Over the weekend, the UFC held their biggest event of the year so far: a light heavyweight title rematch between Daniel Cormier and Anthony Johnson. After the event, Dana White attended the post-fight press conference, and despite the plethora of strange and noteworthy events that transpired in the 48 hours prior (towelgate, the Pearl Gonzalez fiasco, the Mousasi-Weidman cluster, Rumble’s sudden retirement, etc...) the hottest topic in MMA still found a way to sneak in there: Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather.
When asked about any updates on the potential cross-over super-fight, Dana White said that after McGregor’s longtime girlfriend Dee Devlin gives birth to their first child, he and McGregor will meet to figure things out. White also walked back his earlier statements that McGregor vs. Mayweather was as likely as “me being the backup quarterback for [Tom] Brady” in the Super Bowl.
“Conor is having a baby any day now,” White said. “And after Conor has his baby, Conor and I are gonna meet in New York and then we’ll go from there. We’re not close [to a deal].
“I think there’s a better chance of it happening than me quarterbacking. I see this fight happening. Conor wants it and Floyd wants it. I’ve said many times, Conor has done a lot. He’s stepped up for the big fights for this company and for me and for Lorenzo [Fertitta], and I can’t deny him this fight.”
With little in the way of tangible accomplishment towards the speculative fight, both sides have thrown out a wide array of potential terms for the bout as far as dates, locations, and prize payouts. The latter is the most contentious matter with White offering $25 million to each fighter at one point (an egregious low ball) and Mayweather’s team insisting on the lion’s share of the profits. Jeff Mayweather, uncle to Floyd, even attacked White, blaming the failure of the bout to materialize on White wanting 80 percent of McGregor’s cut. White took the time to respond to that accusation with vigor.
“I would like to clarify all the bulls**t about the 80 f**king 20 split,” White said. “Jeff Mayweather. Come on, Jeff. Me and Jeff go way back. Jeff, are you the spokesman now for f**king Team Mayweather? And Bob Arum? You piece of s**t. F**k you too. What do they know about this fight? You want to know what they know about this fight? Nothing. Believe me, we’ve had preliminary talks with Conor and I’m in a good place with Conor and we’re going to meet in New York when he has his baby.”
But despite his refutation of Jeff Mayweather’s claims, White does believe that money will be the biggest obstacle to conquer when negotiations for the fight begin in earnest, saying that he intends to stick up for McGregor to make sure the UFC lightweight champion gets his worth.
“I’ve been talking to [Mayweather’s team] for a while now,” White said.
“The longer it takes for us to come to an agreement, I think the longer it’s going to take to negotiate with the Mayweather team. Because I know all the talk of ‘A’ side, ‘B’ side and all this stuff. Listen, of course everything I say is going to come off biased because he’s my guy, but you guys judge. Is Conor McGregor not a massive star? This fight here, Floyd doesn’t make this kind of money either without Conor, so Conor is just as important as Floyd when it comes to this fight. Not to mention the fact that, Conor is actually stepping in and boxing him and not saying, ‘hey, let’s fight in mixed martial arts.’”
Results too. Bellator 16 also took place on Saturday and here are those results.
Time Capsule. Dana White says working in New York is like being back in 2001.
Shocking. Daniel Cormier was “very surprised” Anthony Johnson wrestled with him at UFC 210.
Retired. Anthony Johnson vaguely explained his surprising retirement from MMA.
UFC post-fight presser.
Faber’s Hall of Fame package.
Canelo on MayGregor.
LFA 8 highlights.
Beatdown After the Bell.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
A lot happened this weekend but I feel like the towel story will be the most remembered.
Joey Diaz with the appropriate take on Towelgate.
Jimi feeling confident.
Sage Northcutt f**king hates apples.
At a Reebok Charity event in Boston pic.twitter.com/KGMMmBhRTK— Sage Northcutt (@sagenorthcutt) April 10, 2017
Cold world out there.
Just saw the 211 card. I'm 6-1 in the @ufc and they have me the 1st fight of the night on fight pass in my home city? What a fucking joke— James Vick (@JamesVickMMA) April 9, 2017
Would love a go with Charles oliveira— Marc Diakiese (@Marc_Diakiese) April 9, 2017
What an incredible mustache.
Friends, Family & Fans make it all worth it. THANK YOU everyone for getting me through a tough one. Couldn't do it without you! pic.twitter.com/8NLqYOyxhc— Patrick Cummins (@OfficialDurkin) April 10, 2017
That’s a bad man.
Appears the Rumble’s shout out to Goldie got to Rogan.
For Anderson’s sake I hope he doesn’t take this fight.
Whew. That was quick.
Just heard from Anderson's camp: "We're already looking at different options, and Luke Rockhold is not one of them." So, there goes that.— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) April 9, 2017
Ben Askren (15-0) vs. Agilan Thani (6-0); One Championship 55, May 26.
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
2009: Bellator MMA held their second ever event, which featured the quarterfinals for their welterweight tournament. This night saw the promotional debut of Lyman Good, who would go on to win the welterweight tournament and be crowned Bellator’s first 170 pound champion.
Also at this event, Anderson Silva was supposed to defend his UFC middleweight title against Vitor Belfort but an injury forced Belfort to be replaced by Demian Maia. Silva won a wide decision in one of the more enigmatic performances of his career, dominating the fight but looking uninterested in finishing Maia.
What a weekend. Just absolutely insane. Just wanted to note here, somewhat lost in the Weidman-Mousasi shuffle is that Weidman was very clearly not a “downed fighter” because his fingertips were on the ground, not his palm/fist per the rules. Also, this entire thing is infinitely stupid because the presence of one hand or two on the ground doesn’t make a knee to the head any “safer.” Allow knees to the head of a downed fighter and let’s please be done with this.
On a similar note though a little more hot take-y, bring back headbutts. Are headbutts substantially more dangerous than a clean elbow strike? At least, so much so that we need to ban them? I don’t think so. Feels like an optics thing to me but feel free to disprove me in the comments.
Hope y’all enjoyed the fights this weekend. We are smack dab in the middle of another run of UFC events and this weekend’s card is actually sneaky good. Enjoy your Monday as best you can everyone and see y’all tomorrow.
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