Kamaru Usman shades Nate Diaz, Dana White on HBO deal & Aljamain Sterling vs. Diego Lopes?

A daily news brief on all things MMA and boxing, plus my thoughts on what we've learned.
Kamaru Usman
Kamaru Usman / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages

I'll be breaking down the 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.

Kamaru Usman shades Nate Diaz after Jorge Masvidal win

Former welterweight champion Kamaru Usman wasn't that impressed with what he saw from Nate Diaz on Saturday night. In fact, he went as far as to say Diaz shouldn't return to the UFC but belongs in the PFL. Usman says Diaz should snap up the $15 million to fight Jake Paul and be happy with his life.

Telling any fighter they are PFL level is the ultimate diss and to Diaz, a legend of the sport, it's fighting words. But Usman does have a point, that $15 million MMA paycheck to fight Paul in PFL isn't that bad of consolation prize. And it really does seem like the logical next step for Diaz if a Conor McGregor trilogy fight is off the table.

Dana White explains why the HBO UFC deal never went through

At one time the UFC was in negotiations to make HBO their broadcast partner. In a recent interview with ONE Nation, UFC president Dana White explained why the deal ended up happening. White says HBO wanted to run the production and White refused, “We had already signed the deal. We were done. So I literally called [former UFC CEO] Lorenzo [Fertitta] and said, ‘Yeah, we can’t do this deal.’ He’s like, ‘What do you mean we can’t do this deal? The deal is done. We have a deal.’ [I said,] ‘We’ve got to get out of this deal.’ And Ari [Emanuel] got us out of the HBO deal.”

Looking back, that was a great decision. As much as I'm not all that pleased with ESPN, that was the right move for the UFC to become more mainstream. HBO is dying and we can see that with their Bellator deal. Going to HBO would seem like a huge step down now.

Aljamain Serling wants to fight Diego Lopes at the Sphere

Former UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling wants to fight Diego Lopes at the Sphere in September. “I’m thinking about Aljamain Sterling vs. Diego Lopes at the Sphere,” Sterling said on his YouTube channel. “It has a nice ring to it."

I kind of don't hate this fight. It's a huge step up in competition for Lopes and having a win over a former champion would be the next notch he needs on his way towards his own title shot. On the flip side, it's a big enough and exciting enough match-up for Sterling who is trying to build his own path to the featherweight title. I'm curious if Lopes sees the fight as anything interesting for himself.