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UFC 216 'Fight Motion:' Check out Demetrious Johnson's insane armbar in super slo-mo


Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

The UFC’s latest edition of “Fight Motion” with super slow-motion highlights is out, and in it we can see just how amazing flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson’s finish was.

In the co-main event, in the fifth round, Johnson (27-2-1 MMA, 15-1-1 UFC) picked up challenger Ray Borg (11-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) for a suplex, and before he even hit the ground he took his left arm for an armbar finish for the ages. The win was Johnson’s 11th consecutive title defense, which broke Anderson Silva’s UFC record.

In the video above, check out the super slow-motion highlights from the action at UFC 216 this past Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The main card aired on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and UFC Fight Pass.

The “Fight Motion” highlights also include the main event, which saw Tony Ferguson (24-3 MMA, 14-1 UFC) submit Kevin Lee (16-3 MMA, 9-3 UFC) to become the UFC’s interim lightweight champion to set up a likely fight against champ Conor McGregor.

Check out the “Fight Motion” highlights above.

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

Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) reacts after defeating Ray Borg (blue gloves) during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) is seen before his fight against Ray Borg (not shown) during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) kicks Ray Borg (blue gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) kicks Ray Borg (blue gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Ray Borg (blue gloves) fights Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) competes against Ray Borg (blue gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) fights against Ray Borg (blue gloves) during the second round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) punches Ray Borg (blue gloves) during the third round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) fights against Ray Borg (blue gloves) during the third round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) competes against Ray Borg (blue gloves) during the third round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) fights against Ray Borg (blue gloves) during the fourth round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) fights Ray Borg (blue gloves) during the fourth round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) competes against Ray Borg (blue gloves) during the fourth round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) punches Ray Borg (blue gloves) during the fifth round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) picks up Ray Borg (blue gloves) during the fifth round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) picks up Ray Borg (blue gloves) during the fifth round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) picks up Ray Borg (blue gloves) during the fifth round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) puts Ray Borg (blue gloves) in an armbar during the fifth round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) puts Ray Borg (blue gloves) in an armbar during the fifth round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) puts Ray Borg (blue gloves) in an armbar during the fifth round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) puts Ray Borg (blue gloves) in an armbar during the fifth round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) puts Ray Borg (blue gloves) in an armbar during the fifth round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) puts Ray Borg (blue gloves) in an armbar during the fifth round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) puts Ray Borg (blue gloves) in an armbar during the fifth round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) puts Ray Borg (blue gloves) in an armbar during the fifth round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Ray Borg (blue gloves) reacts after being defeated by Demetrious Johnson (not shown) during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) reacts after defeating Ray Borg (blue gloves) during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) reacts after defeating Ray Borg (blue gloves) during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/6MMse4cmK35LaEcs9B39fh/277417", customAnalytics: true, title: "Johnson def. 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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

Report: Valerie Letourneau meets Kate Jackson in promotional debut at Bellator 191 in England

Valerie Letourneau already knew she’d be making her Bellator debut in England in December. Now she apparently has her opponent.

Letourneau (8-6 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) will take on Kate Jackson (9-2-1 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) in a flyweight bout at Bellator 191. The booking was reported by RDS in Letourneau’s home country of Canada, though Bellator officials have not yet made a formal announcement of the booking.

Bellator 191 takes place Dec. 15 at Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle, England. Bellator is partnering with longtime British promotion BAMMA for the event, which also is scheduled to include the promotional debut of another UFC veteran, Michael McDonald. The event is expected to air via tape-delay on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

Letourneau, a onetime UFC women’s strawweight title challenger, is trying to revitalize her career as a flyweight. A struggle to make the 115-pound limit in the UFC led her to sign with Bellator in April to compete as a flyweight. Not long after she signed, the UFC announced its own 125-pound division. An inaugural champion in that weight class will be crowned after the current Season 26 of “The Ultimate Fighter.”

She was supposed to debut in the promotion earlier this year at Bellator 181 against Emily Ducote, but an injury forced her off the card. Ducote fights for Bellator’s inaugural women’s flyweight title next month against Ilima-Lei Macfarlane, and there’s little doubt Letourneau hopes to be in the conversation to fight the winner.

Jackson made her promotional debut at Bellator 182 in August in New York and picked up a TKO win over Colleen Schneider when Schneider couldn’t continue after the first round due to a knee injury. The victory gave her five wins in a row, including four stoppages.

Jackson hasn’t lost since May 2013, when she had to quit after two rounds of a fight against current dominant UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk in Poland before Jedrzejczyk arrived in the UFC.

For more on Bellator 191, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Jun 14, 2014; Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; Valerie Letourneau (red) fights Elizabeth Phillips (blue) in the Women's Bantanmweight bout at UFC 174 at Rogers Arena. Valerie Letourneau defeats Elizabeth Phillips via split decision. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports Jun 14, 2014; Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; Valerie Letourneau (red) fights Elizabeth Phillips (blue) in the Women's Bantanmweight bout at UFC 174 at Rogers Arena. Valerie Letourneau defeats Elizabeth Phillips via split decision. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports Jun 14, 2014; Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; Valerie Letourneau (red) fights Elizabeth Phillips (blue) in the Women's Bantanmweight bout at UFC 174 at Rogers Arena. Valerie Letourneau defeats Elizabeth Phillips via split decision. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports Jun 14, 2014; Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; Valerie Letourneau (red) fights against Elizabeth Phillips (blue) in their Bantamweight bout at UFC 174 at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports Jun 14, 2014; Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; Valerie Letourneau (red) fights against Elizabeth Phillips (blue) in their Bantamweight bout at UFC 174 at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports Jun 14, 2014; Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; Valerie Letourneau (red) fights against Elizabeth Phillips (blue) in their Bantamweight bout at UFC 174 at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports Jun 14, 2014; Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; Valerie Letourneau (red) fights against Elizabeth Phillips (blue) in their Bantamweight bout at UFC 174 at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports Jun 14, 2014; Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; Valerie Letourneau (red) fights Elizabeth Phillips (blue) in the Women's Bantanmweight bout at UFC 174 at Rogers Arena. Valerie Letourneau defeats Elizabeth Phillips via split decision. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports Apr 24, 2015; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Valerie Letourneau stands on the scale during weigh-ins for UFC 186 at Metropolis. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports Apr 25, 2015; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Jessica Rakoczy (red) and Valerie Letourneau (blue) fight during their women's strawweight bout during UFC 186 at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports Apr 25, 2015; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Jessica Rakoczy (red) and Valerie Letourneau (blue) fight during their women's strawweight bout during UFC 186 at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports Apr 25, 2015; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Jessica Rakoczy (red) and Valerie Letourneau (blue) fight during their women's strawweight bout during UFC 186 at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports Apr 25, 2015; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Valerie Letourneau (blue) has her hand raised after defeating Jessica Rakoczy (not pictured) during their women's strawweight bout during UFC 186 at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports Nov 15, 2015; Melbourne, Australia; Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) competes against Valerie Letourneau (blue gloves) during UFC 193 at Etihad Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Nov 15, 2015; Melbourne, Australia; Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) competes against Valerie Letourneau (blue gloves) during UFC 193 at Etihad Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-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/MDzyctV99GZJpoiKuyUf3j/277411", customAnalytics: true, title: "Valerie Letourneau", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Bellator, News

Reminder: UFC 218 tickets on sale this week for Holloway vs. Edgar in Detroit

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

As a reminder, tickets for the UFC’s return to Michigan are on sale today.

Featuring a featherweight title fight between streaking Hawaiian champ Max Holloway (18-3 MMA, 14-2 UFC) and future UFC Hall of Famer Frankie Edgar (22-5-1 MMA, 16-5-1 UFC), “UFC 218: Holloway vs. Edgar” takes place Dec. 2 at the new Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Holloway currently is ranked No. 1 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA featherweight rankings; Edgar checks in at No. 3.

Tickets, which are priced at $250, $175, $125, $100, $75 and $50, go on sale to the general public at Ticketmaster.com on Friday at 10 a.m. ET. But UFC e-newsletter subscribers have access to a special pre-sale today at 10 a.m. ET, using the pre-sale code “CHAMP.”

In addition to the featherweight title main event, UFC 218 features a co-main event heavyweight showdown between Francis Ngannou (10-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC) and former title challenger Alistair Overeem (43-15 MMA, 8-4 UFC). Plus, “TUF 26” coaches Eddie Alvarez (28-5 MMA, 3-2 UFC) and Justin Gaethje (18-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) will meet in a crucial lightweight bout, and Olympic gold medalist wrestler and former flyweight title challenger Henry Cejudo (11-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) will take on Sergio Pettis (16-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC).

UFC 218 is the promotion’s first visit to Michigan and the Detroit area since UFC 123 in 2010.

The UFC 218 lineup currently includes:

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

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

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

Dec 10, 2016; Toronto, ON, CAN; Max Holloway (red gloves) reacts to fight with Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC 206 at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Max Holloway celebrates his victory against Jeremy Stephens during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Max Holloway applies a hold against Jeremy Stephens during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Max Holloway fights against Jeremy Stephens during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Max Holloway moves in with a punch against Jeremy Stephens during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Max Holloway moves in with a punch against Jeremy Stephens during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Max Holloway fights against Jeremy Stephens during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 11, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Max Holloway reacts during weigh-ins for UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Apr 18, 2015; Newark, NJ, USA; Max Holloway (blue) has his hand raised after defeating Cub Swanson (red) during UFC Fight Night at Prudential Center. Holloway won via third round tap out. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Apr 18, 2015; Newark, NJ, USA; Cub Swanson (red) taps out against Max Holloway (blue) during UFC Fight Night at Prudential Center. Holloway won via third round tap out. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Apr 18, 2015; Newark, NJ, USA; Cub Swanson (red) and Max Holloway (blue) fight during UFC Fight Night at Prudential Center. Holloway won via third round tap out. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Apr 18, 2015; Newark, NJ, USA; Cub Swanson (red) and Max Holloway (blue) fight during UFC Fight Night at Prudential Center. Holloway won via third round tap out. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Apr 18, 2015; Newark, NJ, USA; Cub Swanson (red) and Max Holloway (blue) fight during UFC Fight Night at Prudential Center. Holloway won via third round tap out. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Apr 18, 2015; Newark, NJ, USA; Cub Swanson (red) and Max Holloway (blue) fight during UFC Fight Night at Prudential Center. Holloway won via third round tap out. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Feb 14, 2015; Broomfield, CO, USA; Max Holloway (red) celebrates the win over Cole Miller (blue) during the UFC Fight Night at the 1stBANK Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Feb 14, 2015; Broomfield, CO, USA; Max Holloway (red) throws a punch at Cole Miller (blue) during the UFC Fight Night at the 1stBANK Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Feb 14, 2015; Broomfield, CO, USA; Max Holloway (red) punches Cole Miller (blue) during the UFC Fight Night at the 1stBANK Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Feb 14, 2015; Broomfield, CO, USA; Cole Miller (blue) takes a kick from Max Holloway (red) during the UFC Fight Night at the 1stBANK Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Feb 14, 2015; Broomfield, CO, USA; Cole Miller (blue) and Max Holloway (red) compete during the UFC Fight Night at the 1stBANK Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Aug 23, 2014; Tulsa, OK, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) wins against Clay Collard (blue gloves) in a Featherweight Bout at BOK Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports Aug 23, 2014; Tulsa, OK, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Clay Collard (blue gloves) in a Featherweight Bout, Holloway after victory at BOK Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Ricardo Lamas (blue) fights Max Holloway (red) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Dec 10, 2016; Toronto, ON, CAN; Max Holloway gets ready with the flag of Hawaii behind him before fighting Anthony Pettis (not pictured) during their Interim Featherweight title bout at UFC 206 at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Dec 10, 2016; Toronto, ON, CAN; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC 206 at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Dec 10, 2016; Toronto, ON, CAN; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC 206 at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Dec 10, 2016; Toronto, ON, CAN; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC 206 at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Dec 10, 2016; Toronto, ON, CAN; Max Holloway (red gloves) reacts to fight with Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC 206 at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Dec 10, 2016; Toronto, ON, CAN; Max Holloway (red gloves) reacts to fight with Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC 206 at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/HY84X9xqMSSFJZwVr2suTY/277415", customAnalytics: true, title: "Max Holloway", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC

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

Belal Muhammad will remain on next month’s UFC return to Sydney against arguably his toughest test as a pro.

Muhammad (12-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) was set to fight “TUF 25” winner Jesse Taylor (31-15 MMA, 1-1 UFC) before a failed drug test took Taylor out of their bout at UFC Fight Night 121. Instead, Muhammad will take on veteran welterweight Tim Means (27-8-1 MMA, 9-5 UFC). UFC officials announced the new booking following an initial report from the Daily Telegraph.

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

Means got back in the win column in June with a unanimous decision over Alex Garcia at UFC Fight Night 112 in Oklahoma City. Prior to that, he had a pair of bouts against Alex Oliveira. Their first meeting ended in a no-contest when Means landed a pair of illegal knees and Oliveira said he couldn’t continue in Brazil at UFC 207. In their rematch in March, Oliveira submitted Means in the second round.

Prior to those fights, he had won six of seven, including a pair of bonus-winning stoppages of George Sullivan and John Howard. His only loss in that stretch was a submission to Matt Brown at UFC 189.

Belal Muhammad

Muhammad has won back-to-back fights and three of his past four. He’s been busy since coming to the promotion for his debut at UFC Fight Night 90 in July 2016, just 13 months ago. Although he lost a decision to Alan Jouban that night, he picked up a “Fight of the Night” bonus.

Since then, he has a TKO win over Augusto Montano at UFC Fight Night 94 in Texas, and now consecutive decision wins over Randy Brown and Jordan Mein to get him back on track after a knockout loss to Vicente Luque at UFC 205 this past November at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Jesse Taylor

Taylor completed one of the most memorable long-term comebacks in UFC history in July when he submitted Dhiego Lima in the second round to win Season 25 of “The Ultimate Fighter.” Taylor was a finalist on Season 7 of the show, but a drunken meltdown caught on camera forced UFC President Dana White to remove him from the final against eventual winner Amir Sadollah, and he was replaced by C.B. Dollaway.

But the glory from that “TUF 25” win didn’t last very long. In September, it was revealed that a potential USADA drug testing violation had forced him out of the fight against Muhammad.

The latest UFC Fight Night 121 card includes:

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

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


Filed under: News, UFC

Report: Myles Jury vs. Rick Glenn added to UFC 219 in Las Vegas

An intriguing bantamweight bout appears to be on for UFC 219.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal, citing sources close to the UFC, reported Wednesday that Myles Jury will fight Rick Glenn at the event being held Dec. 30 at T-Mobile Arena.

UFC 219 features a pay-per-view main card following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass. Jury (16-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC) vs. Glenn (20-4-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) marks the sixth bout added to the lineup.

Jury returned earlier this year at UFC 210 after more than a year away and won by first-round TKO over Mike De La Torre. It was a resounding response from Jury, who had previously lost back-to-back fights following a 15-0 start to his career.

Glenn, a former WSOF champion, will enter the fight riding the momentum of consecutive wins this year. He scored decisions over Phillipe Nover and Gavin Tucker at UFC 208 and UFC 215, respectively, in response to a loss in his UFC debut last year.

With the addition, the UFC 219 lineup now includes:

  • Dominick Cruz vs. Jimmie Rivera
  • Carlos Condit vs. Neil Magny
  • Cynthia Calvillo vs. Carla Esparza
  • Matheus Nicolau vs. Louis Smolka
  • Khalil Rountree vs. Gokhan Saki
  • Myles Jury vs. Rick Glenn

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

Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Myles Jury (red gloves) celebrates after beating Mike De La Torre (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Myles Jury (red gloves) competes against Mike De La Torre (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Myles Jury (red gloves) competes against Mike De La Torre (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Myles Jury (red gloves) competes against Mike De La Torre (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Myles Jury (red gloves) competes against Mike De La Torre (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Myles Jury (red gloves) competes against Mike De La Torre (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Myles Jury (red gloves) competes against Mike De La Torre (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-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/m4SGx4AjKdqpyX4WxtYF2Y/277400", customAnalytics: true, title: "Jury def. De La Torre", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC

Yair Rodriguez documentary 'El Pantera' premieres this week at New York Latino Film Festival


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

Mexican featherweight Yair Rodriguez is one of the UFC’s most promising young talents, and now there’s a film to tell the story of the 25-year-old striking specialist.

“El Pantera,” directed by The Mash-Up King, premieres this Saturday as an official selection of the New York Latino Film Festival.

What’s it about? Here’s the official synopsis:

“El Pantera” is a documentary film chronicling the rise of Mexican UFC Fighter Yair Rodriguez. The film addresses macro topics such as the immigration, the American Dream and life as professional MMA fighter.

Rodriguez (10-2 MMA, 6-1 UFC), who had won six in a row, is coming off a TKO loss to Frankie Edgar in May. Rodriguez has since taken time off but hopes to fight before the end of the year.

You can see the trailer for “El Pantera” above.

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

May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Yair Rodriguez (blue gloves) looks around after being defeated by Yair Rodriguez (red gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Frankie Edgar (red gloves) fights Yair Rodriguez (blue gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Frankie Edgar (red gloves) fights Yair Rodriguez (blue gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Frankie Edgar (red gloves) fights Yair Rodriguez (blue gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Frankie Edgar (red gloves) fights Yair Rodriguez (blue gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Frankie Edgar (red gloves) fights Yair Rodriguez (blue gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Frankie Edgar (red gloves) fights Yair Rodriguez (blue gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Frankie Edgar (red gloves) fights Yair Rodriguez (blue gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Frankie Edgar (red gloves) fights Yair Rodriguez (blue gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Frankie Edgar (red gloves) Defeats Yair Rodriguez (blue gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Frankie Edgar (red gloves) celebrate after defeating Yair Rodriguez (blue gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-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/RWa5sKTf9yYuzF5ZYxwsG4/277377", customAnalytics: true, title: "Edgar def. Rodriguez", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

Ex-UFC champ Johny Hendricks opens up on move to Jackson Wink MMA

After a loss to Tim Boetsch that left his recent UFC record at 2-4, Johny Hendricks decided he could no longer afford to walk the same path. He needed a change of scenery from his native Texas.

“I really didn’t want to leave my kids,” Hendricks on Wednesday told MMAjunkie Radio. “But it’s to a point to where, do I want to just compete, or do I want to win again?”

Once the top man at 170 pounds, the former champion Hendrick (18-7 MMA, 13-7 UFC) is running out of options as he tries to pull out of a long career slide. A fight against unbeaten Paulo Borrachinha (10-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) at UFC 217 could be his last chance to correct course.

Hendricks, 34, seems to grasp the stakes. He made headlines earlier this month by traveling to Albuquerque, N.M., for a residency with the famed Jackson Wink MMA Academy, which has trained two of his former opponents.

“I know I can fight better,” Hendricks said. “I’ve proven it, but I’ve got to do it consistently now.”

In the buildup to the Nov. 4 fight, headlined by his two-time foe Georges St-Pierre at Madison Square Garden in New York, Henricks plans to split time between New Mexico and Texas, driving home on the weekends to see his family. It’s an uncomfortable move, but a necessary one. By making it, Hendricks said he primarily sought out something he lacked in previous camps: sparring partners.

“That’s my problem,” Hendricks said. “One camp might be really good, but the next one sucks, and the reason why is I can’t get any training partners.”

Earlier in his career, when his management was overseen by Team Takedown, Hendricks was able to tailor his work in the gym toward his opponents. He had sparring partners flown out to the team’s facility in Arlington, Texas.

Since the team’s collapse amid a fight with its management, Hendricks largely has been on his own. Although he’s continued to work with individual coaches, he’s struggled to rebuild a reliable infrastructure around his preparation.

When he thought about how to fix the problem, Jackson Wink immediately came to mind. He remembered facing fighters from the team and being impressed by the coaching that was coming from their corners. He figured if anything, coaches Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn didn’t need a refresher on what he brought to the table.

RelatedTim Boetsch on Johny Hendricks' 'unprofessional' weight miss: 'Maybe he was taking me lightly'

Plus, the Southwestern facility is a one-stop shop for UFC fighters and coaches. It’s home to some of the brightest talent in the sport.

Through a mutual friend, Hendricks reached out to Winkeljohn, who cleared the request through the rest of the team before giving the green light.

Hendricks drove to Albuquerque and stayed with UFC welterweight Donald Cerrone, who owns the “BMF” training facility and ranch that has housed many Jackson Wink fighters.

Although Hendricks was uncertain at the response he’d receive from team members, he said he was eagerly welcomed. Then, everyone got to work.

Hendricks trained with established fighters such as Cerrone and said he also got good looks from up-and-comers looking to give him a tough time in the cage.

“I sparred 12 times in a week,” Hendricks said. “Sometimes, that’s what my whole camp is. By the end of the week, I’m starting to pick up things.”

Now, Hendricks is certain he made the right choice. He said even the support staff is on a different level for fighters as they prepare for bouts.

“They have people that can work on you there, so after practice, you have something that’s not feeling right, they do their job, and by the next day, it’s almost healed,” Hendricks said. “That’s going to further my career, as well. Just training smarter.”

Hendricks said Jackson has a plan for his training at the gym and when he returns home. But Hendricks already gets the sense that he’s turning a corner in the way he fights.

It took a blowout loss to Boetsch to get him there, but Hendricks is resolved to see through his resolution to train the way he needs to ensure victory.

“I just took a step back and said this is where I need to be,” Hendricks said. “If I want to do what I want to do, I have to make that sacrifice.”

For more on UFC 217, 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.

Jun 25, 2017; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Tim Boetsch (red gloves) greets Johny Hendricks (blue gloves) after their fight during UFC Fight Night at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Pokorny-USA TODAY Sports Jun 25, 2017; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Tim Boetsch (red gloves) fights Johny Hendricks (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Pokorny-USA TODAY Sports Jun 25, 2017; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Tim Boetsch (red gloves) fights Johny Hendricks (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Pokorny-USA TODAY Sports Jun 25, 2017; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Tim Boetsch (red gloves) fights Johny Hendricks (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Pokorny-USA TODAY Sports Jun 25, 2017; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Tim Boetsch (red gloves) fights Johny Hendricks (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Pokorny-USA TODAY Sports Jun 25, 2017; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Tim Boetsch (red gloves) fights Johny Hendricks (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Pokorny-USA TODAY Sports Jun 25, 2017; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Tim Boetsch (red gloves) fights Johny Hendricks (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Pokorny-USA TODAY Sports Jun 25, 2017; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Tim Boetsch (red gloves) fights Johny Hendricks (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Pokorny-USA TODAY Sports Jun 25, 2017; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Tim Boetsch (red gloves) fights Johny Hendricks (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Pokorny-USA TODAY Sports Jun 25, 2017; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Tim Boetsch (red gloves) fights Johny Hendricks (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Pokorny-USA TODAY Sports Jun 25, 2017; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Tim Boetsch (red gloves) reacts after beating Johny Hendricks (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Pokorny-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/zL9Mt5pLjPDuYiLJ8KT3qg/277361", customAnalytics: true, title: "Boetsch def. Hendricks", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, Radio Highlight, UFC

James Gallagher injury prompts Bellator 187 reshuffle, including A.J. McKee to main event

Irish featherweight James Gallagher is injured, and his rival, A.J. McKee, is stepping into the spotlight.

Gallagher (10-0 MMA, 4-0 BMMA) recently suffered a knee injury and has been forced to withdraw from Bellator 187, prompting the promotion to elevate McKee (9-0 MMA, 9-0 BMMA) to the headliner of the Nov. 10 event at 3Arena in Dublin, where he’ll meet Brian Moore (10-5 MMA, 1-1 BMMA).

A Bellator official confirmed the news to MMAjunkie following an initial report from MMAFighting.com. Gallagher subsequently made an announcement on Instagram.

Absolutely heart broken to have to pull out from my fight Nov 10th due to a knee injury. I’ve tore the LCL and PCL. I’m going to let it heal up and recover 100% and I’ll be back stronger than ever! Hopefully we can get the “jimmy show” back in the new year!

McKee, initially targeted against Jeremy Petley (11-8-1 MMA, 1-0 BMMA), now faces SBG Ireland product Moore, whose original opponent, Andre Goncalves, will now face Irishman Decky Dalton on the same card.

Gallagher’s originally scheduled opponent, Jeremiah Labiano (11-5 MMA, 2-1 BMMA), will now be rebooked for Bellator 188 on Nov. 16 in Tel Aviv.

The unfortunate injury delays Gallagher’s return to home soil after a first-round submission of Kirill Medvedovsky in his third appearance for the Viacom-owned promotion in February. So far, the undefeated 20-year-old is 4-0 with the promotion.

Gallagher has circled McKee, another undefeated prospect in Bellator’s featherweight ranks. But despite a heap of trash talk between the two up-and-comers, the promotion has yet to book them. McKee has said he’ll only wait so long for the fight to happen.

Gallagher’s knee injury, of course, delays any showdown. McKee hopes to improve to 10 straight wins.

Bellator 187’s main card airs via tape delay on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

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


Filed under: Bellator, News

UFC Hall of Famer Urijah Faber remains comfortably retired, 'no temptation' to fight just because

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If you watched the “SnoopCast” alternate stream during the first season of Dana White’s Contender Series, then you’ve seen just how much Urijah Faber is enjoying retirement.

Faber, who hung up his gloves following a win over Brad Pickett last December, clearly had a great time providing a fresh spin on MMA commentary alongside Snoop Dogg for the inaugural eight-fight first season of DWCS. And it was apparent that he’s comfortable with life outside the octagon.

But still, the 38-year-old Faber recently told MMAjunkie Radio he could be lured back into the octagon, though he made it clear a return wouldn’t be possible just for the sake of it.

RelatedUrijah Faber defends 'gentleman' and fellow DWCS commentator Snoop Dogg

“There’d be a few scenarios where I would jump in there but not just ready to jump in for anybody obviously,” Faber said. “I mean, I absolutely am in tact with my mind and body, and I feel better than ever, having rested over half a year now under my belt. I’m staying busy, man. I’ve got a lot going on. I love a good fight, and I love a good story. As far as just wanting to jump in for the heck of it, there’s no temptation there.”

And why would there be? It’s not like Faber (34-10 MMA, 10-6 UFC) has anything to prove.

Although he never won a UFC title, he was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame on the strength of his pre-UFC resume, which includes holding dual featherweight and bantamweight titles for WEC and King of the Cage, respectively.

Also keeping Faber satisfied is the number of projects that have kept him busy, not the least of which was filming alongside Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson for next year’s “Rampage” movie.

In short, don’t expect Faber back inside the octagon anytime soon – if ever again.

To hear more from Faber, watch the video above.

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

December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Urijah Faber is declared the winner by decision against Frankie Saenz during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Urijah Faber fights against Frankie Saenz during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Urijah Faber fights against Frankie Saenz during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Urijah Faber lands an elbow against Frankie Saenz during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Dec 6, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Urijah Faber (red) after defeating Francisco Rivera (blue) during UFC 181 at Madalay Bay Events Center. Faber won via second round submission. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Dec 6, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Urijah Faber (red) submits Francisco Rivera (blue) during UFC 181 at Madalay Bay Events Center. Faber won via second round submission. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Dec 6, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Urijah Faber (red) submits Francisco Rivera (blue) during UFC 181 at Madalay Bay Events Center. Faber won via second round submission. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jul 5, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Urijah Faber (red gloves) celebrates his victory over Alex Caceres (blue gloves) during a bantamweight fight at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Feb 1, 2014; Newark, NJ, USA; Renan Barao (red gloves) and Urijah Faber (blue gloves) after their fight during UFC 169 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jan 31, 2014; Newark, NJ, USA; Urijah Faber (right) is interviewed by UFC commentator Joe Rogan after weighing in for his Bantamweight Championship bout against Renan Barao (not pictured) at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports December 14, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Urijah Faber addresses the media during the press conference after UFC on FOX 9 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports December 14, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Urijah Faber (red gloves) reacts during his fight against Michael McDonald during the bantamweight bout of the UFC on FOX 9 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports December 14, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Urijah Faber (red gloves) reacts after his fight against Michael McDonald (blue gloves) during the bantamweight bout of the UFC on FOX 9 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports December 14, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Michael McDonald (blue gloves) gets knocked to the canvas by Urijah Faber (red gloves) during the bantamweight bout of the UFC on FOX 9 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports December 14, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Urijah Faber (red gloves) fights Michael McDonald (blue gloves) during the bantamweight bout of the UFC on FOX 9 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports December 14, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Urijah Faber (red gloves) enters before his fight with Michael McDonald (blue gloves) during the bantamweight bout of the UFC on FOX 9 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports Aug 17, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Urijah Faber celebrates his win after a UFC bantamweight match at the TD Garden. Faber won by judges decision. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports Aug 17, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Urijah Faber leaves the ring after defeating Yuri Alcantara during a UFC Bantamweight match at the TD Garden. Faber won by judges decision. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports Aug 17, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Urijah Faber (top) fights Yuri Alcantara (bottom) during a UFC bantamweight match at the TD Garden. Faber won by judges decision. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports Aug 17, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Urijah Faber during a UFC bantamweight match at the TD Garden. Faber won by judges decision. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-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/UsQN5oQeN6KuYu5eVEo4CQ/277359", customAnalytics: true, title: "Urijah Faber", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

Cub Swanson: Brian Ortega 'ain't making a name off of me' at UFC Fight Night 123

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

Brian Ortega is close to reaching critical mass as a UFC featherweight. After all, he’s booked against veteran Cub Swanson for his next bout at UFC Fight Night 123.

Ortega (12-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC), the No. 7 fighter in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA featherweight rankings, has carved out an impressive niche in his octagon career, submitting four consecutive opponents in the third round. He’s earned a test.

The No. 6 Swanson (25-7 MMA, 10-3 UFC), a grizzled veteran who’s come within a step of a title shot, is just that type of opponent. The UFC will either mint a new star or certify an existing one.

Overall, the fight offers more upside for the 26-year-old Ortega, who’s got plenty of time to reset in the event of a setback. Swanson, 33, doesn’t have that luxury.

When the pair meet in the FS1-televised headliner of UFC Fight Night 123 on Dec. 9 at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif., it will be the final fight on Swanson’s contract.

RelatedCub Swanson has interesting response to ex-champ Jose Aldo's sudden interest in rematch

Calling his choice to test free agency “a power move,” Swanson is making a bet he’ll increase his leverage with the promotion by beating the red-hot Ortega, getting a salary increase through a new contract with the UFC or one with another promotion.

It’s a bet many fighters have taken over the past two years, to mixed results. Swanson figures now is the right time to make his move. He just welcomed his first child and wants to set himself up so he doesn’t need to take physical punishment to make a living.

He chooses to reframe the high stakes as a chance to show off his skills.

“It actually feels good,” Swanson said. “It feels like less pressure. Some people may take more pressure being the favorite, but man, I feel like I’ve worked so hard to be here, and I don’t see somebody coming and taking it from me.

“So whenever a guy that’s the new thing, they’re like, ‘Oh, this is the guy you’re fighting?’ I’m like, ‘He ain’t making a name off of me.’ I’m going to show him why I’m in the spot I’m in, and why I’ve been here so long. I keep getting better. Bring it on.”

Although Swanson believes he’s already a rightful contender for the title, he’s no longer dwelling on opportunities not offered. Ortega is the one in front of him that must be overcome.

“I don’t know exactly how he’s going to come into the fight,” Swanson said. “I know he likes to bang, but I’m sure he’ll try to use his jiu-jitsu, as well. I just see that he’s stylistically a great matchup for me.

“Every fight, I’m chasing the perfect performance and feel like I’m getting closer and closer, and that’s what makes me keep fighting. I feel like this could be it. This could be your perfect performance.”

For more on UFC Fight Night 123, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Apr 22, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Cub Swanson (red gloves) defeats Artem Lobov (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports Apr 22, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Cub Swanson (red gloves) before fighting Artem Lobov (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports Apr 22, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Cub Swanson (red gloves) fights Artem Lobov (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports Apr 22, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Cub Swanson (red gloves) fights Artem Lobov (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports Dec 10, 2016; Toronto, ON, CAN; Cub Swanson (red gloves) reacts to fight with Dooho Choi (blue gloves) during UFC 206 at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Dec 10, 2016; Toronto, ON, CAN; Cub Swanson (red gloves) fights Dooho Choi (blue gloves) during UFC 206 at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Apr 18, 2015; Newark, NJ, USA; Cub Swanson (red) and Max Holloway (blue) fight during UFC Fight Night at Prudential Center. Holloway won via third round tap out. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jun 28, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; Cub Swanson (red gloves) poses for a picture after defeating Jeremy Stephens (not pictured) in a Featherweight bout at UFC Fight Night 43 at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports Jun 28, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; Cub Swanson (red gloves) fights Jeremy Stephens (blue gloves) in a Featherweight bout at UFC Fight Night 43 at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports Jun 28, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; Cub Swanson (red gloves) fights Jeremy Stephens (blue gloves) in a Featherweight bout at UFC Fight Night 43 at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports Jun 28, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; Cub Swanson (red gloves) fights Jeremy Stephens (blue gloves) in a Featherweight bout at UFC Fight Night 43 at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports Jun 28, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; Cub Swanson prepares for a fight with Jeremy Stephens (not pictured) in a Featherweight bout at UFC Fight Night 43 at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports Jun 28, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; Cub Swanson prepares for a fight with Jeremy Stephens (not pictured) in a Featherweight bout at UFC Fight Night 43 at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports Jul 6, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cub Swanson in the cage defeating Dennis Siver (not pictured) in his UFC Featherweight Bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jul 6, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cub Swanson wins his Featherweight Bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jul 6, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cub Swanson in the cage defeating Dennis Siver (not pictured) in his UFC Featherweight Bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jul 6, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Ref. Herb Dean breaks up Cub Swanson and Dennis Siver Featherweight Bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jul 6, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cub Swanson and Dennis Siver during their Featherweight Bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jul 6, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cub Swanson (red gloves) and Dennis Siver (blue gloves) during their Featherweight Bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Swanson won. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jul 6, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cub Swanson (red gloves) and Dennis Siver (blue gloves) during their Featherweight Bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Swanson won. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jul 6, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cub Swanson and Dennis Siver during their Featherweight Bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jul 6, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cub Swanson (red gloves) and Dennis Siver (blue gloves) during their Featherweight Bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Swanson won. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jul 6, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cub Swanson and Dennis Siver during their Featherweight Bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jul 6, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cub Swanson in the cage during his UFC Featherweight Bout against Dennis Siver (not pictured) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.Swanson won Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jul 6, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cub Swanson before his Featherweight Bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jul 6, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cub Swanson after defeating Dennis Siver (not pictured) in his UFC Featherweight Bout at the MGM Grand Garden 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/XuaQUiBFxVdH83tc9PJSyS/277336", customAnalytics: true, title: "Cub Swanson", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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Today in MMA History: The birth of PRIDE FC

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Filed under: News

By the time he showed up at the Tokyo Dome on Oct. 11, 1997, for a fight against a pro wrestler who he was practically guaranteed to beat at an event dubbed PRIDE 1, Rickson Gracie was already an MMA legend. What else do you expect when you’ve got over 400 fights and no defeats?

Yeah, well. About that.

Officially, Gracie had won a pair of one-night vale tudo tournaments in Japan back in 1994 and ‘95. Before that, he won a couple fights at home in Brazil. In order to get a number that reached into the hundreds you had to count streets fights, gym fights, beach fights, maybe even a training session or 12. Even other members of the Gracie clan dismissed the record as a bit of mathematically dubious hype. You got the sense that if Gracie had nudged you out of the way while boarding a crowded subway some time in the early ‘90s, there was a good chance you were added to his tally.

Still, one thing you had to give him was that in all the officially recorded and documented fights throughout the decade, Gracie seemed to understand something that his competitors had not even begun to grasp. At a time when other grapplers were rubbing two sticks together, hoping for a little smoke, Gracie might as well have been walking around with a flamethrower.

He combined this knowledge with genuinely impressive athleticism. Unlike his brother Royce, who was chosen to represent the family in the UFC events that had begun a few years before in part because of his unimpressive physique, Rickson was a physical specimen – not overly muscular, but fit and strong, with a torso carved from wood.

He was also a fierce competitor, known not just for his submissions, but also for achieving dominant positions on the mat and punishing opponents with punches. Other Gracie jiu-jitsu fighters might choke you until you tapped. Rickson was the one who could punch you until he felt like choking you – or not.

This is part of how he ended up in the Tokyo Dome on that night when PRIDE was born, 20 years ago today. Just getting him into the ring with pro wrestling star Nobuhiku Takada was a victory of sorts. At least it was a big enough deal to merit a brand new show with a new name, one that would offer Japanese fight fans a mix of the combat sports they’d already proven to love.

And with Gracie involved, a long-standing wish of the Japanese pro wrestling scene was about to be granted. Whether they’d still want it once they got it, that was another question.

Oct11.1997

20 years ago today,

The very 1st PRIDE Fighting Championships event took place in Tokyo, Japan

The birth of a historic era pic.twitter.com/QD9bRt8Sqj

— MMA History Today (@MMAHistoryToday) October 11, 2017

See, Gracie was already a fairly big deal in the Japanese fight scene at the time, but he became a much bigger deal once the even more popular pro wrestlers started gunning for him. In Japan, mixed rules fighting events had existed for years with events like Shooto, K-1, and Pancrase, where PRIDE commentator Bas Rutten first built his name.

But even the scripted pro wrestling matches in Japan often aimed for a higher degree of fighting realism than many of those elsewhere. The pro wrestlers were expected to be true tough guys. They challenged – and actually fought – pro boxers like Muhammad Ali and Trevor Berbick. Takada in particular prided himself as a guy who could really fight, sometimes even genuinely knocking out opponents in bouts that were supposed to be works, as he did to former sumo wrestler Koji Kitao.

But every form of combat sports thrives on novelty to some extent. Fight promoters wanted something new and fresh, something that would combine the Japanese love for everything from pro wrestling to kickboxing to mixed martial arts. They also wanted a pair of names big enough to draw a real crowd, which is how Gracie soon became a favorite target for pro wrestling callouts.

The PRIDE FC theme was so powerful. https://t.co/LGCtwS3yup

— MMA History Today (@MMAHistoryToday) October 11, 2017

As Gracie would later tell UFC commentator Joe Rogan on his podcast, he didn’t think much of those challenges at first.

“One of the friends I had in Japan came and said, ‘Mr. Gracie, they’re talking a lot about you, and you should have an official answer for that … because people will start thinking you’re afraid,’” Gracie said. “So I said OK, and I (made) a letter stating I would never fight in their ring, because they’re not legit, they fix fights … but if he wants to come and fight in my (style of) event … he’s welcome to come and we’re going to face each other, for sure.”

One man did come. Yoji Anjo, a Japanese pro wrestler who would later fight in the UFC, showed up at Gracie’s academy in Southern California with photographers and a film crew in tow. According to legend, he soon made it clear that he intended to force Gracie to honor his pledge to fight for honor rather than money.

Gracie let Anjo in, but kept the film crew outside. The only extant recording of the gym fight that followed still belongs to Gracie, and the tape would later assume an almost mythical status. Those who were fortunate enough to see it offered detailed accounts of Gracie taking Anjo down and beating him bloody from full mount. Only when he was satisfied that Anjo had learned his lesson did he choke him out, leaving him unconscious in a pool of his own blood to be photographed by the media that Gracie now allowed into the gym.

(As Gracie would reportedly remark about the incident later: “If we fight for money, I’ll stop hitting you when you ask me to. If we fight for honor, I’ll stop hitting you when I feel like it.”)

When word of this beating spread back in Japan, thanks in part to a judicious use of the video evidence, the target on Gracie’s back only grew. The powers that be saw the marketing potential of a fight between the genuine martial artist Gracie and the superstar pro wrestler Takada, who’d been a popular figure in Japan since the ’80s. The promoters with Kakutougi Revolution Spirits (KRS) liked the idea enough to offer Gracie the promise of a true fight – no fixes or funny business – and at a price he couldn’t refuse.

And so, Gracie vs. Takada was on. With it, a new event called PRIDE was spawned. Nearly 48,000 people showed up to the Tokyo Dome to see it on that October day in 1997, and the lineup offered a little bit of everything, for better and worse.

John Dixson

For instance, there was the curtain-jerker between pro wrestler Kazunari Murakami and “Big” John Dixson, who was known in those early days for his insistence on keeping his T-shirt on when he fought.

If you were expecting a true, unscripted fight, then the bout was suspicious, to say the least. Dixson took Murakami down early and then stood up to relinquish top position after making little effort to do damage on the mat.

“This is strange,” remarked English-language commentator Bas Rutten, who would years later make a similar pronouncement about a fight featuring Takada and UFC champion Mark Coleman, which is almost universally thought to have been fixed.

After an almost too perfect hip throw to put Dixson down, Murakami quickly locked up an armbar that Dixson made no attempt to defend against before tapping out.

In the next fight, however, things got a little too real when Gary Goodridge knocked Oleg Taktarov out cold with a looping right hand, then added two more heavy punches as Taktarov lay face down and motionless on the mat.

Oleg Taktarov is carried out of the ring after a knockout loss.

Several minutes later, Taktarov would be stretchered out of the ring, still unconscious, looking for all the world like a dead man while Goodridge reclined in his corner with an ice pack on his leg.

Then there was the 30-minute draw between Renzo Gracie and Akira Shoji, which was notable in part for a preview of what would become a persistent problem in PRIDE events – the ropes.

While the boxing ring made for more fan- and camera-friendly viewing, it also made things tricky for fighters. Early in the fight, with Gracie attached to Shoji’s back, Shoji made the surface work in his favor when he slipped through the ropes to escape, calmly planting his feet on the floor and walking around the ring to re-enter at a safer point.

After that came another suspect bout between the sumo wrestler turned pro wrestler Kitao, who required a belt to keep his gi pants up as he took on Australian pro wrestler, powerlifter, and former semi-famous criminal Nathan Jones.

(Side note: Jones, who you might remember from his role as a big, scary bad guy in “Mad Max: Fury Road,” was once known for ripping cell doors off their hinges after being arrested for a string of armed robberies in the mid ‘80s and sentenced to 12 years in Australia’s notorious Boggo Road prison at the age of 17. Upon his release, he began participating in powerlifting competitions such as “The World’s Strongest Man,” where he broke his arm in an arm-wrestling challenge, but was eventually “discovered” by martial arts movie star Jackie Chan.)

For a fight that Jones would later admit was fixed, there wasn’t much action. Kitao took him down early, then moved to side control and, after a lot of grunting, finished with an Americana arm lock that was far from technically proficient.

Jones would later claim that PRIDE had gotten him to throw the bout by promising him legit fights later on, though those never materialized. In a 2015 interview he referred to the fight as “a real sore point in my life.”

(Check out the full Kitao vs. Jones fight above, courtesy of UFC Fight Pass.)

Ralph White

The lone kickboxing match featured Ralph White and Branko Cikatic fighting in cumbersome gloves that mimicked the size of those used in boxing, but featured the fingered design of MMA gloves. It would end early, and in a controversial no-contest, after Cikatic kicked a downed White in the head, immediately raising an enormous lump on White’s forehead.

But even after that, the lowlight of the event was a 30-minute draw between former UFC fighters Dan Severn and Kimo Leopoldo, which had Rutten and his English-language broadcast partner Stephen Quadros pleading for action by the end.

“The corner is happy!” Rutten said incredulously after the fight finally ended. “They’re happy and smiling, yay, yay, yay.”

“Well, they’re happy because he went the distance with Dan Severn,” said Quadros. “But to go into a fight with your mission just to make it the distance, why even take the fight?”

But then at last it was time for the main event, the fight Japan had been waiting for. Not that those in the know were expecting much from it.

On the English-language broadcast, both Rutten and Quadros openly expressed doubts that Takada had any chance in the bout. At one point, Rutten began to tell an anecdote about Takada coming to train at his gym in Beverly Hills, before breaking off and remarking, “I don’t think he’s going to win this fight.”

“Why wouldn’t Rickson take this fight?” asked Quadros. “You’re talking money here. … But the question remains, can Nobuhiko Takada make his mixed martial arts debut against, of all people, Rickson Gracie – who Royce Gracie, who has won three UFC titles, says is 10 times better than him? Chances are good he’s not going to win.”

“I really don’t see it,” said Rutten.

Rickson Gracie vs. Nobuhiko Takada

Their skepticism would turn out to be well-founded. Gracie came patiently plodding after Takada in the early going, with his stiff standup style on full display – hands low, chin up, almost daring his opponent to attack. Takada jogged around the perimeter of the ring, seemingly content not to lose for at least a couple minutes.

When Gracie finally managed to trap Takada in the corner, digging for a single-leg takedown, Takada looped one arm around the ropes and waited for some friendly intervention from the referee, which was quick in coming.

“Rickson can’t be happy with that,” said Quadros. “He had the leg. The takedown was imminent.”

As Gracie argued with the referee and glared at Takada, he might have been forgiven for wondering whether the fight was going to be on the level after all. But moments after the restart, he would scoop Takada up for a double-leg slam, moving immediately to mount. Takada would try his best to hold on from bottom, but he had little in the way of actual skills from his back. Soon Gracie got enough separation to lock up the armbar, and Takada resisted only briefly before submitting.

“That was a quick one, folks,” said Quadros. “Rickson Gracie continues his undefeated streak with an armbar victory over the most famous pro wrestler in Japan, Nobuhiko Takada.”

“Beautiful armbar,” said Rutten. “But, man, I saw it coming 40 seconds before. Takada should work a little bit more on submissions, I guess.”

Takada’s poor performance was a disappointment to many Japanese fans. Even if they didn’t necessarily expect him to win, they still expected more than they got. He would request and eventually receive a rematch against Gracie, which he also lost after a slightly better showing.

As would become clear in the years that followed, Takada was no MMA fighter. It didn’t stop him from fighting a total of nine times under the PRIDE banner, however, because why would it?

As the promoters of that first event learned, a couple big names and a few strange spectacles was often enough to fill a colossal arena in Japan. PRIDE would do it many times in the nearly 10 years that followed before its demise.

Today it lives on only in old DVDs, in the UFC Fight Pass video library, and in the increasingly hazy memories of those who lived through a unique era in MMA, both in and out of the ring.

Oct11.1997

Rickson Gracie competes in PRIDE FC's first ever main event,

& finishes Nobuhiko Takada with an armbar pic.twitter.com/31wwB759YT

— MMA History Today (@MMAHistoryToday) October 11, 2017

“Today in MMA History” is an MMAjunkie series created in association with MMA History Today, the social media outlet dedicated to reliving “a daily journey through our sport’s history.”


Filed under: News

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

Derek Brunson has in UFC Fight Night 119 opponent Lyoto Machida a skilled, elusive striker. But, after dealing with the “trickier” Anderson Silva, Brunson isn’t too worried.

Brunson (17-5 MMA, 8-3 UFC) and Machida (22-7 MMA, 14-7 UFC) meet in a UFC Fight Night 119-headlining affair on Oct. 28, at Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Brunson comes into the bout riding a first-round knockout win over Daniel Kelly – which snapped a two-fight losing skid, capped off by an unanimous-decision loss to Silva in February.

Machida and Silva have a few things in common. Other than being talented counter-strikers who have previously held UFC belts, the Brazilians have shared training sessions and a management team. And, as it appears, they’ve also shared insight on Brunson.

Brunson, however, isn’t concerned about whatever intel Machida might be gathering. If anything, Brunson walks into the FS1-televised bout made all the more confident by his encounter with Silva.

“Anderson doesn’t really have any valid advice,” Brunson told MMAjunkie. “The only valid advice is he can say, ‘Derek is going to shoot for a takedown. Derek is going to do this, or do that.’ But everything he’s telling him, he can see it in the film. But he might want to take into consideration that fight was on three weeks, a month’s notice – very short notice. So I wasn’t the best that I was in.

“In my opinion, Anderson is harder to deal with than Machida. He has more length and he has more deception in his strikes. Whereas Machida, you pretty much know what he’s doing, and you know the blitz is coming. I think Anderson is trickier, and I was able to deal with that, so I’m feeling very comfortable to go out and fight with a good striker, but less tricky.”

There are a few variables around Machida for this one. At 39, the former 205-pound champ hasn’t fought in over two years. The time away wasn’t voluntary – at least not the 18 months determined by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), after Machida admitted to taking a prohibited substance prior to his last scheduled bout.

Machida, himself, has been putting a positive spin on the suspension. But not everyone was on board with the harshness of the penalty, considering the facts that the ex-champ was upfront about the intake of 7-keto-DHEA before even failing a test and that some of his peers received more lenience in light of seemingly worse offenses.

In the polarizing discussion about ring rust, Brunson sides with those who don’t really see it as that big of a factor. But, when it comes to the USADA situation, it’s safe to say we can’t expect Brunson to advocate for the ex-champ’s innocence.

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

“I’m not really a believer in inactivity being an advantage,” Brunson said. “I know he’s been out because of some supplement, or some PED, I’m not really sure what it was. I also know that guys often come up with excuses for what they did so it wouldn’t reflect as PEDs, also.

“So I think maybe he might come out looking like a different fighter as far as, you know, the cardio, the strength and stuff like that. But I think that he will still have his skillset.”

Other than the layoff, Machida has another thing going against him: He enters the fight riding back-to-back losses to former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold and contender Yoel Romero. It’s Machida’s first skid of consecutive losses since 2010 – when he followed a title-costing loss to Mauricio Rua with a decision setback to Quinton Jackson.

While “The Dragon” has never ceased being a menacing presence in the UFC’s roster, the mystique that surrounded his karate-based movement has certainly grown weaker over the years, as more and more opponents were able to crack his code in the octagon.

On his end, Brunson sees Machida as a “very patient” and “accurate” striker –but, also, a predictable one.

“I think he’s the same type of fighter since he entered the UFC,” Brunson said. “But there’s more material on him. More video. More film. You can kind of see what he does.”

Meanwhile, the 33-year-old Brunson has been working to fill some of the holes in his own game. While his power is undeniable – as consecutive knockout victims Sam Alvey, Roan Carneiro and Uriah Hall would probably agree – the flip side of Brunson’s aggression showed last November, when interim champ Robert Whittaker knocked him out after a wild start to a UFC Fight Night 101 affair.

Don’t get him wrong: Brunson is still as finish-driven as ever. But he believes he’s become better at navigating the fine line between being aggressive and downright reckless.

“I think I’ll get the finish,” Brunson said. “I definitely think I’ll get my hand raised. But yeah – I’m going to fight looking for the finish. And I’m finding better ways to do it without putting myself in so much risk. I know that guys are expecting this fireball to come at them, and waiting for the counter or whatever. I understand.

“In the Anderson fight, I understood Anderson is a great counter-striker. With Lyoto, I understand he’s a good counter-striker. With that being said, there are some things I have to adjust and I think I’ll be able to find the finish.”

Adding a second win to his streak with an incisive display over an ex-champ who’s currently ranked No. 11 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middleweight rankings would certainly be a good statement for the No. 10-ranked Brunson, especially considering he was on a four-fight winning streak prior to his brief skid.

In fact, Brunson ponders, it could very well mean he’s one fight away from a title shot. But, at the same time, it could mean nothing in a “crazy weight class” that could become even crazier after titleholder Michael Bisping puts his belt on the line against former 170-pound kingpin Georges St-Pierre at UFC 217.

Considering that, while well-known, Machida’s standing in the division after the time away is hard to even calculate, Brunson won’t dwell too much on what may follow. So, given all the variables, why the dangerous Machida, in his home country?

“I like good fights, you know,” Brunson said. “Machida definitely has a name value, so I’m definitely interested in that aspect.”

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

Feb 11, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Anderson Silva (red gloves) fights Derek Brunson (blue gloves) during UFC 208 at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Feb 11, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Anderson Silva (red gloves) fights Derek Brunson (blue gloves) during UFC 208 at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Feb 11, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Anderson Silva (red gloves) fights Derek Brunson (blue gloves) during UFC 208 at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Feb 11, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Anderson Silva (red gloves) fights Derek Brunson (blue gloves) during UFC 208 at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Nov 27, 2016; Melbourne, Australia; Robert Whittaker (red gloves) competes against Derek Brunson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Rod Laver Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Nov 27, 2016; Melbourne, Australia; Robert Whittaker (red gloves) competes against Derek Brunson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Rod Laver Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Sep 17, 2016; Hidalgo, TX, USA; Uriah Hall (red gloves) competes against Derek Brunson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Porkorny-USA TODAY Sports Sep 17, 2016; Hidalgo, TX, USA; Uriah Hall (red gloves) competes against Derek Brunson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Porkorny-USA TODAY Sports Sep 17, 2016; Hidalgo, TX, USA; Derek Brunson (blue gloves) defeats Uriah Hall during UFC Fight Night at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Porkorny-USA TODAY Sports Sep 17, 2016; Hidalgo, TX, USA; Derek Brunson (blue gloves) defeats Uriah Hall during UFC Fight Night at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Porkorny-USA TODAY Sports Feb 21, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Derek Brunson (red gloves) competes against Roan Carneiro (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Consol Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: David Dermer-USA TODAY Sports Feb 21, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Derek Brunson (red gloves) competes against Roan Carneiro (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Consol Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: David Dermer-USA TODAY Sports Feb 21, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Derek Brunson (red gloves) reacts after defeating Roan Carneiro (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Consol Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: David Dermer-USA TODAY Sports Feb 21, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Derek Brunson (red gloves) reacts after defeating Roan Carneiro (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at the Consol Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: David Dermer-USA TODAY Sports Feb 21, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Derek Brunson (left) reacts as he is named the winner of his bout with Roan Carneiro (right) during UFC Fight Night at the Consol Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: David Dermer-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/b5dR8FV7YyZXSGobkXzDvW/277277", customAnalytics: true, title: "Derek Brunson", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

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


Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News, Videos

Mackenzie Dern has long been considered a top prospect in women’s MMA, and with a move to the flyweight division, she may finally be ready to truly come into her own.

After struggling to make the strawweight limit early in her career, the multiple-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion now makes that move at Friday’s LFA 24 event, which takes place at Comerica Theatre in Phoenix and airs on AXS TV. Dern (3-0) meets Mandy Polk (3-3) in a 125-pound contest.

Ahead of that matchup, and courtesy of AXS TV Fights, check out Dern’s most recent outing, a March decision win over Katherine Roy, who was able to take the catchweight fight the distance but ultimately lost via unanimous decision at LFA 6.

Is Dern a future star in the women’s flyweight division? She’ll try to take another step in that direction at LFA 24.

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


Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News, Videos

New UFC champ Tony Ferguson: I'm going to expose Conor McGregor

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

The UFC’s new interim lightweight champ is willing to let Conor McGregor avoid a confrontation by vacating share of the title, but he’d rather deliver an ass-whooping to entertain the masses.

“What (McGregor) needs to do is defend or vacate,” Tony Ferguson told MMAjunkie Radio. “That dude’s got like less than a month. I mean compared to what UFC rules state, he’s got a year to start defending his belt. I’m more then ready for December. He said he wants to fight in 2017. I think the fans deserve it. I think I deserve it.

“What sounds better than 10 consecutive? Eleven, and it’s got Conor’s name written all over that mother(expletive). You guys heard my post-speech. There’s nowhere for him to run, man. He’s got me to deal with, and I’m going to expose that dude.”

Ferguson (23-3 MMA, 13-1 UFC), currently ranked No. 2 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA lightweight rankings, claimed his share of the belt with an impressive win over a very tough Kevin Lee at this past weekend’s UFC 216 event. It was Ferguson’s 10th consecutive victory.

Meanwhile, McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) – ranked No. 1 – originally claimed the undisputed belt at this past November’s UFC 205 but hasn’t entered the octagon since, instead taking a boxing match with Floyd Mayweather this past August.

There’s debate about McGregor’s next move, since a trilogy fight with rival Nate Diaz would obviously be a huge pay-per-view event, but UFC President Dana White insisted that wasn’t the current plan, instead pointing to a unification fight with Ferguson as the fight that “has to happen.”

Ferguson agrees, insisting marketability is no way to decide a championship fight.

“It’s not about the money fight,” Ferguson said. “It’s about the pride fight, and this dude’s going to be sitting on the sidelines if he doesn’t want to fight.

“I don’t think he wants that grubby little belt to be in my hands because I’ll enjoy it, and I will defend it. That dude hasn’t defended that belt one time – not one time. I will probably defend my interim belt more times than that dude would ever defend that belt.”

McGregor has stated he’d like to fight at the UFC’s year-end show on Dec. 30, but if that’s to happen, the promotion will need to make arrangements fairly quickly. Ferguson said he’s going to take a few days off for vacation but keep himself in shape and prepared for that very opportunity.

Unless McGregor wants to streamline the whole process and just rid himself of the belt.

“I already told him one time: Just set it down and walk away and nobody will get hurt. But also in every reality, we want the fans to have the fight, and I think the fans deserve it, straight up, because he’s the next one in line, and Khabib (Nurmagomedov) is not there. He’s out of line. He’s not even in the picture.

“So Conor, you need to either (expletive) defend or vacate. You need to get your (expletive) together and come fight me, straight up.”

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

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

Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) reacts after defeating Kevin Lee (blue gloves) in the third round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) punches Kevin Lee (blue gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) fights Kevin Lee (blue gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) competes against Kevin Lee (blue gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Kevin Lee (blue gloves) fights Tony Ferguson (red gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Kevin Lee (blue gloves) fights Tony Ferguson (red gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC official Herb Dean separates Kevin Lee (blue gloves) from Tony Ferguson (red gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Kevin Lee (blue gloves) punches Tony Ferguson (red gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Kevin Lee (blue gloves) punches Tony Ferguson (red gloves) during the second round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Kevin Lee (blue gloves) tackles Tony Ferguson (red gloves) during the second round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Kevin Lee (blue gloves) punches Tony Ferguson (red gloves) during the second round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) competes against Kevin Lee (blue gloves) during the third round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Kevin Lee (blue gloves) kicks Tony Ferguson (red gloves) during the third round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) chokes out Kevin Lee (blue gloves) during the third round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) chokes out Kevin Lee (blue gloves) during the third round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) chokes out Kevin Lee (blue gloves) during the third round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) reacts after defeating Kevin Lee (blue gloves) in the third round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) reacts after defeating Kevin Lee (blue gloves) in the third round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) reacts after defeating Kevin Lee (blue gloves) in the third round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) reacts after defeating Kevin Lee (blue gloves) in the third round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) reacts after defeating Kevin Lee (blue gloves) in the third round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) and Kevin Lee (blue gloves) are seen after Ferguson defeated Lee during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) reacts after defeating Kevin Lee (blue gloves) in the third round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) reacts after defeating Kevin Lee (blue gloves) in the third round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) reacts after defeating Kevin Lee (blue gloves) in the third round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/kZysKpDSjUG4B7zroo5zrb/277312", customAnalytics: true, title: "Ferguson def. 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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with Lyoto Machida, Johny Hendricks, Michael Johnson


Filed under: News, Videos

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Lyoto Machida, Johny Hendricks and Michael Johnson.

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Machida headlines UFC Fight Night 119 on Oct. 28 against Derek Brunson. Former UFC welterweight champ Hendricks competes on Nov. 4 vs. Paulo Borrachinha at UFC 217. Meanwhile, Johnson is looking to make the move to featherweight and will update us on his progress and any potential targets he might like to face.

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

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

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

Filed under: News, Videos

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2540 with guests R.J. Clifford and Curtis Millender

Stream or download Tuesday’s episode of MMAjunkie Radio with guests R.J. Clifford and Curtis Millender.

Clifford, host of “MMA Tonight” and also a FOX Sports contributor, joined the program to talk about the latest news, including trying to figure out the UFC lightweight puzzle. Millender headlines LFA 24 on Friday vs. Matthew Frincu.

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


Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News, Radio

Bellator champ Rafael Carvalho meets Alessio Sakara in Italy

A long-rumored middleweight title fight is official for Bellator’s return to Italy.

Bellator officials recently announced that 185-pound title holder Rafael Carvalho (14-1 MMA, 5-0 BMMA) faces Italy’s own Alessio Sakara (19-11 MMA, 2-0 BMMA) in the main event of Bellator 190 on Dec. 9 at Nelson Mandela Forum in Florence.

Carvalho brings an impressive 14-fight winning streak to the cage, standing undefeated since dropping his pro debut in 2011. Included in that 14-fight run are 11 knockout wins. The Brazilian scored the Bellator middleweight crown with an October 2015 TKO of Brandon Halsey and has since defended it twice with a pair of wins over Dutch knockout artist Melvin Manhoef.

Meanwhile, Sakara is best known for his 15 UFC appearances that spanned from 2005 to 2013. While his octagon run ended with four consecutive losses, “Legionarius” has experienced a rejuvenation in his post-UFC career, currently boasting a three-fight winning streak that has seen Sakara earn all three via knockout.

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


Filed under: Bellator, News

Sam Alvey takes late-notice fight at next week's UFC Fight Night 118 event

Middleweight slugger Sam Alvey (31-9 MMA, 8-4 UFC) has made it clear he wants to stay as busy as possible, and that includes picking up the phone whenever the UFC calls.

This time, the voice on the other end of the line asked him to step in on a little more than one week’s notice to replace Trevor Smith (15-7 MMA, 5-4 UFC) and face Russian prospect Ramazan Emeev (15-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 118.

Alvey said yes.

UFC officials today announced the change for the Oct. 21 event, which takes place at Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland. The entire card streams on UFC Fight Pass.

Alvey fought most recently in August, scoring a split-decision win over former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans. The 31-year-old Alvey is 5-1 in his past six appearances, a run that also includes wins over Nate Marquardt, Alex Nicholson, Kevin Casey and Eric Spicely.

Meanwhile, Emeez is a 30-year-old Russian product who makes his UFC debut on the strength of a four-fight winning streak that includes victories over Anatoly Tokov, Maiquel Falcao, Luigi Fioravanti and Vyacheslav Vasilevsky – with three of those coming by way of stoppage. Overall, Emeev is 12-1 in his past 13 appearances.

With the change to the card, UFC Fight Night 118 now includes:

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

  • Donald Cerrone vs. Darren Till
  • Jodie Esquibel vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz
  • Jan Blachowicz vs. Devin Clark
  • Oskar Piechota vs. Jonathan Wilson

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 11:45 a.m. ET)

  • Nasrat Haqparast vs. Marcin Held
  • Anthony Hamilton vs. Adam Wieczorek
  • Brian Kelleher vs. Damian Stasiak
  • Sam Alvey vs. Ramazan Emeev
  • Andre Fili vs. Artem Lobov
  • Warlley Alves vs. Jim Wallhead
  • Aspen Ladd vs. Lina Lansberg
  • Felipe Arantes vs. Josh Emmett

For more on UFC Fight Night 118, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: News, UFC

Even in super slo-mo, Demetrious Johnson's UFC 216 finish is pretty unfathomable


Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

Slow it down all you want, Demetrious Johnson’s incredible submission of Ray Borg at UFC 216 still blows the mind.

As you’d expect, Johnson’s “Submission of the Year” candidate was featured in the UFC’s latest “Phantom Cam” highlights package, covering this past weekend’s UFC 216 event in Las Vegas. The sequence might be even more impressive when it’s slowed down enough for mere mortals to understand.

Check out that highlight and more – including some fantastic footage of the “Fight of the Night” between Bobby Green and Lando Vannata, as well as Tony Ferguson’s interim title-winning performance over Kevin Lee – in the footage above.

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

Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) picks up Ray Borg (blue gloves) during the fifth round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) picks up Ray Borg (blue gloves) during the fifth round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) picks up Ray Borg (blue gloves) during the fifth round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) puts Ray Borg (blue gloves) in an armbar during the fifth round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) puts Ray Borg (blue gloves) in an armbar during the fifth round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) puts Ray Borg (blue gloves) in an armbar during the fifth round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) puts Ray Borg (blue gloves) in an armbar during the fifth round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) puts Ray Borg (blue gloves) in an armbar during the fifth round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) puts Ray Borg (blue gloves) in an armbar during the fifth round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) puts Ray Borg (blue gloves) in an armbar during the fifth round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) puts Ray Borg (blue gloves) in an armbar during the fifth round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) reacts after defeating Ray Borg (blue gloves) during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Ray Borg (blue gloves) reacts after being defeated by Demetrious Johnson (not shown) during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) reacts after defeating Ray Borg (blue gloves) during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) reacts after defeating Ray Borg (blue gloves) during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/pwsJxFLvkKpLuExYRA5Vcb/277267", customAnalytics: true, title: "Demetrious Johnson\'s UFC 216 armbar", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

Bryan Caraway vs. Luke Sanders added to UFC Fight Night 123 in December

A bantamweight matchup between an 8-time UFC veteran and a relative newcomer looking to rebound from his first professional loss has been added to UFC Fight Night 123.

ESPN.com first reported that Bryan Caraway (21-7 MMA, 6-2 UFC) and Luke Sanders (11-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) have agreed to meet at the Dec. 9 event, which takes place at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif. MMAjunkie subsequently confirmed the booking with UFC officials.

The card airs on FS1 following prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Caraway, who is currently ranked No. 11 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA bantamweight rankings, looks to return from a lengthy layoff that dates back to a May 2016 win over Aljamain Sterling. Caraway was scheduled to meet fast-rising contender Jimmie Rivera this past January, but injury forced him out of the matchup. “Kid Lightning” stands in 4-1 in his past five contests but fought just once in 2015, once in 2016 and will likely have just one fight in 2017, as well.

Meanwhile, Sanders looks to bounce back from a March loss to Iuri Alcantara. The kneebar defeat marked Sanders’ first professional setback, snapping a run off 11 consecutive wins to open his career.

With the addition to the card, UFC Fight Night 123 now includes:

  • Cub Swanson vs. Brian Ortega
  • Liz Carmouche vs. Alexis Davis
  • Scott Holtzman vs. Darrell Horcher
  • Eryk Anders vs. John Phillips
  • Trevin Giles vs. Antonio Braga Neto
  • Carls John de Tomas vs. Alex Perez
  • Chris Gruetzemacher vs. Davi Ramos
  • Bryan Caraway vs. Luke Sanders

For more on UFC Fight Night 123, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: News, UFC

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