going home with a loss on his record and half his money because he wouldn’t be receiving a win bonus from the UFC.

Thankfully, UFC president Dana White and matchmaker Sean Shelby quickly worked to rectify the situation by telling Homasi’s manager Brian Butler from Suckerpunch Entertainment that he would be getting an immediate rematch just three weeks later on Dec. 30.

“My manager popped his head into the medical booth, I was getting checked out by the doctor and he goes ‘rematch Dec. 30’ and I was like f–king perfect,” Homasi said. “It was literally right after the fight. Dana White was in contact with my manager, everyone knew it was bulls–t. I’m just glad they acknowledged it and gave me the rematch. I’m very thankful for that.

“I’m glad I get another opportunity even though it was a mistake from the referee. He took away money. I believe I was going to put him away in the second round. He faded a lot. He took away my win bonus. Now I’ve got to try to get this thing appealed and turned into a no contest, which hopefully it works out but we’ll see.”

Homasi plans to appeal the loss in Michigan but right now his concern is getting ready for the rematch with Alhassan to rectify what went wrong in the first fight.

This time round, Homasi will be fighting in Nevada but that’s also a state where Dean serves as a referee and works numerous UFC cards during any given year.

Homasi promises that he’s not holding a personal grudge against Dean following the debacle in Detroit but he’d still feel better if another referee was assigned to his rematch with Alhassan.

“I’d rather have someone else. Because I don’t know what rumors he’s hearing about what I’m saying or whatever. I’m not saying anything bad on his end, he’s human, everyone makes mistakes, but like I’m saying right now, if you’re not sure, let it go,” Homasi said. “Like the Eddie Alvarez-Justin Gaethje fight, Eddie knocked out Justin and Eddie puts his hands up and he knew the fight was over but Herb didn’t stop the fight. He let Eddie get a couple unnecessary blows in and that’s because of his earlier mess up that night.

“I’d rather have another referee, clean slate. Someone who hasn’t made as many mistakes as Herb because that’s not the first mistake Herb has made.”

As much as it angered him to have the fight stopped early, Homasi is ready to put it behind him for now so he can concentrate on getting ready for a second shot at Alhassan in just a few weeks.

“I’m definitely more confident because I know what he has to offer and it’s not that great,” Homasi said about the rematch. “I’m just going to go in there now and I see myself landing more and seeing more clearly because I know exactly what he’s going to do.

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Source: MMA Weekly

Mark Hunt Cleared by the UFC To Resume His Career Following Medical Evaluation

Mark Hunt got some very good news this week.

After going through extensive medical testing in Las Vegas just recently, the former heavyweight title contender has been cleared to resume his career in the UFC.

Hunt’s manager first revealed the news earlier this week but now the UFC has made it official with a statement released on Thursday.

“After a full medical analysis at the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, UFC confirms that heavyweight athlete Mark Hunt has been cleared to compete,” UFC officials said.

Hunt was sidelined indefinitely after he penned an article a few months back where he admitted to memory loss and slurred speech as a result of his fighting career.

“Sometimes I don’t sleep well. You can hear me starting to stutter and slur my words. My memory is not that good anymore,” Hunt wrote back in July. “I’ll forget something I did yesterday but I can remember the shit I did years and years ago. That’s just the price I’ve paid – the price of being a fighter.”

That led to the UFC yanking him from a fight scheduled in November against Marcin Tybura in Australia. Hunt lashed out and claimed the UFC was attacking him for filing a lawsuit against the promotion where he alleged that he was put into harm’s way for his bout against Brock Lesnar, who later tested positive for a banned substance.

UFC president Dana White denied those allegations and pointed out that Hunt had been booked in numerous fights since the lawsuit was filed and earned more than $1 million in salary during that time.

Eventually, Hunt flew to Las Vegas to get checked out by doctors to ensure he was medically fit to return to action and now he’s been cleared with hopes of fighting as early as February at UFC 221 in Australia.

Hunt’s manager had previously asked for a fight against former heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum but there’s no word if the UFC will attempt to book that matchup or not.

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Georges St-Pierre Vacates; Robert Whittaker vs. Luke Rockhold for Undisputed Title at UFC 221

Georges St-Pierre is no longer the UFC middleweight champion.

On Thursday, St-Pierre officially surrendered his title to focus on his health after being diagnosed with colitis just recently and the UFC will move forward with Robert Whittaker being crowned undisputed champion with his first title defense taking place against Luke Rockhold on Feb. 10 in the main event at UFC 221 in Perth, Australia.

UFC officials confirmed the news on Thursday.

“My fight at UFC 217 was one of the greatest nights of my life but I now need to take some time to focus on my health,” St-Pierre said about giving up the middleweight title just a month after defeating Michael Bisping to become champion. “Out of respect to the athletes and the sport, I don’t want to hold up the division.

“I will be giving up my belt and once I’m healthy I look forward to working with the UFC to determine what’s next in my career.”Robert Whittaker - UFC 213

When St-Pierre defeated Bisping at UFC 217, he stated numerous times that it was contractually obligated that he defend the belt but health issues have put him on the sidelines for an undetermined amount of time. 

With St-Pierre out and his middleweight title vacated, Whittaker will now be crowned undisputed champion after he defeated Yoel Romero back in July to determine an interim champion at the time. 

Whittaker will defend the belt against former champion Luke Rockhold as the new headliner for the UFC’s return to Australia in February. Rockhold picked up a win back in September when he defeated David Branch by second round submission due to punches. 

Now Rockhold will get a second shot at the UFC title when he faces Whittaker in February.

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New UFC Champ Nicco Montano Headed for Surgery After Fighting with Broken Foot

Nicco Montano not only had to fight four times in the past six months to become the new UFC women’s flyweight champion, but she also won the title while dealing with a severely broken foot. She suffered the injury just after she returned home from the reality show.

Montano won the belt this past weekend with a unanimous decision victory over Roxanne Modafferi in “The Ultimate Fighter” 26 Finale, but revealed afterward that she happened to do so while still suffering from the broken foot.

According to Montano, she endured the injury throughout her entire training camp, which forced her to give up running — one of the primary ways she cuts weight — and it even cut down on her strength and conditioning because she couldn’t put any weight on the foot for several weeks.

“When it happened, I remember saying to my coach something is wrong with my foot. It was the ball of my foot, so pivoting or anything was hard for me. Holding hooks in grappling, there was nothing I could do for a while, so I didn’t know if I was going to be able to fight,” Montano told MMAWeekly.com just days after her victory.

Nicco Montano TUF 26 Finale v1“For about two or three weeks, I was bed ridden because I couldn’t walk and I had to, instead of my strength and conditioning, I had to do [physical therapy], which was basically me holding my hands up against the wall, planting both of my feet on the ground and lifting my heel off the ground centimeter by centimeter on my left foot. That’s how bad it was.”

Even during fight week in Las Vegas, Montano admits that she wasn’t sure she was going to be able to compete because of how much the foot injury was affecting her range of motion and ability to complete any really complex moves inside the cage.

“The only reason why I was able to do anything that night was because of the cortisone shot,” Montano said. “My range of mobility the night before was crap. I thought I wasn’t going to be able to fight. I was watching my fight and that’s why my level changes were so high because I still can’t roll over my left toes.”

Unfortunately due to the severity of her injury, Montano is already in the process of scheduling surgery on her left foot to get the damage repaired.

Montano was already planning on taking a brief hiatus after a grueling six weeks spent filming “The Ultimate Fighter,” where she defeated Lauren Murphy, Montana Stewart, and former Invicta FC champion Barb Honchak, and then going right into a training camp to prepare for the fight at the finale this past weekend.

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Add to that, Montano had already fought once in 2017 before joining “The Ultimate Fighter.” So she’s had five fights in one calendar year, which is often times the most activity an athlete will have in any two-year period.

Still, Montano is anxious to get her surgery handled so she can begin rehabilitation with plans in mind to defend her title in 2018.

“I need to have surgery,” Montano said. “I definitely need to get that fixed before anything else — the sooner the better.”

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Source: MMA Weekly