Tom, Rich and Tony recap the major combat sports events from last week, including a major heavyweight showdown between Deontay Wilder and Gerald Washington, a successful title defense by Liam McGeary last Friday at a Dublin, Ireland Bellator show, and a superb comeback by Jarrett Hurd over Tony Harrison. We also look forward to the inaugural women’s featherweight title bout in Bellator tomorrow night and a star-studded UFC 209 fight card including two of the most anticipated co-main events in recent UFC history. Stephen Thompson gets his rematch with UFC Welterweight Champ Tyron Woodley in the main event while Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson fight for a shot to face Conor McGregor for the lightweight title in the co-main event. We also discuss GSP’s comeback fight against Michael Bisping, a transgender female on her way to becoming a male winning a Texas women’s wrestling title, and Muhammad Ali’s son being detained at a Florida airport in early February. Check out our first Full FNU Combat Sports Show hosted on YouTube:
By: Rich Bergeron
UFC 209 is fast approaching with two dynamic fights headlining the card, including a highly anticipated rematch closing the show. Fans are itching for a solid fight card to watch after multiple disappointing Pay-Per-View events left them wanting more in recent months. This is a card that could definitely deliver the action-packed, adrenaline-filled spectacle fans have come to expect for the price of admission. Here are my previews and predictions for the two blockbuster fights at the top of the bill.
Stephen Thompson (13-1-1) gets another crack at the welterweight title against Tyron Woodley (16-3-1) in the main event. Even the odds makers (Check out the M88 sportsbook for more betting info) have a tough time predicting how this highly charged rematch will go. Woodley comes in as the slight underdog at +110 to Thompson’s -140.
Still, the Champion came close to finishing the first fight in the fourth round. Rather than continue with his powerful ground and pound approach against the in-trouble Thompson, Woodley switched to a failed choke attempt instead. Thompson was able to weather the storm and eke out the draw, but he also won three out of the five rounds on the scorecard. The experts who set the betting lines are obviously conscious of this and factoring it into their calculations.
Can Woodley put himself in position to get the knockout win this time or will Thompson make the right adjustments to win every round this time?
Prediction: Stephen Thompson made one glaring mistake in the first fight that led to Woodley having a huge chance to win by knockout. Woodley picked his spots and made the fight competitive, but with both fighters knowing so much about each other now he may not be able to repeat or improve upon his performance in the first fight. Meanwhile, Thompson is a skilled tactician, and he will focus on cage control this time around. He will use distance striking, superb defense, and constant movement to keep Woodley from doing any major damage this time around. Woodley of course has a chance to quiet all his doubters with one punch, but Thompson is the type of fighter who may not give the champ a chance to land that shot.
THOMPSON WINS BY UNANIMOUS DECISION
The co-main event will set the stage for Conor MacGregor’s return to the UFC cage. The Irish superstar will eventually face the winner of UFC 209’s co-main event: Khabib Nurmagomedov (24-0) vs. Tony Ferguson (22-3). This fight could potentially upstage the main event, despite the fact that Khabib is a -205 favorite to Ferguson’s +165 odds to win. Both fighters have enough momentum going for them to earn a title shot without fighting each other, but that doesn’t make this bout any less exciting on paper. Ferguson is 12-1 in the UFC with his only loss coming against Khabib’s last opponent: Michael Johnson. Ferguson lost to Johnson in 2012 by unanimous decision while Khabib submitted Johnson via Kimura in the third round of their UFC 205 clash last November.
Both fighters have equally imposing strengths. Khabib smothers many of his opponents with crisp wrestling skills to match his more than capable striking and submission ability. Sambo and judo are also staples of Nurmagomedov’s intense approach to cage fighting. He is so well rounded that he has an equal number (8) of submission, decision and T/KO wins, and all of his decision wins are unanimous.
Ferguson is on a nine-fight win streak. He is more of a volume striker, and he used excellent boxing to impose his will on the opponents he’s dominated so far. He is also well rounded like Nurmagomedov and can use that superb striking to secure submissions on stunned opponents. He has 8 submissions to go with 9 T/KOs and five decisions.
PREDICTION: Ferguson may be on a tremendous run right now, but Khabib’s absolutely dominated every opponent he ever faced in his MMA career. McGregor may actually be rooting for a tie in this fight so he can have some extra time to negotiate a boxing match with Floyd Mayweather, Jr. while these two contenders are setting up an inevitable rematch. However, ties are rare enough in the UFC that one here is far fetched to imagine. It’s much more likely that this fight ends up with one fighter on the canvas, out cold or too dazed to continue. All signs point to that fighter being Ferguson, leaving MacGregor with the prospect of having to prove his mettle by beating a man nobody’s been able to beat before. Of course, anything can happen in that cage and anyone can have a bad night at the office, but perfection is hard to argue with.
NURMAGOMEDOV BY 2nd Round TKO
Ivan “The Beast” Baranchyk (15-0, 10 KOs) joins the broadcast tonight to talk about his recent war on ShoBox with Abel Ramos (17-2-2, 12 KOs). Baranchyk launched an incredible effort in the later rounds to hand Ramos his second professional loss and establish himself as a spirited, tough-as-nails brawler. Some experts claimed the fight was one of the most entertaining bouts in the 17-year history of the ShoBox series. Tom, Tony and Rich discuss the fight, other highlights of Ivan’s career, and get Baranchyk to explain how his early start in Jiu Jitsu eventually led him to the Sweet Science. The 24-year-old is already solidifying his legend, which explains why he points to “Iron” Mike Tyson as one of his role models in the sport of boxing.
Tom, Tony and Rich also discuss the latest Mayweather/MacGregor news, an odd suspension of an MMA fighter for going after his opponent’s corner man, the calling off of Chris Brown vs. Soulja Boy, and Roy Jones Jr. re-establishing his goal of fighting Anderson Silva in a boxing match (he now wants it to be on the Mayweather/MacGregor undercard).
We also recap last week’s combat sports events and preview Bellator 173 and this week’s upcoming boxing matches.
Part One: Interview starts around 30 minutes in…
By: Rich Bergeron
Can a pro mixed martial artist beat a pro boxer is the kind of question that started the UFC in the first place, but now the wildly popular fight league seems to be trying to avoid that question entirely when it comes to a potential boxing match between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather.
Though recent reports indicated a deal was in the works with only a third party failing to agree on terms (most likely the UFC), it seems that the UFC brass knows this could be a lose/lose situation for the promotion. For one, Conor is almost guaranteed to lose the fight. Secondly, the purse he will command should be extremely hefty, which will mean he will demand the same kind of money for every fight after this one. This is why UFC President Dana White put his ceiling at $25 million for McGregor to fight Mayweather.
The UFC could end up paying dearly for letting this fight happen. It could make McGregor much too popular and shift the balance of power from the UFC bosses to their star employee. Conor will be the one calling the shots from here on out if this boxing match happens, especially if it ends up being a $100 million payday for “Mystic Mac.”
Just consider this segment on UNDISPUTED, starring Shannon Sharp and Skip Bayless:
The inevitable loss for McGregor would really be a huge win for the cocky, arrogant and outspoken fighter who seems like he actually believes he can pull off a miracle win. Even if he’s knocked out, beaten by a wide unanimous decision, or disqualified for engaging in illegal strikes, Conor stands to make enough money to potentially retire from MMA for good. It’s either that, or he could just continue in MMA with the stipulation that no fight purse in his future be any less than what he makes for the Mayweather bout. If Conor even shows the slightest bit of skill in the boxing ring, he could also end up being the combat sports version of Bo Jackson and maintain a career as a two sport athlete in the future. All of this is simply bad for the UFC as a whole, as they will at best have to share one of their top talents and will have to pay him outrageous fees to keep him fighting in their Octagon.
It would be much much smarter for Conor fans to play some casino games at คาสิโน MarathonBet than it would for any of them to put down money on their hero to win this fight. Whatever odds this fight does finally generate in Vegas, McGregor is sure to be a huge underdog that will tempt his fans to make the bet on the slim chance of a huge payout. It just isn’t a good idea considering the lack of experience Conor has as a boxer and the invincibility of Mayweather in the final years of his boxing career.
What is crystal clear is that Mayweather wants only one fight to leave the comfort of retirement, and McGregor is the only man who will face him in that fight. The fact that this should be a walk in the park is not lost on Floyd. There’s no downside to trouncing McGregor. Floyd has been itching to prove MMA fighters as a whole don’t have the punching power or prowess that a boxer of his caliber has. He will no doubt get his chance, but don’t ask the UFC to pay astronomical record numbers to facilitate a fight of this magnitude if it means raising the fight pay bar to a level they can never recover from if they want to keep their ultimate superstar on the books.
McGregor can talk all he wants, and sports pundits will eat it up like candy. People will either have some insane belief that he can pull off this walk on water routine, or they will want to pay to see his ego crushed in defeat. Either way, this bout could reap huge rewards for both fighters. People WILL pay to see it, even if it does prove to be a complete and utter disappointment.
Tony, Rich and Tom come back from a week off with a ton of stuff to talk about. From the controversy of Holly Holm’s UFC 208 main event title fight with Germaine De Randamie to the upcoming battle between Matt Mitrione and Fedor Emelianenko, we cover a wide range of past and upcoming MMA events. We also look back at Ivan Barnchyk’s masterful comeback last weekend against Abel Ramos in a thrilling boxing match. We also go over the upcoming week’s boxing schedule. We also update the Mayweather vs. MacGregor negotiations with a big surprise: The UFC is the big stumbling block at this point. Additionally we discuss the recent study showing soccer players can suffer the same damage as heavyweight boxers after long careers in the sport where heading soccer balls repeatedly can bring on CTE in retired players. We also spend time discussing Brock Lesnar’s retirement and GSP’s imminent return.
Hosts Tom, Tony and Rich of The Fight News Unlimited Combat Sports show had the awesome experience of catching up with President Donald Trump for an exclusive interview contained in tonight’s broadcast. We ask “The Donald” about everything from Mayweather vs. McGregor to Iran and China. The interview starts about 23 minutes into the full show tape, but we will also place the interview alone in another audio file below the main show file on this post. We also discuss some MMA labor union issues, Aisling Daly retiring young from the UFC, Conor McGregor claiming his next bout will be in a boxing ring and Dana White saying Ronda Rousey is all done with fighting professionally. We also recap the first big UFC and Bellator events of the year from last week and look forward to UFC Fight Night 104 in Houston on Saturday night. We take time at the end of the broadcast to talk boxing with a recap of last week’s stunning rematch between Leo Santa Cruz and Carl Frampton. We also talk about the Thursday night bouts on FS1 tonight. Here is our full show:
And here is the Trump interview by itself:
And if you didn’t catch why Rich gave a shout out to the movie “Good Morning Vietnam” you can listen to Rich’s first interview with Trump from 2008 here:
This week on the Fight News Unlimited Combat Sports Show we discuss Tito Ortiz winning his way into retirement over arch rival Chael Sonnen, and we also preview upcoming MMA and boxing events. Tom, Tony and Rich provide in depth analysis and commentary after a week off from the show. 2017 is off to a slow start in the combat sports world, but this weekend gets things started in a huge way with dueling HBO and Showtime boxing cards and both Bellator and UFC events slated for the coming days. Join us as we discuss all things combat sports.
Tom, Tony and Rich spend this week’s show catching up on the week’s major news in combat sports. We also preview upcoming fights in boxing and MMA. We highlight Mark Hunt’s recent lawsuit over a fight where Brock Lesnar tested positive for PEDs and discuss Ben Rothwell’s assessment of Travis Browne as a “Man Whore.” Listen to the hour long broadcast below.
Tom, Tony and Rich break down the biggest year-ending fights of 2016 and look forward to what should be a phenomenal 2017. We discuss Ronda Rousey, Floyd Mayweather, Andre Ward and other fighters in the news. We recap UFC 207 and look ahead to some Friday night fights on January 13th.
Rich, Tom and Tony cover the past week’s news and events and look forward to the few fight cards happening over the next few weeks. We spend a good amount of time discussing the final fight of Bernard Hopkins, the drug testing debacle with Alexander Povetkin, and the UFC fight night co-main events where highly hyped prospects Paige VanZant and Sage Northcutt bombed hard. Check out the show below. This one closes out the year for us, so fans can tune in next year for our next broadcast on January 5, 2017.