It’s been a wild week in combat sports. UFC 300 teases, fights getting canceled then uncancelled, conversations about retirement, and more. Let’s get into it.
Where? Israel Adesanya shared a poster of the movie "300" on his Instagram story, followed by the caption, "The gods must be crazy." Adesanya has been dropping subtle hints about a return, and this was his most obvious yet.
Is it likely? Yes. UFC 300 needs a headliner, and considering Adesanya is one of the biggest stars in the sport, it's a possibility the UFC wants him to headline the card. Dricus du Plessis called Adesaya out after defeating Sean Strickland, so Izzy vs. DDP could be the fight.
Context: Dustin Poirier was scheduled to face Benoit St-Denis in the co-main event of UFC 299. However, Poirier abruptly came out with an announcement claiming the fight was canceled, only to confuse fans hours later by claiming the fight was officially back on.
The outcome: The fight is still happening. According to Poirier, it was a misunderstanding on his part, and he couldn't get hold of his manager for a few days. This confusion set the MMA community ablaze, making fans wonder what was happening behind the scenes.
Where Kevin Lee fits: He initially retired from MMA following his submission defeat to Rinat Fakhretdinov in July 2023. However, the former ranked UFC contender announced via X (Twitter) that he's out of retirement and ready to get into the best shape of his life.w
When will he fight? There’s no set timeline. Lee has only fought four times in the last four years, so he isn't a stranger to a long layoff. He was removed from the UFC roster on August 23rd but could always test the waters in the PFL or attempt to return to the UFC.
Why? Henry Cejudo believes that with a loss to Merab Dvalishvili, he'd be done with fighting again. "Triple C" expressed not wanting to fight down in the rankings, which he'd be forced to do if he suffered a second consecutive loss at UFC 298.
What are the chances? Cejudo vs. Dvalishvili is a pick'em fight among oddsmakers and fans. Although Dvalishvili has the youth and winning streak on his side, Cejudo brings his Championship experience into the matchup and the desire to get himself back into the title picture, making this a real 50/50 fight.
What's happening? Andy Foster, the Executive Director of the CSAC, is one of the few people leading a charge against a ruleset change in MMA. On a recent episode of the MMA Hour, Foster displayed annoyance with the 12-6 elbow rule. He plans to appeal the rule to the Association of Boxing Commissions at their next meeting.
Why this matters: The 12-6 elbow rule frequently disrupts the flow of fights when a fighter is in a mounted position and is hated by fighters and fans. It has led to some farcical disqualifications and point deductions over the years, with the most notable case being Jon Jones' only professional MMA loss to Matt Hamill.
Why? Sean Brady has an ongoing injury from his last fight against Kelvin Gastelum in December 2023. The #6 ranked Welterweight contender announced he never signed the contract to fight Luque but is willing to fight him at a later date.
What now? It looks like the main event for the card will now be Erin Blanchfield vs. Manon Fiorot, which makes sense as it's a #1 contender fight. As for Luque, he could wait for Brady to recover or take a different matchup to try and remain on the card.
The injury: Tatiana Suarez has been training for an upcoming matchup against Amando Lemos at UFC 298 but just revealed she's suffered an injury. Suarez described it as a minor but bizarre injury, where her knee swelled up so much she couldn't even bend it anymore.
Is she still fighting? No, Suarez has been unable to train properly due to her swollen knee, and therefore, Lemos will now face Mackenzie Dern instead at the same event on February 17th. Suarez is optimistic she'll be back training effectively soon.
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