CM Punk Returns to UFC for a Huge Fight

CM Punk is making his return to UFC after a year and a half off to face Mike Jackson. Read below to find out more.

CM Punk’s Background

A longtime WWE wrestler, Punk decided to try his hand at MMA a few years ago. He is originally from Chicago, IL, where he he also fights. He took on Mickey Gall on September 10, 2016, serving as his introduction to the UFC world, quite different from what he previously knew.

The interesting thing about that being the date of the fight, was that he was already 37 years of age before ever even attempting this, making an interesting career move at such an old age. Well, clearly, he wanted to change it up and try something new, and Punk is ready to go back to work this coming June, as he, now 39 years of age, takes on 33-year old Mike Jackson.

Mike Jackson’s Background:

Originally from Houston, Texas, Jackson shares a nickname with Paul Pierce, being called “The Truth”. At 33 years of age, Jackson also lacks a background in fighting, as this will be just his second career bout. He’s a photographer as well as a videographer for Legacy FC. He dreamt for a very long time of making it to the UFC, from the first day he started training while attending classes at the University of Houston.

Jackson, like CM Punk, made his professional fighting debut against Mickey Gall, though his fight came eight months prior. Jackson has not had a fight in over 26 months, and that figure will end up at 28 months without a fight before he takes on Punk. It will be interesting to see how both of these fighters perform after such long layoffs.

Who should be favored?

Well, considering that both fighters have very little background in this sport, it’s a little tough to make a prediction on who will be coming out on top. But, somebody will ultimately walk away with victory. It’s relatively rare to see two fighters in their 30’s, each with only one fight under their belt, and albeit, that one fight being against the same person.

Mickey Gall is the common opponent for both of these guys, and he defeated both of them via submission in the opening round. In CM Punk’s case, he’s very used to being physical, so how wrestling background should come into play and give him a slight advantage.

Mike Jackson on the other hand, with his background in kickboxing, is a lot more nimble than his opponent. He may be able to move around the octagon and go in for more blows, and can do so from relatively far away.

This being said, it should be Jackson, six years younger than his opponent, and more of a ‘fighter’ than a ‘wrestler’, that has the edge when the fight does happen.

Relevance of the fight:

We’ve seen a number of times where somebody went from UFC to WWE, or vice versa. Seeing CM Punk, who has a huge following, try his hand at something new is something that many people can appreciate. He’s fighting for just the second time in his career, but this could be extremely important to his future.

Mike Jackson has trained his whole life to be in this moment, and 28 months since his last night, he will need to be prepared. It’s a feel good story to see a guy his age finally getting a good chance in the octagon.

Be sure to watch this fight on PPV, as Mike Jackson takes on CM Punk at UFC Chicago on June 9!

UFC Fighter Conor McGregor in a Little Hot Water in Brooklyn

Conor McGregor made a surprise visit to a UFC press conference yesterday with his entourage. It didn’t go very well. Find out why below:

What exactly happened

Conor McGregor, not supposed to be in attendance for UFC 223, showed up for the event yesterday. He had gotten into a dispute with Khabib Nurmagomedov at a hotel in Brooklyn, and he then went to track him down. He wanted to handle this publicly, it would have seemed.

McGregor & co. did this by storming the Barclays center in search of him. What would end up happening would be a lot more than anybody could have foreseen. He picked up a guard rail and threw it at a bus window, which ended up shattering into many pieces.

This incident that lead to the shattered bus window broke the hand of a UFC employee, and it also ended up with glass being all over Michael Chiesa and Ray Borg. Borg has been hospitalized due to eye trouble while Chiesa had to go to get some minor cuts treated. This all happened because McGregor seems to greatly enjoy being in the public eye and not settling anything in private.

Implications of what happened

Conor McGregor, since these events occurred, has been charged with assault and he has since been taken into custody. It’s safe to say that he won’t be fighting in the UFC for quite some time. Both Michael Chiesa and Ray Borg’s fights, supposed to take place at UFC 223 this weekend, have now been cancelled due to the injuries the two suffered in this incident.

Over an incident they had no control over and really couldn’t stop, they have lost their opportunity to not only fight, but they won’t get their checks because these bouts are no longer able to happen. A quote from UFC executive Reed Harris on this incident, “I thought we were going to die.”

McGregor may have put his entire future in question while negatively effecting that of a lot of fellow fighters. This may permanently alter the career of Ray Borg, and the cuts on Michael Chiesa could take a while to heal. Turning himself in to the police after in the incident, everybody is waiting to hear what happens next.

What this means for McGregor

He’s been going back and forth with Floyd Mayweather over the past few months, who has been training to try and come out of retirement to fight in the UFC. After McGregor went into Floyd’s house, in boxing, he wanted the cross over to an MMA bout to happen to. Well, there could be a chance that we have seen the last of Conor McGregor in the octagon.

It would seem that an incident like this would be unable to be isolated, especially considering who it involved. McGregor has always been very intense, and public with how feels about things, and he must have really been enraged at Nurmagomedov for their dispute earlier. Dana White said he believed that he was on “drugs”, and Nurmagomedov also replied by saying “You want to talk to me? Send me a location.”

We won’t be hearing from the Irishman for quite some time, after these actions. He’ll be out for quite some time, as we wait to hear what legal action will be taken as a result. There will be no Floyd-Conor match any time soon.

Follow along with the news as this story continues to develop.

UFC Heads to Liverpool for Exciting Action

The UFC is stopping in Liverpool this May, and is being headlined by Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson vs. 16-0-1 Darren Till. Read below to find out more about both fighters!

Darren Till:

The welterweight is currently ranked as the No. 7 fighter in the welterweight class, and has not been defeated in seventeen fights. Nicknamed, “The Gorilla” the young man’s pro career could not have gotten off to a better start. He dominated Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone at UFC Fight Night 118 back in November and this will be his first bout since then.

It will be a homecoming for Till, was born and raised, and still fights in Liverpool. His significant strike percentage is up at 52.35, and when he gets going, his opponent is always in a tough position.

Stephen Thompson:

The Wonder Boy is a bit older than his opponent Darren Till, as he’s 35 and Till is just 25. He enters this fight with a career record of 14-2-1, with his last fight being a unanimous decision victory over Jorge Masdival at UFC Fight Night 217 at Madison Square Garden last November. The Simpsonville, South Carolina native is currently ranked as #1 in the welterweight class.

His attacking is not quite as good as his opponent, but comes in with a significant strike percentage of 44.1. The one area where Thompson could have an advantage is with his experience. Both fighters enter with seventeen fights under their belt, but with Thompson being 10 years older, he’s seen more, and has learned more in the additional years he has had.

Why to pick Till:

  • He’s young, allusive, and is phenomenal when he’s going in with the hard blows
  • He’s yet to lose a fight in his career, and really, still, being ranked #7, has nowhere to go but up
  • He’ll be fighting in his hometown and any time he gets a chance to attack, the crowd will be behind him

Why to pick Thompson:

  • He’s ten years older than his opponent, has been around the game longer, has seen more
  • Has a very solid significant strike percentage, and when he goes in, trouble follows
  • He’ll be fighting as a visitor against Till and will feel the chip on his shoulder, can use that to come out strong early and silence the crowd

Why not to pick Till:

  • His youth could serve as a disadvantage when facing a guy with the experience of Thompson
  • May get a little too comfortable due to the fact that he’s fighting in his hometown
  • Absorbs a number of significant strikes, and if he takes any blows from the Wonder Boy, he will be in deep trouble.

Why not to pick Thompson:

  • While his older age can serve as an advantage, it could also slow him down and Till being ten years younger may get the chance to land more blows
  • He won his last fight on decision and not knockout, and it will be tough to win the same way this time
  • He absorbs a few significant strikes per match, and that could put him at a disadvantage

It should be an exciting fight on May 17 when these two square off. Follow along as we’ll be posting an MMA related article every Friday!

UFC Fight Night 129: UFC Takes Chile

For the first time in MMA history, the UFC is headed to Chile for UFC Fight Night 129! Check out a little preview of the match between Shogun Rua and Volkan Oezdemir, happening on May 19.

Backgrounds of the fighters for UFC Fight Night 129

Mauricio “Shogun” Rua: After starting off his career very strong, Rua hit a cold spell. He fell to Jon Jones at UFC 128, and followed that loss by losing six of his next nine bouts. He went over seven years after that without winning consecutive fights.

Now, he comes in to this fight having won three consecutive fights in a row, defeating Gian Villante, Corey Anderson, and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. He’s fought just three times in the past three years however, and has amassed consecutive wins for the for the first time since 2009. This will be his first fight since March of 2017.

Volkan Oezdemir

He comes in to this fight with a 15-2 career record, and going 3-1 in four fights in UFC. He fell to Daniel Cormier in the UFC 220 title fight back in January, which came on the heels of a victory over Jim Manuwa at UFC 214 and Misha Cirkunov at Fight Night 109.

He’ll end up with a few months off between his last fight and this one, giving him ample time to prepare. This will be the first time Oezdemir fights against Rua.

Career accolades for both of the fighters

Rua:
. 25-10 record in his career as a fighter, 9-8 in UFC
. 20 wins by TKO, 1 by submission, 4 by decision
. His last loss came back in November of 2014 to Ovince Saint Preux
. Currently ranked as the 13th best fighter
. Was called the “Greatest Light Heavyweight of all time” in article from Bloody Elbow in November

Oezdemir:
. 15-2 career record as a fighter, he is 3-1 in his 4 previous UFC fights.
. Currently ranked as 7th best fighter
. 11 wins by TKO, 1 by submission, 3 by decision
. His last loss to Daniel Cormier snapped a 5-match win streak that spanned from September of 2014 to July of 2017

Overview of the Bout

Both of these fighters possess great talent and will surely be going head-to-head from start to finish when they meet in a few shorts months. As noted above, both fighters have very impressive track records and pack quite a punch. This is a fight, based on the numbers, that seems as if it will end with a TKO.

One of the main stats that will go against Rua, is the fact that he has only done one fight per year over each of the past three. He’s facing a very tough competitor in Volkan Oezdemir, who is also eight years younger than him. He needs to stray from getting worn down and pace himself through the fight.

Oezdemir, with his impressive track record and all, is ranked as the second-best fighter on the slate for the Chile opener. Being eight years younger than Rua, he needs to go to work early in the bout. If he comes out going hard at his opponent who has been out of the ring for 14 months, he will have the edge. The winner gets the highly coveted Light Heavyweight Title.

Other fights slated for Chile include

Jared Cannonier vs. Dominick Reyes
Enrique Briones vs. Frankie Saenz
Syuri Kondo vs. Poliana Botelho
Andrea Lee vs. Veronica Macedo
Alexa Grasso vs. Tatiana Suarez
Guido Cannetti vs. Diego Rivas
Vicente Luque vs. Chad Laprise

Be sure to check out Rua vs. Oezdemir and all of the other fights when the UFC hits Chile for the first time in May!

Is The Notorious One – McGregor Close To Returning To The Octagon

This past week, we have heard “The Notorious One” Conor McGregor’s name mentioned in various news media articles and his name has been tied to several rumors in the world of MMA. The media hype began last month when UFC President Dana White announced that at UFC 223 Tony Ferguson would be facing Khabib Nurmagomedov for the UFC lightweight title.

White Gets the Party Started

White stated during the press conference, “it’s not for the interim title, that fight will be for the title” meaning that Conor McGregor would be strict of the UFC lightweight title due to the fact he wanted to take time off from MMA and the fact that the UFC needed to continue with business as usual.

Dana White has stood firm in his belief that the world of MMA may never see McGregor step back inside the octagon due to the overwhelming amount of money he has made over the last 2 years. White has stated time and time again that McGregor made life-changing money for his boxing match with Floyd Mayweather and he does not believe that McGregor will make a return to the UFC.

Many people believed and are under the assumption that Floyd Mayweather is attempting to make a UFC debut and that is the fight that Conor McGregor would be shooting for with the hopes of another huge payday for the Irishman. Dana White also nixed that idea stating that Floyd Mayweather was not in active negotiations to compete in the UFC however he did state that “anything is possible”. For anyone that knows Dana White or has followed him in the media over the years, knows that this means Mayweather is most likely on his way to the UFC.

McGregor And his Social Media

McGregor took the social media on Thursday in response to Dana White questioning whether he would ever fight again. McGregor stated “I am fighting again. Period. I am the best at this. I put my name forward to step in at UFC 222 to face Frankie Edgar when Max Holloway pulled out, but I was told there wasn’t enough time to generate the money that the UFC would need. I was excited about bouncing in last minute and taking out the final featherweight, without all the rest of the stuff that comes with this game. Please respect the insane amount of work outside the fight game that I have put in. On top of the fighting. I am here. It is on them to come and get me. Because I am here. Yours sincerely, The Champ”.

In most situations, the general public and the media would like to blame the UFC and president Dana White but the reality here is that McGregor has not fought since November 2016, when he beat Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 for the UFC lightweight championship. Since that point in time, McGregor has held the lightweight division hostage while not making any attempts to return to the octagon.

The UFC has 2 high-caliber lightweights that are going to battle it out at UFC 223 in Brooklyn, New York. This fight will truly determine who is the top lightweight in the UFC. For the UFC, this is the best and most competitive fight that they could put on at this point in time in the lightweight division.

But what happens with McGregor? He claims that he wants to return to the octagon but is he willing to accept the fight with someone other than Floyd Mayweather? There are really only 2 options for the UFC and McGregor.

Option A is the UFC will pit McGregor against the winner of Ferguson and Nurmagomedov. This would be a huge money maker as the winner of this fight will be considered the top lightweight the world and a fight against McGregor would be the money fight for either of these 2 guys.

Option B is the UFC puts on Conor McGregor versus Nate Diaz III. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that this fight is eventually going to happen but do they do it now or do they wait until the end of the year to feature what would be probably the biggest event UFC history!

Whichever option UFC and McGregor decide to go with, there is no doubt that a ton of money will be made. Conor McGregor has formed himself into a marketing machine and whether you like him or hate him, he creates a hype unlike any other and is a proven asset UFC. There is not another single fighter out there that creates the pay-per-view buys, sponsorships and media hype like “The Notorious One” does!

For that reason and that reason alone, it is very likely that we will see “The Notorious One” Conor McGregor back in the cage before long and possibly 2 times before the end of the year of 2018.

How Much Does Missing Weight Affect An MMA Fights Odds

This past Saturday Night, we saw the UFC head to Australia for UFC 221 and in the main event, the premier MMA organization featured a fight between Luke Rockhold and Yoel Romero.  The fight was for the Interim UFC Middleweight Championship but after Friday, only one of the fighters could actually win the title due to missing weight.

You may be asking yourself how is it a championship fight, when only one fighter can win the title? Well, the answer is because only one fighter was professional enough to make weight.  Luke Rockhold stepped on the scale at the scheduled 185 pounds but Yoel Romero failed to make weight, stepping on the cage at 188.3 pounds, which is 3.3 pounds heavier than the allowed amount.  Romero had 2 extra hours to cut the weight but still only made it down to 187.7 pounds.

Rockhold Expresses His Displeasure With “Unprofessional” Romero

If you watch the weigh-ins, it was abundantly clear that Luke Rockhold was not happy whatsoever! During the weigh-in interview, Rockhold simply said that he was a professional and that he may wait however it was clear that his remarks were speaking of the unprofessional Romero who missed weight.

There was still some questions even after the weigh-in, on whether Rockhold would accept the fight with Romero being overweight. All of the UFC fighters are under a contract and the contract clearly states what the weight requirements are. If a fighter misses weight, his opponent is not required by contract to accept the fight.

As we saw last week in the John Dodson versus Pedro Munoz fight at UFC fight night 125, if a fighter doesn’t accept a fight when his opponent comes in overweight, that fighter may not get paid their show money and in most cases it handcuffs the fighter to accept the fight so they can collect a paycheck. Last week, John Dodson made the decision to not accept the fight and therefore he did not get a paycheck for his training camp or any of his expenses leading up to that fight.

That being said, Rockhold took to twitter to accept the fight and to continue his rant on Romero.  Rockhold stated, “Should have be doing the salsa in the sauna. Some bull shit as usual”.

More About Romero Missing Weight

The easiest explanation to answer the question of why Romero missing weight would simply be to say he accepted the fight on short notice.  Rockhold was originally scheduled to fight Robert Whitaker for the undisputed UFC middleweight title but Whitaker was injured and forced to withdraw from the fight. The UFC then reached out to Romero, who accepted the fight on short notice.

Many will say, that Romero shouldn’t have accepted the fight had he known he couldn’t make the weight, but every fighter believes they can make weight when the time comes.  Part of the issue for Romero is that he is a 40-year-old man and not as young as he once was.  Romero is a very top-heavy fighter carries around a lot of muscle, therefore holding a lot of water prior to the weigh-ins.  It’s still no excuse for Romero who is a former Olympic wrestler and has made weight all of his life.

How Were The UFC 221 Odds Affected?

The next question is posed as to how missing weight affects the betting public and what it does to the actual odds?  If we look at last week’s fight as an example, we will find that Yoel Romero initially opened up as a -180 favorite in the fight, with Luke Rockhold being the underdog returning +150. When Friday’s weigh-in occurred, and Romero missed weight, the mma odds drastically changed in favor of Rockhold. In a matter of 12 hours, the odds had gone from Rockhold being +150 to -190 and Romero went from being -182 to being +155 in the same timeframe.

In the end, it was Romero that won the fight, knocking Rockhold out in the 3rd round.  Most experts on the internet that you read will tell you that you should never bet on a fighter that has missed weight because they lose more than the win but is that really the truth?  If we go back to 2013 and count every single fight that took place with a fighter missing weight, we find that the fighter that missed weight, won 26 times and lost 23 times, including the fight between Romero and Rockhold.  This leads us to the fact that the experts are incorrect and if anything, the edge is given to the fighter that misses weight.  

Part of that reasoning is due to the fact that most fighters when they know they are not missing weight, will stop their weight cut and start to rehydrate. This will give them extra time to replenish their bodies and prepare for the fight, while their opponent is draining their body of fluids, attempting to make weight.  

The fighter who misses weight will be penalized 20% of their purse but the benefit of being able to rehydrate in some instances, may outweigh the fact that they are losing some money, especially if it helps the fighter secure the win bonus!