Dana White on Johnny Walker UFC 244 loss: You can’t ‘goof around like that’

Dana White and Johnny Walker - UFC 244 post-fight

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Dana White had some advice for the upcoming UFC star Johnny Walker, who was stopped dead in his tracks by an angry man on a mission in Corey Anderson at UFC 244.


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UFC on ESPN+ 22: Blachowicz vs. Jacare Live Results

Tune to MMAWeekly.com for full UFC on ESPN+ 22 live results on Saturday, Nov. 16, as Jan Blachowicz welcomes Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza to the light heavyweight division in the main event.

Dana White changes his tune on Israel Adesanya vs Yoel Romero fight

UFC president Dana White has done a U-turn when it comes to a potential UFC Middleweight Championship bout between Israel Adesanya and Yoel Romero.

Adesanya is coming off of a tremendous win at UFC 243 in Melbourne where he was able to stop Robert Whittaker and become the undisputed UFC Middleweight Champion. Ever since then there have been questions asked regarding what the next step will be for “The Last Stylebender”, especially after Paulo Costa’s injury problems put him out of the running for a title shot.

The attention turned towards Yoel Romero, and while Dana White initially seemed hesitant about the idea of pairing these two up together, it appears as if that’s no longer the case.

“He wants Romero and I respect that”.

Those are the short and sweet words of White who reportedly spoke with Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports about what’s next for Adesanya (h/t Jed I. Goodman).

With Romero having lost three of his last four fights, many fans called into question whether or not it was a bit unfair to have Romero jump to the front of the line and go after Adesanya. Of course, a lot of people also wonder how many of those three defeats should’ve actually stood given how close they were.

The other contenders in the division at this moment in time include Jared Cannonier and Darren Till, but both seemingly need another fight or two before the UFC commits to putting them in there with Adesanya. Robert Whittaker, on the other hand, is looking to bounce back from his aforementioned defeat to the champion and almost certainly won’t receive an immediate rematch.

White will be well aware of Adesanya’s growing star power within the world of mixed martial arts, and it’ll be interesting to see how he handles that as his undisputed title reign continues.

Who do you want to see Israel Adesanya fight next?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/12/2019.  

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Sage Northcutt reacts to Dana White’s retirement suggestion

ONE Championship star Sage Northcutt has given his thoughts on UFC president Dana White’s suggestion that he should consider retiring from mixed martial arts.

Northcutt officially signed with ONE nearly a year ago now after parting ways with the Ultimate Fighting Championship. His first fight with the promotion took place at May at ONE Championship: Enter the Dragon, where he was knocked out by Cosmo Alexandre in just 29 seconds. The knockout led to the youngster sustaining eight fractures in his face, leading to a nine-hour surgery after the fight.

During an interview with MMA Fighting, Northcutt questioned some previous comments from his former boss White in which he said “Super Sage” should hang up the gloves.

“For him to say something like that, after that injury, I don’t understand the exact logic of why he would say something like that,” Northcutt said. “Before, he was wishing me to do great in everything I happened to do in the future, and (to) say something like that is totally different.

“I’m sure he’s had a few fighters from the UFC go to ONE Championship and I’m sure he—I’m not sure what exactly he wants to see from those fighters, but I’m sure he would like them to be fighting for his league. Me fighting for ONE Championship is great, and I think I’m gonna accomplish great things.”

At the age of just 23 it seems like Northcutt has a long future in the sport if that’s the path he decides to take, but it certainly makes sense for fans to be concerned about his long-term health following such a serious injury.

It appears as if he’ll continue to rest and recuperate before getting back into the swing of MMA training, but one thing is for sure: retirement isn’t on his mind right now.

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/11/2019.  

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UFC exec shoots down the idea of children fighting in the Octagon

UFC executive David Shaw shot down the idea of children ever fighting inside the Octagon at the UFC Moscow post-fight press conference.

The UFC held another successful event in Moscow, this one headlined by rising Russian featherweight star Zabit Magomedsharipov defeating American Calvin Kattar by unanimous decision in a “Fight of the Night.” In the co-main event, Alexander Volkov defeated Greg Hardy to retain his status as a top heavyweight contender. But it’s what a reporter asked in the post-fight presser that drew a lot of criticism online amongst fellow media and fans.

A reporter asked David Shaw — who was presiding over the press conference due to the absence of UFC president White — if the promotion would ever consider the idea of kids fighting in the UFC. Here’s how the exchange went down (h/t Jed I. Goodman).

“The UFC used to say they would never have women fighting. Now they have women fighting sometimes on the main cards. So will there ever be kids fighting in the UFC? Cause there are kids’ fights in other challenges,” the reporter said.

“Children fighting in the UFC? No, we won’t have children fighting in the UFC,” Shaw said.

It’s a ridiculous question and one that has understandably led to online backlash to the reporter from fans and fellow media members. The thought of comparing women fighting in the UFC to children is ludicrous, though the reporter did bring up the fair point that Dana White used to say women would never fight in the UFC and now they are a huge part of it. Still, it was a bad question and the reporter has been understandably getting trashed for asking it.

At the same time, there have been children’s MMA fights in parts of Russia, so perhaps that’s where the reporter was coming from with his question. Still, it wasn’t an intelligent question to ask at a UFC post-fight press conference, and Shaw didn’t seem too pleased with it, as you could judge by his reaction to it.

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Dana White confirms discussions are underway for Alexander Gustafsson comeback

Dana White says that Alexander Gustafsson plans on coming out of retirement to fight again.

The Swedish fighter last fought in June when he was defeated by Anthony Smith via fourth-round submission. Prior to that, “The Mauler” was TKO’d by light heavyweight champion Jon Jones in the third round.

Following these back-to-back losses, the Swedish fighter was forced to reconsider his career and subsequently announced his retirement in front of his home crowd.

Now the UFC President confirms that the light heavyweight’s retirement was short-lived. During the UFC 244 post-fight press conference, White revealed that discussions are underway with Gustafsson regarding an Octagon return.

“We definitely talked to him and he definitely wants to fight again,” White said.

When asked if he had a timeframe, White responded:

“No.”

Gustafsson is taking the appropriate steps to get back into competition and will take part in a no-gi grappling match on December 11 in Gothenburg, Sweden. During an interview with (MMA Junkie), “The Mauler” confirmed he is ready to get back to action.

“I got the itching back when I started training, but I am not prepared for a full MMA camp yet,” Gustafsson said.

“I also need to work on my grappling so this [upcoming competition] is perfect, and that I get the chance to do it at home in a town I haven’t been competing at for a long time.

“My competition mind is always there and I would lie if I said this is not the first step but let’s see what happens. Anything can happen but I am sure that when it happens, I will be the best I’ve ever been.”

Gustafsson added that he needed a break to rediscover his love for competition.

“I believe I needed to do honestly [take a break]. I believe that you sometimes need to take a break to realize what you have and that is not only meant for sports only but life in general.”

How do you think Alexander Gustafsson will look in his return to the cage?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/6/2019. 

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UFC President explains why 2020 will be an “exciting year” for Francis Ngannou

UFC president Dana White has predicted that a big year lies ahead for heavyweight contender Francis Ngannou in 2020.

“The Predator” is coming off the back of a strong twelve-month period in which he was able to finish Curtis Blaydes, Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos, all within less than 80 seconds of the first round getting underway. Many fans have been calling for him to get another title shot, with his last attempt at winning the UFC Heavyweight Championship ending in defeat when he lost to Stipe Miocic at UFC 220 in January 2018.

Now, in a recent interview with TMZ Sports, Dana White has made it clear that the future is bright for Ngannou.

“Yeah, exciting year for Francis, too, because, not only big fights for him, and potential title fight, but France,” he said. “We finally got France done. We’ve been working hard for a long time to get that place open for MMA, and we’ll do a fight there that, obviously, Francis will probably headline.”

White had the following to say when asked about who Ngannou’s next opponent would be.

“I don’t know right now. I don’t know. I don’t have an answer to that question right now.”

Quotes courtesy of LowKick MMA

One thing that has become clear throughout the course of the last year is just how much of a commodity Francis Ngannou is to not only the UFC, but the mixed martial arts community as a whole. His thrilling style and insane knockout ability have led to him defeating some of the very best heavyweight stars in the history of this sport, and it doesn’t seem like he’s going to be slowing down any time soon.

Now, Ngannou will get the chance to make history as he prepares for the UFC’s highly anticipated arrival over in France.

This article first appeared on BJPENN.com November 5, 2019

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MMA veteran Phil Baroni shares similar scars to Nate Diaz but his payday pales in comparison

MMA veteran Phil Baroni feels that his battle scars from fighting match up to those of Nate Diaz, but the New York native has never received the same payouts compared to the recent “BMF” contender.

On Saturday, in the main event of UFC 244, Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz put their reputations on the line in a BMF title fight. “Gamebred” delivered accurate and powerful strikes to maintain dominance. Meanwhile, Nate Diaz ate some killer kicks and punches, but continued to rally and push forward with his own offence.

The fight ended with a controversial doctor’s stoppage win for Masvidal, which some viewers deemed premature. However, every cloud has a silver lining, as both fighters were paid handsomely for their efforts in the Octagon.

The fight caused a moment of reflection for Phil Baroni. In an emotional post on Instagram, the 43-year old divulged some of the hardships he has had to endure throughout his career.

Baroni has competed in MMA more than 30 times — not to mention his kickboxing matches and bare knuckle fights — and has utilized his KO power to achieve nearly 70% of his wins. Some of those wins have come against legends like Dave Menne, Yuki Kondo, Ryo Chonan and Ikuhisa Minowa. His long-standing career and show-stopping performances make him one of the OG BMFs.

However, the MMA legend says his paydays are a fraction of what is paid out to fighters in 2019.

“Some guys fight to live. I live to fight @bjpenn. It brings a tear to my eye cause somewhere, somebody made millions for the same battle scars & got to fight in my hometown. In fact I was the first @ufc fight @danawhite ever promoted @trumpcasinos in AC UFC 30 Battle on the Boardwalk. Same board walk I fucked my 1st hooker on in 11thg grade anyway. Back to the story, @thegarden where my cousin Charlie Boy took me to see @hulkhogan & my uncle capt Lou Albano. I made $139 in a 3rd world country for the same result & same battle scars. But I was winning the whole fight. Still beats a 9 to 5 #realfighter #livingthedream #nyba #besteva” – Phil Baroni on Instagram.

Fighter pay has become a contentious issue in MMA. Since the early days of the UFC, many fighter have been left feeling undervalued. Dan Hardy, Urijah Faber, Al Iaquinta, Brendan Schaub, and Jon Fitch among many others have been vocal about the situation.

MMA has evolved rapidly since its early days, and its earlier stars — men like Phil Baroni — have had to bear the brunt of negligible pay checks whilst still putting their health on the line to fight. Do you think the UFC needs to do more to look after its veterans? Let us know in the comments below.

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/5/2019. 

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