MMA News Morning Town Hall (8.9.18): Reyes vs. OSP, Dana-GSP, Stipe & More

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1Dominick Reyes vs. OSP Reported for UFC 229

For the second day in a row, our top story is a reported bout for UFC 229 in Las Vegas. It was reported yesterday that #12 ranked and undefeated light heavyweight Dominick Reyes will have the biggest fight of his young career at the pay per view when he squares off against Ovince St. Preux.

This bout could prove crucial for the light heavyweight division, which desperately needs new faces at the top of the rankings. A win for Dominick Reyes, especially if it comes in the same dominant fashion he has earned the rest of his UFC victories, could shake the core of the light heavyweight division with a new star crashing to its surface.

Members of our MMA community were pleased at this announcement as well.

“That’s a big fight!” Evan wrote on MMA Logic’s Facebook page. “I really like that I’m sadly a fan of both but I think Reyes gets it done fast!” “Thank you,” Quanny chimed in. “I was hoping they made this fight. That’s a big step for Reyes. I’ll be rooting for him. Dominick by finish, 1st. I see it ending really early.”

Here at MMANews.com, Mr. Electricity also felt that this is Reyes’s fight to lose: “Oh man, OSP may wanna go to the ground with this guy otherwise Reyes will take his head off if they stand and trade.”

2Dana White Not Interested in GSP Facing Khabib Nurmagomedov or Conor McGregor

Image via UFC’s YouTube channel

In Tuesday’s top story, we discussed GSP’s interest in facing the winner of the Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Conor McGregor showdown at UFC 229. Well, it didn’t take long before Dana White put a pin in that when speaking to reporters following the Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series Season 2 finale:

“That’s probably not going to happen,” White said about the potential matchup. “He gave up the 170-pound belt. He gave up the 185-pound belt, you know what I mean? It’s like no, pick a division.” The MMA community was asked if they would allow the GSP to face the Khabib/McGregor winner, and here’s how you responded:

“I wonder if you went back over the last 10 years and analyzed everything Dana said…things he said won’t happen probably happened more often than things he said will happen. First rule of fight club, never trust Dana,” Joel wrote.

Kevin explained why he would not give GSP this opportunity if he were in Dana White’s shoes: “No, he should have to earn his title shots, not just come back whenever he wants in whatever division. His last stunt not only held the division hostage, but it was anticlimactic. If he wants legacy fights, recapture welter if he can, then Conor fights him for welterweight. If Conor is successful, then not only will Conor be fighting for another two belts, but GSP’s portfolio also gets bolstered.” A logical take by Kevin to be sure, but the gamble for Georges St. Pierre going back to welterweight either doesn’t seem worth it for the former champion, especially  if he believes he can score the fight against McGregor without taking this risk.

Cobi wants to keep things simple and agrees with Dana White: stay in your weight lane: “GSP took an easy fight with Bisping,” he wrote. “I feel Kelvin Gastelum took all credibility from that win away from George. We need the divisions organized again and have fights that make sense. GSP’s last fight wasn’t even in the same division.”

I would like to point out one thing everyone seems to be missing. White used the word “probably,” which, by his standards, is a humongous gap for wiggle room if not a flat-out tell that he is very much open to the idea.

3Dana White Confirms The Ultimate Fighter Will Continue on ESPN

Many fans were hoping that the Ultimate Fighter would die along with the Fox deal when the UFC’s contract with ESPN begins next year. Others were dreading the possibility. But the overwhelming majority seemed to expect this outcome, with the wide belief being the next season of TUF, to be coached by Robert Whittaker and Kelvin Gastelum, would be the last. However, Dana White confirmed late Tuesday that, as the cliché goes, the show will go on:

“‘The Ultimate Fighter’ will continue. There’s still a huge market for ‘The Ultimate Fighter.’ ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ still does well. People will look at the ratings, and they’ll come in at a half-million, 600 (thousand), 650, but that’s the initial rating. Now, with DVR and stuff like that, the numbers are much bigger. Last season’s ‘Ultimate Fighter’ (27) averaged about a million viewers. That’s a lot of people. It’s still a big show and a big brand. Yeah, it’ll go on.”

This was music to the ears of an alumnus of the previous season of TUF, Luis Pena:

Another Twitter user voiced satisfaction at the announcement, and a confusion regarding the calls for the show to be terminated:

4Dana White: Every time I turn around, Stipe Feels Disrespected

Yesterday, we ran a story here on MMA News publishing comments from Dana White responding to Stipe’s latest gripe with the company: the disrespect of not receiving a rematch for the heavyweight champion but rather sitting on the sidelines as Brock gets the crack at DC instead.

“Stipe always feels like we’re disrespecting him, which we’re not,” White said on UFC Unfiltered on Tuesday. “We have a lot of respect for Stipe. I think he feels like it took him a very long time to get his very first title shot, and he felt longer than it should have. And then once he got it…I mean, it’s just, every time I turn around, he feels disrespected. He’s anything but disrespected. Complete opposite.”

“Obviously, you saw that we set up the fight with Cormier to fight Brock, and that would have been Stipe had Stipe won the fight. It’s no disrespect to Stipe. It was just something that was in place before that fight even happened.”

The MMA community was asked if Stipe is, in fact, getting disrespected. The responses were aplenty.

On the MMA News Facebook page, Josh wrote: “Yes, leading up to his title shot and now with the no rematch he has been disrespected the entire time.” Jeff offered an equally curt response, but with the alternative stance: “No, he just wines a lot like Woodley,” he wrote.

Coty offered a more fired-up defense of the former champion: “For sure he is! Backpacked the heavyweight division only to be passed up on his title rematch with DC. So now when DC retires and Stipe wins it back, there will always be that cloud over his head, makes zero sense to me. I get it’s the big money fight, but it’s honestly a low blow to the whole division that a juice head comes back and is gifted a title shot.” Dustin matched Coty’s passion, but did so arguing why Miocic did not deserve a rematch:

“I’m sick of hearing about immediate rematches just because someone was champ and lost. I would be different if it was a close decision or split decision, but it wasn’t… he got knocked out… that does not constitute a rematch… he falls back in line. Win your next match and earn another shot.”

Matt really dug deep on the issue, sharing why immediate rematches are illogical in general:

“It’s essentially saying that you can only become champion if you beat the current champion twice,” he wrote on MMA Logic. “He got knocked out…hard. Why does he deserve a title shot more than anyone else, especially fighters on winning steaks? Let’s say he gets the rematch and wins, then what? Trilogy fight because they are now 1 – 1? So the division gets held up for 18 months so the same two guys can fight three times. Cody didn’t even defend his belt, and he got an immediate rematch. Just doesn’t make any sense, and it does my head in. The only time I think it should be allowed is if a dominant champion loses a close fight, for example DJ vs. Cejudo.”

Anoop agreed with White, saying that both fighters knew the stakes going into the fight: “Saw the press conference before the fight where Dana already said that winner might face Brock Lesnar. And at that point, Stipe looked happy thinking he got a money fight, assuming he would run through DC, but that did not happen! Now, after he lost, he has been complaining, and that is kind of ridiculous. DC against Brock is going to be DC’s last fight, and I wouldn’t complain him looking for a money fight considering he is retiring.”

In the end, Gavin makes an argument for why Stipe should chin up, as things will ultimately work in his favor:

“Stipe shouldn’t feel too downhearted,” he wrote. “If Brock wins he’ll probably defend next against Stipe. If DC wins, he’ll either rematch Stipe or Stipe will fight someone for the vacant title. I do get it from a pride point of view though. You’re the most successful UFC heavyweight of all time, so sure, 9 times out of 10 you deserve an immediate rematch. But… then along came Brock etc. etc.”

5Colby Covington: There’s No Way I Was Going to Be Ready for UFC 228

Image Credit: Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images

After having his title shot be handed off to Darren Till, Colby Covington’s comments were published here on MMA News regarding why the request to step up and face Tyron Woodley was so unreasonable:

“Why are they trying to rush a camp? This fight needs a build-up, man. It needs a 12-week promotional build-up. Let me get out there and show that I can promote, and I can market fights and sell fights. Because nobody’s selling fights like me. I know how to do that now. These other guys, they don’t know how to do that. I wanted the fight, but I didn’t want the date. There was no way I was going to be ready. It’s only been up for me. I don’t think about the negative in my life. I just think about the positives. They’re not stripping anything. I earned that belt.”

We asked the MMA community about Covington’s situation and comments, and here is what you had to say:

On the MMA News Facebook page, Jeff wrote: “You should always be ready as a fighter. Obviously not in a full camp, but a lot of fighters go to shit between fights, and it can really hurt you. GSP would be in fighting shape 24/7 365, while someone like Jones lets himself go and waits till a few months out to start dieting and getting back into shape. I guess whatever works for you, but I would imagine being close to fighting ready is healthier, as your body isn’t fluctuating so much between.”

Joe kept his response brief, singing a familiar refrain among the MMA community these days: “They’ve shown that the interim belts are meaningless & that Ortega made the right decision with this situation.”

6Jose Aldo Thinking About Taking Lightweight Bout

Image Credit: Getty Images

“If there’s an opportunity, I want it,” Aldo told MMAFighting.com regarding a possible lightweight bout. “Not because of the weight cut, but to do a big fight. I think that’s what’s missing in my career, testing myself a little bit against other athletes from other divisions. It would be great. But I’m waiting for a definition in the division so we can make this decision in the future.”

The MMA community was asked about the prospect of Jose Aldo fighting at lightweight. Here’s how you responded:

On MMANews.com, Joe stated why he felt that was a bad idea: “He seems to have a problem with taller fighters. He will be really short compared to fighters like Ferguson and Nate and others, but he could gain power” One name appeared multiple times if Aldo were to follow through on this idea: “I’d love to see a WEC showdown between Aldo and Pettis at lightweight,” Travis wrote on the MMA News Facebook page. Overall, none of the respondents had any faith Aldo would be successful at lightweight.

More Fight Announcements:

Frankie Edgar vs. The Korean Zombie Official for UFC Denver

Ray Borg vs. Joseph Benavidez made official for UFC Denver

Kajan Johnson vs. Rustam Khabilov (UFC Moscow)

Tony Martin vs. Ryan LaFlare (UFC 229)

Aaron Pico vs. Leandro Higo (Bellator 206)

Fight Cancellation:

Bellator 205 is currently in need of a replacement for Pat Curran to face A.J. McKee in the main event, was forced to withdraw from the fight due to injury.

7Poll Time!

With Ray Borg and Joseph Benavidez officially announced for UFC Denver, fans were asked whom they thought would pick up the win in the Mile High City. As of this writing, an even 70% side with Joseph Benavidez to bounce back from his lost to Sergio Pettis, and 30% believe Ray Borg will do the bouncing back, following being caught in the Mouse Trap at UFC 216 last year. As for my projected odds, I predict Benavidez to be roughly a -280 opening favorite.

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