MMA Junkie News

Bellator 184's Westin Wilson, the guy who gets fight advice from his former DEA agent dad

if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_esltuY7o_FLu19iir_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/esltuY7o.json","ph":2} );
Filed under: Bellator, News

Featherweight Westin Wilson was 17 when his dad moved the family to Brazil. It wasn’t your average relocation; his dad worked for the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

Wilson recalls having to keep quiet about the assignment in school, where he was forced to repeat his junior year. He also couldn’t wrestle. Before the family packed up and moved, he was putting in “high-level” work at Colonial Forge High School in Virginia and thought about a future on the mats.

But there he was, in a foreign country without a outlet for his passion. That’s where MMA came in.

As it turned out, his dad was his biggest supporter when it came to fighting. Wilson found a Brazilian Top Team affiliate in Sao Paulo, and so began his journey in MMA.

To this day, Wilson (4-2 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) gets advice from his dad about his career. For level-headed advice, it doesn’t get any better.

When Bellator called him offering a contract and a fight against Gaston Reyno (6-2 MMA, 2-2 BMMA) at Bellator 184, Wilson’s dad was blunt.

“‘You get your ass kicked, and you realize you’re not an elite fighter – or, you beat his ass, and you realize you are an elite fighter,'” Wilson told MMAjunkie of his dad’s words of wisdom. “‘It’s a win-win. Most people don’t think you’re going to win this fight anyway.’ I was like, ‘Good point, Dad.'”

Bellator 184 takes place Friday at WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Okla. The main card airs live on Spike with prelims, including Wilson vs. Reyno, streaming on MMAjunkie.

RelatedBellator 184 set for Oct. 6 with champ Eduardo Dantas vs. Darrion Caldwell, Emmanuel Sanchez vs. Daniel Straus

Wilson – and his dad – might be selling himself a little short as far as his chances. He’s 4-2 in outside promotions while Reyno is 6-2 and a .500 fighter in the Bellator cage.

In April Wilson got back in the win column after a pair of defeats, submitting journeyman Edwin Williams in the first round. He’s nowhere close to anyone’s radar for a title shot. But as his dad hints, that’s not a bad place to start.

When he needs encouragement, he thinks about the tough situations that made his father such a tough character. At one point, chasing Juan “El Chapo” Guzman was one of them.

“He’s become a big inspiration for me,” Wilson said of his father.

For more on Bellator 184, check out the MMA Rumor section of the site.


Filed under: Bellator, News

Bellator 184's Westin Wilson, the guy who gets fight advice from his former DEA agent dad

if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_esltuY7o_FLu19iir_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/esltuY7o.json","ph":2} );
Filed under: Bellator, News

Featherweight Westin Wilson was 17 when his dad moved the family to Brazil. It wasn’t your average relocation; his dad worked for the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

Wilson recalls having to keep quiet about the assignment in school, where he was forced to repeat his junior year. He also couldn’t wrestle. Before the family packed up and moved, he was putting in “high-level” work at Colonial Forge High School in Virginia and thought about a future on the mats.

But there he was, in a foreign country without a outlet for his passion. That’s where MMA came in.

As it turned out, his dad was his biggest supporter when it came to fighting. Wilson found a Brazilian Top Team affiliate in Sao Paulo, and so began his journey in MMA.

To this day, Wilson (4-2 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) gets advice from his dad about his career. For level-headed advice, it doesn’t get any better.

When Bellator called him offering a contract and a fight against Gaston Reyno (6-2 MMA, 2-2 BMMA) at Bellator 184, Wilson’s dad was blunt.

“‘You get your ass kicked, and you realize you’re not an elite fighter – or, you beat his ass, and you realize you are an elite fighter,'” Wilson told MMAjunkie of his dad’s words of wisdom. “‘It’s a win-win. Most people don’t think you’re going to win this fight anyway.’ I was like, ‘Good point, Dad.'”

Bellator 184 takes place Friday at WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Okla. The main card airs live on Spike with prelims, including Wilson vs. Reyno, streaming on MMAjunkie.

RelatedBellator 184 set for Oct. 6 with champ Eduardo Dantas vs. Darrion Caldwell, Emmanuel Sanchez vs. Daniel Straus

Wilson – and his dad – might be selling himself a little short as far as his chances. He’s 4-2 in outside promotions while Reyno is 6-2 and a .500 fighter in the Bellator cage.

In April Wilson got back in the win column after a pair of defeats, submitting journeyman Edwin Williams in the first round. He’s nowhere close to anyone’s radar for a title shot. But as his dad hints, that’s not a bad place to start.

When he needs encouragement, he thinks about the tough situations that made his father such a tough character. At one point, chasing Juan “El Chapo” Guzman was one of them.

“He’s become a big inspiration for me,” Wilson said of his father.

For more on Bellator 184, check out the MMA Rumor section of the site.


Filed under: Bellator, News

That big UFC 217 event with 3 title fights? Here's the official poster

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid4621179066001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5413787796001
Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC

As far as UFC events go, UFC 217 is a biggie, and now the November blockbuster has an official poster.

UFC 217, which features three title fights, takes place Nov. 4 at iconic Madison Square Garden in New York City. The main card – one of the best of the year – airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Here’s the official poster for the card:

The headliners obviously have top billing on the poster. In UFC 217’s featured bout, UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping (30-7 MMA, 20-7 UFC) takes on former longtime welterweight titleholder and all-time MMA great Georges St-Pierre (25-2 MMA, 19-2 UFC), who returns from a four-year absence and moves up a weight class for the fight.

Also slated for UFC 217? Bantamweight champ Cody Garbrandt (11-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) and challenger T.J. Dillashaw (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC), who meet in the co-headliner, and women’s strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk (14-0 MMA, 8-0 UFC) vs. Rose Namajunas (6-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC).

All six fighters are part of Friday’s special UFC 217 press conference in Las Vegas, which MMAjunkie will stream live.

How do you rate UFC 217’s poster? Give it a grade:

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 217, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) celebrates his first round knockout of Luke Rockhold (not pictured) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) fights Luke Rockhold (red) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) fights Luke Rockhold (red) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) fights Luke Rockhold (red) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) celebrates his first round knockout of Luke Rockhold (red) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) celebrates with his wife after his first round knockout of Luke Rockhold (not pictured) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) celebrates his first round knockout of Luke Rockhold (red) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) celebrates his first round knockout of Luke Rockhold (not pictured) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Feb 27, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Michael Bisping reacts after his fight against Anderson Silva during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Feb 27, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Michael Bisping reacts after his fight against Anderson Silva during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Feb 27, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Anderson Silva (red gloves) competes against Michael Bisping (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Feb 27, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Anderson Silva (red gloves) competes against Michael Bisping (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Feb 27, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Anderson Silva (red gloves) competes against Michael Bisping (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Feb 27, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Anderson Silva (red gloves) competes against Michael Bisping (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Feb 27, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Anderson Silva (red gloves) competes against Michael Bisping (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Feb 26, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Michael Bisping during weigh-ins for UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Jul 18, 2015; Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland; Michael Bisping addresses the crowd after the decision against Thales Leites at The SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 18, 2015; Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland; Michael Bisping lines up a punch against Thales Leites at The SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 18, 2015; Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland; Michael Bisping throws a left kick to Thales Leites at The SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 18, 2015; Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland; Michael Bisping fights Thales Leites 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/4S3YY8Sr42aQz3Gf9qHNtS/275708", customAnalytics: true, title: "Michael Bisping", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC

That big UFC 217 event with 3 title fights? Here's the official poster

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid4621179066001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5413787796001
Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC

As far as UFC events go, UFC 217 is a biggie, and now the November blockbuster has an official poster.

UFC 217, which features three title fights, takes place Nov. 4 at iconic Madison Square Garden in New York City. The main card – one of the best of the year – airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Here’s the official poster for the card:

The headliners obviously have top billing on the poster. In UFC 217’s featured bout, UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping (30-7 MMA, 20-7 UFC) takes on former longtime welterweight titleholder and all-time MMA great Georges St-Pierre (25-2 MMA, 19-2 UFC), who returns from a four-year absence and moves up a weight class for the fight.

Also slated for UFC 217? Bantamweight champ Cody Garbrandt (11-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) and challenger T.J. Dillashaw (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC), who meet in the co-headliner, and women’s strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk (14-0 MMA, 8-0 UFC) vs. Rose Namajunas (6-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC).

All six fighters are part of Friday’s special UFC 217 press conference in Las Vegas, which MMAjunkie will stream live.

How do you rate UFC 217’s poster? Give it a grade:

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 217, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) celebrates his first round knockout of Luke Rockhold (not pictured) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) fights Luke Rockhold (red) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) fights Luke Rockhold (red) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) fights Luke Rockhold (red) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) celebrates his first round knockout of Luke Rockhold (red) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) celebrates with his wife after his first round knockout of Luke Rockhold (not pictured) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) celebrates his first round knockout of Luke Rockhold (red) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) celebrates his first round knockout of Luke Rockhold (not pictured) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Feb 27, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Michael Bisping reacts after his fight against Anderson Silva during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Feb 27, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Michael Bisping reacts after his fight against Anderson Silva during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Feb 27, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Anderson Silva (red gloves) competes against Michael Bisping (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Feb 27, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Anderson Silva (red gloves) competes against Michael Bisping (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Feb 27, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Anderson Silva (red gloves) competes against Michael Bisping (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Feb 27, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Anderson Silva (red gloves) competes against Michael Bisping (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Feb 27, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Anderson Silva (red gloves) competes against Michael Bisping (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Feb 26, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Michael Bisping during weigh-ins for UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Jul 18, 2015; Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland; Michael Bisping addresses the crowd after the decision against Thales Leites at The SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 18, 2015; Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland; Michael Bisping lines up a punch against Thales Leites at The SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 18, 2015; Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland; Michael Bisping throws a left kick to Thales Leites at The SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 18, 2015; Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland; Michael Bisping fights Thales Leites 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/4S3YY8Sr42aQz3Gf9qHNtS/275708", customAnalytics: true, title: "Michael Bisping", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC

UFC 218 in Detroit gets intriguing lightweight bout

Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; David Teymur (blue gloves) and Lando Vannata (red gloves) fight during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Teymur won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; David Teymur (blue gloves) and Lando Vannata (red gloves) fight during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Teymur won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; David Teymur (blue gloves) and Lando Vannata (red gloves) fight during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Teymur won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; David Teymur (blue gloves) and Lando Vannata (red gloves) fight during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Teymur won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; David Teymur (blue gloves) and Lando Vannata (red gloves) fight during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Teymur won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; David Teymur (blue gloves) and Lando Vannata (red gloves) fight during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Teymur won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; David Teymur (blue gloves) and Lando Vannata (red gloves) fight during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Teymur won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; David Teymur (blue gloves) and Lando Vannata (red gloves) fight during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Teymur won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; David Teymur (blue gloves) and Lando Vannata (red gloves) fight during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Teymur won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; David Teymur (blue gloves) and Lando Vannata (red gloves) fight during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Teymur won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; David Teymur (blue gloves) and Lando Vannata (red gloves) fight during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Teymur won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; David Teymur (blue gloves) and Lando Vannata (red gloves) fight during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Teymur won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; David Teymur (blue gloves) and Lando Vannata (red gloves) fight during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Teymur won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; David Teymur (blue gloves) and Lando Vannata (red gloves) fight during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Teymur won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; David Teymur (blue gloves) and Lando Vannata (red gloves) fight during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Teymur won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; David Teymur (blue gloves) and Lando Vannata (red gloves) fight during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Teymur won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; David Teymur (blue gloves) and Lando Vannata (red gloves) fight during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Teymur 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/obZVaQTywfGm2uaJNhEUsB/275704", customAnalytics: true, title: "Teymur def. Vannata", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Two lightweight up-and-comers – David Teymur (6-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) and Drakkar Klose (8-0-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) – will meet at UFC 218.

UFC officials announced the fight via freep.com.

UFC 218 takes place Dec. 2 at Little Caesar’s Arena in Detroit. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass, though the full fight card and bout order haven’t been determined.

RelatedAlistair Overeem vs. Francis Ngannou booked as UFC 218 co-headliner in Detroit

Teymur, a 28-year-old Swedish fighter who was a quarterfinalist on “The Ultimate Fighter 22,” is undefeated in official pro bouts since a loss in his 2013 debut. His current six-fight winning streak features three consecutive UFC wins. They include knockout victories over Martin Svensson and Jason Novelli, as well as a recent “Fight of the Night” decision win over Lando Vannata in March.

He meets Klose, a 29-year-old Michigan native who will be the favorite with UFC 218’s Detroit crowd. The former state high-school champion and collegiate wrestler debuted with the UFC in January and has picked up decision victories over Devin Powell and rival Marc Diakiese.

The latest UFC 218 card includes:

  • Francis Ngannou vs. Alistair Overeem
  • Cortney Casey vs. Felice Herrig
  • Razak Al-Hassan vs. Sabah Homasi
  • Henry Cejudo vs. Sergio Pettis
  • Drakkar Klose vs. David Teymur

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


Filed under: News, UFC

UFC 218 in Detroit gets intriguing lightweight bout

Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; David Teymur (blue gloves) and Lando Vannata (red gloves) fight during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Teymur won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; David Teymur (blue gloves) and Lando Vannata (red gloves) fight during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Teymur won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; David Teymur (blue gloves) and Lando Vannata (red gloves) fight during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Teymur won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; David Teymur (blue gloves) and Lando Vannata (red gloves) fight during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Teymur won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; David Teymur (blue gloves) and Lando Vannata (red gloves) fight during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Teymur won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; David Teymur (blue gloves) and Lando Vannata (red gloves) fight during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Teymur won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; David Teymur (blue gloves) and Lando Vannata (red gloves) fight during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Teymur won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; David Teymur (blue gloves) and Lando Vannata (red gloves) fight during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Teymur won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; David Teymur (blue gloves) and Lando Vannata (red gloves) fight during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Teymur won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; David Teymur (blue gloves) and Lando Vannata (red gloves) fight during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Teymur won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; David Teymur (blue gloves) and Lando Vannata (red gloves) fight during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Teymur won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; David Teymur (blue gloves) and Lando Vannata (red gloves) fight during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Teymur won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; David Teymur (blue gloves) and Lando Vannata (red gloves) fight during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Teymur won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; David Teymur (blue gloves) and Lando Vannata (red gloves) fight during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Teymur won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; David Teymur (blue gloves) and Lando Vannata (red gloves) fight during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Teymur won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; David Teymur (blue gloves) and Lando Vannata (red gloves) fight during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Teymur won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; David Teymur (blue gloves) and Lando Vannata (red gloves) fight during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Teymur 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/obZVaQTywfGm2uaJNhEUsB/275704", customAnalytics: true, title: "Teymur def. Vannata", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Two lightweight up-and-comers – David Teymur (6-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) and Drakkar Klose (8-0-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) – will meet at UFC 218.

UFC officials announced the fight via freep.com.

UFC 218 takes place Dec. 2 at Little Caesar’s Arena in Detroit. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass, though the full fight card and bout order haven’t been determined.

RelatedAlistair Overeem vs. Francis Ngannou booked as UFC 218 co-headliner in Detroit

Teymur, a 28-year-old Swedish fighter who was a quarterfinalist on “The Ultimate Fighter 22,” is undefeated in official pro bouts since a loss in his 2013 debut. His current six-fight winning streak features three consecutive UFC wins. They include knockout victories over Martin Svensson and Jason Novelli, as well as a recent “Fight of the Night” decision win over Lando Vannata in March.

He meets Klose, a 29-year-old Michigan native who will be the favorite with UFC 218’s Detroit crowd. The former state high-school champion and collegiate wrestler debuted with the UFC in January and has picked up decision victories over Devin Powell and rival Marc Diakiese.

The latest UFC 218 card includes:

  • Francis Ngannou vs. Alistair Overeem
  • Cortney Casey vs. Felice Herrig
  • Razak Al-Hassan vs. Sabah Homasi
  • Henry Cejudo vs. Sergio Pettis
  • Drakkar Klose vs. David Teymur

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


Filed under: News, UFC

Co-Main Event Podcast: Download episode No. 275 with Ben Fowlkes, Chad Dundas

Episode No. 275 of the Co-Main Event Podcast now is available for streaming and download.

MMAjunkie/USA TODAY columnist Ben Fowlkes and Bleacher Report lead MMA writer Chad Dundas host the weekly show (also dubbed the “CME,” if you nasty). This week, the lads look ahead to UFC 216 and its two title fights while also talking about Conor McGregor’s future.

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


Filed under: News

Co-Main Event Podcast: Download episode No. 275 with Ben Fowlkes, Chad Dundas

Episode No. 275 of the Co-Main Event Podcast now is available for streaming and download.

MMAjunkie/USA TODAY columnist Ben Fowlkes and Bleacher Report lead MMA writer Chad Dundas host the weekly show (also dubbed the “CME,” if you nasty). This week, the lads look ahead to UFC 216 and its two title fights while also talking about Conor McGregor’s future.

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


Filed under: News

Las Vegas mass shooting leaves Conor McGregor 'absolutely devastated'

As the home to UFC headquarters and a plethora of fighters, Las Vegas is near and dear to the fight scene.

Which is why it should come as no surprise that the MMA community turned to social media to express deep sorrow in the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history that originated at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

One fighter affected by the tragedy is UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor, who posted on Instagram late Monday night.

You could understand why Las Vegas is a special place to McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC). Five of his 10 UFC bouts have taken place in the city, including his 13-second knockout of Jose Aldo to win the undisputed featherweight title at UFC 194. McGregor also recently spent several weeks living in Las Vegas as he prepared for his boxing match with Floyd Mayweather.

The UFC has pledged $1 million to the families of those affected by the massacre.

As of this writing, 59 people have been reported dead with more than 500 injured. Police identified the shooter as Stephen Craig Paddock, who fired a hail of bullets from the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay onto an outdoor concert crowd across the street.

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

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


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

Las Vegas mass shooting leaves Conor McGregor 'absolutely devastated'

As the home to UFC headquarters and a plethora of fighters, Las Vegas is near and dear to the fight scene.

Which is why it should come as no surprise that the MMA community turned to social media to express deep sorrow in the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history that originated at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

One fighter affected by the tragedy is UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor, who posted on Instagram late Monday night.

You could understand why Las Vegas is a special place to McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC). Five of his 10 UFC bouts have taken place in the city, including his 13-second knockout of Jose Aldo to win the undisputed featherweight title at UFC 194. McGregor also recently spent several weeks living in Las Vegas as he prepared for his boxing match with Floyd Mayweather.

The UFC has pledged $1 million to the families of those affected by the massacre.

As of this writing, 59 people have been reported dead with more than 500 injured. Police identified the shooter as Stephen Craig Paddock, who fired a hail of bullets from the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay onto an outdoor concert crowd across the street.

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

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


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

Cody Stamann geared up for bantamweight title run after UFC 216 vs. Tom Duquesnoy

if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_nihxZWJ4_FLu19iir_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/nihxZWJ4.json","ph":2} );
Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

The way Cody Stamann is looking at his fight this week, his opponent has a bigger name – and he might as well take advantage of it.

Stamann (15-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) fights France’s Tom Duquesnoy (15-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) in the featured UFC 216 preliminary card bantamweight fight Saturday. UFC 216 takes place Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and UFC Fight Pass.

“I think he might have a little bigger name than me, just because he fought in BAMMA and he’s one of the best guys from that European scene,” Stamann recently told MMAjunkie Radio.

Oddsmakers so far have made the 135-pound matchup a pick’em fight. The fighters have the same records – both 15-1 overall, and each with wins in their recent UFC debuts.

RelatedAfter UFC 213 win, Cody Stamann plans to tell his dad he's quitting the family business

Michigan’s Stamann took a unanimous decision from Terrion Ware at UFC 213 in July, giving him eight straight wins since his lone pro loss – a split decision in 2014.

Duquesnoy, who trains with the Jackson-Wink MMA team in New Mexico, stopped Patrick Williams early in the second round at UFC on FOX 24 in April for his 11th straight win. In that stretch, he won BAMMA’s featherweight and bantamweight titles. So Stamann probably is right on par when he talks about Duquesnoy’s name and reputation.

But that’s what he plans to capitalize on.

“I look at this fight like it’s the perfect opportunity for me,” Stamann said. “This guy’s only got one fight in the UFC, and he’s got a huge name. This fight is going to do a lot for my career. I’m going to be seated at the table, so to speak. I’ll finally be in the mix with the guys I’ve always wanted to compete against. This fight has got big implications.”

RelatedUFC newcomer Tom Duquesnoy after debut win: Step by step, 'I will be sure to win the title'

Just how big are we talking, though? Stamann says big enough that by this time next year, it’ll be him fighting for the bantamweight title currently held by Cody Garbrandt. Garbrandt defends the belt next month against T.J. Dillashaw in the UFC 217 co-main event.

It doesn’t seem to matter to Stamann who wins that fight. He just knows he needs to beat Duquesnoy on Saturday, and in a prime spot leading into the main card on pay-per-view. Then we can start talking about the kinds of opponents that ultimately will get him in line to fight for that belt.

“I think in a year we’re going to be talking about my upcoming fight for the bantamweight world title,” he said. “I really do think that … I don’t think, I know that I have that capability.

“This is just the beginning of all the things I’ve seen unfold in my head already. In one year, we’ll be talking about me being the world champ, and then in a year and a half, I’ll probably be defending that belt.”

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

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

July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cody Stamann (red gloves) fights Terrion Ware (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cody Stamann (red gloves) fights Terrion Ware (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cody Stamann (red gloves) fights Terrion Ware (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cody Stamann (red gloves) fights Terrion Ware (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cody Stamann (red gloves) fights Terrion Ware (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cody Stamann (red gloves) fights Terrion Ware (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cody Stamann (red gloves) fights Terrion Ware (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cody Stamann (red gloves) fights Terrion Ware (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cody Stamann (red gloves) celebrates after defeating Terrion Ware (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cody Stamann (red gloves) fights Terrion Ware (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cody Stamann (red gloves) fights Terrion Ware (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cody Stamann (red gloves) fights Terrion Ware (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cody Stamann (red gloves) fights Terrion Ware (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cody Stamann (red gloves) fights Terrion Ware (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cody Stamann (red gloves) fights Terrion Ware (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cody Stamann (red gloves) fights Terrion Ware (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cody Stamann (red gloves) fights Terrion Ware (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cody Stamann (red gloves) fights Terrion Ware (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cody Stamann (red gloves) fights Terrion Ware (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cody Stamann (red gloves) fights Terrion Ware (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/E9vEgSxZdcJFxfpEfQSiS6/275526", customAnalytics: true, title: "Stamann def. Ware", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

UFC's Kevin Lee admires LeBron James for standing up to Donald Trump over divisive remarks

if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_b0BVx7tC_FLu19iir_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/b0BVx7tC.json","ph":2} );
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

UFC interim lightweight title challenger Kevin Lee would like a bigger platform to speak on the social issues he cares about, which is why he admires NBA star Lebron James for using his to speak out against President Trump.

“I have so much respect for him, just because they can crush the man,” Lee said today during a media luncheon in support of his UFC 216 interim title fight against Tony Ferguson, which takes place Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. “It’s just a big inspiration for me, especially as a black athlete. For some reason, everybody wants to shy away from it.”

RelatedKevin Lee doesn't worry about UFC rankings, because 'they don't mean sh*t'

At a press conference last week, James doubled down on his response to Trump, who uninvited Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry and berated NFL athletes for protesting social injustice by kneeling during the national anthem. James criticized Trump for sowing division among Americans and said he used his recognition to remind the public that this is the greatest country in the world.

Lee (16-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) didn’t shy away when asked whether he’d discussed issues of race with UFC officials. He said he uses social media to do the same things James does, albeit on a smaller scale.

“Like, that’s just what I am, and the kids that are looking up to me,” Lee said. “I’m trying to show them, we came from the same situation – with a little bit of face-punching, a little bit of hard work and dedication, (expletive) can be different. The way to solve it is to change those kids’ minds.”

Lee hopes defeating Ferguson (22-3 MMA, 12-1 UFC) to hold a UFC title will get him closer to being the kind of sports star people pay attention to, especially when it comes to issues within the black community.

RelatedKevin Lee: I'll show Conor McGregor is human after winning 'real' title vs. Tony Ferguson

“You can think like a world champion even when you’re 9 or 10 years old, and that’s what I try and bring to my brothers and people who grew up like me, too,” Lee said. “For somebody like Lebron James that’s been there and done that – the man has $1 billion dollars. He’s got enough money to run a country, and for him to stand up for the little folks, I really have to take my hat off to him.

“I just wish that my voice was a little bigger. I think with that gold belt around my waist, it will be.”

Check out the above video to hear more from Lee on his upcoming fight and issues outside the cage that motivate him.

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

Jun 25, 2017; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Kevin Lee (blue gloves) reacts after beating Michael Chiesa (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Pokorny-USA TODAY Sports Feb 1, 2014; Newark, NJ, USA; Kevin Lee (blue gloves) before his fight against Al Iaquinta (red gloves) during UFC 169 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Feb 1, 2014; Newark, NJ, USA; Al Iaquinta (red gloves) fights Kevin Lee (blue gloves) during UFC 169 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Feb 1, 2014; Newark, NJ, USA; Al Iaquinta (red gloves) fights Kevin Lee (blue gloves) during UFC 169 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Feb 1, 2014; Newark, NJ, USA; Al Iaquinta (red gloves) fights Kevin Lee (blue gloves) during UFC 169 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Feb 1, 2014; Newark, NJ, USA; Al Iaquinta (red gloves) fights Kevin Lee (blue gloves) during UFC 169 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Feb 1, 2014; Newark, NJ, USA; Al Iaquinta (red gloves) fights Kevin Lee (blue gloves) during UFC 169 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Sep 27, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Kevin Lee celebrates his victory over Jon Tuck during a lightweight fight during UFC 178 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Feb 14, 2015; Broomfield, CO, USA; Kevin Lee (blue) and Michel Prazeres (red) compete during UFC Fight Night at the 1stBANK Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Feb 14, 2015; Broomfield, CO, USA; Kevin Lee (blue) and Michel Prazeres (red) compete during UFC Fight Night at the 1stBANK Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Feb 14, 2015; Broomfield, CO, USA; Kevin Lee (blue) celebrates his win over Michel Prazeres (left) during UFC Fight Night at the 1stBANK Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports December 11, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Kevin Lee poses during weigh-ins for UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Nov 19, 2016; Belfast, Northern Ireland; Kevin Lee (red gloves) fights Magomed Mustafaev (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at SSE Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Nov 19, 2016; Belfast, Northern Ireland; Kevin Lee (red gloves) fights Magomed Mustafaev (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at SSE Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Nov 19, 2016; Belfast, Northern Ireland; Kevin Lee (red gloves) fights Magomed Mustafaev (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at SSE Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Nov 19, 2016; Belfast, Northern Ireland; Kevin Lee (red gloves) reacts to fights against Magomed Mustafaev (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at SSE Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Mar 11, 2017; Fortazela, Brazil, USA; Kevin Lee (blue gloves) fights Francisco Tinaldo (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Centro de Formacao Olimpica de Fortaleza. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Mar 11, 2017; Fortazela, Brazil, USA; Kevin Lee (blue gloves) fights Francisco Tinaldo (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Centro de Formacao Olimpica de Fortaleza. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Mar 11, 2017; Fortazela, Brazil, USA; Kevin Lee (blue gloves) fights Francisco Tinaldo (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Centro de Formacao Olimpica de Fortaleza. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Mar 11, 2017; Fortazela, Brazil, USA; Kevin Lee (blue gloves) defeats Francisco Tinaldo (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Centro de Formacao Olimpica de Fortaleza. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Mar 11, 2017; Fortazela, Brazil, USA; Kevin Lee (blue gloves) defeats Francisco Tinaldo (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Centro de Formacao Olimpica de Fortaleza. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 25, 2017; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Michael Chiesa (red gloves) fights Kevin Lee (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Pokorny-USA TODAY Sports Jun 25, 2017; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Michael Chiesa (red gloves) fights Kevin Lee (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Pokorny-USA TODAY Sports Jun 25, 2017; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Michael Chiesa (red gloves) fights Kevin Lee (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Pokorny-USA TODAY Sports Jun 25, 2017; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Kevin Lee (blue gloves) before his fight against Michael Chiesa (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Pokorny-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/NUEYhhB9cYaVsvwhUxSUdd/275671", customAnalytics: true, title: "Kevin Lee", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Andrea Lee talks USADA rule that scrapped UFC 216 debut, clears air on previously failed drug test

Former Invicta FC flyweight champ and current UFC fighter Andrea Lee has entered the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency testing pool, though she’d rather her addition have been less dramatic.

The good news, she told MMAjunkie, is that she can get the whole thing behind her more quickly.

“If this short-notice opportunity hadn’t happened now, and I got the call next year, the same thing probably would’ve happened,” Lee said. “I’d still be in the boat.”

Lee (8-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) was scratched from her scheduled debut at UFC 216 against Kalindra Faria (18-5-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) when UFC anti-doping partner USADA ruled her out based on a previous suspension for diuretics. Faria will now face Mara Romero Borella(11-4 MMA, 0-0 UFC) on the pay-per-view main card, which takes place Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Per the UFC’s anti-doping policy, fighters with previous anti-doping violations are required to be available for random testing six months prior to fighting, or two months longer than fighters newly signed to the promotion.

With the clock now running on her period of ineligibility, Lee can fight in April 2018.

“I’ve already started my enrollment papers (with USADA), so they should be coming to test me any day now,” she said.

RelatedAndrea Lee releases statement on scrapped UFC 216 bout

When she got an offer to fight Faria at UFC 216, the result of an impressive performance at LFA 23 on Sept. 22, Lee said she and her head coach/husband Donny Aaron were more worried about getting in the proper paperwork for the event – medicals, Reebok sizes, and her walkout music.

As far as she knew, she had resolved her case with the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which agreed to a nine-month suspension that ran its course this past December. The commission found a pair of diuretics – canrenone and spironolactone – following her submission loss to Sarah D’Alelio at Invicta FC 16 in March 2016.

But as it turned out, there is one more hurdle to pass before Lee officially becomes a UFC fighter.

In the wake of her removal, she’s made it a priority to fill out every requirement of the UFC’s anti-doping program, which includes watching a 25-minute video about anti-doping, taking a quiz, watching four additional videos, and then acclimating to the whereabouts forms that allow the agency to keep track of fighters at all times.

For Lee, it’s a dizzying amount of paperwork to fight in the big show.

RelatedKalindra Faria remains on Saturday's UFC 216 fight card with main-card slot

“It kind of sucks,” she said. “I have to give them all my information. There was one part where they were talking about an app that’s more like a tracking device, and I was like, ‘I don’t know about that.'”

But if it’s what she needs to go, Lee will happily comply. She feels there are a lot of misconceptions about her positive test and would like to clear the air.

Although she acknowledges the fact that many will never believe any explanation, she said fans have the wrong idea about her. While she admits she took a “fluid pill” to assist her weight cut, she insists she did not take it to cheat.

“Just understand that when I was suspended and tested positive for a substance, the substance was a fluid pill,” Lee said. “It was the use of a diuretic. I was not under the influence of anything else. I’ve never done steroids.

“I’m honestly a clean fighter. I give all my credit to my nutrition and NutraBio, a supplement company, eating well and training hard. But a lot of people are confused. They automatically assume that I was tested and positive and cheating. I wasn’t cheating. That’s not what I was using the fluid pill for. It was for cutting weight, because I was bloated, and I was retaining water, and I was worried that I was going to struggle, and I thought, ‘Why not just use the fluid pill to help me pee?’ That’s one thing I want to clear the air about.”

Lee said she’ll come back stronger from the situation, adding that fans should expect to see an exciting debut in April. Hopefully, the only dramatic thing will be her performance.

“I guess more explaining for an athlete that’s ever been suspended for anything,” Lee said when asked how situations like hers could be avoided in the future. “I don’t know. It’s all new to me. To them, it’s our fault – we should know and everything. I don’t know.

“I’m content with it now. It’s taken me a few days to come down after everything and accept that I’m just going to have to wait. Which is fine – I wasn’t expecting to get a call to fight in the UFC until the very end of this year. So six months isn’t a big deal.”

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


Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Bellator 184 pre-event facts: Eduardo Dantas can take lead in championship-fight wins

Bellator returns to one of its familiar locations on Friday with Bellator 184, which takes place at WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Okla., with a Spike-televised main card.

A bantamweight title fight headlines the four-bout card. Reigning champion Eduardo Dantas (20-4 MMA, 10-1 BMMA) attempts to defend his title for a second straight time when he meets challenger Darrion Caldwell (10-1 MMA, 7-1 BMMA), who competes in his first Bellator title bout.

For more on the numbers behind the 135-pound title fight, as well as the other bouts scheduled for the main card, check out 20 pre-event facts about Bellator 184.

* * * *

Main event

Dantas competes in his 12th Bellator bantamweight bout, the second most appearances in divisional history behind Joe Warren (13).

Dantas’ 10 victories in Bellator bantamweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Dantas’ four-fight Bellator winning streak in bantamweight competition is the longest active streak in the division.

Dantas competes in his seventh Bellator title fight, tied with Pat Curran for the second most in company history behind fellow ex-champ Michael Chandler (nine).

Dantas’ five championship-fight victories in Bellator competition are tied with Chandler and former longtime titleholder Ben Askren for most in company history.

Dantas is one of six fighters in Bellator history to become a two-time champion in a single weight class.

Dantas has earned his past four victories by decision, the longest stretch of his career without a stoppage.

Darrion Caldwell

Caldwell returns to competition for the first time since Dec. 3, 2016. The 307-day layoff is the longest of his more than five-year career.

Caldwell is 4-1 since he dropped to the Bellator bantamweight division in May 2015.

Caldwell has earned all four of his Bellator stoppage victories by submission.

Co-main event

Daniel Straus (24-7 MMA, 11-4 BMMA) is one of six fighters in Bellator history to become a two-time champion in a single weight class.

Straus competes in his 15th Bellator featherweight bout, the second most appearances in divisional history behind Patricio Freire (17).

Straus’ 10 victories in Bellator featherweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Freire (14).

Straus has suffered six of his seven career losses by stoppage.

Emmanuel Sanchez (15-3 MMA, 7-2 BMMA) has earned nine of his 15 career victories by decision. That includes six of his seven Bellator wins.

Remaining main card

Pat Curran (22-7 MMA, 12-4 BMMA) returns to competition for the first time since May 20, 2016. The 504-day layoff is the longest of his more than nine-year career.

Curran is 11-3 since he dropped to the Bellator featherweight division in June 2011.

Curran’s nine victories in Bellator featherweight competition are tied for third most in divisional history behind Freire (14) and Straus (10).

Curran has suffered six of his seven career losses by decisions. That includes all four of his Bellator defeats.

John Teixeira

John Teixeira (21-2-2 MMA, 4-1 BMMA) has earned all four of his Bellator victories by decision. Three of those wins came by split decision.

Joe Taimanglo (23-7-1 MMA, 6-3 BMMA) is 4-2 since he dropped to the Bellator bantamweight division in April 2014.

For more on Bellator 184, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: Bellator, News

7-year UFC vet Rafael 'Sapo' Natal announces retirement

After a 17-fight UFC run, Rafael Natal is hanging up his gloves.

The middleweight announced the decision on today’s edition of “The MMA Hour.”

“Sapo” Natal (21-9-1 MMA, 9-7-1 UFC), a Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace from Belo Horizonte, Brazil, most recently fought in July, when he suffered a knockout loss to Eryk Anders. The setback capped off a three-fight losing skid that included two knockout losses.

“It’s very hard,” Natal said. “It was a long journey. I love MMA. I love training, cutting weight. But I’ve had some surgeries on my retina, on my eye. I’ve focused on that 100 percent of my life, during these 15 years. It’s time to step back. My mom’s asked this from me for a long time. It was a hard decision, but it’s what we have. I think it was a smart one.”

Before a loss to now-interim champion Robert Whittaker in April 2016, however, Natal was on quite the octagon roll. He’d beaten Chris Camozzi, Tom Watson, Uriah Hall and Kevin Casey consecutively. Natal, who kicked off his pro MMA run in 2005, was Ring of Combat’s former 185-pound champion.

RelatedUFC veteran Kyle Noke has 'that fire again,' announces return from retirement

Although Natal never got a chance to fight for a UFC title, he did headline an event – when he subbed in for light heavyweight titleholder Lyoto Machida in a meeting with Tim Kennedy at “UFC Fight Night 31: UFC Fight for the Troops 3” in 2013. Natal was knocked out, which snapped his three-fight winning streak.

Natal, who’s also a jiu-jitsu coach at Renzo Gracie Academy in New York, said that despite the recent issues with the eye, he’d be healthy enough to fight should he desire to keep going. But he’s not only been getting pleas from his loved ones, he’s also got his focus elsewhere; he’s opened an academy in Brazil and plans to do the same in the U.S.

Natal, however, said he’s open to taking grappling matches and will stay involved in MMA, though in a different capacity.

Asked to speak about the most memorable moment of his career, Natal couldn’t narrow it down to one. But he did mention the UFC Fight Night 28 unanimous-decision win over Tor Troeng in his hometown of Belo Horizonte, as well as the Kennedy headliner.

Not to mention a special occasion back in 2010.

“One moment that was magical was when I got the contract with the UFC,” Natal said.

Asked whether there was a possibility he would follow the example of some of his peers, who made comebacks after hanging up their gloves, Natal wouldn’t entirely shut the door on a return. But he did say it would be quite hard to bring him out of retirement.

“That’s my decision now,” Natal said. “I learned in this sport to never say never.”

Throughout his 17-fight UFC tenure, Natal gathered some impressive stats. With 36 takedowns, he’s tied with former champion Chris Weidman for most takedowns in 185-pound history. He’s also the sixth fighter with most cage time in divisional history (3:31:38) and has landed the fourth-highest number of total strikes (1,055).

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

Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Eryk Anders (blue gloves) reacts to fight against Rafael Natal (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Rafael Natal (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Rafael Natal (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Rafael Natal (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Rafael Natal (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Rafael Natal (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Rafael Natal (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Rafael Natal (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Rafael Natal (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Rafael Natal (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Rafael Natal (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Rafael Natal (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Rafael Natal (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Eryk Anders (blue gloves) reacts to fight against Rafael Natal (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Eryk Anders (blue gloves) reacts to fight against Rafael Natal (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-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/zJRzXSqQfcNuy5Fgxc6szR/275615", customAnalytics: true, title: "Anders def. Natal", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC

Kalindra Faria remains on Saturday's UFC 216 fight card with main-card slot

Kalindra Faria will remain on Saturday’s UFC 216 lineup – with a main-card slot, no less.

After would-be opponent Andrea Lee (8-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) was recently forced off the card, it wasn’t clear if Faria (18-5-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) would be pulled too.

However, UFC officials today added recent Invicta FC competitor Mara Romero Borella (11-4 MMA, 0-0 UFC) vs. Faria to Saturday’s UFC 216 main card.

RelatedAndrea Lee releases statement on scrapped UFC 216 bout

UFC 216 takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, and the main card, including Faria vs. Borella, airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and UFC Fight Pass.

Faria, a 31-year-old Brazilian, made her pro debut nearly nine years ago. She’s currently on a three-fight winning streak, which included a September 2016 decision victory over vet Carina Damm to claim the Titan FC women’s bantamweight title. Thirteen of her 18 career wins have come via stoppage.

She now meets Borella, a 31-year-old Italian fighter who recently earned a split-decision victory over Milana Dudieva in Invicta FC 24’s main event. It marked her fifth straight victory, which included a host of appearances on the European circuit. Seven of her 11 career wins have come via stoppage.

The full UFC 216 lineup now includes:

MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)

  • Tony Ferguson vs. Kevin Lee – for interim lightweight title
  • Champ Demetrious Johnson vs. Ray Borg – for flyweight title
  • Derrick Lewis vs. Fabricio Werdum
  • Mara Romero Borella vs. Kalindra Faria
  • Beneil Dariush vs. Evan Dunham

PRELIMINARY CARD (FX, 8 p.m. ET)

  • Tom Duquesnoy vs. Cody Stamann
  • Will Brooks vs. Nik Lentz
  • Bobby Green vs. Lando Vannata
  • Poliana Botelho vs. Pearl Gonzalez

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 6:15 p.m. ET)

  • Mark Godbeer vs. Walt Harris
  • Magomed Bibulatov vs. John Moraga
  • Thales Leites vs. Brad Tavares
  • Marco Beltran vs. Matt Schnell

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


Filed under: News, UFC

'King Mo' Lawal out of Bellator 185 co-headliner against Liam McGeary

Injuries continue to plague Muhammed Lawal, this time forcing him out of his Bellator 185 co-main event with Liam McGeary later this month.

Lawal (21-6 MMA, 10-4 BMMA) has been forced to pull out of his light-heavyweight matchup with McGeary (12-2 MMA, 9-2 BMMA) at Bellator 185 due to an undisclosed injury, a Bellator official today told MMAjunkie. The organization is seeking a replacement to step in for “King Mo.”

Bellator 185 takes place Oct. 20 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. The main card airs on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

RelatedPro boxer Heather Hardy, returning at Bellator 185, gets opponent for 2nd MMA fight

After fighting eight times between 2015-2016, this year has been rather unkind to Lawal. The 36-year-old picked up a unanimous-decision win over Quinton Jackson at Bellator 185 in March, but the former Strikeforce champion and Rizin FF heavyweight grand-prix winner hasn’t fought since then.

Lawal was scheduled to meet Ryan Bader at Bellator 180 in June, but he was forced to withdraw due to an injury. It’s unknown if his latest injury is related to the one that prevented him from fighting Bader.

That leaves McGeary without an opponent – something that has become a familiar situation for the 34-year-old Brit. The former Bellator titleholder went through three different opponents before beating Brett McDermott at Bellator 173 in February. He had no opponent switches for a Bellator 179 fight with Linton Vassell in May, but he came out on the losing end of that contest via third-round submission.

With Lawal’s withdrawal, the latest Bellator 185 card includes:

  • Gegard Mousasi vs. Alexander Shlemenko
  • Liam McGeary vs. TBA
  • David Rickels vs. Brennan Ward
  • Heather Hardy vs. Kristina Williams
  • Ryan Quinn vs. Marcus Surin
  • Steve Skrzat vs. Costello Van Steenis
  • Alec Hooben vs. Jordan Young

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


Filed under: Bellator, News

Yokota Air Base personnel in Japan motivated by recent visit from UFC fighters

if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_n6DxFSH5_FLu19iir_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/n6DxFSH5.json","ph":2} );
Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC

When the UFC hits the road, more often than not part of the fight week schedule includes some community outreach.

That was true 10 days ago when the promotion headed to Japan for UFC Fight Night 117. Ahead of the event, several fighters and personalities, including Hall of Famer Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and two-time flyweight title challenger Joseph Benavidez, paid a visit to U.S. military members at Yokota Air Base west of Tokyo.

Col. Kenneth Moss, the 374th Airlift Wing Commander at Yokota Air Base, said visits like that help inspire his forces.

“We’re out here 12 hours away or so from everything that we love in America, and all the people that we love,” Moss told MMAjunkie. “It’s great when America comes to visit us. You cannot imagine the morale boost it is when people see in real life, in the flesh, the people they’ve been rooting for on TV and their heroes. So getting the opportunity to spend time with them and seeing that the people back home still care and remember about everybody who’s forward – it’s fantastic. We’ll ride a little mission improvement here for a few more days, minimum.”

Check out the video above for an inside look at the UFC’s visit to Yokota Air Base.

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

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


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

UFC's Alexa Grasso undergoes knee surgery, still all smiles

UFC strawweight and perpetually upbeat Alexa Grasso is on the mend following a recent knee surgery.

Grasso (10-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) fell out of the top 15 of the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA women’s strawweight rankings following a decision loss to Felice Herrig in February. She rebounded in August with a narrow split-decision win over Randa Markos in August, and the fight was a finalist for MMAjunkie’s “Fight of the Month.”

However, the 24-year-old Mexican fighter, who missed weight for the fight, revealed she had a knee injury going into the matchup, as she wrote on Instagram:

According to Grasso, an MRI revealed a “damaged” meniscus.

Here’s a full translation provided by MMAjunkie:

“Good morning. I hope that you had a great weekend. I have two pieces of news, one good and one bad. The bad one is that I have an injury in my knee. Before my last fight, I had pain. My camp passed, and so did my teammates in Mexico City. I came back, and I went to the therapist, but the pain persisted. They sent me to take an MRI, and it ended up being that the meniscus was damaged. It’s not so bad, but it was necessary to have surgery to avoid further damage. The good news is that at SportMed, Dr. Francisco Arroyo performed a very good surgery, and now I have to keep resting and have therapy.

“This is my face after the anesthesia. I am very well taken care of and ready to recuperate myself as soon as possible. Sending big hugs. Please send me good vibes.”

Grasso hadn’t been booked for an upcoming event, and her recovery time table isn’t known.

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

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

Aug 5, 2017; Mexico City, Mexico; Randa Markos (red gloves) and Alexa Grasso (blue gloves) after their fight during UFC Fight Night at Mexico City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Miguel Tovar-USA TODAY Sports Aug 5, 2017; Mexico City, Mexico; Randa Markos (red gloves) fights Alexa Grasso (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mexico City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Miguel Tovar-USA TODAY Sports Aug 5, 2017; Mexico City, Mexico; Randa Markos (red gloves) fights Alexa Grasso (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mexico City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Miguel Tovar-USA TODAY Sports Aug 5, 2017; Mexico City, Mexico; Randa Markos (red gloves) fights Alexa Grasso (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mexico City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Miguel Tovar-USA TODAY Sports Aug 5, 2017; Mexico City, Mexico; Randa Markos (red gloves) fights Alexa Grasso (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mexico City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Miguel Tovar-USA TODAY Sports Aug 5, 2017; Mexico City, Mexico; Randa Markos (red gloves) fights Alexa Grasso (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mexico City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Miguel Tovar-USA TODAY Sports Aug 5, 2017; Mexico City, Mexico; Randa Markos (red gloves) fights Alexa Grasso (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mexico City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Miguel Tovar-USA TODAY Sports Aug 5, 2017; Mexico City, Mexico; Randa Markos (red gloves) fights Alexa Grasso (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mexico City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Miguel Tovar-USA TODAY Sports Aug 5, 2017; Mexico City, Mexico; Randa Markos (red gloves) fights Alexa Grasso (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mexico City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Miguel Tovar-USA TODAY Sports Aug 5, 2017; Mexico City, Mexico; Randa Markos (red gloves) fights Alexa Grasso (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mexico City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Miguel Tovar-USA TODAY Sports Aug 5, 2017; Mexico City, Mexico; Randa Markos (red gloves) fights Alexa Grasso (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mexico City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Miguel Tovar-USA TODAY Sports Aug 5, 2017; Mexico City, Mexico; Randa Markos (red gloves) fights Alexa Grasso (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mexico City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Miguel Tovar-USA TODAY Sports Aug 5, 2017; Mexico City, Mexico; Randa Markos (red gloves) fights Alexa Grasso (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mexico City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Miguel Tovar-USA TODAY Sports Aug 5, 2017; Mexico City, Mexico; Randa Markos (red gloves) fights Alexa Grasso (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mexico City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Miguel Tovar-USA TODAY Sports Aug 5, 2017; Mexico City, Mexico; Randa Markos (red gloves) fights Alexa Grasso (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mexico City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Miguel Tovar-USA TODAY Sports Aug 5, 2017; Mexico City, Mexico; Randa Markos (red gloves) fights Alexa Grasso (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mexico City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Miguel Tovar-USA TODAY Sports Aug 5, 2017; Mexico City, Mexico; Alexa Grasso (blue gloves) reacts during her fight against Randa Markos (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mexico City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Miguel Tovar-USA TODAY Sports Aug 5, 2017; Mexico City, Mexico; Alexa Grasso (blue gloves) reacts after her fight against Randa Markos (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mexico City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Miguel Tovar-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/grwXYZUNfu6hwuwsFx3jVL/275568", customAnalytics: true, title: "Grasso def. Markos", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC

'Supervillain' Colby Covington respects Demian Maia – that's why he wants to finish him in Round 1

if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_JLRTwBAP_FLu19iir_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/JLRTwBAP.json","ph":2} );
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

In reality shows, there often is a contestant who makes it clear right away he’s not there to make friends. If the UFC was a reality show, Colby Covington probably would fill that role.

From his unapologetic “embarrassment tour” to his expert Twitter trolling jobs, amid shots fired toward anyone from welterweight champion Tyron Woodley to rapper Snoop Dogg, Covington has lived up to his “Chaos” nickname outside the octagon, too.

On Oct. 28, he gets to take the role to the next level by not only going up against one of MMA’s favorite nice guys in Demian Maia – but by doing so in front of Maia’s home fans in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Not surprisingly, Covington is not at all fazed by the setup.

“I am the supervillain, and this is my division now,” Covington told MMAjunkie ahead of the UFC Fight Night 119 welterweight co-headliner, which airs on FS1 from Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo. “I own this division. I’m a heel – it’s OK. I expect the fans to hate me, anyway. I don’t care about the fans. This isn’t about the fans anymore. This is about me being the best fighter in the world – and that’s what I am.

“I’m the No. 1 fighter in the welterweight division right now. Tyron Woodley, he’s a fake paper champ. Demian Maia, he’s a thing of the past. I’m going to put him to rest and the Brazilian crowd is going to be silent.”

RelatedColby Covington goes off on 'fraud' UFC champ Tyron Woodley – and adds Snoop Dogg

Maia (25-7 MMA, 19-7 UFC), fresh off his own failed welterweight title bid, may be the task at hand. But Covington (12-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) makes sure to mention champ Woodley’s (18-3-1 MMA, 8-2-1 UFC) name every chance he gets. The fact Covington currently is angling for a title shot is not exactly a secret – and he believes a win over Maia should make that the next move.

Covington also is aware, however, there are others trying to get the same thing. Ex-lightweight-champ Rafael dos Anjos, for instance, has been making his own case after kicking off his welterweight run with back-to-back wins over Tarec Saffiedine and Neil Magny.

Covington, who’d taken aim at dos Anjos (26-9 MMA, 15-7 UFC) in the past, is not in agreement.

“Oh, come on, let’s be honest: Who has ‘RDA’ fought?” Covington asked. “He just fought two bums at the end of their careers – the two biggest over-ranked fighters in the world. He’s been picking and choosing fights. The UFC knows who a real fighter is. I’m a real fighter. I’ve never turned down one fight. I’ve asked for the tough fights. I asked for Demian Maia.

“No one wants to fight Demian Maia. I asked to fight Demian Maia in his home city. Who wants to fight Demian Maia in his home city? No one. I’m the only one who accepted the challenge. ‘RD’A? He ducked me. We were supposed to fight two or three different times. He ducked me. He didn’t want to fight. That’s why he was put behind me on the Singapore card and I got a bigger fight against Dong Hyun Kim at the time.

“He beat Tarec Saffiedine. The guy is on his way out. He beat Magny. The guy is on his way out. Who has he beat that’s a top contender? After I put Demian Maia to rest, Tyron Woodley is next for me. ‘RDA’ is a thing of the past, as well.”

Currently ranked No. 9 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA welterweight rankings, Covington is not delusional in his title aspirations. Not only is he coming off four straight wins, but he’s looked increasingly impressive in getting them – which peaked with the utter domination of Kim at UFC Fight Night 111 in June.

It’s hard to predict what’s going to happen atop the UFC’s 170-pound class – especially when the champion has been clear about his desire to venture into other divisions. But a win over No. 5 Maia, who was on a seven-fight tear before his failed title bid against Woodley, would certainly make Covington’s case convincing.

Of course, that’s easier said than done. While many thought they had the key to countering Maia’s stifling grappling game, the Brazilian has proven that knowing what he’s going to do inside the octagon doesn’t necessarily mean being able to stop it from happening.

Covington, however, doesn’t seem all that worried.

“Demian Maia is a one-trick pony,” Covington said. “He’s the same fighter he’s been his whole career. He’s not just going to change his game plan. He’s not a tricky guy to prepare for with the skill set that I have. The guys that he fought in the past don’t have the skill set that I have.

“He’s only going to try and come out there, take me down, get to the back, submit me. That’s not going to happen. My wrestling is on a different level than anyone he’s ever fought. My striking – I’m more athletic. I’m way too handsome to lose to a guy like that.”

Other than his high-caliber wrestling – which Covington rates as varsity-level compared to Woodley’s “decent,” but JV one – he was also able to rely on the help of a friend who happens to have recently prepared for his own UFC Fight Night 111 encounter with Maia, a split-decision loss.

“He fought Jorge Masvidal, my best friend,” Covington said. “So I’ve gotten a lot of pointers, a lot of experience from what Demian is going to try to do in the octagon. He’s very strong in the first couple of minutes, I’ll give him that. But he will break down.

“He will not be able to match my heart. He will not be able to match my pace. And he will fade and he will quit.”

While Covington is not sparing Maia from his verbal attacks, it’s also clear the Brazilian grappler hasn’t really been hit with the same type of heavy artillery that has been fired at Woodley or even Dos Anjos. In fact, Maia has even been dubbed “an absolute legend” by Covington.

Covington says he usually likes it when an opponent engages and returns his pre-fight banter. With Maia, who’s not prone to trash talking, he hasn’t been getting that. But Covington doesn’t mind it. At the end of the day, he says, it’s all about respect.

And, for better or worse, he does have it for Maia.

“I do respect the guy,” Covington said. “That’s why I’m going to put him to sleep in the first round. It won’t be pretty. I know Halloween is coming up, so it’s going to be a nightmare in Sao Paulo for him.”

In case Covington’s plans weren’t clear enough before, he doesn’t mind summing them up in one, concise answer.

“I’m coming to take out Demian Maia in impressive fashion,” Covington said. “And Tyron Woodley is next. Mark my words, you heard it here first in this interview: I will be welterweight champion early beginning of next year.

“Tyron Woodley can’t top me and Demian Maia has no chance to stop me.”

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

Jun 17, 2017; Singapore, Singapore; Colby Covington (blue gloves) reacts after his fight against Dong Hyun Kim (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Jun 17, 2017; Singapore, Singapore; Dong Hyun Kim (red gloves) prior to his fight against Colby Covington (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Jun 17, 2017; Singapore, Singapore; Colby Covington (blue gloves) competes against Dong Hyun Kim (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Jun 17, 2017; Singapore, Singapore; Colby Covington (blue gloves) competes against Dong Hyun Kim (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Jun 17, 2017; Singapore, Singapore; Colby Covington (blue gloves) competes against Dong Hyun Kim (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Jun 17, 2017; Singapore, Singapore; Colby Covington (blue gloves) competes against Dong Hyun Kim (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Jun 17, 2017; Singapore, Singapore; Colby Covington (blue gloves) competes against Dong Hyun Kim (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Jun 17, 2017; Singapore, Singapore; Dong Hyun Kim (red gloves) prior to his fight against Colby Covington (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Jun 17, 2017; Singapore, Singapore; Dong Hyun Kim (red gloves) prior to his fight against Colby Covington (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Jun 17, 2017; Singapore, Singapore; Colby Covington (blue gloves) competes against Dong Hyun Kim (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Jun 17, 2017; Singapore, Singapore; Colby Covington (blue gloves) competes against Dong Hyun Kim (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Jun 17, 2017; Singapore, Singapore; Colby Covington (blue gloves) competes against Dong Hyun Kim (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Jun 17, 2017; Singapore, Singapore; Colby Covington (blue gloves) competes against Dong Hyun Kim (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Jun 17, 2017; Singapore, Singapore; Colby Covington (blue gloves) competes against Dong Hyun Kim (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Jun 17, 2017; Singapore, Singapore; Colby Covington (blue gloves) competes against Dong Hyun Kim (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Jun 17, 2017; Singapore, Singapore; Colby Covington (blue gloves) hugs Dong Hyun Kim (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/PWhZN9wrNEhtDwFQPvUSzn/275491", customAnalytics: true, title: "Covington def. Kim", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Pages