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UFC 222 remains in need of saving, and despite Nate Diaz’s stated willingness to step in and save it, UFC president Dana White doesn’t think he’s the man for the job. From the LA Times:
In another text message exchange with The Times, White sent back the rolled eyes emoji when asked if a Diaz return would be considered to compensate for Holloway’s loss from the event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Then, White repeated a statement he gave The Times last week: “He [Diaz] doesn’t want to fight.
”We have made around five or six fights in the last six months and he has turned them all down. Alvarez, [Justin] Gaethje, [Edson] Barboza and [interim lightweight champion Tony] Ferguson multiple times.”
Diaz also told the LA Times he that while he was willing to step in to save the Pay-Per-View (PPV), he isn’t willing to fight Eddie Alvarez. Alvarez had previously called Diaz out, then cursed him out when it was clear Diaz wasn’t interested in that bout. Diaz has also recently told the LA Times that he doesn’t consider himself a lightweight.
It’s not difficult to connect the dots here. Contrary to Dana White’s blunt statement, Diaz is more than willing to fight for the right money, but completing his trilogy with McGregor remains the biggest payday he will ever have. He isn’t about to jeopardize that by taking a fight at lightweight against a difficult stylistic matchup. Historically, both Diaz brothers have struggled against powerful top-position grapplers such as Rory Macdonald, Ben Henderson, and Rafael dos Anjos.
Fighting a division up, as a welterweight, allows him to compete without risking his standing for a McGregor trilogy. Unlike a loss to Eddie Alvarez, a loss to welterweight champion Tyron Woodley wouldn’t jeopardize his standing in the lightweight division, in which he is ranked eighth. As the only 155-lb. fighter with a recent win over current champion Conor McGregor, Diaz still has a plausible case to be booked straight into a trilogy finisher.
It will be difficult, however, for the UFC to find a short-notice opponent for Diaz at 170. Tyron Woodley is nursing an injury. Robbie Lawler tore his ACL in a loss to Rafael Dos Anjos. Stephen Thompson is still rehabbing his hands after breaking both thumbs in the Jorge Masvidal fight. Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone is booked, although bumping him up to a rematch with Diaz on Pay-Per-View might be a fun option. Cerrone has improved since his emotional loss to a surging Nate Diaz way back in 2011, and over five rounds his leg kicks might have more time to work. Diaz would no doubt take a fight to someone he has already beaten.
Cody Garbrandt said he is willing to step up to featherweight to fight Frankie Edgar, and if you are asking, hell yeah, I would love that fight.
Fighters have come out to support the lack of a fight stoppage after Shevchenko landed 217 unanswered shots on Priscila Cachoeira, who had already torn her ACL. A fighter’s mentality is, let me keep fighting until I can’t. That’s not to say we should listen to the fighters, who are often too tough for their own good; but perhaps the real lesson here is that mismatches like this one shouldn’t be made in the first place. Although, Valentina Shevchenko would dispute that. In fact, no one is taking any responsibility here, including Mario Yamasaki, who said he gave Cachoeira the chance to be a warrior. Okay.
Regarding fight stoppages... as a fighter, I only want my fight to be stopped if I tap or I’m unconscious. I know it’s a dangerous activity that I’m doing. I wouldn’t want a ref or cornerman to “save” me.— Roxanne Modafferi (@Roxyfighter) February 6, 2018
Dustin Poirier’s point is well made: the win bonus system means no corner is going to throw in the towel, and no fighter, however undermatched is going to give up unless forced to, with half their paycheck on the line.
Not arguing with the fact that she's underpaid but for the most part fighters come from destitute. As little as $13,000 Is to some people for others it could be life changing. I would have fought to the death for 13k 7 years ago when I made my ufc debut.— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) February 4, 2018
Nate Quarry offered an alternative that would also incentivize more exciting fights:
And if champs had to negotiate their purse every fight instead of a 8 fight deal you’d see fighters looking to win instead of not losing.— Nathan Quarry (@NateRockQuarry) February 4, 2018
If there’s zero benefit to risking anything and a huge downside to losing you play it safe.
Pretty cool tutorial
Video 1 from the archives - Thai Clinch Wedge Escapes by Erik Paulson. Originally shot in 2002, I've done my best to clean up the compressed, low res video. I've got 35 other videos from this session that is no longer available anywhere else online.— Catch Wrestling U (@CatchWrestling) February 5, 2018
Please follow & RT for more pic.twitter.com/MUJl1DiwgJ
Maybe this is a practice the fighters should get rid of. Just saying.
“Hut! Hut!” Highlight (from Round 1 of Katlyn Chookagian vs. Mara Romero Borella) pic.twitter.com/ahglaBjHwz— FullContactMTWF (@FullContactMTWF) February 5, 2018
He doesn’t say what he chops this stuff with though. Loopholes.
I love comic fighter art.
My favorite part of Max Holloway’s rebuttals to McGregor is that he doesn’t bother to tag the man. Because, you know, he’s also the champ now.
Photoshop had a savage reply too
I didn’t count them but sure seemed like 98
It’s good to see Robert Whittaker well.
Emmanel Augustus was an inspiration.
Rory MacDonald realized his mistake
i just realized in 2015 i had a flip phone, i was also holding bitcoin simultaneously. i think if i would have got myself a fanny pack, a bluetooth ear piece and a socks under sandals combo, there would be no stopping me that year— Rory MacDonald (@rory_macdonald) February 3, 2018
When the UFC does a good job promoting their stars:
Who says UFC doesn't promote their stars enough? Is a two page ad in Esquire not enough for you? pic.twitter.com/UD8Yrzhr71— smoogy (@smoogymma) February 3, 2018
It’s been in the news now, but I loved TJ Dillashaw’s reply when asked about rematching Garbrandt on a month’s notice.
No one seems to care about Jimmie Rivera.
Slips, Rips, KO Clips
In case you missed these over the weekend:
hellbow KO— Jolassanda (@Jolassanda) February 4, 2018
Jaowayha Sitnayoktang KOs Maroan Hallal in The Main Event of MAX MT pic.twitter.com/P8YZt3nUic
Daigo Higa just KO'd Moises Fuentes in R1. Another body snatcher from Japan. pic.twitter.com/ZNaJE5xJXX— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) February 4, 2018
dead— Jolassanda (@Jolassanda) February 4, 2018
Nonglek Loukjampachai KOs Yo Neda (MAX MT) pic.twitter.com/N2Wraj5CHG
Anderson Silva working a closed guard sweep back in the day
One of my old training partners, Jeremy Post defended his amateur title with this nice armbar.
- Wanna roll your eyes so hard you can’t ever see straight again? Colby Covington did a pro-wrestling match against a Tyron Woodley stand-in. No, I didn’t watch. I couldn’t bring myself that low today.
- This Conor McGregor bust made me chuckle. It’s almost as bad as that Cristiano Ronaldo statue.
Podcasts and Video
UFC: Belem Highlights
The MMA Hour
Monday Morning Analyst
The Co-Main Event Podcast
On this CME, @benfowlkesMMA & I look at the ugliness of Shevchenko vs. Cachoeira, the mild controversy over Machida vs. Anders & what to expect from Athletic Surfer vs. Cuban Muscle Crisis. https://t.co/VSmDrCNyJy— Chad Dundas (@chaddundas) February 5, 2018
This incredible, heart-breaking story of Jackie Wallace, a homeless man who played in two Super Bowls, rehabbed, then became homeless again is a must-read.
You all complained about the lack of Random Land... it’s a feast or famine section.
Spectacular Rockslide in Switzerland pic.twitter.com/Oh23BlREMM— Nature is Scary (@NatureisScary) February 5, 2018
This was a long chase. I got tired just watching it.
A series of unfortunate events
Learn something new every day:
ralph mcquarrie painted this in 1973 for a never-made movie 'star dancing.' george lucas saw this and hired him to design concepts for 'the adventures of luke starkiller.' mcquarrie's pre-existing aesthetic was as important to the creation of star wars as lucas' writing. pic.twitter.com/LanrEaOjTe— Isaiah Saxon (@isaiah_saxon_) February 4, 2018