Bo Nickal's weird excuse, new Alex Pereira sparring footage & Bellator London main event revealed

A daily news brief on all things MMA and boxing, plus my thoughts on what we've learned.
Bo Nickal
Bo Nickal / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages

I'll be breaking down some news from around the combat sports world and giving you my take on it in this new daily column. Check back every morning to see the biggest or most obscure headlines and what I think about them below.

Bo Nickal has a wild reason for not taking a short-notice fight

THE NEWS: According to Bo Nickal, he was offered the short-notice fight against the former champion Robert Whittaker but didn't get the message until three days too late. “I did get a call, yeah,” Nickal said. “Unfortunately, I got a call while I was in the mountains of Montana and I didn’t get back to cell service for three days. I came back into cell service to a few text messages saying, ‘Call me back, call me back, call me back!’ And it was too late.”

MY THOUGHTS: Instead of Whittaker vs. Nickal we now get Whittaker vs. Ikram Aliskerov and it's hard to say which match-up I prefer. I think it's a bit early for a Nickal main event but this story is kind of hilarious. I wonder how upset he really was.

New Alex Pereira sparring footage is promising for UFC 303

THE NEWS: UFC light heavyweight champion Alex Pereira shared some two-week-old sparring footage ahead of his shirt notice fight with Jiri Prochazka.

MY THOUGHTS: In the footage, Pereira looks incredible and dangerous just the way we like it. Some were worried that he might not be ready in just a few weeks but this footage proves he's more than ready. Neither Pereira nor Prochazka seem the type to not be ready at a moment's notice so I think the fans will be in for a treat at UFC 303.

Bellator announced Johnny Eblen vs. Fabian Edwards rematch

THE NEWS: Bellator middleweight champion Johnny Eblen will take on Fabian Edwards in a rematch for Bellator London on Sept. 14.

MY THOUGHTS: This is an absolute banger of a main event. There's actual bad blood from the last time they fought when Eblen knocked out Edwards and then got into it in the ring with Edwards' brother, UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards. I could see this fight being a huge draw, especially for the London crowd. The only bummer is it's the same day as the UFC's Sphere card which could cause some conflicts.