The latest episode of Ariel Helwani's MMA Show featured a UFC champion dealing with a loss, both main event combatants from Saturday's card in Sweden, an injury update and a recap of a fighter's amazing journey.
Here's what you might have missed:
Champ at a loss? Max Holloway's reality is a rarity
Max Holloway clearly was not looking at the record book during Tuesday's interview on Ariel Helwani's MMA Show. Officially, he is 20-4. Officially, he is the UFC featherweight champion.
But the last entry on his official record was a defeat at the ends of Dustin Poirier in last month's lightweight interim title bout. It ended a 13-fight winning streak and put the 27-year-old Hawaiian in a rare position: When he defends his 145-pound belt against Frankie Edgar in the main event of UFC 240 in Edmonton, Alberta, on June 27, Holloway will be a champion coming off a loss.
He's dealing with it as if it's not a big deal.
"The win streak was cool. The records I was breaking are cool. But I'm 0-0 for every fight," he said. "I try to just stay focused on the task at hand and not look too forward, not look too back. It is what it is. A loss is not going to define me."
The most difficult part of the loss for Holloway might have been knowing that his 6-year-old son, Rush, was crying at cageside. Video emerged of the boy being consoled first by Shaquille O'Neal, then by Poirier. Holloway acknowledges that he "had to hold back tears" when he saw his son afterward and tried to reframe the circumstance as a life lesson.
"Life is sometimes about how to take L's," he said. "The kid, he never saw me lose. I was a superhero in his eyes. And [now] he knows that, hey, his dad is normal. He grew. He became stronger. And now I'm positive that he's taking the steps to be my superhero one day."
Anthony Smith on Swedish fans: 'They'll fist-bump you and ask you politely not to win'
"This is the Gus show."
Anthony Smith was talking about Saturday's main event against Alexander Gustafsson, which takes place in Stockholm. Gustafsson, not coincidentally, is a 32-year-old Swede who lives and trains in Stockholm.
"He's the one with the family and friends and all his teammates and the whole damn city and country behind him," Smith said.
The 30-year-old from Omaha, Nebraska, has no problem traveling 4,500 miles for this fight. "There's just no pressure," he said. "I'm kinda kicking it back to the old school. You come in, take a soul, grab a bag of cash and leave."
Smith was speaking via phone from Stockholm, and even though he had arrived just hours earlier, he'd already gotten a feel for the city and its inhabitants. He, his wife and one of his coaches were exploring the city center when they encountered some local fans, who did not make Smith feel as if he were in enemy territory.
"They'll fist-bump you," he said, "and ask you politely not to win."
Alexander Gustafsson: 'I love to be home'
"I love to be home, and in fight week I feel relaxed and calm."
--Alexander Gustafsson on headlining a UFC event in Stockholm for the third time since 2015
Iaquinta on his nose post-Cowboy: 'It's just a slight bit crooked'
UFC lightweight title contender Al Iaquinta lost a hard-fought matchup with Donald Cerrone on May 4 in Ottawa, Ontario. The contest -- named that card's Fight of the Night -- was a back-and-forth brawl that saw Iaquinta take the brunt of the damage.
On Ariel Helwani's MMA Show, Iaquinta described in detail just how badly he was hurt by Cerrone.
"I was swollen, I was beat up. I still got a little cut [on my nose]," Iaquinta said. "It's going to take a lot for the scarring to go away with the sun and what not. It is what it is. Some pretty serious injuries, but nothing that won't heal on its own. I don't need anything crazy to be done. Just get back into the gym, physical therapy, recover and back to training as usual."
Iaquinta said he broke his nose and fractured his right orbital bone but will not need surgery.
"I was in pain. My pain tolerance was at its peak for that one," Iaquinta said. "Everything worked out good. Just some rest. That definitely cannot happen again."
Iaquinta said doctors in Canada offered to try to fix his nose, but he declined.
"It's just a slight bit crooked," he said. "They were like, 'We can try to adjust it and fix it.' I said, 'Just leave me alone. Let me rest.' They gave me some pain medication and threw me on the plane. I got home, thank God."
From the Octagon to the political arena
The dangerous journey of Glover Teixeira from Brazil to America
Glover Teixeira (29-7), who has fought in the UFC for seven years and once challenged for the light heavyweight championship, lives and trains in Danbury, Connecticut. But it wasn't always that way, as he told Ariel Helwani.
Helwani: Is it true it took you 49 days to get from Brazil to Connecticut?
Teixeira: It is true. I had a cousin that was bringing people to Mexico. At that time, I was 18 years old. He said, "Do you want to go with me?" I said, "Yeah, I'll go on this trip with you." I went with him. He said, "I got a guy over there who can get you a job."
Helwani: So initially you were going to Mexico?
Teixeira: We went to Mexico and crossed the border. Right now the visa situation is much better. There's still a chance you get denied, but it's so much better. In 1999, if you were from my hometown, it's almost impossible you're going to get a visa because there are so many people here from there that are here illegally.
Helwani: So did you ever even go to Mexico?
Teixeira: We did. Stayed in Tijuana for 13 days, crossed the border. We stayed in San Diego.
Helwani: How did you cross the border?
Teixeira: Walking. Maybe four or five hours.
Helwani: Were you worried?
Teixeira: Not at that time. I'm 19 years old; you don't worry. Middle of the night. I was having fun.
Helwani: How many people were with you?
Teixeira: There were maybe 12 or 15 people. We were lucky. We just crossed the border. But if the guys come, so we have to spread out, that's when it's dangerous. If the cops come or immigration, people run. The guy that would take you, they call him "The Coyote." We would run away because we didn't want to get caught. You have to find your way in the desert. It's dangerous.
Helwani: And you weren't worried about this?
Teixeira: No, I was a teenager.
Helwani: And your family was back in Brazil?
Teixeira: I didn't call [my parents] for 40 days. Everyone was worried. You'd hear horrible stories. When it was 2001, things started getting crazy. People stopped coming through Mexico. It was very popular in 1999, but after it was getting dangerous because of the drug dealers. The cartel was making some people slaves. You would hear crazy stories.