UFC: Jorge Masvidal is expecting to fight in 2020

The MMA world is wondering what is next for the UFC‘s BMF. Jorge Masvidal has been sitting on the sidelines since last November after winning the BMF title at UFC 244 capping off his incredible 2019. He was originally scheduled to fight for the UFC welterweight title at UFC 251, but contract negotiations saw the fight get scrapped. Earlier this week, I wrote about what could be next for Masvidal. However, I stated in that article that the one question that is still unanswered is whether or not Gamebred will fight this year. He took to his YouTube page to give his answer on the question.

UFC’s BMF is planning on a fight in 2020

Masvidal stated that he is fully planning on fighting at some point this year. In his video, he talks about the fact that his management team has come up with a formula for what he’s worth, and he won’t fight for less. The UFC has been keeping the show rolling with fights almost every week since early May. However, Masvidal has expressed his frustrations with the UFC‘s lack of interest in giving him the money he deserves to fight for the title. The offer that was on the table to fight Kamaru Usman for the title was not enough which is why Gilbert Burns is fighting on July 11th and not Masvidal

Gamebred responds to Dana White

In another video, Masvidal talked about UFC president, Dana White. He talked about how White’s job is to make the most money for the UFC while Masvidal’s job is to make the most money for himself. With that in mind, the two, “Won’t always see eye to eye.” Masvidal sounded more optimistic about fighting in these videos than his tweets over the past few weeks. I think the two sides are still far away from any form of an agreement, but I do think one will come together. The UFC has shown over the years that they can strike a deal with the most difficult fighters. The Diaz brothers and Tito Ortiz are prime examples. I think the two sides will meet in the middle, and we will see Gamebred near the end of 2020 perhaps getting the winner of Usman/Burns.

UFC: What is next for Jorge Masvidal?

A couple of months ago, this was an easy question to answer. Jorge Masvidal (35-13) was going to be fighting for the UFC welterweight title in his next fight. “Gamebred” won fighter of the year in 2019 after knocking out top welterweights Darren Till and Ben Askren. Masvidal capped his year off with beating Nate Diaz for the BMF title back in November. All that was left was for Masvidal to fight Kamaru Usman for the title. However, due to failed negotiations we have seen the title shot go to Gilbert Burns. Now that the title shot is gone, what is next for the BMF? Let’s take a look at four realistic options for Jorge Masvidal’s next fight.

Colby Covington

This fight would have the most personal heat, and it’s the fight that probably makes the most sense from a rankings perspective. Former teammates and roommates turned bitter rivals. A fight between Masvidal and Colby Covington (15-2) makes all the sense in the world. Masvidal has been wanting to get paid more for his next fight. A fight with Covington would be a big money maker. Love him or hate him, Colby Covington has turned into must see TV. After reinventing himself a couple of years ago, he has blown up in popularity.

The two men were once closer than brothers if you just take a look at their Instagram accounts from a few years ago. They were both constantly talking about taking over the UFC‘s welterweight division together. Fast forward to now, and both men cannot stop insulting each other in public whenever the other is mentioned. Covington has left American Top Team due to all of the tension that was in the gym. Whether it was a shoot or reality, the heat has seemingly become real between the two. This fight would be a massive seller for the UFC. A fight between Covington and Masvidal would also give a clear number one contender to challenge the winner of the Usman/Burns fight in July.

Nate Diaz

When everything started to go south with the title negotiations, Masvidal turned his attention to Nate Diaz (20-12) with one tweet.

This tweet caught a lot of people off guard considering the fact that everyone was assuming that Usman/Masvidal was opening. Of course we all learned how the negotiations went, and now Masvidal is left without a dance partner. Well, the November BMF title fight left a lot to be desired. Not because of the fight itself, but because of how the fight ended. The fight was getting ready to head into the championship rounds when a ringside doctor called it off due to a cut.

Diaz had some really good moments in the third after Masvidal had dominated most of the fight. Masvidal made more money against Diaz than he was offered to fight Usman. Well, how about running back the BMF title fight as Masvidal suggested? Have to think that the UFC would pony up a little more money considering the star that Nate Diaz is. This would give Masvidal a fight, and it would give the fans a proper conclusion to the BMF title fight that they were robbed of in November.

Winner of Usman/Burns

Probably the easiest thing for Masvidal to do at this point is wait. Kamaru Usman (16-1) and Gilbert Burns (19-3) are fighting in a couple of weeks for the UFC welterweight title. Masvidal can sit on the sidelines while these two go at it. After the fight is over, Masvidal can go back to the UFC to negotiate fighting the winner. The UFC supposedly made a last minute effort to try to get Masvidal to fight Usman on July 11th, but the money just never worked for Gamebred. After all of this fuss, maybe a second round of negotiations after July 11th will go smoother. In an ideal world, Usman would beat Burns on July 11th, and the UFC would move right back to try to book Usman/Masvidal. Realistically, I think this will be the first option considering the fight is just weeks away.

Conor McGregor

Red panty night anyone? Masvidal wants to get paid, and Conor McGregor (22-4) just wants to fight. McGregor “retired” due to the frustrations he had with the UFC for not giving him a fight. Masvidal passed up a title fight due to his frustrations with pay. Do you see where I’m going with this? A fight with Masvidal and McGregor is a win-win for everyone. Masvidal would get the paycheck that he’s searching for. McGregor would get an opponent who would stand and trade with him, and the UFC would hit it out of the park with a massive PPV. I mean imagine a fight with McGregor and Masvidal with no fans. You could hear every word that the two would say to each other. The McGregor fight is one that Masvidal has wanted for a while, and it’s a fight that makes sense for both men. For Conor, he could lose the fight, but not lose ground in the lightweight division. It’s a fight that makes a lot of sense, but I’m not confident the UFC will move to book it.

What does the UFC do?

It’s crazy, but the two biggest fights in terms of PPV money are the two least likely from the UFC‘s perspective. I just don’t see the UFC pushing to make the McGregor or the Diaz fight for Masvidal. My guess is that they will wait to see how July 11th goes. If Usman gets through Gilbert Burns, I think they start up the talks again to have Masvidal fight Usman for the title in the fall. If that fight doesn’t materialize the UFC could pivot to try and booking Masvidal with Covington. However, a roadblock there could be the UFC trying to book the rematch between Usman and Covington. I respect Masvidal for sticking to his guns, but if he gets another chance at Usman, I really hope he doesn’t pass it up. I don’t think the UFC will give him the money fights he’s looking for, so if he doesn’t get the title shot, who knows what’ll happen to him. Gamebred soared to stardom last year, and it is crazy to think that there’s a possibility that the 2019 fighter of the year will not fight in 2020.

UFC: Jorge Masvidal’s offer was “Take it or leave it”

It seems like we can’t go a day or two without there being new information that’s coming out about the UFC and one of their unhappy stars. Jorge Masvidal took to Twitter Sunday afternoon to talk about the offer that was given to him by the UFC to fight welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman.

A step back for a UFC title shot?

Masvidal signed a new UFC contract last year, prior to his fight with Nate Diaz. Historically, fighters sign long-term deals with the UFC, but they are able to negotiate on a fight-by-fight basis. Masvidal’s deal gives him a base pay, but he made much more than that base pay for his fight with Diaz. The entire issue that has come up is that the UFC is saying that they will not negotiate with Masvidal for his next fight. They offered him the title fight with Usman for the amount that is listed on his contract. Of course, Masvidal was not happy with the deal because he’d be taking a step back financially when he’s fighting for the actual title. It’s a weird situation because the UFC is well within their right to hold Masvidal to the contract that he and his management signed, but Masvidal has every right to be frustrated.

How UFC contracts normally work

Many pundits have come out recently and talked about this including former two-division champion, Daniel Cormier. “DC” said that he still is under his old contract, but he makes much more than that for his fights. While UFC contracts are signed for multiple fights, they are negotiated on a fight-by-fight basis. Masvidal also stated this in another Tweet:

Where we go from here

With this entire mess, the fans are the ones that are truly missing out. The Masvidal/Usman fight was going to be huge for the July PPV card. Don’t get me wrong, Usman/Burns is a fantastic fight, but it doesn’t have the heat that the Masvidal fight had. I’m not sure how this entire situation is going to end, but it’s not a good look right now. Many stars have issues, but the problem for Masvidal is that he doesn’t have the leverage that the other guys do. Jon Jones is considered to be the greatest of all time. He will likely get what he wants far before Masvidal gets what he wants. For fight fans, I really hope this situation gets resolved. But for now, we will all wait just like Jorge Masvidal.

UFC: “Everybody Should Get Paid More,” Says Joe Rogan

Fighter pay has always been an issue on the forefront of the UFC world, but more recently that matter has been brought back up by some of the biggest stars seeking better paydays. Jon Jones has fought quite publicly with Dana White and has asked to be released by the UFC, while Jorge Masvidal has also told the league to let him go if he’s not worth it. He asked why he should have to fight for half as much as his previous outing because his opponent isn’t the same draw, a question that’s hard for the UFC to answer.

Conor McGregor walking away from the sport again, at least for now, can also be seen as frustration with the financial side of the sport. His brief jump to boxing was, after all, motivated at least in strong part because of the greater payday compared to MMA.

The situation surrounding how much fighters make will continue to be a talking point this year, especially as it’s affecting some of the most well known and mainstream talents in the sport, and it’s led to Joe Rogan giving his take on his podcast.

“I think everybody should get paid more. I think it’s a crazy way to make a living. I think you should get the most amount of money you can possibly get,” Rogan said. However, he did acknowledge that it’s a business and that the league doesn’t have unlimited money to spend on its fighters. “I don’t talk finances with them, but I know the WME people who own it are hurting, bad. They’re laying people off. Most businesses are hurting. All the entertainment business is (expletive).”

“You should get paid an incredibly generous amount of money to step into a cage fight for millions of people to see,” Rogan continued.

The matter of pay isn’t going to leave the conversation for a while, with the UFC still having ongoing disputes to clear up with Jones and Masvidal. Whether things will turn out in favor of the fighters or the company remains to be seen, but with the coronavirus pandemic preventing the UFC from collecting money at the gate from ticket sales at live events, it doesn’t seem like the company has the resources currently to deliver on an ideal outcome that would reward all of its fighters and please fans in the process.

UFC: Trouble at the top; McGregor, Jones, and Masvidal frustrated with the UFC

UFC, Dana White

UFC President Dana White seems to have a problem on his hands. Three of the top stars in the UFC have all come out in the last week expressing their frustrations with the company. Everything started with the failed Jon Jones/Francis Ngannou negotiations. Then it spilled into the Jorge Masvidal/Kamaru Usman negotiations. Then out of no where on Saturday night, Conor McGregor announces he’s leaving the sport because of where things stand with him. The world is going through a pandemic which has already created a lot of issues for the UFC, but the UFC’s biggest problems start at the top.

The Jon Jones Situation

Back in early May, the UFC was riding high after being the first major sport to return to action. UFC 249 was a huge success, and so many fighters were chomping at the bit to get back into the octagon. One of those fighters was UFC light heavyweight champion, Jon Jones. Jones has flirted with the idea of moving to heavyweight for the last couple of years, and after Francis Ngannou’s performance at UFC 249, “Bones” was ready to take on the challenge.

The two men exchanged some public jabs through Twitter, and stated that they wanted to fight each other if the money was right. Jones said that he wanted to be paid more to make the jump up in weight to take on the heavyweight knockout artist. Conventional wisdom was that Jones would probably get a pay bump, but then Jones took to Twitter to voice his frustrations.

This was just the beginning of this saga. There was some public back and forth between White and Jones before Jones came out and asked to be released. Jones went on to announce on Twitter that he would vacate his light heavyweight title. Jones is widely considered the greatest mixed martial artist of all time, and he’s one of the biggest names in the sport. White acknowledged the fact that Jones was a partner in the business, and stated that they would figure things out eventually. Jones took to Twitter as recently as yesterday to voice his frustrations stating: “Everything was good until I asked for a piece of the pie…”.

Jorge Masvidal wants answers or a release

By all accounts, the UFC was fully planning on having Jorge Masvidal fight Kamaru Usman for the welterweight title on July 11th. Masvidal had an incredible 2019, and the two men have had verbal altercations which has put a lot of steam behind the fight. Despite not bringing in money from live gates, it appeared that the fight would get done. However, everything changed when Masvidal took to Twitter to voice his frustrations.

Following the Jones situation, it appeared that we had a second failed negotiation with the UFC. Since this tweet, there has been a lot of public remarks made by “Gambred” regarding the revenue split between the fighters and the UFC. The July 11th negotiations are pretty much dead, and Masivdal is wanting answers from the UFC. After defeating Tyron Woodley, Gilbert Burns is likely going to get the title shot over Masvidal due to the fact that he’s willing to accept the smaller purse to make the fight happen. Masvidal is now in this incredibly frustrating position where he doesn’t have an opponent, and he doesn’t have any prospects. White said that Masvidal just signed a new seven fight deal months ago which gives the UFC way more leverage in these negotiations, but it’s still frustrating for the welterweight.

Conor McGregor Walks Away. . . For now

UFC 250 was another huge success for the company. The fights were incredible and the PPV numbers were trending very well. Five minutes hadn’t gone by after the Amanda Nunes fight had ended before Twitter became the platform again for a big statement. This one coming from the biggest star the sport has ever seen.

Conor McGregor shocked everyone by announcing his retirement from fighting right after the event had concluded. McGregor has been very active on social media lately showing off his training and calling out multiple fighters. McGregor has told White that he wanted to fight as soon as he could. White said last week that he would recommend that McGregor wait until Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje fight in September. This obviously was incredibly frustrating for the Irishman to hear.

McGregor stated at the beginning of 2020 that he wanted to be very active this year. He wanted multiple fights, and he wanted to regain his lightweight title. If McGregor had followed the advice of White, he would likely not fight again until December, if not 2021. That would be another year-long layoff for McGregor. He stated in an interview with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani that we wanted to fight Gaethje for the interim title in July.

The UFC was not willing to make that happen, and they did not offer McGregor another opponent. As a result, the superstar was left just sitting there. Frustrated by the entire thing, McGregor took to Twitter to announce his retirement. To me, this sounds a lot like the UFC is not too eager to make a Conor McGregor fight with no fans in the stands. It would be a massive PPV, but they’d be missing out on a $10+ million gate. In my opinion, that is playing a massive role in the UFC’s hesitancy to give him a fight. Now, I don’t believe that McGregor is actually retired, but I do believe that there are major problems between the UFC and their top draws.

Where does the UFC go from here?

The UFC needs to get a handle on this situation. It is one thing for one fighter to publicly come out with an issue, it’s another ballgame when three of your biggest stars are asking to either be released or retiring altogether. The UFC still does not have a main event for their big July 11th card. If it was me, I would try to work things out with Masvidal to get the original fight booked. If I couldn’t make that happen, I’d try to get McGregor to headline the card. Missing out on a live gate is not worth losing Conor McGregor for good. The UFC needs to sit down with these guys and figure out the best path forward for everyone. As White stated, these guys are partners with the company when they become stars. The situation is tense right now, but I think eventually we will see cooler heads prevail. As a fan, I’m hoping that we get to see all three men fight again at some point in 2020. You have to believe the UFC would like that as well.

UFC: Jorge Masvidal Wants Answers from UFC after failed negotiations

One of the UFC’s brightest stars is asking for some answers from his employer. Jorge Masvidal became a huge star during 2019 after he knocked out Darren Till, Ben Askren, and won the BMF title against Nate Diaz back at UFC 244. Masvidal’s huge year made him the number one contender in line to fight the winner of the Kamaru Usman/Colby Covington fight back in December. Usman went on to win that fight which would setup the big title fight with Masvidal. All year long, this fight was anticipated to headline the UFC‘s big July PPV. Even after the pandemic hit, the UFC seemed to be pushing to book this fight for July 11th. Those talks have come to a screeching halt.

There seemed to be some back and forth going on with negotiating the finances for the fight. Masvidal said in an interview with ESPN’s Kenny Mayne that when the Jon Jones situation was going on, he started taking a look at the holdup in his own negotiations. Masvidal stated that the UFC decided to pull his offer off the table, and offer the title fight to another fighter for a lot less money. He said that the fighter is willing to take the fight which leaves him in a weird position. We can all assume that the fighter he’s talking about would be Gilbert Burns. This week, Dana White said that Burns would likely be next for the title after his win against Tyron Woodley.

Revenue Split

Masvidal mentions in his interview that most major sports in America have about a 50/50 revenue split between the owners and the athletes. He mentions that the deal that was being offered to him or the athletes was for about 18% of the revenue. Upon investigating the numbers further, Masvidal wants answers from the UFC, which is why negotiations have gone south quickly. White came out this week and said that they will not beg anyone to fight with everything going on. There are a lot of fighters who just want action, but the top draws are still wanting their money.

Where to go?

To be honest, I’m really not sure where we are going to go from here. Gambred has mentioned that if he doesn’t get compensated fairly, he would like to be released. Masvidal joins Jon Jones as the second fighter to ask for a release due to failed negotiations with UFC brass. White came out this week said this week that he was confident the UFC would work things out with Jones. They will likely get this figured out with Masvidal as well. It’s clear that some issues have come to the surface recently between the UFC and some of their top athletes when it comes to fighter pay. With everything going on, Burns is likely going to get the next shot at Usman which will leave Masvidal without an opponent. Maybe the UFC tries to book a fight with Gamebred and his former friend, Colby Covington. Honestly, that fight might sell more than Masvidal’s fight with Kamaru Usman. Time will tell, but you can catch Masvidal’s entire interview with Kenny Mayne below.

UFC: Who will Conor McGregor fight next?

Conor McGregor, UFC

UFC fans all around the world have been pondering the question, “Who is Conor McGregor going to fight next?” The former two-division champion made his triumphant return to action back in January, where he starched fan favorite Donald Cerrone in 40 seconds with a devastating combination of shoulder strikes and a high kick. It was a great way to kick off the year, and Conor made the statement that he would love to fight several times in 2020.

Well, the world encountered a global pandemic that has really thrown a wrench in McGregor’s original plans. It’s becoming clear to me that the UFC was going to have Conor fight the winner of the Tony Ferguson/Khabib Nurmagomedov fight that was originally scheduled for April. That fight, of course, fell through, and Tony Ferguson fought Justin Gaethje instead. Of course, Gaethje spoiled the party by upsetting Ferguson to be crowned Interim Lightweight Champion of the UFC.

Conor McGregor has been extremely active on Twitter, calling out people and saying he is ready to fight. With that in mind, let’s look at four men who could be a possibility for the Notorious one’s next fight.

Nate Diaz

You just had to know that we were starting with this. Imagine a Conor McGregor/Nate Diaz trilogy fight with nobody in the stands on the UFC’s Fight Island. You could hear every word that these two rivals would be saying to each other. To me, this is the fight that makes the most sense from a business perspective for Conor McGregor. It is clear that Conor McGregor would like to get back to UFC gold, but there’s a roadblock at 155. Interim Champ, Justin Gaethje, is currently waiting for his shot at Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Those two are not likely to fight until September, and it’s highly unlikely that McGregor will sit out until the winter to get his shot at the belt. That is where Nate Diaz comes into the equation.

The two rivals have a history, and it needs to be settled once and for all. Nate Diaz shocked the world back in 2016 when he took a fight against Conor McGregor on short notice. After getting touched up early, Diaz found his groove and took it to a tired McGregor. Diaz would go on to submit McGregor in the second round via rear-naked choke. The two immediately ran that fight back a few months later, and it was a back and forth classic. McGregor took that close fight by Majority Decision. With the two fan favorites currently 1-1 in their series, it would just make the most sense to run this one back a third time. There are no easy fights for Conor McGregor right now, but arguably the most winnable option for him would be Nate Diaz. He has the blueprint for beating Nate Diaz, and I think he would if they were to fight a third time. Conor could make the most amount of money in this fight, and it would be another big win for him as he awaits the winner of the Nurmagomedov/Gaethje fight in September.

Jorge Masvidal

Who would not want to see this fight happen? This was the hot fight that everyone was talking about after Conor McGregor stopped Donald Cerrone back in January. Jorge Masvidal was in the front row for that fight wearing a robe that matched the robe Conor McGregor wore in his fight with Floyd Mayweather. Masvidal was coming off of his victory for the BMF Title over Nate Diaz.

Nobody in the sport had a better year in 2019 than Jorge Masvidal. Masvidal knocked out Darren Till in England, knocked Ben Askren out in 5 seconds, then beat Nate Diaz and had The Rock wrap a BMF title around his waist to cap it off. Masvidal has a personality that would sell, and I bet he’d be willing to put that BMF title up for grabs in a fight with Conor McGregor. Masvidal used to fight at 155, so there wouldn’t be a huge size discrepancy between the two men. It’s a tougher fight for Conor than Nate Diaz would be, but it’s another fight that Conor could win. This fight would be a standup war, and one thing people can’t deny is how good Conor McGregor is on his feet. He’s one of the best in the business at gauging the range and timing shots when he’s on top of his game. Not sure if either man would get a finish in this fight, but it would be a fun war to watch.

Justin Gaethje

This would be the most personal of all the options for Conor McGregor. McGregor recently turned to Twitter to call out Gaethje where he mentioned Gaethje’s comments about McGregor’s skills as a father. This is a fight that Conor wants really badly, and it would be a fight that would give him at least some gold if he’s able to win. As mentioned above, Gaethje is currently waiting for his shot against Khabib for the Undisputed Lightweight title. However, there is one factor that could throw everything off. There have been many reports out of Russia on the condition of Khabib’s trainer and father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov. Khabib is a very private person when it comes to his family, but one thing that isn’t private is his love for his father. The elder Nurmagomedov is currently battling for his life due to Covid-19. Recent reports have suggested he’s either in a medically induced coma or he’s on life support. With everything going on with his father, I’m not sure Khabib is going to be fighting anytime soon. If that turns out to be the case, you will likely see the UFC move to book Conor McGregor vs Justin Gaethje for the interim lightweight title.

On paper, this would seem to be a fight that would give Conor McGregor trouble with Gaethje’s ability to wrestle, but that is just not Gaethje’s style, which will play right into Conor McGregor’s hands. Justin Gaethje has insane power, and he’s very fast, but Conor McGregor is not Tony Ferguson when it comes to striking. In a pure striking match, I do not believe Justin Gaethje could beat Conor McGregor unless he knocks him out. I think the diversity of Conor’s striking techniques, along with his ability to time straight counters, would give Gaethje fits throughout the evening. Eddie Alvarez, who fought both men, believes that McGregor would finish Justin Gaethje. Styles make matchups, and this is not a matchup that would excitement as a Gaethje fan unless he said he would mix in his wrestling, which we all know he wouldn’t.

Kamaru Usman

Wouldn’t this be something? Conor McGregor getting a shot to become the first man in UFC history to hold a title in three different weight divisions, would be huge business for the UFC but a nightmare of a fight for Conor McGregor. Khabib Nurmagomedov is a nightmare matchup for Conor McGregor, and it showed in their first fight. To be fair, I don’t believe we saw the best version of Conor McGregor in that fight, but either way, it’s a tough matchup. Kamaru Usman is like Khabib except much bigger and stronger.

This would be one fight where even the die-hard Conor McGregor fans would have to look at it and question the odds. The Nigerian Nightmare would immediately shoot once the opening bell sounded. If he couldn’t take Conor down, he’d likely lean on him by the cage and engage in some dirty boxing. We’ve seen Conor McGregor gas in fights before, and this is a fight that would have the potential to zap his energy exceptionally quickly. I’m not sure there’s a worse matchup for Conor in the UFC right now than Kamaru Usman.

Would it be a huge fight for the legacy of Conor McGregor? Absolutely, because no man has ever held a title in three weight classes, but the mountain he’d have to climb is a steep and tall one. The only way McGregor wins the title in this fight would be to stop Usman early with a clean shot. Does Conor have the pop to take out Usman at 170? There is no question that Conor McGregor is a better striker than Kamaru Usman, but this isn’t a kickboxing match. In the world of MMA, this is a fight I do not like if I’m a Conor McGregor fan.

Who will it be?

Thinking through everything, it still makes the most sense for Conor McGregor to fight Nate Diaz in his next fight. The history is there, and it’s the fight that makes the most sense. Let’s hope and pray that Khabib’s father recovers so his life can get back to normal and as fight fans we get to see the Nurmagomedov/Gaethje fight in September. If Conor can beat Nate Diaz, he can turn his attention to the winner of the September title fight. Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal need to fight for the 170-pound title. It’s the fight that makes the most sense at that weight class, and it’s a fight that needs to happen. If Conor McGregor is able to capture the 155-pound title before 2021, the UFC could then turn their attention to doing a champion versus champion fight in Q1 of 2021 with Conor McGregor facing off against whoever is the welterweight champion.