The Friday Five: January 4th, 2019

1. Shields Gives Cyborg Pep Talk After UFC 232 Loss

As part of Cris Cyborg’s Vlog, she chronicled the aftermath of her UFC 232 loss to now Bantamweight and featherweight champion Amanda Nunes.

In the video produced by the former Strikeforce and UFC champion, Academy Award winner Halle Berry is seen telling the Brazilian that she “is a true champion and she’ll be back”.

Boxing champion Claressa Shields also makes an appearance, going off on Cyborg for brawling with the shorter Nunes.

“What the f**k?” Shields told Cyborg in the locker room. “I’m not mad about the loss. I’m mad because you know how to f***ing box. You shouldn’t have been out there just trying to brawl. What you do that for? No. You f***ing jab with me. Jab with her short ass. What the f**k?

2.Garcia Looks To Keep Control Of His Career

Credit: Esther Lin/Showtime

After a contentious divorce from Bob Arum at Top Rank, Mikey Garcia is focused on ensuring that he is in control of his career.

Speaking with Nestor Gibbs on Tha Boxing Voice, Garcia discussed his desire to be in-control of his future but still retain a relationship with people like Al Haymon, Eddie Hearn, and the networks they bring with them.

“Everybody has a chance at a partnership with me because I am still a free agent. I don’t have anything signed with anybody, I don’t have any short term or long term [deals] with any promoter or any management company or anything like that. I have been working well with the PBC [Premier Boxing Champions] production…I was working well with Stephen Espinoza at Showtime. Now we’re working with FOX,” said Garcia.

“I’m open to work with anybody that presents a good offer and a good deal and a good partnership. I can work with anybody. I’m still closely in touch with Eddie Hearn, I’ve spoken to [Oscar De La Hoya’s] Golden Boy…I’m still open to discuss anything available and any possible options for me. if it makes sense for me and for my career, and it’s in the same path that I wanna take my career in, then I can definitely work with anybody.”

3.Ngannou-Velasquez Headline UFC on ESPN 1

On February 17th, the UFC will broadcast their ESPN debut event from the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona, UFC on ESPN 1.

The card for the event was released on Thursday, with Francis Ngannou taking on the returning Cain Velasquez in the main event, as James Vick and Paul Felder acting as the co-headliner.

Ngannou looks to follow up his flash TKO win over Curtis Blaydes in November following two back-to-back losses to former UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic and Derrick Lewis.

Velasquez returns to the Octagon for the first time in over two-years, with his final fight coming at UFC 200 with a TKO of Travis Browne. The two-time UFC heavyweight champion looks to return to the top of the heavyweight food-chain with wins over Junior Dos Santos, Brock Lesnar, and Minotaruo Nogueira.

4. Cormier’s Coach Thinks DC Has 2-3 Fights Left

Daniel Cormier has made it known that he will retire after his 40th birthday on March 20th, but his coach Javier Mendez feels like he still has some left in the tank.

“If Dana had his way, there’d be three left. And you know what, Dana has a pretty good way of persuading people,” Mendez said of the UFC President’s desire for the heavyweight champion to stick around. “I like Dana, so I don’t know — we may see two or three [more fights]. I don’t know, I think so. I think Dana has a way of making things good for DC and making it right, so yeah, possibly. I wouldn’t be surprised.”

“For me, I love DC so much, that if DC says tomorrow, ‘Jav, I’m done,’ then I’m going to encourage him to be done. But if he says, ‘Jav, I want to fight again,’ then I’m going to be on-board with him,” Mendez said of Cormier’s future. “I’m with whatever DC wants. I love that guy so much, he’s such a great team captain and a great individual and a great friend. He’s not endangering his health, so for me, whatever he wants, I’m going to be onboard. So, if he tells me tomorrow, ‘I’m done,’ then I’ll tell you he’s done, but if he says, ‘I’m going to fight 10 more fights, Jav,’ let’s fight 10 more fights. This is DC’s train. I’m on-board, and I’m glad to be onboard, and I’ll ride it until he doesn’t want to be onboard.”

5. McGregor’s Girlfriend Has A Second Child

2019 has started on a high note for former UFC flyweight and lightweight champion Conor McGregor, as his girlfriend, Dee Devlin has given birth to their second child.

Takin to Instagram on Friday, McGregor posted a photo of he and his son, Conor Jr. while the elder McGregor was pushing a baby carriage containing their newest edition.

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