We are still about 3 weeks away from the return on the UFC, but as is the case with all major sports organizations, the news cycle doesn’t grind to a halt when things are quiet. There are several news items to report this week in the world of MMA, including the awards handed out over the weekend at an event that a lot of you might well have missed. There are some other little news nuggets to get into, so let’s not waste any more time and have a look at them so you can continue planning your bets against their UFC odds.
2020 MMA Betting News & Rumors Update Dec. 28th Edition
We are all well aware that it has been a strange year in sports, so it wasn’t that surprising to see the 12th annual MMA Awards move from July to December. The awards ceremony took place over the weekend, and because of the date change, a lot of fight fans may have missed it. Israel Adesanya took Male Fighter of the Year and International Fighter of the year, while Amanda Nunes scooped up the Female Fighter of the Year Award. Another multiple award winner was Jorge Masvidal who won the Breakthrough Fighter of the Year award, as well as the KO of the Year.
In one of the stranger comments of the year, up and coming Bantamweight fighter Sean O’Malley still considers himself unbeaten despite getting KO’ed by Marlon Vera in his last fight. O’Malley says that he is still unbeaten in his mind, no matter what the actual record books might say. There was a lot of talk about what might come next for O’Malley after that loss, but he has made it clear that a rematch with Vera is not in the cards, describing that potential bout as a backwards step. That’s a confident statement from a fighter coming off a loss.
The date that everyone has circled on the calendar in 2021 is January 23, as that is when Conor McGregor will return to the UFC to face Dustin Poirier. Over the weekend, McGregor’s coach, John Kavanagh, had some things to say. Normally, we might dismiss thee types of comments, but things have been a little tight-lipped in the Irishman’s camp, which is unusual. Kavanagh said that training is going well, saying the McGregor looks sharp. He also stated that he was more than a little surprised that this was not a title fight, but with Dana White yet to strip the supposedly retired Khabib of the title, it makes sense. Perhaps he is hoping the champ will return to face McGregor.
If Khabib needed another reason to come out of retirement and fight again, he got it this weekend when he was voted as the Best Athlete in Russia by sports fans in that country. It is more than a little surprising to see a UFC fighter take that award in a country where sports like soccer, tennis, and hockey get more attention. Not sure if the award will sway him at all, but we can all hope.