Welcome to MMA News Today, a daily feature running down the most interesting stories in the world of mixed martial arts. For October 20, 2023, we’re taking a look at:
Muhammad Mokaev Hints At Flag Ban Return In Abu Dhabi Despite Dana White’s ‘Too Soft’ ClaimUFC 294 Star Agrees New Long-Term ContractGeorges St-Pierre’s UFC Fight Pass Grappling Match Postponed, Planned Opponent Revealed
Muhammad Mokaev Hints At Flag Ban Return In Abu Dhabi Despite Dana White’s ‘Too Soft’ Claim
Earlier this month, UFC president Dana White announced a lift on the ban from fighters carrying their nation’s flag with them in the Octagon.
Although White didn’t confirm the reason for the ban in the first place, many pointed to the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine as the most obvious factor that could have led to the decision.
“Everybody is too soft, everybody is too sensitive about everything and when the decision was made to do this, I was just kinda like, ‘What’s the big deal if they don’t have flags?’ And Mexican Independence Day flipped the switch for me and it was like, that’s enough.”
Dana White confirms the UFC flag ban is OVER.
"If any flags hurt your feelings, too f*cking bad."
Full video: https://t.co/ZUbISHjMT3 pic.twitter.com/fixhAOCsGX
— MMA Junkie (@MMAJunkie) October 8, 2023
But ahead of UFC 294, Muhammad Mokaev, who will fight in the featured prelim against Tim Elliott, took to social media to imply that flags would once again be banned for this event.
“No flags at UFC 294”
No flags at UFC 294 👀
— Muhammad Mokaev (@muhammadmokaev) October 20, 2023
Though the conflict taking place in Israel and Palestine is being seen as a likely reason, it’s also worth noting that the website for Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Arena, which is hosting the event, states that flags and banners are not permitted for “most events.”
UFC 294 Star Agrees New Long-Term Contract
Ahead of his return to the Octagon this weekend at UFC 294, Khamzat Chimaev has committed his future to the UFC.
Chimaev’s manager, Majdi Shammas, told ESPN that his new deal will keep him in the promotion for the foreseeable future without outlining the specifics of the agreement.
Going into his fight with Kamaru Usman in Abu Dhabi, “Borz” had two fights left on his deal before agreeing an extension.
With the winner of this Saturday’s co-main event likely receiving a shot at the middleweight title, it makes sense for the promotion to lock down one of its biggest stars.
This extension will also hopefully kickstart a period of more activity for Chimaev, who hasn’t fought since UFC 279 over a year ago.
His charisma, massive potential, and undeniable ability to bring eyeballs to anything he does will no doubt make Chimaev one of the faces of the UFC throughout his time with the promotion.
Georges St-Pierre’s UFC Fight Pass Grappling Match Postponed, Planned Opponent Revealed
Earlier this year, the UFC dropped some big news out of nowhere by confirming that Georges St-Pierre will return to competition towards the end of 2023.
Looking to test his skills in professional grappling, GSP was set to compete at the UFC Fight Pass Invitational in December against an unconfirmed opponent.
Unfortunately, it now appears that fight fans will have to wait a bit longer to see one of the all-time greats in action once again.
Posting on X (formerly Twitter), TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter reported that following a conversation he had with St-Pierre, he was able to confirm that the Canadian had agreed to face Nick Diaz in December. However, injuries to both men have postponed the matchup.
“Just spoke with Georges St-Pierre, who revealed that he had agreed to face Nick Diaz in his grappling bout at the UFC Fight Pass Invitational in December. Unfortunately, both suffered injuries recently and it has been postponed.”
Just spoke with Georges St-Pierre, who revealed that he had agreed to face Nick Diaz in his grappling bout at the UFC Fight Pass Invitational in December.
Unfortunately, both suffered injuries recently and it has been postponed.
— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) October 19, 2023
Read more on the story here.
For more MMA news, check out:
UFC Extends Partnership With Abu Dhabi Department Of Culture & Tourism Until 2028UFC 294 Betting Odds: Current Favorites For Makhachev vs. Volkanovski 2, Usman vs. ChimaevWatch: UFC Tries To Censor Kamaru Usman’s Support Of Francis Ngannou
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