UFC's Ciryl Gane No Bad Blood W/ Francis Ngannou I Plan To Shake His Hand

NO BAD BLOOD
TMZSports.com

Ciryl Gane says despite what you might've heard, he has absolutely zero beef with Francis Ngannou ... and fully intends on showing respect to "The Predator" when they fight for the UFC title next weekend.

31-year-old Gane, the undefeated (10-0) UFC Interim champ is headlining UFC 270 against 35-year-old Ngannou, the UFC heavyweight champ next Saturday in Anaheim.

The alleged bad blood? Gane and Ngannou briefly trained together at the MMA Factory in France several years back (Francis recently told us it was less than 10 times), and things haven't exactly always seemed copacetic since.

TWO TITANS TRAINING
MMA Factory

In fact, a video recently made its way around social media showing Francis walking by Ciryl ... like he didn't exist.

But, Gane says everything's cool between the men ... there's zero ill will.

"I have no feelings for him. He's just like another opponent and that's it."

It's an intriguing matchup. Ngannou throws bombs ... and arguably has more power than any other fighter on the UFC roster. Meanwhile, Gane is 6'5", 250 lbs., but moves like a guy who weighs 75 lbs. less.

Francis recently told us he believes he'll knockout Ciryl within 10 minutes (2 rounds).

HE'S A TOUGH COMPETITOR
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Regardless of how the fight turns out, Gane says he will absolutely extend his hand to Francis "Before. After. During" the fight.

UFC's Giga Chikadze I Deserve Title Shot After I Beat Kattar ... Volkanovski Stands No Chance

I DESERVE MY SHOT
TMZSports.com

Giga Chikadze is the #8 ranked UFC featherweight, but believes he'll have a "C" for champ next to his name very soon, 'cause once he beats Calvin Kattar Saturday night, he says he absolutely deserves a title shot against Alexander Volkanovski.

... and he tells TMZ Sports that matchup would be a very one-sided affair.

We talked to the 33-year-old, 14-2 (undefeated in the UFC) fighter from Georgia (country) just days before his UFC Fight Night main event scrap with #5 ranked Kattar -- a fight he's favored to win (-235).

"I'm super excited, man. I've been asking for top 5 opponents since I got in the UFC. I was telling them, warning them that I'm ready for it. And finally, I got the opponent, and I'm very happy that my opponent is from a top 5 ranking," Giga told us.

We asked him if a win against Calvin should set him up for a title shot ... and there was zero hesitation.

"Absolutely. When I beat Calvin Kattar, it doesn't matter if it happens in 2 months, 3 months," Chikadze says, adding "I deserve a shot."

FYI, Alex is fighting Korean Zombie at UFC 273 in April.

It's an interesting matchup. The men have different bodies -- Giga is tall (6') and long, meanwhile, Alex is short (5'6") and stocky -- and fighting styles.

"[Volkanovski] has nothing against me. Nothing. I've been facing the short guys like him for all my whole life and making my living knocking these types of guys out," Giga says.

"There is no chance he can stand in front of me. He can't even catch me. Can't even touch me. I'm so giant for him, it'll be like David vs. Goliath but in a better way."

GOOD TO BE BACK
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But first, Giga has to beat Kattar ... one of the most dangerous dudes in the division.

Francis Ngannou Predicts Ciryl Gane KO In Under 2 Rds. ... 'This Is Not Karate S**t'

HE'S A TOUGH COMPETITOR
TMZSports.com

Make sure you take your seats early when Francis Ngannou and Ciryl Gane step in the Octagon on January 22 ... 'cause The Predator tells TMZ Sports he's putting the undefeated UFC fighter down inside 2 rounds!!

We recently talked to the 35-year-old heavyweight champ before his title unification bout with 31-year-old Gane ... and Francis made it clear he doesn't see the fight lasting very long.

"The knockout doesn't come when I search it, so I won't be searching for the knockout, but I don't see how we will end this fight without me knocking him out, maybe under 2 rounds," Ngannou says.

If you haven't seen Gane fight ... he's only been training for a few years. He's 10-0 ... and is the best moving heavyweight in the UFC.

To make the matchup even more interesting, Francis and Ciryl briefly (less than 10 times, per FN) trained together in France, but ain't exactly best friends these days.

It's not that Francis doesn't respect Ciryl ... 'cause he does. But, he believes his power will be too much for the smaller fighter to endure.

"Once again, this is the fighting business. This is not karate s**t, it's all about fighting and how to knock somebody out or take somebody out," Francis says.

Despite the bold prediction from the champ, Gane -- coming off wins over Derrick Lewis and Alexander Volkov -- is actually the slight favorite at most sportsbooks.

UFC 270 goes down next Saturday in Southern California!

Conor McGregor Ireland Bar Attacked ... Cops On Hunt For Suspects

Conor McGregor's popular bar in Ireland was attacked Wednesday night -- reportedly being hit by Molotov cocktails -- and now, cops say they're on the hunt for suspects.

According to The Sun, criminals threw two petrol bombs at McGregor's The Black Forge Inn in Dublin last night, and also left two pipe bombs near the watering hole's entrance as well.

A rep for McGregor tells TMZ Sports the UFC superstar was NOT inside of the building while it all went down. No word yet if he was an intended target in the attack.

"No one was impacted," the rep said, "and the pub is open and busy as always."

Ireland authorities confirmed to TMZ Sports there was "an incident of attempted criminal damage" near the Dublin pub ... but, thankfully, they added, "No damage was done to the premises."

Cops said they're now searching for any leads, and are urging any witnesses with video to contact them ASAP.

McGregor -- who bought The Black Forge Inn over two years ago -- has been spotted at the bar several times this month ... even posting footage from inside of the venue just hours before the attack happened on Wednesday.

Tyson Fury I'm Down To Box You Francis Ngannou ... Guaranteed Knockout!!

A mega-fight between the best heavyweight boxer alive, Tyson Fury, and the best heavyweight MMA fighter alive, Francis Ngannou, might actually go down ... 'cause both guys say they're all the way down to fight!

It all started last month when the UFC star told TMZ Sports he wants to step in the boxing ring with either Fury or Deontay Wilder.

"I would like to test myself to that level," Ngannou told us at the time, "It's not the same sport, although I'm the champion, I'm in the top in this division."

ON MY BUCKET LIST
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"At the end of the day, it's just about like trained hands, trained punches, having a good delivery system to produce bombs and I'm sure that if I deliver my own punch, it's pretty good, I can make some damage."

Well, Fury must've watched the interview ... 'cause he posted a fighting promo on his Twitter Thursday, featuring him and the 16-3 (12 KOs) MMA fighter.

"Who would like to see me fight this beast boxing rules UFC gloves?" Fury said.

Ngannou replied to the 31-0-1 heavyweight boxer ... saying the rules should be MMA style but would settle for boxing gloves as a favor to him -- but Fury wasn't having it.

"You want to come into my world calling me and Wilder out to a boxing match," Fury said.

"What I can guarantee you would be knocked out & also paid your highest purse to be so! So, have a think."

Ngannou didn't back down and vowed to go toe-to-toe anywhere and any style after his matchup with UFC interim HW champ Ciryl Gane at UFC 270.

"After I handle business on Jan. 22 I'll fight you," Ngannou said, "Under any special ruleset you want. In a ring, an Octagon or a phone booth."

Will this potential super fight go down?!? Stay tuned!

Jake Paul to Dana White I'll Fight Masvidal Under These Conditions ... UFC Prez Claps Back

5:48 PM PT -- Dana White didn't waste any time ... firing back at Jake Paul after the Problem Child issued a list of demands he said the UFC prez must meet if he wished to set up a Paul vs. Jorge Masvidal fight in the UFC.

Jake Paul says he's willing to get inside the Octagon against Jorge Masvidal for a UFC fight -- but first, he wants Dana White to do a few things.

The YouTuber just laid out his terms and conditions for a potential bout against Gamebred ... saying he wants UFC fighters to get what he feels they deserve.

In a public post to the UFC boss, Jake wrote ... "Happy new year @danawhite. Here is a real challenge for you… I will immediately retire from boxing and fight Jorge Masvidal in the UFC if you agree to (the following)."

You can read JP's letter for yourself, but to summarize -- he's asking fighters get a $50k minimum payout fight ... as well as more of the MMA giant's yearly earnings.

Jake claims UFC generated about a billion dollars in 2021 alone -- so essentially, he's saying $500 mil should be earmarked and divvied up among the talent themselves.

There's more ... Jake wants Dana to put a focus on healthcare for fighters.

If Dana implements these asks by March 31, JP says he'll retire from boxing and come on over for a 1-fight deal with JM.

As you may know, there's been a lot of talk about a would-be fight between these two -- with Masvidal himself stoking the flames and issuing a challenge, with certain caveats.

Ball's in Dana's court now!

Originally Published -- 1 PM PT

Francis Ngannou Hey Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder ... Lets Box!!

ON MY BUCKET LIST
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Francis Ngannou is known for his striking and downright scary power ... and now the UFC champ tells TMZ Sports he'd like to box a top heavyweight like Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder.

We talked to the 35-year-old, 16-3 (12 KO's) UFC star ... and asked him if he still had designs on hopping to the boxing ring.

"It's always been down the line. This is something I'm not taking my eyes off of. It's gonna happen, either way. Even if, when the UFC and I finalize a deal, the boxing part has to be into it because I can't see myself retire without boxing," Francis says.

FYI, Francis has 1 fight left on his deal with Dana White's organization ... a title defense against interim champ, Ciryl Gane.

But, Ngannou isn't looking to box a tomato can ... he literally is going straight to the top for an opponent.

"Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder. I would like to test myself to that level," Francis told us.

"It's not the same sport, although I'm the champion, I'm in the top in this division. At the end of the day, it's just about like trained hands, trained punches, having a good delivery system to produce bombs and I'm sure that if I deliver my own punch, it's pretty good, I can make some damage."

Of course, Fury -- the top heavyweight boxer in the world -- recently beat fellow great Wilder in one of the best heavyweight fights of all time.

Fury is likely to fight Dillian Whyte early next year. Wilder's next move is currently unknown. But, a Ngannou fight vs. either man would obviously be a huge event.

UFC's Belal Muhammad I Want To Punch Colby Covington ... In The Face!!!!!!

HANDING OUT L'S
TMZSports.com

Belal Muhammad wants to fulfill a dream he's had for a literal decade ... punching Colby Covington in the face!!

TMZ Sports talked to the 33-year-old fighter after his unanimous decision victory over perennial title contender, Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson on Saturday ... and we asked Belal who he'd fight if the 170 lb. champ, Kamaru Usman wasn't an option.

"I always wanted to hit Colby in the face," Muhammad told us.

The 20-3 fighter continued ... "I've been calling for this fight for like 10 years now. Even before he was higher up there, before he was in the rankings, before he was all this. I just dislike that guy, hated that guy. Always wanted to punch him in the face."

33-year-old Covington is coming off a loss to Usman ... a rematch of their December 2019 fight. Both fights were exciting/action-packed ... but Kamaru won both.

Still, Chaos is the #1 ranked contender ... and eventually wants to get another shot at the title.

What if Belal doesn't get Kamaru or Colby?

Well, Muhammad also says he's down to scrap with Leon Edwards and Jorge Masvidal ... two guys with which he has some history.

Belal and Leon fought in March 2021 ... but the fight was ruled a no-contest after Edwards inadvertently poked Muhammad in the eye.

As for Masvidal ... Belal has issues with Jorge's management company, First Round Management, claiming he fired them back in the day, and now there's bad blood.

So, will it be Colby, Leon, Jorge? That's TBD, but one thing's clear ... Belal Muhammad is likely just 1 good win away from a title shot.

Fighter Chris Avila I Want Tommy Fury Or AJ McKee ... If They're Not Scared

KEEP 'EM COMING
TMZSports.com

Let's do math, combat sports math with Nate Diaz's teammate and close friend, fighter Chris Avila ... who explains to TMZ Sports why he'll beat Tommy Fury, IF Tyson's younger bro accepts a fight.

We talked to 28-year-old Avila in Tampa after he picked up a unanimous decision win over Anthony Taylor ... and he told us he wants Fury next and believes he has an advantage.

Why? Because they both faced Taylor ... and Avila tells us Fury struggled with a guy he easily handled.

"Tommy Fury got beat up by the guy I beat tonight which is funny. He obviously won but he did get beat up in that fight. It's light work. It's just another fight, Tommy Fury, don't be scared. You're a bitch and so is AJ McKee."

Fury did beat AT ... but Chris says he struggled more than he did in the fight.

Now, if the Fury fight doesn't happen ... Chris says he wants to box Bellator champ AJ McKee.

Avila and McKee's friends are beefin' ... and actually got into a mini brawl at an event the day before the Jake Paul-Tyron Woodley fight.

CAUSING A COMMOTION
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"Although I fought Anthony, whatever his name is, he's a no-name. Don't ever bring up his name with my name again because he's a nobody," Chris says.

"But even though his boy, his teammate is AJ McKee, Bellator champ, he's next! He's next. He can come get inside the ring with me as long as it's not a bitch ass and he ain't scared. Bring it on!"

And Avila believes he'll win, easily ... 'cause "Size, experience, everything. Bellator f*****g spoon-fed that lil' bitch. He's a bitch."

SETTING THE STANDARD
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Nate Diaz also made a cameo ... and addressed Jake Paul's callout of him after he knocked out Woodley.

Check out the clips!

Francis Ngannou I'm Impressed W/ Jake Paul's Boxing Woodley KO Shocked Me!!

GOTTA HAND IT TO HIM
TMZSports.com

"I was impressed by Jake Paul. I didn't see that coming. I was sure that Tyron Woodley was gonna win this fight, you know? But you gotta give it to Jake Paul. He made a statement -- a huge statement and he proved that he puts his money where his mouth is."

That's arguably the baddest man on the planet, UFC heavyweight champion and knockout machine, Francis Ngannou saying that even he was very impressed with the Problem Child.

Like many people, Ngannou expected 39-year-old Woodley -- with the experience of their summer fight under his belt -- to handle 24-year-old Paul with relative ease.

However, that didn't happen ... 'cause Paul knocked T-Wood -- the former dominant UFC welterweight champ -- out cold in the 6th round of their highly anticipated rematch Saturday night in Tampa, landing a huge power punch that flatlined the future UFC Hall of Famer.

Francis -- who's won 12 of his 16 pro MMA fights by KO -- says this should be a lesson to anyone who doesn't take 6-0 Jake Paul seriously ... you really should, or wind up fast asleep on the canvas.

"[Jake's] taking himself very seriously. You better take him seriously because he proved it."

BEATING THE ODDS
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We also talked to the HW champ about his upcoming UFC 270 fight with interim champ, Ciryl Gane ... a fight in which Ngannou is actually the underdog.

But, Francis flat out says he doesn't care what Vegas thinks ... and when January 22 rolls around, he plans on extending his win streak to 6!

Jorge Masvidal Jake Paul's $5 Million Offer Is 'Chump Change' ... Meet Me In UFC!!!

3:42 PM PT -- Masvidal has heard Jake's offer loud and clear -- and he's shutting it down, calling it "chump change."

Masvidal says if Jake raises the offer to $20 million, then maybe the UFC would consider letting the fight happen.

Jorge then makes his own offer to Jake ... saying he can come meet him in the UFC on a 1-fight deal, where they'll only box. If Jake wins, Masvidal says he'll forfeit his purse.

"Come on over and get paid and laid out."

Jake Paul is channeling his inner Godfather and making Jorge Masvidal an offer he can't refuse ... saying he will shell out $5 MILLION to get the UFC fighter to be his next opponent.

Fresh off his knockout win over Tyron Woodley, the Problem Child announced the offer on his brother Logan's "Impaulsive" podcast on Tuesday ... saying he's not all talk and REALLY wants to scrap.

Jake says Masvidal keeps shutting him down for 2 reasons -- he only fights the best, or he fights for the money ... so now, Paul is giving him the latter.

And, a LOT of it.

"Masvidal, I got an offer for you right now -- $5 million guarantee plus percentage of Pay-Per-View," Jake said. "Let's make it happen."

Remember, Jake called out Gamebred and Nate Diaz right after the win ... calling them "bitches" in the process.

The big obstacle, though, is that both guys are under contract with UFC ... and would need permission to take a fight outside the promotion.

He says he's down to take either UFC star in the ring ... calling it "light work."

"Diaz isn't good," Jake added. "Look at their records! Numbers don't f***ing lie, bro. I'm undefeated. Diaz literally wins two fights and loses one. Two fights, loses one. F*** that."

It wasn't always this bitter between the two -- back before the Ben Askren fight, Jorge was actually helping Jake train.

JANUARY 2021
TRAININ' WITH THE BEST
@jakepaul / Twitter

Is the money enough to get Jorge's attention?? Most likely. But, the real question is, if UFC honcho Dana White -- who ain't exactly the biggest Paul fan -- will sign off on the fight?

Originally Published -- 2:52 PM PT

ISLAND BOYS Why All The Hate At Jake Paul Fight?!? We're Just Trying to Make It

POSITIVITY UNDER PRESSURE
TMZ.com

The 'Island Boys' -- the Florida twins behind that viral TikTok song -- are struggling to understand why haters are coming at 'em so hard ... after their hairy showdown with hecklers at the Jake Paul fight.

Flyysoulja and Kodiyakredd tell TMZ ... they expected a love fest this weekend when they strolled into Tampa's Amalie Arena, but instead quickly discovered some folks were pissed to see them in ringside seats.

The 'Island Boys' say they were there just there to watch the fight ... and they want to clear up any misconceptions about them picking fights to get clicks or clout chase.

The twins say they just want to be positive role models because a lot of kids watch their TikTok videos, and they don't want to be involved in fights ... they admit they're not perfect, but still don't get why grown folks are hating on them in public.

12/18/21
HELL RAISED BY HECKLERS
@bispennn / Twitter

As we reported ... the 'Island Boys' were greeted with boos before Jake knocked out Tyron Woodley, and video showed at least one full beer being thrown in their direction.

Interestingly, they admit the beer tossing actually started on their end with one of their friends -- but the twins say they tried to shut it down immediately.

Waiting for your permission to load TikTok Post.

Despite how several videos made it seem, they say it wasn't everyone hating on them ... they just think the folks who had a problem drowned out the love some people showed.

The boys tell us they're just a couple of 20-year-olds going through life, trying to make it from nothing -- and whether ya love 'em or hate 'em, ya gotta admit they're on the pop culture map.

The hard part is cashing in and extending that 15 minutes, a la Bhad Bhabie! Cash me ousside???

MMA Fighter Carrese Archer Gunning To Knock Out Nate Diaz ... After UFC Star Made Him Flinch At Paul Fight

"I'VE SEEN ALL THE LAUGHTER!!!"
@1punchkillarese / Instagram

The man who Nate Diaz made flinch at the Jake Paul fight on Saturday is furious with the UFC star ... saying he now wants to KO the guy for embarrassing him.

If you missed it ... at some point during Paul's bout with Tyron Woodley, Diaz pretended to throw a huge haymaker at MMA fighter Carrese Archer in the stands.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

The scene was captured on video ... and it showed Archer actually spilled his drink everywhere as he thought Diaz's punch was really coming in.

Security members broke everything up before it could escalate ... but now, Archer -- a bare-knuckle boxer -- says he's still so mad about it, he's gunning to knockout Diaz in a real fight.

"I've seen all the laughter -- everybody laugh, ha-ha," Archer said. "The same things that make you laugh make you cry. Nate Diaz is a bonafide female dog."

"He had the police with him, had the security protecting him and you gon' flinch at me and try to sucker punch me when I'm not paying attention?! And, y'all think this man's a gangster?!"

Archer continued, "I am a real street dog. I'm in the streets, believe that!"

Archer then called out Dana White -- who shared the video of the scene on his social media page on Sunday -- telling the UFC honcho to sign him for one fight so he can go after Diaz.

“I bet you won't think it's funny, you sign me for one fight and I knock Nate Diaz the f**k out in the first round," Archer said.

CAUSING A COMMOTION
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As for why the fake punch was thrown in the first place, it seems it's because Archer is pals with A.J. McKee, who also got in an altercation with Diaz over the weekend.

Chael Sonnen Cited For Battery In Las Vegas ... Alleged Hotel Brawl

LED AWAY BY COPS
TMZSports.com

MMA legend Chael Sonnen was hit with 5 battery citations after allegedly getting in a brawl at a luxury hotel in Las Vegas, TMZ Sports has learned ... and we have video of the MMA star being led away in handcuffs.

Law enforcement sources tell us the 44-year-old fighter was detained ... but was ultimately not arrested because cops didn't personally witness the alleged incident.

Sonnen was given 5 misdemeanor battery citations. However, police are still investigating.

A witness tells us she saw Sonnen banging on the door of a hotel room at the Four Seasons around 7 PM Saturday night.

The witness says a couple walked by and a physical altercation broke out -- the reason why is unclear.

Sonnen, 6'1", 200-ish lb. former fighter was easily handling the man, according to the witness.

We're told the woman accompanying the man began to scream, and someone called the police.

Cops responded and detained Sonnen, leading him away in cuffs.

We're told paramedics also responded ... though it's unclear if they treated anyone for injuries.

Sonnen last fought in 2019 ... losing to Lyoto Machida. However, Chael had an incredible career spanning Bellator and the UFC ... beating everyone from Rampage Jackson, Shogun Rua, Wanderlei Silva, and Michael Bisping.

Over the last few years, and especially since retirement, Sonnen has become one of the most respected and sought-after voices in MMA, becoming a cult figure.

Story developing ...

Tyron Woodley Will NOT Retire After Jake Paul KO

BUMMED BUT NOT STUNNED
TMZ.com

Tyron Woodley is NOT retiring despite getting knocked out by Jake Paul ... telling TMZ Sports he plans to fight several times next year.

We talked to the 39-year-old UFC legend at Amalie Arena in Tampa after he was KOd by Paul in the 6th round of their rematch fight ... and asked if he'd hang up his gloves after losing to Jake for the second time, but T-Wood's adamant he'll be back.

"I didn't look like a fighter that was slow. I didn't look like a fighter that didn't have fight in him. I gotta make that choice. I already planned to stay super busy in 2022, and that doesn't change."

We also asked Tyron how he was feeling after the fight.

"I'm good. I'm healthy. Bummed obviously, I didn't wanna lose. I felt like I was winning the fight," Woodley said.

As for his performance in the ring ... Woodley believes he was winning the fight up until he dropped his hands right before the knockout, and it's eating him up.

"One f***ing hand drop. And I'm looking at it, why did I drop my hands? That's driving me crazy."

Woodley -- who looked sharp, especially early on -- was clearly more aggressive this time around ... moving forward for much of the fight.

And, Tyron says you might not just see him in a boxing ring, 'cause he wants to take several different kinds of fights in 2022.

"I just wanna do four different forms of combat sports. One being boxing, at least one time. One MMA, for sure. And just finish out like a winner."

So, bottom line for Tyron Woodley ... he believes he has a lot of fight left.

'Island Boys' Infamous TikTokers Mocked & Doused!!! Jake Paul Fight Crowd Turns

12/18/21
HELL RAISED BY HECKLERS
@bispennn / Twitter

Everyone says they hate the 'Island Boys' -- the Florida twins behind that train wreck of a TikTok "song" -- and it turns out lots of those haters were waiting for the boys in the crowd at Jake Paul's boxing match.

The brothers did NOT get a warm welcome Saturday night in their home state -- as soon as they entered Tampa's Amalie Arena and walked to their ringside seats, the boos started raining down.

Now, we're not saying they had targets on their backs, but Flyysoulja and Kodiyakredd's bleach-blond spiky faux locks make 'em stand out in any crowd -- and after the boos came actual booze. Several objects were hurled their way, including at least one full beer.

We all know, stadium beers ain't cheap ... so you gotta really hate to toss one of those. Then again, we present exhibit A.

Waiting for your permission to load TikTok Post.

The 20-year-old twins dropped their poolside freestyle back in October, which instantly went viral ... and not because people were loving it.

Still, the Island Boys persisted ... cranking out an official music video this month to go with the nonsensical bars they dropped -- and yeah, that's a viral hit too.

While Tyron Woodley was the one who went night-night in the 6th round of the fight, it's pretty clear there are more than a few people in Tampa who'd rather see the IBs knocked out.

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