The final UFC event of the year went down this weekend — not to mention the final KSW card of 2021. MMA is pretty much a wrap for the rest of the year, with the exception of RIZIN’s annual New Year’s Eve show. Weight cutting? No match for Christmas dinner! But before we get there, let’s take a quick look at a few stories you might have missed earlier in the week.
Michael Chiesa’s Frat Boy Moment
UFC welterweight and sometimes color commentator Michael Chiesa was absolutely elated after taking in teammate Julianna Pena’s monumental victory from the stands at UFC 269. It’s clear, however, that his exuberance was assisted by a large number of wobbly pops — which led to the unfortunate decision by “Maverick” to hop the guard rail and run towards the octagon. Predictably halted by security personnel, Chiesa wound up face planting, bloodied, and dragged out of the area.
You can see the start of Chiesa’s sprint to the octagon below.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) December 12, 2021
Dana White shed some info on the incident post-fight. “How do I say this without embarrassing this guy? He had a little bit too much to drink this evening. When she won, he freaked out and tried to jump into the octagon and fell down on his face, cut his eye and busted his eye open, then was arguing with the police that he needed to get into the octagon to be with her, because that’s his teammate. They dragged him out, got him outside, we calmed him down in the back, I went back and talked to him for a minute. We’re all good.”
It’s easy to understand Chiesa’s desire to celebrate with his teammate, but there are strict rules as to who can enter the octagon following a fight in place for a reason. Remember the Conor McGregor incident at Bellator 187? Or, you know McGregor vs. Khabib and co. at UFC 229? Chiesa wasn’t up to anything insidious, mind you — it was more of a drunken frat boy moment.
Never Change, Chael
At this point, it honestly feels like Chael Sonnen could talk his way out of a murder rap. Ahead of this year’s World MMA Awards, where he served as host, Sonnen talked to us about being fired by the UFC twice, and still coming back to be all over your TV screen.
We’ll just let these quotes speak for themselves.
“I’ve been fired by Dana twice. Dana’s my favorite guy, just in life in general, I look up to that man. He’s fired me twice. People think I kiss up to Dana— I don’t work for Dana, I haven’t worked for Dana in years because he fired me! Some people have a little bit of a bad sense of humor, they’re upset with me because I robbed a couple of banks. What about all the banks I didn’t get caught robbing? ‘He failed a couple of drug tests’ — what about all the drugs I took that they didn’t find in my system? Final score, Chael Sonnen’s ahead.”
“I’m not saying I’m a hero. I’m basically like Robin Hood. I have a Robin Hood outfit. Robin Hood stole from the rich and gave to the poor, I stole from the rich and then I kept it. And I’m not saying I’m a hero— but I am.”
Ring Card Girl of the Year
We caught up with Ring Card Girl of the Year Brittney Palmer prior to her win at the 2021 World MMA Awards.
Bigfoot Not Sure Why He’s Out of Eagle FC 44 Main Event… Really?
Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva says he’s not sure why he’s not longer fighting Tyrone Spong in the Eagle FC 44 main event next year.
Speaking to MMA Fighting, Silva said he first heard he was out of the fight via the media. “No one from the promotion told me anything as to why I’m out. They simply changed it, put [Sergei] Kharitonov in, and told me nothing.” He later added that he had heard from “people in the MMA Industry” that the Florida commission wouldn’t let him fight in the U.S., but countered that he wasn’t under suspension anywhere in the country.
Eagle FC would later release a statement claiming Silva was “not medically fit” to compete in the fight, scheduled for January 28, 2022.
Regardless of reason, pulling Silva from the bout is the right call. Bigfoot’s involvement with the fight was met with condemnation from multiple media outlets, including this one, and fans. The former UFC title challenger has won just a single fight since 2013. He’s 1-9, 1NC since that time, and also suffered losses in kickboxing and bare knuckle boxing during that stretch. Spong, meanwhile, posted a 14-0 record in boxing between 2015 and 2019.
In short, the fight was a brutal mismatch on paper. While Spong is only 2-0 as a mixed martial artist and last competed in 2013, Bigfoot has been knocked out in ten of his last 11 losses, including bare knuckle boxing and kickboxing.
Commissions nix fights all the time when fighter records don’t match up to make a competitive fight. That’s all the reason needed to pull Bigfoot from a fight that never should have been booked in the first place. It seems extremely odd that Silva wasn’t informed of the news and underlying reason directly from the commission or promotion, if true, but it’s the correct outcome in the end. You could book Sergei Kharitonov against Francis Ngannou tomorrow, and you wouldn’t fear for the man’s life, even though he’d be a sizable underdog in the fight. The same can’t be said of Bigfoot, as it feels like a strong gust of wind would knock the man out at this point.
Daniel Torres Misses Weight, Stripped of Title Ahead of KSW 65
We actually did cover this unfortunate turn of events this week, but it bears repeating. As numerous fighters will tell you, they actually have two jobs. The first is to make weight, the second is to show up and fight. Ahead of KSW 65, Daniel Torres failed to complete job #1 successfully. Since he happened to be the KSW featherweight champion at the time, the Brazilian wound up stripped of his title, which was up for grabs in a rematch with Salahdine Parnasse.
Ouch. This could not have come at a worse time for Torres, who was on a nice little run— a four fight win streak, capped off with beating Parnasse for the title in their first meeting.
Parnasee later won the fight. Insult, meet injury.
Jake Paul Thinks He Can Beat Tyron Woodley in MMA With Two Year’s of Training
“If I can learn how to box in two years and beat people like him then why can’t I learn how to do MMA in two years and beat people like him? That’s my answer. It will happen at some point. 100 percent.”
That’s the joke.
That said, Paul absolutely smoked Tyron Woodley in their rematch on Saturday. He either needs to face an actual boxer, or try fighting MMA fighters in MMA.
TOFC Cancelled One Day Out, Fighters Paid
The inaugural Tarps Off Fight Club event, Brawl by the Falls, has been cancelled — well, tentatively postponed — due to the surging omicron variant of COVID-19.
TOFC 1 was expected to feature Scott Hudson in a lightweight title fight against Dominic Clark, among other bouts. It was a welcome addition to the Ontario MMA landscape, which has seen a bit of a resurgence in recent years. However, with venue capacities reduced in the province due to omicron, and COVID cases spiking, the decision was made to call the card off.
On the plus side, all fighters who showed up and made weight Friday will be paid.
All fighters who showed up and made weight will receive their show money. @TOFCMMA
— The Bane 🎄☃️ (@TheBanesMMA) December 17, 2021