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Wednesday, June 19, 2019

MMA

Brock Lesnar WWE contract likely includes new UFC option

Brock Lesnar

News that Brock Lesnar will fight at UFC 200 left many wondering about his WWE contract and what kind of provision it has for him to fight in the UFC.

While we do not know the exact terms and language of it, we do have some insight.

What We Know:

Lesnar signed a three-year deal with the WWE on March 23, 2015. That would put him at 14.5 months into his contract.

At the time he signed his contract, Lesnar said he was still training for MMA and still very much had interest in a comeback. The UFC was trying hard to sign him and even doubled their offer to him according to Lesnar, but the superstar was not swayed.

What is Being Speculated:

Though Lesnar’s deal with the WWE is exclusive, he may have worked an option to fight in the UFC.

Front Row Brian is a very reliable source for all things MMA-related and floated that Lesnar was seeking more money from the WWE prior to WrestleMania 32 and used that as leverage to get the UFC option in his contract changed.

Would the WWE be upset about Lesnar fighting in the Octagon?

Lesnar made his fame in the WWE and then helped give the UFC a huge boost by fighting there, so there is little doubt which of the promotions gains more when he fights in MMA. However, the UFC has grown even more in the past four years since Lesnar last fought there, and they have their own fan base and ability to generate headlines. All this speculation means there will be a lot more interest in Brock’s next moves. The more buzz surrounding one of the WWE’s superstars is a good thing, as it should mean higher ratings/more intrigue for programming he appears on. And as our wrestling insider Big Daddy mentioned to us, the organizations could do some sort of WWE/UFC champion co-promotions and branding, which would benefit both companies.

Conor McGregor-Nate Diaz II announced for UFC 202

Nate Diaz Conor McGregor

Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz will be getting it on in the Octagon once again.

The UFC announced during its UFC 200 show in Inglewood, Calif. on Saturday that McGregor and Diaz will fight for the second time, this time around at UFC 202 on Aug. 20.

The upcoming fight between them is the culmination of quite a saga.

To start with, Diaz was a late replacement for Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 196 in March. His addition to the fight card led McGregor to jump up to welterweight, which he later blamed his loss on. Then the two were set to meet at the UFC 200 show for a rematch, but that was cancelled after the UFC said McGregor refused to fulfill his media obligations.

Despite the dispute between McGregor and the UFC, which involved McGregor threatening his retirement, Dana White mended matters and met with both fighters recently. White’s publicized meetings with both led many to expect a fight would soon be announced.

Dan Henderson knocks out Hector Lombard with vicious kick, elbow (Video)

Dan Henderson elbow

Even at 45 years old, Dan Henderson is showing he still has it.

Hendo knocked out Hector Lombard in the second round of their fight at UFC 199 on Saturday in Inglewood, Calif. He got Lombard with a monstrous kick to the temple and then a vicious elbow:

Hendo may only be 3-6 in his last nine fights, but he showed he is still very much a dangerous threat in the Octagon. This was the last fight in his contract with the UFC, and his strong showing leaves a lot of intrigue and uncertainty regarding his future.

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Brock Lesnar UFC 200 opponent could be announced soon

Brock Lesnar

Brock Lesnar has been toying with the idea of returning to the UFC on and off for the past several years, and it sounds like he may actually be making his return to the Octagon.

MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani reported on Saturday that Lesnar is in negotiations with the UFC about fighting at UFC 200 on July 9. Helwani described it as the two sides being in “serious talks” and that they are “close to finalizing a deal.” Helwani also said that Lesnar’s opponent is not close to being finalized, but that might not be accurate. First off, they must have some potential opponents in mind considering the card date is only a month away.

Also, MMA insider Front Row Brian says the opponent may be revealed on Monday.

The report of Lesnar possibly fighting at UFC 200 led many to question the status of his contract with the WWE. Lesnar is in the second year of a three-year deal with the WWE.

Lesnar is one of the biggest draws in UFC history. The former UFC heavyweight champion began fighting in the Octagon in 2007 and claimed the heavyweight championship in his fourth professional fight when he beat Randy Couture in 2008. He successfully defended his title twice before losing two fights in a row and stepping away from the Octagon. He has not fought in the UFC since the end of 2011, when he lost to Alistair Overeem.

Lesnar battled diverticulitis at the time but has flirted with the idea of a return many times since. So while the report is surprising, it should not be entirely shocking.

Nate Diaz: I’m the only MMA fighter who could beat Floyd Mayweather

Nate Diaz

There has been a ton of talk surrounding a potential MMA vs. boxing fight between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr., but the last man who beat McGregor in the octagon does not believe the Irishman would present Mayweather with the biggest challenge the UFC could offer.

Early Wednesday morning, Nate Diaz tweeted that he believes he is the only MMA fighter who could beat Mayweather in a boxing match.

As you can see, Diaz included a video that features boxer Andre Ward talking about sparring against Nate and his brother Nick. Ward said Nate “throws punches from all different angles” and could definitely hold his own in a pure stand-up boxing match.

Diaz defeated McGregor back in March with a rear-naked choke in the second round. Even if Diaz would be a more worthy opponent for Mayweather, we all know any potential Mayweather vs. McGregor fight would be all about ratings. As long as McGregor keeps giving interviews like this, he will always be one of the biggest draws in the UFC.

BJ Penn pulled from UFC fight due to ‘potential’ violation

bj-pennThat BJ Penn’s potential comeback fight is being scuttled should not come as a surprise. The guy is 37, hadn’t fought since 2014, and has been under investigation for alleged sexual assault. There was a lot going against him. But the reason for Penn’s comeback fight being put on hold is quite interesting.

Penn is under suspension by USADA — the US Anti-Doping Agency, which the UFC partnered with to oversee drug testing — for a potential violation. Not an actual violation, mind you, but a potential violation.

Penn was flagged for using too much fluid in an IV during an out-of-competition sample on March 25.

From the UFC’s website:

“The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) informed BJ Penn of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation. Penn disclosed the usage of a prohibited method – the use of an IV in excess of 50 ML in a six-hour period – during a March 25, 2016, out-of-competition sample collection. In accordance with the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, Penn has received a provisional suspension, and has been removed from his scheduled bout against Cole Miller on June 4 in Los Angeles.

“UFC will announce a replacement opponent for Miller shortly, and additional information will be provided by USADA and UFC at the appropriate time as the process involving Penn moves forward.”

The provisional suspension has many in the MMA community up in arms complaining. Many are wondering how USADA has the power to suspend someone for just using too much of an IV but not actually testing positive. The answer is USADA does not allow excess IV fluid because they believe fighters use it to mask PED use. This type of reasoning may make sense but it is certainly murky in a country where the foundation of our legal system is a presumption of innocence until proven guilty.

Penn accepting the provisional suspension and having his fight called off, however, leads me to wonder if there is more to this story. Did the UFC just not want to deal with a scandal if Penn were later proven to have tested positive for a banned substance following the fight? Or between this and the charge that he committed sexual assault the UFC just decided it had had enough? Who knows, but this also says something more about the UFC.

The UFC bringing in USADA to clean up the sport or at least the public image of it, plus pulling the plug on the Penn fight altogether, shows how conservative this previously reckless company has become. And if that’s not all to present a more attractive company to potential buyers (think staging a home while listing it for sale), then I don’t know what is going on.

Report: Floyd Mayweather will fight Conor McGregor in September

Floyd-Mayweather-Conor-McGregor

At least one well-known sports media personality is so certain that a fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor is going to happen that he has already booked hotel accommodations for it.

On his radio show Monday, Colin Cowherd of FOX Sports revealed that he has gotten information indicating Mayweather vs. McGregor will take place the weekend of Sept. 17, 2016, in Las Vegas.

“I have already booked two rooms for Sept. 17 and 18 in Las Vegas,” Cowherd said. “My intel is Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather is going to happen. It changed late last week. I got a call, then somebody else sent me something yesterday and Saturday and we booked rooms in Vegas.”

Cowherd casually dropped the bomb and then spoke about how he does not believe it will be a good fight but it “doesn’t matter” because of how much money everyone is going to make. He said he anticipates the official announcement coming in about two weeks.

If that’s true, this would obviously be an unprecedented event between two fighters from completely different disciplines. Mayweather has said numerous times that he believes the fight will happen, though it has been widely assumed that the retired champion is just trying to create a buzz.

Maybe not.

Mayweather is adamant that he will not come out of retirement for any fight that guarantees him less than $100 million, and he has reportedly offered to pay McGregor about half of that. In an interview over the weekend, McGregor had some choice words for Mayweather regarding who needs the fight more. You can read what McGregor said here.

Between Mayweather being retired and McGregor being under contract with the UFC, it seems like there would be a ton of hoops to jump through to make the fight happen. If what Cowherd said is true, there apparently aren’t enough hoops to prevent the bout from taking place.

Video via The Big Lead