Max Holloway still wants Khabib Nurmagomedov fight

UFC featherweight champ Max Holloway and UFC lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov were briefly scheduled to battle for the lightweight title in early 2018. Unfortunately, this super fight never materialized.

That being said, Holloway still wants it, and is still optimistic it will happen.

While Nurmagomedov has recently beaten Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor — two men Holloway has lost to — the Hawaiian likes his chances against the Russian.

“We don’t know, none of them is me, I’m not them,” Holloway told Yahoo Sports (via South China Morning Post). “Khabib is Khabib. I wish it happened.

“Khabib is on his way to being one of greatest to ever do it. I plan on being one of the greatest to ever do it. I’m sure we’re gonna meet,” Holloway added. “As long as my goal and his goal is the same, we’re gonna run into each other some time, and that’s being the greatest fighter of all time.

“We’ll see what happens. That fight excites me. There’s fights that raises lots of questions for someone, and he raises lots of questions. Hopefully we get to fight and find out the answers.”

Max Holloway is currently days out from a high-stakes featherweight title defense opposite Australian juggernaut Alexander Volkanovski. This bout with the absurdly strong Volkanovski, which will co-headline UFC 245 on Saturday in Las Vegas, could provide Holloway with some useful experience for a future fight with a powerful grappler like Nurmagomedov.

Nurmagomedov, meanwhile, is currently scheduled to defend his lightweight belt opposite Tony Ferguson in April. This matchup has been scheduled four times previously to no avail, but the hope is that the fifth time is the charm.

Do you want to see Max Holloway and Khabib Nurmagomedov fight in the future? Who do you think would win?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 12/10/2019.  

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VIDEO | GOAT Amanda Nunes does photoshoot with… a herd of goats

Amanda Nunes is widely considered the Greatest of All Time (GOAT) in women’s MMA. So why wouldn’t she do a photoshoot with a herd of actual goats? In video obtained by TMZ Sports, we can see Nunes doing just that. Watch it below:

Amanda Nunes currently holds the UFC women’s featherweight and bantamweight titles. She’s currently gearing up to defend the latter against former UFC featherweight champ Germaine de Randamie at UFC 245, which goes down this Saturday in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Nunes’ time as a UFC champion began in 2016, when she swiped the UFC bantamweight title from Miesha Tate with a bloody, first-round submission win. She has since defended that belt four consecutive times, with impressive victories over highly regarded foes in Ronda Rousey, Valentina Shevchenko, Raquel Pennington, and Holly Holm.

Between her victories over Pennington and Holm, Nunes also stepped up to the featherweight division, where she famously knocked out Cris Cyborg — who had not lost in well over a decade — to capture the UFC featherweight belt.

Coincidentally, Amanda Nunes was just hailed as the GOAT by her former foe Miesha Tate, who is regarded as one of the best female fighters ever in her own right.

“For me, it’s been Amanda Nunes,” Tate told MMA Junkie when asked who she considered the greatest female fighter ever. “She’s just on another level. She’s super legitimate. She hits like a ton of bricks. And it’s just incredible what she’s been able to do with the bantamweight division and what she’s done dipping her toes in the featherweight division. Really, the way she took out Cyborg was so mind-blowing. It was very impressive.

“I think for me that would be an easy pick,” Tate concluded in her praise of Nunes.

Catch the GOAT Amanda Nunes back in action at UFC 245 this Saturday. The card will also feature two other title fights, as Max Holloway attempts to defend the men’s featherweight belt against Alexander Volkanovski, and welterweight champion Kamaru Usman attempts to defend his belt against Colby Covington.

This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 12/10/2019. 

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Miesha Tate makes her pick for the GOAT of women’s MMA

Who is the greatest female MMA fighter of all time? In the eyes of former UFC bantamweight champion Miesha Tate, who is one of the most accomplished female fighters ever herself, that’s “an easy pick” to make.

In Tate’s eyes, there’s no question that the GOAT of women’s MMA is reigning UFC bantamweight and featherweight champion Amanda Nunes.

“For me, it’s been Amanda Nunes,” Tate told MMA Junkie. “She’s just on another level. She’s super legitimate. She hits like a ton of bricks. And it’s just incredible what she’s been able to do with the bantamweight division and what she’s done dipping her toes in the featherweight division. Really, the way she took out Cyborg was so mind-blowing. It was very impressive.

“I think for me that would be an easy pick.”

Tate, of course, is well acquainted with Nunes. The pair fought at UFC 200 in July of 2016, with Tate’s bantamweight title on the line. In this fight, Nunes put forth a dominant performance, smashing Tate with punches and ultimately submitting her in the first round.

Since then, Nunes has defended the title against Ronda Rousey, Valentina Shevchenko, Raquel Penning, and most recently Holly Holm. She also moved up to the featherweight division, where she knocked out Cris Cyborg — who had not lost in over a decade — to add a second UFC belt to her mantle.

Given that Tate, Rousey, Shevchenko, Cyborg and Holm are all frequently mentioned amongst the greatest female fighters ever, it should come as no surprise that Nunes, who has beaten all of them, is widely viewed as the best of greatest of all.

Nunes will return to the cage this Saturday at UFC 245 in Las Vegas, where she’ll look to defend her bantamweight belt against former featherweight champ Germaine de Randamie.

Tate is currently retired from competition, and is working as an executive and commentator for ONE Championship in Singapore.

Do you agree with Miesha Tate on this one? Is Amanda Nunes the GOAT?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 12/10/2019. 

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Colby Covington makes promise to Donald Trump ahead of UFC 245

Top UFC welterweight contender Colby Covington is an outspoken Donald Trump supporter, and even met the United States President after a 2018 interim title win over Rafael dos Anjos.

As Covington makes his final preparations for his UFC 245-headlining welterweight title fight with undisputed champion Kamaru Usman, which goes down this Saturday in Las Vegas, he’s decided to promise Trump another UFC title win.

Covington did so on the first episode the UFC Embedded series for UFC 245.

“There’s no way I don’t bring this world title back to them in the Oval Office,” Covington said. “Trump, I’ve got a new belt for you. I’m bringing it to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. I ain’t gonna let you down.”

Colby Covington will enter his welterweight title fight with Kamaru Usman on a seven-fight win-streak, highlighted by triumphs over the likes of Dong Hyun Kim, Demian Maia, former UFC lightweight champ Rafael dos Anjos, and most recently, former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler. He’s currently 15-1 overall.

Usman, coincidentally, has the exact same overall record. The champion hasn’t lost since his second pro bout. He’s gone a perfect 10-0 in the UFC, most notably beating Leon Edwards, Demian Maia, Rafael dos Anjos, and Tyron Woodley, who he thumped to win the UFC welterweight belt earlier this year.

In addition to his 2018 visit with Donald Trump, Covington’s fights have also been attended by the first family. Trump himself also attended the November UFC 244 fight in New York, and also congratulated Tito Ortiz on his recent victory over Alberto Del Rio. Suffice it to say that the President is a fight fan.

Do you think Colby Covington will make good on his promise to Donald Trump at UFC 245 this weekend?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 12/9/2019. 

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Former UFC title challenger Thiago Alves issues statement after latest loss

Over the weekend, on the undercard of the UFC’s latest stop in Washington, D.C., former UFC welterweight title challenger Thiago Alves suffered a tough, submission loss to Tim Means. It was his fourth loss in his last five fights.

Speaking on Instagram on Sunday, Alves issued a poignant statement on this latest setback.

Despite his recent rough patch, Alves says he still has plenty of gas left in the tank.

View this post on Instagram

The fighting game! I chose this life and I put it all on the line every time I step in that octagon, so no regrets here. This is definitely not the outcome I wanted and worked so hard for. But one of the reasons I love mma is bc just like in life, you don’t always get what you want. It’s very honest and pure! I’m thankful for the opportunity to literally fight for my dreams and the life that I want. I like to thank my team @americantopteam all my coaches and teammates for the amazing work we do. My beautiful wife @mrsalves for putting up with me and my crazy lifestyle. And to all my true fans for the unconditional support, I thank you. I’m not done yet, I still got a lotta fight left in me. Let’s see where this crazy journey takes me next. Osss 👊🏽🙏🏼🇧🇷🇧🇷🇧🇷🇧🇷🇧🇷🇧🇷🇧🇷🇧🇷 O jogo da luta! Eu escolhi essa vida e coloco tudo em risco toda vez que entro naquele octógono, então não me arrependo. Definitivamente, este não é o resultado que eu queria e trabalhei tanto. Mas uma das razões pelas quais eu amo mma é exatamente como na vida, você nem sempre consegue o que deseja. É muito honesto e puro! Sou grato pela oportunidade de literalmente lutar pelos meus sonhos e pela vida que quero. Gosto de agradecer à minha equipe @americantopteam a todos os meus treinadores e colegas de equipe pelo trabalho incrível que fazemos. Minha linda esposa @mrsalves por tolerar comigo e meu estilo de vida louco. E a todos os meus verdadeiros fãs pelo apoio incondicional, agradeço. Ainda não terminei, ainda tenho muita luta em mim. Vamos ver para onde esta jornada louca me leva a seguir. Osss 👊🏽🙏🏼

A post shared by Thiago 'Pitbull' Alves 🇧🇷🇺🇸 (@thiagoalvesatt) on

“The fighting game! I chose this life and I put it all on the line every time I step in that octagon, so no regrets here. This is definitely not the outcome I wanted and worked so hard for. But one of the reasons I love mma is bc just like in life, you don’t always get what you want. It’s very honest and pure,” Alves wrote. “I’m thankful for the opportunity to literally fight for my dreams and the life that I want. I like to thank my team @americantopteam all my coaches and teammates for the amazing work we do. My beautiful wife @mrsalves for putting up with me and my crazy lifestyle. And to all my true fans for the unconditional support, I thank you. I’m not done yet, I still got a lotta fight left in me. Let’s see where this crazy journey takes me next. Osss.”.

Prior to his loss to Means, Alves lost a decision to Laureano Staropoli. This setback was preceded by a close decision win over Max Griffin, a decision loss to Alexey Kunchenko, and a knockout loss to Curtis Millender.

Alves challenged Georges St-Pierre for the UFC welterweight title at the historic UFC 100 card in 2009. He’s competed inside the UFC’s Octagon a whopping 27 times. Now 36 years old, he’s 32-15 overall as a mixed martial artist.

What do you think the future hold for Thiago Alves after his loss to Tim Means?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 12/9/2019. 

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Daniel Cormier believes Miocic trilogy fight could be a ways off

Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic are currently 1-1 across two previous fights, and the expectation is that they’ll meet in a tie-breaking trilogy fight in the near future. The date for this trilogy fight, however, is still a mystery.

Speaking to MMA Junkie, Cormier shed a bit of light on the timeframe for this fight. He believes that, as the UFC’s calendar for the first quarter of 2020 is filling up, there might not be time for his tie-breaker with Miocic until at least June.

“There’s no time for us to fight until maybe June,” Cormier said. “The way the UFC quarterly schedule is looking, the UFC essentially, with them announcing Tony (Ferguson) and Khabib (Nurmagomedov) for April, there’s really no time. We’re going to be waiting a little bit.

Cormier added that he’s starting to feel physically ready for his third fight with Miocic, who now owns the UFC heavyweight title, but that he’ll defer to his rival as the date for the fight is decided upon.

“It’s tricky,” Cormier said. “I would like it to happen sooner than later, that’s all I would like to say. I feel like the more time I get away from last year’s back surgery, the better I feel, and I’m starting to really feel like myself now. The further I get away from this surgery, the better I’ll be. They told me when I did it, after about a year is when it would really start to feel everything was back in order and I’m starting to feel that now.

“I’m ready to go, but he’s the champ. He’s the champ, he makes the rules,” Cormier added. “So I’m on standby and I’m waiting to see when this guy says that we’re going to fight. When he does, I’ll be prepared. I’ll be ready – even more prepared than the last time because I feel I can prepare better from the very start right now.”

Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic first met in July of 2018. On that occasion, Cormier swiped the heavyweight title from Miocic with a first-round knockout. Just over a year later, in August of 2019, Miocic reclaimed the title and avenged his previous loss with a fourth-round TKO of Cormier.

Cormier, like most fans, is pleased with the rivalry so far, and excited to write its final chapter.

“I think Stipe and I have a fantastic rivalry,” Cormier said. “I won the first fight in tremendous fashion, he won the second fight in tremendous fashion. I feel like we’ve had the first two acts of a three-act drama and we have to do the trilogy fight and eventually we’re going to do that.”

How do you see a rematch between these two heavyweight legends going?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 12/9/2019. 

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Jorge Masvidal lays out his retirement plans

2019 has been a huge year for Jorge Masvidal. He intends to keep that momentum going in 2020, win the UFC welterweight title, and retire in then next three years.

Masvidal laid out his retirement plans in an interview with MMA Mania.

“Before I close the next chapter and go on to whatever the fuck in my life, I’m gonna get that belt and whoever has it, I’m gonna take their head off,” Masvidal said. “Then I’m gonna defend that belt and I’m gonna kick whoever they put in front of me’s ass. I’m gonna separate myself from the pack by eliminating people by having somebody stop me from doing further damage.

“I got about three years left, then I’ll hang up the gloves comfortably,” Masvidal added. “Not because I need to, but because I want to. I’ll have enough money and everything I wanted to accomplish in these three years. It’s more of a matter of who’s going to bring me the most money in this next fight.”

Masvidal began 2019 on a two-fight losing-streak, having come up short against Demian Maia and Stephen Thompson in a pair of 2017 bouts. He emerged from his lengthy layoff and erased the memory of those losses in the most emphatic fashion possible.

First, he knocked out former UFC welterweight title challenger Darren Till with a blistering one-punch KO in March. Then, he handed Ben Askren his first professional loss with a five-second flying knee knockout in July — the fastest KO in UFC history. Most recently, in November, Masvidal captured the first-ever BMF title with a dominant stoppage victory over fellow fan favorite Nate Diaz.

Jorge Masvidal has been competing as a professional mixed martial artist since 2003. In that time, he’s competed in the Bellator, Strikeforce and UFC cages and authored a long list of wins over top-flight foes.

What do you think he’ll accomplish in the final three years of his career?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 12/9/2019. 

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