This weekend's UFC main card has a unique start time of 1 AM ET. The reason for the late start time is that the event was originally supposed to be held in Seoul, South Korea but is now at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Islam Makhachev is unhappy with the UFC’s promotion of UFC 284.
Aljamain Sterling says he’s fighting Henry Cejudo in May.
Nate Diaz wants to fight Canelo Alvarez.
Deiveson Figueiredo had surgery for a broken orbital bone.
Max Holloway vs. Arnold Allen is targeted for April 15.
Julio Arce withdraws from Cody Garbrandt fight at UFC 285.
Mike Perry is the backup fighter for Jake Paul vs. Tommy Fury.
Eddie Hearn wants Francis Ngannou to fight Anthony Joshua.
Leon Edwards will give Jorge Masvidal a title shot if he defeats Gilbert Burns.
Earlier this week, Jorge Masvidal confirmed to Ariel Helwani on the MMA Hour that he has split with First Round Management. This was a surprise to many as Masvidal and Abraham Kawa were close friends, and Kawa played an instrumental role in Masvidal’s rise to fame in 2019. Masvidal mentioned in the interview that he’ll be negotiating with Dana White and Hunter Campbell directly moving forward. This is something that’s starting to become more prevalent in MMA.
Colby Covington, Sean O’Malley, Dominick Cruz, and Francis Ngannou also represent themselves without a manager. “Hey, the UFC called, you want this deal?’ You want 15% of my money just to tell me about a deal? No, that ain’t happening.” said Sean O’Malley when discussing not having a manager.
“I think in the UFC, we’re signed to a six-fight contract. A four-fight contract is usually at the lowest. Why would I pay someone for four fights when it’s set after one?” said Dominick Cruz when discussing the issue with Ariel Helwani. As more and more fighters have started to drop their representation, it will be interesting to see the state of fighter management in MMA this year.
Lauro Sanko will make history at UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. Spivak as she’ll become the first female commentator in modern UFC history. The last woman that sat in the commentary booth was Kathy Long, who was a commentator at UFC 1 in 1993. Sanko has previously served as a commentator for Dana White’s Contender Series and has been working for the UFC as a backstage reporter since 2016.
In addition to her broadcasting duties, Sanko competed as a professional fighter with a record of 4-1 as an amateur and 1-0 as a professional. She’ll join the likes of Dominick Cruz, Paul Felder, Daniel Cormier, and Michael Bisping as former fighters turned UFC commentators.
The legendary Fedor Emelianenko will get an opportunity to have a rare storybook ending to his mixed martial arts career this weekend when he challenges Ryan Bader for the Bellator Heavyweight title. This fight will mark the end of a 23-year career for Fedor, who was once considered the greatest Heavyweight fighter in MMA history.
Fedor asked for his final fight to be against Bader, who he had previously lost to in January of 2019. Bader finished Fedor by knockout in just 35 seconds in their first meeting. During his iconic reign, Fedor was unbeaten for 28 consecutive fights that spanned over 9 years. If he defeats Bader, he’ll retire as the Bellator Heavyweight Champion. There will be several legends in attendance to bid Fedor farewell, including Dan Henderson, Chuck Liddell, Randy Couture, Frank Shamrock, Royce Gracie, and more. It’s rare that fighters retire on a win, let alone with a Championship. Fedor has that opportunity this weekend.
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