Deiveson Figueiredo Easily Defends UFC Flyweight Title Against Alex Perez

Deiveson Figueiredo has easily retained his title…

The 32-year-old Brazilian professional mixed martial artist finished Alex Perez via guillotine choke at 1 minute, 57 seconds of the first round on Saturday night to retain the UFC flyweight title in the main event of UFC 255 in Las Vegas.

Deiveson Figueiredo

The incredibly fast, explosive Figueiredo found Perez’s neck in a scramble, locked in the choke and squeezed until Perez tapped out. It was Figueiredo’s first title defense.

“I came to the flyweight division to knock out, to submit everybody,” Figueiredo said. “To bring back the excitement, show the world the power of the flyweight division. I always thought I was gonna save this weight class, because people don’t know my power.”

Figueiredo, nicknamed “God of War,” and his dynamic, all-action style has reinvigorated the 125-pound weight class.

“If you don’t like this guy, stop watching fights,” UFC president Dana White said. “You need to find a new hobby if you don’t like watching him.

“Obviously I’m glad we didn’t [get rid of flyweight]. The division needed a little bit of rebuilding. We rebuilt it, and this is the result.”

White said at the postfight news conference that Figueiredo won’t return to Brazil after this fight and will instead stay in Las Vegas to defend his title again in December.

The plan, White said, is to have Figueiredo fight top contender Brandon Moreno, who beat Brandon Royval in the UFC 255 prelims.

Sources confirmed to ESPN that Figueiredo and Moreno had verbally agreed to fight at UFC 256 on December 12.

Figueiredo asked for Moreno in his postfight interview.

“Dana, make this happen,” Figueiredo said. “That’s the fight that I want to happen.”

Going in, ESPN had Figueiredo ranked No. 2 (behind Johnson) and Perez at No. 5 in the world at flyweight. ESPN also has Figueiredo ranked No. 8 in the world in its pound-for-pound rankings.

Glover Teixeira Submits Thiago Santos in UFC Fight Night Event

Glover Teixeira continues his winning ways…

The 41-year-old Brazilian mixed martial artist submitted Thiago Santos via rear-naked choke at 1:49 of the third round on Saturday in the main event of UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas.

Glover Teixeira,

Santos rocked Teixeira in the first round and put Teixeira in big trouble to start the third. But Teixeira, as he has done time and time again, persevered and found the finish.

The victory puts Teixeira, six years following his most recent title shot, close to another chance at the 205-pound belt. ESPN had Santos ranked No. 4 and Teixeira No. 6 in the world at light heavyweight coming in.

Dana White, man,” Teixeira said, referring to the UFC president, in his post-fight interview. “Come on, man. I’m an old man. I’m here. You’ve gotta give me a shot. … It’s not easy. Give me that title shot, man. Either way, I’m so happy to be here.”

The UFC’s plan is to have light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz fight middleweight champion Israel Adesanya in a superfight next year. Blachowicz has said he’d prefer to fight in March and Adesanya told ESPN past week that his expectation is that Blachowicz will be his next opponent.

White didn’t back off Blachowicz vs. Adesanya as the plan, but he said he’s listening to Teixeira, too.

“I heard him and I agree with him and I’m taking him serious,” White told the UFC’s Laura Sanko in a backstage interview Saturday. “I’m not gonna doubt him anymore.

“He’s not wrong. … He’s been here forever, he’s on a streak. He looked great tonight. What’s funny is every time I count this guy out and think, ‘I don’t know if he’s got it,’ he proves me wrong. He looked incredible tonight.”

Teixeira (32-7) has won five straight. He lives and trains in Connecticut, and fought longtime former champion Jon Jones for the title way back at UFC 172 in April 2014. Teixeira is 10-4 since then and has been considered one of the best light heavyweights in the world now for the better part of a decade. Teixeira cashed as a +200 underdog.

In UFC light heavyweight history, Teixeira is now tied for second in victories (15) and is first in finishes (12).

Felix Verdejo to Fight Masayoshi Nakatani in December

Felix Verdejo will be returning to the ring next month…

The 27-year-old Puerto Rican professional boxer and lightweight contender will fight Masayoshi Nakatani on December 12, Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti has told The Athletic.

Felix Verdejo

The fight will be the co-main event of a Top Rank card at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas.

Verdejo (27-1, 17 KOs) was injured in a motorcycle accident in August 2016 but returned to the ring six months later and has a record of 5-1 since then, including an impressive first-round TKO victory over Will Madera in July.

Japan’s Nakatani (18-1, 12 KOs) made his U.S. debut in July 2019 and was the first fighter to take Teofimo Lopez the distance, losing a hard-fought unanimous decision at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland.

Top Rank is still looking for a replacement main event after Miguel Berchelt tested positive for COVID-19 and his fight against Oscar Valdez was postponed.

Former featherweight titlist Shakur Stevenson offered to step in for Berchelt and told ESPN on Tuesday that he had asked his team to inquire about the possibility of fighting Valdez on short notice.

Canelo Alvarez Officially a Free Agent After Release from Golden Boy Contract

Canelo Alvarez is officially a free agent.

After several days of negotiations, representatives for the 30-year-old Mexican boxer and four-division world champion, the sport’s most lucrative fighter, and Golden Boy Promotions have reached an agreement to release him.

Canelo Alvarez

In September, Alvarez filed a lawsuit in federal court citing a breach of contract on an 11-fight, $365 million deal signed in 2018. A subsequent mediation situation between all parties failed, and the suit was refiled after a technical error.

Alvarez has not fought since November 2019, when he defeated light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev via DAZN. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Alvarez, Golden Boy and DAZN were unable to agree on Alvarez’s next opponent and the salary for that fight.

“After extended discussions between the parties, DAZN offered to pay Alvarez and Golden Boy Promotions a fraction of the contracted $40 million license fee in cash and some DAZN stock in advance of a potential IPO,” according to the initial lawsuit filed in California. “However, the entire value of the package — for a bout against another World Champion — was substantially less than Alvarez’s contractual guarantee.”

When Alvarez initially signed with DAZN, it was a massive moment for the business of boxing. Alvarez had agreed to fight on the streaming platform that opted for a monthly subscription over the traditional pay-per-view model used in boxing in recent decades. DAZN also signed Gennadiy Golovkin, whom Canelo has defeated once and drawn with in two controversial outcomes.

However, a third fight to complete the trilogy has become less likely in the wake of Alvarez’s release from his promotional contract.

Court filings show that Alvarez’s lawsuit was refiled October 8 and an additional motion was submitted by the defendants that said the lawsuit should be settled via arbitration, which Alvarez’s side disagreed with. In a statement Friday afternoon, Golden Boy chairman Oscar De La Hoya said both sides had come to an amicable solution.

“The lawsuit was resolved to everyone’s satisfaction and we wish Canelo the best going forward,” De La Hoya said in the statement. “In the strong partnership with DAZN, we will continue showcasing our wide array of talent, including rising superstars like Ryan Garcia, Jaime Munguia and Vergil Ortiz Jr., all of whom have the talent and potential to become the next biggest star in our sport.”

Marlon Moraes to Reportedly Fight Rob Font at Final UFC Fight Night of the Year

Marlon Moraes is hoping to prove the comeback is bigger than the setback…

The 32-year-old Brazilian mixed martial artist, a former UFC bantamweight title challenger, will take on Rob Font at a UFC Fight Night event in Las Vegas on December 19.

Marlon Moraes 

The UFC hasn’t officially announced the 135-pound bout, but ESPN sources confirmed have confirmed that both sides have agreed to it. MMAJunkie first reported the matchup and date.

It’s a quick turnaround for Moraes (23-7-1), who just suffered a second-round knockout loss to Cory Sandhagen in the main event of a UFC event October 10 on “Fight Island.”

Moraes fought for the UFC title in June 2019, but came up short in a TKO loss to Henry Cejudo. He is 2-1 in his past three bouts, with the win coming against Jose Aldo via split decision.

Font (14-4), of Boston, will be looking for the biggest win of his career. He has been a mainstay in the UFC’s rankings for a while, but has come up short in key matchups against John LinekerPedro Munhoz and Raphael Assuncao. He is 7-3 overall in the UFC.

The UFC hasn’t yet announced a main event for the UFC Fight Night, which will mark the final UFC event of 2020.

Disney+ Releases Sneak Peek at Season Two of Pedro Pascal’s “The Mandalorian”

Pedro Pascal is ready to blast off…

Disney+ offered a special sneak peek at season two of The Mandalorian, starring the 45-year-old Chilean actor as the title character, during ESPN’s Monday Night Football.

Pedro Pascal as The Mandalorian

The spot, which aired during halftime of the game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Dallas Cowboys, reveals a bit more detail of the plot for the new season, with The Mandalorian (Pascal) now seemingly on a mission to return The Child (aka Baby Yoda) “to his kind” while also searching out other Mandalorians who can help him.

“Wherever I go, he goes,” Mando says about his charge.

The upcoming season follows the successful Season 1 of the first live-action Star Wars spinoff series, which scored 15 Emmy nominations including for Outstanding Drama Series, and won seven. Shooting had already wrapped on the second season before the coronavirus-related production shutdown in mid-March. Work is already underway on Season 3.

The new season of the Lucasfilm-produced returns Pascal as The Mandalorian, aka Din Djarin, and The Child who continue to attempt to evade ruthless Imperial Remnant officer Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito). Gina Carano and Carl Weathers also return from Season 1, with cast newcomers including Rosario Dawson (reportedly as Ahsoka Tano), Temuera Morrison as Boba Fett, Katee Sackhoff, Michael Biehn and Timothy Olyphant among others.

Directors for the new season include Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rick Famuyiwa, Weathers, Peyton Reed and Robert Rodriguez.

Season 2 of the series will debut on Disney’s streaming platform next Friday, October 30.

Ryan Garcia to Fight Luke Campbell for the WBC Interim Lightweight Title in December

The date is set for Ryan Garcia’s title fight…

The bout between the 22-year-old Mexican American boxer and Luke Campbell for the WBC interim lightweight title will take place on December 5, Golden Boy Promotions and DAZN have announced.

Ryan Garcia

The venue is still to be determined.

Vasiliy Lomachenko is the WBC lightweight “franchise” champion; Devin Haney is the WBC titleholder.

This is the first title fight for the 22-year-old Garcia (20-0, 17 KOs), who has not fought since a highlight-reel first-round knockout of Francisco Fonseca on February 14.

“I’ve been eagerly waiting to get back in the ring and have been working harder than ever to get here,” Garcia said. “It’s been a tough year for everyone, but I’m excited to bring the fans an escape for the night … or based on my track record, a few minutes at most. Luke’s record speaks for itself, but I’m ready to prove the doubters wrong. This is my era now and Dec. 5 is just the start of it.”

Added promoter Oscar De La Hoya: “For years, the world of boxing has been clamoring for a crossover star who can reach new audiences that have gone untapped for far too long. Ryan Garcia stands at the precipice of doing the same thing at an incredibly young age when he takes on Luke Campbell.”

The 33-year-old Campbell (20-3, 16 KOs) is ESPN‘s third-ranked lightweight and a seasoned veteran who has faced the likes of Jorge Linares and Lomachenko in recent years.

“2020 has been an extremely tough year for everyone, so I’m really pleased we can finally get this fight officially on and give the fans something to look forward to,” said Campbell, a 2012 Olympic gold medalist. “There’s been a lot of talk and he’s clearly a very highly regarded fighter, but I’m going to prove that this is far too much, far too soon, and that I’m on a completely different level.

“I’ve fought in America before, so this will be nothing new for myself and my team. Fans or no fans, the one thing I can guarantee is that I will be coming back to the UK with the victory. Training hasn’t stopped for me, and I’m going to be in peak condition to show something very special from Luke Campbell on December 5.”

Edinson Cavani Nearing Two-Year Deal with Manchester United

Edinson Cavani is thisclose to switching sides…

Manchester United and the 33-year-old Uruguayan soccer player are close to agreeing to a two-year deal, according to ESPN.

Edinson Cavani,

Cavani, a free agent since leaving Paris Saint-Germain at the end of last season, has been offered to every major club in Europe but United are now actively working on an agreement that could see the striker travel to England on Sunday for a medical.

Sources told ESPN that talks accelerated quickly on Saturday with final discussions scheduled for Sunday morning.

Cavani is keen to move to Old Trafford and could sign an initial one-year deal with the option for another 12 months.

He has already held talks with a number of clubs this summer. The first offer arrived from Benfica, although they weren’t able to pay as much as he was hoping to receive.

Atletico MadridReal Madrid and Juventus also weighed up making a move but, for various reasons, dropped out of the running for his signature.

The Uruguay international scored 200 goals in 301 games for PSG following his move from Napoli in 2013.

Dave Martinez Reportedly Agrees to Three-Year Contract Extension with Washington Nationals

Dave Martinez is extending his stay in the The District

The Washington Nationals and the 56-year-old former Major League Baseball outfielder and current manager/coach have agreed to a three-year extension, according to ESPN.

Dave Martinez

The deal is worth $7.5 million, according to USA Today.

Martinez had an option on his contract for next season, but this deal would replace that and keep the manager with the reigning World Series champs through the 2023 season.

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo, who signed his own new contract this season, stated that re-signing Martinez was a priority for him.

Yuniel Dorticos’ World Boxing Super Series Cruiserweight Finals Bout Against Mairis Briedis Set for Later This Month

The third time will hopefully be the charm Yuniel Dorticos

The World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight finals between the 34-year-old Cuban professional boxer and Latvia’s Mairis Briedis has been rescheduled for September 26 at the Plazamedia broadcasting center in Munich, Germany, according to Kalle Sauerland, chief boxing officer for the WBSS.

Yuniel Dorticos

The fight, which matches ESPN‘s top two rated cruiserweights, has been postponed twice because of the coronavirus pandemic. The bout was originally scheduled for March 21, and then for May 16.

“It’s the biggest fight in boxing since the coronavirus outbreak. I can’t think of any other fight that’s bigger than this one,” Sauerland told ESPN on Tuesday. “It’s for the Muhammad Ali Trophy, the finals of the second season of the World Boxing Super Series, and it’s a sign that boxing is back.

“There’s been some great boxing on, but there hasn’t been a No. 1 versus No. 2 in the division, which this is.”

Dorticos (24-1, 22 KOs), the IBF belt holder, reached the finals by scoring a unanimous decision victory against Mateusz Masternak in October 2018 and a 10th-round KO win over Andrew Tabiti in June 2019. Breidis scored a unanimous decision victory over Noel Gevor in November 2018 and a third round stoppage of Krzysztof Glowacki last summer.

“[The event] will be completely behind closed doors — we’re under very strict supervision by the local authorities,” Sauerland said.

Since Breidis is from Latvia and Breidis is based in Miami, there were some logistical hurdles that had to be climbed as both will travel to Germany for this event, which will be streamed on DAZN.

“It’s taken a lot of energy in the background, both teams have been great, very supportive of all the information we’ve needed. It’s really been an effort,” Sauerland said. “As a fan, I’m just looking forward to seeing big-time boxing back. What more can I say?”