- Before he returns to the Octagon next Saturday night at UFC 224 vs. Lyoto Machida, check out this fight replay between Vitor Belfort and Luke Rockhold. The performance earned "KO of the Week" honors for Belfort, who flattened the future UFC middleweight champion.
Belfort and Machida will kickoff the pay-per-view main card from Brazil. The event features Amanda Nunes defending her bantamweight title against Raquel Pennington.
- Former UFC fighter Leslie Smith has filed charges against the UFC with the National Labor Relations Board, MMA Fighting reports. Smith, who is part of Project Spearhead, was released from the promotion after her recently scheduled appearance vs. Aspen Ladd. The bout with Ladd was scrapped after Smith declined accepting it with a change to the weight limit after Ladd missed weight.
According to the complaint, Smith's attorney, Lucas Middlebrook, says the move by the UFC to release her was "based on the animus it held toward her engagement in protected activity."
"There simply can be no dispute ZUFFA took adverse action against Ms. Smith, and based on the facts set forth herein and those to be uncovered in the investigation into this issue, ZUFFA's animus toward Ms. Smith's protected activity was the substantial or motivating reason for the adverse action(s) taken against her," Middlebrook wrote in the charge to the NLRB.
Smith has been very outspoken in her efforts to unionize fighters, especially at the UFC-level. She fought several times for the promotion, going 3-1 over her last four appearances.
"Leslie Smith was one of the only UFC fighters willing to openly exercise her rights to form, join or assist a union," Middlebrook wrote in the complaint. "ZUFFA, with the termination of Ms. Smith, has delivered an unlawful message to the remainder of its fighter employees, which is: dare to form, join or assist a union and you too will accompany Ms. Smith not fighting in the UFC. This message contravenes the very purpose of the NLRA and ZUFFA cannot be allowed to continue flouting the Act. No person or entity is above the law."
- Former UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez isn't facing Dustin Poirier. At least not with his current contract in hand. Alvarez told MMA Fighting that the rumored fight isn't happening until he receives a new deal.
"It's not (expletive) happening," Alvarez said. "I'm not fighting until I get a new deal."
Alvarez, who lost the lightweight title to Conor McGregor, said he has one deal left on his current contract. He did say the UFC offered him a new contract, but he wasn't willing to sign.
"The only thing we spoke of was re-signing and we haven't come to that agreement yet," Alvarez said last week on The MMA Hour. "So I'm guessing there's not going to be an opponent or a bout agreement in the mail unless I'm ready to re-sign. So when we come to agreement to re-sign, then I'm sure there will be a bout agreement in the mail."
It has been reported that Alvarez-Poirier 2 could take place on July 28 from Calgary if both sides come to the table.