Former UFC interim lightweight title challenger Kevin Lee is on a two-fight losing streak and has thus decided to change up camps.
After dropping his last fight to Rafael dos Anjos, in a bout that served as his welterweight debut, “The Motown Phenom” is now set to train at TriStar with Georges St-Pierre for his next fight.
“I just got done doing this crazy seven-week tour of going around to different camps,” Lee said in his appearance on Submission Radio. “I went to LA, I went to Phoenix, I went to Denver, I went to Montreal. I’m back in Vegas now.”
During his search, Lee realized it was Montreal and TriStar that suited him the best. Part of the reason was learning under Firas Zahabi who is considered one of the top coaches in MMA.
“(I went) to try and find that guy out there, that somebody who would really speak to me. And to be honest, I feel like I did in Montreal with Tristar and Firas Zahabi,” Lee said. “Just having him and being around him and getting to pick his brain and his mind and seeing how it works. I feel like that’s what I’ve been missing. I know that’s what I’ve been missing a little bit ever since my coach Robert Follis passed, I haven’t had that guy to really guide me and show me the correct way of what to do. I’ve just been kind of trying to listen to myself and figure I got it enough.”
Kevin Lee: GSP is ‘going to train with me a lot’
Another reason why he made the move is to train with one of the greatest fighters ever in Georges St-Pierre. Although Lee had called him out for a fight, he is now glad to be learning from him and continuing to grow as an MMA fighter.
“He understands it. We’re martial artists, we’re competitors,” Lee said. “If I’m not trying to push myself to the limit and I’m not trying to fight the best that’s out there, then I feel like he wouldn’t understand me as much. I think he’s got the same kind of fire in him.
“He’s going to train with me a lot. I feel like he’ll be another one of those great minds that I can kind of pick,” he added. “Seeing what makes him tick and what made him such a great champion, those are the things that I think will boost me to the next level.”
There’s no telling when Conor McGregor will return to the cage, but UFC president Dana White is confident that he will.
Not that White knows whom McGregor will face, but he apparently has ruled out two options for the former UFC two-division champ.
On Wednesday, white told TMZ that McGregor (21-4 MMA, 9-2 UFC) will not be facing either the winner of Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Dustin Poirier or Jorge Masvidal, who has called for an “easy” payday by fighting McGregor.
And so, if that’s truly the case, and those options are off the table, then who should McGregor fight when he returns? That was the question we asked for our latest Daily Debate.
The results (via Twitter), which were super close:
Today's #dailydebate question for @MMAjunkieRadio: Dana White ruled out the Khabib Nurmagomedov-Dustin Poirier #UFC242 winner, as well as Jorge Masvidal, as next #UFC options for Conor McGregor. So who should McGregor fight when he returns?
To hear the MMA Junkie Radio crew weigh in, watch the video above.
For more on upcoming UFC events, check out the UFC schedule.
MMA Junkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia, Brian “Goze” Garcia and Dan Tom. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio. You can also check out www.siriusxm.com/siriusxmfightnation.
SAN ANTONIO – The last time Alexander Hernandez was in the octagon, he had just been knocked out by Donald Cerrone.
About seven months later, Hernandez (10-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC) is slated to return to action against Brazil’s Francisco Trinaldo (23-6 MMA, 13-5 UFC) at UFC on ESPN 4 on Saturday night.
Hernandez, an assertive 26-year-old lightweight, has used the loss and subsequent time away to improve his mental approach to MMA as a whole. At a UFC on ESPN 4 media day held Thursday, Hernandez spoke with reporters and addressed the initial devastation of the loss and what knowledge he acquired as a result.
“It (bothered me) for a long time,” Hernandez told reporters, including MMA Junkie. “Especially (because) I see myself as the best. It’s not like I handle losses well. It’s not like I can go out and grab a beer afterwards and say, ‘Hey, good job, guys.’ It was a devastating loss. I don’t prepare myself ever expecting to lose. It was something I definitely had to go through a dark place to come out and see the light and grow from.
“No, I don’t dwell on that (expletive) at all anymore. I took everything I need to take from it. I think it probably happened at the best time of my career to have it happen – and against a worthy adversary. He taught me a lot in that fight. I learned a lot about myself. Every single time I step into the cage it’s ‘Me versus me, featuring whoever.’”
Saturday night, Trinaldo will serve as the “whoever” in Hernandez’s equation. In order to prevent transforming a loss into a losing streak, Hernandez said his biggest mental betterment has taking a calmer, more calculated approach.
“I have all the same skills,” Hernandez said. “They’ve just been refined, fine-tuned, and improved. But the way that I’m displaying them now at this cadence, rather than this blow-out pace of 120% out the gate. Having a professional pace to me, it changes absolutely everything. I’m in a much better place… I feel fantastic and it’s all putting the mental and physical together in a new approach to my fighting style. I really am in the best place I’ve ever been.”
Many viewers deemed the bout against Cerrone his breakthrough performance in the trash talk department, but Hernandez doesn’t see it that way. Trash talk or not, Hernandez said he’s being true to himself – and you shouldn’t expect that to change anytime soon.
“I didn’t lose an ounce of confidence from that last fight,” Hernandez said. “I bring that heat, because that’s who I am. I’m not trying to be a good guy, a bad guy, I’m just trying to be me. You can interpret that however the (expletive) you can interpret that, am I right?
“… But I can say confidently every single time somebody asks me how I’m going to do, I’m going to kill it. I’m going to murk this guy out and I’m going to do what I do best. That’s the thing about my, ‘trash talk.’ I’m not calling people out from left field (or) right field. You’re in my lane. You’re in my scope of business. I’m going to tell you how I handle my business. That’s all it is.”
UFC on ESPN 4 takes place Saturday at AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. The card airs on ESPN.
Max Holloway believes he’s the gold standard of mixed martial arts in Canada.
Holloway is proud to hail from Hawaii, but he’s expressed his love for Canada as well. He often refers to the country as the “10th Island.” He’ll put his featherweight gold on the line against Frankie Edgar in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada on July 27. The bout will headline UFC 240.
A media luncheon was held to promote UFC 240. During the session, a reporter said there’s a lot of talk that Canada no longer has their face of MMA with Georges St-Pierre retired. Holloway jokingly took exception (video via MMAFighting).
So, who's the face of the #UFC in Canada? Featherweight champ @BlessedMMA says you're looking at him.
“You are wrong, you’re looking at him.” Holloway said. “You know, we’ll see what happens. We call it the 10th island, but Canadians I got nothing but for love for them man. They got nothing but love for me. It was Canada Day the other day. I don’t know if you saw the meme [of] famous or successful MMA fighters. Had four guys – GSP, Rory MacDonald, I don’t know who the other one was, and then there was me. So you Canadians I love you guys, eh?”
Holloway has been on quite a roll, winning 13 of his last 14 outings. Holloway fell short in his bid to capture interim lightweight gold, losing to Dustin Poirier via unanimous decision. It’s Holloway’s first loss since Aug. 2013. Since the fight was contested at 155 pounds, “Blessed” didn’t have his featherweight title up for grabs.
Do you think Max Holloway’s popularity in Canada warrants him being dubbed the face of MMA in the country?