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

UFC’s Gaethje to Chandler: ‘There’s something about your face that just makes me want to punch you’

One of the most highly anticipated fights of the year is scheduled to go down at UFC 268. Two of the best lightweights in the world will battle it out as Michael Chandler (22-6) takes on Justin Gaethje (22-3).

Both men have incredibly similar styles and both love to stand and trade. In addition to having a similar fan-friendly fighting style, both men are also in a very similar spot in their career.

Chandler just lost a UFC lightweight title fight back in May to Charles Oliveira. The last time we saw Justin Gaethje fight was at UFC 254 when he lost a lightweight title fight to Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Both men are coming off title losses, but they still rank at the very top of the division. While they have paid some compliments to each other in the past, there is some underlying beef between the two UFC lightweights.

It all started with Chandler stating on an Instagram Live that Gaethje turned down a fight with him several times. Gaethje fired back at Chandler and said that he was slandering his name. This was all prior to the UFC finalizing the fight between the two.

UFC 268 In Flux

Today at the UFC weight in show, Justin Gaethje appeared as a guest. Michael Chandler was one of the hosts along with Daniel Cormier and several other personalities from the promotion.

Gaethje stated in the interview that he doesn’t have much of a reason to dislike Chandler, but he just does. The former interim UFC champion said to Chandler, “It’s been a while since I fought someone I didn’t like… There’s something about your face that just makes me want to punch you… It’s the smirk.”

This got a big smile out of Chandler. Chandler has seemed incredibly excited since this fight got announced. Chandler has stated that the one guy that he wants to fight more than anyone is Justin Gaethje.

Now, there was an interesting statement from Gaethje in today’s interview. Gaethje openly said that he didn’t think his fight with Chandler will take place in New York City and he was hoping that it doesn’t.

Couple this with Michael Chandler saying he’s not going to get vaccinated and it’s starting to look like UFC 268 is going to change. New York City issued a vaccine mandate and that could jeopardize the event.

Dana White has said this week that he has spoken to Madison Square Garden and there’s no issue. However, my guess is that the UFC is already planning on either moving this fight or moving their PPV to a new location. I would imagine that the promotion would like to keep Gaethje – Chandler on PPV so it will be interesting to find out where it takes place.

Vaccine mandates in NYC could alter the plans for UFC 268

UFC, Dana White

UFC 268 is supposed to be a massive event for the promotion. The promotion is targeting a return to Madison Square Garden for the event and they are bringing incredible fights to New York for that event.

Headlining UFC 268 is the rematch between Kamaru Usman (19-1) and Colby Covington (16-2). In addition, UFC 268 will play host to the return of Luke Rockhold as he takes on Sean Strickland. 

However, arguably the most anticipated matchup that’s been announced is the co-main event. The UFC has booked Michael Chandler (22-6) against Justin Gaethje (22-3). This is a dream fight for most fans and were supposed to see it in November.

However, a new mandate in New York City might jeopardize that fight. Michael Chandler had an Instagram Live session yesterday (from MMA Junkie) where he was very open and honest about the fact that he will not be vaccinated come the November.

Chandler said that he was not anti-vax and that he would consider taking the vaccine once it’s FDA approved. I can assure you that Chandler is not the only fighter in the UFC who is not vaccinated and I guarantee he’s not the only one on the card that won’t be.

New York City announced new mandates that requires vaccination proof to do just about anything indoors. With this new mandate coming down, the UFC 268 location might be in jeopardy.

UFC 268 Backup Plans

Dana White has always said that the UFC will never force their athletes to do anything. In regards to forcing vaccinations, White said to TSN, “I would never tell another human being what to do with their body. If you want to get vaccinated, that’s up to you. That’s your choice. You’re never going to hear me say I’m going to force people to get vaccinated. Never gonna happen.”

I can guarantee White isn’t going to change his position and I guarantee the UFC fighters who don’t want the vaccine will not get it. That said, this card is in a lot of trouble in terms of the location.

It’s worth noting that the location has not been announced for UFC 268. While it’s widely known that it’s supposed to take place at MSG, the promotion hasn’t officially announced anything yet.

Dana White has been operating through the fluid waters of this pandemic for well over a year. The UFC knows how to deal with situations like this and I can assure you that they’re already working on a new location. This will definitely be something to watch over the coming weeks.

Is AJ McKee the best featherweight in the world after Bellator 263?

AJ McKee

This past Saturday at Bellator 263, we saw the conclusion of the Featherweight Grand Prix in the main event. The champion Patricio Pitbull (32-5) was looking to defend his title against the undefeated challenger AJ McKee (18-0).

McKee has a superstar quality about him, but many were still picking the Bellator champion heading into Saturday. Patricio Pitbull is the greatest fighter in the promotion’s history and he owns virtually every Bellator record there is to own.

Saturday night was going to tell us just how good AJ McKee is. Well, AJ McKee is not just good, he’s something truly special. McKee dropped Pitbull in the first round at Bellator 263 with a beautiful combination and he finished him with a standing guillotine.

In a fight that was built to be the best versus the best, McKee made it look incredibly easy. It reminded me of when Conor McGregor knocked out Jose Aldo in 13 seconds to become UFC featherweight champion. Just like McGregor, McKee left no doubts at Bellator 263.

Bellator 263 Proved McKee’s Greatness

After his dominant win at Bellator 263 many are wondering if he’s the best in the world regardless of promotion. Over the course of recent history, the UFC champion has been considered to be the best of the best.

However, Bellator has a legit argument with their new featherweight champion. While Patricio Pitbull was a dominant champion, nobody ever considered him to be better than Max Holloway or Alexander Volkanovski.

He was always seen as a step below them, however, McKee is not. I truly believe that McKee is on that elite level with the best that the UFC has to offer. The 26 year old has it all. He has incredible ground skills and he’s developed dangerous striking to go along with it.

Who is the best in the world?

At Bellator 263, he showed off the full package. Now, when everyone is at their absolute best, I still believe in my heart that Max Holloway is the best featherweight on the planet. Yes, he’s lost to Volkanovski twice. However, I do not believe he lost that second fight last year.

The Max Holloway that we saw in January is the best featherweight in the world. While I don’t think McKee is the best in the world, I think he’s right there with those guys. It’s truly a shame that he fights for Bellator in that we won’t be able to see him fight the best of the best.

That said, McKee’s contract is coming up soon. McKee told MMA Junkie that he would like to resign with Bellator if they show him the money. McKee has fought all 18 of his professional fights under the Bellator banner.

However, the UFC is interested. Dana White did come out and say that he would take McKee to lunch making good on a bet McKee made with him when he was a child. McKee told the UFC president that he would become world champion and when that happens, White had to take him to lunch.

White told TSN that he would make good on that bet and also said that when his contract is up, they’d be interested in talking. Time will tell what McKee ends up doing, but make no mistake about it, the new Bellator champion is a star.

Stipe Miocic annoyed by the UFC

MMA, Stipe Miocic

The greatest heavyweight in UFC history is not happy with the promotion. It would appear that Stipe Miocic (20-4) is once again at odds with the promotion and he expressed his frustrations yesterday on Instagram. MMA Fighting caught Miocic’s comments about the UFC title picture.

Miocic is being asked to wait for the heavyweight title picture to iron itself out. In a few weeks, Derrick Lewis and Ciryl Gane will be fighting for the interim UFC heavyweight title. The winner of that fight will be next in line to take on the undisputed champion Francis Ngannou (16-3).

Miocic last the heavyweight title to Ngannou back at UFC 260 when he was knocked out by Ngannou in the second round. That fight was a rematch from their first fight a few years ago where Miocic completely dominated a very green Francis Ngannou.

The second fight was completely dominated by Ngannou. However, with the series being 1-1, Miocic is wanting to run it back to get his title back. He’s talked about bulking up and he even talked about returning to fight for the UFC title by the end of the year. However, he’s express frustrations with the way things look.

Not wanting to wait on the UFC

In a response to an Instagram comment, the former UFC champion said, “I shouldn’t have to wait for a winner. I have the most heavyweight title defenses of all time. We’re 1-1 but DC (Daniel Cormier) got instant rematches and trilogies against me?”

Miocic has a legit argument against the UFC. He holds the most title defenses in the history of the division and even Dana White would tell you that Miocic is the greatest heavyweight champion in the history of the promotion. However, things have not always been smooth between Miocic and the UFC.

After Miocic lost to Daniel Cormier in their first fight, it took over a year for him to get the rematch. That was because the UFC was trying to book a heavyweight title fight between Cormier and Brock Lesnar. After that fight fell through, Miocic got his rematch.

Now, Miocic has lost his title for the second time and instead of getting an immediate rematch, he’s being asked to wait again. Miocic even contemplated a move to ONE with everything that’s going on. I’m sure this situation between Miocic and the UFC will right itself, but you have to feel for the former champion.