Spinning Back Clique: On Fedor’s next fight, Paulo Costa and Nate Diaz’s UFC futures, and more

Check out this week’s “Spinning Back Clique,” MMA Junkie’s weekly show that takes a spin through the biggest topics in mixed martial arts.

This week, we look at Fedor Emelianenko’s stunning performance, the saga between Paulo Costa and Marvin Vettori, the futures of Nate Diaz and Kayla Harrison, and what to expect at UFC 267.

Our “Spinning Back Clique” panel of Mike Bohn, Nolan King and “Gorgeous” George Garcia discuss these topics with host John Morgan.

  • This past weekend, 45-year-old Fedor Emelianenko was in vintage form, scoring an incredible walk-off knockout of Tim Johnson in Russia. It was a pretty special moment for the former PRIDE champ, and Fedor seems to want to fight out his current deal with Bellator before calling it a career. So what fight should be next?
  • It was an intriguing week in the UFC, as well, with Paulo Costa admitting a bicep injury was the culprit behind his inability to make middleweight against Marvin Vettori, leading to the fight ultimately taking place at light heavyweight. Afterward Vettori’s win, UFC president Dana White said he believes Costa will need to compete at 205 pounds moving forward, while the Brazilian suggested maybe it was going to take a little more money for him to make a move like that. Three questions: What makes sense for Costa now? Is the UFC setting a bad precedent for allowing this? And did Vettori get a raw deal after all was said and done?
  • After UFC Fight Night 196, White confirmed that Nate Diaz has one fight remaining with the promotion and that the company was currently working on booking that contest. What is the best fight to make for Diaz right now, and do you believe that will be the last time he fights for the UFC?
  • It’s championship week in the PFL, with the organization set to crown six new champs and hand out six more $1 million checks. It’s a big night, and there should be some great fights, but it’s hard not to focus on what happens afterward, when we know that undefeated star Kayla Harrison is set to become a free agent. Should she stay, or should she go? What’s the best next move for Harrison, and is it impacted by how things turn out in her fight with Taylor Guardado?
  • UFC 267 is this Saturday in Abu Dhabi with a special early start time for everyone, and it’s loaded with some very meaningful fights. Jan Blachowicz-Glover Teixeira, Cory Sandhagen-Petr Yan, Dan Hooker-Islam Makhachev and Khamzat Chimaev-Li Jingliang are among the fights generating the most buzz. Who’s going to steal the spotlight at Etihad Arena?

“Spinning Back Clique” is released each Tuesday on MMA Junkie’s YouTube channel. You can watch the full episode in the video above.

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