Tag Archive for Rematch
Holly Holm didn’t get the rematch she wanted. Instead, there’s a chance she gets the rematch the UFC wanted from her all along.
The UFC didn’t want Holm to fight again until Rousey returned to the Octagon, the safe and sure bet for a rematch that would be a promoter’s dream. Rousey not being able to come back until the end of this year and Holm preferring to stay active threw a monkey wrench into the UFC’s plan. So, Holm got her wish and defended the belt first against Miesha Tate at UFC 196 last month.
Tate, of course, had a monkey wrench of her own. She beat Holm by fifth-round submission to win the women’s bantamweight title. What is that saying about the best-laid plans?
From the jump, Holm wanted that rematch with Tate with the rationale that she had been beating Tate until “Cupcake” pulled off that stunning rear-naked choke in the final round. The UFC preferred Tate wait for Rousey to return setting up a third matchup between the two hated rivals.
Those plans went south as well when Tate said it was her desire to fight sooner than the end of the year. So, the UFC booked Tate to defend her title against Amanda Nunes at UFC 200 on July 9 in Las Vegas.
But what about Holm? That’s what she is wondering as well. No one is sure who wanted Nunes rather than a Holm rematch, thought the UFC and Tate are pointing fingers at each other. It doesn’t matter at this point, though. Nunes is the opponent and Holm is the odd woman out.
And that could leave Holm right back where this rollercoaster started: against Ronda Rousey. “The Preacher’s Daughter” told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour that she would not be surprised if the UFC waited to book her again until Rousey’s comeback in November or December.
“It’s very possible,” Holm said. “I don’t know what their real thinking is, but they’re obviously a successful business for a reason. They’re a successful promotion. They usually have their reasons behind everything.”
Holm still wants to fight Tate next for the belt, which is why she she’s rooting for Tate to beat Nunes in July. But it’ll be a while before Holm gets that fight, if she does. So she’s reassessing her options at the moment.
“I’ll be ready either way,” Holm said. “If I rematch with Ronda, I’m gonna train my butt off. If I rematch with Tate, I’m gonna train my butt off. If they give me one of the other top girls in the meantime, I’m gonna train my butt off.
“I feel like at this point, not having the rematch, which is what I really wanted, I kind of just changed my train of thought to just be open to whatever. I don’t want to be so focused on that that if something else comes my way that I don’t take advantage of the opportunity.”
If Tate does beat Nunes, she probably wouldn’t be ready to fight again until the fall at the earliest. Rousey will be back relatively around the same time. Holm doesn’t wait to wait, but at this point she’s resigned herself to it. A Holm-Rousey rematch is still one of the biggest fights the UFC can do — maybe the biggest? — even if there’s no title in play.
“Who knows?” Holm said. “Maybe they’ll put Ronda and I together and the winner of that goes for the belt.”
That very well could be the UFC’s current plan. Cat Zingano and Julianna Pena will fight at UFC 200 and the winner of that matchup would also have a case for a title shot against the Tate-Nunes winner. Things have heated up in the women’s bantamweight division in Rousey’s absence and her return will only push things to a boil.
Maybe the UFC will get Holm vs. Rousey 2 this year after all.
“And that could be it,” Holm said. “They could be waiting for that.”
LOS ANGELES — UFC president Dana White said Conor McGregor wanted his rematch against Nate Diaz to be at 170 pounds. McGregor’s coach John Kavanagh said McGregor wanted it at 155 pounds and the UFC asked for 170.
As it turns out, they were both right.
Audie Attar, McGregor’s manager, said McGregor initially asked for the fight with Diaz, which will headline UFC 200 on July 9 in Las Vegas, at 170 pounds — just like the first fight at UFC 196. Then, after listening to Kavanagh and the rest of his team, McGregor said at the last minute that he’d be willing to do it at 155, Attar explained.
“At the 11th hour, before we signed the bout agreement, [McGregor] said, ‘Look, I’m hearing everybody. If everybody wants to do 155, fine. Let’s do 155,’” Attar said Wednesday at a UFC 199 media day. … “The contract was already written at 170. And so, in Conor’s defense, he really didn’t give two sh*ts. He really wanted it at 170, because he wanted to prove he could beat him there.”
The UFC said the contract was already done and McGregor did not object — he just wanted to get the rematch hammered out, Attar said.
“Conor is his own CEO, but intelligently he listens to the people around him and then makes his own final decision,” Attar said. … “He was trying to accommodate and listen to everybody and be a team player to make this happen.”
And it will. McGregor, the UFC’s biggest financial draw, will get a chance to avenge his loss to Diaz at the biggest event in UFC history. Last month, Diaz choked McGregor out in the second round to stun the MMA world. Diaz was the bigger fighter and showed a chin of iron after getting hit hard with big McGregor punches in the first round. McGregor got tired and then hurt by Diaz punches. Once things got to the ground, it was over quickly.
McGregor, 27, is the UFC featherweight champion. He could have easily gone back down to 145 pounds and defended his belt there. At first glance, this rematch appears to be McGregor stubbornly wanting to avenge his only loss in the UFC. It’s not quite that way, though, according to Attar. At least not completely.
“For him, that loss in itself, because of how he was performing until it went the other way is yet again fueled by his own self-belief system, confidence and desire to want to continue to push the envelope with his athletic ability and his skills, no matter who is in front of him,” Attar said. “It happens to be the guy who beat him. He wants to put the same canvas up and paint a different picture for the audience to watch. And that’s what it’s all about, really.
“Economically, business-wise it makes sense as well. So you check all the boxes.”
UFC 196 pulled in a reported 1.5 million pay-per-view buys which would make it the top grossing UFC pay-per-view of all time and the second biggest in terms of buys. The rematch is sure to make big money as well. So, McGregor gets another massive payday in two years’ worth of massive paydays plus another go with Diaz.
“I think Conor has been very meticulous,” Attar said. “It’s been great. As a team, we’ve looked at everything. But it’s always been fueled by athletic competition and not only against someone, but against himself and it’s always been about that.”
Attar said that immediately after the loss to Diaz, McGregor got on his smartphone and watched the fight with Kavanagh on a loop. The managed estimated that McGregor watched and re-watched the fight “20 times” even before the press conference started.
“Obsessed,” Attar said. “Obsessed with it.”
That’s the word that keeps popping up with McGregor. White used it to describe how McGregor felt about fighting Diaz again at 170. That obsession ended up changing late in the game after talking with his team, but the fight will still be at welterweight.
As always seems to be the case, McGregor got what he wanted from the jump. Attar said Kavanagh and even the UFC asked him to do it at 155. It wasn’t until the contracts were already drawn up that McGregor backed off 170 and said he’d do it at lightweight. The promotion could have drawn up new paperwork, but McGregor didn’t even care enough to ask them. So, it’ll be 170 after all.
And that’s how it all went down, Attar said. Not what people might have speculated on the Internet.
“It was just people running away with their own inferences and interpretations of what may have happened,” Attar said. “It’s all bullsh*t.”
An injury has forced Cormier, the UFC light heavyweight champion, to withdraw from the fight, MMAFighting.com has confirmed via multiple sources. Cormier wasn’t available for comment when contacted by MMAFighting.com Friday night.
BJPenn.com first reported the news.
Cormier and Jones were scheduled to headline UFC 197 on April 23 in Las Vegas. It’s unclear at this time whether Jones, who hasn’t fought since UFC 182 in Jan. 2015, will remain on the card or when Cormier will be able to return to action. Demetrious Johnson vs. Henry Cejudo for the UFC flyweight title was the co-main event.
On Tuesday morning, Jones was arrested for violating his probation after receiving five traffic tickets last week. He was released from jail Thursday afternoon, and shortly thereafter the UFC announced that he would remain on the card. That was before the organization found out that Cormier would not be able to compete on the card.
The UFC has yet to officially respond to the news.
The injury bug has struck American Kickboxing Academy yet again.
In recent news (h/t BJPenn.com), sources close to AKA say that Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight champion Daniel “DC” Cormier will be unable to defend his belt opposite Jon “Bones” Jones in their rematch at UFC 197 on April 23.
First off, this a huge blow for a pay-per-view card that will now be headlined by UFC Flyweight champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson and undefeated Olympic wrestler Henry Cejudo. Secondly, Jones’ road to redemption has been momentarily blocked.
Obviously we would like to wish Cormier a healthy and speedy recovery, but this is terrible news for the UFC who was hoping to re-crown one of their most lucrative stars in Jones. They will now have to look elsewhere for a replacement for Cormier, or move forward with the aforementioned Flyweight tilt.
If the mixed martial arts gods had it their way, Jones would be meeting Anthony “Rumble” Johnson at UFC 197. The two were originally scheduled to fight back at UFC 187 until Jones vacated his title due to a felony hit-and-run and was subsequently replaced by Cormier.
It also doesn’t hurt that “Rumble” recently declared himself ready to fill in at a moment’s notice.