MMA Junkie News

'UFC 218 Embedded,' No. 1: Heavyweights loving life, Holloway not so much


Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

The UFC visits Detroit this week, and the promotion has rolled out its “Embedded” treatment for a preview of Saturday’s UFC 218 event.

UFC 218 takes place at Little Caesars Arena. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

In the headliner, featherweight hamp Max Holloway (18-3 MMA, 14-3 UFC) puts his belt on the line against the man from which he took it, Jose Aldo (26-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC).

In the co-main event, a pair of dangerous heavyweights collide in hopes of gaining a title shot, with Francis Ngannou (10-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC) vs. Alistair Overeem (43-15 MMA, 8-4 UFC).

In the first episode of “Embedded,” we check in on the night’s featured fighters to take a closer look at their preparation ahead of the blockbuster event.

Check out the full episode above.

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/286924", customAnalytics: true, title: "Holloway def. Aldo", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

Here's 10 minutes of 'EA Sports UFC 3' footage featuring Conor McGregor you can watch


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

The “EA Sports UFC 3” isn’t available for purchase until Feb. 2, but today EA Sports released 10 minutes of in-game BETA footage featuring lightweight champion Conor McGregor – which, to me, looks real as hell and pretty awesome.

McGregor even does the strut!

But I haven’t played video games with any sort of regularity since about 2003, so what do I know? A quick scan of the YouTube comments reveals a lot of frustration, though. Some examples:

Plexiun doesn’t like the robotic movements.

They’re moving like robots, where is the fluidity they were talking about?! I knew I’d be disappointed. (I’ll come back to this comment after seeing the beta footage or maybe playing it and I’ll apologize if they changed the goofy and robotic movements.)

Mega Mateo just knew it would be bad.

I knew it was gunna be shit, god dammit. Looks like ufc 1. Why are we going back in time? Also Those KO animations are disappointing.

Jonny Son kept it simple and straight to the point.

This is a massive dissapointment

SOUREDRUM cautions against the direction of the franchise altogether.

All they had to do was to tweak EA UFC 2 Alil but they instead gives us this. SMH they went the easy route. they better fix this and fix it fast before they drive this franchise into the ground.

But then again, a few users – like Speaty below – seemed to realize this is just the BETA version and not the polished final product.

The animations actually look way better, people are confused thinking it looks clunky as this is the Beta and obviously people haven’t mastered the new controls/movements etc. When we all get good at the game I feel like it’s gonna be amazing, looks way more technical which is a step in the right direction

Again, I have no clue what constitutes a quality combat sports video game and what doesn’t, so watch the video above and judge for yourself.

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

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

March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor enters the arena during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) before fighting Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) fights Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) fights Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) celebrates after defeating Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) celebrates with his two championship belts after defeating Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor reacts while fighting against Nate Diaz during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 5: Conor McGregor (L) kicks Nate Diaz during UFC 196 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on March 5, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 5: Conor McGregor punches Nate Diaz during UFC 196 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on March 5, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor reacts following his loss against Nate Diaz during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor reacts during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor (right) against Nate Diaz during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor is introduced before fighting against Nate Diaz during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor enters the arena during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor during weigh-ins for UFC 196 fight against Nate Diaz (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor reacts during weigh-ins for UFC 196 fight against Nate Diaz (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor exits the octagon following his championship victory against Jose Aldo during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor celebrates his championship victory against Jose Aldo during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor lands punches to win b technical knockout against Jose Aldo during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor celebrates his win against Jose Aldo during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor speaks following his victory against Jose Aldo UFC 194 press conference at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/jQR94UxjJ6fs5AH2d96gif/286862", customAnalytics: true, title: "Conor McGregor", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC

Omari Akhmedov vs. Marvin Vettori official for UFC 219

A welterweight clash between a pair of international athletes is now official for UFC 219.

UFC execs recently announced that Russia’s Omari Akhmedov (17-4 MMA, 5-3 UFC) and Italy’s Marvin Vettori (12-3 MMA, 2-1 UFC) will meet at the event, which takes place Dec. 30 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The night’s official bout order has yet to be revealed, but Akhmedov vs. Vettori is expected to take place on the night’s preliminary card.

Akhmedov enters the contest on a two-fight winning streak, most recently earning a split-decision win over Abdul Razak Alhassan at this past May’s UFC Fight Night 109 after previously picking up a unanimous decision over Kyle Noke at UFC Fight Night 101.

Meanwhile, Vettori was last in action in June, scoring a decision win over Vitor Miranda. That result marked a rebound for “The Italian Dream,” who previously was handed a decision loss by Antonio Carlos Junior.

With the addition to the card, UFC 219 now includes:

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

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


Filed under: News, UFC

Ben Askren reminds us what MMA is and isn't, even in retirement

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

As retirement fights go, Ben Askren’s couldn’t have been much more fitting. On the other side of the world, against an opponent who had no business being in there with him, he worked a can opener to a suffocating ground-and-pound attack, earning the quickest stoppage of his nearly nine-year career.

And now it’s over. You know, unless …

Unless he gets what he’s always wanted, which is the chance to prove he’s the best.

According to Askren’s immediate post-retirement callout, that opportunity would have to come in a fight with current UFC middleweight champion Georges St-Pierre. The bruises on Shinya Aoki’s face from ONE Championship 65 were still fresh and already Askren was throwing out the invite in GSP’s direction, which is telling in its own way.

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

First of all, Askren’s a welterweight. If he’s going to challenge someone to prove he’s the best in his weight class, why not challenge UFC welterweight champ Tyron Woodley, who also happens to be a friend and training partner? Actually, you know what, think I just answered my own question there.

So then fine, it’s up a division to talk some smack to St-Pierre (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC), who’s still known as the greatest welterweight in MMA history, not to mention one of the greatest pound-for-pound fighters of all time. And if he also has the distinction of being one of the biggest pay-per-view draws in the sport, hey, even better.

But the UFC’s not about to even consider that, right? You’ve got a cash cow like GSP just sitting there with a title around his waist, and you’re going to feed him to a human cement mixer like Askren (18-0), one who’s been off fighting for ONE in Southeast Asia these last few years, where he is effectively invisible to all but the hardest core of MMA fans? It’s madness.

That right there tells you something about this sport, doesn’t it? The reason Askren stands so little chance of getting a fight with GSP isn’t because he’s not good enough. Skill doesn’t even enter into the conversation. Style certainly does, but that’s not the same as skill, and it’s skill that most sports purport to measure with their competitions.

RelatedRelive ONE Championship titleholder Ben Askren's retirement fight in photos

As you probably already know, MMA is not most sports. It doesn’t function the same, doesn’t follow any of the usual rules. You could conceivably be the best, and it could simply not matter. The career arc of Askren is proof of that.

Remember when he exited Bellator as the undefeated champion back in 2013? Then, as now, no one could say they’d seen the ceiling for Askren, because no one could say they’d seen him beaten. It’s the simplest calculus there is. As long as you’re still undefeated, hey, for all we know you might be the best. That is, at least in theory, why we keep giving you tougher competition as you progress, in order to find out if there’s anyone who can beat you.

Askren didn’t get the chance, because the UFC refused to sign him. It wanted him to get some more experience, preferably in the organization now known as PFL, which at the time was WSOF. Nevermind that he was a highly decorated amateur wrestler who was unbeaten in 12 pro MMA fights. (Side note: Of the 24 fighters to compete at UFC Fight Night 122 in Shanghai this past weekend, 10 of them had 12 pro bouts or fewer when they showed up.)

So Askren took his talents across the globe and spent the next four years beating people you never heard of at events you probably didn’t watch. Some of that was Askren being stubbornly independent, but some of it was necessity.

RelatedHow good was Ben Askren? The sad part is, we'll probably never know

Having done more than what is typically required to get a shot in the UFC, and having finagled his release from the UFC’s main competitor, he was denied the chance he had clearly earned. And, vague promises about WSOF aside, there was nothing he could do that would guarantee an opportunity to compete in the UFC. So he followed the money elsewhere, which was an entirely reasonable decision.

Now here we are, nearing the end of 2017. At 33, Askren is still undefeated and without a ton of miles on his body’s odometer, and he’s willing to reconsider retirement for a shot at GSP. Of course he is. And the UFC likely won’t even consider it, because of course it won’t.

This isn’t that kind of sport, where being really good is good enough. It never really has been. It’s just that we forget sometimes, either because we want to or because we get tricked by talk of rankings and wins and the earning of title shots, those little things promoters feed us to make us believe that the game is driven by sense and not just dollars.

Every once in a while, we need to be reminded how it really works – and how it doesn’t. For the last few years, Askren’s been a walking, talking reminder that, while MMA takes place as a series of athletic competitions, it’s still not exactly a sport.

Now he’s leaving, or so he says. Let the circumstances of his withdrawal be one last reminder. Unless …

For complete coverage of “ONE Championship 65: Immortal Pursuit,” visit the MMA Events section of the site.

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Gray Maynard wants to make featherweight statement, but 155-pound bouts also will do

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

Gray Maynard wants to stay active. So, in order to do that, he’s willing to circulate between two weight classes.

Maynard (13-6-1 MMA, 11-6-1 UFC) had some success as a UFC lightweight, having twice fought for the title in memorable back-to-back encounters with then-champ Frankie Edgar. From 2013 to 2015, though, things didn’t go so well for Maynard, who went on a four-fight skid in the 155-pound division.

But then a move to featherweight breathed new life into Maynard’s UFC career. Having gone 2-1 since the move, the former title challenger was last seen easily getting past an opponent 12 years his junior in Teruto Ishihara at the TUF 25 Finale.

Moving forward, Maynard still wants to make a run for the top at featherweight. But, if competing at 155 pounds is what it takes to get booked, then that’s just fine by him.

“(At) 145, I really want to make a statement,” Maynard recently told MMAjunkie Radio. “I want to get to the top names. (At) 155, I believe I could do that too. But I’m down at (145), and it’s pretty easy to make. But if I’ve got to go up to get a fight, I’ll do it if that’s what it takes.”

Maynard hasn’t been able to get more than two fights in the same year since 2008. But, despite realistically knowing that life sometimes gets in the way, he’s hoping 2018 will bring three octagon showings.

In order for that to happen, Maynard wants to start early: preferably in January, before the February arrival of his second child. As for whom he’d like that meeting to involve?

“It doesn’t really matter,” Maynard said. “Just trying to get back on track to get to the top names. Whoever it is, let’s do it.”

Another way to increase octagon activity, as guys like Alex Oliveira and Marlon Vera would know, is being willing to step in on short-notice. But for some, especially veterans, there comes a time when taking these risky calls simply doesn’t pay off.

So which one is it for the 38-year-old Maynard?

“It interests me,” Maynard said. “I’m at that point where my career has got to make sense. And it does kind of interest me if it’s a good name. I pretty much stay in the gym year-round. So I’d do that, yeah.”

To hear more from Maynard, check out the video above.

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

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


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

UFC's sold-out mainland China debut a 'milestone for our company,' says exec Kevin Chang

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

SHANGHAI – Speaking to MMAjunkie a few weeks ago, UFC vice president of Asia Pacific Kevin Chang said that the company’s entrance into mainland China was all about timing.

If today’s debut in Shanghai is any indication, it seems the promotion got it right.

UFC Fight Night 122 took place in the sold out Mercedes-Benz Arena and had eight Chinese fighters in action. Four of them got their hands raised, including “Performance of the Night” bonus winners Jingliang Li (14-4 MMA, 6-2 UFC) and Song Yadong (10-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC).

All in all, Chang said, it was a “very successful” night.

“This is a milestone for our company,” Chang said in a post-fight press conference. “I think selling out Mercedes-Benz arena just really indicates how far we’ve come in a short time.

“(The Chinese fighters) showed their stuff tonight. They really brought their best level, and I think it shows where the level of talent has come in China in, again, the last couple of years.”

This crowd is fantastic. If the Chinese fighters can get on a roll tonight, it’s going to be special.

— John Morgan (@MMAjunkieJohn) November 25, 2017

As far as expansion plans in Asia go, no decisions have been made yet. But, considering what they perceive as a growing fanbase all-around, throughout the continent, Chang says the promotion is keeping an eye on markets like, for instance, Thailand.

“There are so many places to go,” Chang said. “At the end of the day, we haven’t made any decisions yet. But it’s definitely on our radar.”

The reported attendance in Shanghai was of 15,128. In the main event of the night, former middleweight champion Michael Bisping was knocked out by Kelvin Gastelum, after stepping in on short-notice for fellow ex-titleholder Anderson Silva.

Whether Shanghai will host another event after what appears to have been quite the warm welcome remains to be seen. But Chang certainly sounds encouraged.

“It’s definitely, definitely in the cards,” Chang said. “We’re going back to the drawing table probably on Monday to kind of take look at what our plans are for 2018.”

To hear Chang’s full post-fight press conference, 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; 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/286644", customAnalytics: true, title: "Jingliang def. Ottow", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with Eryk Anders, Drakkar Close, Brian Butler, Nate Andrews


Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Eryk Anders, Drakkar Close, Brian Butler, and Nate Andrews.

Undefeated Anders competes Dec. 9 vs. John Phillips at UFC Fight Night 123 in Fresno, Calif. Klose competes Saturday vs. David Teymur at UFC 218 in Detroit. MMA manager Butler has seven clients fighting this week at UFC 218, including featherweight champion Max Holloway and Felice Herrig. Andrews is coming off a win at CES 47, which took place Nov. 17 in Lincoln, R.I.

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

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

  • HOW TO WATCH (ON WEB): Watch a live stream on MMAjunkie’s Facebook or YouTube pages.
  • HOW TO CALL: MMAjunkie Radio takes phone calls from listeners throughout the show. Call into the MMAjunkie Radio hotline at (866) 522-2846.
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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

Why Holly Holm ditched that Celtic song for Led Zeppelin as her UFC walkout music

Maybe you noticed, maybe you didn’t, but Holly Holm’s octagon entrance last time she fought wasn’t the same. She had a different walkout song in June at UFC Fight Night 111 in Singapore, and it was a pretty big change.

Out with the 1996 track, “The Landlord’s Walk,” by Blair Douglas.

And in with Led Zeppelin’s 1971 classic, “Black Dog.”

But why?

Via MMAFighting.com:

“I guess 2016 was kind of just a rough go of a year,” Holm said. “And I had three losses, and I thought, you know, my dad goes, ‘Maybe you should just get a whole different [song].’ Not that a song makes a difference, but let’s just have a new start, a new beginning. … Why not just pick a new walkout song and get a different thing going here?”

As Holm went about selecting her new tune, she reflected on the fact that much of her family was not going to be able to make it halfway around the world to Singapore Indoor Stadium for the bout, so she wanted to pick a song which would remind her of home and family.


That’s where Led Zeppelin came in – a band she and her brother listened to quite a bit growing up.

“I started thinking, it was the first fight that both of my brothers haven’t been at in a long time, and they’ve always been my biggest fan since I was young,” Holm said. “We always used to listen to Led Zeppelin on the way to school – Zeppelin or The Beastie Boys. So I thought, ‘You know what, I’m going to listen to some Led Zeppelin.’ It was the song we listened to to get pumped up and go out and basically make a mess of things and cause some trouble.”

Trouble is certainly what Holm caused for Bethe Correia that night, en route to a third-round win via knockout to snap a three-fight losing streak.

“Black Dog” is a great song choice, vastly superior to that Celtic song if you ask me. But Holm (11-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) said she doesn’t know if she’ll keep Led Zeppelin for her featherweight title fight against Cris Cyborg (18-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) at next month’s UFC 219 pay-per-view in Las Vegas.

But here’s the thing: Once you make a connection between a three-fight losing streak and your walkout song, and then decide to “get a different thing going here” by choosing a new one, you can’t go back. You just can’t.

And also, how do you go back to that Celtic song after choosing Led Zeppelin? That’s like ordering filet mignon and then after one bite deciding to leave the steakhouse for McDonald’s.

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

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

Jun 17, 2017; Singapore, Singapore; Holly Holm (red gloves) reacts after her fight against Bethe Correia during UFC Fight Night at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Jun 17, 2017; Singapore, Singapore; Bethe Correia (blue gloves) prior to her match against Holly Holm (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Jun 17, 2017; Singapore, Singapore; Bethe Correia (blue gloves) competes against Holly Holm (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Jun 17, 2017; Singapore, Singapore; Bethe Correia (blue gloves) competes against Holly Holm (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Jun 17, 2017; Singapore, Singapore; Bethe Correia (blue gloves) competes against Holly Holm (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Jun 17, 2017; Singapore, Singapore; Bethe Correia (blue gloves) competes against Holly Holm (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Jun 17, 2017; Singapore, Singapore; Bethe Correia (blue gloves) competes against Holly Holm (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Jun 17, 2017; Singapore, Singapore; Bethe Correia (blue gloves) competes against Holly Holm (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Jun 17, 2017; Singapore, Singapore; Bethe Correia (blue gloves) competes against Holly Holm (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Jun 17, 2017; Singapore, Singapore; Bethe Correia (blue gloves) competes against Holly Holm (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Jun 17, 2017; Singapore, Singapore; Bethe Correia (blue gloves) competes against Holly Holm (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Jun 17, 2017; Singapore, Singapore; Bethe Correia (blue gloves) competes against Holly Holm (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Jun 17, 2017; Singapore, Singapore; Bethe Correia (blue gloves) competes against Holly Holm (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Jun 17, 2017; Singapore, Singapore; Bethe Correia (blue gloves) competes against Holly Holm (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Jun 17, 2017; Singapore, Singapore; Bethe Correia (blue gloves) competes against Holly Holm (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Jun 17, 2017; Singapore, Singapore; Bethe Correia (blue gloves) competes against Holly Holm (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Jun 17, 2017; Singapore, Singapore; Bethe Correia (blue gloves) competes against Holly Holm (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Jun 17, 2017; Singapore, Singapore; Holly Holm (red gloves) reacts after her fight against Bethe Correia during UFC Fight Night at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Jun 17, 2017; Singapore, Singapore; Holly Holm (red gloves) reacts after her fight against Bethe Correia during UFC Fight Night at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Jun 17, 2017; Singapore, Singapore; Bethe Correia (blue gloves) competes against Holly Holm (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Jun 17, 2017; Singapore, Singapore; Bethe Correia (blue gloves) competes against Holly Holm (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Jun 17, 2017; Singapore, Singapore; Holly Holm (red gloves) reacts after her fight against Bethe Correia during UFC Fight Night at Singapore Indoor Stadium. 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/VhhgrXa6pJdCgPosMxYVHG/286805", customAnalytics: true, title: "Holm def. Correia", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC

'UFC 218 Countdown' full episode, with Holloway-Aldo 2, Ngannou-Overeem and Alvarez-Gaethje


Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

Did you miss the debut of “UFC 218 Countdown,” or just want to watch it again? Check out the full episode now.

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, giving way to an immediate rematch for Aldo.

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

The show also dives into the co-main event heavyweight contenders showdown 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 “The Ultimate Fighter 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.

“Countdown’ goes behind the scenes with all six fighters, and you can watch the full episode above.

UFC 218 takes place Saturday at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, 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.

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

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

Heading to UFC 218? Fans invited to open workouts, weigh-ins in Detroit

If you’re heading to Detroit for this week’s UFC 218 pay-per-view, you have some fight-week events you can attend for free.

UFC 218 takes place Saturday at the new Little Caesars Arena in downtown Detroit. It’s the promotion’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.

In the main event, featherweight champion Max Holloway (18-3 MMA, 14-3 UFC) takes on former champ Jose Aldo (26-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC), the man he took the belt from, in a rematch. In the co-feature, heavyweight contender Francis Ngannou (10-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC) meets former Strikeforce champion and recent UFC title challenger Alistair Overeem (43-15 MMA, 8-4 UFC).

Prior to the event, fans can attend a number of pre-event activities, including:

Wednesday (5 p.m. ET): UFC 218 open workouts at The Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave. The main and co-main event fighters will work out for fans and meet the media at the famed venue, nearly 100 years old, formerly known as State Theatre. Doors open at 5 p.m. and the first fighter will work out at 5:30 in 30-minute increments starting with Ngannou, followed by Aldo, Overeem and Holloway.

Friday (5 p.m. ET): UFC 218 weigh-ins at Little Caesars Arena, 2645 Woodward Ave. The ceremonial UFC 218 weigh-ins start at 6 p.m. ET, and the doors open to the public at 5 p.m.

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

Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) reacts after winning his fight against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) enters the arena before his fight against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) cut under his left eye during his fight against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) in the UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) fights against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) cut under his left eye during his fight against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) in the UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) bleeds from a cut during his fight against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) in the UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) enters the octagon before his fight against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) celebrates his first round knockout of Luke Rockhold (red) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) fights Luke Rockhold (red) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) fights Luke Rockhold (red) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) celebrates his first round knockout of Luke Rockhold (not pictured) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) celebrates with his wife after his first round knockout of Luke Rockhold (not pictured) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Feb 27, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Anderson Silva (red gloves) competes against Michael Bisping (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Feb 27, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Anderson Silva (red gloves) competes against Michael Bisping (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Feb 27, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Michael Bisping reacts after his fight against Anderson Silva during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/mCWH6kigogSDYNhSJ5YG4T/286756", customAnalytics: true, title: "Michael Bisping", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC

MMAjunkie reader predictions: Make your picks for UFC 218 in Detroit

We want your predictions for Saturday’s UFC 218 event in Detroit.

Our staff picks feature includes the consensus picks from MMAjunkie readers. Simply cast your vote for each bout below, and we’ll use the official tallies that are registered by Thursday at noon ET (9 a.m. PT).

Those MMAjunkie MMA reader consensus picks will be part of the UFC 218 staff picks we release Friday ahead of the event. UFC 218 takes place at the new Little Caesars Arena in downtown Detroit, and it’s the promotion’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.

* * * *

Max Holloway vs. Jose Aldo

Records: Max Holloway (18-3 MMA, 14-3 UFC), Jose Aldo (26-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC)
Past five: Holloway 5-0, Aldo 3-2
Division: Featherweight
Rankings: Holloway No. 1, No. 6 pound-for-pound; Aldo No. 2, No. 13 pound-for-pound
Odds (as of 11/26/17): Holloway -305, Aldo +235

Take Our Poll (function(d,c,j){if(!d.getElementById(j)){var pd=d.createElement(c),s;pd.id=j;pd.src='http://s1.wp.com/wp-content/mu-plugins/shortcodes/js/polldaddy-shortcode.js';s=d.getElementsByTagName(c)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(pd,s);} else if(typeof jQuery !=='undefined')jQuery(d.body).trigger('pd-script-load');}(document,'script','pd-polldaddy-loader')); Francis Ngannou vs. Alistair Overeem

Records: Francis Ngannou (10-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC), Alistair Overeem (43-15 MMA, 8-4 UFC)
Past five: Ngannou 5-0, Overeem 4-1
Division: Heavyweight
Rankings: Overeem No. 2, Ngannou No. 9
Odds (as of 11/26/17): N/A

Take Our Poll (function(d,c,j){if(!d.getElementById(j)){var pd=d.createElement(c),s;pd.id=j;pd.src='http://s1.wp.com/wp-content/mu-plugins/shortcodes/js/polldaddy-shortcode.js';s=d.getElementsByTagName(c)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(pd,s);} else if(typeof jQuery !=='undefined')jQuery(d.body).trigger('pd-script-load');}(document,'script','pd-polldaddy-loader')); Henry Cejudo vs. Sergio Pettis

Records: Henry Cejudo (11-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC), Sergio Pettis (16-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC)
Past five: Cejudo 3-2, Pettis 4-1
Division: Flyweight
Rankings: Cejudo No. 3, Pettis No. 6
Odds (as of 11/26/17): N/A

Take Our Poll (function(d,c,j){if(!d.getElementById(j)){var pd=d.createElement(c),s;pd.id=j;pd.src='http://s1.wp.com/wp-content/mu-plugins/shortcodes/js/polldaddy-shortcode.js';s=d.getElementsByTagName(c)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(pd,s);} else if(typeof jQuery !=='undefined')jQuery(d.body).trigger('pd-script-load');}(document,'script','pd-polldaddy-loader')); Eddie Alvarez vs. Justin Gaethje

Records: Eddie Alvarez (28-5 MMA, 3-2 UFC), Justin Gaethje (18-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC)
Past five: Alvarez 3-2, Gaethje 5-0
Division: Lightweight
Rankings: Gaethje No. 3, Alvarez No. 5
Odds (as of 11/26/17): N/A

Take Our Poll (function(d,c,j){if(!d.getElementById(j)){var pd=d.createElement(c),s;pd.id=j;pd.src='http://s1.wp.com/wp-content/mu-plugins/shortcodes/js/polldaddy-shortcode.js';s=d.getElementsByTagName(c)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(pd,s);} else if(typeof jQuery !=='undefined')jQuery(d.body).trigger('pd-script-load');}(document,'script','pd-polldaddy-loader')); Tecia Torres vs. Michelle Waterson

Records: Tecia Torres (9-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC), Michelle Waterson (14-5 MMA, 2-1 UFC)
Past five: Torres 4-1, Waterson 3-2
Division: Strawweight
Rankings: Torres No. 7
Odds (as of 11/26/17): N/A

Take Our Poll (function(d,c,j){if(!d.getElementById(j)){var pd=d.createElement(c),s;pd.id=j;pd.src='http://s1.wp.com/wp-content/mu-plugins/shortcodes/js/polldaddy-shortcode.js';s=d.getElementsByTagName(c)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(pd,s);} else if(typeof jQuery !=='undefined')jQuery(d.body).trigger('pd-script-load');}(document,'script','pd-polldaddy-loader'));

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/286744", customAnalytics: true, title: "Holloway def. Aldo", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

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Filed under: News, UFC

Trading Shots: How will we remember Michael Bisping once he's gone?

After a loss at UFC Fight Night 122 in Shanghai, Michael Bisping said he still plans to fight one more time and then call it quits. But how will we remember him once he’s gone? And what are the odds he changes his mind about leaving when the time comes? Former UFC and WEC fighter Danny Downes joins MMAjunkie columnist Ben Fowlkes to discuss in this week’s Trading Shots.

Downes: Ben, while you were out this week trying to unionize the Turkey Bowl participants or reminding your relatives there was no pumpkin pie at the first Thanksgiving, Michael Bisping was preparing for a fight. The former champ returned on short notice to fight Kelvin Gastelum and wound up losing by first-round knockout.

You’ve already discussed the wisdom of creating this fight, so I’m not interested in hearing you regurgitate the same talking points. Instead, I want to look at the big picture.

Where do we place Bisping in the pantheon of MMA fighters? He achieved his goal of a UFC title late in his career, but many consider that a fluke. His only title defense was against Dan Henderson, who was not exactly a top contender at the time. He then lost his title to Georges St-Pierre, a career welterweight. Now, he’s been knocked out by a fighter who, as Chris Weidman correctly pointed out, is probably too small for the division.

Will people look fondly on “The Count’s” career once he decides to hang the gloves up? He’s made himself wealthy by making people hate him, but does that mean fans will never be able to truly appreciate him?

Fowlkes: I suspect that it might be easier for fans to appreciate Bisping once he’s gone. It’s not just fans, either. I think even some of his peers will have an easier time admitting that he was actually a good fighter once he’s not in their faces insisting on it so regularly.

He’s had a hell of a career, when you think about it. At one point he had the sole record for total UFC wins. He claimed the UFC middleweight title extremely late in his career (and right when USADA got involved). He’s beaten some greats, and he always answered the call to fight (though with a little more frequency when he didn’t have the title).

But more than anything, I think he’ll be remembered as one of the great overachievers in MMA history. How else did a guy like him – someone who’s not a knockout artist, not a submissions expert, not a powerhouse wrestler or ground-and-pound grinder – win so many freaking fights?!

He did it with the force of his will and his cardio and his all-around game and his willingness to suffer for his art, when necessary.

What I can’t help but wonder now, especially after this most recent loss, is whether he’s going to end up paying a heavy price for all that years down the road. Two fights in three weeks when you’re 38? Plus another one in a few months, added to the damage he’s already taken? Am I the only one a little worried about the consequences of all that?

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/wxf4t9d2Nf5GeFGVKDWQj6/286750", customAnalytics: true, title: "Gastelum def. Bisping", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Downes: There’s this narrative out there that MMA fighters are short-sighted and don’t see the big picture. Additionally, there’s the idea that they lack the intelligence to understand the ramifications of their decisions.

We run through this every time we’re eager to push an aging fighter out the door. There’s this odd paternal tendency among fans and media who assume they know better than the fighters themselves. I get it to a certain extent, but how come these same people don’t apply this criteria to their own lives?

I understand why you’d ask about the long-term consequences of his choices, but I wonder how much you use this decades-long cause-and-effect analysis in your own life. Do you wonder about the consequences in 2039 about the hamburger you ate this week? Did you know that the average lifespan of a Labrador is 10-14 years? In that case, why even have a dog? You have two daughters. What about the sea levels when they’re nearing retirement?!?

Bisping is no Shinryu Suzuki, but maybe, just maybe, he was living for the moment. He may have done it for the money. He may have done it because he was mad about the “GSP” fight. He may have done it because he always wanted to visit Shanghai. Whatever the motivation, it doesn’t matter.

He didn’t care about the nebulous idea of “legacy,” and I think that’s something to applaud. Worrying about your legacy as a fighter is like worrying about your Instagram posts on a family vacation. You’re spending too much time focusing on a tangential, unnecessary thing that it detracts from the moment at hand. My son’s first steps aren’t caught on video. I also didn’t miss them with my face behind an iPhone.

People will debate Bisping’s place among the UFC greats. They might detract from his title reign and career in general. People on Twitter will send him a GIF of Dan Henderson dropping that UFC 100 forearm every day of his life. At the end of the day, though, it doesn’t really matter. Whether you were rooting for his downfall or triumph, he’s entertained us for over a decade. Can you fit that on a win/loss record?

Fowlkes: Did you seriously just compare eating a hamburger to staying too long in an inherently violent sport that can leave people permanently brain damaged? I guess you did. I guess you also compared fighting in MMA to climate change, so at least we’re keeping it all in perspective.

Bisping became a fighter because he loved it, sure, but also because he hoped to make money at it, which he has. He also held out for the “GSP” fight not just because he wanted to face an MMA legend, but because he wanted to ensure his family’s financial future.

What I’m saying is, what good is all that money if you stick around too long and break your brain? Look at the NFL players who have retired with money and business interests, only to meet with a bad end a few years later because of symptoms of chronic traumatic encephalopathy? And it’s not just the brain that’s at risk.

This sport is a health gamble every single time you get in that cage. There has to be a point where you’re better off pushing away from the table. There has to be a point where the payoff no longer justifies the risks.

You say legacy doesn’t matter to Bisping (though, the way he was just talking about Silva’s legacy after that second failed drug test suggests that it’s at least on his mind), but enjoying his retirement in one piece surely matters.

As for how we view him once he’s gone, I don’t think there’s that much riding on this one last fight he says he wants in March. Hopefully the UFC gives him someone around his age, someone who’s not actually a title contender, and hopefully – win or lose – he sticks to his plan to retire once it’s over.

His legacy as a tough, fiery competitor who loved to fight and made the most of the talent he had? That’s mostly set at this point. The only way to screw it up is to add an element of cautionary tale by hanging around too long.

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

Ben Fowlkes is MMAjunkie and USA TODAY’s MMA columnist. Danny Downes, a retired UFC and WEC fighter, is an MMAjunkie contributor who has also written for UFC.com and UFC 360. Follow them on twitter at @benfowlkesMMA and @dannyboydownes.

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UFC Fight Night 122 reactions: Winning and losing fighters on social media

Since the early days when the sport was anything but a mainstream endeavor, the MMA industry has thrived and survived through various websites, forums and, perhaps most importantly, social-media platforms.

Fighters interact with fans, each other and many more through the likes of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, which helps outsiders get a deeper look into the minds of the athletes.

Following Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 122 event in Shanghai, several of the winning and losing fighters, along with their coaches, training partners or family members, took to social media to react to the event or share a message with supporters.

Check out some of those reactions.

* * * *

The defeated

Just wanted to thank everyone for the support. I apologize to any of the fans if I let y’all down. Things happen at this level and especially at heavyweight. I appreciate all of you. Even the ones who aren’t fans. God bless.

— Chase Sherman (@ChaseShermanUFC) November 26, 2017

pic.twitter.com/S7FpQsbR3D

— Chase Sherman (@ChaseShermanUFC) November 26, 2017

pic.twitter.com/NCFAYnR3Do

— Bobby Nash (@B_Nashty) November 26, 2017

The victorious

Alaska being represented in Shanghai! Amazing watching @GinaDangerAK make it happen. #UFC #victory @ufc @UFCFightPass pic.twitter.com/rKddvcjPeT

— Dave Mazany (@MazanyMMA) November 26, 2017

拳天下CTT China Top Team – China Winning Team!!!! CTT we are the BEST!!!Thank you for your support!!! pic.twitter.com/NJxWXMxYDm

— Li Jingliang_MMA (@UfcJingliang) November 26, 2017

Can’t express how much I respect and I admire you Mike #Legend https://t.co/VCT9ABxAEe

— #OnAmission4Gold (@KelvinGastelum) November 26, 2017

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

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

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/wxf4t9d2Nf5GeFGVKDWQj6/286763", customAnalytics: true, title: "Gastelum def. Bisping", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start(); if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_7YB5eAEv_RbnemIYZ_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/7YB5eAEv.json","ph":2} );
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UFC 219's Edson Barboza on the downside of being famous for a wheel kick

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

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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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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.


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

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

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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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