It is Monday, time for one more version of Ariel Helwani’s MMA Present, which airs dwell beginning at 1 p.m. ET on Twitter and YouTube. After it ends, you possibly can hearken to all the present through the ESPN podcast heart.
The UFC has a uncommon weekend off arising, which is very unusual as a result of there at all times was once a significant Las Vegas occasion throughout Memorial Day weekend (extra on that later).
Nonetheless, there’s nonetheless loads of MMA motion available this vacation weekend, highlighted by PFL’s second occasion of the season on Thursday.
Within the meantime, listed here are some random ideas on the week that was and to come back in MMA:
The perfect insider within the sport, Ariel Helwani, and finest character within the sport, Chael Sonnen, break down the MMA weekend and look forward to the most important playing cards.
Watch on ESPN+
1. At first look, Rafael dos Anjos, Cole Miller and Andy Ogle do not actually have a lot in widespread, proper? All three come from completely different elements of the world and the latter two aren’t even within the UFC anymore. However they do. They maintain the doubtful distinction of as soon as being booked to battle Conor McGregor, solely to have the bout canceled after they withdrew resulting from an harm. They’re the one three fighters who can declare that from McGregor’s UFC run.
For Ogle and Miller, the prospect of combating McGregor in all probability does not sting as a lot as a result of they have been booked to battle him lengthy earlier than he was an actual draw, and, as I simply talked about, they’re now not energetic UFC fighters.
Nevertheless, for dos Anjos the “what if” has to nonetheless nag at him. Bear in mind, dos Anjos, then the light-weight champion, was scheduled to battle McGregor at UFC 196 again in 2016 in a champ vs. champ battle. Sadly for dos Anjos, a damaged foot compelled him out of the battle lower than two weeks earlier than the occasion. Nate Diaz stepped in, and the remaining is historical past.
However this is dos Anjos, who’s simply 34 years outdated but feels a complete lot older, nonetheless thriving within the UFC nearly 11 years after he debuted. The Brazilian seemed nice in his victory over Kevin Lee this previous Saturday in what felt like a crossroads battle for him. He had misplaced two in a row — each in opposition to wrestlers — and a 3rd loss felt like it could without end cripple his probabilities of making one final run at a title.
That is finally what he needs: one final run at a title. However what about one final run at McGregor? The UFC really tried to make the battle final Could for the interim welterweight title, consider it or not, however the bus incident in Brooklyn halted these plans. McGregor, as he has been identified to do as of late, tweeted about RDA moments after his win on Saturday. Does that imply he is desirous about giving it one other go or simply searching for consideration? Onerous to say as of late, however it could be a pleasant story if these plans are revisited earlier than RDA’s profession is all mentioned and performed. He has earned that shot.
2. I assumed Kevin Lee seemed nice within the early minutes of that battle. Sadly, he ran out of gasoline afterward. Nonetheless, I wish to see him keep at 170 for now. He instructed me on Friday that the burden minimize was a breeze. He needed to minimize just one pound Friday morning as a substitute of the same old 12 when he fought as a light-weight. That is a drastic distinction. Let’s give him a while. In spite of everything, he is solely 26.
three. Unexpectedly, Montreal’s Felicia Spencer has emerged as Canada’s finest hope to win a UFC title within the foreseeable future. The previous Invicta FC featherweight champion seemed slick in her debut in opposition to Megan Anderson Saturday night time. And whereas I recognize her willingness to battle the Cyborg’s of the world immediately, I might prefer to see the UFC construct her up just a little slower. Downside is, there aren’t many choices at 145 as of late. Maybe Macy Chiasson goes again as much as featherweight to fulfill her subsequent? I might like that.
four. Talking of Cyborg, opposite to the chatter on the market, she has not signed a brand new deal but with the UFC. She does have one battle left although, therefore the Spencer call-out for the Edmonton card.
5. Vicente Luque wants a step up in competitors. It is time to see simply how good he actually is.
6. Aspen Ladd is sort of the enigma. She appears and acts like a Lady Scout out of the cage, however in there she is an absolute beast. She needs to be one win away from combating for the 135-pound belt. I believe a battle in opposition to Ketlen Vieira or Germaine de Randamie would make sense for the undefeated Ladd subsequent.
7. Michel Pereira. Holy smokes. It has been some time since somebody had a debut fairly like that. From the crying earlier than the battle to the dance strikes through the intros to the flashy strikes en path to the first-round KO … wow. And similar to I discussed final week concerning Jessica Andrade, somebody must get him some English classes pronto. Additionally, I don’t know how he makes 170 kilos. I used to be instructed he weighed 198 through the battle. Cannot look ahead to his subsequent one.
eight. The Tony Ferguson vs. Donald Cerrone promo that aired through the broadcast was nice. I like the truth that the UFC gave it the principle occasion remedy although it is not the principle occasion. Oh, and do not hassle asking for permission on utilizing my Folks’s Important Occasion moniker, guys. That one’s on the home.
9. Stunning second seeing Rashad Evans study he was getting inducted into the UFC Corridor of Fame in Rochester, New York, which isn’t too removed from the place he grew up in Niagara Falls. You possibly can inform how a lot that announcement meant to the previous UFC gentle heavyweight champion. I used to be instructed Evans had no thought he was being inducted, by the way in which. The announcement completely caught him off guard.
10. Tyron Woodley’s withdrawal from his June 29 rematch in opposition to Robbie Lawler is a blessing in disguise. Woodley’s hand is basically banged up and the battle is simply too quickly after his loss to Kamaru Usman in March. I used to be stunned when he accepted it a month after the loss and after telling us on the present that he was depressed after shedding his belt (maybe that explains why Woodley by no means signed the bout settlement). Additionally, Woodley beat Lawler so convincingly and spectacularly in 2016 that will probably be close to unattainable to prime that efficiency. I by no means preferred the battle for him anyway. Take a while, heal up, clear your thoughts and are available again on the finish of the yr, Tyron.
11. As for who would possibly substitute Woodley versus Lawler, that is totally as much as Lawler. There is a laundry record of individuals calling him out, however I am instructed that Lawler is not desirous about some random battle that does not get him excited. He actually wished the Ben Askren rematch, in the beginning. As soon as that was off the desk, the Woodley rematch was the one battle that tickled his fancy. I would not be stunned if he opts to attend for Woodley (or Askren), although I wager the UFC will attempt its hardest to persuade him to battle somebody, anybody.
Sage Northcutt’s 29-second loss through the weekend shouldn’t be a trigger for celebration by MMA followers. Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports activities
12. I’m being fully critical after I state this: Sage Northcutt would possibly simply be the nicest human being I’ve ever met in my life. He’s candy as will be. He does not have an evil bone in his physique. So if you see him get knocked out the way in which wherein he did Friday by Cosmo Alexandre in his ONE Championship debut after which see individuals have fun as a result of they’re jealous of no matter consideration he will get, it disgusts me. I hope these individuals felt further responsible when Northcutt posted on social media that he needed to bear a nine-hour surgical procedure to restore eight facial fractures, because of this. In hindsight, maybe having him battle at 185 in opposition to a kickboxing veteran wasn’t the very best thought for his first ONE battle.
13. On that be aware, why does it look like each time the UFC refuses to re-sign a comparatively large identify, that large identify goes on to stumble in his or her first couple of fights outdoors the UFC? It is the darnedest factor. Both their timing is at all times impeccable or they put a voodoo hex on these fighters on the way in which out. (Kidding concerning the latter, after all. Sorta.)
14. ONE Championship atomweight champion Angela Lee watched her brother Christian Lee win the promotion’s welterweight title this previous Friday. I consider that is the primary time a promotion has a brother and sister as champion. Fairly cool.
15. I do know he isn’t an MMA fighter, however can we simply discuss how nice Deontay Wilder is? He is must-see TV. Not since Mike Tyson has boxing had an American heavyweight who may hit like him … and discuss like him, too. I like his interviews, his demeanor, his combating fashion … the entire bundle. Oh, how nice it could be if the Boxing Gods may determine tips on how to lastly give us Wilder vs. Anthony Joshua or Wilder vs. Tyson Fury 2. I’m wanting ahead to asking Fury what he considered that victory later right this moment on the present.
This Deontay Wilder KO is even higher in gradual movement 😮 (through @Showtime) pic.twitter.com/Y8sNsIwkhs
— ESPN (@espn) Could 19, 2019
16. KSW would possibly simply be the very best promotion you’ve got by no means heard of. Do your self a favor and exit of your approach to watch their 50th occasion on Sept. 14. They placed on one heck of a present. It is enjoyable, dramatic, grandiose and completely different. The Polish-based promotion is on a roll as of late.
17. I really feel like I’ve mentioned my piece advert nauseam on the entire Volkanovski/Edgar title shot subject. I am shifting on. I will solely add it is exceptional how properly Volkanovski appears to be taking the information coupled along with his emergency hospitalization in Chile on his method residence from Brazil. Here is hoping he will get what he deserves later this yr.
18. Congrats to Dustin Poirier for being given the important thing to Lafayette, Louisiana, final week. Contemplating how proud he’s of his hometown, I do know that meant quite a bit to him. Bear in mind when he known as out Daniel Cormier for forgetting his Louisiana roots final month on the present? Properly, with out divulging an excessive amount of, I have been blessed to be included on a textual content thread with them as they attempt to one-up one another within the battle for who’s the true king of Lafayette. It is fairly entertaining.
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19. Questioning the place Kron Gracie has been? There was really some discuss of him combating Urijah Faber on July 13 in Sacramento, however these talks by no means materialized. I count on to see him again this summer time, although.
20. Faber is again in motion this weekend, by the way in which, in the principle occasion of Polaris 10 versus jiu-jitsu wunderkind Nicky Ryan, who’s simply 17 years outdated. Sure, I mentioned 17. The 40-year-old Faber vs. 17-year-old Ryan in a grappling match on Saturday. Fascinating.
21. Talking of grappling phenoms, how about Garry Tonon? He improved to 5-Zero on Friday with a beaut of a heel hook. I noticed him tweet he needs to be the best featherweight ever and the best pound-for-pound fighter ever. Lofty targets, little doubt, however I am not betting in opposition to him. He is that good.
22. Do your self a favor and take a look at among the photographs and movies Israel Adesanya has been posting from his journey to Nigeria. Fantastic scenes with the kids. We’re fortunate to have Adesanya as one of many contemporary faces main the way in which.
Israel Adesanya transfers information with the Nigerian youth (through @stylebender) pic.twitter.com/uSXmoDD05M
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) Could 19, 2019
23. What’s your favourite Memorial Day weekend UFC reminiscence? So many to select from, proper? Quinton Jackson knocking out Chuck Liddell, BJ Penn blitzing Sean Sherk, the beginning of the Machida period and TJ Dillashaw’s shocker in opposition to Renan Barao all come to thoughts. However I inform ya, I will always remember former Marine Brian Stann dropping to his knees in the midst of the Octagon after beating Jorge Santiago at UFC 130 in 2011 and being showered with “USA, USA” chants. I do not often love these chants, however it felt proper that night time.
At this time’s lineup + occasions
Leon Edwards seems keen to tackle Robbie Lawler, who wants an opponent after Tyron Woodley just lately pulled out of their scheduled battle. Jeff Bottari/Getty Pictures
1 p.m.: Leon Edwards
Edwards will talk about his need to battle Robbie Lawler and never getting the Jorge Masvidal battle subsequent.
1:25: Petr Yan
Yan will preview his UFC 238 battle in opposition to Jimmie Rivera.
1:45: Tyson Fury
The heavyweight boxing star will preview his June 15 bout in opposition to Tom Schwarz and talk about Deontay Wilder’s unbelievable knockout this previous weekend.
2:05: Garry Tonon
Tonon will recap his victory over Yoshiki Nakahara and talk about what’s subsequent for him.
2:25: Raymond Daniels
He’ll look again at his thrilling knockout over Wilker Barros earlier this month at Bellator: Birmingham.
Michel Pereira handles Danny Roberts within the 1st spherical of their welterweight battle. For extra UFC motion, join ESPN+ http://plus.espn.com/ufc.
2:45: Michel Pereira
The UFC newcomer will discuss his sensational debut through the weekend.
three:00: Tyron Woodley
He’ll talk about why he needed to pull out of his battle with Robbie Lawler and a when to count on a return to the cage
three:20: Rafael dos Anjos
He’ll look again at his win over Kevin Lee in the principle occasion of UFC: Rochester.
three:35: Felicia Spencer
Spencer will discuss her UFC debut win over Megan Anderson and what’s subsequent.
three:50: Jessica Andrade
Andrade will discuss life as UFC strawweight champion and what the longer term holds for her.