Michael Bisping thinks Mark Zuckerberg’s private UFC show could be good for MMA and promotion, while James Vick returns to combat sports. Managers are butting heads, Jerome Le Banner is still fighting, and more in this week’s Sunday MMA Quick Hits. No UFC, Bellator or ONE championship this week, but still plenty of ground to cover!
Manager says he ‘owns’ the media, as row with MMA Factory’s Ferdinand Lopez continues
Ali Abdelaziz, one of the best-known managers in the MMA field, has been filmed claiming to “own” the media, going so far as to name names in terms of a journalist whose story he claims to have suppressed.
The revelation comes following a leaked recording of Abdelaziz, speaking to MMA Factory head coach Ferdinand Lopez, who is himself a manager. Lopez is best known for working with Ciryl Gane, and formerly Francis Ngannou. But it’s another heavyweight that the pair have met: Slim Trabelsi. Earlier this year, Trabelsi briefly signed a deal with the UFC before it all fell apart after his previous promotion, ARES FC, cried foul.
Lopez is co-founder and president of ARES, which would apparently put him in a conflict of interest, given that he also manages Trabelsi, the ARES heavyweight champion. Abdelaziz had taken on Trabelsi as a client, apparently unaware of his relationship with Lopez.
Interestingly enough, Abdelaziz, who runs management company Dominance MMA, was abandoned its role as matchmaker in the World Series of Fighting (a precursor to the PFL) in 2015 due to a similar conflict of interest.
Lopez admitted to asking for 90,000 euros to release Slim Trabelsi from his contract. Abdelaziz claimed that although he canceled his deal with the fighter, Lopez still killed his potential transfer to the UFC.
Check out the leaked audio curated by MMA Focus.
James Vick signs with Karate Combat
Former UFC lightweight James Vick has signed with Karate Combat.
Vick (13-6) retired from MMA last year after suffering a five-fight losing streak, including four straight losses that resulted in his exit from the UFC.
Karate Combat recently announced on social media that Vick will face Jorge Perez on October 29, 2022 at Karate Combat 36.
The official main card for #KC36!
Bruno Souza takes on former lightweight champion Edgars Skrivers, Igor De Castaneda returns to fight Franklin Mina and more!
— Karate Combat (@KarateCombat) October 5, 2022
Melvin Guillard punished again
For the second time, a sports commission has refused Melvin Guillard a license to compete for the BKFC.
Guillard had been announced for BKFC 31 in Colorado later this month, but the Colorado Combative Sports Commission put the brakes on a scheduled fight with Evgeny Kurdanov.
“Mr. Guillard is not currently licensed in Colorado and the Oct. 15 fight will not take place as scheduled,” the commission said. MMA enthusiast last week. No reason was given for the decision to deny Guillard a license, but a separate statement to MyMMANews raised concerns about the former UFC fighter’s health.
It’s not the first time this has happened. The Florida Boxing Commission, in conjunction with the Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports (ABC), denied Guillard a license in February, when he was paired with Ulysses Diaz.
Several outlets, including this one, had expressed concerns over Guillard’s ability to compete effectively and safely against Diaz, who at the time had just won the fastest knockout in BKFC history.
Melvin Guillard is 2-6 BKB, with both wins coming in 2017. In MMA, as of 2014 he went 1-10, 1NC. BKFC books him against the guy with the fastest knockout in promotion history, due to Florida.
— Jay Anders☀️n 🇨🇦 (@CageSideJay) January 26, 2022
At the time, the ABC issued a statement saying that “After exercising due diligence, Executive Director Patrick Cunningham has discovered a serious concern regarding the health of Melvin Guillard.”
Definitely worth the detour. And thanks to Caposa from Twitter (@Grabaka_Hitman), without which many highlights would be missed.
Amazing flying kick KO by Patryk Ożóg at Carpathian Warriors. Merab Mamporia was stretched out of the cage. Holy shit pic.twitter.com/XRk5cSSRoi
— Caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) October 1, 2022
Jerome Le Banner Still Competing, Mangles Leg, Still Wins TKO Victory
At 49, kickboxer and mixed martial artist Jérôme Le Banner is still in competition. To put that into perspective, he made his MMA debut in 2001, while his professional kickboxing debut dates back to 1992.
It’s 30 years of active competition for the French heavyweight, who improved to 2-0 in 2022 on Saturday thanks to a TKO win over Adnan Alić. Le Banner appears to hurt his knee in the fight, but is still able to reverse his stance, move up and finish the floor and the pound for his third straight victory overall.
Meanwhile in France. Jerome Le Banner scores a bizarre victory over Adnan Alić, first injuring his knee badly before landing a knockdown into the mount and forcing Alic to tap to strike. It was a hectic 100 seconds. #MMAGP pic.twitter.com/4XSwBp1fTT
— Caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) October 8, 2022
Michael Bisping thinks Mark Zuckerberg’s private UFC Vegas 61 show will attract more fans
Fans and the media gave a cold reception to Mark Zuckerberg when news of his private UFC event – it would be UFC Vegas 61 a week ago – broke. The Fight Night card, hosted at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, has been closed to media and fans in an unprecedented move by the promotion. Zuckerberg, who runs Meta and remains one of the richest in the world
lizard people men, seated alongside his wife taking part in the fights, apparently a guest guest of the UFC and Dana White.
One figure, however, thinks the move could be good for the sport. Leave it to Michael “The Count” Bisping to play devil’s advocate and find the silver lining.
“[Zuckerberg]He’s a tech genius. You’ve seen him, and he can be described as, in quotes, a bit of a nerd. But to see a guy like him who has this influence, who makes this wealth, who has this power, and I don’t know what to think of Mark Zuckerberg, he’s a fucking nerd, let’s be honest, but he’s great because he is there and watching the UFC,” Bisping said on his podcast, Believe me.
“I think it will open up, potentially, another realm of people because MMA is hugely popular, but there are still skeptics, there are critics and there are still people who won’t give it a shot. But seeing someone who is clearly extremely smart like him, being a fan of the sport, and his wife out there enjoying it, it’s only going to get more fans.
So, about Zuckerberg’s wife taking advantage…
— Bz (@breezygoblue) October 2, 2022
Fighters React To Star Punching NBA Teammate Jake Paul Offers $10 Million For Undercard Spot
NBA Golden State Warriors’ Draymond Green steps away from team after attack a teammate during trainingbut the punch in question earned him some praise for his fighting skills — and a $10 million offer from Jake Paul.
It’s funny, Sean. I thought the EXACT SAME thing. https://t.co/VaRROCiX3M
—Din Thomas (@DinThomas) October 7, 2022
Draymond, I got $10 million for you to step into the ring in the next hottest pay-per-view promotions. Who do you want? @Money23Green
—Jake Paul (@jakepaul) October 7, 2022