UFC: Dana White doesn’t think Nick Diaz should fight again

nick diaz, mma

Back in September at UFC 267, Nick Diaz (26-10, 1 NC) made his highly anticipated return. Diaz hadn’t fought since January of 2015 when he took on Anderson Silva in the middleweight division. For years, Diaz has talked about coming back, but it always fell through.

This year, Diaz got a little more serious about making a UFC return. After meeting with Dana White, the promotion started moving towards a return bout. A rematch with Robbie Lawler was put on the main card of UFC 267.

Fans were encouraged especially after seeing Diaz’s social media posts from earlier in the year where he looked to be in amazing shape. However, that same sentiment was not felt during fight week. At the last minute, the Diaz camp requested that the welterweight fight get moved to middleweight.

Lawler and the promotion agreed so the fight was moved up to 185 pounds. Diaz didn’t look in peak shape at all prior to the fight. There were a lot of questions regarding his commitment to things prior to the fight.

UFC President thinks Diaz should hang it up for good

Nick Diaz still looked good in spots at UFC 267. His boxing skills looked good and he was able to land some really good shots and combinations on Robbie Lawler. However, it was clear that this wasn’t prime Nick Diaz.

Diaz was ultimately stopped by Lawler. Afterwards, Diaz has hinted that he wanted to fight again and he’s talked about that on social media. However, that contradicts his attitude he’s always had towards fighting which is that he’s not a fan.

UFC president Dana White had an interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto over the weekend. Nick Diaz was a topic that was discussed and White made it clear that he doesn’t believe that Nick Diaz should fight again.

White talked about Diaz’s desire to fight and his reasons for fighting. He mentioned that Diaz fights because he needs to and not because he wants to. This is a dangerous mindset for a fighter which is why White believes he should be done.

Time will tell what the UFC ultimately decides to do with Diaz. I believe that if Diaz gets himself in prime shape that he can still be a factor in the promotion. Would he be a title contender again? Maybe not, but I believe that Diaz still has fight left in the tank.

UFC strawweight champion Rose Namajunas will take on Carla Esparza next

It looks like former UFC strawweight champion Carla Esparza (18-6) is finally going to get her second crack at gold. The former champion has won five fights in a row to earn this shot at the title.

Dana White confirmed with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto that Esparza would “100%” be next for the strawweight title. This news comes after a month of uncertainty where it didn’t appear that Esparza was going to get the shot.

Back in April, Rose Namajunas (11-4) knocked out Zhang Weili to become the first woman to become a two-time UFC champion. After the fight was over, many expected that Esparza would be next.

However, the UFC wasn’t so sure about it. The word around the promotion was that they didn’t believe the Esparza fight was a big fight for Namajunas in terms of interest. With that in mind, they decided to do an immediate rematch with Weili.

Esparza was perplexed by the decision as most were in the MMA community. She said that she would wait for her title shot, however, Dana White mentioned that it might be a mistake to wait.

Namajunas defeated Weili in the rematch at UFC 268 to retain her title. After the fight, she said that she wanted to face off with Esparza next and she was confused by the promotions reluctance. Now, it appears that the UFC has given in.

UFC making the rematch

Esparza has done everything needed to earn a rematch and the storyline is there for a fight with Namajunas. These two first met for the inaugural UFC strawweight title back in 2014.

Esparza submitted Namajunas to become the first strawweight champion. However, he reign didn’t last long as she lost the title in her first defense. Ever since then, she’s been working towards getting back to the top.

While she’s had some bumps in the road, Esparza has been on an incredible run as of late. The former UFC champion has won five fights in a row which includes wins over some of the more compelling contenders in the division.

Her last two wins came over Marina Rodriguez and Yan Xiaonan. The Yan fight was incredible impressive as she scored a TKO victory. That win alone should’ve earned her a UFC title shot.

Despite losing the first fight, I’m expecting Namajunas to be a massive favorite in the rematch. While both have improved since the first fight, Namajunas is completely transformed. Esparza is getting the title shot she wanted, but it’s a massive mountain to climb whenever they fight.

Is Kayla Harrison UFC bound?

MMA, PFL

We are getting closer and closer to finding out where Kayla Harrison (12-0) will be fighting next and it could be the UFC. Harrison attended UFC 269 this past weekend where she watched Amanda Nunes take on Julianna Pena.

While Harrison is teammates with Nunes, the general thought was that Harrison could face Nunes at featherweight should Nunes get past Pena. This would be a superfight for women’s MMA and the UFC was very interested in making it happen.

Harrison was in the front row and even received camera treatment from the promotion. However, a giant wrench was thrown into the plans when Julianna Pena did the unthinkable and submitted Amanda Nunes in the second round of their fight.

A visibly upset Kayla Harrison was seen in the front row following the result. After UFC 269, Dana White said that a potential matchup between Harrison and Nunes would’ve been a massive fight that they were interested in making.

However, given the result, the fight has lost a little luster. Now, Nunes is going to be faced with some questions. Dana White acknowledged that the UFC was in talks with Harrison and he acknowledged it with a smile.

Harrison also said at the MMA awards last week that the UFC took her out to dinner and was recruiting her over.

Is she UFC bound?

Harrison became a superstar under the PFL banner. The former Olympic Gold Medalist has spent the majority of her career with PFL and she is a two-time PFL champion. The promotion is desperately wanting to bring her back.

However, the competition is stiff. Bellator is also interested in bringing Harrison in for a potential superfight with Cris Cyborg. When Cyborg won her last fight, Harrison was in the front row and also got the camera treatment from Bellator.

At first, the UFC seemed on the outside in terms of the interest in Harrison. However, that has changed dramatically over the last week or so. The UFC now appears to be going after Harrison hard and it’s clear why.

Kayla Harrison has superstar written all over her. The UFC is the biggest stage and they can take her to the next level in terms of her career. However, the biggest money fight isn’t as big as it was just days ago.

Nunes is likely going to face off against Julianna Pena again. Perhaps the UFC signs Harrison and books her on the undercard of that PPV. If they both win, people can chalk up this Nunes loss as overconfidence and not being prepared enough.

If Nunes regains her status as double champ and Harrison dazzles in her UFC debut, the fight once again becomes incredibly interesting. While all promotion’s are interested, I definitely think the UFC has the inside track as of now.

PFL CEO slams UFC and Dana White ahead of potential bidding for Kayla Harrison

Tomorrow night, the PFL Championship event is being headlined by the biggest name in the promotion, Kayla Harrison (11-0). The two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and two-time defending PFL lightweight champion will look to capture her third championship.

Standing in her way is Taylor Guardado (3-1) who was also perfect in the 2021 PFL season. However, little to no one is giving her a chance to defeat Harrison tomorrow. In fact, most aren’t expecting her to even last a round with Harrison.

Harrison is also fighting the final fight on her PFL contract tomorrow night. Once the championship match is over, all eyes will turn to her free agency. Bellator and the UFC will definitely come calling as Harrison is already one of the best to ever do it.

With Bellator, there’s the potential matchup with Cris Cyborg and with the UFC, there’s the potential fight with the GOAT, Amanda Nunes. The UFC President is very familiar with Harrison, but he issued some advice to Harrison with her free agency looming.

White suggested that Harrison stay in PFL where she can make a lot of money while beating no one of significance. Suggesting that the UFC might be too much. Harrison responded this week saying she will prove to White that she’s the greatest fighter of all time.

PFL CEO Slams UFC

These comments from White caught the eye of PFL CEO Donn Davis. Let’s just say that Davis didn’t take too kindly to the comments from White and told MMA Fighting today that at PFL, the stars are the fighters and not the promoter.

Davis said, “I think that’s what they do in the UFC. They do two things: They try to put fighters down to increase their leverage, and they try to make it all about them and not the fighters. We don’t do that here. We know the fighters are the stars, not the promoter. They forget that. The fighters are the stars, not the promoter.”

Davis went on to say that in the PFL, they just let the fighting do the talking and skip all the politics. In a way, he’s not wrong. When you fight in the PFL, you are controlling your own destiny with the way you fight and if you win, you will advance.

However, there’s also some major drawbacks to this style like losing out on seeing fights that everyone wants to see. A major fight could be derailed if one of the two were to lose in an opening round matchup. On the other hand, that’s an aspect that also makes PFL intriguing.

PFL is doing their part to try and increase the competition level for Harrison. They’ve signed Claressa Shields and Julia Budd in the last year for the lightweight and featherweight division. Harrison has made it clear that her goal is to be the greatest of all time and competition fuels her.

I’m incredibly intrigued to see what happens with Harrison’s free agency. PFL will likely bring forth the most money, however, they won’t bring the best competition given the current landscape. So will Harrison take the money or will she go the route of Michael Chandler and go for legacy? Time will tell.

Jake Paul issues boxing challenge to Dana White and Jorge Masivdal

jake paul

Just a few weeks ago, Jake Paul (4-0) won a boxing match against former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley. It was the first time that Paul was in the ring against someone who could actually do damage against him.

In fact, it was the first time in Paul’s boxing career that we actually saw him in trouble. At one point in the match, Woodley appeared to have rocked Paul. However, the tentative style of Woodley ultimately cost him on the scorecards.

This past weekend, Triller put on a boxing event where Anderson Silva (34-11, 1 NC MMA) knocked out Tito Ortiz in the first round. It was Silva’s second appearance in the boxing ring this year following his victory over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr back in June.

After The Contender Series this week, Dana White was asked by the media his thoughts on Jake Paul as well as Anderson Silva. White made it clear that he doesn’t believe that Paul will call out The Spider for his next matchup.

Paul’s Boxing Callout

The UFC President pointed to the fact that Anderson Silva is Jake Paul’s size and he pointed to the fact that he’s actually good at boxing when speaking to the media. Jake Paul has seemingly agreed with White in that he’s not interested in boxing Anderson Silva next.

Instead, Paul is focused on guys who are on the UFC roster. Most notably, Jake Paul wants a shot at the UFC’s BMF, Jorge Masvidal (35-15). Masvidal is coming off of a failed attempt to become welterweight champion back in April.

Gamebred has made it known that he wants to having a boxing match with Jake Paul after some recent back-and-forth over social media. However, White reiterated the fact that Masvidal is under contract with the UFC so it wouldn’t happen.

Paul challenged White and Masvidal over Twitter. A tweet that is likely not going to draw a response from the UFC President. In reality, Jake Paul’s next opponent likely won’t have anything to do with the UFC.

I can’t see him taking a fight with Anderson Silva and I also don’t see him getting Masvidal next. In actuality, Jake Paul is likely going to be boxing Tommy Fury next. If he gets through that one, then perhaps we see another UFC guy take him on.

UFC: Who earned contracts on week three of DWCS?

UFC, Dana White

Tonight, we saw more UFC contracts handed out in the third week of the 2021 season of Dana White’s Contender Series. We saw the most amount of fights we’ve seen all season as six fights took place tonight in the UFC‘s APEX.

So far this season, Dana White has been very generous with the contracts. The UFC president has shelled out ten contracts after two weeks. Last week, all five winners got a contract while in week one, White even gave a UFC contract to a fighter who lost.

With the promotion upping the amount of events they are hosting, they are constantly looking to add talent and The Contender Series is proving to be a gold mine for them. Tonight, the promotion ended up handing out another five contracts tonight.

UFC Contract Winners

Jailton Almeida

In the featured bout of the evening, we saw a battle of light heavyweights as Jailton Almeida (13-2) took on Nasrudin Nasrudinov (9-0). Nasrudinov entered the bout as the massive favorite and entered the contest with the same reputation as most fighters that come out of Dagestan.

However, it was Almeida who looked the most impressive in the grappling exchanges this evening. While everyone expected Nasrudinov to come forward and take Almeida down, we saw the opposite. Almeida’s strength gave Nasrudinov problems throughout the entire fight.

In the second round, Almeida landed a takedown and was able to work his way to the back of Nasrudinov. Once there, he was able to secure a rear naked choke and get the finish. Almeida’s dominant performance earned him a UFC contract.

Albert Duraev

The fourth fight of the night featured a battle of middleweights as Albert Duraev (13-3) took on Caio Bittencourt (14-6). Many were looking forward to this one and Bittencourt was riding a long winning streak as he was hoping to earn himself a UFC contract.

However, this fight ended up being incredibly one-sided in the other direction. Early on in the first round, Duraev was able to get a takedown and Bittencourt wouldn’t get back up. Duraev tied him up on the ground and use his ground and pound to secure dominant positions. Towards the end of the first, Duraev locked up a choke and got the tap. With his dominant win, Dana White gave him a contract.

Lakasz Brzeski

The third fight of the night featured a battle of heavyweights as Lukasz Brzeski (8-1-1) took on Dylan Potter (10-5). These two heavyweights wasted no time as both men started the fight throwing bombs. Immediately, Brzeski had the upper hand as he was landing big shots. However, Potter hung in there and threw back.

Both men looked absolutely gassed just halfway through the first round. For the rest of the fight, Brzeski pushed forward while Potter tried to hold him off. In the final round, Brzeski got a takedown and got the back of Potter. He sunk in a choke and initially it looked like Potter tapped however, upon further review, he was just fighting the hands.

Nevertheless, Brzeski got the submission win and earned himself a UFC contract as a result.

Jack Della Maddalena

The second fight of the evening paired up prospective welterweights Jack Della Maddalena (9-2) and Ange Loosa (7-1). This fight ended up being an absolute war as both men were going all out for a UFC contract.

Throughout the entire fight, it was Della Maddalena who was pushing forward and landing the better shots. In the second round, Della Maddalena slipped which allowed Loosa to get on top. In that, Loosa almost ended up securing an arm-triangle choke, however, Della Maddalena powered through.

In the third round, Loosa had success early in the round, but Della Maddalena turned things around about halfway through. Throughout the final couple of minutes, Della Maddalena put his foot on the gas and had Dana White standing up at the end. A sensational win that earned him a UFC contract.

Jasmine Jasudavicius

The first UFC contract of the evening went to Jasmine Jasudavicius (6-1) who defeated Julia Palestra (8-3) in an entertaining battle in the women’s flyweight division. This fight was back-and-forth, but there was a clear strategy for Jusdavicius.

The Canadian flyweight wanted to get the fight to the ground throughout. Palestra has great Muay Thai and you could tell when the two would exchange. However, Jusdavicius did a fantastic job of getting the fight to the ground throughout the three round contest.

In the first round, Jusdavicius was so dominant that she came within seconds of a finish. While it was a grinding performance, she did enough in Dana White’s eyes to earn herself a UFC contract.

Breaking down the UFC’s hot start with the Contender Series in 2021

UFC, Dana White

Last night we saw another episode of Dana White’s Contender Series. It was the UFC‘s second episode of the season and featured five fights. Ten prospective fighters were ready to go all out to earn themselves UFC contracts.

Last week, Dana White handed out five contracts during week one. In all the years of DWCS, it was the first time the UFC gave out a contract to both fighters featured in one of the bouts. The fight was so close that White gave the winner and loser a shot.

With five fresh faces added to the roster, attention turned to The Contender last night as well. The action did start relatively slow in the bantamweight division. Given how stacked 135 is for the UFC, I figured the bantamweights needed to go all out.

Chad Anheliger (11-5) took on Muin Gafurov (17-4). Anheliger was a massive underdog, but he was riding an eight-fight win streak. His constant pressure and activity was enough go get a split decision. After the performance, I didn’t think he’d get a contract, but Dana White surprised me and added the Canadian bantamweight to the promotion.

UFC Contender Highlights

After that first fight, we saw some tremendous action the rest of the night. CJ Vergara (9-2) looked like a flyweight destroyer last night in his bout with Bruno Korea (12-4). Vergara stormed out of the gate and finished Korea with a brutal knee to the body in the opening minute.

After that fight, we saw a war in the bantamweight division between Saimon Oliveira (18-3) and Jose Alday (14-6). Oliveira got the nod on the cards and was given a UFC contract by Dana White.

After that, we had back-to-back finishes to close the night. Nigerian middleweight Chidi Njokuani (20-7) dominated and stopped Mario Sousa (12-2) in the third round. Then the attention turned to the featured bout of the evening.

Josh Quinlan (6-0) took on Logan Urban (5-2). Quinlan was a huge favorite and he showed why. He completely overwhelmed Urban and stopped him in the first minute to stay perfect and earn a UFC contract.

Yes, you read that right, the promotion gave out five new contracts last night for the second straight week. Ten fighters have now been added to the UFC roster through two weeks on DWCS. Given how many fights the promotion puts on, it’s not surprising to see so many new additions right away this year.

Who earned UFC contracts on week one of Dana White’s Contender Series?

UFC, Dana White

Tonight Dana White’s Contender Series was back for the first time in 2021 with eight prospects hoping to win UFC contracts. It was a night full of action and these fighters seemed hungrier than ever to earn themselves a contract.

There were four great fights tonight and ultimately, Dana White ended up handing out a record number of UFC contracts for one night. The boss handed out five contracts and for the first time, there was one fight where the winner and loser were given contracts.

UFC Newcomers

Azamat Murzakanov

In the main event of the evening, we saw a battle of prospective UFC light heavyweights. Undefeated Russian prospect Azamat Murzakanov (9-0) took on Matheaus Scheffel (14-6).

Murzakanov was the biggest betting favorite of the evening. In the first couple of minutes of the fight, both men were just feeling out the range but they were swinging big shots.

You could tell that Murzakanov was just waiting for his opportunity to explode and get on the inside. Well, three minutes into the first round he did just that. He exploded with a huge combination that put Scheffel out cold. There’s a reason why there was a lot of hype around Murzakanov. He earned his UFC contract with an exclamation point.

AJ Fletcher

The first contract came from the very first fight this evening. AJ Fletcher (9-0) took on Leonardo Damiani (10-2-1) in the welterweight division. Both of these guys were being looked at as two highly valued prospects in the eyes of the UFC.

In the opening portion of the first round, Damiani was actually getting the better of the striking. He was the one backing Fletcher up and appeared to him in desperation mode at one point forcing Fletcher to shoot for a double leg takedown.

However, late in the round, everything changed. Fletcher opened up with a spinning back kick that seemed to give him confidence. Seconds later, he blasted Damiani with a flush flying knee that put the Italian out. That performance was enough to earn him a UFC contract.

Victor Altamirano and Carlos Candelario

One of the more anticipated matchups of the evening was the flyweight contest between Victor Altamirano (9-1) and Carlos Candelario (8-0). The UFC is always looking for flyweight talent and this matchup promised to be fireworks.

Candelario briefly retired after his first contender series appearance a few years ago, but his fire is back and he was looking for a contract. In the first round, both men came out extremely fast and both had success on the feet. Candelario stole the round with good takedowns and ground and pound.

In the second round, Candelario started out strong with his boxing. However, he looked a little tired and started going for takedowns. Altamirano defended takedowns well initially and was landing big shots of his own. Candelario was able to land takedowns late in the round and it proved to be a very close round.

In the third round, Altamirano really looked a lot better and took over. Candelario was slowing down and Altamirano started doing work to the body. Candelario had a good first two round, but Candelario hit a wall and Altamirano dominated the majority of the round.

The fight was razor close and Altamirano won a split decision. Because the fight was so close and both men brought it, Dana White gave both of them UFC contracts.

Joanderson Brito

The co-main event was a battle between Diego Lopes (19-3) and Joanderson Brito (11-2-1).This matchup between prospective UFC featherweights was a ton of fun. I was a little surprised by the start. Brito is known for his aggressive striking style, but he shocked everyone by coming out with a takedown attempt.

Lopes almost locked in an armbar halfway through the round and that forced Brito to stand up. From there, the two men spent the rest of the round just exchanging massive power shots. In the second round, we saw a lot of the same.

Brito ended up shooting for a takedown again in the second and Lopes almost got guillotine choke. Lopes came close a number of time on submissions, but Brito powered through. In the second, Brito landed some of the nastiest ground and pound I’ve ever seen and heard.

The final round started with both men embracing. However, the action didn’t last long. Lopes was accidentally poked in the eye by Brito and the fight was called off.

Brito was docked a point and they went to the scorecards. Ultimately, Brito got the decision win and because of the exciting action throughout, Dana White gave Brito a UFC contract.

Stipe Miocic to meet with UFC next month regarding his return

MMA, Stipe Miocic

The greatest heavyweight in the history of the UFC is getting ready to ramp up the comeback conversations. Stipe Miocic (20-4) has been motivated to get back in the cage ever since he lost the heavyweight title back in March.

Miocic defended his title against Francis Ngannou (16-3) at UFC 260. This was a rematch from a couple of years ago. In the first fight, Miocic completely dominated and overwhelmed Ngannou in a lopsided decision.

The second fight was completely different. Ngannou was calculated and remained calmed throughout on his way to knocking Miocic out in the second round to become the UFC heavyweight champion.

After the loss, Miocic has stated that he wants the trilogy with Ngannou to regain his heavyweight title. However, the UFC had no plans for that right away. Miocic needed time to recover and with a baby on the way, he decided to sit back for a while.

In the mean time, there has been a ton of activity in the heavyweight division. Despite the title being on the line just a few months ago, the UFC created an interim title that Derrick Lewis (25-8, 1 NC) and Ciryl Gane (10-0) just fought for at UFC 265.

Miocic to meet with the UFC

Gane stopped Lewis in the third round to become the interim UFC heavyweight champion. With the interim title around his waste, Gane will be taking on the undisputed champion, Francis Ngannou, likely at the end of the year or in early 2022.

So where does that leave the greatest heavyweight in UFC history? Well, Miocic is in a bit of a waiting pattern. He told ESPN this week that his wife is due with their son in the next couple of weeks. After the baby is born, Miocic is flying to Las Vegas to meet with Dana White regarding what’s next.

Miocic did mention that he was a little annoyed he didn’t get a call for the interim title fight. That was never in the UFC’s plans. White has publicly mentioned a fight with Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC) as an option for Miocic. Miocic told ESPN he would be down for that fight, but Jones has been less interested in this matchup in the past.

I have to say, with Ngannou – Gane happening, I would love for the UFC to book Miocic against Jones. The greatest of all time versus the greatest heavyweight has a nice ring to it. Not too mention the fact that it would provide a clear number one contender for the winner of Ngannou – Gane.

‘Suga’ Sean O’Malley being treated like ‘S–t’ by the UFC

Sean O'Malley

Add Sean O’Malley (14-1) to the list of fighters that have vocally expressed frustrations with the UFC. The budding star appeared on his podcast recently where he talked about declining a fight offer from the UFC.

The promotion apparently wanted O’Malley to appear on their November PPV which is scheduled to take place at Madison Square Garden. Whenever the UFC goes to MSG, they usually try to have a massive card for the event.

UFC 268, scheduled for November 6th, is supposed to take place at MSG. The promotion offered O’Malley a fight on the card, but due to a number of different circumstances, O’Malley had to turn down that specific date. One of the main reason’s was that his coach had a prior engagement.

O’Malley said things took a turn when he declined the date. He elaborated by saying, “Dude, I don’t wanna fight in New York. It’s far, the taxes are ridiculous, and Tim (O’Malley’s coach) has no-Gi ADCC trials that weekend. He told me that before I even potentially had a fight. So, that’s his thing and I’m not gonna say, ‘No. I have a fight, we’re doing it.’ Especially when I could fight like a month later in Vegas.” (Transcription from MMA Fighting)

Issues with UFC matchmakers

O’Mally said that UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby didn’t love the fact that he turned it down. He continued, “And Sean Shelby was just like, mad and like, ‘Fine. Go hang out with 6ix9ine’. Just acting like a f*cking tool, dude. I don’t know if I should’ve said that or not. But it’s like, dude, come on.”

O’Malley continued, “Don’t treat me like that. Like, act like I’m not training or nothing. ‘Go, you’re hanging out with 6ix9ine, dude’. Like, I’m hung out with him once. Well, three days. But yeah, so, it’s like, cool, dude. Treat me like a piece of sh*t. No, it’s like, dude, I would rather not deal with him at all and just deal with Dana.”

It’s widely known that the bigger UFC stars deal directly with either Dana White or Hunter Campbell. The mid-tier fighters usually only deal with the UFC matchmakers and it appears that O’Malley was still dealing with Sean Shelby.

O’Malley has superstar potential for the UFC and my guess is that he’s going to end up coming out just fine from this. With his social media presence and connection to big stars, the promotion would be wise to get behind the rising bantamweight contender.

Ultimately, this situation will iron itself out and the promotion will likely get O’Malley on the books for a December PPV. However, this is just another instance of a top UFC fighter being vocally frustrated with the promotion