Thursday marked the 10-year anniversary of Georges St-Pierre vs. Johnny Hendricks at UFC 167. This was the fight that inspired the creation of Verdict.
Moving up: Weight cuts have become increasingly difficult for Aljamain Sterling. Given the current landscape of 135, this is the right time for Sterling to move up to 145.
The return: Aljo confirmed on X that he was targeting a return to action at UFC 299 in March 2024 and that he'd like the opponent to be Max Holloway. Both Aljo and Holloway are looking for big fights at this stage of their career, and a battle of former Champions is a big fight.
The claim: Rock told Rogan he was considering fighting for PRIDE FC in 1997 when he was with the World Wrestling Federation. He spoke to Ken Shamrock and learned that fighters in PRIDE were making good money compared to what he was making at the time and considered it. Fortunately for The Rock, he blew up and became a Superstar in the WWE a few months later.
How would he have fared? It's hard to say, but he is a legitimate athlete. His athleticism helped accelerate his career as a professional wrestler. The Rock played college football and was a part of the 1991 Championship team, the Miami Hurricanes. All that said, getting punched in the face is a different story.
What happened? Fight manager Shu Hirata revealed that the event would be relocated from Shanghai, China, to the Apex in Las Vegas. Along with the relocation, the Road to the UFC Tournament, featuring 4 fights on that card, will be rescheduled.
The headliner: Song Yadong will compete against Chris Gutierrez in a 5-round main event in the Bantamweight division.
Details: The World Boxing Council placed Ngannou in the 10th position in their rankings following his near-historic upset against Tyson Fury on October 28. This announcement was made at the WBC's 2023 convention on Wednesday.
What this means: Ngannou is now eligible to fight Tyson Fury for his WBC Heavyweight Boxing Championship, unlike the first bought, which was a non-title fight. It also means that Ngannou has lined himself up for several more big fights in Boxing.
What he said: "Mark my words when I say this," I do not plan on taking him down, I do not plan on wrestling him. I plan on going in there and where y'all think he's just this otherworldy guy because he did kickboxing and I didn't do kickboxing — this is a completely different sport. I been doing MMA for years. I been bred in MMA. And whenever I do fight him, standing, I will knock him out, and when I do, I'm going to rub it in every single one of y'all's face."
When will the fight happen? Hill is targeting a return to action in Q2 of 2024, which falls between April and June. Jamahal Hill has a huge chip on his shoulders right now.
The Gameplan: Aspinall wants to fight Stipe Miocic next and Jon Jones right after. Given Jones will be sidelined for 8 months, and Stipe was ready to fight, this makes a lot of sense right now. Imagine an interim title fight between Tom Aspinall and Stipe Miocic at UFC 300.
Is this likely? It will likely all come down to Stipe Miocic. If he wants it and Aspinall wants it, why not? If Aspinall gets through Miocic, there's no bigger fight the UFC could take to Wembley Stadium than Jon Jones vs. Tom Aspinall for the Undisputed UFC Heavyweight Championship. If we're talking about the true baddest man on the planet, you've got to fight the next man up.
What he wants: Leon Edwards wants to fight the winner of Sean Strickland vs. Dricus du Plessis for the Middleweight Championship at UFC 300. His goal is to become the first UFC Double Champion from the UK in history. Seeing Kamaru Usman do well against Khamzat Chimaev gave Edwards confidence.
Will it happen? It's not likely. Dana White is very selective when making Champion vs. Champion fights. He wants Champions to legitimize their reigns by making title defenses first. If you're a defending Champion, your shot increases.
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