Conor McGregor hit with multimillion-dollar lawsuit to kick off UFC 257’s Fight Week

Conor McGregor, UFC

This upcoming Saturday at UFC 257, Conor McGregor (22-4) will be making his return to the octagon. McGregor is headlining the first PPV of 2021 against Dustin Poirier (26-6, 1 NC) in a rematch from their original fight that took place over six years ago.

It seems that everything has gone smooth in McGregor’s preparation for his UFC return. He seems more focused than ever and he seems to be in the best shape he’s ever been in leading up to the fight.

McGregor has been through a lot over the past few years. In reality, he’s brought a lot of negative attention onto himself with his actions. Whether it was throwing a dolly threw a bus window or punching an old man in a pub in Dublin, McGregor has made some questionable decisions.

That said, the last year has been smooth for McGregor. He fought at UFC 246 to kickoff 2020 and won in 40 seconds. After that, he had some public spats with the UFC that caused a brief retirement. However, nothing extremely negative happened outside the cage.

Instead, McGregor appeared to still be training despite his self-proclaimed retirement. Just when you thought we were in the clear of all the outside drama, news broke today that McGregor has been hit with a multimillion-dollar law suit over events that took place in 2018.

Will this impact UFC 257?

ESPN reported today that a suit was filed against McGregor in the High Court of Dublin. The lawsuit is a personal injury lawsuit that has been filed by a woman in Dublin. McGregor and an associate are both listed as defendants in the case.

It is worth noting that the UFC star was already investigated for this alleged incident. After collecting evidence and doing a series of interviews, the UFC star was not charged of any crime.

Of course, just because McGregor wasn’t charged doesn’t mean that the woman cannot pursue damages. That said, it appears that it will be an uphill battle for the woman and her mother who have filed the lawsuits against McGregor.

You already know that there is a high-level legal team that will start to handle this. However, one has to wonder if it will be in the back of his mind as he prepares this week. Then again, maybe McGregor will be able to block it out and just focus on the fight in front of him.

What’s next for Li Jingliang after his big knockout at UFC Fight Island 7?

This past weekend at UFC Fight Island 7, the MMA world was excited for the return of Santiago Ponzinibbio (27-4). Ponzinibbio was one of the top welterweight prospects in the promotion when the calendar closed in 2018.

However, injuries have kept Ponzinibbio out of the UFC since then. The promotion put him on this card and gave him Li Jingliang (18-6) in his return. The last we saw of Ponzinibbio, he was incredibly sharp and did well with counterstriking.

Li is the type of opponent who is going to be in your face from the moment the fight starts. With the styles of the two, I figured it was a great matchup for Ponzinibbio to return to and I expected him to pickup the win.

However, I was dead wrong. From the opening bell, Ponzinibbio was incredibly tentative. Li on the other hand was fighting as he normally does. Aggressively moving forward and looking for hooks to start his combinations or counter Ponzinibbio.

During one of the exchanges, Ponzinibbio overextended and Li put his lights out with a flush left hook. The UFC crowd was stunned and Li pulled off a massive win for him. Tough night for the returning Ponzinibbio but a sensational night for The Leech.

What’s next after UFC Fight Island 7?

Normally after a UFC event, you look at the winners and there are a number of options for their next fight. However, this is not the case with Li. To me, there is one clear option that I think the promotion should go with.

I think the next fight for Li Jingliang should be a matchup with Geoff Neal (13-3). Neal just suffered his first loss inside the octagon, but he’s still ranked inside the top 15 at welterweight. He’s currently ranked 11th in the division.

The new UFC rankings just came out and Li is currently ranked 12th. Given their styles and their positions within the division, it makes all the sense in the world to book these guys against each other. Not too mention it would be an insanely fun matchup for the fans.

UFC Fight Island 8 Preview: Michael Chiesa – Neil Magny

Tomorrow, the UFC is hosting a rare afternoon card for their eighth fight night on Fight Island. The card starts at 12 PM ET and it is being headlined by a welterweight contest between Michael Chiesa (17-4) and Neil Magny (24-7).

Michael Chiesa is making his return after having nearly a year off. Chiesa spent the majority of 2020 dealing with some leg injuries, however, he’s back to 100% and seems focused on furthering his run at welterweight.

At one point, Chiesa looked like he was going to be a top contender in the UFC‘s lightweight division. However, as his career progressed, the weight cuts were really hindering his performances. As a result, he moved up to welterweight.

Since moving up to 170 pounds, Chiesa is 3-0. He looks stronger and faster at 170 pounds. His run has him ranked eighth in the welterweight division and tomorrow is a big opportunity for Chiesa to prove how good he is at welterweight.

Standing across from Chiesa at UFC Fight Island 8 is Neil Magny. Unlike Chiesa, Magny was extremely active in 2020. The Haitian Sensation fought three times and won all three fights in 2020. Magny’s last fight came against the former welterweight champion, Robbie Lawler.

In 2020, Magny really showed off all of his strengths. He showed good wrestling defense and he showed good offensive wrestling. Magny also showed off some decent striking in his three decision wins.

UFC Fight Island 8

Michael Chiesa already alluded to this, but I will restate this about the main event; this is not going to be exciting. If you’re wanting to see another Holloway – Kattar main event, you’re going to be disappointed with UFC Fight Island 8.

However, if you’re someone who enjoys a grappling chess match, this is the fight for you. The fight between Chiesa and Magny to me is going to come down to a battle of wills and a battle of position.

For Chiesa, I think he’s going to have to get this fight to the ground and get a submission to win this fight. Especially coming off of a year-long layoff, I’m not sure he can keep up with the pace of Magny for five rounds.

On the flip side, for Magny to win at UFC Fight Island 8, he’s going to have to use all of his weapons to tire Chiesa. I’m expecting to see a lot of wrestling defense and a lot of clinch work along the fence from Neil Magny.

Magny is not that great off of his back so if Chiesa can get him down, I believe he can submit him. However, I just like Neil Magny in this matchup. I expect Chiesa to have his moment, but for the most part be neutralized over five rounds and I think Magny will score more points to get the decision.

Prediction: Neil Magny by Unanimous Decision

What’s next for Matt Brown after UFC Fight Island 7?

This past weekend at UFC Fight Island 7, we finally got to see a fight we’ve waited years for. Fight fans finally got to watch Matt Brown (22-18) and Carlos Condit (32-13) go to war after years of the fight always falling through.

The fight went a little differently than I thought it would. Matt Brown went with a wrestling-heavy attack after some of the early exchanges. He had success in the first round with being able to get Condit down and holding him there was his control.

The second round was virtually all Condit, however, the third round saw Brown have some additional success. In my opinion, the fight was decently close, but it was clear that Carlos Condit won at UFC Fight Island 7.

However, the scores didn’t reflect a close fight. All three judges gave every round to Condit which I don’t agree with. The fight was much closer than those numbers would suggest and Matt Brown was not happy about it.

However, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter whether the scoring was right or not. The right guy won the fight on Saturday. That said, what’s next for Matt Brown after taking the loss at UFC Fight Island 7?

What’s next after UFC Fight Island 7?

Matt Brown is a veteran of the game and he just turned 40. He’s now lost two fights in a row, but I don’t believe the UFC veteran is ready to hang up the gloves just yet. I also don’t believe that the promotion will force him out the door.

That said, what is next? I think the promotion has a few options. One guy the UFC could pair with Matt Brown is Mickey Gall (6-3). Gall has spent virtually his entire professional career with the promotion, however, he’s never really made that jump to the next level.

He’s a good fighter, but the progression to great just hasn’t come. Gall is a winnable fight for Brown, but it could also be entertaining for fans and a good fight for Gall. Another option is the loser of the Alex Oliveira (22-9-1, 1 NC) and Randy Brown (12-4) fight.

Whoever loses that fight will be in a very similar position as Matt Brown. They would have lost their last two fights inside the octagon. The UFC has a couple of options and I’m curious to see what they do with Brown moving forward.

After knockout loss at UFC Fight Island 7, where does Joaquin Buckley go from here?

Joaquin Buckley

One of the UFC‘s most hyped prospects entering 2021 was Joaquin Buckley (12-4). Buckley had perhaps the viral knockout of the decade back in 2020 and he followed that up with another brutal knockout win back at UFC 255.

Dana White has said in multiple interviews that he was one of the fighters to watch in 2021. The promotion decided to throw Buckley on the main card for their debut on ABC. They gave Buckley, Alessio Di Chirico (13-5), as an opponent at UFC Fight Island 7.

Di Chirico is a tough fighter, however, he had lost three straight entering Saturday. To me, this had a UFC showcase fight written all over it. In the past, Di Chirico had struggled against powerful punchers who pushed the pace.

Well, that’s exactly who Joaquin Buckley is. That said, I figured Buckley would storm through Di Chirico on Saturday as did most of the MMA community. Boy, was everyone wrong about that one.

Di Chirico looked incredibly sharp striking from the outside. Buckley looked frustrated and he wasn’t able to get in on Di Chirico during the exchanges. Di Chirico was sharp and was throwing shots down the middle that continuously popped Buckley.

Then out of no where, Di Chirico landed a beautiful headkick that sent Buckley crashing down. A few follow up shots later the referee called a stop to the fight and Alessio Di Chirico stopped the UFC hype train of Joaquin Buckley.

What’s next after UFC Fight Island 7?

Joaquin Buckley is still a very exciting prospect for the UFC, but let’s be honest, this was a big setback. He was given this opportunity against a guy who had lost three straight fights. Buckley was supposed to deliver and further push his stock.

However, the exact opposite happen. He lost in devastating fashion when he was a big favorite. Now, the UFC is going to have to figure out a good opponent to assist Buckley in regaining some of the steam that he had.

I thought for sure that the next fight would come against James Krause (28-8). Those two are from the same area in the US and they have major beef. However, with this loss, I’m not sure that Krause will be as interested as he was before.

The UFC needs to look for an opponent that will stand in trade with Buckley for his next fight. Win or lose, the fight will need to be entertaining. I like Jamie Pickett (11-5) as a potential option for Buckley’s next matchup.

After winning at UFC Fight Island 7, what’s next for Carlos Condit?

Carlos Condit

At UFC Fight Island 7, fight fans finally got to see a welterweight showdown that we’ve waited years for. The Natural Born Killer, Carlos Condit (32-13), took on Matt “The Immortal” Brown (22-18) in the co-main event of the evening.

The fight went a little differently than I thought it would, however, it was still very entertaining. Both men battled for fifteen minutes and in the end, the judges gave the decision to the former interim UFC champion, Carlos Condit.

Condit definitely won the fight, although, I was a little surprised by the scores. All three judges gave Condit every round. I personally thought Matt Brown should have won the first round with his top control, but it was close.

I was surprised that not one judge gave it to him. Nevertheless, Condit walked away with his second straight UFC victory. After Condit had lost five in a row, he’s bounced back for two wins over the last few months.

This was a very important fight for Condit. Not only was he looking to win his second straight, but the fight was the final one on his UFC contract. There were a lot of question marks about what would be next if he lost.

What’s next after UFC Fight Island 7?

Dana White said in the post-fight press conference that he loves Carlos Condit. Factoring in the UFC‘s relationship with Condit and the fact that he’s on a winning streak and I don’t believe he’s going to be going anywhere.

I fully expect the promotion to resign Condit and I don’t think Condit wants to go anywhere. Counting his WEC days, Condit has fought under Zuffa since 2007 and he didn’t sound like a fighter who was interested in testing the waters.

Having won two in a row, I’m curious to see what the UFC does with Condit next. I don’t think he will get a ranked opponent in his next fight, but someone on the broadcast did have a really good suggestion.

Someone mentioned James Krause (28-8) as a possibility and I love that fight. It would be an entertaining scrap between the two and Krause is 7-1 since 2015. If Condit could pickup another win over someone like Krause, then you could start to talk about a ranked opponent.

After a disappointing return at UFC Fight Island 7, what’s next for Santiago Ponzinibbio?

One of the fighters that I was the most excited about seeing at UFC Fight Island 7 was Santiago Ponzinibbio (27-4). Ponzinibbio had been out since November of 2018 with injuries, but he looked like a destroyer before those injuries.

He had won seven straight fights inside the octagon and looked like a guy who could become UFC welterweight champion. The promotion decided to give him Li Jingliang (18-6) in his return fight.

There are some fighters who can come back from long layoffs and not skip a beat. Then there are fighters who return to the UFC with serious ring rust. I was very curious to see where Ponzinibbio would fall on that scale.

One thing I knew is that he was facing an opponent who wasn’t going to let him get comfortable. Li is constantly throwing and constantly pushing forward which would throw Ponzinibbio right back into the fire after a couple of years off.

I figured Ponzinibbio would be able to land a big counter and win by knockout. Well, the exact opposite happened at UFC Fight Island 7. Ponzinibbio was extremely gun shy and he overextended on a right hand and got caught with a flush left hook that put him out.

What’s next after UFC Fight Island 7?

It is extremely clear that Ponzinibbio was just not comfortable in his UFC return. He didn’t look confident and he looked extremely hesitant. He looked like a fighter who had been off for a couple of years.

To beat a guy like Li, he needed to be on his game and sharp. He wasn’t and he was knocked out as a result. So what does the UFC do with Ponzinibbio after this loss? Well, in reality they need to get him back in there as soon as possible.

Normally fighters want to take some time off after a knockout loss, but Ponzinibbio has been off enough. The best thing for him is to try and get right back in there so he can get going again. The guy has so much ability and talent to just waste on the sidelines.

The UFC could go a couple of different ways with Ponzinibbio. On one hand, they could give him someone like Robbie Lawler (28-15, 1 NC). Sure, Lawler isn’t the same guy he used to be. However, he’s still got a big name with the fans.

If you want to reestablish Ponzinibbio, give him someone like Lawler who he can beat and restore his name. Or, they could give him someone like Alex Morono (18-7, 1 NC) who just lost to Anthony Pettis.

Sure, it’s not the sexiest fight in the world. However, it’s a fight that Ponzinibbio should be able to win. The UFC has options, but they need to give him a favorable matchup in his next fight.

After his dominant win at UFC Fight Island 7, what’s next for Max Holloway?

Heading into UFC Fight Island 7, I thought that Max Holloway (22-6) was going to need to be on his game to defeat Calvin Kattar (22-5). Kattar looked to be a dangerous contender and he was riding a ton of momentum.

Holloway on the other hand was just 1-3 in his last four fights. While you could make the argument that he defeated Alexander Volkanovski (22-1) at UFC 251, two of the scorecards said he lost which is what matters.

I wanted to see how Holloway would do in his first non-title fight since 2016. Would we get the Max Holloway who tore through the division on his way to capturing gold? Or would we get the more flat Max Holloway that lost to Volkanovski in December of 2019?

Well, at UFC Fight Island 7, we saw the best version of Max Holloway. Holloway put on the greatest performance I’ve ever seen him have. Of course he’s had other great ones, but there was just something about this performance that stood out.

He set virtually every striking record on Saturday. He landed over 400 significant strikes and one of the scorecards even read 50-42 which is unheard of. This was a one-sided beating and Max Holloway made a statement on Saturday.

What’s next after UFC Fight Island 7?

I’ve said for the last couple of months that the Brian Ortega (15-1, 1 NC) that we saw fight Chan Sung Jung was the best featherweight on the roster. Just the way he looked, I was blown away. However, Saturday changed that for me.

The Max Holloway that we saw at UFC Fight Island 7 is the best in the world. If that Holloway shows up to fight, not only do I think he defeats everyone at 145, but I think nobody even comes close to beating him. He’s that good when he’s on.

However, we haven’t really seen that dominant Max Holloway in a couple of years. The last time we saw that Holloway was against Brian Ortega. If this Max Holloway sticks around, he’s going to be the UFC featherweight champion again.

In March, Ortega will challenge Volkanovski for the featherweight title. No matter what the result, there is no doubting that Max Holloway is getting the next shot. He’s the clear number one contender and even a couple of days removed, I’m still blown away by his performance on Saturday.

After getting battered at UFC Fight Island 7, what’s next for Calvin Kattar?

UFC

UFC Fight Island 7 was an opportunity for Calvin Kattar (22-5) to have a big coming out party on the biggest of stages. The promotion was making their debut on ABC and Kattar was in the main event against former featherweight champion, Max Holloway (22-6).

Kattar is known for his incredibly crisp boxing and he talked a lot about it during the leadup. Hell, even I said in my preview of UFC Fight Island 7 that Max Holloway would need to mix it up a lot in order to win. I wasn’t sure how he would do in pure boxing with Kattar.

Well, there’s not an aspect of striking where Max Holloway didn’t dominate at UFC Fight Island 7. This fight was supposed to be very close on paper, however, Max Holloway simply showed the world that there are levels to this.

Calvin Kattar was completely dismantled over five rounds by the former champion. Kattar landed some good shots here and there, but at the end of the day, this was an extremely one-sided beating by Max Holloway.

To give you an idea of how lopsided it was, think about this. Holloway landed a UFC record 445 significant strikes. Calvin Kattar only landed 133. Holloway landed 312 more significant strikes and the scorecards read 50-43, 50-43, 50-42.

What’s next after UFC Fight Island 7

Let me just say this, Calvin Kattar is still one of the better featherweights in the UFC. You can’t just have the 2020 that he had without being near the top of the division. However, Max Holloway showed us that Kattar has a long ways to go.

I think it’s going to take some time before we see Kattar again in the UFC. With the beating he took, he’s going to need some time to recover and regroup. Considering his place in the division and who he’s already faced, I think there are a couple of options for his return.

One of the options I really like is a fight between him and Josh Emmett (16-2). Emmett is one of the most powerful strikers in the UFC’s featherweight division. He’s also riding a three-fight winning streak. However, he’s recovering from knee surgery.

As of now, there’s no real timeline for his return, but I think him and Kattar would match up well. Another option would be Sodiq Yusuff (11-1) who’s currently ranked tenth in the featherweight division.

Yusuff is unbeaten in the UFC and that would be another fun matchup for Kattar upon his return. Calvin Kattar is still going to be a factor at 145, but yesterday was a harsh dose of reality in that he’s not quite ready for the very best.

Khabib and Dana White to meet one final time after UFC 257 in Las Vegas

This weekend, Dana White and UFC lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov (29-0), had their much anticipated meeting. The world was expecting a final resolution after the meeting. White teased that an announcement would be made at UFC Fight Island 7.

Well, White did announce the results of that conversation yesterday. However, in the end, nothing new came of it. According to White, Khabib is going to sit back and watch UFC 257 and see if any of the four top lightweights competing entices him to come back.

Khabib has apparently told White that he doesn’t want to tie up the division. He apparently has been very impressed with Charles Oliveira (30-8, 1 NC) as of late, but he’s still not 100% sure he will come back. He’s looking for something that excites him to make him come back.

While that’s certainly not a yes, the more important thing is that it’s not a no. With Khabib telling White that he’ll sit back and wait, you can tell that the UFC lightweight champion is still interested in competing. Otherwise, he wouldn’t think twice about UFC 257 next weekend.

UFC’s plan with Khabib

Dana White told the media at the UFC Fight Island 7 post-fight press conference that Khabib is leaving Fight Island after the Wednesday card. However, he’s not flying home to Russia, but instead, he’s flying to Las Vegas.

After the UFC’s current stint on Fight Island wraps up, White will be returning to Las Vegas as well. White said that the current plan is for him and Khabib to meet up for dinner after he returns home from Fight Island.

Apparently, that is the meeting where the final decision will be made. After next weekend, Khabib will decide whether there are any challenges left for him in the UFC that interest him. If so, he’ll come back to defend the title. If not, he will vacate the title for the division to move on.

It’s not a secret, but the desire for the UFC is to have Khabib defend his title in a rematch against Conor McGregor (22-4). McGregor of course headlines UFC 257 against Dustin Poirier (26-6, 1 NC). Should McGregor win, that will be the fight the UFC pushes for. It’ll be interesting to see if Khabib is interested.