MMA Junkie News

Association of Ringside Physicians 'strongly cautions' against smaller gloves for Mayweather-McGregor

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Filed under: News, UFC

The Association of Ringside Physicians doesn’t support the push for smaller gloves for the upcoming boxing match between UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor and undefeated boxing legend Floyd Mayweather.

Here’s the letter (check out the original .pdf):

To the Nevada State Athletic Commission:

The Association of Ringside Physicians understands that consideration is being given to amend current regulations, and in so doing, permit the use of 8oz Gloves in the forthcoming boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor. This is a bout that has already been set a (sic) specific weight class. Unless there is scientific evidence to support the view that such a change might improve the safety of this bout, we would strongly caution against allowing current regulation to be over-ruled. To do so would also set a precent for future bouts.

Respectfully,

Dr. Raymond M. Monsell
MSc MC BC FFSEM Dip Sport Med
Chairman of the Board of Directors
Association of Ringside Physicians

McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) meets Mayweather (49-0 boxing) in a highly anticipated boxing match on Aug. 26. The pay-per-view bout – possibly the biggest in combat-sports history – takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

At a Nevada State Athletic Commission meeting on Wednesday, commissioners will determine what sort of gloves the fighters will wear.

RelatedConor McGregor: Floyd Mayweather won't last 2 rounds with me in 8-ounce gloves

Mayweather recently took to social media to request eight-ounce gloves for the bout, answering McGregor’s challenge; the Nevada commission typically mandates 10-ounce gloves for any bout heavier than 147 pounds.

“Whatever advantage McGregor needs to feel more comfortable in the ring, I’m willing to accommodate,” Mayweather wrote. “Let’s give the boxing and MMA fans what they want to see.”

According to NSAC Executive Director Bob Bennett, such a change would require special permission from the regulatory body, which the commission would likely give only if a compelling case could be made for the change in protocol, he said.

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

Jul 13, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports July 11, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor stare down one another during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 11, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Conor McGregor reacts during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 11, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Conor McGregor gestures toward Floyd Mayweather during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 11, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Conor McGregor speaks as Floyd Mayweather reacts during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 11, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Floyd Mayweather shadow boxes during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 11, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Conor McGregor gestures toward Floyd Mayweather during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 11, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Floyd Mayweather holds up a check while speaking during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 11, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Conor McGregor reacts toward Floyd Mayweather during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 11, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor meet face to face following the world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 11, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor meet face to face as UFC president Dana White keeps them separated following the world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 11, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor meet face to face following the world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Jul 12, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Fans of Conor McGregor cheer during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Budweiser Stage. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Jul 12, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Fans of Conor McGregor hold up a sign predicting the defeat of Floyd Mayweather (not pictured) during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Budweiser Stage. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Jul 12, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Rap artist Drake performs before Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor appear during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Budweiser Stage. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Jul 12, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Conor McGregor dances as he speaks during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Budweiser Stage. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Jul 12, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor point and stare down each other during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Budweiser Stage. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Jul 12, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor stare each other down during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Budweiser Stage. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Jul 12, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor stare each other down as UFC president Dana White intervenes during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Budweiser Stage. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Jul 12, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Conor McGregor taunts Floyd Mayweather as he speaks during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Budweiser Stage. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Jul 12, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Conor McGregor draws a reaction from the crowd as he speaks during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Budweiser Stage. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Jul 12, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Conor McGregor speaks during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Budweiser Stage. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Jul 12, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Conor McGregor taunts Floyd Mayweather as he speaks during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Budweiser Stage. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Jul 12, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Conor McGregor sits near UFC president Dana White during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Budweiser Stage. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Jul 12, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Floyd Mayweather (right) draws a reaction from Conor McGregor as he speaks during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Budweiser Stage. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Jul 12, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Floyd Mayweather taunts Conor McGregor as he speaks during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Budweiser Stage. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Jul 12, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Floyd Mayweather poses with an Irish flag during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Budweiser Stage. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Jul 12, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Conor McGregor reacts as he takes cash from a money bag brought onto the stage by Floyd Mayweather during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Budweiser Stage. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Jul 12, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Floyd Mayweather taunts Conor McGregor while wearing an Irish flag and Conor McGregor mocks Floyd Mayweather with his money bag during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Budweiser Stage. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Jul 12, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Conor McGregor throws the Irish flag at Floyd Mayweather as he speaks during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Budweiser Stage. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Jul 12, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Conor McGregor throws an Irish flag at Floyd Mayweather as he speaks during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Budweiser Stage. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Jul 12, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor stare each other down during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Budweiser Stage. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Jul 13, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Conor McGregor walks the runway during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Jul 13, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Conor McGregor during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Jul 13, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Floyd Mayweather enters Barclay Canter during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Jul 13, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Conor McGregor during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Jul 13, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Jul 13, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Conor McGregor during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Jul 13, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Conor McGregor during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Jul 13, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Floyd Mayweather throws money at Conor McGregor during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Jul 13, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Floyd Mayweather throws money at Conor McGregor during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Jul 13, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Jul 13, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Jul 13, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Jul 14, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Conor McGregor enters the ring during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at SSE Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 14, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather face off during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at SSE Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 14, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Dana White steps in as Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather face off during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at SSE Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 14, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Conor McGregor reacts to Floyd Mayweather during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at SSE Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 14, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Conor McGregor addresses the crowd during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at SSE Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 14, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Floyd Mayweather address the crowd during the press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at SSE Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 14, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Conor McGregor reacts during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at SSE Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 14, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Floyd Mayweather during the press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at SSE Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 14, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Floyd Mayweather shouts at Conor McGregor during the press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at SSE Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 14, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Conor McGregor reacts to Floyd Mayweather during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at SSE Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 14, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Floyd Mayweather address the crowd during the press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at SSE Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 14, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Floyd Mayweather address the crowd during the press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at SSE Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 14, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Floyd Mayweather address the crowd during the press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at SSE Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 14, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather face off during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at SSE Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 14, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather face off during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at SSE Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 14, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Dana White (hidden) separates Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather astray face off during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at SSE Arena. 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Filed under: News, UFC

Former UFC heavyweight champ Frank Mir to sign with Bellator (Updated)

Mar 20, 2016; Brisbane, Australia; Frank Mir (blue gloves) looks on before his bout with Mark Hunt (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Brisbane Entertainment Centre. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Mar 20, 2016; Brisbane, Australia; Mark Hunt (red gloves) competes against Frank Mir (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Brisbane Entertainment Centre. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Mar 20, 2016; Brisbane, Australia; Frank Mir (blue gloves) receives attention after being knocked out by Mark Hunt (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Brisbane Entertainment Centre. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Sep 5, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Frank Mir (blue gloves) stands in the ring during a heavyweight bout against Andrei Arlovski (not shown) at UFC 191 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Sep 4, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Andrei Arlovski (left) and Frank Mir face off for for their heavyweight bout at UFC 191 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Sep 5, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Frank Mir (blue gloves) and Andrei Arlovski (red gloves) during their heavyweight bout at UFC 191 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Sep 5, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Frank Mir (blue gloves) and Andrei Arlovski (red gloves) during their heavyweight bout at UFC 191 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Sep 5, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Frank Mir (blue gloves) and Andrei Arlovski (red gloves) during their heavyweight bout at UFC 191 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jul 15, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; Frank Mir (red) enters the arena before his fight with Todd Duffee (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Valley View Casino Center. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Feb 22, 2015; Porto Alegre, Brazil; Antonio Silva (red gloves) fights against Frank Mir (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ginasio do Gigantinho. Mandatory Credit: Jason da Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 22, 2015; Porto Alegre, Brazil; Frank Mir (blue gloves) after defeating Antonio Silva during UFC Fight Night at Ginasio do Gigantinho. Mandatory Credit: Jason da Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 22, 2015; Porto Alegre, Brazil; Antonio Silva (red gloves) fights against Frank Mir (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ginasio do Gigantinho. Mandatory Credit: Jason da Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 22, 2015; Porto Alegre, Brazil; Frank Mir (blue gloves) after defeating Antonio Silva during UFC Fight Night at Ginasio do Gigantinho. Mandatory Credit: Jason da Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 22, 2015; Porto Alegre, Brazil; Frank Mir (blue gloves) before his fight against Antonio Silva during UFC Fight Night at Ginasio do Gigantinho. Mandatory Credit: Jason da Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 1, 2014; Newark, NJ, USA; Frank Mir (red gloves) fights Alistair Overeem (not pictured) during UFC169 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/RAJrc7J3W8UuKpA8h5ftNi/265778", customAnalytics: true, title: "Frank Mir", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

(UPDATED on 8/15/17 at 3 p.m. ET with confirmation of the signing from Frank Mir.) 

Frank Mir has signed with Bellator, marking the first time in more than 16 years that the former heavyweight champion will compete for an organization other than the UFC.

Mir (18-11 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) today announced that he’s signed with Bellator following an initial report from MMAFighting.com (via Twitter):

Watch me make my official announcement that I've signed to fight for @BellatorMMA on my @phoneboothfight podcast https://t.co/T8t6THpw2I

— Frank Mir (@thefrankmir) August 15, 2017

Mir debuted with the UFC in November 2001 at UFC 34. He began campaigning for his UFC release after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) flagged him for a violation following a March 2016 fight with Mark Hunt.

The 27-fight octagon veteran was officially handed a two-year suspension retroactive to the date of the test, but has maintained his innocence. He listed numerous potential sources for the positive test, including eating kangaroo meat while in Australia for the fight with Hunt. However, he was still given a maximum punishment by USADA.

On July 9, Mir announced he’d officially been released from his UFC contract.

RelatedFormer UFC champ Frank Mir announces release after 16 years with promotion

Now Mir moves to Bellator, where he joins the likes of Rory MacDonald, Gegard Mousasi, Ryan Bader, Chael Sonnen, Benson Henderson and others who signed with Bellator after lengthy UFC tenures.

Mir leaves the UFC with numerous heavyweight records to his credit, including most fights (27), wins (16), stoppages (13) and submissions (eight).

Although active UFC fighter B.J. Penn made his promotional debut prior to Mir, the former champion’s uninterrupted UFC tenure of 5,727 days is a record that may never be broken.

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


Filed under: Bellator, News, UFC

Before Mayweather vs. McGregor was Ali vs. Inoki. Remembering 1st big combat-sports crossover event

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

Gene LeBell still shakes his head when he hears how the most infamous cross-sport fight in combat sports history — at least until Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor go at it Aug. 26 — was supposedly fixed.

“I remember looking at (Muhammad) Ali’s legs,” martial arts icon LeBell, who refereed the fight and is now 84, told USA TODAY Sports via telephone Monday. “There were marks and hematomas all over them. Ali ended up in the hospital.”

RelatedConor McGregor's uncanny ability to will things into existence is why he's fighting Floyd Mayweather

Ali didn’t rake in the $100-plus million that Mayweather and McGregor will collect for their efforts when he took on Japanese wrestler Antonio Inoki in 1976, but he did secure a $6 million purse. That was then a monstrous sum, especially for a bout that the boxing star believed would be scripted with a pre-ordained outcome.

“Except that it wasn’t,” LeBell said. “People don’t believe me, but no one said anything to me about what had to happen or about a specific set of rules.”

The contest itself generated huge attention and played out before a sellout crowd at the Budokan in Tokyo. Inoki was a massive star in Japan, where pro wrestling enjoys great appeal. Ali was coming off an 11-fight win streak in boxing, with the third bout of his trilogy against Ken Norton to follow soon after.

RelatedWhat role did boxer Muhammad Ali play in early MMA? Let 'Ali vs. Inoki' author Josh Gross explain

Sadly, the Tokyo fight was a dud. Inoki spent much of the 15 rounds on his back, kicking out at Ali’s legs, which quickly welted up. Different versions of what was permitted abound, with Inoki having claimed then that many of his typical tactics such as throws and strong grappling were forbidden, leaving him little option but to stay on his back, out of range of Ali’s strikes. Ali connected with just five punches the entire fight.

The lack of activity meant the much-touted battle went down as a footnote, fading into obscurity alongside the classic boxing events of the 1970s, many of them featuring Ali.

“It was the most atrocious crap that I have ever seen,” Ali’s promoter and current Top Rank chief Bob Arum said. “Nothing happened.”

Antonio Inoki (left) and Muhammad Ali during their match on June 26, 1976 at Tokyo’s Budokan Hall. (AP)

LeBell said the entertainment void was because neither man had any fighting skills except his own. Ali couldn’t wrestle or strike except for with his fists. Inoki couldn’t box. Each stuck to what they knew best. The fight was eventually called a draw, LeBell scoring it 71-71, a boxing judge giving Inoki the win and a wrestling judge scoring it for Ali.

One man who has watched it in depth, perhaps surprisingly, is McGregor, an avid discipline of all combat sports and their history.

“I watched, but you can’t see much of the build-up. It was a different time,” McGregor said at his media workout last week. “But the fight was interesting. I believe Ali was set up and didn’t know what he was letting himself in for. Ali wasn’t calling Inoki into his game (boxing), so credit to Ali for that. That shows his character.

RelatedFloyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor 2? Sounds absurd, but it's not impossible

“It was a crazy fight. Inoki sat full guard and was crawling across the floor kicking Ali in the legs. Ali was like backing up trying to say, ‘Get him up.’ (But) you’ve got to deal with these problems yourself.”

Midway through the fight, Ali made an attempt to catch Inoki’s legs and subsequently land punches. As the most lucrative night of his life approaches, McGregor reflected how if that moment had gone differently, the event might have provided a seminal change in combat sports.

“Ali tried to reach down and punch, and he ended up getting swept and Inoki ended up on top,” McGregor added. “(But) the referee separated it straight away. If that moment in time was let go for five more seconds, 10 seconds, Inoki would have wrapped around his neck or his arm or a limb, and the whole face of the combat world would have changed right there and then.”

RelatedBoxing broadcaster Al Bernstein discusses Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor intrigue

As it was, boxing remained king for decades to come, whereas the explosion of the UFC and mixed martial arts was still far off in the future.

While the fight wasn’t fixed, as Ali originally assumed, it could have turned out that way. Pro wrestling legend Vince McMahon Sr. contacted Arum with an incredible and hilarious script that he believed would give the bout the best possible result.

“Inoki would have a razor blade hidden and would cut himself,” Arum added. “He would be covered in blood, and Ali would have him on the ropes and would be begging the referee to stop the fight. Eventually, Ali would turn completely to the referee, then Inoki would jump on him, pin him, the referee would count 1-2-3, and Inoki would win. Then Ali would shout: ‘It’s another Pearl Harbor.’”

RelatedConor McGregor workout video highlights: I've been lacing up the gloves my whole life

Perhaps thankfully, that outcome did not eventuate. Ali would go on to beat Norton, though his legs became infected from all the cuts caused by Inoki’s kicks and his movement never quite got back to its scintillating best.

Inoki became a politician, and the pair remained firm friends for the rest of Ali’s life. LeBell continued to be involved in combat sports, writing several books, worked extensively in the movie industry as a renowned stuntman, and was involved in MMA recently through his friendship with Ronda Rousey. He is looking forward to having an armchair view of Mayweather-McGregor instead of the in-ring look he had 41 years ago.

“In reality, boxers shouldn’t wrestle or fight MMA guys,” LeBell said. “MMA guys shouldn’t fight boxers. But for $100 million I’d fight a lion, and I can’t wait to see what they make of this event.”

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

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Tony Martin vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier added to UFC Fight Night 116 in Steel City

Dec 10, 2016; Toronto, ON, CAN; Oliver Aubin-Mercier (red gloves) reacts to fight with Drew Dober (blue gloves) during UFC 206 at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Dec 10, 2016; Toronto, ON, CAN; Oliver Aubin-Mercier (red gloves) fights Drew Dober (blue gloves) during UFC 206 at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Dec 10, 2016; Toronto, ON, CAN; Oliver Aubin-Mercier (red gloves) fights Drew Dober (blue gloves) during UFC 206 at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Dec 10, 2016; Toronto, ON, CAN; Oliver Aubin-Mercier (red gloves) fights Drew Dober (blue gloves) during UFC 206 at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Dec 10, 2016; Toronto, ON, CAN; Oliver Aubin-Mercier (red gloves) fights Drew Dober (blue gloves) during UFC 206 at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Dec 10, 2016; Toronto, ON, CAN; Oliver Aubin-Mercier (red gloves) fights Drew Dober (blue gloves) during UFC 206 at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Dec 10, 2016; Toronto, ON, CAN; Oliver Aubin-Mercier (red gloves) fights Drew Dober (blue gloves) during UFC 206 at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Dec 10, 2016; Toronto, ON, CAN; Oliver Aubin-Mercier (red gloves) fights Drew Dober (blue gloves) during UFC 206 at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Dec 10, 2016; Toronto, ON, CAN; Oliver Aubin-Mercier (red gloves) fights Drew Dober (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/vrBjvthFhnr2hbbrQQLCib/265748", customAnalytics: true, title: "Aubin-Mercier def. Dober", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

A lightweight bout is the latest addition to UFC Fight Night 116 in Steel City.

Officials today announced a fight between Tony Martin (12-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) and fellow submission specialist Olivier Aubin-Mercier (9-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC).

The card airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, though the full fight card and bout order haven’t been determined.

RelatedWatch UFC Fight Night 116 headliner David Branch drop 8 F-bombs on Luke Rockhold in 28 seconds

Martin, a 27-year-old who turned pro in 2012, had a rough go early in his UFC career and lost three of his first four fights. However, he’s now riding a three-fight winning streak with a submission victory over Felipe Olivieri and decision wins over Alex White and Johnny Case. Eight of his 12 career wins have come via submission.

Aubin-Mercier, a 28-year-old Canadian fighter who fights for the first time in 2017, looks for his third straight victory. Following a decision loss to Diego Ferreira in early 2016, he’s rebounded with submission victories over Thibault Gouti and Drew Dober. Eight of nine career wins have come via submission since “The Ultimate Fighter Nations” runner-up turned pro in 2011.

With the addition, UFC Fight Night 116 now includes:

  • Luke Rockhold vs. David Branch
  • Thiago Alves vs. Mike Perry
  • Hector Lombard vs. Anthony Smith
  • Anthony Hamilton vs. Daniel Spitz
  • Uriah Hall vs. Krzysztof Jotko
  • Sergio Moraes vs. Kamaru Usman
  • Justin Ledet vs. Dmitriy Sosnovskiy
  • Gilbert Burns vs. Jason Saggo
  • Gregor Gillespie vs. Jason Gonzalez
  • Tony Martin vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier

For more on UFC Fight Night 116, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: News, UFC

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with Jorge Masvidal, Muhammed Lawal and Cheyanne Vlismas


Filed under: Bellator, News, UFC

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Jorge Masvidal, Muhammed Lawal and Cheyanne Vlismas.

Masvidal hopes to fight Stephen Thompson at UFC 217. Lawal fights Liam McGeary on Oct. 20 at Bellator 185. Standout amateur fighter Vlismas discusses potential career options.

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: Bellator, News, UFC

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2511 with Paulie Malignaggi, T.J. Dillashaw, Jhenny Andrade, Ana Julaton, Angelo Reyes

Stream or download Monday’s episode of MMAjunkie Radio with guests Paulie Malignaggi, T.J. Dillashaw, Jhenny Andrade, Ana Julaton and Angelo Reyes.

Malignaggi addressed the leaked videos of him sparring Conor McGregor. Dillashaw discussed impending fatherhood and the likelihood he will fight UFC champ Cody Garbrandt at UFC 217. Andrade spoke about her 2016 World MMA Awards Ring Card Girl of the Year award. Julaton discussed her tryout for The Ultimate Fighter 26 and contract talks with Bellator.

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: Bellator, News, Radio, UFC

Trainer: Ex-champ Anthony Pettis vs. Dustin Poirier at UFC Fight Night 120 in Virginia

July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Anthony Pettis (red gloves) celebrates after defeating Jim Miller (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Anthony Pettis (red gloves) fights Jim Miller (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Anthony Pettis (red gloves) fights Jim Miller (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Anthony Pettis (red gloves) fights Jim Miller (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Anthony Pettis (red gloves) fights Jim Miller (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Anthony Pettis (red gloves) fights Jim Miller (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Anthony Pettis (red gloves) fights Jim Miller (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Anthony Pettis (red gloves) fights Jim Miller (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Anthony Pettis (red gloves) fights Jim Miller (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Anthony Pettis (red gloves) fights Jim Miller (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Anthony Pettis (red gloves) fights Jim Miller (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jim Miller (blue gloves) celebrates after defeating Anthony Pettis (not pictured) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Anthony Pettis (red gloves) embraces Jim Miller (blue gloves) after their fight during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Anthony Pettis (red gloves) celebrates after defeating Jim Miller (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Anthony Pettis (red gloves) celebrates after defeating Jim Miller (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/Re932Sy5yqfcPQtkFDX48m/265730", customAnalytics: true, title: "Pettis def. Miller", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Ask and you shall receive; former UFC lightweight champ Anthony Pettis had called for a matchup with Dustin Poirier, and he will apparently get his wish in UFC Fight Night 120’s main event.

UFC officials haven’t formally announced the bout, though Pettis’ (20-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC) longtime head coach and mentor confirmed the showdown with Poirier (21-5 MMA, 13-4 UFC) on social media (via Instagram):

UFC Fight Night 120 takes place Nov. 11 at Ted Constant Convocation Center inNorfolk, Va. It airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, though the fight card and bout order haven’t been finalized.

Pettis, No. 11 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA lightweight rankings, has had an up-and-down run over the past few years. After dropping the 155-pound belt in March 2015, “Showtime” lost four losses in five fights.

Part of Pettis’ skid included a failed stint in the featherweight division. He won one 145-pound fight before an interim title bout with Max Holloway at UFC 206 in December. It didn’t go Pettis’ way, and it prompted a return to the lightweight division, where he recently earned a unanimous-decision win over Jim Miller at UFC 213 in July.

No. 14-ranked Poirier, meanwhile, made his most recent octagon appearance at UFC 211 in March, where he had a firefight with former 155-pound champ Eddie Alvarez. The fight ended in a controversial no-contest after Alvarez landed a series of illegal knees.

UFC Fight Night 120 marks Poirier’s second UFC headliner in Virginia; he suffered a fourth-round submission loss to Chan Sung Jung in the UFC on FUEL TV 3 main event in May 2012, which took place in Fairfax.

With the addition of the main event, the latest UFC Fight Night 120 card now includes:

  • Anthony Pettis vs. Dustin Poirier
  • Karl Roberson vs. Darren Stewart
  • Cezar Ferreira vs. Nate Marquardt

For more on UFC Fight Night 120 check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Boxing coach to Conor McGregor: Don't lie about Paulie Malignaggi being 'badly concussed'

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid4621179066001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5541060944001
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

Veteran striking coach Angelo Reyes said he saw Paulie Malignaggi right after his infamous second sparring session with Conor McGregor, and he did not look worse for the wear.

“When I saw Paulie, there was no indication it was a hard sparring session,” Reyes today told MMAjunkie Radio. “In fact, it was the complete opposite.”

Last week, McGregor claimed Malignaggi was badly hurt after they squared off in the ring for a pair of sparring sessions. Quick portions of the second, 12-round session were released to Malignaggi’s dismay and anger.

RelatedPaulie Malignaggi: 'Cute and adorable' Conor McGregor sparring videos distract from truth

McGregor said Malignaggi was “badly, badly concussed.” He also said the retired two-time boxing champion and Showtime analyst was “busted up bad” and stumbled out of a car when dropped off at a rented home after their 12-round engagement.

Reyes said the opposite was true when he saw Malignaggi on July 22, the same day of UFC on FOX 25. On that Saturday, the coach said Malignaggi was irked about how the McGregor team had canceled a sparring day and was thinking more about how to watch the FOX-televised event, which he was supposed to attend in person.

After hinting at it on a four-city press tour, McGregor’s (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) camp enlisted Malignaggi as a sparring partner for his fight with boxing kingpin Floyd Mayweather (49-0 boxing) on Aug. 26 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

RelatedTrading Shots: A snippet of McGregor-Malignaggi sparring, an avalanche of speculation

Reyes said several fighters would back his story, including former UFC champ Frank Mir and ONE Championship veteran Ana Julaton.

“Everything was happy,” Reyes said. “So in my head, when Conor was saying, ‘He’s concussed,’ I would know if a fighter is concussed the next day depending on how he looked.”

Appearing with Reyes via telephone on today’s episode of MMAjunkie Radio, Malignaggi said he fell to the mat more from exhaustion and clinching with McGregor than taking a punch. He said the videos are merely a distraction to keep fans from learning the truth about the UFC lightweight champ, who’s never boxed professionally.

RelatedTwitter reacts to that controversial Conor McGregor-Paulie Malignaggi sparring footage

“Right now, they’ve managed to cover up everything with this video,” Malignaggi said. “I think that was the point of releasing it, so nobody would talk about (McGregor’s) realistic chances.”

Reyes, meanwhile, has a message for McGregor when it comes to the ethics of disclosing sparring footage.

“Just don’t lie about it, Conor,” Reyes said. “Either say nothing, or say the truth. But don’t lie. You don’t have to go, ‘He was concussed.’ Dude, I was hanging out with him. If that’s what a fighter looks like (concussed). … In the boxing world, we don’t like liars.”

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

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


Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

Instant fan favorite Heather Hardy returns at Bellator 185

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid4621179066001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5482577112001
Filed under: Bellator, News

Heather Hardy said she fell in love with MMA; the feeling was mutual with many MMA fans.

In June at Bellator 180, Hardy (1-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA), a standout boxer, made a successful MMA debut with a third-round TKO of flyweight Alice Yauger (4-6 MMA, 0-2 BMMA).

Now, Hardy is slated to return at Bellator 185, she announced Monday on “The MMA Hour.”

RelatedHeather Hardy after TKO win in MMA debut at Bellator 180: 'I think I just fell in love'

An opponent hasn’t been revealed for the Oct. 20 event, which airs on Spike from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

Heather Hardy

The 35-year-old Brooklyn native, who’s gone 20-0 and claimed WBC titles since making her pro boxing debut in 2012, said she enjoyed her move into MMA, where she finished strong and survived a nasty cut to emerge victorious in June.

“I think I just fell in love,” Hardy said after Bellator 180 (watch the video above). “I just worked so hard, and now I can say I did it too. A lot of people said I couldn’t do it or I wouldn’t do it. And I did.”

However, “The Heat” said she doesn’t plan to fully exit boxing and plans to compete in both sports.

“I’ll never leave boxing,” Hardy said. “There are girls I still want to fight in boxing. It’s not something I plan on walking away from. … I can’t wait to practice some new stuff. I’m learning.”

The latest Bellator 185 card includes:

  • Gegard Mousasi vs. Alexander Shlemenko
  • Muhammed Lawal vs. Liam McGeary
  • Heather Hardy vs. opponent TBA

For more on Bellator 185, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Heather Hardy (red gloves) reacts to fight against Alice Yauger (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Heather Hardy (red gloves) fights Alice Yauger (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Heather Hardy (red gloves) fights Alice Yauger (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Heather Hardy (red gloves) fights Alice Yauger (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Heather Hardy (red gloves) fights Alice Yauger (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. 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Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Heather Hardy (red gloves) fights Alice Yauger (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Heather Hardy (red gloves) fights Alice Yauger (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Heather Hardy (red gloves) fights Alice Yauger (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Heather Hardy (red gloves) fights Alice Yauger (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Heather Hardy (red gloves) fights Alice Yauger (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Heather Hardy (red gloves) fights Alice Yauger (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Heather Hardy (red gloves) fights Alice Yauger (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Heather Hardy (red gloves) fights Alice Yauger (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Alice Yauger (blue gloves) fights Heather Hardy (not pictured) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Heather Hardy (red gloves) fights Alice Yauger (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Heather Hardy (red gloves) fights Alice Yauger (not pictured) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Heather Hardy (red gloves) fights Alice Yauger (not pictured) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Heather Hardy (red gloves) fights Alice Yauger (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Heather Hardy (red gloves) fights Alice Yauger (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Heather Hardy (red gloves) reacts to fight against Alice Yauger (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Heather Hardy (red gloves) reacts to fight against Alice Yauger (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Heather Hardy (red gloves) reacts to fight against Alice Yauger (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Heather Hardy (red gloves) reacts to fight against Alice Yauger (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/f7LEYiidSBPvU6Adi4xNQF/265724", customAnalytics: true, title: "Hardy def. 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Filed under: Bellator, News

Due to past Mayweather-McGregor criticism, Kenny Bayless out as potential referee

If Kenny Bayless wants to watch the upcoming boxing mega-fight between UFC champion Conor McGregor and undefeated boxing legend Floyd Mayweather, he’ll have to buy the $100 pay-per-view broadcast like everyone else.

According to latimes.com‘s Lance Pugmire, the Nevada State Athletic Commission has ruled out the possibility of the veteran referee handling officiating duties for the Aug. 26 fight.

The reason? Bayless previously made public comments critical of Mayweather (49-0 boxing) vs. McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC), which ultimately was booked for T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Bob Bennett, who oversees the fight, said commission chairman Anthony Marnell III made the decision after learning of Bayless’ past comments.

From the report:

McGregor said at his Friday media day that he didn’t believe Bayless should work the fight based on those prior comments.

“His views … he went public on what he thought the fight was,” McGregor told reporters. “He can’t be involved in the event.”

In an interview with video reporter Elie Seckbach last year, Bayless said, “I wouldn’t want to see,” Mayweather-McGregor. “It’s two different sports. UFC and boxing are two different sports. What would be the point?”

Bennett said Marnell had already made up his mind about Bayless before McGregor spoke.

“Conor McGregor had nothing to do with Kenny Bayless’ removal,” Bennett said. “Kenny Bayless was removed from being considered because of the comment. Based on his comment — he shouldn’t be talking to the media unless it’s something mundane, like about how an official works — he was removed long before McGregor said anything.”

Bayless – whom Bennett called “an outstanding referee” – had officiated a half dozen of Mayweather’s past 12 bouts.

Officials will determine the Mayweather vs. McGregor referee, as well as the official cageside judges, at Wednesday’s NSAC meeting. Also on the docket? The possibility of the pugilists using eight-ounce gloves rather than the 10-ounce gloves typically used for any bout heavier than 147 pounds.

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

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

Jul 13, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports July 11, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor stare down one another during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 11, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Conor McGregor reacts during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 11, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Conor McGregor gestures toward Floyd Mayweather during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 11, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Conor McGregor speaks as Floyd Mayweather reacts during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 11, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Floyd Mayweather shadow boxes during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 11, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Conor McGregor gestures toward Floyd Mayweather during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 11, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Floyd Mayweather holds up a check while speaking during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 11, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Conor McGregor reacts toward Floyd Mayweather during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 11, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor meet face to face following the world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 11, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor meet face to face as UFC president Dana White keeps them separated following the world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 11, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor meet face to face following the world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Jul 12, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Fans of Conor McGregor cheer during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Budweiser Stage. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Jul 12, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Fans of Conor McGregor hold up a sign predicting the defeat of Floyd Mayweather (not pictured) during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Budweiser Stage. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Jul 12, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Rap artist Drake performs before Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor appear during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Budweiser Stage. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Jul 12, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Conor McGregor dances as he speaks during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Budweiser Stage. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Jul 12, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor point and stare down each other during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Budweiser Stage. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Jul 12, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor stare each other down during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Budweiser Stage. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Jul 12, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor stare each other down as UFC president Dana White intervenes during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Budweiser Stage. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Jul 12, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Conor McGregor taunts Floyd Mayweather as he speaks during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Budweiser Stage. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Jul 12, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Conor McGregor draws a reaction from the crowd as he speaks during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Budweiser Stage. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Jul 12, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Conor McGregor speaks during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Budweiser Stage. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Jul 12, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Conor McGregor taunts Floyd Mayweather as he speaks during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Budweiser Stage. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Jul 12, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Conor McGregor sits near UFC president Dana White during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Budweiser Stage. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Jul 12, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Floyd Mayweather (right) draws a reaction from Conor McGregor as he speaks during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Budweiser Stage. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Jul 12, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Floyd Mayweather taunts Conor McGregor as he speaks during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Budweiser Stage. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Jul 12, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Floyd Mayweather poses with an Irish flag during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Budweiser Stage. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Jul 12, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Conor McGregor reacts as he takes cash from a money bag brought onto the stage by Floyd Mayweather during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Budweiser Stage. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Jul 12, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Floyd Mayweather taunts Conor McGregor while wearing an Irish flag and Conor McGregor mocks Floyd Mayweather with his money bag during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Budweiser Stage. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Jul 12, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Conor McGregor throws the Irish flag at Floyd Mayweather as he speaks during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Budweiser Stage. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Jul 12, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Conor McGregor throws an Irish flag at Floyd Mayweather as he speaks during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Budweiser Stage. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Jul 12, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor stare each other down during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Budweiser Stage. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Jul 13, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Conor McGregor walks the runway during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Jul 13, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Conor McGregor during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Jul 13, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Floyd Mayweather enters Barclay Canter during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Jul 13, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Conor McGregor during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Jul 13, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Jul 13, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Conor McGregor during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Jul 13, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Conor McGregor during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Jul 13, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Floyd Mayweather throws money at Conor McGregor during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Jul 13, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Floyd Mayweather throws money at Conor McGregor during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Jul 13, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Jul 13, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Jul 13, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Jul 14, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Conor McGregor enters the ring during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at SSE Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 14, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather face off during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at SSE Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 14, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Dana White steps in as Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather face off during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at SSE Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 14, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Conor McGregor reacts to Floyd Mayweather during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at SSE Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 14, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Conor McGregor addresses the crowd during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at SSE Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 14, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Floyd Mayweather address the crowd during the press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at SSE Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 14, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Conor McGregor reacts during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at SSE Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 14, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Floyd Mayweather during the press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at SSE Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 14, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Floyd Mayweather shouts at Conor McGregor during the press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at SSE Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 14, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Conor McGregor reacts to Floyd Mayweather during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at SSE Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 14, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Floyd Mayweather address the crowd during the press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at SSE Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 14, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Floyd Mayweather address the crowd during the press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at SSE Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 14, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Floyd Mayweather address the crowd during the press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at SSE Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 14, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather face off during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at SSE Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 14, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather face off during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at SSE Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 14, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Dana White (hidden) separates Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather astray face off during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at SSE Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/si9zxJPMHPwke8HK2qGqF9/265714", customAnalytics: true, title: "Mayweather-McGregor world tour madness", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC

Co-Main Event Podcast: Download episode No. 268 with Ben Fowlkes, Chad Dundas

Episode No. 268 of the Co-Main Event Podcast now is available for streaming and download.

MMAjunkie/USA TODAY columnist Ben Fowlkes and Bleacher Report lead MMA writer Chad Dundas host the weekly show (also dubbed the “CME,” if you nasty). This week, combat-sports connoisseurs discuss the Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather buildup, the concept of independent contractors, Georges St-Pierre ad more.

Check it out at comainevent.com, or download the podcast directly.


Filed under: News

Dana White's Contender Series 7 and 8 lineups revealed; one fighter returns for seconds

Joby Sanchez is getting another crack at it.

The flyweight is returning to Dana White’s Contender Series to take on J.P. Buys in the seventh installment. The lineups for both DWCS 7 and 8 are set to close out the first season.

DWCS 7 takes place Aug. 22 and DWCS 8 on Aug. 29, with both events hailing from The Ultimate Fighter Gym in Las Vegas and streaming live on UFC Fight Pass.

Sanchez (10-2, 1-2 UFC) on July 11 defeated Manny Vasquez at DWCS 1 by unanimous decision but did not secure a UFC contract. The victory marked his third in a row. He’s trying to get back into the UFC after a previous three-fight stint with the industry leader that ended in 2015.

Buys (4-1) will enter having competed his entire pro career to this point in Extreme Fighting Championship, where all five of his bouts have ended in finishes.

The DWCS 7 lineup includes:

  • Anton Berzin vs. Kennedy Nzechukwu
  • Benito Lopez vs. Steven Peterson
  • J.P. Buys vs. Joby Sanchez
  • Mark Cherico vs. Mike Santiago
  • Jordan Espinosa vs. Nick Urso

The DWCS 8 lineup includes:

  • Matt Frevola vs. Luke Flores
  • Bevon Lewis vs. Elias Urbina
  • Allen Crowder vs. Don’Tale Mayes
  • Adam Antolin vs. Casey Kenney
  • Janay Harding vs. Kelly McGill-Velasco

For more on Dana White’s Contender Series 7 and 8, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: News, UFC

Randall Wallace replaces Gabriel Checco in Dana White Contenders Series 6 headliner

Gabriel Checco’s loss is Randall Wallace’s gain.

Wallace on Tuesday will fight for a potential UFC contract in the Dana White’s Contender Series 6 headliner after Checco withdrew for the second time this season.

Wallace will face Charles Byrd at The Ultimate Fighter Gym in Las Vegas of the sixth installment of the series, which will stream live on UFC Fight Pass.

Wallace (15-6) takes the fight on just days’ notice and enters on a three-fight winning streak, with all three victories coming by way of stoppage.

Byrd (8-4) gets his second chance at DWCS. At Dana White’s Contender Series 1 in July, he choked out Jamie Pickett with an arm-triangle – and a violent result. Despite the finish, he didn’t get a contract, so has another shot at it next week. The Legacy FC veteran from Texas has six of his eight career wins by stoppage.

With the change, the DWCS 6 lineup now includes:

  • Charles Byrd vs. Randall Wallace
  • Grant Dawson vs. Adrian Diaz
  • Cameron Olson vs. Karl Reed
  • Jamie Alvarez vs. Martin Day
  • Jamie Colleen vs. Tiffany Masters

For more on Dana White’s Contender Series 6, visit the UFC Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: News, UFC

T.J. Dillashaw: 'Fingers crossed nothing happens' to stop UFC 217 title fight vs. Cody Garbrandt

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid4621179066001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5541162145001
Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt made headlines last week when he tweeted he would be fighting T.J. Dillashaw at UFC 217.

For his part, Dillashaw today told MMAjunkie there still is no bout agreement but is hopeful “that’s what’s going to be going down” Nov. 4 at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

“Fingers crossed nothing happens,” Dillashaw said. “I’m ready tomorrow, man. I’ve been staying in the gym. That’s what I love to do. I feel lazy when I’m not in the gym. So, yeah, I’m ready to go at 217. And just the fact to be able to fight in Madison Square Garden seems like a huge event.”

It’s shaping up that way with the scheduled return of Georges St-Pierre, who will come out of retirement to fight Michael Bisping for the middleweight championship. A bout between Dillashaw (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) and Garbrandt (11-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) would add a second title fight to the card.

Garbrandt and Dillashaw have a tenuous history after being teammates for several years at Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, Calif. Dillashaw unceremoniously left the gym to train with striking coach Duane Ludwig in Colorado, and the disdain with former teammates has grown thicker ever since.

RelatedT.J. Dillashaw refocused on Cody Garbrandt, stunned Demetrious Johnson chose Ray Borg

The feud grew deeper when the pair served as opposing coaches on Season 25 of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series earlier this year, won by Team Dillashaw’s Jesse Taylor.

Garbrandt was forced to withdraw from their planned UFC 213 bout in July due to a back injury. That caused Dillashaw to seek a shot at Demetrious Johnson’s flyweight title as a backup plan, a fight that UFC President Dana White was on board with booking.

Johnson, who will be going for a record 11th straight UFC title defense, hated the idea, citing the fact that Dillshaw never has competed at 125 pounds. Instead, Johnson will face Ray Borg at next month’s UFC 215.

How things unfolded is just as well with Dillashaw. He’s wanted a shot at Garbrandt all along.

“This is the fight I ultimately wanted,” Dillashaw said. “That was kind of like going for a consolation prize. If I couldn’t get my belt at (135), I want a belt. And I felt like it was a big, hyped-up fight I could’ve pushed with Demetrious. Unfortunately he did not want that. Unfortunately he’s too cerebral of a fighter.

“He knows that’s not a good fight for him and wouldn’t accept it. He’s real worried about this record he needs to break. Go ahead and let him do that, I guess.”

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

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.

December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cody Garbrandt is declared the winner and new champion following his victory against Dominick Cruz during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cody Garbrandt celebrates after defeating Dominick Cruz during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cody Garbrandt celebrates after defeating Dominick Cruz (not pictured) during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cody Garbrandt moves in with a punch against Dominick Cruz during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cody Garbrandt gestures toward Dominick Cruz during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cody Garbrandt lands a kick against Dominick Cruz during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cody Garbrandt lands a hit against Dominick Cruz during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cody Garbrandt reacts by waving his finger during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cody Garbrandt moves in with a hit against Dominick Cruz during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cody Garbrandt moves in against Dominick Cruz during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 20, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cody Garbrandt (red gloves) competes against Takeya Mizugaki (blue gloves) during UFC 202 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Aug 20, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cody Garbrandt (red gloves) competes against Takeya Mizugaki (blue gloves) during UFC 202 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Aug 20, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cody Garbrandt (red gloves) competes against Takeya Mizugaki (blue gloves) during UFC 202 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports May 29, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cody Garbrandt (blue gloves) reacts after defeating Thomas Almeida (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports May 29, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cody Garbrandt (blue gloves) punches Thomas Almeida (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; T.J. Dillashaw throws a punch against John Lineker during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; T.J. Dillashaw fights against John Lineker during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports August 30, 2014; Sacramento, CA, USA; T.J. Dillashaw (red gloves) reacts after defeating Joe Soto (blue gloves) during the bantamweight title bout of UFC 177 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports August 30, 2014; Sacramento, CA, USA; T.J. Dillashaw (red gloves) fights against Joe Soto (blue gloves) during the bantamweight title bout of UFC 177 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports August 30, 2014; Sacramento, CA, USA; T.J. Dillashaw (red gloves) reacts after knocking down Joe Soto (blue gloves) during the bantamweight title bout of UFC 177 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports August 30, 2014; Sacramento, CA, USA; T.J. Dillashaw (red gloves) fights against Joe Soto (blue gloves) during the bantamweight title bout of UFC 177 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports August 30, 2014; Sacramento, CA, USA; T.J. Dillashaw (red gloves) fights against Joe Soto (blue gloves) during the bantamweight title bout of UFC 177 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports August 30, 2014; Sacramento, CA, USA; T.J. Dillashaw (red gloves) fights against Joe Soto (blue gloves) during the bantamweight title bout of UFC 177 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports August 30, 2014; Sacramento, CA, USA; T.J. Dillashaw (red gloves) reacts before his fight against Joe Soto (not pictured) during the bantamweight title bout of UFC 177 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports Apr 20, 2013; San Jose, CA, USA; T.J. Dillashaw (left) fights Hugo Viana (right) during the bantamweight bout prelims of the UFC on Fuel TV at HP Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports Apr 20, 2013; San Jose, CA, USA; T.J. Dillashaw (right) fights Hugo Viana (left) during the bantamweight bout prelims of the UFC on Fuel TV at HP Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 11, 2012; San Jose, CA, USA; T.J. Dillashaw (left) defeats Vaughan Lee (right) in the bantamweight bout of the UFC on Fuel TV at HP Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/A26agBdqr8vPVjvBDqJt7B/265645", customAnalytics: true, title: "Cody Garbrandt and T.J. Dillashaw", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

Flying mouthguard highlights FloCombat’s 10 best regional MMA finishes from the month

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid4621179066001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5510671489001
Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News

A seemingly infinite amount of MMA events happen around the world each week. The likes of the UFC and Bellator get the overwhelming majority of attention from media and fight fans, but arguably the most brutal fight finishes come from the regional scene.

FloCombat.com broadcasts many of those local events, and in conjunction with The Blue Corner, brings the top 10 finishes from June. Among the highlights are a limb-wrenching submission by Pat Gilbridge at Cage Titans 34, a knockout that sends a mouthpiece flying courtesy of Caleb Spence at LCS 25, and much more.

Watch the video above and tell us your favorite in the comments below. And check out the full top-10 list at FloCombat.com.

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


Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News

Today in MMA History: Chris Lytle's farewell adds to Dan Hardy's painful losing streak

For two fighters coming from very different places in their careers, Chris Lytle and Dan Hardy had reached some similar conclusions about their respective futures by the time they met on Aug. 14, 2011, in the main event of UFC on Versus 5.

Both of them went into the fight expecting it to be their last, albeit for very different reasons. Time would prove that one of them meant it more than the other, but on that night in Milwaukee they each fought with a similar urgency, two men chasing a feeling that they knew they might never get another taste of.

Lytle was the only one who let people in on his secret. At weigh-ins the day before the fight, he handed out two letters – one to UFC President Dana White and another to longtime UFC matchmaker Joe Silva. The sentiment of the letters was relatively simple, according to Lytle. It said thank you and goodbye. After 12 years as a pro fighter, he’d decided to retire.

RelatedToday in MMA History: Anderson Silva, and the worst night of Forrest Griffin's career

“But first I just wanted to thank them for everything they’d done to change my life,” Lytle told MMAjunkie. “People criticize Dana and the UFC, but I fought for the UFC before Zuffa owned it, back when it was (Semiphore Entertainment Group) and I was making $500 to fight.”

Lytle had reached the decision well in advance of the Hardy fight. He was coming off a loss to Brian Ebersole some six months earlier, but more importantly, he’d recently been forced to take a month off from training due to a knee injury. For Lytle, a full-time firefighter and committed gym rat, that was unusual.

“I was one of those guys that was always in the gym, never took time off, and that meant that over the course of my career I missed a lot of family stuff, missed my kids’ basketball games and gymnastic meets and stuff like that,” Lytle said. “I started feeling guilty about that. I realized I’m not as big a part of their lives as I wanted to be.”

When the UFC offered him a fight with Hardy in the late summer, Lytle was initially enthusiastic about starting his training camp. He was a fan of Hardy’s aggressive, striking-heavy fighting style. It seemed to lend itself to exciting fights, which had been Lytle’s main career goal after a disappointing outing against Matt Serra in the finale of season four of “The Ultimate Fighter.”

RelatedToday in MMA history: The IFL finally taps out

But when he got back in the gym to gear up for the fight, a strange thing happened.

“I started feeling actually guilty going to the gym, and that had never happened to me before,” Lytle said. “I started realizing, man, you’ve got a basketball game you’re missing today. I realized, I’m getting older, my kids are getting older, and there’s time I’m never going to get back.”

That night, Lytle sat down for a talk with his wife. He told her he’d decided to quit fighting after the bout with Hardy. He wanted to be there for his family more. He wanted to stop missing so many important moments. They agreed that, win or lose, he’d hang up his gloves that August.

“After I said that I felt like, ‘OK, I’m going to win my last fight,’” Lytle said. “I had that extra motivation, and I didn’t feel guilty about going to the gym after that.”

Hardy, meanwhile, was battling some very different emotions. A little over a year earlier he’d been the top welterweight contender, unbeaten in four fights with the UFC and headed into a title fight against champion Georges St-Pierre. He would spend the better part of 25 minutes getting out-wrestled in that fight, having his arm wrenched in multiple submission attempts before ultimately losing a unanimous decision.

RelatedToday in MMA history: Conor McGregor returns to Dublin as a first-time UFC headliner

There was no shame in the defeat. St-Pierre was already regarded as one of the best all-around fighters in the world, and Hardy had hung tough with him. But then he lost his next fight via knockout at the hands of Carlos Condit that October, and in the spring he was once again wrestled into defeat, this time by future light heavyweight contender Anthony Johnson, who surprised everyone by eschewing his usual headhunting tactics in favor of takedowns and top control.

Losing his third consecutive fight was upsetting enough, but the way he lost it was particularly frustrating for Hardy.

“I remember being backstage after that fight and I was sitting with my hand in a bucket of ice because I’d dislocated my thumb, and in my head I was just like, ‘I’m done,’” Hardy said. “I said that to my coach. I told him, ‘This isn’t fun for me anymore. I’m not enjoying it anymore. I’m ready to do something else.’ I was already looking at going back to university and doing something else with my life. When they came to me with Chris Lytle, I thought it was going to be my last fight regardless. I kind of got in there just to have a good time. I had complete disregard for my own career and my own future in the sport, because I really didn’t think I had one at that point.”

It was something of a surprise for Hardy to even get the opportunity to headline a UFC event by that point. The UFC had made a habit of cutting fighters who hit three losses in a row, and already fans had begun to ask how and why Hardy still had a job.

From the outside, that made the fight with Lytle seemed like do-or-die territory. But in his head, Hardy was mainly after one thing – a brawl.

RelatedMayweather-McGregor call will culminate Dan Hardy's transition away from UFC punk rock bandit

“That was the first time I didn’t get into a fight thinking too much about winning,” Hardy said. “I just wanted to get what I felt like I hadn’t gotten from my last fight with Anthony Johnson.”

When word circulated the day before the fight that it would be Lytle’s final bout, that complicated things for Hardy, he admitted. He’d been an admirer of Lytle’s style and his penchant for thrilling scraps in recent years. It was a compliment, in a way, to be his last fight. It also added even more pressure to entertain, which was evident in the fight’s early exchanges.

Hardy came marching forward that night with a bright red mohawk to match his shorts, and Lytle met him in the center of the cage, ready to plant his feet and throw. His plan, he said, was to prevent Hardy from developing any offensive momentum as he advanced.

“I was always wanting to come forward,” Lytle said. “I felt like I had a better chance if I was moving forward, and I felt like he wasn’t quite as dangerous if you could get him moving backward.”

That strategy would prove to have some flaws. Lytle managed to back Hardy up often in those first two rounds, mainly by employing body shots that opened up Hardy’s defenses for the big bombs that followed. But as Lytle got too enthusiastic about chasing Hardy down, he also ran directly into some short counter strikes from Hardy that sent him wobbling back early in the fight.

“Usually when you get hit with one like that, it’s usually not the first punch – it’s the second one that gets you,” Lytle said. “Because then you’re a little bit slower and that nice, clean, flush shot is the one that hurts you. I knew I had to to be smart then, and I was usually pretty good at avoiding that follow-up shot.”

Lytle’s ability to recover and survive came as a surprise to Hardy, who saw several openings in the first two rounds vanish as Lytle shook off strikes that seemed like potential fight-enders.

“I remember catching him with an elbow on the temple, and I remember him putting both of his hands down,” Hardy said. “I think that was in the second round. More than anything I was amazed at his durability. Most of the time, when I hit someone with a good shot, they tend to go down.”

By the third round, Lytle seemed to be in control on the scorecards. Hardy’s corner was telling him that he likely needed a finish, and his increased aggression in that final frame showed his willingness to take risks in search of it. No matter how many times Lytle rattled his skull with power punches, Hardy never stopped attacking, in part because of how aware he was of the need to put on a show.

“I was taking a lot of chances in that fight, a lot of risks,” Hardy said. “I took more shots in that fight than the majority of the rest of my career, purely because I wasn’t thinking strategically. I kind of got drawn into Chris Lytle’s style of fighting, although I was more than prepared to do that. I was surprised that he was as durable as he was, but at the same time it was a horrible performance from me.”

With precious time draining away in the final minute, Hardy pressed forward behind a punch combo and then shot in for a takedown, looking to surprise Lytle. While Lytle had long ago decided that he wasn’t interested in going for takedowns of his own, the jiu-jitsu black belt was more than ready to grapple when Hardy initiated it.

“I don’t ever trust going to the judges,” Lytle said. “I’ve thought I won some fights and then lost some split-decisions. You don’t ever know what’s going to happen. To be honest, my thought was keep pouring it on. I was landing some good punches, and I wanted to knock his head off if I could. I wanted to stop him, but honestly the submission wasn’t even a thought until he shot in on me. Then the muscle memory kind of took over.”

Almost in a single motion, Lytle sprawled to defend the takedown and locked up a guillotine choke that he used to roll Hardy onto his back. Lytle moved to mount and torqued it harder, and for a moment it looked as though Hardy may slip into unconsciousness.

“I was surprised with how quickly he got the guillotine,” Hardy said. “It wasn’t really a concern at first.”

Once he saw that he couldn’t escape, and with 45 seconds still to go in the round, Hardy had no choice but to tap. As he did, the crowd erupted for Lytle, the retiring fighter who’d capped off a storybook farewell that summed up the last few years of his career. He’d gotten the slugfest he wanted, but also a chance to show off his underrated submissions game in the end.

Most importantly, he’d gotten the win in an exciting fight, meaning he could exit on a high note.

“That’s the thing, you’re always going to remember that last one,” Lytle said. “That’s going to be how you remember the world of MMA and the UFC in your career. You just don’t know how it’s going to go. Fighters have a lot of pressure on them, and it was just a big release of pressure. I could just tell it was going to bring me a lot of satisfaction for years to come. Because if you go out there in your last one and get knocked out, that’s going to leave a bad taste in your mouth for maybe the rest of your life.”

For Hardy, a sense of peace followed the initial disappointment of the loss. Even he had to admit that there was a certain poetic beauty in the way Lytle had capped off his career. Plus, while he hadn’t disclosed his thoughts on his own career, by the time he showed up to the post-fight press conference, Hardy was ready for what would come next. He was almost certain that it would start with getting cut from the UFC. It was social media that told him otherwise.

Will not cut @danhardymma I like guys that WAR!!!

— Lorenzo Fertitta (@lorenzofertitta) August 15, 2011

“I was sitting in the press conference when I saw that tweet from (UFC CEO) Lorenzo (Fertitta) saying, ‘I like guys that war,’” Hardy said. “That was the point when I thought to myself, ‘OK, this is my final chance. This is my opportunity to turn some things around.’ Because I’d almost exorcised some demons in that fight. Even though I lost the fight, I got out of my system a lot of the frustrations that I’d been carrying around from my previous three fights. In my head, I was absolutely accepting of the fact that this was it and I was done.”

Once he realized that his life in the UFC would go on, Hardy decided to take some time off before his next fight. He would return nine months later, ending his four-fight losing streak with a knockout victory over Duane Ludwig at UFC 146. He fought again and won that September before being sidelined by medical issues that have kept him out of the cage to this day, much to his chagrin.

And while he can’t help but thinking of things he might have done differently in that Lytle fight, Hardy said, ultimately he can’t complain. He’s found a new career as a commentator, and he’s happy with where his life has taken him. There’s not much he’d want to change about the journey if it meant changing the current destination.

“The other thing that I keep going back to is that the winner of that fight was supposed to get a Harley-Davidson (via a UFC giveaway through the Harley-Davidson Museum),” Hardy said. “And if I’d won that fight and been given a Harley-Davidson as the winner, I wouldn’t be here today, because I’d have driven that into a wall or something. So there’s a silver lining. I’ve just got to look for it sometimes.”

“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, UFC

Here's official poster for UFC Fight Night 117, featuring 'Shogun' vs. 'OSP' rematch


The UFC makes its return to Japan after nearly two years next month with UFC Fight Night 117.

The event, which takes place Sept. 22 at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, features an FXX-televised lineup following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Taking center stage on the organization’s ninth fight card in “The Land of the Rising Sun” is a light heavyweight rematch. Former UFC champion Mauricio Rua (25-10 MMA, 9-8 UFC) attempts to get revenge against Ovince Saint Preux (20-10 MMA, 8-5 UFC), who scored a stunning 34-second knockout win over “Shogun” at UFC Fight Night 56 in November 2014.

Check out the official event poster below:

The latest UFC Fight Night 117 lineup includes:

  • Mauricio Rua vs. Ovince Saint Preux
  • Jessica Andrade vs. Claudia Gadelha
  • Henrique da Silva vs. Gokhan Saki
  • Rolando Dy vs. Teruto Ishihara
  • Mizuto Hirota vs. Charles Rosa
  • Alex Morono vs. Keita Nakamura
  • Jussier Formiga vs. Ulka Sasaki
  • Chan-Mi Jeon vs. Syuri Kondo
  • Daichi Abe vs. Hyun Gyu Lim
  • Naoki Inoue vs. Jenel Lausa
  • Shinsho Anzai vs. Luke Jumeau
  • Takanori Gomi vs. “Maestro” Dong Hyun Kim

For more on UFC Fight Night 117, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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


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

Abel Trujillo replaced by Bobby Green, who will fight Lando Vannata at UFC 216 in Las Vegas

Apr 15, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Rashid Magomedov (Blue Gloves) reacts to victory against Bobby Green (Red Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Apr 15, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Rashid Magomedov (Blue Gloves) reacts to victory against Bobby Green (Red Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Apr 15, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Rashid Magomedov (Blue Gloves) reacts to victory against Bobby Green (Red Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Apr 15, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Rashid Magomedov (Blue Gloves) reacts to victory against Bobby Green (Red Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Apr 15, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Rashid Magomedov (Blue Gloves) reacts to victory against Bobby Green (Red Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Apr 15, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Rashid Magomedov (Blue Gloves) reacts to victory against Bobby Green (Red Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Apr 15, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Rashid Magomedov (Blue Gloves) reacts to victory against Bobby Green (Red Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Apr 15, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Bobby Green (Red Gloves) and Rashid Magomedov (Blue Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Apr 15, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Bobby Green (Red Gloves) and Rashid Magomedov (Blue Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Apr 15, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Bobby Green (Red Gloves) and Rashid Magomedov (Blue Gloves) fight during UFC Fight Night at the Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Apr 15, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Rashid Magomedov (Blue Gloves) reacts to victory against Bobby Green (Red Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Apr 15, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Bobby Green (Red Gloves) reacts to fight against Rashid Magomedov (Blue Gloves) fight during UFC Fight Night at the Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-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/YLSHcXHXn9XhUuitdU6wNK/265627", customAnalytics: true, title: "Magomedov def. Green", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Abel Trujillo has been forced to withdraw from yet another UFC fight.

Trujillo will no longer be able to compete against Lando Vannata (9-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) at UFC 216 and has been replaced by fellow lightweight veteran Bobby Green (23-8 MMA, 4-3 UFC), UFC officials announced today.

UFC 216 takes place Oct. 7 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass, though the bout order hasn’t been finalized.

Green will carry a three-fight losing skid into the event for what will be just his third fight in three years. “King” has dropped consecutive fights against Rashid Magomedov, Dustin Poirier and Edson Barboza. His most recent win came against former Strikeforce champ Josh Thomson at UFC on FOX 12 in July 2014.

Vannata, meanwhile, is coming off a somewhat surprising loss to David Teymur in the “Fight of the Night” at UFC 209 in March. He’s alternated wins and losses over his three-fight UFC tenure and has won a fight-night bonus in each of those bouts.

With the change, the latest UFC 216 card now includes:

  • Will Brooks vs. Nik Lentz
  • Bobby Green vs. Lando Vannata
  • Beneil Dariush vs. Evan Dunham
  • Thales Leites vs. Brad Tavares
  • Magomed Bibulatov vs. John Moraga
  • Marco Beltran vs. Matt Schnell
  • Mark Godbeer vs. Walt Harris
  • Jessica Eye vs. Paige VanZant

For more on UFC 216, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: News, UFC

Paulie Malignaggi: 'Cute and adorable' Conor McGregor sparring videos distract from truth

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid4621179066001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5541060944001
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

Former two-division boxing champ Paulie Malignaggi calls the videos of his infamous sparring session against Conor McGregor “cute.” He even gives the producers a thumbs up for making it look like he got schooled by the UFC lightweight champion.

When he first saw the clips, Malignaggi said he had to watch two or three times to remember the moment where he spilled to the canvas. And even then, the editing didn’t give a true impression of what really happened.

RelatedTrading Shots: A snippet of McGregor-Malignaggi sparring, an avalanche of speculation

“At the end of the day, you couldn’t find 20 seconds of concurrent action out of 36 minutes to put up,” Malignaggi today told MMAjunkie Radio. “You couldn’t find 20 seconds of concurrent action where you could just show an advantage being played out in 20 seconds.”

To Malignaggi, they’re just a distraction from the truth that McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) is vastly out of his depth heading into a fight with undefeated boxing kingpin Floyd Mayweather (49-0 boxing) on Aug. 26 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Malignaggi, who retired earlier this year and commentates for Showtime, said McGregor is “probably in charge of everything.” But there’s no love lost for the promoters behind it, specifically UFC President Dana White, who released one of the videos on his Instagram.

RelatedConor McGregor speaks out on Paulie Malignaggi sparring fallout: 'He took a lot of head trauma'

“I don’t know if I’m more pissed at any one of them,” Malignaggi said. “I think I was more unhappy with the situation. I think Conor is probably in charge of everything. Dana is funny. I already know about Dana – Dana robs the UFC fighters blind.

“I’ve never met an MMA fighter that actually likes Dana or had anything good to say. I’m still looking for one. When Dana comes up in conversation, I’ve yet to hear anybody say, ‘Wow, that guy’s great.’ Or, ‘That guy treats us so good.’ Or, ‘That guy’s a good guy.’ I’m not going to hold my breath, or I might turn blue. So I would expect that.”

After the fists stopped flying that day in McGregor’s camp, Malignaggi said White tried to congratulate him on his work, a change of tone after he said he berated the UFC promoter while sparring McGregor. Still, he was in no mood for niceties.

RelatedTwitter reacts to that controversial Conor McGregor-Paulie Malignaggi sparring footage

“I just kind of brushed him off,” Malignaggi said. “I don’t personally like the guy. I’ve never met him before, but I don’t personally have any respect or like the guy. He was trying to talk to me after, like trying to be friendly. I know what you’re about, bro. Don’t give me this bull(expletive). Don’t get mad now, because I punked you and I don’t want to talk to you, and during the sparring session I was yelling at you and telling you how useless your fighter was. Don’t be childish.”

But that seems to be the takeaway from Malignaggi when it comes to the experience of acting as a sparring partner for McGregor. Arriving with the earnest intention of helping an MMA fighter make a massive career leap, he left with a sour taste in his mouth about the character of everyone involved with the project.

Malignaggi said producers can make him look bad in editing, but that doesn’t change the fact that McGregor is not ready for Mayweather.

RelatedPaulie Malignaggi reacts on Twitter to Conor McGregor sparring footage released by UFC

“It was done very well. It was a nice Hollywood edit. But at the end of the day, the fact that it made such a splash is what I think is cute and adorable,” Malignaggi said. “Because Conor is trying so hard. Like, ‘Guys, listen, I can do this. I’m going to knock Floyd Mayweather out in two rounds.’ You can keep lying all you want. If he was Pinocchio, he’d be able to hit (Floyd) from the other side of the ring with his nose, that’s how much he’s been deceiving the public.

“Well, this isn’t a Disney movie, my friend. This is real life. August 26th, this isn’t a Disney movie. Across the ring, you’ve got Floyd Mayweather, and he knows what he’s doing.”

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

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

Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor warms up in the ring during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor speaks with reporters after a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor enters the workout area during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor speaks to reporters while getting his hands wrapped during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor speaks with reporters after a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor speaks with reporters after a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor speaks with reporters after a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor speaks with reporters after a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor speaks with reporters after a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor warms up in the ring during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor warms up in the ring during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor hits a heavy bag during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor has looks on during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor hits an uppercut bag during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor hits an uppercut bag during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor hits an uppercut bag during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor hits a heavy bag during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor looks on during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor hits a heavy bag during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 11, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor drinks water during a media workout in preparation for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at UFC Performance Institute. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/68dBFQsn94fMkuPbDjykuH/265616", customAnalytics: true, title: "Conor McGregor media workout before Floyd Mayweather fight", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

UFC globetrotter Paul Felder wants U.S. fight (and Kevin Lee or Al Iaquinta would do fine)

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid4621179066001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5529111960001
Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

UFC lightweight Paul Felder’s most recent octagon outings involved trips to Brazil, Canada and Scotland. They also involved, respectively, meeting a Brazilian, a Canadian and a Scotsman.

With that in mind, one can see where Felder (14-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC)  is coming from with this simple request for his next fight.

“I would like to fight in the United States, and there are quite a few cards coming up,” Felder told MMAjunkie Radio. “These Japan cards and all – they’re a little soon. As cool as that would be – I’d go there as a guest fighter. But right now I want to fight on my own country.”

In fairness, Felder should have a few goodwill chips stored with the promotion at this point. Not only is he coming off big back-to-back wins – both involving first-round elbow brutality – but he’s also proven to be valuable outside of the cage, with his current role as an analyst for Dana White’s Contender Series.

RelatedUFC's Paul Felder talks dual roles as active fighter, Dana White’s Contender Series analyst

Fresh off his “Performance of the Night” knockout of Stevie Ray at last month’s UFC Fight Night 113 event, Felder said he’s healthy and somewhat ready to go. The only thing, he says, is the weight – which the lightweight estimates currently sits at around 190 pounds.

With that in mind, he’s eyeing a return between October and December – though, in his typical company man fashion, he could find a way to be ready before should an opportunity arise. And he’s not even making too many demands when it comes to that.

“I’d love a top-15 guy, but I’m not pushing that so much as I just want another exciting fight and another win,” Felder said. “I’m nearing the end of this contract, so a good win puts me in good standing with the UFC to get another big contract coming out and keep going.”

As far as those possible opponents go, Felder is not going around issuing callouts. Mostly, he’s interested in fighters who, like him, have a penchant for exciting striking battles. While he would love to acquiesce to some fan requests, like a meeting with lightweight contender Kevin Lee, he’s also realistic.

“Knowing rankings – I’m not even in the top 15 yet to be getting a shot with a guy like Lee would be – I’d take it, but it would be crazy,” Felder said.

He does have one stylistic dream fight, though. And, should it somehow materialize at UFC 217, set for Nov. 4 in New York City, “The Irish Dragon” probably wouldn’t be mad.

RelatedGeorges St-Pierre officially signs agreement to fight Michael Bisping at UFC 217

“That fight alone is a fight that I would love to have, with (Al Iaquinta),” Felder said. “Most of the time, any time I’m matched up people are like, ‘This going to be fight of the night.’

“Can you imagine if me and him got matched up at Madison Square Garden? Listen up, UFC. Let’s do it.”

Another scenario that Felder is very comfortable with is UFC 218, which takes place Dec. 2 at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. That would fit well within his desire to get a fight near his Philadelphia home grounds.

But ultimately, when it comes to Felder, it seems like there’s very little that can’t be negotiated.

“If they gave me like a co-main event, main event overseas, I’m all about it,” Felder said. “I want to be kind of putting my name out there and taking these big spots. I’ll take a main event. I’d love a five-round fight with somebody. I don’t care if it’s literally in their kitchen. I’ll take it. I want to fight five rounds for the UFC before I retire.”

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

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

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

Jul 16, 2017; Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom; Paul Felder (blue gloves) reacts after defeating Stevie Ray (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Jul 16, 2017; Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom; Stevie Ray (red gloves) fights Paul Felder (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Jul 16, 2017; Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom; Stevie Ray (red gloves) fights Paul Felder (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Jul 16, 2017; Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom; Stevie Ray (red gloves) fights Paul Felder (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Jul 16, 2017; Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom; Stevie Ray (red gloves) fights Paul Felder (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Jul 16, 2017; Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom; Stevie Ray (red gloves) fights Paul Felder (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Jul 16, 2017; Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom; (EDITORS NOTE: Graphic Content) Stevie Ray (red gloves) reacts during his bout against Paul Felder (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Jul 16, 2017; Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom; Paul Felder (blue gloves) reacts after defeating Stevie Ray (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/xbuGFeFh9XdFg9YUWpHpAS/265528", customAnalytics: true, title: "Felder def. Ray", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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