From the highest of highs to the lowest of lows. Just days after rising UFC light heavyweight Kennedy Nzechukwu won his debut in the main event at UFC Vegas 65, his mother lost a long battle with ALS.
The news was broken today by Ryan Spann during his interview with Ariel Helwani on the MMA Hour on Monday.
“At no point did Kennedy ever complain,” Spann told Helwani of his teammate, who had been providing care for his mother while she suffered from the illness. Nzechukwu himself is yet to speak publicly about her passing.
Nzechukwu secured a statement finish opposite Ion Cutelaba in the second round of their headline bout this past weekend, after being called up last-minute to fill in for Derrick Lewis and Sergei Spivac, when the former withdrew from their scheduled fight night main event with stomach issues. ‘The African Savage’ made the most of his shot in the spotlight, but there will likely be little celebration in the wake of this event.
The AllStar MMA roundup
- Pro Tips: `Moicano wants money!’ How to make UFC post-fight speeches
- The AllStar MMA Live: UFC Vegas 65 Reaction, Recap
The best of the rest
- Insider’s Scoop: Jon Jones latest, Tatiana Suarez’s comeback, UFC’s 2023 U.K. return, and more – MMAJunkie.com
- Arnold Allen surprised he missed out on interim title shot at UFC 284, open to Max Holloway next – MMAJunkie.com
- UFC veteran Alistair Overeem tests positive for banned substance after kickboxing win over Badr Hari – BloodyElbow.com
- Conor McGregor fires back at retired Khabib Nurmagomedov: ‘Your fear of defeat means you’ve already lost’ – MMAFighting.com
- Michael Chandler on Dustin Poirier’s finger bite at UFC 281: ‘I would have done the exact same thing’ – MMAFighting.com
Khabib throws some shade at Conor:
Gilbert Burns has fight news coming:
Aljo on Pereira’s chance opposite some unfavourable matchups:
More USADA issues:
Spot the welterweight:
Wonderboy predicts these things:
The morning view
JHK chops it up with Jay Perrin ahead of UFC 282:
A slightly fancier episode of cooking with Volk:
Rehash the mayhem of Glover Teixeira vs Jiri Prochazka I:
Power is the last thing to go:
- None to note
- Dan Ige to fight Damon Jackson at UFC Vegas 67 on January 14th (per Against the Fence)
UFC Roster Watch
Fighters removed this week:
- Frankie Edgar
- Ramona Pascual
Fighters Added this week:
- Gaston Bolanos
Credit to UFC Roster Watch
On this day in MMA…
On the 22nd of November, 2002, Tito Ortiz made his fifth consecutive UFC light heavyweight (formerly middleweight) title at UFC 40: Vendetta in one of the most highly anticipated fights in the sport to that point.
Ortiz faced Ken Shamrock, the older brother of Frank Shamrock who had stopped ‘The Huntington Beach Bad Boy’ with strikes three years prior, in front of a sold-out crowd at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ortiz wasted no time turning up the pressure on the older Shamrock, stunning him several times with hooks and strikes from the clinch. There were back-and-forth moments, though really it was just more of the same.
At the end of the third round, a dejected and beaten Shamrock stumbled back toward his corner before his coaches made the decision to throw in the towel. Ortiz was awarded a TKO via corner stoppage at 5:00 of the third.
Ortiz would lose his belt to Randy Couture in the following fight, but he and Shamrock would go on to fight two more times in 2006, with both bouts ending early in the first round, with Ortiz putting the breaks on the veteran, first with an elbow, then with punches.