14 MMA ideas, together with what to make of Theodorou, Willis releases

It is Tuesday, time for an additional version of Ariel Helwani’s MMA Present, which airs dwell beginning at 1:30 p.m. ET on Twitter and YouTube. After it ends, you’ll be able to take heed to your complete present through the ESPN podcast heart.

You recognize that feeling soccer followers expertise in July when the daybreak of a brand new season is on the horizon?

Or how in regards to the tingly sensation baseball followers get in late February when spring coaching is about to start?

Or how about …

You get the purpose.

The most effective insider within the sport, Ariel Helwani, and finest persona within the sport, Chael Sonnen, break down the MMA weekend and stay up for the largest playing cards.
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The purpose is, the offseason is a serious motive why conventional sports activities are so fashionable. Absence, as a smart individual as soon as mentioned, makes the center develop fonder.

I am reminded of this sense after a uncommon UFC bye week. The week off now has me just a bit extra excited for UFC Stockholm in a couple of days. Humorous how that works, proper? It allowed me, and I am positive others, to catch their breath and miss the game just a little bit. Now, think about if there have been extra off weeks? The plan is for 9 in 2019, by the best way. That is not rather a lot, particularly whenever you scatter them over 52 weeks.

Do not get me fallacious; I am not advocating for five-month breaks, like in different sports activities. That is manner too lengthy. All I am saying is it positive is good to overlook MMA sometimes.

Along with UFC in Sweden, we additionally Rizin, Cage Warriors, LFA and CES, amongst others, in motion.

Listed here are another random ideas on this Tuesday morning:

1. I ponder how Anthony Smith is feeling heading into Saturday’s showdown towards Alexander Gustafsson. After I final spoke to him in March, he did not appear all that enthusiastic about this combat. I liked how sincere he was about how he was feeling, however I could not assist however marvel why this combat was taking place so quickly. In fact, this was 9 days after he misplaced to Jon Jones, so it was all comprehensible. For the report, I nonetheless assume the UFC known as his quantity too quickly (two days after UFC 235, to be precise), but it surely has been round 2½ months since his loss to Jones, so perhaps his emotions have modified. No matter what occurs Saturday, I would be stunned if he fights once more in 2019.

2. Then again, I am comfortable to see Gustafsson again so quickly. Sure, I do know he final fought in December, however when you think about he solely has fought thrice since 2015, this looks like a fast turnaround for “The Mauler.” I am not likely positive what’s at stake on this essential occasion, contemplating each are coming off losses to Jones, however these guys are two of the higher mild heavyweights within the sport, so it must be entertaining affair regardless.

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Alexander Gustafsson, left, will look to rebound from a loss to Jon Jones in December. AP Photograph/Kyusung Gong

Three. Any time Gustafsson fights again residence in Sweden, it’s particular. I will always remember that card in 2015 when he headlined in Stockholm versus Anthony Johnson. UFC held the cardboard in the course of the evening in Sweden to accommodate the American viewers, so Gustafsson getting brutally knocked out by Johnson at round Four a.m. native time was an enormous buzzkill. Stockholm is a beautiful metropolis, although. I actually loved my lone journey there.

Four. Congratulations to retired UFC fighter Paddy Holohan for profitable a seat on the South Dublin County Council this previous weekend. I very a lot loved protecting Holohan throughout his UFC run. He’s a singular character who all the time speaks with such ardour and allure. Holohan is a legit tea aficionado, as effectively, and again in 2015, we shot a video on the Boston Tea Occasion Ships & Museum in Beantown. It stays certainly one of my favourite shoots ’til today. Belief me after I inform you the person actually adores his tea, and it now seems as if he shares the same ardour for serving to his fellow Irish women and men. Cheers, Paddy.

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5. The UFC reduce ties with Elias Theodorou and Justin Willis final week, which raised some eyebrows. Their UFC information had been Eight-Three and Four-1, respectively, however each had been coming off losses.

The Willis launch is a bit more shocking, for my part. He’s a heavyweight, he’s charismatic and he has had some stable wins. However a disagreement over the date of his subsequent combat (the UFC wished him to combat Walt Harris subsequent) led to the promotion slicing the massive man. Dana White has by no means been a fan of huge heavyweights who do not look like in good condition (keep in mind his disdain for Roy Nelson’s stomach rub?), and my understanding was Willis knew this and wished extra time to reduce weight. In the long run, although, the UFC did not wish to watch for him. I feel it ought to have. It is not like that combat versus Willis was going to headline a card anyway.

Theodorou’s launch does not shock me as a lot. His previous eight fights have gone the space, and his combating type is not all that fan-friendly. I had a sense the UFC may reduce ties with him after his current loss to Derek Brunson. The message is identical one the likes of Jon Fitch, Yushin Okami and Jake Shields, amongst others, all acquired prior to now: Wins aren’t sufficient. It’s a must to entertain within the UFC. Prefer it or not, this is not information. It has been this fashion for some time, and it’ll proceed to be this fashion.

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6. I ponder if former Dying Row Data CEO Suge Knight was additionally referring to some MMA managers when he mentioned this in 1995: “Any artist on the market that wish to be an artist and keep a star, and haven’t got to fret in regards to the govt producer making an attempt to be all within the movies, all on the report, dancing… come to Dying Row!” Bear in mind, fighters: The managers are imagined to give you the results you want, not vice versa. And they’re imagined to work in your finest pursuits at the beginning, not the promotion’s.

�� YOU NEED TO SEE WHAT FOLDED HIM LIKE THAT pic.twitter.com/gONKdPhnSd

– ESPN MMA (@espnmma) Could 24, 2019

7. I will admit, I did not know a lot about Movlid Khaibulaev previous to his leaping knee knockout at PFL 2 on Thursday (and I am guessing neither did you), however I wish to see extra now. I am additionally glad to see Damon Jackson wasn’t critically injured after that KO.

Eight. Talking of PFL 2, I actually do not like that the league determined to start out with PFL 1, 2, and so forth., yet again. This makes issues complicated when making an attempt to model the occasions and in addition robs you of the eventual PFL 100 celebration. I get that it’s making an attempt to emulate the NFL schedule (Week 1, Week 2, and so forth.), but it surely simply does not work like that in our sport. I am unsure why, however this tiny element bugs me.

9. Juan Adams is a correct step up for Greg Hardy. I’ve no downside with that matchmaking.

Nick Newell will return to motion Friday at CES MMA 56. Daniel Martinez for ESPN

10. Nick Newell returns for the primary time in 10 months on Friday at CES MMA 56. We have not seen him in motion since his Contender Sequence tryout in July. I’m just a little stunned a Bellator or PFL did not signal him for certainly one of their many East Coast occasions this yr. Perhaps these promotions wished to see him win once more earlier than they did?

11. We have seen some questionable fee selections through the years, however I feel the Nevada Athletic Fee’s resolution to scale back the suspensions of Abubakar Nurmagomedov and Zubaira Tukhugov may simply take the cake. You will recall each fighters acquired yearlong suspensions after coming into the cage within the midst of the UFC 229 melee in October. Instantly after receiving their punishments, UFC light-weight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov mentioned he would not combat till their suspensions expired. The one situation is, UFC has a present deliberate for Abu Dhabi on Sept. 7, and it wants Khabib Nurmagomedov on that card.

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So, abruptly, the Nevada Athletic Fee reduces the fighters’ suspensions by a random 35 days, which implies they now are eligible to return on Sept. 2?! Laughable. I may settle for the argument earlier this yr that the preliminary suspension was too strict (and in the long run, Abubakar Nurmagomedov and Tukhugov can have served 11 months, which is okay), however to do that now simply so Khabib Nurmagomedov (and I am assuming the opposite two, as effectively) can combat on the cardboard is really disappointing to see.

The Nevada Athletic Fee, which is meant to be the standard-bearer in fight sports activities, must be higher than this.

12. Minneapolis misplaced Woodley-Lawler 2, but it surely gained Francis Ngannou-Junior Dos Santos as a brand new essential occasion final week. And what? I feel the town ended up with a greater essential occasion. Woodley-Lawler 2, as I lately wrote, by no means did it for me. Ngannou vs. Dos Santos is an amazing heavyweight matchup that ought to most likely resolve the following heavyweight title contender.

13. The Ayaka Hamasaki vs. Jinh Yu Frey 2 combat for the Rizin tremendous atomweight title combat is the very best combat nobody is speaking about this weekend (but).

14. Colby Covington may simply be essentially the most hated MMA fighter competing lately, however he quietly did a beautiful factor in New York final week. He spent 5 days with the women and men of the U.S. Navy, Marines and Coast Guard whereas they had been on the town for the annual New York Fleet Week. I used to be informed Covington volunteered his time and paid for all of his bills. Effectively carried out, Colby. Now, again to being the heel everybody likes to hate, please.

And with that, here is immediately’s lineup for a uncommon Tuesday version of the Helwani Present.

1:30 p.m. ET: Present open

1:35: Anthony Smith

Smith will preview his UFC Stockholm essential occasion combat towards Alexander Gustafsson.

1:55: Makwan Amirkhani

“Mr. Finland” will focus on his day off and upcoming combat towards Chris Fishgold.

Glover Teixeira impressed with a second-round submission of Ion Cutelaba in April. Anthony Geathers for ESPN

2:15: Glover Teixeira

The UFC mild heavyweight contender will be part of us in studio.

2:50: Paddy Holohan

Holohan will discuss his massive political win this weekend.

Three:10: Al Iaquinta

Iaquinta will mirror on his current loss to Donald Cerrone and discuss what’s subsequent.

Three:30: Alexander Gustafsson

Gustafsson will stay up for his essential occasion combat combat towards Anthony Smith this weekend.

Three:45: Max Holloway

Holloway will focus on his current loss to Dustin Poirier and preview his UFC 240 headliner versus Frankie Edgar.

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