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A matchup like this rarely comes around. Two fighters at their pinnacles competing for the most respected prize in combat sports, the UFC Lightweight title. This is the biggest Lightweight title fight since Conor McGregor fought Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2018. It’s not a bigger box office fight than McGregor/Khabib, but it’s a better matchup. It’s the best matchup in the history of the division. This is the first time in UFC history that two fighters on winning streaks of 10 or more will fight each other.
Charles Oliveira has become one of the most ruthless fighters in the sport. He can afford to fight as aggressive as he wants because he doesn’t care where the fight ends up. He’s dangerous in every department. He’s become one of the most technically sound strikers in the sport and holds the record for the most submission wins in UFC history. You have to walk through fire to defeat Charles Oliveira and that’s what Islam Makhachev has to do.
Makhachev has quietly ascended to the top of the Lightweight division and has been bred for this moment. This is his opportunity to step outside the shadow of Khabib Nurmagomedov and create his own legacy. He knows he has big shoes to fill and he wants to make a statement. Makhachev’s goal is to finish Oliveira on the ground because he wants to show that his grappling is on a different level. As fight fans, you couldn’t ask for anything more. It’s a fight between the two best in the world and a fight where you have no idea what’s going to happen. As the great Jon Anik says, one more sleep.
In 2019, Jorge Masvidal went from being a fighter that only hardcore fans knew about to becoming a mainstream superstar. He finished Darren Till in England, he set the record for the fastest knockout in UFC history against Ben Askren, and then he defeated Nate Diaz for the BMF Championship. Masvidal earned all of that success, but it came with some help.
After Nate Diaz defeated Anthony Pettis in August of 2019, he got on the mic and respectfully challenged Jorge Masvidal to a fight. He called Masvidal a gangsta’ and created the BMF Championship. The UFC didn’t create the BMF marketing strategy, Nate Diaz did. This was the biggest box office fight of 2019. At the time, Nate Diaz didn’t compete for 3 years before fighting Anthony Pettis. He was the biggest superstar in the sport behind Conor McGregor and he put a spotlight on Jorge Masvidal because he felt he deserved it.
Masvidal went on to lose 3 straight fights after defeating Diaz. Since then, Masvidal has lost the respect of a lot of fans because of the shade he’s been throwing around. Earlier this week, MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck released an interview with Jorge Masvidal where he asked him a variety of things including what he thought about Nate Diaz finishing up with the UFC on a win. Masvidal called Nate a vegetable and made fun of the way he spoke. Instead of giving Nate respect, he put him down.
Masvidal appears frustrated with the direction of his career. At 37, it’s going to be difficult to earn another title shot and there are not a lot of options for money fights. It’s going to be interesting to see how Masvidal’s career plays out in 2023.
Remember in last week’s Quick Hits how we mentioned that Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta were speaking with Nevada State Athletic Commission to sanction slap fighting? Well, the NSAC approved it and the Power Slap League is coming to Nevada.
When Dana White and the Fertitta Brothers purchased the UFC in 2001, they immediately worked towards the regulation of the sport to establish legitimacy and that’s what they’re doing with the Power Slap League. The slap fights will be scored using the 10-point must system used in boxing and MMA by NSAC judges. You never know, maybe the Verdict Community will be scoring slap fighting soon.
The ownership group of the Power Slap League consists of Dana White, Fertitta Capital, TV producer Craig Piligan, who helped create The Ultimate Fighter, Endeavor, UFC Chief Business Officer Hunter Campbell, and hedge fund Zeke Capital. The group is looking for a major broadcast partner for distribution by the end of the year.
Bobby Green gets released from his UFC contract.
Jiri Prochazka sat in a pitch-black dark room without food for 3 days to battle his demons.
Robert Whittaker vs. Paulo Costa booked for UFC 284 in Australia.
Alexander Volkanovski predicts Islam Makhachev to defeat Charles Oliveira.
Ben Askren, Kalyl Silva, Conner Burks, and Kay Hansen enter the featured Tournament for UFC 280.
Charles Oliveira wants to challenge Alexander Volkanovski for the UFC Featherweight title.
Dana White confirms that Alex Volkanovski will challenge for the UFC Lightweight title next (As we suspected in the last edition).
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