The Lightweight division entered a new era with Islam Makhachev defeating Charles Oliveira at UFC 280. It was an eventful week and we highlight the most important topics below.
It’s rare for the average MMA fighter to make $1 Million per fight let alone have $1 Million invested into a single training camp. As Islam Makhachev entered the Octagon for his Lightweight title fight against Charles Oliveira, the commentary team alluded to the fact that Makhachev’s training camp for UFC 280 cost $1 Million. When Submission Radio asked Makhachev’s coach Javier Mendez about the training camp costs, Mendez responded with “Khabib is a very beautiful and generous individual that’s not looking for anything in return except for his brothers winning and accomplishing their goals”.
Islam Makhachev was the favorite student of Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, the late father of Khabib Nurmagomedov. It was always Abdulmanap’s plan to have Islam Makhachev become the UFC Lightweight Champion after Khabib retired from the sport. Khabib did whatever he could to ensure that his father’s plan came true, so he set up an elite training camp for Makhachev.
We spoke to a fighter that’s competed in UFC main events and asked how much a typical training camp costs for an MMA fighter. He told us that fighters usually pay 10% of their purse to their gyms for full training camps and that it’s rare for a training camp to exceed $15,000 - $20,000 without a purse split.
LeBron James often talks about how he spends $1 Million per year on taking care of his body. Islam Makhachev had $1 Million spent on him for a single training camp. Training under the tutelage of Khabib Nurmagoedov and having the benefits of $1 Million training camps could ensure a long title reign for Makhachev.
Remember in the 4th edition of OverUnder when we discussed that Conor McGregor hasn’t been tested by USADA in 2022? No one knew why until Dana White spoke about it at the UFC 280 press conference. White confirmed to the media that McGregor hasn’t been tested in 2022 because he's currently not inside the USADA testing pool.
Fighters are typically removed from the USADA testing pool when they are released or retire from competition. We saw it happen with Henry Cejudo, Daniel Cormier, and Khabib Nurmagomedov who stopped being tested by USADA after their retirements. The difference here is that Conor McGregor hasn’t retired from the sport. He’s actively talking about fighting future opponents on Twitter. So if Conor McGregor hasn’t retired, why is he not being tested by USADA?
You can only assume why he’s not being tested, but if Conor McGregor chooses to fight in the UFC again, he would have to spend 6 months in the USADA testing pool before he can fight. The only way to avoid this is if USADA grants McGregor an exemption that lets him come back earlier than other fighters could.
The UFC announced via their news account that they’ve re-signed Jon Anik, who will continue to serve as the lead play-by-play commentator for the promotion. In addition to his play-by-play duties, Anik will continue to be the lead host of all pre and post fight coverage at the desk for UFC PPV’s, host official and ceremonial weigh-ins, and host the annual UFC Hall of Fame ceremony.
This announcement comes 2 weeks after Brandon Fitzgerald announced that he also re-signed with the UFC to serve as the play-by-play commentator for UFC Fight Nights. The UFC’s future when it comes to play-by-play commentators is secure for the foreseeable future.
Anik first signed with the UFC in October 2011 and made his commentary debut alongside his friend Kenny Florian for UFC on FX: Guillard vs. Miller in January of 2012. This event also marked the UFC debut of future Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Congrats to the UFC and Jon Anik on another milestone. Anik has always been a supporter of the Verdict Community and we’re excited that he’ll continue to be the soundtrack of the Octagon.
Khamzat Chimaev and Khabib Nurmagomdeov have had a complicated relationship over the past few years and we saw that first-hand last week during UFC 280. While Islam Makhachev was celebrating his title win inside the Octagon, Khamzat Chimaev was getting into a physical altercation with Abubakar Nurmagomedov, who’s the cousin of Khabib Nurmagomedov, outside the Octagon.
The altercation started when Khamzat went to greet Abubakar and shake his hand. Abubakar felt disrespected by the way Khamzat tapped his stomach which led to them arguing which led to punches being thrown. The altercation went viral and was one of the most talked about topics coming out of UFC 280.
The following morning, the Head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov posted a screenshot of a video call he had with Khamzat Chimaev and Abubakar Nurmagomedov with the two appearing friendly with each other. Kadyrov said in the Instagram post that he personally made sure that Khamzat and Abubakar would be peaceful with each other.
A video was then released with Khabib Nurmagomedov putting an end to his camp’s issues with Khamzat Chimaev, as he stood alongside Khamzat, Islam Makhachev, Abubakar Nurmagomedov, and AbuZayed Vismuradov who’s been sanctioned by the US for war crimes and is the right hand-man of Ramzan Kadyrov.
Raul Rosas Jr. set to be youngest-ever UFC fighter at UFC 282 vs. Jay Perrin.
Anderson Silva wants his final MMA fight to take place in Japan.
Alex Volkanovski is interested in fighting Conor McGregor.
Bellator and Rizin team up for New Years Eve event.
Georges St-Pierre will serve as co-host of the Jake Paul vs. Anderson Silva pay-per-view.
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