POLLOCK'S MMA UPDATE: White against COVID-19 talk on broadcasts

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/08/21/pollocks-mma-update-white-against-covid-19-talk-on-broadcasts/

MMA NEWS

**John Ourand at Sports Business Journal reports that last weekend’s UFC 252 card featuring the third fight between Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier topped 500,000 worldwide buys. They did not have a breakdown of how it did specifically on ESPN+ but noted the U.S. buys are typically 80% of the worldwide figure and would place UFC 252 at roughly 400,000 U.S. purchases.

These figures would place it behind UFC 246 in January (Conor McGregor vs. Donald Cerrone), UFC 249 in May (Justin Gaethje vs. Tony Ferguson), and UFC 251 in July (Kamaru Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal, Alexander Volkanovski vs. Max Holloway, and Petr Yan vs. Jose Aldo). Several days prior to UFC 252, ESPN+ increased its monthly subscription price from $4.99 to $5.99 for new subscribers. Those that subscribe to the ESPN+ service must also purchase the pay-per-view for an additional $64.99 (U.S.).

**Last week, Robbie Fox at Barstool Sports had Dana White give a tour of the UFC APEX. Perhaps the most interesting note came from White regarding his critiques of the production when a show is occurring. He gave the following answer regarding how he doesn’t want to COVID-19 brought up on the broadcast, the same philosophy that Vince McMahon has had throughout the pandemic:

When we first came back, three minutes into the first show in Jacksonville, these guys kept talking about COVID-19. I said I don’t want to hear one f–king word about COVID-19. When people, all of us, now if we turn on our TV all we f—king hear about is this stupid f—king COVID-19 nonstop, it’s all we hear about. When you come to the UFC, you ain’t going to hear about any of that bullshit. You’re going to watch f—king fights, you’re going to have fun with your family and friends and you’re going to enjoy yourself for a few hours. You don’t have to listen to any of that bulls—t while you’re watching the UFC.

**Bellator 244 takes place tonight from Uncasville, Connecticut at their “Fight Sphere” at the Mohegan Sun Arena. Below is the full card beginning with the prelims at 7:15 pm Eastern and the main card airs on the Paramount Network and DAZN at 10 pm:

MAIN CARD (10 pm Eastern on Paramount Network and DAZN)
*Ryan Bader (204) vs. Vadim Nemkov (203.9) for the Bellator light heavyweight title
*Julia Budd (145.8) vs. Jessy Miele (147*) – Miele missed weight by one pound
*Roy Nelson (264.9) vs. Valentin Moldavsky (234.6)
*Andrew Kapel (185.1) vs. John Salter (186)

PRELIMINARY CARD (7:15 pm Eastern)

*Yaroslav Amosov (174.4) vs. Mark Lemminger (174.6)
*Adam Piccolotti (155.3) vs. Sidney Outlaw (156)
*Erik Perez (135.6) vs. Josh Hill (136)
*Will Smith (143.7) vs. Lucas Brennan (145.8)
*Vladimir Tokov (155.3) vs. Chris Gonzalez (156)
*Vladyslav Parubchenko (149.6) vs. John de Jesus (149.1)
*Salim Mukhidinov (147.8) vs. Weber Almeida (147.5)

**LFA is holding a card on Fight Pass from the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Below are the fights airing at 9 pm Eastern on Fight Pass:
*Jaleel Willis vs. Vinicius De Jesus for the vacant LFA welterweight title
*Aaron McKenzie vs. Glaucio Eliziario – Eliziaro missed the lightweight limit by 1.6 pounds and will be fined a portion of his purse
*Natan Levy vs. Ben Lugo
*Kegan Gennrich vs. Evan Elder

**The UFC held its weigh-ins this morning for Saturday night’s Fight Night card at the UFC APEX. The show is headlined by the often-delayed fight between Frankie Edgar and Pedro Munhoz, which was attached to several shows this summer before landing on this date.

It is Edgar’s long-awaited debut at 135 pounds at the age of 38. Edgar competed at lightweight for the first five years in the UFC where he won the 155-pound championship in April 2010 from BJ Penn. In 2013, he cut down to featherweight and fought twice for the championship and once for an interim title and came up short in those fights. His last title opportunity occurred one year ago losing to Max Holloway by unanimous decision followed by a TKO loss to Chan Sung Jung in December. It is going to be a test for Edgar to maintain his speed and quickness at the lower weight compounded by his age when speed fighters see declines.

Munhoz is a tough opponent for Edgar but will establish where Edgar fits immediately at the division. Munhoz has never been stopped during his career and has won seven of his last nine fights, he is coming off a decision loss to Aljamain Sterling but hasn’t fought since June 2019.

Below is the full line-up for Saturday with results from the weigh-ins. Eric Marcotte will be covering this show on Saturday for POST Wrestling.

MAIN CARD (8:30 pm Eastern on ESPN & ESPN+)
*Pedro Munhoz (136) vs. Frankie Edgar (135.5)
*Ovince Saint Preux (205.5) vs. Alonzo Menifield (204.5)
*Marcin Prachnio (205.5) vs. Mike Rodriguez (205.5)
*Shana Dobson (126) vs. Mariya Agapova (125.5)
*Daniel Rodriguez (170.5) vs. Takashi Sato (170.5) – While Sato made weight, MMA Junkie reports that he has not been cleared to fight by the Nevada Athletic Commission

PRELIMINARY CARD (6 pm on ESPN & ESPN+)
*Mizuki Inoue (115.5) vs. Amanda Lemos (115.5)
*Joe Solecki (155.5) vs. Austin Hubbard (156)
*Dwight Grant (169.5) vs. Calen Born () – Born didn’t weigh-in and pulled out of the fight
*Ike Villanueva (205.5) vs. Jordan Wright (200)
*Carlton Minus (170) vs. Matthew Semelsberger (170)
*Trevin Jones (140.5) vs. Timur Valiev (140)

**The Bellator 244 prelims will be streaming on the promotion’s YouTube channel.

**TSN1 will begin their UFC coverage at 6:30 pm Eastern on Saturday night with the main card at 8:30 pm and the post-show scheduled for 11 pm.

**John Morgan at MMA Junkie reported that Ryan Hall has been forced to withdraw from his fight against Ricardo Lamas on August 29th at the UFC APEX.

**The UFC has rebooked the rematch between Magomed Ankalaev and Ion Cutelaba for August 29th in Las Vegas. They were supposed to have their rematch last weekend at UFC 252 but Cutelaba tested positive for COVID-19 and was pulled from the card. In their first fight, Cutelaba won by TKO but the stoppage was soundly criticized and felt that a rematch was necessary.

**Here are some notes from an interview with Bellator president Scott Coker conducted by Nolan King at MMA Junkie ahead of Bellator 244:
-It’s his first time at the Fight Sphere at Mohegan Sun and arrived on Tuesday to be tested
-Has a dialogue with Michael Chandler and plan to speak next week
-They are working on visas to allow foreign fighters into the United States for future shows and are not ruling out shows in Europe
-Doesn’t want to have Fedor Emelianenko fight without an audience and hopeful of fans in early 2021
-If Fedor wants a fight with Fabricio Werdum, they may try aggressively to make that happen
-Gegard Mousasi has received a visa to enter the country and in the process of putting together a fight with him and Douglas Lima
-Met with Corey Anderson and Daniel Cormier for breakfast two weeks ago prior to Anderson’s signing

**Bellator has confirmed a report from ESPN earlier in the week that they will run back-to-back nights at the Mohegan Sun Arena on Friday, September 11th and Saturday, September 12th. The first night features Phil Davis vs, Lyoto Machida, Cat Zingano vs. Gabby Holloway, Ed Ruth vs. Taylor Johnson, and Raymond Daniels vs. Peter Stanonik on the main card. The Saturday night main card features Juan Archuleta vs. Patchy Mix for their bantamweight title, Jon Fitch vs. Neiman Gracie, Liz Carmouche vs. DeAnna Bennett, and Roger Huerta vs. Derek Campos. Both main cards will air on the Paramount Network and DAZN at 10 pm Eastern.

**MMA Junkie is reporting that a heavyweight fight between Parker Porter and Josh Parisian has been added to the UFC Fight Night event on November 28th. Porter (10-5) is coming off a loss to Chris Daukaus last weekend by TKO in the first round in his promotional debut. Parisian (13-3) was awarded a UFC contract this past week on Dana White’s Contender Series after defeating Chad Johnson by TKO.

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