It’s 2014 all over again, with Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey in the headlines. Only this time, it’s all about McGregor working his way back from a broken leg, and Rousey leaving the door open for one last fight. Welcome to your Sunday MMA Quick Hits — let’s go!
After (Literal) Clash with Shevchenko, Taila Santos Needs Surgery
Brazil’s Taila Santos made UFC women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko look like a mere mortal at UFC 275— and that in itself is an accomplishment.
Through the better part of the first three rounds, Santos won positional battles, was strong in the clinch, and showed superior grappling. Then, an accidental clash of heads in the third round saw her eye swollen shut to start round four.
From there, Shevchenko took over, and two judges sided with her in the end. To add injury to insult (because that 49-46 scorecard in favor of Shevchenko was extremely insulting), as it turns out, Santos has a broken orbital and will require surgery.
According to her manager, Tiago Okamura, she’ll head back to Brazil for the procedure. Which means we likely won’t be seeing the budding flyweight star until some time in 2023.
“We had two options,” Okamura told MMA Fighting following the bout. “To have surgery here [in Singapore], and God knows how long we’d have to stay and how the recovery would take, or wait two weeks for the swelling to reduce a little bit and then have the surgery.”
With doctors advising the flight home wouldn’t be a problem, the choice was obvious.
Conor McGregor Uncorks Kicks in Training
Conor McGregor has been cleared to train with kicks again, another sign he’s on his way back to active competition after snapping his leg against Dustin Poirier last year.
Love or hate McGregor, the Irish star being active is good for the sport, as it draws eyeballs to anyone lucky enough to share a card with him. With a number of potential suitors lined up, including Michael Chandler, we may get word on a return fight for “The Notorious” soon.
Ronda Rousey Names the One Fight She’d Return to MMA For
Ronda Rousey seems content with her life as it stands, being a mom alongside fellow former UFC star Travis Browne, and recently returning to the WWE after taking time off to give birth to her daughter.
MMA seems like the distant past when it comes to Rousey, but there’s one fight she would return to the cage for: Gina Carano.
“If she ever was like, ‘Ronda, I want to fight you tomorrow, 205 pounds,’ like, whatever the hell she wants — I’m not saying she’s 205 pounds, I’m sure she’s very svelte — if she wanted to come into my backyard and do the Rocky thing or, you know, ‘ding ding’ and we just do it in the backyard, I don’t care,” Rousey said during an appearance on The Kurt Angle Show (h/t POST Wrestling). “I will fight Gina wherever she wants. Even if she doesn’t want to forever, leave that offer there.
“It’s a respect thing, not like a, ‘F*ck you. I’m coming to get you.’ It’s just like, ‘Hey, if you ever wanna pull that card out, it’s there.’ I love her. Thank you Gina for everything you’ve done.”
Rousey and Carano were rumored to face off around 2014, but Carano revealed a few years back that the deal fell through when Dana White tried to put pressure on her while she was seeking a new team to train with, then sent her an profane text calling her a “b*tch.” Though the UFC President later apologized, the fight never materialized.
Zabit Magomedsharipov Explains Retirement Decision
This week, what was pretty much common knowledge became official: Zabit Magomedsharipov has retired.
After reports circulated confirming he had informed the UFC of his decision, the featherweight star, who last fought in 2019, took to social media to explain his decision.
“Disruptions of fights, and then health problems – all this did not allow me to perform/fight earlier. I have recovered now, but I don’t feel the way I used to,” Magomedsharipov wrote. “Thank you to everyone who has supported me for such a long time. I didn’t have time to become a champion, but I think, even without this, I hope I was able to please/entertain you.”
Zabit is reportedly looking to enter the medical profession next. He finishes his fighting career with a record 18-1 as a professional.
Fan Fixes Lauzon’s Knee
Joe Lauzon having to pull out of his UFC Austin fight was heart-breaking enough already, given it’s the second time a fight between the pair has fallen through this year. But get this — after hours of trying to get his knee working failed, a fan on Instagram found the solution.
Lauzon posted his own video in response, showing the fan’s suggestion had done the trick. He even tried to get the fight with Cowboy back on, but it was too late.
Cageside Live Reacts to Mayweather-Asakura Announcement
The latest Cageside Live (cheap plug, it goes down every Monday!) covered the fallout from UFC 275, and reacted to the announcement of Floyd Mayweather returning to RIZIN for an exhibition boxing match with Mikuru Asakura later this year — news which broke during the broadcast!