SATURDAY NEWS DIGEST 3/16: Jorge Masvidal and Leon Edwards come to blows backstage at UFC London, Conor McGregor teases Diaz fight at 185, Bisping to be inducted to Hall of Fame, and more

By Michael Hiscoe, Managing Editor

Mar 16, 2019; London, UK; Jorge Masvidal (blue gloves) celebrates after defeating Darren Till (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports

‘Say that to my face’

Jorge Masvidal and Leon Edwards both came out on top at UFC London on Saturday but it turns out that wasn’t enough fighting for either of them. While giving an interview backstage for the ESPN post-fight show, Masvidal can be seen talking to someone off camera.

“Come over here, say that to my face,” he said. Masvidal then left his interview post and went after that person, who turned out to be Edwards. A few punches were thrown before they were broken up. We can’t hear what Edwards was saying but it clearly got Masvidal’s attention.

According to interviewer Laura Sanko, Edwards was cut in the skirmish and Masvidal was escorted from the building soon after. There hasn’t been any official comment from UFC as of this writing, but disciplinary action from the promotion isn’t out of the question.

Both Masvidal and Edwards made big impressions today in London, hopefully for them, this incident doesn’t derail their momentum too much and they can settle their differences in the cage.

Conor-Nate III at 185?

The tagline to the UFC 202 rematch between Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor was “Any time, any weight, anywhere.” These two may be taking the “any weight” part to a new level after Diaz put out a cryptic tweet on Saturday simply saying “185.”

Assuming that means 185 pounds, that could mean any number of fights, but of course, Diaz will always be tied to McGregor. McGregor took notice of this tweet and responded with one of his own.

“You already know me mate. I don’t give a f— about the weight.”

McGregor and Diaz first met in March 2016 in a short notice fight at 170 pounds. Diaz won that fight by second round submission and it seemed logical that the rematch would take place at lightweight, a more natural weight class for McGregor. McGregor insisted on avenging the loss at welterweight and won a majority decision at UFC 202 later that year.

If both guys want to up the ante and forgo the weight cut completely, 185 may be the way to go.

Bisping to Hall of Fame

UFC announced in London today that Michael Bisping is the first member of this year’s UFC Hall of Fame class.

“It’s hard to have the level of talent needed to compete in UFC for any amount of time, but Michael Bisping was able to have an 11-year career where he became a world champion and won ‘The Ultimate Fighter.’ Not many people can say that,” Dana White said. “He also came back and coached ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ and is now one of the best analysts on our broadcast team. Michael has been a huge part of not only building our brand, but also the sport of mixed martial arts. He absolutely deserves to be in the UFC Hall of Fame.”

Bisping debuted in the promotion in 2006 on the third season of “The Ultimate Fighter” and went on to win that season’s light heavyweight tournament. He quickly became a polarizing fighter and a figure that many fans loved to hate. What couldn’t be denied was his star power though and Bisping was instrumental in UFC running regular shows in the United Kingdom and Europe.

Bisping always seemed to come up short when he came close to a UFC title shot, losing key fights to Rashad Evans, Dan Henderson, and Chael Sonnen, that could have seen him challenge for a title soon after.  He seemed to be on track to be a career gatekeeper until he got a short notice call to fight Luke Rockhold for the middleweight championship at UFC 199. Bisping made the most of the opportunity and knocked Rockhold out in the first round to win the championship.

Bisping defended the title once against Henderson before losing it to Georges St-Pierre in the biggest drawing fight of his career at UFC 217. He closed out his career with another short notice fight, only three weeks later fighting Kelvin Gastelum. Bisping lost the fight via knockout and officially retired in May of 2018.

Saturday Notebook

-Conor McGregor sent out a supportive tweet to Tony Ferguson, who is facing a restraining order from his wife. “Tony Ferguson is the type of guy that when all the chips are down, can pick them right back up again and come back stronger than ever! Came back from a debilitating injury in record time to give us one of the fights of the year! Let’s go Tony!!”

-Patrick Cummins vs. Ed Herman, Grant Dawson vs. Michael Trizano and Zak Cummings vs. Trevin Giles are all official for UFC Rochester on May 18.

-Post-fight bonuses went to Till vs. Masvidal for Fight of the Night, and to Jorge Masvidal and Dan Ige for Performance of the Night.

Post-fight press conference video

 

 

 

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