Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC
The news that Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller will return to action in Milan, Italy on May 21 to face former UFC middleweight Luke Barnatt at Venator FC 3 was met with ample concern yesterday.
The once beloved MMA veteran made his last outing when he faced CB Dolloway back in May 2012, and ever since the loss Miller has been involved a number of incidents that have led many to worry about the well-being of the Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt.
Most recently, in October, Miller was arrested at his California home on the suspicion of assaulting a police officer with a ceramic tile. ‘Mayhem’ made headlines back in March after he got into a rift with a number of police officers after leaving ‘The White House’, having broken a glass during a disturbance at the South Coast restaurant.
Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC
Not long ago, the UFC’s Super Bowl weekend card was expected to be headlined by a heavyweight title clash between Fabricio Werdum and Cain Velasquez. At that point, the card was called UFC 196, and was scheduled to air on pay-per-view. When both Velasquez and Werdum withdrew from the bout with injuries however, the card was rebranded as a UFC Fight Night, and shifted to a Fox Sports 1 broadcast where a Johny Hendricks vs. Stephen Thompson welterweight bout would serve as the new main event.
Though expectations of this injury-riddled card were not particularly high, it did manage to produce some fun fights. Featuring action in six of the UFC’s most exciting divisions, it was highlighted by a handful of wild finishes and some major upsets—one of which occurred in the main event.
Here’s a recap of the action for those who missed it!
Photo by Todd Lussier/Zuffa LLC
It is a truth universally acknowledged that the worst position to hold in a fighting organization is that of the gatekeeper: the perpetual number two who failed in his attempt or attempts at winning the title but who remains the clear best among all the others within their division. It’s a liminal state with no upside: only defeat changes your status.
For professional athletes, and in particular professional fighters, who by their nature loathe losing like a sickness, the day you realize that you’ve taken on gatekeeper status—where others prove their worth by going through you to a place you’ll never get to again, to get an opportunity you were never able to seize—must be a kind of emotional death, a psychic catastrophe, worse even than being a fighter on a three-fight losing streak waiting for the inevitable pink slip. At least those fighters have grown accustomed over time to their place in the world: With each loss they could see their fate moving closer and coming clearer into view. The gatekeeper, on the other, wakes up one day to find himself in limbo. He just senses his newfound obsolescence. Senses it down in his guts and his bones.
It looks like GSP will once again grace the Octagon in the near future.
According to a report from Quebec’s FM93 station, former UFC Welterweight king Georges “Rush” St-Pierre will be announcing his UFC comeback in the next few days.
The radio station broke the news via social media, as they posted the following on their Twitter page in French.
Photo by Paul Buck/EPA
The UFC announced they will enter a partnership with the British Wrestling Association to help promote amateur wrestling within the United Kingdom.
The deal, spearheaded by the relatively-new UFC Senior Vice President and General Manager for EMEA in James Elliott, will see the UFC actively support British wrestling with their own resource.
Elliott said: “We are very happy to announce our new partnership with the British Wrestling Association. The UFC is fully committed to supporting the development of clean and safe amateur sports. Our sports share the same core values and wrestlers are among the most dedicated athletes in the world.”
Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC
TJ Dillashaw took to social media yesterday and outlined his thoughts on his split decision loss to Dominick Cruz. The Elevation Fight Team proponent explained that while he believed he won the fight, he did not think that Cruz having his hand raised was “a robbery”.
However, it wasn’t the former champion’s breakdown of the championship showdown that grabbed the most attention, it was his criticism of Joe Rogan’s commentary that really tweaked the intrigue of the MMA community.
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC
In the co-main event of the UFC’s Sunday return to Boston, former Bellator lightweight king Eddie Alvarez scored a crucial, split decision win over former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis. Though his strategy wasn’t exactly pretty, the end result was one of the most significant wins of his illustrious career.
With the win, Alvarez moves to 2-1 in the UFC, having rebounded from a loss to Donald Cerrone with a pair of close wins over Gilbert Melendez and now Pettis. And while a 2-1 record isn’t the typical recipe for a UFC title shot, Alvarez’s many accomplishments mean he is right there in the mix at 155 lbs. He reaffirmed this fact in his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan.
“I want the champion next. Give me the champion,” he said.
Photo by Malte Christians/EPA
British heavyweight boxer David “Hayemaker” Haye hasn’t been in the ring for three-and-a-half years, which is an eternity in boxing (ask Muhammad Ali) but apparently just the right amount of time for a 35-year-old slugger with bad shoulders and nagging fears about his place in boxing history to really miss the limelight. Before retiring Haye came up short in his lifelong quest to unify the various heavyweight belts, so this Saturday he will start the hunt all over again against Mark de Mori, the first step on a journey, Haye hopes, back to relevance, a title belt, redemption, and maybe some peace of mind. This is the curse of the professional fighter, the great tease of the boxer’s life: glory recaptured is always just around the corner.
Glory and economic opportunity are just around the corner. And since we are living in the glory days of synergy, where it’s not enough to be an athlete, one must also be a businessman in tune with all cross-promotional money-making opportunities that arise—like Floyd Mayweather with his team-building efforts or LeBron James with his vast branding empire—it’s not enough for David Haye to merely drag his aging body back into the ring and pick up a check. If, in 2016, you haven’t found ways to monetize yourself and your efforts from three different angles at once, you’re not trying.
So in addition to returning to the ring, David Haye is looking to revolutionize the way we watch boxing by joining forces with digital content provider IM360 to produce the first-ever live boxing match virtual reality viewing experience. David Haye will not only be making money by fighting Saturday night; he will be making money by producing our experience of watching him fight.
Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC
The long awaited official announcement for UFC 197 on Tuesday brought an end to two days of rampant speculation. It was heavily rumored that the declaration of the super fight between Rafael Dos Anjos and Conor McGregor would come on Sunday’s NFL broadcast, and when it never did, there were whispers that both parties were refusing to sign on the dotted line.
Unsurprisingly, when word eventually got out, it was McGregor’s personal announcement on Instagram that garnered the most attention from the media. Ever since, there have been debates as to whether he writes his own material based on him being referred to in the third person in the post, and even suggestions that he is about to make a run at building his own promotional empire due to the wording in the copy.
Photo by Justin Lane/EPA
I know, I know, I know, I know—you’ve heard it all before. Every new year someone tries to convince you that MMA is finally going to be legal in New York and every new year, despite your better judgment, you allow yourself to get your hopes up—like a fool—and the same thing happens: Your winter of optimism melts into a summer of discontent and the New York State Legislative session ends without so much as a peep about MMA. And you’re left with nothing but the warmth of your delusions, the heat of your disappointment, the burn of your indignation, and a gnawing at your insides.