Sunday MMA Quick Hits: White Gifts NELK Boy a Windfall, Edgar’s Final Fight

Frankie Edgar, UFC 268
Frankie Edgar, UFC 268 ceremonial weigh-in Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

Dana White gets awfully generous when it comes to one of the NELK boys’ birthdays (can you tell them apart? We can’t), while Frankie Edgar is looking to have his retirement fight at UFC 281 in New York City this November. It’s Sunday, you know what that means — time for your Sunday MMA Quick Hits!

Dana White Gifts NELK Boys’ Kyle Forgeard 250K Cash

Very few fighters will ever make $250,000 per fight in the UFC, but promotion president Dana White gave Mississauga, Ontario-born Kyle Forgeard of the NELK Boys that much as a birthday gift. Pretty much just for existing.

The social media “stars” are Canada’s answer to Jake and Logan Paul, or something like that. They host the Full Send podcast, and have also launched Full Send MMA (which recently had a reporter slapped by Nate Diaz, in what may or may not have been a publicity stunt).

The gift from “Uncle” Dana is very much a publicity stunt, and it worked — over two million people watched Forgeard unwrap his present on Twitter alone.

One former UFC fighter had the perfect response. Having parted ways with the promotion for the second time recently, Louis Smolka dropped the U-bomb. “When we starting the union bois?”

Not soon enough.

Jake Paul Returns Fire, Misses the Mark

Speaking of Jake Paul… sorry. The social media antics of Paul, the NELK boys etc. are past tiresome at this point, but after Conor McGregor called Paul a “flop,” Paul returned fire with a video that pretty much missed the mark. And since we sort of need to report on this stuff, here it goes.

Dragging up old infidelity accusations and claiming McGregor hasn’t fought in five years, Paul’s latest video flame fizzles. Especially since Paul references McGregor’s fight with Donald Cerrone, which happened two years ago (and he fought twice since).

Given McGregor is nursing a broken leg, it’s just a weird choice, going with the “you’re not active” argument. Meanwhile, Paul goes on to list his accomplishments on Pay-Per-View, claiming to have sold a half million buys for his first fight with Tyron Woodley, and 200,000 for his second.

The problem with those brags? Even if true, when’s the last time a Conor McGregor Pay-Per-View sold under a million? The answer, based on industry estimates, is his first, which still reportedly did over 800,000 buys.

So again, Paul misses the mark, and should probably just stick to prepping for a boxing match, assuming he still has one on August 6.

Figueiredo’s Former Manager Speaks Up, Labels Champ a “Bastard”

Walid Ismail, a former fighter turned manager and one of the more colorful characters in mixed martial arts, isn’t keeping quiet about former client Deiveson Figueiredo.

Ismail and the former champ parted ways recently, and while things remained cordial initially, the relationship between the two quickly deteriorated. In an interview with Ag.Fight, Figueiredo claimed that Ismail failed to inform him of the UFC’s plan to create an interim title, and failed to notify the promotion of his hand injury.

That has brought about a sharp rebuke by Ismail.

“From the beginning I didn’t want to speak out so as not to expose Deiveson,” Ismail told Sherdog this past week. “I had informed Deiveson that the UFC would [create] the interim belt if he couldn’t fight until July. The UFC was aware that he was injured. I have conversations with matchmakers informing [them] about the injury. He made a statement in the press saying that he would only like to fight Kai Kara France in October, although I asked him to fight Brandon Moreno again, as this would be the best fight for his career.

“He wants to look for someone to blame for his wrong decisions, I’m just speaking out because, although he apologized to me for lying that he didn’t know about the interim belt, now he’s back to lying, that I hadn’t warned the UFC about his injury. That’s a lack of character.”

According to Ismail, Figueiredo flat-out lied.

“This vagabond has become a shameless bastard,” he stated. “First he lied saying that I hadn’t warned him about the interim belt (the bastard told me he didn’t care). The bastard apologized to me for lying, now he’s telling another lie. You’re very naughty, Deiveson. I told the UFC that he was injured and could only fight in October. This bastard asked me to say that.”

Figueiredo is currently repped by Vayner Sports, under the watchful eye of Urijah Faber.

Jan Blachowicz to 185? Ex-LHW Champ Hints at Pursuing Adesanya Rematch

Former light heavyweight champ Jan Blachowicz appears to be the odd man out at 205lbs, with current champion Jiri Porchazka pursuing a rematch with Glover Teixeira.

That has him considering a move down to 185 pounds.

Blachowicz, if you recall, is the only man to defeat middleweight champion Israel Adesanya. That decision win came when “The Last Stylebender” moved up to challenge for light heavyweight gold. It appears Blachowicz could return the favor, and move down.

“If I have a chance, why not? For Izzy and his belt, to fight for the belt? I can try,” Blachowicz told The MMA Hour recently.

The Polish fighter is among those who feel Adesanya has been fighting safe of late. “Maybe this is the reason that now he will be very careful in the fights to not make any mistakes,” Blachowicz suggested. “Just don’t lose the fight. Maybe I have to cut the weight and give him rematch in his category.”

Frankie Edgar Requests Final Fight in New York City

Former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar is requesting that his final fight be booked for UFC 281 in New York City.

According to TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter, who had a conversation with the legend’s manager, Edgar is willing to face anyone the UFC puts in front of him. Just so long as he can get on the card at Madison Square Garden.

It will be an end of an era when Edgar bows out. Just don’t book Edgar into a slaughter in the hopes of building up the next big thing.