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Prior to UFC London win, Marc Diakiese wanted to be released

LONDON – If Marc Diakiese had gotten his wish, he wouldn’t have even fought at UFC on ESPN+ 5. A trio of losses made him think he needed time to rebuild himself on the local circuit before getting back to the big show.

“After the last fight, I wanted to get released (from contract), because I felt I’m young and learning, but I’m getting beat by mistakes,” Diakiese told reporters, including MMA Junkie, backstage at The O2.

Obviously, not getting his wish turned out pretty well. Diakiese (13-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) snapped his skid with a dominant win over Joseph Duffy (16-4 MMA, 4-3 UFC), outworking the Irish veteran for a unanimous decision.

The announcement of the win crumpled Diakiese, who broke down in tears and could barely pull himself together during his post-fight interview inside the octagon.

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Backstage, he was all smiles.

“I had a lot of doubters, like, yeah after this, he’s out, so it’s nice to get this win out of the way,” Diakiese said.

One major improvement Diakiese credited is his move back home to the U.K., where he got his start. Although he valued his time stateside at American Top Team, he said he got more personal attention with his former crew.

Once a hot prospect in the UFC’s lightweight division, Diakiese can do all the rebuilding he wants inside the promotion. He’s not in a rush.

“I’m just going to be a lot smarter now, not just taking fight after fight,” he said. “I’ll take my time and see what’s next.”

To hear more, watch the video above.

For complete coverage of UFC on ESPN+ 5, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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UFC London post mortem

These were my picks: Teco, Volkan, Edwards, Masvidal. Considering Volkan’s robbery, it was all good for me.

I already told y’all that the best nights for UFC are when fans are left shook. Shook! The OMG moments we can’t stop talking about. I don’t think I have ever seen/heard a venue go silent like it did at the O2. Amazing work by Masvidal.

Do you want to be a fighter? That’s what Dana used to say. Well, if you do, you better recognize some natural law, recalling a useful example laid down by the Skrap Pack back in the day. To the victor go the spoils.

To the victor go the spoils, something like that. So let the man enjoy his spoils, whether that’s an in-cage interview, a live feed with ESPN, or a lion feasting on a gorilla he just killed, let him have that moment. Adrenaline is high.

Why not be respectful? Why couldn’t Edwards walk up and shake Jorge’s hand? Hey man, good fight. What’s wrong with that? He can talk trash all night on Insta and Twitter if he likes. Or on the drive home with his 35 friends who were walking with him. Let the man have his moment.

But that didn’t happen. He pulled a Mayhem and started talking trash to Jorge when he was being interviewed by ESPN. In hindsight, this was a bad idea.

A recap: Mas is being interviewed, telling Laura Sanko about his passion for the fight game, for his family, when Edwards rolled up with an entourage. Told Jorge he was going to get his @ss kicked in July, then tried to roll out with said entourage. Jorge, not hearing or understanding everything that was said, innocently strolled over to Edwards and his team and asked that the statements be repeated. There were words. Edwards put his hands up to strike, but was served a hot 3 piece with a soda.

I am biased, but that’s what I saw on the video.

Dana may choose to fine him, but I hope not. This was a security violation; a breach. Masvidal should get his show and win purse, his $100K in bonuses, and an additional $50K for having to take two fights in one night. Then sort out the security lapses that allowed this to happen in the first place.

As for Jorge Masvidal, the KO made him a contender. The 3 piece made him a star. Title shot please.

UFC needs to capitalize on this ASAP.

Sorry Colby. Sorry Ben.

M

 

5 biggest takeaways from UFC London: Jorge Masvidal’s 2-for-1 includes ‘3-piece with a soda’

What mattered most at UFC on ESPN+ 5 on Saturday in London? Here’s a thing or five …

1. You mickey-fickeys act like you forgot about Jorge Masvidal

All that talk about Darren Till’s big left hand, who knew it was Jorge Masvidal’s that would end up being the fight-ender? Well, maybe Masvidal knew all along. All week leading up to this matchup, even in Till’s backyard, he seemed to be trying to find ways to let us know that you forget about his presence in this division at your peril. Just because he’s been in this sport since the backyard brawling days of Kimbo Slice, it doesn’t mean he’s even close to done.

Let the quickness with which the London crowd fell silent be a reminder to welterweights everywhere. When you invite Masvidal to your homecoming party, there’s a good chance he’ll spoil it all and walk out with the loot.

2. After the party it’s the after-party …

The way Masvidal told it later, he went walking up on Leon Edwards backstage with his hands behind his back to demonstrate his non-threatening intent. Somehow, Edwards must have got the wrong idea when he saw Masvidal coming at him with a what-did-you-just-say look on his face. Imagine that.

The next thing you know, Masvidal is hitting Edwards with “the three-piece and a soda,” and the UFC has a backstage brawl caught by ESPN cameras.

Just how upset about this turn of events is the UFC? Company president Dana White expressed the usual dismay on Twitter afterward, though he seemed to suggest that it was the UFC staff that needed to improve – not the fighters. And if you’re in the business of selling violent animosity, maybe stuff like this just makes your job easier. (See also: McGregor v. Bus, 2018.)

We’ll know the truth of the matter once the UFC decides on a response. Especially if that response effectively doesn’t exist.

Volkan Oezdemir: ‘I clearly won’ UFC London fight against Dominick Reyes

LONDON – Volkan Oezdemir needed no more assurance that he came out ahead at UFC on ESPN+ 5 than words from Dominick Reyes’ corner.

“Even the coaches of Reyes came to me before the judges announcement and after the judges announcement and told me I was winning the fight,” Oezdemir told reporters backstage after his split-decision loss to Reyes at UFC on ESPN+5 from The O2. “I don’t want to say it’s (expletive). Maybe I should have produced a little more, but I clearly won the fight.

“I was the better man tonight, and unfortunately the judges didn’t see it that way.”

Reyes (11-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) took home two 29-28 scores while one judge scored it the same for Oezdemir (15-4 MMA, 3-3 UFC), who suffered his third straight UFC loss after opening his UFC tenure 3-0.

“I think he was good, but I don’t think he was as good as other people I’ve fought,” Oezdemir said. “But at the end of the day, he passed the test. I definitely think I’m going to take the fight if we get a rematch.”

Back to the drawing board is the plan for the Swiss fighter, who rocketed up the light heavyweight ranks only to fall short in a title fight against then-champion Daniel Cormier early last year.

Oezdemir hoped to face surging light heavyweight Thiago Santos or Corey Anderson before he heard the bad news. Although he’d still like those opportunities, he needs to rethink his next steps.

“Definitely a lot of different opponents I’ll be interested in fighting,” Oezdemir said.

To hear more, watch the video above.

For complete coverage of UFC on ESPN+ 5, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Jorge Masvidal says Leon Edwards ‘put his hands up’ before punches thrown backstage at UFC London

Jorge Masvidal was backstage, minding his own business, doing an interview after his UFC on ESPN+ 5 headlining win when things got out of hand.

Masvidal was interrupted by fellow welterweight Leon Edwards, who was victorious earlier in the co-main event. Edwards started talking trash as he walked by, causing Masvidal to turn his attention. Masvidal didn’t just talk back, though. He calmly walked toward Edwards with his hands behind his back until he approached him. That’s when Masvidal threw a combination of punches that caused a cut under Edwards’ eye.

The entire incident was caught on video by ESPN cameras. In an interview with ESPN, Masvidal offered his side of what transpired, saying the beef with Edwards started on social media and explaining that he threw punches after Edwards raised his hands first.

“One of these hooligans, man,” Masvidal told ESPN. “He’s like talking crap on social media. I seen him here (during UFC London fight week); (he) doesn’t really address me as a man. I wanted to talk to him kind of, and he’s just like dodging me. Whatever, we can handle it after the fight. So I’m doing this interview, and this hooligan comes by saying some stuff: ‘July, get your ass kicked in July – July.’ And I go, ‘Maybe.’

“But whatever. Because maybe I want to kick your ass in April. Maybe I don’t want to wait until July. Maybe I don’t even want to fight you in a prize ring, because you’re not worth a training camp. I’ll just fight you here. Because you’re a scrub.

“So I tell him, ‘Just say it to my face like a man.’ You’re saying it walking away. We’re both men, you know. And as I’m walking up to him, I’ve got my hands behind my back to signal I’m not coming here for problems. But he put his hands up like this – it’s on video – and walks towards me. Well, where I’m from, if you do that, you’re going to punch me in the face, and that’s not going to happen. You’re a (expletive) dork; you’re JV, beta. You are what you are. You’re just a loser in life. You’re not going to get a hit off me. So I gave him the three piece with a soda, and then just glide out of there.”

Regardless of blame, the altercation was a jarring sight and an unfortunate turn considering the moment Masvidal had seized not long before when he knocked out Till. Masvidal didn’t gloat over his win and praised his fallen opponent while asking the UFC for a title shot and performance bonus – which he earned double the money.

Masvidal said that even though it might not have appeared this way on camera, he “was scared.”

“It might not have looked it, because I’m cold-blooded, but I was scared out of my life,” Masvidal said. “I said, ‘This hooligan is here and is going to assault me.’ He shouldn’t have done that and walked towards me like he was going to punch me. I got the first one in. Am I going to be in trouble because I got the first one in?”

That was too early to determine in the immediate aftermath of the incident. UFC executive Dave Shaw said during the post-event news conference that “we’ll review all the details … and take next steps from there.” Shaw added that UFC President Dana White already was looking into it. White expressed shock over the incident to ESPN.

“I can’t even believe that this happened,” White said. We need to do a much better job of making sure this shit doesn’t happen at any of our events!!!!”

For complete coverage of UFC on ESPN+ 5, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Conor McGregor gives fiery locker room speech, drops the puck at Boston Bruins game

Conor McGregor is dealing with some legal trouble at the moment, but that isn’t stopping him from living his life – specifically as a special guest at an NHL game.

On Saturday night, the former two-division UFC champion attended the Boston Bruins-Columbus Blue Jackets game in Boston, where McGregor did the ceremonial puck drop. It was Irish Heritage Night ahead of St. Patrick’s Day at TD Garden.

As you might expect, the crowd went wild as McGregor was announced, and he walked onto the ice with his trademark “Foggy Dew”/“Hypnotize” playing in the arena. You can check it out here (via Twitter):

(Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports)

Prior to that, McGregor gave Bruins players a pre-game speech in the locker room, which you can check out here (via Instagram):

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Electric factory

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The Bruins tweeted out a photo showing McGregor commanding the players’ attention as he roamed the locker room.

The Bruins went on to defeat the Blue Jackets 2-1 in overtime. Brad Marchand busted out a McGregor celebration after scoring the winning goal.

McGregor last week was arrested on charges of strong-arm robbery and criminal mischief after allegedly smashing and stealing a fan’s cell phone. The incident was caught on tape.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMA Junkie’s blog space. We don’t take it overly serious, and neither should you. If you come complaining to us that something you read here is not hard-hitting news, expect to have the previous sentence repeated in ALL CAPS.

Conor McGregor reveals negotiations and possible date for next fight

Conor McGregor is aiming for a return this summer (Picture: Getty Images)

Conor McGregor is hoping to make his return to the octagon in July, but has not disclosed who he will be fighting in his next UFC contest.

The former featherweight and lightweight champion has not fought since his submission loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov in October and is currently serving a suspension from the Nevada Athletic Commission for his part in the brawl after his defeat to the Russian.

thumbnail for post ID 8918225Kim Kardashian reveals ‘morning psoriasis’ as skin ailment spreads to face

McGregor will be free to fight again in April, but he is not expecting to be back in the cage until the summer.

The Irishman was arrested over allegedly stealing and breaking a fan’s phone earlier this week, but he clearly does not think the criminal charge will impact his next fight plans.

McGregor lost to Khabib Nurmagomedov in October (Picture: Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC)

‘Yes, we’re currently in negotiations, we’re aiming for July, we’ll see what happens,’ McGregor told ABC News at a St Patrick’s Day parade in Chicago.

‘I am staying ready. This morning I was doing incline sprints on the treadmill on my program, the McGregorFast program, today in a hotel room.

‘So we’re staying on it, getting work in as we go.’

LAS VEGAS, CA - OCTOBER 06: Conor McGregor makes his way to the cage to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov during UFC 229 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. Friday, Oct. 6, 2018. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht/Digital First Media/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images)

McGregor hasn’t won since November 2016 (Picture: Getty Images)

There has been speculation that McGregor will fight Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone in his next bout, but UFC president Dana White’s most recent comments on that fight were that it was far from agreed.

‘These two have been talking about this and I said if they want to fight, I would do it,’ White said ahead of UFC 236 earlier this month.

‘But we’re nowhere close to a fight. We’re actually looking at other opponents for “Cowboy” Cerrone now.’

If not ‘Cowboy’ then it is far from clear who McGregor would want to do battle with next.

A trilogy fight with Nate Diaz is a possibility, while lightweight contests with the likes of Tony Ferguson and Al Iaquinta are unlikely but possible.

MORE: Ben Askren slams Leon Edwards and Jorge Masvidal’s title chances after UFC London wins

MORE: Dana White speaks out on Jorge Masvidal’s backstage brawl with Leon Edwards at UFC London

Ben Askren slams Leon Edwards and Jorge Masvidal’s title chances after UFC London wins

Ben Askren did not get the result he wanted at UFC London (Picture: Getty Images)

UFC welterweight contender Ben Askren has rubbished the chances of Leon Edwards or Jorge Masvidal reaching the top of the division, despite their impressive UFC London wins.

Edwards out-pointed Gunnar Nelson in the co-main event before Masvidal shockingly knocked out Darren Till in the headline contest at The O2 on Saturday night.

thumbnail for post ID 8916763Unai Emery's 'horrible' Mesut Ozil dilemma perfectly summed up by Wojciech Szczesny

The pair of victors then got involved in a brawl backstage after the fight card, which is likely to set up a scrap between them later this year.

Despite the big wins for the 170lb-ers, Askren does not think either will be leapfrogging him in the rankings.

Leon Edwards got the job done against Gunnar Nelson (Picture: Getty Images)

On ‘Rocky’s’ victory over Nelson, Askren tweeted: ‘Leon Edwards looked great tonight, but is not ready for Funky town.’

‘Funky’ is Askren’s nickname and ‘funk’ is how he refers to his wrestling skills, which are some of the very best in mixed martial arts.

The former Bellator and One champion also dismissed a claim made by manager Ali Abdelaziz that Masvidal should now jump the line and get a shot at his client, welterweight champion Kamaru Usman.

Colby Covington is the current number one contender, but Abdelaziz suggested Masvidal is now in that slot, Askren disagrees.

‘Lololol his last win before Till was a January 2017. Ali you are a fool, if Marty [Usman] doesn’t want to fight Colby I would happily oblige,’ Ben tweeted.

Askren had been campaigning for a fight with Darren Till, but after the ‘Gorilla’ was sparked in London, the bout now seems off the table.

The 34-year-old seemed to confirm as much by tweeting: ‘Kind of sad about Till, that was gonna be a lot of fun.’

Masvidal put Till to sleep in the second round (Picture: Getty Images)

UFC president Dana White had called for Askren to have a rematch with his last opponent, Robbie Lawler, after the controversial finish to the fight at UFC 235.

Askren won the bout by first round submission when the referee thought Lawler was unconscious, only for ‘Ruthless’ to appear fine when Askren released the bulldog choke.

The unbeaten ‘Funky’ is not keen to take on Lawler again, but with Till off the table, a second clash might be more likely.

MORE: Dana White speaks out on Jorge Masvidal’s backstage brawl with Leon Edwards at UFC London

MORE: 5 things we learned from UFC London: Jorge Masvidal heading for ban after Leon Edwards brawl

Fight Tracks: The walkout songs of UFC on ESPN+ 5 with Neil Diamond and the Eminem Curse

While it takes intense training, world-class skills and maybe even a bit of luck to register a UFC win, picking the right song to accompany you to the cage is a key talent, as well.

Inside, see what the fighters of Saturday’s UFC on ESPN+ 5 event in London went with as their backing tracks.

Pancrase flyweight king Senzo Ikeda signs with ONE

Senzo Ikeda, the reigning flyweight king of Pancrase, has been added to ONE Championship’s debut event in Japan on 31 March.

The post Pancrase flyweight king Senzo Ikeda signs with ONE appeared first on Asia MMA.

Errol Spence, Manny Pacquiao agree to welterweight super-fight next

Manny Pacquiao Errol Spence

Errol Spence accepted the opportunity to fight ring legend Manny Pacquiao next after his awesome display against Mikey Garcia.

‘The Truth’ dominated Garcia from the first bell to the last to break into the WBN Top 10 Pound for Pound list on Saturday night.

A huge attendance at the impressive AT & T Stadium in Texas witnessed a masterclass of why size really matters when a boxer has the ability to match.

Garcia just couldn’t get near Spence and didn’t carry the extra weight well. The four-weight ruler looked sluggish and out of sorts as Spence retained his IBF welterweight title.

“I give Mikey Garcia all the credit for taking this fight,” said Spence. “Mikey and I put on a great show in front of all these lovely fans.

“I respect him so much. I appreciate him for stepping up.

“Throughout training camp, a lot of commentators thought he was too smart. I couldn’t box as well as him. I showed I can box and I can move my head if I want to.

“The game is to be smart. It’s the sweet science. I had the size and reach advantage. So why not use it to take away the jab?

“It’s a weapon for me and it takes away one of his weapons,” he added.

After Pacquiao climbed into the ring to have his say on Spence, the pair agreed to meet each other next, potentially at the same venue.

“He’s broken records here before. He’s a legend in the sport and it’d be my honor to fight him next,” said Spence.


PACQUIAO

Pacquiao countered: “Yes, why not? – We’ll give the fans a good fight.

“I’m so happy to be here at AT&T Stadium. I hope I will be back here soon,” concluded the Filipino Senator.

There’s no doubting a Pacquiao v Spence unification would be a massive affair. Whilst Floyd Mayweather may have something to say on that matter.

Mayweather has been back in training lately as rumors continue of a possible rematch with old foe Pacquiao.

‘MayPac 2’ would prove much more lucrative for the Pacquiao than a Pay-Per-View outing with Spence.

Only time will tell.

The post Errol Spence, Manny Pacquiao agree to welterweight super-fight next appeared first on WBN – World Boxing News.

Saenchai tops Thai Fight 10th anniversary

Thai Fight Nakhon Si Thammarat

Thai Fight marks its tenth anniversary on March 30 with the event held in Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand. Established in 2010, the organisation has held two seasons of knockout tournaments featuring the likes of Fabio Pinca and Buakaw Banchamek, just to name a couple, followed by a series of events produced across the world with the A-list Thai fighters battling it out against international competitors.

Next Saturday the promotion visits Nakhon Si Thammarat, southern city of Thailand. The event is dedicated “to celebrate the great 10th year of Thai Fight and to promote Thailand’s tourism,” (via Facebook).

Famed Saenchai is scheduled to headline the upcoming show, which is his second outing in one month. Early March the four-division Lumpinee Boxing Stadium champion traveled to the UAE where he earned a unanimous decision against Valerii Abramenko in the main event of “Fight Night Dubai”.

Such Thai fighters as Tengnueng Sitjesairoong, PTT Sor.Pattanagas, Saensatharn, Chanajon, Payak and Petch Samui, Kitti Sor Jor Danrayong and Samingdej are also scheduled for “Thai Fight Nakhon Si Thammarat”. The name of fighter going up against Saenchai as well as other matchups are expected to be announced in the coming days.

The post Saenchai tops Thai Fight 10th anniversary appeared first on FIGHTMAG.

[Video] Jorge Masvidal, Leon Edwards involved in backstage fight

While Jorge Masvidal is conducting an interview after knocking out Darren Till in the main event of the UFC Fight Night in London, Masvidal confronts Leon Edwards and punches are thrown.

Edwards suffers a cut to his face. ESPN’s Laura Sanko recaps what occurred and UFC Senior Vice President of International and Content, David Shaw answers questions at the postfight press conference.

David Benavidez Makes Dominant Return Stopping Love in 2

David Benavidez (21-0, 18 KOs) made a huge statement in stopping veteran fighter J’Leon Love (24-3-1, 13 KOs) in the second round of their matchup. The contest took place at the AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas on March 16, 2019.

The first aired live on the PBC on Fox Pay-Per-View telecast which was headlined by Errol Spence vs. Mikey Garcia.

This was the first time Benavidez was seen in the ring in over a year when he defeated Ronald Gavril. Following a positive test for cocaine use, Benavidez was stripped of the WBC Super Middleweight title.

Benavidez didn’t just need to win on Saturday night, he needed to make a statement. He did exactly that as he made quick work of Love.

During the build up of their matchup both fighters quickly grew a dislike for one another. Love, who is traditionally a boxer that fights on his back foot, came out aggressive. He paid for it as Benavidez landed a few big shots that had him rattled with just a few seconds remaining in the first round.

The second started with Benavidez picking up right where he left off by hammering away at Love who had little-to-no answer. A right hand seemed to have Love out on his feet. From there, Benavidez landed a few more shots before the referee stopped the contest.

Following the knockout win Benavidez didn’t seem surprised in the slightest with the end result.

“I expected to knock him out,” said Benavidez. “But when I hit him with the first good shot, I knew he wasn’t going to last. I tried to pace myself, but it wasn’t necessary tonight.”

Now that he is officially back in action he quickly turned his attention to Anthony Dirrell who is in possession of the WBC title that was stripped of Benavidez.

“I saw Anthony Dirrell with the WBC belt,” said Benavidez. “He can’t call himself champion until he fights me. That’s my belt. I’m going to go get it. It’s mine.”

Dirrell won the vacant title over Avni Yildirim in February of this year by technical decision to lay claim to the belt. A clash between these is wanted and needed.

Benavidez was never defeated in the ring for the belt so his belief that he is still a champion is warranted. Dirrell however thinks otherwise. A matchup would settle the debate. Let’s make it happen.

The post David Benavidez Makes Dominant Return Stopping Love in 2 appeared first on Round By Round Boxing.

Errol Spence Jr. calls out Manny Pacquiao after beating Mikey Garcia

By Dan Ambrose: Errol Spence Jr. did an admirable job on Mikey Garcia, beating him by a decisive 12 round unanimous decision in their pay-per-view fight on Fox Sports on Saturday night, and he then called out superstar Manny Pacquiao, who came inside the ring afterwards. (Photo credit: Frank Micelotta/FOX Sport) Spence said, “It would […]

Read full article: Errol Spence Jr. calls out Manny Pacquiao after beating Mikey Garcia @Boxing News 24