UFC

UFC on ESPN 4 Post-Mortem: Welterweight Tumult

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The
Ultimate Fighting Championship
on Saturday returned to San
Antonio, Texas, with
UFC on ESPN 4
at the AT&T Center. The event was headlined
by a welterweight clash between former 155-pound champion Rafael
dos Anjos and surging British star Leon Edwards. Though he entered
the cage as only a slight favorite, Edwards dominated dos Anjos and
cruised to a unanimous decision, drawing 50-45, 49-46 and 49-46
marks from the judges. Still, “Rocky” was not completely satisfied
with his eighth straight victory — the second-longest such streak
in the welterweight division.

“I would give myself a seven or eight out of 10,” Edwards said
during the ESPN+ post-fight show. “I got caught with some shots and
leg kicks I thought I shouldn’t have gotten caught with heading
into the fight.”

Despite Edwards’ reservations, most observers viewed it as a strong
performance and showered the former British
Association of Mixed Martial Arts
champion with praise.
However, fellow welterweight contender Jorge Masvidal, emboldened
by his record-setting knockout of Ben Askren on July 6, saw it
differently and expressed as much on social media. “Big difference
between putting top ranked opponents to sleep and putting fans to
sleep. #bum #whoru,” Masvidal posted on Twitter.

Edwards and Masvidal have been linked since their backstage run-in
backstage at UFC Fight Night 147 on March 16 in London. The two men
exchanged words before “Gamebred” struck Edwards with several
punches — Masvidal called it a “three-piece with a soda” — and
had to be separated by their respective teams and UFC security.
Edwards used his post-fight interview to call for a fight with
Masvidal.

“There’s a little weasel called Jorge Masvidal,” he said. “Accept
the fight and let’s do it. You are not on my level.”

Edwards later doubled down on his request and turned up the heat on
the American Top Team veteran in a post-fight interview.

“I believe if [it is] not Masvidal, it should be a world title
shot,” he said. “I want to silence Masvidal first. That fight has
to happen, either in the street or the cage. That fight has to
happen.”

Masvidal has become one of the sport’s hottest commodities in the
aftermath of his brief encounter with Askren and made it clear he
had his sights on something other than Edwards.

“So I can be clear I was promised a title shot after I beat Askren
and I plan on cashing in on it,” Masvidal tweeted. “Don’t call me
out no more until I get that belt #supernecessary.”

ALL APOLOGIES



Juan Adams had been calling for a fight with former NFL defensive
end turned UFC heavyweight Greg Hardy ever since the latter
transitioned to MMA. “The Kraken” finally got his wish in a main
card assignment, but it did not go as he had hoped. Hardy
dispatched Adams just 45 seconds into the opening round. The former
NCAA wrestler shot on a single-leg, but Hardy sprawled on top of
him and unleashed a barrage of punches to the side of Adams’ head.
Referee Dan Miragliotta warned Adams to defend himself several
times before he stepped in to stop the contest. Adams was visibly
upset about the stoppage and acted out during the immediate
aftermath. He walked out of the Octagon and threw his mouthpiece
into the crowd before Bruce Buffer announced the official results.
He was also shown pushing several UFC staff members and athletic
commission employees out of his way. Adams later addressed his
actions on Twitter.

“I apologize to the UFC and to all the fans for the way I acted
after the fight,” Adams wrote. “I let my emotions get the better of
me and I acted horribly. To everyone present and watching at home,
I truly apologize. I took a few to the head and was caught up in
the moment. Guys I don’t party after a loss, I’m sorry. I am sorry
for losing composure. I am sorry for not honoring my word and all I
can do is prove myself if given another opportunity. Whatever is
next is next, but next week it’s back in the gym.”

Adams was not the only fighter to apologize for his actions after
the fact. Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski picked up
a decision win over Ben Rothwell in their rematch and cut loose
with a string of expletives when asked about the state of his
chin.

“One again, I will tell everyone, shut your [expletive] mouth about
my glass chin, so go [expletive] yourself, f——,” Arlovski said
during a post-fight media scrum. “That’s it. I proved to everyone
you’re [expletive] wrong.”

Arlovski has gone the distance in eight consecutive outings and has
not been knocked out in more than two years. He apologized for his
use of a homophobic slur in a statement to MMAJunkie.com.

“I apologize to anyone I offended with my poor choice of words,” he
said. “I did not mean to offend any one group or person. I am
deeply sorry and will not use these type of words in the future.”
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