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Monday, July 13, 2020

MMA

Stephen A. Smith responds in video to Joe Rogan’s criticism

Stephen A. Smith and Joe Rogan are at odds over the ESPN personality’s analysis of the main event at UFC 246 last weekend.

Smith, who is an MMA outsider and doesn’t often comment on the sport, provided commentary alongside Rogan and Michael Eaves on ESPN after Conor McGregor beat Cowboy Cerrone in the main event.

Smith was critical of Cerrone for lasting just 40 seconds and opined that the spotlight was too much for the veteran fighter. Smith also said that the quick win over Cerrone did not prove anything about whether or not McGregor was “back” after a long layoff.

Rogan, who has been an interviewer for the UFC since 1997 and is an accomplished mixed martial artist himself, took issue with Smith’s commentary. Rogan feels Smith was too harsh on Cerrone.

Here is what Rogan said on the “JRE MMA Show” podcast, as transcribed by MMA Junkie.

“For Conor to smash ‘Cowboy’ like that in front of his wife, his kid, his grandma and the whole world. You’ve got to have some respect for that man, and this sport demands a different perspective. It’s not the same thing as a ball going into a hoop. It’s not the same thing as crossing a line with a football. It’s different. It’s very intense and very personal, and it’s also very (expletive) dangerous and to play it off like it’s just a game, I don’t agree with it,” Rogan said.

Rogan also said the commentator’s shtick doesn’t belong in MMA

“That’s a bad look for everybody,” Rogan said. “It’s a bad look for ESPN, it’s a bad look for [Smith], it’s a bad look for the sport. There’s other people that can do this. … We have plenty of people out there who understand the sport. There’s plenty of them. But the thing about him is he’s really popular. (He just got a contract extension) because his personality is so fun. He’s a fun guy to watch and people love (expletive)-talking and they love people arguing about (expletive) and one person is better at arguing. Stephen A. Smith is really good at that stuff. But it’s not the place for MMA. It’s just not the place. It’s not the same thing.”

You can read more of Rogan’s comments at MMA Junkie.

On Saturday, Smith responded with this video where he focused on and defended his take that McGregor did not prove anything.

McGregor got involved in the discussion and told Smith to apologize for not being more respectful of the way Cerrone lost.

Smith doesn’t know the intricacies of MMA, so hearing him talk is infuriating to the hardcore fans and knowledgeable commentators. But ESPN brings Smith on for his hot takes delivered in his entertaining style, and that’s exactly what he did. And now he’s created a beef out of it, which is why he’s paid the big bucks.

ESPN wants to help grow the sport, and having someone like Smith on to do his thing helps appeal to more people. But at the same time, if you’re going to do that, you have to work hard not to alienate your core fans who are the the heart of the business.

Here is the original video of the postfight analysis from Rogan and Smith.

Floyd Mayweather Jr touts second fight with Conor McGregor in Instagram post

Floyd Mayweather Conor McGregor

Floyd Mayweather Jr. wasted no time inserting himself into the conversation after Conor McGregor’s win over Cowboy Cerrone at UFC 246 in Las Vegas on Saturday night.

Following McGregor’s 40-second TKO win, Mayweather went on Instagram and shared a photo of him and McGregor and said “Mayweather McGregor 2”.

Mayweather and McGregor fought in August 2017, with Mayweather prevailing via TKO in the 10th round. The fight marked McGregor’s first professional boxing match and generated 4.3 million pay-per-view buys, which was the second most ever in history. It was so lucrative the two could try to fight again for another massive pay day.

Mayweather has not fought since then, but the opportunity to make big bucks might appeal to him. He is already trying to sway UFC boss Dana White about a second fight.

White has long been interested in getting into boxing promoting, so the two of them working together could make sense. We should also expect Manny Pacquiao to get involved in some form as well.

Conor McGregor wastes Cowboy Cerrone in 40 seconds at UFC 246

Conor McGregor

Conor McGregor against Cowboy Cerrone turned out to be the mismatch many believed it was.

McGregor destroyed Cerrone in 40 seconds to win via TKO at UFC 246 in Las Vegas on Saturday night. He caught Cerrone with a kick that stunned his opponent and then followed up with a big knee and a few punches that sent Cerrone into the cage. From there, McGregor overwhelmed Cerrone with multiple punches.

Cerrone ended up on the mat, and it was only a matter of time before referee Herb Dean stepped in to stop the fight. Feeling Cerrone could no longer defend himself, Dean stopped the fight after 40 seconds, giving McGregor the win.

The TKO marked McGregor’s first win in the UFC since November 2016. The 31-year-old boxed against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2017, lost to Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2018, and did not compete at all in 2019. He is now 22-4 in his MMA career and has finished 19 of his wins via a KO or TKO.

The attendance at T-Mobile Arena was over 19,000, and the gate was over $11 million, ranking it as the fourth-largest in UFC history. McGregor took home a Performance of the Night bonus for his effort.

The UFC seems eager to set up a McGregor vs. Jorge Masvidal fight at some point in the future.

Josh Barnett-Ronny Markes Bellator main event cancelled due to Barnett’s severe illness

Josh Barnett

The main event between Josh Barnett and Ronny Markes for Friday night’s Bellator fight card in Hawaii was cancelled after the Hawaii State Boxing Commission determined Barnette was too ill to compete.

Bellator president Scott Coker announced via Twitter that Barnett had not been cleared to fight due to “severe illness.” Toby Misech and Erik Perez became the new main event on the Salute to the Troops card in Honolulu.

Barnett signed with Bellator this year and was set to make his debut for the promotion, but that has now been put on hold.

Barnett has fought in UFC, Pride, StrikeForce, Dream, K-1, Impact FC and Affliction MMA events. The 42-year-old carries a 35-8 career record.

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Alistair Overeem has lip busted in nasty fashion by Jair Rozenstruik

Alistair Overeem lost to Jair Rozenstruik in the final seconds of their fight on Saturday night in Washington D.C., and it was an ugly knockout for Overeem.

Overeem took a big right hand to the grill from Jair and went down. The fight was waved off with four seconds left in what otherwise looked like a victory for Overeem.

Those watching could see Overeem’s top lip split after taking the punch. It was totally nasty.

Here is the video, but beware:

Rozenstruik is now 10-0 in his pro MMA career and has gone 4-0 in the UFC this year.

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Dana White now thinks Nate Diaz stoppage was good call

Dana White

Many fight fans were ticked off that the Nate Diaz-Jorge Masvidal main event at UFC 244 at Madison Square Garden in New York on Saturday night was stopped after the third round due to a doctor’s decision. Many, including Diaz, believed the fighter could continue, but the cageside doctor decided otherwise.

UFC boss Dana White said on ESPN after the fight that while he originally was upset with the stoppage, he later changed his mind after seeing what Diaz looked like in the locker room.

“Cuts that big are always a problem. When it first got stopped, I was like ‘you guys didn’t stop the Tyson Fury fight.’ But then as I went back and talked with Nate Diaz and looked at Nate Diaz’s face, the guy’s eyebrow was like this (White motions his finger in front of his eyeball), and he had another cut right underneath it. Fight probably should have been stopped. Could Nate Diaz keep going? Yes, that’s why we love Nate Diaz. But it probably should have been (stopped),” White said.

The reaction from fans generally is heated at first — for understandable reasons. They wanted to see a full fight and felt they got robbed. But when you consider that they’re protecting the fighter, the responsible call was made. Plus, both Masvidal and Diaz seem like they want a rematch anyway, where hopefully there won’t be a stoppage.

Watch: President Trump booed at UFC 244

President Donald Trump’s appearance at UFC 244 included boos from fans inside Madison Square Garden as well as protests outside the arena.

Prior to Trump arriving for the event, fans showed up outside of Madison Square Garden holding signs and chanting in protest.

Once Trump made his way inside, boos accompanied his entrance.

President Trump also received a cold reception when he attended Game 5 of the World Series between the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros.

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