Tony Ferguson needed to delay Christmas season plans and his administration needed to lower quick a Mexican trip, however when all was mentioned and performed, the long-awaited and often-delayed battle in opposition to Khabib Nurmagomedov was signed, sealed and official for April 18.
After damage, sickness and destiny noticed this battle booked and cancelled on 4 separate events, Ferguson will problem Nurmagomedov for the UFC light-weight championship on the Barclays Middle in Brooklyn. That additionally was the location of their fourth scheduled bout in 2018, which fell aside throughout battle week.
With greater than 4 months to organize, Ferguson desires to maintain all the pieces as near enterprise as normal, which suggests leaning into his notoriously intense exercise routine.
“I do not change something. I am all the time peaking,” Ferguson mentioned Monday on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Present. “I relaxation onerous, I get together onerous, and I play onerous. That is precisely how I have been doing it for a really very long time, and nothing’s going to vary. The one issues I will change are for me and for my group, and no person else goes to know.”
Ferguson is projecting excessive confidence in opposition to the unbeaten Nurmagomedov as this lengthy stretch of ready begins, pointing to widespread opponent Gleison Tibau as a measuring stick. Nurmagomedov gained by unanimous choice in 2012, whereas Ferguson earned a first-round submission victory by rear-naked choke over Tibau in 2015.
“I dealt with Thibault quite a bit higher than the best way Khabib did,” Ferguson mentioned. “I am not going to provide any spoilers, however I’ll say, although, Khabib may be very beatable.”
Ferguson hopes to go face-to-face with Nurmagomedov earlier than the yr is out, suggesting that Dec. 13, throughout the battle week main as much as UFC 245 in Las Vegas, would probably be the date. In his thoughts, it could be a possibility to bolster a psychological benefit he looks like he holds over Nurmagomedov.
“I will maintain poking the bear, I will ensure that Khabib reveals up — that he’ll see me earlier than this yr’s performed,” Ferguson mentioned. “He’ll perceive. He’ll undergo the vacations and he’ll be questioning about me. I will be in his head once more. He’ll have quite a bit on his plate, and I feel they obtained slightly too smug with the best way they dealt with issues.
“I am on this dude’s head. He’ll practice so onerous and he’ll be so nervous that he’ll make a mistake. I will capitalize on that. I will catch him throughout the scramble.”
Ariel Helwani says primarily based on the historical past of cancelled fights between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson, he wonders why the bout was introduced over 4 months upfront.
From film set to Octagon, Shevchenko retains new look
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) December 2, 2019
Valentina Shevchenko goes to appear to be a distinct fighter when she steps into the Octagon on Feb. eight to defend her UFC ladies’s flyweight championship in opposition to Katlyn Chookagian.
She is going to nonetheless have the slick footwork and well timed counters, particularly these deadly kicks and spinning assaults that make her one of many scarier strikers in MMA.
What shall be completely different? The 31-year-old native of Kyrgyzstan (18-3) shall be a red-head, not the blonde the battle world has come to know. “It was not my thought at first,” Shevchenko mentioned throughout Monday’s look on the Helwani Present. “It was the thought of Halle Berry.”
The Academy Award-winning actress is making her directorial debut within the forthcoming movie “Bruised,” which tells the story of an MMA fighter rebuilding her life. Berry, a longtime fan of the game, performs the lead position and forged Shevchenko as her opponent — with a change in hair shade.
“The character within the film that I am taking part in ought to have purple hair,” Shevchenko mentioned Berry advised her. Shevchenko, who educated with Berry for almost two months previous to stepping in entrance of the cameras, is completed engaged on the movie. However she is protecting the purple hair for some time — past battle night time, no less than — “as a result of everyone likes it.”
There isn’t a publicly introduced launch date for “Bruised,” and filming continues. There was a quick postponement final month after it was reported that Berry was “barely injured” throughout the filming of a battle scene.
Shevchenko didn’t deal with that with Helwani. Shevchenko is the one skilled blended martial artist within the movie — though she counts one other forged member amongst her peer group: “In spite of everything these years of coaching — as a result of Halle, she was coaching MMA for 2 or three years earlier than filming began — now we are able to say positively she’s an expert fighter as properly.”
Adesanya dishes on Costa, comparability to Conor-Aldo
Israel Adesanya says a battle between himself and Paulo Costa would go the identical approach as Jose Aldo vs. Conor McGregor, as a result of Costa is a bull and he might be the matador.
Sayif Saud on realizing when to throw within the towel
In relation to MMA fighters, there is a constant mentality amongst most about “going out in your protect” and never giving up whereas there’s even the slightest glimmer of hope of a comeback. With elevated scrutiny about fighter security within the boxing world in gentle of the deaths of Maxim Dadashev and Patrick Day, it is pure to ask how fighters in hopeless eventualities in MMA fights ought to be dealt with after they face great injury and have no real interest in gaining the fame for being a quitter.
Fortis MMA coach Sayif Saud mentioned his thought course of on stepping in and stopping a battle, together with the one second in his profession wherein he was on the point of doing so.
“I have been [in that situation] one time,” recalled Saud. “It was truly in LFA. I had the towel in my hand, and it is the one time I’ve ever had it in my hand. And it was very troublesome. The fighter that gained ended up going to the UFC, he is a world champion, nice fighter and an important man. And I had a younger child in there who beat him within the first spherical, however this man is a BJJ world champion. He obtained him on the bottom and he had him mounted, and I will always remember these elbows he was dropping on him. His head had nowhere to go, he was in opposition to the fence, and he had taken some injury, however not quite a bit.
“However I knew he wasn’t going to get out. And that is once I grabbed the towel, as a result of what is the level? What I’ve performed with another fighters who get hit quite a bit, they usually know who they’re, I’ve advised them, I mentioned, ‘Should you go in there and also you’re getting hit quite a bit, and you retain bleeding and doing all this and all that, make no mistake about it – I will throw within the towel.’ I am big on injury. I really like MMA, it is nice, however I care much more about my children than I care a couple of battle. And I inform them that.
“Do not act like that is the most important deal on the planet, that is what we’re all doing proper now, however this is not perpetually… It by no means got here to fruition, and also you by no means need your fighters to doubt your religion in them, but it surely goes again to speaking successfully and being sincere. I have not needed to do it but, however you are rattling straight I will do it.”
Alberto El Patron prepared for Tito Ortiz
Alberto El Patron desires to make one factor clear. Though he is finest identified for being a star within the scripted world of professional wrestling, his battle on Saturday in opposition to Tito Ortiz for the Combate Americas promotion is completely on the sq..
That goes in opposition to the idea of some, together with ESPN MMA analyst Chael Sonnen, who has mentioned that he thought the El Patron-Ortiz battle was going to be a “work.”
“I feel it is fairly silly for somebody like him to say stuff like that as a result of we’ve two people, two athletes, two Mexican-Individuals working their ass off,” El Patron mentioned. “For somebody like Sonnen to come back and say one thing like that’s disrespectful.”
For these unfamiliar with the 42-year-old El Patron, he is a two-time WWE champion who additionally has a background in MMA. He has a 9-5 file, which features a KO loss to Mirko Cro Cop in 2003.
El Patron hasn’t fought since 2010, however he is nonetheless assured that he can defeat Ortiz, a former UFC champion. As a stipulation for the pay-per-view battle, they’re each placing belts they beforehand gained on the road: Ortiz’s UFC title and El Patron’s WWE championship.
“To be able to get a title … you must put hours and hours of sweat, blood and tears so as to accomplish these awards,” El Patron mentioned. “So it is not a lot about taking the belt, it is taking his legacy.
“For me, it’ll be wonderful to kick his ass after which take that UFC title and put it in my trophy room.”