Photo by Williams Paul/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images Bellator’s chief overseas regulator said there was no way Paul Daley could have fought Derek Anderson at Bellator 247 and criticized the veteran welterweight for saying otherwise. Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation President Michael Mazzulli told MMA Fighting Daley “was not going to fight, period” despite a deleted message from the welterweight slugger claiming he could still fight. The decision to pull Daley was initially made by Brandon Morris, Mazzulli’s chief inspector on site in Milan, Italy. Promotion officials announced the cancelation of the Bellator 247 main event after Daley was taken to an arena hospital before the ceremonial weigh-ins for Thursday’s fight card. The event, which airs on CBS Sports
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski wants one question answered: Who is ready to take the top contender spot? After successfully defending his title at UFC 251 against Max Holloway, Volkanovski finds himself in a position where there is no clear cut No. 1 contender at 145-pounds. So “The Great” is sitting back and eagerly waiting for the next contender. “I’ve been pretty vocal about that, like, what are these contenders doing,” Volkanovski told MMA Fighting on What the Heck. “I’m not the type to run my mouth, but I have to let them know: What are you guys doing? Do you want this shot or not? Just get that No. 1 contender spot and you’re in.
Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor | Esther Lin, MMA Fighting UFC President Dana White had some “fun stuff” planned for Conor McGregor in 2021, but it appears those plans are now off the table. While McGregor is still technically “retired,” White said just recently that he was working on something for the former two-division champion as he sought to get him back in action in the near future. Soon after McGregor touted a potential boxing match against Manny Pacquiao and most assumed that was the project White had been teasing. It turns out a boxing match was the furthest thing from his mind because White was plotting McGregor’s return while helping to relaunch The Ultimate Fighter reality series. According to White, he
Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC UFC middleweight champ Israel Adesanya on Wednesday took a blood test and did two MRI scans of his pituitary gland to diagnose a swollen and painful right pectoral muscle that prompted speculation at UFC 253. “I’ll wait for the results,” Adesanya told ESPN. “I might keep you posted, or I might people speculate. It’s kind of fun to watch people cry about it.” Adesanya’s online detractors immediately assumed the worst about his appearance at this past Saturday’s pay-per-view event, accusing him of steroid use. Even his rival, former light heavyweight kingpin Jon Jones, cast a sideways glance before his dominant win over Paulo Costa. Adesanya initially brushed off a question about his appearance, telling MMA Fighting
Conor McGregor | Esther Lin, MMA Fighting Your move, Dana White. Perhaps in response to the UFC president announcing on Wednesday that the UFC is attempting to arrange an official rematch between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier, “The Notorious” took to social media to share a poster for a previously proposed charity bout between him and Poirier apparently in the works for Dublin on Dec. 12. Martial art sparring match in aid of charity. Dublin, December 12th 2020. Free to air spar. McGregor vs Poirier. List of chosen charities available soon. All donations welcome ❤️ pic.twitter.com/cLfFbQ0IJF— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) September 30, 2020 The poster describes the bout with Poirier as a “martial art sparring match” that will be “free to air” with
Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC This is The A-Side Live Chat. For this episode, José Youngs, Esther Lin, and E. Casey Leydon react to some of the biggest stories in MMA. Some topics include: the fallout from UFC 253; Israel Adesanya’s successful title defense against Paulo Costa; “The Last Stylebender’s” celebration and post-fight comments; Jan Blachowicz’s first title win over Dominick Reyes; Jon Jones’ response to Poland’s first light heavyweight champion; this weekend’s main event between Holly Holm vs. Irene Aldana and more. Also on tap, the three will discuss Conor McGregor’s recent feud with Dana White, the rumored boxing match against Manny Pacquiao and the proposed charity fight against Dustin Poirier. There’s plenty to talk about, so join us at 1 p.m.
Elizeu Zaleski | Esther Lin, MMA Fighting The blockbuster UFC 254 card is down a fighter. MMA Fighting confirmed with people with knowledge of the situation that Elizeu Zaleski has suffered an injury that has forced him to withdraw from his upcoming welterweight matchup opposite Shavkat Rakhmonov on Oct. 24 in Abu Dhabi. Zaleski will undergo surgery to address the injury, which is an LCL tear in his right knee. The news was first reported by Ag. Fight. It is not yet known if the UFC will seek a replacement opponent for Rakhmonov. The unbeaten 25-year-old, who hails from Kazakhstan, was to make his octagon debut against Zalezki. All 12 of his pro victories have come by way of knockout or submission. This
The Great Divide is a recurring feature here at MMA Fighting in which two of our staff debate a topic in the world of MMA — whether it’s news, a fight, a crazy thing somebody did, a crazy thing somebody didn’t do, or some moral dilemma threatening the very foundation of the sport — and try to figure out a resolution. We’d love for you to join in the discussion in the comments below. As usual, Israel Adesanya’s latest exploits left everyone talking. And it wasn’t just about his phenomenal performance inside the octagon. Adesanya made short work of his most hated rival on Saturday at UFC 253 in Abu Dhabi, taking out Paulo Costa in just under nine minutes. The tensions
Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor | Esther Lin, MMA Fighting If Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier want to fight, the UFC appears willing to make it happen. After the lightweights essentially agreed to meet in a bout in Ireland for charity, UFC President Dana White said on Wednesday that the promotion has reached out with offers to both fighters. According to White, he still hasn’t personally spoken to McGregor since he engaged in a back-and-forth war of words with the Irish superstar after he posted screenshots of past conversations between them about possible fights and opponents. That said, White definitely seems interested in booking McGregor in a matchup against Poirier while adding that rumors about a potential boxing match with Manny Pacquiao
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting Germaine de Randamie feels she proved a lot in the five rounds she spent with the champ. The Dutch veteran lost a unanimous decision to Amanda Nunes in a bantamweight title fight at UFC 245 this past December, and though the scorecards were decidedly in Nunes’ favor, de Randamie doesn’t think they told the whole story. It was Nunes’ grappling that made the difference as she controlled the majority of the fight by grounding de Randamie, an elite kickboxer. At media day for UFC Fight Island 4 on Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, de Randamie talked about what she took away from that encounter and how she feels Nunes approached the contest. “The biggest lesson I learned about myself