The Friday Five for December 8th, 2017

  1. Rico Verhoeven Seeks Redemption:FIGHT SPORTS spoke exclusively with both men leading up to the headlining fight on December 9th’s triple header for GLORY Kickboxing, and both fighters referenced that they are different men than when they first met in 2011.Rico Verhoeven told FIGHT SPORTS that the pressure of being the best kickboxer in the world weighed heavy on him when he first faced Ben Saddik, and that pressure caused Verhoeven to get inside his own head and force him to not be as loose as he wanted to be inside the ring.

    “Enjoy the moments you spend in the ring… I wasn’t enjoying it, I was stressed out… Now I just enjoy myself.”
    That change in mindset is a reason Rico believes he is the best in the world.

    “I am doing everything an athlete has to do to be the best version of himself.”

  2. Vasyl Lomachenk looks to make Rigondeaux quit:
    The confident southpaw said Wednesday that he thinks he’ll make Rigondeaux quit in the 130-pound title fight Saturday night at the Theater at Madison Square Garden.
    Walters much like Rigondeaux, was unbeaten when he got in the ring with Lomachenko a year ago in Las Vegas,. Lomachenko was dominating Walters in  the first seven rounds and Walters declined to continue.The two-time Olympic gold medalist from Ukraine will try to finish Rigondeaux in a similar manner.

  3. GSP Relinquishes Middleweight Title.
    Barely a month after beating Michael Bisping to win the UFC Middleweight belt, Georges St-Pierre has decided to vacate the title.“My fight at UFC 217 was one of the greatest nights of my life but I now need to take some time to focus on my health,” St-Pierre said in a statement provided by the UFC.

    “Out of respect to the athletes and the sport, I don’t want to hold up the division. I will be giving up my belt and once I’m healthy I look forward to working with the UFC to determine what’s next in my career.”

    Last week, St-Pierre announced that he was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. That diagnosis helped make his decision to vacate the title. St-Pierre informed the UFC that he would be vacating the title earlier this week, sources said.

  4. Joe Rogan Calls Max Holloway Best Ever At 145.
    According to UFC commentator Joe Rogan, who spoke recently on his podcast,  Max Holloway’s win over Jose Aldo at UFC 218 didn’t just cement Holloway as the best featherweight on the planet, it also cemented him as the best featherweight in history.

    “Max Holloway’s performance was nothing short of masterful,” Rogan said. “Nothing short of masterful, the way he handled Aldo. He yelled at me after he got done with the first round, he looks at me and he goes, ‘The man is tired! The man is tired!’ He’s a motherf**ker. Max Holloway is a real f**king warrior, to the core. That guy relishes it, he loves it.”

  5. Mayweather Claims To Have Carried McGregor Through Fight.
    Floyd Mayweather Jr. took aim at rival and Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya in a video last week, regarding De La Hoya angling for a fight with Conor McGregor.Mayweather, who won a close decision over De La Hoya in May of 2007, was not happy with the possible hypocrisy of De La Hoya’s recent challenge to McGregor.

    Back in August, Mayweather pressed pause on a two year retirement to score a tenth round stoppage of McGregor, who was making his professional debut as a boxer.

    De La Hoya was one of the biggest critics of the match, going as far as to write an open letter where he urged fans to stray away from purchasing the pay-per-view. He felt the contest would damage boxing beyond repair.

    The contest did the opposite, as it generated some huge business with 4 million pay-per-view buys – the second high PPV buyrate in history, with only Mayweather’s 2015 clash with Manny Pacquiao claiming the top spot.

    De La Hoya surprised nearly everyone in boxing, when he appeared on an audio show last month and said he was willing to come out of retirement, to fight for the first time since 2008 to fight McGregor.

    “Wasn’t Oscar De La Hoya the same one that was talking about me fighting Conor McGregor and he was trying to protest and stop the fight? Now he’s trying to fight Conor McGregor. Is he a hypocrite or is he back on coke again? Man that boy still snorting them lines,” Mayweather said.

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