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Adriano Moraes finaliza, defende cinturão do One FC e diz: “Jiu-Jitsu é primordial do MMA”

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Adriano Moraes finaliza o adversário em foto do One FC

O Brasil continua soberano na categoria dos pesos-mocas do One Championship, com o campeão Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes. O faixa-preta de Ataíde Junior dominou Danny Kingad sem sustos, ainda no primeiro assalto, ao pegar as costas e finalizar no mata-leão. A vitória ocorreu durante o One Championship –Legends of The World, encerrado no último fim de semana, em Manila, nas Filipinas.

Com quatro vitórias seguidas e ótimas apresentações na organização, Adriano comenta como fez para finalizar o jovem Danny, que estava invicto na carreira, e fala sobre seu desempenho.

“Eu sou um atleta do Jiu Jitsu, ali quando está no chão eu me sinto mais à vontade. Ele começou a luta me dando vários chutes na coxa, eu esperei o momento certo pra fazer um contra golpe. Eu usei um direto de encontro do chute dele, e acertei em cheio, levando ele pro chão. Ali só foi esperar o momento, eu ataquei no ground and pound e esperei que meu oponente me desse as posições, e eu rodei pras costas, e ali então eu só fiz a técnica pura da pegada de costas e depois deslizei para o mata leão, graças a Deus deu tudo certo”, diz Moraes, antes de destrinchar sua evolução no MMA e seu estilo de jogo, alternado entre o Jiu-Jitsu e a parte em pé.

“Eu senti que meu jogo veio evoluindo quando eu fiz a minha mudança, e quando eu consegui mixar os dois estilos das duas academias que eu estou representando atualmente, a Constrictor Team e a American Top Team. Eu acredito que quando eu consegui equilibrar esses dois estilos e colocar dentro do cage, colocando no meu estilo de MMA, as duas escolas de potência, eu consegui realmente fazer um jogo bem dinâmico e único, eu acredito que é isso que vem fazendo a diferença, e é claro, sempre ter muita atitude, respeito e dedicação nos meus treinamentos. Acho que isso realmente vem fazendo a diferença”.

Estudioso do Jiu-Jitsu e faixa-preta desde 2015, Adriano carrega a bandeira do esporte popularizado pela família Gracie com honra. Para ele, o Jiu-Jitsu é arma primordial para um atleta de MMA.

“Eu acho que o MMA é o antigo vale tudo, eles nasceram do Jiu-Jitsu. Pra mim, o Jiu-Jitsu é a arte primordial do MMA, eu acredito que o atleta que não tem o Jiu-Jitsu já começa com um ponto a menos no esporte. O Jiu-Jitsu é a arte que fez acontecer o esporte, as outras artes tem que agradecer o Jiu-Jitsu por hoje ter um esporte tão grande como é o MMA, e com certeza a filosofia do Jiu-Jitsu faz a gente caminhar nossa vida mais leve com mais atitude e tranquilidade, isso eu levo pra minha vida, sempre dentro do cage, eu sempre espero estar mostrando o meu Mixed Martial Arts, mas sempre com o Jiu Jitsu envolvido”.

Por agora, Adriano está fazendo um tour pela Ásia para aprimorar suas técnicas e volta a lutar somente a partir de 2018. A seguir, ele detalha os planos.

“O próximo passo é lutar novamente, claro que agora vou ter que esperar um tempinho, mas já estou empolgadão, não me machuquei na última luta, pelo contrário, estou mais motivado ainda para defender meu cinturão de novo. A categoria vem muito movimentada, tem muito moleque duro, e eu tenho que me manter bem preparado pra eu não perder esse cinturão de modo algum e manter o cinturão no Brasil. Já voltei aos treinos devagarinho, e se Deus quiser no começo de 2018 eu vou entrar no cage de novo pra defender o nosso cinturão novamente”, encerra

(Fonte: Assessoria de imprensa)

Bellator 190 lineup set for Italy return; event to air on Spike via tape-delay

MMA Junkie News -

The card for Bellator’s return to Florence, Italy, is set.

Bellator 180 takes place Dec. 9 at Nelson Mandela Forum with a main card that airs at 8 p.m. ET on Spike via tape-delay.

The main event between middleweight champion Rafael Carvalho and Alessio Sakara was announced last month, and now the rest of the lineup is set.

In the co-main event, Brandon Girtz (14-7 MMA, 5-5 MMA) takes on Bellator newcomer Luka Jelcic (10-2 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) in a lightweight bout. Girtz, a Bellator competitor since 2013, will be looking to snap a three-fight losing streak against Jelcic, who brings a four-fight winning streak into the cage.

The other two main-card bouts feature Lena Ovchynnikova (12-4-1 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) vs. Alejandra Lara (6-1 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) at flyweight and Mihail Nica (6-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) vs. Carlos Miranda (10-3 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) at lightweight.

The unbeaten Lara and Miranda, who’s on a four-fight winning streak, will be making their Bellator debuts.

With the additions, Bellator 180’s card includes:

MAIN CARD (8 p.m. ET, SPIKE)

  • Champ Rafael Carvalho vs. Alessio Sakara – for middleweight title
  • Brandon Girtz vs. Luka Jelcic
  • Lena Ovchynnikova vs. Alejandra Lara
  • Mihail Nica vs. Carlos Miranda

PRELIMINARY BOUT

  • Gregory Babene vs. Tony Zanko

For more on Bellator 190, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: Bellator, News

'King Mo': I'm a problem for anyone in Bellator heavyweight grand prix

MMA Junkie News -

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Filed under: Bellator, News, Radio Highlight, Videos

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of Bellator’s eight-man grand prix next year to decide a new heavyweight champion is the inclusion of four fighters who aren’t true heavyweights.

And of those four, perhaps nobody faces a size disadvantage quite like Muhammed Lawal.

RelatedBellator heavyweight grand prix opening odds: TBA favored over 'King Mo,' Sonnen, 'Rampage'

At 5-foot-11 and a little more than 200 pounds, he’s small in comparison to the true heavyweights in the field. Could you imagine seeing “King Mo” vs. Roy Nelson, for instance?

Granted, Lawal has experience fighting in openweight tournaments in Japan and has the occasional heavyweight bout to his credit. That includes a unanimous-decision win earlier this year against Quinton Jackson, himself part of the Bellator grand prix field.

That might explain Lawal’s confidence when he spoke to MMAjunkie Radio about his inclusion in the tournament.

RelatedWho wins Bellator heavyweight grand prix? A primer on the good, the old and the weird

“If you think about it, stylistically I match up bad against all of them,” Lawal said. “I can wrestle. I’m long. Granted, I’m not that tall, but I got a long reach. I’m quicker, and I got a pretty good gas tank. …

“I think I’m going to give all those guys problems. I’ve never been muscle in a fight. It might happen this tournament. Who knows? But I’m going to find a way to make sure that don’t happen. I find ways to keep the fight to my strengths. That’s what I’m going to do.”

To hear more from “King Mo” on the Bellator heavyweight grand prix, check out the video above.

And for more on Bellator’s upcoming schedule, visit the MMA Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: Bellator, News, Radio Highlight, Videos

UFC Fight Night 122 pre-event facts: How legendary is Michael Bisping? Just look at his resume

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

The UFC makes its first stop in mainland China on Saturday with UFC Fight Night 122, which takes place at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai and streams on UFC Fight Pass.

After years of waiting to host an event in a major city in China, the organization brings a card that features a former champion in the main event. Ex-middleweight titleholder Michael Bisping (30-8 MMA, 20-8 UFC) makes a three-week turnaround from losing the title to Georges St-Pierre to take on “The Ultimate Fighter 17” winner Kelvin Gastelum (13-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC) in an important showdown.

There’s not much meat on the bone outside of the headliner, but 10 fighters are scheduled to make their octagon debut on the undercard, seven of which are from China. For more on the numbers behind the UFC’s final November fight card, check below for 50 pre-event facts about UFC Fight Night 122.

* * * *

Main event

Michael Bisping

Bisping, 38, is the oldest of the 24 fighters scheduled to compete at the event.

Bisping competes in his second UFC bout in a 21-day span. He lost the UFC middleweight title to Georges St-Pierre at UFC 217 earlier this month.

Bisping competes in his 29th UFC bout, the most appearances in company history. His 24th UFC middleweight fight also marks a new record for most in divisional history.

Bisping makes his 14th UFC main-event appearance (8-5 in previous headliners). He’s been main or co-main event in 22 of his 29 UFC appearances, including UFC Fight Night 122.

Bisping is the only fighter in UFC history to headline two cards in a one-month span.

Bisping has headlined UFC cards in seven different countries, most in company history.

Bisping’s total cage time of 6:03:03 in UFC competition is second most in company history behind Frankie Edgar (6:27:49). They’re the only two fighters with six-plus hours of octagon time.

Michael Bisping

Bisping’s 20 victories in UFC competition are tied with St-Pierre for most in company history.

Bisping’s 16 victories in UFC middleweight competition are most in divisional history.

Bisping’s 10 knockout victories in UFC competition are tied for fourth most in company history behind Vitor Belfort (12), Anthony Johnson (11) and Anderson Silva (11).

Bisping’s seven knockout victories in UFC middleweight competition are tied for second most in divisional history behind Silva (eight).

Bisping’s seven stoppage victories in UFC middleweight competition are tied for fourth most in divisional history behind Silva (11), Chris Leben (nine) and Nate Marquardt (nine).

Bisping’s 10 decision victories in UFC competition are tied for fourth most in company history behind St-Pierre (12), Diego Sanchez (11) and Gleison Tibau (11).

Bisping has landed 1,560 significant strikes in UFC competition, the most in company history.

Michael Bisping

Bisping is one of three fighters in UFC history to record 100 or more significant strikes in five separate bouts. T.J. Dillashaw and Joanna Jedrzejczyk also accomplished the feat.

Bisping’s 216 leg kicks landed in UFC middleweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Bisping’s five knockdowns landed from the clinch position in UFC competition are the second most in company history behind Silva (seven).

Bisping won the middleweight championship from Luke Rockhold at UFC 199 in his 26th UFC appearance, the latest into a career of any first-time titleholder in company history.

Bisping is one of six European-born champions in UFC history. He’s the only from England.

Bisping’s one of five fighters in UFC history to win “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series and an undisputed UFC title. Forrest Griffin, Rashad Evans, Matt Serra and Carla Esparza also accomplished the feat.

Bisping is the only fighter in UFC history to win “TUF,” a UFC championship and make a successful title defense.

Kelvin Gastelum

Gastelum competes in his fourth career UFC main event. He’s 0-2 (with one no-contest) in previous headliners.

Gastelum is 1-1 (with one no-contest) since he moved up to the UFC middleweight division in December. He’s 3-1 (with one no-contest) in the organization at 185 pounds.

Gastelum has earned nine of his 13 career victories by stoppage.

Gastelum has landed six knockdowns in his past five fights.

Co-main event

Li Jingliang’s (13-4 MMA, 5-2 UFC) three-fight winning streak is the longest of his UFC career.

Jingliang has earned all three of his UFC stoppage victories by knockout.

Zak Ottow (15-4 MMA, 2-1 UFC) has earned his past three victories by decision after stopping his opponent in his first 12 career wins.

Remaining main card

Alex Caceres

Alex Caceres (13-10 MMA, 8-8 UFC) is 3-2 since he returned to the UFC featherweight division in January 2015. However, he’s just 3-5 in his past eight UFC appearances overall.

Caceres is one of three fighters in UFC/WEC bantamweight history to land 100 or more significant strikes in two different fights. Dillashaw and Dominick Cruz also accomplished the feat.

Caceres’ submission of Sergio Pettis at the 4:39 mark of Round 3 at UFC on FOX 10 marked the second latest in a three-round UFC bantamweight fight. Only Bryan Caraway’s victory at the 4:44 mark of Round 3 at UFC 159 occurred later.

Caceres’ 12 submission attempts in UFC bantamweight competition are tied with Dillashaw for most in divisional history.

Wang Guan (16-1-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has earned all 12 of his career stoppage victories as a result of strikes.

Alex Garcia

Alex Garcia (14-4 MMA, 4-3 UFC) has earned 11 of his 14 career victories by stoppage. He’s earned 10 of those finishes in Round 1.

Garcia has completed 20 takedowns in his past six UFC appearances.

Muslim Salikhov (12-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) makes his UFC debut on a 10-fight winning streak. He hasn’t suffered a defeat since December 2012.

Salikhov has earned 11 of his 12 career victories by stoppage. He’s earned 10 of those finishes in Round 1.

Salikhov has earned his past two victories by first-round spinning hook kick knockout.

Preliminary card

Zabit Magomedsharipov (13-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) enters the event on a nine-fight winning streak. He hasn’t suffered a defeat since April 2013.

Magomedsharipov has earned 11 of his 13 career victories by stoppage.

Kenan Song (11-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC) makes his UFC debut following a more than one-year layoff in a loss in his most recent bout at Road FC 34 in November 2016.

Kailin Curran

Kailin Curran (4-5 MMA, 1-5 UFC) competes in her seventh UFC strawweight bout, tied for the second most appearances in divisional history behind Joanna Jedrzejczyk (nine).

Curran’s three-fight losing skid is the longest of her career. She hasn’t earned a victory since December 2015.

Curran’s five UFC losses are tied with Jessica Eye for most of any female in company history.

Xiaonan Yan (7-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) is 4-0 (with one no-contest) since returning from a nearly five-year layoff in July 2015.

Chase Sherman (11-3 MMA, 2-2 UFC) has landed a combined 214 significant strikes in his past two UFC appearances.

Shamil Abdurakhimov (17-4 MMA, 2-2 UFC) has earned his past four victories by decision, the longest stretch of his career without a finish.

Wu Yana (9-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC), 21, is the youngest of the 24 fighters scheduled to compete at the event.

For more on UFC Fight Night 122, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

FightMetric research analyst and live statistics producer Michael Carroll contributed to this story. Follow him on Twitter @MJCflipdascript.

Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) celebrates his first round knockout of Luke Rockhold (not pictured) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) greets Michael Bisping (red gloves) after their fight in UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Michael Bisping (red gloves) reacts after losing to Georges St-Pierre (not pictured) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) celebrates his first round knockout of Luke Rockhold (red) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) celebrates his first round knockout of Luke Rockhold (not pictured) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) celebrates with his wife after his first round knockout of Luke Rockhold (not pictured) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) celebrates his first round knockout of Luke Rockhold (not pictured) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Feb 26, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Michael Bisping during weigh-ins for UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Feb 27, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Michael Bisping reacts after his fight against Anderson Silva during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Feb 27, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Anderson Silva (red gloves) competes against Michael Bisping (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Feb 27, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Anderson Silva (red gloves) competes against Michael Bisping (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Feb 27, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Anderson Silva (red gloves) competes against Michael Bisping (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Feb 27, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Anderson Silva (red gloves) competes against Michael Bisping (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Feb 27, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Anderson Silva (red gloves) competes against Michael Bisping (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Feb 27, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Anderson Silva (red gloves) competes against Michael Bisping (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Feb 26, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Michael Bisping during weigh-ins for UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Jul 18, 2015; Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland; Michael Bisping addresses the crowd after the decision against Thales Leites at The SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 18, 2015; Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland; Michael Bisping lines up a punch against Thales Leites at The SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 18, 2015; Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland; Michael Bisping throws a left kick to Thales Leites at The SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 18, 2015; Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland; Michael Bisping connects with a left to Thales Leites at The SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 18, 2015; Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland; Michael Bisping connects with a left hook to Thales Leites at The SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 18, 2015; Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland; Michael Bisping lines up a shot against Thales Leites at The SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 18, 2015; Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland; Michael Bisping connects with a kick to the chest of Thales Leites at The SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 18, 2015; Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland; Michael Bisping connects with a kick to the head of Thales Leites at The SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 18, 2015; Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland; Michael Bisping lines up a shot against Thales Leites at The SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 18, 2015; Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland; Michael Bisping enters the ring for his bout with Thales Leites at The SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 18, 2015; Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland; Michael Bisping leaves the ring victorious after beating Thales Leites on a split decision at The SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports A referee stops the fight as Cain Velasquez, center, punches Brock Lesnar during a UFC mixed martial arts match in Anaheim, Calif., Saturday, Oct. 23, 2010. Velasquez won by TKO in the first round. (AP Photo/Jae C. 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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

ESPN's '30 for 30' podcast about UFC 1 makes an old story feel new

MMA Junkie News -

It sounds like a tale you already know, or at least think you know: the origin story of the UFC. And chances are you have heard it before, in several different ways and from a variety of sources, but maybe never quite like this.

As much as I enjoy the ESPN “30 for 30” series, I can’t say I had high expectations for the podcast episode “No Rules – The Birth of the UFC.” It just felt like subject matter I was already too familiar with, plus the old-school hardcore fan in me always feels like the more mainstream the media outlet, the more likely they are to screw up something important when it comes to MMA and its history.

Royce Gracie at UFC 1.

I was very pleased to find out how wrong I was this time.

The podcast, produced by Chris Berube of Pineapple Street Media, does an impressive job of telling the story of the UFC’s inception and its first event in a way that feels detailed and comprehensive, but also novel.

Part of it is the medium itself. You’ve probably read stories about the creation of the UFC. Maybe you’ve seen a TV special about UFC 1. But the podcast form gives you this story in a way that’s part vibrant oral history and part historical examination.

When Art Davies talks, you get a sense of his fast-talking huckster charm. And when it’s Rorion Gracie, you want to chuckle slowly at the madness of it all right along with him.

Then there’s sumo wrestler Teila Tuli telling the story of how he saved the event from coming apart at the seams during the pre-fight rules meeting. And if you don’t want to hear about Gerard Gordeau sitting around backstage before the fights started, smoking cigarettes and staring people down, well, I just don’t know what to tell you.

Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock at UFC 1.

Of course, this podcast also includes some familiar characters being exactly who we expect them to be. For instance, are the Gracies going to continue glorifying their brand of jiu-jitsu at every opportunity? Definitely. And is Ken Shamrock still complaining that he would have won if he’d been allowed to wear shoes? You bet he is.

But in all, this manages to be a thorough, engaging look at the inception of a phenomenon that gave way to a sport. No matter how many times you think you’ve heard this story, this podcast will make you feel like you haven’t heard it all.

That’s not easy to do, and it’s worth an hour of your time to enjoy and appreciate it.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, visit the UFC Rumors section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.


Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC

Champ Max Holloway questions Jose Aldo's mindset ahead of UFC 218 rematch

MMA Junkie News -

UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway has some questions about the mindset of Jose Aldo going into their title rematch at UFC 218.

Aldo (26-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC), who challenges Holloway (18-3 MMA, 14-3 UFC) in the main event of the Dec. 2 pay-per-view card at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, is looking to gain revenge after “Blessed” took his belt by third-round TKO at UFC 212 in June.

Aldo said he’s more motivated than ever, mainly because this time he enters the fight as the challenger with everything to gain, and not as the titleholder with everything to lose. Holloway said he takes umbrage to that, though, because Aldo should have had plenty to get up for the first time they shared the octagon.

RelatedJose Aldo: If proven guilty, Anderson Silva's 2nd drug-test failure diminishes legacy 'a lot'

UFC 212 took place in Aldo’s hometown of Rio de Janeiro and saw red-hot Holloway coming in with bold claims that he was going to take the belt in front of the Brazilian fans. That should have been enough to get Aldo’s motivation to its peak, but apparently that wasn’t the case.

“This guy, we fought him in his hometown, he was the champion, and for him to be saying that now he feels way more motivated; fighting for your country and fighting in front of your people for your belt is not enough motivation, what’s going on?” Holloway said on today’s UFC 218 media call. “I’m motivated. The belt is great. You know what comes with the belt? Better payday, pay-per-views and a lot more stuff, but the belt is the belt. A fight is a fight.

“I ain’t trying to go out there and get my butt whooped, my ass whooped in front of billions of people watching at home, thousands of people. That’s not what I’m about. I’m in the hurt business. I’m out there, and I want to win.

RelatedWhy Jose Aldo doesn't fault Conor McGregor for Bellator in-cage melee

“I don’t care who I fight. I could fight this guy 10 times in a row. I’ll be motivated. That’s just what it is. That’s this warrior spirit that I have in myself and this whole belief I have in myself. It doesn’t take much to motivate me. I don’t know why people talk about, ‘It’s hard to get motivation.’ You’re in the wrong business, man. In this business you can get hurt. There’s another guy trying to hurt you seriously in there. This guy’s talking about motivation. It just blows my mind.”

Holloway, No. 1 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA featherweight rankings, has backed up his words with actions in the lead-up to UFC 218. The Hawaiian was originally set to defend against No. 3 Frankie Edgar, but the former lightweight champion suffered an injury and was forced to withdraw on short notice. That allowed Aldo, who was already booked to fight at UFC on FOX 26 in December, the opportunity to step in for his rematch.

There are plenty of previous instances throughout UFC history in which a main-event title fight has fallen apart on short notice and the champion did not remain on the card. Holloway said he intended on fighting at UFC 218 no matter what, though, even if it meant taking a fight against low-ranked opposition or moving up to lightweight.

RelatedUFC champ Max Holloway surprised his mom with a brand new truck

“I don’t care if it’s him; I don’t care who it was,” Holloway said. “I was ready for the next man up. Line them up, and I’m going to knock them down. Too much people depend on, ‘This is what he did in the first fight; this is what he’ll do in the second fight.’ We don’t know what happens. I’m getting ready for the best Jose Aldo in the second fight, just like I did for the first fight. I was getting ready for the best Frankie Edgar, now it’s Aldo.”

It doesn’t take much to get Holloway’s blood boiling to step in the octagon, but he does feel there’s upside to his situation. Aldo suffered just two losses in his opening 12 years as a professional fighter, and now Holloway has the chance to beat one of the sport’s all-time greats twice in six months.

“At the end of the day this is a legacy fight,” Holloway said. “This is huge for legacy. Jose back to back. Nobody ever beat him twice. Me being the greatest featherweight champion is a long journey. This is a step. That was a stepping-stone. I’ve just got to focus. I got to focus on this one first and then I’ve got to get defenses. He’s got six or seven or eight of them.”

For more on UFC 218, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Jose Aldo (red gloves) reacts to fight against Max Hollway (blue gloves) during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; General view of the arena for the fight between Jose Aldo (red gloves) Max Hollway (blue gloves) during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Max Hollway (blue gloves) enters the arena before the fight against Jose Aldo (red gloves) during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Jose Aldo (red gloves) enters the arena before the fight against Max Hollway (blue gloves) during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Jose Aldo (red gloves) and Max Hollway (blue gloves) touch gloves before the fight during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Jose Aldo (red gloves) fights Max Hollway (blue gloves) during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Jose Aldo (red gloves) fights Max Hollway (blue gloves) during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Jose Aldo (red gloves) fights Max Hollway (blue gloves) during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Jose Aldo (red gloves) fights Max Hollway (blue gloves) during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Jose Aldo (red gloves) fights Max Hollway (blue gloves) during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Jose Aldo (red gloves) fights Max Hollway (blue gloves) during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Jose Aldo (red gloves) fights Max Hollway (blue gloves) during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Jose Aldo (red gloves) fights Max Hollway (blue gloves) during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Jose Aldo (red gloves) fights Max Hollway (blue gloves) during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Jose Aldo (red gloves) fights Max Hollway (blue gloves) during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Jose Aldo (red gloves) reacts to fight against Max Hollway (blue gloves) during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Jose Aldo (red gloves) reacts to fight against Max Hollway (blue gloves) during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Jose Aldo (red gloves) reacts to fight against Max Hollway (blue gloves) during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Max Hollway (blue gloves) reacts to victory against Jose Aldo (red gloves) fights during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Max Hollway (blue gloves) reacts to victory against Jose Aldo (red gloves) fights during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/B84CQRWMH4V4dxLzmg3uQL/285931", customAnalytics: true, title: "Holloway def. Aldo", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

John Lineker gets wish, steps in to fight Jimmie Rivera at UFC 219

MMA Junkie News -

Jimmie Rivera has a replacement foe, and John Lineker has the fight he wants.

The bout between top-10 bantamweights has been set for UFC 219, which takes place Dec. 30 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and airs on pay-per-view. ESPN.com cited UFC officials in reporting the booking.

Rivera, No. 5 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA bantamweight rankings, originally was slated to face Dominick Cruz before the ex-champion was forced to withdraw because of injury. But now Rivera (21-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC) gets No. 8 Lineker (30-8 MMA, 11-3 UFC) instead.

After losing his second MMA fight in November 2008, Rivera has rattled off 20 consecutive wins, including five in the UFC. He’s coming off a unanimous decision over Thomas Almeida at UFC on FOX 25 in July.

Lineker ended a 10-month layoff last month with a unanimous-decision win over Marlon Vera at UFC Fight Night 119. The victory put Lineker back on track after a loss to champ T.J. Dillashaw ended a six-fight streak.

Lineker said just days after his win that he’d be on stand-by for the Cruz-Rivera fight and now gets his wish.

With the addition, the latest UFC 219 card includes:

  • Champ Cris Cyborg vs. Holly Holm – for women’s featherweight title
  • Edson Barboza vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov
  • John Lineker vs. Jimmie Rivera
  • Cynthia Calvillo vs. Carla Esparza
  • Matheus Nicolau vs. Louis Smolka
  • Carlos Condit vs. Neil Magny
  • Khalil Rountree vs. Gokhan Saki
  • Rick Glenn vs. Myles Jury
  • Emil Meek vs. Kamaru Usman
  • Marc Diakiese vs. Dan Hooker

For more on UFC 219, visit the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) reacts to fight against Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/jwAuHLk827APNsUmcmwckG/285917", customAnalytics: true, title: "Rivera def. Almeida", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC

CSAC reschedules Jon Jones' steroids hearing for early 2018

MMA Junkie News -

It’ll be a while longer before the California State Athletic Commission decides Jon Jones’ fate.

Jones, whose original hearing for his doping case was set for Dec. 12 in Sacramento, has been granted a continuance, CSAC executive office Andy Foster told MMAjunkie on Tuesday. While Foster was unable to give a specific date for the rescheduled hearing, he said it would occur “early next year” at the commission’s first meeting of 2018. Foster gave late February/early March as a time frame.

Jones (21-1-1 MMA, 15-1-1 UFC) originally was flagged for a potential doping violation Aug. 22 for an out-of-competition sample collected ahead of his UFC 214 title fight with Daniel Cormier. Jones’ B sample also tested positive.

RelatedJon Jones blasts Colby Covington for racism, throws shade after Fabricio Werdum altercation

As a result, the CSAC, which regulated the July 29 headliner at Honda Center in Anaheim, overturned Jones’ TKO win to a no-contest. The UFC, in turn, stripped Jones of the light heavyweight belt and reinstated Cormier as champion.

The failed drug test marked Jones’ second in two years. In 2016, he failed a test at UFC 200, which canceled his title-unifying main event with Cormier. Jones’ explanation was that he took a tainted sexual enhancement pill containing estrogen blockers that work in conjunction with steroids. He used that defense during arbitration with U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which stopped short of declaring him a cheater, though he was still handed a one-year suspension for negligence.

Jones, who had denied knowingly cheating, is headed for arbitration again with USADA. If found guilty this time, he faces up to a four-year ban.

For complete coverage of UFC 214, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC

Jose Aldo: If proven guilty, Anderson Silva's 2nd drug-test failure diminishes legacy 'a lot'

MMA Junkie News -

Jose Aldo has been quick to defend former longtime UFC champion Anderson Silva during many of his career trials and tribulations. He has a difficult time standing by his fellow Brazilian this time, though.

Silva (34-8 MMA, 17-4 UFC), the former UFC middleweight champion, was flagged with a potential doping violation from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency earlier this month, forcing him out of Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 122 headliner in Shanghai. If proven guilty, it would be the second drug-testing infraction of Silva’s career and a critical blow to the legacy of a fighter once argued by many as MMA’s greatest of all time.

Aldo (26-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC), who challenges Max Holloway (18-3 MMA, 14-3 UFC) for the UFC featherweight title Dec. 2 in the UFC 218 main event at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, said he’s trying his hardest to keep an open mind until all the facts are in. However, he can’t help but speculate on how the world will see Silva if the test results are accurate.

RelatedWhat happened to Anderson Silva, and why don't we seem to care?

“Whether you like it or not, it does diminish it a lot,” Aldo told MMAjunkie on Monday at a UFC 218 media day in Rio de Janeiro. “He’s an idol for us. For those who are in the MMA community, not so much, but for the fans, yes (it hurts his legacy). They have a different view. And he got caught twice. If it were once, we could maybe say something. But twice, it could condemn him to that. It could taint a career that, for me, was one of the best.”

Aldo has watched what has happened to Silva, as well as many other high-profile fighters who have failed drug tests during their careers, and taken away serious lessons to apply to himself. “Scarface” has never tested positive for a banned substance in more than 13 years as a professional fighter, and he said it’s because he’s done his due-diligence.

There was a point when Aldo was viewed as perhaps the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world while he was nearly untouchable in the cage for more than 10 years. He wants history to look kindly on his accomplishments and contributions to the sport, and said that’s more difficult to do with fighters who have drug-testing blemishes on their records.

RelatedMichael Bisping: Anderson Silva 'completely destroyed' legacy with second failed drug test

Aldo claims to be a clean athlete, and whether Silva’s incident was a misunderstanding or because of blatant cheating, he said he never wants to be in the same position.

“I think this taints someone’s entire career,” Aldo said. “Many fans and reporters, people in the MMA community, they now say Anderson was the champion because he was doping all along. This really taints someone’s career. So I try to take every precaution and do everything the right way. Before starting a camp, I e-mail (the World Anti-Doping Agency) and USADA saying everything I’m going to take and then, when they say it’s OK, we start. I think that’s a precaution that not just me, but every athlete should take.”

For more on UFC 218, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

What does the UFC offer its next TV partner, and how could it change the fan viewing experience?

MMA Junkie News -

The next phase in the UFC’s plan to ascend to a higher plane of profitability may have hit a snag. According to a report from “Sports Business Journal,” the exclusive negotiating period between the UFC and current TV partner FOX has ended, and the UFC has thus far failed to attract a flood of interest from other potential bidders.

Part of it is the price tag. As outlined in investor documents last summer, the UFC’s new owners are banking on a huge increase in rights fees to help justify the company’s enormous price tag.

The current deal with FOX, which ends in 2018, brings in an average of $120 million a year, with the price jumping to $160 million in the final year.

RelatedWhat investor documents tell us about the UFC's past – and its future

For its next deal? The UFC reportedly wants $450 million per year – a nearly threefold increase of the peak price under the current deal. At present, FOX, according to SBJ, is prepared to make an offer of $200 million a year. Not quite the leap the UFC’s owners at Endeavor were hoping for.

So what does the UFC of the very near future stand to offer a TV partner? And how could the drive for a huge price increase affect the way fans watch UFC fights once the FOX deal expires? Perhaps unsurprisingly, the answers to these two questions could have a lot of overlap.

With the UFC comes tons of content and a very loyal audience

If we’ve learned anything from the UFC’s wandering broadcast positions over the years (hey, remember Versus?), it’s that hardcore fans will follow the UFC wherever it goes.

Seriously, make up a new channel. Call it whatever you want. Put it way out there on the cable TV hinterlands, sandwiched between car shows and the network that only plays ’80s miniseries. MMA fans will grumble about it and mock it relentlessly, but come fight time we’ll find our way there. And if you’re lacking programming, just dig into the UFC’s vault. If there’s an upside to the UFC over-saturation of recent years, it’s the accumulation of hours and hours of content.

All of that is appealing to any broadcast partner trying to draw eyes to a new network or streaming service – or both. Which leads us to the next point…

UFC fans are already accustomed to a variety of viewing platforms

An online stream, a cable TV channel, and a pay-per-view broadcast? That’s a fairly normal Saturday night for an MMA fan, jumping from one platform to the next. The UFC has already gotten its fans used to streaming live content (case in point, Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 122 event from Shanghai), and for the right broadcast partner, that’s a big boost.

Maybe that explains why Turner Sports is said to be one of the more interested parties so far. Turner is a subsidiary of Time Warner, which is at the center of a suddenly troubled merger with AT&T. If the merger goes through, as the Sports Business Journal report notes, the new company “could let DirecTV handle the UFC’s pay-per-view, AT&T oversee UFC’s mobile apps, and Turner use UFC content on its channels and (over-the-top) platform.”

The big problem there is the Justice Department’s lawsuit to block the merger. Critics say it’s a sharp shift in antitrust policy from the U.S. government, and point to President Donald Trump’s frequent criticism of CNN, which Time Warner also owns, as the real explanation for the pushback.

The uncertainty over that merger may take a key player out of UFC negotiations, at least for a while. If AT&T has to sell DirecTV, or Time Warner has to unload Turner in order to get approval, suddenly the ability to leverage the UFC across multiple platforms might seem less attractive.

But what, exactly, would you get if you spend hundreds of millions on UFC broadcast rights?

Here’s where it gets really tricky. The UFC has the power to draw many millions of viewers with the right offering, but there are several tiers to UFC programming, and just because you pay for TV rights doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get the good stuff.

Look at the FOX deal. Events on the big FOX network started with a UFC heavyweight title fight that drew nearly 9 million viewers, but the quality of the cards soon dipped and ratings fell with it. The most recent UFC on FOX event, in July, drew some of the lowest ratings in series history. And while the UFC Fight Night events on FS1 are far more frequent, they clearly don’t represent the best content the UFC has to offer.

As of now, the UFC still relies heavily on pay-per-view, which is the company’s single-biggest driver of revenue. The investor pitch didn’t call for a new TV rights deal that would replace that revenue, but rather add to it. That makes you think that the UFC has no plans of putting its few reliable pay-per-view draws on regular old TV, so why would a network spend $450 million a year just to get the UFC’s leftovers?

Earlier reports have suggested that a new deal might have to come with a share in pay-per-view revenues, or at least more of a say in which bouts go where. That could be good news for fans who are feeling the financial strain of buying all those pay-per-views, and it could also help the UFC’s growth if its best and most interesting fighters get seen by more potential fans.

The problem is finding the right deal that makes the best use of all that the UFC has to offer – and for the exorbitant price Endeavor is asking.

As you may recall, one of the justifications for the huge bump in price was the lack of other available sports properties up for grabs in the next few years. In other words, UFC owners were expecting a lot of competition among networks, and with more bidders and fewer items up for sale, they expected prices to skyrocket.

So far, however, it doesn’t seem like the bids are flowing quite as expected. If that doesn’t change it might mean it’s time to adjust the price – or the offer that goes along with it.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Champ Daniel Cormier to 'go to the next guy' if Volkan Oezdemir's legal woes scrap UFC title fight

MMA Junkie News -

UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier is no stranger to other fighters’ outside-the-cage troubles hindering his own fight schedule, and his current situation is no different.

Cormier (19-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) reportedly planned to put his 205-pound title on the line against Volkan Oezdemir (15-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) at January’s UFC 220 event in Boston. However, the matchup could be in jeopardy after the challenger was recently arrested and charged for an alleged battery that took place in a Florida bar in August.

RelatedVolkan Oezdemir's alleged battery victim claims being knocked unconscious

It’s still unknown exactly what type of ramifications Oezdemir could face for the alleged incident, but it seems likely that sharing the octagon with Cormier has dropped down on his list of priorities. If he’s unable to fight soon, the reigning champ said he’s ready for the next man up, whether it’s Alexander Gustafsson (18-4 MMA, 10-4 UFC), Ovince Saint Preux (22-10 MMA, 10-5 UFC) or another challenger.

“Of course I’d fight any of these guys; it doesn’t matter,” Cormier told the “Anik and Florian Podcast.” “(Oezdemir is) on the longest win streak in the division, so he was getting the title shot, but if this trouble is going to keep him out of that opportunity, I’ll just go to the next guy.

“Of course I’d fight Gustafsson,” Cormier continued. “Someone told me yesterday that Team Ovince Saint Preux was like, ‘We want a title fight because we’ve got a good winning streak too.’ Whoever is winning gets the title shot, that’s just the way it is. I don’t care who it is.”

Oezdemir, No. 7 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA light heavyweight rankings, was widely viewed as the most legitimate contender to No. 2-ranked Cormier due to his three-fight winning streak that includes first-round knockout wins over Misha Cirkunovm and Jimi Manuwa. Going down the list, though, the remaining options don’t have quite the same appeal.

RelatedVolkan Oezdemir's attempt to troll UFC champ Daniel Cormier kind of backfired

No. 5-ranked Gustafsson is on a two-fight winning streak, but before that, he suffered a title loss to Cormier at UFC 192 in October 2015, albeit by narrow split decision. A rematch does carry some appeal, and likely more than a clash with No. 10-ranked Saint Preux, who’s currently booked to fight Ilir Latifi at UFC on FOX 27 in January.

Regardless of what happens, Cormier said he will be prepared to defend his title early next year.

“It’s tough to be going through this type of thing, especially at this time when you’re on the cusp of your biggest moment in your career,” Cormier said of Oezdemir’s situation. “I don’t know what happened. You’ve got to not be doing things that are wrong or put yourself in these situations where stuff can go sideways. You’ve got to try to stay out of those positions. Maybe it was self-defense, but because of who he is then it’s much worse because he has the ability to sleep dudes that are trying to hit him. You never know what’s happening, but even just these run-ins, they’re really unneeded, especially when you’re a young guy as Volkan is and you’re on the cusp of something so big for the first time in your career.”

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

May 28, 2017; Stockholm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden; Volkan Oezdemir (red gloves) reacts after defeating Misha Cirkunov (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ericsson Globe. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Feb 4, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Ovince Saint Preux (red gloves) fights Volkan Oezdemir (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Feb 4, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Ovince Saint Preux (red gloves) fights Volkan Oezdemir (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Feb 4, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Ovince Saint Preux (red gloves) fights Volkan Oezdemir (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Feb 4, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Ovince Saint Preux (red gloves) fights Volkan Oezdemir (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Feb 4, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Ovince Saint Preux (red gloves) fights Volkan Oezdemir (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Feb 4, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Volkan Oezdemir (blue gloves) defeats Ovince Saint Preux (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 28, 2017; Stockholm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden; Volkan Oezdemir (red gloves) reacts before his both against Misha Cirkunov (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Ericsson Globe. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports May 28, 2017; Stockholm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden; Volkan Oezdemir (red gloves) fights Misha Cirkunov (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ericsson Globe. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports May 28, 2017; Stockholm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden; Volkan Oezdemir (red gloves) fights Misha Cirkunov (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ericsson Globe. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports May 28, 2017; Stockholm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden; Volkan Oezdemir (red gloves) reacts after defeating Misha Cirkunov (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ericsson Globe. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports May 28, 2017; Stockholm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden; Volkan Oezdemir (red gloves) reacts after defeating Misha Cirkunov (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Ericsson Globe. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports May 28, 2017; Stockholm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden; Volkan Oezdemir (red gloves) reacts after defeating Misha Cirkunov (right) during UFC Fight Night at Ericsson Globe. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/HEBcogVsJo8qj8t4c4FpL7/285883", customAnalytics: true, title: "Volkan Oezdemir", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC

'No excuses' for Will Brooks after Nik Lentz loss dropped him to 'not acceptable' 1-3 in UFC

MMA Junkie News -

Will Brooks is still holding his head high despite going through the most challenging period of his career.

The former Bellator lightweight champion has hit hard times since joining the UFC in July 2016. After winning his debut, Brooks (18-4 MMA, 1-3 UFC) suffered his third straight loss this past weekend after succumbing to a second-round submission to Nik Lentz (28-8-2 MMA, 12-5-1 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 121 in Sydney.

RelatedUFC Fight Night 121 video highlights: Nik Lentz submits Will Brooks

When he signed with the UFC, Brooks was on a eight-fight winning streak and ranked No. 11 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA lightweight rankings. Now he’s on an ugly skid, and though it’s a tough turn of events, Brooks isn’t hitting the panic button yet, nor is he making any excuses for faltering against Lentz (via Twitter):

No excuses. I was very focused and sharp… I got greedy and paid for it.

— Will Brooks (@ILLxWillBrooks) November 19, 2017

Thank you. #peaceandblessings pic.twitter.com/FxBWBstT2u

— Will Brooks (@ILLxWillBrooks) November 19, 2017

Although Brooks seemingly had the upper-hand in the bout with former American Top Team teammate Lentz, he made a careless mistake that resulted in him being caught in a tight guillotine choke. The 31-year-old has been stopped inside the distance in all of the losses during his skid, but he’s apparently still undeterred.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 121, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Nik Lentz reacts following his victory by submission against Will Brooks during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Nik Lentz moves in with a hit as Will Brooks defends during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Nik Lentz lands a hit against Will Brooks during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Nik Lentz moves in with a kick against Will Brooks during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Nik Lentz moves in with a hit as Will Brooks counter hits during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Will Brooks moves in with a hit as Nik Lentz defends during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Nik Lentz applies a hold against Will Brooks during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Nik Lentz puts Will Brooks in a hold during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Nik Lentz applies a hold against Will Brooks during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Nik Lentz applies a hold against Will Brooks during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Nik Lentz reacts following his match against Will Brooks during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Nik Lentz reacts following his victory by submission against Will Brooks during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/wzxZGNvdcWY5Ax2JtDXfTf/285867", customAnalytics: true, title: "Lentz def. Brooks", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC

Georges St-Pierre: 'My entourage told me it was a bad idea' to fight Michael Bisping at UFC 217

MMA Junkie News -

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

Georges St-Pierre admits there was some conflict within his team regarding whether it was wise to make his return from a four-year layoff to challenge Michael Bisping for the middleweight title at UFC 217. As we now know, though, his decision paid off.

St-Pierre (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC), a former longtime welterweight champ, moved up a weight class to challenge then-champ Bisping (30-8 MMA, 20-8 UFC) for the 185-pound title earlier this month at UFC 217 in New York. “Rush” emerged with the gold via third-round submission, proving wrong his naysayers, some of whom came from his own camp.

St-Pierre’s longtime training partner Rory MacDonald said he would have advised a different comeback plan. The French-Canadian’s longtime mentor Kristof Midoux publicly criticized his preparedness for the bout, and even grappling coach John Danaher admitted to having some doubts along the way.

RelatedWatch Montreal Canadiens fans give UFC champ Georges St-Pierre a rousing ovation

Despite all that, St-Pierre claimed the belt from Bisping with a solid performance, which made him just the fourth fighter in UFC history to win belts in two weight classes. That historic moment is what St-Pierre was pursuing for his comeback, and he said he relishes his accomplishment even more after what he was forced to overcome.

“What I’ve done, it’s never going to be taken away from me,” St-Pierre told MMAjunkie at a media appearance following UFC 217. “It’s something I will keep for the rest of my life. Maybe one day I will go through some negative thing in my life. I will be able to think back about that moment, and it will make me smile. That’s what it is what people don’t understand. I do this to live a moment. (UFC 217), I lived a moment.

“I feel very privileged to live that moment. It was a big risk, but bigger the risk, bigger the reward. Even though a lot of people in my entourage told me it was a bad idea, I always trusted my myself and I always believed I was able to do it, and I did it and I’m very proud.”

In the wake of his legendary win, which took place Nov. 4 at Madison Square Garden and aired on pay-per-view, St-Pierre said he was going on vacation before resuming business and deciding what’s next. He’s contractually obligated to meet interim middleweight champ Robert Whittaker (19-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC) in a title-unification bout, but he also knows that could change at any time, so he left the door open for a return to welterweight.

RelatedWill Georges St-Pierre vs. Robert Whittaker title-unifier headline UFC 221 in Perth?

St-Pierre also hinted that there’s no guarantee he actually fights again. At 36, he has only so many prime years left, and one of his biggest fears is to stick around the octagon beyond his expiration date.

For St-Pierre, the way he ends his career is just as important to his legacy as everything else he does along the way. He said that’s something he keeps in mind as he plots out his next move.

“The goal in this game is to retire on top, to not leave too late like a lot of guys like Muhammad Ali,” St-Pierre said. “They made the mistake of believing they were on top, but when you start to get a little bit greedy thinking that you’re special – we’re all human beings, and nobody is invisible. There’s no such thing as being the strongest man. When I was young, I wanted to do MMA because I wanted to be the strongest man. There’s no such thing. I realize now. Everybody can beat everybody on any given day.”

For complete coverage of UFC 217, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) defeats Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) defeats Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) defeats Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Michael Bisping (red gloves) reacts after losing to Georges St-Pierre (not pictured) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) greets Michael Bisping (red gloves) after their fight in UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) greets Michael Bisping (red gloves) after their fight in UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) greets Michael Bisping (red gloves) after their fight in UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/t2pBbXqn6WUG8Z2WigLLpQ/285861", customAnalytics: true, title: "St-Pierre def. Bisping", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with Edson Barboza, Paul Felder and Joe Soto

MMA Junkie News -


Filed under: News, UFC

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Edson Barboza, Paul Felder and Joe Soto.

Barboza fights Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 219 on Dec. 30, Felder meets Charles Oliveira at UFC 218 on Dec. 2, and Soto takes on Brett Johns at The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale on Dec. 1

MMAjunkie Radio airs from 1 to 3 p.m. ET (10 a.m. to noon PT), live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. You can watch and listen live on MMAjunkie’s Facebook and YouTube pages. Additionally, SiriusXM Rush (Ch. 93) carries a replay later in the day (8-10 p.m. ET) and the following morning (7-9 a.m. ET), or catch a replay on demand.

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

  • HOW TO WATCH (ON WEB): Watch a live stream on MMAjunkie’s Facebook or YouTube pages.
  • HOW TO CALL: MMAjunkie Radio takes phone calls from listeners throughout the show. Call into the MMAjunkie Radio hotline at (866) 522-2846.
  • HOW TO DISCUSS: The MMAjunkie MMA Forums has a section devoted solely to MMAjunkie Radio. Stop by the MMAjunkie Radio forum to discuss the show, interact with the hosts, suggest future guests and catch up on the latest MMAjunkie Radio news.
  • HOW TO VISIT THE SHOW: You can watch MMAjunkie Radio live and in person at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The booth is located in the resort’s Race & Sports Book next to the Mandalay Bay poker room. To plan a trip to Sin City and MMAjunkie Radio, go to www.mandalaybay.com.

Filed under: News, UFC

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2569 with Justin Gaethje, Ali Abdelaziz, Andrew Simon

MMA Junkie News -

Stream or download Monday’s episode of MMAjunkie Radio with guests Justin Gaethje, Ali Abdelaziz and Andrew Simon.

Gaethje stopped by to talk about coaching “The Ultimate Fighter 26,” as well his fight with Eddie Alvarez on Dec. 2 at UFC 218. Manager Abdelaziz dished on his stable of fighters, including Fabricio Werdum, Cody Garbrandt, Kamaru Usman, and Gaethje. Simon, CEO of AXS TV, co-hosted the entire episode in-studio.

You can listen below or stream the entire episode on AudioBoom.com.


Filed under: News, Radio, UFC

Before UFC-Shanghai, watch Michael Bisping's 2014 bout with Cung Le

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

Before the UFC set its debut in mainland China for this coming weekend, the organization visited Macau, where Michael Bisping headlined against Cung Le in 2014.

The middleweight fight, which was part of UFC Fight Night 48 at CotaiArena in China’s special administrative region, saw Le – a former Strikeforce champion and Sanshou kickboxer – as the crowd favorite over the U.K.’s Bisping.

However, the scheduled five-rounder ultimately resulted in a “Performance of the Night” bonus and a big victory for Bisping, who was in for a grueling night of work.

Check out the full fight above.

RelatedBisping sees 'win-win' in UFC-Shanghai meeting with Gastelum – who isn't mad, either

And catch former middleweight champ Bisping (30-8 MMA, 20-8 UFC) back in action on Saturday, when he makes a 21-day turnaround to fight Kelvin Gastelum (13-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC) in UFC Fight Night 122’s headliner. The event takes place Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai and streams on UFC Fight Pass.

For more on UFC Fight Night 122, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) reacts after winning his fight against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) enters the arena before his fight against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) cut under his left eye during his fight against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) in the UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) fights against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) cut under his left eye during his fight against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) in the UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) bleeds from a cut during his fight against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) in the UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) enters the octagon before his fight against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) celebrates his first round knockout of Luke Rockhold (red) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) fights Luke Rockhold (red) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) fights Luke Rockhold (red) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) celebrates his first round knockout of Luke Rockhold (not pictured) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) celebrates with his wife after his first round knockout of Luke Rockhold (not pictured) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Feb 27, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Anderson Silva (red gloves) competes against Michael Bisping (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Feb 27, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Anderson Silva (red gloves) competes against Michael Bisping (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Feb 27, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Michael Bisping reacts after his fight against Anderson Silva during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/mCWH6kigogSDYNhSJ5YG4T/285725", customAnalytics: true, title: "Michael Bisping", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

Ex-champ Matt Hughes says busy UFC schedule 'too commercial' these days

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Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC

Former and longtime UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes looks back on his fighting days as the “golden age” of the sport.

These days, though, the UFC’s busy schedule is “too commercial,” he said, and makes each event feel a little less special.

Hughes discussed current-day MMA while a guest on “Undeniable with Joe Buck.” The segment for the DirecTV and AUDIENCE Network interview show (debuts Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET/PT) was filmed in March – a few months before a horrific truck-train collision left Hughes in a medically induced coma and fighting for his life.

RelatedHospital honors nurses who cared for UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes after train accident

The 44-year-old UFC Hall of Famer, who’s one of MMA’s all-time greats, is still on the mend as part of a remarkable recovery, but prior to the accident, he spoke to Buck about his career. It spanned from 1998-2011 – from UFC 22 to UFC 135 – and according to Hughes, it was a special time for the sport.

“I think it’s too commercial,” Hughes said of modern-day UFC. “They’ve got fights darn near every week (on) one of the three channels they’re on, and I think it’s too commercial. I am so happy that timing worked out for me where I fought when I did. I really think that I fought in the golden ages.

“I started at UFC 22, and I don’t even know what my last one was – around (UFC) 110 or 115 or something – but I think I was in the golden ages. It was when people got together to watch the UFC. It wasn’t – because they’re so often now.”

The year Hughes (45-9 MMA, 18-7 UFC) made his promotional debut – 1999 – saw the UFC host just six events all year. The first year he won a title – 2001 – the UFC hosted five shows.

This year, though? Between pay-per-view, FS1/FS2, FOX and UFC Fight Pass, the organization is hosting 39 events across the globe, including a debut in mainland China with Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 122 lineup in Shanghai.

“They’re just not as special,” Hughes said.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

Mar 15, 2013; Montreal, Quebec, Canada;former UFC fighter Matt Hughes speaks to the fans during the weight-in for UFC 158 at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports Aug. 6, 2010; Oakland, CA, USA; UFC welterweight bout fighter Matt Hughes during weigh ins for UFC 117 at the Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug. 6, 2010; Oakland, CA, USA; UFC welterweight bout fighter Matt Hughes (left) stands face to face with Ricardo Almeida during weigh ins for UFC 117 at the Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug. 7, 2010; Oakland, CA, USA; UFC fighter Ricardo Almeida (left) against Matt Hughes (right) during the welterweight bout in UFC 117 at the Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug. 7, 2010; Oakland, CA, USA; UFC fighter Matt Hughes during the welterweight bout in UFC 117 at the Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug. 7, 2010; Oakland, CA, USA; UFC fighter Matt Hughes (left) against Ricardo Almeida (right) during the welterweight bout in UFC 117 at the Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug. 7, 2010; Oakland, CA, USA; UFC fighter Matt Hughes (black shorts) against Ricardo Almeida (green shorts) during the welterweight bout in UFC 117 at the Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug. 7, 2010; Oakland, CA, USA; UFC fighter Matt Hughes speaks following UFC 117 at the Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Dec 5, 2014; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Former UFC champion Matt Hughes looks on prior to the UFC 181 weigh-ins at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Dec 5, 2014; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Former UFC champion Matt Hughes looks on prior to the UFC 181 weigh-ins at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/BWkxrCByaCiR6rPjWEsrYf/285858", customAnalytics: true, title: "Matt Hughes", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC

Volunteer list grows: UFC vet Shane Carwin interested in Bellator grand prix

MMA Junkie News -

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Filed under: Bellator, News, UFC

Former UFC interim heavyweight champion Shane Carwin, who’s previously flirted with the idea of an MMA return, is apparently interested again.

Carwin, 42, hasn’t fought since back-to-back losses to then-UFC champ Brock Lesnar (title loss) and Junior Dos Santos (in a title-eliminator) in 2011.

But after what would be a seven-year layoff, Carwin said he’s interested in an alternate slot in the Bellator’s upcoming eight-man heavyweight tournament, if needed (via Facebook and Twitter):

I emailed my friend @rich_chou a request to get on as an Alternate for this amazing @BellatorMMA tournament. I really can't wait to watch it either way but I am so pumped up for it I had to get my name on a list. I'd love a real title. #Bellator pic.twitter.com/jiysk6sBVb

— Shane Carwin (@ShaneCarwin) November 21, 2017

Carwin actually had first mentioned the possibility of entering the Bellator MMA World Grand Prix 2018, which will crown a heavyweight champion, on Reddit, where he’s an active user.

When Reddit linked up an MMAjunkie story about the opening odds for the tournament – in which “TBA” has better odds than three confirmed participants – Carwin expressed interest:

“Nope, I am putting 10K on TBA and I am trying to become TBA.
edit: So shit, management says I can bet on TBA but not be TBA. Or I can be TBA and not bet on the event. I have been put on time out.”

However, Carwin isn’t the only vet to express interest in a reserve or injury-replacement spot in the tourney, which is a year-long affair that takes place over multiple events. As we reported on Monday, light heavyweight Linton Vassell (18-6 MMA, 7-3 BMMA) and even welterweight Rory MacDonald (19-4 MMA, 1-0 BMA) are also interested.

However, in a tourney that currently features four true heavyweights (Matt Mitrione, Fedor Emelianenko, Roy Nelson and Frank Mir) and four 205-pounders (Ryan Bader, Muhammad Lawal, Chael Sonnen and Quinton Jackson), Carwin would bring some noticeable size to the field.

Carwin, a former collegiate wrestler and football player, was tapped for a 2016 return to MMA with Rizin FF, but he ultimately had to pull out due to personal issues.

For more on the upcoming Bellator schedule, visit the MMA Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: Bellator, News, UFC

'Jacare' and Derek Brunson agree to rematch, but then things get complicated

MMA Junkie News -

Apr 15, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Ronaldo Souza (Red Gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (Blue Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Apr 15, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Ronaldo Souza (Red Gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (Blue Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Apr 15, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Ronaldo Souza (red) and Robert Whittaker (blue) fight during UFC Fight Night at the Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Apr 15, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Ronaldo Souza (red) and Robert Whittaker (blue) fight during UFC Fight Night at the Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports May 14, 2016; Curitiba, Brazil; Ronaldo Souza walks to the ring for his fight against Vitor Belfort during UFC Fight Night at Arena Atletico Paranaense. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 14, 2016; Curitiba, Brazil; Ronaldo Souza awaits the start of his fight against Vitor Belfort (blue) during UFC Fight Night at Arena Atletico Paranaense. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 14, 2016; Curitiba, Brazil; Ronaldo Souza (red, top) throws punches down on Vitor Belfort (blue) during UFC Fight Night at Arena Atletico Paranaense. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 14, 2016; Curitiba, Brazil; Ronaldo Souza (red, top) throws punches down on Vitor Belfort (blue) during UFC Fight Night at Arena Atletico Paranaense. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Ronaldo Souza fights against Yoel Romero during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Ronaldo Souza lands punches against Yoel Romero during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero moves in on against Ronaldo Souza during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Apr 18, 2015; Newark, NJ, USA; Ronaldo Souza (red) and Chris Camozzi (blue) fight during UFC Fight Night at Prudential Center. Souza won via first round tap out. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Apr 18, 2015; Newark, NJ, USA; Ronaldo Souza (red) and Chris Camozzi (blue) fight during UFC Fight Night at Prudential Center. Souza won via first round tap out. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Apr 18, 2015; Newark, NJ, USA; Ronaldo Souza (red) has his hand raised after defeating Chris Camozzi (blue) during UFC Fight Night at Prudential Center. Souza won via first round tap out. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Feb 15, 2014; Jaragua do Sul, SC, Brazil; Ronaldo Souza (red gloves) after defeating Francis Carmont (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night Machida vs Mousasi at Arena Jaragua. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/E8tZJn4pNhhvPSckYqBJNY/285852", customAnalytics: true, title: "Ronaldo Souza", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Ronaldo Souza and Derek Brunson have apparently agreed to a fight; when it’ll happen remains a point of contention, though.

On Monday, the two UFC middleweights, who previously fought under the Strikeforce banner, discussed the potential rematch on Twitter, though the date and location appear unresolved.

According to “Jacare” (24-5 MMA, 7-2 UFC), who’s No. 6 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middleweight rankings, he accepted the fight with No. 11-ranked Brunson (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC) for UFC Fight Night 125, which takes place Feb. 3 at Mangueirinho Gymnasium in the Brazilian city of Belem (via Twitter):

UFC offered me Derek Brunson to fight on February 3rd at UFC FN 125, Belem do Para, Brazil. I already agreed to fight on Belem do Para, Brazil, now is up to Derek Brunson, I hope he doesn't come up with escuses about the location and date of event. @ufc

— Ronaldo Jacaré (@JacareMMA) November 20, 2017

However, according to Brunson, he accepted the bout for UFC on FOX 27, which takes place Jan. 27 at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C. (via Twitter):

That’s weird . I accepted for Jan 27 in Charlotte, NC. I’ll be in touch after this weekend’s fight! See you in NC. https://t.co/IrA88q4kEu

— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) November 20, 2017

As Brunson was quick to retweet, three of his past four bouts have taken place outside of the U.S. (Australia, New Zealand and Brazil), so the North Carolina native would surely enjoy a fight in his home state.

Brunson, who’s coming off back-to-back knockout wins over Daniel Kelly and ex-champ Lyoto Machida (with a narrow and somewhat controversial decision loss to Anderson Silva before that), would actually be looking for redemption against Souza. The two 185-pounders fought in 2012 under the Strikeforce banner, where “Jacare” picked up a 41-second knockout win.

Brunson’s career seemed to turn a corner after that loss, and he continued fighting top names; the 33-year-old is 9-3 since then.

Souza, meanwhile, was on a 10-1 run that followed the loss of his Strikeforce belt to Luke Rockhold in 2011. However, in his most recent fight, the 37-year-old Brazilian suffered a TKO loss to now-interim champ Robert Whittaker in April.

For more on UFC Fight Night 125 and UFC on FOX 27, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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