THURSDAY NEWS DIGEST 2/15: Evans says fight with Bisping unlikely to happen, cites contract issues


Rashad Evans (photo credit Reinhold Matay © USA Today Sports)

Rashad Evans was hoping to give Michael Bisping a proper send off, as “The Count” looks to fight one more time in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. With a proposed March bout held in London, “Suga” was hoping to do for his friend what Bisping did for Dan Henderson, but it looks like that won’t be happening. In an interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, Evans said that the fight is unlikely to happen as Bisping struggles to come to contract terms with the promotion.

“I started training and getting read for the fight, but then I didn’t hear anything back about a contract. Finally, I got a contract, but that was on the day that I learned that Bisping wasn’t going to take the fight,” Evans said. “He wasn’t going to do the fight because he was having some kind of contract problems with the UFC.”

“I don’t think the fight will happen now. I think that was a fight that made sense to him at that moment. I don’t think it’s something that’s going to make sense for him. It may appeal to him, it may not. I really don’t know, but I’m not going to sit around and wait for it. I’ll just fight whoever and see what comes next.”

Evans said he was surprised, at first, to hear that Bisping wanted to fight him. The two work together as analysts on FOX, and Evans said that he wasn’t offended when the fight offer came his way.

“I was kind of perplexed by that, but then I thought maybe he just wants to scrap with his old friend one last time. I didn’t get any bad feeling about my friend wanting to fight me or someone who I thought was my friend trying to fight me,  I was just like, ‘Ok, cool’,” he said.

“I haven’t worked with (Bisping), but I’m going to bust his balls a little over that,” Evans continued. “It’s the fight game, I don’t take it personally. I’m close enough to Mike to know things that he might not want a mass of people to know. With that, I can see the intent of why he wanted to fight me.”


-Jennifer Maia signs with UFC

Invicta FC flyweight champion Jennifer Maia is the newest member in the UFC women’s flyweight division. Maia (15-4-1) made the announcement on her Instagram page, with a future you to be announced. She won the Invicta title in 2016 defeating Vanessa Porto by decision. Since winning she has defended it against Roxane Modafferi and Agnieszka Niedzwiedz, and is on a six-fight win streak. Valentina Shevchenko’s name has been tossed around as a potential fight for Maia’s debut.

-Magomedov, Tukhugov accept sanctions

UFC heavyweight Ruslan Magomedov and featherweight Zubaira Tukhugov have both agreed to two-year sanctions for violating the United States Anti-Doping Agency rules regarding performance enhancing drugs. The USADA said that both fighters tested positive for ostarine in an out-of-competition drug test sample take on Sept. 7, 2016. Ostarine is listed as a “non-Specified Substance in the class of Anabolic Agents” and is not permitted.

Both fighters both fighters tried to use a contaminated supplement defense, but through arbitration the defense was considered unfounded. Instead the fighters agreed to a two-year suspension and to pay $10,000 towards the cost of the arbitration proceedings. Magomedov and Tukhugov will be eligible for competition on Sept. 26, 2018 as their ineligibility period began on the same date in 2016.

-Heather Hardy says she made weight for Belabor 194, regulatory commission says she didn’t

The Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation says it will fine Heather Hardy 20 percent of her full purse (show and win money) for missing weight at Thursday’s Belabor 194 weigh-ins. That 20 percent will go to her opponent Ana Julaton instead. Hardy came in at 126.25 pounds and was allowed off the scale without being given a chance to redo the weigh-in without her bathing suit.

“I was two ounces over and they gave me the allowance for the bikini top and bottom without making me strip in from of the room.”

Mohegan Sun director Mike Mazzulli said otherwise.

“She wasn’t even speaking to me on the scale. I was concerned about her health and safety. I wasn’t going to put her on the scale with no clothes on and I certainly wasn’t going to let her continue cutting weight.”

Mazzulli further clarified saying he though Hardy looked severely dehydrated on the scale. Hardy, however, disagrees but said she won’t appeal the decision. She just wants to focus on the fight at hand.

“I’ll let Ana and her team worry about the fact that I wasn’t stripped naked to make my weight and take 20 percent of my pay that they fell the deserve,” she said. “But now, I’m really going to hit her like she owes me money.”


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