UFC: Nunes Retirement Talk Causes Annoyed Response From Dana White

UFC, Dana White

The UFC has a number of current star fighters who might not return for future fights, including Conor McGregor and Jon Jones, but another name joining that list for different reasons could be Amanda Nunes… The same Amanda Nunes that’s currently the champion in both the women’s bantamweight and women’s featherweight divisions, meaning her retirement would put the UFC in a bad spot in multiple places.

After all, Nunes just defended her featherweight title at UFC 250 and is the largest draw on the women’s side of the sport right now, surpassing others such as Ronda Rousey and Cris Cyborg during her eleven fight winning streak. And the featherweight division which Nunes recently defended her crown in is less appealing without her in it, lacking the same star power in the rest of the rankings.

So it’s safe to say that when Dana White learned of Nunes’ talk about possibly retiring at this point, he wasn’t happy.

“I will kill her… I literally just told Sean [Shelby] and Mick [Maynard] in the last meeting, ‘Let’s get this division built for her. Let’s build this division for her, and let’s start figuring this out. And now she’s talking about retiring?” White said on the Schmozone Podcast.

There’s not a comparable talent on the featherweight roster to Nunes. Cris Cyborg was just about the only name favored over Nunes at 145 lbs, but she would end up knocked out within the first round against Nunes and is now in Bellator rather than the UFC. Felicia Spencer was able to survive five rounds without getting finished, but still lost her recent title challenge by unanimous decision.

That leaves a big question: who would replace Nunes as the face of both the women’s bantamweight and women’s featherweight divisions if she does go through with her possible ideas about retiring?

The answer isn’t clear to the fans and it doesn’t seem like it’s clear to Dana White, either.

“You know how I always say, ‘If you’re talking about retiring, you probably should.’ Unless you’re where she’s at. In this time, when I got guys crying about money, one of our female fighters, who could go on and keep doing this for a long time, is saying, ‘Maybe I retire now.’ She’s got plenty of money and she can do it,” White continued.

It hasn’t been a good few months for the UFC when it comes to the business side. The league is already suffering financially from lost ticket sales, and at the same time, it could lose talents such as McGregor, Jones, Jorge Masvidal, and now Nunes. The bantamweight belt is still vacant, and it looks like Henry Cejudo will remain retired.

The UFC has always had something of a star power problem, where the league doesn’t create as many marketable star athletes as others such as the NFL and NBA, but that problem could get a lot worse this year depending on how things go. And depending on what happens, this specific situation could cast doubt on the future of an entire division.

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: Conor McGregor Called Out By Mayweather Over Retirement

Conor McGregor, Floyd Mayweather

UFC 250 is past, but some of the most notable news came after the event – Conor McGregor announced his intent to retire, again, and the MMA world has been left wondering if it’s legitimate or if it’s a negotiating tactic to set up better conditions for McGregor to get a fight that he wants.

McGregor claims to not be excited by the fight game anymore, and this time, his retirement appears to be from all combat sports – a departure from how things were when the UFC lightweight took a break from MMA to pursue a boxing match with Floyd Mayweather.

It’s McGregor’s former opponent Mayweather that recently weighed in on the supposed retirement, using it as a chance to question past statements from McGregor and question his choice while hinting at the possibility of a future challenge.

“Well, if you decide to come back, I will be waiting to punish you again,” Mayweather closed the Instagram comment with.

The two originally met in August 2017 in a fight that Mayweather won using a conservative strategy, tiring out his opponent over the course of a fight that went on longer than some expected. The end result was a TKO in the 10th round, but the closer than expected nature of the fight didn’t help to extinguish talks about a rematch. After all, in boxing, a rematch can be profitable for both sides involved more-so than in MMA.

But that won’t happen if McGregor’s retirement from combat sports is real – which isn’t a certainty, considering McGregor’s history of apparently walking away from MMA only to come back again before long. Will that happen again? It definitely could, but for now, it looks like we might not see another boxing match involving the always controversial former UFC champion.

UFC: Jon Jones Vacates Title Over Dispute With Dana White

The light heavyweight division has long been one of the deepest in the UFC, and right now, it looks like the division will be shaken up once again by the departure of champion Jon Jones. This wouldn’t be the first time Jones has been removed from his position as the champion – Jones has had to earn the title back in the past thanks to his troubles outside of the ring with legal problems and USADA – but it would be the first time that he’s vacated the belt willingly.

The reason? His ongoing dispute with Dana White over payment.

This wouldn’t be the first time that fighters have complained about their pay, but it looks like the spat between Jones and White is going to go further than others have. The other comparable situation, of course, is Conor McGregor’s jump to boxing. Jones is also interested in boxing, but it’s more uncertain at this point whether he’ll return to the UFC, while such a return didn’t seem like an impossibility when McGregor took his fight with Mayweather.

Jones revealed his intentions on Twitter, which is the place where the rest of his fight with White went down. He said that he has nothing to gain by fighting for the title and recommended a fight between Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz for his title, which presumably, will be vacated due to Jones’ own request.

He touched on the inherent danger involved in fighting in the UFC, as part of his argument that fighting isn’t worth it unless the UFC gives him a superfight. Based on Dana White’s responses in a recent press conference, it doesn’t look likely that Jones will get what he’s looking for.

Jones will vacate his title with a record of 26-1 with one no contest, one of the best records that the UFC has seen. He defended his title from Reyes in a decision in February, and for most of his career, the only thing to hold him back from remaining champion indefinitely has been his own problems. While Jones is indeed a controversial fighter, a lot of fans would still like to see him around the sport – even if they hope that someone else defeats him for the light heavyweight crown.

Just how well will Jones do in boxing if he does vacate his title officially and jump to the other most popular combat sport? That’s an unknown, but interestingly, Jones has at least one offer from a fight, from former UFC light heavyweight Jimi Manuwa. At the very least, the fight would be something to see, with Jones’ debut in boxing likely drawing both a lot of viewers and a larger payday than the UFC offers.