The latest episode of Ariel Helwani's MMA Show featured a current champion calling out another champion, a Bellator titleholder disputing retirement rumors and a top nutritionist wanting to fight his top rival in the cage.
Here's what you might have missed:
UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier is interested in facing light heavyweight champion Jon Jones one more time before calling it quits on his MMA career. The 40-year-old is winless in two previous matchups against Jones, who represents the only loss of his 24-fight career.
Cormier told ESPN's Ariel Helwani it will be at light heavyweight because "I have to get it right on the same terms."
"I don't need the deck stacked in my favor," Cormier (22-1-1) said of fighting at 205 pounds. "My whole life I've overcome odds. I've faced uphill battle after uphill battle my entire life and I've always been able to get through it. This is one of the only things I've not been able to conquer. I need to go do it. I have to get it right."
Cormier and Jones (24-1-1) fought two times prior. Jones defeated Cormier at UFC 182 in 2015 by unanimous decision. He later won again at UFC 214 in 2017 via a third-round head kick knockout but it was later overturned to a "no contest" after Jones tested positive for the banned steroid turinabol.
Cormier will defend his belt against former UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic at UFC 241 on Aug. 17. If he wins, he has only one option before retirement: Jones.
"It's all I want," Cormier said. "When I fight Jones, I feel most complete when I'm preparing for competition against that guy. It makes me train harder. It makes me train smarter. I do everything right in preparation, and I believe that if I do stick around that would be the fight that I do it for. It would be at 205 pounds because I need to go and get that back from him."
Rory MacDonald shoots down retirement rumors
"This career is going to end at some point. But I don't see it ending after this tournament." Bellator welterweight champion Rory MacDonald
Ben Askren tells Ariel his dream fight is still alive
"I did tell you one time I'm gonna fight Georges St-Pierre in the spring in Montreal. I did say 2019. I think it's gonna be 2020."
You still believe it?
"It was my psychic intuition. I was feeling spring. I was feeling the Bell Centre. I was feeling Montreal. I think I was one year off."
What makes you think that this is gonna be a thing?
"Something about it just feels right. I mean, if I beat up Jorge [Masvidal on July 6] and then win the UFC title, there's a debate for who the best welterweight of all time is. And me and Georges can settle it, in Montreal, spring of 2020."
What's the bigger dream scenario for you, the Georges fight or the Khabib fight?
"Khabib would be awesome, too, but I think probably Georges. When I started my MMA career, he was on the top of the welterweight division. And that's who I'm looking at, saying, 'OK, if I'm gonna be the best, that's the guy.' So year after year, I'm looking at him."
Move over, Kipling: Askren's revised Jungle Book
"When I used to go to Asia all the time, and we didn't want to explain that I beat up human beings for a living -- because that's kind of weird for a kid, I think -- we would always tell her I went and fought tigers. So every night before they went to bed, they would want some type of story about how I went to the jungle and fought tigers."
--Ben Askren on how he used to explain his One Championship career to his 6-year-old daughter and her younger siblings
Randy Couture on ...
The PFL (he's on the broadcast team) and its season format: "What I like about it is it's an absolute meritocracy. You can talk smack if that's who you are, but that's not going to get you anywhere. You've still got to go out and score points and make it to that postseason, to that progressive tournament, to get to the money, to get to the big prize."
The 2011 KO loss to Lyoto Machida that ended his 30-fight career: "I had all my own teeth until that fight."
The one fight that threatened to entice him back to the cage: "Obviously, the phone started ringing when Fedor [Emelianenko] threw his hat back in the ring, because that was the fight a lot of people wanted to see when we were both in our prime, ranked [Nos.] 1 and 2 in the world, and obviously a fight I chased for a significant amount of time, too. But it just didn't make sense to me."
Staying retired: "I have my health. I went out on my own terms. I think that's a rare thing in the sports world today, to not have a doctor or promoter say, 'Man, you really shouldn't do this anymore.' I felt comfortable that it was the right decision for me, and I've stuck with it."
Why fighters have a tough time walking away and staying away: "Our identity is wrapped up in that sole endeavor, and that's a difficult thing to just let go of and walk away from. We're not normal humans. So to think your just gonna throw us back into the civilian world and it's gonna be hunky-dory, it just doesn't work that way. I've been fortunate in the transitions I've had: leaving the military, leaving wrestling, leaving MMA. I had other things to go to. I had acting. I had a new focus."
The transition from fighting to acting: "I was Tiny Tim in the sixth grade, 'A Christmas Carol.' But that was it. Spent my whole life as an athlete, kind of boxing up emotions, putting them to the side and going out and doing what I'd trained to do. So now, in this process, they want you to find a way to emote real things and be genuine in these made-up scenarios. Try to find a way to tell the truth, which is the real key and the trick."
How his second career as an actor has helped him understand what a fighters union should look like: "As a member of [the Screen Actors Guild], that's the model that I think fits fighting the best. There's a bunch of studios out there all trying to make films. There's this pool of actors that they're trying to pull from. They have health insurance. They have retirement plans. They've created minimum standards for treatment and pay through SAG. I think that's what we should aspire to as fighters."
Calvillo moving on
Cynthia Calvillo has left Team Alpha Male, the UFC strawweight told Helwani on Monday. The gym, run by UFC Hall of Famer Urijah Faber in Sacramento, California, is the only place she has trained in her career.
"I'm no longer training at Team Alpha Male anymore," Calvillo says. "There have just been a lot of changes since I first went in there in the last year-and-a-half or two. I tried to stick it out, but it just wasn't working for me anymore. I needed to make the changes."
Calvillo (8-1) said a new coaching staff played a major factor in her decision.
"A big part of it had to do with my head coach Justin Buchholz, who is no longer teaching there," she said. "He's no longer coaching there. It made it a little bit difficult my last two fight camps. I just decided it was time to move on."
Lockhart went 12-7 in his MMA career, finishing in 2013. Dolce was 5-10 and has not fought since 2010. Both have dominated the nutritionist competition since.
Why Dolce? We'll let Lockhart explain:
"If there's anybody I want to punch in the face, it might be Mike Dolce," Lockhart said. "That would be a fight I would want to make. There's a lot of things he's brought up about me. He's attacked my character, he's attacked our company ... if he wants to squash our beef, if he wants to get in the cage, I would be more than happy to throw leather at him."