Sunday MMA Quick Hits: Boxer Trashes Diaz Ring Skills, Fury Teases Hybrid Fights with Ngannou, Jones

Nate Diaz, UFC 244
Nate Diaz, UFC 244 Open Workout Credit: Marcus Rebelo/Cageside Press

An early glimpse of Nate Diaz’s in-ring skills isn’t exactly promising, while Tyson Fury has teased hybrid fights with both Francis Ngannou and Jon Jones. The likelihood of either happening? Probably not great, but a fight fan can dream. All that and a bunch of weirdness from a busy weekend in combat sports fills out your Sunday MMA Quick Hits!

LFA fight sees cage door burst open following takedown attempt

Now there’s something you don’t see every day. During LFA 160’s Mike Roberts vs. Josiah Harrell fight, the cage door actually explodes open off a takedown attempt. Luckily, no one was hurt, and the fight resumed shortly after.

The powerful shot driving Harrell’s takedown attempt no doubt played a role — and he later won the fight via TKO.

Broken leg ends Oktagon 44 bout

Not for the faint of heart. Rafael Xavier picked up the finish in Oberhausen, Germany on Saturday at Oktagon 44 — by breaking opponent Mateusz Strzelczyk’s leg! It appears as if the initial kick by Xavier did some damage, which was compounded by Strzelczyk’s weight coming down on the leg after that.

Rough way to end a fight. All the best to Strzelczyk in recovery.

Cannonier sets middleweight striking record

Jared Cannonier entered the record books on Saturday at UFC Vegas 75, setting a new striking record for the UFC middleweight division. Against Marvin Vettori, Cannonier landed an astounding 241 significant strikes, out of 411 thrown (via UFC Stats).

UFC broadcaster Paul Felder announced the Cannonier had snagged the record during his octagon interview. The bout picked up Fight of the Night honors on Saturday.

Ref smoked during GLORY Collision 5 match

It really was a strange weekend in combat sports. Bellator started their show late, PFL had a bit of a snafu over who would move forward in the women’s featherweight division, the UFC had two fights go to video replay — and kickboxing org GLORY had this happen.

Boxer says Nate Diaz “looked like he was dying” in recent sparring match

Nate Diaz is preparing to face Jake Paul in an expected 10-round professional boxing match this August — but the review from one recent sparring partner is not good.

Undefeated middleweight boxer Esquiva Falcao went 12 rounds with Diaz this past week, and took to social media afterwards to say Diaz appeared to tire early.

“At first I thought he was tired, and in the end it looked like he was dying,” Falcao said on a video posted on his social media (h/t MMA Fighting). “His fighting style is crazy. You look at him and say, ‘Oh, he’s tired,’ and then we started sparring. [Coach] Robert [Garcia] told me in the second round, ‘He’s tired already, hold back a little bit and keep the rhythm so he does at least 10 rounds.’”

Diaz, who last competed against Tony Ferguson at UFC 279 in September 2022, has always been known for solid cardio, so the news does come as a surprise.

“I held back and kept boxing, and we did 12 rounds,” Falcao claimed regarding the pair’s spar. “He was tired, but taking punches and throwing, too. [He] is bad, [he] is bad, but since he’s too heavy — he’s overweight, probably around 220 pounds or more — and I’m the only big guy in the gym, I had to do it. But I liked doing it.”

Tyson Fury talks hybrid fights with Francis Ngannou, Jon Jones

Heavyweight champion boxer Tyson Fury says he’s been in talks with Francis Ngannou over a potential hybrid fight — and that the UFC has sent him an offer to compete against Jon Jones.

H/t to The MacLife, who captured Fury chatting on a Twitter Spaces live session.

“I’ve been in talks with Francis Ngannou for a hybrid fight,” Fury said. “There’s talks of me and Jon Jones doing a hybrid fight as we talk, right now. I received an offer from the UFC yesterday, so you never know what’s going to happen. The future’s bright, for sure, and there’s a lot of options out there.”

Note that while Fury mentions that there’s “talks of me and Jon Jones doing a hybrid fight,” he doesn’t specify what the offer received from the UFC actually is. More than likely the promotion won’t go the gimmick route and have offered a straight up mixed martial arts fight, which Fury won’t accept — but money talks, and stranger things have happened.