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Go inside Georges St-Pierre's return and 3 title fights in UFC 217 extended preview


Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

When the UFC descends on New York City for the second straight November, there once again will be three titles on the line.

In the UFC 217 main event next month, Georges St-Pierre (25-2 MMA, 19-2 UFC) returns to the octagon after a four-year layoff to challenge champ Michael Bisping (30-7 MMA, 20-7 UFC) for the UFC middleweight title. St-Pierre was a longtime welterweight champ before he walked away from the sport, and now will attempt to become just the fourth two-division champ in the UFC’s history.

In the co-main event, there is bad blood all over the place when bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt (11-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) meets former teammate T.J. Dillashaw (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC). The two coached opposite each other on Season 25 of “The Ultimate Fighter” and were supposed to meet over the summer until a Garbrandt surgery delayed things.

And also on the main card, strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk (14-0 MMA, 8-0 UFC) will defend her title against Rose Namajunas (6-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC). With a win, Jedrzejczyk will hold the record for most title wins by a UFC women’s fighter.

The way Kevin Lee sees it, destiny placed him opposite Tony Ferguson.

“Me and Tony were bound to fight, whether it was going to be headlining at T-Mobile Arena for a world championship, or if it was going to be in my backyard,” Lee said in an extended preview for UFC 216.

UFC 217 takes place Nov. 4 at Madison Square Garden in New York City and airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass. It will be the UFC’s second show at MSG following the historic UFC 205 in November 2016.

In the extended video preview above, go inside the three title fights atop the card in New York City.

And for more on UFC 217, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Feb 15, 2014; Jaragua do Sul, SC, Brazil; Georges St-Pierre before a fight between Ronaldo Souza (red gloves) and Francis Carmont (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night Machida vs Mousasi at Arena Jaragua. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Nov 16, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Georges St-Pierre is interviewed by Joe Rogan after his welterweight championship bout against Johny Hendricks during UFC 167 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Nov 16, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Georges St-Pierre is interviewed by Joe Rogan after his welterweight championship bout against Johny Hendricks during UFC 167 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Nov 16, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Georges St-Pierre (red gloves) consoles Johny Hendricks after their welterweight championship bout during UFC 167 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Nov 16, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Georges St-Pierre (red gloves) and Johny Hendricks (blue gloves) hug after their welterweight championship bout during UFC 167 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Nov 16, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Georges St-Pierre (red gloves) fights against Johny Hendricks (blue gloves) in their welterweight championship bout during UFC 167 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Nov 16, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Georges St-Pierre (red gloves) fights against Johny Hendricks (blue gloves) in their welterweight championship bout during UFC 167 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Nov 16, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Georges St-Pierre (red gloves) fights against Johny Hendricks (blue gloves) in their welterweight championship bout during UFC 167 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Nov 16, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Georges St-Pierre (red gloves) fights against Johny Hendricks (blue gloves) in their welterweight championship bout during UFC 167 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Nov 16, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Georges St-Pierre (red gloves) fights against Johny Hendricks (blue gloves) in their welterweight championship bout during UFC 167 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Nov 16, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Georges St-Pierre (red gloves) fights against Johny Hendricks (blue gloves) in their welterweight championship bout during UFC 167 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Nov 16, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Georges St-Pierre (red gloves) fights against Johny Hendricks (blue gloves) in their welterweight championship bout during UFC 167 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Nov 16, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Georges St-Pierre (red gloves) fights against Johny Hendricks (blue gloves) in their welterweight championship bout during UFC 167 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Nov 15, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC welterweight challenger Georges St-Pierre participates in the official weigh-in for UFC 167 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Sep 21, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Georges St-Pierre the training partner of Francis Carmont (not pictured) yells instructions as he fights Costa Philippou (not pictured) during their Middleweight bout at UFC 165 at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Mar 13, 2013; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; UFC World champion Georges St-Pierre reacts before the game of Montreal Canadiens against Ottawa Senators at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports Nov 17, 2012; Montreal, QC, Canada; Georges St-Pierre (on top) goes after Carlos Condit during their Welterweight title bout at UFC 154 at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Nov 17, 2012; Montreal, QC, Canada; Georges St-Pierre throws a kick at Carlos Condit during their Welterweight title bout at UFC 154 at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Nov 17, 2012; Montreal, QC, Canada; Georges St-Pierre attacks Carlos Condit during their Welterweight title bout at UFC 154 at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Nov 17, 2012; Montreal, QC, Canada; Georges St-Pierre is interviewed after defeating Carlos Condit (not pictured) during their Welterweight title bout at UFC 154 at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-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/PtNGmFHiA2fYqWNhGRTxEM/277471", customAnalytics: true, title: "Georges St-Pierre", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

Mackenzie Dern just as curious as you are for how she'll fare at flyweight at LFA 24

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Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News, Videos

After fighting at strawweight for her first three MMA bouts, Mackenzie Dern is hoping a change to flyweight will make life a little easier.

The weight cuts to get to 115 pounds weren’t fun for Dern (3-0), a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and world-champion MMA grappler. She failed to make weight for her past two wins in Legacy FC and LFA. But tonight, at LFA 24, Dern gives 125 pounds a try against Mandy Polk (3-3).

LFA 24 takes place tonight at Comerica Theatre in Phoenix. The main card airs on AXS TV.

RelatedVideo: Ahead of Friday's LFA 24, watch top prospect Mackenzie Dern in action

Apart from the easier weight cut, Dern said she’s just as curious as anyone how she’ll fare in the new division.

“It’s hard for me to say what I’m going to improve on now,” Dern told former UFC women’s bantamweight title challenger Cat Zingano ahead of the fight. “But I think just that it’s a new (weight class), that’s going to be a good test for me – if I try to stay at 125, or if I try to do the sacrifice to go back to 115. It’s going to be a surprise for me, too, how I feel my opponent is – if I feel she’s stronger than me, or if I feel good here. It’s going to be a surprise for me, just like everyone else.”

Polk is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu purple belt who’s an RFA vet and IFBB professional fitness competitor. The 32-year-old made her pro MMA debut in 2014. The high-school wrestling coach was on a three-fight winning streak before a December loss to Katy Collins at RFA 46.

“From what I know about her, she’s a wrestler,” Dern said. “I’m a jiu-jitsu girl, so for me to be on the ground is OK. I imagine she probably wants to be on top and ground-and-pound.”

To hear more from Dern with Zingano, check out the video above.

And for more on LFA 24, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News, Videos

Jake Matthews announces return to welterweight for fight vs. Bojan Velickovic at UFC-Sydney

Jake Matthews will fight in front of his home fans again, and he’ll do so in his original weight class.

Matthews (10-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) will move back up to welterweight to fight Bojan Velickovic (15-5-1 MMA, 2-2-1 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 121 next month. The Australian announced his move from lightweight and the fight booking to Australia’s Herald Sun. The UFC has not yet made a formal announcement of the booking.

UFC Fight Night 121 takes place Nov. 18 at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney. The event airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Matthews started his career at welterweight for his first six fights, all of which came in his native Australia. But he dropped to lightweight for an opportunity to sign with the UFC, where he won four of his first five fights with the promotion – all by stoppage.

But in July 2016 at the TUF 23 Finale, he was stopped with a first-round TKO by Kevin Lee, and later that year, in November, he dropped a split decision to Andrew Holbrook, who was the biggest underdog at UFC Fight Night 101, giving him the first losing skid of his career. When he steps in the cage against Velickovic, it will be his first fight in a year.

Bojan Velickovic

Velickovic will try to get back on track after a decision loss to Darren Till in September in the Netherlands. That erased the good memory of a bonus-winning knockout of Nico Musoke in Sweden in May, which was his first win in more than a year.

The latest UFC Fight Night 121 card includes:

  • Fabricio Werdum vs. Marcin Tybura
  • Joanne Calderwood vs. Bec Rawlings
  • Tim Means vs. Belal Muhammad
  • Daniel Kelly vs. Elias Theodorou
  • Humberto Bandenay vs. Alex Volkanovski
  • Ryan Benoit vs. Ashkan Mokhtarian
  • Jenel Lausa vs. Eric Shelton
  • Alex Chambers vs. Nadia Kassem
  • Rashad Coulter vs. Tai Tuivasa
  • Jake Matthews vs. Bojan Velickovic

For more on UFC Fight Night 121, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: News, UFC

Ex-UFC champ Lyoto Machida talks pressure, support ahead of big return on home turf

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Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

On the lead-up to this month’s UFC Fight Night 119, the main narrative has been around headliner Lyoto Machida and his long-awaited return to competition.

Machida (22-7 MMA, 14-7 UFC), who was issued an 18-month suspension by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency after admitting to taking a banned substance ahead of a scheduled UFC on FOX 19 bout, will end a more than two-year layoff when he meets fellow middleweight Derek Brunson (17-5 MMA, 8-3 UFC) on Oct. 28.

The last time the UFC’s former 205-pound champ and onetime middleweight title challenger was seen in action was in June 2015, when a knockout loss to Yoel Romero added to a two-fight skid.

Neither the time away nor the consecutive losses, however, seem to have diminished Machida’s prestige – at least not in Brazil. After all, not only does he get to come back as a headliner, he gets to do it in his native country, at Sao Paulo’s Ibirapuera Gymnasium.

When it comes to such a high-stakes comeback, does being at home make the situation easier – or does it only add more pressure?

“Both,” Machida told MMAjunkie Radio. “There is a lot of pressure, of course, because I’m going to fight in my country. But on the other hand, I have a lot of support. I can feel that through social media and through interviews that I’ve been doing.

RelatedAfter battling 'trickier' Anderson Silva, Derek Brunson unfazed by Lyoto Machida's striking

“I can feel that I have a lot of support in Brazil. At the same time, a lot of pressure, but I have to handle that, just do my best and just keep my focus on what I have to do there.”

At 39, Machida has seen his share of action throughout a decade-long UFC run that started on an eight-fight winning streak – including a huge title win over Rashad Evans and a historic, closely contested defense over Mauricio Rua. He’s retired a legend in Randy Couture, tried his hand against Jon Jones and challenged for titles three times, in two separate weight divisions.

Amid his lengthy record, the karate-based Machida can point to quite a few wrestlers, as well. And, given the outcomes against the likes of Couture, Ryan Bader, Mark Munoz and Dan Henderson, it’s safe to say he’s not exactly unequipped to deal with the dangers they present.

That will certainly come in handy against the 33-year-old Brunson, who also comes from a wrestling background. But, considering the five first-round knockouts that Brunson carries on his octagon record, Machida is probably wise in not reducing his opponent to a “wrestler” label.

“He’s a complete fighter,” Machida said. “He’s well-rounded. He drops people with hands, too. Of course, his background is in wrestling. But, with the camp that I’ve been doing here, I believe that I can stop his takedowns.

RelatedLyoto Machida on what his own suspension taught him about not judging others – like Jon Jones

“And my background is in karate, and (as a) standup fighter, so I believe I can stop Derek Brunson and bring this victory to my team and my country.”

That doesn’t mean Machida is sleeping on Brunson’s wrestling. But, other than his experience, the former UFC champion is confident in the work he put in to handle it, with the guidance of wrestling coach Eric Albarracin and even former opponent Munoz.

Other than the fight-specific preparation, which Machida says was mostly conducted at Rafael Cordeiro’s Kings MMA, he’s had quite some time to make tweaks in his game. Which is why “The Dragon” tries not to view his somewhat harsh suspension as entirely bad.

“I used this break to put some different tools, and I incorporated different techniques,” Machida said. “Improved a little bit more, evolved a little more my overall style, My karate and my standup fighting.”

Even for the experienced Machida, the return after such a long gap feels like a beginning of sorts.

“But I know as soon as I step in the octagon, I’ll realize that I already did this before,” Machida said.

For more on UFC Fight Night 119, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

Apr 18, 2015; Newark, NJ, USA; Lyoto Machida (red) leaves the arena after being defeated by Luke Rockhold (not pictured) in their middleweight bout during UFC Fight Night at Prudential Center. Rockhold won via second round tap out. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Apr 18, 2015; Newark, NJ, USA; Lyoto Machida (red) is announced for his bout against Luke Rockhold (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Prudential Center. Rockhold won via second round tap out. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Apr 18, 2015; Newark, NJ, USA; Lyoto Machida (red) enters the arena to face Luke Rockhold (not pictured) for a middleweight bout during UFC Fight Night at Prudential Center. Rockhold won via second round tap out. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Apr 18, 2015; Newark, NJ, USA; Lyoto Machida (red) enters the arena to face Luke Rockhold (not pictured) for a middleweight bout during UFC Fight Night at Prudential Center. Rockhold won via second round tap out. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Dec 20, 2014; Barueri, SP, Brazil; Lyoto Machida (red gloves) before his fight against C.B. Dollaway (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Jose Correa Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Dec 20, 2014; Barueri, SP, Brazil; UFC fans during the fight between Lyoto Machida (red gloves) and C.B. Dollaway (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Jose Correa Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Dec 20, 2014; Barueri, SP, Brazil; Lyoto Machida (red gloves) celebrates after defeating C.B. Dollaway (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Jose Correa Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Dec 20, 2014; Barueri, SP, Brazil; Lyoto Machida (red gloves) celebrates after defeating C.B. Dollaway (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Jose Correa Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Dec 20, 2014; Barueri, SP, Brazil; Lyoto Machida (red gloves) celebrates after defeating C.B. Dollaway (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Jose Correa Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Dec 20, 2014; Barueri, SP, Brazil; Lyoto Machida (red gloves) knocks out C.B. Dollaway (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Jose Correa Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Dec 20, 2014; Barueri, SP, Brazil; Lyoto Machida (red gloves) fights against C.B. Dollaway (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Jose Correa Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Dec 20, 2014; Barueri, SP, Brazil; Lyoto Machida (red gloves) before his fight against C.B. Dollaway (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Jose Correa Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jul 5, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Chris Weidman (red gloves) attempts to grab Lyoto Machida (blue gloves) during a middleweight title fight at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Jul 5, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Lyoto Machida (blue gloves) lands a blow to Chris Weidman (red gloves) during a middleweight title fight at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Jul 5, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Lyoto Machida gets ready for a middleweight title fight against Chris Weidman at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Feb 15, 2014; Jaragua do Sul, SC, Brazil; Lyoto Machida during the press conference after the UFC Fight Night Machida vs Mousasi at Arena Jaragua. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 15, 2014; Jaragua do Sul, SC, Brazil; Lyoto Machida (red gloves) after defeating Gegard Mousasi (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night Machida vs Mousasi at Arena Jaragua. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 15, 2014; Jaragua do Sul, SC, Brazil; Lyoto Machida (red gloves) after defeating Gegard Mousasi (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night Machida vs Mousasi at Arena Jaragua. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 15, 2014; Jaragua do Sul, SC, Brazil; Lyoto Machida (red gloves) fights against Gegard Mousasi (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night Machida vs Mousasi at Arena Jaragua. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 15, 2014; Jaragua do Sul, SC, Brazil; Lyoto Machida (red gloves) before his fight against Gegard Mousasi (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/AK2bqyPbd7nqGJAw3airBV/277426", customAnalytics: true, title: "Lyoto Machida", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

The MMA Road Show with John Morgan No. 133 – Las Vegas: Marcin Tybura, featuring Demetrious Johnson

Episode No. 133 of “The MMA Road Show with John Morgan” podcast is now available for streaming and download.

MMAjunkie lead staff reporter John Morgan hosts the show while traveling the world to cover the sport.

Cold Coffee is wrapping up his vacation in Spain, so John Morgan is rolling solo since “The MMA Road Show” never misses a beat. Morgan recounts his experience at UFC 216 and shares a few minutes of an exuberant Demetrious Johnson. Morgan also discusses a few hot topics in MMA, including the ongoing Mark Hunt saga, and shares an interview with UFC Fight Night 121 headliner Marcin Tybura.

Listen below, or check it out on iTunes or at themmaroadshow.com. You can also subscribe via RSS.


Filed under: News, UFC

Watch today's UFC 217 press conference with Michael Bisping, Georges St-Pierre at 10 a.m. ET


Filed under: News, UFC

TORONTO – Check out a live stream of today’s UFC 217 press conference from the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, featuring Dana White, Michael Bisping and Georges St-Pierre live here on MMAjunkie at 10 a.m. ET (7 a.m. PT).

UFC 217 takes place Nov. 4 at iconic Madison Square Garden in New York City. The main card – one of the best of the year – airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

In UFC 217’s featured bout, middleweight champion Bisping (30-7 MMA, 20-7 UFC) takes on former longtime welterweight titleholder and all-time MMA great St-Pierre(25-2 MMA, 19-2 UFC), who returns from a four-year absence and moves up a weight class for the fight. Two other title fights are also on the card as bantamweight champ Cody Garbrandt (11-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) takes on challenger T.J. Dillashaw (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) in the co-headliner, and women’s strawweight champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk (14-0 MMA, 8-0 UFC) meets Rose Namajunas (6-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC).

MMAjunkie, which will be on site, will have full coverage of today’s media event

For more on UFC 217, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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) 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) 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 (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 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 (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 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; 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 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 fights Thales Leites at The SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-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/4S3YY8Sr42aQz3Gf9qHNtS/277489", customAnalytics: true, title: "Michael Bisping", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC

Paul Felder vs. Al Iaquinta added to UFC 218 in Detroit

(This story was first published at freep.com.)

An 11th fight has been added to UFC 218, which takes place Dec. 2 at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.

UFC officials told the Free Press on Thursday that lightweight Al Iaquinta will take on Paul Felder as part of the undercard.

Iaquinta (13–3–1 MMA, 8-2 UFC) is coming off a first-round knockout win vs. Diego Sanchez in April. He has won his five most recent UFC fights and has a 9-2 record in UFC-sanctioned fights. The 30-year-old fighter hails from Garden City, N.Y.

Felder (14-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC), known as “The Irish Dragon,” enters with a 14-3 record, including a recent knockout win in the first round against Stevie Ray in July. The 33-year-old Philadelphia native is 6-3 in UFC fights.

UFC 218 is the first MMA event for theLittle Caesars Arena, but it’s not the first time a UFC fight has originated from the area. “The Motor City” hosted UFC 9 on May 17, 1996, at Cobo Arena, while the Palace of Auburn Hills hosted UFC 123 on Nov. 20, 2010.

With the addition to the card, UFC 218 now includes:

  • Champ Max Holloway vs. Frankie Edgar – for featherweight title
  • Francis Ngannou vs. Alistair Overeem
  • Eddie Alvarez vs. Justin Gaethje
  • Henry Cejudo vs. Sergio Pettis
  • Paul Felder vs. Al Iaquinta
  • Drakkar Klose vs. David Teymur
  • Cortney Casey vs. Felice Herrig
  • Yancy Medeiros vs. Alex Oliveira
  • Razak Al-Hassan vs. Sabah Homasi
  • Amanda Cooper vs. Angela Magana
  • Jeremy Kimball vs. Dominick Reyes

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

Jul 16, 2017; Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom; Paul Felder (blue gloves) reacts after defeating Stevie Ray (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Jul 16, 2017; Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom; Stevie Ray (red gloves) fights Paul Felder (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Jul 16, 2017; Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom; Stevie Ray (red gloves) fights Paul Felder (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Jul 16, 2017; Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom; Stevie Ray (red gloves) fights Paul Felder (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Jul 16, 2017; Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom; Stevie Ray (red gloves) fights Paul Felder (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Jul 16, 2017; Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom; Stevie Ray (red gloves) fights Paul Felder (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Jul 16, 2017; Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom; (EDITORS NOTE: Graphic Content) Stevie Ray (red gloves) reacts during his bout against Paul Felder (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Jul 16, 2017; Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom; Paul Felder (blue gloves) reacts after defeating Stevie Ray (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at SSE Hydro. 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/xbuGFeFh9XdFg9YUWpHpAS/277534", customAnalytics: true, title: "Felder def. Ray", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC

UFC 216 winner John Moraga has fought top guys for pennies, now wants to get paid

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Filed under: News, UFC

When UFC flyweight John Moraga knocked out Magomed Bibulatov at UFC 216 with a thunderous left hook, he was purging months – and perhaps years – of dissatisfaction.

When the referee pulled him off Bibulatov (14-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC), a 6-1 betting favorite, all of those feelings came bubbling to the surface. But rather than scream or cry, Moraga (18-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC) just slumped against the fence. He was too overwhelmed to emote.

“I’ve been at this for a while, man, and it just hasn’t seemed like it’s been paying off,” Moraga this week told MMAjunkie Radio. “It has been, but at the same time, it really hasn’t. It hasn’t been what I’ve needed it to be, so it was just a big win for my career.”

Moraga made his UFC debut five years ago, when the promotion’s flyweight division was new. It was years before Demetrious Johnson secured an iron grip on the weight class and became its highest-paid fighter. When Moraga secured a title shot against Johnson just two fights into his UFC career, he was guaranteed $17,000 for the opportunity. Then he was submitted in the fifth round.

RelatedJohn Moraga knew job was on the line, fought back tears after huge KO at UFC 216

The paycheck he earned for that fight dwindled his next time out. Then he lost to one-time title challenger John Dodson. He managed to win his next two fights only to lose three straight, endangering his UFC job.

So when people ask now about when he’d like a title shot, Moraga can’t help but remember what happened after he lost to Johnson, who headlined this past Saturday’s pay-per-view event with a record-breaking win over Ray Borg.

“The only bad thing from a business standpoint: I didn’t have a great experience,” Moraga said. “I fought the guy for $17,000. So after that, and you lose, it’s a rough road back.

“So right now, I’ll just be content getting some more wins and stacking my money a little bit. And if the opportunity should come up quick, I’m never one to turn anything down.”

Moraga recently signed a new UFC deal. He indicated the contract didn’t secure his financial future any better than his previous one. After a trio of losses, he had little leverage.

“I was in no position to re-negotiate for myself a whole lot, so I just kind of took what they gave me,” he said.

RelatedJohn Moraga's UFC 216 KO of Magomed Bibulatov is even more glorious in super slow motion

So if it’s up to him right now, he would like to fight opponents that bring two things: Wins and steps up that ascending pyramid of paydays.

“If I could choose, yeah, I want the easiest opponents,” Moraga said. “I want to get more money and fight the easier opponents, get some highlights, raise my spots a little bit, and then fight the top guys for more money and make it worth it, because I fought them all for pennies, basically. I just made bad business decisions.”

Before he agreed to fight Bibulatov, Moraga explored the idea of moving up to bantamweight, simply so he could rack up a few more wins in a division with more elbow room. Then he’d have more experience – and a little more money in his pocket – for a rematch with Johnson.

At this point in his career, though, Moraga’s main concern is to “get things going in the right direction.” He is more confident in his skills with more UFC fights and more top-level training under his belt. He won’t hesitate to fight Johnson again.

As impressive as the champ is, Moraga said Johnson’s had some favorable circumstances during his reign.

“First of all, he’s an impressive fighter, and then on top of that … they keep throwing people that are not ready to fight him,” Moraga said. “I think that’s helping him, too.”

Moraga used to be one of those guys – a little over his head on the business side of the sport and a little uncertain of his abilities. He found out what happened when you get rushed too quickly in the sport. And now, he’s trying to make sure that the next time around, he’s as ready as can be.

For complete coverage of UFC 216, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; John Moraga (red gloves) knocks out Magomed Bibulatov (blue gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Magomed Bibulatov (blue gloves) kicks John Moraga (red gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Magomed Bibulatov (blue gloves) competes against John Moraga (red gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Magomed Bibulatov (blue gloves) competes with John Moraga (red gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Magomed Bibulatov (blue gloves) punches John Moraga (red gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; John Moraga (red gloves) knocks out Magomed Bibulatov (blue gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; John Moraga (red gloves) knocks out Magomed Bibulatov (blue gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; John Moraga (red gloves) knocks out Magomed Bibulatov (blue gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-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/UazVr8ue9NY8Wf8CBA2eTd/277518", customAnalytics: true, title: "Moraga def. Bibulatov", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC

Grandson of famous mobster set for pro MMA debut

John Gotti’s grandson is about to join another kind of family – the hurt business.

John Gotti III (0-0) will make is professional MMA debut on Oct. 27 at CES 46, taking on Johnny Adams (0-1) at Twin River Casino in Lincoln, R.I., the promotion confirmed to MMAjunkie. The card airs live on AXS TV.

Gotti, the son of John Gotti II, fights on what would have been the 77th birthday of his grandfather. He wants to pay tribute to the fallen mobster’s memory.

“I chose my pro debut with CES because I know several of the fighters that have fought for them,” Gotti said in a prepared statement released by CES, which added interview requests are a no-go per John Gotti II. “They said they were good guys to work with and that they put on a great show. So it was a natural fit when I heard they were promoting a show on Oct. 27.

“The significance of the date is that it would have been my late grandfather’s 77th birthday, and I wanted to honor him on that day.”

Gotti III said his interest in MMA stems from his father’s release from prison, presumably after a 2008 indictment on racketeering and murder conspiracy failed to stick.

“When my father first came home from prison, (MMA) was a means for us to bond,” Gotti III said. “We would watch all the big fights together at home, as well as attending several cards in New Jersey.

“I think now, as I’ve chosen this as a profession, although my father is proud of me, I think he regrets fostering my interest. I don’t think he ever thought this would be the end result. What father wants to watch his son in this type of environment?”

As rough-and-tumble as MMA is, though, it’s still a lot less dangerous than the life in the family business.

Convicining Adams he’s not endangering himself by winning might be the prmotion’s next step.

The current card for CES 46 includes:

MAIN CARD (AXS TV)

  • John Howard vs. Roger Carroll
  • Dinis Paiva vs. Branden Seyler
  • Josh LaBerge vs. Jon Lemke
  • Shedrick Goodridge vs. Justin Sumter
  • Rico DiSciullo vs. Justin King
  • Gary Balletto Jr. vs. Sharif Jones

PRELIMINARY CARD (untelevised)

  • Pat McCrohan vs. Buck Pineau
  • Marquis Brewster vs. Raymond Yanez
  • Johnny Adams vs. John Gotti III

For more on the upcoming CES MMA 46, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News

Despite being labeled a 'bald headed prick,' Dana White insists he doesn't hate Mark Hunt

Apparently, being called a bald-headed prick isn’t enough to ruffle UFC President Dana White’s feathers.

After a scathing, expletive-filled Mark Hunt (13-11-1 MMA, 8-5-1 UFC) rant was directed in his direction, White insists he doesn’t hate “The Super Samoan,” as the veteran heavyweight suggested.

“He made a statement that I’ve hated him forever,” White told TMZSports. “I don’t hate Mark Hunt at all. I’ve never hated Mark Hunt. He knows that. I was actually really good to Mark Hunt.”

Hunt’s frustration stems from being pulled from a planned appearance at November’s UFC Fight Night 121 event in Australia. The 43-year-old Hunt was expected to compete in the night’s main event, but after he published an article admitting to memory loss and slurred speech, UFC officials pointed to medical concerns and pulled him from the fight.

“Sometimes, you’ve got to protect these guys from themselves, and that’s what we’re looking into right now,” White said.

Hunt was ultimately replaced by Fabricio Werdum (22-7-1 MMA, 10-4 UFC), who now faces Marcin Tybura (16-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) in the night’s headlining contest.

Never one to bite his tongue, Hunt lashed out at White and the UFC via social media. The UFC boss laughed off the attacks and insisted his decision wasn’t a personal matter.

He also laughed off any thoughts of a potential apology from Hunt, who already has one lawsuit in place against the UFC and threatened another.

“I don’t expect an apology at all,” White said.

For more on UFC Fight Night 121, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Mar 20, 2016; Brisbane, Australia; Mark Hunt (red gloves) competes against Frank Mir (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Brisbane Entertainment Centre. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Mar 20, 2016; Brisbane, Australia; Mark Hunt (red gloves) celebrates after defeating Frank Mir (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Brisbane Entertainment Centre. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Mar 20, 2016; Brisbane, Australia; Mark Hunt (red gloves) looks on in his bout against Frank Mir (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Brisbane Entertainment Centre. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Mar 20, 2015; Brisbane, Australia; Mark Hunt (red gloves) walks to his corner after knocking out Frank Mir (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Brisbane Entertainment Centre. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Mar 20, 2016; Brisbane, Australia; Mark Hunt (red gloves) competes against Frank Mir (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Brisbane Entertainment Centre. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Mar 20, 2016; Brisbane, Australia; Mark Hunt (red gloves) acknowledges the crowd in his bout against Frank Mir (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Brisbane Entertainment Centre. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Mar 20, 2016; Brisbane, Australia; Mark Hunt (red gloves) prepares for his bout against Frank Mir (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Brisbane Entertainment Centre. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Mar 20, 2016; Brisbane, Australia; Mark Hunt (red gloves) walks into the arena before his bout against Frank Mir (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Brisbane Entertainment Centre. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Nov 15, 2015; Melbourne, Australia; Mark Hunt (red gloves) celebrates after defeating Antonio "Bigfoot' Silva (blue gloves) during UFC 193 at Etihad Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports May 25, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Mark Hunt throws a punch against Junior dos Santos lands a punch during UFC 160 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports May 24, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC heavyweight Mark Hunt during the weight-in for UFC 160 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Jul 9, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Mark Hunt (blue gloves) fights Brock Lesnar (red gloves) during UFC 200 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Jul 9, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Mark Hunt (blue gloves) fights Brock Lesnar (red gloves) during UFC 200 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Jul 9, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Mark Hunt (blue gloves) is punched by Brock Lesnar (red gloves) during UFC 200 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Jul 9, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Brock Lesnar (red gloves) reacts to his win against Mark Hunt (blue gloves) during UFC 200 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Jul 9, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Mark Hunt (blue gloves) fights Brock Lesnar (red gloves) during UFC 200 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Jul 9, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Mark Hunt (blue gloves) fights Brock Lesnar (red gloves) during UFC 200 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Jul 9, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Mark Hunt (blue gloves) dodges a punch from Brock Lesnar (red gloves) during UFC 200 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Jul 9, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Mark Hunt (blue gloves) fights Brock Lesnar (red gloves) during UFC 200 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Jul 9, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Brock Lesnar (red gloves) reacts to his win against Mark Hunt (blue gloves) during UFC 200 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-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/87Vuosdw2wo5QXM7Wbiyzd/277496", customAnalytics: true, title: "Mark Hunt", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Bellator 187 additions include 'Baby Slice' and Sinead Kavanagh

Bellator’s Dublin return already had a reshuffled main event, and now it has two more contests scheduled, as well.

Bellator officials today announced that both a women’s featherweight matchup of Maria Casanova vs. Sinead Kavanagh and a 165-pound catchweight contest of Kevin Ferguson Jr. vs. Fred Freeman have been added to Bellator 187, which takes place Nov. 10 at 3Arena in Ireland.

The night’s main card airs via tape delay on Spike.

For more on Bellator 187, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: Bellator, News

UFC champ Daniel Cormier now targets 2018 for title defense against Volkan Oezdemir

UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier expects to defend his title in early 2018, facing upstart Volkan Oezdemir in his first challenge since being re-crowned as the titleholder.

“I’m going to fight Volkan,” Cormier told MMAjunkie Radio during a recent in-studio appearance. “I went to the doctor, and he advised me to take the rest of the year off because I started to contemplate fighting at the end of the December.

“(I’ll fight him) beginning of next year sometime.”

Cormier (19-2 MMA, 8-2 UFC) held an informal social media poll to determine the opponent fans wanted him to fight, and Oezdemir (15-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC), who’s stormed into the UFC with three straight wins and two high-profile knockouts, came out ahead.

A recent report claimed the matchup was on target for UFC 219, which takes place Dec. 30 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. But Cormier is pumping the brakes to allow himself more time to recover from the past 12 months of his career.

The matchup will Cormier back in the cage after a tumultous summer that saw him lose the belt to Jon Jones (23-1 MMA, 17-1 UFC) via knockout, only to get it back after Jones failed a drug test for a steroid.

Jones’ case with the UFC’s anti-doping partner, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, is currently in process, with the fighter’s team trying to uncover the source of the positive. The process could take several months, and both sides are expected to move to arbitration. Jones also is appealing a fine and suspension handed down by the California State Athletic Commission, which oversaw UFC 214.

Cormier struggled with his next move when the news of Jones’ drug failure went public. Initially, he expected a rematch as the embattled champ waited for the results of a confirmation test. After the initial findings were validated, however, he shifted gears and started to look toward the future.

A second loss to Jones left Cormier an emotional wreck in the weeks following UFC 214. But the positive test and subsequent overturning of his loss also made him question whether his reaction was justified, and it left him uncertain about how he felt about Jones, who took a gentlemanly turn after their rematch.

“Obviously, we should let due process play itself out and everything,” he said. “I worry about the human factor, because he is a father, too, and has a family. But there’s a part of me that’s still pissed off. Obviously, how do you not be pissed off when something like that happens and you feel like, ‘Man, did I really get a fair shake?'”

At the same time, Cormier can’t deny what happened in July when they met at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.

“He won the fight,” Cormier said. “That’s me, the competitor. Fighters come up to me and say, ‘No, you didn’t (lose the belt).’ (UFC lightweight) Beneil Dariush was like, mad. He was like, ‘I’m so mad that you had to accept the belt back. That’s stupid. You never lost it if you didn’t get a fair shake.’ He’s like, ‘Why are you down on yourself?’ But everybody doesn’t look at competition like I do.

“For me, I lost the fight. I was there. July 29, he beat me. They can say whatever they want to say, but I lost. That’s just who I am.”

In the wake of Jones’ positive test, his second for a banned performance-enhancer and third for a banned substance, Cormier consulted experts who told him about the drug for which Jones was flagged. The information only left him more confused as to why a fighter with Jones’ gifts would take it – and upset they might have widened a gap between their competitive abilities.

“Talking to some of these guys, these things are so fast-acting, some of these drugs,” he said. “If that’s the case, it allows you to train longer and train harder. It sucks.

“Because at 38, I work hard. I do a lot. And it would feel good to wake up and not feel like death. Come Wednesday, I didn’t know you could be this sore. My ass is sore. When do you get sore in the butt cheek? It happens. If you feel like you have to do something like that, it’s unfortunate, because I don’t believe he needed to. I think he’s that good. But how do you say that?”

“I can’t jump off the side of the octagon like Anthony Pettis,” he later added. “I can’t do any of that stuff. I can try to take you down, and I can stand and strike with you, and I can grapple with you. I can’t do spinning back kicks and jump elbows. So to feel that you have to do something extra to beat me with what I bring to the table kind of sucks.”

Cormier also cites a number of stories released in the wake of his first fight with Jones at UFC 182 that question whether “Bones” may have doped given his abnormally low testosterone-to-epitestosterone (T/E) ratio, despite the fact he wasn’t flagged for an anti-doping violation.

“The T/E ratio was so jacked, it probably would have been flagged,” Cormier said. “That’s messed up. That’s something that really bugs me.”

But in the end, Cormier is resolved to move forward with his career and put the past behind him. He appreciates the fact Jones tried to turn over a new leaf in their relationship, which is why he can’t bring himself to completely condemn the now ex-champ. He is just saddened by the circumstances surrounding their second fight, and ready to turn over a new page of his own against Oezdemir.

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

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) celebrates after defeating Anthony Johnson (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) celebrates after defeating Anthony Johnson (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier hold onto one another during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) competes against Anthony Johnson (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) competes against Anthony Johnson (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) competes against Anthony Johnson (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Jul 9, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) enters T-Mobile Arena during UFC 200 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Jul 9, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) prepares to fight Anderson Silva during UFC 200 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Jul 9, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Anderson Silva (blue gloves) is punched by Daniel Cormier (red gloves) during UFC 200 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Jul 9, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Anderson Silva (blue gloves) is punched by Daniel Cormier (red gloves) during UFC 200 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Jul 9, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) reacts after his win against Anderson Silva (blue gloves) during UFC 200 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 3, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) competes against Alexander Gustafsson (blue gloves) during their World Light Heavyweight Championship at UFC 192 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports Oct 3, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) is interviewed by Joe Rogan after defeating Alexander Gustafsson (not pictured) after their World Light Heavyweight Championship at UFC 192 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports Oct 3, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) competes against Alexander Gustafsson (blue gloves) during their World Light Heavyweight Championship at UFC 192 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports Oct 3, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) celebrates after defeating Alexander Gustafsson (not pictured) after their World Light Heavyweight Championship at UFC 192 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-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/nSWP6AjXdehwFnqPirqHH5/277476", customAnalytics: true, title: "Daniel Cormier", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC

Video: Before his ONE Championship 63 superfight, meet Myanmar MMA hero Aung La N Sang

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Filed under: News, Videos

Aung La N Sang has overcome adversity in his career to rise up as ONE Championship’s middleweight title holder.

Next month, N Sang (20-10) may have his toughest test yet when he meets Alain Ngalani (3-3) in an open-weight superfight to headline ONE Championship 63. Ngalani is a hulking heavyweight and muay Thai champion with some of the division’s most feared knockout power.

In September, Ngalani took just 11 seconds to take out Hideki Sekine at ONE Championship 61.

But N Sang will have his home fans on his side on Nov. 3 at “ONE Championship 63: Hero’s Dream” at Thuwunna Indoor Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar. His fight with Ngalani is being billed as “the world champion vs. the giant.”

Ahead of the fight, courtesy of ONE Championship, get to know a little more about N Sang and his ride to championship glory. And don’t miss the promotion’s look at Ngalani in the video below.

For more on ONE Championship 63, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: News, Videos

Veteran UFC lightweight Michael Johnson wants top guys if he moves to featherweight

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Filed under: Featured, News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

UFC lightweight Michael Johnson doesn’t have time to waste if he moves down to featherweight.

“The guys need to be in the top 10,” Johnson on Wednesday told MMAjunkie Radio. “I’ve fought so many people at 155 (pounds) over and over again, it’s almost a waste of time. I can’t do it at 145.

“I’m 31. I’m not at a point where I want to fight everybody in the 145-pound division. I need to fight the top guys, get in there and get out, and get my title shot.”

So far, Johnson (17-12 MMA, 9-8 UFC) is still waiting for the UFC’s first offer. Although he went big with his first callout and targeted Jose Aldo (26-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC), the former featherweight champ appears headed for a rematch against onetime title challenger Ricardo Lamas (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC) at UFC 218 or 219.

Johnson would rather the promotion book him against a known commodity at 145 pounds than run back previous matchups.

“I think we’ve gotten to a time where everybody at the top of the 145-pound division has fought each other,” Johnson said. “Nobody wants to see those rematches down there. So a new face, a new look, some new excitement at 145 sounds perfect.”

RelatedUFC's Michael Johnson explains move to featherweight, wanting to fight Jose Aldo first

Johnson, the No. 12 fighter in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA lightweight rankings, shrugged off any suggestion of a tough transition to featherweight. He said he walked around at 163 pounds during his previous training camp and could easily shed the additional weight.

“I’m a professional,” he said. “The first thing we have to do as professionals is make weight. That’s part of the game. If you’re missing weight, you’re not clocking in. I hold myself very high in winning that first battle and making weight.”

Johnson’s next battle is reviving his UFC career. Although he’s faced mostly top competition, he is 1-4 in his past five outings. A new division offers to turn a new page in the octagon.

“I could fight this weekend if there were a fight card and I needed to, but December is a perfect timeline for me,” Johnson said. “Anywhere from next month to December, I’ll be ready.”

Now, Johnson just wants the promotion to take into consideration his experience when booking his next fight. And that means starting him toward the top of the heap.

After all, he’s been right there in a division that’s arguably tougher.

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

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

July 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Justin Gaethje (blue gloves) reacts after defeating Michael Johnson (red gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Michael Johnson (red gloves) moves to the octagon to fight Justin Gaethje (not pictured) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Justin Gaethje (blue gloves) gestures before his bout with Michael Johnson (not pictured) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Michael Johnson (red gloves) fights Justin Gaethje (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Michael Johnson (red gloves) fights Justin Gaethje (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Michael Johnson (red gloves) fights Justin Gaethje (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Michael Johnson (red gloves) fights Justin Gaethje (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Michael Johnson (red gloves) fights Justin Gaethje (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Michael Johnson (red gloves) fights Justin Gaethje (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Michael Johnson (red gloves) fights Justin Gaethje (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Michael Johnson (red gloves) fights Justin Gaethje (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Michael Johnson (red gloves) fights Justin Gaethje (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Michael Johnson (red gloves) fights Justin Gaethje (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Michael Johnson (red gloves) fights Justin Gaethje (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Justin Gaethje (blue gloves) does a backflip off the top of the octagon fence after defeating Michael Johnson (not pictured) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Justin Gaethje (blue gloves) does a backflip off the top of the octagon fence after defeating Michael Johnson (not pictured) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Michael Johnson (red gloves) fights Justin Gaethje (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Michael Johnson (red gloves) fights Justin Gaethje (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Michael Johnson (red gloves) fights Justin Gaethje (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Michael Johnson (red gloves) fights Justin Gaethje (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Michael Johnson (red gloves) fights Justin Gaethje (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Michael Johnson (red gloves) fights Justin Gaethje (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Michael Johnson (red gloves) fights Justin Gaethje (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Michael Johnson (red gloves) fights Justin Gaethje (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-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/nxHab3NKqURKUSym5Zdpog/277376", customAnalytics: true, title: "Gaethje def. Johnson", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

Galore Bofando vs. Chad Laprise among additions to UFC on FOX 26 in Winnipeg

Jul 16, 2017; Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom; Galore Bofando (blue gloves) after defeating Charlie Ward (left) during UFC Fight Night at SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Jul 16, 2017; Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom; Charlie Ward (red gloves) reacts before his bout against Galore Bofando (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Jul 16, 2017; Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom; Galore Bofando (blue gloves) reacts before his bout against Charlie Ward (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Jul 16, 2017; Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom; Charlie Ward (red gloves) fights Galore Bofando (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Jul 16, 2017; Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom; Charlie Ward (red gloves) fights Galore Bofando (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Jul 16, 2017; Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom; Charlie Ward (red gloves) fights Galore Bofando (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Jul 16, 2017; Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom; Charlie Ward (red gloves) fights Galore Bofando (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Jul 16, 2017; Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom; Charlie Ward (red gloves) fights Galore Bofando (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Jul 16, 2017; Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom; Charlie Ward (red gloves) fights Galore Bofando (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Jul 16, 2017; Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom; Charlie Ward (red gloves) fights Galore Bofando (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Jul 16, 2017; Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom; Galore Bofando (blue gloves) after defeating Charlie Ward (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Jul 16, 2017; Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom; Galore Bofando (blue gloves) after defeating Charlie Ward (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Jul 16, 2017; Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom; Charlie Ward (red gloves) reacts after his bout against Galore Bofando (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Jul 16, 2017; Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom; Galore Bofando (blue gloves) after defeating Charlie Ward (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at SSE Hydro. 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/AZLiTVwUYMKGnfTwbUCGBo/277462", customAnalytics: true, title: "Bofando def. Ward", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

With the main event for the UFC’s return to Winnipeg now set, the card below it continues to build.

The UFC announced a welterweight headliner between former champion Robbie Lawler and ex-lightweight champ Rafael dos Anjos today for UFC on FOX 26, and three new bouts will join the undercard, as well.

Galore Bofando (5-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) meets Chad Laprise (12-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) at welterweight; John Makdessi (14-6 MMA, 7-6 UFC) will take on Abel Trujillo (15-7 MMA, 6-3 UFC) at lightweight; and Sultan Aliev (14-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) fights Nordine Taleb (13-4 MMA, 5-2 UFC) in a welterweight bout. The promotion announced the new bookings today.

UFC on FOX 26 takes place Dec. 16 at MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The main card airs on FOX following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

RelatedRobbie Lawler vs. Rafael dos Anjos headlines UFC on FOX 26 in Winnipeg

Bofando will be looking to build on his sensational promotional debut at UFC Fight Night 113 in July. In Scotland, he slammed Charlie Ward in a big way, which led to a first-round knockout. The fight was the first for England’s Bofando in two and a half years.

Chad Laprise

Laprise has won back-to-back fights, both by TKO, after consecutive losses to Francisco Trinaldo and Ross Pearson, which were his first two setbacks as a pro after a 10-0 start. That perfect start included a win over Olivier Aubin-Mercier to take the “TUF: Nations” crown. In August 2016, he stopped Thibault Gouti in the first round. After a lengthy layoff, he moved back to welterweight in July and stopped Brian Camozzi at UFC 213.

Makdessi will be looking to get back in the win column after a knockout loss to Lando Vannata at UFC 206 this past December. He’ll be fighting for the first time in a year and has losses in three of his past four fights.

Abel Trujillo

Trujillo needs to get back on track, as well. After a three-fight winning streak, Trujillo was submitted by James Vick at UFC Fight Night 104 in February in Vick’s home state of Texas. That was Trujillo’s first loss since a December 2014 setback to new interim lightweight champ Tony Ferguson.

Taleb has alternated wins and losses for his past five fights, but got back on track in May in Sweden with a unanimous decision over Oliver Enkamp. That helped erase the memory of a decision loss to Santiago Ponzinibbio in Canada in February.

Aliev will be looking for his second straight win, as well. After a UFC debut loss to Kenny Robertson in Sweden in January 2015, he was sidelined for nearly two years before returning in December 2016 for a split-decision win over Bojan Velickovic. His fight with Taleb will be his first in a year.

With the additions, UFC on FOX 26 now includes:

  • Robbie Lawler vs. Rafael dos Anjos
  • Misha Cirkunov vs. Glover Teixeira
  • Jared Cannonier vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
  • Tim Elliott vs. Justin Scoggins
  • Galore Bofando vs. Chad Laprise
  • John Makdessi vs. Abel Trujillo
  • Sultan Aliev vs. Nordine Taleb
  • Oluwale Bamgbose vs. Alessio Di Chirico
  • Julian Marquez vs. Vitor Miranda

For more on UFC on FOX 26, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: News, UFC

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with Evan Dunham, Zach Makovsky

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Evan Dunham and Zach Makovsky.

Dunham fought Beneil Dariush at UFC 216 this past Saturday in Las Vegas. He’ll be in the studio to talk about the fight, which ended in a draw. Makovsky headlines ACB 72 on Saturday against Yoni Sherbatov in Montreal. The former Bellator champ and UFC fighter will talk about the bout.

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 #2541 with Lyoto Machida, Johny Hendricks, Michael Johnson

Stream or download Wednesday’s episode of MMAjunkie Radio with guests Lyoto Machida, Johny Hendricks and Michael Johnson.

Machida headlines UFC Fight Night 119 vs. Derek Brunson on Oct. 28. Hendricks competes Nov. 4 at UFC 217 vs. Paulo Borrachinha. Johnson, looking to compete in December, discussed his possibilities at lightweight or featherweight if he drops down a division.

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


Filed under: News, Radio, UFC

Robbie Lawler vs. Rafael dos Anjos headlines UFC on FOX 26 in Winnipeg

July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Robbie Lawler is declared the winner by unanimous decision against Donald Cerrone during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Robbie Lawler moves in with a hit against Donald Cerrone during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Robbie Lawler moves in with a hit against Donald Cerrone during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Robbie Lawler moves in with a hit against Donald Cerrone during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Donald Cerrone lands a kick against Robbie Lawler during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Robbie Lawler moves in with a kick against Donald Cerrone during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Robbie Lawler moves in against Donald Cerrone during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Donald Cerrone moves in with a hit against Robbie Lawler during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Donald Cerrone moves in with a hit against Robbie Lawler during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Robbie Lawler lands a kick against Donald Cerrone during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Donald Cerrone lands a kick against Robbie Lawler during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Robbie Lawler moves in with a kick against Donald Cerrone during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Robbie Lawler moves in with a hit against Donald Cerrone during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Donald Cerrone and Robbie Lawler react following their match during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-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/pgjK8BYs6RKmPDNYWbjJQD/277449", customAnalytics: true, title: "Lawler def. Cerrone", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

A meeting of ex-champs is now the headliner for UFC on FOX 26.

The promotion announced today that ex-welterweight champ Robbie Lawler (28-11 MMA, 13-5 UFC) will take on ex-lightweight champ Rafael dos Anjos (27-9 MMA, 16-7 UFC), who seeks to win a belt at 170 pounds after joining the division earlier this year.

UFC on FOX 26 takes place Dec. 16 at MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The event’s main card, including the Lawler vs. dos Anjos headliner, airs live on FOX following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Lawler recently got back in the win column after a high-profile setback, outpointing Donald Cerrone in July at UFC 214. It had been one year since “Ruthless” stepped into the octagon following a knockout loss to current champ Tyron Woodley at UFC 201.

Lawler is 9-2 since returning to the octagon after a tour of now-defunct promotions. After his recent win, he said he won’t stress about getting another title shot and will simply focus on being his best.

Rafael dos Anjos

Opposing him is longtime vet dos Anjos, who this past month picked up his second straight win since moving from lightweight to welterweight. The Brazilian ex-champ has called for big names since bulking up, and called out champ Woodley after submitting veteran Neil Magny this past month at UFC 215.

Dos Anjos promised to make his fight with Woodley (18-3-1 MMA, 8-2-1 UFC) an entertaining one by pushing the action. But he’ll have no trouble with that against Lawler, who’s known for his blood-soaked brawls in the octagon.

With the addition, UFC on FOX 26 now includes:

  • Robbie Lawler vs. Rafael dos Anjos
  • Misha Cirkunov vs. Glover Teixeira
  • Jared Cannonier vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
  • Oluwale Bamgbose vs. Alessio Di Chirico
  • Julian Marquez vs. Vitor Miranda
  • Tim Elliott vs. Justin Scoggins

For more on UFC on FOX 26, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: News, UFC

'At a crossroads,' is Ronda Rousey headed to the WWE ... with husband Travis Browne?


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

We’re quickly approaching a year since Ronda Rousey last stepped inside the octagon, and we still aren’t sure what her next career move is.

But the former dominant UFC women’s bantamweight champion may have given a really big hint after landing at the airport in Los Angeles with new husband Travis Browne. Is Rousey headed to the WWE? And is Browne going to join her there?

Rousey (12-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) didn’t exactly confirm that’s her next move – but she didn’t exactly deny it, either, when talking to TMZ. Neither did Browne (18-7-1 MMA, 9-7-1 UFC).

Rousey pushed back a little on the TMZ interviewer’s question and implied that if she did have something in the works with pro wrestling’s biggest organization, she wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise.

“If you were a real fan, would you really want to know?” Rousey asked. “My best friend’s out there – Shayna (Baszler), I don’t even want her to tell me anything that’ll ever happen because I enjoy it more that way and I don’t want to ruin anything.”

Baszler, one of Rousey’s longtime best friends, transitioned to pro wrestling in 2015 and recently made the finals of the WWE’s all-women’s tournament at the Mae Young Classic.

Rousey has not fought since her comeback fight at UFC 207 this past December against champion Amanda Nunes. In that fight, she was stopped with a TKO in just 48 seconds. It was her first fight in 13 months after losing her title in a shocking knockout upset loss to Holly Holm at UFC 193.

Browne has lost four straight fights and six of his past eight. His rough run started with a title eliminator in the UFC on FOX 11 main event in April 2014, when he was dominated by Fabricio Werdum, who went on to win the title. He alternated losses and wins for four fights, but then started his current four-fight skid with a TKO loss to Cain Velasquez, followed by a rematch loss to Werdum, a knockout loss to Derrick Lewis and a submission loss at UFC 213 in July to Oleksiy Oliynyk.

“We’ll see … we’re still making decisions on my part (and) see where I go in the future,” Browne said. “I’m not going to say no (to the WWE).”

Rousey said she had Browne, who got married in August, aren’t in a hurry.

“We are at a crossroads and we have the luxury of time,” Rousey said.

There’s been speculation that Rousey has been training pro wrestling for a potential WWE story line that would culminate with a match at the Survivor Series pay-per-view in November.

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.

December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Ronda Rousey fights against Amanda Nunes during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes (right) against Ronda Rousey during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes lands punches while Ronda Rousey is against the cage during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Ronda Rousey reacts against the cage after being hit in the face during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Ronda Rousey leaves with her mother AnnMaria DeMars follwing her loss against Amanda Nunes during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Nov 15, 2015; Melbourne, Australia; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) competes against Holly Holm (blue gloves) during UFC 193 at Etihad Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Nov 15, 2015; Melbourne, Australia; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) competes against Holly Holm (blue gloves) during UFC 193 at Etihad Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Nov 15, 2015; Melbourne, Australia; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) competes against Holly Holm (blue gloves) during UFC 193 at Etihad Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Sep 4, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC Women's Bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey answers questions for fans before the weigh-ins for UFC 191 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Sep 4, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC Women's Bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey answers questions for fans before the weigh-ins for UFC 191 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Sep 4, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC Champion Ronda Rousey holds her championship belt before the weigh-in at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) celebrates after defeating Bethe Correia (not pictured) during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) celebrates after defeating Bethe Correia (not pictured) during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) reacts after knocking out Bethe Correia (not pictured) during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) fights Bethe Correia (blue gloves) during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) reacts after knocking out Bethe Correia (blue gloves) during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) looks on prior to her fight against Bethe Correia (not pictured) during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) vs. Bethe Correia (blue gloves) during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) looks on prior to her fight against Bethe Correia (not pictured) during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Ronda Rowdy Rousey (red gloves) looks on prior to her fight against Bethe Pitbull Correia (not pictured) during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jul 31, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Ronda Rousey during weigh-ins for UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jul 15, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; UFC champion Ronda Rousey arrives for the 2015 ESPY's award show at Nokia Theater. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Feb 28, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) reacts after defeating Cat Zingano (not pictured) during their women's bantamweight title bout at UFC 184 at Staples Center. Rousey won in 14 seconds of the first round. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Feb 28, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) and Cat Zingano (blue gloves) during their women's bantamweight title bout at UFC 184 at Staples Center. Rousey won in 14 seconds of the first round. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Feb 28, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Ronda Rousey arrives in the arena to defend her women's bantamweight title against Cat Zingano (not pictured) at UFC 184 at Staples Center. Rousey won in 14 seconds of the first round. 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Jeremy Kennedy out, Alex Volkanovski meets Humberto Bandenay at UFC-Sydney

Aug 5, 2017; Mexico City, Mexico; Humberto Bandenay (blue gloves) celebrates after knocking out Martin Bravo (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mexico City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Miguel Tovar-USA TODAY Sports Aug 5, 2017; Mexico City, Mexico; Humberto Bandenay (blue gloves) fights Martin Bravo (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mexico City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Miguel Tovar-USA TODAY Sports Aug 5, 2017; Mexico City, Mexico; Humberto Bandenay (blue gloves) celebrates after defeating Martin Bravo (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mexico City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Miguel Tovar-USA TODAY Sports Aug 5, 2017; Mexico City, Mexico; Martin Bravo (red gloves) after losing to Humberto Bandenay during UFC Fight Night at Mexico City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Miguel Tovar-USA TODAY Sports Aug 5, 2017; Mexico City, Mexico; Martin Bravo (red gloves) before fighting Humberto Bandenay during UFC Fight Night at Mexico City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Miguel Tovar-USA TODAY Sports Aug 5, 2017; Mexico City, Mexico; Humberto Bandenay (blue gloves) knocks out Martin Bravo (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mexico City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Miguel Tovar-USA TODAY Sports Aug 5, 2017; Mexico City, Mexico; Humberto Bandenay (blue gloves) celebrates after defeating Martin Bravo (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mexico City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Miguel Tovar-USA TODAY Sports Aug 5, 2017; Mexico City, Mexico; Humberto Bandenay (blue gloves) before his fight against Martin Bravo (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mexico City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Miguel Tovar-USA TODAY Sports Aug 5, 2017; Mexico City, Mexico; Humberto Bandenay (blue gloves) celebrates after defeating Martin Bravo (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mexico City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Miguel Tovar-USA TODAY Sports Aug 5, 2017; Mexico City, Mexico; Humberto Bandenay (blue gloves) celebrates after defeating Martin Bravo (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mexico City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Miguel Tovar-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/MqR6WtzxtHMKEND5zGyTXb/277423", customAnalytics: true, title: "Bandenay def. Bravo", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

With Jeremy Kennedy out with a back injury, Australia’s Alex Volkanovski will remain on the card in his home country next month.

Volkanovski (15-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) now will take on Humberto Bandenay (14-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 121 with Kennedy (11-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) sidelined. UFC officials recently announced the new booking after an initial report from Australia’s .

UFC Fight Night 121 takes place Nov. 18 at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney. The event airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

RelatedTim Means replaces Jesse Taylor vs. Belal Muhammad at UFC Fight Night 121 in Sydney

The 23-year-old Bandenay, from Peru, made his promotional debut in August at UFC Fight night 114 – and it was an impressive one. He knocked out Martin Brazo in just 26 seconds with a knee in Mexico City. He picked up a $50,000 fight-night bonus for his quick work, which ran his winning streak to six fights.

Alex Volkanovski

Australia’s Volkanovski ran his winning streak to 12 fights in June when he took a unanimous decision from Mizuto Hirota at UFC Fight Night 110 in New Zealand. His UFC debut came in November 2016 in his home country when he stopped Yusuke Kasuya with a second-round TKO in a lightweight fight. Of his 15 career wins, a dozen have come by stoppage.

Kennedy was going to be putting his unblemished record on the line in hostile territory. He started his UFC run at lightweight a year ago and took a unanimous decision from Alessandro Ricci. He then returned to featherweight, where he has decision wins over Rony Jason in Brazil and Kyle Bochniak in July in New York. But now his shot at going to 4-0 in the UFC is on hold.

The latest UFC Fight Night 121 card includes:

  • Fabricio Werdum vs. Marcin Tybura
  • Joanne Calderwood vs. Bec Rawlings
  • Tim Means vs. Belal Muhammad
  • Daniel Kelly vs. Elias Theodorou
  • Humberto Bandenay vs. Alex Volkanovski
  • Ryan Benoit vs. Ashkan Mokhtarian
  • Jenel Lausa vs. Eric Shelton
  • Alex Chambers vs. Nadia Kassem
  • Rashad Coulter vs. Tai Tuivasa

For more on UFC Fight Night 121, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.


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