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UFC 230 Fighters Pick Who They Want Traded Next

The mixed martial arts (MMA) world was in a buzz last month when Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) dealt pound-for-pound legend Demetrious Johnson to ONE Championship for undefeated welterweight Ben Askren.

The historic trade opened up the MMA community to unlimited possibilities. If a fighter as decorated and dominant as “Mighty Mouse” could be traded away from UFC then what other talent swaps could be in the pipeline.

While the Johnson-Askren deal is truly the first of its kind, it could open the door to future trades of epic proportions. But who could be next? Which fighters hold the most value?

Some of UFC 230’s finest, who are scheduled to fight later tonight (Sat., Nov. 3, 2018) in New York City, recently discussed some names that should be on the MMA trading block (courtesy of MMA Fighting).

ALJAMAIN STERLING

“You know what, I like a lot of guys, I don’t want to give anyone the boot. But let’s bring in Darrion Caldwell [from Bellator]. And let’s get rid of John Dodson. Get the f*ck out of here …get him the f*ck out.”

DAVID BRANCH

“I know that I wish Gegard Mousasi was here. He’s somebody I respect a lot, and actually somebody I’ll be training with in the near future.”

DERRICK LEWIS

“The thing about it is I don’t even watch martial arts. Who should be traded out of the UFC? Let’s get rid of Francis [Ngannou]. Him and [Curtis] Blaydes.”

ISRAEL ADESANYA

“If I beat this guy [Derek Brunson], trade him for Gegard Mousasi. [Mousasi]’s a middleweight champ of the world right now, so yeah, I want to fight him. Because he was in the UFC, so yeah, trade [Brunson] for Gegard Mousasi because I want to beat him as well.”

JACARE SOUZA

“I don’t know what to say, but I wish Mousasi wouldn’t have left the UFC, so I’ll say Mousasi.”

JARED CANNONIER

“If I had to choose somebody, not too many people are fans of Colby Covington, you know, with his antics. So, we’ll trade him out. And let’s bring back Benson Henderson, and give him the biggest contract in the world, the best contract. Let’s bring back ‘Smooth’ Henderson.”

JASON KNIGHT

“If I could trade somebody, get rid of Conor McGregor. Don’t get me wrong, I love watching the guy fight, he has an awesome skill set, but I am so tired of hearing his f*cking mouth. Forgive me, I’m not trying to hate on the guy, but man — I cannot stand of just listening to this guy all the time. Get rid of him, and I don’t give a shit who you bring in. Bring in anybody. Bring in Marcus Sursa.* Get rid of Conor McGregor and bring in Marcus Sursa.”

(*Sursa is a training partner of Knight’s)

ROXANNE MODAFFERI

“I didn’t even know trades could happen. I would like to see Ayaka Hamasaki in the UFC. She’s one of my Japanese fighter friends, and I think she’s in Rizin. I don’t know who I’d trade honestly, but I think Tom Lawlor should fight in Japan.”

SIJARA EUBANKS

“I don’t have anybody to kick out, but I would trade for Fedor. Fedor’s the king, and he’s never fought in the UFC. Bring Fedor in. I would trade two or three guys to bring Fedor in. Is Angela Magana fired yet? We could trade her. We could kick her out.”

KARL ROBERSON

“Man, I don’t want to trade anybody out of the UFC, they’ve worked so hard to get in. Anybody who’s not really working. If you out here just talking, messing with Instagram, so Colby Covington. He’s kind of annoying. Some people won’t touch that because he talks a lot of shit, but I don’t care. He’s a little annoying, but I see what he’s doing, so I let him be. He is who he is. But trading into the UFC, anybody I say would be a friend. So I’d bring in my boy Phil Caracappa, he’s Ring of Combat. Stephen Regman, he’s a welterweight. And my boy ‘Shorty.’”

When asked who Shorty was, and if Shorty had a last name, Roberson faltered.

“Shorty, my bad, I don’t know your last name bro.”

MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 230 fight card on fight night (click here), starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:15 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.

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Manager: UFC Champ Khabib Nurmagomedov Seeking At Least $50 Milllion for Next Bout

Khabib Nurmagomedov just beat the biggest star in mixed martial arts, and now, it appears as though he wants to be compensated accordingly.
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Demetrious Johnson Excited for Next Phase of Career as ‘True Martial Artist’ in One

Demetrious Johnson has always fancied himself as a true martial artist.
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Lyoto Machida Wants Gegard Mousasi Next After Bout With Rafael Carvalho

Fresh off his triumph at Bellator 206, middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi has called for a rematch against one of Bellator MMA’s newest acquisitions in Lyoto Machida.
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Stephen Thompson Eyeing Fight With Robbie Lawler Early Next Year

Fans will have to wait to see the next title fight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight division after the champ Tyron Woodley was forced to withdraw from his fight with Colby Covington due to a thumb injury he suffered in his win over Darren Till. However, there could be another high profile welterweight bout joining them in early 2019 between former champion and knockout artist Robbie Lawler and two-time title challenger Stephen Thompson.
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Santos Enjoying Time At 205, Wants Manuwa Next

Light heavyweight may have just gained another dangerous member.

Thiago “Marreta” Santos has contested his entire UFC career at 185 pounds … right up until accepting a late replacement fight in Sao Paulo at 205 pounds. Initially against Jimi Manuwa, he ended up facing Eryk Anders … and defeating him in impressive fashion (watch it here). Now it sounds like he’s considering an extended stay at light heavyweight, and perhaps even making it his new home.

“I can make 185. That’s a fact,” Santos said at the post fight press conference (translated by MMA Fighting). “I’m coming off three fights at 185. The problem is the recovery. I don’t get back to 100 percent. So what’s important is my health. Regardless of fighting someone like Jon Jones’ size or Alexander Gustafsson. But if I’m healthy, it’s going to be a war for them.”

But first things first: Santos wants what he originally agreed to: a bout with British slugger Jimi Manuwa.

“I hope that he recovers well,” Santos said. “I hope to meet with him in December so we can fulfil the contract that we signed. I want to fight at 205 against a guy that’s bigger than me like Manuwa so I can feel the pressure from a heavier guy. To see if I get punched by that guy and I change my mind and go back to 185 or step up. So, we’ll see.”

Santos is just the latest fighter to make his mark at 205 after struggling to get noticed at 185. Anthony Smith exploded into the light heavyweight rankings after a single win over “Shogun” Rua and is now set to face #2 ranked Volkan Oezdemir at the end of October. If Santos gets his hands on Manuwa, he may find himself at the top of the light heavyweight division, which seems better than sitting outside of the top ten at middleweight.

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Kamaru Usman Unfazed by Dana White’s Comments That Covington Will Fight Woodley Next

One might think Kamaru Usman would have an issue after hearing Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White announce that outspoken former interim champion Colby Covington would be next to challenge for Tyron Woodley’s welterweight belt, but he professes not to be bothered by the news.
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Zabit Doesn’t Feel Pressure Ahead Of UFC 228, Eyes Aldo Or Mendes next

Streaking featherweight prospect Zabit Magomedsharipov is quickly becoming one of the most promising young contenders in UFC today.

The super-skilled Russian fighter has produced a 3-0 record since entering the promotion last year, while displaying outright dominance inside of the Octagon. While Magomedsharipov was expecting to fight featherweight contender Yair Rodriguez later this evening (Sat., Sept. 8, 2018) at UFC 228 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from inside American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, an injury forced “El Pantera” out of action and veteran Brandon Davis stepped in on short notice.

With the late change, “ZaBeast” now enters his UFC 228 main card clash with Davis as a ridiculous -1175 favorite. It’s a dangerous spot with limited upside for Magomedsharipov, but the 27-year-old remains confident across the board as he tries to cash in on his growing potential.

“It doesn’t pressure me at all,” Magomedsharipov told MMAjunkie ahead of UFC 228. “Actually that’s my goal, to be here, to get the title, the championship. It’s cool. It’s nothing that pressures me. That’s how it’s supposed to be.

“I’m this kind of person since I was a kid. I’m quiet, not emotional. I never expose my emotions that much. But all this attention and people recognizing me, that people start talking to me, it’s OK. I’m pleased with that. I’m OK with that. I’m cool.”

As far as Rodriguez goes, Magomedsharipov holds no hard feelings. He understands that it was a fight combat fans were drooling over, but also feels for his injured featherweight counterpart.

“Of course I was frustrated,” Magomedsharipov said. “It was sad to hear that he got injured. Many people were waiting for this fight. I was getting ready for this fight, I was calling for this fight, but it’s a part of the game. You cannot judge him. No one is protected from injuries. I can be injured tomorrow. He’s injured, and I only wish him the best and that he’s back as soon as possible, and maybe we can finish the history.”

A victory over Davis this weekend at UFC 228 will push Magomedsharipov’s promotional record to 4-0. That sort of success usually leads to a big step up in competition. While Zabit would be open to re-booking a bout with Rodriguez he also has his sights set on two of the biggest names in the 145-pound division.

“If everything goes fortunate Saturday night and I’ll do my best, if Yair is not coming back, I know that Chad Mendes is back,” Magomedsharipov said. “He’s one of the guys I wish to fight with, or Jose Aldo. I want to fight someone in the top three of the division.”

If Magomedsharipov is able to walk through Davis in fashion there’s no arguing that he deserves a top-flight featherweight contender. At that point, we’ll find out how far Zabit can climb the divisional ladder.

MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 228 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:15 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on FX at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.

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Exclusive: Attorney Dmitriy Shakhnevich Weighs-In on Conor McGregor’s Next Court Appearance

(This post originally appeared on MMAFrenzy.)

Conor McGregor is expected back in court this Thursday, in connection with the charges that he’s facing, as a result of what transpired at UFC 223’s media day this past April. MMA Frenzy recently corresponded with criminal defense attorney and “The Fight Lawyer” podcast host, Dmitriy Shakhnevich, to get a sense of what could happen July 26th.

McGregor has been charged with three counts of assault and one count of criminal mischief, following the now infamous incident in April. 

In bold is the questions we sent Shakhnevich, and the attorney’s response follows.

The general expectation has been that McGregor’s legal team is negotiating a plea deal, and TMZ is reporting his team has reached an agreement in this respect. But, a spokesperson for McGregor has told MMA Fighting that reports about a “potential plea” are inaccurate.
So, what’s your take on this? Could it be that no deal has been reached yet? What do you think could happen next in McGregor’s case?
There’s certainly no requirement that a plea deal be entered Thursday. Perhaps it could take a bit longer. But it does look like, as I predicted, Conor will likely be entering a guilty plea in this case and avoiding jail time. In my view, there are three options here. Either (1) Conor will enter a plea to a misdemeanor (one of the lower offenses with which he’s charged), (2) it’ll be what’s called a “conditional plea,” or (3) he’ll be allowed to enter a plea to a straight “violation.”

With option (1), he’ll have to plead guilty to a misdemeanor, which is a crime in New York State and thus, be left with a criminal record for the rest of his life. A conditional plea, as per (2) above, means that he will likely plead guilty to a misdemeanor (crime) initially and then have to satisfy certain conditions, such as community service, course-taking (e.g., anger management) and the payment of fines and/or restitution. If he satisfies those conditions, then he can show proof of that to the Court and his case will be reduced to a non-criminal disposition (again, called a “violation,” of the law). But even with the first option (the straight misdemeanor), he will likely still have to satisfy certain conditions, as mentioned above. It’s also possible that he can enter a plea, as per (3) above, to a straight violation, meaning Conor will never have a criminal record at all. That would be the best option for him. But again, certain relatively demanding conditions would likely have to be satisfied in order for that plea to go through.

Another possible, though highly unlikely, option in my view, is that Conor’s case will be dismissed in some form or another, with the satisfaction of certain conditions. Again, that’s possible, but unlikely because his case/charges are too serious for that to be an option.

The most important thing here is to preserve his immigration status and ability to travel (because he needs that to make money), and all of those pleas would likely satisfy that requirement.

Importantly however, as part of either of the above, he will have to admit wrongdoing in one form or another. If he does that, that will expose him to civil liability. That means that if he is then sued civilly (for money), he will likely have to pay without question. That’s the way that the law works (admitting wrongdoing in a criminal case opens the floodgates if a civil case is commenced). While money may not be the first thing on his mind, it’s important that Conor and his team keep that in mind, which I’m sure they will.

What transpires on Thursday could have a significant impact on when McGregor fights next. The now former lightweight and featherweight champ hasn’t competed in the Octagon, since November, 2016, when he stopped Eddie Alvarez.

There’s been considerable speculation recently that the UFC is looking at having McGregor fight the new 155 champ, Khabib Nurmagomedov later this year. But UFC President Dana White has repeatedly said that they are waiting to see how McGregor’s aforementioned legal issue is resolved, before they proceed with targeting a date for his return,

McGregor’s court appearance will take place in Brooklyn, New York.

The post Exclusive: Attorney Dmitriy Shakhnevich Weighs-In on Conor McGregor’s Next Court Appearance appeared first on Caged Insider.

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Weidman, Gastelum Beef Over Who Gets Next UFC Title Shot

Now that UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker has gotten past Yoel Romero for the second time, the 185-pound class finally has some clarity.

Well, sort of.

The next shot at Whittaker’s middleweight title is ultimately down to two men. Either former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman gets another crack at gold or former welterweight contender Kelvin Gastelum makes good on his middleweight potential.

Leading the charge is Weidman, who recently declared himself the “most decorated guy in the division,” pointing out the fact that he beat Gastelum via submission when the two met back at UFC on FOX 25 last year.

Gastelum, who followed his first-round knockout victory over former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping with a split-decision win over Brazilian legend Ronaldo Souza this past May, took offense to Weidman’s comments. The former Ultimate Fighter winner believes he has done enough at 185 pounds to earn the next shot at Whittaker’s strap.

Gastelum took to Twitter earlier this week to plead his case and talk a little smack:

Never shy to speak his mind, Weidman returned the favor and pointed out the fact that he beat Gastelum head-to-head in his last Octagon appearance.

At this point, it’s difficult to determine which middleweight deserves the next shot at Whittaker, who is coming off a split-decision win over Romero at UFC 225.

Weidman, 33, is a former champion who holds victories over notable UFC greats like Anderson Silva, Vitor Belfort, and Lyoto Machida, but the New York native has lost three out of his last four.

Gastelum, 26, has compiled a 3-1, 1 NC record since joining the division back in 2016. And even though Weidman holds a win over him, Kelvin’s recent success inside of the cage warrants immediate title consideration.

What say you, Maniacs? Who deserves the next UFC middleweight title shot?

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