This Week In MMA – Diego Sanchez released from the UFC, while Jiri Prochazka stamps title contender status

MMA
Mandatory Credit: Jeff Bottari – Zuffa LLC

Take a look back on a week in MMA where the majority of the headlines were grabbed by the fallout of UFC 261, the release of former lightweight title challenger and The Ultimate Fighter 1 victor, Diego Sanchez, and on Saturday night, Jiri Prochazka managed to score his second Octagon victory, stopping two-time title challenger, Dominick Reyes with a brutal spinning back elbow knockout. 

Providing an update following the brutal compound fracture he suffered at UFC 261 last Saturday, former middleweight champion, Chris Weidman confirmed surgery was a success, with a titanium rod inserted into his fibula through his knee. A timeline of eight weeks has been earmarked before Weidman can walk again without the aid of crutches, while he won’t be able to train between another six to twelve months.

In attendance at UFC 261 at the Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida — polarizing YouTuber turned professional boxer, Jake Paul urged UFC president, Dana White to start paying his fighters their fair share amid the head-honcho’s claims that Triller Fight Club’s pay-per-view numbers who inflated. 

Amicably parting ways” — former two-time light heavyweight champion, Jon Jones and management firm, First Round Management, headed up by Malki and Abraham Kawa, ended their eleven-year association. 

Speaking following his welterweight title challenge rematch loss to Kamaru Usman, Jorge Masvidal voiced his interest in a potential showdown against former Strikeforce best, Nick Diaz, especially if the Stockton native wants to avenge his younger brother, Nate’s UFC 244 BMF championship loss.

Reflecting on his loss to Usman, Masvidal offered some notable plaudits to the ONX Labs trainee on his setup and eventual thundering right hand which rendered him unconscious, describing the display as “beautiful.

Signing with the David Feldman-led Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship following her release from the UFC back in December, Rachael Ostovich is the latest acquisition for the promotion, and is expected to make her organizational bow in a rematch against February debutante, Paige VanZant.

Striking a monumental deal with Proximo Spirits, Conor McGregor sold the majority share in his whiskey company, Proper No. 12 — for a cool deal estimated to be in the region of $600 million.

Ruled from his first Octagon outing since a two-year retroactive USADA suspension, former two-time bantamweight best, T.J. Dillashaw was forced from a UFC Vegas 26 headliner against surging championship hopeful, Cory Sandhagen on May 8th. after he suffered a sizeable cut over his right eyelid

Targeted to take main event in a short notice flyweight bout, top-ten strawweight contenders, Michelle Waterson and Marina Rodriguez are currently earmarked to round out at the top of the UFC Apex facility event next weekend

Remaining confident in his ability to stop former two-weight champion, the aforenoted, McGregor for the second time this year following a massive January win at UFC 257 — former interim lightweight champion, Dustin Poirier predicted another stoppage win over the Dubliner on July 10th. at UFC 264.

In some of the biggest news to hit the headlines this week, former lightweight championship challenger and The Ultimate Fighter 1 victor, Diego Sanchez was pulled from his UFC Vegas 26 clash with Donald Cerrone, and granted his release from the UFC.

In a slew of posts on his social media platforms, Sanchez shed light on numerous videos involving his controversial head trainer and manager, Joshua Fabia confronting the broadcast team for UFC 253 last September on ‘Fight Island’ — urging them to “cut the bullsh*t” and give Sanchez a “fair” narrative. 

Also leaked: an almost seven-minute-long phone call between Fabia and UFC lawyer and Chief Business Officer, Hunter Campbell, who voiced his concerns that Fabia had formally requested Sanchez’s entire medical history dating back to his time with the promotion.

Ultimately released from the promotion, Sanchez’s attorney as well as Fabia failed to confirm if the Albuquerque veteran was suffering from any short or long-term health issues when prompted to by the promotion. 

Involved in an alleged single-car collision with a barrier, UFC welterweight contender, Khamzat Chimaev emerged unscathed when his Mercedes-Benz SUV, issued to him as a gift by Chechen leader, Ramzan Kadyrov struck a barrier, resulting in extensive damage.

Offering to meet with Cerrone on short-notice, Riverside favourite, Kevin Holland has thrown his name into the hat to meet with the Denver veteran on just a week’s notice.

Endeavor, who are currently in the process of becoming full owners of the UFC following their $4.2 billion purchase back in 2016, officially went public on the New York Stock Exchange this week. 

Removed from his scheduled Bellator debut against Anthony Johnson at Bellator 258 on May 7th. — multiple-time UFC middleweight championship challenger, Yoel Romero was also pulled from the entire light heavyweight Grand Prix after he failed to pass pre-fight medical screenings. Reports have detailed that Romero is dealing with an issue in relation to his left eye. 

UFC featherweight contender, Zabit Magomedsharipov, who was recently removed from the official rankings due to inactivity, is reportedly contemplating his future in the sport. Zabit, who has yet to feature since UFC Fight Night Moscow in November of 2019, where he took a short notice three round headlining win over Calvin Kattar is set to make a decision a possible retirement following an upcoming surgical procedure.

According to Dominance MMA leader, Ali Abdelaziz, his client, the aforenoted, Usman has suggested a return to action as soon as UFC 263 on June 12th. — in a welterweight title defence against the #7 rated contender, Michael Chiesa

Firmly stamping his title contender credentials at 205lbs, former Rizin FF champion, Jiri Prochazka turned in a violent, and largely one-sided striking display against Dominick Reyes in the main event of UFC Vegas 25 on Saturday, prior to an eventual second round spinning back elbow knockout win. 

Primed to meet with the victor of the UFC 266 title clash between reigning kingpin, Jan Blachowicz and Brazilian veteran, Glover Teixeria, Prochazka improved to 2-0 under the UFC’s banner, following a July knockout win over former title chaser, Volkan Oezdemir. 

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