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.
Our “Spinning Back Clique” panel of “Gorgeous” George Garcia, Mike Bohn Danny Segura discuss some of the biggest storylines of 2021 with host John Morgan.
Despite all the odds against it due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the UFC managed to have a record-setting year. We’ll look back at some of the biggest moments.
The rivalry between Dustin Poirier and former two-division champion Conor McGregor had its second and third fights in 2021, and the results were decisive in Poirier’s favor. He knocked out McGregor in their first meeting of the year to avenge a 2014 loss, then finished him again when McGregor broke his leg in the trilogy bout.
Jake Paul likely never will step into an MMA cage. But the YouTube sensation-turned-boxer has had an outsized impact on the MMA world – and likely will continue to do so thanks to the paydays he can help bring to the table for MMA fighters who cross over to box him.
Bellator had a big year. A.J. McKee fulfilled his promise and dethroned Patricio Freire to become featherweight champion. After Freire vacated his lightweight title, his brother Patricky Freire became champ at 155 pounds. Sergio Pettis became a champ and defended his belt with a crazy comeback. And then there’s Valentin Moldavsky and Yaroslav Amosov and Cris Cyborg. But which fighter had the biggest year for Bellator?
Kayla Harrison continued her MMA dominance when she won a second $1 million championship in the PFL at lightweight. But now she’s a free agent, and the door is open for her to go to the UFC or Bellator to fight at featherweight – where she potentially could quickly rise up to challenge champions Amanda Nunes – one of her teammates – or Cris Cyborg.
Jon Jones didn’t fight a single time in 2021 and hasn’t stepped in the cage since early 2020. But he wasn’t away from the news thanks to more legal troubles that saw him banned from his longtime gym, as well as a very public spat with the UFC and president Dana White.
“Spinning Back Clique” is released each Tuesday on MMA Junkie’s YouTube channel. You can watch the full episode in the video above.
Bellator in 2021: A robust look at the stats, streaks, skids, and records
Changing of the guard: Every new UFC champion crowned in 2021
Retirement tracker: Former UFC title challengers, fan-favorites and more hung up the gloves in 2021