Three-Cent Thursday on Stephens to PFL, Taylor-Serrano, Peña-Nunes on TUF, Rakić-Blachowicz off, and more
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Greetings from frigid St. Louis. Couple thoughts and nugs for you on this Thursday afternoon …
Jeremy Stephens is no longer in the UFC after 34 fights. I’m told he is close to finalizing a deal with PFL to fight in their 155-pound division this upcoming season.
It’s official. Katie Taylor vs. Amanda, the biggest and most important fight in women’s boxing history is a done deal, it was announced earlier today. It’s going down April 30 at Madison Square Garden (the main arena) for the undisputed lightweight (135 pounds) crown, and it will serve as the main event. The card will air on DAZN and PPV. Why is this such a big deal? Well, in short, Katie Taylor is the best pound-for-pound female fighter in the world. She won a gold medal in the 2012 Olympic Games and is a perfect 20-0. Serrano is 42-2-1, ranked third in the P4P rankings and hasn’t lost since 2012. This will also be the first female boxing match to ever headline MSG. The event will be co-promoted by Matchroom and Most Valuable Promotions. This is really big, and I can’t wait.
If you’re unfamiliar with the great Katie Taylor, she was on The MMA Hour last month. My friend Petesy Carroll likes to call her the patron saint of Ireland, and you can definitely see why here:
Julianna Peña and Amanda Nunes are the front-runners to coach the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter, which is scheduled to start filming early next month. And then, if all goes to plan, they’ll fight again later this summer. You guys know how I feel about TUF. It makes me less interested in matchups, so I don’t love this, but alas. ESPN wanted more content, Dana White has a soft spot in his heart for it, so here it is. At least they aren’t holding up a division or a fight for this because it’s not like Peña or Nunes were going to be fighting any time soon anyway.
The March 26 main event between Alesksandar Rakić and Jan Blachowicz is off due to Blachowicz having to withdraw, sources say. The hope is to re-book it later in the year, so March 26 would likely have an entirely new main. Hope is it can be re-booked in May. This is especially unfortunate for Rakić, who hasn’t fought since March 6, 2021. Regardless of what happens he should be, at most, one win away from fighting for the belt.
I didn’t love all the hulabala over Kamaru Usman saying he considered moving up to fight Jan Blachowicz for the 205 belt. First off, the disrespect for Blachowicz, even without the belt, is unreal, and the idea of a 170-pounder moving up to fighting a 205-pounder is a little much. Felt like much ado about nothing, but what do I know.
Spoke to Randy Orton today for BT Sport. The interview should be out tomorrow. What a lovely guy. Very honest and retrospective. I enjoyed that very much.
Jake Paul says he wants to start a fighters union. Oh my.
I have to say, Brandon Moreno made a very compelling case as to why they should do the fourth Deiveson Figueiredo right away.
I spoke to AC Slater this week. Fun chat! What abs.
OK, that’s all for now. Three cents for free. Talk soon!