Diaz vs Woodley Rumored for UFC 219

Last night rumor came out that both Woodley and Diaz had entered fight camp. Journalists, fans, and fighters began to speculate that Woodley and Diaz were training for each other. The rumor has it that Woodley and Diaz are set to face off at the end of the year at UFC 219 in Las Vegas. With the UFC without a main event at UFC 219, this fight could live up to the billing of a main event. Diaz is a huge name in the MMA world especially after his two contests with lightweight champion Conor McGregor. Woodley did an interview with FloCombat saying how he may be announcing a fight soon, but it was not one of the obvious contenders.

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The question that is up for debate, is Diaz worthy of a title shot at 170?  I guess it depends on what lens you look at being worthy of a title shot. If you are purely looking at wins and losses at 170 pounds there is no way you can say Diaz is a viable contender. If you are looking at drawing power and if it can hold the billing for a PPV main event then Diaz is definitely worthy. If you look at the 170-pound division at the moment there is no true #1 contender at the moment. In Woodley’s defense for taking this fight, he is one of the few champions who has continuously defended his belt against the rightful #1 contender. He defended his belt twice against the hardest style matchup for anyone in the division in Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson and solved the puzzle that no one could figure out in Demain Maia. So for Woodley to take a “money fight” it is not that outlandish. Overall I think this is a win for the UFC, the two fighters involved, and the fans who want to see Diaz back in the octagon. The real only losers are the top contenders like Robbie Lawler, Rafael Dos Anjos, Stephen Thompson, and Colby Covington.

UFC Norfolk Results

UFC Norfolk did not disappoint! Check out all the results from Saturday night below!

Main Card

Dustin Poirier def. Anthony Pettis
 via TKO (injury) at 2:08 of R3

Matt Brown def. Diego Sanchez via KO (elbow) at 3:44 of R1

Andrei Arlovski def. Junior Albini 
via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)

Cezar Ferreira def. Nate Marquardt via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

Raphael Assuncao def. Matthew Lopez
 via KO (punch) at 1:50 of R3

Clay Guida def. Joe Lauzon via TKO (punches) at 1:07 of R1

Prelims

Marlon Moraes def. John Dodson via split decision (30-27, 27-30, 30-27)

Tatiana Suarez def. Viviane Pereira
 via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)

Sage Northcutt def. Michel Quinones via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Nina Ansaroff def. Angela Hill via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Fight Pass Prelims

Sean Strickland def. Court McGee via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Jake Collier def. Marcel Fortuna
 via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Karl Roberson def. Darren Stewart via submission at 3:41 of R1

Huge Fights Cancelled due to Injuries

Yesterday, news came out that Frankie Edgar was forced to pull out of the UFC 218 main event. Frankie Edgar was looking to dethrone Max Holloway and take home the featherweight title. Edgar would be on of the few to capture two titles in two different divisions if he was to be successful. In an Instagram post, Frankie Edgar told the fans that he would be back to full contact in six weeks.

This is a real blow to the UFC card losing the main event and we will see if they find a replacement for the fight. Cub Swanson did have a fight scheduled in December with Brian Ortega so could the UFC take him off that card and move him to UFC 218 to challenge for the featherweight title. Other fighters coaches analysts and fans have clamored for Swanson to replaced Edgar at UFC 218. Swanson went to Twitter with a live reaction when he heard the news of Edgar pulling out.

Then hours after this more news broke that Dominick Cruz had to pull out in his fight at UFC 219 versus Jimmie Rivera. The news came out from Ariel Helwani that Cruz had suffered a broken arm and was forced to pull out.

No one has any idea if they find another fight for Jimmie Rivera at UFC 219 or if they scratch him off the card. One possibility would be for them to scratch Rivera off the card and have him fight Cody Garbrandt in the spring of 2019 to decide who is the next to challenge TJ Dillashaw. Hopefully, the UFC can stay away from the injury bug for the rest of 2017 because this year injuries or other issues have caused many fights to fall through.

Rose Namajunas Steals the Show at UFC 217

UFC 217 was the craziest night of the year for fighting. Not because of just the results, but how the results happened. The atmosphere at Madison Square Garden was electric and made the UFC 217 fight card unforgettable.

Hendricks and Paulo Costa kicked off the main card and it was clear the size advantage leaned towards Costa. Costa looked noticeably bigger standing next to Hendricks as even the commentators went on to say how Costa looked like a light heavyweight and Hendricks should be at welterweight. Hendricks was able to land some shots in the first round, but Costa never looked to be in danger as he got the TKO victory over Hendricks in Round 2.

In the next fight, Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson was able to keep Jorge Masvidal from getting inside to land heavy shots on Thompson. Thompson used incredible footwork and unorthodox attacks to keep Masvidal off balance and earn the unanimous decision. After watching a very talented striker in Masvidal struggle to be comfortable against Thompson credit should go to UFC Welterweight champion Tyron Woodley for being able to defend his belt twice against this awkward style. After this was where things started to become absolutely unthinkable.

Rose Namajunas vs Joanna Jedrzejczyck

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In the words of the light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, who was on the call for UFC 217, “THUG ROSE! THUG ROSE! THUG ROSE!” This fight left everyone at a loss for words. No one expected this performance from Rose over Joanna and especially in this fashion. Most people didn’t give Namajunas any chance of taking out the “strawweight queen”. For those that did think Rose had a realistic chance they figured it would be through a grappling exchange where Rose has a knack for being able to take her opponents back. I don’t think anyone except Rose and her coaches Trevor Whitman and boyfriend Pat Barry thought that they could put Joanna away from the feet in Round 1! When Joanna fell to the devastating left hook the crowd sat speechlessly and when referee Big John McCarthy broke up the onslaught MSG absolutely erupted. Credit to Rose on a remarkable performance. This could have been the card and people would have went home happy, but there was still two more title fights on the card.

TJ Dillashaw vs Cody Garbrandt

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This was the fight I feel most fight fans were looking forward to the most on the card. Everyone was invested in the bad blood between the two, their teams, and the unique skill set both posses. In the first round, both were landing shots, but Garbrandt tended to land the harder shots. At the end of round one Cody dropped TJ and TJ was able to protect himself to get out of round one. Going into the second round TJ was able to land a head kick on Cody to rock him. Cody was able to recover until later in the round Dillashaw was able to land a right hand that dropped Garbrandt and after some ground pound was stopped by the referee. After the fight, both fighters embraced and showed true class as TJ Dillashaw was now the new bantamweight champion of the world.

Georges St. Pierre vs Michael Bisping

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Now for the return of Georges St. Pierre as no one really knew what to expect going into this fight. Was Georges going to look like the Georges of before or was ring rust going to be real? Answer: He looked better than he ever did before. St. Pierre was able to win round one with a good mixture of his top-level wrestling and staying behind his jab. In round two we started to see some momentum swing towards Bisping, and Georges looked to be slowing down. In round three St. Pierre was able to land a short left hook and after some ground and pound St. Pierre was able to take Bisping’s back and choke him unconscious. All of Madison Square Garden was on their feet as now everyone knew GEORGES ST. PIERRE IS BACK!

 

UFC Looking Towards Streaming Possibility

Dana White was on the Wall Street Journal’s podcast and talked about the possibility of moving towards a streaming service for the UFC once the Fox deal ends in early 2018. The UFC already has UFC Fight Pass but is looking towards expanding it with their own platform. In the podcast, Dana went on to say, “With technology, we’re getting to the point that I always dreamed about. I always sued to say, we’ll take this thing all around the world, build a fanbase, build up some talent in every country around the world, and then we’ll get to a point in time where everyone can watch it at the same time, on the same platform. We’re getting to that day. [on our own platform], on a type of Over-The-Top platform.” By the sounds of what Dana is saying it seems like the UFC is considering doing something similar to what the WWE currently does with the WWE Network. The WWE has gone completely to an online streaming network with on-demand options as well through the network. As of April 2017, the WWE Network currently has 1.66 million paid subscribers to the network.

What does this mean for the UFC and its fans? For the fans, this would be amazing. With signing up for the subscription-based network, pay per views would be included in the fee. This is something that would allow the fans to view all events as it would be like a Netflix subscription payment plan. Expecting fans to pay 60 dollars a month sometimes even twice a month for two Saturday night cards just seems unrealistic. Last week, I wrote about possible solutions to fix the recently low pay per view numbers that you can view here.

In the interview with the Wall Street Journal White eluded to how the technology of today is so different than it has been in the past. He mentions how the evolution of technology and the way consumers consume entertainment is not through your typical “Channel 3” or “Channel 5″. The UFC President went on to say, ” Now what’s crazy about television these days — I have DirectTV and I have cable, so I have 2,000 channels right? And nothing’s on. Nothing’s on. I think we have the type of content that people will watch.” White also mentioned his kids saying how they do not watch television and everything they do is on their phone. This is the evolution of technology where everyone has access to everything right at their fingertips.

If you want to check out the whole interview below is the interview with the Wall Street Journal.

Mousasi Rips Critics on MMA Hour

Gegard Mousasi is coming off a controversial win versus Alexander Schlemenko at Bellator 185 this past Saturday. In the early going of the fight, Mousasi got hit with a punch that broke his orbital bone. Mousasi was able to rebound from this and still win a unanimous decision over Alexander Schlemenko.  The former UFC middleweight went on to say to all the critics “I have a pretty long one, they can all get in line and suck it.” He went on to say how he was a little bit more nervous than usual with this being his Bellator debut. He went on to say, “This is an opportunity for the idiots to complain now and that’s what this is all about. The people sitting at home, waiting for something to go wrong so they can judge, so they can say stupid shit. They don’t have any respect.”

The former UFC middleweight went on to say to all the critics “I have a pretty long one, they can all get in line and suck it.” Mousasi went on to say how he was a little bit more nervous than usual with this being his Bellator debut. He went on to say, “This is an opportunity for the idiots to complain now and that’s what this is all about. The people sitting at home, waiting for something to go wrong so they can judge, so they can say stupid shit. They don’t have any respect.” Even Gegard mentioned how an impressive win in his next fight will make everyone forget about this past fight. Mousasi finished the interview by telling all the haters, “They all can suck it. Take a line, take a ticket. I have enough for you all.”

Till takes out Cerrone

In the main event of the UFC Fight Night Gdansk Poland unranked Darren Till takes out #6 Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. Till is now on everyone’s radar after an impressive, dominant, first round TKO victory over Cerrone. Below is the rest of the results of the preliminary card and main card in Poland!

Main Card
Darren Till def. Donald Cerrone via first-round TKO (4:20)
Karolina Kowalkiewicz def. Jodie Esquibel via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Jan Blachowicz def. Devin Clark via submission (RNC) (R2, 3:02)
Oskar Piechota def. Jonathan Wilson via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

Preliminary Card
Marcin Held def. Nasrat Haqparast via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Brian Kelleher def. Damian Stasiak via third-round TKO (3:34)
Ramazan Emeev def. Sam Alvey via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Andre Fili def. Artem Lobov via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Warlley Alves def. Salim Touahri via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2)
Aspen Ladd def. Lina Lansberg via second-round TKO (2:33)
Josh Emmett def. Felipe Arantes via unanimous decision (30-26 x2, 30-25)