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Hot Tweets: Henry Cejudo’s quest to become intergender champion and Conor McGregor’s new marketing campaign

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

MMAFighting is doing a new thing, Henry Cejudo is attempting to fight women, and Conor McGregor is attempting to fight anyone who has the correct opinion about his whiskey. Let’s talk about all of that plus Daniel Cormier’s last ride, Jon Jones’s refusal to move to heavyweight, and an Octagon Time Machine.

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Intergender champion of the world

ICYMI: Henry Cejudo is channeling his inner Andy Kaufman and campaigning to become the intergender champion of the world by fighting Valentina Shevchenko.

I cannot decide how I feel about all this Cejudo-Shevchenko nonsense. On the one hand, it’s so obviously a non-serious bit that it’s hard to get mad about it. They both seem to be enjoying it so whatever. But on the other hand, it’s in obvious poor taste and just supremely lame. Cejudo really is the King of Cringe I suppose. Still it’s better than Colby Covington’s entire persona.

As for whether some U.S. commission will ever sanction an intergender fight in MMA? Sadly probably yes. One thing I’ve learned about this sport is that it consistently finds new and imaginative ways to lower the bar. I don’t believe the UFC would ever do something like that - there’s too much negative publicity that comes with it - but do you really think some small organization, somewhere down the line won’t try to grab headlines with a Billie Jean King moment? I wouldn’t be prepared to bet against it.

Speaking of . . .

Valentina Shevchenko, obviously. There are a few ways this plays out and in any of them, Shevchenko wins.

  1. They “fight” but it’s a scripted match. Cejudo is the heel so Valentina wins.
  2. They “fight” but Henry thinks it’s a bit and goofs around. Valentina ain’t one to play games and cracks him with a head kick.
  3. They fight for real and Valentina, marksman that she is, shoots Henry in the knee and then kicks him a bunch while he is curled into the fetal position.
  4. They fight an actual, legitimate MMA fight. Henry trounces her and then is promptly jumped by everyone in attendance because they all thought it was a bit and are now shocked at having paid to witness that. Valentina is hoisted up as a prime example of courage and valor. Henry has his titles stripped and becomes the biggest leper in MMA history.

So see, even if Henry wins, he loses.

Fighter’s union


My opinion on a fighter’s union has remained pretty consistent for the past two years: it will never, ever happen. We will see intergender fights in the UFC before we see a union. Why? Because fighters are apparently uniquely and remarkably unable to act collaboratively.

Basically, it boils down to this: if the UFC selling for $4 billion dollars was not enough incentive to get every established fighter in the UFC to sit back and go “holy sh*t, I’m getting paid peanuts here” then it will never happen. And while yes, I’d like to live in a world where the premier organization in fighting pays its fighters a just sum (e.g. 50 percent of revenue), ultimately I stopped caring. If the fighters don’t care enough to act in their own best interest, why should we?

Colby vs. Khabib

I have to assume Colby. He’s bigger (though probably not by a ton) and if we’re talking about pure wrestling, he’s the more accomplished wrestler. Khabib is the best MMA wrestler in history but that’s a very different ballgame than pure freestyle wrestling. That being said, stories of Khabib holding his own with DC at AKA are legend so maybe I’m underestimating him. Plus if we’re talking Greco, Khabib might be better served. He has a lot of upper body attacks and I tend to think of Colby more as a single and double leg guy. I’d be down to watch any of it though, that’s for sure.

DC vs. Stipe - the aftermath

Retirement. Daniel Cormier is adamant he’ll only fight Jon Jones if he fights again and that really makes no sense. Failed drug test or not, Jones has beaten him twice. And if DC really refuses to fight at heavyweight, then there’s no reason to run that back. We know the outcome. Now he’d be older and objectively on the decline vs a still young Jones. Nothing would change.

DC is not an idiot. He’s among the smartest people in MMA. He knows he wouldn’t win a third fight. Going for one final attempt would be a terrible showing of hubris because yes, he could win the fight, and if he did, it would be the greatest story in MMA history and cement him as a top 3 fighter ever. But 9 times out of 10, he loses that fight and it would play havoc with his legacy. This is Cormier’s final fight tonight. Let’s enjoy it.

If DC loses

What double-champ fight? Jon Jones is deadset against moving up to heavyweight.

Now, personally I just think he’s anchoring the conversation some - setting the expectation so that people won’t assume he’s gonna go up to heavyweight and dominate - so then when he finally does move up it will seem like this bold and daring idea instead of the only logical conclusion for him. It would boost the intrigue in his moving up and give him a cushion should he lose when he heads to heavyweight, a cushion he doesn’t really have right now since most people assume he’s beat everyone’s ass there too.

But as for making DC wait, well I’ve already said I think this is his final fight but let’s say I’m wrong (SHOCKING, I KNOW). Making DC wait is a bad idea. I am steadfastly against doing automatic rematches in any case but one: trilogy fights where the first two are split. Stipe should not be getting this title shot, plain and simple. But if he wins, you’ve got to run it back for a third time and all the marbles. Jon can keep beating the hell out of every Tom, Dick, and Harry down at 205 and Francis Ngannou can go an execute some other poor sap while waiting for his next shot.

Funny you should mention that . . .

I’d say yes, if only because of this.

I think Israel Adesanya is gonna dust up Bobby Knuckles when they finally fight (if they finally fight, Robert Whittaker has a terrible history of fighting in Australia). After that, he’ll need to settle up things with Yoel Romero (assuming he gets past Paulo Costa which is certainly not a given) and then yes, that feels like the superfight everyone has on their minds.

Poor Izzy though. That’ll be terrible to see. Jon has made a career out of smashing middleweights and Izzy isn’t even a big one of those.

A few thoughts on Romero-Costa

Look, both men are just objectively pristine examples of humanity. But Yoel Romero has the platonic ideal of the human form. AND HE’S F*CKING 42! And I know this will inspire dozens of comments about “enhancement” but Romero is one of the very few people in MMA I legitimately think doesn’t hop on the juice (and even if he did, who the hell cares? That’s impressive regardless). He’s wrestled competitively for years, looking exactly the same and never failing while in the Olympic system. He’s just a marvel of mankind.

A humble idea

Finally someone else is coming up with good ideas. I’ve been carrying the load for far too long. Instate this immediately and the judge can also do eye pokes and any other illegal strike.

Octagon Time Machine

100% bringing CM Punk back to the early days. I still think he loses but that would be hilarious. I think the other obvious choice is Francis Ngannou because he would completely obliterate the Gracie family’s best laid promotional plans, killing this sport in its infancy. The UFC would never exist, no holds barred fighting would be a deep internet thing, if a thing at all, and I’d have so much more time for activities.

Or hell, send Amanda Nunes back there. You can’t pretend watching her beat the hell out of Teila Tuli wouldn’t be good TV.

Oh, and I don’t bring anyone from UFC 1. No one there is interesting. Rickson Gracie would probably be fun from Pride 1 though. I would say Kimo Leopoldo but no chance in hell he’s getting past USADA.

Taco vs. Grilled Cheese

As the 2007 classic Hot Rod already conclusively showed, the taco wins. The grilled cheese is just too unwieldy. That taco’s agility is too much to overcome.

Hot dog mercs them both though.

Conor’s latest meltdown

ICYMI: Conor McGregor allegedly punched an old dude in a pub in Ireland for the horrible crime of not wanting to drink McGregor’s mediocre whiskey.

Intergender fighting and former UFC champions punching geriatrics in bars. Heck of a sport we’ve got here.

I know it’s not the case but I wish this was all some kind of viral marketing stunt for Proper 12 where Conor just punches people until they sell out. “Proper 12: For the man too hardo to drink White Claw”.

I mean, I’m a whiskey drinker myself but I still have my bottle of Proper 12 because I’m gonna level with you, it’s not good. Put it in with a mixer and it’s fine because, anything is fine with enough Coke in it but I get where the Old Dude is coming from. I’m not trying to shoot that stuff because I don’t hate myself. But if not drinking it means I’m gonna get jawed by Conor, then perhaps I’ll have to sack up and finish this bottle I’ve got.

All that being said, Old Dude -125. Guy can obviously take a shot plus he’s gotta have that Old Man strength. Conor would get “inefficient with his energy” and that’s all she wrote.

Thanks for reading this week and thank you for everyone who sent in Tweets! Do you have any burning questions about at least tacitly related to combat sports? Then you’re in luck because you can send your Hot Tweets to me, @JedKMeshew and I will answer them! Doesn’t matter if they’re topical or insane. Get weird with it. Let’s have fun.

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