WEDNESDAY NEWS DIGEST 1/10: UFC flyweight champion, Demetrious Johnson, undergoes successful shoulder surgery (w/ Heydorn’s analysis)

BY ZACK HEYDORN, MMATORCH COLUMNIST

Demetrious Johnson (photo credit Ron Chenoy © USA Today Sports)

Mighty Mouse’s next flight is now a waiting game. UFC flyweight champion, Demetrious Johnson, confirmed to MMAFighting.com that he indeed went under the knife and had shoulder surgery. Per Johnson, the surgery was successful. At this time, Johnson’s recovery period and return timetable is unknown.

Johnson has said that he’s been dealing with shoulder pain since December. In 2017, Johnson broke the all time record of consecutive championship defenses that was formerly held by UFC legend, Anderson Silva. In 2018, he was primed for a cross division super fight with bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw. With this medical setback, those plans are obviously on hold.

Heydorn’s Analysis: This is a tough blow for DJ, but one that he should be able to take in stride and come back from. That said, the Dillashaw fight seemingly was on the table and now it won’t be until Johnson is healthy again. That is unfortunate as Johnson deserves this mega fight and the payday that will come along with it.

WEDNESDAY NEWS NOTEBOOK

Volkan Oezdemir pleads not guilty to felony accusation. Volkan Oezdemir is charged with a third degree felony of felony battery with great bodily harm due to an August incident in Florida. In a recent court appearance, Oezdemir pleaded not guilty to all charges and requested a trial by jury. This all but ends his legal commitments until February 22nd. Oezdemir was not handed any travel stipulations so his UFC light heavyweight title fight against Daniel Cormier at UFC 220 is alive and well.

Heydorn’s Analysis: I hope Cormier wastes Oezdemir. It’s shocking that Dana White and the UFC ignored this matter. Oezdemir shouldn’t be rewarded with a co-headlining opportunity while being embroiled in a felony case like the one he’s in. It sends a message to fighters that nothing outside the octagon matters when everyone knows that isn’t the case. The UFC had the chance to earn control back with their fighters coming out of this incident and they chose not to take it. Shame on them and I hope nobody is rewarded because of it.

Amanda Nunes’s coach declares that she’s interested in fighting Cris Cyborg. Amanda Nunes’s coach, Din Thomas, said on his podcast, The Morning Wood Show, that Nunes is interested in taking the Cyborg fight that Dana White discussed in great detail last week. Thomas said, “For the longest time, everybody’s been saying that Amanda didn’t want to fight Cyborg.” “I don’t really know how that rumor got started but everybody thought that, but I was hanging out with Amanda two weeks ago and I was at her crib and she was like, ‘Hey, I want to fight Cyborg. I hope she wins.”

Heydorn’s Analysis: This will be a fantastic fight and one that could get Amanda Nunes back on track as a prominent star in the UFC. She had a very disappointing 2017 and this is her ticket back to the top. Nunes has much more to gain than Cyborg does in a fight like this, but that certainly wouldn’t deter Cyborg from taking what will end up being a lucrative opportunity. I hope this happens in 2018.

Tonya Evinger injured. Tonya Evinger has withdrawn from her fight at UFC Austin against Marion Reneau. The news was first reported by Fansided and has yet to be confirmed by the UFC. That said, both Evinger and Reneau took to social media to comment on the news.

https://twitter.com/tonyaevinger/status/950449091279978496?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mmafighting.com%2F2018%2F1%2F10%2F16873000%2Ftonya-evinger-injured-out-of-marion-reneau-bout-ufc-austin-fight-card

https://twitter.com/tonyaevinger/status/950955910922416129?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mmafighting.com%2F2018%2F1%2F10%2F16873000%2Ftonya-evinger-injured-out-of-marion-reneau-bout-ufc-austin-fight-card

https://twitter.com/BelizeanBruiser/status/950570350437310464?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mmafighting.com%2F2018%2F1%2F10%2F16873000%2Ftonya-evinger-injured-out-of-marion-reneau-bout-ufc-austin-fight-card

https://twitter.com/BelizeanBruiser/status/950816397537529859?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mmafighting.com%2F2018%2F1%2F10%2F16873000%2Ftonya-evinger-injured-out-of-marion-reneau-bout-ufc-austin-fight-card

Amanda Ribas suspended by USADA. On Wednesday, UFC fighter Amanda Ribas was suspended by USADA for a positive test of a banned substance. Ribas had not yet made her UFC debut.

Heydorn’s Analysis: What a great way to make a first impression. It’s safe to say that at this point, we won’t be seeing much of Ribas at all. The earliest she can return is June of 2019.

Contact Zack at heydornzack@gmail.com and follow Zack on Twitter at https://twitter.com/zheydorn


NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS NEWS: MONDAY NEWS DIGEST 1/8: Max Holloway vs. Frankie Edgar set for UFC 222 (w/ Heydorn’s analysis)

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