MONDAY NEWS DIGEST 1/28: Joe Rogan comments on Greg Hardy, Bader on UFC return, Mario Yamasaki on taking time away to avoid Dana White

By Cole Henry, mmatorch Contributor

Joe Rogan comments on the UFC debut of Greg Hardy

One of the more interesting and talked about moments of the year so far has been the debut of former NFL player, Greg Hardy. Most though would argue that it was interesting for the wrong reasons, and almost all of the talk was negative. Hardy looked like an amateur, appeared to have issues with his gas tank, and then to top it off he landed an illegal knee that ended the fight prematurely. Needless to say, most people were less than impressed and Joe Rogan can be counted amongst them. On a recent episode of his podcast, Rogan had this to say about the former NFL All-Pro’s first UFC performance.

“How’d that go? How’d that work out? Terrible. It was a joke, I knew that guy was fading quick.”

Rogan is not alone in feeling the way he feels but that hasn’t swayed UFC president Dana White from committing to Hardy for at least one more fight. Hardy showed that he has countless holes in his game and will need to improve quite a bit if he intends to continue competing in the UFC. He is at a good team, surrounded by good fighters and couches, but so far Hardy is proof that being a high-level athlete is not enough to compete with the best fighters in the world. But if he can figure out his cardio, and work on his skills we might have something worth watching.

Ryan Bader not interested in UFC return, prefers long term Bellator deal

Ryan Bader is like that kid in school who’s been there the whole time without anybody noticing, but suddenly got a new pair of shoes and became the man about campus. Bader has turned himself into a real star for Bellator, and his recent performances even have some people suggesting that he could be a challenge for current UFC Champion, Jon Jones. But Bader is happy with his success in Bellator, he feels appreciated, and according to him, he has no interest in returning to his former stomping grounds.

“It’s a selfish sport and you are in business for yourself,” Bader said. “Obviously, I have been treated well and I think I am going to be treated very well after this with Bellator. I haven’t really had those thoughts,” he added, in regard to a potential UFC return.

Bader is a competitive guy and if his success continues perhaps the allure of a rematch with Jones will be too much to pass up. But for now, Bader seems content running through the Bellator roster without taking many punches and collecting a mantle full of belts along the way.

Mario Yamasaki interested in a UFC return

It’s been nearly a year since Valentina Schevchenko dropped to flyweight and administered one of the worst beatings in UFC history. Her opponent was Priscila Cachoeira, and the beating was one of a kind. Shevchenko easily outclassed her opponent and beat her badly over two rounds. Mario Yamasaki was the referee that night and many faulted him with allowing the fight to go on for longer than necessary. During the post-event press conference UFC president, Dana White stated that he hoped that Mario Yamasaki would never be allowed to referee in the UFC again. As of this writing, Dana White has had his way and Yamasaki has been on the sidelines. But according to Yamasaki that could soon change.

“I ended up focusing on other jobs and didn’t apply to any athletic commission after that fight because Dana would keep coming after me, I decided to take a year off to relax and reset. I think I’ll apply to an athletic commission again this year and come back after relaxing for a year.” (Via MMAFighting)

Yamasaki refereed a few shows for the PFL but aside from that, he’s largely been inactive over the last year. Before his hiatus though, Yamasaki was one of the more recognizable refs in the business and was well known for his pre-fight, heart-shaped, hand gesture. If all goes according to plan, we will be seeing it again very soon.

Monday Notebook

-Callan Potter in for Alex Gorgees vs. Jalin Turner at UFC 234 in Melbourne on Feb. 9.

-Damir Ismagulov vs. Joel Alvarez is set for UFC Prague on Feb. 23.

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