• Dana White insists Jon Jones hasn’t notified UFC of move to heavyweight
    MMA Weekly

    Dana White insists Jon Jones hasn’t notified UFC of move to heavyweight

    When will we see former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones fight at heavyweight? Apparently, that depends upon when he officially becomes a heavyweight. UFC president Dana White, following Saturday night's UFC 255 in Las Vegas, told reporters in the room, including from MMAWeekly.com, that Jones is not officially a heavyweight. "No, not that I'm aware of. He hasn't told us," said White. Should that lead us all to believe that Jones will be back in the 205-pound division if and when he returns to the Octagon? No. Not at all. Why hasn't Jon Jones booked his UFC heavyweight debut? Why else would Jones have voluntarily relinquished the UFC light heavyweight championship, all the while saying his intent was to move up to heavyweight? Some have speculated that maybe he is laying low to avoid drug testing while putting on the weight to make a move to heavyweight feasible. That doesn't fly either. According to USADA records, Jones has been drug tested 19 times in 2020, including twice thus far in the fourth quarter, which is comprised of October, November, and December. So what gives? Simply put, Jones is likely trying to put on the weight necessary to compete in the heavyweight division. Most of the top tier fighters in the division are at the upper end of the scale. The heavyweight division provides for athletes weighing between 206 and 265 pounds. Considering his pedigree, Jones would enter the heavyweight pool at the deep end. Current UFC champion Stipe Miocic typically weighs around 245 pounds. The weight doesn't drop off with the next few contenders. Francis Ngannou and Curtis Blaydes fight at about 260 pounds, Jairzinho Rozenstruik weighs around 250 pounds, and Derrick Lewis is generally pushing the top-end at 265 pounds. And keep in mind that these are their weights on weigh-in day. They could way more, considerably more, on fight day. If Jones doesn't bulk up, he's going to be in trouble in today's heavyweight division. Even though he likely walked around at about 230 pounds at light heavyweight, that is not when he is in prime athletic condition. If he is going to fight anywhere near the level of the Jon Jones we've become accustomed to, Jones will need to add the weight in a fashion that provides for more muscle, more power, and maintains as much of his athletic ability as possible. That is apparently what he's been up to, and why he has yet to request a heavyweight fight from UFC officials. Sure Jones could ask for and receive a heavyweight bout right now, but according to his social media posts, he's taking the Georges St-Pierre approach. When St-Pierre was dominating the world at welterweight, he was continually asked when he was going to move up to middleweight. His response was that if and when he did so, he it would likely be a permanent move, as he wanted to do it in a smart fashion. He would take his time to add the weight in incremental fashion. Bulking for bulk's sake isn't the best approach, especially for fighters like St-Pierre and Jones that rely more upon their athletic abilities than a shear love to scrap. Jones may not be talking to the UFC about his first fight at heavyweight yet, but he has been posting on social media, showing his progress as he continues to put on the pounds in the form of added muscle. View this post on Instagram A post shared by BONY (@jonnybones) View this post on Instagram A post shared by BONY (@jonnybones) View this post on Instagram A post shared by BONY (@jonnybones) TRENDING > Mike Tyson tells UFC’s Joe Rogan he’s fighting Roy Jones Jr. because of Bob Sapp So what's happening with the UFC light heavyweight title? What's next at light heavyweight isn't exactly clear. Soon after Jones vacated the UFC light heavyweight championship, Jan Blachowicz fought Dominick Reyes for the vacated title. Blachowicz won. Shortly after that fight, White said that the UFC was going to make Blachowicz's first title defense opposite middleweight champion Israel Adesanay, who wanted to move up and challenge him. The Blachowicz vs. Adesanya fight isn't a done deal yet, though. "Israel Adesanya wants to move up and take that fight. So we'll see how this whole thing plays out. It's not done yet, but they're interested and so are we," White said at the UFC 255 press conference. In the meantime, Glover Teixeira defeated Thiago Santos earlier this month and injected his name into the mix for a shot at the 205-pound title. Currently, it is unclear if the UFC will get a deal done for Blachowicz to fight Adesanya or if Teixeira, the No. 1 light heavyweight contender, will get a crack at the belt at 41 years of age. (Subscribe to MMAWeekly.com on YouTube)

  • Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Brandon Moreno named new UFC 256 main event; Ferguson vs. Oliveira co-main
    MMA Weekly

    Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Brandon Moreno named new UFC 256 main event; Ferguson vs. Oliveira co-main

    UFC 256 headlining bouts UFC 256 main event: Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Brandon MorenoUFC 256 co-main event: Tony Ferguson vs. Charles Oliveira Just three days after Deveison Figueiredo defended his UFC flyweight championship, he has inked a deal to defend it against Brandon Moreno. Figueiredo headlined UFC 255, putting the flyweight belt on the line against Alex Perez. He made quick work of Perez, submitting him in less than two minutes. Moreno, the No. 1 ranked flyweight, also fought on the UFC 255 fight card, stopping Brandon Royval with one tick left on the clock in the first round of their featured preliminary bout. A day later, on Sunday, news that the latest UFC 256 headlining bout was nixed. Petr Yan was set to put his bantamweight belt on the line against Aljamain Sterling, but had to withdraw. Yan later said that he was forced off of the fight card because of visa issues. UFC president Dana White must have already known about Yan likely being off the card on Saturday night, as he mentioned at the UFC 255 post-fight press conference that he was working on keeping Figueiredo and Moreno in Vegas to fight in December. On Tuesday, the UFC announced that the bout had been signed. Figueiredo will make the second defense of his belt in back-to-back pay-per-views, when he faces Moreno in the UFC 256 main event on Dec. 12 in Las Vegas. Joining them on the card in the UFC 256 co-main event is a pivotal lightweight bout between Tony Ferguson and Charles Oliveira, which was also further confirmed on Tuesday. UFC 256 was initially planned to be a championship tripleheader; what happened? The UFC’s initial plan was for UFC 256 to feature welterweight champion Kamaru Usman defending against Gilbert Burns, women’s double-champ Amanda Nunes putting her featherweight belt on the line opposite Megan Anderson, and Yan vs. Sterling. In the midst of signing Yan vs. Sterling, the Usman vs. Burns bout fell off the card when Usman indicated that he would not be physically ready to compete on the Dec. 12 fight card. Nunes vs. Anderson was then elevated to main event status. That lasted only a few days before Nunes withdrew because of undisclosed medical issues. That left Yan vs. Sterling as the likely UFC 256 main event, but now even that fight is a bust, leading us to Figueiredo vs. Moreno as the latest, and hopefully final, headliner. TRENDING > Khabib Nurmagomedov teases meeting with Dana White; does retirement decision loom? Trending Video > Dana White freaks out over Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr. news (Subscribe to MMAWeekly.com on YouTube)

  • Khabib Nurmagomedov teases meeting with Dana White; does retirement decision loom?
    MMA Weekly

    Khabib Nurmagomedov teases meeting with Dana White; does retirement decision loom?

    Khabib Nurmagomedov is retired. Or is he? Maybe that's what we will finally find out after Khabib meets with UFC president Dana White. Oct. 24 – Khabib Nurmagomedov defeats Justin Gaethje at UFC 254Oct. 24 – Khabib retires following UFC 254 victoryNov. 14 – Khabib reveals 47th drug test since 2015Nov. 24 – Khabib posts about upcoming meeting with Dana White Khabib's retirement announcement Khabib surprised everyone, even longtime coach Javier Mendez, when he announced his retirement following his second-round submission of Justin Gaethje in the UFC 254 main event on Oct. 24 on UFC Fight Island. Prior to that fight, White said he has something special in the works for Khabib, should he emerge victorious. He did win, notching his 29th consecutive victory in a career that has seen no defeats, but then called it quits before White could reveal his plan for the lightweight champion. “Today I want to say, this was my last fight. No way I can come here without my father,” Khabib said after putting Gaethje to sleep. “I promised (my mother) this would be my last fight.” Any fight is loaded with adrenalin and emotions following a fight, but even more so for Khabib at UFC 254. His father, Abdulmanap, passed away in July following heart surgery, which had been complicated by him contracting COVID-19. The fight with Gaethje was the first time Khabib had to prepare without his father by his side. The promise he made to his mother weighed heavily on Khabib, who has long been extremely dedicated to his family, constantly putting his respect for his parents above nearly everything else. What could steer Khabib away from retirement? Before his father's passing, Khabib and Abdulmanap had targeted 30 career victories as a potential landmark to trigger his retirement. That could also be something that weighs heavily on him. Though Khabib announced his retirement following UFC 254, he has remained in the USADA drug testing pool. He posted to Instagram on Nov. 14, mentioning that he had just undergone his 47th drug test since 2015. That means he is eligible to return to the Octagon at any time without restriction. White has also insisted that he doesn't believe that Khabib is done fighting yet. Though he respected Khabib's announcement at UFC 254, White said that his feeling was that Khabib would want to honor his father by notching a 30th victory. White has not made a move to declare an interim champion or made any comment on plans for a UFC lightweight title fight should Khabib's retirement become permanent. He has instead said that he was going to give Khabib some time to mull it over. "I’m giving Khabib some time to think this over. And he and I are going to get together and meet soon. So we’ll talk," White said at the UFC 255 press conference. He even went so far in a recent interview with TMZ sports to say that if Khabib is to fight again, one of four fighters that have bouts scheduled would be the next challenger. "One of those guys will definitely be in for the (Khabib) fight," White said of Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier, who will headline UFC 257 in January, and Tony Ferguson vs. Charles Oliveira, who are salted to fight on Dec. 12 at UFC 256. It's still unclear whether or not Khabib is even considering a return. He had commented in a recent Russian news report that he had no further competitive interests, but Khabib's manager, Ali Abdelaziz, refuted those reports as "fake news." Then, on Tuesday, Khabib posted a photo of him alongside White to his Instagram with a caption that read, "See you soon Dana White." That, of course, is far from any sort of commitment to a return. It could mean nearly anything. It appears, however, that a time for clarity is likely coming soon. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Khabib Nurmagomedov (@khabib_nurmagomedov) TRENDING > UFC 256 goes from 3 title fights to none, as Petr Yan vs. Aljamain Sterling nixed Related Video > Dana White believes Khabib is going to fight again (Subscribe to MMAWeekly.com on YouTube)