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Frustrated Stephen Thompson not sure what he’d do if he doesn’t get welterweight title shot

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The welterweight division crowned a new champion in Tyron Woodley and number one contender Stephen Thompson is ready for his shot at gold. Unfortunately for Thompson, the newly crowned champion is not interested in fighting him and instead, has his sights on “money” fights.

Woodley shocked the world by knocking out Robbie Lawler in the first round last month at UFC 201. Thompson, who spoke multiple times about a match-up with Lawler was pretty surprised himself with the outcome.

“Yes 100%, Robbie seemed a little off. Not sure what was up. He’s a champ though, he’ll be back!”

Thompson fought a month before Woodley when he picked apart former title challenger Rory MacDonald. Although the finish didn’t materialise for him, he was pretty satisfied with his performance.

“My game plan for this fight was no secret, keep it standing,” Thompson said. “I wasn’t disappointed that I didn’t finish him. He is one of the best in the world so he wasn’t going to be easy that’s for sure.”

His performance should have undoubtedly set up the next title fight but much to Thompson’s frustration Woodley is just not interested. However, he remains optimistic that his time will come.

“Well I can’t say I’m not a little frustrated but I’m confident the UFC will give me the title shot at the right time,” Thompson said. “They know what they are doing!”

“Wonderboy” who’s currently riding an impressive 7 fight win streak, holds a dominant first round finish over former champion Johny Hendricks and former title challenger, Rory MacDonald. He is the clear cut number one contender that many believe should have challenged for the belt even before Woodley.

Woodley, who many people believed didn’t deserve the next crack at the title, vented his frustration over the rankings system and how he’s the rightful next contender. In an interview with Bleacher Report last year, he shared his thoughts on the rankings system and why he deserves a title shot.

“Why do we have a rankings system, and people risking their spots in the rankings system by taking hard fights, if they aren’t going to get a chance to fight for a world title? That doesn’t make sense to me.”

Although Thompson is ranked at number 2, Woodley has his sights on big money fights versus the likes of the returning Georges St. Pierre and Nick Diaz which contradicts his previous sentiments.

“He says he’s looking for “the money” which may be true but I think maybe he’s ducking me a little bit also,” Thompson said. “Step up and fight the number one contender, just like you expected to be able to do when you were in this position.”

Right after his win, Woodley joined the FS1 crew for an interview where Wonderboy happened to be on the desk analyzing that night. Thompson congratulated the new champ and politely called him out but Woodley snubbed him. Despite being denied, Wonderboy enjoyed the analyst experience and doesn’t rule out any future appearances.

“It was a very cool experience for sure. Working with Karyn, Kenny, Dom, Jay and DC is a blast. They all know their stuff. It is a very interesting gig for sure. Right now my focus is winning that UFC Welterweight title. After that, we’ll see”

A few days ago in an interview, UFC president Dana White assured everyone that Thompson is next in line and that Nick Diaz would not be receiving a title shot upon return. Wonderboy tweeted his excitement over the news however no official announcement has been made.

Woodley quickly responded by denying White’s comments which left everyone in a state of confusion. The champ did however post on Instagram that his “champ camp” has commenced meaning he has an opponent and perhaps a date. Whether it’s Wonderboy or not, we should find out soon who his first title defense will be.

Whether it’s a title shot or a fight against former champion Robbie Lawler, Thompson is confident that he’d match up well against the both of them.

“I’m not sure what I’d do at this point,” Thompson said on his next move. “I’m a nightmare for most of the guys with my Karate style. I think I’ll match really well.

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Surveillance Video Shows Conor McGregor Smash Phone

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In a new video released by TMZ Sports, UFC star is shown knocking a phone down and smashing it in front of the Fountainebleau hotel located in Miami, Florida.

In true McGregor fashion, he followed up the destruction of the phone by doing his famous “billionaire strut.”

McGregor got into an altercation with Ahmed Abdirzak who was following and filming McGregor with his cell phone while McGregor and his entourage were leaving the hotel.

McGregor reportedly extended his hand to offer a hand shake, only to pull it back and smack the phone out of Abdirzak’s hand and proceeding to stomp on it.

After a few stomps, McGregor picks up the phone and walks away. He was later arrested, that same day, and has been charged with felony robbery and misdemeanor criminal mischief, which could land him in prison for up to 6 years.

McGregor has pled not guilty on all charges and is scheduled for trial beginning in May.

Abdirzak filed a lawsuit against McGregor stemming from the incident, but dropped his suit after the two sides worked out a settlement.

Abdirzak was reportedly demanding north of $15,000.

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INTERVIEW: John Kavanagh Talks Brave CF 13 in Belfast, Frans Mlambo’s Title Fight and SBG Ireland

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Renowned head coach of SBG Ireland, John Kavanagh has helped put Irish MMA on the map. With his star student and multiple time UFC champion, Conor McGregor taking over the MMA world, the two have opened up unlimited doors for the rest of the team.

Today, Kavanagh is leading some of the younger generation to world title fights and global organisations. On June 9th, one of his promising young fighters, Frans Mlambo will get a shot at gold when he takes on Stephen Loman for the Brave Combat Federation bantamweight title.

The two met back in the promotion’s first ever show in Bahrain when Loman picked up a unanimous decision win over Mlambo. It was a learning experience for the young South African who has picked up 3 straight finishes since. Kavanagh is confident that the former IMMAF world champion, Mlambo has all the tools to become champion.

Also competing on the Brave CF 13 card from SBG Ireland, is Cian Cowley (0-1) who takes on Daniel Olejniczak (2-1-1) and Tommy Martin (6-4) who takes on Wales’ Aidan James (1-0).

I spoke to John Kavanagh on the upcoming Brave CF 13 show, Mlambo’s improvements and the team’s preparation for their upcoming bouts. Check out the interview below.

Farah Hannoun: Brave Combat Federation are making their first trip to Europe, you’ve witnessed the organization’s growth so how excited are you to see them go to Belfast?

John Kavanagh: Brave is fast becoming one of the world’s biggest MMA shows so it’s of course great to have them visit Ireland. However, I would have preferred Dublin because that’s my hometown.

Farah Hannoun: Frans Mlambo is headlining the event, with a record of 5-2, he’s practically grown up in the cage, how proud are to see him turn things around with 3 straight finishes since losing to Loman the first time?

John Kavanagh: He’s earned that title shot with exciting finishes both by submission and KO. He’s finding his way in the cage nicely now.

Photo by Brave CF

Farah Hannoun: What adjustments has Mlambo made since the first fight with Loman? What do you feel like went wrong the first-time round?

John Kavanagh: His grappling was too weak back then. He’s one of the best strikers I’ve ever seen and now his grappling is catching up. Frans is one of the top 135lb fighters in the world.

Farah Hannoun: Cian Cowley is set to make the walk for the second time in his pro career when he takes on Daniel Olejniczak, in light of the legal issues he’s had the misfortune of dealing with, how hard was it for him to put all that aside and focus on the fight?

Photo by Severe MMA

John Kavanagh: Cian is very mature and focused. It’s not a problem for him to block out what’s going on outside.

Farah Hannoun: Also competing from SBG, is Tommy Martin who’s looking to bounce back when he takes on Aidan James, how’s he been looking at the gym and what can we expect from him?

John Kavanagh: Tommy is a technician. Clean striking, one of best doubles on my team and tidy on the ground. His opponent is similar, solid technician. This fight will be very interesting for those who like nice technique.

Farah Hannoun: You’ve played a massive role in the growth of Irish MMA, SBG and Conor McGregor. The impact that you and Conor have had has resulted in a lot of opportunities and a spotlight on the guys at the gym. Does the idea that people have the perception that the SBG guys get “special treatment” or extra opportunities bother you?

John Kavanagh: No, we’ve earned it 😉

Farah Hannoun: You must be really proud, bringing up a talent such as Frans from his IMMAF world champion days to now him getting a title shot at Brave CF, what are your thoughts on Frans as an individual and a fighter?

John Kavanagh: One of few 135lbs in the world with genuine 1 punch KO power. A very good singer and cook too!

Farah Hannoun: You wrote a mega successful book, Win or Learn, which is even a quote that people have been using a lot when competing in MMA. Your best-selling book was even translated to multiple languages and sold internationally which is incredible. Did you expect the book to be so successful when writing it and do you have plans on writing another one someday?

Photo via John Kavanagh Twitter

John Kavanagh: No, I thought maybe my mother would buy a few copies and that’d be it haha. I believe almost 50,000 sold worldwide and talk of a movie adaptation. It’s crazy. Maybe one more book when I’m retired.

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After his impressive finish over Niko Price at UFC Sao Paulo, Vicente Luque eyeing Darren Till

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When Luan Chagas was forced out of his fight versus Niko Price at UFC Sao Paulo, The UFC called Vicente Luque and he happily accepted.

He stepped in on short notice and took out one of the toughest surging welterweights in Niko Price.

He hurt Price with a counter right before locking in one of his favourite submissions, the D’arce choke. This marked Luque’s 5th win in 6 UFC outings making him one of the brightest young stars in the division.

“I wanted to go out there and have an impressive fight,” Luque said.

“I thought that was very important especially that I was coming off a 4 fight win streak then I had a loss so I wanted to keep that momentum. I think I did that and it definitely puts me back where I was before going after those top 15 guys.”

He now turns his attention to a fellow rising star, Darren Till. Till took out Cowboy Cerrone in the first round last month in Gdansk and Luque feels he would match up well with him.

“I would really like to fight Darren Till,” Luque said. “He’s a great striker and his last fight was really impressive against Cowboy. I’m a striker as well and I would love to test my striking and see who the best striker in the division is.”

Photo by Jeffrey Basinger

And should the UFC decide to go a different direction, Luque would be content fighting anyone in the top 15. With 5 wins and 5 finishes in the division, he feels he’s earned a high ranked opponent or a big name.

“I want a top 15 opponent for sure but if they don’t give me that I’ll be looking for someone with a big name,” Luque said. “Guys like Alan Jouban who already have a name and everybody knows who they are. Those are the guys that I want to be fighting.”

Another name Luque is interested in is Colby Covington who fought on the same card as him. Covington took out former title challenger Demian Maia and proceeded to cut a heavy promo, blasting the Brazilian crowd.

Covington’s harsh and controversial comments towards Brazil didn’t sit well for Luque who sees multiple benefits of fighting him.

“I definitely think that was disrespectful not only to Brazilians but to anybody that watches MMA,” Luque said. “I don’t think that’s the posture of an athlete. I don’t take it personally but I would love to fight him no matter what whether he was disrespectful or not because he’s a top contender.”

The welterweight division is arguably the most talked about division. With rising stars such as Darren Till, Kamaru Usman, Colby Covington and Mike Perry, Luque feels like his name should be thrown in the mix too.

“I think I’m getting up there and slowly getting my spot. I’m having good fights and I know what I’m capable of and that’s what I’m trying to show. I’m doing my thing and I feel that my fights speak for themselves.”

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