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The History of the UFC Heavyweight Division

In combat sports, the title of Heavyweight Champion carries a special mystique. Whether it’s due to exceptional skill or stature or both, heavyweights are magnets for fame. Boxing has its Muhammad Alis and Mike Tysons; wrestling has its Aleksandr Karelins and Bruce Baumgartners. Mixed Martial Arts is no exception. Below, a complete list of UFC Heavyweight Champions since the inception of the division.

Mark Coleman (16-10 MMA, 7-5 UFC)

Feb. 7th, 1997 – Jul. 27th 1997

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Def. Dan Severn at UFC 12

Mark Coleman was–is–a maniac! (I mean that in the best way; I’ve met him and he’s awesome). After an accomplished amateur career that included two Ohio high school state titles, an NCAA championship and an appearance in the 1992 Summer Olympics, Coleman devoted himself to the then-new sport of MMA after stumbling onto a broadcast of UFC 1. 

Coleman started his combat sports career in his teens as a wrestler for Saint Joseph Central Catholic High School. After winning two state championships, he went on to wrestle at Miami University, in Ohio, before transferring to The Ohio State University and winning an NCAA championship. After placing 7th at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, Mark happened to see the broadcast of UFC 1. From there, he dove headfirst into this new sport of MMA.

From the outset, Coleman dominated, thanks to a style that earned him the nickname, “The Godfather of Ground and Pound”. It was clear from the start of every fight that Coleman’s one goal was to take the action to the ground and strike his opponent unconscious or until they submitted. Thanks to his elite wrestling and ground and pound ability, he earned the first ever UFC Heavyweight Championship belt by defeating Dan Severn (101-19-7 MMA, 9-4 UFC) in a fight to unify the UFC Superfight Champion and UFC Tournament Champion titles. 

Though he was dominant early, his reign was short; Coleman lost his first and only title defense to a kickboxer named Maurice Smith. His stay may have been short-lived, but his impact is still felt to this day as one of the OG’s of MMA and one of the sport’s tactical trailblazers. 

Maurice Smith (14-17 MMA, 4-3 UFC)

Jul. 27th 1997 – Dec. 21st, 1997

Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Def. Mark Coleman at UFC 14

Maurcie Smith’s title reign lasted just a little bit longer than Mark Coleman’s, as Smith notched one title defense against fan-favorite, Tank Abbott (10-15 MMA, 8-10 UFC). 

Prior to joining the UFC, “Mo” was an avid kickboxer. Although he didn’t officially make his kickboxing debut until he was 30 years old, Smith began training at 18. After nine kickboxing matches, a little Pancrase, and a stint on the regional MMA scene, Smith defeated Heavyweight Champion Mark Coleman in his UFC debut, taking the title belt from Coleman and handing him the first loss of his UFC career in the process.Though he ended his career with more losses than wins, Smith etched his name into the history books by delivering one of the biggest upsets in UFC history.

Another (not so favorable) reason he’s going to be remembered is for his controversial loss to Randy Couture in his second title defense.

Randy Couture

(1) Dec. 21st, 1997 – Jan. 1998, (2) Nov 17th, 2000 – Mar. 22nd 2002, (3) Mar. 3rd 2007 – Feb. 2nd, 2008

Josh Hedges / Getty Images

Def. Maurice Smith at UFC Japan

“The Natural” Randy Couture captured the UFC heavyweight strap three times over his 14 year career and also defended it three times. Since August 2007, only one other heavyweight has reigned victorious in six title bouts (more on that guy later), and none more than that. 

Domination. 

Randy’s style was reminiscent of Mark Coleman’s, albeit with Couture being much more well rounded and technical than the “smash heavy” Coleman. Couture became champion for the first time by defeating Maurice Smith in a close, slow-paced fight, but didn’t hold the title for very long.  

In January 1998, Couture signed with Vale Tudo Japan and was stripped of his UFC title. In his return nearly three years later, Couture faced and defeated storied wrestler, Kevin Randleman. After defeating Randleman, Couture successfully defended his title against Pedro Rizzo (20-11 MMA, 10-4 UFC) not once, but twice in a row, as Rizzo was awarded an immediate rematch after a tightly contested first fight. After losing the title to Josh Barnett in March 2002, Couture regained the belt five years later for the third and final time, defeating Tim Sylvia. Couture managed to successfully defend his title for the last time against Gabriel Gonzaga (17-12 MMA, 12-10 UFC), but Couture’s title reign finally reached its end when he faced the ultimate hype train that is Brock Lesnar.

Though he never fought for a title again, Randy Couture remains one of the most legendary and successful heavyweights in the short history of the UFC.

Bas Rutten (28-4-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC)

May 7th, 1999 – June 1999

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Def. Kevin Randleman at UFC 20

If you’re a fan of MMA, there’s a very good chance you’ve seen an ad with this incredibly spirited gentleman beating the shit out of this crazy-looking pad covered machine. If you haven’t seen it, you’re welcome (see Body Action System). 

Bas Rutten’s UFC career may have been short lived, but he was an astute veteran of combat having had 30 professional fights (all with pancrase) going into his debut. After he battered Tsuyoshi Kohsaka (41-33-2 MMA, 3-3 UFC), Bas got a title shot against Kevin Randleman. In a fight where position was dominated by Randleman, it was the accumulation of strikes that won the fight for Rutten who was fighting off his back nearly the entire fight. This split decision was met with heated controversy and resulted in the change of the judges official scoring system.

Bas vacated the title to drop to middleweight (now light heavyweight) to challenge to be the UFC’s first double champ, however, multiple injuries in preparation for his return led to the end of his UFC career.  

His stint in the UFC was short, but his impact on the sport is still felt today as he was recognized as one of the sports first great technicians, and was regarded for a time as the world’s greatest martial artist. 

Kevin Randleman (17-16 MMA, 4-3 UFC)

Nov. 19, 1999 – Nov. 17th, 2000

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Def. Pete Williams at UFC 23

Cue DJ Khalad. It’s time for “another one” with our next wrestler-turned-UFC Heavyweight Champion, Kevin “The Monster” Randleman. Like his mentor, former UFC heavyweight champ Mark Coleman, Randleman was a high school state champion in Ohio who then won two NCAA titles at The Ohio State University. Under Coleman’s tutelage at Team Hammer House, Randleman quickly climbed the ladder after making his UFC debut in 1999. 

After defeating former champ Maurice Smith in his debut and taking the controversial loss to Bas Rutten in his first attempt at gold, Randleman was awarded a second chance to fight for the crown once Rutten abdicated the throne. In his second attempt for the title, Randleman decisively defeated pete Williams in five rounds.

As champion, Randleman successfully defended the belt against Pedro Rizzo (unanimous decision) before losing to multiple time champ, Randy Couture by TKO. Over the next 10 years he fought for the UFC, PRIDE and Strikeforce before retiring at the age of 39. In 2016, he tragically passed away due to heart failure, but his legacy as one of the UFC’s toughest fighters lives on. 

Josh Barnett (35-8 MMA, 7-3 UFC)

Mar. 22nd, 2002 – Jul 26th, 2002

Photo by Mitch Viquez/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Def. Randy Couture at UFC 36

Josh Barnett has been wildly successful in his time as a martial artist, but his career has been marred  by controversy. 

With 29 of his 35 wins coming by KO/TKO or submission, Barnett has been able to put away most of his opponents, including a TKO of Randy Couture to claim the title belt in March, 2002. Still, Barnett would be stripped of the title a few months after the fight after flunking his second steroid test of that year. 

This would be a common occurrence for Barnett throughout his career as he would go on to fail several more times. Although Barnett was one of the most prominent fighters to be caught juicing, he was hardly an anomaly; the UFC had rampant steroid usage problems during its early years, which has since necessitated the intervention of USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency). 

In 2009, Barnett, now on the Affliction circuit, again tested positive for steroids, spoiling a prospective fight against Fedor Emelianenko (40-6 MMA). 

Josh Barnett is a great fighter, there’s no debating that. He has defeated the likes of Mark Hunt (13-14-1 MMA, 8-10 UFC), and former champions Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Frank Mir. The dude can fight, but he never had the chance to fully live up to his potential because he couldn’t (or wouldn’t) stay clean.

Ricco Rodriguez (54-27-1 MMA, 5-2 UFC)

Sep 27th, 2002 – Feb. 28th, 2003

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Def. Randy Couture at UFC 39

Ricco “Suave” Rodriguiez had his first fight in 1999 with his last coming in 2019. He’s successfully fought in three separate decades and, even at the relatively ancient age of  44-years-old, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he fought in fourth.  

After growing up between New Jersey and Staten Island, Ricco later relocated to California to train in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. After a few years of competing in BJJ tournaments, he made his MMA debut in 1999. Within two years of starting in MMA, Rodriguezed amassed a 9-1 record before joining the chance to join the UFC. In his early UFC fights, Rodriguez took out perennial warriors Andrei Arlovski, Pete Williams and Tsuyoshi Kosaka, earning the right to challenge for the vacant UFC Heavyweight Championship against none other than the legendary Randy Couture. 

Despite being dominated by Couture for the bulk of the fight, Ricco Suave secured an early takedown with three minutes left in the fifth round, breaking Couture’s orbital bone with vicious elbows and forcing Couture to verbally tap out.  

Rodriguez was now a champion, but not for long—after defeating Randy Couture, Rodriguez lost his title less than 6-months later when he faced an undefeated Tim Sylvia. Sylvia KO’d in the first round and Rodriguez’s time in the UFC came to an end shortly thereafter once his contract expired in 2004. For the next 16 years, Rodriguez bounced around a variety of smaller circuits (even briefly transitioning to boxing), before retiring in 2018. 

Tim Sylvia (31-10 MMA, 9-4 UFC)

(1) Feb. 28th, 2003 – Oct. 15th 2003, (2) Apr. 15th 2006 – Mar. 3rd, 2007

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Def. Ricco Rodriguez at UFC 41

Two fights and three rounds. That is all it took for “The Maine-iac” Tim Sylvia to capture UFC gold.

Well, kind-of… While it only took him the first round of his second UFC event, Sylvia had fought 16 times before joining the promotion. Originally a Karate kid who wrestled in high school, Sylvia played semi-pro football upon graduation until he fully committed himself to MMA.

After a brief three-fight stint on the amatuer circuit, Sylvia won his first 16 professional fights, with 10 of those victories coming either via TKO/KO or a submission. In his 15th pro fight, he KO’d Ricco Rodriguez to become the Heavyweight Champion and managed to successfully defend the title against Gan McGee in February, 2003. Unfortunately for Sylvia, he lost his belt to Frank Mir in his next fight, submitting after being put in an armbar in the first round. 

In 2005, Sylvia faced off against Andrei Arlovski for the vacant belt, but succumbed to an Achilles lock. However, Sylvia got his revenge against Arlovski the next year, knocking out the Belrusian in a rematch and reclaiming the title. Sylvia defended his throne against Arlovski (the final installment of their trilogy) and Jeff Monson, but eventually lost a unanimous decision to Randy Couture, who captured his fifth UFC Championship  in a unanimous decision.  

After his departure from the UFC, Tim fought another 14 times against varying competition, including another fight against Arlovski and one against Fedor Emelianenko (40-6 MMA). 

In 2015, Sylvia was denied medical clearance to fight and announced his retirement in the cage alongside his potential opponent. Although Sylvia hadn’t had enough, the doctors had.

Frank Mir (19-13 MMA, 16-11 UFC)

(1) Jun. 19th, 2004 – Aug. 12th, 2005, (Interim) Dec. 27th, 2008 – Mar. 27th, 2010

Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

Def. Tim Sylvia at UFC 48, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 92 (Interim)

Like Randy Couture, Frank Mir is a recognizable name, fighting in the UFC 26 times over 16 years. 

A 16 year vet of the UFC, Mir got his start training at the American Kenpo school that his parents owned and then later turned to wrestling as a way to improve his American Kenpo performance. After high school, Frank met UFC matchmaker Joe Silva while training BJJ, who convinced Mir to try out MMA. Two fights and two wins later, Mir earned a shot with the UFC. 

After 6 UFC fights spanning 3 years (2001-04), he got a chance at gold in 2004, squaring off against Tim Sylvia for the vacant UFC Heavyweight title. Mir broke Sylvia arm in the first round. Yes, you read that right. Even though Mir had Sylvia locked up in a straight armbar, Sylvia refused to tap; for his troubles, Sylvia had his arm snapped into four pieces. F*ck that! 

Unfortunately, Mir broke his femur and torn multiple ligaments in his leg. Unable to unify and defend his interim title, Mir was stripped of his belt.  

When he finally came back a year and a half later in February, 2006,  Mir was upset by BJJ blackbelt Marcio Cruz (8-3 MMA, 2-2 UFC), losing by TKO in the first round. After a turbulent two years, Mir spoiled Brock Lesnar’s UFC debut in 2008, earning him a chance to once again fight for the Heavyweight belt. Battling for the interim title against Antonio Rodrigo Noguiera, Mir knocked out the Brazilian with a flurry of punches. Sadly, Mir’s second attempt at defending his title only went marginally better than his first, with Brock Lesnar ground-and-pounding him during their rematch. 

Mir again fought for the interim title (2010), and then the undisputed title (2011), losing both bouts to Shane Carwin and Junior Dos Santos respectively. Since then, Mir is 3-7 in MMA and 0-2 in boxing (kinda – see Triad Combat). 

Andrei Arlovski (32-20 MMA, 21-15 UFC)

(Interim Promoted to Undisputed Champion) Feb. 5th, 2005 – Apr. 15th, 2006

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Def. Tim Sylvia at UFC 51 (Interim, promoted to undisputed)

“The Pitbull” Andrei Arlovski is the first fighter on this list who’s still actively competing in the UFC. At 42, Arlovski has won 4 of his last 5 fights, most recently notching a victory in October, 2021

Bullied as a kid, Arlovski started Sambo, Judo, and Kickboxing at the age of 16, eventually winning the European Youth Sambo Championships. Shortly after his success in Sambo, Arlovski developed an  interest in MMA, which inspired him to develop other skills and become a more well-rounded martial artist. 

Winning seven of his first 10 fights, Arlovski matched up against Sylvia in 2005 to fight for the UFC Interim Heavyweight Championship that was created following Frank Mir’s motorcycle accident. In this fight, Arlovski faced Tim Sylvia and finished him with a straight ankle lock after dropping him with a vicious right hand. Arlovski now had gold around his waist!

While waiting for a unification bout against Mir, Arlovski defended his title twice, TKO-ing Justin Eilers (19-7-1 MMA, 1-3 UFC) in the first round and then doing the same to Paul Buentello (35-17 MMA, 3-3 UFC) in the second. As a result of these dominating performances and Mir’s continued absence, Arlovski was promoted and became the undisputed champion.

By this point, though, Sylvia had rebounded from his earlier loss to Arlovski, winning three consecutive fights and setting up a rematch between the two rivals. Ultimately, Sylvia would seize the belt by beating Arlovski in consecutive fights. Although Arlovski has remained a strong presence on the circuit after those losses to Sylvia and undoubtedly still has gas left in the tank (he wants to fight until at least 45), he hasn’t participated in any championship fights since he last lost to Arlovski. Let’s hope he can keep up his strong form and avoid a downward spiral to round out his career as many before him have.

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (34-10-1 MMA, 5-6 UFC)

(Interim) Feb. 2nd, 2008 – Dec. 27th, 2008

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Def. Tim Sylvia at UFC 81 (Interim)

“Big Nog” Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira practiced judô, boxing and Brazilian jiu-jitsu in his time growing up in Vitoria da Conquista, Brazil. By the age of 25, he was set to make his mixed martial arts debut. Most of his early career was spent fighting for PRIDE, where he faced quite a few of MMA’s top contenders, notching wins over Dan Henderson (32-15 MMA, 9-9 UFC), former champ Ricco Rodriguez and Fabricio Werdum (24-9-1 MMA, 12-6 UFC).

In 2008, nine years and 35 fights into his MMA career, Antonio met and defeated Tim Sylvia (this dude, again??) to capture the UFC Interim Heavyweight Championship in comeback fashion, pulling a guillotine choke shortly after being knocked down with strikes late in the third round. After winning the title, Nog and former UFC Champion Frank Mir appeared as coaches on the eighth season of The Ultimate Fighter. After the season, Nogueira and Mir fought for the interim title where Mir won the lopsided affair by TKO in the second round. 

Since then, Big Nog traded wins for losses until hitting a three-fight skid that led to his retirement. Nogueira’s career was marked with him being a dominant force on the ground, with skills exceeding that of any other fighters at the time – and that’s how he should be remembered.

Brock Lesnar (5-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC)

Nov. 15th, 2008 – Oct. 23rd, 2010

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Def. Randy Couture at UFC 91

Our next champion is the WWE’s long-tenured bad boy, Brock Lesnar. Lesnar, like many before and after him, grew up an amatuer wrestler. He went on to compete at Bismarck State College, winning a national junior college title (NJCAA) in his sophomore year before transferring to the University of Minnesota. There, Lesnar became a two-time Big Ten Champion and a one time NCAA Champion. After college, Lesnar transitioned into professional wrestling where he made his debut for the WWE in 2002, just two years into his career.

Lesnar rose to stardom quickly, defeating Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson later that year to become the youngest WWE champion at age 25. Lesnar would spend five more years headlining WWE events before eventually making and winning his MMA debut in 2007. 

In just his 2nd MMA fight, Lesnar faced former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Frank Mir, in a test he would not pass, losing by kneebar. Next, he had a scheduled bout with Mark Coleman that unfortunately never happened due to a Coleman injury (can you imagine how insane those two would look fighting one another??). His replacement, Heath Herring (28-16 MMA, 2-3 UFC) was a formidable opponent, but undoubtedly a step down from Mir. This fight managed to go the distance with Lesnar taking the win by unanimous decision, and was more than enough evidence for the UFC that they could put the WWE star in a fight for the title (plus, dollar signs…)

In a fight for the UFC Heavyweight Championship, we saw the sports most heralded heavyweight champion of the time, Randy Couture, fall in the second round to MMA newbie Lesnar. Brock was able to keep the fight standing and after knocking down Couture with strikes, was able to capitalize and finish the fight by raining down punches. Through 2010, we saw Brock defend his title in two unification bouts, one avenging a loss against Frank Mir with punches, and another by finishing Shane Carwin with an arm-triangle choke. 

Though starting his career incredibly strong, Lesnar went on to lose his title to then-up-and-comer Cain Valezquez by first round TKO. After battling a bout of diverticulitis that required surgery, Lesnar returned to face Alistair Overeem and lost in the first round after taking multiple body shots. In his last fight with the UFC, he faced the storied Mark Hunt in a fight that he dominated, but was later overturned to a no-contest after Lesnar tested positive for performance enhancing drugs.

Though a comeback has been discussed, nothing has come to fruition and at this point, that’s likely a good thing. Lesnar’s time in the UFC was short lived, but nothing less than massively entertaining. With his showmanship and the experience he attained as a top WWE athlete, Lesnar certainly added some fun wrinkles to the UFC history books in the late 2000s.

Shane Carwin (12-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC)

(Interim) Mar. 27th, 2010 – Jul. 3rd, 2010

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Def. Frank Mir at UFC 111 (Interim)

Ding, another wrestler! Unlike his wrestling counterparts, though,“The Engineer ” Shane Carwin has a college degree and worked in mechanical engineering alongside his MMA career.

At Western State College, Shane pursued his degree while competing in both wrestling and football, becoming a NCAA D2 Heavyweight Champion and participating in the Senior Bowl in 1997. This guy can handle a lot at once!

That being the case, Carwin took his time and eventually made his debut in MMA in 2005. He took 8 fights over the course of two years, winning them all and earning his shot in the UFC. Between 2008-09, The Engineer fought Christain Wellisch, Neil Wain, and Gabriel Gonzaga, winning each fight in the first round and demonstrating spectacular punching power. This led to him having the opportunity to compete for the UFC Interim Heavyweight Championship against Frank Mir. 

Carwin’s punching power reigned supreme in a fight where he smashed Mir against the fence and proceeded to hammer him with short punches before falling to the ground and being finished off with ground and pound from the back. Carwin captured a piece of UFC gold and was set to unify the title in a bout against out next champion, Brock Lesnar. This unification didn’t go Carwin’s way, and he lost his following bout to Junior dos Santos, but he remains as one of the more powerful punchers in UFC history.

Shane Carwin never fought MMA again, but did fight a modified rules boxing match against skateboarder Jason Ellis in 2016, where he had his right arm duct taped to his body. Nonetheless–surprise, surprise–he still won by knockout.

Cain Velasquez (14-3 MMA, 12-3 UFC)

(1) Oct. 23rd, 2010 – Nov. 12th, 2011, (2) Dec. 29th 2012 – Jun. 13th, 2015

Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Def. Brock Lesnar at UFC 121

Cain Velasquez stands as one of the most intimidating forces to ever compete inside a UFC octagon. Sure, he has some blemishes to his record, but he still stands as one of the most gifted and awe-inspiring heavyweight fighters who ever was.

That said, can you guess what sport he started in? You might as well guess wrestling, because you’ll be right almost every time. After a high school career that saw him compile a record of 110-10, Velasquez went on to win an NJCAA National Championship for Iowa Central Community College before transferring to Arizona State University. There, he secured 5th and 4th place finishes at the NCAA tournament in his final two years (2005-06).

Right after college, Velasquez joined American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) and began training to take his first fight. That same year, he fought twice, winning his first two bouts within the first round due to strikes. That was enough to earn him a shot at the UFC; his domination continued as he rattled off eight wins in a row, including one over “Big Nog”, with only one of them not coming by KO/TKO. 

Enter “The Next Big Thing” Brock Lesnar. Though Brock started strong by landing a takedown, Velasquez eventually made it back to his feet and ended the fight with elite striking. Not only did he derail the Lesnar hype train, he captured UFC gold! Unfortunately, he tore his rotator cuff in the midst of the fight and was sidelined for a year before making his first title defense, which was against a Brazilian up-and-comer named Junior dos Santos. This fight was billed as an exciting clash but many expected Velasquez to dominate in retaining his title. Just one minute into the skirmish, it was a sweeping overhand by dos Santos that connected, put Velasquez down and led to the finishing sequence of punches. 

Though his title reign ended quickly, it wasn’t long before he was fighting for gold once again, defeating Antonio Silva 6-months later to earn another shot at JDS. This time, the fight went much more as expected, seeing Velasquez dominate dos Santos for all five rounds on his way to a unanimous decision win, where he landed double digit takedowns, and triple digit significant strikes. Once again, one of the most imposing forces in MMA was the UFC Heavyweight Champion.

After capturing the title for a second time, Velasquez was back to his finishing ways, defending the title against Antonio Silva and JDS, winning both before the bell thanks to his heavy hands. Then came Fabricio Werdum. Werdum had won the Interim title a few months before, as Velasquez had gotten injured in preparation for their initial title fight. Once they finally met in the octagon, Werdum was able to finish Cain by guillotine choke in the third round, marking the first time he had lost via submission in his nearly 10-year career. 

A rematch was scheduled for February of 2016, but both fighters needed more time as injuries arose. Upon his return, Velasquez faced and defeated Travis Browne (18-7-1 MMA, 10-7 UFC), but in another attempt to face Werdum, he was not cleared by the Nevada State Athletic Commission due to bone spurs in his back. 

Velasquez took one last fight in February 2019 against Francis N’Gannou, where, in 26 short seconds, a short uppercut dropped him and led to him to being finished by ground and pound.

Though Velasquez has yet to fight again, he is currently competing as a professional wrestler for Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide and has made appearances in the WWE. He seems to be moving on from real fighting to opt more for entertainment, and good on him for continuing to use his athletic skills to bring something worth watching to the world.

Junior dos Santos (21-9 MMA, 15-8 UFC)

Nov. 12th, 2011 – Dec. 29th 2012

Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Def. Cain Velasquez at UFC on Fox: Velasquez vs. dos Santos

Finally, enough with the wrestlers! “Cigano”, Junior dos Santos or JDS for short, grew up in Brazil training in capoeira before committing to BJJ at the age of 21. He turned pro just one year later (2006), winning his first 5 fights in little over a year’s time. After winning six of his first seven fights, he made his debut for the UFC as a clear underdog against Fabricio Werdum. In a stunning turn of events, JDS knocked Werdum out in under two-minutes, earning him the knockout of the year for the UFC. 

To follow the impressive start, Cigano followed with six wins in a row to fight for the title against the aforementioned Cain Velasquez. As we explored, it was a massive overhand that sent Velasquez tumbling and earned JDS his first UFC Heavyweight Championship. Six months later, he successfully defended his title against perennial contender, Frank Mir, defeating him with superior boxing and finishing the fight in the second round. 

Seven months later, JDS faced Velasquez for a second time and lost his title by unanimous decision. Though he would go on to challenge for the title a few more times throughout his career, Dos Santos has yet to capture it again and is most recently riding a four-fight losing streak against a row of killers (Francis N’Gannou, Curtis Blaydes, Jairzinho Rozenstruik, and Ciryl Gane).

In March of 2021, it was announced that JDS was being released from the UFC and we have since seen him also compete in professional wrestling, but for an organization called All Elite Wrestling (AEW).

Fabricio Werdum (24-9-1 MMA, 12-6 UFC)

(Interim) Nov. 15th, 2014 – Jun. 13th 2015, (2) Jun. 13th, 2015 – May 14th, 2016

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Def. Mark Hunt at UFC 180 (Interim), Cain Velasquez at UFC 188 (Undisputed)


Fabricio “Vai Cavalo” Werdum’s venture into combat sports is unlike any others on this list; it started only after he was choked out in a triangle choke by his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend.

Ouch. Talk about a blow to the ego. Luckily for Werdum, there’s a pretty good chance that he’s way more successful than Mr. Steal Ya Girl. 

Werdum made his professional debut in 2002, winning six of his first seven fights, the one blemish being a draw. At this time, Fabricio was competing in PRIDE, facing top competition pre-UFC (Alistair Overeem, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira). In 2007, Vai Cavalo made his UFC debut against Andrei Arlovski, losing by unanimous decision to the former UFC Heavyweight champ. Over the next seven years, Werdum would fight 11 times between the UFC and Strikeforce before putting together a four-fight win streak to earn the opportunity at the Heavyweight belt. Due to the fact that the champion of the time, Cain Velasquez, was injured,  Werdum instead fought Mark Hunt for the UFC Interim Heavyweight Title. Werdum finished Mark halfway through the second round, throwing a long knee from range, connecting perfectly to send him to the canvas. 

Finally, on June 13th of 2015, Werdum challenged for the UFC Undisputed Heavyweight Championship, defeating Velasquez by guillotine choke in the third round, and was declared the unquestioned champion of the heavyweight division. In his first and only title defense, he faced first-time title challenger, Stipe Miocic. While charging forward and throwing a flurry, Werdum was caught with a counter right-hand that sent him crashing into the canvas. He was out cold.

Since then, Werdum traded wins and losses through his final contract with the UFC, and in 2021 decided to go fight for the PFL (Professional Fighters League). His first and only fight with them was met with controversy as it seemed his opponent tapped to a choke prior to a fight ending sequence that left Werdum on the losing end. The fight has since been reviewed and overturned to a no-contest.

Stipe Miocic (20-4 MMA, 14-4 UFC)

(1) May 14th, 2016 – Jul. 7th, 2018, (2) Aug. 17th 2019 – Mar. 27th, 2021

Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Def. Fabricio Werdum at UFC 198

Stipe Miocic is widely considered as the greatest UFC Heavyweight of all time. While capturing the title twice, he also defended it four times, including a record three in-a-row. No heavyweight in the world has dominated the top of the UFC Heavyweight division quite like Miocic. And guess what… we’ve got ourselves another wrestler!

Born in Euclid, OH, Miocic grew up a multi-sport athlete between football, baseball and wrestling. He went on to play baseball and wrestle between Cleveland State, Trevecca Nazarene, and Coker College. He was initially brought into Strong Style MMA to wrestle with former UFC contender, Dan Bobish, and soon began training himself. After becoming a Golden Gloves Champion and competing at nationals, the former NCAA Division I wrestler developed the tools to dominate those at his level, making his debut in 2006 and winning his first six fights by KO.

Such a run earned him a shot in the UFC. Between his UFC debut in 2011 and 2016, Miocic fought 10 times, winning eight fights, five of which were finished with strikes. This was enough to earn him a shot against the current champion, Fabricio Werdum.The fight was set in Werdum’s home country of Brazil and was attended by a notably hostile crowd that was eager to watch the challenger fall. Unfortunately for them, Miocic had other plans. Early in the fight, Werdum blitzed forward, leaving himself exposed. Miocic saw the opening and put Werdum out cold with one precise punch. A new champion was crowned, and Stipe brought a championship back to the city of Cleveland for the first time since 1964.

After defeating Werdum, Miocic defended his title three times against the often challenging Alistair Oveerm, Francis N’Gannou, and former champion Junior dos Santos. He then met UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, Daniel Cormier. Late in the first round, while escaping the clinch, Miocic exited with his hands low and caught a short shot that put him on the ground. The fight was over shortly afterward and Daniel Cormier was crowned champion. More than a year later, the two fought a second time, with this fight being one of the toughest in Miocic’s career. Although he was outmatched for much of the fight, Miocic found an opening by way of body shots late into the fourth round. By taking advantage and hammering Cormier’s body, he was able to land some ferocious shots to the head and put Cormier to the canvas for the win and the championship. Since both fighters had just traded wins, the UFC booked the trilogy, a third fight between the two. This time, in a much less damaging fight for both men, we saw Miocic grind out a very tactical, hard fought win, coming by way of unanimous decision. This fight marked Miocic’s record-setting 6th win in UFC Heavyweight Title fights and cemented him in the record books.

Daniel Cormier (22-3 MMA, 11-3 UFC)

Jul. 7th, 2018 – Aug. 17th, 2019

Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Def. Stipe Miocic at UFC 226

Daniel Cormier’s successful career has been tied heavily to two individuals: Stipe Miocic and Jon Jones, the only two men to defeat DC over the course of his 11-year, 26-fight career. The last of his kind on this list, DC was an elite wrestler coming out of Lafayette, Louisiana. He started at Colby Community College, going 61-0, before transferring to Oklahoma State University. There he finished second in the country, losing in the NCAA finals to wrestling legend, Cael Sanderson. His final record at OSU was 53-10.

After college, Cormier competed in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, finding success as an Olympic level wrestler. Following his Olympic achievements, he turned to training MMA. Though he finished his career as a heavyweight, he fought most of his career at light heavyweight. Cormier dominated nearly everybody in his early MMA career, starting in Strikeforce and compiling an 11-0 record before getting called to the UFC. Even then, he faced little adversity in his first four fights with the UFC. Then came Jon Jones. If you’ve made it this far, chances are you know who Jon Jones is and the ups and downs that come with one of MMA’s most outstanding and chaotic fighters. 

In this first title challenge for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship, we saw DC lose a unanimous decision to the undefeated Jones. Months later, Jones was stripped of the title due to a felony hit-and-run, and DC was set to challenge for the title once again, this time against Anthony “Rumble” Johnson (23-6 MMA, 13-6 UFC). After defeating Johnson by rear-naked choke, DC went on to defend his title three times, including a second time against Rumble Johnson. In between came another heartbreaking loss to Jon Jones, which was overturned to a no-contest, because Jones tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs. As such, the title stayed in DC’s hands. 

After such a dominant reign at LHW, DC wanted to move up and challenge Stipe for the UFC Heavyweight Championship. In their first meeting, DC was able to capitalize on that short right hand when leaving the clinch to put down Miocic and secure the victory to win Heavyweight gold. Soon after, he defended his title successfully against “The Black Beast”, Derrick Lewis, winning by rear-naked choke. Then came the final two fights against Stipe that resulted in two subsequent losses and the retirement of one Daniel Cormier.

DC had a storied and successful career, a career marked by being on the other side of two extremely dominant champions. This does not denote his achievements, but many will remember him by being the other side of Jon Jones–and in my opinion, that’s a lot better than being Jon Jones.

Francis N’Gannou (16-3 MMA, 11-2 UFC)

Mar. 27th, 2021 – Present

Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Def. Stipe Miocic at UFC 260

One of the most terrifying men to walk this earth, Francis “The Predator” N’Gannou is not a man from whom anyone wants to line up across the cage. Born and raised in a village in Cameroon, Francis worked in sand quarries, harboring dreams of pursuing professional boxing. By the age of 22, he started training and by 26, he took off to Paris, France to pursue professional fighting.

Once he arrived in Paris, he ended up at the MMA factory where he trained and lived at no cost. This is where Fernand Lopez, the MMA Factory’s head coach, convinced N’Gannou to pursue MMA instead. In 2013, Francis made his MMA debut. He won five of his first six bouts before garnering the attention of the UFC. Once there, he rattled off six wins in a row, many by landing huge strikes that sent his opponents crumbling. Thus, his title shot had arrived. In his first try at gold, he was tasked with facing Stipe Miocic. Although N’Gannou unloaded his full arsenal, he was unable to secure the victory, losing a unanimous decision to Miocic.

He then had one of the most slow-paced, not action packed fights in the UFC’s history against Derrick Lewis. Both being known for having insane knockout power, neither guy was willing to get too close or do too much in a fight that saw Lewis come out with the win (they should’ve both been given an L). Since then, he put together 4 wins in a row, all in the first round, where he connected with brutal punches that no man has been able to handle. Again, he earned an opportunity to challenge Miocic for the title. In this title challenge, we saw N’Gannou come out much more measured and calculated. He still threw the big shots, but he was charging forward and throwing less, opting to stay patient and pick his shots. A very scary sight indeed. This time around he was able to find the punch that would put Miocic down and garner him the UFC Heavyweight Championship. 

N’Gannou is scary, with nobody seemingly able to match the power he has in his hands. However, the newest UFC Interim Heavyweight Champion may have the recipe.

Cyril Gane (10-0 MMA, 7-0 UFC)

(Interim) Aug. 7th, 2021 – Present

Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images

Hailing from La Roche-sur-Yon, France, Ciryl Gane grew up playing proper football and basketball but didn’t pursue either at a higher level. While working at a furniture store, he was introduced to Muay Thai and subsequently made his professional Muay Thai debut in 2016, winning by second round knockout. After winning four more in a row, he faced multiple time WBC MuayThai champion Yassine Boughanem and won the fight by decision–particularly impressive considering he had started fighting for only a few years.

In 2018, Gane made his professional MMA debut. He won three in a row before signing with the UFC. Under the UFC’s banner, Gane has won seven fights in a row, including a finish against Derrick Lewis, to capture the UFC Interim Heavyweight Championship. We have since found out that Gane is a former sparring partner of Francis N’Gannou and possesses the physical tools to move in and around the Cameroonian–to land strikes and not be struck. The two are scheduled to fight on January 22nd in what’s sure to be an entertaining match.

Categories
NFT Tech

November 3rd’s NF3 Recap: UFC NFT, The Sandbox raises $93M and 76ers’ NFT Drop

If this is your first time joining us today, welcome! If you want to check out yesterday’s NF3 Recap, please do, as there were many new updates in the NFT community you don’t want to miss out on.

In our NF3 Recap today, we are going to take an in-depth jab at the exclusive UFC NFT launch. Also, we will be exploring how The Sandbox metaverse game managed to raise $93M. Finally, we will be taking a court-side look at the official Philadelphia 76ers NFT drop, with Crypto.com.

This article does not constitute formal financial advice. Always do your own research before investing.

1. UFC to launch their exclusive NFT with Crypto.com
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The UFC and Crypto.com are collaborating to launch the UFC’s first official NFT. The exclusive drop will include what they are calling the UFC 268 Packs, which are limited edition fighter belts, as well as event and fight posters that are based on UFC 268: Usman v Covington 2, going down this Saturday.

Something that is really special about the UFC NFT drop is that involved athletes will receive 50% of the revenue from NFT sales, compared to the unjust 18% revenue they are used to receiving. This marks a huge turning point in UFC history and the entertainment industry in general, giving the power and the profit back to the actual entertainers.

The UFC packs are dropping this Thursday on Crypto.com, for $40 per pack, with a limit of 2 packs per person. Whoever happens to collect a special UFC 268 pack by November 7, 2021, 9am ET, will be entered into the UFC 268 sweepstakes for a chance to win exclusive UFC prizes. If you are a UFC fan, this is the NFT project for you.

2. The Sandbox metaverse raises $93M with the help of SoftBank
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The popular NFT-based metaverse game, The Sandbox, recently raised $93M in a funding round which was led by SoftBank—a Japanese holding company focused on investment management, mostly investing in companies dealing with energy, financials, and technology. 

The Sandbox is actually the first crypto investment by the SoftBank Vision Fund 2, an estimated $30B investment fund. Apparently in an interview with The Sandbox CEO, Arthur Madrid, he mentioned that the $93M the company raised will help them expand beyond just games and into other economies such as architecture, art galleries, fashion, museums, and a whole lot more.

The money will go towards hiring more staff, creating a multiplayer option, and increasing the number of intellectual property and brands that are a part of The Sandbox economy. This large sum of money will surely help The Sandbox propel their brand into something spectacular, and further proves that NFTs aren’t just a fad, but rather the future of assets.

3. 76ers launch their Legacy NFT collection in partnership with Crypto.com
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Today, NBA team Philadelphia 76ers dropped the team’s first ever Legacy NFT collection in collaboration with Crypto.com. The drop which went live this morning, showcases 13 officially licensed NFT commemorative tickets that highlight legendary moments that took place during the “Philadelphia Spectrum” era of basketball. Portions of the proceeds from the NFT will go to the Sixers Youth Foundation.

Collectors and fans of the 76ers team can win big when they complete challenges to unlock exclusive rewards. Rewards are as follows:

  • Hold any Original Series NFTs in your wallet by May 1, 2022  and you will have the option to redeem an Ultimate 76ers fan experience for 2 consisting of Lunch at the Training Complex prepared by team chef, watch the team practice, meet & greet, a game-worn jersey, and a commemorative piece of the original Philadelphia Spectrum court.
  • Holding all 13 Banner Series NFTs in your NFT wallet by May 1, 2022 unlocks the right to redeem a special commemorative piece of the original Philadelphia Spectrum court, a custom jersey, a personalized message from a 76ers Legend, and VIP access to a 76ers event!
  • If you hold 13 Signature Series NFTs in your wallet by May 1, 2022, you unlock the right to redeem an exclusive commemorative piece of the original Philadelphia Spectrum court and a custom jersey.

This NFT project is a great example of how brands and businesses can use NFTs to offer their fans and consumers more value and a more personal experience.

Other cool mentions

In other cool news, Ex-Activision, Lucasfilm developers announced they are working on a new open-world game with the ability to collect, buy, sell, and trade NFTs, earned from the game. The game, called  Metalcore, is a multiplayer combat game that aims to combine traditional gaming with blockchain technology. 

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The first pre-sale for Metalcore plans to be held January, 2022. 

To finish off today’s NF3 Recap, I thought I’d share some commentary from a CNN interview with venture capitalist and co-founder of Metagood, Bill Tai. When asked to explain NFTs’ massive growth and if the growth was realistic, Bill mentioned that a report done by Jeff Reece a couple weeks ago, estimated the asset value of NFTs in 2020 to be $380M, and year-to-date, somewhere in the area of $10B for 2021. 

Bill said in the interview, “Never before in tech have we seen something grow at this rate, at 20 to 30 fold in actual dollar volume of transactions, and it’s hard to say that it is a wave that is going to go away.”

Categories
Sports Strength

3 Fighters To Watch at UFC 267

UFC 267 is set to bring chaos to your screen on a Saturday morning/afternoon on Oct. 30th, with the prelims kicking off at 10:30 AM EST and the main event following at 2:00 PM EST. 

This card is headlined by two resurgent warriors, with current Light Heavyweight Champion, Jan Blachowicz (28-8 MMA, 11-5 UFC) taking on Glover Teixeira (32-7 MMA, 15-5 UFC). Although neither Blachowicz nor Teixeira offer the mainstream appeal of a Conor McGregor or Israel Adesanya, both men have won their previous five fights and have the talent to cap off a talent-packed card featuring veterans and newcomers alike. 

There are many fighters to be excited about, but these are three fighters you need to watch this weekend:

1) Islam Makhachev (20-1 MMA, 9-1 UFC)
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Islam Makhachev has had no problem finding praise or hype when it comes to his fighting career; in fact, he’s often dubbed “Little Khabib” because of his resemblance to newly retired, former undefeated UFC Champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov. Beyond the superficial reasons for the comparison (Makhachev and Nurmagomedov are both Dagestani), Makhachev displays a discipline and willingness to expand his skill set outside of fight camp that’s similar to that of his more famous compatriot.  In a recent interview, legendary coach Javier Mendez, the founder of the MMA gym AKA (American Kickboxing Academy), offered some insight into Makhachev’s work ethic. “[Makhachev goes] home and [finds] other guys to teach him how to strike,” Mendez said. “I’d tell him to train with this guy, train with that guy and find somebody that’s a good striking guy and learn from them.”

Even if Makhachev has already proven his bona fides as a fighter, a victory in his upcoming matchup with Dan “The Hangman” Hooker (the sixth-ranked light heavyweight who boasts eye-catching wins over Paul Felder, Gilbert Burns, and Jim Miller) would cement Makhachev’s place amongst the elite. Keep an eye on Islam Makhachev this weekend and moving forward, lest you miss moments like this:

2) Khamzat Chimaev (9-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC)
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For our second fighter to watch, we’re keeping it in Dagestan with the king of “smeshing”, Khamzat Chimaev. This man is a FORCE. Khamzat burst onto the scene in 2020, making waves for taking two fights in 10 days for the UFC and winning them both in dominant fashion, finishing both John Phillips and Rhys McKee with ease. One more time – two fights, TEN DAYS. Observe the carnage:

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I know what you’re thinking, “Who could doubt this man after that!?” But despite this, Chimaev received criticism from many who claimed that his profile had been propped up by victories against underwhelming fighters. During the run-up to Chimaev’s fight against UFC vet Gerald Meerschaert in September 2020, Meerschaert crowed about Chimaev’s weak quality of competition—and then got silenced by Chimaev a mere 17 seconds into their bout the next day. I don’t know what most people can do in only 17 seconds, but here’s what he can:

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Since that victory, though, it’s been a tough 13 months for Chimaev as he struggled against a case of COVID-19 that was so severe it forced him to contemplate retirement. In an article by Brett Okamoto at ESPN, Khamzat stated, “I was never scared about my life. I’m scared about what my mom is going to do after I die. My mom, my brothers— was thinking, ‘What are they gonna do after I die?’ I start with this MMA shit because of my family. I want to make some good life with them.”

Thankfully, Chimaev recovered and UFC 267 represents his much-anticipated return to the sport. Making Chimaev’s return even more exciting, though, is that he’s matched up against Li Jinliang (18-6 MMA, 10-4 UFC), a very dangerous and stylistically interesting opponent for Chimaev; Jinliang (also known as “The Leech”) looks to move forward and impose his will on his opponents, which may cause Chimaev trouble. Still, if Chimaev can rediscover his pre-Covid form and control the center of the octagon, this could be an exciting affair that re-establishes Chimaev as one of the most dangerous prospects tearing through the welterweight division.

3) Lerone Murphy (10-0-1 MMA, 2-0-1 in UFC)
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What better way to end this than with a red-hot prospect boasting an undefeated record with 60% of his wins coming by first-round KO/TKO!? This weekend, the world will formally meet Lerone “The Miracle” Murphy. 

On his way to the UFC, “The Miracle” chose violence, finishing 5 of 7 fights spectacularly. What’s even more spectacular is what led him to the sport in the first place.

As reported by Joe Coleman at talkSPORT, at the age of 21 Murphy was shot twice in the face. After being shot, he reportedly spit out the bullets that had hit him in the chin and neck, and was rushed to the hospital. It was at this point he decided to begin training MMA, and in 6-months he had his first amateur fight. In just 5 years he was able to make his way through the ranks and to the UFC, where he fought arguably his toughest fight in a split decision draw against mainstay Zubaira Tukhugov. While Murphy was dropped early in the first round, he demonstrated incredible resilience by battling back and showing the judges nearly enough to win the fight.  

Murphy went on to win his next two fights to remain undefeated, including this one against Ricardo Ramos via merciless ground-and-pound:

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His opponent at UFC 267 is “Mr. Finland” Makwan Amirkhani (16-6 MMA, 6-4 UFC) who began his UFC career by scoring an 8-second TKO via flying knee.

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Amirkhani is certainly a quality opponent that provides a true test to Mr. Murphy’s “0,” but one that he’s one that Murphy can handle breezily, nonetheless. 

Be sure to tune in to UFC 267 on Saturday, Oct. 30th, and remember, the prelims begin at 10:30AM EST with the main card following at 2PM EST.

Categories
Sports Strength

Tyson Fury Knocks Out Deontay Wilder, All Hail The Gypsy King

This past weekend, two of the best heavyweight boxers in the world, Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder put on one of the greatest title fıghts in boxing history. Consider the stats: 

  • Five knockdowns (two for Wilder, three for Fury)
  • Round 3: Fury knocks down Wilder 
  • Round 4: Wilder responds with 2 vicious knockdowns with his patented right hand 
  • Fury gets up and dominates the rest of the next six rounds outlanding Wılder 150-72 (BoxScene, October 10, 2021)
  • Which leads to Wilder gettıng knocked down twice in the 11th round and the eventual TKO victory for the Gypsy King Tyson Fury.
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Even if this marked the third act of a trilogy between two boxing titans, the run-up to this fight lacked the pomp and circumstance that usually accompanies a heavyweight title bout. Whereas most third acts function as rubber-matches between two evenly-matched fighters, Fury outboxed Wilder in their first fight which ended in a tie and then thoroughly dismantled Wilder in their February 2020 match-up. Wilder may have proven his bonafides as a champion, but most fans thought he didn’t deserve another title shot. Still, due to issues caused by promoters and convoluted politics, Fury was forced to fight Wilder for a third time. Accordingly, Wilder was largely underestimated because he didn’t seem capable of executing a game plan that could trouble Fury.  

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From the opening bell, Wilder came out looking like a different fighter–at least for the fırst three rounds. At 238 pounds, Wilder was 25 pounds heavier than he was in the trilogy’s second installment back in February 2020. Already one of the hardest hitters in boxing history, Wilder doubled down on his power at the cost of some stamina and endurance, realizing that his best shot to win would be via knockout.

Despite packing on extra weight and strength, Wilder adopted a surprisingly measured approach during the first three rounds, peppering Fury with body blows in an attempt to lower Fury’s hands and set up a knockout blow. Moreover, Wilder established himself as the aggressor and controlled the fight, consistently pinning Fury against the ropes. 

After a knockdown in the fourth by Fury, Wilder went back to his roots and started headhuntıng. Even if Wilder’s aggression allowed him to knock Fury down twice in the fifth round, this undisciplined approach caused Wilder to lose the ability to control the ring. 

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As such, after getting knocked down twice in the fifth, Tyson Fury slowly took over the fight, using his lightnıng-quıck 1-2 combinations and his own sheer mass to methodically drain Wilder of any power or energy. At 277 pounds, Fury possesses a rare combination of size and agility. Last February, Fury outclassed Wilder with his footwork, technical brilliance and tactical wherewithal, frustrating the Alabama native by dancing around the cage like a British Muhammad Ali. This time, though, Fury relied on his gigantitude, leaning on Wilder throughout the fight. In doing so, Fury revealed the fatal flaw of the bulked-up Wilder’s plan of attack, exploiting Wilder’s lack of stamina and leading to the eventual TKO. This diversity of boxing ability and technique is what makes the Gypsy King the greatest heavyweight of the generation. 

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While fight #3 initially seemed less interesting than the previous two, it was by far the best. With his heart and newfound stylistic diversity, Deontay Wilder proved that he’s more than a one-handed knockout merchant; by lasting 11 rounds against the hulking Fury, he demonstrated incredible resilience and even managed to deliver damage in the later rounds. This talent—the potential to end a fight at any moment, no matter how woozy or hobbled he may be—is what makes Wilder such a special fighter.

As for Fury’s next move, Oleksandr Usyk is the clear fight, since this would offer the opportunity to unify the heavyweight titles. By beatıng Anthony Joshua last month, Usyk proved that he can compete with bigger heavyweights after moving up from the cruiserweight division. If Fury can overwhelm Usyk the same way he did Wilder, he would not only become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, but etch his name in the history books as one of the greatest boxers of all time.

Categories
Sports Strength

What is the Best Season Of ‘The Ultimate Fighter?’

The 29th season of The Ultimate Fighter wrapped itself up at UFC on ESPN 30 and it saw Bryan Battle and Ricky Turcios go home with the UFC contracts in the middleweight and bantamweight divisions, respectively.

The coaches for the season were current featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega. That choice was met with some criticism initially, with other choices like Masvidal and Covington seemingly being the preference from fans. In the end it worked out well enough, with the featherweights developing a rivalry that wouldn’t have been there had it not been for the show.

After UFC on ESPN 30, Dana confirmed that the show will return next year and will always be around. What better time to look back on the seasons than now? We did just that, ranking them from worst to best.

29. Season 6 (2007)
Winner: Mac Danzig
Tapology

The coaches for this season were former TUF winner Matt Serra and Matt Hughes. On paper, perhaps it should have been one of the better seasons with two Mt. Rushmore welterweights, but it just didn’t come to fruition, largely due to a lack of talent.

28. Season 26 (2017)
Winner: Nicco Montaño
MMA Junkie

The only reason this season doesn’t fall to last place is the fact that there was a new champion crowned. Although, many felt the women’s flyweight division was created purely for Valentina to get a title and Nicco Montaño ended up having a lacklustre UFC career, never defending the belt and missing weight multiple times.

27. Season 16 (2012)
Winner: Colton Smith
Sherdog

This season’s fighters lacked star power, with the fighter that most would know being Neil Magny, who got finished in the semi-finals. Roy Nelson and Shane Carwin as coaches was disappointing too, not to mention the fact that they never ended up fighting each other.

26. Season 19 (2014)
Winners: Eddie Gordon & Corey Anderson
Fight Booth

On paper, this one sounded like it was special because it boasted lightweight greats Frankie Edgar and B.J. Penn as coaches. However, by this point, Frankie had already beaten B.J. twice before. In hindsight, B.J. was already into his 7-fight losing streak here.

25. Season 25 (2017)
Winner: Jesse Taylor
MMA Weekly

This season featured the drama between T.J. Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt which was entertaining but felt monotonous by the end. The premise of this season was former contestants getting redemption and just felt like the UFC banking on nostalgia.

24. Season 28 (2018)
Winners: Juan Espino & Macy Chiasson
MMA Junkie

Had former champion Robert Whittaker and former TUF winner Kelvin Gastelum not been the coaches for this season, it would be even lower on the list. The coaches’ challenges were the main source of entertainment here. Whittaker even criticised his own team for being lazy after the show.

23. Season 29 (2021)
Winners: Ricky Turcios & Bryan Battle
Fanbyte

It was a pleasant surprise to see some back and forth jawing from Volkanovski and Ortega on the show, but even then, some of the pranks felt a little childish. Ricky Turcios came out of the show with the most memorable moments, with Dana comparing him to TUF 1 winner Diego Sanchez.

22. Season 8 (2008)
Winners: Efrain Escudero & Ryan Bader
MMA Full Contact

The show deserves credit for producing pro-wrestling star Tom Lawlor and of course, current Bellator heavyweight champion Ryan Bader. It also had some funny coaching moments from Mir and Nogueira, the former knocking out the latter to win the interim UFC title.

21. Season 7 (2008)
Winner: Amir Sadollah
FiebreSeries

This season is perhaps most well-known today for being the one where Rampage smashed a door to pieces, but that doesn’t quite do it justice. It produced big names like Matt Brown and WWE superstar Matt Riddle.

20. Season 22 (2015)
Winner: Ryan Hall
Amazon

With the line-up of coaches, TUF 22 was always going to be one of its most popular. It featured Conor McGregor, fresh off of his win over Chad Mendes, going up against Urijah Faber. Ryan Hall was undefeated until his last fight in July.

19. Season 14 (2011)
Winners: John Dodson & Diego Brandão
MMA Mania

Looking back, this season was a gem and has aged very well. Bisping and Mayhem Miller were coaches and some of the fighters included T.J. Dillashaw, Jimmie Rivera, Dennis Burmedez and John Dodson. Miller also brought in current champ Kamaru Usman as a wrestling coach, before he even had his first professional MMA fight.

18. Season 13 (2011)
Winner: Tony Ferguson
SB Nation

Funnily enough, this season wasn’t as well received by fans as you’d think after it aired, but it has aged well, producing a top 5 lightweight of all time in Tony Ferguson. That could have had it higher, but there weren’t enough memorable moments despite the coaches beig Lesnar and JDS.

17. Season 11 (2010)
Winner: Court McGee
Bleacher Report

While it was airing weekly, the show was on pace to become one of the better seasons ever, but it drops slightly on our list because of a string of bad luck. Tito Ortiz was forced into neck surgery meaning he couldn’t finish the show and Ortiz’s first pick Nick Ring also got injured.

16. Season 3 (2006)
Winners: Kendall Grove & Michael Bisping
ESPN

Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock being on the show was a real treat for MMA fans and some hilarity ensued. The third season of TUF also produced legend and UFC hall of famer Michael Bisping.

15. Season 9 (2009)
Winners: Ross Pearson & James Wilks
FighterXFashion

Just a few years after winning TUF, Bisping found himself back on the show as a coach, going up against Dan Henderson in the United States vs. United Kingdom version of the show. The fighters were mostly unmemorable, with Team U.K. winning in both weight divisions, but Henderson ultimately KOing Bisping at UFC 100.

14. Season 2 (2005)
Winners: Joe Stevenson & Rashad Evans
EDGE MMA

The second season of TUF was coached by Matt Hughes and Rich Franklin, who were the welterweight and middleweight champions respectively. Today, there’d be no doubt that they’d be in a super fight, but unfortunately they didn’t fight each other at all. The show gave us Rashad Evans and the late great Keith Jardine.

13. Season 23 (2016)
Winners: Andrew Sanchez & Tatiana Suarez
UFC

This season’s highlights were undoubtedly the tension between Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Cláudia Gadelha, which led to some famous moments. It felt like a fight could break out between the pair at any moment.

12. Season 21 (2015)
Winner: Kamaru Usman
MMA Junkie

TUF 21 was interesting because it pitted American Top Team against the Blackzillians, specifically Dan Lambert and the late Greg Robinson. The two gyms have had so many great rivalries over the years. Usman ended up winning the show and is arguably the best fighter in the world right now.

11. Season 27 (2018)
Winners: Brad Katona & Michael Trizano
MMA Junkie

The catch for this season was that every prospect on the show was undefeated. It’s an interesting one to look back on now because of how turbulent Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic’s relationship got and how cool they were at this point.

10. Season 24 (2016)
Winner: Tim Elliott
MMA Junkie

Although the concept for this season was cool – bringing together regional champions to compete for a UFC contract – I’m sure fans would have preferred it to happen in a different division.

9. Season 12 (2010)
Winner: Jonathan Brookins
ESPN

TUF 12 created some of the best moments in the history of the show, namely GSP bringing in the unique Jean-Charles Skarbowsky to beat up the fighters and GSP baiting Josh Koscheck to pick Marc Stevens so that he could pick Michael Johnson.

8. Season 15 (2012)
Winner: Michael Chiesa
MMA Mania

TUF 15 was the first and only live edition of the show and fans enjoyed it. It saw rivals Cruz and Faber going back and forth for some fun drama, but the fights were very entertaining. It also brought us Raging Al and Michael Chiesa.

7. Season 17 (2013)
Winner: Kelvin Gastelum
MMA Mania

This show was made for someone like Chael Sonnen and he stepped up for his moment. He went head-to-head against Jon Jones, who of course ended up winning their fight. This was the season that featured that classic Uriah Hall KO.

6. Season 10 (2009)
Winner: Roy Nelson
Amazon

This season had it all. Rampage and Rashad had a bitter feud going on which got extremely heated and nearly came to blows once. It also featured the surprising inclusion of the late legend Kimbo Slice.

5. Season 4 (2006)
Winners: Matt Serra & Travis Lutter
Bleacher Report

The concept for this season was that the fighters were made up of UFC fighters that had not had the career they wanted. It’s famous for producing Matt Serra who ended up with the biggest upset in MMA history when he beat GSP, an advisor on the show.

4. Season 20 (2014)
Winner: Carla Esparza
MMA Freak

TUF 20 produced arguably the most big names in one division in a single year. On the show were Rose Namajunas, Joanne Calderwod, Felice Herrig, Tecia Torres, Carlpa Esparza, Angela Hill and Bec Rawlings, amongst others. Pettis and Melendez coached.

3. Season 18 (2013)
Winners: Chris Holdsworth & Julianna Peña
Hulu

This season was set to be coached by Ronda Rousey and Cat Zingano, but Zingano got injured late into the process, which gave us the great moment of seeing Rousey realise her rival Miesha Tate was going to coach alongside her.

2. Season 5 (2007)
Winner: Nate Diaz
MMA Mania

The appeal of this season was initially B.J. Penn and Jens Pulver finally fighting but looking back in 2021, it’s impossible not to notice the early days of Nate Diaz, back when he was mostly known for being Nick’s young brother.

1. Season 1 (2005)
Winners: Diego Sanchez & Forrest Griffin
The Athletic

Coached by Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture, TUF 1 introduced us to superstars like Forrest Griffin, Josh Koscheck, Diego Sanchez, Kenny Florian, Nate Quarry, Chris Leben and Mike Swick. It ended with the classic fight between Griffin and Bonnar which saw both getting the contract because of the performance they put on.

Categories
Sports Strength

Conor McGregor’s Next Fight, Everything We Know So Far

Conor McGregor fights are always eventful for one reason or another but his last fight against Dustin Poirier was something else entirely. We look back on the event, the fallout from it and what could be next for the Irishman.

<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-permalink=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/CPOzqaHpVEI\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” data-instgrm-version=”13″ style=”background:#FFF;border:0;border-radius:3px;margin: 1px;max-width:540px;min-width:326px;padding:0;width:99.375%”><div style=”padding:16px”> <a href=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/CPOzqaHpVEI\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”background:#FFFFFF;line-height:0;padding:0 0;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;width:100%” target=”_blank”> <div style=”flex-direction: row;align-items: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 40px;margin-right: 14px;width: 40px”><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 100px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 60px”><\/div><\/div><\/div><div style=”padding: 19% 0″><\/div> <div style=”height:50px;margin:0 auto 12px;width:50px”><\/div><div style=”padding-top: 8px”> <div style=”color:#3897f0;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:550;line-height:18px”> View this post on Instagram<\/div><\/div><div style=”padding: 12.5% 0″><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: row;margin-bottom: 14px;align-items: center”><div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px;flex-grow: 0;margin-right: 14px;margin-left: 2px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”><\/div><\/div><div style=”margin-left: 8px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 20px;width: 20px”><\/div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 2px solid transparent;border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4;border-bottom: 2px solid transparent”><\/div><\/div><div style=”margin-left: auto”> <div style=”width: 0px;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-right: 8px solid transparent”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;flex-grow: 0;height: 12px;width: 16px”><\/div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-left: 8px solid transparent”><\/div><\/div><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center;margin-bottom: 24px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 224px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 144px”><\/div><\/div><\/a><p style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:17px;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:8px;overflow:hidden;padding:8px 0 7px;text-align:center”><a href=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/CPOzqaHpVEI\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;line-height:17px;text-decoration:none” target=”_blank”>A post shared by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma)<\/a><\/p><\/div><\/blockquote> “,”hedConor McGregor\u2019s Last Fight: McGregor Vs. Poirier At UFC 264</div>
Conor McGregor’s Last Fight: McGregor Vs. Poirier At UFC 264

If you saw the fight, you know that it ended horrifically, with Conor breaking his tibia in an incident that brought people flashbacks to Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman’s similar injuries. We now know that Conor came into the fight with stress fractures which were then worsened by Poirier’s checks of his leg kicks and his kick at Poirier’s elbow.

In terms of the event, it did very well. It was the second highest-selling MMA pay-per-view of all time, second only to UFC 229 when Conor fought Khabib. It earned around $15.7 million in sales and the Vegas crowd was 20,062 strong.

<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-permalink=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/CMoodcqpdWQ\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” data-instgrm-version=”13″ style=”background:#FFF;border:0;border-radius:3px;margin: 1px;max-width:540px;min-width:326px;padding:0;width:99.375%”><div style=”padding:16px”> <a href=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/CMoodcqpdWQ\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”background:#FFFFFF;line-height:0;padding:0 0;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;width:100%” target=”_blank”> <div style=”flex-direction: row;align-items: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 40px;margin-right: 14px;width: 40px”><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 100px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 60px”><\/div><\/div><\/div><div style=”padding: 19% 0″><\/div> <div style=”height:50px;margin:0 auto 12px;width:50px”><\/div><div style=”padding-top: 8px”> <div style=”color:#3897f0;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:550;line-height:18px”> View this post on Instagram<\/div><\/div><div style=”padding: 12.5% 0″><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: row;margin-bottom: 14px;align-items: center”><div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px;flex-grow: 0;margin-right: 14px;margin-left: 2px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”><\/div><\/div><div style=”margin-left: 8px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 20px;width: 20px”><\/div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 2px solid transparent;border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4;border-bottom: 2px solid transparent”><\/div><\/div><div style=”margin-left: auto”> <div style=”width: 0px;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-right: 8px solid transparent”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;flex-grow: 0;height: 12px;width: 16px”><\/div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-left: 8px solid transparent”><\/div><\/div><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center;margin-bottom: 24px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 224px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 144px”><\/div><\/div><\/a><p style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:17px;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:8px;overflow:hidden;padding:8px 0 7px;text-align:center”><a href=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/CMoodcqpdWQ\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;line-height:17px;text-decoration:none” target=”_blank”>A post shared by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma)<\/a><\/p><\/div><\/blockquote> “,”hedHow Conor McGregor Approached The Fight</div>
How Conor McGregor Approached The Fight

The story of the first rematch was that Conor McGregor came in only worrying about boxing because his large plans included a fight with Manny Pacquiao next. For this reason, the wrestling and leg kicks caught him off guard and were a big part of why he got finished. In his own words, “a little single disciplined in my approach and stance with mostly boxing.” However, framing things this way, even if it’s true, was never fair to Dustin Poirier. That’s why it was so great that we got the trilogy fight, so everything could be settled. Of course, the result wasn’t as final as we’d hoped.

Most avid fans were not fooled by Conor’s “shooting ass shelling ass bitch,” and “little bitch kicks from a shell” comments from Twitter a few months ago. It was important to remember that coming into his rematch with Nate Diaz, leg kicks were a big part of his game. Through all of his vintage trash talk, even though it didn’t always seem like it, Conor McGregor undoubtedly respects all aspects of mixed martial arts and used every tool in his arsenal to try to get the win at UFC 264.

In terms of his own offense, McGregor did have success with boxing very early on in the fight. Despite the result, his timing and accuracy are still some of the best we’ve ever seen in the sport. A change that some predicted Conor could make for this third fight was making kicks a bigger part of his attack, and although we acknowledged that his gas tank likely couldn’t support a kick-heavy attack for anything close to 25 minutes, that’s exactly what he did. Just like he did back at featherweight, he came out throwing a variety of kicks.

He also went all the way in on a guillotine, which was a surprise to those that followed his interview before the fight because he dismissed submission wins entirely. It was also puzzling that he’d commit to something with such a high risk against Poirier, who is more experienced in Jiu-Jitsu than him.

<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-permalink=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/CRUX72pJv-V\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” data-instgrm-version=”13″ style=”background:#FFF;border:0;border-radius:3px;margin: 1px;max-width:540px;min-width:326px;padding:0;width:99.375%”><div style=”padding:16px”> <a href=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/CRUX72pJv-V\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”background:#FFFFFF;line-height:0;padding:0 0;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;width:100%” target=”_blank”> <div style=”flex-direction: row;align-items: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 40px;margin-right: 14px;width: 40px”><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 100px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 60px”><\/div><\/div><\/div><div style=”padding: 19% 0″><\/div> <div style=”height:50px;margin:0 auto 12px;width:50px”><\/div><div style=”padding-top: 8px”> <div style=”color:#3897f0;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:550;line-height:18px”> View this post on Instagram<\/div><\/div><div style=”padding: 12.5% 0″><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: row;margin-bottom: 14px;align-items: center”><div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px;flex-grow: 0;margin-right: 14px;margin-left: 2px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”><\/div><\/div><div style=”margin-left: 8px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 20px;width: 20px”><\/div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 2px solid transparent;border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4;border-bottom: 2px solid transparent”><\/div><\/div><div style=”margin-left: auto”> <div style=”width: 0px;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-right: 8px solid transparent”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;flex-grow: 0;height: 12px;width: 16px”><\/div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-left: 8px solid transparent”><\/div><\/div><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center;margin-bottom: 24px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 224px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 144px”><\/div><\/div><\/a><p style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:17px;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:8px;overflow:hidden;padding:8px 0 7px;text-align:center”><a href=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/CRUX72pJv-V\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;line-height:17px;text-decoration:none” target=”_blank”>A post shared by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma)<\/a><\/p><\/div><\/blockquote> “,”hedHow Much Conor McGregor Got Paid</div>
How Much Conor McGregor Got Paid

Before the fight, it was tough to say how much Conor would be paid, but we could make an educated guess based on his past purses. For his last few fights before the second Poirier fight, Conor was getting a base pay of $3 million, but for the rematch at UFC 257, he was guaranteed $5 million. It was safe to assume that the Irishman would make either the same or slightly less for the trilogy bout, considering he was coming in off a loss.

Now that the event is over and we have some purse numbers, we can see that Conor was still guaranteed $5 million for the fight.

<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-permalink=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/CRLtcwMJwyz\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” data-instgrm-version=”13″ style=”background:#FFF;border:0;border-radius:3px;margin: 1px;max-width:540px;min-width:326px;padding:0;width:99.375%”><div style=”padding:16px”> <a href=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/CRLtcwMJwyz\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”background:#FFFFFF;line-height:0;padding:0 0;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;width:100%” target=”_blank”> <div style=”flex-direction: row;align-items: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 40px;margin-right: 14px;width: 40px”><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 100px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 60px”><\/div><\/div><\/div><div style=”padding: 19% 0″><\/div> <div style=”height:50px;margin:0 auto 12px;width:50px”><\/div><div style=”padding-top: 8px”> <div style=”color:#3897f0;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:550;line-height:18px”> View this post on Instagram<\/div><\/div><div style=”padding: 12.5% 0″><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: row;margin-bottom: 14px;align-items: center”><div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px;flex-grow: 0;margin-right: 14px;margin-left: 2px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”><\/div><\/div><div style=”margin-left: 8px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 20px;width: 20px”><\/div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 2px solid transparent;border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4;border-bottom: 2px solid transparent”><\/div><\/div><div style=”margin-left: auto”> <div style=”width: 0px;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-right: 8px solid transparent”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;flex-grow: 0;height: 12px;width: 16px”><\/div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-left: 8px solid transparent”><\/div><\/div><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center;margin-bottom: 24px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 224px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 144px”><\/div><\/div><\/a><p style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:17px;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:8px;overflow:hidden;padding:8px 0 7px;text-align:center”><a href=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/CRLtcwMJwyz\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;line-height:17px;text-decoration:none” target=”_blank”>A post shared by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma)<\/a><\/p><\/div><\/blockquote> “,”hedHow Long Will Conor McGregor Need To Recover From His Injury?</div>
How Long Will Conor McGregor Need To Recover From His Injury?

Conor McGregor will be on crutches for the next six weeks, as he announced on his Instagram right after surgery. However, the injury isn’t as simple as Conor getting off crutches and getting right back to training. He will have to spend months simply relearning how to walk and move properly with the new titanium rod in his leg. The truth is that it’s likely that his leg will never be the same. But if all goes well, we could see him healthy enough to be back in the octagon for very late this year or early 2022.

<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-permalink=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/CRHS8nopEl0\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” data-instgrm-version=”13″ style=”background:#FFF;border:0;border-radius:3px;margin: 1px;max-width:540px;min-width:326px;padding:0;width:99.375%”><div style=”padding:16px”> <a href=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/CRHS8nopEl0\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”background:#FFFFFF;line-height:0;padding:0 0;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;width:100%” target=”_blank”> <div style=”flex-direction: row;align-items: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 40px;margin-right: 14px;width: 40px”><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 100px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 60px”><\/div><\/div><\/div><div style=”padding: 19% 0″><\/div> <div style=”height:50px;margin:0 auto 12px;width:50px”><\/div><div style=”padding-top: 8px”> <div style=”color:#3897f0;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:550;line-height:18px”> View this post on Instagram<\/div><\/div><div style=”padding: 12.5% 0″><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: row;margin-bottom: 14px;align-items: center”><div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px;flex-grow: 0;margin-right: 14px;margin-left: 2px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”><\/div><\/div><div style=”margin-left: 8px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 20px;width: 20px”><\/div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 2px solid transparent;border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4;border-bottom: 2px solid transparent”><\/div><\/div><div style=”margin-left: auto”> <div style=”width: 0px;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-right: 8px solid transparent”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;flex-grow: 0;height: 12px;width: 16px”><\/div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-left: 8px solid transparent”><\/div><\/div><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center;margin-bottom: 24px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 224px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 144px”><\/div><\/div><\/a><p style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:17px;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:8px;overflow:hidden;padding:8px 0 7px;text-align:center”><a href=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/CRHS8nopEl0\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;line-height:17px;text-decoration:none” target=”_blank”>A post shared by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma)<\/a><\/p><\/div><\/blockquote> “,”hedWhat\u2019s Next For Conor McGregor?</div>
What’s Next For Conor McGregor?

Past recovery and rehabilitation for his injury, it’s really tough to say what the future looks like for Conor McGregor. Predicting his future opponents is one thing (and we do that later in the article), but it’s almost up in the air how he’ll look in a cage.

Conor’s coach John Kavanagh did an interview with Laura Sanko the day after the fight, and he was optimistic about things, even commenting that Conor looked great in the fight up until the injury, but that felt a little delusional to most. Conor had some success with some big kicks, but he ended up engaging in the grappling when Dustin found some boxing success of his own. On his back, despite his elbows, Dustin mostly worked him in a way that could have brought Conor flashbacks of the Khabib fight.

The truth about Conor is that it’s still really tough to gauge where he is as a fighter relative to his peers. He’s absolutely lost four of his last seven in MMA, which would suggest a fall since his featherweight run where he went undefeated, but a deeper dive into those losses does Conor favors. One of the four is to Nate, who he’s since beaten; one is to Khabib, the best grappler in the sport, and the other two are both to Dustin, arguably the best lightweight on the planet. Conor’s fans will call him the best, and his haters will call him the worst when of course, the truth is somewhere in the middle.

To get a real sense of where Conor is and answer the questions about whether the game has passed him, he needs a bigger sample size of opponents. This brings us to his next fight.

<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-permalink=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/CQlt7i6rAdi\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” data-instgrm-version=”13″ style=”background:#FFF;border:0;border-radius:3px;margin: 1px;max-width:540px;min-width:326px;padding:0;width:99.375%”><div style=”padding:16px”> <a href=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/CQlt7i6rAdi\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”background:#FFFFFF;line-height:0;padding:0 0;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;width:100%” target=”_blank”> <div style=”flex-direction: row;align-items: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 40px;margin-right: 14px;width: 40px”><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 100px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 60px”><\/div><\/div><\/div><div style=”padding: 19% 0″><\/div> <div style=”height:50px;margin:0 auto 12px;width:50px”><\/div><div style=”padding-top: 8px”> <div style=”color:#3897f0;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:550;line-height:18px”> View this post on Instagram<\/div><\/div><div style=”padding: 12.5% 0″><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: row;margin-bottom: 14px;align-items: center”><div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px;flex-grow: 0;margin-right: 14px;margin-left: 2px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”><\/div><\/div><div style=”margin-left: 8px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 20px;width: 20px”><\/div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 2px solid transparent;border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4;border-bottom: 2px solid transparent”><\/div><\/div><div style=”margin-left: auto”> <div style=”width: 0px;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-right: 8px solid transparent”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;flex-grow: 0;height: 12px;width: 16px”><\/div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-left: 8px solid transparent”><\/div><\/div><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center;margin-bottom: 24px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 224px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 144px”><\/div><\/div><\/a><p style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:17px;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:8px;overflow:hidden;padding:8px 0 7px;text-align:center”><a href=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/CQlt7i6rAdi\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;line-height:17px;text-decoration:none” target=”_blank”>A post shared by Dustin Poirier (@dustinpoirier)<\/a><\/p><\/div><\/blockquote> “,”hedPotential Match-Up #1: Dustin Poirier</div>
Potential Match-Up #1: Dustin Poirier

Two fighters rarely fight each other four times, but it does happen. By the end of their careers, it looks like Conor and Dustin could step into the cage against each other one more time, and that just might be what’s next for Conor. The argument would be that they were one apiece and that though Dustin technically won the trilogy bout via doctor stoppage, it was inconclusive. It must be said that another fighter wouldn’t be afforded such a luxury, but Conor isn’t just any old fighter.

As much as a fourth fight could excite fans, we’re not sure that would be great for Conor. Notoriously (no pun intended), MMA doesn’t do tune-up fights in the way that boxing fights, but it’s probably best that Conor gets a fight against someone lower down the food chain before he goes for Dustin again. One, because adjusting to the injury could take some time. Two, because Dustin could be champion by then, and Conor would have to win at least one fight to challenge for the title.

<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-permalink=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/CNa6Ptsh6_a\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” data-instgrm-version=”13″ style=”background:#FFF;border:0;border-radius:3px;margin: 1px;max-width:540px;min-width:326px;padding:0;width:99.375%”><div style=”padding:16px”> <a href=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/CNa6Ptsh6_a\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”background:#FFFFFF;line-height:0;padding:0 0;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;width:100%” target=”_blank”> <div style=”flex-direction: row;align-items: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 40px;margin-right: 14px;width: 40px”><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 100px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 60px”><\/div><\/div><\/div><div style=”padding: 19% 0″><\/div> <div style=”height:50px;margin:0 auto 12px;width:50px”><\/div><div style=”padding-top: 8px”> <div style=”color:#3897f0;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:550;line-height:18px”> View this post on Instagram<\/div><\/div><div style=”padding: 12.5% 0″><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: row;margin-bottom: 14px;align-items: center”><div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px;flex-grow: 0;margin-right: 14px;margin-left: 2px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”><\/div><\/div><div style=”margin-left: 8px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 20px;width: 20px”><\/div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 2px solid transparent;border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4;border-bottom: 2px solid transparent”><\/div><\/div><div style=”margin-left: auto”> <div style=”width: 0px;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-right: 8px solid transparent”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;flex-grow: 0;height: 12px;width: 16px”><\/div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-left: 8px solid transparent”><\/div><\/div><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center;margin-bottom: 24px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 224px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 144px”><\/div><\/div><\/a><p style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:17px;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:8px;overflow:hidden;padding:8px 0 7px;text-align:center”><a href=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/CNa6Ptsh6_a\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;line-height:17px;text-decoration:none” target=”_blank”>A post shared by Rafael Dos Anjos (@rdosanjosmma)<\/a><\/p><\/div><\/blockquote> “,”hedPotential Match-Up #2: Rafael dos Anjos</div>
Potential Match-Up #2: Rafael dos Anjos

Rafael dos Anjos, or RDA as most call him, is not a name known to most casual fans, but that doesn’t mean he’s not an incredible fighter. He’s the former lightweight champion, and if his name does ring a bell, it’s likely because RDA is who Conor McGregor was scheduled to fight at UFC 196 after he knocked out José Aldo. RDA broke his foot and ended up pulling out, forcing Conor to take on Nate Diaz.

So why does the fight make sense now, you ask. RDA was actually the backup fighter for UFC 264, which means that he made weight at the same time as all of the other fighters on the card just in case something happened to either man in the main event. It gives the UFC a fight to fall back on in a bad scenario, and even if nothing happens, it puts some money in the backup fighter’s pockets and puts them in good stead with the company.

Backstage at the weigh-ins, Conor and RDA exchanged some words which had fans excited about a future match-up between them. Now is the most sense it’s made in a while to make that fight, with the two close to each other in the rankings and already have a history together.

Stylistically, it’s a tough match-up for Conor. Just like Dustin, dos Anjos is a southpaw with good boxing, wrestling, and leg kicks. Though RDA has racked up a few losses in the last few years, his strength of resumé is incredibly high. He’s arguably had the toughest schedule in the entire sport for a few years now, with fights booked against Khabib Nurmagomedov, Kamaru Usman, Tony Ferguson, Colby Covington, and Eddie Alvarez, all before they went on to become champions or interim champions. Most of them beat him with wrestling, which Conor would not do, but with years of tough fights behind him, RDA is also a winnable fight for Conor at this stage.

<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-permalink=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/CRE-KOEjdaS\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” data-instgrm-version=”13″ style=”background:#FFF;border:0;border-radius:3px;margin: 1px;max-width:540px;min-width:326px;padding:0;width:99.375%”><div style=”padding:16px”> <a href=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/CRE-KOEjdaS\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”background:#FFFFFF;line-height:0;padding:0 0;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;width:100%” target=”_blank”> <div style=”flex-direction: row;align-items: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 40px;margin-right: 14px;width: 40px”><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 100px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 60px”><\/div><\/div><\/div><div style=”padding: 19% 0″><\/div> <div style=”height:50px;margin:0 auto 12px;width:50px”><\/div><div style=”padding-top: 8px”> <div style=”color:#3897f0;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:550;line-height:18px”> View this post on Instagram<\/div><\/div><div style=”padding: 12.5% 0″><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: row;margin-bottom: 14px;align-items: center”><div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px;flex-grow: 0;margin-right: 14px;margin-left: 2px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”><\/div><\/div><div style=”margin-left: 8px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 20px;width: 20px”><\/div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 2px solid transparent;border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4;border-bottom: 2px solid transparent”><\/div><\/div><div style=”margin-left: auto”> <div style=”width: 0px;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-right: 8px solid transparent”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;flex-grow: 0;height: 12px;width: 16px”><\/div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-left: 8px solid transparent”><\/div><\/div><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center;margin-bottom: 24px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 224px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 144px”><\/div><\/div><\/a><p style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:17px;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:8px;overflow:hidden;padding:8px 0 7px;text-align:center”><a href=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/CRE-KOEjdaS\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;line-height:17px;text-decoration:none” target=”_blank”>A post shared by Nate Diaz (@natediaz209)<\/a><\/p><\/div><\/blockquote> “,”hedPotential Match-Up #3: Nate Diaz</div>
Potential Match-Up #3: Nate Diaz

Last but not least is a man that all Conor fans and MMA fans are familiar with. None other than Nathan Diaz.

This is a fight that Dana has even acknowledged the UFC could go back to at any point in time, but with the two both coming off of a pair of losses, it makes perfect sense right now. It’s a massive trilogy fight for the UFC to sell, and it’s winnable for both men. For Conor specifically, the sense of danger is there to spectators because we’ve all seen what Nate can do to Conor, so a win here gives him some momentum moving forward.

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Sports Strength

Conor McGregor’s Injury Explained

In UFC 264’s main event, Conor McGregor broke his ankle during his fight with Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier. This fight brought up more questions than answers due to the anti-climactic end of the match: What caused the break? Can he come back from such a gruesome injury? Some of these questions have already been answered by McGregor and his team. However, the question of McGregor’s return to MMA may not be answered for a long time.

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Firstly, the cause of the break is still debated. Some believe that McGregor broke his leg in the last 10 seconds of the fight when he threw a rear teep kick to Poirier’s midsection, which was partially blocked by Dustin’s elbow, causing the break of McGregor’s ankle. Others believe that the break was caused by a low-kick thrown by McGregor to the thigh of Poirier in the final 13 seconds of the fight—just before he threw the rear-teep kick.

Both scenarios could be what caused the break. However, recently McGregor and his team revealed that Conor already had an injured ankle going into the fight. On July 15th, McGregor shared a video on Instagram, after his successful surgery, where he stated:

“I was injured going into the fight. People are asking me when the leg was broken. At what point did the leg break? Ask Dana White, ask the UFC, ask Dr. Davidson, the head doctor of the UFC, they knew I had stress fractures in my leg going into that cage.”

<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-captioned data-instgrm-permalink=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/tv\/CRWcjgDpIjg\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” data-instgrm-version=”13″ style=”background:#FFF;border:0;border-radius:3px;margin: 1px;max-width:540px;min-width:326px;padding:0;width:99.375%”><div style=”padding:16px”> <a href=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/tv\/CRWcjgDpIjg\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”background:#FFFFFF;line-height:0;padding:0 0;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;width:100%” target=”_blank”> <div style=”flex-direction: row;align-items: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 40px;margin-right: 14px;width: 40px”><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 100px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 60px”><\/div><\/div><\/div><div style=”padding: 19% 0″><\/div> <div style=”height:50px;margin:0 auto 12px;width:50px”><\/div><div style=”padding-top: 8px”> <div style=”color:#3897f0;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:550;line-height:18px”> View this post on Instagram<\/div><\/div><div style=”padding: 12.5% 0″><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: row;margin-bottom: 14px;align-items: center”><div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px;flex-grow: 0;margin-right: 14px;margin-left: 2px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”><\/div><\/div><div style=”margin-left: 8px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 20px;width: 20px”><\/div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 2px solid transparent;border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4;border-bottom: 2px solid transparent”><\/div><\/div><div style=”margin-left: auto”> <div style=”width: 0px;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-right: 8px solid transparent”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;flex-grow: 0;height: 12px;width: 16px”><\/div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-left: 8px solid transparent”><\/div><\/div><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center;margin-bottom: 24px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 224px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 144px”><\/div><\/div><\/a><p style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:17px;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:8px;overflow:hidden;padding:8px 0 7px;text-align:center”><a href=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/tv\/CRWcjgDpIjg\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;line-height:17px;text-decoration:none” target=”_blank”>A post shared by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma)<\/a><\/p><\/div><\/blockquote></div>

Clearly, from this, it can be understood that McGregor had a fractured leg going into the fight, potentially due to the kick-heavy training he implemented after his loss to Poirier in UFC 257 (January 24, 2021). In fact, after the first loss to Poirier, McGregor posted several videos on Twitter of him kicking the heavy bag, and predicted a head-kick KO, again emphasizing the kick-heavy training he had in preparation for the fight. In addition, in the Instagram video, McGregor also states that: “I was sparring with no shin-pads, and I kicked a knee a few times …” McGregor also mentions that he continued training even though his leg was hurt during his camp, and he recognizes the trouble he has had with his left leg over the years. For example, in his second fight with Nate Diaz in UFC 202 (August 16, 2016), McGregor left the cage in crutches due to the number of leg kicks landed not being checked.

In conclusion, all these micro-fractures to McGregor’s shin caused the break during the fight. So, it seems like the break did not happen due to a kick, or a (potentially) blocked teep-kick; it seems that the break was caused by an accumulation of kicks thrown in and outside of the cage, eventually leading to the break inside of the cage.

The real question here shouldn’t be why or what caused the break, it should be why this fight was not postponed if the UFC knew about the injury. Not only that, why did McGregor’s team let him fight in a compromised state? Hopefully, these questions will be answered in the coming days.

Finally, the big question is: can McGregor return from this injury the same? The answer to this question is just speculation at this point; however, if we look at McGregor’s history and how he returned from severe injuries, the future may be bright for McGregor and his fans. For instance, the last major injury McGregor has had (to our knowledge) was his ACL and MCL tear during his fight with Max Holloway in 2013. After a year lay-off due to his injury, McGregor came back to rally a five-fight win-streak that led to him becoming the UFC Featherweight Champion by defeating Jose Aldo in 13 seconds. Also, from his video on Instagram, we can see that he (McGregor) is in a positive state of mind and seems motivated, even though he will be out for a long time.

Regardless of how and when McGregor will make his return to the octagon, we wish him a speedy recovery, and a huge congratulations to Dustin Poirier on a spectacular win. 

Categories
Sports Strength

Anthony Smith Explains What “Lionheart” Is All About

One of the very cool things about combat sports is the different people that you will meet along the way. Some of those people are nice, and some aren’t so. I’m not the first person to say it, but I will gladly echo what other people have said for years:

Anthony Smith is one of the “good guys.”

<div class =”code”><iframe src=”https:\/\/open.spotify.com\/embed\/episode\/0HXg05m9ZqTQUSSyopqACZ” width=”100%” height=”232″ frameBorder=”0″><\/iframe></div>

Smith joined ‘In The Fight” during a live event for GCX (Gaming Community Expo). The event went incredible and ONE37pm raised $6,900 for St. Jude’s Children Hospital.

<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-captioned data-instgrm-permalink=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/CAJjtP5ppyi\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” data-instgrm-version=”13″ style=”background:#FFF;border:0;border-radius:3px;margin: 1px;max-width:540px;min-width:326px;padding:0;width:99.375%”><div style=”padding:16px”> <a href=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/CAJjtP5ppyi\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”background:#FFFFFF;line-height:0;padding:0 0;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;width:100%” target=”_blank”> <div style=”flex-direction: row;align-items: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 40px;margin-right: 14px;width: 40px”><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 100px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 60px”><\/div><\/div><\/div><div style=”padding: 19% 0″><\/div> <div style=”height:50px;margin:0 auto 12px;width:50px”><\/div><div style=”padding-top: 8px”> <div style=”color:#3897f0;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:550;line-height:18px”> View this post on Instagram<\/div><\/div><div style=”padding: 12.5% 0″><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: row;margin-bottom: 14px;align-items: center”><div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px;flex-grow: 0;margin-right: 14px;margin-left: 2px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”><\/div><\/div><div style=”margin-left: 8px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 20px;width: 20px”><\/div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 2px solid transparent;border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4;border-bottom: 2px solid transparent”><\/div><\/div><div style=”margin-left: auto”> <div style=”width: 0px;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-right: 8px solid transparent”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;flex-grow: 0;height: 12px;width: 16px”><\/div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-left: 8px solid transparent”><\/div><\/div><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center;margin-bottom: 24px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 224px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 144px”><\/div><\/div><\/a><p style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:17px;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:8px;overflow:hidden;padding:8px 0 7px;text-align:center”><a href=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/CAJjtP5ppyi\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;line-height:17px;text-decoration:none” target=”_blank”>A post shared by Anthony \u0026#034;Lionheart\u0026#034; Smith (@lionheartasmith)<\/a><\/p><\/div><\/blockquote></div>

When “Lionheart” fights, he brings the action. He is notorious for action-packed scraps. He has 10 wins in the UFC and his last nine have all come by way of submission or TKO.

“For a while, I was the only fighter who fought in a major promotion who had 40 fights, who had never gone to a decision. On one hand, that’s cool. On the other, that means I get in fiery spots sometimes. I’ve never really chased a finish. I just put my foot on the gas and go.”

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/embed\/W3IRHZE1LWo” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen><\/iframe></div>

Smith has been in the game a long time. He’s seasoned. He has dealt with everything that comes with fighting, and that includes the media. So as a younger member of the media, I thought this would be a good opportunity to ask him about the questions that really bother him.

“The first one is, ‘I know you don’t want to give us a game plan, but what is your prediction?’ Like, I don’t know man. I’m just trying to win… that’s the fun. When the ref asks if I am ready… I don’t know. He is lighting a bomb in the middle of the cage and we have to go stand on it.”

<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-captioned data-instgrm-permalink=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/COF9Kf_pGrb\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” data-instgrm-version=”13″ style=”background:#FFF;border:0;border-radius:3px;margin: 1px;max-width:540px;min-width:326px;padding:0;width:99.375%”><div style=”padding:16px”> <a href=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/COF9Kf_pGrb\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”background:#FFFFFF;line-height:0;padding:0 0;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;width:100%” target=”_blank”> <div style=”flex-direction: row;align-items: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 40px;margin-right: 14px;width: 40px”><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 100px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 60px”><\/div><\/div><\/div><div style=”padding: 19% 0″><\/div> <div style=”height:50px;margin:0 auto 12px;width:50px”><\/div><div style=”padding-top: 8px”> <div style=”color:#3897f0;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:550;line-height:18px”> View this post on Instagram<\/div><\/div><div style=”padding: 12.5% 0″><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: row;margin-bottom: 14px;align-items: center”><div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px;flex-grow: 0;margin-right: 14px;margin-left: 2px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”><\/div><\/div><div style=”margin-left: 8px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 20px;width: 20px”><\/div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 2px solid transparent;border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4;border-bottom: 2px solid transparent”><\/div><\/div><div style=”margin-left: auto”> <div style=”width: 0px;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-right: 8px solid transparent”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;flex-grow: 0;height: 12px;width: 16px”><\/div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-left: 8px solid transparent”><\/div><\/div><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center;margin-bottom: 24px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 224px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 144px”><\/div><\/div><\/a><p style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:17px;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:8px;overflow:hidden;padding:8px 0 7px;text-align:center”><a href=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/COF9Kf_pGrb\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;line-height:17px;text-decoration:none” target=”_blank”>A post shared by Anthony \u0026#034;Lionheart\u0026#034; Smith (@lionheartasmith)<\/a><\/p><\/div><\/blockquote></div>

Smith is on a two-fight win streak and is scheduled to get back into the Octagon in September.

Categories
Sports Strength

Conor McGregor’s Next Fight, Everything We Know So Far

Earlier this year, Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier fought for the second time, and the result was just as insane as the first. The first time around, Conor needed just 106 seconds to dismantle Poirier, and in the rematch, which took place in January, Poirier put McGregor to sleep in the second round. Next month, the two will meet for the third time to finally settle the score. Before UFC 264 takes place, here’s everything you need to know.

<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-permalink=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/CPOzqaHpVEI\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” data-instgrm-version=”13″ style=”background:#FFF;border:0;border-radius:3px;margin: 1px;max-width:540px;min-width:326px;padding:0;width:99.375%”><div style=”padding:16px”> <a href=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/CPOzqaHpVEI\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”background:#FFFFFF;line-height:0;padding:0 0;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;width:100%” target=”_blank”> <div style=”flex-direction: row;align-items: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 40px;margin-right: 14px;width: 40px”><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 100px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 60px”><\/div><\/div><\/div><div style=”padding: 19% 0″><\/div> <div style=”height:50px;margin:0 auto 12px;width:50px”><\/div><div style=”padding-top: 8px”> <div style=”color:#3897f0;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:550;line-height:18px”> View this post on Instagram<\/div><\/div><div style=”padding: 12.5% 0″><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: row;margin-bottom: 14px;align-items: center”><div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px;flex-grow: 0;margin-right: 14px;margin-left: 2px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”><\/div><\/div><div style=”margin-left: 8px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 20px;width: 20px”><\/div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 2px solid transparent;border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4;border-bottom: 2px solid transparent”><\/div><\/div><div style=”margin-left: auto”> <div style=”width: 0px;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-right: 8px solid transparent”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;flex-grow: 0;height: 12px;width: 16px”><\/div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-left: 8px solid transparent”><\/div><\/div><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center;margin-bottom: 24px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 224px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 144px”><\/div><\/div><\/a><p style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:17px;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:8px;overflow:hidden;padding:8px 0 7px;text-align:center”><a href=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/CPOzqaHpVEI\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;line-height:17px;text-decoration:none” target=”_blank”>A post shared by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma)<\/a><\/p><\/div><\/blockquote> “,”hedDate \u0026amp; Time</div>
Date & Time

The fight will take place at UFC 264 on July 10th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. As with most UFC PPVs, the main card will start at 10 PM EST, which means Conor and Dustin will likely fight a little bit before midnight. You can watch it on ESPN.

<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-permalink=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/CMoodcqpdWQ\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” data-instgrm-version=”13″ style=”background:#FFF;border:0;border-radius:3px;margin: 1px;max-width:540px;min-width:326px;padding:0;width:99.375%”><div style=”padding:16px”> <a href=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/CMoodcqpdWQ\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”background:#FFFFFF;line-height:0;padding:0 0;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;width:100%” target=”_blank”> <div style=”flex-direction: row;align-items: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 40px;margin-right: 14px;width: 40px”><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 100px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 60px”><\/div><\/div><\/div><div style=”padding: 19% 0″><\/div> <div style=”height:50px;margin:0 auto 12px;width:50px”><\/div><div style=”padding-top: 8px”> <div style=”color:#3897f0;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:550;line-height:18px”> View this post on Instagram<\/div><\/div><div style=”padding: 12.5% 0″><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: row;margin-bottom: 14px;align-items: center”><div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px;flex-grow: 0;margin-right: 14px;margin-left: 2px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”><\/div><\/div><div style=”margin-left: 8px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 20px;width: 20px”><\/div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 2px solid transparent;border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4;border-bottom: 2px solid transparent”><\/div><\/div><div style=”margin-left: auto”> <div style=”width: 0px;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-right: 8px solid transparent”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;flex-grow: 0;height: 12px;width: 16px”><\/div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-left: 8px solid transparent”><\/div><\/div><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center;margin-bottom: 24px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 224px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 144px”><\/div><\/div><\/a><p style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:17px;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:8px;overflow:hidden;padding:8px 0 7px;text-align:center”><a href=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/CMoodcqpdWQ\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;line-height:17px;text-decoration:none” target=”_blank”>A post shared by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma)<\/a><\/p><\/div><\/blockquote> “,”hedHow To Purchase Tickets</div>
How To Purchase Tickets

This is a Conor McGregor fight in Las Vegas in the summer right after fans have been deprived of that sort of environment, so naturally, ticket prices are a fortune. The prices range from $500 to $10,000 and of course, they’re going very quickly. You can get tickets here at AXS.

<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-permalink=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/CLZL6XPpGgo\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” data-instgrm-version=”13″ style=”background:#FFF;border:0;border-radius:3px;margin: 1px;max-width:540px;min-width:326px;padding:0;width:99.375%”><div style=”padding:16px”> <a href=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/CLZL6XPpGgo\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”background:#FFFFFF;line-height:0;padding:0 0;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;width:100%” target=”_blank”> <div style=”flex-direction: row;align-items: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 40px;margin-right: 14px;width: 40px”><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 100px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 60px”><\/div><\/div><\/div><div style=”padding: 19% 0″><\/div> <div style=”height:50px;margin:0 auto 12px;width:50px”><\/div><div style=”padding-top: 8px”> <div style=”color:#3897f0;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:550;line-height:18px”> View this post on Instagram<\/div><\/div><div style=”padding: 12.5% 0″><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: row;margin-bottom: 14px;align-items: center”><div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px;flex-grow: 0;margin-right: 14px;margin-left: 2px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”><\/div><\/div><div style=”margin-left: 8px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 20px;width: 20px”><\/div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 2px solid transparent;border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4;border-bottom: 2px solid transparent”><\/div><\/div><div style=”margin-left: auto”> <div style=”width: 0px;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-right: 8px solid transparent”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;flex-grow: 0;height: 12px;width: 16px”><\/div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-left: 8px solid transparent”><\/div><\/div><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center;margin-bottom: 24px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 224px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 144px”><\/div><\/div><\/a><p style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:17px;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:8px;overflow:hidden;padding:8px 0 7px;text-align:center”><a href=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/CLZL6XPpGgo\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;line-height:17px;text-decoration:none” target=”_blank”>A post shared by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma)<\/a><\/p><\/div><\/blockquote> “,”hedHow Conor McGregor Is Preparing</div>
How Conor McGregor Is Preparing

The story of the rematch is that Conor McGregor came in only worrying about boxing because his large plans included a fight with Manny Pacquiao next. For this reason, the wrestling and leg kicks caught him off guard and were a big part of why he got finished. In his own words, “a little single disciplined in my approach and stance with mostly boxing.” However, framing things this way isn’t fair to Dustin Poirier even if it’s true. That’s why it’s so great that we’re getting the trilogy fight, so everything can be settled.

Don’t be fooled by Conor’s “shooting ass shelling ass bitch” and “little bitch kicks from a shell” comments from Twitter a few months ago. It’s important to remember that coming into his rematch with Nate Diaz, leg kicks were a big part of his game. Through all of his vintage trash talk, even though it doesn’t always seem like it, Conor McGregor undoubtedly respects all aspects of mixed martial arts and will use any and every tool he needs to take the win in July.

Considering how compromised Conor’s front leg was in their first fight, properly defending against Poirier’s leg kicks will be key. It’s very likely that Dustin will test Conor’s defense in the opening minutes of the fight. When Dustin appeared on Teddy Atlas’ podcast last month, Teddy gave him the tip of feinting the leg kick and getting a big reaction from Conor, who’ll be overly cautious about them too, so this is going to be a chess game from every aspect.

In terms of his own offense, McGregor did have success with boxing early on in the fight. His timing and accuracy are still some of the best we’ve ever seen in the sport. A change that Conor could make for this third fight that could be crucial is making kicks a bigger part of his attack, although his gas tank likely can’t support a kick-heavy attack for anything close to 25 minutes.

That’s what to look out for in terms of physical changes within the fight, but it’s worth noting that we could see a different attitude from Conor next month too. In February, Conor made a point of going to both Twitter and Instagram to post “No more Mr. nice guy,” potentially pointing to his friendly nature going into the rematch and how it could have affected his mentality. The lead-up to this fight has already been meaner than the first, with the tweets the two traded a few months ago.

<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-permalink=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/CKWrM4DJPRp\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” data-instgrm-version=”13″ style=”background:#FFF;border:0;border-radius:3px;margin: 1px;max-width:540px;min-width:326px;padding:0;width:99.375%”><div style=”padding:16px”> <a href=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/CKWrM4DJPRp\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”background:#FFFFFF;line-height:0;padding:0 0;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;width:100%” target=”_blank”> <div style=”flex-direction: row;align-items: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 40px;margin-right: 14px;width: 40px”><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 100px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 60px”><\/div><\/div><\/div><div style=”padding: 19% 0″><\/div> <div style=”height:50px;margin:0 auto 12px;width:50px”><\/div><div style=”padding-top: 8px”> <div style=”color:#3897f0;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:550;line-height:18px”> View this post on Instagram<\/div><\/div><div style=”padding: 12.5% 0″><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: row;margin-bottom: 14px;align-items: center”><div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px;flex-grow: 0;margin-right: 14px;margin-left: 2px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”><\/div><\/div><div style=”margin-left: 8px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 20px;width: 20px”><\/div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 2px solid transparent;border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4;border-bottom: 2px solid transparent”><\/div><\/div><div style=”margin-left: auto”> <div style=”width: 0px;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-right: 8px solid transparent”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;flex-grow: 0;height: 12px;width: 16px”><\/div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-left: 8px solid transparent”><\/div><\/div><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center;margin-bottom: 24px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 224px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 144px”><\/div><\/div><\/a><p style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:17px;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:8px;overflow:hidden;padding:8px 0 7px;text-align:center”><a href=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/CKWrM4DJPRp\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;line-height:17px;text-decoration:none” target=”_blank”>A post shared by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma)<\/a><\/p><\/div><\/blockquote> “,”hedHow Much Conor McGregor Is Getting Paid</div>
How Much Conor McGregor Is Getting Paid

It’s tough to say how much Conor will be paid until after the estimated numbers come out after the fight, but we can make an educated guess based on his past purses. For his last few fights before the second Poirier fight, Conor was getting a base pay of $3 million, but for the rematch at UFC 257, he was guaranteed $5 million. It’s probably safe to assume that the Irishman will make either the same or slightly less for this bout, considering he’s coming in off of a loss.

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Grind Money

What Is Nate Diaz’s Net Worth?

There have been a lot of conversations about fighter pay in MMA in the past couple of years, spearheaded by fighters like Jon Jones and Jorge Masvidal at times. In the past week or two, Paulo Costa and current UFC Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou have commented on the difference in their purses to that of Logan Paul in his recent fight against Floyd Mayweather. When Nate Diaz was asked about Ngannou’s “what are we doing wrong?” comment, his response was, “what is he doing wrong?… I’ve been doing more right than all these motherfuckers for years and years. They should have been spitting all that ‘I need money’ shit a long time ago like I was… and what happened? The stock just raised anyway.” He’s not lying. Today, Nate Diaz boasts an estimated net worth of approximately $8 million.

<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-permalink=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/CPlxxQwjoqt\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” data-instgrm-version=”13″ style=”background:#FFF;border:0;border-radius:3px;margin: 1px;max-width:540px;min-width:326px;padding:0;width:99.375%”><div style=”padding:16px”> <a href=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/CPlxxQwjoqt\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”background:#FFFFFF;line-height:0;padding:0 0;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;width:100%” target=”_blank”> <div style=”flex-direction: row;align-items: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 40px;margin-right: 14px;width: 40px”><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 100px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 60px”><\/div><\/div><\/div><div style=”padding: 19% 0″><\/div> <div style=”height:50px;margin:0 auto 12px;width:50px”><\/div><div style=”padding-top: 8px”> <div style=”color:#3897f0;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:550;line-height:18px”> View this post on Instagram<\/div><\/div><div style=”padding: 12.5% 0″><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: row;margin-bottom: 14px;align-items: center”><div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px;flex-grow: 0;margin-right: 14px;margin-left: 2px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”><\/div><\/div><div style=”margin-left: 8px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 20px;width: 20px”><\/div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 2px solid transparent;border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4;border-bottom: 2px solid transparent”><\/div><\/div><div style=”margin-left: auto”> <div style=”width: 0px;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-right: 8px solid transparent”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;flex-grow: 0;height: 12px;width: 16px”><\/div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-left: 8px solid transparent”><\/div><\/div><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center;margin-bottom: 24px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 224px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 144px”><\/div><\/div><\/a><p style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:17px;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:8px;overflow:hidden;padding:8px 0 7px;text-align:center”><a href=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/CPlxxQwjoqt\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;line-height:17px;text-decoration:none” target=”_blank”>A post shared by Nate Diaz (@natediaz209)<\/a><\/p><\/div><\/blockquote> “,”hedFight Earnings</div>
Fight Earnings

But of course, it wasn’t always that way.

Diaz first debuted in the UFC on the TUF 5 Finale, fighting Manvel Gamburyan. He was given a check for just $16,000. If he had lost the fight, he would have made just $8,000 before taxes and paying coaches. A couple of fights later when he stepped into the octagon against Alvin Robinson, he had graduated to a $15k/$15k contract. He won the fight but also earned a bonus for Submission of the Night, which bagged him an extra $40k, totaling $70k for that fight.

The first time that Nate earned six figures in a fight was just over three years into his UFC career. It was at UFC 118 which was headlined by Frankie Edgar and B.J. Penn’s second scrap. The younger Diaz brother tapped Marcus Davis in round three, earning his $30k show money, $30k win bonus, and a $60k Fight of the Night bonus. Over the next few years, while he traded wins and losses, Diaz’s purses would fluctuate massively. In 2012 when he beat Jim Miller, Nate pocketed $147k but just under a year later after he was stopped by Josh Thompson, Nate made just $15k. That’s even less than his debut. This is just one of the issues that people have with the UFC’s show money/win bonus structure, it means that fighters get punished for losing in a sport where losing is far more acceptable than boxing, for example.

<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-permalink=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/BCO_T7OOPrQ\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” data-instgrm-version=”13″ style=”background:#FFF;border:0;border-radius:3px;margin: 1px;max-width:540px;min-width:326px;padding:0;width:99.375%”><div style=”padding:16px”> <a href=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/BCO_T7OOPrQ\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”background:#FFFFFF;line-height:0;padding:0 0;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;width:100%” target=”_blank”> <div style=”flex-direction: row;align-items: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 40px;margin-right: 14px;width: 40px”><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 100px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 60px”><\/div><\/div><\/div><div style=”padding: 19% 0″><\/div> <div style=”height:50px;margin:0 auto 12px;width:50px”><\/div><div style=”padding-top: 8px”> <div style=”color:#3897f0;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:550;line-height:18px”> View this post on Instagram<\/div><\/div><div style=”padding: 12.5% 0″><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: row;margin-bottom: 14px;align-items: center”><div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px;flex-grow: 0;margin-right: 14px;margin-left: 2px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”><\/div><\/div><div style=”margin-left: 8px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 20px;width: 20px”><\/div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 2px solid transparent;border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4;border-bottom: 2px solid transparent”><\/div><\/div><div style=”margin-left: auto”> <div style=”width: 0px;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-right: 8px solid transparent”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;flex-grow: 0;height: 12px;width: 16px”><\/div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-left: 8px solid transparent”><\/div><\/div><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center;margin-bottom: 24px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 224px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 144px”><\/div><\/div><\/a><p style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:17px;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:8px;overflow:hidden;padding:8px 0 7px;text-align:center”><a href=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/BCO_T7OOPrQ\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;line-height:17px;text-decoration:none” target=”_blank”>A post shared by Nate Diaz (@natediaz209)<\/a><\/p><\/div><\/blockquote> “,”hedHow Much Did Nate Diaz Make Fighting Conor McGregor?</div>
How Much Did Nate Diaz Make Fighting Conor McGregor?

When Nate Diaz filled in for Rafael dos Anjos against Conor McGregor, his purse for it versus up to that point were night and day. For the short notice fight against the then-Featherweight Champion and undefeated (in the UFC) Irishman, for the first time in his career, Nate made a flat fee of $500k. On top of that, his two bonuses for Fight of the Night and Performance of the Night earned him $50k each and Reebok paid him $20k. That’s $620k in total, a massive rise from his previous years with the company. That doesn’t include the PPV points that he might have gotten either. Now, with a win over the company’s biggest star, the ball was in his court.

Nate earned himself a flat fee of a whopping $2 million for the rematch five months later, easily his biggest purse to date. The FOTN bonus and his Reebok sponsorship made him $70k on top, and with PPV points included, he undoubtedly made an extra few million too. Nate’s total career earnings from his UFC fight purses add up to nearly $5 million.

<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-permalink=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/BTr5lOijQeX\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” data-instgrm-version=”13″ style=”background:#FFF;border:0;border-radius:3px;margin: 1px;max-width:540px;min-width:326px;padding:0;width:99.375%”><div style=”padding:16px”> <a href=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/BTr5lOijQeX\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”background:#FFFFFF;line-height:0;padding:0 0;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;width:100%” target=”_blank”> <div style=”flex-direction: row;align-items: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 40px;margin-right: 14px;width: 40px”><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 100px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 60px”><\/div><\/div><\/div><div style=”padding: 19% 0″><\/div> <div style=”height:50px;margin:0 auto 12px;width:50px”><\/div><div style=”padding-top: 8px”> <div style=”color:#3897f0;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:550;line-height:18px”> View this post on Instagram<\/div><\/div><div style=”padding: 12.5% 0″><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: row;margin-bottom: 14px;align-items: center”><div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px;flex-grow: 0;margin-right: 14px;margin-left: 2px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”><\/div><\/div><div style=”margin-left: 8px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 20px;width: 20px”><\/div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 2px solid transparent;border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4;border-bottom: 2px solid transparent”><\/div><\/div><div style=”margin-left: auto”> <div style=”width: 0px;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-right: 8px solid transparent”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;flex-grow: 0;height: 12px;width: 16px”><\/div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-left: 8px solid transparent”><\/div><\/div><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center;margin-bottom: 24px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 224px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 144px”><\/div><\/div><\/a><p style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:17px;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:8px;overflow:hidden;padding:8px 0 7px;text-align:center”><a href=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/BTr5lOijQeX\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;line-height:17px;text-decoration:none” target=”_blank”>A post shared by Nate Diaz (@natediaz209)<\/a><\/p><\/div><\/blockquote> “,”hedEndorsements \u0026amp; Ventures</div>
Endorsements & Ventures

In terms of endorsements, Nate Diaz has been with some brands that are close to him. He’s had deals with Represent Ltd and Lodi Vintners. There’s also Game Up Nutrition, which is a CBD brand founded by Nate and his older brother Nick. They offer organic hemp-based products which match up with the disciplined lifestyle they both live.

<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-permalink=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/CPpWribDU0R\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” data-instgrm-version=”13″ style=”background:#FFF;border:0;border-radius:3px;margin: 1px;max-width:540px;min-width:326px;padding:0;width:99.375%”><div style=”padding:16px”> <a href=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/CPpWribDU0R\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”background:#FFFFFF;line-height:0;padding:0 0;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;width:100%” target=”_blank”> <div style=”flex-direction: row;align-items: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 40px;margin-right: 14px;width: 40px”><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 100px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 60px”><\/div><\/div><\/div><div style=”padding: 19% 0″><\/div> <div style=”height:50px;margin:0 auto 12px;width:50px”><\/div><div style=”padding-top: 8px”> <div style=”color:#3897f0;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:550;line-height:18px”> View this post on Instagram<\/div><\/div><div style=”padding: 12.5% 0″><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: row;margin-bottom: 14px;align-items: center”><div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px;flex-grow: 0;margin-right: 14px;margin-left: 2px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”><\/div><\/div><div style=”margin-left: 8px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 20px;width: 20px”><\/div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 2px solid transparent;border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4;border-bottom: 2px solid transparent”><\/div><\/div><div style=”margin-left: auto”> <div style=”width: 0px;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-right: 8px solid transparent”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;flex-grow: 0;height: 12px;width: 16px”><\/div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-left: 8px solid transparent”><\/div><\/div><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center;margin-bottom: 24px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 224px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 144px”><\/div><\/div><\/a><p style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:17px;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:8px;overflow:hidden;padding:8px 0 7px;text-align:center”><a href=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/CPpWribDU0R\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;line-height:17px;text-decoration:none” target=”_blank”>A post shared by Nate Diaz (@natediaz209)<\/a><\/p><\/div><\/blockquote> “,”hedNext Fight</div>
Next Fight

Nate’s next fight takes place this Saturday at UFC 263, live from the Gila River Arena in Glendale, AZ. He fights Leon Edwards at 170lbs, by all accounts a very tough fight for him. There’s no word yet on what his purse could be, but in terms of the matchup, Edwards is on a big win streak and is one win away from challenging the dominant champion, Kamaru Usman. Nate is coming off of the loss to Jorge Masvidal in late 2019.

Interestingly, this fight is already historic long before it takes place. It’s the first UFC fight ever that is scheduled for 5 rounds despite not being the main event or a title fight. Some would argue that this suits Diaz and the way he weaponizes his cardio, but perhaps it only gives the Birmingham fighter more time to impose his own will. Only time will tell.