The latest episode of Ariel Helwani's MMA Show featured a UFC Hall of Famer, a fighter competing for the first time as a mother and an MMA legend still competing at 44.
Here's what you might have missed:
Faber would rather fight Dillashaw over Cejudo
MMA pioneer Urijah Faber, who came out of retirement on Saturday to knock out rising prospect Ricky Simon, has possibilities for his next opponents. One could very well be Henry Cejudo for the UFC bantamweight belt. But if given the choice, Faber would prefer to stare across the Octagon at former teammate TJ Dillashaw.
"I think Dillashaw is the bigger fight," Faber said.
Dillashaw, who was suspended for two years by the United States Anti-Doping Agency, will be eligible to return in January 2021. The former UFC bantamweight champion tested positive for recombinant human erythropoietin (EPO).
Dillashaw and Faber have a long history together. They were teammates at Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, California, until Dillashaw left in 2015 with coach Duane Ludwig for a new camp in Colorado. Dillashaw has publicly claimed Faber kicked him off the team. Faber says otherwise.
"I never kicked that guy off our team," Faber told Helwani on Monday. "He sat me, Chad Mendes and other guys down and said he was getting paid to go somewhere else and would still like to come in on occasion because he had a house here. I never kicked the guy off. He went on his own, which is great. He was already training with [Ludwig] for a year under our umbrella and making moves back and forth.
"Stop being a victim, dude. We don't feel sorry because you got caught cheating. We don't feel sorry because you got bought off by another team. That Conor [McGregor] called you a snake in the grass. Quit being a victim."
Hardy: I can become the 'greatest combat sports heavyweight' ever
Greg Hardy is 4-1 in his MMA career, but he already has his sights set higher than simply becoming a top-tier UFC fighter. He told Helwani he eventually aims for recognition as the "greatest combat sports heavyweight" ever. The former NFL defensive lineman, who was convicted of assault and communicating threats in 2014 before the charges were expunged from his record on appeal, competes Saturday night against Juan Adams in San Antonio. Hardy said he has recently taken up boxing on top of MMA and hopes to one day do both professionally.
"I think with the blessing of [Dana White], it's something I would love to look into and start fighting pretty soon," Hardy said. "I think I can be one of the -- if not the -- greatest fighting sports heavyweights of all time. Not just MMA. The greatest combat sports heavyweight. Right now I'm focused on this fight. I'm still under contract. ... I'm waiting patiently. We've talked about [boxing] in the past."
Hardy hints at future in boxing
Greg Hardy hints at a future with boxing along with fighting in MMA and how rounding out his palette could make him one of the greatest fighting heavyweights ever.
Ryan Hall passive? He actively disagrees
Ryan Hall, who is 8-1 in MMA after defeating Darren Elkins on Saturday night, gets criticized for trying all means necessary to take a fight to the canvas, sometimes even lying on his back and inviting his opponent to engage on the mat. A sign of passivity by the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt? Hall thinks not.
"If it's a passivity thing, I would encourage other people to engage in the same tactic and reap a similar benefit. If someone were to lie down in front of me in a fight I was losing two rounds in, I think that I would definitely try to pursue that. I understand why people don't, but the idea that that is a passive thing as opposed to an active "come on and let's go" is, I think, not fair. Imagine if Israel Adesanya were to walk up to you, put his hands behind his back and stick his chin out. Just because we're still striking [and in Adesanya's wheelhouse] doesn't mean you shouldn't swing on him."
Peña to fellow MMA mothers: 'If I can do it, you can too'
Julianna Peña, prior to last Saturday, had not fought in the UFC for almost 2½ years, while giving birth to and raising her daughter, Isabella. That changed when "The Venezuelan Vixen" entered the Octagon in Sacramento and defeated former bantamweight champion Nicco Montaño by unanimous decision.
What was the experience like to fight as a mother for the first time? We'll let her describe it.
"It was so special," Peña said. "After I won, she saw me on the big screen and kept saying my name. She knew I was obviously on the screen. When I saw her, it was just such a great moment.
"I was so proud to represent all the mothers out there that are maybe questioning themselves on if they can grind it out. The answer is yes you can. If I can do it, you can too. It was a happy moment in my life, and more to come, I'm sure."
For de Randamie, calling Mom just could not wait
Germaine de Randamie had just knocked out Aspen Ladd in 16 seconds in Saturday's main event in Sacramento. It was a huge victory, propelling the Dutchwoman into the No. 1 contender spot in the women's bantamweight division. It was time to maybe run around the cage, jump on top of the fence, do a celebratory dance ... or make a phone call?
"The thing was, the fight went so fast, and my mom, she's always so nervous," de Randamie said "The picture you're showing now is of me looking very serious, but it wasn't a serious phone call. I'm just telling her, 'Mom, I'm OK. It went a little fast. I'm OK.'"
This is what happens after every de Randamie fight.
"I always tell my friends and family, 'Don't call my mom,'" she said. "No matter the outcome of the fight, I will call her. I will tell her I'm OK."
That call doesn't usually happen right there in the cage, but this time felt special, so de Randamie turned to her coaches and said, "Does somebody have a phone? I'm so happy."
She wanted to share with Mom this moment ... in the moment.
"She's my hero," said de Randamie. "Without her, I wouldn't be the woman I am today. Honestly, Ariel, for 20 years this woman has put so much into my fighting career. As fighters, we make life hard for ourselves sometimes. She makes life easy for me. She's always the one that believes in me. She's always the one who has stood by my side no matter what. I've seen people come, I've seen people go, and she's always been there for me."
The first thing her mother said after de Randamie mentioned how quickly she had knocked out Ladd?
"Is she OK?"
"Yes," de Randamie told her mother. "She's OK."
"OK, good. I'll talk to you later."
From one Hall of Famer to another ...
Here's a snippet of a conversation between Tito Ortiz, who at age 44 has just signed a two-fight contract with Combate Amereica, and 56-year-old Randy Couture, who competed in the UFC until he was 48 (as recounted by Tito).
Ortiz: "Randy, when you were 43 years old, what made you come back and want to compete?"
Couture: "Tito, I really didn't think I was done. I think I had so much more to do."
Ortiz, who knocked out a 48-year-old Chuck Liddell in November and next faces former pro wrestler Alberto del Rio, 42, came away from the Couture conversation thinking, "I have that same feeling in my own heart. No more injuries. Life at home is wonderful. My girlfriend, Amber, is an amazing mother to my kids. My kids are happy. I'm happy. My training camps have been great. I'm sparring with younger guys. My mind's in a positive environment. It feels like I'm untouchable."
Ortiz: No other promotion matched what Combate gave me
Tito Ortiz breaks down his decision of joining Combate Americas promotion on Ariel Helwani's MMA Show.