THURSDAY NEWS DIGEST 4/25: Nicco Montano addresses USADA failure, McGregor’s boxing opponent claims cheap shot, Munhoz fined for hopping the fence at UFC 235, more

By Michael Hiscoe, Managing Editor

Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) fights Roxanne Modafferi (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Montano addresses suspension

Former UFC flyweight champion Nicco Montano was one of four fighters given six-month suspensions after ostarine appeared in their test results. The usage was deemed unintentional in all cases, thus the short sanctions. Montano made a statement through her Instagram account acknowledging the suspension and stated her intention to return to the cage soon.

“First and foremost, I would like to thank my friends, family, and all of my fans for their continued support during this difficult period in my life,” Montano wrote. “As you all know, USADA was unable to locate the source of my contamination. I will continue to remain diligent in my responsibilities to USADA and the UFC. I would like to acknowledge Donna Marcolini and Jeff Novitzky with the UFC for their assistance in this process. This suspension has further inspired me to work even harder of achieving my goals in the UFC. I hope to make my return this summer.”

Classy guy

Conor McGregor made an appearance at the Crumlin Boxing Club in Dublin last week to box in an exhibition match under an assumed name. The bout ended in a draw, but his opponent Micheal McGrane was critical of McGregor’s boxing etiquette. McGrane claims that McGregor delivered a ‘cheap shot’ early in the fight.

“We touch gloves at the start of the fight, and you’re meant to go back to your corner, but Conor never went back to his corner,” McGrane told TMZ (transcribed by MMAJunkie). “Conor leaped at me with a left hook, the clinical left hooks, and he caught me flush in the eye with his clinical left hook. …

“Yeah, it was a cheap shot. It was the cheapest shot I’ve ever caught in my life. Conor McGregor hit me with a cheap shot in his own hometown.”

Meanwhile, a coach at the club was very complimentary of McGregor’s appearance at the event.  Phil Sutcliffe Sr. told Eurobash that the fight came together at the last minute after McGregor came to the gym to hit pads. He expressed some interest in fighting at the Good Friday show, so Sutcliffe helped put together the bout with McGrane.

“He showed supreme class in sparring Micheal McGrane, who was an Irish champion. It was a great spar, the two of them went hell for leather at each other. Conor decked him with a body shot in the third round, which was fantastic. Micheal got back up and he went at Conor straight away. He’s a warrior, he went back at Conor and he caught him with some beautiful shots. Conor danced away from him, but it was a very good exhibition of boxing,” said Sutcliffe.

The cheap should is open to debate, but one thing for certain is that it was cool of McGregor to lend his talents to the event, even if his appearance wasn’t promoted.

Thursday Notebook

-Pedro Munhoz was fined $2,500 plus attorney’s fees for jumping out of the cage following his UFC 235 win over Cody Garbrandt.

-Greg Hardy is taking a humble approach towards his second official UFC fight this weekend after losing by disqualification in his debut in January. “Losers don’t get to talk, man,” Hardy told MMAFighting. “I don’t care how it happened. If I would’ve won, that would’ve been a different story, I would’ve had a story to tell. I probably would’ve still come back and been humbled [by my performance], but I’m a loser now, man. And until I can prove differently, until I can go back up my words, that means nothing. You’ve got to get back to the drawing board and pay the price, so that’s what I’m doing right now.”

-A USADA spokesperson told MMAFighting that Tom Lawlor may have received a reduced sanction if his failure for ostarine happened now rather than in late 2016. “While the facts in Lawlor are similar but not necessarily identical to the ostarine cases announced this week, he received the standard sanction at the time for his violation announced in 2017,” Adam Woullard said. “If his case arose today, he might have been eligible for a lower sanction and would have the ability to challenge to an independent arbitrator to determine the final consequence.”

-Saturday morning’s UFC St. Petersburg prelims on ESPN 2 averaged 232,000 viewers.

Jacare Souza told MMAJunkie that he was hesitant to take the fight with Jack Hermansson this weekend after original opponent Yoel Romero dropped out. He said that he wanted to be guaranteed a title shot, in writing, should he win. “It made me very upset, this fight. But we talked, and this and that. Then (UFC matchmaker) Mick Maynard came in, Hunter (Campbell), (UFC president) Dana White, all those people, and I said, ‘Either you promise me the belt and put that to paper and send it to me, or there’s no deal.’”

-Conor McGregor took credit for an Irish Times report that the Irish Whiskey market has surpassed $1 billion in U.S. sales. “Was there ever any doubt I’d turn Whiskey to a Billi?” McGregor tweeted. “I turned ‘human cockfighting’ to 4.2 (billion).”

Fight Announcements

-Desmond Green vs. Charles Jourdain has been announced for UFC Rochester on May 18.

-Demian Maia vs. Anthony Rocco Martin is being targetted for UFC Minneapolis on June 29.

-Sean O’Malley vs. Marlon Vera is booked for UFC 239 on July 6.

In case you missed it

ROUNDTABLE: Has your opinion changed on UFC’s use of Greg Hardy?

COVINGTON’S CORNER: Fighting the good fight doesn’t make it great

MEN’S RANKINGS: Cole Henry ranks the top 10 in every division




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