Ciryl Gane proves the doubters (me) wrong
First, I must admit defeat. In the last UFC Unfiltered column I brazenly picked the underdog Derrick Lewis to run-through the violent Frenchman Ciryl Gane in the main event of UFC 265. My exact words?
Odds be damned though as I’ll be pulling for “The Black Beast” to pull an upset in violent style and claim a piece of his first-ever championship.Jeremy Long, expert Combat Sports bettor
Instead, Gane put that “two-piece and a dry ass Popeye’s biscuit” beating on Lewis, earning the TKO victory in the third round of the their interim title bout.
And it’s not just that Gane (10-0) beat Lewis (25-8; 1 NC) to claim a piece of the belt, it’s the sheer scale of the whoopin’ that is surprising. Gane landed 112 total strikes, with 98 of them being significant. Lewis only landed 16 strikes total. He seemed to be waiting on an opening to land that big right hand and offered up little else.
In the UFC, a heavyweight fighter like Lewis who is both extremely popular, reliable for the company and has a fan-friendly fight style, is never truly out of the title picture but at 36 years old how many more title shots will come his way?
Hats off to Gane, but it seems like an opportunity lost for one of the best heavyweight fighters in MMA history.
UFC Unfiltered: The GWOAT returns
Technically, this is outside the realm of UFC, but it’s worth mentioning: Claressa Shields, the most decorated women’s boxer in history, has booked her second MMA fight with PFL.
According to the Washington Post, Shields (1-0) is now scheduled to face Abigail Montes on Oct. 27 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. The event will serve as the finale of the PFL season where their champions will be determined.
Shields, 26, was victorious in her MMA debut, defeating Brittney Elkins via third round TKO.
The “Greatest Woman of All Time” won gold medals at the 2012 London Olympics and the 2016 Rio games before turning pro and taking the boxing world by storm. She became the first boxer of any gender in the four-belt era to be the undisputed champion in two weight classes.
Montes, 21, is 2-0 in her professional MMA career and hails from Mexico.
UFC unfiltered: Fighter Jordan Williams fights off would-be thief
UFC welterweight fighter Jordan Williams had to fight his way onto the UFC roster via Dana White’s Contender Series, so he know all about trials and tribulations.
What he might want to learn about now is locking his car door, even if he’s only going into a store for a quick minute.
Williams, 30, left his car running as he ran into a gas station near his house in Denver. As he left the store he saw a man climb into the driver’s seat and attempt to make off with the vehicle.
“At first I couldn’t really believe it,” Williams told ESPN. “And then I was like, ‘Holy s—, there’s someone really in my car.’
Williams then pulled the man out of the vehicle while peppering him with punches and knees to the body. He said the man apologized as he ran off.
The fighter out of Factory X MMA in Denver is winless in the UFC but this fight should get him back on Dana White’s radar and hopefully against a top 15 fighter. Neighborhood thieves and crackheads be warned: homie don’t play that.
Silva-Ortiz to serve as co-main of De La Hoya-Belfort at Triller senior night
Anderson Silva and Tito Ortiz will square off in a sanctioned eight round cruiserweight boxing match with two minute rounds that will serve as the co-main event of Triller’s boxing version of a terrible M. Night Shyamalan film.
The event is scheduled for Sept. 11 at Staples Center in Los Angeles and features boxing great Oscar De La Hoya attempting a comeback by facing off against MMA all-timer Vitor Belfort. These fights won’t be exhibitions and are sanctioned by the California State Athletic Commission as professional boxing fights.
Also, former heavyweight champion David Haye will face Joe Fournier in an eight round contest with three minute rounds.
Silva, 46, earned a decision upset over former middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in June, in only his third pro boxing match. Ortiz, 48, will be making his professional boxing debut.
Both Silva and Ortiz were extremely popular UFC champions in their prime fighting days and hope that momentum will help propel eyes and wallets to the PPV event.
One would think that the event would begin earlier in the day so that all the participants could hit their shared after party at Golden Corral in time for the early bird dinner prices, but it’s scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. PDT and is available on FiteTV.
Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza announces retirement
Longtime middleweight contender Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza announced his retirement at the age of 41.
Souza finishes his career at 26-10 and is known for being one of the best middleweight fighters of his generation despite never capturing UFC gold. While with the UFC from 2013 to 2021 he complied a 9-7 record.
He is a former Strikeforce title holder and Abu Dhabi Combat Club World Championships grappling competition champion as well.
Souza broke the news to Brazilian outlet Combate.
Finally… McGregor crossing lines
There was a time not too long ago when a fired up Conor McGregor blessed us with some of the best trash talk the world of combat has ever heard.
“Who the fook is that guy?” C’mon man. That’s a classic line that still gets used to this day. It both created and destroyed Jeremy Stephens career in one fell swoop.
But lately McGregor’s jabs and tirades have come off less fun and taunting and more, well… desperate and sad.
At the beginning of 2021 the combat world was introduced to the “nicer” McGregor when he complimented his opponent, Dustin Poirier, to the point of nausea and even offered to give half a million dollars to The Diamond’s charitable endeavors.
Fast forward two losses and eight months later and McGregor has clearly become desperate for relevancy and a man lost in his own sauce.
After his second loss to Poirier in July, retired champion Khabib Nurmagomedov tweeted the following:
Only for McGregor to respond, and then quickly delete a reply: “Covid is good and father is evil?”
It was a clear, line crossing taunt aimed at Khabib over the loss of his father in 2020 from complications stemming from COVID-19.
He’s hurled death threats. He’s tossed accusations and taunts at Poirier’s wife.
And yes, all is fair in love and war. This is the hurt business after all.
And while I’ll be the first to admit my appreciation for McGregor’s bravado and trash talk over the years, he’s clearly losing his grasp on what fans are willing to stomach and support from their favorite fighters.
The cracks are beginning to show for McGregor and it seems his ego can’t handle the losses as well as he once claimed (oddly enough after the first Poirier fight):
It seems those sentiments are gone when he’s no longer feared. No one likes a sore loser.
No one likes a loser who’s also just being a dick.