The Friday Five: June 29th, 2018

 1. Bellator Signs Nine Figure Deal With DAZN.

Speaking exclusively to FIGHT SPORTS on Tuesday, both Bellator President Scott Coker and DAZN CEO James Rushton made it clear that they are gunning for the number one spot in Mixed Martial Arts.

With the announcement of a multi-year, nine-figure deal will help provide Bellator with a major war chest to go trophy hunting for major names in the MMA space. When asked of the deal, Coker said “it says a lot of where [Bellator] is now, and a lot about where we’re going.”

The first step was poaching former UFC champion Lyoto Machida, who appeared officially for the first time today as a member of Bellator’s roster.

When asked about other potential signings, Coker claimed that Tuesday’s announcement will “help us go after every free agent out there, no matter who it is,” claimed the Bellator boss. “That’s what it comes down to… It’s a big investment on their part, and we’ll deliver.”

“If you’re a free agent, give us a call.”

When asked about the inclusion of DAZN and joining the online platform Coker claimed its a “great compliment” to the effort.

“It makes so much sense to put PPV quality fights on DAZN, to me it’s a win-win. You spend $60-80 fights a year (on PPV), that’s your subscription for the whole year.

DAZN CEO, James Rushton told FIGHT SPORTS exclusively that they are coming after the UFC.

“We think there’s an opportunity to disrupt and change the landscape, to invest in MMA, and take on the UFC to be brutally honest.”

2. Joshua Set To Fight Povetkin, Push Off Wilder Fight Until 2019

There are a lot of bitter feelings in the boxing community this week, as an anticipated heavyweight unification battle between Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder was pushed to the side.

The fight, which was hampered by protracted negotiations, has now been put on the back burner due to Joshua being forced to face mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin.

On Tuesday, Showtime Sports host and former UFC fighter, Brendan Schaub, took to Twitter to go after Eddie Hearn, promoter of Anthony Joshua.

Schaub would immediately hear back from Hearn, causing the two to go after one another on the social platform.

In the midst of their argument, Deontay Wilder would chime in and go after Hearn with an expletive filled post.

 

Late Wednesday night, Showtime Sports President Stephen Espinoza decided to step in and reveal their role in trying to get this fight made.

 

3. Khabib’s Manager Claims McGregor Is Broke

As Conor McGregor approaches a resolution to his legal troubles, Khabib Nurmagomedov’s manager said the former UFC champion is broke.

“Conor’s running out of money,” Ali Abdelaziz tells TMZ Sports … “This is why he agreed to fight Khabib.”

While McGregor made an alleged nine figures for his 2017 boxing match against Floyd Mayweather, Abdelaziz claims that McGregor’s near the poorhouse, which is why he needs to fight Khabib.

“It’s okay,” Ali says … “We’re gonna contribute of him making some money, but at the end of the day we owe him an ass whooping. He needs to get his a** whooped from Khabib.”

“He thinks he’s a gangster.” I don’t think he is. But, when you think you’re a gangster, you’re going to get treated like a gangster. And gangster, they end in jail or get beat up.”

4. De La Hoya Expects Canelo To KO GGG

Oscar De La Hoya From the Canelo Alvarez- GGG “Countdown” commercial

Oscar De La Hoya likes that Gennady Golovkin continues to trash talk Canelo Alvarez on the road to their September 15th rematch.

De La Hoya told ESPN Deportes, that Golovkin’s shots at Alvarez will only fuel Canelo’s anger heading into the highly contentious battle in Las Vegas.

The Golden Boy Promotions CEO claims that even though there were other options on the table, Alvarez was insistent in getting back in the ring with GGG.

“It was quite difficult (to close the fight), the negotiations were really tough, it took time to please the two groups, the two fighters, but it was achieved and we are delighted that the fight will take place,” said De La Hoya to ESPN Deportes.

“I expect a tough fight for both. The fact that Canelo has that anger towards Golovkin, this fight is very personal for both, but the fact that GGG has been talking too much about Canelo, for me Canelo is going to be very motivated, he’s going to train harder than ever. For me this fight will be tough, but obviously we are with Canelo 100 percent.”

5. Jon Jones And Daniel Cormier Continue Feud

While Jon Jones is provisionally suspended from competing in the Octagon after failed drug tests, and Daniel Cormier is focused on capturing the heavyweight title at UFC 226, their rivalry is still as heated as ever.

Cormier recently said that he would not give Jones a platform for G.O.A.T. consideration, comparing praising him to “glorifying Lance Armstrong.” But Jones took to Twitter to give the UFC light heavyweight champion a piece of his mind.

Jones has defeated Cormier twice — once by unanimous decision at UFC 182 to retain the light heavyweight title, and again by knockout at UFC 214 to win back the title. The latter, however, was overturned to a No Contest  (and the title returned to Cormier) after Jones failed drug testing conducted by USADA.

Cormier believes Jones has never fought clean when the two clashed head-to-head. Jones also responded to these claims via Twitter, and he commented on Cormier’s upcoming title bout with Stipe Miocic at UFC 226.

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