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Thursday, June 21, 2018

MMA

Report: Brock Lesnar in talks to attend UFC 226, fight Miocic-Cormier winner

Brock Lesnar

Brock Lesnar could find himself back in the Octagon again before long.

Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer reported on Friday (via Bloody Elbow) that the 40-year-old superstar is in talks to make an appearance at UFC 226. Meltzer also adds that Lesnar has been asked to fight the winner of the Stipe Miocic-Daniel Cormier bout, which will headline the July 7 pay-per-view event. Meanwhile, December 30 in Las Vegas is being floated as a possibility for that potential Lesnar return, which would be for the heavyweight title.

Lesnar still has six months to serve of the one-year suspension he incurred by testing positive for a banned substance when he fought Mark Hunt at UFC 200 in 2016 (the clock stopped when he retired from mixed martial arts for a second time last year). Thus, Lesnar would have to re-enter the USADA testing pool by June 30 to put the above events into motion.

We know that Lesnar recently expressed interest in fighting in the UFC again, albeit against a different opponent. Seeing as he’s one of the biggest box-office draws in the game, it would certainly make sense on a lot of different fronts.

Joe Rogan: CM Punk lacks ‘physical talent’ as MMA fighter

CM Punk

Joe Rogan doesn’t think there’s any coincidence that CM Punk has been throttled in his two MMA fights.

Rogan, who served as a longtime UFC color commentator/analyst, spoke about CM Punk during his podcast this week. Rogan said that Punk “does not have athletic talent.”

“He’s a very nice guy and he’s a hard worker, but he does not have athletic talent,” Rogan said on “The Joe Rogan Experience.” “He’s missing… he’s a showman, and when he was in the WWE, he was allowed to say, ‘I am the f—ing man!’ And throw his hand up in the air and say he is the man, and they had it scripted so that he was the man.”

Punk made his name as a famous wrestler in the WWE. But he left the organization and signed with the UFC in late 2014. His first fight came two years later, and then he fought again over the weekend. He got crushed in both fights and ended up making a trip to the hospital after his loss Saturday.

“He doesn’t have the ability to move his body right,” said Rogan. “There’s a lot of guys you can take out there, track and field guys, football players and you can get them to fight better than him in a couple of weeks easily because they are athletes.

“They’d understand how to shift their weight and throw a punch. He doesn’t have any talent, is all it is, he doesn’t have physical talent for whatever reason.”

UFC president Dana White said after the loss that Punk should give up his MMA career.

H/T Bloody Elbow

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Report: Conor McGregor working on plea deal in bus attack

Conor McGregor

Conor McGregor is working on a plea deal in his bus attack case, according to a report.

McGregor is due to appear in a Brooklyn court on Thursday to address the charges he faces from his bus attack in April. McGregor is facing two felony counts of criminal mischief and several misdemeanors for attacking a bus filled with UFC fighters ahead of UFC 223.

TMZ Sports reports that McGregor is working on a plea deal. A plea deal could include a fine, probation, and community service.

McGregor and some men in his crew attacked a bus that was carrying several UFC fighters. McGregor was upset over a beef that had developed between his teammate, Artem Lobov, and Khabib Nurmagomedov. McGregor also had some lingering ire over being stripped of his UFC lightweight title. He threw a large object at the bus, which shattered some glass and caused injury to fighters who were aboard. That led to the alteration/cancellation of several fights that were planned for the April 7 card.

Even if McGregor resolves the criminal aspect of the matter, he will likely have to settle some personal matters with some of the victims. We know of at least one fighter who was angry enough over what happened that he filed a police report.

Dana White addresses Greg Hardy’s domestic violence past

Greg Hardy

Many sports fans and pundits have been disgusted by Dana White’s willingness to give Greg Hardy a second shot in professional sports despite his domestic violence past.

Hardy was found guilty in 2014 of assaulting his girlfriend, though the charges were later dropped after the victim did not show up for court. The NFL suspended him 10 games, which was later reduced to four. The allegations and photos shared by his ex-girlfriend tell a disturbing story and contributed to his NFL career ending. Hardy was also arrested in late 2016 for cocaine possession and has not played in the NFL since 2015.

On Tuesday, White gave Hardy a developmental contract with the UFC after the former NFL defensive lineman won his first professional fight since taking up an MMA career.

So how does White reconcile Hardy’s past with his current pursuits?

“What I respect about the guy is he did something really bad and horrible. He went through everything you need to go though after you do something disgusting like that. Then he hit rock bottom, picked himself back up, started to work his way up to become not only a better human being but a better athlete,” White told TMZ Sports about Hardy.

“Everything that I see in the guy … he’s changed.”

What White calls “changed” others would consider looking the other way.

In 2014, White was quoted as saying, “We’ve been human beings in letting these guys, other guys make up for what they’ve done and come back. There’s one thing that you never bounce back from and that’s putting your hands on a woman. Been that way in the UFC since we started here. You don’t bounce back from putting your hands on a woman.”

His position certainly seems to have changed.

Greg Hardy gets developmental contract with UFC

Greg Hardy

Former NFL player and woman beater Greg Hardy was awarded a contract with the UFC after scoring a knockout win on Tuesday night.

Hardy faced former NFL player Austen Lane in a fight on “Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series” (DWTNCS). He won by knockout in 57 seconds with a big right hand.

This was Hardy’s pro debut after he went 3-0 in amateur fights, making him 4-0 in his fighting career and 1-0 as a pro.

After the win, Dana White gave Hardy a contract with the UFC, though it appears to be a developmental contract. That means Hardy will get a few fights for more experience before he debuts in the actual UFC.

Hardy is a notorious figure in the sports world. The former All-Pro defensive lineman was found guilty in 2014 of assaulting his girlfriend, though the charges were later dropped after the victim did not show up for court. The victim’s photos tell a disturbing story. The NFL suspended him 10 games, which was later reduced to four. He was arrested in late 2016 for cocaine possession.

Hardy has not played in the NFL since 2015 and began his MMA career last year.

Brock Lesnar, Jon Jones ‘very interested’ in fighting one another

Brock Lesnar

Brock Lesnar and Jon Jones may both be searching for redemption inside the Octagon in the near future, so it makes sense that UFC president Dana White would explore avenues to kill two birds with one stone in what would likely be one of the most watched PPVs of all time.

White told TMZ over the weekend that Lesnar still wants to return to the UFC, and we all know that is the goal for Jones.

“Brock’s WWE deal is up at the end of the summer I think, and I know he wants to fight,” White said. “I’m sure we’ll end up getting that figured out.”

When asked specifically who he would like to see Lesnar fight, White brought up Jones.

“Jon Jones is very interested in Brock Lesnar, and Brock is very interested in Jon Jones,” he said. “…They both want it. It’s a fun fight.”

Lesnar recently signed an extension with the WWE, but it was only for a few months if what White says is accurate. Both he and Jones are also suspended for testing positive for performance-enhancing substances, and White said it is “up to USADA” when Jones will be cleared to fight again. Lesnar has yet to re-enter the USADA testing program, which requires a fighter to be tested for six months before competing.

Jones fought at 205 pounds in his last fight, which is the very top of the light heavyweight division. He’d have no problem getting past the 206-pound minimum to fight in the heavyweight division, though Lesnar would still have a serious size advantage. The two have already traded some shots in the media, so it’s no surprise they would be willing to square up. Whether or not they can clear the necessary hurdles is another discussion.

Colby Covington, Tyron Woodley traded shots following UFC 225

Colby Covington was feeling combative after his victory on Saturday night at UFC 225, and Tyron Woodley was more than happy to indulge him.

Covington became the UFC interim welterweight champion with a unanimous decision win over Rafael dos Anjos, and he called out the “coward” Woodley in his interview with Joe Rogan afterwards. Beware of foul language here:

Just minutes later, Woodley responded with some vulgar tweets of his own where he fired back at Covington.

“B—- Please!” he wrote in one tweet. “I let you bump your gums. Now you got smoke! I’m exposing you. You were and always will be my warm-up round!

“Get this b—- ready!” Woodley said in another one accompanied by an image of Covington below a money bag emoji. “@ufc @danawhite hit my line now!”

Woodley is the current welterweight champion but has not fought in nearly a year, an absence that prompted the UFC to crown an interim champ. Thus, a Covington-Woodley bout seems to be the next logical step, especially on a night where we saw some other solid grudge matches in the making.

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