MMA Odds and Ends for Thursday: McGregor’s Bluster, Stout Calls It Quits

Conor McGregor 2Conor McGregor was at it again last night. This time, in an appearance on UFC Tonight alongside Urijah Faber that was intended to hype the next season of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ the conversation instead centered around the Irish interim champion. McGregor announced that after he beats someone named “Hosay” Aldo that he will move up to lightweight to capture gold in that division as well, but as it stands, nobody in the lightweight division is drawing appealing enough “numbers” to make it worth his while. He also claimed the same about TJ Dillashaw when Faber brought the bantamweight champion up as a future opponent. That begs the question: Who does McGregor actually want to fight? Perhaps “himself,” would be the only correct answer, much as Anderson Silva boasted years ago, but the only other fighter in MMA at the moment who has drawn comparable numbers to McGregor is Ronda Rousey. Of course before McGregor can make his move to lightweight a reality, there is still the small matter of getting past Aldo, who will be undefeated for over 10 years (18-0) by the time the two meet in December. Aside from Conor being Conor, the UFC also saw another fighter retire yesterday. Longtime UFC veteran Sam Stout brought an end to his 12+ year MMA career. The bulk of those years were spent in the UFC, as the Canadian debuted at UFC 58, the US vs. Canada themed card. A recipient of seven post-fight bonus awards, Stout was known for putting on back-and-forth brawls with opponents, most notably Spencer Fisher with whom he had three memorable battles. His career of taking punishment caught up with Stout at the end however, as he was knocked out in his final three UFC appearances after not being stopped by strikes over the first 30 bouts of his career. In terms of fight bookings, the UFC was busy on Wednesday, but not much jumps off the page. The most notable booking is the debut of Sage Northcutt (5-0) a 19-year-old prospect recently signed from Legacy FC who will face Frank Trevino at UFC 192. Big things are expected from MMA’s newest fighter/model, although Trevino will prove a quantum leap in competition from the likes of Rocky Long (a 21-34 journeyman who Northcutt most recently defeated). Two more fighters making their debut are heavyweight Luiz Henrique and Francis Ngannou, who will square off at UFC on Fox 17 in Orlando, Florida. Henrique is naturally a light heavyweight, but will be making the jump to take on Ngannou, a Frenchman who will carry on the torch of Cheick Kongo as one of the most physically imposing heavyweights in the UFC. Both fighters have just a lone defeat on their pro records, although it should be noted that Henrique was knocked out by now UFC welterweight Sultan Aliev. The other two bouts announced this morning are for Australia’s UFC 193 card, and both are in the flyweight division. Richie Vaculik returns from a year on the shelf — no doubt recovering from the ‘Sweet Chin Music’ Louis Smolka landed on him — to face Danny Martinez. Ben Nguyen will look to build upon the impressive UFC debut that saw him knock out Alp Ozkilic. He will be taking on Ryan Benoit, who came back from some early adversity to knock out Sergio Pettis in his last outing. The Nguyen/Benoit bout looks like a particularly entertaining one on paper, and will definitely be one to watch on the 193 undercard.

Written by Brad Taschuk

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