Closing out the UFC calendar year was the big UFC 232 event which featured several big match-ups across all divisions. With much buzz and excitement leading up to the fights, there was only one story that majorly took away from everything in the final week garnering all the attention.
Order UFC 281
Israel Adesanya vs. Alex Pereira is tonight! Watch every UFC 281 fight here.
- Israel Adesanya vs. Alex Pereira
- Carla Esparza vs. Zhang Weili
- Dustin Poirier vs. Michael Chandler
That story revolved around the event’s headliner, Jon Jones, who was returning for the first time since his USADA suspension that followed his UFC 214 clash with Daniel Cormier in July 2017.
The story being that Jones had some ‘atypical findings’ in recent USADA tests regarding prior banned substance usage and because of this along with the holiday season, the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which was hosting the event, wouldn’t grant Jones with his license to compete. Thus prompting the UFC to move the entire event to Los Angeles, Calfornia in just six days.
Obviously, that affects more than just Jones himself as now each fighter had to adjust accordingly. One of those fighters was UFC featherweight, Megan Anderson who was set to take on Cat Zingano.
Upon hearing the news, Anderson was initially worried about coordination with her corner team. A part of that team as per usual was her head coach at Glory MMA & Fitness, UFC welterweight James Krause.
When the news broke, Krause was on vacation so he wasn’t directly affected by the sudden changes, but one way or another, they were determined to work through them.
“We are very good at pivoting when we need to, adapting, adjusting and overcoming,” Krause shared when speaking with The Body Lock. “That was peanuts for us. That was no sweat off our back at all. It is what it is.
“At the end of the day, what we were saying during that week was we’re fighting on Saturday and we’re going to win. We can win in Vegas, we can win in LA. We can win in Canada, Australia… It doesn’t matter. You just tell us where we need to show up and fight and then we’ll be there. That kind of stuff doesn’t shake us at all.”
In regards to the situation with Jones itself, the 33-fight veteran didn’t have anything to say that ‘hasn’t already been said,’
For Anderson however, the fight with Zingano was a big one for her as in a sense, she was defending her division against another bantamweight that was coming to knock her off. After suffering defeat in her debut against Holly Holm earlier in the year, it was statement-making time.
In the end, Anderson would walk away victorious with a first-round TKO at the 61-second mark. Unfortunately, it would be somewhat controversial although completely legal as when throwing a head kick, Anderson’s toe would hit Zingano in the eye. Therefore forcing the stoppage.
The takeaways from the fight were that Anderson just did her job and got the win, but because of the odd fashion in which the bout ended, Anderson and her team have made it clear since fight night that they’re open to running things back.
“All they have to do is make a phone call,” Krause reiterated in regards to a rematch with Zingano. “We said that night that we would take a rematch. We will take a rematch yesterday, today, tomorrow. We want the rematch. We feel like we were robbed of a good win. So all she has to do is make a phone call, her or her team, if they want the fight, they’ll get it. We’ve been very publicly open about being more than accepting to take that rematch. It’s one phone call away. Literally, if they want that fight again, it’s no problem on our end. They’ll have a contract signed that same day.”
While Zingano has been recovering and attempted to get the fight result overturned, she too has said she’s open to making the fight again. It’s just a matter of when.
When it comes to the featherweight division though, the future has been a bit up in the air or uncertain since it was introduced in February 2017. But with things seemingly starting to heat up behind the scenes, there’s hope in the UFC after all.
Ultimately, no matter where Megan Anderson is fighting, she will keep on keeping on with the full support of her team.
“If the UFC cuts the division, we’re gonna pivot and adjust regardless of what happens,” Krause said. “Our goal doesn’t waver to the promotion, so it’s whatever. We want to be the best ’45er on the planet. So if that’s in Bellator cause UFC cuts the division, so be it. If that’s PFL at ’55, so be it. We don’t care. Whoever wants to get it can get it.
“When I say that, I’m not trying to be a cocky dick, but it’s just like, look, we want to fight. We want to fight and we’re ready to fight. She wants to be way more active than what she is. So it is what it is. We would love the Cat rematch, or if they present some new ’45ers to us, we’re ready.”
As for specific dates pertaining to when we could see her in action again, Anderson has recently expressed interest in fighting at UFC 238 in June.
Stay tuned to The Body Lock for the rest of the in-depth chat with James Krause in the coming days.
Drake Riggs is an MMA writer based out of Brush Prairie, Washington, USA who specializes in feature pieces, the women's fight scene, lists, news coverage, and rankings. He has been a passionate fan of MMA ever since 2009. Drake has most notably written for BJPenn.com, FanSided, The Body Lock, South China Morning Post, MyMMANews, Cageside Press, Sherdog, The Scrap, and MMA Today. He has also written for and created video content for RT Sport. As for other sports, Drake is a longtime fan of the NFL's Green Bay Packers and Jacksonville Jaguars.You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram: @DrakeRiggs_ . Also check out all of his video content on YouTube at: "Drake Riggs" where he uploads fighter interviews, podshows, and various other types of content.