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#pounditThursday, February 25, 2021

MMA

Dana White reveals he once lost $1 million betting on a boxing fight

Dana White

Dana White is a self-proclaimed gambling degenerate, and he once experienced a 7-figure loss.

White joined ESPN’s “Daily Wager” program last week and talked about sports betting. White says he enjoys betting on sports because it makes the game more interesting and said he is happy that states are legalizing it.

The UFC boss also revealed that he lost $1 million betting on a boxing fight in 2007.

White was asked about a bet that still bothers him. He recalled when Jermain Taylor lost to Kelly Pavlik.

“I bet $1 million on Taylor, and he got destroyed,” White recalled. “It was the first time I ever bet $1 million dollars because I was so confident Taylor was going to win that fight.”

White really brought back some memories by invoking Taylor and Pavlik. And if you have the kind of money he has now, $1 million isn’t a huge sum the way it is for the rest of us. Sadly, many of us do have similar stories about money we’ve lost betting on sports events.

Dan Le Batard rips ESPN for not defending Ariel Helwani against Dana White

Dan Le Batard

Dan Le Batard was not on good terms with ESPN when he parted ways with the network late last year, and he is once again criticizing his former employer.

MMA star-turned-actor Gina Carano was fired from her role in the series “The Mandalorian” earlier this week over some controversial remarks she made on social media. Carano compared the way German people turned on their Jewish neighbors prior to the Holocaust to the way people have turned against those with right wing political views. ESPN MMA insider Ariel Helwani, who is Jewish, shared his thoughts on Carano’s rant in a video he posted on Instagram.

UFC president Dana White defended Carano for making a mistake and said people should leave her alone. He then chastised Helwani for making it “all about him” and called the journalist a nasty word.

Ryan Glasspiegel reached out to ESPN for a comment on White insulting Helwani, but the network chose not to respond. Le Batard called out ESPN for being “complicit” by not defending Helwani.

Helwani is one of the most respected reporters in MMA. Since he’s also Jewish, it makes sense that he addressed Carano’s remarks. You’d expect ESPN to defend him, but perhaps Le Batard is right that the network is being conscious of its business relationship with White.

We know by one of the moves Le Batard pulled before leaving ESPN that he is always looking for an opportunity to take a shot at the network.

Gina Carano fired by Lucasfilm from ‘The Mandalorian’ over conservative social media posts

Gina Carano

MMA star-turned-actor Gina Carano has been fired by Lucasfilm from her role as Cara Dune on “The Mandalorian” over her social media activity.

Carano, 38, last fought in MMA in 2009, and got into acting around the same time. She was cast in the role as Dune for “The Mandalorian,” which debuted on Disney+ in 2019 and has aired for two seasons.

Carano has been at the center of numerous controversies on social media over the past year. She has repeatedly questioned government decisions and policies related the COVID-19 pandemic, such as lockdowns and mask-wearing. She also mocked people who put gender pronouns in their social media profiles.

The post on Wednesday that triggered the firing came on Carano’s Instagram Story. Carano compared the way German people turned on their Jewish neighbors prior to the Holocaust to the way people have turned against those with (ostensibly) right wing political views.

“Jews were beaten in the streets, not by Nazi soldiers but by their neighbors…even by children. Because history is edited, most people today don’t realize that to get to the point where Nazi soldiers could easily round up thousands of Jews, the government first made their own neighbors hate them simply for being Jews. How is that any different from hating someone for their political views,” the post read.

She later deleted the post.

“Gina Carano is not currently employed by Lucasfilm and there are no plans for her to be in the future,” Lucasfilm said in a statement released on Wednesday. “Nevertheless, her social media posts denigrating people based on their cultural and religious identities are abhorrent and unacceptable.”

A “fire Gina Carano” hashtag trended on social media Wednesday. That was not the first time the cancel culture mob went after Carano over social media, which is the real reason why she was fired.

“They have been looking for a reason to fire her for two months, and today was the final straw,” a source told The Hollywood Reporter.

Carano had been pushing boundaries for months with her social media activity and seems to enjoy it. She probably had to know that at some point this was going to happen. This outcome likely puts into serious doubt any spinoff show her character might have received on Disney+.

Floyd Mayweather rips Conor McGregor as ‘McLoser’ after loss

Floyd Mayweather

Floyd Mayweather ripped into Conor McGregor on Sunday after the UFC fighter lost to Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 on Sunday morning in Abu Dhabi.

Mayweather, who beat McGregor in a boxing match in 2017, posted on Instagram to mock McGregor. He also played the race card heavily in his post, which came in response to a questions asking why McGregor is loved and Mayweather hated.

“I seen this post and my take on it is that the world knows Con Artist McLoser can steal everything from me and be loved but I’m hated. That just lets you all know that racism still exist. Just know, that bum will never be me or be on my level. I’m just built different, my mindset is on another planet, my skills are second to none, I’m a natural born winner and yes I talk a lot of trash, but every time I back it up! This is what they hate. It’s sad that you can be a poor black kid from the ghetto that has dealt with racism your whole life and work extremely hard to put yourself and your family in a better position, and most of the hate come from my own people. Connor cannot even win in his own sport, but talking about coming back to boxing to fight Pacquiao. Nobody wants to see that, it’s like my leftovers eating leftovers,” Mayweather wrote.

There was talk about McGregor boxing Manny Pacquiao, which is what Mayweather was referring to in his post. Mayweather has beaten both men in a boxing match, which is why he said leftovers eating leftovers.

As for the contents of his post, Mayweather always likes keeping his name in the conversation for combat sports, which this accomplishes. A big difference between Mayweather and McGregor is that Conor has taken on tough opponents repeatedly, and not conditionally. Comparatively, Mayweather cherry-picked his opponents so he could maximize his earnings while minimizing his risks. When he did face his toughest opponents, it was either when they were too old (Pacquiao and Oscar De La Hoya) or too young (Canelo Alvarez). Fans recognize this difference and reward fighters with more love when they take on the toughest fights. Mayweather, meanwhile, is focusing on fighting YouTubers.

Khabib Nurmagomedov throws shade at Conor McGregor after loss

Khabib Nurmagomedov

Conor McGregor’s big rival Khabib Nurmagomedov threw shade at The Notorious for losing at UFC 257 on Sunday morning in Abu Dhabi.

McGregor, who was fighting for the first time in a year, lost to Dustin Poirier via second-round TKO. He got knocked out cold and became the subject of numerous funny memes.

After the defeat, Khabib took his shot at McGregor. He said the result was predictable after Conor ditched his team.

John Kavanagh remains McGregor’s coach, so it’s unclear what Khabib means by McGregor changing teams. Maybe Khabib believes McGregor did not have high-quality sparring partners for the fight.

McGregor and Khabib had lots of beef prior to and following their big fight at UFC 229 in 2018. Khabib probably can’t resist kicking McGregor when he is down.

Conor McGregor becomes a meme after TKO loss to Dustin Poirier

Conor McGregor knocked out

Conor McGregor was knocked out by Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 in Abu Dhabi on Sunday morning, and he became a meme as a result.

The Notorious was fighting for the first time in a year since beating Donald Cerrone last January. Poirier started punishing McGregor with repeated punches midway through the second round. Then he knocked McGregor to the mat and the fight was quickly waved off as a TKO victory for Poirier.

McGregor was knocked silly and became a meme for the way he looked on the mat. Here were some of the jokes:

McGregor is usually the one making his opponents look foolish, but this time the joke was on him. McGregor is now 22-5 in MMA, while Poirier is 27-6 (1).

Disaster: UFC 257 has major pay-per-view errors for fans who bought fights

UFC 257 error

UFC 257 was a highly-anticipated event among MMA fans, but things turned disastrous for many fans who were unable to access the fight card they purchased.

Fans complained of login issues or other issues that prevented them from being able to watch the fights they had legally purchased.

Dana White talked about going hard after those illegal stealing streams, but this can’t be what the UFC had in mind. These all appear to be people who purchased the fights and were unable to watch it due to errors.

UFC 257 is the UFC’s first pay-per-view event of 2021 and taking place in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The event is headlined by the Conor McGregor-Dustin Poirier fight.

UPDATE: ESPN+ sent the following note regarding the issue:

Tito Ortiz apologizes after bashing burger joint over mask policy

Tito Ortiz

MMA legend Tito Ortiz apologized on Facebook Monday after bashing one of his regular burger joints for their mask policy.

Ortiz, who won a seat on Huntington Beach’s city council in November, says he visits TK Burgers in Huntington Beach with his family every Sunday. However, he filmed a video that he shared on his Instagram Story saying he wouldn’t support the restaurant because they wouldn’t let him order without wearing a mask.

Ortiz realized his error in judgment and apologized for calling out a business in his home city.

Ortiz (21-12-1) is a former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, UFC Hall of Famer, and regarded as one of the company’s pioneers. He most recently fought last year for Combate Americas. The 45-year-old won his city council seat (and is mayor pro tempore) running on a “Make Huntington Beach Safe Again” platform.

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Pat Miletich says he was removed from Legacy Fighting Alliance for being around Capitol

Pat Miletich

UFC Hall of Famer Pat Miletich said in an Instagram video on Tuesday that he has been removed from a Legacy Fighting Alliance broadcast over his presence around the U.S. Capitol last week.

Miletich, who was the first ever UFC Welterweight Champion, shared some photos showing he was around the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6. That was the day numerous people stormed the Capitol building to protest the Electoral College vote, resulting in five deaths.

Miletich posted a few videos on Instagram about his situation. He said in one video that Legacy Fighting Alliance, which airs on UFC Fight Pass, told him they were getting pressure to distance themselves from him. They pulled him from the scheduled LFA 97 broadcast on Friday.

“First and foremost, the LFA supports the participation of the constitutional right to peaceful protest,” LFA said in a statement to ESPN. “During preparations for the 2021 debut broadcast, it was brought to the LFA’s attention that photos of questionable nature surfaced on various social media outlets involving fight analyst Pat Miletich. While the LFA continues to investigate the situation, the decision was made to remove Mr. Miletich from broadcast duties for this Friday’s LFA 97 event.”

Miletich, 54, insisted that he saw no violence.

Miletich also told his fans not to express any anger towards LFA or the UFC Fight Pass over the decision. In addition to his famed fighting career, Miletich founded Miletich Fighting Systems, which is a successful training organization.

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Jake Paul calls out Conor McGregor in epic video

Jake Paul

Jake Paul is trying to bate Conor McGregor into the boxing ring and doing an excellent job of it.

Paul released a video on Monday in which he called out both McGregor and UFC boss Dana White. Paul filmed the video while holding a cigar, some liquor, and seated in a sports car in front of a mansion. Paul even makes fun of McGregor’s girlfriend/wife.

The video contains profanity, so beware if you watch it.

Paul recently fought ex-NBA player Nate Robinson on the undercard of the Mike Tyson-Roy Jones Jr. exhibition and knocked Robinson into next week.

Paul is actually 2-0 in his pro boxing career. His brother Logan will be fighting Floyd Mayweather Jr. in an exhibition next year.