UFC news, rumors: Conor McGregor calls out ONE Championship, CM Punk's new MMA role


In the wake of the historic trade that saw former UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson sent to ONE Championship for undefeated welterweight Ben Askren, reports surfaced on Wednesday that UFC was dissolving the men’s 125-pound division and performing a mass-cutting of fighters in the process. The cuts had many calling for ONE to sign the fighters to its flyweight division who are now looking for jobs, and among those urging ONE to scoop up these 125-pounders is none other than Conor McGregor; though, the way in which the former two-division champion went about the plea was a little head-scratching. 

McGregor took to Twitter on Thursday to advocate for the signing of the available flyweights, but upon reading the tweet, it’s come across really as more of a public placing of blame on ONE Championship for the dissolution of the UFC flyweight division rather than simply urging them to to help out his fellow fighters. 

Now, for context, there is a bit of history between McGregor and the person he specifically included in the tweet, ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong. In an interview with CNN back in 2017, Sityodtong declared that his company would never be interested in signing a free-agent McGregor because his brash antics are note “representative of true martial arts.” 

Even still, McGregor’s aim here seems to be a bit off if he’s insinuating that ONE’s desire to acquire Johnson was what ultimately led to the death of the men’s flyweight division. The fact of the matter is, it’s really been no well-kept secret that UFC’s 125-pound division has virtually been on life support for quite some time now; the reports that dropped on Wednesday really didn’t leave too many fans stunned in disbelief. 

Can’t get enough UFC? Subscribe to my podcast In This Corner with Brian Campbell where I break down everything you need to know in the Octagon.

UFC has yet to confirm the the exit of the flyweight division from the promotion. 

More UFC news, rumors

  • CM Punk is returning to MMA — just not in a fighting capacity, and not for UFC. Cage Fury Fighting Championships announced on Thursday that Punk will be joining its broadcast team for its first event on UFC Fight Pass that will take place on Friday, Dec. 14. Punk dropped to 0-2 in his professional career with a unanimous decision loss to Mike Jackson at UFC 225 in Chicago. 
  • ONE Championship is all about making blockbuster announcements these days, with another one dropping on Wednesday evening here in the United States. ONE revealed that former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate has joined the organization as its new vice president. Tate will be relocating to Singapore to perform her new professional duties. 
  • Aaron Pico’s return to the Bellator cage is set. The promotion announced that the 22-year-old featherweight phenom will take on Henry Corrales at Bellator 214 on Jan. 26. On a four-fight winning streak, the bout against Corrales should provide Pico with his first real challenge since his first-round debut loss to Zach Freeman last June. 

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