Fight News: ONE returns in 2020, Canelo books his next fight and more
All the latest combat news from around the fight world.
ONE Championship welcome in the first fights of 2020
ONE Championship are bringing the first big fights of the decade to Impact Arena in Bangkok this week with a card that features rising star Stamp Fairtex continuing her MMA journey against Puja Tomar.
That fight plays bridesmaid to the big headline - a rematch between flyweight muay Thai champion Rodtang Jitmuangnon and former champ Jonathan Haggerty for the belt.
Whilst promoting the fight, ONE CEO Chatri Sityodtong announced that it was only the first of 50 events the promotion had planned across its various concerns.
As well as ONE Championship and Super Series cards, Sityodtong is planning events in their Hero Series, Warrior Series and their recently launched ONE Esports arm.
Elsewhere Sityodtong teased a possible launch of the brand into the US, holding their debut event there this year “should things go well”.
USADA pilot new test for UFC fighters
The United States Anti Doping Authority has announced a new pilot program to orally test UFC fighters for performance enhancing substances.
One of the benefits of oral testing discussed by the UFC’s Jeff Novitzky is that it would only detect recent use of impairment only drugs like cannabis that aren’t prohibited generally but can’t be used within hours of a fight.
Canelo books his annual Cinco de Mayo fight
Boxing’s biggest active star, Canelo Alvarez, looks certain to stick to his schedule this year by booking his next fight on the Cinco de Mayo weekend. His next opponent, and even which division he will fight in however, remains unclear.
Alvarez currently holds the regular WBA super middleweight and super WBA middleweight titles and only recently forfeited the WBO light heavyweight belt so he has more options than most fighters.
Easy big fights to make would be the WBA’s super super middleweight champion Callum Smith, WBO super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders or the trilogy fight with Gennady Golovkin, all of whom have deals with Alvarez’s broadcaster DAZN.
Crawford goes straight to the source to call out Spence Jr
Welterweight WBO champion Terence Crawford has gone on a twitter offensive, trying to goad IBF and WBC champ Errol Spence Jr into booking a fight.
Crawford kicked off the exchange by asking “So what’s been the hold up homie? When I came to the division y’all all said I had to get a title first. Now you changed yo mind.”
But after frustrated back and forth, questioning the role of notoriously uncooperative promoters Top Rank and PBC, Crawford decided to call Spence directly.
In a superb demonstration of direct communication, the event finished with Crawford tweeting “@ErrolSpenceJr is a cool dude on some real s--t we both agree the fight will happen.”