This Wednesday, it's time for the third UFC event within only six days, when former heavyweight champion Frank Mir steps inside the Octagon against knockout artist Todd Duffee.
Mir was on site for Saturday's The Ultimate Fighter 21 Finale to promote his fight, and revealed an interesting story about Brock Lesnar to MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani. At the beginning of this year, a Lesnar comeback to the UFC was heavily rumored, until the polarizing former champion and arch enemy of Mir closed the door on a potential MMA return for good, when he signed a new contract with pro-wrestling organization WWE in March.
According to Mir, UFC brass was truly believing that Lesnar will sign up for a second MMA run and already had big plans for him.
"It definitely was the one I wanted, the first time I found out that he was calling me out and stuff," Mir explained. "There was the talk, I mean... UFC powers that be, they told... I was under the impression that Brock was getting ready to sign, and that if that happens, I'd be the guy, as long as I did what I had to do with Bigfoot (Antonio Silva), that that could be a good fight to build up, you know: 'He's had a layoff, you're coming off the win, let's make this trilogy.' I was hearing rumors of Madison Square Garden. So it caught me by surprise when they told me: 'Oh, he's just announced his retirement'. I was like: 'Well, that's kind of crazy, because there was some pretty high level people that I was speaking to, that told me that it was all but a done deal, that that was a signed contract."
Lesnar, however, chose to stay with WWE instead, and signed a new multi-year contract with them, stating it has been a "hard decision to make" and that his "legacy in the Octagon is over".
"Maybe financially, he was the guy that goes to two different car dealerships?" assumes Mir. "I think, maybe he just took advantage of the instant attention that he got by bringing up the UFC's name, and so probably got a bigger contract with the professional wrestling organization. And that being said, maybe watching the Bigfoot fight, maybe that wasn't the best for him to come off a layoff."
LINK to full story: UFC brass told Frank Mir, trilogy versus Brock Lesnar was 'all but a done deal' - Bloody Elbow
Conor McGregor captured the interim UFC featherweight championship at UFC 189 on Saturday night in Las Vegas. Despite a tough fight with Chad Mendes, he escaped mostly...
Official UFC 189 payouts included:
Conor McGregor: $500,000 (no win bonus)
def. Chad Mendes: $500,000 (wasn’t eligible for win bonus)
Champ Robbie Lawler: $300,000 (includes $150,000 win bonus)
def. Rory MacDonald: $59,000
Jeremy Stephens: $72,000 (includes $40,000 win bonus)*
def. Dennis Bermudez: $34,000*
Gunnar Nelson: $58,000 (includes $29,000 win bonus)
def. Brandon Thatch: $22,000
Thomas Almeida: $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus)
def. Brad Pickett: $30,000
Matt Brown: $92,000 (includes $46,000 win bonus)
def. Tim Means: $23,000
Alex Garcia: $30,000 (includes $15,000 win bonus)
def. Mike Swick: $48,000
John Howard: $42,000 (includes $21,000 win bonus)
def. Cathal Pendred: $10,000
Cody Garbrandt: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Henry Briones: $10,000
Louis Smolka: $30,000 (includes $15,000 win bonus)
def. Neil Seery: $15,000
Cody Pfister: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Yosdenis Cedeno: $13,000
* – Stephens fined 20 percent ($8,000) for missing weight; fine was issued to Bermudez
LINK: UFC 189 salaries: Conor McGregor and Chad Mendes both earn flat $500K | MMAjunkie
Main Card: Stephen Thompson defeats Jake Ellenberger by KO at 4:29 of the first round
Last night's UFC 189 pay-per-view (PPV) in Las Vegas, Nevada, was groundbreaking in every sense of the word.
From beginning to end, the roof was always close to being blown off MGM Grand Garden Arena (Sat. July 11, 2015) by more than 16,000 rabid American and Irish fans. UFC 189 featured two title skirmishes featuring the likes of Chad Mendes and Conor McGregor, as well as Robbie Lawler and Rory MacDonald.
"Money" ultimately came up short in a climatic interim Featherweight title bout against "Notorious," losing to the boisterous Irishman via technical-knockout in the closing seconds of round two. Meanwhile, in the night's co-main event, "Ruthless" fell behind early (highlights here), but clawed his way back, eventually knocking out -- and rearranging the face of -- "Red King" in the final frame.
The quartet of fighters helped promote and deliver one of the most entertaining and most successful fight cards in recent memory, which UFC president Dana White echoed at the post-fight presser, saying that the chances of the promotion exceeding one million PPV buys is "looking good." He also announced that UFC 189 drew a U.S. record-setting $7.2 million gate for the promotion.
All this without the reigning 145-pound champion (he missed out on a big payday), who was originally scheduled to square off with McGregor, but bowed out of the headliner three weeks before with a rib injury. You can expect White and the UFC to pour loads of more money into promotion for a title unification bout between Aldo and McGregor in the future, which was something reiterated at the presser by White.
He at least gave an inkling into where it would take place and it will not be in Ireland, at least until he gets passed "Junior," which will be no easy task.
LINK: Dana White: UFC 189 was 'best UFC ever,' PPV buys 'looking good' to exceed 1 million buys - MMAmania.com
Conor McGregor def. Chad Mendes via second-round TKO
Robbie Lawler def. Rory MacDonald via fifth-round TKO
Jeremy Stephens def. Dennis Bermudez via third-round TKO
Gunnar Nelson def. Brandon Thatch via submission (rear-naked choke)
Thomas Almeida def. Brad Pickett via second-round KO
Matt Brown def. Tim Means via submission (guillotine)
Alex Garcia def. Mike Swick via unanimous decision
John Howard def. Cathal Pendred via split decision
Cody Garbrandt def. Henry Briones via unanimous decision
Louis Smolka def. Neil Seery via unanimous decision
Cody Pfister def. Yosdenis Cedeno via unanimous decision
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