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Trading Shots: Now that McGregor-Mayweather fight week is here, what do we hope for, and what do we actually expect?

It’s finally fight week for Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor. After a long build-up, MMAjunkie columnist Ben Fowlkes and retired UFC and WEC fighter Danny Downes discuss expectations and reality in this week’s Trading Shots.

Fowlkes: Today is Sunday, Danny. That means one week from now we’ll finally be on the other side of this McGregor-Mayweather business. What I ask of you now is to look into that not-so-distant future. Picture yourself one week from today, a hundred bucks poorer but finally armed with real knowledge of that which we’ve been so busy speculating on lo these many weeks.

What’s one thing you hope you will have gotten out of the experience by the time we reconvene next Sunday? Separately, what’s one thing you can say you definitely expect to get out of it?

Downes: My biggest hope is to be entertained. I make a mean taco dip, but that can’t entertain people over the course of 12 rounds. This fight doesn’t have to look like it belongs in the “Rocky” franchise, but there needs to be some drama.

It’s the same attitude I have going into every UFC card I watch, but the stakes here are greater. Not because it’s an extra $40, but because it serves as a justification.

If a UFC card stinks or falls short, we can shrug our shoulders and get ready for the next one. By buying this fight, we chose the circus over legitimate sport.

If the fight delivers something competitive, we can pat ourselves on the back and pretend that we weren’t suckers the whole time. If the fight turns out to be the one-sided embarrassment many predict, then those of us who purchased Mayweather vs. McGregor have no shelter. We would be rightly embarrassed that we let the spectacle conquer our better reasoning.

What I definitely expect to happen is that nobody will be happy or change their minds. No matter the result, we will learn no greater lesson from this fight. Boxing purists will still look down on MMA fighters and fans. Even if McGregor wins, we’ll hear the excuses about Mayweather being 40 years old. The claims that no MMA fighter can box with a “real” boxer will still fly. The McGregor apologists will trumpet whatever happens.

A victorious McGregor would further prove that “Mystic Mac” is a once-in-human-history athlete. If he loses, he’s still a brilliant promotional genius who had the guts to compete against the best boxer of this generation. This isn’t an episode of “G.I Joe,” Ben. We’re not going to learn a lesson by the end of it.

What about you? Are you expecting to get some fulfillment out of the MayMac experiment? What are you hoping comes to fruition?

RelatedBefore MayMac madness, watch pre-UFC Conor McGregor's first time winning 2 titles

Fowlkes: I agree that McGregor’s ride-or-die fans will stick with him no matter what, but you’re underselling what a McGregor win would mean. Mayweather may be 40, but he’s still Mayweather. If an MMA fighter beats him in his pro boxing debut, that would be earth-shattering stuff.

People are already out there writing songs about McGregor. If he beats Mayweather they’ll carve his face into the side of a mountain.

My hopes are not so different from yours. Mostly I’d like to not wake up next Sunday morning feeling like I got taken by a giant scam. This can be accomplished in a few different ways. If McGregor can at least make it competitive, that’ll be enough. If he can force Mayweather to really get aggressive and try to put him away to make a point, that also might do it. I need to see something that feels important, in one way or another, because otherwise the only momentous thing here is how much of our money we gave these people.

As for what I expect? Basically one big game of “I told you so,” and that’s true no matter how the fight turns out. It’s just a question of who will get to do the telling.

If McGregor gets blown out, it’ll be all the people who called this a farce from the beginning. If he wins, his already pretty insufferable fans will reach incredible new levels of insufferability. Matter of fact, if he even hangs tough and makes a fight out of it, I’m prepared to wake up the next morning to a bunch of obnoxious tweets from people with Twitter handles like @McGregorIsGod999.

What’s weird is that, as I sit here writing this a week out, what I really want is to just get this over with already. The build-up seems like it has lasted years, and I’m ready for a world where MMA websites are not overrun with constant MayMac coverage.

But I also wonder how we’ll feel when it really is over. The event of the year, over and done with, and then, what, we turn around and hype ourselves up for Stefan Struve vs. Alexander Volkov in Rotterdam? I really can’t tell if we’ll be glad to get back to our regularly scheduled (if comparatively boring and predictable) programming, or if we’ll spend the next weeks or even months in a hype hangover that we can’t recover from.

RelatedConor McGregor: Floyd Mayweather can't train for me without resurrecting Bruce Lee

Downes: The problem with hype is that things rarely live up to it. It doesn’t matter if it’s a “Star Wars” movie or Mayweather vs. McGregor, the buildup creates unrealistic expectations. Even if our wishes are met and it’s a competitive fight, we’ll still be disappointed.

When you head into an event with low expectations, there’s a chance that you’ll be pleasantly surprised and walk away with an overall positive outlook, but I don’t think that’s possible with this fight. If the match itself exceeds our predictions, there’s an extra level of cynicism that’s difficult break. The way you mock Struve vs. Volkov is very different from the way you mock Mayweather vs. McGregor.

What the MMA landscape looks like in the post MayMac world is an important question. This circus has controlled both mainstream and MMA-specific media for a long time. Whenever the momentum was starting to wane, Mayweather and McGregor found a way to get themselves into the news. While McGregor the personality has been at the forefront, the UFC and MMA as a whole have received some of the residual glory.

We laugh at Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe sharing their ignorant views on TV, but that type of attention isn’t always bad. The elusive “mainstream fans” get their information from mainstream outlets. The path of MMA expansion will come from ESPN and FOX Sports, not The Speed Bag.

James Toney vs. Randy Couture is a footnote of MMA history. I don’t see Mayweather vs. McGregor following that path. Rightly or wrongly, people will look at Saturday as a major pivot point. Will it be a sign of decline?

The fact that a gimmick fight between a 40-year-old former boxing champ and your two-division MMA champ is the biggest thing on the calendar shows the weakness of the brand. You have to shut down your whole operation for a month to push one individual so you can make some money back on your investment.

Than again, maybe this bet will pay off. It will legitimize the sport in the eyes of detractors and create a cultural moment that will live on in every documentary about the turbulent 2010s. Perhaps it’s a lot of pressure to put on a single event, but I believe the sport of MMA is at a crossroads. Mayweather vs. McGregor is going to take us down a path, and we’ll find out which one next week.

For more on “The Money Fight: Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor,” check out the MMA Rumors 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.

Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor warms up in the ring during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor speaks with reporters after a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor enters the workout area during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor speaks to reporters while getting his hands wrapped during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor speaks with reporters after a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor speaks with reporters after a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor speaks with reporters after a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor speaks with reporters after a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor speaks with reporters after a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor warms up in the ring during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor warms up in the ring during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor hits a heavy bag during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor has looks on during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor hits an uppercut bag during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor hits an uppercut bag during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor hits an uppercut bag during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor hits a heavy bag during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor looks on during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor hits a heavy bag during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor drinks water during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/68dBFQsn94fMkuPbDjykuH/266625", customAnalytics: true, title: "McGregor workout before Mayweather fight", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

As Contender Series debut run draws to close, Dana White says to expect many, many more

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Filed under: News, UFC

With just two weeks left in the debut run of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series, the man whose name is in the title says the series will feature prominently moving forward.

“It’s doing very well,” UFC President Dana White told MMAjunkie following the most recent episode. “It’s killing it for us, and I have other plans for this show, too, so yeah, this is going to keep going.”

Launched in July, the Contender Series features a mix of up-and-coming fighters and veterans looking to earn their way into the UFC in a weekly fight card at The Ultimate Fighter Gym in Las Vegas that streams live on UFC Fight Pass. Through six episodes on the show, 11 different fighters have scored UFC deals.

For the most part, the fights have proven entertaining, taking place in front of small but lively crowd and featuring athletes hell-bent on making their way to the big show.

White has long discussed the possibility of weekly live fights and believes the Contender Series provides the ideal recipe.

“I think I finally came up with the perfect concept for weekly shows,” White said. “I love it.”

There are two shows remaining in the debut run of the Contender Series events, but White said the show will make a return later this year and provide another vehicle – along with “The Ultimate Fighter” and “Dana White’s Lookin’ for a Fight” – for athletes to try and make their way to the sport’s biggest promotion.

White said an exact return date has yet to be determined, but he insists a long run is on the horizon.

“We’ll take a little break and then start over again,” White said. “Honestly, I could do this every Tuesday for the rest of my life. I love it.”

To hear more from White, including some of his thoughts on Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor, check out the video above.

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


Filed under: News, UFC

Top 25 finishes in Invicta FC history (Nos. 20-16): A Cris Cyborg destruction

More than five years have passed since Invicta FC hosted its first event. During that time, the all-female organization has gone through a number of different incarnations.

Despite having roster members consistently plucked up by the UFC, Invicta FC frequently hosts solid fight cards to help further the growth of women’s MMA. The fighters do their part by delivering inside the cage, and with the 25th event in company history set to go down later this month, Invicta FC has decided to highlight its young history.

Invicta FC 25 takes place Aug. 31 at Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino in Lemoore, Calif. Ahead of the event, Invicta FC’s social media team is rolling out a countdown of the 25 best finishes in its history.

Check out the first portion of the list here, and the second installment below counting down No. 20 to No. 16.

* * * *

20. Roxanne Modafferi def. Sarah D’Alelio at Invicta FC 23 (May 20, 2017)

Women’s MMA pioneer Roxanna Modafferi punched her ticket to Season 26 of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series and a chance at the inaugural UFC women’s flyweight title when she put away Sarah D’Alelio with a third-round TKO at Invicta FC 23.

19. Katja Kankaanpaa def. Stephanie Eggink at Invicta FC 8 (Sept. 6, 2014)

Katja Kankaanpaa won the vacant Invicta FC strawweight title when she rallied from a huge deficit on the scorecards to submit Stephanie Eggink with a fifth-round rear-naked choke for a stunning come-from-behind win at Invicta FC 8.

18. Alexis Davis def. Shayna Baszler at Invicta FC 4 (Jan. 5, 2013)

After losing a unanimous decision to Shayna Baszler at a regional event in 2010, former UFC title challenger Alexis Davis got revenge in the rematch when she choked Baszler out cold with a rear-naked choke at Invicta FC 4.

17. Irene Aldana def. Peggy Morgan at Invicta FC 8 (Sept. 6, 2014)

Mexican standout Irene Aldana began her run toward a bantamweight title shot when she made quick work of “The Ultimate Fighter 18” cast member Peggy Morgan courtesy of a first-round rear-naked choke.

16. Cris Cyborg def. Faith Van Duin at Invicta FC 13 (July 9, 2015)

Cris Cyborg’s dominant 5-0 run through the Invicta FC organization included a lot of dominant performances. Her 45-second destruction of Faith Van Duin at Invicta FC 13 was the quickest of all. In trademark fashion, the Brazilian charged her foe and ended the fight with strikes for a TKO.

Check out the Blue Corner on Wednesday for the next installment of Invicta FC’s top 25 finishes countdown.

And for more on the Invicta FC schedule, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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

May 14, 2016; Curitiba, Brazil; Cris Justino (red) awaits the start of her fight against Leslie Smith during UFC Fight Night at Arena Atletico Paranaense. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 14, 2016; Curitiba, Brazil; Cris Justino (red) lands a punch to the face of Leslie Smith (blue) during UFC Fight Night at Arena Atletico Paranaense. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 14, 2016; Curitiba, Brazil; Cris Justino (red) throws a kick defended by Leslie Smith (blue) during UFC Fight Night at Arena Atletico Paranaense. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 14, 2016; Curitiba, Brazil; Cris Justino (red) fights against Leslie Smith (blue) during UFC Fight Night at Arena Atletico Paranaense. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 14, 2016; Curitiba, Brazil; Cris Justino (red) reacts after defending Leslie Smith (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Arena Atletico Paranaense. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 14, 2016; Curitiba, Brazil; Cris Justino (red) reacts for the fans and cameras after defending Leslie Smith (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Arena Atletico Paranaense. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 14, 2016; Curitiba, Brazil; Cris Justino (red) reacts for the fans and cameras after defending Leslie Smith (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Arena Atletico Paranaense. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 14, 2016; Curitiba, Brazil; Cris Justino (red) reacts after defending Leslie Smith (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Arena Atletico Paranaense. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 14, 2016; Curitiba, Brazil; Cris Justino (red) reacts after defending Leslie Smith (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Arena Atletico Paranaense. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 14, 2016; Curitiba, Brazil; Cris Justino (red) reacts after defending Leslie Smith (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Arena Atletico Paranaense. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Sep 24, 2016; Brasilia, Brazil; Cris Cyborg (red gloves) before her fight against Lina Lansberg (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Sep 24, 2016; Brasilia, Brazil; Cris Cyborg (red gloves) fights Lina Lansberg (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Sep 24, 2016; Brasilia, Brazil; Cris Cyborg (red gloves) fights Lina Lansberg (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Sep 24, 2016; Brasilia, Brazil; Cris Cyborg (red gloves) fights Lina Lansberg (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Sep 24, 2016; Brasilia, Brazil; Cris Cyborg (red gloves) fights Lina Lansberg (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Sep 24, 2016; Brasilia, Brazil; Cris Cyborg (red gloves) celebrates defeating Lina Lansberg (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Sep 24, 2016; Brasilia, Brazil; Cris Cyborg (red gloves) celebrates defeating Lina Lansberg (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Sep 24, 2016; Brasilia, Brazil; Cris Cyborg (red gloves) celebrates defeating Lina Lansberg (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Sep 24, 2016; Brasilia, Brazil; Cris Cyborg (red gloves) celebrates defeating Lina Lansberg (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Sep 24, 2016; Brasilia, Brazil; Cris Cyborg (red gloves) celebrates defeating Lina Lansberg (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium. 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/bTjGvR9MzSFsZuKxiFrTbW/266545", customAnalytics: true, title: "Cris Cyborg", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News

Considering both waiting for Bellator fights, Michael Chandler pitches bout to Rory MacDonald

Rory MacDonald this past week responded to a Twitter user to say it doesn’t look like he’ll be back in the Bellator cage until 2018.

It sounds like former lightweight champion Michael Chandler is facing a similar predicament. So Chandler has a solution: He and MacDonald might as well throw down.

Chandler (16-4 MMA, 13-4 BMMA) responded to MacDonald’s (19-4 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) original tweet by saying, “well…looks like we are in the same boat. I’ve got my dancing shoes on if you’re not busy in Nov/Dec.”

MacDonald replied and said his inactivity is not necessarily because no one wants to fight him, but because of the promotion’s “scheduling strategy.” But beyond that, he “would b happy 2fight asap.”

from what im told, its scheduling strategy and not the lack of my next opponent being available i would b happy 2fight asap

— Rory MacDonald (@rory_macdonald) August 20, 2017

Earlier this year in London, Bellator President Scott Coker said MacDonald was a near certainty to headline the promotion’s return to Canada. MacDonald is a British Columbia native and longtime member of Tristar Gym in Montreal. But Coker said that return north of the border probably will not take place until 2018, which gives credence to MacDonald’s “scheduling strategy” comment.

Bellator has made seven trips to Canada, all to the province of Ontario. Five of those events have taken place at Casino Rama, about 90 minutes north of Toronto. And two have been in Windsor, which is a stone’s throw across the Detroit River from the U.S., so may as well be in the States.

The promotion’s most recent visit to Canada came more than three years ago for Bellator 119. Since then, Bellator has ramped up its international presence in a major way, including visits to Italy, England, Israel, Ireland and Northern Ireland – but Canada hasn’t worked its way back into the fold.

In May, MacDonald made his Bellator debut and ripped through Paul Daley with a second-round rear-naked choke. He had signed with the promotion in 2016 after years with the UFC.

Chandler lost his lightweight title to Brent Primus in June in a major upset at Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. A cageside doctor called off the fight due to a Chandler leg injury, giving Primus a TKO win and the belt.

A proposed fight with MacDonald, as unlikely as it seems, presumably would have Chandler moving up from lightweight to welterweight, at least temporarily.

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

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

Jul 11, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Rory MacDonald (blue gloves) is introduced for his welterweight title bout against Robbie Lawler (not pictured) during UFC 189 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Lawler won via fifth round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jul 11, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Robbie Lawler (red gloves) and Rory MacDonald (blue gloves) fight during their welterweight title bout during UFC 189 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Lawler won via fifth round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jul 11, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Robbie Lawler (red gloves) and Rory MacDonald (blue gloves) fight during their welterweight title bout during UFC 189 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Lawler won via fifth round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jul 11, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Robbie Lawler (not pictured) and Rory MacDonald (blue gloves) fight during their welterweight title bout during UFC 189 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Lawler won via fifth round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jul 11, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Robbie Lawler (red gloves) and Rory MacDonald (blue gloves) fight during their welterweight title bout during UFC 189 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Lawler won via fifth round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jun 14, 2014; Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; Rory MacDonald (red) reacts after his fight against Tyron Woodley (blue) in their welterweight bout at UFC 174 at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports Jun 14, 2014; Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; Rory MacDonald (red) fights against Tyron Woodley (blue) in their welterweight bout at UFC 174 at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports Jun 14, 2014; Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; Rory MacDonald (red) fights Tyron Woodley (blue) during the Welterweigtht bout at UFC 174 at Rogers Arena. Rory MacDonald defeats Tyron Woodley via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports Jun 14, 2014; Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; Rory MacDonald (red) fights against Tyron Woodley (blue) in their welterweight bout at UFC 174 at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports Jun 14, 2014; Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; Rory MacDonald (red) fights Tyron Woodley (blue) during the Welterweigtht bout at UFC 174 at Rogers Arena. Rory MacDonald defeats Tyron Woodley via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports Jun 14, 2014; Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; Rory MacDonald (red) fights Tyron Woodley (blue) during the Welterweigtht bout at UFC 174 at Rogers Arena. Rory MacDonald defeats Tyron Woodley via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports Jun 14, 2014; Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; Rory MacDonald (red) stands before the fight against Tyron Woodley (blue) during the Welterweigtht bout at UFC 174 at Rogers Arena. Rory MacDonald defeats Tyron Woodley via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports Feb 22, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Rory MacDonald celebrates his victory over Demian Maia (not pictured) after their UFC welterweight bout at Mandalay Bay. MacDonald won by way of a 29-28 decision. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Feb 22, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Rory MacDonald (red gloves) lands a punch on Demian Maia (blue gloves) during their UFC welterweight bout at Mandalay Bay. MacDonald won by way of a 29-28 decision. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Feb 22, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demian Maia (blue gloves) tries to stop a kick to the side by Rory MacDonald (red gloves) during their UFC welterweight bout at Mandalay Bay. MacDonald won by way of a 29-28 decision. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Feb 22, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Rory MacDonald (red gloves) throws a punch at Demian Maia (blue gloves) during their UFC welterweight bout at Mandalay Bay. MacDonald won by way of a 29-28 decision. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Nov 16, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Rory MacDonald (red gloves) fights against Robbie Lawler (blue gloves) in their welterweight bout during UFC 167 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Nov 16, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Rory MacDonald (red gloves) fights against Robbie Lawler (blue gloves) in their welterweight bout during UFC 167 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Jul 27, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Rory MacDonald speaks at a press conference after UFC on FOX 8 at Key Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jul 27, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Rory MacDonald (red tape) raises his hand in victory over Jake Ellenberger (blue tape) after their welterweight bout at Key Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-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/jfrdEz3NvVCNPiBVSSSjsV/266614", customAnalytics: true, title: "Rory MacDonald", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Bellator, Blue Corner, Featured, Featured Videos, News

Complimentary weigh-in tickets for 'The Money Fight' set for distribution beginning Monday

It won’t cost you to attend Friday’s official weigh-ins for “The Money Fight” between Floyd Mayweather (49-0 boxing) and Conor McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC), but you will need to secure a complimentary ticket from Ticketmaster.com if you hope to attend.

The weigh-in tickets will first be made available to those who have already purchased tickets to Saturday’s live event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas or to one of a handful of official closed circuit viewings. That begins on Monday at 10 a.m. PT local time, and there’s a limit of four weigh-in tickets per person.

Weigh-in tickets for the general public are available beginning Tuesday at 10 a.m. PT and also feature a limit of four tickets per person.

Friday’s “The Money Fight” weigh-in ceremonies include an outdoor Fan Experience kicking off at 10 a.m. PT local time.

Doors to T-Mobile Arena, which hosts the weigh-ins, open at 12 p.m. PT local time and feature musical performances beginning at 1:30 p.m. PT.

Fighters are scheduled to step on the scale at 3 p.m. PT.

MMAjunkie will be on scene to bring you full coverage from Las Vegas all week long.

For more on “The Money Fight: Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor,” check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Aug 10, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. warms up in the ring during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Conor McGregor at Mayweather Boxing Club. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 10, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. talks with members of the media during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Conor McGregor at Mayweather Boxing Club. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 10, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. talks with members of the media during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Conor McGregor at Mayweather Boxing Club. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 10, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. talks with members of the media during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Conor McGregor at Mayweather Boxing Club. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 10, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. talks with members of the media during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Conor McGregor at Mayweather Boxing Club. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 10, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Roger Mayweather talks with media during a Floyd Mayweather Jr. (not pictured)media workout in preparation for his fight against Conor McGregor at Mayweather Boxing Club. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 10, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. throws punches with weights in his hands during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Conor McGregor at Mayweather Boxing Club. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 10, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. throws punches with weights in his hands during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Conor McGregor at Mayweather Boxing Club. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 10, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. throws punches with weights in his hands during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Conor McGregor at Mayweather Boxing Club. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 10, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. throws punches with weights in his hands during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Conor McGregor at Mayweather Boxing Club. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 10, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. hits a body pad during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Conor McGregor at Mayweather Boxing Club. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 10, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. hits a body pad during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Conor McGregor at Mayweather Boxing Club. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 10, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. hits a heavy bag during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Conor McGregor at Mayweather Boxing Club. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 10, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. hits a speed bag during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Conor McGregor at Mayweather Boxing Club. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 10, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. hits a speed bag during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Conor McGregor at Mayweather Boxing Club. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 10, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. hits a speed bag during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Conor McGregor at Mayweather Boxing Club. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 10, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. hits a heavy bag during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Conor McGregor at Mayweather Boxing Club. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 10, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. hits a heavy bag during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Conor McGregor at Mayweather Boxing Club. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 10, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. hits a heavy bag during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Conor McGregor at Mayweather Boxing Club. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 10, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. hits a heavy bag during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Conor McGregor at Mayweather Boxing Club. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 10, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. looks on during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Conor McGregor at Mayweather Boxing Club. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 10, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. hits a heavy bag during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Conor McGregor at Mayweather Boxing Club. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 10, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. presses a workout ball during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Conor McGregor at Mayweather Boxing Club. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 10, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. sips a beverage during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Conor McGregor at Mayweather Boxing Club. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 10, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. sips a beverage during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Conor McGregor at Mayweather Boxing Club. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/b7XNbrMFarz7bdjEhKnESY/266600", customAnalytics: true, title: "Floyd Mayweather media workout before Conor ...", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News

Conor McGregor: Floyd Mayweather can't train for me without resurrecting Bruce Lee


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

Conor McGregor, Floyd Mayweather and Bruce Lee. Now that’s an iconic trio.

You may have heard that Saturday, McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) will box Mayweather (49-0 boxing) in a crossover megafight pitting arguably MMA’s biggest current star against a boxing all-time great. The fight is expected to challenge for the title of the most lucrative combat sports bout of all time. It airs on pay-per-view from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

McGregor, the UFC’s lightweight champion, will be boxing for the first time as a professional. Not surprisingly, he has worked with a number of boxers to prepare for the differences between MMA the sport he’ll be trying on for size for what could earn him a nine-figure pay day.

RelatedFloyd Mayweather on why he's taking a bigger risk than Conor McGregor with 'The Money Fight'

But ahead of the megafight, McGregor said the only way his opponent could properly prepare for his style would be to resurrect a legendary martial artist from the dead.

“What other mixed martial artist is there like me?” McGregor said during an interview with his own website, TheMacLife.com. “He’d need to reincarnate Bruce Lee, and that would be the only person he could bring in that could mimic me with the way that I’m coming at him. I am not like any other mixed martial artist. I am not like any other boxer. I am in a league of my own, and I’ll prove that Aug. 26.”

Check out the video above for more from McGregor, including the benefits of spending much of his camp for Mayweather at the new UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas and the recent change to eight-ounce gloves from 10-ouncers for the fight.

And for more on “The Money Fight: Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor,” check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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

Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor warms up in the ring during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor speaks with reporters after a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor enters the workout area during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor speaks to reporters while getting his hands wrapped during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor speaks with reporters after a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor speaks with reporters after a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor speaks with reporters after a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor speaks with reporters after a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor speaks with reporters after a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor warms up in the ring during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor warms up in the ring during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor hits a heavy bag during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor has looks on during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor hits an uppercut bag during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor hits an uppercut bag during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor hits an uppercut bag during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor hits a heavy bag during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor looks on during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor hits a heavy bag during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor drinks water during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. 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Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

How Humberto Bandenay lost his dad and 'No. 1 fan' before UFC debut – but never his focus

Say you’re 22. You’ve recently moved away from your family to a country where you don’t even speak the language yet. And you get the call for a short-notice UFC debut against an undefeated opponent.

There have got to be some nerves involved, right?

Well, apparently not if you’re Humberto Bandenay.

“I was very calm and content throughout the whole experience, even when I first got the call,” Bandenay told MMAjunkie. “I’m pretty young still, but I’ve felt for a while that I belong at this level, so managing my emotions wasn’t an issue. I’m very confident in my training, my skills and the people around me.”

Bandenay’s (14-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC) steel nerves paid off big this month, when a thunderous knee put an end to his encounter with Martin Bravo (11-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 114. The 26-second knockout not only capped off a six-fight winning streak – all finishes – for Bandenay, but it also came with a $50,000 bonus.

His composure before such a high-stakes debut – which Bandenay, by the way, entered as a massive underdog – would look impressive enough even if no added context was provided.

But it’s particularly inspiring considering his road there.

Bandenay’s MMA career began with three free classes he got at a local gym. It wasn’t long until the then-19-year-old realized that he was not only good at fighting – he wanted it to be his career. In order for that to happen, though, he knew he’d have to make sacrifices.

“I knew that I’d have to come to America if I wanted to fight in the UFC and truly live up to my potential in the sport,” Bandenay said.

Five months ago, Bandenay was still living in Peru. But, thanks to the support of friend and fellow UFC fighter Marlon Vera, Bandenay made his way up to California. Vera, who also moved there from his home country of Ecuador in his early 20s, introduced Bandenay not only to his Team Oyama headquarters, but their mutual management.

That bit, Bandenay says, worked out great. He loves both the team and life in the new country. But it’s come with its hardships.

“It’s been difficult at times only because I miss my family,” Bandenay said. “And I know they miss me.”

Being away from your family is hard enough as it is, but Bandenay had one heavy emotional layer added to it heading into his UFC debut. He had to leave his sick father at home. At some point, he had to make a call: Either go back to Peru and visit him, or continue pushing toward his goals in the U.S.

His father encouraged him to stay. And, as Bandenay would reveal in an emotional post-fight speech, he ended up passing away shortly before he got to see his son’s stellar UFC debut.

The grief could have understandably distracted Bandenay from his biggest career opportunity yet. But, instead, he turned it into fuel.

“I was very sad not being able to see my dad,” Bandenay said. “He was my No. 1 fan. We’ve always been very close. It was my goal to make it to the UFC – and, just as important to me, it was his goal to see me make it to the UFC, too. I knew that it’s what my dad wanted, and I know he was there with me in the octagon.

“My training and experience helped me stay focused throughout the experience. I knew this was an opportunity that I had been waiting for, and nothing was going to stop me. I know my dad was with me, and I wanted nothing more than to win for him.”

His remaining family, Bandenay says, is also fully on board with his MMA career. But the Peruvian up-and-comer admits that there was some initial iffiness around his sport of choice.

“It was very strange to a lot of my family members and friends,” Bandenay said with a laughter. “A lot of people didn’t understand it because the sport is not very popular there.”

Now, however, he has no shortage of supporters. In fact, Bandenay says his win made it to TV and newspapers across the country. And the weight that comes with that is not lost on the young fighter, who feels “a great responsibility” to both carry the Peruvian flag in the octagon and help boost the popularity of MMA in Peru.

“I want the whole world to look to Peru as a country with power,” Bandenay said.

Given the circumstances, Bandenay is also quite aware that his early UFC steps might come with more attention than usual. But, rather than let it overwhelm him, he takes the added eyeballs – and expectations – that might follow as a blessing.

“I don’t feel pressure when I compete or when I think about the future,” Bandenay said. “It’s very motivating, absolutely.”

When it comes to said future, Bandenay seems to take the same measured approach that he does everything else. He’d like to get back in there as soon as possible. He trusts his management. And he knows better than getting too far ahead of himself.

But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have some ideas for both his distant and near octagon futures.

“I have goals of being a champion and as going down as one of the all-time great fighters,” Bandenay said. “But, for right now, I’m just taking everything one fight at a time.

“I would like to fight Dooho Choi or Artem Lobov. Though I’m more than happy to fight any featherweight in the world.”

As for the plan for those extra $50,000 that landed in Bandenay’s bank account earlier this month?

“I wish I had a better answer, but I’m saving it,” Bandenay said. “Getting that bonus was a blessing; I’m putting it away for my family. I’m hoping there will be a lot more bonuses in the future.”

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

Aug 5, 2017; Mexico City, Mexico; Humberto Bandenay (blue gloves) celebrates after knocking out Martin Bravo (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mexico City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Miguel Tovar-USA TODAY Sports Aug 5, 2017; Mexico City, Mexico; Humberto Bandenay (blue gloves) fights Martin Bravo (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mexico City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Miguel Tovar-USA TODAY Sports Aug 5, 2017; Mexico City, Mexico; Humberto Bandenay (blue gloves) celebrates after defeating Martin Bravo (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mexico City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Miguel Tovar-USA TODAY Sports Aug 5, 2017; Mexico City, Mexico; Martin Bravo (red gloves) after losing to Humberto Bandenay during UFC Fight Night at Mexico City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Miguel Tovar-USA TODAY Sports Aug 5, 2017; Mexico City, Mexico; Martin Bravo (red gloves) before fighting Humberto Bandenay during UFC Fight Night at Mexico City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Miguel Tovar-USA TODAY Sports Aug 5, 2017; Mexico City, Mexico; Humberto Bandenay (blue gloves) knocks out Martin Bravo (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mexico City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Miguel Tovar-USA TODAY Sports Aug 5, 2017; Mexico City, Mexico; Humberto Bandenay (blue gloves) celebrates after defeating Martin Bravo (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mexico City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Miguel Tovar-USA TODAY Sports Aug 5, 2017; Mexico City, Mexico; Humberto Bandenay (blue gloves) before his fight against Martin Bravo (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mexico City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Miguel Tovar-USA TODAY Sports Aug 5, 2017; Mexico City, Mexico; Humberto Bandenay (blue gloves) celebrates after defeating Martin Bravo (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mexico City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Miguel Tovar-USA TODAY Sports Aug 5, 2017; Mexico City, Mexico; Humberto Bandenay (blue gloves) celebrates after defeating Martin Bravo (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mexico City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Miguel Tovar-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/MqR6WtzxtHMKEND5zGyTXb/266227", customAnalytics: true, title: "Bandenay def. Bravo", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC

Take that, Ronda: One of the sickest armbars you'll ever see went down at Titan FC 45

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid4621179066001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5546321585001
Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, Videos

With a 6-4 record and losses in three of his past four fights, Robert Turnquest might not have been at the top of the list of fighters you’d expect to see pull off one of the year’s most gruesome submissions.

But on Friday, at Titan FC 45, Turnquest (7-4) dropped a wicked armbar on Taylor Krahl (7-6) that had the MMA social media world squirming. After tapping, Krahl needed plenty of looks by medical staff – and his corner was livid with the referee for allowing the fight to continue when it appeared to be clear his arm already had been dislocated even before the finish.

The finish, which came at the 1:54 mark of the first round, was brutal enough that UFC featherweight Jason Knight, who fought for Titan FC before getting signed by the UFC, posted it on his Facebook page.

Their fight was a rematch from Titan FC 41 nearly a year ago. In that bout, Turnquest tapped Krahl with a rear-naked choke in the third round. Titan FC 45 took place at Pembroke Pines City Center in Pembroke Pines, Fla., and streamed on UFC Fight Pass.

The complete Titan FC 45 card, including Turnquest vs. Krahl in the main-card opener, is available to stream at UFC Fight Pass.

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

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


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

Junior Dos Santos rep: Team wants 2 supplements tested for source of Hydrochlorothiazide

With Junior Dos Santos’ Aug. 10 drug test in hand, and armed with the knowledge of what he tested positive for and its levels, a representative for the fighter said the goal now is to find out just where it came from.

Dos Santos (18-5 MMA, 12-4 UFC), a former UFC heavyweight champion, was pulled from his UFC 215 fight against Francis Ngannou (10-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC) due to a potential doping violation stemming from an out-of-competition test administered by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, the UFC’s official anti-doping program administrator.

The flagged drug test was due to a positive test for Hydrochlorothiazide, a diuretic typically used to prevent high blood pressure, according to WebMD.com, but also notable to USADA as a possible masking agent for other substances.

A statement sent to MMAjunkie by Dos Santos rep Ana Claudia Guedes on Saturday indicates the fighter’s level of the substance was low – and that it may have even come from contaminated water, though the team also wants to have two supplements Dos Santos recently began using tested by USADA.

“The level of hydrochlorothiazide listed on his USADA result was ‘low.’ Additionally, the specific gravity reading of Junior’s urine sample was 1.025, indicating that the sample was not diluted. We understand the concentrated urine sample to mean that the low level of hydrochlorothiazide in Junior’s system had no diuretic effect on his sample.

We are learning about some recent anti-doping cases where low levels of hydrochlorothiazide have been the result of supplement contamination, and even contaminated ground water. A 2016 study published by the National Institute of Health found that over-the-counter NSAIDs left hydrochlorothiazide traces.

Our goal now is simply to determine the unintended source of the hydrochlorothiazide. To that end, we have identified two nutritional supplements that Junior recently began using – neither of which show hydrochlorothiazide anywhere on their respective labels or ingredient lists – and are working with USADA to test both. Hopefully that gets us answers.

All drug tests that Junior has taken – both prior to and post implementation of the USADA program – have been negative, including blood and urine samples he provided on July 10 of this year. He prides himself on being a clean athlete, and looks forward to resolving this matter.

UFC 215 takes place Sept. 9 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and features a pair of title fights at the top of the card. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Ngannou, after initially saying he was “very, very angry” at Dos Santos’ positive test and the potential he might not get to fight on the card, on Saturday to call for a replcement opponent: Alistair Overeem.

While the UFC’s original statement on Dos Santos’ positive test said a new opponent would be sought for Ngannou on what now will be less than three weeks’ notice, nothing has been announced yet.

For more on UFC 215, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

December 19, 2015; Orlando, FL, USA; Junior Dos Santos moves in with a punch against Alistair Overeem during UFC Fight Night at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports December 19, 2015; Orlando, FL, USA; Junior Dos Santos fights against Alistair Overeem during UFC Fight Night at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports December 13, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Junior Dos Santos reacts following his victory against Stipe Miocic during UFC Fight Night at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 13, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Junior Dos Santos reacts following his fight against Stipe Miocic during UFC Fight Night at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 13, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Junior Dos Santos reacts following his fight against Stipe Miocic during UFC Fight Night at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 13, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Junior Dos Santos against Stipe Miocic (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 13, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Junior Dos Santos against Stipe Miocic (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 13, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Junior Dos Santos (top) against Stipe Miocic during UFC Fight Night at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 13, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; A Fox Sports 1 television cameraman videos Junior Dos Santos prior to his fight against Stipe Miocic (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 25, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Junior dos Santos reacts to his victory over Mark Hunt during UFC 160 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports May 25, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Junior Dos Santos speaks with media following UFC 160 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports May 25, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Junior dos Santos reacts to his victory over Mark Hunt during UFC 160 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports May 25, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Junior dos Santos lands a punch against Mark Hunt during UFC 160 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports May 25, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Junior dos Santos in action during UFC 160 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports May 25, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Junior dos Santos is introduced prior to his bout during UFC 160 at the 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/SZ5PNChQ5VcCXuCzbyATL/266605", customAnalytics: true, title: "Junior Dos Santos", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

UFC's Junior Dos Santos after potential doping violation: 'Truth will prevail ... I would never cheat'

After being pulled from his heavyweight showdown against Francis Ngannou at UFC 215 due to a potential doping violation, former champion Junior Dos Santos overnight said “truth will prevail.”

Dos Santos (18-5 MMA, 12-4 UFC) was pulled from his fight next month against Ngannou (10-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC) after an out-of-competition test administered by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, the UFC’s official anti-doping program administrator, turned up positive for Hydrochlorothiazide, a diuretic.

“JDS” posted a message on his social media accounts, including Instagram, telling his fans he wouldn’t cheat and thanking them for their support.

“I’m not here to give an explanation,” Dos Santos said in his video post. “Soon, everything will be clear to all of you and no doubt – truth will prevail. I’m here in respect for all of you guys. I just want to say that this situation is very tough for me, my team and my family. And I would never cheat. It goes against everything I stand for. I play a fair game. We will get to the bottom of this, figure out what happened, learn from it and move on. And I hope in the near future, Francis Ngannou and me can face each other and give you guys the show you were expecting. For now, thank you very much for your support. It means a lot to me, and that’s why I’m here.”

Dos Santos’ heavyweight fight against Ngannou was expected to have a lot to say about the next potential challenger for champion Stipe Miocic. Dos Santos challenged the champ for the belt in March, but lost by first-round TKO in less than half a round. So a win over Ngannou might not have gotten him back in a title fight that quickly, especially after alternating wins and losses for what would then be his past nine fights, but it would disrupt Ngannou’s plans.

Ngannou, though, is about the hottest thing going in the UFC’s heavyweight title picture. He has nine straight wins, including his first five in the UFC. All 10 of his career wins are by stopppage. His most recent two wins against arguably his toughests tests yet in Anthony Hamilton and former champ Andrei Arlovski were first-round bonus winners, and he has three straight wins in less than two minutes of work. So a win over a former champ might have gotten him a coveted shot at the title.

The UFC’s original statement on Dos Santos’ positive test said a new opponent would be sought for Ngannou, but nothing has been announced yet. Ngannou on Saturday to call for a fight with Alistair Overeem at UFC 215.

For more on UFC 215, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

December 19, 2015; Orlando, FL, USA; Junior Dos Santos moves in with a punch against Alistair Overeem during UFC Fight Night at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports December 19, 2015; Orlando, FL, USA; Junior Dos Santos fights against Alistair Overeem during UFC Fight Night at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports December 13, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Junior Dos Santos reacts following his victory against Stipe Miocic during UFC Fight Night at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 13, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Junior Dos Santos reacts following his fight against Stipe Miocic during UFC Fight Night at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 13, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Junior Dos Santos reacts following his fight against Stipe Miocic during UFC Fight Night at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 13, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Junior Dos Santos against Stipe Miocic (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 13, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Junior Dos Santos against Stipe Miocic (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 13, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Junior Dos Santos (top) against Stipe Miocic during UFC Fight Night at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 13, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; A Fox Sports 1 television cameraman videos Junior Dos Santos prior to his fight against Stipe Miocic (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 25, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Junior dos Santos reacts to his victory over Mark Hunt during UFC 160 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports May 25, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Junior Dos Santos speaks with media following UFC 160 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports May 25, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Junior dos Santos reacts to his victory over Mark Hunt during UFC 160 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports May 25, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Junior dos Santos lands a punch against Mark Hunt during UFC 160 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports May 25, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Junior dos Santos in action during UFC 160 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports May 25, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Junior dos Santos is introduced prior to his bout during UFC 160 at the 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/SZ5PNChQ5VcCXuCzbyATL/266607", customAnalytics: true, title: "Junior Dos Santos", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

MMA's week out of the cage: Aljo balls with Biebs, Kailin Curran gets married, more

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

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

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

* * * *

Sterling hits the hardwood

Weekly eats

Weddings, anniversaries and engagements

ttps://www.instagram.com/p/BX7VrIJFqoD

The life of “The Notorious”

Summer fun

Shooting, hunting, fishing


Filed under: News, UFC

Daniel Cormier: Friendship with Jon Jones would be 'very difficult,' wants 3rd fight

Former UFC champion Daniel Cormier is still working to move past his UFC 214 title-fight loss to Jon Jones. Part of that process includes looking ahead to a third encounter with his longtime rival.

Cormier (19-2 MMA, 8-2 UFC) has kept a low profile since his third-round knockout defeat against Jones (23-1 MMA, 17-1 UFC) in July. He dropped the 205-pound belt and fell to 0-2 against “Bones” in a moment he’d anticipated for more than two years. Cormier was understandably devastated by the outcome, but as he said in his return to hosting duties on FS1’s “UFC Tonight” this week, he’s come to realize the loss doesn’t define him.

“It takes time to get over something that’s so big, especially when you’re unsuccessful in such a big event,” Cormier said. “But, you know, day by day you get better. You keep fighting. You keep learning that there are things much more important than the competition. I’m the guy that really does love what I do, and I’m a guy that takes it very hard if I am unsuccessful. And I think you saw that down at the Honda Center in Anaheim.”

After losing to Jones by unanimous decision in the pair’s first meeting at UFC 182 in January 2015, Cormier took over the role as champion when Jones was stripped of the title due to out-of-competition actions. During that time the tension between the pair grew thicker, and finally it came to a head at UFC 214.

Jones, No. 1 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA light heavyweight rankings, was classy in victory. He’s done nothing but praise No. 2-ranked Cormier in the fallout of the event, claiming he would like to form a working relationship despite seeing a high probability of a third bout in the future.

Fighting Jones one more time is among Cormier’s highest athletic priorities. He said he’s happy to be cordial with Jones, but that will never outweigh his desire to find a way to defeat him inside the octagon.

“I believe he’s being genuine; I do believe he’s trying to turn over a new leaf,” Cormier said. “I think he’s trying to show that he’s a different person than he was in the past. With that being said, friendship would be very difficult for us to achieve. And I’m OK with that. … In terms of going forward, we will be professional because we have to until the cage door closes again.”

Cormier, 38, may have been knocked out by Jones at UFC 214, but before the fight-ending sequence he was enjoying some solid success. He couldn’t get the job done, though, and Cormier said that’s one of the cruel aspects of the sport.

“If fighting was a nice ex-girlfriend, she would’ve allowed (Jones) to walk out and double-knee me and knock me out in 10 seconds,” Cormier said. “But, no, she had to give me some success before it happened. It was just too easy to say, ‘Don’t let the guy in the fight at all.'”

For more on UFC 214, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; UFC president Dana White puts the championship belt on Jon Jones following his victory against Daniel Cormier during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Jon Jones before the match against Daniel Cormier during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Jon Jones lands an elbow hit as Daniel Cormier defends during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Jon Jones lands an elbow hit as Daniel Cormier defends during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Daniel Cormier defends as Jon Jones moves in for a hit during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Jon Jones moves in for a hit against Daniel Cormier during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Daniel Cormier defends as Jon Jones moves in for a hit during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Daniel Cormier defends as Jon Jones moves in for a hit during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Jon Jones reacts following his TKO victory against Daniel Cormier during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Jon Jones fights Daniel Cormier during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Jon Jones moves in with a knee hit against Daniel Cormier during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Jon Jones lands a kick against Daniel Cormier during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Jon Jones moves in for a hit against Daniel Cormier during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Jon Jones moves in for a hit against Daniel Cormier during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Jon Jones moves in for a hit against Daniel Cormier during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Jon Jones lands hits against Daniel Cormier during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Jon Jones pins Daniel Cormier to the mat during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Jon Jones reacts following his victory against Daniel Cormier during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Jon Jones reacts following his TKO victory against Daniel Cormier during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Jon Jones is declared the winner against Daniel Cormier by TKO during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/bdoeQcZL7CgusvB3jtbMZ9/266576", customAnalytics: true, title: "Jones def. Cormier", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Don't expect to see Rory MacDonald in the Bellator cage until 2018

Rory MacDonald is next in line for a shot at the Bellator welterweight championship. Unfortunately, it seems he’s going to have to wait a little bit longer before fighting for the belt.

MacDonald (19-4 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) made his promotional debut in May with a second-round submission of Paul Daley at Bellator 179. It marked his return from an 11-month layoff and set him up for a showdown with champion Douglas Lima (29-6 MMA, 11-2 BMMA).

The Canadian said after he signed with Bellator that keeping an active schedule was one of his priorities going forward. Sometimes figuring out the timing of a marquee fight means sitting on the sidelines, though, and that’s apparently the situation MacDonald is facing (via Twitter):

unfortunately no 4 this year, i was pushing very hard 2 fight atleast once more this year but it doesnt look like it will happen

— Rory MacDonald (@rory_macdonald) August 18, 2017

Bellator champ Lima, No. 7 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA welterweight rankings, is coming off a successful title defense against Lorenz Larkin at Bellator NYC in June. Afterward, No. 4-ranked MacDonald said he wasn’t impressed.

“I was really underwhelmed,” MacDonald said. “If these guys think they’re keeping the belt fighting like that, they’re just going to be another body in the grave.”

Although an opportunity to compete could potentially come up through injury to another fighter or other circumstance, MacDonald’s schedule for the remainder of the year appears to be clear. That doesn’t seem to be sitting all that well with “The Red King” (via Instagram):

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

Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Douglas Lima (red gloves) fights Lorenz Larkin (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Douglas Lima (red gloves) fights Lorenz Larkin (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Douglas Lima (red gloves) fights Lorenz Larkin (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Douglas Lima (red gloves) fights Lorenz Larkin (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Douglas Lima (red gloves) fights Lorenz Larkin (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Douglas Lima (red gloves) fights Lorenz Larkin (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Douglas Lima (red gloves) reacts to fight against Lorenz Larkin (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Douglas Lima (red gloves) fights Lorenz Larkin (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Douglas Lima (red gloves) fights Lorenz Larkin (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Douglas Lima (red gloves) fights Lorenz Larkin (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Douglas Lima (red gloves) fights Lorenz Larkin (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Douglas Lima (red gloves) fights Lorenz Larkin (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Douglas Lima (red gloves) fights Lorenz Larkin (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Douglas Lima (red gloves) fights Lorenz Larkin (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Douglas Lima (red gloves) fights Lorenz Larkin (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Douglas Lima (red gloves) fights Lorenz Larkin (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Douglas Lima (red gloves) fights Lorenz Larkin (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Douglas Lima (red gloves) fights Lorenz Larkin (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Douglas Lima (red gloves) fights Lorenz Larkin (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-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/txAFjL5j8ejttquxHnMu8Y/266573", customAnalytics: true, title: "Lima def. Larkin", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Bellator, News

Before MayMac madness, watch pre-UFC Conor McGregor's first time winning 2 titles


Filed under: Cage Warriors, News, UFC, Videos

Conor McGregor made UFC history this past November, but really it was old hat to the Irishman.

Then the featherweight champion, McGregor took out lightweight champ Eddie Alvarez in the UFC 205 main event to become the first fighter in promotional history to hold two belts at the same time.

It was a familiary feeling for McGregor. Less than four years prior, he became the first fighter in Cage Warriors history to hold two titles simultaneously. While featherweight champ, he knocked out Ivan Buchinger at Cage Warriors 51 in front of his home fans in Dublin to win the vacant lightweight title.

That wound up being all McGregor needed to get the call from the UFC, where he proceeded to make quick work of making history.

RelatedFloyd Mayweather calls Conor McGregor 'extremely dirty' in sparring video

In a week, McGregor will put another milestone on his resume when he continues to rewrite the rules in his favor. McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) fights unbeaten boxing legend Floyd Mayweather (49-0 boxing) in a match that is expected to eclipse records – and is could net McGregor a staggering nine-figure payday. The fight goes down at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and airs on pay-per-view.

But ahead of that fight, it’s worth checking out a younger Conor McGregor before all the big money – and before all the chest tattoos – in his fight against Buchinger. Could anyone have predicted back then just how big he would become?

Check out the video above.

And for more on “The Money Fight: Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor,” check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor warms up in the ring during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor speaks with reporters after a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor enters the workout area during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor speaks to reporters while getting his hands wrapped during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor speaks with reporters after a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor speaks with reporters after a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor speaks with reporters after a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor speaks with reporters after a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor speaks with reporters after a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor warms up in the ring during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor warms up in the ring during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor hits a heavy bag during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor has looks on during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor hits an uppercut bag during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor hits an uppercut bag during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor hits an uppercut bag during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor hits a heavy bag during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor looks on during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor hits a heavy bag during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor drinks water during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. 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Filed under: Cage Warriors, News, UFC, Videos

Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor gets special hype video from The Killers


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

The days are quickly winding down to the anticipated Aug. 26 boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor. That means the final push of promotional hype is gearing up.

The matchup between Mayweather (49-0 boxing) and McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC), which takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and airs on pay-per-view, is such a big event that its got its own music video from The Killers.

To the theme of the Las Vegas-based band’s recently released track “The Man,” Showtime Sports today revealed the special hype video for “The Money Fight.”

Watch it above.

Group members Ronnie Vvnnucci Jr. and Brandon Flowers also weighed in on Mayweather vs. McGregor, courtesy of a press release from Showtime Sports.

Ronnie Vannucci Jr.: “McGregor and Floyd Mayweather. It’s unprecedented, right? I mean two different schools, one ring.”

Brandon Flowers: “It sounds like an exciting movie in the 80s. It sounds like some movie, good premise. It’s exciting. It is surreal.”

For more on “The Money Fight: Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor,” check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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

Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor warms up in the ring during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor speaks with reporters after a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor enters the workout area during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor speaks to reporters while getting his hands wrapped during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor speaks with reporters after a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor speaks with reporters after a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor speaks with reporters after a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor speaks with reporters after a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor speaks with reporters after a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor warms up in the ring during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor warms up in the ring during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor hits a heavy bag during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor has looks on during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor hits an uppercut bag during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor hits an uppercut bag during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor hits an uppercut bag during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor hits a heavy bag during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor looks on during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor hits a heavy bag during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor drinks water during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. 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Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC

UFC lightweight Gilbert Melendez details how he used free agency to his advantage

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Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

Two-time UFC lightweight title challenger Gilbert Melendez is one of the few big-name fighters to come out of MMA’s free agency process better than he came in.

Melendez signed with Bellator and allowed the UFC to match, which gave him leverage to get a better deal. A subsequent wave of free agencies can partially be attributed to his unprecedented move.

Now, Melendez’s contract requires he be on a pay-per-view main card every time he steps into the octagon, which is why his fight with Jeremy Stephens at UFC 215 won’t be lost in the shuffle.

RelatedGilbert Melendez meets Jeremy Stephens at UFC 215 in Edmonton

“There’s definitely fatter contracts, but I’ve got a good contract,” Melendez told MMAjunkie Radio. “I can’t say (I get pay-per-view points on every fight), but there is a purse and some other things that are factored in that add up … to what we’re looking for.

“We brainstormed some really good things that were important to me that cover some other payments.”

Melendez is no doubt happy for those payments with the Reebok deal in full effect. Now, his top priority is reversing an octagon slide that’s seen him lose three straight. After all, taking out Stephens at the Sept. 9 pay-per-view event is the best way to get paid in full.

Here more from Melendez in the video above.

UFC 215 takes place at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. For more on the event, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

Apr. 9, 2011; San Diego, CA, USA; Strikeforce lightweight world championship fighter Gilbert Melendez during a bout at the Valley View Casino Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Apr. 9, 2011; San Diego, CA, USA; Strikeforce lightweight world championship fighter Gilbert Melendez during a bout at the Valley View Casino Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Apr. 9, 2011; San Diego, CA, USA; Strikeforce lightweight world championship fighter Gilbert Melendez (left) against Tatsuya Kawajiri during a bout at the Valley View Casino Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Apr. 9, 2011; San Diego, CA, USA; Strikeforce lightweight world championship fighter Gilbert Melendez during a bout at the Valley View Casino Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Apr. 9, 2011; San Diego, CA, USA; Strikeforce lightweight world championship fighter Gilbert Melendez (left) and welterweight world championship fighter Nick Diaz celebrate after winning their bouts at the Valley View Casino Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 19, 2012; San Jose, CA, USA; Gilbert Melendez (right) fights Josh Thomson (left) during the lightweight bout of the Strikeforce World Grand Prix at HP Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports Apr 20, 2013; San Jose, CA, USA; Benson Henderson (left) fights Gilbert Melendez (right) during the lightweight championship bout of the UFC on Fuel TV at HP Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports Apr 20, 2013; San Jose, CA, USA; Gilbert Melendez leaves after his defeat against Benson Henderson (not pictured) during the lightweight championship bout of the UFC on Fuel TV at HP Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports Oct 19, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Gilbert Melendez fights against Diego Sanchez (not pictured) in their lightweight bout during UFC 166 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports Oct 19, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Gilbert Melendez (red gloves) fights against Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) in their lightweight bout during UFC 166 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports Oct 19, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Gilbert Melendez (red gloves) fights against Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) in their lightweight bout during UFC 166 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports Oct 19, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Gilbert Melendez (red gloves) fights against Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) in their lightweight bout during UFC 166 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports July 23, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Edson Barboza (red gloves) competes against Gilbert Melendez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports July 23, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Edson Barboza (red gloves) competes against Gilbert Melendez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports July 23, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Edson Barboza (red gloves) competes against Gilbert Melendez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-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/J4sN2VAMbNdfyzSde9SMtm/266502", customAnalytics: true, title: "Gilbert Melendez", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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ONE Championship 59 highlights: Title changes hands with Martin Nguyen's devastating right

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

A title changed hands with a big upset in ONE Championship 59’s main event.

Martin Nguyen (9-1) avenged the lone loss of his career and took the featherweight title from champion Marat Gafurov (15-1) in Friday’s headliner. Not only did Nguyen get back a split-decision loss to Gafurov from two years prior, but he handed him his first career setback – and did so after fending off repeated submission attempts to land a sickening knockout in the second round.

In the co-main event, Ev Ting (14-4) made easy work of Nobutatsu Suzuki (11-3-2), who hadn’t fought in more than three years. Ground-and-pound got the job done in decisive fashion.

“ONE Championship 59: Quest for Greatness” took place at Stadium Negara in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and streamed as an online pay-per-view in North America following prelims on Facebook.

Also on the main card, former bantamweight title challenger Kevin Belingon (16-5) needed only 62 seconds to take out Reece McLaren (9-5). And Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke shut down Robin Catalan with a TKO 46 seconds into the second round.

Check out the highlights from those four fights above, courtesy of Michael “The Voice” Schiavello and an always for some reason angry-sounding Mitch Chilson.

ONE Championship 59 main-card results:

  • Martin Nguyen def. Marat Garufov via knockout – Round 2, 1:27
  • Ev Ting def. Nobutatsu Suzuki via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 3: 29
  • Agilan Thani def. Sherif Mohamed via unanimous decision
  • Kevin Belingon def. Reece McLaren via knockout, Round 1 – 1:02
  • Gianni Subba def Riku Shibuya via unanimous decision
  • May Ooi def. Ann Osman via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 3:27
  • Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke def. Robin Catalan via TKO – Round 2, 0:46
  • Christian Lee def. Keanu Subba via submission (armbar) – Round 3
  • Emilio Urrutia def. Edward Kelly via unanimous decision
  • Rene Catalan def. Bu Huo You Ga via unanimous decision

For more on ONE Championship 59, including a recap of the event, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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


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

Aleksandr Shabliy's sweet knee led to this violent KO at ACB 67

Knee strikes are among the more challenging ways to go about getting a knockout in MMA. Aleksandr Shabliy appears have a pretty good system for getting it done, though.

Shabliy (16-3) entered today’s ACB 67 event with a handful of knockouts stemming from knee strikes, be it of the flying variety or otherwise. He added another one to his record when he timed a perfect shot to Gleristone Santos’ (33-8) chin in their lightweight bout.

Check it out (via Twitter):

Alexandr Shabliy KOs Gleristone Santos in 1R #ACB67 pic.twitter.com/R1vDzCAIkD

— Jolassanda (@Jolassanda) August 19, 2017

And another angle from cageside (via Twitter):

Aleksandr Shabliy made short work of Gleristone Santos#ACB67 pic.twitter.com/1ASdk7MY4C

— Denis Geyko (@Denis26rt) August 19, 2017

ACB 67 took place at the Colosseum Sports Complex in Grozny, Chechnya, Russia. Shabliy ended the fight with Santos at the 2:41 mark of Round 1.

Shabliy is forming quite the collection of highlight-reel finishes. He’s earned all 16 of his career victories by stoppage, including this flying knee finish from ProFC 57 in March 2015 (via Twitter):

Alexandr Shabliy #ACB67 pic.twitter.com/KVWtEQOF5o

— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) August 18, 2017

For more on the MMA events schedule check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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


Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News

UFC Fight Night 115 lineup set with 11 bouts in the Netherlands, led by Struve-Volkov

Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Stefan Struve (red gloves) celebrates his win against Daniel Omielanczuk (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Stefan Struve (red gloves) fights against Daniel Omielanczuk (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Stefan Struve (red gloves) fights against Daniel Omielanczuk (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Stefan Struve (red gloves) fights against Daniel Omielanczuk (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Stefan Struve (red gloves) fights against Daniel Omielanczuk (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Stefan Struve (red gloves) fights against Daniel Omielanczuk (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Stefan Struve (red gloves) fights against Daniel Omielanczuk (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Stefan Struve (red gloves) fights against Daniel Omielanczuk (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Stefan Struve (red gloves) fights against Daniel Omielanczuk (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Stefan Struve (red gloves) fights against Daniel Omielanczuk (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Stefan Struve (red gloves) celebrates his win against Daniel Omielanczuk (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester 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/ELUdnzrLTdYHxYVQ5emtm5/266563", customAnalytics: true, title: "Struve def. Omielanczuk", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

The lineup is set for the UFC’s return trip to the Netherlands next month.

The card features 11 fights, including a heavyweight headliner. UFC Fight Night 115 takes place Sept. 2 at Ahoy Rotterdam in the Netherlands. The entire event, with four main-card fights and seven prelims, streams on UFC Fight Pass.

Alexander Volkov

In the main event, Dutch big man Stefan Struve (28-8 MMA, 12-6 UFC) gets a home fight and takes on former Bellator heavyweight champion Alexander Volkov (28-6 MMA, 2-0 UFC). Struve has won three of his past four fights, including a bonus-winning 16-secodn knockout of Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva in the UFC’s first trip to Rotterdam in 2016.

Germaine de Randamie

In the co-feature, inaugural women’s featherweight champion Germaine de Randamie (8-3 MMA, 4-1 UFC) moves back to bantamweight after having her 145-pound title stripped. She’ll be fighting in front of her home fans, as well, and will take on Marion Reneau (7-3-1 MMA, 3-2-1 UFC).

To fill out the main card on UFC Fight Pass, Siyar Bahadurzada (22-6-1 MMA, 2-2 UFC) fights Rob Wilkinson (11-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) in a middleweight bout, and Bryan Barberena (13-4 MMA, 4-2 UFC) takes on Leon Edwards (13-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC) at welterweight.

The prelims will feature seven fights on UFC Fight Pass. The featured bout is Darren Till (14-0-1 MMA, 2-0-1 UFC) vs. Bojan Velickovic (15-4-1 MMA, 2-1-1 UFC) at welterweight. There also are a trio of lightweight fights ahead of that: Felipe Silva (8-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) vs. Mairbek Taisumov (26-5 MMA, 5-1 UFC), Mads Burnell (8-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) vs. Michel Prazeres (22-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC), and Desmond Green (20-5 MMA, 1-0 UFC) vs. Rustam Khabilov (21-3 MMA, 7-2 UFC).

In addition, Francimar Barroso (19-5 MMA, 4-2 UFC) meets Aleksandar Rakic (8-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) at light heavyweight, Nick Hein (14-2 MMA, 4-1 UFC) takes on newcomer Zabit Magomedsharipov (12-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) at featherweight, and 205-pounders Abdul-Kerim Edilov (16-4 MMA, 0-0 UFC) and Bojan Mihajlovic (10-5 MMA, 0-2 UFC) will meet.

The complete UFC Fight Night 115 lineup includes:

MAIN CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 3 p.m. ET)

  • Stefan Struve vs. Alexander Volkov
  • Germaine de Randamie vs. Marion Reneau
  • Siyar Bahadurzada vs. Rob Wilkinson
  • Bryan Barberena vs. Leon Edwards

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 11:30 a.m. ET)

  • Darren Till vs. Bojan Velickovic
  • Felipe Silva vs. Mairbek Taisumov
  • Mads Burnell vs. Michel Prazeres
  • Desmond Green vs. Rustam Khabilov
  • Francimar Barroso vs. Aleksandar Rakic
  • Nick Hein vs. Zabit Magomedsharipov
  • Abdul-Kerim Edilov vs. Bojan Mihajlovic

For more on UFC Fight Night 115, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: News, UFC

Deiveson Alcantara meets Jarred Brooks in battle of unbeatens at UFC Fight Night 119

A flyweight bout between Deiveson Alcantara and Jarred Brooks is the latest addition to November’s UFC Fight Night 119 lineup.

Alcantara (12-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) confirmed the 125-pound matchup with Brooks (13-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) on social media following an initial report from Combate (via Instagram):

UFC Fight Night 119 takes place Oct. 28 at Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo. The card airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, though the bout order hasn’t been finalized.

Alcantara made a successful UFC debut in June when he earned a second-round TKO of Marco Beltran at UFC 212. The Brazilian has earned 11 of his 12 career victories by stoppage, with eight of those wins coming inside the opening round.

Brooks went the distance in his octagon debut when he defeated Eric Shelton by split decision at UFC 214 in July. “The Monkey God” promised big things for his sophomore UFC appearance, vowing to “fight like a god” the next time he enters the cage.

The latest UFC Fight Night 119 card now includes:

  • Misha Cirkunov vs. Glover Teixeira
  • Lyoto Machida vs. Derek Brunson
  • Deiveson Alcantara vs. Jarred Brooks

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

July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Jarred Brooks reacts following his match against Eric Shelton during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Jarred Brooks fights against Eric Shelton during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Eric Shelton lands a hit against Jarred Brooks during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Jarred Brooks applies a hold against Eric Shelton during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Jarred Brooks moves in with a hit as Eric Shelton counter punches during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Jarred Brooks lands a hit against Eric Shelton during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Jarred Brooks lands a hit against Eric Shelton during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Jarred Brooks defends against Eric Shelton during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Eric Shelton moves in against Jarred Brooks during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Eric Shelton moves in with a knee hit against Jarred Brooks during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/WdkBwVrYeZ9Y4gNTxucAHF/266559", customAnalytics: true, title: "Brooks def. Shelton", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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