We've been talking about the launch of the Fight Forum for the past few weeks. The conversation has been growing in the Forum every day. Check out the official thread of UFC 293 and how everyone reacted to Sean Strickland defeating Israel Adesanya.
What this means: The WWE and the UFC have officially merged on September 12th. The newly formed company is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the name 'TKO'. Dana White will continue to run the day-to-day operations of the UFC, while Paul "Triple H" will remain the head of creative for the WWE.
How can they work together? WWE President Nick Khan suggested the potential of both brands running at different times on the same day to create a full-day experience for viewers. He expects both groups to discuss future dates so they don't work against each other for major events.
What he said: He told Daniel Cormier on an episode of DC and RC that he probably should have taken more time off before fighting Leon Edwards this past March when discussing Adesanya's loss. He felt emotional about the KO loss, which made him jump into an immediate rematch.
Usman's advice to Adesanya: He feels that if Adesanya is guaranteed a title shot when he returns, regardless of who's Champion, he should take some time off. He suggested that Adesanya take time off to let his body recover.
The odds: Adesanya is currently a -120 betting favorite on BetOnline in a rematch against Strickland. The lines are a lot different from the first fight, as Adesanya was a -650 favorite heading into UFC 293.
Are the odds warranted? It's hard to say, given how one-sided the first fight was. Usually, when it's a quick KO upset, you'd think the losing fighter has a better shot because they got 'caught.' This, however, was a 25-minute great performance by Strickland.
His desire: Volkanovski wants to fight Ilia Topuria in early 2024 and then rematch Islam Makhachev at UFC 300, which is lining up to take place in April. This, of course, is under the assumption that Volkanovski defeats Topuria and Makhachev defeats Charles Oliveira in October.
UFC 300 main event worthy? If you value merit, no bigger fight could main event UFC 300 than the rematch between Alex Volkanovski and Islam Makhachev. The first fight was one of the most competitive title fights in UFC history, and a Champion vs. Champion fight headlining UFC 300 would give the already historic event a special touch.
Dana White's thoughts: He loved Laura Sanko's PPV commentary debut at UFC 293 and confirmed that we'd see her in the PPV mix in the future. He commended Sanko's professionalism and preparation regarding her commentary duties.
What PPVs would she commentate? Likely international PPVs for now, as she did at UFC 293. The US PPV commentary team is Jon Anik, Joe Rogan, and Daniel Cormier, and it doesn't look like that will change anytime soon.
The card: Sergio Pettis will defend his Bantamweight title against Grand Prix winner Patchy Mix. The card also features Yaroslav Amosov defending his title against Jason Jackson and a Lightweight bout between Patricky Pitbull and Alexander Shabliy.
Bellator's last card? The status of Bellator is still up in the air. Ariel Helwani speculated on Wednesday's episode of the MMA Hour that a Bellator acquisition could occur in October. If the PFL ends up acquiring Bellator, this could be the final event in Bellator's history.
The new title: Dana White will now be referred to as the 'CEO of the UFC' after the WWE and UFC merger. Since 2001, Dana has been referred to as the President of the UFC.
What changes? Nothing except the title. Dana will still oversee the day-to-day operations of the UFC. It's business as usual.
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