Ex-UFC light heavyweight star Jon Jones has finally opened up on the reason for hiding under the cage at JacksonWink some years ago.
Four years ago, reports circulated that the fighter fondly known as ‘Bones’ had hidden underneath the cage at his JacksonWink training centre in a bid to stay away from a drug test.
Jon Jones was not keen on a drug test from officials from United States drug body, USADA. The USADA officials had shown up at the gym where he was training.
The fighter was able to speak about the incident at the Octagon of his JacksonWink training centre in response to the latest verbal assault from familiar foe Israel Adesanya.
Until now, Jon Jones never addressed those reports about him hiding under the cage to escape a drug test as first circulated by his former opponent.
Chael Sonnen was responsible for the incident being leaked.
In his response to the jibe from Israel Adesanya, Jon Jones was able to explain what happened.
According to him, he was not hiding from USADA as widely circulated. He went on to reveal that he was actually hiding from the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
He had just smoked blunt and was afraid that he might fail a drug test. To this effect, he had to improvise to get out of trouble.
The best comebacks in UFC history
The UFC has thrilled the audience with unforgettable comebacks. Fighters defy the odds, showcasing unmatched resilience and determination.
Join us in reliving the best UFC comebacks that etched indelible moments in mixed martial arts history.
Shocking Combacks In UFC History
Anderson Silva’s comeback at UFC 117
But, in those final minutes of the fifth round, Silva pulled off this incredible triangle armbar move, turning the tables and keeping his middleweight title.
It’s not just about winning; it’s this story of Silva refusing to give up. The guy went through a beating, but his determination and resilience paid off. This comeback isn’t just about belts; it’s about the spirit of a true fighter.
UFC 117 isn’t just a fight; it’s a chapter in Anderson Silva’s legacy, showing what it means to be a champion in the world of mixed martial arts.
Kongo’s unexpected comeback vs Pat Barry
Yet, in a gripping twist, Kongo delivered a powerful right hand that caught Barry off guard, leading to Kongo’s stunning comeback win via Knockout.
UFC 116: Brock Lesnar vs. Shane Carwin
The way Brock Lesnar’s showdown with Shane Carwin at UFC 116 unfolded was a testament to grit and tenacity.
Despite getting rocked early in the first round, Lesnar hung tough, weathering Carwin’s onslaught.
Then, in a remarkable turn, Lesnar rallied in the second round, locking in an arm-triangle choke that led to Carwin tapping out.
This fight wasn’t just about techniques and submissions; it was about Lesnar’s ability to bounce back from adversity, showing the human side of a fighter in the raw intensity of the Octagon.
UFC 116 wasn’t just a victory for Lesnar; it was a display of resilience and the indomitable spirit that defines the heart of a fighter in the world of mixed martial arts.
Nate Diaz vs Conor McGregor
In the heat of UFC 196 in 2016, Nate Diaz, jumping in on short notice, faced off against the formidable Conor McGregor.
Battling through an early storm, Diaz pulled off a shocker by submission. McGregor gave in during the second round.
It wasn’t just a fight; it was a testament to Diaz’s resilience and his knack for turning things around when the odds seemed stacked against him.
Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard II
In a gripping contest for the UFC lightweight title, Frankie Edgar faced Gray Maynard’s relentless assault, undergoing a brutal first-round test.
Despite appearing on the brink of defeat, Edgar summoned extraordinary resilience, showcasing heart and determination.
As the fight progressed, Edgar weathered Maynard’s storm, leading to a hard-fought draw that preserved his championship and solidified the battle in UFC history.
Beyond the immediate triumph, the bout highlighted Edgar’s indomitable spirit and ability to triumph over adversity.
This resilient performance laid the foundation for the anticipated trilogy with Maynard, promising fans another thrilling chapter in their fierce rivalry.
Stipe Miocic vs Daniel Cormier
At UFC 241, Stipe Miocic found himself grappling with adversity early on against Daniel Cormier. Undeterred, Miocic recalibrated his approach, focusing on Cormier’s body, ultimately clinching a knockout victory in the fourth round.
This comeback wasn’t just about reclaiming the heavyweight title; it solidified Miocic’s standing as a resilient champion, showcasing his adaptability and unwavering determination in the face of challenges.
Matt Hughes vs. Frank Trigg II
In a welterweight title bout at UFC 52, Matt Hughes etched his name in history with a remarkable comeback against Frank Trigg.
Despite being rocked and nearly submitted, Hughes rallied to secure a rear-naked choke, retaining his title in a memorable victory.
Dana White: The Man Behind the UFC
Dana White, synonymous with the UFC, played a pivotal role in turning MMA into a global sensation as its president. From his roots as a boxing instructor to now a sports figurehead, his journey is truly captivating.
Today, we delve into the defining moments that shaped his legacy, tracing his rise from humble beginnings to leading the UFC globally.
Join us in exploring the highs and lows of White’s extraordinary career in the Octagon, a journey that started with teaching boxing and led to steering the UFC to greatness.
Early Life of Dana White
Dana White, born on July 28, 1969, in Manchester, Connecticut, grew up in a working-class family. His interest in combat sports started early. After finishing high school, he went to the University of Massachusetts Boston, where he began boxing training. White’s passion led him to open his boxing gym and work as an instructor.
In 1992, a significant turning point came when he met Lorenzo Fertitta, a childhood friend turned business partner.
The Fertitta brothers, successful entrepreneurs intrigued by combat sports, joined forces with White. Together, they envisioned transforming the struggling UFC into a mainstream success.
Dana White became UFC President
In 2001, the Fertitta brothers bought the UFC, making Dana White its president. They revamped the UFC significantly under White’s leadership, introducing weight classes and rules that legitimized the sport.
White’s bold and sometimes controversial promotion style played a crucial role in the UFC’s ascent. Known for his daring approach and willingness to take risks, he has both admirers and critics.
Despite challenges, White’s vision and determination have played a key role in turning the UFC into a global powerhouse.
Controversies and Criticisms
Dana White’s career is marked by controversy. Criticisms target his aggressive UFC promotion and concerns about fighter compensation and labor relations.
Recent scrutiny includes the UFC’s approach to health and safety, especially regarding concussions and injuries. Debates arise on MMA’s long-term impact on athletes and the necessary measures for their well-being.
White’s management style and public image continually draw both praise and criticism.
Legacy and Impact
Despite controversies, Dana White undeniably shaped sports. His relentless drive elevated the UFC to global stardom, boasting a massive fan base and lucrative TV deals. White’s adept navigation of sports, entertainment, and media solidified his industry prominence.
Beyond business, his impact on MMA is undeniable. A vocal advocate for athletes, White worked to improve opportunities and recognition. His efforts elevated MMA and its fighters, opening doors for a new generation fighters like McGregor, Israel Adesanya, and many more. to pursue dreams in the sport.
Away from the limelight, Dana White is a committed family man, married to Anne White, and a father of three.
Despite his busy schedule, he emphasizes the balance between his professional and personal life. Known for philanthropy, White supports various charitable causes.
With a net worth of around $500 million as of 2023, White serves as the UFC president, contributing significantly to its growth.
While limited information exists about his hobbies, White’s lifelong involvement in combat sports, especially boxing, and his passion for poker, evident in high-stakes tournaments, are known. Details about his religion remain undisclosed.
Dana White’s journey from a humble boxing instructor to the president of the UFC is a testament to his passion, determination, and vision.
His impact on the world of sports and entertainment is undeniable, and his legacy will continue to shape the future of MMA for years to come.
Love him or loathe him, there is no denying that Dana White has left an indelible mark on the world of combat sports.
The UFC Success Story
UFC begins her journey from a tough spot. It took a lot of work to become a household name is a phenomenon that deserves attention.
The promotion was founded in 1993 and celebrated its 30th anniversary recently.
The promotion’s triumph is a testament to perseverance, innovation, strategic marketing, and above all, effective leadership.
Let’s delve into the pivotal factors that have fueled the UFC’s evolution and unparalleled success.
Early Days Of UFC
The UFC used to have a notorious reputation. It was perceived as a gritty and underground sport that lacked the respect and widespread appeal given to traditional sports like basketball, boxing, or football.
It was owned by Semaphore Entertainment Group (SEG), and financial troubles led to the UFC’s sale to Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta in 2001. The Fertitta brothers established Zuffa to operate the UFC, appointing Dana White as the company’s president.
Everything changed under the guidance of visionary leadership who reformed the organization. The proof of this is the unparalleled success achieved by the promotion.
During its early phases, the UFC promoted its events as a quest to find the most efficient martial art, sparking a mix of curiosity and doubt. The UFC faced numerous challenges, including disapproval, regulatory hurdles, and concerns about safety and credibility.
Despite these hurdles, the organization actively addressed the issues, by enhancing safety measures and satisfying regulatory concerns, both of which changed the public perception.
This bold approach played a crucial role in the UFC’s journey from an unconventional and controversial activity to a widely recognized, approved, and respected sport. The deliberate steps and inclusive measures, propelled the UFC into the mainstream, ultimately contributing to its remarkable success in the world of sports.
Evolution of UFC
One of the many crucial factors in the UFC’s success is its adaptability. In the early 2000s, the sport faced criticism and regulatory hurdles, causing a decline in popularity.
Under Dana White and the Fertitta brothers, the organization responded by implementing stricter rules and prioritizing disciplined athletes. This strategic shift enhanced the sport’s image and broadened its audience.
While navigating from humble origins to global acclaim, the UFC confronted challenges, exemplified by the attempt to establish the Women’s Flyweight division in 2017.
Despite initial enthusiasm, roster difficulties led to its discontinuation in 2019, highlighting the intricacies of expanding and sustaining specific weight classes in the organization’s evolution.
This proactive approach not only tackled challenges head-on but also positioned the UFC for a significant resurgence in popularity.
The UFC’s foray into international markets proved instrumental in its ascent to mainstream success. Through hosting events in diverse countries and recruiting fighters worldwide, the organization successfully tapped into new markets, fostering a global fan base.
This international expansion not only bolstered revenue but also cemented the UFC’s status as a genuinely global sport.
The strategic outreach and inclusivity in recruiting fighters from various regions contributed significantly to the organization’s widespread recognition and popularity on a global scale.
Marketing and Branding
The UFC’s success owes much to strategic marketing initiatives, encompassing the development of a robust brand, active engagement with fans via digital and social media, and forging partnerships with diverse stakeholders.
A pioneer in leveraging social media, streaming platforms, and digital marketing, the organization has effectively connected with its audience.
Features such as live event streaming, interactive fan polls, and direct engagement with fighters on social media platforms have collectively cultivated a strong sense of community and belonging among fans.
This innovative approach not only enhances the fan experience but also solidifies the UFC’s position as a leader in modern sports marketing.
The UFC’s global success is a testament to perseverance, innovation, and strategic marketing. Through adaptation, international expansion, and groundbreaking strategies.
It transformed from a niche sport to a sports and entertainment giant. The journey highlights the power of brand-building, vision, teamwork, and dedication to excellence.
UFC Female Fighters with the Most Title Defenses
Title defense is a occur when a title holder successfully defends their title against a challenger.
Winning a UFC title is hard but defending it is twice harder. Do you know why? It’s because being a champion puts a lot of top-tier targets on your back.
However, as hard as it seems, some badass UFC female fighters manage to achieve this feat on multiple occasions.
Here is the list of UFC female fighters with the most title defenses.
Amanda Nunes’s 10 title defenses
Born on May 30, 1988, in Brazil, Amanda Nunes, fondly known as “The Lioness,” stands as the unrivaled force in the UFC, with a remarkable 22-5 record. Her journey unfolds as a tale of dominance, weaving through two weight divisions—bantamweight and featherweight.
Notably, The Lioness holds the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship twice, defending it five times, and the Women’s Featherweight Championship once, with two successful defenses.
Beyond statistics, her legacy pulses with the energy of versatility, showcased in her victories over renowned fighters.
Facing the likes of Ronda Rousey, Valentina Shevchenko (twice), Raquel Pennington, Holly Holm, and Germaine de Randamie, Nunes’s triumphs read like chapters in a story of unparalleled skill and resilience.
While her recent retirement adds a bittersweet note, Nunes leaves behind a human story of triumph, embodying the essence of female fighting excellence and etching her name as the undisputed queen in the vibrant history of the UFC.
Valentina Shevchenko 7 title defenses
Marching into the UFC spotlight, Valentina Shevchenko, or “The Bullet,” emerges as a formidable force in the flyweight division, defending her title with precision and flair.
Born on March 7, 1988, in Kyrgyzstan, Shevchenko boasts a stellar 23-4 record, signaling her prowess as a versatile fighter in both bantamweight and flyweight divisions.
In the Women’s Flyweight division, Shevchenko’s dominance echoes through seven successful title defenses, with her latest showcase of skill on June 12, 2022.
A fighting goddess, Shevchenko’s journey spans various disciplines—Muay Thai, taekwondo, boxing, judo, and kickboxing.
Her mastery culminated in an extraordinary seven-defense streak, only recently halted by Alexa Grasso. This setback fuels her quest to reclaim the title, positioning her for further glory.
Shevchenko, the queen of precision, continues to etch her name as one of the most skilled fighters in UFC history.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk 5 defenses
Hailing from Poland, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, once known as the “Polish Hammer,” carved her legacy in the UFC’s Women’s Strawweight division with a formidable 16-5 record.
In 2014, the division quickly witnessed Jedrzejczyk’s dominance, becoming its second champion in 2015. Her aggressive striking and technical footwork marked a reign that saw her defend the title five times.
Jedrzejczyk’s journey in the strawweight division reached its pinnacle with victories over Jessica Penne, Valerie Letourneau, Claudia Gadelha (twice), and Karolina Kowalkiewicz. Each defense showcased her striking prowess, underlining her ability to overwhelm opponents with relentless pressure.
The streak, however, met its end in 2017 at the hands of Rose Namajunas, yet Jedrzejczyk’s contributions endure, solidifying her as one of the greatest female fighters in UFC history.
Ronda Rousey 6 defenses
Ronda Rousey is an American trailblazer, who captivated the world with her submission prowess, earning the distinction of being the first female UFC champion.
Born on February 1, 1987, her legacy in the Women’s Bantamweight division is etched with a record of 12-2, marked by an impressive reign defending the title six times.
Rousey’s impact transcends the octagon; she not only showcased dominance with her armbar finishes but also paved the way for women in the UFC, becoming a beacon of inspiration for a generation of female athletes.
In the realm of iconic victories, Rousey’s armbars and swift finishes became emblematic in women’s MMA.
Triumphs over formidable opponents like Miesha Tate (twice), Sara McMann, Alexis Davis, and Cat Zingano solidified her status as a pioneer.
Despite her last title defense occurring on August 1, 2015, Rousey’s impact on the sport and the empowerment of female athletes resonates far beyond her time in the octagon.
UFC Male Fighters with the Most Title Defenses
Title defenses pose a unique challenge in the world of UFC. Unlike snagging a title initially, defending it truly separates the champions from the contenders, as Althea Gibson wisely noted.
So now imagine successfully defending it multiple times, shouldn’t that be considered a feat? It’s like a football team maintaining a winning streak across all competitions.
This article delves into the remarkable feats of the UFC male fighters with the most title defenses.
Jon Jones’s 13 title defenses
Jon “Bones” Jones, a powerhouse in the light heavyweight division. His journey began in 2011 when, at just 23, he clinched the UFC championship by defeating Shogun Rua at UFC 128. What followed was a remarkable reign with a record-setting 13 successful title defenses.
Jones not only defended his title but also boasts records for the most wins, most submission victories, and the longest win streak in the 205-pound division.
His list of conquered challengers reads like a who’s who of the division, including Quinton Jackson, Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans, and Daniel Cormier, to name a few.
Transitioning to the heavyweight category in March 2020, Jones left an indelible mark on the light heavyweight division, solidifying his status as one of the UFC’s all-time greats.
- Demetrious Johnson – Flyweight (11 Title Defenses)
In another weight class, Demetrious Johnson, a maestro in the flyweight division, began his era of dominance in 2012. His championship defense record stands at an impressive 11 times.
Notable opponents like John Dodson (twice), Joseph Benavidez (in a rematch), Ali Bagautinov, and Henry Cejudo tested him.
Despite a setback in a rematch against Cejudo at UFC 227 in August 2018, where he suffered a split decision loss, Johnson’s legacy endures.
He was later traded to ONE Championship for Ben Askren, where he triumphed in the ONE Flyweight Grand Prix tournament, showcasing his resilience and skill on a global stage.
- Anderson Silva – Middleweight (10 Title Defenses)
Anderson Silva, known as the “Spider,” left an indelible mark in UFC history with 10 title defenses, securing the No. 3 spot.
His journey began in October 2006, claiming the middleweight title by defeating Rich Franklin.
The ‘Spider’ defended his title against a formidable lineup, including Nate Marquardt, Rich Franklin (in a rematch), Dan Henderson, and Chael Sonnen (twice).
Silva holds records for the most finishes in title fights (nine) and the highest number of fights in the middleweight division (13).
Chris Weidman ultimately ended Silva’s reign in a championship showdown in 2013.
- Jose Aldo – Featherweight weight ( 7 Title Defenses)
Jose Aldo, a featherweight legend, notched an impressive seven title defenses since the WEC merged with the UFC in 2010.
Facing tough opponents like Mark Hominick, Kenny Florian, and Chad Mendes, Aldo showcased his dominance.
Despite a setback against Conor McGregor in 2015, Aldo seized redemption in July 2016, reclaiming the title with a victory over Frankie Edgar.
- Georges St-Pierre – Welterweight (9 Title Defenses)
Georges St-Pierre, the esteemed Canadian MMA athlete, rebounded from a disappointing loss to Matt Serra in his first title defense.
Reclaiming his welterweight belt in a rematch in April 2008, St-Pierre went on to retain his championship an impressive nine times. His reign included victories over Jon Fitch, BJ Penn, and Johnny Hendricks.
After relinquishing his title in 2013, GSP made a triumphant return, securing the middleweight championship by defeating Michael Bisping in November 2017.
In the relentless arena of the UFC, fighters like Jon Jones, Demetrious Johnson, Anderson Silva, Jose Aldo, and Georges St-Pierre forged legacies through tenacious title defenses.
From Jones’s record-setting reign to Silva’s mesmerizing performances, each defense added layers to their stories. Aldo showcased resilience, and St-Pierre, after a hiatus, returned triumphantly.
These champions transcend mere winners; they are legends and their multiple title defenses are a testament to that.
Men’s Weight class UFC Rankings
UFC Rankings is like the leaderboard for a given weight class. The rankings are the comparative standings of the top active fighters in the given weight division.
How is UFC Ranking Determined?
UFC Rankings are determined through a panel of media members, journalists, and UFC commentators. The panel votes on the top fighters in each division, and the averaged results from the weekly UFC rankings.
The criteria for voting involve the panel’s subjective assessment of a division’s top performers. This means that other people may have a different opinion on who should or should not be on the ranking, it’s subjective, unlike science.
Pound-For-Pound UFC Rankings:
Pound-for-pound rankings are the comparative standings of all the champions and top-standing fighters of all the weight divisions combined.
It’s like the overall best player or student award. The creamiest of the cream across all divisions.
Pound-For-Pound UFC Rankings:
- Islam Makhachev (25-1-0): Makhachev claims the top spot with an impressive record and a relentless fighting style.
- Jon Jones (27-1-0): A perennial force, Jones continues to showcase his prowess and remains a stalwart in the Pound-For-Pound hierarchy.
- Alexander Volkanovski (26-3-0): The featherweight champion proves his mettle, earning a spot among the Pound-For-Pound elite.
- Leon Edwards (21-3-0): Riding high in the welterweight division, Edwards solidifies his standing with a formidable record.
Flyweight Division UFC Ranking:
Champion: Alexandre Pantoja (26-5-0)
Brandon Moreno (21-7-2): A relentless contender, Moreno eyes the flyweight throne with an impressive track record.
- Deiveson Figueiredo (21-3-1): Former champion Figueiredo remains a potent force in the division.
- Amir Albazi (17-1-0): Albazi’s ascent in the flyweight ranks showcases his potential for future contention.
- Brandon Royval (15-6-0): Known for his exciting style, Royval looks to climb the flyweight ladder.
Lightweight Division UFC Ranking :
Champion: Islam Makhachev (25-1-0)
- Charles Oliveira (34-9-1): The seasoned Oliveira eyes the lightweight throne, showcasing a mix of striking and grappling prowess.
- Justin Gaethje (25-4-0): Gaethje’s explosive style and knockout power keep him in the championship conversation.
- Dustin Poirier (29-8-1): A fan favorite, Poirier’s resilience and striking make him a constant contender.
- Beneil Dariush (22-5-1): Dariush’s well-rounded skills and recent victories position him as a threat in the lightweight division.
Champion: Leon Edwards (21-3-0)
- Kamaru Usman (20-4-0): The welterweight king, Usman’s dominance and strategic brilliance make him a formidable champion.
- Belal Muhammad (23-3-1): Muhammad’s consistent performances and resilience place him as a top contender in the division.
- Colby Covington (17-3-0): Known for his intense rivalries, Covington’s skill set keeps him among the welterweight elite.
- Gilbert Burns (22-6-0): Burns’ grappling prowess and striking ability continue to make him a force in the division.
Champion: Sean Strickland (28-5-0)
- Israel Adesanya (24-3-0): Former champion Adesanya remains a striking virtuoso and a top contender in the middleweight division.
- Dricus Du Plessis (20-2-0): Du Plessis’ explosive style and finishing ability make him a dark horse in the division.
- Robert Whittaker (24-7-0): The former champion Whittaker’s well-rounded skills keep him among the middleweight elite.
- Jared Cannonier (17-6-0): Known for his power, Cannonier is a constant threat in the middleweight division.
Light Heavyweight Division:
Champion: Alex Pereira (9-2-0)
- Jamahal Hill (12-1-0): Hill’s striking prowess and recent performances have elevated him in the light heavyweight division.
- Jiri Prochazka (29-4-1): Prochazka’s dynamic style and knockout power make him a thrilling contender in the division.
- Magomed Ankalaev (18-1-1): Ankalaev’s consistent performances showcase his potential for a bright future in the division.
- Jan Blachowicz (29-10-1): The former champion Blachowicz’s experience and well-rounded game keep him in the title conversation.
Champion: Jon Jones (27-1-0)
- Tom Aspinall (14-3-0): Aspinall’s impressive performances and finishing ability make him a rising star in the heavyweight division.
- Ciryl Gane (12-2-0): Gane’s technical prowess and undefeated record position him as a serious contender for the heavyweight title.
- Sergei Pavlovich (18-2-0): Pavlovich’s powerful striking and solid record keep him in the mix among the heavyweight elites.
- Stipe Miocic (20-4-0): The former champion Miocic remains a legend in the heavyweight division, known for his resilience and skill.
PFL acquisition of Bellator
In a recent development, the Professional Fighters League PFL, took a bold and strategic move with the hope of redefining the landscape of combat sports. PFL announced the acquisition of Bellator.
PFL founder Donn Davis confirmed the acquisition of Bellator MMA and added that the acquisition not only marks a significant corporate maneuver but signals the initiation of a new chapter in the history and future of MMA.
PFL Plans For Bellator MMA
PFL announced that its plan is not simply to absorb Bellator but to also rebrand it as the “Bellator International Champions Series.” Set to debut in 2024, this series will serve as a platform for eight global events in major cities, spotlighting champion versus champion showdowns between PFL and Bellator titleholders.
This is an excellent business strategy that also underlines PFL’s commitment to providing top-notch entertainment to MMA enthusiasts worldwide.
The timing of this announcement is significant, following closely on the heels of Bellator’s final event under the Showtime banner, Bellator 301, where two new champions emerged.
The transition to the Bellator International Champions Series adds an extra layer of excitement for MMA fans, offering a glimpse into what the future holds for these two influential entities.
Interesting days ahead, as the competition will begin between the New Bellator and the established home of combat sport, the UFC.
In a statement to The Financial Times via MMA Fighting, Donn Davis emphasized the transformative nature of this acquisition, stating, “This totally changes the MMA landscape overnight.” By amalgamating the strengths of PFL and Bellator, Davis envisions the creation of a co-leader in the MMA industry.
The combined roster now boasts 30 percent of fighters ranked in the top 25 globally by Fight Matrix, positioning it on par with the UFC’s esteemed roster.
Bellator, established in 2008, has been a formidable force in MMA, housing legends like Fedor Emelianenko and current stars such as Patricio Freire and A.J. McKee.
Under the stewardship of Scott Coker since 2014, Bellator has forged its identity and is known for its tournaments and commitment to showcasing both seasoned and emerging talent.
PFL on the other hand, emerged in 2018 from the restructuring of the World Series of Fighting, and has been making waves with its unique tournament format.
The annual PFL tournament crowns six champions, each earning a substantial $1 million prize. Notable signings, including Jake Paul and Francis Ngannou, have added star power to the league.
The Bellator International Champions Series is not the sole focus of PFL’s ambitious plans. The recent partnership with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has injected a staggering $100 million into PFL through SRJ Sports Investments, a subsidiary of PIF.
This collaboration extends beyond financial backing; it includes the launch of PFL MENA in 2024, marking PFL’s expansion into the Middle East.
As part of the deal, Saudi Arabia will host fights within the PFL Super Fights division, a groundbreaking concept where fighters stand to earn at least 50 percent of the PFL’s pay-per-view revenue. This innovative approach to fighter compensation sets a new standard in the MMA world and has attracted high-profile names such as Jake Paul, Francis Ngannou, and Claressa Shields to the PFL Super Fight division.
Donn Davis, expressing his excitement about the partnership, stated, “PFL is now a global powerhouse in MMA.” This sentiment encapsulates the league’s bold vision for the future—a future where PFL stands as a major competitor challenging the supremacy of organizations like the UFC.
The PFL’s acquisition of Bellator and the strategic collaboration with Saudi Arabia’s PIF mark a turning point in the MMA landscape.
The fusion of these entities not only creates a powerhouse in global MMA but also introduces innovative concepts that redefine how the sport operates.
As we eagerly await the PFL World Championship Finals on November 24, the stage is set for a thrilling chapter in MMA history, where PFL’s bold moves promise to captivate audiences and elevate the sport to new heights.
Controversial Decisions in UFC History
Controversial judges’ decisions are one of the many things weakening the largest MMA organization in the world. From split decisions to unanimous wins, both have been contentious at some point.
The scoring system’s lack of quality control in training, assessing, and selecting judges fuels the idea that the promotion is taking the issue seriously.
Most Controversial Decisions in UFC history
GSP vs. Hendricks, UFC 167
UFC 167 is inarguably one of the most controversial bouts in UFC history. Georges St-Pierre defended his welterweight title against Johny Hendricks.
Hendricks came out strong in the first two rounds, landing heavy punches and taking St-Pierre to the mat.
After a grueling five-round battle, Pundit and enthusiasts believed Hendricks earned enough points to dethrone the longtime champion.
However, St-Pierre won via the split decision. The judges’ decision outraged fans and analysts, including Hendricks himself. He caused GSP more damage than he did.
This controversial nature of the bout divided the MMA community at the time, with most people siding with Hendricks.
The decision increased the discourse on how fights should be scored. Most shareholders agreed that the system at the time needed to be more nuanced.
Machida vs. Shogun I UFC 104
The controversial nature of the judges’ decision at UFC 104 etched it into UFC history.
The light heavyweight title fight between Lyoto Machida and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua ended disappointingly courtesy of the judge’s decision.
Throughout the fight, Shogun appeared to dominate with effective striking and aggression. However, the Judges unanimously crowned Machida.
The bout’s result led to a discussion about judging criteria in MMA. It prompted the UFC to review and refine scoring systems to avoid and minimize similar controversies in the future.
Edgar vs. Henderson, UFC 144
The UFC lightweight title bout between Frankie Edgar and Benson Henderson at UFC 144 ended in a unanimous decision victory for Henderson.
A decision that dissatisfied most people. Many fans and analysts argued that Edgar had done enough to win the title defense.
The closely contested bout highlighted the subjectivity of judging in MMA and continued the debates about the criteria used to score fights.
Dillashaw vs. Cruz, UFC Fight Night 81
UFC Fight Night 81 is an anticipated bantamweight title fight between T.J. Dillashaw and Dominick Cruz.
Like every item on this post, the judge’s decision was controversial as Cruz emerged victorious via split decision, which left the fans of Dillashaw furious. Dillashaw fans said she had done enough to win the bout.
The bout is a classic example of a close contest, showing that closely contested fights are more challenging to judge than they seem to be to onlookers.
Jones vs. Gustafsson, UFC 165
In 2013, Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson clashed swords for the first time during the light heavyweight title at UFC 165, which remains one of the most iconic bouts in UFC history.
It was a clash of titans, so it was a close contest, and like most close contests, the result was controversial. Jon Jones won via unanimous decision—a decision that many fans and experts questioned.
Many fans and experts severely contested and criticized the decision, so President Dana White ordered a quick rematch. They believed Gustafsson had done enough to dethrone the reigning champion.
The rematch didn’t reveal anything new, though the fight was epic, and Jon Jones secured a victory with a rear-neck choke.
Alexander Volkanovski vs. Islam Makhachev (UFC 284)
Alexander Volkanovski and Islam Makhachev clashed for the lightweight title at UFC 284 and remained the most controversial decision in 2023.
The fight, as expected, was closely contested, with both fighters demonstrating their grappling prowess and striking skills. However, Makhachev controlled most of the fight with his wrestling, while Volkanovski landed the more significant strikes on the feet.
Even though the Russian did minor damage compared to his opponent, the judges scored the fight in favor of Makhachev. The decision got mixed reactions from fans and pundits.
Controversial decisions in the UFC are often inevitable, which usually outrage fans, pundits, and fighters alike. It is one of the Achilles’ heels of sporting promotion.
While it is easier to blame judges’ decisions, it is imperative to know that until the UFC and MMA, in general, incorporate technology like the VAR in football, such controversy will continue to ensue.
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