Let’s be honest — it was a slow week for MMA with the UFC, Bellator MMA, and ONE Championship all taking the week off. No Invicta FC, RIZIN, KSW, or even LFA cards. That did give the PFL the spotlight, and their 2022 World Championship card was pretty darn good in the end — but one show is never enough to satiate fight fans. Regardless, we’re back with the Sunday MMA Quick Hits as always, featuring Conor McGregor, Cris Cyborg, Brendan Loughnane and more!
Joe Rogan No Fan of Slap Fighting
Count UFC analyst and podcast host Joe Rogan as one of many dubious about the sport of “slap fighting,” which features in the newest venture from UFC President Dana White — Power Slap.
“I love Dana, and I would be a hypocrite if I said I wouldn’t watch this, because I will watch it – but this is not my cup of tea,” Rogan explained on “The Joe Rogan Experience” recently (h/t MMA Junkie). “What I like it problem solving. I like puzzles. What I like is [Sean O’Malley] and [Petr] Yan. This f*cking Russian assassin is rushing the gates and you’re kicking and moving away and jab at him. That’s what I like. I love technique.”
Cyborg Reacts to Shocking Harrison Defeat
For over a year now, Kayla Harrison and Cris Cyborg have been going back-and-forth in the media, though the two compete for rival promotions.
Long considered the best 145lb fighter on the plant (at least until Amanda Nunes came along), Cyborg has been seen as the toughest test for Harrison, who like the Brazilian simply cannot make the bantamweight limit.
PFL CEO Donn Davis had been so bullish on Harrison’s prospects in a potential fight with the Bellator champ, he offered up a million dollars to each party — and two million to the winner.
“I think Donn Davis owes Larissa Pacheco a backroom bonus,” Cyborg wrote on social media following the fight. “She just saved the PFL $3 million dollars.”
In a separate post, Cyborg wrote that “Tonight will only make Kayla a better fighter. One thing I learned after going 14 years undefeated is that sometimes you need to lose to become your best,” adding “Kayla will be back and she will grow from this experience. Congrats Larissa Pacheco, you are a real world champion.”
Brendan Loughnane Gets Last Laugh
Back in 2019, Dana White opted not to sign featherweight Brendan Loughnane, despite a strong performance on the Contender Series. It was the first week of the season, Loughnane was dominant, but had shot for a takedown late in his fight with Bill Algeo. That rubbed White the wrong way.
A week later, the UFC President was on the defensive about Loughnane, saying that he was free to sign with another promotion. “If I’m wrong, he’s a free agent, and they can pick him up. If anybody thinks I’m wrong, show me. Show me that I’m wrong.”
As it turns out, Dana was wrong.
— Cageside Press (@Cagesidepress) November 26, 2022
Let’s just be blunt: White was wrong. Loughnane has now won the PFL 2022 season at featherweight, earning a million dollars in he process. Since the Contender Series, he’s 8-1, with the lone loss to Movlid Khaybulaev. He has wins over UFC vets Chris Wade and Sheymon Moraes (who defeated Marlon Moares at the PFL 2022 World Championship).
Winning alone doesn’t necessarily make White wrong, but Loughnane continues to get better. He put on his best performance to date against PFL and Bellator MMA vet Bubba Jenkins on Friday, chopping his opponent’s lead leg with kicks, showing vastly improved takedown defense, and downright lighting him up in the fourth, earning a TKO stoppage.
The UFC’s loss is the PFL’s gain, as has been apparent for some time now. Loughnane looks to be a lock for next season, and a potential rematch with Khaybulaev could garner a lot of interest.
No, He’s Not Leaving the Sport
MMA managers say outlandish things all the time. So as much as some people have taken a liking to dragging up this old post from Dominance MMA chief Ali Abdelaziz, no, he’s not leaving the sport just because Kayla Harrison lost.
If she ever lose I will leave Mma she cannot be touched https://t.co/ggmOiHFQGo
— Ali Abdelaziz (@AliAbdelaziz00) May 7, 2021
As problematic as Abdelaziz is, given his dubious past and present affiliations, and documented history of conflict of interest, too many high profile fighters fall under his management umbrella. Boasting and promoting clients is what managers are supposed to do anyway.
McGregor Responds to Lobov Lawsuit, Sort Of
There’s been a lot of Conor McGregor news lately, and there’s probably more to come has we inch closer to 2023, and his potential return to the cage. On Saturday, McGregor gave a quick response to former friend and teammate Artem Lobov suing him over Proper No. 12 whiskey, with Lobov claiming McGregor’s whiskey venture was his own idea.
In short… Lobov is a rat, says McGregor. Or, more accurately, sings McGregor.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) November 26, 2022
McGregor Urges UFC to Sign Brendan Loughnane
Since we’ve covered both Conor McGregor and Brendan Loughnane in this column already, it should be noted that “Mystic Mac” sees the potential in the Brit, who is still in his prime at 32.
UFC, sign Brendan Loughnane. Exciting fighter. A back story with the company. And of the European side. A money in the bank uk/Europe signing. Congrats on the win @BrendanMMA
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) November 26, 2022