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After Demetrious Johnson was ‘traded’ to ONE Championship for Ben Askren, news quickly got out that the UFC was planning on folding it’s flyweight division. Dana had threatened this as a way to get leverage over Johnson in 2017, but eventually backed down. With Johnson’s exit though, the promotion had evidently seen enough of 125-lb. male fighters.
According to Johnson, the decision had been brewing for years, and it didn’t matter how entertaining he was as champion.
“I mean they were talking about closing it two years ago,” Johnson said recently. “It’s not the first time they’ve ever brought it up, you know? They were talking about closing when I was a champion, and I was like ‘okay, it is what it is…
“The UFC was planning on getting rid of flyweight division when I was the champion — finishing people, not taking people to decision, finishing people.”
One of the oddest moments in the broader story was a tweet by Conor McGregor that placed all the blame on ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong for the UFC’s decision.
You must now take all the 125lbers that have been let go, Chatri.
You talk all of this Martial Art and respect talk, yet your greed has directly cost more than half a fighting division it’s chance to earn income for their family.
Have respect @YODCHATRI.
Sign the division.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) November 8, 2018
This made no sense to anyone, least of all Demetrious Johnson, who pointed out that of any fighter, McGregor was the only one who might be able to do something about it.
“I don’t get where this logic comes behind that,” Johnson said. “What makes him think Chatri owes somebody something?”
“If he’s worried flyweights losing their jobs, I’m pretty sure he has a huge stake in the UFC company now,. I’m sure he can go to Dana, and be like Dana, ‘Keep these guys, these guys are fucking amazing. Let’s try to do this right. Let’s try to promote them.’ Facilitate a meeting of those who can [change things], with Proper Whiskey. ‘Let’s sit down and have a good talk.’ I’m sure he could come up with something if he really wanted to do it.”
“As I said, that’s Conor’s opinion of what he thinks should happen. This is a guy who just business, you know, the Barclay’s Center [thing], throwing the dolly in the bus, hurting multiple people. I truly think he doesn’t care. But that’s just my personal opinion.”
He’ll do fookin’ nothing to save the flyweights, as it turns out. Some of the released 125-pounders have been scooped up by ONE; others have landed in RIZIN. Hopefully they will be more appreciated on foreign soil than they were by fans and the UFC in the United States.
Prayers and good thoughts to Cub Swanson’s kids, who have been in the hospital all week.
Been in the hospital with the boys all weekend. King is a little worse than Saint but both are doing good. They just had trouble breathing and are on oxygen. Hopefully they will be released by the end of the week pic.twitter.com/IclhoyQo33
— Cub Swanson (@CubSwanson) December 3, 2018
Justin Scoggins practicing his karate combinations on the pads ahead of his RIZIN debut- practice makes permanent, as they say.
I found this incredibly funny for some reason- Robert Whittaker covers Kelvin Gastelum’s fist bump
— Dave Madden (@DaveMMAdden) December 3, 2018
Mark Hunt’s people all look like Mark Hunt. He’s not even close to the biggest guy there, either.
The creativity and culture in Tai Tuivasa and Mark Hunt’s walkouts was very cool.
— Dave Madden (@DaveMMAdden) December 2, 2018
You can’t believe everything you see on the internet, apparently. Who knew? Cub shot down this rumor quickly.
This is technically a martial art, right? No? Close enough.
Taking onion slicing to the next level. pic.twitter.com/qS8qgLrN7M
— First We Feast (@firstwefeast) December 2, 2018
Those who don’t like animal kills, skip this video from Eryk Anders in which an alligator gets got.
Sometimes all you need is a buddy who has your back.
This isn’t surprising. Shogun coming back from that first round was almost as miraculous as Tyson Fury getting up from Deontay Wilder’s killshot.
— Jacob Debets (@jacob_debets) December 2, 2018
Israel Adesanya doing a shoey and then getting scolded by his Mom was hilarious.
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@stylebender SHOEEEY #UFC231 #UFC232 #UFCFightNight #TUF28 #JonJones #MaxHolloway #DarrenTill #ConorMcGregor #Bellator #DanielCormier #khabibnurmagomedov #CrisCyborg #KhabibTime #Khabib #Sponsorship #MuayThai #TheUltimateFighter #TUF #MMA #BJJ #Boxing #JiuJitsu #Wrestling #Kickboxing #Karate #AndStill #AndNew Check out my video of Darren Till walking out to Sweet Caroline LINK IN BIO
You said there was no chance you were doing it!! @stylebender
— Alex Volkanovski (@alexvolkanovski) December 2, 2018
That look when you killed someone dead and they come back to life is priceless. One for the annals of boxing history.
— Sports News (@FIFAWCGoals) December 2, 2018
The scorecards were awful, though.
— Sheldan Keay (@SheldanKeay) December 2, 2018
I know Dana says a lot of stuff, but I believe him this time, fair or not.
Dana White confirmed tonight what Anderson Silva told me earlier this week. The UFC will grant Silva a title shot if he beats Israel Adesanya at UFC 234 in February.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) December 1, 2018
Is it just me or has Gunnar Nelson bulked up?
An all-time classic moment
just found this event and recorded a cleaner version. felt important pic.twitter.com/eSGUuv5KMv
— Jon Bois (@jon_bois) December 3, 2018
Only more entertaining shadow-boxer is Paulo Costa, in my opinion.
Slips. Rips. KO Clips.
Robocop is such a great fighter nickname.
The delayed reaction bodyshot: when you know it really hurt.
This one got scary for Adonis
— ZombieProphet (@GIFsZP) December 2, 2018
Look at this armbar outta nowhere!
Strap in because there was a lot of randomness over the weekend, starting with the big Neck Guy.
Add this to the vacation destinations I’ll never make it to.
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Apparently almost 1 in 10 Aussies believe #EastArnhemLand is a fantasy destination from a children’s book… ♂️ This is Lonely Beach, a very beautiful (and real!) place that you can explore on a tour with aboriginal-owned organisation @Lirrwi Tourism. They offer day and multi-day guided tours into the remote Yolngu Homelands, departing from #Nhulunbuy (#Gove) between April and October. You’ll get to see how the world’s oldest living culture still does things today – from traditional spear fishing to gathering of bush foods. East Arnhem Land is only a short flight from #Darwin or can be accessed via the Central Arnhem Road. Cheers for tagging #NTaustralia, @_markfitz! #SeeAustralia #TourismTopEnd #ArnhemLand
This Boeing fighter-bomber was too late to make it to WW2 but its engine was so powerful that the designers opted for two contra-rotating propeller blades to offset the torque.
I’m still on an obscure firearms kick, and Russia has a lot of them. Here’s an upside-down pistol so accurate they banned it in international competition shooting… and according to the internet, the designer was blind.