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UFC 219's Edson Barboza on the downside of being famous for a wheel kick

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Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

A wheel kick made UFC lightweight Edson Barboza famous around the world, but it’s not his favorite finish.

“In kickboxing, I have crazy knockouts,” Barboza (19-4 MMA, 13-4), who next faces Khabib Nurmagomedov (24-0 MMA, 8-0 UFC) at UFC 219, told MMAjunkie Radio. “You guys have no idea. I have a lot of knockouts. I think some knockouts are more important than the wheel kick.”

For a while, it was easy to look up those knockouts on YouTube. Then Barboza found out the downside of putting your most impressive moments on the internet.

“When I moved to the U.S., I started fighting in MMA, and everybody watched,” he said. “I was 2-0 or 3-0, and nobody wants to fight me, because everybody went on YouTube.

RelatedEdson Barboza hears your jokes about Nurmagomedov's injuries and McGregor's belt

“People would watch my videos, and everybody pulled out (of fights). I told my friend, ‘Please, take all my YouTube videos down.'”

Now, those highlights are safely kept at Barboza’s home in Brazil, even though the secret about his skills is no secret to anyone in MMA.

One finish sticks out to Barboza even more than the kick that made him a viral sensation and ESPY nominee. He can’t remember the competitor’s name – only the devastation his work produced.

“I remember that day as very important for me, because I came from my first professional loss in kickboxing,” he said. “I really knocked the guy out. He was almost dead. It’s very fresh in my mind.”

At UFC 219, which takes place Dec. 30 at T-Mobile Arena, Barboza will make his 18th appearance in the octagon in a pay-per-view bout against Nurmagomedov, whose undefeated record and grappling excellence make him the favorite to win. A recent history of withdrawing from high-profile fights also has many questioning whether he’ll show up, but Barboza isn’t worried. He’s too busy.

“I have things to do,” he said. “I think about my training and what I’m doing. Every single day, I have my family and my friends in Brazil. I just think about myself, go in the gym, train hard every single day.

“I really don’t worry about what he does or what he has to do, or his record. I don’t focus on that. My focus is on Edson Barboza full time.”

Barboza, the No. 6 fighter in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA lightweight rankings, will try to add No. 4 Nurmagomedov to a long list of victims felled by his fists, kicks and knees. It might be his biggest UFC win to date. If he can pull it off, he’ll make his case for the next logical step in his career.

“I’ve fought with seven guys in the top 15, and definitely, I think if I win this fight, I really deserve the title shot,” he said. “I don’t care if it’s (undisputed UFC lightweight champ) Conor (McGregor) or (interim champ Tony) Ferguson. But I definitely deserve the title shot.”

For more on UFC 219, check out the MMA 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.

December 11, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Edson Barboza fights against Tony Ferguson during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 11, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Edson Barboza lands punches against Tony Ferguson during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 11, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Edson Barboza pins Tony Ferguson to the mat during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Jul 25, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Edson Barboza (red gloves) reacts after winning a fight against Paul Felder (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports Jul 25, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Paul Felder (blue gloves) fights against Edson Barboza (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports Feb 22, 2015; Porto Alegre, Brazil; Michael Johnson (blue gloves) fights against Edson Barboza (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ginasio do Gigantinho. Mandatory Credit: Jason da Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 22, 2015; Porto Alegre, Brazil; Michael Johnson (blue gloves) fights against Edson Barboza (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ginasio do Gigantinho. Mandatory Credit: Jason da Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 22, 2015; Porto Alegre, Brazil; Edson Barboza (red gloves) before his fight against Michael Johnson during UFC Fight Night at Ginasio do Gigantinho. Mandatory Credit: Jason da Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jul 16, 2014; Atlantic City, NJ, USA; Edson Barboza (red gloves) celebrates his victory while Evan Dunham (blue gloves) gets attended to by the referee during a lightweight bout at Revel Casino. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports Jul 16, 2014; Atlantic City, NJ, USA; Edson Barboza (red gloves) lands a kick on Evan Dunham (blue gloves) during a lightweight bout at Revel Casino. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports Jul 16, 2014; Atlantic City, NJ, USA; Edson Barboza gets his gloves inspected during a lightweight bout at Revel Casino. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports December 14, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Danny Castillo (red gloves) fights Edson Barboza (blue gloves) during the lightweight bout of the UFC on FOX 9 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports December 14, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Danny Castillo (red gloves) fights Edson Barboza (blue gloves) during the lightweight bout of the UFC on FOX 9 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports December 14, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Danny Castillo (red gloves) fights Edson Barboza (blue gloves) during the lightweight bout of the UFC on FOX 9 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports December 14, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Edson Barboza (blue gloves) fights Danny Castillo (red gloves) during the lightweight bout of the UFC on FOX 9 at Sleep Train 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/wXweukvLXDAo9ZXoNKnLeS/286291", customAnalytics: true, title: "Edson Barboza", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

Ahead of their Bellator 189 title rematch, watch champ Julia Budd's first win over Arlene Blencowe

The women’s featherweight title is on the line in the Bellator 189 main event Friday night in Oklahoma, and it’s a rematch.

Champion Julia Budd (10-2 MMA, 4-0 BMMA) puts her belt up against Arlene Blencowe (10-6 MMA, 3-2 BMMA) in the headliner at WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Okla. The main card will air on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

Budd won Bellator’s inaugural women’s featherweight title earlier this year when she stopped former Strikeforce champ Marloes Coenen with a fourth-round TKO at Bellator 174, which also took place in Thackerville.

RelatedBellator 174 highlights with blink-and-miss-it 13-second TKO, former champ's retirement

Julia Budd

To get to that title shot, Budd, from Canada, won her first three Bellator fights after a 4-0 run for Invicta FC. And the third of those wins came at Bellator 162 nearly a year ago – a unanimous decision win over Blencowe, who now will challenge for her title.

Blencowe, from Australia, has gone 3-0 since that loss. She picked up a pair of knockout wins in her native Australia, then took a split call from Sinead Kavanagh at Bellator 182 in August.

Ahead of the title fight rematch, check out their first meeting at Bellator 162 to get primed for the run-back. The full fight is available in the video above.

And for more on Bellator 189, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos

Joe Rogan criticizes Michael Bisping's 'crazy' turnaround: 'It just does not make sense'

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Add longtime UFC commentator Joe Rogan to the list of people who doesn’t understand the logic behind booking Michael Bisping in another main event fight just three weeks after his title loss to Georges St-Pierre at UFC 217.

In a move that came as a stunner to most, Bisping (30-9 MMA, 20-9 UFC) accepted a UFC Fight Night 122 headlining spot against Kelvin Gastelum (14-3 MMA, 9-3 UFC) just 21 days after suffering a third-round submission loss to St-Pierre (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC) at UFC 217 in New York City. The fight didn’t go his way. “The Count” suffered a first-round knockout loss on Saturday’s UFC Fight Pass-streamed card at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai.

RelatedMichael Bisping's two stoppage losses in three weeks leave UFC with one big question

Bisping dismissed all medical concerns leading up to the fight. He insisted that he’d undergone additional testing and had received clearance from a doctor without issue, but after tasting Gastelum’s power and succumbing to a big knockout, discussion flared up about whether Bisping should have ever been in the octagon in China.

UFC color-commentator Rogan weighed in on the subject on Episode No. 2 of the “JRE MMA Show” podcast, and he admitted he’s uncomfortable by the situation.

“I don’t think you should be allowed to fight three weeks after you have a brutal fight like Michael Bisping did with GSP,” Rogan said. “He got rocked, he got choked unconscious, and then three weeks later he’s fighting a really dangerous up-and-coming Kelvin Gastelum? Kelvin is a beast. He’s got nasty boxing and that’s what he showed in that fight. He hit him with a beautiful straight jab and a right hand behind it. That kid is just on fire. He’s on another level right now.”

Although Rogan said he was “super, super impressed” by the swiftness of Gastelum’s victory against the former 185-pound champion, he does have some questions about how much the circumstances played into the result.

RelatedTwitter reacts to Kelvin Gastelum's KO of ex-champ Michael Bisping at UFC-Shanghai

It’s difficult to determine to what extent the fastest turnaround of Bisping’s more than 11-year UFC career actually had on his performance, but Rogan said it’s certainly a legitimate angle to deliberate.

“Would he have been able to do that if he fought the Bisping who was training for Georges St-Pierre?” Rogan said. “If Bisping did not have the Georges St-Pierre fight and just went right into the Kelvin Gastelum fight, would the same result have happened? It very well could have. The way Kelvin hits, he’s fast as (expletive); his hands are beautiful.”

Ultimately, Rogan said the blame for Bisping competing at UFC Fight Night 122 should be spread across multiple parties. As the fighter, it’s hard to put the entirety of the spotlight on Bisping for what happened. His family, trainers, management and even the UFC have an obligation to aid a fighter through a decision-making process when they cannot objectively do it themselves.

RelatedUFC Fight Night 122 post-event facts: Michael Bisping sets new UFC record for most times knocked down

In that instances, the people around Bisping likely failed him. The narrative would have been very different had “The Ultimate Fighter 3” winner come out and beat Gastelum in the short-notice affair, but that’s not how it unfolded. Bisping entered the cage and suffered a record-setting 12th knockdown in UFC competition, and while he almost certainly made a sound payday for doing so, the potential negative effects could outweigh the financial gains.

“You really have to protect the fighter from themselves,” Rogan said. “You really can’t be letting a guy fight three weeks after a brutal fight like that. It just does not make sense. I don’t think it’s smart. I understand the UFC needed someone to fill in on short notice because Anderson Silva tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs and they did not want to lose the Shanghai main event. It turns into an even bigger fight when you’ve got the former middleweight champion right off his loss.

“Three weeks later fight again? It’s just not smart. I know Bisping wanted to do it, I know Bisping would probably do it again. If you asked Bisping to fight in a few weeks he would probably do it again. Someone was talking about him fighting in England, probably in March. Boy, that’s less crazy, but still, crazy. We’re basically into December.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 122, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) defeats Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Michael Bisping (red gloves) during his fight against Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) hugs Michael Bisping (red gloves) after their fight during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) defeats Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) defeats Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-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/wxf4t9d2Nf5GeFGVKDWQj6/286761", customAnalytics: true, title: "Gastelum def. Bisping", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Sean Shelby's Shoes: What's next for Kelvin Gastelum and UFC Fight Night 122's other winning fighters?

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

UFC Fight Night 122 took place Saturday, and the four-fight main card from Mercedes-Benz Arena, which streamed on UFC Fight Pass, has to be deemed a success.

Three of the four bouts on the main card ended inside the distance, but no win was more emphatic than the main event in which Kelvin Gastelum (14-3 MMA, 9-3 UFC) put away former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping (30-9 MMA, 20-9 UFC) with strikes inside the first round.

Prior to Gastelum’s win, Chinese fighters Li Jingliang (14-4 MMA, 6-2 UFC) and Wang Guan (17-1-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) put on impressive performances, while Alex Garcia (15-4 MMA, 5-3 UFC) opened the main card with a submission finish.

After every event, fans wonder whom the winners will be matched up with next. And with another night of UFC action in the rearview mirror, it’s time to look forward, put on a pair of Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard’s shoes, and play UFC matchmaker for UFC Fight Night 122’s winning fighters.

* * * *

Alex Garcia

Peter Sobotta

Should fight: Peter Sobotta
Why they should fight: Garcia is pushing for a quick turnaround, ideally at UFC on FOX 26 in Winnipeg in December, after his upset submission win over touted promotional newcomer Muslim Salikhov.

Garcia spoiled Salikhov’s octagon debut with a second-round submission to help him bounce back from a loss in his previous bout. Garcia has alternated wins and losses over his past seven contests, and until he bucks that trend, he’s not going to be able to move up much in the welterweight pecking order.

Fortunately, there’s plenty of credible competition on the same level as Garcia at this time. Sobotta (17-5-1 MMA, 4-4 UFC), who is on a solid 4-1 run since returning to the UFC for a second stint more than three years ago, is well rounded and dangerous. His style meshes with Garcia’s powerful approach and the winner would be sitting in a good spot at 170 pounds.

Wang Guan

Chas Skelly

Should fight: Chas Skelly
Why they should fight: Guan showed why there was a lot of discussion and excitement around his UFC debut when he put his powerful hands on display over three rounds to take a unanimous decision over Alex Caceres.

Although he came close on multiple occasions, Guan couldn’t finish the featherweight fight. He still put a beating on an 18-fight UFC veteran in Caceres over three rounds, though, and that’s certainly not a bad look for an octagon debut.

With just one loss thus far in his 19-fight career, Guan has the style and poise which would make him a compelling matchup for many featherweights. It’s too soon for him to be fighting the biggest names at 145 pounds, but another notable, established member of the UFC roster like Skelly (17-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) would be helpful in further marking his UFC presense.

Li Jingliang

Alan Jouban

Should fight: Alan Jouban
Why they should fight: The most successful Chinese fighter in UFC history continued to roll when Jingliang extended his winning streak to four fights with a second-round TKO of Zak Ottow.

Jingliang’s run has been impressive to watch, and it’s clear “The Leech” is adding to his skillset and gaining confidence with every bout. He’s a sturdy, powerful welterweight who is not going to be an easy out for anyone, but now it’s time to find out where he stacks up against a more honest level of competition.

Jouban (15-6 MMA, 6-4 UFC) might be coming off a pair of losses, but he’s shared the octagon with some of the best at 170 pounds. His size and length would be a difficult matchup for Jingliang, but if he could continue of his run of success through Jouban, he would be in position to start getting contender fights in his division.

Kelvin Gastelum

Should fight: Ronaldo Souza
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why Gastelum should fight “Jacare” Souza (24-5 MMA, 7-2 UFC) next

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 122, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) defeats Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Michael Bisping (red gloves) during his fight against Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) hugs Michael Bisping (red gloves) after their fight during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) defeats Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) defeats Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-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/wxf4t9d2Nf5GeFGVKDWQj6/286758", customAnalytics: true, title: "Gastelum def. Bisping", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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Rolando Dy explains why UFC-Shanghai victory was 'a miracle'

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

SHANGHAI – Just weeks after believing his UFC and MMA careers were dead in the water, Rolando Dy now has a future in the sport after earning his first octagon victory on Saturday at UFC Fight Night 122.

After opening his UFC career with back-to-back losses, Dy (9-6-1 MMA, 1-2 UFC) said he was released from the organization. The UFC needed a short-notice replacement to fight Wuliji Buren (8-4 MMA, 0-1 UFC) on the UFC Fight Pass-streamed card at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, though, and he made the best of his call with a unanimous decision victory.

Dy said he’d given up on a fighting future, but when the UFC called, he couldn’t resist the opportunity, and cut nearly 30 pounds to get there.

“For me, it’s a miracle,” Dy told MMAjunkie. “I was released. Not officially, but we received an email like three weeks ago that they cut me out of the UFC. I was so depressed because I had no chance to prove myself because after the two unfortunate losses, I was cut. I was so depressed. I go out, go out with my girl, play with my dogs – just forgetting that my dream as a UFC fighter was cut short. Then two weeks before this fight, we received an email that the UFC wanted me to fight at UFC-Shanghai. I was overweight. I was so out of shape.”

Dy said he was devastated during the period he thought his career was over. He admits to taking a turn for the worse, but quickly his fortunes were turned. The opportunity only came along because of another fighter’s misfortune, but nevertheless Dy said his situation should serve as an example for others considering giving up on their life aspirations.

“Don’t give up on your dreams so fast,” Dy said. “It’s a rocky road. It’s not easy to get your dreams. If your dream is too easy, you should find another dream. God gave me a rocky a road to get my dream. I’m still there. I’m still far from the finish line, I’m not at the finish line.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 122, check out the UFC Events section of the site.


Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

UFC Fight Night 122 post-event facts: Michael Bisping sets new UFC record for most times knocked down

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

The UFC made its debut on mainland China on Saturday with UFC Fight Night 122, check took place at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai and streamed on UFC Fight Pass.

Rising middleweight contender Kelvin Gastelum (14-3 MMA, 9-3 UFC) added another notable victory to his resume in the main event when he starched former 185-pound champion Michael Bisping (30-9 MMA, 20-9 UFC) for a first-round knockout, concluding a card that had eight stoppages in 12 fights.

For more on the numbers to come out of the UFC’s final November event, check below for 40 post-event facts about UFC Fight Night 122.

* * * *

General

Mercedes-Benz Arena, Shanghai

The UFC-Reebok Athlete Outfitting payout for the event totaled $105,000.

Debuting fighters went 4-6 at the event.

Gastelum, Li Jingliang, Zabit Magomedsharipov and Song Yadong earned $50,000 UFC Fight Night 122 fight-night bonuses.

UFC Fight Night 122 drew an announced attendance of 15,128. No live gate was announced for the card.

Betting favorites went 8-4 on the card.

Total fight time for the 12-bout card was 1:41:47.

Main card

Kelvin Gastelum

Gastelum improved to 2-1 (with one no-contest) since he moved up to the UFC middleweight division in December 2016. He’s 4-1 (with one no-contest) in the organization at 185 pounds.

Gastelum has earned 10 of his 14 career victories by stoppage. That includes five of his nine UFC wins.

Bisping suffered consecutive losses for the first time in his career.

Bisping suffered his first knockout loss since Jan. 19, 2013 – a span of 1,771 days (nearly five years) and 11 fights.

Bisping’s 12 knockdowns suffered in UFC competition are most in company history.

Li Jingliang

Jingliang’s (14-4 MMA, 6-2 UFC) four-fight UFC winning streak is the longest of his UFC career.

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

Jingliang’s four knockout victories since 2014 in UFC competition are tied with Neil Magny, Mike Perry and Santiago Ponzinibbio for most in the division.

Zak Ottow (15-5 MMA, 2-2 UFC) suffered his first knockout loss since Mar. 15, 2014 – a span of 1,351 days (nearly four years) and 12 fights.

Wang Guan and Alex Caceres

Alex Caceres (13-11 MMA, 8-9 UFC) fell to 3-3 since he returned to the UFC featherweight division in January 2015.

Caceres fell to 3-6 in his past nine UFC appearances.

Alex Garcia (15-4 MMA, 5-3 UFC) has earned 12 of his 15 career victories by stoppage.

Muslim Salikhov (12-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) had his 10-fight winning streak snapped for his first defeat since December 2012.

Salikhov has suffered both of his career losses by submission.

Preliminary card

Zabit Magomedsharipov

Magomedsharipov (14-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) extended his winning streak to 10 fights. He hans’t suffered a defeat since April 2013.

Magomedsharipov has earned 12 of his 14 career victories by stoppage. Both of his UFC wins are by submission.

Magomedsharipov’s 11 takedowns landed tied Gray Maynard at the TUF 25 Finale and Jimy Hettes at UFC 141 for the single-fight UFC/WEC featherweight record.

Magomedsharipov earned the 12th anaconda choke submission in UFC history.

Sheymon Moraes (9-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) has suffered both of his career losses by submission.

Kenan Song

Kenan Song (12-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC) has earned 11 of his 12 career victories by stoppage.

Song’s 15-second knockout is the fifth fastest in UFC welterweight history.

Song’s 15-second win was the second fastest in UFC history by a debuting behind Anthony Johnson’s 13-second win.

Bobby Nash (8-4 MMA, 0-3 UFC) suffered his third consecutive loss to extend the longest skid of his career.

Nash has suffered all of his career stoppage losses by knockout.

Yan Xiaonan (8-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) improved to 5-0 (with one no-contest) since returning from a nearly five-year layoff in July 2015.

Kailin Curran

Kailin Curran’s (4-6 MMA, 1-6 UFC) six UFC losses are tied with Jessica Eye for most of any female in company history

Curran suffered her fourth consecutive loss to extend the longest skid of her career.

Curran fell to 1-6 in her past six bouts.

Bharat Khandare (5-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) suffered consecutive losses for the first time in his career.

Khandare has suffered all three of his career losses by submission.

Shamil Abdurakhimov

Shamil Abdurakhimov (18-4 MMA, 3-2 UFC) earned his first knockout victory since March 11, 2011 – a span of 2,451 days (nearly seven years) and nine fights.

Chase Sherman (11-4 MMA, 2-3 UFC) has suffered all three of his career stoppage losses by knockout.

Yanan Wu (9-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) suffered the first decision loss of her career.

Wuliji Buren (8-4 MMA, 0-1 UFC) fell to 2-4 in his past six fights.

Hu Yaozong (3-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) had his three-fight winning streak snapped for the first defeat of his career.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 122, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) defeats Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Michael Bisping (red gloves) during his fight against Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) hugs Michael Bisping (red gloves) after their fight during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) defeats Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) defeats Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-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/wxf4t9d2Nf5GeFGVKDWQj6/286746", customAnalytics: true, title: "Gastelum def. Bisping", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

ONE Championship 65 highlights: Ben Askren bids farewell, 'undefeated forever'

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Filed under: News, Videos

Ben Askren went out with a bang.

Askren (18-0), ONE Championship’s unbeaten welterweight titleholder, needed just 57 seconds to score a TKO win over Japanese notable Shinya Aoki (39-8) in the main event of Friday’s “ONE Championship 65: Immortal Pursuit.” The victory was Askren’s retirement fight – or so he announced back in September, though he left the door cracked open for a return.

RelatedDid Ben Askren challenge Georges St-Pierre right after his retirement fight, and what does that mean?

ONE Championship 65, which took place at Singapore Indoor Stadium, streamed as an online pay-per-view in North America.

You can check out the main-card highlights in the video above.

For more on ONE Championship 65, visit the MMA Events section of the site.

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Cyril Asker won't feel pressure until he gets UFC fight in France

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

SHANGHAI – Cyril Asker embraces his ability to go into enemy territory to fight, and that won’t change until MMA is legalized in France.

Asker earned a second-round submission of Hu Yaozong (3-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) on Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 122 card, which streamed on UFC Fight Pass from Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, to disappoint the Chinese crowd in the fight card opener.

Asker has gotten used to competing in front of an opposing crowd throughout his career. He hasn’t been able to fight in front of his own fans in France, and until that happens, he said he can compete pressure-free.

“In France, MMA is illegal, so I always go fight guys in their home town,” Asker told MMAjunkie after his win. “There’s not much pressure for me. If in France MMA (becomes) legal, maybe I’ll feel some pressure. But for now, no.”

UFC Fight Night 122 marked Asker’s fourth octagon appearance. He’s alternated wins and losses during his time with the promotion, but he said nearly two years after signing he’s beginning to feel at home. He felt his performance against Yaozong reflected as much.

“I’ve started to feel confident in the octagon,” Asker said. “I’ve started to feel very good, to be very focused, to be very quiet, calm – be patient, feel everything. I need to work. I need to grow in my standup, my wrestling. I have the best coaching the world and I try to be very complete.”

Despite the mostly dominant win, Asker said he’s not interested in a quick turnaround. With three fights under his belt since January, Asker would like to get some time off before booking his next fight.

“It’s my third fight in one year, so I’m pretty tired,” Asker said. “I’m really, really tired. I need to take rest. I need to take a few months. I need to go home and take my time. I have a job. I work – I have my own business in France. I sell cars. I work, I run my house, I fight. I need to take rest.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 122, check out the UFC Events section of the site.


Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

Reminder: 'Countdown to UFC 218: Holloway vs. Aldo 2' debuts today on FS1

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Filed under: News, UFC

As a reminder, the UFC’s traditional pre-event show returns today with the debut of “Countdown to UFC 218: Holloway vs. Aldo 2” on FS1.

The one-hour special previews the card’s featherweight title fight between champion Max Holloway (18-3 MMA, 14-3 UFC) and the man he took the belt from, now-former champ Jose Aldo (26-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC). Holloway was supposed to fight former lightweight champ Frankie Edgar in the headliner until Edgar pulled out with an injury and Aldo got the call to take his place.

The show also dives into the co-main event heavyweight contenders fight between Francis Ngannou (10-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC) and former Strikeforce champ Alistair Overeem (43-15 MMA, 8-4 UFC). The card also features a fight between “TUF 26” coaches Eddie Alvarez (28-5 MMA, 3-2 UFC), a former UFC and Bellator champ, and Justin Gaethje (18-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC), a former WSOF champ. Plus, flyweight contenders Henry Cejudo (11-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) and Sergio Pettis (16-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC) meet in a featured bout on the main card.

“Countdown” airs at 6 p.m. ET (3 p.m. PT) on FS1, and replays air throughout the week.

UFC 218 takes place Saturday at the new Little Caesars Arena in downtown Detroit, and it’s the UFC’s first event in Michigan since UFC 123 in 2010. The main card airs live on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

The UFC 218 card includes:

MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)

  • Champ Max Holloway vs. Jose Aldo – for featherweight title
  • Francis Ngannou vs. Alistair Overeem
  • Henry Cejudo vs. Sergio Pettis
  • Eddie Alvarez vs. Justin Gaethje
  • Tecia Torres vs. Michelle Waterson

PRELIMINARY CARD (FS1, 8 p.m. ET)

  • Paul Felder vs. Charles Oliveira
  • Yancy Medeiros vs. Alex Oliveira
  • Drakkar Klose vs. David Teymur
  • Cortney Casey vs. Felice Herrig

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 6:15 p.m. ET)

  • Abdul Razak Alhassan vs. Sabah Homasi
  • Jeremy Kimball vs. Dominick Reyes
  • Allen Crowder vs. Justin Willis
  • Amanda Cooper vs. Angela Magana

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/286742", customAnalytics: true, title: "Holloway def. Aldo", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC

T.J. Dillashaw renews call for fight with Demetrious Johnson: 'Don't be scared, man'

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

It’s the season of giving, and UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw is hoping, again, flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson will give him a fight.

Dillashaw (15-3 MMA, 11-3 UFC) renewed his call for Johnson (27-2-1 MMA, 15-1-1 UFC) to step up to the plate to face him and told TMZ the fight was in both of their best interests.

“He should be (on board),” Dillashaw told TMZ. “This is the fight that makes the most sense for (him), even moreso than me. He needs a fight that’s sellable.”

RelatedT.J. Dillashaw after UFC 217 title win: Demetrious Johnson can't run from me anymore

Any criticism of Johnson has definitely not come from his in-cage performances. He hasn’t lost in more than six years. He won the UFC’s inaugural flyweight title in September 2012 and has defended the belt 11 times. Most recently, he submitted Ray Borg at UFC 216 in October and broke Anderson Silva’s record for consecutive title defenses.

Over the course of his streak, he has seven finishes and seven post-fight bonus awards. But he’s also been perhaps the most favored fighter, on average, in UFC history. So far ahead of most of the rest of the flyweight class is “Mighty Mouse” that the betting lines for his fights make him a massive favorite each time he steps in the cage. His past seven title defenses have seen him close with odds of -2000 (Chris Cariaso, -1500 (Kyoji Horiguchi), -725 (John Dodson 2), -450 (Henry Cejudo), -1150 (Tim Elliott), -1100 (Wilson Reis) and -1200 (Borg).

That’s a big reason Dillashaw is advocating they fight – the matchup between a flyweight and bantamweight, presumably with Dillashaw moving down to 125 pounds, finally would mean a competitive bout for Johnson, and one the fans would see as competitive, as well. And that would mean the potential for stronger pay-per-view sales than Johnson is accustomed to seeing.

“Demetrious Johnson’s always showed up,” Dillashaw said. “He’s always done his job. He’s always been the better fighter. He’s looked awesome. He’s finished fights – looking great. Really, what it comes down to, is not having an opponent to say, ‘We’re excited about this fight.’ Everyone’s always excited like, ‘Let’s see if Demetrious Johnson can break the record,’ or ‘He’s on this long win streak,’ this, this and that. But they never talk about Demetrious Johnson and who he’s fighting.

“This is a fight that will happen – this is a fight that will get the fans entertained. You’ll be glued to the TV because he’s fighting me, not because he’s just fighting. That’s why he doesn’t sell tickets – because everyone knows what’s going to happen.”

In anticipation of a potential matchup, Johnson is a -140 favorite over Dillashaw, who sits at +110. There was talk of the two fighting earlier this year, but Johnson chose to fight Borg, instead. Dillashaw went on to challenge former teammate Cody Garbrandt for the bantamweight title after the two coached opposite each other on Season 25 of “The Ultimate Fighter.”

At UFC 217 earlier this month, Dillashaw reclaimed the 135-belt with a second-round knockout of Garbrandt, giving him three straight wins since losing the title to Dominick Cruz nearly two years ago in a close split decision. After that win, Dillashaw renewed his hope for a fight with Johnson, and it’s one UFC President Dana White says he can get behind if Dillashaw can make the weight – which he believes he can.

The question in Dillashaw’s mind just seems to be whether or not Johnson wants the fight.

“Don’t be scared, man. Let’s get this done,” Dillashaw said. “This is the fight that makes sense for you and me. This is the fight the fans want to see. This is the fight I want to see. Not sure if you want to see it, but man up – let’s do it.”

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

Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; T.J. Dillashaw (blue gloves) yells at Cody Garbrandt (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; T.J. Dillashaw (blue gloves) fights against Cody Garbrandt (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; T.J. Dillashaw (blue gloves) fights against Cody Garbrandt (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; T.J. Dillashaw (blue gloves) fights against Cody Garbrandt (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; T.J. Dillashaw (blue gloves) fights against Cody Garbrandt (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; T.J. Dillashaw (blue gloves) fights against Cody Garbrandt (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; T.J. Dillashaw (blue gloves) fights against Cody Garbrandt (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Cody Garbrandt (red gloves) fights against T.J. Dillashaw (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Cody Garbrandt (red gloves) fights against T.J. Dillashaw (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; T.J. Dillashaw (blue gloves) yells at Cody Garbrandt (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; T.J. Dillashaw (blue gloves) reacts after defeating Cody Garbrandt (red gloves) during 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/KoBeZjHtZFD3Q5mhhdpHZi/286735", customAnalytics: true, title: "Dillashaw def. Garbrandt", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start(); if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_JkuYkZQP_RbnemIYZ_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/JkuYkZQP.json","ph":2} );
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Georgi Karakhanyan vs. Henry Corrales set for Bellator 192 in Southern California

Bellator’s return to Southern California has a new featherweight fight headed for the show.

Former WSOF champion Georgi Karakhanyan (28-7-1 MMA, 6-5 BMMA) is set to take on Henry Corrales (14-3 MMA, 2-3 BMMA) at Bellator 192 in January. Promotion officials recently announced the new booking, which is expected to be part of the main card.

Bellator 192 takes place Jan. 20 at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. The main card airs on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie. The event features a welterweight title fight between champion Douglas Lima and Rory MacDonald, as well as the first fight in the opening round of the 2018 heavyweight grand prix between former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and former UFC middleweight and light heavyweight title challenger Chael Sonnen.

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

Karakhanyan returned to Bellator nearly three years ago after a three-fight run for WSOF that saw him submit Lance Palmer to win the featherweight title. But after he lost it to Rick Glenn six months later, he came to Bellator, for which he fought four times earlier in his career.

After dropping two of his first three in his return, he has surged in the past year and a half with a 53-second knockout of Bubba Jenkins in August 2016, a first-round TKO win over Kirill Medvedovsky a year ago and a second-round TKO from a doctor’s stoppage over Daniel Pineda at Bellator 182 in August. That win got him back on track after a majority decision loss to Emmanuel Sanchez in January.

Henry Corrales

Corrales revived his career in 2017 with his first two wins under the Bellator banner. He started his career with the promotion on a three-fight skid with a submission loss to Daniel Straus, a split-decision loss to Sanchez and a submission loss to Patricio Freire. Straus is a former featherwieght champion and Freire is the current champ.

But in January at Bellator 170, he got back on track with a third-round knockout of UFC veteran Cody Bollinger to snap the three-fight skid, which had come after a perfect 14-0 start to his career. And in August at Bellator 182, he took a unanimous decision from another UFC vet, Noad Lahat.

The latest Bellator 192 card now includes:

  • Champ Douglas Lima vs. Rory MacDonald – for welterweight title
  • Quinton Jackson vs. Chael Sonnen – heavyweight grand prix opening round
  • Michael Chandler vs. Goiti Yamauchi
  • Henry Corrales vs. Georgi Karakhanyan
  • Cooper Gibson vs. Jacob Rosales
  • Noah Tillis vs. Jalin Turner

For more on Bellator 192, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: Bellator, News

Danielle Taylor meets J.J. Aldrich at UFC Fight Night 124 in St. Louis

The UFC’s debut in St. Louis in January now has a fourth women’s fight set for the lineup.

J.J. Aldrich (5-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) will take on Danielle Taylor in a strawweight fight at UFC Fight Night 124. UFC officials recently announced the new booking.

UFC Fight Night 124 takes place Jan. 14 at Scottrade Center in St. Louis. It airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

RelatedJessica-Rose Clark says she's fighting Paige VanZant at UFC Fight Night 124 in St. Louis

J.J. Aldrich

Aldrich came to the UFC as part of Season 23 of “The Ultimate Fighter” a year ago after fighting four of her first five pro fights for Invicta FC. After her run on the show, she dropped a unanimous decision to Juliana Lima at UFC Fight Night 102 as a late replacement for Tatiana Suarez. But earlier this year, in New Zealand, she picked up her first win in the promotion when she took a decision from Chan-Mi Jeon at UFC Fight Night 110.

Taylor spent the first eight fights of her career fighting under the King of the Cage banner, where she was the strawweight champion. She signed with the UFC as a replacement for Justine Kish to meet Maryna Moroz on just nine days’ notice at UFC Fight Night 92 in Salt Lake City and dropped a split decision. But since then, she has a split-call win over Seo Hee Ham a year ago, and in April took a unanimous decision from Jessica Penne at UFC Fight Night 108 in Nashville.

With the addition, the latest UFC Fight Night 124 card now includes:

  • Vitor Belfort vs. Uriah Hall
  • Jessica Eye vs. Kalindra Faria
  • Irene Aldana vs. Talita Oliveira
  • Matt Frevola vs. Marco Polo Reyes
  • James Krause vs. Alex White
  • Thiago Alves vs. Zak Cummings
  • Darren Elkins vs. Michael Johnson
  • Jessica-Rose Clark vs. Paige VanZant
  • J.J. Aldrich vs. Danielle Taylor

For more on UFC Fight Night 124, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Apr 22, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Danielle Taylor (blue gloves) defeats Jessica Penne during UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports Apr 22, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Jessica Penne (red gloves) fights Danielle Taylor (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports Apr 22, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Jessica Penne (red gloves) fights Danielle Taylor (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports Apr 22, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Jessica Penne (red gloves) fights Danielle Taylor (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports Apr 22, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Jessica Penne (red gloves) fights Danielle Taylor (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports Apr 22, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Jessica Penne (red gloves) fights Danielle Taylor (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports Apr 22, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Jessica Penne (red gloves) fights Danielle Taylor (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports Apr 22, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Jessica Penne (red gloves) fights Danielle Taylor (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports Apr 22, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Jessica Penne (red gloves) fights Danielle Taylor (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports Apr 22, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Jessica Penne (red gloves) fights Danielle Taylor (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports Apr 22, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Jessica Penne (red gloves) fights Danielle Taylor (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports Apr 22, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Jessica Penne (red gloves) fights Danielle Taylor (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports Apr 22, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Danielle Taylor (blue gloves) defeats Jessica Penne during UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports Apr 22, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Danielle Taylor (blue gloves) defeats Jessica Penne during UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports Apr 22, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Danielle Taylor (blue gloves) defeats Jessica Penne during UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-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/YvKDs7URfjdyYuCq7NT2rC/286726", customAnalytics: true, title: "Taylor def. Penne", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC

The MMA Road Show with John Morgan No. 139.5 – Shanghai: UFC Fight Night 122 recap featuring Gastelum, Magomedsharipov, Chang

Episode No. 139.5 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.

Following a memorable night in China, John Morgan recaps all the action that took place in and out of the cage at UFC Fight Night 122. Along the way, hear from main event winner Kelvin Gastelum, fast-rising contender Zabit Magomedsharipov and UFC exec Kevin Chang.

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


Filed under: News, UFC

MMA's week out of the cage: Thanksgiving, Chopstick Challenge, Felice Herrig's Fruit Loops shoot, more

Social media has become a significant part of the sporting landscape. But few, if any, professional sports match the level of interaction and personal access provided by MMA.

In an individual competition in which nearly every athlete is chasing the same goal of financial success and championship glory, it’s important for fighters to provide insight into their lives in order to connect with fans and gain followings.

Although the life of a fighter often can be mundane and repetitive, there still are moments of interest that take place outside the cage, ring or training room. Here are some of the most interesting of those occurrences from the past week.

* * * *

The chopstick challenge

Thanksgiving celebrations

Animals of Instagram

Children of MMA

Weekly eats

Fruit Loops for life

Shooting, hunting, fishing

Activities and adventures

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


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

Li Jingliang wanted to share joy of UFC-Shanghai win with wife and daughter, so he ran to them

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SHANGHAI – Li Jingliang was just living in the moment.

In the opening round of his UFC Fight Night 122 co-headliner with Zak Ottow on Saturday, Jingliang dropped his opponent with a straight right hand then followed up with a flurry of punches and hammerfists that sealed the deal.

Referee Herb Dean stepped in at the 2:57 mark to give Jingliang (14-4 MMA, 6-2 UFC) a TKO win in front of his home crowd at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai. It was a huge moment for Jingliang, who immediately made a bee-line for the cage.

But this was unlike other instances in which fighters jump the cage following a win. This wasn’t a case of Jingliang looking to make a scene by calling out his next opponent sitting cageside. No, Jingliang jumped the cage out of love.

Jingliang’s feet hit the arena floor, and he sprinted down the aisle to enjoy the moment with his wife and daughter for the feel-good moment of UFC Fight Night 122.

RelatedUFC Fight Night 122 bonuses: Gastelum, Jingliang among $50,000 winners in China

“I hadn’t really thought about that in my mind, so it wasn’t planned,” Jingliang said through an interpreter. “But I was just too excited, and I wanted to share that joy with my wife. So that’s what happened.”

It was a fitting conclusion to Jingliang’s fight week. In addition to final preparations for the fight, Jingliang used the opportunity to meet with aspiring Chinese MMA fighters. Now with four straight UFC wins, Jingliang has an opportunity to grow his profile even more. And as that continues to happen, he intends on doing more good.

“I wanted to influence people who would need help, just like people who influenced me back in the days and helped me along the way,” Jingliang said. “When I have the kind of influence that could help people, I will certainly follow that path.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 122, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Li Jingliang (red gloves) defeats Zak Ottow (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Li Jingliang (red gloves) fights against Zak Ottow (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Li Jingliang (red gloves) fights against Zak Ottow (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Li Jingliang (red gloves) fights against Zak Ottow (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Li Jingliang (red gloves) fights against Zak Ottow (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Li Jingliang (red gloves) fights against Zak Ottow (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Li Jingliang (red gloves) fights against Zak Ottow (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Li Jingliang (red gloves) fights against Zak Ottow (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Li Jingliang (red gloves) fights against Zak Ottow (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Li Jingliang (red gloves) defeats Zak Ottow (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Li Jingliang (red gloves) defeats Zak Ottow (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Li Jingliang (red gloves) defeats Zak Ottow (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-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/zn7jRhftJkRTWVbbZxpc3d/286643", customAnalytics: true, title: "Jingliang def. Ottow", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

Shamil Abdurakhimov motivated at UFC-Shanghai by Chase Sherman saying he fights like a girl

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

SHANGHAI – Shamil Abdurakhimov got some late pre-fight motivation ahead of UFC Fight Night 122. He used that to score an 84-second knockout of Chase Sherman.

Prior to Saturday’s heavyweight bout, which took place at the UFC Fight Pass-streamed event at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, Sherman (11-4 MMA, 2-3 UFC) made some disparaging comments about Abdurakhimov (18-4 MMA, 3-2 UFC) fighting style, claiming that he “fights like a (expletive) girl.”

Abdurakhimov was motivated to get the job done prior to seeing Sherman’s comments, but he admitted it gave him an added push.

“I didn’t read the article until yesterday morning, but my wife just sent me the link of this interview,” Abdurakhimov told MMAjunkie after his win. “I read it. He was talking (expletive) about it that I fight like a girl. It motivates me more to come out and show him my boring fight.”

Abdurakhimov’s striking was on point in the brief contest. He landed some big shots that dropped his opponent to a knee. The fight was ruled a knockout, but Sherman popped up to his feet the moment the referee intervened. Despite some potential questions around the stoppage, Abdurakhimov thought the referee made the right call.

“I believe that was a good stoppage because when I hit him a second time he was completely out,” Abdurakhimov said. “I saw how he dropped to his knees and if the ref didn’t stop it, I could hurt him real bad.”

After taking an 11-month layoff following a main-event loss to Derrick Lewis at UFC Fight Night 102 in December, Abdurakhimov made a triumphant return and earned the first stoppage win of his UFC career. He said it’s one of many more to come.

“Of course I am happy with that victory being a knockout,” Abdurakhimov said. “This is not the last one. I hope I will surprise you more in the future.”

For more from Abdurakhimov, check out the video above.

And for complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 122, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Shamil Abdurakhimov (blue gloves) fights Chase Sherman (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Chase Sherman (red gloves) before his fight against Shamil Abdurakhimov (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Shamil Abdurakhimov (blue gloves) fights Chase Sherman (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Shamil Abdurakhimov (blue gloves) fights Chase Sherman (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Shamil Abdurakhimov (blue gloves) fights Chase Sherman (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Shamil Abdurakhimov (blue gloves) fights Chase Sherman (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Shamil Abdurakhimov (blue gloves) fights Chase Sherman (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Shamil Abdurakhimov (blue gloves) defeats Chase Sherman (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Shamil Abdurakhimov (blue gloves) defeats Chase Sherman (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Shamil Abdurakhimov (blue gloves) defeats Chase Sherman (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-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/QSn3HVh6bfMr3ZDvByJbLj/286473", customAnalytics: true, title: "Abdurakhimov def. Sherman", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

Gina Mazany overcame broken foot bone in camp to win at UFC-Shanghai

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

SHANGHAI – Gina Mazany felt more comfortable in her sophomore UFC appearance Saturday, mainly because she wasn’t getting mauled by a high-level opponent in a short-notice fight.

Mazany earned her first octagon victory at UFC Fight Night 122 when she topped Yanan Wu (9-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) by unanimous decision in their women’s bantamweight bout at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, which streamed on UFC Fight Pass.

After suffering a first-round submission loss to former title challenger Sara McMann in a short-notice fight at UFC Fight Night 105 on February, Mazany was afforded a full training camp for her second UFC bout. She said her performance was a better representation of what she’s about.

“I wasn’t getting gloved on by Sara McMann,” Mazany told MMAjunkie of her second UFC fight. “I was prepared for this fight and I think that was the main difference – was that I’m actually prepared, whereas the Sara McMann fight I took on short notice and the only thing I had coming out there was a female fortitude of just being crazy and strong and thinking I can do everything. I’m so happy right now.”

The win over Wu was particularly special for Mazany because she had to endure a difficult training camp. Mazany claims she suffered a broken bone in her foot in the weeks leading up to the fight

“I’m so happy. Life is so good right now. I definitely had one of the hardest camps I’ve ever had. Weeks 5, 4 and 3, I was on crutches. I wasn’t able to spar, go live. This is a very, very, very important win to me.”

“I broke a bone in my foot. I got my toe caught in the cage and dislocated a bone in it. A couple doctors told me to pull out of it.”

For more from Mazany, check out the video above.

And for complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 122, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Gina Mazany (blue gloves) fights against Wu Yanan (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Gina Mazany (blue gloves) fights against Wu Yanan (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Gina Mazany (blue gloves) fights against Wu Yanan (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Gina Mazany (blue gloves) fights against Wu Yanan (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Gina Mazany (blue gloves) fights against Wu Yanan (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Gina Mazany (blue gloves) fights against Wu Yanan (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Gina Mazany (blue gloves) fights against Wu Yanan (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Gina Mazany (blue gloves) fights against Wu Yanan (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Gina Mazany (blue gloves) fights against Wu Yanan (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Gina Mazany (blue gloves) fights against Wu Yanan (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Gina Mazany (blue gloves) fights against Wu Yanan (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Gina Mazany (blue gloves) fights against Wu Yanan (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Gina Mazany (blue gloves) fights against Wu Yanan (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Gina Mazany (blue gloves) fights against Wu Yanan (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Gina Mazany (blue gloves) fights against Wu Yanan (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Gina Mazany (blue gloves) fights against Wu Yanan (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Gina Mazany (blue gloves) fights against Wu Yanan (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Gina Mazany (blue gloves) fights against Wu Yanan (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-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/wefpiS6xiv9zz59idHM9Mg/286459", customAnalytics: true, title: "Mazany def. Wu", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

MMA fighter's body freezes mid-collapse after spectacular (and terrifying) head-kick KO


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

All head-kick knockouts are brutal by nature. But you know how you know when a head-kick knockout is especially devastating? When the fighter who delivers it prays for the man he just kicked the sh*t out of instead of celebrating his win.

That’s what happened during a Golden Ticket Fight Promotions event last weekend after Samuel Ilnicki’s foot connected with Solomon Rogers’ face. The kick was so hard, not only did Rogers go straight to sleep – his body froze as he collapsed head first onto the canvas.

Watch the video above to see the impressively terrifying finish.

You want to hear something sad? According to Rogers’ profile at Tapology.com, this was his MMA debut.

Poor guy. We seriously hope he’s fully recovered.

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


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

Michael Bisping's two stoppage losses in three weeks leave UFC with one big question

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

For the second time in three weeks, Michael Bisping made the long, lonely walk to the octagon for a UFC main event. Also for the second time in three weeks, he got hit with a hard left hand that took his legs out from under him, with defeat following close behind.

The second one was a lot harder to watch than the first, but that’s at least in part because the memory of the first one was still so fresh.

We all saw Bisping (30-9 MMA, 20-9 UFC) get dropped by Georges St-Pierre’s left hand at UFC 217 in New York City. Then those of us who either stayed up late or woke up early saw him get wiped out by Kelvin Gastelum’s (14-3 MMA, 9-3 UFC) left at UFC Fight Night 122 in Shanghai, and it was hard not to feel like the two events were in some way connected.

RelatedEx-UFC champ Michael Bisping still plans to retire in London in March

For starters, there’s the question of how he got there. Bisping received a 30-day medical suspension from the New York State Athletic Commission after his loss at UFC 217 earlier this month.

But as officials from both the UFC and the New York commission told MMAjunkie, at some point (and neither provided an exact date) that suspension was decreased from 30 days to seven.

And that’s how, just 21 days after losing the UFC middleweight title, Bisping was free and clear to fight again at an event where the UFC essentially acted as its own regulator.

Was it safe? Well, no, but nothing about getting hit in the head over and over again is ever safe. An extra nine days’ rest may not have made much difference to Bisping’s long-term brain health, and anyway these post-fight medical suspensions are usually somewhat arbitrary.

According to Dr. John Stiller, a neurologist who serves as the chief medical officer for the Maryland State Athletic Commission, “there is no test (or) observations that can definitively determine (whether or not) short and long-term risks are increased in any given athlete by returning to further head traumas earlier than dictated by the suspension.”

RelatedTwitter reacts to Kelvin Gastelum's KO of ex-champ Michael Bisping at UFC-Shanghai

In any words, while doctors know it’s probably not great to group your brain traumas too close together, there’s no way to determine in advance when it’s bound to be especially bad. And hey, Bisping said he felt fine, so why not, right?

At the same time, it’s precisely this type of scenario that UFC President Dana White once prided himself on avoiding. Back in 2013, White explained that MMA was safer than pro football in large part because of the time between contests.

“First of all, if you get a concussion, if you get knocked out or you get hurt whatsoever in the UFC, three months suspension,” White said. “You are on suspension for three months, and you cannot come back until you are cleared by a doctor. You can’t have any contact whatsoever. In the NFL, you’re not going to lose Tom Brady for three months, man. You lose Tom Brady for three months, and your whole season is wiped out.”

Of course, you lose Anderson Silva to a drug test and can’t tap Bisping to fill in, maybe your whole fight night is wiped out just as easily.

But if you think any of it worries Bisping, think again. He still wants to fight one more time early next year. His toughness is still just as intact as his competitive fire, and as he so eloquently put it just minutes after being hauled up from the canvas, “Kelvin is a great guy, but it’s going to take a bigger pile of (expletive) than him to get rid of me.”

Which, of course, forces us to ask what it will take. Another knockout? Another win? Is Bisping the kind of guy who can tell himself just one more and really mean it?

After the November he’s had, you can’t help but hope so. It gets harder and harder to watch when the next blow lands while the last still echoes in our collective memory. And while we can’t necessarily say when it’s too much, we ought to be able to say when it’s enough.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 122, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) defeats Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Michael Bisping (red gloves) during his fight against Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) hugs Michael Bisping (red gloves) after their fight during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) defeats Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Kelvin Gastelum (blue gloves) defeats Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-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/wxf4t9d2Nf5GeFGVKDWQj6/286615", customAnalytics: true, title: "Gastelum def. Bisping", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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Zabit Magomedsharipov wants 'special striker' Yair Rodriguez after UFC Fight Night 122 win

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SHANGHAI – Highly touted featherweight prospect Zabit Magomedsharipov knows exactly who he wants to fight next after picking up his second octagon victory at UFC Fight Night 122.

Magomedsharipov (14-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC), who earned a third-round submission of Sheymon Moraes (9-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) on Saturday’s UFC Fight Pass-streamed card at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, is seeking a notable name at 145 pounds for his next out. He called out Yair Rodriguez (10-2 MMA, 6-1 UFC), who is No. 14 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA featherweight rankings.

“I’ve proved myself in the top 15 at the least, and I believe I can give a fight to any (of the) top five in my division,” Magomedsharipov told MMAjunkie through a translator after his win. “If you ask me who I want to fight, I think I could fight against Yair Rodriguez. I want to fight with him because he’s a special striker, as well.”

Magomedsharipov put in a methodical performance against Moraes. He put Mike Santiago away with a second-round submission at UFC Fight Night 115 in January, and he followed it up with an anaconda choke finish of his Brazilian foe at UFC Fight Night 122.

“That was the plan,” Magomedsharipov said. “The was the plan for the night because he’s a very, very high-level striker. The plan was to take him down and work there.”

At 26, Magomedsharipov has gained a lot of fanfare through his two UFC fights and 10-fight winning streak overall. He’s already being pegged as a future title contender, and while that brings head expectation, Magomedsharipov said he’s ready to live up to it.

“No pressure,” Magomedsharipov said. “It motivates me because I know so many people round the world are cheering for me. I have so many fans. That kind of surprised me, but that motivates me more.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 122, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Zabit Magomedsharipov (red gloves) fights Sheymon Moraes (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Zabit Magomedsharipov (red gloves) fights Sheymon Moraes (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Zabit Magomedsharipov (red gloves) fights Sheymon Moraes (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Zabit Magomedsharipov (red gloves) fights Sheymon Moraes (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Zabit Magomedsharipov (red gloves) fights Sheymon Moraes (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Zabit Magomedsharipov (red gloves) fights Sheymon Moraes (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Zabit Magomedsharipov (red gloves) fights Sheymon Moraes (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Zabit Magomedsharipov (red gloves) fights Sheymon Moraes (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Zabit Magomedsharipov (red gloves) fights Sheymon Moraes (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Zabit Magomedsharipov (red gloves) fights Sheymon Moraes (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Zabit Magomedsharipov (red gloves) fights Sheymon Moraes (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Zabit Magomedsharipov (red gloves) fights Sheymon Moraes (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Zabit Magomedsharipov (red gloves) fights Sheymon Moraes (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Nov 25, 2017; Shanghai, China; Zabit Magomedsharipov (red gloves) fights Sheymon Moraes (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-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/Pipoh4HtpLFyBpS4m7ij2Y/286514", customAnalytics: true, title: "Magomedsharipov def. Moraes", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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