MMA News

  • Kai Kara-France rips judges after controversial UFC Vegas 74 decision: ‘That cost me $100,000’
    by Jed Meshew on June 6, 2023 at 4:00 pm

    Kai Kara-France | Photo by Louis Grasse/PXimages/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images Kai Kara-France believes the judges cost him an awful lot of money this past weekend. On Saturday, Kara-France faced off with Amir Albazi in the main event of UFC Vegas 74, losing a controversial split decision. In the immediate aftermath, Kara-France did his best to take the loss on the chin, saying judges scoring is subjective and he won’t dwell on the outcome. But after having some time to watch the fight back, Kara-France isn’t sure what the judges were looking at. “To have a bit of time to kind of reflect and let it sink in, look at all the stats, and watch the fight back, I lost, but I didn’t lose,” Kara-France told The MMA Hour. “It’s a weird feeling when you’re at the after-party with Shaquille O’Neal and he’s DJing and you’re thinking, ‘Bro, I should be celebrating a win right now,’ and it feels like I should be but I don’t have that W next to my name. So it’s a tough one. “It’s hard to see how the judges gave it to Amir. When you look at it, black and white, what the stats were, and what he was trying to implement, and I what I was able to neutralize and capitalize on moments, I definitely thought I won and I feel like the whole world does. I haven’t met anyone or seen anyone yet that though Amir won besides Amir. But hey, that’s the fight. I can’t change the result. I feel like my stocks don’t go down at all. People know that I’m one of the best guys in the world and that performance showed that I’m at the highest level.” The bout was extremely competitive, with Albazi finding success early, particularly via his grappling, while Kara-France surged late. Some of the controversy though stems from judge Chris Lee, who scored the fourth round for Albazi, despite Kara-France dominating that round statistically. Kara-France isn’t sure how the judge saw it that way, but he is sure what it meant for him: a pretty severe financial and career loss. “I definitely thought [I won] round one,” Kara-France said. “Two was a close round, but I feel like I did enough. He got me down in the third round, took my back, couldn’t finish me, and I ended up finishing on top, raining down elbows. And then fourth and fifth, I was the one dictating the pace, I was the one pressuring, I was the one landing the better shots. And it’s how you finish. It’s momentum. It’s pretty much stamping that you’re winning the fight. He was tired, he was gassed, all he did was push me against the cage, and a few flurries, but mostly it was me those last two rounds. So it’s a tough one when you’re looking at my career right now. “That cost me $100,000, that loss. It cost me my ranking, No. 3 in the world. Where winning this fight would have just put me right back in with probably [Brandon] Royval to fight for the No. 1 contender. It puts me right back into where I want to be, which is the best in the world... “It’s a tough one when you look at it like that and you take a step back and you’ve got to think, what are these judges looking at? I wasn’t going to win right from the start if that’s what they’re looking at. So it kind of makes you really question what are the judges even trying to see here. They’re not even giving me a chance if fourth and fifth round, if I didn’t even push, they wouldn’t have given it to me anyway. So it’s a really tough situation, but I guess the game we play is subjective and this stuff happens.” It certainly is tough for Kara-France who has now lost two in a row, sliding well outside of the immediate title picture, but ultimately there’s nothing he can do about it. Instead, Kara-France is planning to move on as best he can, but he does wish he could have a little more faith in the judges moving forward. “It’s a tough one to take, isn’t it? When you look at it like that and people see how much it does affect a fighter, when decisions don’t go the right wayKara-France said. “You put so much into this. I’ve been away from fighting for 11 months, and then to put a 12-week camp together, feeling great, coming in as a main event slot, and then to have it go down like that. Obviously it’s kind of on me as well, to go in there and finish fights, but you would think these guys would be making the best call when it comes to the decisions. This is their job. It’s what they’re paid to do, be analysts... You’ve got to take it for what it is, and if you’re in the fight capitol of the world, you’ve got to be more accountable to what you’re looking at, what you’re judging on. There’s so much criteria to this where I never really had a chance. It sucks, but what do you do? You’ve just got to go get another fight booked and get back to it, make up for that loss... “It’s not going to be solved overnight, this problem that we have with these judges,” Kara-France continued. “It’s definitely something to look at when you’re going into a fight and you look at these names recurring and you start to question, do I want this guy [judging] my fight? Because I don’t want to be in a situation again where I’m looking at my phone, I’m seeing thousands of people saying, ‘Kai got robbed, Kai should have won,’ and I can’t change anything. I’m just on to the next, and I’m trying not to be caught up in this, because it’s energy wasted for me. I’m not trying to be a bad sport and say, ‘Why me?’ I’ve never done that in my career. I’ll just move forward, onto the next challenge.”

  • Jake Paul, KSI take shots at one another once again: ‘It’s crazy how much your hype has died’
    by MMA Fighting Newswire on June 6, 2023 at 3:00 pm

    Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images Jake Paul and KSI continue to take shots at one another, planting seeds for an eventual future showdown inside the squared circle. Before that can happen, Paul is scheduled to face longtime UFC competitor Nate Diaz on Aug. 5. KSI is hoping to face Tommy Fury — the man who recently handed Paul his first loss — in his next bout, but nothing has been announced. The most recent exchange between two tow influencer boxers began after KSI called out Fury to sign a contract to fight — while, of course, taking a shot at Paul. What you waiting for @tommytntfury? Sign the damn contract and let me show you the difference between me and that fraud who only wins against retired mma pensioners— ksi (@KSI) June 5, 2023 This clown…tried to fight Dildo Dan who has never boxed and put a rehydration clause on him. Fought a 40 year old who hadn’t fought for 3 years and put a rehydration clause on him before elbowing him. Now trying to squeeze Tommy. I elevated Tommy, my son is now worth a lot more…— Jake Paul (@jakepaul) June 6, 2023 “This clown…tried to fight Dildo Dan who has never boxed and put a rehydration clause on him,” Paul stated. “[He] Fought a 40 year old who hadn’t fought for 3 years and put a rehydration clause on him before elbowing him. Now trying to squeeze Tommy. I elevated Tommy, my son is now worth a lot more than the $1.5M offers you making. “Tommy, February we run it back.” KSI responded with an attempt to set the record straight and what he and his team at Misfits Boxing are offering Fury, plus another shot at the YouTube star. We ain’t offering 1.5 million It’s crazy how much your hype has died since you lost. No one cares anymore.— ksi (@KSI) June 6, 2023 “We ain’t offering $1.5 million,” KSI said. “It’s crazy how much your hype has died since you lost. No one cares anymore.” Paul and Diaz’s matchup will stream on DAZN and takes place at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.

  • Paddy Pimblett provides injury update, admits he was ‘sh** in me last fight’
    by Mike Heck on June 6, 2023 at 2:30 pm

    Paddy Pimblett says he’s on the comeback trail following an ankle injury he suffered in his most recent UFC bout this past December. At UFC 282, Pimblett was on the right end of a controversial decision against Jared Gordon to improve to 4-0 inside the octagon. On his YouTube page, Pimblett released a video showing the countdown to his recent wedding, along with providing an injury update, while also answering a question about what he expects when he returns to the octagon, which the timeline seems a bit more positive than originally expected. “I can’t wait, I’m hoping to fight before the end of the year to be honest, kick some little fart’s head in,” Pimblett said on his latest YouTube vlog. “I was s*** in me last fight. It was a bad performance. “I’ve said it [myself] — you’re only as good as your last performance, and I looked s***. But when I come back, everyone will be sucking my arse again.” During an April interview with Sky Sports, Pimblett said that he would “be lucky to fight this year” with the injury he sustained. Pimblett is more optimistic he will be able to return to the cage before the calendar turns to 2024 after having a more in-depth procedure done than the norm. “People [usually] get one of these surgeries, I had to get two in one,” Pimblett explained. “[One] ligament needed doing, the other ligament needed doing, that’s why I had a boot on for so long. “People have been commenting asking, ‘Are you retired or not?’ What, can I get injured now?”

  • Matt Brown advises Francis Ngannou to ‘quit f****** around’ with a warmup fight in boxing and just ‘go for the f****** payday’
    by Damon Martin on June 6, 2023 at 2:00 pm

    Photo by Hannah Foslien/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC Francis Ngannou appears serious about pursuing a boxing career, and rather than just chase a massive fight against one of the best in the heavyweight division, he wants to first test himself in a warmup fight for his professional debut. According to veteran UFC welterweight and noted boxing enthusiast Matt Brown that could be disaster just waiting to happen because for all the weapons that Ngannou possesses in MMA, there’s absolutely no data to prove he’ll be anywhere nearly as successful in another combat sport. That’s why Brown advises Ngannou to forgo the idea about facing some unknown but more experienced heavyweight who could potentially beat him and just seek out a marquee matchup against a name like Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua or Deontay Wilder. “He needs to go for the big payday,” Brown explained on The Fighter vs. The Writer. “It sounds like he wants to be a serious professional boxer maybe, if he’s talking about doing a warmup fight to get into it. I guess that’s a different path but now you’re taking a risk. Maybe you’re not that good. You don’t know. “You haven’t f****** boxed, bro. You weren’t in the Olympics. You didn’t do an amateur career. You don’t f****** know. When you don’t know, go for the payday. Go for the f****** payday. What are we doing here? Quit f******* around here. Get the payday and be done with it.” Ngannou has stated repeatedly that he’s always dreamed of crossing over into boxing and that was actually the sport he first wanted to try before testing himself in MMA. He obviously found great success in the UFC where he reigned as heavyweight champion before leaving the promotion in free agency prior to inking a lucrative new deal with the PFL. As part of his contract with his new MMA home, Ngannou is free to pursue boxing matches and he’s expected to make his debut before 2023 is over. While he’s teased the possibility of a warmup fight, Ngannou has also continued going back and forth with fighters like Fury on social media, which seemed like the opponent he wanted most even when he was still competing in the UFC. Brown believes Fury would be the worst possible matchup for Ngannou if he’ s actually trying to find a way to win a boxing match, but he doesn’t totally discount the Cameroon native in another potential fight against a top-ranked heavyweight. “He probably has a better chance against [Anthony] Joshua than I think people give him credit for,” Brown said. “I think Joshua is 10 times a better boxer, he has the experience [but] he’s a little chinny. He does not like getting hit. That is his flaw that he’s dealt with for a long time. “He does not like getting hit, and if Francis actually shows him that power, even touches his gloves hard, Joshua might start cowering down a little bit. It probably comes across like I’m putting him down or something. He’s absolutely an amazing fighter, and I have the utmost respect for him, but that’s certainly the knock on him is his chin and his ability to take shots.” Brown also touted Ngannou taking on another power puncher like Wilder because that would be just like “two nuclear bombs coming together,” but there’s a lot more inherent risk in a fight like that. Meanwhile, Brown lauds Joshua as a far superior, world-class boxer, but Ngannou’s one-punch knockout power could be the kind of game changer that gives him a chance even as a sizable underdog to the British heavyweight. “Joshua is the one, in my opinion, that makes the most sense,” Brown said. “If I’m Ngannou and I’m chasing boxing, I go for Joshua. He’s the lowest risk. He’s not a big knockout guy. He’s probably the most chinny of all the guys. “You know you’re going to sell big in the U.K. and you’re probably going to sell well in the U.S. because it’s Francis Ngannou. So you’ve got a huge, worldwide audience that’s going to pay for that. Joshua is a big name with the lowest risk. That’s the one I go for.” No matter who he ends up fighting, Brown believes Ngannou has to strike while the iron is hot and there’s legitimate interest in his boxing debut, especially if he’s facing one of the top heavyweights in the sport. There are just too many unknowns otherwise and Ngannou potentially having a lackluster outing against a no name heavyweight likely ruins any chance he has at landing one of the marquee fights in the division. “We’ve never seen Francis box,” Brown said. “We know what he can do in MMA but boxing is a very, very different beast so it’s hard to say he’s got a chance against anybody until we see him box and he could surprise us or he could prove us right that he doesn’t have a chance against these guys. I think it’s very, very far up in the air.”

  • Anthony Smith explains why he looks forward to Amanda Nunes’ retirement
    by MMA Fighting Newswire on June 6, 2023 at 1:00 pm

    Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images Anthony Smith isn’t calling for Amanda Nunes to retire. Let’s be clear about that. He knows better than most what it’s like to have outsiders give an athlete unsolicited advice about their life or livelihood, especially ahead of a big fight. Yet, as Nunes approaches her latest title defense this Saturday against Irene Aldana at UFC 289, Smith can’t help but think about the end. “Is it weird that, at times, I look forward to Amanda Nunes’ retirement?” Smith asked Monday on The MMA Hour. “It’s a very weird sentiment I have. Sometimes when I see her in these fight weeks, in these interviews, and she’s dragged her whole family there, and then she gets in and she fights — sometimes I almost feel bad for her. “Like, just go enjoy your life, and just go have fun. Like, stop doing all this s***. Because a lot of times she doesn’t seem to always enjoy it that much.” It has been a long road for Nunes. The 35-year-old Brazilian has been a UFC champion ever since July 2016, when she captured the women’s bantamweight title with a first-round win over Miesha Tate. She added a second belt to her collection in December 2018 when she needed just 51 seconds to punch out Cris Cyborg for the UFC’s featherweight gold. Since then, Nunes has been nigh unstoppable, racking up seven combined defenses of her titles and avenging her only championship loss with a five-round rout of Julianna Pena in July 2022. At this stage, “The Lioness” is easily the most decorated female fighter in UFC history, and has cemented her place as one of the greatest MMA fighters of all-time. That’s a long way from who Nunes was when she and Smith first crossed paths in 2008. Back then, the surefire Hall of Famer was just an anonymous prospect struggling to make her way, cornering her future wife Nina Nunes at a regional show in St. Joseph, Missouri. “It was just, it’s wild to look back on, like, she was fighting back then,” Smith said. “She’s been around so long, her and Nina. It was crazy.” “I don’t know, I just feel like she’s in a position where she can just, there’s so much — she has a whole lifetime ahead of her,” Smith continued. “And she’s done so much and, again, like, what else does she have to prove? At all? I just almost look forward to her to be able to just go off and just do something else great. I know that sounds weird, [but] I mean that in a really positive way. I mean that in a really positive way. “I just want her to be happy.” The question of motivation is one that has followed Nunes for the majority of the past few years as her résumé became undeniable. That talk only intensified after she split with her longtime team, American Top Team, and instead began managing her own training camps following her December 2021 loss to Peña. UFC president Dana White recently offered similar public sentiments regarding Nunes ahead of her title bout at UFC 289. Against Aldana, Nunes meets a hungry Mexican-born contender who’s riding a wave of success from her countrymen and countrywomen, with Brandon Moreno, Yair Rodriguez, and Alexa Grasso all having recently claimed UFC titles of some kind for Mexico. Grasso, in particular, is Aldana’s longtime training partner and earned her belt by scoring a massive upset over Valentina Shevchenko in a setup very similar to the one Aldana now faces. “I’m not super confident in it, but I think if the best Amanda Nunes shows up, I think she gets the job done,” Smith said. “The problem is her motivation has been in question at times. She’s got this a little bit of a different training setup, where she’s kind of off on her own doing her own thing. We’ve seen that be really successful with some people, and really, really tragic in others. For example, myself, I wouldn’t be able to kind of run my own camp and do it separately away from kind of a team atmosphere. It’s just not how my mentality is. “So I don’t know how that’s going to really work for her. But I think if the Amanda Nunes that fought Julianna Pena the second time shows up, I think that she can be really, really successful and dangerous. “But Aldana’s also got a teammate who just kind of did the unimaginable, which, Teddy Atlas said that when you become champion, you get 30 percent better. And I think that the same can be said for the people around you that are doing the same thing,” Smith continued. “I think once you see someone accomplish something that maybe you said it out loud, like, ‘Oh yeah, she can definitely beat Valentina Shevchenko.’ Maybe you said that to be a great teammate, but once you see it happen and you see the effects of it, and you see everything that she’s got from it, I think that motivation is probably second to none. Because now you’ve seen it. Like, you’ve seen it happen, you’ve seen what’s possible.”


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