There was a time when all Junior dos Santos wanted was a chance to get a rematch against either Fabricio Werdum or Alistair Overeem. But, his requests for those do-overs were shut down by the hard-hitting Heavyweight contenders, according to "Cigano."
Fast forward a few months, and "Cigano" has the last laugh, as he is now sitting pretty with a looming championship fight against current 265-pound kingpin Stipe Miocic, which will go down at UFC 211 on May 13, 2017, in Dallas, Texas (details).
So when asked about a potential rematch against "Vai Cavalo," all dos Santos could do was laugh it off, saying that his fellow Brazilian -- as well as Overeem -- only want to face him when it benefits them, and he won't be giving them the pleasure anytime soon.
"Why am I going to fight this guy? He denied to fight me three times," dos Santos said. "He was ranked first in rankings and I thought maybe we could have a good fight. But now, he denied me three times and now I don't want to fight him anymore.
"He don't add anything on my career," he continued. "Let's see in the future, but he denied me three times, and Overeem denied me twice. That's what UFC told me. These guys just want to fight me when I am a really good thing for them. Other than that, then they don't want me because they know how well I do during the fights. I am coming here to be champion again."
One opponent he would like to face again is Cain Velasquez, who holds two back-to-back brutal beatdowns over him. And while a fourth fight doesn't really make sense, it may be inevitable should "JDS" win the title in "Big D."
"I think this is one of the fights I for sure want to do. I hope he can get better, heal from surgery. I want to fight him again," proclaimed dos Santos. "I feel like I have to go for fourth fight. After our third fight, Cain said it was the last time, but he was wrong. I don't know what's going to happen in the future. I hope he does well because I am going to be very happy to face him again. Things are different now. It's the moment of truth."
While it seems that the Heavyweight title race is nothing more than a carousel featuring the usual suspects, dos Santos admits he is happy to see some new faces on the horizon such as Derrick Lewis and Francis Ngannou, two big men he is excited to see inside the cage down the line.
First thing's first, as he has some business to tend to with another rematch on the horizon against a man he defeated two years ago. This time, however, it will be for all the marbles, though he expects the same outcome
"Mark my words, I am going to be champion again," concluded dos Santos.
For more on that looming championship showdown click here.
Matt Mitrione isn't out of the woods just yet.
Even though "Meathead" passed a kidney stone that forced him out of his scheduled Heavyweight showdown against Fedor Emelianenko at Bellator 172 last weekend (Sat., Feb. 18, 2017) in San Jose, Calif. (details), he still has a few unwanted guests lingering around in his right kidney. Six or seven, according to Mitrione, who revealed on a recent edition of "The MMA Hour" that he is set to undergo a procedure this Wednesday (Feb. 22, 2017) to have them removed.
"I have six or seven stones in my right kidney right now, and I don't have any in my left. I don't know what that's the case. I'm going to the doctor on Wednesday, a surgeon named Dr. Amy Krambeck in Indianapolis," said Mitrione, who revealed he came across the surgeon who will conduct the procedure by accident as he was filtering through all the hateful messages he was getting on social media.
"As much as I despise social media, especially after a situation like this where everyone is calling me a pussy and that I'm such a punk, coward; I was scrolling through it and a doctor name Bodo Knudsen wrote me to tell me there was one of the best kidney stone specialists in the world in Indianapolis," he added. "I followed him, he got back to me and he ends up being an endourologist in Ohio State University and he got me in touch with her, she calls me up today and I'm having surgery on Wednesday. They were like, 'Look, this is a big deal and we're going to take care of it.'"
When asked how exactly the surgeon would "get in there," Mitrione left little to the imagination. "Straight through my pee hole, buddy."
For Mitrione, the procedure isn't simply to remove the remaining ones he has left, but to ensure that he never has to go through the painful ordeal ever again, as the stones will be broken up via a laser, scooped out and then sent to a lab to be tested to find the root of the problem.
Once he's ready and able, he still wants to throw hands against Fedor and give fight fans the contest they deserve.
"This kidney stone that came out of nowhere cost Bellator millions of dollars, it cost the fight world an incredible fight that I believe that everybody wanted to see, excited about and really hyped," added Mitrione. "I owe the fans a fight, I owe Fedor a fight, Fedor and I owe the fans a fight and I am going to get it taken care of, and it sucks that I am going to have a medal rod stuffed in me pee hole to get this thing taken care of so it never happens again, but I can at least eliminate this from any concern that will ever come up again."
According to Mitrione, he will be out during the procedure, but will have a catheter hooked up to him from anywhere between two and 10 days. On the bright side, it is an outpatient procedure, so "Meathead" won't be laid up in the hospital for recovery.
It's the small things.
Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) bloatedweight champion Johny Hendricks has been reborn at 185 pounds, thanks to a unanimous decision victory over ex-Bellator middleweight kingpin Hector Lombard at UFC Fight Night 105 in Halifax.
Watch the video highlights here.
Now that "Bigg Rigg" is back in the win column with renewed confidence, he's setting his sights on the rest of the 185-pound division, which may welcome a familiar face in the form of Georges St-Pierre.
"Rush" is also interested in the heavier weight class, where he can target reigning titleholder Michael Bisping. Hendricks, however, may have a problem with that particular match up.
Call it unfinished business.
"I would just say sorry for the Canadians," Hendricks said at the post-fight press conference (via MMA Junkie). "I'm going to have to beat his face in, definitely if he comes to 185. Because that's a fight that I've been really looking for. And now that I've got a win under my belt at 185, he's a newcomer at 185."
Hendricks and St-Pierre battled to a controversial split-decision in late 2013 in what was the French-Canadian's final fight inside the Octagon. "Rush" bailed to deal with his personal and professional problems before finally making his long-awaited return.
Though I can't imagine GSP -- and the fans -- waited over three years for his return just to run it back with "Bigg Rigg."
UFC Fight Night 105 went down last night (Sun., Feb. 19, 2017) inside Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and now it's time to see who went home with the largest slice of the Reebok sponsorship pie.
For complete UFC Fight Night 105 results and coverage click here.
One of the biggest earners of the night was Johny Hendricks, who took home an event high $15,000 sponsorship check from Reebok following his victory over Hector Lombard (highlights), who scored $5,000 from the sports apparel giant.
Travis Browne -- who was knocked out cold by Derrick Lewis in the headlining act -- also took home $15,000 in sponsorship earnings in defeat, while "Black Beast" only earned $10,000.
Check out the rest of the Reebok sponsorship payouts via MMA Junkie:
Derrick Lewis: $10,000 def. Travis Browne: $15,000
Johny Hendricks: $15,000 def. Hector Lombard: $5,000
Gavin Tucker: $2,500 def. Sam Sicilia: $10,000
Elias Theodorou: $5,000 def. Cezar Ferreira: $10,000
Sara McMann: $5,000 def. Gina Mazany: $2,500
Paul Felder: $5,000 def. Alessandro Ricci: $2,500
Santiago Ponzinibbio: $5,000 def. Nordine Taleb: $5,000
Randa Markos: $5,000 def. Carla Esparza: $2,500
Aiemann Zahabi: $2,500 def. Reginaldo Vieira: $2,500
Thiago "Marreta" Santos: $5,000 def. Jack Marshman: $2,500
Gerald Meerschaert: $2,500 def. Ryan Janes: $2,500
So, how are payouts determined?
According to the revamped payout structure (see it), the more fights you have combined with UFC and the now-defunct World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) and Strikeforce promotions, the more coin you have for your combat sports piggy bank.
And the less fights you have under the ZUFFA banner... well, the less you get. If you have a problem with the structure, take it up with UFC, not Reebok.
According to the report, fighters will also receive royalty and payments up to 20-30 percent of any UFC-related merchandise sold that bears his or her likeness. That's a great way for the Internet "morons" to help the cause.
At UFC 208 a few weeks back, Germaine de Randamie made history by becoming the first-ever Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women's Featherweight champion, defeating Holly Holm via unanimous decision in Brooklyn, New York (see it again here).
But "Iron Lady's" victory was somewhat clouded in controversy, as many felt Holm should've gotten the nod, or at the very least scored a draw had the referee on duty taken a point away from de Randamie for a couple of late blows after the bell.
As a result, Germaine was quick to offer up a rematch to Holm, leaving Cris Cyborg out in the cold. Speaking of which, when asked about a potential title defense against the fearsome striker during her post-fight speech, Germaine drew the ire of many -- Cyborg included -- after declaring she needed surgery to repair her busted-up hand.
During a recent appearance on The MMA Hour, "Iron Lady" did her best to clear up her comments regarding surgery, a potential showdown against a "beatable" Cyborg, and why she feels Holly should get an instant rematch.
"I've said I need surgery on my hand, that's inevitable," said de Randamie. "But I never said I need surgery right now. Am I going to have permanent damage if I fight again? That is something I have to evaluate with my doctor. I truly apologize for not making that clear, but I don't run away from anybody."
"I knew Cyborg was there and there is no reason for me to run, everyone is beatable and it is an honor for me to fight such a great champion like Cyborg. I am not running. But at this point, I do believe Holly deserves the rematch."
Still, Germaine says she has yet to see a doctor, but hopes that will change in the coming weeks to clear things up regarding her fighting future. And while UFC matchmakers will likely book Cyborg vs. de Randamie once the doctor gives the green light, "Iron Lady" first wants Holm to silence the critics.
"I completely understand people want to see that fight, and that fight will eventually happen, but first I got to fight Holly to clear everything up," she said. "Everything that has been said, I think she deserves the rematch, first. A few weeks ago, it wasn't clear if Cyborg would be cleared to fight soon, now that she's cleared (with USADA), if the fight is going to happen, it will happen anyway, but Holly deserves it first to settle things up."
As far as Cyborg's USADA issues, those are now a thing of the past. And since comapny president Dana White wasn't too thrilled with the performances of both Holm and de Randamie, it's unlikely an instant rematch will see the light of day anytime soon.