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UFC 216 results: Cody Stamann strong late, takes split decision from Tom Duquesnoy

Tom Duquesnoy got out to a nice start, but it was Cody Stamann who outworked him the final 10 minutes for a split decision.

Takedowns played a big factor for Stamann (16-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC), who topped French prospect Duquesnoy (15-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC). Stamann got a 30-27 and 29-28 from two judges, while a third dissenting judge gave the fight to Duquesnoy 29-28 .

The featherweight bout closed out the preliminary card of today’s UFC 216 event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. It aired on FX following additional prelims on UFC Fight Pass and ahead of a main card on pay-per-view.

RelatedUFC 216 play-by-play and live results

Stamann threw a spinning kick 15 seconds in, then shrugged off a heavy kick from Duquesnoy seconds later. A little more than a minute in, Stamann got a brief takedown, but Duquesnoy was quickly back to his feet. Duquesnoy worked a leg kick, then one to the body. But Stamann landed his own to the body. Midway through, Duquesnoy landed a big right hand, then drilled Stamann again seconds left with a left. But Duquesnoy drove in for a takedown and this time kept Duquesnoy down a little longer. Stamann eventually let him back up, but Duquesnoy’s striking was more on point down the stretch.

A head kick was there for Duquesnoy early in the second, and like he did several times in the first, Stamann shook his head as if to say he wasn’t affected. Midway through the round, Stamann drove in for a solid takedown and again put Duquesnoy on his back. Duquesnoy was back up a minute later and landed an elbow. But with a minute left, another Stamann double-leg takedown was on point.

With the fight potentially hanging in the balance, Stamann landed a nice high kick with a little less than three minutes left, and he scored with punches shortly after that. Stamann was able to come forward more than he did early in the fight, and Duquesnoy wasn’t throwing at the same rate as he did in the first round. Duquesnoy looked to be out of gas late, and it may have cost him.

Stamann won for the ninth straight time and moved to 2-0 in the UFC after wigning with the promotion earlier this year. Duquesnoy had an 11-fight winning streak snapped and lost for the first time in four and a half years.

Up-to-the-minute UFC 216 results include:

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

(MMAjunkie’s John Morgan and Simon Samano contributed to this report on site in Las Vegas.)


Filed under: News, UFC

Francis Ngannou was willing to fight Fabricio Werdum last minute after Derrick Lewis withdrew

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

LAS VEGAS – Francis Ngannou attempted to save the day at UFC 216, but unfortunately an unanswered phone call prevented that from happening.

Ngannou (10-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC) said he had a gut feeling something would happen to derail tonight’s UFC 216 heavyweight bout between Fabricio Werdum (21-7-1 MMA, 9-4 UFC) and Derrick Lewis (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC). The worst happened just minutes before the event was scheduled to begin, when news broke Lewis’ lingering back issues would prevent him from competing.

Ultimately the UFC managed to cobble together a scenario that saw Walt Harris moved up from the undercard into the matchup with Werdum, but Ngannou said he wanted that spot.

“It’s a good matchup. Definitely this is a good matchup that I would never dodge it,” Ngannou said backstage. “I knew I was going to fight Alistair Overeem one day. I’ve been waiting for this fight and got ready for it since a long time ago.

RelatedThe stages of grieving a last-minute UFC fight scratch, in GIF form

“I got no answer, but I called when I saw the news. I tried to contact the matchmaker (Mick Maynard). He was busy. If I call, and he picks up, I say, ‘OK, I’m ready for him.’ … Honestly I would take the fight. I’ve been preparing for this, maybe something was going to happen between Werdum and Lewis. I’ve been preparing for this in case somebody pull out of this fight. I feel like something was going to happen. I got ready for it. … It was last minute, there was no way to change with the commissions.”

UFC 216 took place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The main card aired on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and UFC Fight Pass.

Ngannou hasn’t fought since a knockout of Andrei Arlovski at UFC on FOX 22 in January. He’s been eager to get back in the octagon since, especially after his planned UFC 215 matchup with Junior Dos Santos was called off just weeks prior to the September event.

“The Predator” said he would have stepped in on fight day at UFC 216 if red tape from the commission wouldn’t have made it impossible, but fortunately, Ngannou still has a massive fight ahead of him.

Ngannou is scheduled to meet Overeem (43-15 MMA, 8-4 UFC) in December’s UFC 218 co-main event. If he were to win, he would be on a divisional-best six-fight winning streak and in perfect position to challenge current heavyweight titleholder Stipe Miocic (17-2 MMA, 11-2 UFC). Although he hasn’t been promised a title shot with a win against Overeem, there’s no doubt from Ngannou that it’s going to happen.

“I think after the fight there is no way to deny me the title shot,” Ngannou said. “I’m sure I’ll beat Alistair and get a title shot. I still haven’t fought the champion. There’s no way not to give me the title shot after this fight.”

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

Jan 28, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Francis Ngannou (blue gloves) reacts after defeating Andrei Arlovski (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Jan 28, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Andrei Arlovski (red gloves) competes against Francis Ngannou (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Jan 28, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Andrei Arlovski (red gloves) competes against Francis Ngannou (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Jan 28, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Andrei Arlovski (red gloves) competes against Francis Ngannou (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Jan 28, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Andrei Arlovski (red gloves) competes against Francis Ngannou (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Jan 28, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Andrei Arlovski (red gloves) competes against Francis Ngannou (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Jan 28, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Andrei Arlovski (red gloves) competes against Francis Ngannou (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Jan 28, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Andrei Arlovski (red gloves) competes against Francis Ngannou (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Jan 28, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Andrei Arlovski (red gloves) competes against Francis Ngannou (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Jan 28, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Andrei Arlovski (red gloves) competes against Francis Ngannou (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Jan 28, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Andrei Arlovski (red gloves) competes against Francis Ngannou (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Jan 28, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Francis Ngannou (blue gloves) and Andrei Arlovski (red gloves) embrace after their fight during UFC Fight Night at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Jan 28, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Francis Ngannou (blue gloves) reacts after defeating Andrei Arlovski (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Jan 28, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Francis Ngannou (blue gloves) reacts after defeating Andrei Arlovski (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/Ceuu9eYfpEchTegJZkztAJ/276699", customAnalytics: true, title: "Ngannou def. Arlovski", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

UFC 216 results: Point deduction costs Lando Vannata in split draw with Bobby Green

Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Lando Vannata (red gloves) and Bobby Green (blue gloves) react after their fights is declared a draw during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Lando Vannata (red gloves) kicks Bobby Green (blue gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Lando Vannata (red gloves) fights Bobby Green (blue gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Lando Vannata (red gloves) competes against Bobby Green (blue gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Lando Vannata (red gloves) fights Bobby Green (blue gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Lando Vannata (red gloves) kicks Bobby Green (blue gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Bobby Green (blue gloves) picks up Lando Vannata (red gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Bobby Green (blue gloves) punches Lando Vannata (red gloves) during the second round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Bobby Green (blue gloves) punches Lando Vannata (red gloves) during the second round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Lando Vannata (red gloves) competes against Bobby Green (blue gloves) during the second round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Lando Vannata (red gloves) competes against Bobby Green (blue gloves) during the second round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Lando Vannata (red gloves) punches Bobby Green (blue gloves) during the second round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Lando Vannata (red gloves) punches Bobby Green (blue gloves) during the second round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Lando Vannata (red gloves) punches Bobby Green (blue gloves) during the third round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Lando Vannata (red gloves) kicks Bobby Green (blue gloves) during the third round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Lando Vannata (red gloves) fights Bobby Green (blue gloves) during the third round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Bobby Green (blue gloves) punches Lando Vannata (red gloves) during the third round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Lando Vannata (red gloves) punches Bobby Green (blue gloves) during the third round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Lando Vannata (red gloves) punches Bobby Green (blue gloves) during the third round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Lando Vannata (red gloves) competes against Bobby Green (blue gloves) during the third round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/UMM4javKFGYhLFsRzdQSPP/276606", customAnalytics: true, title: "Vannata vs. Green", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

In a razor-thin fight, it was a point deduction that led to a draw between Lando Vannata and Bobby Green.

Vannata (9-2-1 MMA, 1-2-1 UFC) had a point taken away in the first round when he threw an illegal knee against Green (23-8-1 MMA, 4-3-1 UFC). Each fighter took a 29-27 score, and a third judge scored the fight 28-28. Absent the point deduction for the illgal knee, Vannata would have walked away with a split decision win.

The lightweight bout was part of the preliminary card of today’s UFC 216 event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. It aired on FX following additional prelims on UFC Fight Pass and ahead of a main card on pay-per-view.

RelatedUFC 216 play-by-play and live results

Vannata pushed Green back early, then ducked under a Green left hand. The two tied up briefly, and when they broke it was Vannata who landed two heavy leg kicks, the second of which nearly took Green off his feet. After a brief clinch on the fence, where Green landed a solid elbow, Vannata landed a head kick.

Green survived it, but seconds later Vannata stunned Green and put him on the canvas. He went after him and landed ground-and-pound, but when Green tried to get up, with one of his kenes still grounded, Vannata threw a big knee. He knew immediately it was illegal and referee Herb Dean stopped the fight.

Although the replays showed the knee didn’t land flush, it still was an illegal strike, and Dean took a point. On the restart, Vannata went after a guillotine choke, but Green fought out of it and with 75 seconds left they went back to work in the center of the cage. Vannata attacked Green’s lead leg down the stretch, then got a late takedown. But the point deduction turned a 10-9 round for Vannata into a 9-9.

Green landed a good left hand early in the second, but it was Vannata who made it look a little easier finding homes for his strikes. Green stayed in the fight with counters, but Vannata’s right was more effective. Even though it didn’t seem Green was landing heavy shots, Vannata was wearing the damage on his face from Green’s jabs. Midway through, Green pushed Vannata to the fence, but Vannata shrugged him off and dropped him to the canvas. Green got up quickly, but a scramble moments later had Vannata ready to take advantage.

Back on the feet, Vannata landed a huge right hand, then stsarted pouring it on with Green’s hands down. With a minute left, they started slugging. Vannata landed a leg kick. Green landed a knee to the body. And they both were feeling the effects late in the frame.

The two kept trading in the third, and a takedown attempt from Vannata wasn’t there a minute in. Green made sure the cuts on Vannata’s face kept the blood flowing, touching him up just enough. Green caught Vannata a few more times midway through. But Vannata kept the offense flowing, as well. They slugged it out down the stretch, and it was Green who landed several huge combinations just before the horn. Vannata walked away still standing, but with the blood gushing.

Up-to-the-minute UFC 216 results include:

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

(MMAjunkie’s John Morgan and Simon Samano contributed to this report on site in Las Vegas.)


Filed under: News, UFC

Las Vegas resident Brad Tavares kicks off UFC 216 with powerful message

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

Longtime Las Vegas resident Brad Tavares kicked off UFC 216 with a powerful message to his adopted city.

As Tavares, a native Hawaiian, was quick to point out after his unanimous-decision victory over Thales Leites at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, he always walks out for his fights with the Hawaii state flag. But this time he added another – the state flag of Nevada – to show his support for his fellow Las Vegas residents in the wake of last weekend’s mass shooting that killed 58 and injured 500 more.

“(UFC President) Dana (White) told us there was going to be 1,500 first responders here in attendance,” Tavares said. “I don’t know if you guys are all here yet, but from the bottom of my heart, thank you, guys.”

Congratulations to our brother @BradTavares on another good will !! #VEGASSTRONG!!! Great job team @Eric_XCMMA @VinnyMMA @Xtreme_Couture pic.twitter.com/Jt9mYIedUm

— Ray Sefo (@SugarRaySefo) October 8, 2017

Tavares, a longtime member of the Xtreme Couture team in Las Vegas, displayed the flag while wearing a T-shirt with the message “Vegas Strong.” He ended his remarks with some words of encouragement for his fellow Las Vegas residents.

“This is some crappy stuff that we all went through,” Tavares said. “I know you got friends and family out there last Sunday, but let’s stay strong, guys. Let’s stay strong.”

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

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

Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Brad Tavares (blue gloves) reacts after defeating Thales Leites during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Thales Leites (red gloves) fights Brad Tavares (blue gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Brad Tavares (blue gloves) fights Thales Leites (red gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Thales Leites (red gloves) fights Brad Tavares (blue gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Brad Tavares fights Thales Leites during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Thales Leites fights Brad Tavares during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Brad Tavares (blue gloves) kicks Thales Leites (red gloves) during the second round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Brad Tavares (blue gloves) fights Thales Leites (red gloves) during the second round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Thales Leites (red gloves) punches Brad Tavares (blue gloves) during the third round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Brad Tavares (blue gloves) is kicked by Thales Leites (red gloves) during the second round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Thales Leites (red gloves) fights Brad Tavares (blue gloves) during the third round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Thales Leites (red gloves) punches Brad Tavares (blue gloves) during the third round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Thales Leites (red gloves) punches Brad Tavares (blue gloves) during the third round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/jjsu6sd6fHJk9CH4xpZxk5/276700", customAnalytics: true, title: "Tavares def. Leites", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC

UFC 216 results: Poliana Botelho outworks takedown-hungry Pearl Gonzalez for decision sweep

Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Poliana Botelho (blue gloves) reacts after defeating Pearl Gonzalez (not shown) during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Poliana Botelho (blue gloves) fights Pearl Gonzalez (red gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Poliana Botelho (blue gloves) kicks Pearl Gonzalez (red gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Poliana Botelho (blue gloves) kicks Pearl Gonzalez (red gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Poliana Botelho (blue gloves) competes against Pearl Gonzalez (red gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Pearl Gonzalez (red gloves) punches Poliana Botelho (blue gloves) during the second round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Poliana Botelho (blue gloves) kicks Pearl Gonzalez (red gloves) during the second round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Poliana Botelho (blue gloves) fights against Pearl Gonzalez (red gloves) during the second round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Poliana Botelho (blue gloves) competes against Pearl Gonzalez (red gloves) during the second round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Poliana Botelho (blue gloves) kicks Pearl Gonzalez (red gloves) during the third round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Poliana Botelho (blue gloves) punches Pearl Gonzalez (red gloves) during the third round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Poliana Botelho (blue gloves) fights Pearl Gonzalez (red gloves) during the third round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Poliana Botelho (blue gloves) competes against Pearl Gonzalez (red gloves) during the third round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/xXGzkQVzrkaMSLJxVuhnLT/276604", customAnalytics: true, title: "Botelho def. Gonzalez", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

It probably wasn’t how she wanted to get a win in her UFC debut, but Poliana Botelho certainly will take it.

Botelho (6-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) took a unanimous decision from Pearl Gonzalez (6-3 MMA, 0-2 UFC) with a trio of 30-27 scores. Gonzalez spent much of the fight trying to take Botelho down, but never could, and Botelho picked up the win by staying active with her back against the fence.

The women’s strawweight bout was part of the preliminary card of today’s UFC 216 event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. It aired on FX following additional prelims on UFC Fight Pass and ahead of a main card on pay-per-view.

RelatedUFC 216 play-by-play and live results (7 p.m. ET)

Gonzalez got to the center of the cage quickly, then worked three hard leg kicks early. Botelho clinched up, but Gonzalez pushed her to the fence. They stayed there for a couple minutes until referee Jason Herzog finally broke them apart. Botelho tried to kick again after the break, but they tied up again. They traded positions on the fence, but it was Gonzalez mostly in control. Botelho landed elbows from that clinched position, but that was her best offense. Gonzalez left her little choice. But at least she was working.

Gonzalez went after a takedown early in the second, but couldn’t complete it. Instead, it was a repeat of the first round – Gonzalez was in control, but Botelho’s offense was in landing elbows as long as she couldn’t get her back off the cage. Botelho landed knees from that tied-up position, and then more elbows. From an offensive standpoint, Botelho was doing more work – but the perception may have been that Gonzalez was winning thanks to the control. With 90 seconds left, Herzog broke them apart. Down the stretch, Gonzalez landed a left jab, then ducked barely away from two big Botelho right hands.

Botelho clipped Gonzalez with a right in the third, but Gonzalez ate it and again pressed Botelho to the cage. Botelho kept punching and elbowing, and Gonzalez kept going after the takedown – with nothing there. When Herzog broke them apart with 100 seconds left, it took Gonzalez only 10 secnods to clinch back up again. She appeared to be out of gas from the takedown attempts.

With 35 seconds left, again Herzog broke them apart for the home stretch and Botelho landed a kick to the body, then barely missed a spinning kick up high. Gonzalez tied her up again and heard the boos from the crowd. And with a few seconds left, Botelho took Gonzalez down. When she got up at the horn, she threw shade Gonzalez’s way and walked away with a disgusted look on her face.

Botelho won for the fourth straight time in what was her first fight in more than two years. Gonzalez lost for the second straight time, both in the UFC, after signing with the promotion on a six-fight winning streak earlier this year.

Up-to-the-minute UFC 216 results include:

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

(MMAjunkie’s John Morgan and Simon Samano contributed to this report on site in Las Vegas.)


Filed under: News, UFC

The stages of grieving a last-minute UFC fight scratch, in GIF form

It happened again.

One of UFC 216’s most anticipated bouts fell apart just before the event’s start time, as Derrick Lewis withdrew from his fight with Fabricio Werdum due to a back injury.

We’ve been here before, sadly. We’ve been here 14 times this year, in fact. We know how it goes.

It starts with this fight you really want to see. From the moment it’s first announced, all you can do is pray that it doesn’t get canceled or postponed. Both have been known to happen with some regularity in MMA. A broken hand here, a tweaked knee there, and the fight you’re looking forward to can vanish in an instant. It’s nerve-wracking.

But then weigh-in day comes and, what do you know, both fighters actually made weight. Nobody binged on late-night desserts. Nobody showed up looking sick and ghostly and barely ambulatory while still being five pounds over. This fight is really going to happen.

Then it’s fight day. We’re in the clear. Everyone is rehydrated, sitting around hotel rooms watching TV and eating. What could go wrong there? We made it. All we have to do now is sit back and wait.

Wait, what’s this? Why is everyone tweeting about this fight four hours before it’s supposed to happen? And why do they seem so mad? Don’t … don’t tell me. It can’t be …

Are you kidding me with this? On fight day this happens? How?! We were almost there! Why can’t we have nice things?

It … just … it’s not fair. Why couldn’t it have been one of these other fights? Preferably one of the fights between two people without Wikipedia pages. I’d give three of those to get this one back! Please?

You know what, though? This is crap. No other sport deals with this. You don’t buy tickets to see the Patriots vs. Steelers, only to show up and be told that the Steelers couldn’t make it so the Calgary Stampede will be filling in. Broadway plays don’t even pull these kinds of last-minute switcheroos with this kind of frequency. Why do we have to live this way?!

Fine. So this is just how’s it going to be, isn’t it? It’s our fault for ever getting our hopes up. We should have known that no fight is truly official until the fighters are in the cage with the door locked behind them. Maybe we deserve to have our hearts broken for ever forgetting that.

Wait, what did you say? The co-main event is still on? Or at least, it hasn’t been canceled yet, so maybe we should go ahead and get hyped for that now, knowing full well that there’s still time for it, too, to be yanked out from under us?

It’s not easy being an MMA fan. And yet, what else are you going to do with your Saturday night? Go out and live a normal life?

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


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

UFC 216 salaries: Tony Ferguson can net $500k with interim title win

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Filed under: News, UFC

LAS VEGAS – Not only can Tony Ferguson or Kevin Lee walk away from UFC 216 with an interim championship belt, but they have an opportunity to add a solid amount to their worth.

Ferguson (22-3 MMA, 12-1 UFC) and Lee (16-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC), who meet in tonight’s pay-per-view headliner at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas following prelims on FX and UFC Fight Pass, will each receive a show purse of $250,000. Ferguson can double that amount with a win, while Lee can get another $50,000.

MMAjunkie tonight obtained the UFC 216 salaries from a Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) official during the event.

The largest base pay on the card goes to UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson (26-2-1 MMA, 14-1-1 UFC). “Mighty Mouse” will receive $370,000 win or lose, but reportedly also has the opportunity for pay-per-view points for the first time in his career. Challenger Ray Borg (11-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) has a flat payment of $100,000.

Other notable payouts on the UFC 216 main card go to former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum (21-7-1 MMA, 9-4 UFC), who has a contracted show purse of $275,000 with another $125,000 up for grabs with a win. Walt Harris (10-5 MMA, 3-4 UFC), who was moved up the card as Werdum’s opponent when Derrick Lewis withdrew from the event just hours prior to its start, will make $28,000 to show with another $28,000 possible with a win.

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

Nov 5, 2016; Mexico City, Mexico; Tony Ferguson (blue gloves) defeats Rafael Dos Anjos (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Distrito Federal. Mandatory Credit: Etzel Espinosa-USA TODAY Sports May 5, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Tony Ferguson in a lightweight bout against Michael Johnson during UFC on Fox 3 at the Izod Center. Michael Johnson won by unanimous decision in the third round. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports May 5, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Michael Johnson (left) fights Tony Ferguson in a lightweight bout during UFC on Fox 3 at the Izod Center. Michael Johnson won by unanimous decision in the third round. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports May 5, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Michael Johnson (left) fights Tony Ferguson in a lightweight bout during UFC on Fox 3 at the Izod Center. Michael Johnson won by unanimous decision in the third round. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Oct 18, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Tony Ferguson during the weigh-in for UFC 166 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports Oct 19, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) fights against Mike Rio (blue gloves) in their lightweight bout during UFC 166 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports Oct 19, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) celebrates his victory against Mike Rio (not pictured) in their lightweight bout during UFC 166 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports May 24, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red) and Katsunori Kikuno (blue) throw punches during their UFC 173 welterweight bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Ferguson won the bout by TKO. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports May 24, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red) locks onto Katsunori Kikuno (blue) during their UFC 173 welterweight bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Ferguson won the bout by TKO. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports August 30, 2014; Sacramento, CA, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) fights against Danny Castillo (blue gloves) during the lightweight bout of UFC 177 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports August 30, 2014; Sacramento, CA, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) fights against Danny Castillo (blue gloves) during the lightweight bout of UFC 177 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports August 30, 2014; Sacramento, CA, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) celebrates after defeating Danny Castillo (blue gloves) during the lightweight bout of UFC 177 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports Dec 6, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red) and Abel Trujillo (blue) during UFC 181 at Madalay Bay Events Center. Ferguson won via second round submission. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Dec 6, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red) and Abel Trujillo (blue) during UFC 181 at Madalay Bay Events Center. Ferguson won via second round submission. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Dec 6, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red) and Abel Trujillo (blue) during UFC 181 at Madalay Bay Events Center. Ferguson won via second round submission. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Dec 6, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red) submits Abel Trujillo (blue) during UFC 181 at Madalay Bay Events Center. Ferguson won via second round submission. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Dec 6, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red) submits Abel Trujillo (blue) during UFC 181 at Madalay Bay Events Center. Ferguson won via second round submission. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Dec 6, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red) after submitting Abel Trujillo (blue) during UFC 181 at Madalay Bay Events Center. Ferguson won via second round submission. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Feb 28, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) during his Lightweight bout against Gleison Tibau (blue gloves) at UFC 184 at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Feb 28, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) during his Lightweight bout against Gleison Tibau (blue gloves) at UFC 184 at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jul 15, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; Josh Thomson (red) fights Tony Ferguson (blue) during UFC Fight Night at Valley View Casino Center. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jul 13, 2016; Sioux Falls, SD, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) fights against Lando Vannata (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Denny Sanford Premier Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports Jul 13, 2016; Sioux Falls, SD, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) fights against Lando Vannata (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Denny Sanford Premier Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports Jul 13, 2016; Sioux Falls, SD, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) fights against Lando Vannata (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Denny Sanford Premier Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports Nov 5, 2016; Mexico City, Mexico; Rafael Dos Anjos (red gloves) fights Tony Ferguson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Distrito Federal. Mandatory Credit: Etzel Espinosa-USA TODAY Sports Nov 5, 2016; Mexico City, Mexico; Rafael Dos Anjos (red gloves) fights Tony Ferguson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Distrito Federal. Mandatory Credit: Etzel Espinosa-USA TODAY Sports Nov 5, 2016; Mexico City, Mexico; Rafael Dos Anjos (red gloves) fights Tony Ferguson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Distrito Federal. Mandatory Credit: Etzel Espinosa-USA TODAY Sports Nov 5, 2016; Mexico City, Mexico; Rafael Dos Anjos (red gloves) fights Tony Ferguson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Distrito Federal. Mandatory Credit: Etzel Espinosa-USA TODAY Sports Nov 5, 2016; Mexico City, Mexico; Rafael Dos Anjos (red gloves) and Tony Ferguson (blue gloves) react after their fight during UFC Fight Night at Distrito Federal. Mandatory Credit: Etzel Espinosa-USA TODAY Sports Nov 5, 2016; Mexico City, Mexico; Tony Ferguson (blue gloves) defeats Rafael Dos Anjos (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Distrito Federal. Mandatory Credit: Etzel Espinosa-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/BZmaANcyDjkNFoqU9L5v2d/276672", customAnalytics: true, title: "Tony Ferguson", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC

UFC 216 results: Matt Schnell outworks Marco Beltran for decision and much-needed win

Former training partners Matt Schnell and Marco Beltran had to put whatever friendship they had to the side on Friday.

And after 15 minutes, Schnell (10-4 MMA, 1-2 UFC) picked up arguably the most important win of his career when he took a unanimous decision from Beltran (8-6 MMA, 3-3 UFC). The scores were 30-27 twice and 29-28 for “Danger,” who got his first UFC victory.

The flyweight bout was part of the preliminary card of today’s UFC 216 event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. It aired on FX following additional prelims on UFC Fight Pass and ahead of a main card on pay-per-view.

RelatedUFC 216 play-by-play and live results (7 p.m. ET)

Schnell popped off a quick combo, then ate a counter kick to the body. Beltran kicked high, but had it blocked. The two were cautious of each other forst most of the round. With 100 seconds left in the frame, Schnell followed a front kick with a solid combination of punches with Beltran against the fence. After a Beltran kick, Schnell went for a takedown late, but it wasn’t there.

A Schnell kick landed midway through the second and got Beltran’s attention. When Beltran tried a leaping knee seconds later, Schnell clipped him again. With 90 seconds left, after more Beltran feinting, Schnell landed a kick, then a punch after it. Beltran continued to favor kicks, but without the benefit of using his hands much, they weren’t as effective as they might otherwise have been. When Beltran found success late in the round and closed the distance, Schnell made him pay with another solid combo.

Beltran’s right eye had some decent swelling in the third, and though his kicking game was decent throughout, Schnell continually made him feel his hands. But Beltran found a home for his right hand midway through the third, and it seemed to give him a little confidence. He pushed the pace a little in the final frame, and Schnell had some swelling of his own near his right eye. Beltran landed a left down the stretch, but nothing to put Schnell in any kind of trouble. Instead, Beltran went for a late takedown and found himself fending off a guillotine choke as the fight came to a close.

Schnell finally picked up his first win in the UFC after suffering back-to-back knockout losses in his first two fights with the promotion. Beltran now has lost three straight fights since starting his UFC career a perfect 3-0.

Up-to-the-minute UFC 216 results include:

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

(MMAjunkie’s John Morgan and Simon Samano contributed to this report on site in Las Vegas.)


Filed under: News, UFC

John Moraga's UFC 216 KO of Magomed Bibulatov is even more glorious in super slow motion

LAS VEGAS – Wow, wow, wow.

Magomed Bibulatov entered his UFC 216 fight with John Moraga as a 6-1 favorite. Very few people believed Moraga could get the job done vs. Bibulatov, one of the hottest prospects in MMA who was undefeated.

Not anymore he isn’t after.

Moraga sent Bibulatov crashing to the canvas with a devastating left hook Saturday night to come away with an impressive first-round knockout win in a UFC Fight Pass prelim at T-Mobile Arena. It was glorious to watch from cageside.

In super slow motion, though, it’s even better (via Twitter):

BOOOOOOOM!#UFC216 @ChicanoJohn pic.twitter.com/oOVjnvaYdJ

— UFC (@ufc) October 7, 2017

That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you bring a hype train to screeching halt.

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

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

Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; John Moraga (red gloves) knocks out Magomed Bibulatov (blue gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Magomed Bibulatov (blue gloves) kicks John Moraga (red gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Magomed Bibulatov (blue gloves) competes against John Moraga (red gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Magomed Bibulatov (blue gloves) competes with John Moraga (red gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Magomed Bibulatov (blue gloves) punches John Moraga (red gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; John Moraga (red gloves) knocks out Magomed Bibulatov (blue gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; John Moraga (red gloves) knocks out Magomed Bibulatov (blue gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; John Moraga (red gloves) knocks out Magomed Bibulatov (blue gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/UazVr8ue9NY8Wf8CBA2eTd/276662", customAnalytics: true, title: "Moraga def. Bibulatov", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC

UFC 216 results: John Moraga KOs 6-1 favorite Magomed Bibulatov with vicious left hand

Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; John Moraga (red gloves) knocks out Magomed Bibulatov (blue gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Magomed Bibulatov (blue gloves) kicks John Moraga (red gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Magomed Bibulatov (blue gloves) competes against John Moraga (red gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Magomed Bibulatov (blue gloves) competes with John Moraga (red gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Magomed Bibulatov (blue gloves) punches John Moraga (red gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; John Moraga (red gloves) knocks out Magomed Bibulatov (blue gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; John Moraga (red gloves) knocks out Magomed Bibulatov (blue gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; John Moraga (red gloves) knocks out Magomed Bibulatov (blue gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/UazVr8ue9NY8Wf8CBA2eTd/276598", customAnalytics: true, title: "Moraga def. Bibulatov", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Against an unbeaten flyweight prospect who was a 6-1 favorite, former title challenger John Moraga didn’t have many people picking him to beat Magomed Bibulatov.

But Moraga (18-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC) took Bibulatov (14-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) out with a massive first-round knockout, then dealt with the emotions of what was a crucial win for his career. Moraga got the stoppage at the 1:38 mark of the first round thanks to a vicious left hand and bounced Bibulatov from the ranks of the unbeaten.

The flyweight bout was part of the preliminary card of today’s UFC 216 event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. It streamed on UFC Fight Pass ahead of additional prelims on FX and a main card on pay-per-view.

RelatedUFC 216 play-by-play and live results (7 p.m. ET)

Moraga kicked low early, then followed with another one. Bibulatov tried to answer with a kick to the body, then went high. When Moraga threw a third low kick, Bibulatov caught it and rollwed him over. Seconds later, Bibulatov just missed with a high left kick, but stayed in the middle to land a right hand.

But Moraga stayed calm and patient, and moments later he found his opening. He landed a right hand over the top and hurt Bibulatov. He followed it up with a high kick that just missed. But when Bibulatov tried an uppercut, Moraga landed a left hand that may have been the best of his career.

BOOOOOOOM!#UFC216 @ChicanoJohn pic.twitter.com/oOVjnvaYdJ

— UFC (@ufc) October 7, 2017

The left was right on the button, and Bibulatov was on the canvas in a hurry. Moraga dropped down with him and it took only a couple punches to finish the previously unbeaten prospect.

Moraga now has back-to-back wins following a three-fight skid. Bibulatov suffered the first loss of his professional career.

Up-to-the-minute UFC 216 results include:

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

(MMAjunkie’s John Morgan and Simon Samano contributed to this report on site in Las Vegas.)


Filed under: News, UFC

UFC 216 results: Brad Tavares jabs, kicks way to unanimous decision over Thales Leites

Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Brad Tavares (blue gloves) reacts after defeating Thales Leites during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Thales Leites (red gloves) fights Brad Tavares (blue gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Brad Tavares (blue gloves) fights Thales Leites (red gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Thales Leites (red gloves) fights Brad Tavares (blue gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Brad Tavares fights Thales Leites during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Thales Leites fights Brad Tavares during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Brad Tavares (blue gloves) kicks Thales Leites (red gloves) during the second round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Brad Tavares (blue gloves) fights Thales Leites (red gloves) during the second round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Thales Leites (red gloves) punches Brad Tavares (blue gloves) during the third round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Brad Tavares (blue gloves) is kicked by Thales Leites (red gloves) during the second round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Thales Leites (red gloves) fights Brad Tavares (blue gloves) during the third round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Thales Leites (red gloves) punches Brad Tavares (blue gloves) during the third round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Thales Leites (red gloves) punches Brad Tavares (blue gloves) during the third round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/jjsu6sd6fHJk9CH4xpZxk5/276596", customAnalytics: true, title: "Tavares def. Leites", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Brad Tavares made easy work of Thales Leites, battering the Brazilian with a steady left jab and a vicious right kick.

Tavares (14-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) took a unanimous decision from Leites (27-8 MMA, 12-7 UFC), more than doubling up on him in total strikes. The Las Vegas resident cruised with a pair of 30-26 scores and a 30-27.

The middleweight bout opened up the preliminary card of today’s UFC 216 event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. It streamed on UFC Fight Pass ahead of additional prelims on FX and a main card on pay-per-view.

RelatedUFC 216 play-by-play and live results (7 p.m. ET)

Tavares landed first with a stiff left, then pumped it out a couple more times. Leites countered with some low kicks to Tavares’ lead leg. Tavares kept working his jab, but Leites did well landing right hand counters. But about the halfway point, Tavares landed a brutal left hand that wobbled Leites. When Leites tried to recover, Tavares tried a jumping knee and forced Leites to shoot in for a takedown. Tavares stayed upright, though, and did so again not long after when Leites wanted to drag the fight to the canvas with a minute left. With 10 seconds left, Tavares landed big with a right hand and again tried a jumping knee, but Leites made it to the second.

Tavares worked a leg kick early in the second, then again hurt Leites with another jab. The left jab continued to find a home for him in the first minute of the round, leaving Leites bloodied up. Leites kicked high a couple minutes in, but Tavares blocked it. Leg kicks were there for Leites, but Tavares’ seemed to be doing more damage, and with 2:20 left Leites finally got a takedown. But Tavares quickly was back up and reversed position and pushed Leites to the fence. Leites tried to jump guard, but Tavares pulled away. With a minute left, Tavares landed another heavy kick to Leites’ left leg. With 30 seconds left, Leites landed a solid left, but it wasn’t enough to put Tavares in trouble.

Tavares continued to bloody Leites up in the final round, and then went after his lead leg some more. He stumbled him a cuople times from the leg kicks until finally one of them took Leites’ feet out and made him hit the canvas with three minutes left. Leites wanted him down on the ground, but Tavares wisely had no interest in that. He attacked the lead leg seconds late and again knocked him down. When Leites got back to his feet, his face and chest were a bloody mess, and he pushed in for a takedown attempt. But Tavares easily stayed on his feet, and with 40 seconds referee Chris Tognoni made them split up. Tavares knocked him down with a kick once more and kept Leites on his back the rest of the fight.

Tavares has won three straight fights and four of his past five overall. Leites heads back to the loss column and has dropped two of his past three and four of his past six overall.

Up-to-the-minute UFC 216 results include:

  • Brad Tavares def. Thales Leites via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)

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

(MMAjunkie’s John Morgan and Simon Samano contributed to this report on site in Las Vegas.)


Filed under: News, UFC

Twitter reacts to Derrick Lewis' late withdrawal from UFC 216 vs. Fabricio Werdum

The UFC 216 lineup took a serious blow just minutes before the event when news broke that Derrick Lewis was forced to withdraw from his matchup with Fabricio Werdum due to a lingering back injury.

Lewis (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC) has made no secret about the ongoing issues with his back. After going through all of fight week, he decided just hours before his scheduled heavyweight matchup with Werdum (21-7-1 MMA, 9-4 UFC) that he wasn’t fit to compete.

Although UFC 216 still features two championship fights, the clash between Lewis and former UFC champ Werdum was one of the most anticipated on the card. The event now proceeds with 11 fights.

There was universal disappointment after the news broke. Check below for the top Twitter reactions to Lewis’ injury and withdrawal from UFC 216.

* * * *

Fabricio Werdum v. Derrick Lewis is off due to an injury to one of the fighters. First fight now 4PM PT. #UFC216

— Jon Anik (@Jon_Anik) October 7, 2017

UFC officials tell us that Lewis was the injured fighter. Damn.

— John Morgan (@MMAjunkieJohn) October 7, 2017

Confirmed that tonight's Derrick Lewis vs. Fabricio Werdum fight has been canceled. Lewis' back continues to give him issues. Couldn't move this AM and in lots of pain. Tried to fight through it this week. UFC 216 proceeds with 11 fights now.

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) October 7, 2017

Wtf! https://t.co/1dCSp77F1K

— Chase Sherman (@ChaseShermanUFC) October 7, 2017

What?!??!!!! https://t.co/kjtaO9NNxN

— Chris Camozzi (@ChrisCamozzi) October 7, 2017

This event has now lost VanZant/Eye, Werdum/Lewis, and Brooks/Lentz. Damn. #UFC216

— Michael Carroll (@MJCflipdascript) October 7, 2017

Man, the UFC can't catch a break. Werdum vs. Lewis was one of the better fights on the card. Huge hit to the PPV. #UFC216

— Danny Segura (@DannySeguraTV) October 7, 2017

What?! https://t.co/MYcL7F94Ir

— David Michaud (@bulldawgUFC) October 7, 2017

WHAT WERE YOU DOING DERRICK LEWIS? WHY DOESN'T THE UFC PUTS BUBBLE WRAPS ON THEIR FIGHTERS 24/7 ON FIGHT WEEK???

— Matheus Aquino (@MatheusDCAquino) October 7, 2017

Noooooooooooooo https://t.co/5ciFRbFw89

— Belal muhammad (@bullyb170) October 7, 2017

We don't deserve this. We don't deserve to live this way. https://t.co/KUdjtv5O1o

— Ben Fowlkes (@benfowlkesMMA) October 7, 2017

Damn. https://t.co/NW3qAbTofh

— Brendan Schaub (@BrendanSchaub) October 7, 2017

I mean, we get something like 500 other fights a year. But I feel totally justified in wanting all of them. Especially this one. https://t.co/AjQd7BAjlg

— Dann Stupp (@DannStupp) October 7, 2017

I hope we get to see tony vs werdum now..

— Belal muhammad (@bullyb170) October 7, 2017

Fuck it. Let Walt Harris fight Werdum!

— Chase Sherman (@ChaseShermanUFC) October 7, 2017

Gutted Werdum vs Lewis canceled. No Black Beast tonight.

— Linton Vassell (@LDV_TheSwarm) October 7, 2017

Derrick Lewis injured, UFC 216 fight vs. Fabricio Werdum cancelled last minute https://t.co/tz2ZzABK3H

— MMAjunkie (@MMAjunkie) October 7, 2017

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


Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Derrick Lewis injured; Fabricio Werdum now faces Walt Harris last minute at UFC 216

LAS VEGAS – Just minutes before UFC 216 was slated to begin, a key matchup was pulled from tonight’s lineup, but all is not lost.

Derrick Lewis (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC) suffered a last-minute injury and was forced to withdraw from his heavyweight showdown with Fabricio Werdum (21-7-1 MMA, 9-4 UFC) on tonight’s card, which takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas with a pay-per-view main card following prelims on FX and UFC Fight Pass.

It’s believed Lewis’ previously injured back flared up on him this week. He made weight Friday without issue but realized today he wouldn’t be able to fight through the back pain.

As a result, Walt Harris (10-5 MMA, 3-4 UFC), who was previously scheduled to fight Mark Godbeer (12-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC), steps in on last-minute notice to face Werdum. Godbeer is off the card.

RelatedHurricane Harvey hero Derrick Lewis suggests Donald Trump should be careful with his words

Lewis was set to return following a fourth-round TKO loss to Mark Hunt in June. After that fight, Lewis said he’d injured his back in training camp and suffered through the fight. He was also visibly in pain as he walked back to the locker room that night. Lewis announced his retirement to the shock of many after the loss.

But that was set to end tonight vs. Werdum. The former champion was hoping an impressive performance against “The Black Beast” would propel him back to a title shot.

Lewis’ training camp was disrupted for roughly two weeks as he endured Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath in his hometown of Houston.

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


Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Video: Watch UFC 216's post-event press conference on MMAjunkie


Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

LAS VEGAS – UFC 216 takes place today at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. As usual, you can watch a live video stream of the post-event news conference here on MMAjunkie at approximately 1:30 a.m. ET (10:30 p.m. PT).

Expected to take part in the press conference are headliners Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee, who fight for the interim lightweight title; Demetrious Johnson and Ray Borg, who fight for Johnson’s flyweight belt; and other winners from the card.

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


Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

Kevin Lee's coach: Why isn't Conor McGregor feeling disrespected by interim belt?

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Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

As a veteran fighter in a variety of disciplines, Dewey Cooper isn’t sure why UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor doesn’t feel more disrespected by tonight’s UFC 216 headliner.

After all, in a pay-per-view headliner at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, one of Cooper’s prized pupils, Kevin Lee (16-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC), fights Tony Ferguson (23-3 MMA, 13-1 UFC) for an interim belt.

McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC), meanwhile, is still counting his millions from a pay-per-view boxing blockbuster with Floyd Mayweather, and there’s no guarantee he’ll actually fight the Lee-Ferguson winner.

RelatedConor McGregor on Mayweather, state of UFC lightweight division, 'rat' Paulie Malignaggi

“Any time there’s an interim championship, I mean, who they consider the real champion should take it offensively and want to fight the interim champion,” Dewey, who’s competed professionally in boxing, kickboxing and MMA, told MMAjunkie Radio. “You know, it shouldn’t be a doubt because if you’re the person you think you are and claim you are as a world champion, you should take it as disrespect that someone else is even considered a champion in your weight division.

“I’m from the old school, where champions always wanted to fight champions.”

RelatedConor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz 3 at UFC 219 in Las Vegas? Dana White says nope

Cooper, who’s helped Lee transition from an accomplished wrestler to a bonafide mixed martial artist as his striking coach, understands why McGregor took the big-money Mayweather fight. He can even understand why “The Notorious” is eying a possible third fight and rubber match with Nate Diaz.

However, at some point, Cooper said, McGregor should feel the need to represent his division and title.

“There are big money fights and all of that, but there’s nothing more important than defending your title,” he said. ” … Why win belts if you’re not going to defend them?”

Check out the full conversation above.

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.

Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. lands a hit against Conor McGregor during their boxing match at the at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. reacts before his bout against Conor McGregor at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor reacts with the audience before his bout against Floyd Mayweather Jr. at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor before fighting Floyd Mayweather Jr at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor moves in against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the first round at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor moves in against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the first round at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor moves in against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the first round at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor moves in with a hit against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the first round at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) and Conor McGregor (white trunks) box in the first round of their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) and Conor McGregor (white trunks) box in the first round of their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) and Conor McGregor (white trunks) box in the first round of their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) and Conor McGregor (white trunks) box in the first round of their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) and Conor McGregor (white trunks) box in the first round of their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. lands a hit against Conor McGregor during their boxing match at the at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. fights against Conor McGregor during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor moves in with a hit against Floyd Mayweather Jr. during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor fights against Floyd Mayweather Jr. during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor holds onto Floyd Mayweather Jr. during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor moves in with a hit against Floyd Mayweather Jr. during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. lands a hit against Conor McGregor during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. lands a hit against Conor McGregor during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor lands a hit on Floyd Mayweather Jr. during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. lands a hit on Conor McGregor during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor moves in with a hit against Floyd Mayweather Jr. during the sixth round at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) celebrates after knocking out Conor McGregor (white trunks) during their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mayweather won via 10th round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) celebrates after knocking out Conor McGregor (white trunks) during their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mayweather won via 10th round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) celebrates after knocking out Conor McGregor (white trunks) during their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mayweather won via 10th round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. reacts following his TKO victory against Conor McGregor in the tenth round at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Referee Robert Byrd stops the fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor in the tenth round at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Boxing referee Robert Byrd holds Conor McGregor after stopping the right in the tenth round against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the tenth round during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) reacts after knocking out Conor McGregor (not pictured) in their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mayweather won via tenth round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor (left) and Floyd Mayweather Jr. (right) shake hands after their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mayweather won via tenth round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor reacts following his loss in the tenth round by TKO to Floyd Mayweather Jr. at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (left) embraces Conor McGregor following their boxing match at T-Mobile 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/HPw3CvabZ8Rz65P6nkwQP6/276578", customAnalytics: true, title: "Mayweather def. 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Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

MMA's week out of the cage: Mourning Tom Petty, Manuwa breaks punching machine, Gracie walks on water

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

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

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

* * * *

R.I.P. Tom Petty

Today sucks. RIP Tom Petty pic.twitter.com/HOasMdMjqv

— Brittney Palmer (@BrittneyPalmer) October 2, 2017

Oh shit…..Tom Petty – I Won't Back Down https://t.co/EAO2blWWz3 via @YouTube

— Joey CoCo Diaz (@madflavor) October 2, 2017

Weekly eats

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Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News

UFC vet Jon Tuck shares the secret to dumping massive weight in the bathroom

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Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC

Beneil Dariush kicks off tonight’s UFC 216 pay-per-view main card, and Jon Tuck will be in his corner. The friendship has taught Tuck some tricks of the trade.

More specifically, Dariush (14-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC), who fights lightweight Evan Dunham (18-6 MMA, 11-6 UFC) at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, has shared some weight-cutting tips with Tuck.

Tuck, who flew more than 6,000 miles to get from his native Guam to Vegas for tonight’s big event and to corner his friend, learned what to do on fight week when some clogged pipes can hinder those often-brutal weight-cuts.

RelatedNik Lentz releases statement on UFC 216 scratch, says it's not his fault

So, what’s the secret to get your system functioning correctly?

“Ah, man,” he told MMAjunkie Radio while guest-hosting the program. “It’s a secret, bro.”

It didn’t take much arm-twisting to get Tuck (10-4 MMA, 4-4 UFC), who scored a submission victory over Takanori Gomi in June, to finally give the goods.

“We just take tea, just the week of the fight,” he said. “If you’re cutting weight, sometimes it’s hard to use the restroom, because you’re all backed up. You’re dry, just running dry.”

In late 2016, Tuck took on Damien Brown in Australia. However, the fight came after an earlier fight camp for an ultimately canceled event in Philippines. Between the two camps and the travel and some run-of-the-mill bad luck with his body, Tuck found himself struggling to cut any substantial poundage. Considering he weighed 178 pounds – 22 pounds over the lightweight limit – a week before the bout, he knew he was in trouble.

RelatedKevin Lee celebrated his (eventually) successful UFC 216 weigh-in with some tiramisu

But then he remembered Dariush’s suggestion of using green tea, which would supposedly kick his digestive system into gear.

And, it turns out, it worked.

“Man, I swear, if it was not six pounds, it was seven pounds I lost just by using the restroom,” he said. “I was like, ‘Hell yeah.’

“All (due to) tea, bro.”

For more on Tuck, Dariush’s fight and the inexact science of cutting weight, check out the video above.

And 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.

Jun 17, 2017; Singapore, Singapore; Jon Tuck (blue gloves) competes against Takanori Gomi (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Jun 17, 2017; Singapore, Singapore; Jon Tuck (blue gloves) competes against Takanori Gomi (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Jun 17, 2017; Singapore, Singapore; Jon Tuck (blue gloves) competes against Takanori Gomi (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Jun 17, 2017; Singapore, Singapore; Jon Tuck (blue gloves) celebrates after his match against Takanori Gomi (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Jun 17, 2017; Singapore, Singapore; Jon Tuck (blue gloves) hugs Takanori Gomi (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/U6obZiSEB7XbQdmoMWCq4N/276556", customAnalytics: true, title: "Tuck def. Gomi", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC

'UFC 216 Embedded,' No. 5: Inside Lee's weigh cut and a fiery Johnson-Borg face-off


Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

The UFC returns to Las Vegas this week, and the promotion has rolled out its “Embedded” treatment for a preview of tonight’s UFC 216 event.

UFC 216, which features two title fights, takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and UFC Fight Pass.

In the headliner, Tony Ferguson (23-3 MMA, 13-1 UFC) takes on Kevin Lee (16-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) for an interim lightweight title. The winner stays in line for a potential unification bout against champion Conor McGregor.

In the co-main event, flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson (26-2-1 MMA, 14-1-1 UFC) looks for a UFC-record 11th straight title defense when he meets challenger Ray Borg (11-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC). That fight was pushed back from UFC 215 in September in Edmonton due to a Borg illness on fight day.

In the fifth episode of “Embedded,” we go inside a rather eventful day of weigh-ins, where Johnson and Borg ultimately have a pretty heated face-off.

Check out the full episode above.

Also see:

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

Feb 19, 2017; Halifax, NS, Canada; Derrick Lewis poses with his championship belt following a press conference after defeating Travis Browne during UFC Fight Night at Scotiabank Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Apr 18, 2014; Orlando, FL, USA; Derrick Lewis during a weigh-in for UFC on FOX 11 at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports Apr 19, 2014; Orlando, FL, USA; Derrick Lewis looks at Jack May after the referee stopped the fight in the first round of their heavyweight fight during UFC on FOX 11 at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports Jul 6, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Derrick Lewis enters the octagon for a heavyweight fight against Guto Inocente (not pictured) at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Jul 6, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Derrick Lewis (red gloves) goes in for a blow to Guto Inocente (blue gloves) during a heavyweight fight at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Jul 6, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Derrick Lewis (red gloves) takes down Guto Inocente (blue gloves) during a heavyweight fight at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Jul 6, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Derrick Lewis (red gloves) celebrates his knockout victory over Guto Inocente (blue gloves) during the first round of a heavyweight fight at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Feb 27, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Derrick Lewis on the scale at the weigh-in for his fight at UFC 184 at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Feb 28, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Derrick Lewis (red gloves) during his Heavyweight bout against Ruan Potts (blue gloves) at UFC 184 at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Feb 28, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Derrick Lewis (red gloves) after winning his Heavyweight bout at UFC 184 at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Oct 3, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Derrick Lewis (red gloves) competes against Viktor Pesta (blue gloves) (not pictured) during a heavyweight bout at UFC 192 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports Oct 3, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Derrick Lewis (red gloves) competes against Viktor Pesta (blue gloves) during a heavyweight bout at UFC 192 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports Oct 3, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Derrick Lewis (red gloves) competes against Viktor Pesta (blue gloves) (not pictured) during a heavyweight bout at UFC 192 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports Oct 3, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Derrick Lewis (red gloves) competes against Viktor Pesta (blue gloves) (not pictured) during a heavyweight bout at UFC 192 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports Feb 6, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Derrick Lewis (red gloves) fights against Damian Grabowski (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports April 10, 2016; Zagreb, Croatia; Derrick Lewis throws a punch against Gabriel Gonzaga during UFC Fight Night at Zagreb Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports April 10, 2016; Zagreb, Croatia; Derrick Lewis lands punches against Gabriel Gonzaga during UFC Fight Night at Zagreb Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports April 10, 2016; Zagreb, Croatia; Derrick Lewis reacts following his knockout victory against Gabriel Gonzaga during UFC Fight Night at Zagreb Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Jul 7, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Derrick Lewis lands a kick against Roy Nelson during UFC Fight Night at MGM Grand Graden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Jul 7, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Derrick Lewis lands a hit against Roy Nelson during UFC Fight Night at MGM Grand Graden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Dec 9, 2016; Albany, NY, USA; Derrick Lewis prepares for a fight against Shamil Abdurakhimov during UFC Fight Night at Times Union Center. Mandatory Credit: Michael Adamucci-USA TODAY Sports Dec 9, 2016; Albany, NY, USA; Shamil Abdurakhimov (blue gloves) fights Derrick Lewis (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Times Union Center. Mandatory Credit: Michael Adamucci-USA TODAY Sports Dec 9, 2016; Albany, NY, USA; Shamil Abdurakhimov (blue gloves) fights Derrick Lewis (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Times Union Center. Mandatory Credit: Michael Adamucci-USA TODAY Sports Dec 9, 2016; Albany, NY, USA; Derrick Lewis reacts after defeating Shamil Abdurakhimov during UFC Fight Night at Times Union Center. Mandatory Credit: Michael Adamucci-USA TODAY Sports Dec 9, 2016; Albany, NY, USA; Derrick Lewis reacts after defeating Shamil Abdurakhimov during UFC Fight Night at Times Union Center. Mandatory Credit: Michael Adamucci-USA TODAY Sports Feb 18, 2017; Halifax, NS, Canada; Derrick Lewis is interviewed by former fighter Brian Stann before fighting against Travis Browne during weigh-ins for UFC Fight Night at Scotiabank Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Feb 19, 2017; Halifax, NS, Canada; Derrick Lewis (red gloves) kneels before entering the octagon to fight Travis Browne (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Scotiabank Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Feb 19, 2017; Halifax, NS, Canada; Derrick Lewis (red gloves) reacts before fighting Travis Browne (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Scotiabank Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Feb 19, 2017; Halifax, NS, Canada; Derrick Lewis (red gloves) fights Travis Browne (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Scotiabank Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Feb 19, 2017; Halifax, NS, Canada; Derrick Lewis (red gloves) fights Travis Browne (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Scotiabank Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Feb 19, 2017; Halifax, NS, Canada; Derrick Lewis (red gloves) reacts after defeating Travis Browne (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Scotiabank Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Feb 19, 2017; Halifax, NS, Canada; Derrick Lewis (red gloves) reacts after defeating Travis Browne (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Scotiabank Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Feb 19, 2017; Halifax, NS, Canada; Derrick Lewis climbs the octagon fence after defeating Travis Browne during UFC Fight Night at Scotiabank Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Feb 19, 2017; Halifax, NS, Canada; Derrick Lewis (red gloves) reacts after defeating Travis Browne (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Scotiabank Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Feb 19, 2017; Halifax, NS, Canada; Derrick Lewis poses with his championship belt following a press conference after defeating Travis Browne during UFC Fight Night at Scotiabank 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/uMw5ZdDL39As4K83JJx5DV/276567", customAnalytics: true, title: "Derrick Lewis", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

Karyn Bryant recalls on-air beef that first sold Tony Ferguson vs. Kevin Lee to us at UFC 216

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Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

Kevin Lee had barely left the octagon after a UFC Fight Night 112 win over Michael Chiesa when he engaged in another exchange – this time a verbal one, with fellow lightweight Tony Ferguson.

Ferguson was working the desk as an analyst when a question at FS1’s post-fight show prompted a visibly annoyed Lee to call for a “real journalist” to talk to. A heated back-and-forth went on for minutes. By the end of it, Lee – who’d actually called out Khabib Nurmagomedov minutes earlier – was telling Ferguson that “you can get it in” and that it’d be “easy money.”

At UFC 216 tonight, Ferguson (23-3 MMA, 13-1 UFC) and Lee (16-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) will get to settle their differences in the octagon – this time with the division’s interim belt on the line. And Karyn Bryant, who was also working the desk at that post-fight show, looks back on the night this matchup caught some serious traction.

“It was so weird, because we didn’t really expect that,” Bryant told MMAjunkie Radio. “Obviously, when you put Tony and Kevin together, they both have strong personalities. But I don’t know – I just didn’t expect that whole thing to start popping off like it did that first time.

“At first, it was sort of like, ‘OK, I can kind of be interested in that fight. But I really think Tony deserves just a straight-up title shot or whatever.’ But now they’ve spent so much time going at each other and the more the time, the more I’m actually totally sold on this. Still want to see these other fights, but both of these guys have definitely captivated my attention.”

Speaking to Ferguson later, after the interim title bout had already been scheduled, Bryant says she took it upon herself to tell him that she was in no way instructed to stir something up between the two notoriously outspoken 155-pound contenders on air.

But, once they got going, she wasn’t told to stop them, either.

“I always have somebody in my ear saying either jump in or don’t jump in,” Bryant said. “But they definitely just kind of stayed quiet for a while and let it play out organically.”

Oddly enough, Bryant was present for yet another heated Ferguson-related altercation. During a media event to promote UFC 216 earlier this week in Los Angeles, Ferguson was sitting next to former heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum (21-7-1 MMA, 9-4 UFC) when a heated argument led to the fighters being separated by a UFC representative.

Initial images showed Ferguson talking to media when a harmless comment by Werdum, which incidentally was directed toward Bryant, had Ferguson asking the heavyweight to not interrupt him. What followed was quite the animated reaction by Werdum – who’d later catch heat for his repeated usage of the gay slur “maricón.”

Later, Bryant released via her website, MMA H.E.A.T, a 360-degree unedited video showing the lead-up to the situation. In the images, Werdum can be seen keeping to himself – and even asking Bryant, in Portuguese, about why Ferguson didn’t seem quite like himself.

Meanwhile the intense Ferguson, in a much more somber mood, at some point even makes remarks about how he was so prepared he could even fight Werdum for a title and “kick this guy’s ass.”

EXCLUSIVE: @MMAHEAT has a 360º video of the moments leading up to + including the unexpected heated exchange between @TonyFergusonXT + @FabricioWerdum. Take a look + see if your opinion on the matter changes: https://t.co/4ZLjqMSrN1 #UFC216 #UFC #NotPickingSides

— Karyn Bryant (@KarynBryant) September 30, 2017

Bryant clarified the intentions behind releasing the video. Her website she explained, is not in the gossip business and has always looked to portray fighters in their most positive light. But, after the “surprising” argument, she wanted to show that Werdum wasn’t looking to start trouble.

“I felt like a lot of people kind of jumped on Fabricio and blamed it all on him,” Bryant said. “And I knew, from the beginning that he actually – he came in and asked me, ‘What’s going on with Tony?’ If people watch the video, you see Fabricio and I speaking in Portuguese a little bit when Tony walks away.

“And he’s asking me, ‘What’s going on with him? Is he sad? He doesn’t seem like himself today.’ I say, ‘Maybe he’s a little sad, maybe he’s thinking about the fight. Maybe he’s really hungry, I don’t know. But he does kind of seem a little less than himself today than the usual good mood that I see him in.’

“So Fabricio was actually concerned, ’cause he’s never had an issue with him before. So when the thing escalated like that, I did think that the 360 video would sort of help show that Fabricio didn’t go there with an antagonistic mindset.”

Both Ferguson and Werdum are set to fight at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena – not with each other, of course. While Ferguson meets Lee in the night’s headliner, Werdum fights fellow heavyweight Derrick Lewis on a pay-per-view main-card scrap.

To hear Bryant’s account of the beefs, check out the video above.

And 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.

Nov 5, 2016; Mexico City, Mexico; Tony Ferguson (blue gloves) defeats Rafael Dos Anjos (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Distrito Federal. Mandatory Credit: Etzel Espinosa-USA TODAY Sports May 5, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Tony Ferguson in a lightweight bout against Michael Johnson during UFC on Fox 3 at the Izod Center. Michael Johnson won by unanimous decision in the third round. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports May 5, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Michael Johnson (left) fights Tony Ferguson in a lightweight bout during UFC on Fox 3 at the Izod Center. Michael Johnson won by unanimous decision in the third round. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports May 5, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Michael Johnson (left) fights Tony Ferguson in a lightweight bout during UFC on Fox 3 at the Izod Center. Michael Johnson won by unanimous decision in the third round. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Oct 18, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Tony Ferguson during the weigh-in for UFC 166 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports Oct 19, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) fights against Mike Rio (blue gloves) in their lightweight bout during UFC 166 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports Oct 19, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) celebrates his victory against Mike Rio (not pictured) in their lightweight bout during UFC 166 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports May 24, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red) and Katsunori Kikuno (blue) throw punches during their UFC 173 welterweight bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Ferguson won the bout by TKO. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports May 24, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red) locks onto Katsunori Kikuno (blue) during their UFC 173 welterweight bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Ferguson won the bout by TKO. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports August 30, 2014; Sacramento, CA, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) fights against Danny Castillo (blue gloves) during the lightweight bout of UFC 177 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports August 30, 2014; Sacramento, CA, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) fights against Danny Castillo (blue gloves) during the lightweight bout of UFC 177 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports August 30, 2014; Sacramento, CA, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) celebrates after defeating Danny Castillo (blue gloves) during the lightweight bout of UFC 177 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports Dec 6, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red) and Abel Trujillo (blue) during UFC 181 at Madalay Bay Events Center. Ferguson won via second round submission. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Dec 6, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red) and Abel Trujillo (blue) during UFC 181 at Madalay Bay Events Center. Ferguson won via second round submission. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Dec 6, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red) and Abel Trujillo (blue) during UFC 181 at Madalay Bay Events Center. Ferguson won via second round submission. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Dec 6, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red) submits Abel Trujillo (blue) during UFC 181 at Madalay Bay Events Center. Ferguson won via second round submission. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Dec 6, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red) submits Abel Trujillo (blue) during UFC 181 at Madalay Bay Events Center. Ferguson won via second round submission. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Dec 6, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red) after submitting Abel Trujillo (blue) during UFC 181 at Madalay Bay Events Center. Ferguson won via second round submission. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Feb 28, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) during his Lightweight bout against Gleison Tibau (blue gloves) at UFC 184 at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Feb 28, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) during his Lightweight bout against Gleison Tibau (blue gloves) at UFC 184 at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jul 15, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; Josh Thomson (red) fights Tony Ferguson (blue) during UFC Fight Night at Valley View Casino Center. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jul 13, 2016; Sioux Falls, SD, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) fights against Lando Vannata (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Denny Sanford Premier Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports Jul 13, 2016; Sioux Falls, SD, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) fights against Lando Vannata (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Denny Sanford Premier Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports Jul 13, 2016; Sioux Falls, SD, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) fights against Lando Vannata (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Denny Sanford Premier Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports Nov 5, 2016; Mexico City, Mexico; Rafael Dos Anjos (red gloves) fights Tony Ferguson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Distrito Federal. Mandatory Credit: Etzel Espinosa-USA TODAY Sports Nov 5, 2016; Mexico City, Mexico; Rafael Dos Anjos (red gloves) fights Tony Ferguson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Distrito Federal. Mandatory Credit: Etzel Espinosa-USA TODAY Sports Nov 5, 2016; Mexico City, Mexico; Rafael Dos Anjos (red gloves) fights Tony Ferguson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Distrito Federal. Mandatory Credit: Etzel Espinosa-USA TODAY Sports Nov 5, 2016; Mexico City, Mexico; Rafael Dos Anjos (red gloves) fights Tony Ferguson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Distrito Federal. Mandatory Credit: Etzel Espinosa-USA TODAY Sports Nov 5, 2016; Mexico City, Mexico; Rafael Dos Anjos (red gloves) and Tony Ferguson (blue gloves) react after their fight during UFC Fight Night at Distrito Federal. Mandatory Credit: Etzel Espinosa-USA TODAY Sports Nov 5, 2016; Mexico City, Mexico; Tony Ferguson (blue gloves) defeats Rafael Dos Anjos (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Distrito Federal. Mandatory Credit: Etzel Espinosa-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/BZmaANcyDjkNFoqU9L5v2d/276351", customAnalytics: true, title: "Tony Ferguson", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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Paul Felder gives Tony Ferguson edge over Kevin Lee at UFC 216 thanks to experience – and crazy

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

Paul Felder knows a thing or two about fighting top-notch lightweights.

With six UFC wins in the division since arriving on the scene three years ago, Felder (14-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) has been as active in the weight class as anyone. And now he’s been adding analyst to his MMA resume.

This weekend, Felder will be on the FOX Sports desk for pre- and post-fight shows for UFC 216, which takes place Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

In the main event, Felder will no doubt have his eyes on Tony Ferguson (23-3 MMA, 13-1 UFC) and Kevin Lee (16-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC), who fight for the interim lightweight title. He said he’d love to fight each of them down the road.

RelatedUFC 216 staff picks: Does anyone dare pick against all-time great Demetrious Johnson?

“They’re both world-class guys,” Felder told MMAjunkie Radio this week ahead of the fight. “I want to fight them both eventually, so I can’t wait to see them beat the crap out of each other. I don’t know if they’re going to be able to finish each other, to be honest. I think it’s going to be a long, five-round, very competitive fight between those two guys. They’re both super durable, super good cardio, and they’re both talented all around the board.”

Felder said he’s giving Ferguson the edge in the fight – and he said that before he knew Lee was going to struggle to make weight. Lee on Thursday said he had 19 pounds to cut in 24 hours. He showed up to the official weigh-ins today a pound over and was given an hour to make it, which he did.

But Felder believes Ferguson’s experience against the 25-year-old will make the difference.

“I really think the experience edge obviously goes toward Tony, and his unorthodox-ness, his toughness,” he said. “But Kevin Lee, man, he’s made it pretty clear the toughness of Ferguson only means he’s going to take a longer beating. I think those guys are going to put on a show.

“Being through grinding training camps and knowing what it’s like to go 25, 30 minutes with other guys that are on your level, it becomes a mental game. I think that’s where Ferguson really does have an edge in this matchup. I think he’s a little crazy, first of all. And I think that helps in that he’s not afraid to go to war with you.

“… Kevin Lee is super talented. He’s strong, he’s got crazy reach for that division, but I think when you beat up on a guy and maybe he doesn’t go away, we’re going to see a lot about where Kevin Lee’s heart and mental toughness come into play.”

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

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

if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_kX1XF89z_RbnemIYZ_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/kX1XF89z.json","ph":2} ); Nov 5, 2016; Mexico City, Mexico; Tony Ferguson (blue gloves) defeats Rafael Dos Anjos (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Distrito Federal. Mandatory Credit: Etzel Espinosa-USA TODAY Sports May 5, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Tony Ferguson in a lightweight bout against Michael Johnson during UFC on Fox 3 at the Izod Center. Michael Johnson won by unanimous decision in the third round. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports May 5, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Michael Johnson (left) fights Tony Ferguson in a lightweight bout during UFC on Fox 3 at the Izod Center. Michael Johnson won by unanimous decision in the third round. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports May 5, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Michael Johnson (left) fights Tony Ferguson in a lightweight bout during UFC on Fox 3 at the Izod Center. Michael Johnson won by unanimous decision in the third round. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Oct 18, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Tony Ferguson during the weigh-in for UFC 166 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports Oct 19, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) fights against Mike Rio (blue gloves) in their lightweight bout during UFC 166 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports Oct 19, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) celebrates his victory against Mike Rio (not pictured) in their lightweight bout during UFC 166 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports May 24, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red) and Katsunori Kikuno (blue) throw punches during their UFC 173 welterweight bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Ferguson won the bout by TKO. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports May 24, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red) locks onto Katsunori Kikuno (blue) during their UFC 173 welterweight bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Ferguson won the bout by TKO. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports August 30, 2014; Sacramento, CA, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) fights against Danny Castillo (blue gloves) during the lightweight bout of UFC 177 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports August 30, 2014; Sacramento, CA, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) fights against Danny Castillo (blue gloves) during the lightweight bout of UFC 177 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports August 30, 2014; Sacramento, CA, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) celebrates after defeating Danny Castillo (blue gloves) during the lightweight bout of UFC 177 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports Dec 6, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red) and Abel Trujillo (blue) during UFC 181 at Madalay Bay Events Center. Ferguson won via second round submission. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Dec 6, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red) and Abel Trujillo (blue) during UFC 181 at Madalay Bay Events Center. Ferguson won via second round submission. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Dec 6, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red) and Abel Trujillo (blue) during UFC 181 at Madalay Bay Events Center. Ferguson won via second round submission. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Dec 6, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red) submits Abel Trujillo (blue) during UFC 181 at Madalay Bay Events Center. Ferguson won via second round submission. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Dec 6, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red) submits Abel Trujillo (blue) during UFC 181 at Madalay Bay Events Center. Ferguson won via second round submission. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Dec 6, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red) after submitting Abel Trujillo (blue) during UFC 181 at Madalay Bay Events Center. Ferguson won via second round submission. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Feb 28, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) during his Lightweight bout against Gleison Tibau (blue gloves) at UFC 184 at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Feb 28, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) during his Lightweight bout against Gleison Tibau (blue gloves) at UFC 184 at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jul 15, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; Josh Thomson (red) fights Tony Ferguson (blue) during UFC Fight Night at Valley View Casino Center. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jul 13, 2016; Sioux Falls, SD, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) fights against Lando Vannata (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Denny Sanford Premier Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports Jul 13, 2016; Sioux Falls, SD, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) fights against Lando Vannata (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Denny Sanford Premier Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports Jul 13, 2016; Sioux Falls, SD, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) fights against Lando Vannata (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Denny Sanford Premier Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports Nov 5, 2016; Mexico City, Mexico; Rafael Dos Anjos (red gloves) fights Tony Ferguson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Distrito Federal. Mandatory Credit: Etzel Espinosa-USA TODAY Sports Nov 5, 2016; Mexico City, Mexico; Rafael Dos Anjos (red gloves) fights Tony Ferguson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Distrito Federal. Mandatory Credit: Etzel Espinosa-USA TODAY Sports Nov 5, 2016; Mexico City, Mexico; Rafael Dos Anjos (red gloves) fights Tony Ferguson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Distrito Federal. Mandatory Credit: Etzel Espinosa-USA TODAY Sports Nov 5, 2016; Mexico City, Mexico; Rafael Dos Anjos (red gloves) fights Tony Ferguson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Distrito Federal. Mandatory Credit: Etzel Espinosa-USA TODAY Sports Nov 5, 2016; Mexico City, Mexico; Rafael Dos Anjos (red gloves) and Tony Ferguson (blue gloves) react after their fight during UFC Fight Night at Distrito Federal. Mandatory Credit: Etzel Espinosa-USA TODAY Sports Nov 5, 2016; Mexico City, Mexico; Tony Ferguson (blue gloves) defeats Rafael Dos Anjos (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Distrito Federal. Mandatory Credit: Etzel Espinosa-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/BZmaANcyDjkNFoqU9L5v2d/276385", customAnalytics: true, title: "Tony Ferguson", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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