- Today’s top story is the return of Ronda Rousey to UFC as it is now confirmed that she’ll challenge Amanda Nunes for the UFC women’s bantamweight championship in the main event of UFC 207 on December 30, 2016. There is a lot to break down from the announcement as Rousey will return just over 13 months from being stunned by Holly Holm at UFC 193, where she suffered the first loss of her mixed martial arts career. UFC president Dana White stated that if Ronda wins, her next opponent will definitely be Cris Cyborg. But Cyborg wasn’t happy with the news and reacted angrily on Twitter. In addition to numerous retweets, Cyborg wrote this:
If @RondaRousey wanted the fight. The fans want the fight. Then why are we waiting for her to Win a belt that isn't even hers? #candyman
If Ronda Rousey retires after losing to Amanda Nunes @TheHerd her insecurities robbed the fans the greatest fight of all time
If @RondaRousey is the biggest star @TheHerd and Brazil always cheer for her. Let's do our fight Rio @danawhite because Brazil will cheer me
I want all my fans to know @RondaRousey could lose 100 fights in a row and I would still want to fight her. Its not about money it's respect
If Ronda lose we can still fight. Holly Holm lose 2 times still take tough fights. She real fighter not media made
She didn't want 2 do #ufc205 she didn't want 2 do #ufc207 she doesn't want 2 fight me. My next fight will not be depending on what she does
UFC 207: Nunes vs. Rousey will take place from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on Friday, December 30, 2016.
- UFC president Dana White stated on an appearance on “The Herd” with Colin Cowherd on Fox Sports 1 that Conor McGregor told him that he never wants to fight in Nevada again after being fined $150,000 by the Nevada Athletic Commission for throwing water bottles at the UFC 202 press conference. White agreed with McGregor that the fine does nothing but hurt the state of Nevada. He too will face the Nevada Athletic Commission soon, possibly in November. The UFC did not punish McGregor over the incident and while White wasn’t thrilled with him, he thought the fine was insane.
- Jose Aldo told members of the media on Wednesday that he is flying to Las Vegas, Nevada on October 19, 2016 to meet with UFC officials to discuss the termination of his contract. Aldo’s desire is to get released from his contract so he is free from mixed martial arts to pursue other opportunities. Aldo claims he was considering retirement after losing to Conor McGregor at UFC 194 last December but his manager and coach Andre Pederneiras convinced him to fight again. Aldo beat Frankie Edgar via unanimous decision at UFC 200 last July. He says he has no desire to fight again and wants to retire as champion.
- ESPN has confirmed that Raphael Assuncao will face Aljamain Sterling in a bantamweight fight at UFC Fight Night on December 9, 2016 in Albany, New York. Assuncao (23-5) last fought in a loss to TJ Dillashaw at UFC 200 in July. Sterling (12-1) lost his first fight in May via split decision to Bryan Caraway.
- If you missed it earlier in the wrestling-related portion of Richard’s Exclusive Update, Alberto Del Rio — whose real name is Alberto Rodriguez - has been named the President of Combate Americas, the hispanic mixed martial arts promotion founded by UFC co-creator Campbell McLaren. Del Rio will work in a behind the scenes leadership role and will head up athlete recruitment and development. Combate Americas will run a show on October 14, 2016 under the banner “Empire Rising” in New York.
- A rumor surfaced via Champions.co that New York Giants linebacker Jonathan Casillas, who is of Puerto Rican descent, was nearing a deal to fight for Combate Americas. Casillas laughed off the rumor as he recently attended of their shows with Campbell McLaren. Casillas believes that’s how the rumor got started but he won’t be getting in the octagon anytime soon.
- Bellator MMA has confirmed that Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal will face Satoshi Ishii in the main event of Bellator 169 in a heavyweight fight on December 16, 2016 from the 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland. The news was first reported by Severe MMA and has been confirmed but the promotion. Lawal lost to Phil Davis last May at Bellator 154. He has fought in the heavyweight division before and won. Ishii’s last fight was in a losing effort at Bellator 157 against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
- The UFC 204 preliminary fights did just 678,000 viewers on Fox Sports 1 on Saturday night. That’s the lowest audience for UFC prelims this year and well off the pay-per-view average of 1,108,000 viewers for the year.
- NFL Insider Jay Glazer isn’t happy with former NFL defensive end Greg Hardy trying his hand at mixed martial arts. He tweeted this statement:
”I would be incredibly disappointed in any of my fellow MMA coaches and any promoters if they took Greg Hardy in and taught him a shred of our incredible sport. Many of us train women in self defense specifically to help protect vs domestic violence. Me and all my coaches at @Unbreakable do and take great pride in that. Competing in any sport is a privilege, Greg Hardy should not be granted the privilege. There are many beautiful arts taught in our sport, none of which should be afforded to him”
As previously noted, Hardy was arrested in May 2014 due to a domestic violence incident with his ex-girlfriend. He was found guilty that July but appealed the decision, requesting a jury trial. When the victim failed to appear in court to testify, charges against him were dropped. While the domestic charges against him were eventually expunged from his record, Deadspin released police photographs of Hardy’s ex-girlfriend’s injuries. He was arrested last month on charges of cocaine possession in Dallas, Texas.