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5/27/16: Top Five Stories of the Week
In our regular Friday feature, we list out the most newsworthy stories/articles from the past week in MMA.
5. Bellator 155 is an embarrassment: One of Bellator’s worst ever events on Spike was capped off by one of the worst decisions ever rendered on one of their fight cards, and it left a terrible impression on those who tuned in last Friday night. That Rafael Carvalho is still holding the Bellator Middleweight Championship is a condemnation on that fight’s judges, Carvalho himself, and the organization as a whole. It’s best forgotten as soon as possible, which would be much easier without Carvalho still holding onto a title.
4. Rousimar Palhares loses in Italy, blames illegal blows: Getting stripped of his WSOF Welterweight Title and getting suspended by the Nevada Athletic Commission didn’t keep Rousimar Palhares from taking a fight in Italy with Venator FC, but things didn’t go quite as he’d planned. Palhares was stopped in just 45 seconds by Emil Weber Meek, and then he of all fighters had the gall to blame illegal blows for the loss. It was a stunning display of a fighter’s complete lack of self awareness.
3. B.J. Penn’s UFC return scrapped due to USADA violation: In what’s somewhat of a ridiculous display of the UFC’s relationship with USADA, B.J. Penn’s return to the cage has been scrapped not due to the sexual assault allegations levied against him, but because he used a supposedly doctor-prescribed IV prior to an out of competition drug test. Penn is claiming ignorance to the IV rules as it pertains to random out of competition tests, and is hoping that will mitigate whatever punishment is coming his way, but he’s out of next week’s event in California regardless of what happens with USADA.
2. The UFC’s meeting with Conor McGregor goes well: After pulling him from UFC 200 and dealing with continuously ridiculous stories regarding a potential bout with Floyd Mayweather, the UFC met with Conor McGregor in the last week to mend fences. It seems things are moving in the direction of McGregor returning at UFC 202 in August, and he’s keeping things all business after the spring rift that took him out of the July 9 event.
1. The UFC’s meeting with Nate Diaz does not: … Of course while things went well with McGregor, they somewhat predictably fell apart when the UFC went to meet with Nate Diaz. After they pulled this matchup from UFC 200 in order to flex their muscle against McGregor, Diaz realized he had a lot more pull and leverage in this situation than perhaps he knew into UFC 200, and he’s now ready to pull that card. McGregor really wants the rematch, casual fans are ready and willing to pay for it, and the UFC really wants to take advantage of that after making their point with McGregor. All of that is to say that Diaz’s presence is a must, but because he won the first matchup in March – and frankly couldn’t care less about pleasing the UFC – he’s got every right to demand every last dollar he can squeeze out of the UFC. He’s pulling that leverage right now, and it’s probable he’ll wind up getting paid off to go through with the proposed UFC 202 main event.
[Photo (c) Mark J. Rebilas via USA Today Sports]
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