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Showtime PPV Getting in on Celebrity Boxing Trend

Per Mike Coppinger of The Athletic, the Floyd Mayweather-Logan Paul exhibition boxing match will be broadcast June 5 on Showtime PPV.

The fight will go head-to-head with the highly anticipated Teofimo Lopez-George Kambosos light lightweight unification bout. What’s really interesting is Lopez-Kambosos is a Triller PPV. The same triller that is home to Jake Paul.

Coppinger adds that Mayweather-Paul will be a unique catch weight bout. Mayweather can’t weigh more than 160 pounds and Paul can’t weigh more than 190.

Celebrity boxing is here folks!

Three Things to Know About PFL’s 2021 Season

Professional Fighters League (PFL) kicks off their 2021 season of Friday night at 9 PM/East live on ESPN2.  PFL 1 will feature former UFC Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis taking on British boxer and former UFC competitor Clay Collard in the headline fight. 

Here are three things to know about PFL’s 2021 season:

Atlantic City is Home

Due to the on-going pandemic PFL has taken up residency at the Ocean Casino Resort on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City.  All fighters and camps must undergo a mandatory 17-day quarantine due to the pandemic.

Big Names

PFL signed two former UFC champions to take part in the 2021 season, Anthony Pettis and Fabricio Werdum.  Both fighters are fresh off their runs with the UFC and this will be their first fights outside of an Octagon in a very long time.  Werdum, a former UFC Heavyweight Champion, will make his debut later in the season.

Rule Changes

PFL has made a bevy of rule changes to their season structure.  Of significance is the reduction of “standings points” for a fighter who misses weight.  The season will also feature a reduced schedule and playoff fights will no longer be two a night.  The complete rule changes can be found here.

UFC 261: Watch-a-long with Jens Pulver, CM Punk, & Steve-O Exclusively on Twitch

That headline is a lot to take in!

UFC announced that they will stream UFC 261 live on Twitch exclusively with hosts Steve-O, CM Punk, and Jens Pulver. The stream will start at 9 PM/E with the final bouts on the preliminary card and roll into the main card.

From UFC.com:

“UFC is always looking for new ways to engage our fans in a meaningful, dynamic way,” said David Shaw, Senior Vice President of International and Content. “Through Twitch, UFC is creating a second screen experience designed to feel like a fun watch party. Fans can experience one of our biggest events with influencers in real-time, as if they’re sitting in the same room.”

The Twitch stream will feature special interviews, analysis, and real-time reactions to the fights. Punk currently serves as the color commentator for CFFC which airs on UFC Fight Pass and Pulver has a storied career in the world of MMA. Steve-O is known for being a jackass.

Proceeds from the Twitch stream will benefit the American Caner Society.

Colby Covington to Fight Winner of Usman-Masvidal

Dana White sat down with TSN during the media rounds for UFC 261 and let it slip that Colby Covington will get the shot at the winner of Usman-Masvidal.

Here’s White’s conversation with TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter:

Covington (16-2) is the #1 ranked welterweight according to the UFC’s ranking system. His last fight was in September at UFC Fight Night 178 where he headlined against Tyrone Woodley. Covington defeated Woodley via TKO in the contest. A win by Usman would set up a rematch of UFC 245 where Usman defeated Covington by TKO (punches) in the fifth round.

Double Title Fights Headline Invicta on AXS TV Debut

Per MMAJunkie, Invicta will return on May 21 and the event will be headlined by double title bouts. It will also be their debut on AXS TV.

Atomweight champion Alesha Zappitella (8-2) will be defending her title against Jessica Delboni (10-2). The vacant flyweight title will be up for grabs when Karina Rodriguez (8-4) takes on Daiana Torquato (10-3).

The event will being at 8 PM/EDT on AXS TV.

Daniel Bryan’s Contract Up Soon, Uncertain About His Future

This one came out of the blue or it least it seems like it did. Daniel Bryan gave a lengthy interview with BT Sport where he discussed his WrestleMania 37 match, his storyline going into the show of shows, and what does his future in WWE look like.

We highly suggest watching the interview below:

Some of the finer take-a-ways from the interview:

Bryan’s “out of body-like” experience:

“It was really bizarre. Just really, really bizarre… It’s taken me, it’s been nine days now since it happened, and it’s taken me time to fully process what the experience was like because it wasn’t like a normal thing. It was really weird. I felt very – like out of body in it. It was so weird.

On thoughts about his future:

“So it was interesting, it was like maybe it’s a sign that this is the time to let go of being a full-time wrestler, which is kind of what I’ve been thinking for a while.”

On his WWE contractual status:

“My contract’s actually up relatively soon, so I don’t know. I’m still trying to figure out what I’m doing with my life.”

Bryan has mentioned his intent to leave a full-time schedule in past interviews but this seems to put some focus on the immediate nature of that type of move.

The real question is would WWE allow Bryan to simply leave when his contract is up or will they do everything in their power to make him talent friendly part-time offer.

h/t Cageside Seats (must read) for the quote transcription

Ronda Rousey Announces Pregnancy

Ronda Rousey won’t be returning to a pro wrestling ring or the Octagon any time soon. Rousey and husband Travis Browne took to social media to announce they’re expecting.

Rousey wasn’t shy about her intentions to start at family. Congrats to Rousey and Browne on the impending arrival of the “baddest baby on the planet!”

TV Ratings: NXT Viewership Climbs Again

NXT had another banner night on Tuesday night drawing a TV audience of 841,000 viewers according to ShowBuzz Daily.

That’s nearly a 5% increase from the previous Tuesday when NXT drew 805,000 viewers. The show drew a .23 rating in the highly coveted 18-49 demographic.

This is the third week in-a-row that NXT has seen an increase and the second week that NXT has ran unopposed on Tuesday night.

It’s clear that more WRESTLING fans are flocking to NXT on Tuesday which is a good thing for the sport.

UFC Agrees to Pay Drakkar Klose after UFC Vegas 24 Weigh-in Brouhaha

Per ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, the UFC has agreed to pay Drakkar Klose his show money for his scheduled fight at UFC on ESPN. The fight was cancelled when his opponent, Jeremy Stephens, caused a fracas during the weigh-in. Stephens pushed Klose causing whiplash and a concussion.

Here’s the exchange.

Klose had to be admitted to the hospital due to the incident and was ruled unable to fight by the doctors and the athletic commission. The idea that the UFC wasn’t going to pay Klose was asinine. Thankfully that’s now resolved.

Klose and Stephens will reportedly match up again in the near future.

TV Ratings: UFC Vegas 24 Does Big Numbers for ESPN, Highest Rated ESPN Fight Card of 2021

UFC on ESPN: Whitaker vs. Gastelum was a ratings success for the worldwide leader bringing in an average of 953,000 viewers for the main card. The preliminary card on ESPN drew an average of 879,000 viewers. The numbers slotted UFC on ESPN as the number 2 and number 3 shows on cable for Saturday behind only the NBA on ESPN.

The card drew a .36 rating in the highly competitive 18-49 demographic bracket. UFC on ESPN also met stiff competition from the world of boxing on Saturday. UFC’s card went head-to-head with Triller Fight Club’s pay-per-view featuring YouTube star Jake Paul against MMA veteran Ben Askren.