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Spinning Back Clique REPLAY: Guest John McCarthy on O’Malley, Poirier and UFC 299 fallout, plus Francis Ngannou’s next move and more

Check out this week’s “Spinning Back Clique,” MMA Junkie’s weekly live show that takes a spin through the biggest topics in mixed martial arts.

This week, special guest panelist John McCarthy joins Brian “Goze” Garcia and Nolan King, along with host “Gorgeous” George Garcia, live at noon ET (9 a.m. PT) to discuss and debate:

  • Sean O’Malley had his first title defense in the UFC 299 main event, and he looked impressive with a unanimous decision win over Marlon Vera. He avenged the only loss of his career and then called out featherweight champ Ilia Topuria. Is that the best move – putting bantamweight on hold to chase a second belt? That used to be a novel idea, but now it seems to be the norm. If he sticks around at 135, will he be the kind of champion who can threaten the record books?

  • In the UFC 299 co-main event, Dustin Poirier had something to say about the ascension of the Benoit Saint Denis hype train with a brutal second-round knockout. Poirier kept himself right in the title picture with the KO – and it seems lightweight champ Islam Makhachev is interested in a June title defense in Saudi Arabia. Did Poirier just jump the line ahead of candidates presumed to be ahead of him?

  • After years in Bellator, Michael Page made his highly anticipated UFC debut and outworked Kevin Holland in Miami. “MVP” said he wasn’t in love with his own performance, but still, Holland was a stiff opening test, and Page passed. Did he do enough to prove to us he can be a viable welterweight contender in the UFC? And what about the potential for a possible all-England title fight with him and champ Leon Edwards?

  • A lot of the boxing hype around former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou came crashing down when he was brutally knocked out by Anthony Joshua in Saudi Arabia. What should Ngannou’s next move be? He’s got Renan Ferreira waiting in the PFL. But he still might be keen on his third boxing match.

  • For just the fifth time, women will be head coaches on “The Ultimate Fighter” when flyweight champ Alexa Grasso coaches opposite former champ Valentina Shevchenko. That will set up their trilogy rematch, likely for Noche UFC in September at The Sphere in Las Vegas. Is this a good coach pairing for the next “TUF”? Who’s got the edge?

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie