The Friday Five: March 22nd, 2019

1. Woodley Calls Out Conor

n the midst of his latest legal issue, Conor McGregor revealed last weekend that he and the UFC were negotiating for a July return for the “champ-champ,” and that he would even fight in a co-main event, but on the condition that he get an equity stake in the organization.

Tyron Woodley, coming off of a welterweight title loss at UFC 235, feels that the Irish fighter is in no place to make shots after losing to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229.

“I’d tell him, ‘Sit your ass down and fight Tyron Woodley at 170,’” Woodley said to TMZ. “We both just lost in a world title fight. You ain’t in no position to call no shots. You lost, you started a huge religious, culture war, you just got into some smoke by smashing a fan’s phone, you’re constantly in trouble, you constantly get passes. You get through Tyron and we’ll talk.”

“I’m dead ass…I didn’t think about that until you just said it but I’m like, okay, he wants to fight Cerrone – never been a champion. He wants to fight Nate Diaz – never been a champion. He wants a rematch of Khabib immediately, so do I. I don’t look like I’m getting an immediate rematch so it looks like we dangling around Conor. Come get this smoke.”

2. Spence Up For Pacquiao Fight

Credit: Stacey Verbeek

After Errol Spence successfully retained his IBF welterweight title against Mikey Garcia back on March 16 at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas, he took the opportunity to call out WBA “world” champion and boxing icon Manny Pacquiao.

Spence dominated Garcia the likes no one had ever seen to extend his unbeaten streak and make a third successful defense of his IBF title. During the post-fight interview with Spence, Pacquiao stepped into the ring and he stated he wouldn’t mind a title unification bout with Spence for his next bout.

Pacquiao last competed back in January, scoring a unanimous decision over Adrien Broner to retain his WBA title.

Spence feels that the timing for the fight is perfect, as he’s looking to unify the division while the legendary Pacquiao is in the closing stages of his career. A Spence-Pacquiao showdown is possible for July, and Spence feels it could do even better at AT&T Stadium than his fight with Garcia did.

“He just beat Adrien Broner on pay-per-view,” Spence said. “He actually holds the record for the most tickets sold at AT&T Stadium. I feel like it only makes sense to face Manny Pacquiao, back at the AT&T Stadium, and break his record and maybe have 70,000 seats filled. I’m putting on my promoter’s hat now.”

3. Klitschko Offered Over $60 Million

The potential of a Wladimir Klitschko comeback has now intensified, as the former longtime heavyweight king has been offered £60 million by DAZN to return to the ring.

Klitschko, who dominated the heavyweight scene in the 2000s and this decade, was originally offered £30 million for a comeback last year, but he opted to remain retired. Klitschko last fought in April 2017, getting stopped by Anthony Joshua at Wembley Stadium in a fight for the then-vacant WBA and IBO titles and Joshua’s IBF title.

The deal would be for three fights and could possibly include a bout with Dillian Whyte, who has been trying to find an opponent after negotiations with Joshua and his team for a title fight failed.

Klitschko denied making a comeback earlier this year, stating, “If my status changes as a box-retiree, then I’ll talk about it but so far, but everything remains the same.”

4. Holm Signs New UFC Deal

According to Lenny Fresquez, the agent of Holly Holm, the former UFC women’s bantamweight champion has signed a new six-fight deal with the MMA promotion.

“I’m very happy with the deal,” Fresquez said. “We worked feverishly with the UFC to get this done.”

Holm has won two of her three last bouts, scoring a decision win over Megan Anderson and a finish of Bethe Correia, with a failed title challenge of then-featherweight champion Cris Cyborg at UFC 217 sandwiched between.

Holm shocked the MMA world back in November 2015, when she knocked out the then-undefeated Ronda Rousey to win the UFC women’s bantamweight title, becoming the first to win titles in both boxing and MMA.

 

5. Jose Aldo Hospitalized

In the midst of a two-fight winning streak, Jose Aldo’s year has taken a turn for the worst, after being hospitalized with a bacterial infection.

According to a report from Combate the former UFC featherweight champion was admitted to the hospital on Wednesday  due to an infection that came from a small cut.

This is the second time in as many weeks that Aldo has been hospitalized due to the infection, but the first dosage of antibiotics caused a negative reaction.

While Aldo’s fever has come down, Doctors have yet to clear him for a return at UFC 237 against Alexander Volkanovski on May 11th in Rio.

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