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Angel DeAnda vs. Daniel Spohn headlines 'Dana White's Contender Series: Week 2' on July 18

The five-fight lineup for the second edition of the new “Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series” has been revealed.

UFC officials announced the full card for “Dana White’s Contender Series: Week 2,” which takes place July 18 at The Ultimate Fighter Gym in Las Vegas and streams live on UFC Fight Pass. A light heavyweight fight of Angel DeAnda (18-5) vs. Daniel Spohn (15-5) serves as the featured bout.

Additional contests include Alfred Khashakyan (8-3) vs. Sean O'Malley (6-0), featherweights Thanh Le (6-1) vs. Lazar Stojadinovic (12-5), welterweights Michael Cora (4-1) vs. Sidney Outlaw (7-3), and flyweights C.J. Hamilton (11-4) vs. Casey Kenney (6-0-1).

A California-based fighter, DeAnda is likely best known for a two-fight stint under the WSOF banner, where he suffered back-to-back decision losses to Tyrone Spong and Krasimir Mladenov. However, he’s currently in better form and is riding a six-fight winning streak. The 32-year-old has earned 14 of his career wins via knockout.

Meanwhile, Spohn was a cast member on “The Ultimate Fighter 19” who fought once officially in the octagon. The 32-year-old suffered a decision loss to Patrick Walsh. Spohn has since gone 7-1 in eight fights on the regional scene and now hopes to catch the eye of UFC President Dana White.

Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series debuts on July 11. The series features a mix of former UFC fighters, journeymen and hot prospects.

The full “Dana White’s Contender Series: Week 2” line up includes:

  • Angel DeAnda vs. Dan Spohn
  • Alfred Khashakyan vs. Sean O’Malley
  • Thanh Le vs. Lazar Stojadinovic
  • Michael Cora vs. Sidney Outlaw
  • Cee Jay Hamilton vs Casey Kenney

For more on “Dana White’s Contender Series: Week 2,” check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: News

The Speed Bag: Ronda Rousey won't talk fighting? Don't be surprised if it's a sign she's gone for good

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid4621179066001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5495105588001
Filed under: Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

In a talk show appearance this past week, former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey answered questions on a variety of topics, from her engagement to UFC heavyweight Travis Browne to her work on a new (old) celebrity TV show.

What she didn’t talk about, or even get asked about? The sport of MMA, which is responsible for the fame that’s now fueling her career in TV and movies.

RelatedWhile UFC celebrates women in sport, ex-champ Ronda Rousey nowhere to be found

Considering it’s the main reason audiences know Rousey (12-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC), it doesn’t seem like an accident that she made it through a TV interview without being asked about MMA, especially after she bolted from the sport following two consecutive losses, but without any word on whether she plans to fight again.

What should that tell us about the chances of ever seeing Rousey in the cage again? For thoughts on that and what it means for the future of women’s MMA, check out the video above.

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

December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Ronda Rousey fights against Amanda Nunes during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes (right) against Ronda Rousey during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes lands punches while Ronda Rousey is against the cage during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Ronda Rousey reacts against the cage after being hit in the face during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Ronda Rousey leaves with her mother AnnMaria DeMars follwing her loss against Amanda Nunes during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Nov 15, 2015; Melbourne, Australia; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) competes against Holly Holm (blue gloves) during UFC 193 at Etihad Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Nov 15, 2015; Melbourne, Australia; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) competes against Holly Holm (blue gloves) during UFC 193 at Etihad Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Nov 15, 2015; Melbourne, Australia; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) competes against Holly Holm (blue gloves) during UFC 193 at Etihad Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Sep 4, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC Women's Bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey answers questions for fans before the weigh-ins for UFC 191 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Sep 4, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC Women's Bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey answers questions for fans before the weigh-ins for UFC 191 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Sep 4, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC Champion Ronda Rousey holds her championship belt before the weigh-in at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) celebrates after defeating Bethe Correia (not pictured) during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) celebrates after defeating Bethe Correia (not pictured) during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) reacts after knocking out Bethe Correia (not pictured) during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) fights Bethe Correia (blue gloves) during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) reacts after knocking out Bethe Correia (blue gloves) during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) looks on prior to her fight against Bethe Correia (not pictured) during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) vs. Bethe Correia (blue gloves) during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) looks on prior to her fight against Bethe Correia (not pictured) during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Ronda Rowdy Rousey (red gloves) looks on prior to her fight against Bethe Pitbull Correia (not pictured) during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jul 31, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Ronda Rousey during weigh-ins for UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jul 15, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; UFC champion Ronda Rousey arrives for the 2015 ESPY's award show at Nokia Theater. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Feb 28, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) reacts after defeating Cat Zingano (not pictured) during their women's bantamweight title bout at UFC 184 at Staples Center. Rousey won in 14 seconds of the first round. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Feb 28, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) and Cat Zingano (blue gloves) during their women's bantamweight title bout at UFC 184 at Staples Center. Rousey won in 14 seconds of the first round. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Feb 28, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Ronda Rousey arrives in the arena to defend her women's bantamweight title against Cat Zingano (not pictured) at UFC 184 at Staples Center. Rousey won in 14 seconds of the first round. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/xjsa2W7EZUFu5UdyZxrZfS/257372", customAnalytics: true, title: "Ronda Rousey", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

Bellator 181 sees Brittney Elkin step in to face Amanda Bell, Katy Collins vs. Bruna Vargas added

Featherweight prospect Brittney Elkin is set to make her Bellator debut on Friday night at “Bellator 181: Campos vs. Girtz 3” in Thackerville, Okla.

Elkin (3-3 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) steps in on short notice to face Amanda Bell (4-4 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) in a rematch from April 2014. Bell’s original opponent for Friday’s card, Alexis Dufresne, withdrew from the event due to undisclosed reasons, leaving an opportunity for Elkin to sign on for her most high-profile fight to date.

Also confirmed for the Bellator 181 preliminary card is a flyweight matchup between proven finisher Katy Collins (6-2 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) and highly-touted Brazilian Bruna Vargas (2-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA), who seeks redemption after dropping her Bellator debut this past year.

MMAjunkie recently confirmed the updated fight bookings with Bellator officials.

Elkin has won two of her past three fights, including a decision victory over Bellator contender Gabrielle Holloway. The Colorado native makes a quick return to action after scoring a first-round TKO win two weeks ago under the Sparta Combat League banner.

Bell halted a two-fight losing skid by defeating Holloway in a February bout for King of the Cage, which earned her a Bellator contract and a spot on Friday’s card. She will look to make it two-for-two against Elkin, whom she submitted with a second-round rear-naked choke in the pair’s first meeting three years ago.

Collins racked up a stellar five-fight winning streak – including four first-round stoppages – leading into her bout with top Bellator flyweight contender Emily Ducote at Bellator 174 in March, but she succumbed to a Ducote rear-naked choke very late in the opening round.

Like her opponent, Vargas also looks to get back in the win column after suffering a loss to Ducote at Bellator 159. She has not fought in almost a full year, but plans to get back into contention in Bellator’s ever-expanding 125-pound women’s division with a win on Friday.

In addition to the Elkins-Bell and Collins-Vargas preliminary-card bouts, Bellator 181 includes a main-card flyweight showdown between the aforementioned Ducote (5-2 MMA, 3-1 BMMA) and promotional mainstay Jessica Middleton (2-1 MMA, 2-1 BMMA).

The Bellator 181 lineup now includes:

MAIN CARD (Spike, 9 p.m. ET)

  • Derek Campos vs. Brandon Girtz
  • Kendall Grove vs. John Salter
  • Emily Ducote vs. Jessica Middleton
  • Steve Garcia vs. Joe Warren

PRELIMINARY CARD (MMAjunkie, 6 p.m. ET)

  • Romero Cotton vs. Aaron Rodriguez
  • Rafael Lovato vs. Mike Rhodes
  • Justin Lawrence vs. Treston Thomison
  • Valentin Moldavsky vs. Carl Seumanutafa
  • Jordan Howard vs. Johnny Marigo
  • Andre Fialho vs. A.J. Matthews
  • Amanda Bell vs. Brittney Elkin
  • Kemmyelle Haley vs. Logan Storley
  • William Florentino vs. Jonathan Gary
  • E.J. Brooks vs. Guilherme Vasconcelos
  • Katy Collins vs. Bruna Vargas
  • Guillermo Gonzalez vs. Fernando Trevino

For more on Bellator 181, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: Bellator, News

UFC champ Max Holloway predicts Mayweather-McGregor winner and – spoiler – it's neither fighter

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid4621179066001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5498148902001
Filed under: Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

LAS VEGAS – Max Holloway had barely exited the octagon after his title-unifying UFC 212 win over Jose Aldo when he was asked about who should be next for his title: Frankie Edgar or Cub Swanson.

The champ was diplomatic about it. If it came down to it, he’d be OK with giving Swanson (25-7 MMA, 10-3 UFC) a rematch after a UFC on FOX 15 encounter that ended in a third-round submission for Holloway. But he did seem to lean toward former lightweight champ Edgar (22-5-1 MMA, 16-5-1 UFC) – who, ultimately, would allow Holloway to add another champ to his list of victims.

RelatedDana White says Max Holloway likely gets ex-UFC champ Frankie Edgar next

Over a month later – shortly before UFC president Dana White pointed to Edgar as the likely challenger – Holloway was once again put in front of reporters to answer questions about his immediate octagon future. And he was, once again, non-committal.

But at least he had a sense of humor about it.

“I guess I’m going to say it to you guys: We’ve got a fight announcement,” Holloway opened his scrum with reporters during Saturday’s UFC 213. “It’s what you guys all thought. It’s Frankie… And Cub. Two guys, one night. UFC is going to do a special event for me. Tag team match. Come get it, guys. Come watch it; it’s going to be great.”

Considering that negotiations were still underway, it’s understandable why Holloway was careful not to express a clear preference of challenger. Instead, he went for his habitual “I want to fight everyone” reply, placing responsibility for what’s ultimately a “business decision” on the UFC brass, the fans, and even the media.

But he did admit that, when it comes to sheer fan interest, there is a frontrunner. As it turns out, it’s neither Edgar nor Swanson.

RelatedDana White would love to bring UFC to Hawaii for champ Max Holloway, but ...

“It’s actually (UFC lightweight champion Conor) McGregor,” Holloway said. “Everybody keeps saying ‘McGregor, McGregor.’ I’m like, ‘Guys, that guy’s boxing right now. He’s got other things. Respect to that guy, he’s got other things.'”

By “other things” he means of course, the highly buzzed-about boxing match between McGregor and boxing legend Floyd Mayweather. The two are set to meet on Aug. 26 at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena. And after the mega-event – and the paycheck that will follow – many wonder if McGregor will ever return to the cage.

If he does, the Irishman has unfinished business – at least in the eyes of some contenders. Although McGregor won two UFC belts, in both the 145-pound division and 155-pound divisions, he’s yet to take part in a single defense. While he was stripped of the featherweight title, he’s still the UFC’s 155-pound kingpin.

Holloway, who happens to be one of McGregor’s octagon victims, seems tired of speaking about the Irishman at this point. After all, it’s now been four years, 11 UFC wins and two UFC titles since he lost to McGregor at UFC on FOX 26. Would he like to get that one back? Of course – the same way he’d like to avenge all three of his career losses.

RelatedWith his Jose Aldo tribute, Max Holloway is the UFC champ we don't deserve

“But, at the end of the day, we’re not here to talk about that guy,” Holloway said. “That guy’s not even in my sport right now. That guy’s over there focusing on boxing. This is called mixed martial arts. They know who to call. they’ve got Dana White’s number. They’ve got my manager’s number.

“I’m the best 145-er in the world, and if they’ve got a question of me going up to 155, I’ll do it no problem. I love eating. I’m Polynesian. You can see – my chubby cheeks is giving it away a little bit.”

OK, so Holloway is done with the McGregor talk. But, while we’re at it, who does he think will be the winner of the mega-event on Aug. 26?

“The big winner of that fight is Dana White,” Holloway said. “And the UFC, dog. They’re the big winners.”

When it comes to his octagon future, the typically active Holloway is confident that he’ll fight at least once more this year. And, though his hand has some healing up to do, he expects to be cleared by August.

If White is to be believed, that return should happen against Edgar. And while time and place have yet to be set, it’s no secret that the UFC is planning a November return to New York City’s Madison Square Garden – which just so happens to be quite close to Edgar’s New Jersey turf.

On his end, Holloway is still pushing for that UFC event in Hawaii. In fact, he thinks it might become a reality as early as next year. But, after going all the way to Brazil to dethrone Aldo in front of his kingdom, he’d be OK with entering enemy territory at MSG as well.

“What is there to say – that’s another legend,” Holloway said. “That’s another legend of our sport, of the lower weight classes, and I can’t wait. I’ve been wanting to fight that guy forever, for a long time.

“I’ve been calling him out for a while now. And now we’re here. Now we’ve got to figure out, we’ll see what happens. We’ll see if we get it done. If it’s at MSG, it’s even better – that’s history.”

To hear from Holloway, check out the video above.

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

Dec 10, 2016; Toronto, ON, CAN; Max Holloway (red gloves) reacts to fight with Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC 206 at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Max Holloway celebrates his victory against Jeremy Stephens during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Max Holloway applies a hold against Jeremy Stephens during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Max Holloway fights against Jeremy Stephens during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Max Holloway moves in with a punch against Jeremy Stephens during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Max Holloway moves in with a punch against Jeremy Stephens during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Max Holloway fights against Jeremy Stephens during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 11, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Max Holloway reacts during weigh-ins for UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Apr 18, 2015; Newark, NJ, USA; Max Holloway (blue) has his hand raised after defeating Cub Swanson (red) during UFC Fight Night at Prudential Center. Holloway won via third round tap out. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Apr 18, 2015; Newark, NJ, USA; Cub Swanson (red) taps out against Max Holloway (blue) during UFC Fight Night at Prudential Center. Holloway won via third round tap out. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Apr 18, 2015; Newark, NJ, USA; Cub Swanson (red) and Max Holloway (blue) fight during UFC Fight Night at Prudential Center. Holloway won via third round tap out. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Apr 18, 2015; Newark, NJ, USA; Cub Swanson (red) and Max Holloway (blue) fight during UFC Fight Night at Prudential Center. Holloway won via third round tap out. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Apr 18, 2015; Newark, NJ, USA; Cub Swanson (red) and Max Holloway (blue) fight during UFC Fight Night at Prudential Center. Holloway won via third round tap out. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Apr 18, 2015; Newark, NJ, USA; Cub Swanson (red) and Max Holloway (blue) fight during UFC Fight Night at Prudential Center. Holloway won via third round tap out. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Feb 14, 2015; Broomfield, CO, USA; Max Holloway (red) celebrates the win over Cole Miller (blue) during the UFC Fight Night at the 1stBANK Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Feb 14, 2015; Broomfield, CO, USA; Max Holloway (red) throws a punch at Cole Miller (blue) during the UFC Fight Night at the 1stBANK Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Feb 14, 2015; Broomfield, CO, USA; Max Holloway (red) punches Cole Miller (blue) during the UFC Fight Night at the 1stBANK Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Feb 14, 2015; Broomfield, CO, USA; Cole Miller (blue) takes a kick from Max Holloway (red) during the UFC Fight Night at the 1stBANK Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Feb 14, 2015; Broomfield, CO, USA; Cole Miller (blue) and Max Holloway (red) compete during the UFC Fight Night at the 1stBANK Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Aug 23, 2014; Tulsa, OK, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) wins against Clay Collard (blue gloves) in a Featherweight Bout at BOK Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports Aug 23, 2014; Tulsa, OK, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Clay Collard (blue gloves) in a Featherweight Bout, Holloway after victory at BOK Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Ricardo Lamas (blue) fights Max Holloway (red) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Dec 10, 2016; Toronto, ON, CAN; Max Holloway gets ready with the flag of Hawaii behind him before fighting Anthony Pettis (not pictured) during their Interim Featherweight title bout at UFC 206 at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Dec 10, 2016; Toronto, ON, CAN; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC 206 at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Dec 10, 2016; Toronto, ON, CAN; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC 206 at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Dec 10, 2016; Toronto, ON, CAN; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC 206 at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Dec 10, 2016; Toronto, ON, CAN; Max Holloway (red gloves) reacts to fight with Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC 206 at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Dec 10, 2016; Toronto, ON, CAN; Max Holloway (red gloves) reacts to fight with Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC 206 at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/HY84X9xqMSSFJZwVr2suTY/258216", customAnalytics: true, title: "Max Holloway", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

Financial stakes at all-time high for Stevie Ray heading into UFC Fight Night 113

Sep 24, 2016; Brasilia, Brazil; Alan Patrick (red gloves) vs. Stevie Ray (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Sep 24, 2016; Brasilia, Brazil; Alan Patrick (red gloves) vs. Stevie Ray (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Sep 24, 2016; Brasilia, Brazil; Alan Patrick (red gloves) competes against Stevie Ray (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Sep 24, 2016; Brasilia, Brazil; Alan Patrick (red gloves) vs. Stevie Ray (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Sep 24, 2016; Brasilia, Brazil; Alan Patrick (red gloves) vs. Stevie Ray (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Oct 24, 2015; Dublin, Ireland; Stevie Ray (red gloves) competes against Mickael Lebout (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at 3 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 24, 2015; Dublin, Ireland; Stevie Ray (red gloves) competes against Mickael Lebout (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at 3 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 24, 2015; Dublin, Ireland; Stevie Ray (red gloves) competes against Mickael Lebout (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at 3 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 24, 2015; Dublin, Ireland; Stevie Ray (red gloves) competes against Mickael Lebout (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at 3 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 24, 2015; Dublin, Ireland; Stevie Ray (red gloves) reacts after his fight against Mickael Lebout (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at 3 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Jul 18, 2015; Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland; Stevie Ray (Scotland) enters the ring before his Lightweight bout against Leonardo Mafra (Brazil) at The SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 18, 2015; Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland; Stevie Ray (Scotland) line up a punch during his Lightweight bout against Leonardo Mafra (Brazil) at The SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 18, 2015; Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland; Leonardo Mafra (Brazil) line up a knee during his Lightweight bout against Stevie Ray (Scotland) at The SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 18, 2015; Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland; Stevie Ray (Scotland) dives in on Leonardo Mafra (Brazil) with a right hook during his Lightweight bout at The SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 18, 2015; Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland; Stevie Ray (Scotland) celebrates victory in his Lightweight bout against Leonardo Mafra (Brazil) at The SSE Hydro. 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/bQ5RW3zsvgRsC5GBapzyp3/258194", customAnalytics: true, title: "Stevie Ray", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Unless you’re particularly stoic, it would have been nearly impossible to remain unmoved by the sight of an elated, tearful Jesse Taylor getting his hand raised following a bona fide barnburner with Dhiego Lima at The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale.

The welterweight co-main event might well go down as the feel-good moment of 2017 UFC International Fight Week. Taylor received a check for $290,000 – a lofty sum in almost anyone’s eyes – for his work, though that might well have been best kept behind closed doors.

Why? Because it fans the flames of the dying myth that proclaims a fighter to be free of financial burden the moment he or she is under the UFC’s banner.

As tall tales go, that one is patently untrue, but Scottish UFC lightweight Steven Ray (21-16 MMA, 5-1 UFC) believed it wholeheartedly when he signed with the company back in 2015.

At the time, Ray was the Cage Warriors lightweight champion, but the promotion was on an enforced hiatus, so he had taken a job as a personal trainer to support his partner and young family. On two weeks’ notice, the UFC offered him a bout with Marcin Handel at UFC Fight Night 64 in Poland.

Even with the better part of 30 pounds to shed, Ray took the fight and went on to record a second-round TKO win over Handel. Had that opportunity not arrived when it did, it’s unlikely the 27-year-old would still be fighting.

Related10 memorable moments from TUF 25 Finale and UFC 213, including Justin Gaethje's crazy debut

“Back then it was purely financial,” Ray told MMAjunkie. “My third child had just been born, and I had started a new job, so if I hadn’t gotten the UFC offer, I really think I would have just stopped training. So who knows what would have happened?

“It obviously all worked out, but sometimes I still think about if I really want to keep doing this. I’m getting punched in the face for a living without really seeing my life changing. I always thought that once you’re in the UFC, everything is going to be so good, it’ll be cushy, and I’d get rich – it doesn’t work like that.”

Ray has won five of his six promotional bouts, the most recent of which was against hardened veteran Joe Lauzon at UFC Fight Night 108. In the early going of his U.S. debut, Ray was dragged to the mat by Lauzon and subjected to a barrage of elbows and punches, as the American took his back and mounted him almost at will.

Ray regrouped and uncorked his own offense through a series of body shots and step-in elbows and, had the third round gone even 10 seconds longer, it is not a leap to say he may well have finished Lauzon.

It was the penultimate bout on his current contract with the UFC and, subsequently, Ray and his management declined the offer that came from UFC VP of Talent Relations Sean Shelby. As such, Ray, who faces fellow lightweight Paul Felder (16-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) on the main card of UFC Fight Night 113 at SSE Hydro Arena in Glasgow this coming weekend, has waded into some choppy waters.

He’ll face a formidable foe as a packed house of his compatriots and loved ones look on, all the while in the knowledge that, without a convincing victory, his financial future is in jeopardy.

No pressure then.

“Sean Shelby said what to do was to go win this fight, come back, and we can talk,” Ray said. “The plan is to go beat Felder, then see what the negotiations are like, and then I also have the option of free agency. That puts a bit more pressure on the UFC, as well, because maybe they might want to match another offer.

“It’s a bit of a risk, going into free agency, because if I lose this fight the UFC can turn around and tell me, ‘Look, we’re offering you this now,’ and that not might be as good as the first offer. But if I beat Felder, I can say that I beat him, (Ross) Pearson, Lauzon, twice played a big part in UFC Scotland, and taken short-notice fights, so it’s time for me to get paid the big bucks”

The UFC did offer Ray an improved deal on what would be his third contract with the company, but he believed it not to be commensurate with his record or the type of life he wishes to give his family.

There may be slight variations from fighter to fighter, but this is now an increasingly common theme. Those men and women who compete in the world’s most pervasive, profitable promotion wish to be compensated appropriately, and they’re no longer afraid to say so in public.

Ray is not pitting himself as some hapless martyr and admits to being paid reasonably well to date. However, for all the sacrifices he’s made clawing his way to this juncture, the man from Kirkcaldy, Scotland, has yet to glean any tangible security.

“I had 11 months off last year, and I almost lost my house and cars,” he said. “I have been sensible with my money and not acted like I’m rich, and I’ve just invested in a better life, because I had never been fortunate enough to do that.

“I had put a deposit on a new house that was really the taxman’s money, but I’ve got three kids, and I didn’t want to keep paying extortionate amounts of money on rent. I’ve got a 15-year mortgage, so the payments are pretty high, and all this money is going out, but nothing is coming in.”

A combination of injury and visa issues kept Ray out of the octagon for that extended period and, upon his return to action, he suffered his first promotional loss at the hands of Alan Patrick. His contract dictates he gets a certain amount of show money, which is doubled should he win. When considering the fine margins for error in any given fight and the very real prospect of suspect calls from referees or judges, financial planning is next to impossible, while luxury spending is not an option.

There’s also the reality of foregoing time with loved ones in favor of honing skills and pushing your body to its very limit.

“Sometimes it’s not just about the money but the lifestyle,” Ray said. “You miss out on so much stuff when you’re training and fighting. I’ve missed my kids’ birthdays and sports days, and you’re just not getting that chance to have a normal life. Things like sitting down to have pizza and watch a movie with the kids or going away with my partner for the weekend – just the small stuff.”

Then why take this gamble? Why not sign on the dotted line, instead of betting his future on the outcome of the clash with Felder?

“I have been playing catch-up since taking that time off, even after two pretty good paydays from beating Pearson and Lauzon. I just want to get paid to where I do feel like I’ve kind of made it and, obviously, that all depends on me beating Felder, so that’s what makes it that bit more important.

“It gives you that bit more motivation, because if I win I know I’m going to get a much better contract. Money is a great motivation, but I’m also going to be fighting in front of 13,000 Scottish fans again.”

Ray is acutely aware of what will be at stake when he stares across the cage at Felder and just how much of his future hinges on the subsequent 15 minutes. He’s also wondered, more than once, if it was wise to ask the UFC for the fee he did. Even now, just days from the biggest bout of his career, “Braveheart” is mired in uncertainty.

“Maybe I asked for too much money, because it’s hard to know what you’re worth,” he said. “If I lose, it could work out on their part, even though I’ve just beaten two big names. If I got injured now, and that could easily happen, I don’t know if I’d even get paid, because the UFC wouldn’t be making any money out of me. If I broke my leg I don’t think I’d tell them. I’d just turn up to the fight so I could get paid.”

The list of UFC exiles now earning a crust in Bellator continues to grow and, while Ray hopes such a scenario will not transpire, the thought has crossed his mind.

“To be honest, I’m not even looking elsewhere. But that being said, if an offer came up somewhere, and it was too good to resist, then I’ve obviously got to go where the money is,” Ray said. “Win or lose, I believe I’m going to get a new contract. Even if I lose, I probably get a similar contract to one I’ve been offered, maybe a little bit less.”

What comes after the contest with Felder is far from clear, but Ray is sure of his goals and what matters most to him.

“I’d like to fight twice a year, be comfortable and have a good life,” he said, “because getting punched in the face hundreds of times a week in camps catches up on you. If there’s not time to enjoy yourself, what’s the point?

“If I got told in the morning that I couldn’t fight again, I’d be devastated, but I’d still have my family, my life, and be able to go out and make money. So I’m not going to feel that all-or-nothing pressure on Saturday.”

For more on UFC Fight Night 113, visit the UFC Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: News, UFC

UFC 213 reactions: Winning and losing fighters on social media

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

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

Following Saturday’s UFC 213 event in Las Vegas, several of the winning and losing fighters, along with their coaches, training partners or family members, took to social media to react to the event or share a message with supporters.

* * * *

The defeated

Didn't get the result I wanted but had a blast doing what I love to do on the biggest stage I will be back thank you @UFC and @seanshelby

— Terrion Flash Ware (@flashmma) July 9, 2017

S/o to @Jon_Anik @BrianStann and @joerogan for showing some love on the commentary got some stuff to work on but I will be better next time

— Terrion Flash Ware (@flashmma) July 10, 2017

Thank you brother. It was an honor to share the Octagon with you. https://t.co/wpg6eugaJn

— Jim Miller (@JimMiller_155) July 9, 2017

Congrats @robwhittakermma on a good fight. I wish you luck in your next fight. May god bless you and your family #seeyousoonboi

— Peoples Champ (@YoelRomeroMMA) July 9, 2017

To be continued……. #seeyousoonboi pic.twitter.com/cUvx7RSqDt

— Peoples Champ (@YoelRomeroMMA) July 10, 2017

The victorious

✊️@ufc https://t.co/1LQk0EYiBw

— RobFont (@RobSFont) July 9, 2017

For complete coverage of UFC 213, check out the UFC Events section of the site.


Filed under: News, UFC

Watch today's Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor World Tour stop in Los Angeles (5 p.m. ET)


Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

The Money Fight is nearing, and boxing great Floyd Mayweather and UFC champ Conor McGregor are ready to do what they do best (other than fight).

The four-city, three-country press tour kicks off today in Los Angeles, and you can watch a live stream of the event in the video above, starting at 4 p.m. ET.

The tour continues Wednesday in Toronto, Thursday in Brookly, N.Y., and wraps up Friday in London. MMAjunkie will have full coverage from each stop along the way.

Mayweather (49-0 boxing) and McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) then box on Aug. 26 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas in a pay-per-view event that is expected to be the most lucrative prize fight of all time.

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

May 1, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather reacts following weigh-ins for the upcoming boxing fight against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 1, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather reacts following weigh-ins for the upcoming boxing fight against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao box during their world welterweight championship bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather in his corner after the first round of his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather (left) during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao (Yellow/Red trunks) box during their world welterweight championship bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao (Yellow/Red trunks) box during their world welterweight championship bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather wears a towel around his head as he sits in his corner between rounds during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather (left) during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather (black/gold trunks) and Manny Pacquiao (yellow/red trunks) box during their world welterweight championship bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mayweather won via unanimous decsion. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Referee Kenny Bayless (center) separates Manny Pacquiao (left) from Floyd Mayweather during their boxing bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather (black/gold trunks) and Manny Pacquiao (yellow/red trunks) box during their world welterweight championship bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mayweather won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao box during their world welterweight championship bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Referee Kenny Bayless (center) separates Manny Pacquiao (left) and Floyd Mayweather during their boxing bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather (black/gold trunks) and Manny Pacquiao (yellow/red trunks) box during their world welterweight championship bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mayweather won via unanimous decsion. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather reacts after his welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather celebrates on the ropes after his welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather celebrates after his welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Detailed view of fans in the crowd look on as Floyd Mayweather celebrates after his welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-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/zP8ckMV3y2znKY3YnenK6C/258294", customAnalytics: true, title: "Floyd Mayweather Jr.", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

Conor McGregor disses Floyd Mayweather: Should've paid his taxes and stayed retired

The media tour with Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather doesn’t start until Tuesday, but already the UFC champ is taking shots at his upcoming opponent.

Reports surfaced today that Mayweather owes back taxes to the IRS, and the need to make payments is likely part of his motivation in accepting the Aug. 26 bout with McGregor, which takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Related'If he dies. He dies:' Conor McGregor posts video of cardio training for Floyd Mayweather

McGregor was asked about the situation when he was chased down by TMZ on the streets of Los Angeles (the tour begins at Staples Center), and while he said he’s not worried about what’s going on with Mayweather, he did send him a stern message.

“I don’t give a (expletive),” McGregor said. “I don’t care what he’s done. He should’ve stayed retired. He’s (expletive) now. That’s the God’s honest truth. He should have paid his taxes and stayed retire – and kept my name out of his (expletive) mouth.”

McGregor and Mayweather kick off the four-city, three country promotional tour Tuesday in Los Angeles. It then moves to Toronto on Wednesday, before a stop in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Thursday and finally to London on Friday.

RelatedJohn Kavanagh: Conor McGregor has come 'leaps and bounds' in Floyd Mayweather training

UFC President Dana White said he expects the tour to be an “absolute (expletive)show,” but it should generate plenty of hype for the Aug. 26 bout, which today had a revealed pay-per-view price point of $89.95, or $99.95 for high definition.

McGregor was asked whether he felt the cost is fair. He thinks it’s not only fair, but that potential buyers are getting a bargain.

“It should be $120,” McGregor said.

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

Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) celebrates with his two championship belts after defeating Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) fights Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) fights Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) fights Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) fights Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) fights Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) fights Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) fights Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) fights Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) fights Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) fights Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) fights Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) fights Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) fights Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) fights Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) after losing to Conor McGregor in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) celebrates after defeating Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) celebrates after defeating Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) celebrates after defeating Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) celebrates after defeating Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) celebrates after defeating Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) celebrates after defeating Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) celebrates after defeating Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) with his championship belt after defeating Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) celebrates with his two championship belts after defeating Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) celebrates with his two championship belts after defeating Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) celebrates with his two championship belts after defeating Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) celebrates with his two championship belts after defeating Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) celebrates with his two championship belts after defeating Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) celebrates after defeating Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) celebrates with his two championship belts after defeating Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports 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/vrVi9We5U25a7XmMU7AJpW/258279", customAnalytics: true, title: "McGregor def. Alvarez", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Sean Shelby's shoes: What's next for Yoel Romero and UFC 213's other losing fighters?

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid4621179066001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5500623558001
Filed under: Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

UFC 213 took place Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, with a five-fight main card on pay-pay-per-view.

Yoel Romero (12-2 MMA, 8-1 UFC) fell short of the interim UFC middleweight title in the headliner when he suffered a unanimous-decision loss to Robert Whittaker (19-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC) to experience the first blemish on his previously unbeaten UFC career.

Some other fighters suffered notable losses, as well, with Fabricio Werdum (21-7-1 MMA, 9-4 UFC), Daniel Omielanczuk (19-8-1 MMA, 4-5 UFC) and Jim Miller (28-10 MMA, 17-9 UFC) falling short on the scorecards, while Douglas Silva de Andrade (24-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) was stopped inside the distance.

After every event, fans wonder whom the losing fighters will be matched up with next. And with another night of UFC action in the rearview mirror, it’s time to look forward, put on a pair of Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard’s shoes, and play UFC matchmaker for UFC 213’s key losing fighters.

* * * *

Jim Miller

Should fight: Abel Trujillo
Why they should fight: Although Miller fell short against a former UFC champion in Anthony Pettis, there’s no taking away from his status as one of the most decorated names in UFC history who should keep a place on the roster as long as he sees fit.

Miller tied the record for most appearances in UFC history in the unanimous-decision loss to Pettis. He was once considered a contender, but at this point in his career his position on the roster is fairly clear, and he should be allowed that position until he either completely falls off the map or retires.

Miller has almost exclusively lost to top tier opponents. A step back is necessary if he wants to keep his career in a safe position, and Trujillo (15-7 MMA, 6-3 UFC) is just that. Although Trujillo is not an easy fight, he’s winnable for Miller and also a name which would not be viewed as a write-off.

Daniel Omielanczuk

Should fight: Winner of James Mulheron vs. Justin Willis at UFC Fight Night 113
Why they should fight: Omielanczuk was pegged as the biggest betting underdog on the card and unfortunately that rang true when he fell short against Curtis Blaydes in a heavyweight fight.

Omielanczuk suffered a unanimous-decision loss to fall under .500 over the course of his nine-fight UFC career. He’ll need to go back to drawing board, but his hope of keeping a UFC roster spot is not yet lost.

A win for Omielanczuk would have potentially pushed him into top 15 matchups in the heavyweight division. The loss keeps him paired against fighters of a similar stature, though, and the winner of the July 15 fight between Mulheron (11-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) and Willis (4-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 113 would be right in his wheelhouse.

Fabricio Werdum

Should fight: Loser of Junior Dos Santos vs. Francis Ngannou at UFC 215
Why they should fight: Werdum’s chance to break back into heavyweight title contention was harshly derailed with a majority-decision loss in his trilogy fight with Alistair Overeem.

With his 40th birthday rapidly approaching, it’s difficult to gauge whether the Brazilian will be eager to make another run in the division. The upside is that he’s a former champion, has a name and could be just a few wins and a couple good breaks from becoming a pertinent contender again.

Werdum needs to beat a key name, though, and the loser of September’s UFC 215 bout between Dos Santos (18-5 MMA, 12-4 UFC) and Ngannou (10-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC) would be a solid target.

Werdum has history with Dos Santos after he suffered a stunning knockout loss to the then-UFC newcomer in 2008. The rematch has been long in the making and frankly should have already been done. If Ngannou comes up short, however, a showdown with Werdum would be another big chance after the Frenchman’s first octagon defeat.

Yoel Romero

Should fight: Luke Rockhold
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why Romero should fight Rockhold (15-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC) next.

For complete coverage of UFC 213, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) celebrates after fighting Yoel Romero (red gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) celebrates after fighting Yoel Romero (red gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) is awarded the belt from UFC president Dana White after defeating Yoel Romero (red gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (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/yqLJdA8di6FKJk8FTie845/258243", customAnalytics: true, title: "Whittaker def. Romero", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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Sean Shelby's Shoes: What's next for Robert Whittaker and UFC 213's other winning fighters?

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

The UFC middleweight division crowned an interim champion on Saturday when Robert Whittaker defeated Yoel Romero in the UFC 213 co-headliner.

With champion Michael Bisping on the sidelines, Whittaker (19-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC) claimed the interim 185-pound crown with a unanimous-decision victory over Romero (12-2 MMA, 8-1 UFC) in the pay-per-view bout at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Prelims aired on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

RelatedUFC 213 post-event facts: Robert Whittaker is a bonus machine

Also on the main card, Alistair Overeem (43-15 MMA, 8-4 UFC), Curtis Blaydes (8-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC), Anthony Pettis (20-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC), and Rob Font (14-2 MMA, 4-1 UFC) defeated their opponents for important wins in their respective careers.

After every event, fans wonder whom the winners will be matched up with next. And with another night of UFC action in the rearview mirror, it’s time to look forward, put on a pair of Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard’s shoes, and play UFC matchmaker for UFC 213’s most notable winning fighters.

* * * *

Anthony Pettis (20-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC)

Should fight: James Vick
Why they should fight:
It’s not unfair to overstate the importance of Pettis’ unanimous-decision victory over Jim Miller in his return to the lightweight division after a disastrous run at featherweight.

Pettis missed weight for an interim title fight with Max Holloway at UFC 206 in December and then was stopped with strikes for the first time in his career. He’s won just one of five fights prior to beating Miller, and even after coming off the win, it seems like “Showtime” is still at a crossroads.

The fall-off from Pettis’ tenure as UFC champ is significant, but at 30, hope is far from lost. He needs to take a reasonable approach to his career going forward, and that means not jumping back into the fold against top-five competition.

Vick (11-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) is by no means an easy out for Pettis, but he’s a fighter who has not yet proven he can beat fighters who have accomplished what the former UFC champ has in his career. If Vick could beat Pettis that would elevate his status, but if Pettis won he would be on a winning streak for the first time in three years, and giving a fighter that type of confidence should not be ignored.

Curtis Blaydes

Should fight: Winner of Timothy Johnson vs. Junior Albini at UFC on FOX 25
Why they should fight: Blaydes was pegged as the biggest betting favorite on the card, and he came through victorious when he defeated a durable heavyweight foe in Daniel Omielanczuk by unanimous decision.

Blaydes is considered a fighter with a bright future in the heavyweight division and continued to show hints of promise against a seasoned opponent. He’s won three-straight after stumbling in his octagon debut but has still displayed frequent moments of inexperience, which indicates he shouldn’t yet be thrown into the top 15.

“Razor” must continue to fight opponents of a similar level, and the winner of the UFC on FOX 25 fight on July 22 between Johnson (11-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) and Albini (13-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) should provide a fight with closer odds than the one with Omielanczuk.

Alistair Overeem

Should fight: Marcin Tybura
Why they should fight: Overeem eclipsed Fabricio Werdum in their trilogy fight more than 11 years after the first meeting between the heavyweights when he scored a narrow majority-decision victory in a key bout for the weight class.

The Dutchman has been campaigning for a rematch with Stipe Miocic since he fell short in a title fight at UFC 203 in September. He’s put together back-to-back wins over Werdum and Mark Hunt since, and given the state of the weight class, that could be enough to warrant another title shot. UFC President Dana White, however, said “The Reem” is not next in line.

Miocic has wiped out most of the heavyweight contenders over the past few years, save for a few names who will likely slide into a title fight before Overeem. He will likely have to fight down in competition, and a matchup with Tybura (16-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) could keep Overeem busy.

There’s no question Overeem would be a considerable favorite against Tybura, who is riding a three-fight winning streak including a recent win over former UFC champ Andrei Arlovski. It’s one of the few names he hasn’t faced, though, and for Tybura it would give him the chance to break through from a middling contender into an elite one.

Robert Whittaker

Should fight: Michael Bisping
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why Whittaker should fight Bisping (30-7 MMA, 20-7 UFC) in a middleweight title unification bout next.

For complete coverage of UFC 213, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) celebrates after fighting Yoel Romero (red gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) celebrates after fighting Yoel Romero (red gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) is awarded the belt from UFC president Dana White after defeating Yoel Romero (red gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (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/yqLJdA8di6FKJk8FTie845/258215", customAnalytics: true, title: "Whittaker def. Romero", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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Valerie Letourneau out of Friday's Bellator 181 event, Emily Ducote draws new opponent

On the same day Gegard Mousasi’s Bellator signing was made official, another one of the promotion’s free agent pickups has been forced to withdraw from her scheduled debut.

Bellator today announced Valerie Letourneau (8-6 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) has suffered an injury and is out of Friday’s women’s flyweight bout with Emily Ducote (5-2 MMA, 3-1 BMMA). She will be replaced by Jessica Middleton (2-1 MMA, 2-1 BMMA).

Bellator 181 takes place at Winstar World Casino & Resort in Thackerville, Okla. The main card airs on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

Middleton is coming off a submission loss to top 125-pound contender Ilima Macfarlane in April. The fight marked her first career defeat after opening with back-to-back wins.

Ducote, meanwhile, makes her fifth Bellator appearance. She is coming off a first-round submission in April which helped her rebound from her first setback under the Bellator banner, which also came against Macfarlane.

For more on Bellator 181, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: Bellator, News

What does Gegard Mousasi's departure for Bellator tell us about the UFC's priorities?

There goes Gegard Mousasi. He’s taking his five-fight winning streak and his charmingly pessimistic world view and he’s bolting for Bellator.

Another way of putting it is, the UFC is letting him walk, having opted not to match his Bellator offer now that his UFC contract is up. Nevermind the fact that the UFC’s own rankings had him as the no. 4 middleweight. Nevermind the fact that he’s coming off a win over a pretty recent UFC middleweight champion. He still wasn’t worth keeping in the eyes of the UFC, which is an interesting and perhaps troubling development.

We’ve seen fighters flee for UFC competitors before, so that part’s not so unusual. What’s different this time is not just who is, but where he is in his career.

RelatedTwitter reacts to top middleweight Gegard Mousasi leaving UFC for Bellator

At 31, Mousasi (42-6-2 MMA, 9-3 UFC) looks to be a fighter still on the upswing. He’s got a healthy winning streak going. He hasn’t lost since a somewhat fluke-ish (and subsequently avenged) TKO defeat to Uriah Hall in 2015. He’s finally found a way to connect with fans by channeling his inner Diaz brother while offering glumly realistic assessments of the way the UFC operates. If you put him in a title fight opposite current UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping, chances are he opens as the favorite.

And yet the UFC decided that it didn’t want him anymore, or at least that it didn’t want him enough. Mousasi had remarked before that he wasn’t happy with the offer on the table, and the UFC apparently didn’t sweeten it enough to beat out Bellator. It seems the world’s biggest MMA promoter would rather lose a top middleweight than crack the wallet open any further.

That works out nicely for Bellator. It needs fighters like Mousasi. He has a name and a future. He can and will fight in multiple weight classes. He adds validity and legitimacy to a promotion that desperately needs fighters people care about. Slowly, Bellator is amassing enough of these fighters to build some truly interesting fight cards.

But what about the UFC? It’s not going to crash and burn without Mousasi, which may well have been a large part of the thought process behind letting him walk, but doesn’t it seem strange that the organization where “the best fight the best” wasn’t more interested in holding onto someone who looks so much like a potential champ?

It’s not like Mousasi is a boring fighter, either. He’s been the main or co-main event in all of his UFC fights with one exception – the uncommonly stacked UFC 200. Clearly, the UFC thinks we care about this guy and want to see him fight, both of which are true. So why isn’t it worth shelling out to keep him?

The easy answer is because he’s not Conor McGregor, therefore he’s not absolutely vital. It’s not a great look, but you can lose a few Mousasi-type fighters – the guys who help you hit singles and doubles but never any home runs with pay-per-views and cable TV cards – and the bottom line won’t suffer too much.

What suffers instead are the intangibles. For instance, it gets harder to keep claiming that you’re the home to the best when you pay more for pro wrestlers with zero experience or ability than you do for top talent. It also sends a message to every other fighter on the roster: No matter how many fights you win or how many event posters you get your name on, you’re not that important.

But if you tell fighters they aren’t important, you’re also accidentally telling fans. And if these people aren’t important, why should we pay you to watch them? And if someone else tells them that they are important, why shouldn’t the fighters go work for them instead?

That’s what Mousasi’s doing. If his departure is indicative of a shift in how the UFC views its talent, he won’t be the last one to go. Pretty soon, this trickle of defections could turn into a flood. And what happens when the fighters who used to anchor your TV cards end up working for the other guys? Then the best are still fighting the best, but they’re just doing it somewhere else.

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


Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Floyd Mayweather petitions U.S. Tax Court for more time to pay tax bill

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

(This story first published at USA TODAY.)

Floyd Mayweather petitioned the U.S. Tax Court last week as the boxing champ seeks more time to pay his 2015 taxes.

Mayweather’s assets are “restricted and primarily illiquid,” and he asked the court for a three-month installment agreement, according to Law360, the first outlet to report the filing. That would allow Mayweather to pay off the tax bill with proceeds from his Aug. 26 bout with UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor in Las Vegas, a match where the 40-year-old boxer is expected to make more than $100 million.

RelatedShowtime releases first promotional video for Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor

“The taxpayer has a significant liquidity event scheduled in about 60 days from which he intends to pay the balance of the 2015 tax liability due and outstanding,” Mayweather’s attorney, Jeffrey Morse, wrote in the filing per Law360.

The IRS resisted Mayweather’s installment request, saying Mayweather had enough assets to cover the tax bill. Mayweather’s earnings in 2015 were estimated to exceed $200 million, with most of the income coming from facing Manny Pacquiao in May of that year.

RelatedCan McGregor beat Mayweather? Doubtful, but MMA fighters with boxing experience have ideas

Mayweather had previously petitioned the U.S. Tax Court over his 2006 tax return. That petition, originally filed in 2013, was settled before a trial last year. Mayweather agreed to pay the $1.627 million tax bill with no penalty, according to the judgment entered.

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

Apr 30, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Floyd Mayweather looks on after the fight between Badou Jack (not pictured) and Lucian Bute (not pictured) during the DC Double Header boxing match at DC Armory. Mandatory Credit: Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports Mar 28, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Floyd Mayweather in attendance in the second half during the NBA game between the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports Feb 28, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Professional boxer Floyd Mayweather sits court side during the first half of the game between the Washington Wizards and the Cleveland Cavaliers at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports Jan 16, 2016; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; American boxer Floyd Mayweather sits courtside during the third quarter of the game between the Detroit Pistons and Golden State Warriors at The Palace of Auburn Hills. The Pistons won 113-95. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Oct 30, 2015; Orlando, FL, USA; American professional boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. watches the Oklahoma City Thunder and Orlando Magic during the second quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports Oct 28, 2015; Miami, FL, USA; Boxing star Floyd Mayweather is seen sitting court side during the first half of a game between the Charlotte Hornets and the Charlotte Hornets at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports Sep 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather celebrates after defeating Andre Berto (not pictured) in their WBA/WBC welterweight title bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mayweather won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Sep 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather (black trunks) celebrates after defeating Andre Berto (not pictured) in their WBA/WBC welterweight title bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mayweather won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Sep 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather kneels after the final round against Andre Berto (not pictured) in their WBA/WBC welterweight title bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mayweather won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Sep 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather (black trunks) taunts Andre Berto (white trunks) during their WBA/WBC welterweight title bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mayweather won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Sep 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather (black trunks) and Andre Berto (white trunks) box during their WBA/WBC welterweight title bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mayweather won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Sep 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather and Andre Berto (not pictured) box during their WBA/WBC welterweight title bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mayweather won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Sep 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather (black trunks) and Andre Berto (white trunks) box during their WBA/WBC welterweight title bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mayweather won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Sep 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather (black trunks) and Andre Berto (white trunks) box during their WBA/WBC welterweight title bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mayweather won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Sep 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather (black trunks) and Andre Berto (white trunks) box during their WBA/WBC welterweight title bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mayweather won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Sep 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather (black trunks) and Andre Berto (white trunks) box during their WBA/WBC welterweight title bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mayweather won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Sep 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather (black trunks) and Andre Berto (white trunks) box during their WBA/WBC welterweight title bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mayweather won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Sep 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather (black trunks) and Andre Berto (white trunks) box during their WBA/WBC welterweight title bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mayweather won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Sep 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather (black trunks) and Andre Berto (white trunks) box during their WBA/WBC welterweight title bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mayweather won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Sep 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather and Andre Berto box during their WBA/WBC welterweight title bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Sep 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather and Andre Berto box during their WBA/WBC welterweight title bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Sep 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather (black trunks) and Andre Berto (white trunks) box during their WBA/WBC welterweight title bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mayweather won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Sep 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather and Andre Berto box during their WBA/WBC welterweight title bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Sep 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather and Andre Berto (not pictured) box during their WBA/WBC welterweight title bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mayweather won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Sep 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather is introduced against Andre Berto (not pictured) for their WBA/WBC welterweight title bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mayweather won via unanimous decision. 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/EhiEKB3VYcGvvhxpmTZsbP/258201", customAnalytics: true, title: "Floyd Mayweather", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor pay-per-view price set for boxing showdown

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

UFC President Dana White wasn’t kidding when he said the price of buying Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor on pay-per-view would “be more like the Pacquiao price.”

The standard definition purchase of the Aug. 26 fight from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas will set you back $89.95, with the high-definition version costing $99.95, Showtimes spokesperson Madelyn Flax told USA TODAY Sports.

RelatedShowtime releases first promotional video for Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor

That’s in line with what it cost to buy “The Fight of the Century” between Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, a fight that generated over $400 million in revenue and netted Mayweather around $220 million.

If White’s estimate of over 5 million PPV buys holds up, Mayweather (49-0 boxing) and UFC lightweight champion McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) will need a few Brinks trucks to gather up all the money made.

Still, the UFC chief proclaims it’s worth it, even for UFC fans accustomed to paying a maximum of $59.99 for a pay-per-view. Although critics savaged the money-first attitude of Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, White said this fight is an exception.

RelatedDana White expects Mayweather-McGregor press tour to be an 'absolute (expletive) show'

“When you talk about superfights, this is a superfight – two different guys from two different sports going in and putting it on the line,” he said. “Obviously, you can’t charge what you would normally charge for a pay-per-view. And saying there was pushback on the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, there was anything but – it’s the biggest fight ever in the history of pay-per-view.”

Promotion for the event, scheduled to take place at T-Mobile in Las Vegas despite an apparent schedule conflict, kicks off Tuesday in Los Angeles then hits Toronto, New York and London the rest of the week.

White will be in attendance to do his promoter thing the entire time.

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

March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor enters the arena during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) before fighting Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) fights Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) fights Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) celebrates after defeating Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) celebrates with his two championship belts after defeating Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor reacts while fighting against Nate Diaz during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 5: Conor McGregor (L) kicks Nate Diaz during UFC 196 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on March 5, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 5: Conor McGregor punches Nate Diaz during UFC 196 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on March 5, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor reacts following his loss against Nate Diaz during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor reacts during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor (right) against Nate Diaz during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor is introduced before fighting against Nate Diaz during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor enters the arena during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor during weigh-ins for UFC 196 fight against Nate Diaz (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor reacts during weigh-ins for UFC 196 fight against Nate Diaz (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor exits the octagon following his championship victory against Jose Aldo during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor celebrates his championship victory against Jose Aldo during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor lands punches to win b technical knockout against Jose Aldo during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor celebrates his win against Jose Aldo during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor speaks following his victory against Jose Aldo UFC 194 press conference at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/jQR94UxjJ6fs5AH2d96gif/258239", customAnalytics: true, title: "Conor McGregor", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

MMAjunkie reader predictions: Make your picks for UFC Fight Night 113 in Scotland

We want your predictions for Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 113 event in Scotland.

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

Those MMAjunkie MMA reader consensus picks will be part of the UFC Fight Night 113 staff picks we release on Friday ahead of the event. UFC Fight Night 113 takes place July 16, a Sunday, at SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland. The card airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

* * * *

Gunnar Nelson vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio

Records: Gunnar Nelson (16-2-1 MMA, 7-2 UFC), Santiago Ponzinibbio (24-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC)
Past five: Nelson 3-2, Ponzinibbio 4-1
Division: Welterweight
Rankings: Nelson honorable mention
Odds (as of 7/10/17): Nelson -200, Ponzinibbio +160

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

Records: Joanne Calderwood (11-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC), Cynthia Calvillo (5-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC)
Past five: Calderwood 3-2, Calvillo 5-0
Division: Women’s strawweight
Rankings: Calderwood No. 12
Odds (as of 7/10/17): N/A

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

Records: Paul Felder (13-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC), Stevie Ray (21-6 MMA, 5-1 UFC)
Past five: Felder 3-2, Ray 4-1
Division: Lightweight
Rankings: None
Odds (as of 7/10/17): N/A

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

Records: Ryan Janes (9-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC), Jack Marshman (21-6 MMA, 1-1 UFC)
Past five: Janes 4-1, Marshman 4-1
Division: Middleweight
Rankings: None
Odds (as of 7/10/17): N/A

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

Records: Paul Craig (9-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC), Khalil Rountree (5-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC)
Past five: Craig 4-1, Rountree 3-2
Division: Light heavyweight
Rankings: None
Odds (as of 7/10/17): N/A

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

Records: James Mulheron (11-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC), Justin Willis (4-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC)
Past five: Mulheron 4-1, Willis 4-1
Division: Heavyweight
Rankings: None
Odds (as of 7/10/17): N/A

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

For more on UFC Fight Night 113, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Jul 11, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Gunnar Nelson (red gloves) celebrates after defeating Brandon Thatch (blue gloves) during UFC 189 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Nelson won via first round submision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jul 10, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Gunnar Nelson weighs in for his bout against Brandon Tatch (not pictured) during weigh-ins for UFC 189 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jul 11, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Gunnar Nelson (red gloves) and Brandon Thatch (blue gloves) fight during UFC 189 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Nelson won via first round submision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jul 11, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Gunnar Nelson (red gloves) and Brandon Thatch (blue gloves) fight during UFC 189 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Nelson won via first round submision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jul 11, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Gunnar Nelson (red gloves) and Brandon Thatch (blue gloves) fight during UFC 189 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Nelson won via first round submision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jul 11, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Gunnar Nelson (red gloves) submits Brandon Thatch (blue gloves) during UFC 189 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Nelson won via first round submision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jul 11, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Gunnar Nelson (red gloves) reacts after submitting Brandon Thatch (blue gloves) during UFC 189 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Nelson won via first round submision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Gunnar Nelson fights against Demian Maia during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports May 8, 2016; Rotterdam, Netherlands; Gunnar Nelson moves in with a hit against Albert Tumenov during UFC Fight Night at Ahoy Rotterdam. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports May 8, 2016; Rotterdam, Netherlands; Gunnar Nelson moves in with a kick as Albert Tumenov defends during UFC Fight Night at Ahoy Rotterdam. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports May 8, 2016; Rotterdam, Netherlands; Gunnar Nelson pins Albert Tumenov to the mat during UFC Fight Night at Ahoy Rotterdam. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports May 8, 2016; Rotterdam, Netherlands; Gunnar Nelson pins Albert Tumenov to the mat during UFC Fight Night at Ahoy Rotterdam. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports May 8, 2016; Rotterdam, Netherlands; Gunnar Nelson lands elbow hits as he pins Albert Tumenov to the mat during UFC Fight Night at Ahoy Rotterdam. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports May 8, 2016; Rotterdam, Netherlands; Gunnar Nelson moves in with a kick as Albert Tumenov defends during UFC Fight Night at Ahoy Rotterdam. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports May 8, 2016; Rotterdam, Netherlands; Gunnar Nelson applies a choke hold to win by submission against Albert Tumenov during UFC Fight Night at Ahoy Rotterdam. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports May 8, 2016; Rotterdam, Netherlands; Gunnar Nelson is declared the winner by submission against Albert Tumenov during UFC Fight Night at Ahoy Rotterdam. 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/9weY9RJiMexq9yAYDg2sLi/258165", customAnalytics: true, title: "Gunnar Nelson", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC

Gegard Mousasi signs multi-fight Bellator deal after 4-year UFC run

Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chris Weidman (red gloves) competes against Gerard Mousasi (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chris Weidman (red gloves) competes against Gerard Mousasi (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chris Weidman (red gloves) competes against Gerard Mousasi (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chris Weidman (red gloves) competes against Gerard Mousasi (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chris Weidman (red gloves) competes against Gerard Mousasi (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chris Weidman (red gloves) competes against Gerard Mousasi (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chris Weidman (red gloves) competes against Gerard Mousasi (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chris Weidman (red gloves) competes against Gerard Mousasi (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chris Weidman (red gloves) competes against Gerard Mousasi (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chris Weidman (red gloves) competes against Gerard Mousasi (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chris Weidman (red gloves) competes against Gerard Mousasi (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chris Weidman (red gloves) competes against Gerard Mousasi (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chris Weidman (red gloves) reacts after being defeated by Gerard Mousasi (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chris Weidman (red gloves) reacts after being defeated by Gerard Mousasi (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chris Weidman (red gloves) reacts after being defeated by Gerard Mousasi (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/tSmDVmu2Ez7r8Ajk8PnZXf/258204", customAnalytics: true, title: "Mousasi def. Weidman", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Gegard Mousasi is the latest high-profile fighter to exit the UFC for Bellator.

Mousasi, the No. 6 ranked fighter in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middleweight rankings, signed a multi-fight agreement with the Viacom-owned promotion after the UFC waived the matching period on his previous contract.

MMAjunkie contributor Chamatkar Sandhu first brought word of the signing. An additional person close to the UFC confirmed it, requesting anonymity because the news had not yet been made public.

Bellator later announced the news in a press release.

“I’m thrilled to welcome Gegard to the growing Bellator family,” Bellator President Scott Coker said in a statement. “He’s one of the most well-rounded fighters in all of MMA and can compete in multiple divisions, so that really opens up some exciting matchmaking opportunities for us and for the fans. We’re looking forward to having him compete on Spike very soon.”

A new era has arrived. Me signing my @BellatorMMA contract. Bellator MWs, there is a new sheriff in town. pic.twitter.com/eJ1yDmROcu

— Gegard Mousasi (@mousasi_mma) July 10, 2017

Mousasi (42-6-2 MMA, 9-3 UFC) entered negotiations with the UFC after fulfilling the last fight on his deal at UFC 210, earning a controversial second-round TKO of Chris Weidman, which gave him his fifth straight UFC win. In May, he said he was unhappy with the promotion’s offer to keep him in the fold.

“We want to sign with the UFC,” Mousasi told “UFC Tonight” on FS1 afterward. “UFC wants to sign also, so I don’t know. They should pay. I’m co-main event all the time, so it’s not like people don’t know me. (The offer) is not good. We don’t like it.”

According to a report from Swedish website Kimura.se, a UFC attorney didn’t think Mousasi was a big enough name to justify his salary demands.

By all accounts, though, Mousasi was on track to vie for the UFC middleweight title. His win over Weidman added another top-ranked fighter to his list of key wins. Apart from an upset loss to Uriah Hall in 2015 – a setback he later avenged – his career momentum remained unbroken.

One of Mousasi’s most recent opponents, Thiago Santos, brought his name back into the spotlight by requesting a rematch after losing by first-round KO at UFC 200. But “The Dreamcatcher” is headed a different direction.

The Bellator signing represents a reunion between Mousasi and Scott Coker, who signed the Dutch-Armenian fighter to the now-defunct Strikeforce. Mousasi won that promotion’s light heavyweight title in 2010, only to lose it in his first title defense against Muhammed Lawal. After Strikeforce was acquired by UFC parent Zuffa, Mousasi then jumped ship to the UFC.

Mousasi joins Rory MacDonald, Ryan Bader and Lorenz Larkin in a group of former top-ranked UFC fighters who’ve defected to Bellator over the past year.

For more on the upcoming UFC and Bellator schedules, visit the MMA Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, UFC

Urijah Faber content with legacy as Internet troll who called out best, didn't use PEDs

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid4621179066001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5495373088001
Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

LAS VEGAS – Newly inducted UFC Hall of Fame member Urijah Faber said he’s too busy to think about coming back to the octagon, even if thoughts of fighting still occupy his mind.

When someone lips off to him in the civilian world, he thinks about solving things with his fists.

But when it comes to his legacy, he’s satisfied with his contribution to the sport as a pioneer for lighter-weight UFC fighters.

When Faber was in his heyday, there were no opportunities for fighters below 170 pounds. So he took matters into his own hands – with a keyboard.

“I went around collecting belts,” Faber (34-10 MMA, 10-6 UFC) told MMAjunkie after his induction this past Thursday into the UFC Hall of Fame as a Modern Era fighter. “My hit list was me being a troll on the Internet, saying who they’re saying is the best guy in the world, and calling that guy out.”

Faber won belts in Gladiator Challenge and the WEC by fighting the best competition available at bantamweight and featherweight, putting the divisions on the map before the WEC was purchased by the UFC’s then-parent company Zuffa and later folded into the industry leader.

“I went around and collected belts in all the organizations,” Faber said. “There was no UFC for me. It wasn’t a reality – I helped get it there. I had a lot of (title) shots because I was beating all the top contenders.”

Although Faber was never able to take home a UFC belt, he is proud of the fact that he competed for so long at a high level. And in particular, he said, he did it without the aid of illegal substances.

“Never did one PED my whole life, and all the cheaters that are out there, shame on you,” he said. “I was a representative who went from the very beginning to the very end at the top of the world, and had a great time doing it.”

Watch Faber reflect on his UFC Hall of Fame induction in the video above.

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

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid4621179066001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5495374851001 http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid4621179066001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5495465451001 http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid4621179066001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5254332076001 December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Urijah Faber is declared the winner by decision against Frankie Saenz during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Urijah Faber fights against Frankie Saenz during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Urijah Faber fights against Frankie Saenz during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Urijah Faber lands an elbow against Frankie Saenz during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Dec 6, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Urijah Faber (red) after defeating Francisco Rivera (blue) during UFC 181 at Madalay Bay Events Center. Faber won via second round submission. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Dec 6, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Urijah Faber (red) submits Francisco Rivera (blue) during UFC 181 at Madalay Bay Events Center. Faber won via second round submission. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Dec 6, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Urijah Faber (red) submits Francisco Rivera (blue) during UFC 181 at Madalay Bay Events Center. Faber won via second round submission. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jul 5, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Urijah Faber (red gloves) celebrates his victory over Alex Caceres (blue gloves) during a bantamweight fight at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Feb 1, 2014; Newark, NJ, USA; Renan Barao (red gloves) and Urijah Faber (blue gloves) after their fight during UFC 169 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jan 31, 2014; Newark, NJ, USA; Urijah Faber (right) is interviewed by UFC commentator Joe Rogan after weighing in for his Bantamweight Championship bout against Renan Barao (not pictured) at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports December 14, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Urijah Faber addresses the media during the press conference after UFC on FOX 9 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports December 14, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Urijah Faber (red gloves) reacts during his fight against Michael McDonald during the bantamweight bout of the UFC on FOX 9 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports December 14, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Urijah Faber (red gloves) reacts after his fight against Michael McDonald (blue gloves) during the bantamweight bout of the UFC on FOX 9 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports December 14, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Michael McDonald (blue gloves) gets knocked to the canvas by Urijah Faber (red gloves) during the bantamweight bout of the UFC on FOX 9 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports December 14, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Urijah Faber (red gloves) fights Michael McDonald (blue gloves) during the bantamweight bout of the UFC on FOX 9 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports December 14, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Urijah Faber (red gloves) enters before his fight with Michael McDonald (blue gloves) during the bantamweight bout of the UFC on FOX 9 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports Aug 17, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Urijah Faber celebrates his win after a UFC bantamweight match at the TD Garden. Faber won by judges decision. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports Aug 17, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Urijah Faber leaves the ring after defeating Yuri Alcantara during a UFC Bantamweight match at the TD Garden. Faber won by judges decision. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports Aug 17, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Urijah Faber (top) fights Yuri Alcantara (bottom) during a UFC bantamweight match at the TD Garden. Faber won by judges decision. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports Aug 17, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Urijah Faber during a UFC bantamweight match at the TD Garden. Faber won by judges decision. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/UsQN5oQeN6KuYu5eVEo4CQ/258163", customAnalytics: true, title: "Urijah Faber", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

UFC 213 final salaries: Alistair Overeem earns event-high $800,000 disclosed payday

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

(This story was first published on July 9, 2017.)

Co-main-event winner Alistair Overeem earned the largest disclosed payday at Saturday’s UFC 213 event.

MMAjunkie obtained the list of disclosed fight purses from the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which oversaw the event. UFC 213 took place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and aired on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

In the night’s co-feature, Overeem (43-15 MMA, 8-4 UFC) edged former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum (21-7-1 MMA, 9-4 UFC) via narrow majority decision. Overeem earned a flat payday of $800,000; Werdum earned $275,000 to show and would’ve picked up an additional $125,000 as a win bonus if victorious.

RelatedRobbery? Twitter reacts to Alistair Overeem's trilogy win over Fabricio Werdum at UFC 213

In the main event, Robert Whittaker (19-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC) became the UFC interim middleweight champion with a unanimous-decision victory over Yoel Romero (12-2 MMA, 8-1 UFC). Each fighter earned a flat payday of $350,000.

The total disclosed payout for the event was $2,596,000.

UFC 213’s originally scheduled main event was canceled just hours prior to the event when women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes (14-4 MMA, 7-1 UFC) withdrew from a fight with Valentina Shevchenko (14-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) due to an illness. Nunes would’ve earned $105,000 to show and $105,000 as a win bonus. Shevchenko was slated to earn a flat $100,000.

The full list of UFC 213 paydays included:

Robert Whittaker: $350,000 (no win bonus)
def. Yoel Romero: $350,000

Alistair Overeem: $800,000 (no win bonus)
def. Fabricio Werdum: $275,000

Curtis Blaydes: $38,000 (includes $19,000 win bonus)
def. Daniel Omielanczuk: $30,000

Anthony Pettis: $180,000 (includes $90,000 win bonus)
def. Jim Miller: $71,000

Rob Font: $39,000 (includes $19,500 win bonus)
def. Douglas Silva de Andrade: $18,000

Aleksei Oleinik: $54,000 (includes $27,000 win bonus)
def. Travis Browne: $120,000

Chad Laprise: $48,000 (includes $24,000 win bonus)
def. Brian Camozzi: $10,000

Thiago “Marreta” Santos: $68,000 (includes $34,000 win bonus)
def. Gerald Meerschaert: $14,000

Belal Muhammad: $40,000 (includes $20,000 win bonus)
def. Jordan Mein: $25,000

Cody Stamann: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Terrion Ware: $10,000

Trevin Giles: $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus)
def. James Bochnovic: $12,000

Now, the usual disclaimer: The figures do not include deductions for items such as insurance, licenses and taxes. Additionally, the figures do not include money paid by sponsors, including the official UFC Athlete Outfitting sponsorship program pay. They also do not include any other “locker room” or special discretionary bonuses the UFC oftentimes pays. They also do not include pay-per-view cuts that some top-level fighters receive.

For example, as previously reported, UFC officials handed out additional $50,000 UFC 213 fight-night bonuses to Laprise and Font (“Performance of the Night”) and Whittaker and Romero (“Fight of the Night”).

In other words, the above figures are simply base salaries reported to the commission and do not reflect entire compensation packages for the event.

For complete coverage of UFC 213, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Alistair Overeem (blue gloves) celebrates after defeating Fabricio Werdum (red gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Fabricio Werdum (red gloves) fights Alistair Overeem (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Fabricio Werdum (red gloves) fights Alistair Overeem (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Fabricio Werdum (red gloves) fights Alistair Overeem (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Fabricio Werdum (red gloves) fights Alistair Overeem (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Fabricio Werdum (red gloves) fights Alistair Overeem (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Fabricio Werdum (red gloves) fights Alistair Overeem (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Fabricio Werdum (red gloves) fights Alistair Overeem (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Fabricio Werdum (red gloves) fights Alistair Overeem (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Fabricio Werdum (red gloves) fights Alistair Overeem (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/TdqoLcDQAyUKAiYtxiRuoV/258037", customAnalytics: true, title: "Overeem def. Werdum", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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Champ Marat Gafurov vs. Martin Nguyen headlines ONE Championship 59 on Aug. 18

The featherweight title will be on the line next month at ONE Championship 59.

Officials today announced the event’s headliner features featherweight champion Marat Gafurov (15-0) vs. challenger Martin Nguyen (8-1) in a rematch of their 2015 fight.

“ONE Championship 59: Quest for Greatness” takes place Aug. 18 at Stadium Negara in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and it streams as an online pay-per-view in North America.

Undefeated Gafurov, a 32-year-old Russian fighter, claimed the ONE Championship title in 2015 with a submission victory over Narantungalag Jadambaa. Since then, the seven-year pro has tapped out Kazunori Yokota and Jadambaa to lengthen his title reign. He has 11 submissions in 15 career wins.

He takes on Nguyen, a 28-year-old Australian fighter who looks for his fifth straight victory. His only career loss came in 2015 at ONE Championship 31, where Gafurov tapped him out via 41-second rear-naked choke in a short-notice bout. Nguyen has posted four straight first-round stoppage victories since then.

In the co-headliner, Ev Ting (13-4), who was on a 4-0 run before a recent decision loss to lightweight champ Eduard Folayang, meets former champ Nobutatsu Suzuki (11-2-2), who came up short in a 2014 welterweight title with Ben Askren. It remains Suzuki’s most recent fight, and he now returns as a 155-pounder.

The latest ONE Championship 59 card includes:

For more on ONE Championship 59, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: News

After initial reservations, Maurice Smith getting used to idea of UFC Hall of Fame membership

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LAS VEGAS – Former UFC heavyweight champion Maurice Smith initially wasn’t sure how to feel about being inducted into the promotion’s Hall of Fame.

Smith felt his biggest contribution to the UFC was just another night of work in a long career. It just so happened that on that night, all the way back at UFC 14, he took the heavyweight title from Mark Coleman.

But after reflecting on that pivotal upset – and receiving his moment in the limelight this past Thursday during the UFC’s 2017 Hall of Fame induction ceremony – a reflective Smith is coming to terms with being a part of the history books.

“I have mixed emotions about it, but I appreciate who recognizes my body of work, and I’m good,” he said.

Smith (14-14 MMA, 4-3 UFC), inducted as a member of the Hall of Fame’s Pioneer wing, still identifies first and foremost as a kickboxer, a standup specialist who fell into MMA and found a successful formula for the grapplers who dominated the early action in the octagon.

Along with Frank Shamrock and Tsuyoshi Kohsaka, Smith was one-third of “The Alliance,” one of the earliest MMA teams in the sport’s history.

But as Smith notes, he wasn’t the first one to discover the sprawl and brawl formula. He wonders why Marco Ruas isn’t in the UFC Hall of Fame after chopping down Paul Varelans with leg kicks to win a tournament at UFC 7. So he’s ambivalent about his inclusion, and the promotion’s criteria in nominating fighters.

Smith doesn’t want to make a big deal about his official recognition. He’ll just accept it with a smile.

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

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

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