Welcome to today’s edition of Sportskeeda’s daily MMA news digest, where we feature the biggest UFC updates and other stories from the world of mixed martial arts.
In the latest issue, we talk about a former TUF finalist who plans to return to the UFC, Khabib Nurmagomedov’s trainer detailing Dagestan’s early training days, and more.
#3. Joe Giannetti promises to sell TD Garden for the UFC
Joe Giannetti failed to land the coveted UFC contract after losing a split decision to Michael Trizano in The Ultimate Fighter 27 finale. He returned to Cage Titans FC and became the first two-time champion in the promotion history, currently holding the lightweight and welterweight straps simultaneously.
With those accomplishments under his belt, Giannetti now wants to regain his lost spot on the UFC roster.
The idea of giving Giannetti another chance was first floated by MMA journalist Aaron Bronsteter. The 27-year-old fighter shared Bronsteter’s tweet, saying he would sell the TD Garden arena within 72 hours if the UFC held an event there with him on the card:
“I will continue to improve to this day but @danawhite please know that we will sell the TD Garden within 72 hours if the ufc comes back here!”
Giannetti trains at the American Kickboxing Academy – a gym that has produced some of the sport’s greatest champions, including Khabib Nurmagomedov and Daniel Cormier.
#2. Sean O’Malley asks Petr Yan dummy why Russia invaded Ukraine
Sean O’Malley has a weird sense of humor which, along with his personality and appearance (pink hair, tattoos, etc.), works extremely well in building his stardom. He also has an excellent understanding of how to use social platforms to market himself to the public.
In the latest skit uploaded to his Instagram, “Sugar” did an interview hosted by his brother Daniel O’Malley, who did a parody of famed MMA journalist Ariel Helwani and introduced himself as “Shmariel Shmelwani.” Across from him sat a dummy doll dressed in a UFC t-shirt and UFC cap that the two brothers called Petr Yan.
Daniel O’Malley posed a series of questions to the two, to which the fake Petr Yan obviously had no answers. In the final moments of the video, O’Malley is asked if their fight between the United States and Russia means anything to him, to which he asks the model why Russia invaded Ukraine.
Watch the video below:
Sean O’Malley and Petr Yan are scheduled to fight at UFC 280 in October. ‘Sugar’ expressed his disdain for Russian cuisine during a recent appearance on Dana White’s shit on friday culinary show.
#1. Coach Javier Mendez ‘felt greatness, but wasn’t 100% sure’ of Khabib Nurmagomedov
Besides his own father, who happened to be his lifelong mentor, the only other coach who saw Khabib Nurmagomedov rise to the top up close was Javier Mendez. However, due to some misunderstandings, Mendez couldn’t be absolutely sure about Nurmagomedov’s potential in the early days.
In the first episode of Khabib: Legacy Series, posted on Nurmagomedov’s YouTube channel, Mendez talked about how he could sense the greatness within him right after “The Eagle” started training at AKA in 2012. However, due to the language barrier, Nurmagomedov has often did the opposite of what Mendez asked him to do, leading the coach to believe the Dagestani fighter wasn’t listening well:
“When I first met Khabib I felt greatness, but I wasn’t 100% sure how far he would go because I didn’t think he listened well. Because I was telling him to relax, relax and he would go stronger… It’s just a few fights, or maybe it was a fight later, Khabib says, ‘Coach, I didn’t understand when you I said relax. I thought you meant go harder.'”
Watch the video below:
Nurmagomedov and Mendez now have a great bond as they train a new generation of fighters together. Nurmagomedov considers Mendez a father figure in his life and the two share great camaraderie.