MMA Weekly

UFC Vegas 16: Hermansson vs. Vettori weigh-in face-offs video

UFC Vegas 16 headliners Jack Hermansson and Marvin Vettori, along with the rest of the fight card, faced off following Friday’s weigh-in at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.

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TRENDING > UFC Vegas 16 weigh-in results: Hermansson vs. Vettori official, but Saint Preux misses weight

UFC Vegas 16: Hermansson vs. Vettori full weigh-in video

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UFC Vegas 16 weigh-in results: Hermansson vs. Vettori official, but Saint Preux misses weight

Like the entirety of 2020, there was no shortage of bumps along the way, but UFC Vegas 16 became official following Friday’s weigh-in.

The vast majority of fighters weighed in within the first 20 minutes of so of the two-hour weigh-in window. Main eventers Jack Hermansson and Marvin Vettori wasted little time as they hit the scale at 185.5 and 186 pounds respectively.

The UFC Vegas 16 middleweight main event was a last-minute match-up after Hermansson’s original opponent, Kevin Holland, was removed from the bout after testing positive for COVID-19 just days ago.

Vettori had been slated to face Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza at UFC 256 on Dec. 12. With Holland out, however, he agreed to a basic swap of opponents. Vettori now faces Hermansson on Saturday, while Holland, pending medical clearance, will face Jacare at UFC 256.

Ovince Saint Preux misses weight for the first time

Ovince Saint Preux was quick to the scale on Friday, which is usually an indicator that everything is going well, but that wasn’t the case for him.

For the first time in his nearly eight-year UFC tenure, Saint Preux failed to make weight. He stepped on the scale at 207.5 pounds for his UFC Vegas 16 light heavyweight co-main event bout opposite Jamahal Hill.

Shortly after the weigh-in, UFC officials confirmed that the Saint Preux vs. Hill bout would still move forward. Saint Preux will forfeit 20-percent of his fight purse to Hill.

UFC Vegas 16: Hermansson vs. Vettori Live Results

UFC Vegas 16: Hermansson vs. Vettori weigh-in results

UFC Vegas 16 Main Card (10 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and ESPN+)

Main Event: Jack Hermansson (185.5) vs Marvin Vettori (186)Co-Main Event: Ovince Saint Preux (207.5)* vs Jamahal Hill (205.5)Gabriel Benitez (155.5) vs Justin Jaynes (156)Montana De La Rosa (125.75) vs Taila Santos (125.5)Roman Dolidze (205) vs John Allan (205)Nate Landwehr (145.5) vs Movsar Evloev (145.5)

UFC Vegas 16 Preliminary Card (7 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and ESPN+)

Louis Smolka (134.5) vs Jose Quinonez (135)Matt Wiman (155.5) vs Jordan Leavitt (155.5)Jimmy Flick (125.5) vs Cody Durden (125.5)Ilia Topuria (145) vs Damon Jackson (145)Gian Villante (243) vs Jake Collier (264.5)

*Saint Preux missed weight

UFC Vegas 16: Hermansson vs. Vettori full weigh-in video

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Manager sure Nick Diaz will return to the UFC in 2021

A few months ago, footage of Nick Diaz training for a UFC comeback surfaced on social media. His manager, Kevin Mubenga, insisted that Diaz was aiming to make a comeback.

Several months into Diaz’s training, in recent comments to Fanatics View, Mubenga once again reiterated that Diaz will be back in the Octagon in 2021.

“The guy has been training. He’s been training for at least four months now,” said Mubenga.

“He took a little break (in November) and now we’re going to pick it back up in December and go into the new year hopefully with a new deal done. Make sure the money is right and the opponent is right and we’ll be able to move forward with all of this.”

The last time Diaz set foot in the Octagon was opposite Anderson Silva in the UFC 183 main event in January of 2015. Silva initially won the bout, but the results was later changed to a no contest after Silva tested positive for steroids and Diaz tested positive for marijuana.

He has since been watching from the outside looking in, while many fans of his and brother Nate have been clamoring for his return.

Nate hasn’t been much more active than his older brother, having fought just four times over the five-year span since Nick faced Silva. Nate did, however, fight two times in the latter half of 2019.

UFC president Dana White has been skeptical of Nick’s return, but considering that he has such a strong fan base, he would surely welcome it.

The UFC and the Diaz brothers coming to terms has always been a struggle, however, and that is certainly something that could hinder a Nick Diaz return in 2021. Mubenga believes there is little chance of that, though, believing there is a 99.99 percent chance that Diaz fights next year.

“We just got to get everything else right with the organization and everything. We’ll be able to move forward.”

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UFC featherweight Yair Rodriguez suspended by USADA

USADA announced on Thursday that Yair Rodriguez, of Chihuahua, Mexico, has accepted a six-month sanction for a violation of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy resulting from three Whereabouts Failures during a 12-month period.

Like all UFC athletes, Rodriguez, 28, is a member of the UFC Registered Testing Pool and is therefore subject to certain Whereabouts responsibilities, which allow him to be located for testing. Accurate Whereabouts information is a crucial component of an effective out-of-competition testing program because it enables anti-doping organizations to conduct no-notice sample collections, which helps maintain effective doping deterrence and detection.

Rodriguez failed to update his Whereabouts information and was unavailable for testing at locations provided in his Whereabouts Filings on three occasions. He accrued a Whereabouts Failure in each of the first three quarters of 2020. The accumulation of three Whereabouts Failures within a 12-month period constitutes a policy violation under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy.

Rodriguez was eligible for a reduction in the period of ineligibility because his conduct did not raise suspicion that he was trying to avoid being available for testing. He received reductions based on his degree of fault and for his Full and Complete Cooperation.

Rodriguez’s six-month period of ineligibility began on September 8, 2020, the date on which his third Whereabouts Failure was declared against him.

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Leon Edwards releases statement after COVID-19 KOs him from UFC Vegas 17

The UFC’s final event of a pandemic plagued 2020 could not go unscathed by COVID-19. Leon Edwards and his UFC Vegas 17 headlining bout opposite Khamzat Chimaev became the latest casualties of a trying year.

Edwards contracted COVID-19, which negated his ability to train for the fight and resulted in him losing 12 pounds over four days. He was subsequently removed from the UFC Vegas 17 main event, which the fight promotion hopes to reschedule in early 2021, possibly as soon as January.

While readily identifying the fight’s postponement as a hit to him, Edwards was quick to acknowledge that things could have been much worse for him, and things are much worse for many other people.

“Another setback, but when you come from the mud you learn to put everything in perspective. This virus has affected many lives and families much worse than mine. Looking forward to getting this rebooked soon, thank you all for the well wishes.”Leon Edwards on Twitter

The UFC updated its website on Wednesday showing a welterweight bout between Stephen Thompson and Geoff Neal elevated to the UFC Vegas 17 headlining spot. The bout was already slated for the UFC Vegas 17 fight card.

TRENDING > Khabib has no interest in fighting Conor McGregor again, reveals new fight promotion

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Khabib has no interest in fighting Conor McGregor again, reveals new fight promotion

UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov on Wednesday announced his new fight promotion, but also reiterated that he has no interest in returning to the UFC to fight the winner of Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier.

Khabib held a press conference on Wednesday in Russia, where he revealed his new fight promotion, Eagle Fighting Championships.

He recently retired following his submission of Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 in October. UFC president Dana White, however, has not declared the belt vacant, instead giving Khabib time to think it over and reconsider.

White has said many times that he believes Khabib will forego his promise to his mother to quit fighting and instead honor the plan he had with his father to notch a 30th victory before retiring. He is currently 29-0.

Khabib has not yet said that he would not consider returning to the Octagon, and admitted that he and White are meeting soon to discuss his future.

One thing Khabib has been adamant about is that he has no desire to return simply to fight McGregor or Poirier, both of whom he has submitted in the past couple of years.

Khabib submitted McGregor in the fourth round at UFC 229 in October of 2018; the same night that he jumped the Octagon fence to brawl with McGregor cornerman Dillon Danis in the crowd. He then submitted Poirier in September 2019.

With those victories under his belt, Khabib insists that neither of them is enough to lure him back to the Octagon.

At his press conference in Russia, Khabib told reporter Igor Lazorin that White would probably first offer him money, but that wouldn’t be enough and he couldn’t see who would be a tempting opponent.

When questioned about McGregor or Poirier, Khabib said, “What for? I choked both. Why I should do this?”

Obviously, especially if it were McGregor winning against Poirier in the UFC 257 headliner in January, there is another blockbuster payday on the table. Khabib admitted as much, but downplayed the temptation to fight again solely for the money.

“Yes, only money. There is no sports interest there. I choked both of them, both were champions, both surrendered to me,” he said.

“As our proverb says: a horse doesn’t run until the donkey wins. Donkeys don’t even take part in competitions where horses run. I have no interest in fighting against these opponents. Imagine UFC offered you $100 million. This is already a problem. But there is no sports interest there.”

Khabib also intends on making MMA an Olympic sport

Aside from launching his new Eagle FC fight promotion (which was born out of purchasing Gorilla Fighting Championship and rebranding it), Khabib hopes to be a driving force in getting mixed martial arts approved for the Olympic games as soon as Paris in 2024, though he admitted a more likely target would be Los Angeles in 2028.

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Leon Edwards vs. Khamzat Chimaev latest UFC main event canceled by COVID-19

The UFC’s final event of the year is the latest casualty in a string of main event cancellations or changes. UFC Vegas 17, slated for Dec. 19, on Tuesday lost its headliner after Leon Edwards was pulled from his bout with Khamzat Chimaev after he tested positive for COVID-19.

UFC broadcast partner ESPN on Tuesday reported that Edwards was out of the bout with a severe case of COVID-19. He apparently hasn’t been able to train at all for the bout with Chimaev and has lost 12 pounds in four days.

Chimaev, who made his UFC debut in July and has reeled off three straight victories in the Octagon, had hoped to use Edwards as his stepping stone to the top of the welterweight division.

No. 3 ranked Edwards last fought in July of 2019. He had hoped to return to face former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley in March, but the nearly global lockdown forced the event’s cancellation.

UFC’s final leg of 2020 plagued by COVID-19 cancellations

Every one of the UFC’s final six events of a pandemic plagued 2020 has suffered a change to its main event or outright cancellation. Most have COVID-19 to blame.

UFC Vegas 14 on Nov. 14 was originally slated to feature former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos returning to the 155-pound division opposite Islam Makhachev. Paul Felder stepped in to face dos Anjos on short notice when Makhachev withdrew because of a staph infection.

UFC 255 on Nov. 21 was supposed to feature Deiveson Figueiredo’s first flyweight title defense opposite Cody Garbrandt. That bout was nixed after Garbrandt fell out because of COVID-19. Figueiredo instead successfully defended his belt against Alex Perez.

The following week’s UFC Vegas 15 heavyweight main event between Curtis Blaydes and Derrick Lewis was canceled the morning of the weigh-in when Blaydes tested positive for COVID-19. Co-main eventers Anthony Smith and Devin Clark were elevated to headlining status.

This week’s UFC Vegas 16 main event between Jack Hermansson and Kevin Holland shifted gears after Holland tested positive for COVID-19. Holland was moved to the Dec. 12 UFC 256 fight card to face Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza. Jacare’s opponent, Marvin Vettori, has been enlisted to fight Hermansson in the UFC Vegas 16 main event in a swap of opponents.

UFC 256 has undergone several changes, though none were COVID-19 related. Having gone through several championship main event cancellations, UFC 256 finally landed on Figueiredo making a quick return to defend his belt for the second time. Barring any more changes, he will headline the card opposite No. 1 contender Brandon Moreno, who also fought and won at UFC 255.

With Edwards vs. Chimaev nixed, UFC Vegas 17 may now feature a welterweight bout between Stephen Thompson and Geoff Neal, two ranked contenders that were already inked for the Dec. 19 fight card. UFC officials, however, have not confirmed the new main event yet.

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YouTuber Jake Paul claims he’s in talks to fight Conor McGregor

A couple days after YouTube sensation Jake Paul knocked out former NBA player Nate Robinson on the Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. undercard, he claimed that he is in talks to fight UFC superstar Conor McGregor.

Though Paul is most famous for building a multi-million subscribers strong YouTube following, he insists that he’s not playing when it comes to boxing.

“I have been training my ass off for the past year. I am taking this seriously,” Paul said after fighting on the Tyson vs. Jones undercard. “There is a long list of opponents I want, like Conor McGregor and (McGregor teammate) Dillon Danis. I want to knock both of them out. I want to be in this sport for a long time. I’m in love with this so why not?”

Whether in boxing or mixed martial arts, that is a tall order for Paul, who has fought only twice: once against fellow YouTube star AnEsonGib and then against Robinson, who had just three months of training prior to their bout.

In a recent interview with TMZ Sports, however, Paul insists that his team has been in talks with McGregor’s, though he didn’t exactly indicate the fight would happen any time soon.

“The Jake Paul vs. Conor McGregor fight is gonna happen. It’s just a matter of when. It’s gonna be legendary,” Paul said.

“I’m gonna win, too. I’m gonna dedicate my life to winning that fight. I’m not just going in there just to f—ing say I did it. I’m going in there to f—ing f— Conor McGregor up.”

Paul knocked Robinson down several times in their bout, finally sending him crashing face first to the canvas in the second round for the knockout. Whether or not he could ever hope to do that to McGregor or Danis, who each have a lifetime of training, remains to be seen.

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Jake Paul says he’s in talks with Conor McGregor’s camp

(Video courtesy of TMZSports)

Colby Covington calls out LeBron James after YouTuber Jake Paul KOs former NBA star

UFC welterweight contender Colby Covington has never been one to hold his tongue. That is particularly true when it comes to politics – he’s a long time support of President Donald Trump – and calling out other professional athletes that he derides for being “woke.”

Taking advantage of the flare up around Mike Tyson’s comeback fight in an exhibition with Roy Jones, Jr., Covington again took a shot at NBA great LeBron James.

“Heard they finally scraped Nate Robinson’s carcass off the Staples Center floor. I’d make LeBron James eat the canvas in half the amount of time. Everyone knows current NBA players are the softest and most privileged athletes on the planet.”Colby Covington on Twitter

YouTube celebrity Jake Paul knocked out Nate Robinson as part of the Tyson vs. Jones undercard. Robinson is a former NBA player whose highlights include winning the NBA Slam Dunk Contest three times.

Paul knocked him down several times in the bout, finishing the fight with a punch that sent Robinson crashing face first into the canvas in the second round.

Having seen what Paul did to Robinson incited Covington to take his latest shot at James. The NBA great is a four-time champion (most recently with the L.A. Lakers in 2020), a four-time NBA finals MVP, and a four-time NBA league MVP.

Covington took aim at James and other NBA players in September after several of them spoke up and sat out in a protest again racial injustice and police brutality. Recently campaigning for Trump in the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election, Covington has also been an outspoken opponent of the Black Lives Matter movement.

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Mike Tyson: ‘YouTube boxers saved boxing, UFC was kicking our butt’

It’s no secret that boxing’s popularity has been on the decline for years for multiple reasons. The inability to put together big fights, poor marketing, and the emergence of mixed martial arts were all factors.

As interest in boxing declined, social media networks and online video platforms became a part of everyday life. According to former undisputed heavyweight champion Mike Tyson, it was those platforms that saved a dying sport.

“My ego says so many things, but my reality says this, they helped boxing so much. Boxing owes these guys some kind of… they owe these YouTube boxers some kind of respect.

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“They should give these guys some belts because these guys make boxing alive,” Tyson said during the post-fight press conference following his exhibition bout against former four-division world champion Roy Jones Jr. on Saturday.

On the fight card, boxer, actor, and YouTube personality Jake Paul scored a second-round knockout win over former NBA player Nate Robinson. Paul’s YouTube channel has 20.2 million subscribers. Tyson credited Paul as one of the “YouTube boxers” that helped the boxing return to popular culture.

“Boxing was pretty much a dying sport. The UFC was kicking our butt,” Tyson said. “Boxing is going back thanks to the YouTube boxers.”

Related Video > Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr | Live Coverage and Commentary

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UFC middleweights swap opponents after Kevin Holland tests positive for COVID-19

The UFC round robin continued on Saturday after Kevin Holland tested positive for COVID-19.

The dominoes began falling on Friday when Curtis Blaydes tested positive for COVID-19. That nixed his UFC Vegas 15 headlining heavyweight bout opposite Derrick Lewis on Saturday.

The second domino fell on Saturday when Kevin Holland, who was set to headline UFC Vegas 16 next week, also tested positive for COVID-19. He was quickly replaced by Marvin Vettori, who steps into the UFC Vegas 16 main event opposite Jack Hermansson.

By the time the UFC was ready to confirm that Vettori had stepped in for Holland, they already had Holland rebooked.

In what becomes a swap of middleweight opponents, Holland has already agreed to face Vettori’s UFC 256 opponent Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza at the Dec. 12 pay-per-view event.

That’s a fairly quick turnaround after having just tested positive for COVID-19. The assumption would be that Holland is asymptomatic and otherwise healthy. If that is so, he should have just enough time to try and get clear of COVID-19, but of course he will have to undergo multiple tests again prior to stepping into the Octagon with Jacare.

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UFC Vegas 16 undergoes main event change after Kevin Holland tests positive for COVID-19

Twenty-four hours after Saturday’s UFC Vegas 15 underwent a last-minute main event change, next week’s UFC Vegas 16 headliner has morphed to a new match-up as well.

UFC Vegas 16 was scheduled to feature a middleweight main event between Jack Hermansson and Kevin Holland. Holland, however, was removed from the bout on Saturday after testing positive for COVID-19.

He has since been replaced by Marvin Vettori, according to a report by ESPN’s Brett Okamoto.

Vettori had been slated to face Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza at UFC 256 on Dec. 12, but he’ll instead face Hermansson in the Dec. 5 UFC Vegas 16 main event. It’s unclear what officials will do with Jacare.

UFC Vegas 15 main event canceled just prior to weigh-ins

The change marks the second main event shake-up in just 24 hours.

Saturday’s UFC Vegas 15 main event heavyweight showdown between Curtis Blaydes and Derrick Lewis was nixed on Friday. Just before the UFC Vegas 15 weigh-in got underway, it was revealed that Blaydes had tested positive for COVID-19 and removed from the fight card.

UFC officials are hoping to rebook the bout in the near future. The initial target was UFC 256 on Dec. 12, but sources indicate that date isn’t likely. There are better odds that Blaydes vs. Lewis will be rescheduled for a January fight card.

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UFC Vegas 15 weigh-in results: Curtis Blaydes tests positive for COVID-19, fight canceled; one fighter misses weight

The UFC Vegas 15 fight card underwent a massive change just as Friday’s weigh-in was about to get underway. Minutes before the fighters began stepping on the scale, news broke that Curtis Blaydes tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

As a results, Blaydes’s heavyweight main event opposite fellow contender Derrick Lewis was removed from the fight card. UFC officials hope to reschedule the bout for Dec. 12, a move that would bolster the UFC 256 fight card that has been ravaged by championship fighters dropping out.

New UFC Vegas 15 main event: Anthony Smith vs. Devin Clark

With Blaydes vs. Lewis being nixed, the UFC announced that the UFC Vegas 15 co-main event light heavyweight bout between Anthony Smith and Devin Clark had been elevated to headlining status.

Along with the move to the UFC Vegas 15 main event, Smith and Clark agreed to increase their bout from three rounds to five rounds on just 24 hours notice.

UFC Vegas 15 prelim fighter misses the mark

The lone fighter to miss the mark for Saturday’s event at the UFC Apex was Norma Dumont. She weighed in at 139.5 pounds for her bantamweight bout with Ashlee Evans-Smith, who weighed 135.5 pounds.

Having missed weight by 3.5 pounds, Dumont was fined 30-percent of her fight purse, which goes to Evans-Smith, to keep the fight intact.

As a result, UFC Vegas 15 moves forward with a 10-bout fight card.

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UFC Vegas 15: Smith vs. Clark weigh-in results

UFC Vegas 15 Main Card

Main Event: Curtis Blaydes vs Derrick Lewis — CANCELEDCo-Main Event: Anthony Smith (205) vs Devin Clark (204.5)Josh Parisian (265.5) vs Parker Porter (263)Miguel Baeza (171) vs Takashi Sato (170)Spike Carlyle (145.5) vs Bill Algeo (146)Ashlee Evans-Smith (135.5) vs Norma Dumont (139.5)*Jonathan Pearce (145.5) vs Kai Kamaka (145)

UFC Vegas 15 Preliminary Card

Martin Day (135.5) vs Anderson dos Santos (135)Gina Mazany (125.5) vs Rachael Ostovich (125.5)Sumudaerji (126) vs Malcolm Gordon (126)Luke Sanders (140) vs Nate Maness (139.5)

*Norma Dumon missed weight by 3.5 pounds

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Dana White won’t UFC bring fans back to a half empty arena, not even Cowboys Stadium

UFC president Dana White has achieved a lot of first during 2020.

He was the first to get his fight promotion and in turn the sport back to a regular schedule. He was the first to find a way to safely put his athletes in a bubble where he could run fights in the U.S. or internationally.

White and the UFC have been first in a lot of ways, but one thing he resisted was being first to welcome a live crowd back into the arena.

There are some locals that have offered to allow a certain amount of fans into an arena for live sports. White, however, isn’t interested. He insists that he will not go back to welcoming fans to UFC events until he can pack the house to the rafters.

“I’ll go anywhere where I can sell out the whole arena. I’ll stay here at the Apex instead of going somewhere I can’t have a full crowd. ”

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