The Friday Five: February 16th, 2018

1. CM Punk Odds-On Favorite Against Floyd Mayweather In A UFC:

What-if scenarios are a constant in the world of sports, from who’d win the ’29 Yankees or the ’98 Yankees, or Lombardi’s Packers against Belichick’s Patriots, this week one seemingly impossible fight between retired boxer Floyd Mayweather, and former WWE wrestler turned UFC fighter CM Punk has gained steam.

According to research done by Bloody Elbow, online betting site BetDSI has CM Punk largely favored over Mayweather, with Punk clocking in at -300 to an underdog line of +220 for Mayweather.

A representative from BetDSI spoke with Bloody Elbow and claimed that Punk had the clear cut advantage.
“If they fought in UFC, Punk would probably destroy him. Punk’s size will come into play, and he’s been grappling with high level guys for some time now. He’ll get the fight to the floor and finish Floyd. Punk via ground.”

2.  Mike Goldberg Says UFC Broadcasts Lack Excitement:

Goldberg told Ariel Helwani, that now as a competitor he is looking to make Bellator “the best TV broadcast in MMA.”

“I will do everything in my power to make sure that Bellator has the best TV broadcast in MMA. And that’s not being disrespectful to anybody. Jon Anik is my buddy. He never did anything to me and I never did anything to him.

“Those guy are my friends, but at the end of the day it’s competition. We’re all trying to get ratings and Bellator’s ratings are going up — we know what’s happening on the other side (UFC).”

Goldberg knocked his old company for lacking excitement.

“It’s just moments,” he explained. “It’s not anybody’s fault and don’t get me wrong, people have been saying things about me for 100 years and I’ve made my mistakes. I’d like to remind people that my blooper real is maybe 15 or 20 minutes long. I was probably on the air for two million minutes though, so that’s pretty good, right? But I do watch it and I see the difference.”

3. Matt Mitrione and Roy Nelson Battle at Bellator 194:

Matt Mitrione gets a chance at retribution this Friday night, as he faces Nelson again, this time in the first round of Bellator MMA’s ongoing heavyweight title tournament. Then, Mitrione was a greenhorn coming off of his first loss. Now, he’s riding a three fight winning streak, coming off of the biggest win of his career, a first round knockout of consensus all-time top heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko.

“In my opinion, it’s not really a rematch,” Mitrione told FIGHT SPORTS.

“I think that I’ve grown so much. That was my sixth fight I’ve ever had, I think I’ve had 12 fights since then. I’ve learned lightyears since where I was back then. And hell, even now, I’m willing to bet that Roy Nelson had more fights than I have right now when he fought me 12 fights ago.”

That’s a safe bet, because he’s right: Mitrione has had 17 pro fights, while Nelson had 24 going into their first bout in December 2012.

He’s certainly grown as a fighter since then: The 2012 version of Mitrione would not have beaten even an aged Fedor. But he doesn’t think that the momentum of the win streak and toppling the GOAT is going to propel him past Nelson this Friday. “I don’t really believe in momentum,” he said. “I go out and fight the same way all the time, momentum be damned. I just out there and scrap, I don’t know how to fight safe. I go out there in work. I fight smart for my ability, I just need to go out there and do what I do.”

 

4. Jones’ Agent Gives 95% Chance He Fights In 2018:

 

Even though Jon Jones is staring down a four year USADA ban, his manager Malki Kawa thinks his client has a 95 percent chance to fight in 2018.

First reported by MMA Mania, Malki broke down his thought process on the Luke Thomas Show.

“By the end of this month I think we get some clarity on the issues. We have a hearing with the California State Athletic Commission and we’re hoping to get the investigation with USADA wrapped up by then, as well,” revealed Kawa.

Jones, who failed both his A and B sample tests following his July, 2017 victory over UFC light heavyweight champion, Daniel Cormier, his second offense which could have him suspended for four years.

“Hopefully it all works out that way. I got to assume that by the end of March, for a fact, we will get this resolved and get an idea of what it’s looking like. I’d like to say about a 95-percent chance (he fights in 2018).”

 

5. Khabib Considers McGregor A “Boxing Guy:

Even though Conor McGregor is the UFC lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov doesn’t even consider him a mixed martial artist anymore.

In a story reported by Bleacher Report, the popular Nurmagomedov is done with the sport. “When’s the last time Conor compete in MMA? … Long time. He’s boxing guy,” Nurmagomedov said to TMZ Sports. “… I don’t think he gonna come back.”

Nurmagomedov is set to fight Tony Ferguson for the interim lightweight title at UFC 223 on April 7th, as McGregor lost fought in the UFC to win the lightweight title from Eddie Alvarez in 2016.

 

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