Spinning Back Clique: UFC 284 reaction, Jens Pulver in HOF, Wilder-Ngannou talk, more (noon ET)

Check out this week’s “Spinning Back Clique,” MMA Junkie’s weekly live show that takes a spin through the biggest topics in mixed martial arts. This week’s panel of Brian “Goze” Garcia, Nolan King and Dan Tom will join host “Gorgeous” George Garcia live at noon ET (9 a.m. PT) to discuss and debate:

  • The UFC 284 main event in Perth, Australia, was a monumental one. Not only did featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski move up to challenge new lightweight champ Islam Makhachev, but it was a fight between two fighters who were 1-2 on many pound-for-pound lists. Makhachev squeezed out a unanimous decision, but the fight was a lot closer than the betting lines indicated before the bout with Volkanovski a big underdog. Was it one of the best title fights in UFC history, and will we see a rematch down the road?
  • So how about that pound-for-pound conversation now? Volkanovski was atop MMA Junkie’s list going into the fight, followed by Kamaru Usman and Israel Adesanya. Now all three of them are working off losses, and Makhachev could have a major rise up the chart from his spot on our list at No. 9. How should this all play out?
  • Yair Rodriguez looked great in the UFC 284 co-main event when he put away the hard-to-finish Josh Emmett to win the interim featherweight title. Now he’s got a unification bout in the future against Volkanovski – and he’d like for it to be in Mexico. We know Volkanovski has been an impossible puzzle to solve at featherweight, so can Rodriguez be the one to figure him out and live up to his promise from years ago.
  • One of the early big names in the UFC’s lighter weight classes was Jens Pulver, who was a lightweight champion, a coach on “The Ultimate Fighter,” and holds a win over future two-division champ B.J. Penn. On Saturday, the promotion announced he’ll be part of the UFC Hall of Fame Pioneer Wing and will be inducted this summer. Pulver wasn’t the winningest fighter in his later years, but his impact can’t be denied. Is he a good choice for the Hall?
  • Former boxing heavyweight champ Deontay Wilder would love to be Francis Ngannou’s first test after he left the UFC to become a free agent. Wilder wants to box him, but also suggested he’d then return the favor in an MMA fight with Ngannou. Ngannou has been wanting to box, and it reportedly was a point of contention in his UFC contract negotiations. Do we like this potential twofer situation for him?

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