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Sunday, February 25, 2018

MMA

Paul Heyman says Brock Lesnar could still return to UFC

Brock Lesnar

Brock Lesnar is now 40 and has not fought in the UFC in nearly two years, but the WWE superstar’s promoter says Lesnar has not yet closed the book on his mixed martial arts career.

In a brief chat with TMZ this week, Paul Heyman was asked if there is any truth to the rumors that Lesnar could soon make a UFC return.

“If Brock Lesnar wants to fight in UFC, Brock Lesnar will fight in UFC,” Heyman said. “If Brock Lesnar wants to fight in WWE, he will fight in WWE. … Brock Lesnar does what Brock Lesnar wants to do.”

When asked if fighting again after two years off (or possibly more) would be a problem, Heyman said he actually feels it would be an advantage for Lesnar.

“The time away actually makes him better because his body gets a chance to heal,” he said. “The problem with these UFC fighters, and they’re all fantastic athletes, is that they wear their bodies down in these training camps. All of these guys that are cutting weight are just destroying their own bodies. Brock Lesnar is probably the healthiest fighter to enter UFC if he decides to do that.”

If you remember, Heyman said last year that Lesnar has never had a UFC fight when he was at his peak physical condition because of his battles with diverticulitis.

Heyman dominated Mark Hunt at UFC 200 in July 2016, but the win was later vacated because he failed multiple drug tests. It’s unclear if he has even re-entered the USADA testing pool, which is something he would have to do before his suspension could be lifted.

Nate Diaz nearly lights a blunt during UFC Fight Night

Nate Diaz blunt

Nate Diaz further endeared himself to his fans with his on-camera behavior when shown on TV during FS1’s telecast of “UFC Fight Night: Cowboy vs. Medeiros” on Sunday night in Austin.

The rebellious fighter was shown on TV during the fight card and showed off his typical bad-boy side. He reached for his pocket, grabbed a blunt, put it in his mouth, and raised his lighter as if to begin smoking inside the building:

Nate and his brother Nick are huge cannabis supporters and have even showed off their customized bong. Nate was also part of a controversy when he smoked CBD from a vape pen after UFC 202.

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Fans upset with judges in Matt Mitrione-Roy Nelson fight

Matt Mitrione

The fans in attendance at Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut were not happy with the judges for the result of the Matt Mitrione-Roy Nelson fight at Bellator 194 on Friday night.

Mitrione won the fight by majority decision, with the judges scoring the fight 28-28, 29-28 and 29-28 in favor of Mitrione.

After the result was announced, fans could be heard booing:

Many felt that Mitrione won the first two rounds but that Nelson won the third round, possibly by a 10-8 score thanks to his takedown and dominance in the ensuing ground and pound. One of the judges scored it a draw.

Mitrione was interviewed in the cage after his win, and the fans continued to boo. Asked about the result, Mitrione said “I’m not a judge. I’ll see you guys in the next round.”

The Mitrione-Nelson fight was one of the four quarterfinal matches in the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix. Mitrione advances to face the winner of Ryan Bader-King Mo. In the other half, Chael Sonnen will face the winner of Fedor Emelianenko-Frank Mir.

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Former UFC owner Frank Fertitta looking to buy Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers logo

Former UFC owner Frank Fertitta is looking to get into the NFL business.

CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reported on Tuesday that Fertitta is leading one of the groups looking to purchase the Carolina Panthers.

Fertitta, along with his brother Lorenzo, own Zuffa, LLC, which is the company that used to own the UFC. They sold the company to WME-IMG for $4.2 billion.

Fertitta is currently the CEO of Station Casinos and would have to divest his interest in that company before being able to purchase an NFL team. Fertitta’s third-cousin, Tilman, purchased the Houston Rockets in 2017.

Back when there were initial rumors about the Fertittas selling the UFC, it was reported that they had interest in buying an NFL team. They now have their chance with Jerry Richardson selling the Panthers amid a scandal over his inappropriate work behavior.

UFC fighter Tai Tuivasa chugs beer out of shoe after win

Tai Tuivasa beer

UFC fighter Tai Tuivasa probably picked up a bunch more fans after what he did following his win at UFC 221 on Saturday night in Perth.

Tuivasa defeated Cyril Asker via first round TKO. After his win, he was handed a shoe by a fan and chugged a beer out of it:

Tuivasa is a former rugby player, so shooting the boot should be nothing new for him. The local fans probably loved it.

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Showtime boss says ‘there’s a chance’ Floyd Mayweather could fight in UFC

Floyd Mayweather

At the very least, Floyd Mayweather Jr. wants us to believe that he is planning to try his hand at mixed martial arts at some point this year. And if he actually tries to make it happen, it sounds like the network he is under contract with is willing to help.

TMZ caught up with Showtime Sports executive vice president Stephen Espinoza at the Super Bowl this week, and he said he had seen Mayweather’s cryptic social media posts this week indicating the undefeated boxer is training for an MMA fight. Espinoza said he plans to meet with Mayweather in Minneapolis and those videos will be “a topic of conversation.” He also didn’t rule out Mayweather fighting in the UFC.

“There’s a chance,” Espinoza said. “Whatever he puts his mind to, he sort of wills it to happen. He willed the McGregor fight to happen. So if he sets his mind to it, it’ll happen.”

On Tuesday, Mayweather posted a short clip with no dialogue that showed him climbing into the octagon. He followed that up with another video on Wednesday, and that was the strongest indication to date that he’s not done fighting.

Dana White has said numerous times that Mayweather fighting in the UFC is a possibility, and Floyd and Conor McGregor have continued to take shots at one another on social media. While Mayweather, who is 40 and has no MMA experience, would stand virtually no chance against McGregor in an MMA setting, we all know how much money the fight would make.

Conor McGregor responds to Floyd Mayweather’s cryptic MMA video

Floyd Mayweather Conor McGregor

It is incredibly unlikely that Floyd Mayweather Jr. will ever take part in an actual MMA bout, but that isn’t stopping the undefeated boxer from climbing into the octagon to fuel speculation about it.

On Tuesday, Mayweather posted a short clip on social media that showed him stepping into the cage and pacing around like he was waiting for a fight. Floyd said nothing in the video and the post had no caption.

Of course, many instantly believed that Mayweather could be hinting at something. Is he planning to try his hand at MMA? Could a UFC fight between him and Conor McGregor actually happen? McGregor responded with a tweet of his own:

Mayweather is 40 and has zero MMA experience. It would be even more dangerous for him to go from the boxing ring to the octagon than it was for McGregor to do the opposite, and Floyd has to know that. He also knows that his brand grows stronger the longer he can stay in the spotlight, which is why he continues to take shots at McGregor any chance he gets.

Long story short: We’d be shocked if there is any hidden meaning behind Mayweather’s little video.

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