The Friday Five: October 26th

1.  UFC/ONE Fighting Championship Aiming At Trade

While the NFL Trade deadline is on Tuesday, the UFC and ONE Fighting Championships are looking to make a deal of their own.

Per a report first made on MMA Junkie Radio and further reported by Ariel Helwani, the UFC is looking to make a trade with ONE to bring Ben Askren to the Octagon.

Per reports, former UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson would be released from his UFC contract in-exchange for Askren being released from his, allowing both fighters to switch organizations.

Per Helwani, both fighters have multiple fights left on each of their deals, but with Askren “retiring” at the end of 2017, this seemed to be the only way to allow the former ONE and Bellator champion out of his contract.

While Johnson may have done all he could ever do inside the Octagon, following his record setting 11 straight championship defenses, Johnson’s head coach at AMC Prankration, Matt Hume, acts as the VP of Operations for ONE. That coupled with Johnson’s loss of the featherweight title to Henry Cejudo in August, may have opened the door for this move.

2. Conor-Khabib Suspended Until December For UFC 229 Brawl

Credit: Twitter/@MMAFighting

At a hearing on Wednesday, the Nevada State Athletic Commission met for the first time regarding the post-fight brawl during the main event of UFC 229.

Neither Khabib Nurmagomedov or Conor McGregor would attend the initial hearing, where their temporary suspensions would be furthered until a hearing in December. Per Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Heidi Fang, both McGregor and Nurmagomedov must appear before the panel or suffer further consequences.

The Nevada Attorney General, Adam Laxalt, told the board that he recommended to the board that Nurmagomedov’s fight purse from the event continue to be withheld, as well as any PPV or fight bonuses he may have received following his fourth-round submission victory over Conor McGregor.

Commission Chairman Anthony Marnell weighed his options when it came to Nurmagomedov’s fight purse and decided to put a vote forward for releasing half of Nurmagomedov’s $2 million purse to allow the UFC lightweight champion to pay his cornermen and other expenses.

The board passed the motion, leaving $1 million still dangling for the fighter, who along with McGregor and their camps got into a near riot causing both teams to engage in a short yet wild fracas.

3. Jon Jones Thinks He Could Be Top Boxer With Two Years Of Training

Jon Jones is just about to return to the UFC, so don’t expect him to crossover into the world of boxing any time soon.

When asked on the Jackson-Wink podcast about a potential crossover fight, Jones was fairly realistic with his expectations.

“I would imagine he would have the upper hand big time,” Jones told the Jackson-Wink podcast when asked about a fight against Joshua. “He’s spent so much time throwing hands and that’s his passion.”
Obviously, Jones isn’t even contemplating a move to boxing right now — if ever — but he also understands the attraction to going to that sport and earning a massive payday.

While Jones is returning from a nearly 14-month suspension for testing positive at UFC 214, he knows that with time he could be a world class boxer.

“When I started doing MMA, I found myself in the UFC about nine months after my first practice so I’m aware that I have a mind for fighting,” Jones said. “I have a lot of faith and confidence in myself.”

“I believe that if I were to hire the right people to be around me, that’s maybe four boxing coaches. That’s what the guys at the highest levels [have]. Hire guys to come in here and we spend two years focusing on boxing and only boxing, I believe I’d be able to compete with the best in the world.”

In the meantime, Jones will return to fight for a version of the UFC light heavyweight championship against Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232 on December 29th in Las Vegas, Nevada.

4. Wilder Looks To Drown Out Joshua Until End Of Fury Fight

While Deontay Wilder’s spotlight has been a bit brighter since his very public negotiations with Anthony Joshua, the WBC world heavyweight champion refuses to focus on Joshua prior to his December 1st fight with Tyson Fury.

“I haven’t seen any videos or anything like that. Whatever them guys are doing, let them do it,” said Wilder.

“We’re not focused on them, we’re not even concerned about them. When was the last time we even said anything about them?

“I don’t need him to bring status to me. My status came to me because I knock people out, not because of another man.”

“He was the one to obtain all the belts, he was the one that beat Klitschko, he is the man that beat the man,” said Wilder said of Tyson Fury, who he faces on December 1st at Staples Center.

“We’re looking at him as that. He may not have all the titles, but he is still considered the lineal champion of the world.

“If he wasn’t fighting me people wouldn’t be talking about if he needs another warm-up, if he’s ready and stuff like that. People are hesitant and want to complain because it’s me.”

5. McGregor Looks To Keep Finances Private During Legal Battle

In one of the ongoing legal issues for former two division UFC champion, Conor McGregor is looking to avoid disclosing sensitive financial data.

In a lawsuit filed by William Pegg,a former MGM Grand security guard, is suing McGregor for hitting him with a drink can amidst a pre-fight press conference before his 2016 rematch against Nate Diaz.

According to the suit, Pegg alleged a can injured his back and is now attempting to get McGregor to give a deposition regarding his wealth to calculate damages.

On top of that, Pegg is demanding “complete federal tax returns for the last three years” from McGregor, as well as details of McGregor’s UFC Contract, his pay for the Diaz rematch, as well as credit card and bank statements.

While McGregor’s attorneys have attempted to block this, a judge on Monday refused to completely block Mr Pegg’s requests via a “protection motion”.

Mr. McGregor had previously suggested he would give his deposition last Thursday. Mr. Pegg alleges he “didn’t show up” as arranged and has now asked the judge to strike out his defense and award damages

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