After a controversial first fight, Tim Means is set to rematch Alex Oliveira this Saturday at UFC Fortaleza. The two battled it out back in December at UFC 207 when 3 minutes into the fight, Means landed two knees to a grounded Oliveira.
The knees had Oliveira badly hurt when referee Dan Miragliotta stepped in. It appeared that the knees landed were illegal which then led to minutes of controversial discussion. Joe Rogan and Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Marc Ratner, were adamant that the knees were legal while a confused Means stood in the middle of the octagon.
“The position we were in when I threw the knee I saw his hands up I think he was trying to stand up,” Means explained. “I thought it was a legal strike and I saw him trying to block the knees. He thought he could be there too otherwise he wouldn’t have been trying to defend my knees so there’s still a big grey area in that rule.”
After minutes of discussion, a visibly hurt Oliveira was unable to continue and the fight was ruled a no contest due to accidental and illegal knees. A baffled and angry Means was devastated by the decision, not because of the intent but by the lack of explanation regarding the rules.
“They were right though, it should have been a DQ if we’re going by what that rule said but they didn’t break it down like that and they ruled it accidental because the way they broke the rule down,” Means said.
Before the stoppage occurred, the two fighters were engaging in a very exciting and action packed battle. Once they clinched, Means was able to drag Oliveira down and started taking control of the fight. Shortly after, he landed the knees and the fight came to a close. The arena was showered with boos as many, including Means, felt that Oliveira may have been looking for a way out.
“I thought he definitely milked it and I’m going to be the bull that breaks the cowboy in Brazil,” Means said. “You know, I didn’t see his initial reaction. When I first stood up and turned around I thought the fight was over. My coaches were pissed off they thought he milked it and even some of the media thought he milked it. I went and re-watched it and sure enough he stood up to protest the stoppage.”
“He realizes that he called a timeout when he flopped and started holding onto his face. They carried him out on a stretcher and he comes into the green room laughing it up, high fiving people, taking photos. I remember when I got a concussion I couldn’t even look into a bright room but this dude’s laughing it up. He couldn’t walk, he was falling over his face but moments later he’s laughing it up in the back.”
After the first fight, Oliveira’s team appealed the result as they wanted the fight changed from a no contest to a DQ win for Alex. Although Means admits that it should have been a DQ if the rules are being followed, he wasn’t thrilled with the approach that Oliveira’s team had taken.
“You got his manager hugging me and patting me on my shoulder saying shit like I don’t care who wins and I’m here for everybody and when I’m in the other room they’re talking a different story saying I’m a cheater so they’re giving me two different sides of who they are,” Means explained. “I’m one guy and I wear who I am on my sleeve, I don’t have two faces to me. All the respect to his team but he’s not in my league and I want to make that apparent.”
Oliveira will get his wish as he is set to rematch Means this Saturday in his home country of Brazil. Despite fighting in enemy territory, Means is excited to leave no doubt and move on.
“I want to close the chapter on Alex Oliveira,” Means said. “For some reason they think he’s in my league and I’m going to exploit that on Saturday. I think his manager wanted it more than he did so they wanted in his hometown and I’m the wrong guy to bring to a homecoming party.”
With a new four fight deal inked, Means is not looking past Oliveira but is ready to avenge his losses to top contenders Neil Magny, Matt Brown and Jorge Masvidal. Fully focused on Fortaleza, he is looking to put his fight ending mistake in the past and move into the welterweight ranks.
“I messed up, I thought it was legal so he gets to call it wherever he wants it but he just shouldn’t have called it in front of his family.”
Alex Oliveira vs. Tim Means will open up the FS1 main card Saturday March 11th in Fortaleza, Brazil.
Surveillance Video Shows Conor McGregor Smash Phone
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.
INTERVIEW: John Kavanagh Talks Brave CF 13 in Belfast, Frans Mlambo’s Title Fight and SBG Ireland
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.
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?
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?
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.
After his impressive finish over Niko Price at UFC Sao Paulo, Vicente Luque eyeing Darren Till
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.”
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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