UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez defended his title on Saturday, May 25, when he beat Antonio Silva via technical knockout at UFC 160. Velasquez’s victory was just one of many notable events from the MMA world this week. Here’s a look at what else happened leading up to Memorial Day.
Velasquez defends his title
Cain Velasquez is still sitting at the top of the heavyweight division after beating Antonio Silva on Saturday night. The fight was close for the first minute, but it turned in Velasquez’s favor when he land a powerful shot flush to Silva’s face, which dropped him to the mat. Velasquez pounded him out to earn the finish.
Velaquez’s next opponent will likely be former champion Junior Dos Santos, who knocked out Mark Hunt in the third round of the co-main event on Saturday night. At this point, there really is nobody else capable of beating Velasquez in the division, so a rematch does make sense.
Forrest Griffin retires
The fans and media were treated to a surprise at the UFC 160 post-fight press conference when former light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin announced his retirement from MMA.
Griffin is credited by many people, including UFC president Dana White, for saving the sport thanks to his epic fight with Stephan Bonner at the first Ultimate Fighter finale. He’ll be remembered as a fighter whose work ethic helped him compete with the world’s best even though he wasn’t exactly the most talented athlete in the cage. He’s also known for his rather strange sense of humor and his penchant for running out of the cage after embarrassing losses.
Regardless, Griffin will be missed. He brought a certain level of brevity to the sport that is rare in a world of serious competition.
The ugly side of the sport
Multiple fighters accused Addison Sports and Media president Brett Atchley of inappropriate behavior, including unwanted sexual advances and intimidation. Invicta FC president Shannon Knapp has since banned Atchley from all organizational events, and multiple fighters have left his company.
I suspect that there is a lot more to this story, especially since more and more fighters are coming out against Atchley. Meanwhile, the accusations against Atchley should serve as a reminder that there plenty of unprofessional managers and promoters in MMA. At some point, more has to be done to protect both male and female fighters than there is right now. For example, it’s not uncommon for an event promoter to take advantage of a young amateur athlete. It happens all the time, and there comes a point where it must be stopped. Now is that time.
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