A huge fight in the UFC Middleweight Division and a potential history-making fight in the UFC Flyweight Division are coming our way this summer.
UFC officially announced on Tuesday the cancellation of the UFC Bantamweight Championship bout between Cody Garbrandt and T.J. Dillashaw that had been scheduled to headline UFC 213, capping off International Fight Week from Las Vegas. Garbrandt has been open with the fact that he has been dealing with a back injury and UFC President Dana White had confirmed that the fight was in jeopardy but did not make the official call until Tuesday, despite tickets going on sale last week.
The Women’s Bantamweight Championship fight between Amanda Nunes and Valentina Shevchenko will serve as the new UFC 213 main event. An Interim Middleweight Championship bout between Yoel Romero and Robert Whittaker has been added to the card.
When the planned Michael Bisping title defense against Georges St. Pierre was called off recently, White stated that Romero would be getting the title shot in the near future. Bisping soon after claimed a knee injury putting him out of action for the summer, thus necessitating an interim championship.
T.J. Dillashaw is still looking to fight despite losing his opponent. Reports from ESPN indicate that UFC is looking to make a blockbuster flyweight championship fight between long-time champion Demetrious Johnson and former UFC Bantamweight Champ Dillashaw for some time in August. A win for Johnson would break the record for consecutive title defenses that he currently shares with Anderson Silva.
Johnson, however, isn’t keen on the fight and had previously said that Dillashaw is “skipping the line” and isn’t deserving of an immediate title shot in the new weight class. Johnson doubled down on those comments once news broke that the fight was in the works.
Johnson wrote a pair of tweets Tuesday night explaining his position on things. “Just so the world knows, I haven’t agreed to anything still waiting on my contract to fight [Ray Borg] not T.J. Dillashaw. If he wants a title shot, he can come to flyweight and get a win then get his turn.”
— Demetrious Johnson (@MightyMouseUFC) May 24, 2017
Shot he can come to flyweight and get a win then get his turn
— Demetrious Johnson (@MightyMouseUFC) May 24, 2017
So while middleweight may be closer to gettings some clarity, it looks like flyweight may need some time to clear up.
Hiscoe’s Analysis: The Romero-Whittaker fight needs to happen now that Bisping is not available to fight this summer. To wait until October to fight GSP and then another several month delay for the next challenger to get a shot would be too long. Title or no title, Romero-Whittaker is a great fight and will be a highlight of UFC’s summer slate of fights.
For someone who has struggled to get the attention of the casual MMA fan, I don’t understand why Demetrious Johnson is so sour on fighting T.J. Dillashaw. Johnson vs. Ray Borg is an interesting fight but it would struggle to draw viewers to free TV let alone pay-per-view. Borg is a deserving challenger, but not overwhelmingly as he has had issues making weight. Johnson should put more thought into the Dillashaw fight as defeating a fighter from a higher weight class to break the title defense record would cement his status as UFC’s greatest champion.
WEDNESDAY NOTEBOOK ITEMS…
-UFC President Dana White told MMA Fighting that UFC is “looking into” the incident with Cris Cyborg and Angela Magana over the weekend that resulted in battery charges against Cyborg. “This is the thing that the district attorney and the police are handling right now,” he said. “There’s way more to that than just what am I thinking about it.”
-Angela Magana confirmed on Twitter that she has spoken to a Las Vegas District Attorney and issued a challenge to Cyborg for a no time limit jiu-jitsu match. She had a back-and-forth on Twitter with former UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia who said that Magana shouldn’t have pressed charges due to a “fighters’ code” that says these issues should be settled in the cage.
-UFC held tryouts yesterday for the women’s flyweight season of “The Ultimate Fighter.” Notable fighters in attendance included Invicta flyweight champ Barb Honchak, Roxanne Modafferi and Lauren Murphy. (SOURCE)
FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENT ROUNDUP
-Keri Ann-Melendez vs. Sadee Monseratte Williams at Bellator 180 on June 24 from New York City.
-Joe Warren vs. Steve Garcia at Bellator 181 on July 14 from Thackerville, Okla.
-Darren Elkins vs. Dennis Bermudez at UFC on Fox from Uniondale, NY on July 22.
(MMATorch’s Daily News Digest features the top story of the day with added analysis, plus smaller tidbits in the News Notes section. Mike Hiscoe, who writes the News Digest Sundays through Thursdays, has a background in film criticism and previously wrote for the DVD Town and Movie Metropolis websites. His passion for Mixed Martial Arts goes back to 2005, but it was in the promotion for UFC 60: Hughes vs. Gracie that he really got hooked.”This is my house, I build it,” is still among the all-time great UFC promos. You can follow Mike on social media under the tag @mikehiscoe. He now provides his experienced writing and perspective on live MMA events for MMATorch.)