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LA, Toronto, Brooklyn, London to host next week's Conor McGregor-Floyd Mayweather press tour

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Filed under: News, UFC

Four major cities will host next week’s press tour for “The Money Fight” between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather.

Officials recently announced Staples Center in Los Angeles will kick off the “Official Mayweather vs. McGregor World Tour” beginning this coming Tuesday, July 11.

Stops are now also official for Toronto, Brooklyn and London. They’re all open to fans.

Mayweather, who brings a perfect 49-0 boxing record into the fight, meets UFC lightweight champ McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) on Aug. 26 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The ballyhooed crossover fight, which is being held under boxing rules, airs on pay-per-view at a price tag expected to be in the triple digits.

Before the mega-fight, though, the two combat-sports vets will meet with fans and media to officially kick off the pre-event promotion.

Here are the details:

MAYWEATHER vs. MCGREGOR World Tour Dates & Cities

TUESDAY, JULY 11
LOS ANGELES
STAPLES Center
12:00 p.m. PT – Media Arrival & Credential Pickup
12:30 p.m. PT – Doors Open to the Public
1:30 p.m. PT – Pre-Show Begins in Arena
2:30 p.m. PT – Live Show
3:00 p.m. PT – Fighters/Media Only Availability (Immediately following Press Conference)
Fan Entry: To acquire a complimentary ticket to the Los Angeles event go to AXS.com beginning today, July 7 at Noon PT. You MUST have a ticket to enter. Tickets available on a first-come, first-served basis and will be limited to four (4) per customer.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 12
TORONTO
Sony Centre for the Performing Arts
4:30 p.m. ET – Doors Open to the Public
6:00 p.m. ET – Live Show
Fan Entry: Ticket information is forthcoming

THURSDAY, JULY 13
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK
Barclays Center
4:00 p.m. ET – Media Arrival
5:00 p.m. ET – Fighters/Media Only Availability
5:30 p.m. ET – Doors Open to the Public
6:00 p.m. ET – Pre-Show Begins In Arena
7:00 p.m. ET – Live Show
Fan Entry: Complimentary tickets to the Brooklyn event are available now at Ticketmaster.com. Tickets will also be available at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center starting Saturday, July 8 at noon (if tickets are still available). You MUST have a ticket to enter. Tickets available on a first-come, first-served basis and will be limited to four (4) per customer.

FRIDAY, JULY 14
LONDON
The SSE Arena, Wembley
5 p.m. BST – Doors Open to the Public
5 p.m. BST – Fighters/Media Only Availability
6 p.m. BST – Pre-Show Begins In Arena
7 p.m. BST – Live Show
Fan Entry: Ticket information is forthcoming

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

May 1, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather reacts following weigh-ins for the upcoming boxing fight against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 1, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather reacts following weigh-ins for the upcoming boxing fight against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao box during their world welterweight championship bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather in his corner after the first round of his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather (left) during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao (Yellow/Red trunks) box during their world welterweight championship bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao (Yellow/Red trunks) box during their world welterweight championship bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather wears a towel around his head as he sits in his corner between rounds during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather (left) during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather (black/gold trunks) and Manny Pacquiao (yellow/red trunks) box during their world welterweight championship bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mayweather won via unanimous decsion. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Referee Kenny Bayless (center) separates Manny Pacquiao (left) from Floyd Mayweather during their boxing bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather (black/gold trunks) and Manny Pacquiao (yellow/red trunks) box during their world welterweight championship bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mayweather won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao box during their world welterweight championship bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Referee Kenny Bayless (center) separates Manny Pacquiao (left) and Floyd Mayweather during their boxing bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather (black/gold trunks) and Manny Pacquiao (yellow/red trunks) box during their world welterweight championship bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mayweather won via unanimous decsion. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather reacts after his welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather celebrates on the ropes after his welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather celebrates after his welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Detailed view of fans in the crowd look on as Floyd Mayweather celebrates after his welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/zP8ckMV3y2znKY3YnenK6C/257070", customAnalytics: true, title: "Floyd Mayweather Jr.", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC

10 reasons to watch UFC 213, with 'Lioness' vs. 'Bullet' and 'Knuckles' vs. 'Soldier of God'

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Filed under: News, UFC

Amanda Nunes has already accomplished what her two immediate predecessors, Holly Holm and Miesha Tate, could not: defend the UFC women’s bantamweight title. At UFC 213 Nunes looks to put any questions about her place as the top fighter in the division behind her when she meets Valentina Shevchenko in a rematch of their March 2016 bout.

The first meeting was a three-round contest, and while Nunes took the first two rounds, Shevchenko turned the tables in the third stanza, leaving many to wonder just how the fight would have ended had it been a five-round bout. That question will be answered when the two meet in the main event of Saturday’s card.

In the co-main event, highly ranked middleweights Yoel Romero and Robert Whittaker meet in a highly anticipated interim title fight. A little further down the card, heavyweight contenders Fabricio Werdum and Alistair Overeem look to make their case for the next shot at champion Stipe Miocic.

UFC 213 takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas with a pay-per-view main card following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Here are 10 reasons to watch the event.

1. Two more rounds

Before Nunes ran through Miesha Tate and then Ronda Rousey to claim, and defend, the women’s bantamweight title, she won a unanimous decision over Shevchenko.

While Nunes (14-4 MMA, 7-1 UFC) was on her championship run, Shevchenko (14-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) defeated ex-champion Holly Holm and also Julianna Pena. Now, the two women, ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA women’s bantamweight rankings, run back that first meeting.

RelatedWatch their first fight before Amanda Nunes, Valentina Shevchenko run it back at UFC 213

This rematch is going to be about game plan. Will Nunes come out quicker against “Bullet” in pursuit of 14th career finish? Will Shevchenko slow the pace even further, knowing she has two additional rounds with which to work? Or will Shevchenko surprise “The Lioness” and aggressively deploy her muay Thai skills in the hopes of getting an early stoppage of her own?

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This is the type of fight in which the slightest adjustment from the first meeting could make a big difference.

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2. Let’s have a war

In Romero and Whittaker, we have two fighters who have gone undefeated since moving to middleweight.

Romero (12-1 MMA, 8-0 UFC), ranked No. 2 in the division, has posted an 8-0 record with six wins by knockout since “The Soldier of God” dropped from light heavyweight. No. 4-ranked Whittaker (18-4 MMA, 9-2 UFC) has gone 6-0 since moving up from welterweight, with “The Reaper” (aka “Bobby Knuckles”) winning four bouts by knockout.

Additionally, both fighters have won five fight-night bonus awards during their middleweight runs, including “Performance of the Night” bonuses in their last victories – Romero knocking out ex-champ Chris Weidman and Whittaker earning a TKO win over Ronaldo Souza.

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While Romero has scary and unpredictable one-strike finishing power, Whittaker is the better overall striker, and he possesses what may be the key if this fight goes past two rounds: the better gas tank.

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3. Big man, big favorite

Despite his relative inexperience, oddsmakers have installed Curtis Blaydes as the biggest favorite on this fight card. Blaydes has appeared in only three UFC fights, but his mix of knockout power and formidable wrestling have some thinking the 26-year-old heavyweight has a bright future with the UFC.

His opponent, Daniel Omielanczuk (19-7-1 MMA, 4-4 UFC), is much more experienced than Blaydes (6-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC), with more than three times as many professional fights, including eight in the UFC.

This is the kind of fight that will tell us if Blaydes is ready to make the jump to ranked competition in his next bout or if he still needs some seasoning.

4. Hello Cleveland

UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic doesn’t know who his next title defense will come against, but he does know the winner of the UFC 213 matchup between No. 2 ranked Werdum (21-6-1 MMA, 9-3 UFC) and No. 4 ranked Overeem (42-15 MMA, 7-4 UFC) is going to want another shot at the Cleveland, Ohio native.

Miocic took the belt from Werdum at UFC 198 with a first-round knockout, and in his first defense of that title, the champ knocked out Overeem at UFC 203. Both fighters recently told MMAjunkie they expect a shot at redemption.

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UFC 213 marks the third meeting between Werdum and Overeem. Werdum won the first bout, submitting Overeem via kimura in 2006 under the PRIDE FC banner. Overeem evened the score with a unanimous-decision victory during the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix tournament in 2011.

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5. Tough test for any lightweight

Anthony Pettis is in a pickle heading into UFC 213. The former lightweight champion lost three fights in a row between March 2015 and April 2016 and decided to try his hand at featherweight. He won his first bout at 145 pounds, but in his next outing, he missed weight, losing his opportunity to win the interim title on the scale.

That chance at the title became moot when he was knocked out in the third round of that bout with Max Holloway. Now, 1-4 in his past five contests, Pettis returns to lightweight in the hopes of getting his career back on track.

Standing in his way is Jim Miller (28-9 MMA, 17-8 UFC), who makes his record-tying 27th UFC appearance in this fight. He’s just the kind of combatant who will test Pettis (19-6 MMA, 6-5 UFC) in every way.

Miller is 3-1 in his last four fights, most recently dropping a majority decision to Dustin Poirier in February.

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6. Unfamiliar territory

It’s been almost four years since Travis Browne enjoyed his last winning streak. Between April and December 2013, Browne ran off three straight first-round knockout wins and was one victory away from a heavyweight title shot. But he lost that title eliminator to Werdum via decision. Including that fight, Browne is 2-5 in his last seven contests, and he’s currently in the midst of a career worst three-fight losing skid.

Despite the rough patch, Browne (18-6-1 MMA, 9-6-1 UFC) is ranked No. 13 in the division. His hopes of holding onto that ranking rest on his ability to avoid the grappling expertise of Aleksei Oleinik (51-10-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC), who has 42 submission wins in his professional career, including the first Ezekiel choke in UFC history, which he scored in his last bout, a first-round stoppage of Viktor Pesta.

7. Stepping up on a hot streak

The last time Gerald Meerschaert went the distance was May 2014, when he dropped a unanimous decision to Sam Alvey on a North American Fighting Championship card. Since then, Meerschaert has gone 7-0 with seven finishes, and six of those have come in the first round. Included in those first-round stoppages are his two UFC bouts.

Meerschaert (26-8 MMA, 2-0 UFC), who has more than 10 years of professional MMA experience, gets his first step up in UFC middleweight competition at UFC 213 facing Thiago “Marreta” Santos (14-5 MMA, 6-4 UFC), who’s coming off a second-round “Performance of the Night” bonus-winning TKO win over Jack Marshman.

8. Status check

Belal Muhammad, the former Titan FC welterweight champion, entered the UFC on a 9-0 run. Four fights into his UFC career, Muhammad is now 11-2 after a 2-2 octagon run. He’s fared well over inexperienced fighters, most recently defeating Randy Brown by decision, but when his competition has more than a handful of UFC fights, Muhammad has faltered against those more experienced fighters.

Muhammad’s (11-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) opponent at UFC 213, Jordan Mein, fits into the latter group, but he has not been all that active, fighting just once in the past two years after returning in December after a brief retirement. Mein (29-11 MMA, 3-3 UFC) lost that return bout, dropping a decision to Emil Meek.

This fight is an excellent status check for these two fighters who are both in their late 20s.

9. Expect fists to fly

The bantamweight bout between Rob Font and Douglas Silva de Andrade is likely to be contested on the feet. There are three reasons to think this.

The first is these two have a preference for striking battles. Font (13-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) is one of the more active strikers in the UFC bantamweight division while De Andrade (24-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) is more of a power striker with one-punch knockout power.

The second reason is that De Andrade has an impressive 75 percent takedown defense and that could negate any chance of Font using his wrestling skills to take this one to the mat.

And the third and final reason this fight is likely to feature striking? These two have combined for 24 knockout victories in their careers.

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10. New blood

If you’re interested in checking out the newest UFC signings, you’re going to want to make sure you have your UFC Fight Pass subscription up to date; the two opening fights feature four promotional newcomers.

Cody Stamann (13-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) meets Terrion Ware (17-5 MMA, 0-0 UFC) at featherweight, and James Bochnovic (8-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) faces Trevin Giles (9-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) at light heavyweight.

Each of these fighters brings a winning streak with him into UFC 213. Stamann has won his last six while Ware is unbeaten in four straight. As for Giles, his 9-0 record features eight stoppages while Bochnovic, whose only defeat came in his professional debut, has never been the distance.

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For more on UFC 213, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes during the match against Valentina Shevchenko (not pictured) during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko against Amanda Nunes (not pictured) during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes (left) against Valentina Shevchenko during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes during the match against Valentina Shevchenko (not pictured) during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes pins Valentina Shevchenko to the mat during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko (right) against Amanda Nunes during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko lands a kick against Amanda Nunes during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes (top) against Valentina Shevchenko during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko (left) against Amanda Nunes during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes (top) against Valentina Shevchenko during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes lands punches against Valentina Shevchenko during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko is pinned to the mat by Amanda Nunes during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko against Amanda Nunes (not pictured) during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes (left) against Valentina Shevchenko during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko moves in with a knee hit against Amanda Nunes during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko (right) against Amanda Nunes during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko (right) against Amanda Nunes during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko (right) against Amanda Nunes during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko (left) against Amanda Nunes during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko (right) against Amanda Nunes during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko lands a punch against Amanda Nunes during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko (left) against Amanda Nunes during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko celebrates following her fight against Amanda Nunes (not pictured) during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes celebrates following the match against Valentina Shevchenko (not pictured) during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko and Amanda Nunes react following their match during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko hugs Amanda Nunes following their match at UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes reacts following her victory by decision against Valentina Shevchenko during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes is declared the winner by decision against Valentina Shevchenko during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko against Amanda Nunes (not pictured) during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes celebrates following the match against Valentina Shevchenko (not pictured) during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. 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Filed under: News, UFC

UFC 213's Yoel Romero has a weird way of looking at his rivalry with Michael Bisping

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Filed under: News, UFC

LAS VEGAS – Despite all the trash talk he’s endured from UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping, Yoel Romero said he bears no ill will toward the titleholder.

He’s got an interesting way of putting it, though.

“I follow God,” Romero (12-1 MMA, 8-0 UFC) told MMAjunkie during a media day in support of his interim middleweight title bout against Robert Whittaker (18-4 MMA, 9-2 UFC) at UFC 213. “God says love your neighbor as you love yourself. If I need to donate an organ to Mr. Bisping, he can count on it.

“That does not take away that if we see each other’s face one day in the octagon, I will do everything in my power to get that victory.”

RelatedDana White: UFC champ Michael Bisping doesn't turn down fights, will meet UFC 213 winner next

Romero, 40, bears the nickname “Soldier of God” and exudes piety in his pre-fight interviews. On Wednesday, he said he’ll win his fight with the Aussie – put together after the champ was forced to the sidelines due to a knee surgery – because he’s flanked by the man above.

Although Bisping once called him “the biggest cheating (expletive) in the whole sport,” Romero chose to take the high road.

Still, he once tweeted Bisping “doesn’t have the heart nor the juevos” to stand across him in the octagon. He told the champ “I love you – see you soon, boy,” after knocking out ex-champ Chris Weidman this past November at UFC 205.

Now, he’s more focused on getting past Whittaker, who’s proven to be a dangerous matchup for opponents with aspirations to win gold.

Bisping took the easy shot at his rival by picking the surging Aussie for Saturday’s fight, which co-headlines the pay-per-view event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and sets up a title-unifier. The champ said Whittaker will dance around Romero and out-strike him on the way to victory.

Romero obviously disagrees with that take. But he isn’t biting on the easy bait.

“I see Mr. Bisping as just another fan of MMA and the UFC that really doesn’t like me,” he said. “The people who the whole world appreciates and likes are people that are blessed. But not everybody likes everyone else. I guess Mr. Bisping doesn’t like me very much, or simply that’s the way he sees the fight.

“Maybe in his view, the favorite for him is Robert Whittaker. But I’ve said many times to many people, it’s not what man wants – it’s who the creator of life decides.”

For more on UFC 213, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) reacts after winning his fight against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) enters the arena before his fight against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) enters the octagon before his fight against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) fights against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) fights against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) fights against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) fights against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) fights against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) bleeds from a cut during his fight against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) in the UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) fights against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) fights against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) fights against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) fights against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) fights against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) cut under his left eye during his fight against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) in the UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) fights against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) fights against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) fights against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) fights against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) fights against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) fights against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) fights against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) fights against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) fights against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) fights against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) fights against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) fights against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) fights against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) fights against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) fights against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) cut under his left eye during his fight against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) in the UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) fights against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) fights against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/dGJpJFg2qk8vTphGqQ2Fc/257018", customAnalytics: true, title: "Bisping def. 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Ahhhhhhhh! Rousimar Palhares sends another victim into (painful) verbal submission

Rousimar Palhares claimed another victim with his patented submission in today’s Fight Nights Global 70 main event.

Palhares (19-8), who has become somewhat of a world traveler since his UFC release in late 2013, made quick work of Alexei Ivanov (11-4) in the welterweight main event at FSK in Ulan-Ude, Russia.

The submission expert quickly got the fight to the mat, and from there, Ivanov’s fight for survival was on. Palhares, a former WSOF champ, relentlessly attacked the legs until he secured a heel hook and forced the frantic tap less than a minute into the opening round (via Twitter):

Rousimar Palhares separated Alexei Ivanov foot in less than 40 s. (FNG 70) pic.twitter.com/wpQCZWB7mx

— Jolassanda (@Jolassanda) July 7, 2017

The performance snapped a two-fight skid for Palhares and marked his first victory since a controversial August 2015 win over Jake Shields under the WSOF banner.

Although the 37-year-old Brazilian has a checkered past of holding on to submissions long after a referee’s intervention, he appeared to quickly break the hold during today’s Fight Nights Global 70 appearance, which marked his promotional debut.


Filed under: News

TUF 25 Finale's Marc Diakiese isn't fighting Paul Felder because UFC wouldn't pay up

Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Marc Diakiese (blue gloves) enters the octagon before his fight against Lukasz Sajewski (not pictured) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Lukasz Sajewski (red gloves) fights against Marc Diakiese (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Lukasz Sajewski (red gloves) fights against Marc Diakiese (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Lukasz Sajewski (red gloves) fights against Marc Diakiese (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Lukasz Sajewski (red gloves) fights against Marc Diakiese (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Lukasz Sajewski (red gloves) fights against Marc Diakiese (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Lukasz Sajewski (red gloves) fights against Marc Diakiese (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Lukasz Sajewski (red gloves) fights against Marc Diakiese (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Marc Diakiese (blue gloves) celebrates his victory over Lukasz Sajewski during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Dec 9, 2016; Albany, NY, USA; Frankie Perez (red gloves) fights Marc Diakiese (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Times Union Center. Mandatory Credit: Michael Adamucci-USA TODAY Sports Dec 9, 2016; Albany, NY, USA; Frankie Perez (left) fights Marc Diakiese during UFC Fight Night at Times Union Center. Mandatory Credit: Michael Adamucci-USA TODAY Sports Dec 9, 2016; Albany, NY, USA; Marc Diakiese reacts after defeating Frankie Perez during UFC Fight Night at Times Union Center. Mandatory Credit: Michael Adamucci-USA TODAY Sports Mar 18, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Marc Diakiese (red gloves) fights Teemu Packalen (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Mar 18, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Marc Diakiese (red gloves) fights Teemu Packalen (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Mar 18, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Marc Diakiese (red gloves) fights Teemu Packalen (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Mar 18, 2017; London, United Kingdom; The referee dives in to protect Teemu Packalen (blue gloves) after being knocked out by Marc Diakiese (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Mar 18, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Marc Diakiese (red gloves) celebrates with a flip after knocking out Teemu Packalen (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Mar 18, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Marc Diakiese (red gloves) defeats Teemu Packalen (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Mar 18, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Marc Diakiese (red gloves) celebrates after knocking out Teemu Packalen during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Mar 18, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Marc Diakiese (red gloves) defeats Teemu Packalen (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/8ZB25vZMggp4EvtocYw9yB/256945", customAnalytics: true, title: "Marc Diakiese", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

The social media heat between Marc Diakiese and Paul Felder earlier this year seemed to be a perfect building block for a fight between the two lightweights. It could still happen eventually, but Diakiese wants to be properly accommodated.

Diakiese (12-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC), who fights Drakkar Klose (7-0-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) tonight at The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, said the UFC was working toward a fight with Felder (13-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC), who meets Stevie Ray at UFC Fight Night 113 on July 15 – but he wasn’t going to agree unless he was given a new contract with a proper raise.

“The reason that fight didn’t happen was because I was renegotiating my contract with the UFC,” Diakiese told MMAjunkie Radio. “It was the last fight on my contract, so I was trying to get decent money because I feel like that’s what I should get. I had to wait a little bit to make it right. They didn’t pay me right, so I said no. Obviously that fight didn’t come around until I got a better contract, so it made sense for me to play a little bit.”

RelatedTUF 25 Finale official weigh-in video, photos: New 'TUF' winner will be crowned

The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The lightweight bout between Diakiese and Klose takes place on the FS1-television portion of the main card following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Diakiese said he got a new contract, but would not elaborate on the length or financial terms. He wouldn’t rule out the possibility of a future fight with Felder, who he exchanged many unpleasantries with. But for now, his focus in on the short term.

That’s primarily the bout with Klose, but also includes a potentially permanent move stateside for the Brit. Diakiese has spent his past two fight camps at Florida’s American Top Team gym. He intends on shifting his life Stateside full time, but said he wants to make sure it’s done the right way.

“I’ve got my social security number, so next month hopefully I get a green card,” Diakiese said. “I want to make myself comfortable first. I don’t want to move somewhere and start living in dorms or something like that. I want to make a bit of money, then be comfortable so I have some sort of income coming in. I’ve got a family, so I’ve got to look after them at the same time. That’s why I’m thinking of coming back and actually making the full move.”

For now, though, Diakiese will look to add another impressive win to his UFC career and stay undefeated in professional competition. He doesn’t think Klose is someone who will give him a stiffer challenge than he’s received already, and as always, the goal is to leave the octagon with a highlight-reel finish.

“If Drakkar is (reading) this, just let him know he’s a dead man,” Diakiese said. “This is no joke. I’m going to put him to sleep. I’m bringing a pillow for him. If he tries to wrestle, it will go to the second, but if he tries to be aggressive like he said, it’s going to be a very, very short night for him. I’m picking early second (round).”

For more on The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, 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.


Filed under: News, UFC

Video: Gabi Garcia's illegal soccer kick on much smaller foe leads to no-contest

Gabi Garcia’s stretch of two fights in Japan over a 23-day stretch did not get off to a very promising start.

Garcia (4-0 MMA) today fought at the 2017 Shoot Boxing Girls S-Cup event at Tokyo Dome City Hall in Tokyo. Garcia faced Megumi Yabushita (19-23 MMA), a 20-year MMA veteran and pro wrestling-crossover, in a heavyweight bout under Shoot Boxing rules, and the result wasn’t pretty.

As expected, Garcia’s size and power were way too much for 45-year-old, 5-foot-2 Yabushita. The Brazilian, who is a training partner of upcoming UFC 214 title fight competitor Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino,” dropped her opponent with a punch early in the fight. Garcia was clearly confused about the ruleset for the bout, though, and she launched a soccer kick to her grounded opponent that led to the no-contest (via Twitter):

Gabi x Megumi Yabushita – illegal soccer kick, red card, no contest – this is the story pic.twitter.com/fFcrJvDh0y

— Jolassanda (@Jolassanda) July 7, 2017

Here’s the full fight (via YouTube):

Here’s how women’s combat sports expert Robert Sargent, who operates MMARising.com and contributes to MMAjunkie, described the action:

“Yabushita tried to dart in and out with punches against her much larger opponent, but Garcia landed huge knees and kicks to the body. She knocked Yabushita down, but landed an illegal soccer kick to a downed Yabushita’s body and was penalized by one point. Action resumed and Yabushita dove for a takedown attempt. Garcia countered with another soccer kick that appeared to dislocate Yabushita’s shoulder. Yabushita was unable to continue and Garcia was given a Red Card. However, rather than disqualifying Garcia, referee Ryogaku Wada ruled the foul unintentional and declared the fight a no-contest.”

Despite the rough ending to today’s fight, Garcia will have the opportunity to redeem herself when she competes in an MMA fight against Russian boxer Oksana Gagloeva (0-0 MMA) at Rizin FF 6 on July 29 at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.

For more on Rizin FF 6, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: News, Videos

A look at 2017 UFC Hall of Fame inductees Maurice Smith, Kazushi Sakuraba, Joe Silva, Urijah Faber

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

The UFC Hall of Fame officially has four new members.

The industry leader added Maurice Smith, Kazushi Sakuraba, Joe Silva and Urijah Faber and as its 2017 induction class during a ceremony on Thursday at Park Theater in Las Vegas.

The ceremony, hosted by UFC commentator Jon Anik, paid tribute to their accomplishments in the sport and served as part of the 2017 UFC International Fight Week.

The promotion announced the new additions earlier this year, but each new hall of famer got an extensive – and often whacky – introduction.

Don Frye, a 2016 inductee who’s back from a rough year of personal and health problems, got a ways off track introducing Sakuraba after spotting Miesha Tate in the audience, noting he’d bought a computer just to make her nude 2013 “ESPN the Magazine Body Issue” cover his screensaver.

“Get your pictures now! I’ll never be invited back here again,” he said.

UFC President Dana White tried to make light of the situation, cracking, “I didn’t know Don worked for FOX News. Miesha came in here and was like, ‘Well, these were great seats, huh?'”

But for the most part, it was a respectful gathering where the new entrants got a chance to take their due. Here’s a rundown of the new UFC Hall of Fame members:

Maurice Smith

Smith, 55, is the 13th fighter to join the Pioneer wing of the UFC Hall of Fame. A former professional kickboxer, he made his octagon debut at UFC 14 and immediately made his mark by defeating Mark Coleman for the heavyweight title. He defended it once, patenting the “sprawl-and-brawl” style that grew to prominence as the sport of MMA flourished. A decision loss to Randy Couture marked the end of his title run, and after a decision loss to Renato Sobral at UFC 28, he was out of the UFC. He formally retired from the sport in 2013 at 51.

Maurice Smith

Right off the bat, Smith (14-14 MMA, 4-3 UFC) corrected his professional record and said biographical information that claimed he was inspired by Bruce Lee was bunk. He first and foremost identified himself as a kickboxer who stumbled into MMA, later forming one of MMA’s first teams in “The Alliance.” He thanked fellow Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock for shaping his career and his opponents for making him a better fighter.

“Without all the people that helped me become who I am, there wouldn’t have been a Maurice Smith,” Smith said. “Without you fans, even though you fans are not my generation, this sport wouldn’t have grown to what it is.

“The UFC, the Fertittas, Dana White, Joe Silva – these guys put in their money and time to get you guys to come support us, to make a career for us to entertain you. It’s not all about me. It’s all of us, in a weird way. I need you to help pay my bills, and you need me to entertain you, and we need each other to make this sport grow. Even though I’m a kickboxer at heart, I became an MMA fighter.”

Kazushi Sakuraba

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Sakuraba, 47, is the 14th addition to the Pioneer class. Despite competing in the UFC on only two occasions, twice fighting Marcus “Conan” Silveira after a bad stoppage, he’s one of the most recognizable fighters in the sport’s history.

An icon in Japanese MMA, he was the first homegrown star in the now-defunct PRIDE FC organization, where he was dubbed “The Gracie Killer” for a series of triumphant wins over MMA’s first family. A 90-minute showdown with Royce Gracie remains one of his most iconic performances.

Kazushi Sakuraba

True to form, Sakuraba (26-17-1), who retired in 2015 after a loss to Shinya Aoki under the DREAM banner, walked to the UFC Hall of Fame podium in a mask and kimono.

“I can’t express how deeply moved I am to receive this honor,” he said. “Up to this point, I’ve lived a life without awards and titles. It’s been a little while since I won something, and it was the first prize in a bingo game.”

On his post-fight life, Sakuraba said he continues to pass on new techniques to the next generation of fighters. But he isn’t much for taking long trips across the globe to pick up awards.

Rather than see the sights of Las Vegas, he said, “I have a very important appointment downtown at a gentlemen’s club with Don Frye.”

Joe Silva

Silva, 51, is the fourth person to join the Contributors wing as the promotion’s long-running – and now-retired – matchmaker. Originally a consultant who had ideas on how to make the show better, he joined the UFC full time in the late 1990s, when the promotion was owned by Sephamore Entertainment Group. He booked more than 3,000 fights over 340 events around the globe. Less than one year after the promotion was sold to WME-IMG, he retired following UFC Fight Night 107 in March.

Silva said he still watches all the fights and texts UFC executives, adding he’s glad he’s not there to have to deal with it after 16 years on the job.

Joe Silva

So what’s he up to in retirement? Movies, music and martial arts – all the passions that drove him before he took the job.

“I know that (current UFC matchmakers Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard) will continue to make great fights in the years to come,” Silva said. “People ask me if I miss all the excitement, and really I don’t. Urijah Faber texted me and asked me how retirement is going. I told him it’s been four months, and I haven’t had a bad day yet.”

On Faber’s inclusion into the UFC Hall of Fame, he quipped, “I guess they relaxed their height standards.”

Urijah Faber

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The third addition to the Modern Era wing of the UFC Hall of Fame, 38-year-old Faber got his start at events held on Native American reservations. As a smaller fighter, he struggled to find opportunities until UFC parent Zuffa purchased the WEC, where he was a longtime featherweight champion. He became the promotion’s first face and defended his belt five times until Mike Brown dethroned him.

Faber (34-10 MMA, 10-6 UFC) never again got his hands on gold, but he remained one of the sport’s biggest stars when the WEC folded into the UFC. He fought for a title four times in the octagon, most recently falling short to now ex-champ and rival Dominick Cruz. He retired this past December after a decision win over Brad Pickett in his hometown of Sacramento, Calif., where he founded Team Alpha Male.

Urijah Faber

After an intro from his longtime teammates Joseph Benavidez and Cody Garbrandt, who showed off his bantamweight title as proof of an enduring legacy, Faber riffed on his auspicious start in the sport.

“I was the era of the hustler,” he said.

A $460 paycheck was the first big score that set Faber on the path to becoming a full-time fighter. Later, he snuck into a fight by impersonating a reporter to meet Dana White. Years later, he flew with White on the UFC’s private jet.

Now, Faber said his main focus is achieving the kind of success White has enjoyed. Although he could continue to fight, he feels his next contribution is centered around business and entertainment.

“Maybe I’ll get that itch again, but the honest truth is that I exhausted some title shots,” he said. “You may or may not have noticed that.”

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

December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Urijah Faber is declared the winner by decision against Frankie Saenz during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Urijah Faber fights against Frankie Saenz during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Urijah Faber fights against Frankie Saenz during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Urijah Faber lands an elbow against Frankie Saenz during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Dec 6, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Urijah Faber (red) after defeating Francisco Rivera (blue) during UFC 181 at Madalay Bay Events Center. Faber won via second round submission. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Dec 6, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Urijah Faber (red) submits Francisco Rivera (blue) during UFC 181 at Madalay Bay Events Center. Faber won via second round submission. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Dec 6, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Urijah Faber (red) submits Francisco Rivera (blue) during UFC 181 at Madalay Bay Events Center. Faber won via second round submission. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jul 5, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Urijah Faber (red gloves) celebrates his victory over Alex Caceres (blue gloves) during a bantamweight fight at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Feb 1, 2014; Newark, NJ, USA; Renan Barao (red gloves) and Urijah Faber (blue gloves) after their fight during UFC 169 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jan 31, 2014; Newark, NJ, USA; Urijah Faber (right) is interviewed by UFC commentator Joe Rogan after weighing in for his Bantamweight Championship bout against Renan Barao (not pictured) at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports December 14, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Urijah Faber addresses the media during the press conference after UFC on FOX 9 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports December 14, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Urijah Faber (red gloves) reacts during his fight against Michael McDonald during the bantamweight bout of the UFC on FOX 9 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports December 14, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Urijah Faber (red gloves) reacts after his fight against Michael McDonald (blue gloves) during the bantamweight bout of the UFC on FOX 9 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports December 14, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Michael McDonald (blue gloves) gets knocked to the canvas by Urijah Faber (red gloves) during the bantamweight bout of the UFC on FOX 9 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports December 14, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Urijah Faber (red gloves) fights Michael McDonald (blue gloves) during the bantamweight bout of the UFC on FOX 9 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports December 14, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Urijah Faber (red gloves) enters before his fight with Michael McDonald (blue gloves) during the bantamweight bout of the UFC on FOX 9 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports Aug 17, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Urijah Faber celebrates his win after a UFC bantamweight match at the TD Garden. Faber won by judges decision. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports Aug 17, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Urijah Faber leaves the ring after defeating Yuri Alcantara during a UFC Bantamweight match at the TD Garden. Faber won by judges decision. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports Aug 17, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Urijah Faber (top) fights Yuri Alcantara (bottom) during a UFC bantamweight match at the TD Garden. Faber won by judges decision. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports Aug 17, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Urijah Faber during a UFC bantamweight match at the TD Garden. Faber won by judges decision. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/UsQN5oQeN6KuYu5eVEo4CQ/257044", customAnalytics: true, title: "Urijah Faber", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

TUF 25 Finale play-by-play and live results (6 p.m. ET)

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LAS VEGAS – MMAjunkie is on scene and reporting live from today’s TUF 25 Finale event, and you can join us for live play-by-play and official results beginning at 6 p.m. ET (3 p.m. PT).

The event takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. It airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass. In the headliner, Michael Johnson takes on former WSOF lightweight champion Justin Gaethje, who makes his UFC debut. Plus, the welterweight winner of Season 25 of “The Ultimate Fighter” will be crowned.

Follow along with our round-by-round updates and official results beginning at approximately 6 p.m. ET for the UFC Fight Pass prelims, 7 p.m. ET for the FS1 prelims, and 9 p.m. ET for the FS1 main card.

To discuss the show, be sure to check out our TUF 25 Finale discussion thread. You can also get behind-the-scenes coverage and other event notes from on-site reporters John Morgan (@MMAjunkieJohn) and Steven Marrocco (@MMAjunkieSteven) on Twitter.

Enjoy the fights, everyone.

* * * *

Tecia Torres vs. Juliana Lima

Round 1 –

Result:
Recap:
Photos:
Records: Torres (8-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC), Lima (9-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC)
Division: Women’s strawweight
Broadcast: UFC Fight Pass
Referee:
Judging:

Gray Maynard vs. Teruto Ishihara

Round 1 –

Result:
Recap:
Photos:
Records: Maynard (12-6-1 MMA, 10-6-1 UFC), Ishihara (9-3-2 MMA, 2-1-1 UFC)
Division: Featherweight
Broadcast: UFC Fight Pass
Referee:
Judging:

 

Jessica Eye vs. Aspen Ladd

Round 1 –

Result:
Recap:
Photos:
Records: Eye (11-6 MMA, 1-5 UFC), Ladd (5-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC)
Division: Women’s bantamweight
Broadcast: FS1
Referee:
Judging:

Ed Herman vs. C.B. Dollaway

Round 1 –

Result:
Recap:
Photos:
Records: Herman (23-12-1 MMA, 10-8-1 UFC), Dollaway (15-8 MMA, 9-8 UFC)
Division: Middleweight
Broadcast: FS1
Referee:
Judging:

Tom Gallicchio vs. James Krause

Round 1 –

Result:
Recap:
Photos:
Records: Galicchio (19-9 MMA, 0-0 UFC), Krause (23-7 MMA, 4-3 UFC)
Division: Welterweight
Broadcast: FS1
Referee:
Judging:

Angela Hill vs. Ashley Yoder

Round 1 –

Result:
Recap:
Photos:
Records: Hill (6-3 MMA, 0-3 UFC), Yoder (5-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC)
Division: Women’s strawweight
Broadcast: FS1
Referee:
Judging:

Jordan Johnson vs. Marcel Fortuna

Round 1 –

Result:
Recap:
Photos:
Records: Johnson (7-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC), Fortuna (9-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC)
Division: Light heavyweight
Broadcast: FS1
Referee:
Judging:

Brad Tavares vs. Elias Theodorou

Round 1 –

Result:
Recap:
Photos:
Records: Tavares (14-4 MMA, 9-4 UFC), Theodorou (13-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC)
Division: Middleweight
Broadcast: FS1
Referee:
Judging:

Jared Cannonier vs. Nick Roehrick

Round 1 –

Result:
Recap:
Photos:
Records: Cannonier (9-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC), Roehrick (7-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC)
Division: Light heavyweight
Broadcast: FS1
Referee:
Judging:

Marc Diakiese vs. Drakkar Klose

Round 1 –

Result:
Recap:
Photos:
Records: Diakiese (12-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC), Klose (7-0-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC)
Division: Lightweight
Broadcast: FS1
Referee:
Judging:

Dhiego Lima vs. Jesse Taylor

Round 1 –

Result:
Recap:
Photos:
Records: Dhiego Lima (12-5 MMA, 1-3 UFC), Taylor (30-15 MMA, 0-1 UFC)
Division: Welterweight – “TUF 25” tournament final
Broadcast: FS1
Referee:
Judging:

Michael Johnson vs. Justin Gaethje

Round 1 –

Result:
Recap:
Photos:
Records: Johnson (17-11 MMA, 9-7 UFC), Gaethje (17-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC)
Division: Lightweight
Rankings: Gaethje No. 7, Johnson No. 12
Broadcast: FS1
Referee:
Judging:


Filed under: News, UFC

TUF 25 Finale discussion thread

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LAS VEGAS – MMAjunkie is on scene and reporting live from today’s TUF 25 Finale event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, which kicks off at 6 p.m. ET (3 p.m. PT). You can discuss the event here.

Be sure to follow along with the latest card updates in our TUF 25 Finale live results post, and then discuss the event in the comments section below.

Round-by-round updates and official results begin at approximately 6 p.m. ET for the preliminary card and 9 p.m. ET for the main card.


Filed under: News, UFC

Video: Watch the TUF 25 Finale's post-event press conference on MMAjunkie


Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

LAS VEGAS – The TUF 25 Finale takes place today at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. As usual, you can watch a live video stream of the post-event press conference here on MMAjunkie at approximately 12:30 a.m. ET (9:30 p.m. PT).

Expected to take part in the press conference are headliners Michael Johnson and Justin Gaethje, the “TUF 25” tournament-final winner, and other victors from the card.

For complete coverage of The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, check out the UFC Events section of the site.


Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

UFC 213 early weigh-in results and live video stream (noon ET)

LAS VEGAS – MMAjunkie is on scene and reporting live from today’s early and official UFC 213 fighter weigh-ins, which kick off at noon ET (9 a.m. PT).

The early weigh-ins, which precede the day’s ceremonial affair, take place at the UFC host hotel in Las Vegas. The UFC 213 ceremonial weigh-ins take place at 5 p.m. ET at Park Theater at Monte Carlo in Las Vegas. The nearby T-Mobile Arena hosts Saturday’s pay-per-view event.

Among those weighing in are headliners Amanda Nunes (14-4 MMA, 7-1 UFC) and Valentina Shevchenko (14-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC), who fight for Nunes’ women’s bantamweight title. Yoel Romero (12-1 MMA, 8-0 UFC) and Robert Whittaker (18-4 MMA, 9-2 UFC), who meet in the co-feature for the interim middleweight title, also hit the scale.

UFC officials recently adopted the early weigh-ins to allow fighters more time to rehydrate before the event.

The full UFC 213 weigh-in results include:

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

  • Champ Amanda Nunes () vs. Valentina Shevchenko () – for women’s bantamweight title
  • Yoel Romero () vs. Robert Whittaker () – for interim middleweight title
  • Curtis Blaydes () vs. Daniel Omielanczuk ()
  • Alistair Overeem () vs. Fabricio Werdum ()
  • Jim Miller () vs. Anthony Pettis ()

PRELIMINARY CARD (FS1, 8 p.m. ET)

  • Travis Browne () vs. Aleksei Oleinik ()
  • Brian Camozzi () vs. Chad Laprise ()
  • Gerald Meerschaert () vs. Thiago “Marreta” Santos ()
  • Jordan Mein () vs. Belal Muhammad ()

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 6:30 p.m. ET)

  • Rob Font () vs. Douglas Silva de Andrade ()
  • Cody Stamann () vs. Terrion Ware ()
  • James Bochnovic () vs. Trevin Giles ()

For more on UFC 213, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes during the match against Valentina Shevchenko (not pictured) during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko against Amanda Nunes (not pictured) during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes (left) against Valentina Shevchenko during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes during the match against Valentina Shevchenko (not pictured) during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes pins Valentina Shevchenko to the mat during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko (right) against Amanda Nunes during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko lands a kick against Amanda Nunes during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes (top) against Valentina Shevchenko during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko (left) against Amanda Nunes during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes (top) against Valentina Shevchenko during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes lands punches against Valentina Shevchenko during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko is pinned to the mat by Amanda Nunes during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko against Amanda Nunes (not pictured) during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes (left) against Valentina Shevchenko during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko moves in with a knee hit against Amanda Nunes during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko (right) against Amanda Nunes during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko (right) against Amanda Nunes during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko (right) against Amanda Nunes during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko (left) against Amanda Nunes during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko (right) against Amanda Nunes during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko lands a punch against Amanda Nunes during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko (left) against Amanda Nunes during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko celebrates following her fight against Amanda Nunes (not pictured) during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes celebrates following the match against Valentina Shevchenko (not pictured) during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko and Amanda Nunes react following their match during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko hugs Amanda Nunes following their match at UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes reacts following her victory by decision against Valentina Shevchenko during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes is declared the winner by decision against Valentina Shevchenko during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko against Amanda Nunes (not pictured) during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes celebrates following the match against Valentina Shevchenko (not pictured) during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. 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Filed under: News, UFC

Video: Watch today's UFC 213 ceremonial weigh-ins live on MMAjunkie at 5 p.m. ET


Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

LAS VEGAS – UFC 213 ceremonial fighter weigh-ins take place today, and you can catch a live video stream of the proceedings here on MMAjunkie at 5 p.m. ET (2 p.m. PT).

The weigh-ins take place at Park Theater at Monte Carlo in Las Vegas. The nearby T-Mobile Arena hosts Saturday’s pay-per-view event.

In addition to the video stream above, you can check out the early and official UFC 213 weigh-in results from earlier in the day.

For more on UFC 213, check out the UFC Rumors section of MMAjunkie.


Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

Conor McGregor-Floyd Mayweather press tour kicks off July 11 at Staples Center

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The official promotion for the “The Money Fight” between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather kicks off this coming Tuesday, July 11, with a press conference at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Tickets for the fan and media event – part of the “Official Mayweather vs. McGregor World Tour” – go on sale Friday at 3 p.m. ET (noon PT local time), Staples Center officials today announced (via Twitter):

Just Announced. @FloydMayweather vs @TheNotoriousMMA press conference on Tue, Jul 11. Tix avail tomorrow at 12pm. https://t.co/12BeKnX5OA pic.twitter.com/lbD3vYGf7d

— STAPLES Center (@STAPLESCenter) July 7, 2017

Prices, if any, weren’t disclosed for the press-conference tickets.

Mayweather, who brings a perfect 49-0 boxing record into the fight, meets UFC lightweight champ McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) on Aug. 26 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The ballyhooed crossover fight, which is being held under boxing rules, airs on pay-per-view at a price tag expected to be in the triple digits.

A report previously suggested London would host the first official press conference, though Los Angeles is now slated for the mega-fight’s promotional kickoff.

Additional tour dates are expected to be announced in the coming days.

MMAjunkie will be on site with full coverage of the July 11 press conference.

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

May 1, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather reacts following weigh-ins for the upcoming boxing fight against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 1, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather reacts following weigh-ins for the upcoming boxing fight against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao box during their world welterweight championship bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather in his corner after the first round of his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather (left) during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao (Yellow/Red trunks) box during their world welterweight championship bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao (Yellow/Red trunks) box during their world welterweight championship bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather wears a towel around his head as he sits in his corner between rounds during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather (left) during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather (black/gold trunks) and Manny Pacquiao (yellow/red trunks) box during their world welterweight championship bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mayweather won via unanimous decsion. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Referee Kenny Bayless (center) separates Manny Pacquiao (left) from Floyd Mayweather during their boxing bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather (black/gold trunks) and Manny Pacquiao (yellow/red trunks) box during their world welterweight championship bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mayweather won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao box during their world welterweight championship bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Referee Kenny Bayless (center) separates Manny Pacquiao (left) and Floyd Mayweather during their boxing bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather during his world welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather (black/gold trunks) and Manny Pacquiao (yellow/red trunks) box during their world welterweight championship bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mayweather won via unanimous decsion. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather reacts after his welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather celebrates on the ropes after his welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather celebrates after his welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Detailed view of fans in the crowd look on as Floyd Mayweather celebrates after his welterweight championship bout against Manny Pacquiao at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/zP8ckMV3y2znKY3YnenK6C/257024", customAnalytics: true, title: "Floyd Mayweather Jr.", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC

Paige VanZant: Reebok deal enabled me to pay rent, train with Team Alpha Male

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

LAS VEGAS – Paige VanZant credits her first walk to the octagon as a turning point in her life. She also credits a controversial sponsorship with Reebok as the break that took her career to the next level.

“Because of the Reebok deal, I was actually able to afford rent for my apartment to be able to train in Sacramento (Calif.) with Team Alpha Male,” VanZant said today during an appearance at the “Women of the UFC” panel at Park Theater in Las Vegas.

RelatedBellator President Scott Coker: UFC-Reebok deal 'should be against the labor laws or something'

VanZant (7-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC) said she’s got a fight announcement in the works and urged fans to stay tuned. She currently trains at Gracie Barra Portland alongside three-time UFC title challenger and Bellator star Chael Sonnen, who invited her to join the team when she decided to move back to her native Pacific Northwest.

The 23-year-old strawweight’s entrance into the UFC met its fair share of detractors, who took umbrage to an exclusive deal she signed with Reebok shortly after the apparel giant signed a long-term deal with the UFC.

Although VanZant’s 3-1 record raised eyebrows when she signed with the UFC, she took to training with Team Alpha Male, known as one of MMA’s strongest talent factories. And she managed to win three straight.

Outside the cage, VanZant also proved her crossover potential with an appearance on the 22nd season of “Dancing with the Stars,” where her dance background led to a second-place finish.

RelatedChris Weidman's 'sexy' Reebok ad gets full endorsement from Paige VanZant

But after a strong start in the octagon, VanZant’s UFC career stalled with a lopsided loss to Rose Namajunas. After rebounding with a highlight-reel knockout of Bec Rawlings, she was choked unconscious by Michelle Waterson last December at UFC on FOX 22.

In April, VanZant’s role with Reebok again put her in the crosshairs when she pitched apparel with a suggestive selfie video. Several MMA fighters stepped in with their own parodies. VanZant said she was unaware of the criticism and said the whole video was meant in a joking manner.

Many fighters in the UFC don’t find much funny about the promotion’s deal with Reebok. But for VanZant, the apparel maker is a benefactor that can’t be igorned.

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

Apr 18, 2015; Newark, NJ, USA; Paige VanZant (blue) celebrates after her fight against Felice Herrig (red) during UFC Fight Night at Prudential Center. VanZant won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Sep 4, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Paige VanZant walks to the scale to weigh-in for her Women's Strawweight Bout against Alex Chambers (not pictured) at UFC 191 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Sep 4, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Paige VanZant during the weigh-in for her Women's Strawweight Bout against Alex Chambers (not pictured) at UFC 191 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Sep 4, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Paige VanZant during the weigh-in for her Women's Strawweight Bout against Alex Chambers (not pictured) at UFC 191 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Sep 5, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Paige VanZant (red gloves) fights Alex Chambers (blue gloves) during UFC 191 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Sep 5, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Paige VanZant (red gloves) celebrates beating Alex Chambers (blue gloves) during UFC 191 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Sep 5, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Paige VanZant (red gloves) celebrates beating Alex Chambers (blue gloves) during UFC 191 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports December 10, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Paige VanZant fights against Rose Namajunas during UFC Fight Night at The Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 10, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Detail of Paige VanZant facial wounds while fighting against Rose Namajunas during UFC Fight Night at The Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 10, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Paige VanZant reacts following her loss against Rose Namajunas during UFC Fight Night at The Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 10, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Paige VanZant following her loss against Rose Namajunas during UFC Fight Night at The Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Apr 18, 2015; Newark, NJ, USA; Paige VanZant (blue) celebrates after her fight against Felice Herrig (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Prudential Center. VanZant won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Apr 18, 2015; Newark, NJ, USA; Felice Herrig (red) and Paige VanZant (blue) fight during UFC Fight Night at Prudential Center. VanZant won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Apr 18, 2015; Newark, NJ, USA; Felice Herrig (red) and Paige VanZant (blue) fight during UFC Fight Night at Prudential Center. VanZant won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Apr 18, 2015; Newark, NJ, USA; Felice Herrig (red) and Paige VanZant (blue) fight during UFC Fight Night at Prudential Center. VanZant won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Apr 18, 2015; Newark, NJ, USA; Felice Herrig (red) and Paige VanZant (blue) fight during UFC Fight Night at Prudential Center. VanZant won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Apr 18, 2015; Newark, NJ, USA; Paige VanZant (blue) walks to the ring for her fight against Felice Herrig (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Prudential Center. VanZant won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Apr 18, 2015; Newark, NJ, USA; Paige VanZant (blue) walks to the ring for her fight during UFC Fight Night at Prudential Center. VanZant won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Apr 18, 2015; Newark, NJ, USA; Paige VanZant (blue) walks to the ring for her fight against Felice Herrig (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Prudential Center. VanZant won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Apr 18, 2015; Newark, NJ, USA; Paige VanZant (blue) walks to the ring for her fight against Felice Herrig (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Prudential Center. VanZant won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 18: Felice Herrig and Paige VanZant grapple in their women's strawweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Prudential Center on April 18, 2015 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images) NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 18: Paige VanZant celebrates defeating Felice Herrig in their women's strawweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Prudential Center on April 18, 2015 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images) NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 18: Paige VanZant celebrates defeating Felice Herrig in their women's strawweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Prudential Center on April 18, 2015 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images) NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 18: Paige VanZant prepares for her women's strawweight bout against Felice Herrig during the UFC Fight Night event at Prudential Center on April 18, 2015 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images) NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 18: Felice Herrig (black top) and Paige VanZant (pink top) fight in their women's strawweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Prudential Center on April 18, 2015 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images) NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 18: Felice Herrig (black top) and Paige VanZant (pink top) fight in their women's strawweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Prudential Center on April 18, 2015 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images) NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 18: Paige VanZant celebrates defeating Felice Herrig in their women's strawweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Prudential Center on April 18, 2015 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images) LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 09: MMA fighter Paige Vanzant introduces singer/songwriter Wyclef Jean during Metro PCS Presents Wyclef Jean Powered by PANDORA at The Boulevard Pool at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on July 9, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Bryan Steffy/Getty Images for PANDORA Media) LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 09: MMA fighter Paige Vanzant (L) and singer/songwriter Wyclef Jean attend Metro PCS Presents Wyclef Jean Powered by PANDORA at The Boulevard Pool at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on July 9, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Bryan Steffy/Getty Images for PANDORA Media) LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 09: MMA fighter Paige Vanzant introduces singer/songwriter Wyclef Jean during Metro PCS Presents Wyclef Jean Powered by PANDORA at The Boulevard Pool at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on July 9, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. 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Filed under: Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

TUF 25 Finale ceremonial weigh-in video highlights and photo gallery – with a middle finger

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

LAS VEGAS – Check out the video highlights and photo gallery from today’s ceremonial weigh-ins for The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, which included a not-so-friendly face-off with the headliners.

The ceremonial weigh-ins took place at Park Theater at Monte Carlo in Las Vegas. The nearby T-Mobile Arena hosts Friday’s FS1-televised event.

RelatedTUF 25 Finale early weigh-in results: Michael Johnson (155), Justin Gaethje (155.75) set for main event

In the main event, former WSOF champion Justin Gaethje (17-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) makes his UFC debut and takes on lightweight contender Michael Johnson (17-11 MMA, 9-7 UFC). There was no love lost during their face-off.

Additionally, main-card lightweights Marc Diakiese (12-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) and Drakkar Klose (7-0-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) got a bit heated when they posed for cameras.

Check out our highlights video from the proceedings above, and don’t miss our photo gallery below.

And for more on The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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With Jon Jones' suspension lifted, Daniel Cormier begs: 'No more (expletive) ups' ahead of UFC 214

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Filed under: News, UFC

Jon Jones is finally free of the suspension that derailed UFC 200’s main event last summer, and now the path is officially clear for his long-awaited rematch with UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, which is set for UFC 214 later this month.

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) handed Jones (22-1 MMA, 16-1 UFC) a one-year suspension following an out-of-competition test administered prior to his planned UFC 200 rematch with Cormier (19-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) in July 2016. The results came back just days before the event, and “Bones” was pulled from the card and given his punishment for taking what he called off-brand “dick pills” (via YouTube):

The mishap marked the latest in a long line of outside-the-cage gaffes Jones has made throughout his career. He’s been relatively scandal-free lately, though, and Cormier today made it clear he hopes that continues until after UFC 214 (via Twitter):

Yo @JonnyBones congrats on ur suspension for steroid abuse getting lifted today. Only a few more weeks now, so please no fuck ups. Thanks DC

— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) July 6, 2017

Jones, meanwhile, took it in stride (via Twitter):

Come on DC, you can do better. We'll wait for it https://t.co/ZZLHGuChSI

— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) July 6, 2017

UFC 214 takes place July 29 at Honda Center in Anaheim. Cormier vs. Jones headlines the pay-per-view main card following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass, though the bout order hasn’t been finalized.

The rematch between Cormier, No. 2 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA light-heavyweight rankings, and No. 1-ranked Jones is one of the most anticipated in MMA history.

“DC” and “Bones” have been bitter rivals for what seems like an eternity, but despite being scheduled to fight five times (including UFC 214), they have shared the octagon only once so far, with Jones winning a unanimous decision over Cormier at UFC 182 in January 2015.

It’s clear the current champ wants nothing more than to avenge his only career loss, and if he has to constantly remind Jones of his past mistakes in order to ensure he shows up at UFC 214, it’s clear he’s happy to do it.

For more on UFC 214, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Jan 3, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jon Jones (red gloves) celebrates after defeating Daniel Cormier (not pictured) in their light heavyweight title fight at UFC 182 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Jones won. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC President Dana White separates Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier during the weigh in for their Light Heavyweight Title Bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 3, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jon Jones (red gloves) before his light heavyweight title fight at UFC 182 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 3, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jon Jones enters the arena for his light heavyweight title fight against Daniel Cormier (not pictured) at UFC 182 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Jones won. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 3, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jon Jones (red gloves) in his light heavyweight title fight at UFC 182 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 3, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jon Jones (red gloves) in his light heavyweight title fight at UFC 182 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 3, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jon Jones (red gloves) and Daniel Cormier (blue gloves) compete in the light heavyweight title fight at UFC 182 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 3, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jon Jones (red gloves) and Daniel Cormier (blue gloves) compete in the light heavyweight title fight at UFC 182 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 3, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Daniel Cormier (blue gloves) competes in the light heavyweight title fight at UFC 182 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 3, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jon Jones (red gloves) and Daniel Cormier (blue gloves) compete in the light heavyweight title fight at UFC 182 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 3, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jon Jones (red gloves) and Daniel Cormier (blue gloves) compete in the light heavyweight title fight at UFC 182 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 3, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jon Jones (red gloves) and Daniel Cormier (blue gloves) compete in the light heavyweight title fight at UFC 182 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 3, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jon Jones (red gloves) and Daniel Cormier (blue gloves) compete in the light heavyweight title fight at UFC 182 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 3, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jon Jones (red gloves) and Daniel Cormier (blue gloves) compete in the light heavyweight title fight at UFC 182 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 3, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jon Jones (red gloves) competes in his light heavyweight title fight at UFC 182 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 3, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jon Jones (red gloves) and Daniel Cormier (blue gloves) in the light heavyweight title fight at UFC 182 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 3, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jon Jones (red gloves) and Daniel Cormier (blue gloves) compete in the light heavyweight title fight at UFC 182 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 3, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Daniel Cormier (blue gloves) in his corner during his light heavyweight title fight against Jon Jones (not pictured) UFC 182 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Jones won. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 3, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jon Jones (red gloves) and Daniel Cormier (blue gloves) in the light heavyweight title fight at UFC 182 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Jones won. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 3, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jon Jones (red gloves) and Daniel Cormier (blue gloves) in the light heavyweight title fight at UFC 182 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Jones won. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 3, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jon Jones (red gloves) and Daniel Cormier (blue gloves) compete during their light heavyweight title fight at UFC 182 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Jones won. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 3, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jon Jones (red gloves) and Daniel Cormier (blue gloves) compete during their light heavyweight title fight at UFC 182 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Jones won. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 3, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jon Jones (red gloves) and Daniel Cormier (blue gloves) in the light heavyweight title fight at UFC 182 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Jones won. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 3, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jon Jones (red gloves) and Daniel Cormier (blue gloves) compete during their light heavyweight title fight at UFC 182 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Jones won. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 3, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jon Jones (red gloves) and Daniel Cormier (blue gloves) in the light heavyweight title fight at UFC 182 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Jones won. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 3, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Daniel Cormier (blue gloves) reacts during his light heavyweight title fight against Jon Jones (not pictured) UFC 182 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Jones won. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 3, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jon Jones (red gloves) and Daniel Cormier (blue gloves) compete during their light heavyweight title fight at UFC 182 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Jones won. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 3, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jon Jones (red gloves) and Daniel Cormier (blue gloves) compete during their light heavyweight title fight at UFC 182 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Jones won. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 3, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jon Jones (red gloves) and Daniel Cormier (blue gloves) compete during their light heavyweight title fight at UFC 182 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Jones won. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 3, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jon Jones (red gloves) and Daniel Cormier (blue gloves) compete during their light heavyweight title fight at UFC 182 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Jones won. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 3, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jon Jones (red gloves) and Daniel Cormier (blue gloves) compete during their light heavyweight title fight at UFC 182 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Jones won. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 3, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jon Jones (red gloves) and Daniel Cormier (blue gloves) compete during their light heavyweight title fight at UFC 182 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Jones won. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 3, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jon Jones (red gloves) and Daniel Cormier (blue gloves) compete during their light heavyweight title fight at UFC 182 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Jones won. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 3, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jon Jones (red gloves) and Daniel Cormier (blue gloves) compete during their light heavyweight title fight at UFC 182 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Jones won. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 3, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jon Jones (red gloves) and Daniel Cormier (blue gloves) compete during their light heavyweight title fight at UFC 182 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Jones won. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 3, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jon Jones (red gloves) and Daniel Cormier (blue gloves) compete during their light heavyweight title fight at UFC 182 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Jones won. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 3, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jon Jones (red gloves) and Daniel Cormier (blue gloves) compete during their light heavyweight title fight at UFC 182 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Jones won. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 3, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jon Jones (red gloves) and Daniel Cormier (blue gloves) compete during their light heavyweight title fight at UFC 182 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Jones won. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 3, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Official referee Herb Dean separates Jon Jones (red gloves) and Daniel Cormier (blue gloves) as they fight after the buzzer to end their light heavyweight title fight at UFC 182 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Jones won. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 3, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Official referee Herb Dean separates Jon Jones (red gloves) and Daniel Cormier (blue gloves) as they fight after the buzzer to end their light heavyweight title fight at UFC 182 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Jones won. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 3, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jon Jones (red gloves) celebrates after defeating Daniel Cormier (not pictured) in their light heavyweight title fight at UFC 182 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Jones won. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 3, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jon Jones (red gloves) celebrates after defeating Daniel Cormier (not pictured) in their light heavyweight title fight at UFC 182 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Jones won. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 3, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jon Jones (red gloves) celebrates after defeating Daniel Cormier (not pictured) in their light heavyweight title fight at UFC 182 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Jones won. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 3, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jon Jones (red gloves) celebrates after defeating Daniel Cormier (not pictured) in their light heavyweight title fight at UFC 182 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Jones won. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 3, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jon Jones with his corner after defeating Daniel Cormier (not pictured) in their light heavyweight title fight at UFC 182 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Jones won. 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Filed under: News, UFC

'UFC 213 Embedded,' No. 3: Champ Amanda Nunes takes in the comedy stylings of Din Thomas


Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

The UFC returns this week with International Fight Week, and the promotion has rolled out its “Embedded” treatment for a preview of Saturday’s UFC 213 event.

UFC 213 takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, and the main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

RelatedVideo: UFC 213 media-day face-offs, where 1 shorter heavyweight had some fun

In the main event, women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes (14-4 MMA, 7-1 UFC) puts her title on the line against Valentina Shevchenko (14-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) in a rematch from early last year. And in the co-headliner, top contenders Robert Whittaker (18-4 MMA, 9-2 UFC) and Yoel Romero (13-1 MMA, 8-0 UFC) square off for the interim middleweight title.

In the fourth episode of “Embedded,” Shevchenko breaks down the matchup as opponent Nunes takes in the comedy stylings of UFC vet Din Thomas. Fabricio Werdum (21-6-1 MMA, 9-3 UFC) wraps up camp while opponent Alistair Overeem (42-15 MMA, 7-4 UFC) deals with a hotel fire. Additionally, Romero cuts a rug, Whittaker dreams of the American staple of Twinkies, and all of the fighters head to open workouts, where champ Nunes joins the “UFC Tonight” set with Michael Bisping and Kenny Florian.

Check out the full episode above.

Also see:

And for more on UFC 213, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Apr 23, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Robert Whittaker (red gloves) competes against Rafael Natal (blue gloves) during UFC 197 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Apr 23, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Robert Whittaker (red gloves) competes against Rafael Natal (blue gloves) during UFC 197 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Apr 23, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Robert Whittaker (red gloves) competes against Rafael Natal (blue gloves) during UFC 197 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Apr 23, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Robert Whittaker (red gloves) competes against Rafael Natal (blue gloves) during UFC 197 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Apr 23, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Robert Whittaker (red gloves) competes against Rafael Natal (blue gloves) during UFC 197 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Nov 15, 2015; Melbourne, Australia; Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) reacts in his bout against Uriah Hall (not pictured) during UFC 193 at Etihad Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Nov 15, 2015; Melbourne, Australia; Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) reacts in his bout against Uriah Hall (not pictured) during UFC 193 at Etihad Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Nov 15, 2015; Melbourne, Australia; Uriah Hall (red gloves) competes against Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 193 at Etihad Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Nov 15, 2015; Melbourne, Australia; Uriah Hall (red gloves) competes against Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 193 at Etihad Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Nov 15, 2015; Melbourne, Australia; Uriah Hall (red gloves) competes against Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 193 at Etihad Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Nov 15, 2015; Melbourne, Australia; Uriah Hall (red gloves) competes against Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 193 at Etihad Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Nov 15, 2015; Melbourne, Australia; Uriah Hall (red gloves) competes against Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 193 at Etihad Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Nov 15, 2015; Melbourne, Australia; Uriah Hall (red gloves) competes against Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 193 at Etihad Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Nov 15, 2015; Melbourne, Australia; Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) celebrates after defeating Uriah Hall (not pictured) during UFC 193 at Etihad Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Aug 28, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Robert Whittaker during UFC Fight Night 27 against Court McGee at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports Nov 27, 2016; Melbourne, Australia; Robert Whittaker (red gloves) competes against Derek Brunson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Rod Laver Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Nov 27, 2016; Melbourne, Australia; Robert Whittaker (red gloves) competes against Derek Brunson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Rod Laver Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Nov 27, 2016; Melbourne, Australia; Robert Whittaker (red gloves) competes against Derek Brunson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Rod Laver Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Nov 27, 2016; Melbourne, Australia; Robert Whittaker (red gloves) celebrates winning his bout against Derek Brunson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Rod Laver Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Nov 27, 2016; Melbourne, Australia; Robert Whittaker (red gloves) celebrates winning his bout against Derek Brunson (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Rod Laver Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Nov 27, 2016; Melbourne, Australia; Robert Whittaker (red gloves) celebrates with fans after winning his bout against Derek Brunson (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Rod Laver Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Apr 15, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Ronaldo Souza (Red Gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (Blue Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Apr 15, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Ronaldo Souza (red) and Robert Whittaker (blue) fight during UFC Fight Night at the Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Apr 15, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Ronaldo Souza (Red Gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (Blue Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Apr 15, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Ronaldo Souza (red) and Robert Whittaker (blue) fight during UFC Fight Night at the Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Apr 15, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Ronaldo Souza (red) and Robert Whittaker (blue) fight during UFC Fight Night at the Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Apr 15, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Ronaldo Souza (red) and Robert Whittaker (blue) fight during UFC Fight Night at the Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Apr 15, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Robert Whittaker (blue) celebrates his win over Ronaldo Souza (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at the Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Apr 15, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Robert Whittaker (Blue Gloves) reacts to fight against Alexander Volkov (Red Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Apr 15, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Robert Whittaker (Blue Gloves) reacts to fight against Alexander Volkov (Red Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/azsYDxYPzNiDNaKGo75xvg/256966", customAnalytics: true, title: "Robert Whittaker", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

Video: UFC 213 media-day face-offs, where 1 shorter heavyweight had some fun

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

LAS VEGAS – Check out the fighter face-offs from the UFC 213 media day.

UFC 213 takes place Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, and the main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Among those facing off were heavyweights Travis Browne (18-6-1 MMA, 9-6-1 UFC) and Aleksei Oliynyk (51-10-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC), who meet in the featured prelim. Browne has a clear height advantage, but Oliynyk exaggerated it a bit, as you can see above.

Also weighing in were the main-card fighters:

For more on UFC 213, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes during the match against Valentina Shevchenko (not pictured) during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko against Amanda Nunes (not pictured) during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes (left) against Valentina Shevchenko during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes during the match against Valentina Shevchenko (not pictured) during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes pins Valentina Shevchenko to the mat during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko (right) against Amanda Nunes during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko lands a kick against Amanda Nunes during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes (top) against Valentina Shevchenko during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko (left) against Amanda Nunes during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes (top) against Valentina Shevchenko during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes lands punches against Valentina Shevchenko during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko is pinned to the mat by Amanda Nunes during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko against Amanda Nunes (not pictured) during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes (left) against Valentina Shevchenko during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko moves in with a knee hit against Amanda Nunes during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko (right) against Amanda Nunes during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko (right) against Amanda Nunes during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko (right) against Amanda Nunes during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko (left) against Amanda Nunes during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko (right) against Amanda Nunes during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko lands a punch against Amanda Nunes during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko (left) against Amanda Nunes during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko celebrates following her fight against Amanda Nunes (not pictured) during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes celebrates following the match against Valentina Shevchenko (not pictured) during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko and Amanda Nunes react following their match during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko hugs Amanda Nunes following their match at UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes reacts following her victory by decision against Valentina Shevchenko during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes is declared the winner by decision against Valentina Shevchenko during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko against Amanda Nunes (not pictured) during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes celebrates following the match against Valentina Shevchenko (not pictured) during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/LejrtCkKj7fRqzy4fhMGkJ/256959", customAnalytics: true, title: "Nunes def. Shevchenko", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

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

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

(This story first appeared at USAToday.com.)

LAS VEGAS — A women’s fight is headlining the UFC’s summer showcase this week, and Ronda Rousey has no part in it.

That in itself is no surprise, given that the last time Rousey stepped into the octagon here she made it just 48 seconds. Her conqueror on that late December night, Amanda Nunes, will top the bill at UFC 213 on Saturday, defending her bantamweight title against Valentina Shevchenko in the main event.

However, in one of the most empowering weeks for female fighting that the UFC has ever had, Rousey isn’t just absent from the cage, but seems to be completely out of the sight and minds of the MMA community.

On Wednesday, the organization hosted a “Women of UFC” discussion panel as part of its “International Fight Week” series of events designed to bring fans into Las Vegas for several days, rather than just fight night.

Over the course of an hour and in front of several hundred fans, four prominent women’s UFC fighters and moderator Megan Olivi spoke about how far the sport has evolved, where it might be headed next and its position in providing role models to young girls and women.

And not once was Rousey’s name mentioned.

Popular fighter Paige VanZant said women “are here and we are taking this stage by storm.” Cristiane Justino, who will fight for the women’s featherweight title at UFC 214 later this month, lauded the way women now “have this opportunity to show we can fight like the men — and put on exciting fights.”

“We are not female fighters, we are just fighters,” said Michelle Waterson, who is on one of the covers of ESPN The Magazine’s latest “Body Issue” on newsstands Friday. Strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk remembered a time when a UFC career was not even a dream for female athletes because the organization was steadfast in its refusal to add women’s divisions.

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That was before UFC President Dana White changed his mind, which is to say that Rousey changed it for him. Virtually single-handedly, she convinced White to implement a women’s division, and he built it around her. With six crushing victories in two and a half years, she put women’s MMA on the map, gave female fighting both credibility and a superstar face and gained an army of worldwide fans.

MMA arguably is the toughest sport in the world, and it moves with remarkable haste. Champions become chumps at warp speed. Former superstars become quickly forgotten once their skills wane and their ranking dips.

Yet you never thought it would go like that for Rousey, at least not this quickly. As recently as November 2015, she was still seen as unbeatable, an all-conquering superwoman that the public couldn’t get enough of. A stunning defeat to Holly Holm followed and Rousey became a virtual recluse, before reappearing in December to be demolished by Nunes.

And just like that, the juggernaut was over. Rousey is now something else. No longer a fighter even perhaps, at least according to White, who thinks she will retire.

For now, she is a coach on ABC’s “Battle of the Network Stars” athletics competition, which is why she was on the “Live With Kelly and Ryan” couch on Wednesday. A couple of hours before the female UFC fighters spoke in Las Vegas, she regaled the talk show hosts with a few tidbits about her now ultra-secretive life.

Such controlled occasions are the only snippets she has shared with the public since the Holm defeat that left her kicked into unconsciousness and sent her career hurtling downhill.

In that sense, she doesn’t have to look far to find sympathy. On Saturday, Rousey is expected at the arena to support fiancé Travis Browne as he struggles to save his career against little-known heavyweight Aleksei Oleinik.

Browne has lost three straight, giving he and Rousey a combined 2-6 record since their relationship began.

One more defeat and he could be out of the organization and into obscurity. For an average men’s heavyweight, such things are not so unexpected. Rousey’s fall, and fade, has been far more surprising.

For more on UFC 213, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Jul 21, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Former MLB and NFL player Bo Jackson and UFC champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk fool around before throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before a game between the Chicago White Sox and the Detroit Tigers at U.S. Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) before fighting against Karolina Kowalkiewicz (blue gloves) in their strawweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) fights against Karolina Kowalkiewicz (blue gloves) in their strawweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) fights against Karolina Kowalkiewicz (blue gloves) in their strawweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) reacts after defeating Karolina Kowalkiewicz (blue gloves) in their strawweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Jul 21, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; UFC champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk throws out a ceremonial first pitch before a game between the Chicago White Sox and the Detroit Tigers at U.S. Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports Nov 15, 2015; Melbourne, Australia; Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) competes against Valerie Letourneau (blue gloves) during UFC 193 at Etihad Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Nov 15, 2015; Melbourne, Australia; Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) competes against Valerie Letourneau (blue gloves) during UFC 193 at Etihad Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Nov 15, 2015; Melbourne, Australia; Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) competes against Valerie Letourneau (blue gloves) during UFC 193 at Etihad Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Nov 15, 2015; Melbourne, Australia; Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) competes against Valerie Letourneau (blue gloves) during UFC 193 at Etihad Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC women's fighter Joanna Jedrzejczyk in attendance as she watches Valentina Shevchenko fight against Amanda Nunes during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Mar 14, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Carla Esparza (red) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (blue) in the women's strawweight title bout during UFC 185 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports Mar 14, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Carla Esparza (red) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (blue) in the women's strawweight title bout during UFC 185 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports Mar 14, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Carla Esparza (red) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (blue) in the women's strawweight title bout during UFC 185 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports Mar 14, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Joanna Jedrzejczyk (blue) celebrates defeating Carla Esparza (red) in the women's strawweight title bout during UFC 185 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports Mar 14, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Joanna Jedrzejczyk (blue) celebrates defeating Carla Esparza (red) in the women's strawweight title bout during UFC 185 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports Mar 14, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Joanna Jedrzejczyk (blue) celebrates defeating Carla Esparza (red) in the women's strawweight title bout during UFC 185 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports Mar 14, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Joanna Jedrzejczyk (blue) celebrates defeating Carla Esparza (red) in the women's strawweight title bout during UFC 185 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports Mar 14, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Joanna Jedrzejczyk (blue) celebrates defeating Carla Esparza (red) in the women's strawweight title bout during UFC 185 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports Mar 14, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Joanna Jedrzejczyk (blue) reacts after defeating Carla Esparza (red) in the women's strawweight title bout during UFC 185 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-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/MbN6UokhB83CUgvon2jkJX/256824", customAnalytics: true, title: "Joanna Jedrzejczyk", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Twitter Mailbag: Battle of terrifying middleweights, Gaethje's big night, and more

Who deserves the edge in a clash of middleweight giants? Will the octagon jitters get to Justin Gaethje? And what comes next if the UFC women’s bantamweight champ manages to bring a little stability back to the division with another successful title defense?

All that and more in this week’s Twitter Mailbag. To ask a question of your own, tweet to @BenFowlkesMMA.

Is it time to finally stop doubting Bobby Knuckles? Or is favoring Yoel Romero completely understandable considering how terrifying he is?

— MMA Goddess (@MMAGoddess) July 5, 2017

Last time I checked, which was just now, Robert Whittaker was a slight favorite over Yoel Romero. But when I say slight, I mean very slight, and that sounds about right to me given both men’s capacity for sudden, effective violence.

What I wonder is how much consistency will matter in this fight between two of the best middleweights in the world. Because Romero? He’ll give away rounds. He’ll supply his opponents with free opportunities. Sometimes this gets him dangerously close to defeat, at which point he comes stampeding back with some freakish spasm of brutality and then it’s over.

Whittaker is a different kind of fighter. He doesn’t make many mistakes, doesn’t take crazy chances. He fights smart and exploits openings, and he seems just as solid in the last minute as the first. A fighter like that might beat a fighter like Romero. If he can keep from catching a flying knee to the head.

Will the pressure of being in the main event for his first ever UFC fight be too much for Justin Gaethje? #TMB

— David Golden (@DavidGoldenMMA) July 5, 2017

You never know what the “octagon jitters” might do to a fighter until he’s in there, but I don’t get the sense that Justin Gaethje is the type to freeze up when he’s in the spotlight. If anything, his greatest danger might be tilting too far in the other direction.

Say you’re Gaethje and you finally make the jump to the UFC after a couple years of riling up fans with your ferociously fistic fighting style. You know what they expect of you now. They expect you to go flying at Michael Johnson like you’ve been shot out of a cannon, which means that a smart, tactical performance en route to a decision win just won’t do.

There’s a real risk in adopting that mindset. It also give Johnson an advantage, since he knows that Gaethje is going to charge after him in search of a slugfest. Expectations are relatively low for Johnson here. If he can stay calm and exploit Gaethje’s aggressiveness, however, he stands a very good chance of being the first person to beat him. That would mean something, UFC debut or no.

If Nunes wins this fight in dominating fashion, will we see a super fight between her and Cyborg, considering the 145 division is weak?

— Brian Gittings (@BrianHD79) July 5, 2017

First of all, maybe we should stop calling it a division. That implies there are numerous people all competing in it, which just isn’t the case for the UFC’s women’s 145-pound … situation. Right now, and probably for the foreseeable future, there are only two people in this “division,” and that’s Cristiane Justino and whomever she’s fighting.

This seems to be the plan for the moment. Instead of having contenders establish themselves one at a time, the UFC seems content to import title challengers one at a time, while letting Invicta FC handle the non-championship aspects of running a working weight class.

So could Amanda Nunes punch her ticket to a “Cyborg” fight with another win over Valentina Shevchenko? Maybe, but I don’t see the point. If Nunes were to lose to “Cyborg,” then she’s damaged goods. If she wins, what then? The UFC wouldn’t let Conor McGregor hold onto two belts. You think it’s going to bend the rules for Nunes?

The only way it would make sense is if the two women’s champions involved were both big names on pay-per-view. Justino is on her way there. Nunes? She might still have some work to do.

I was at UFC 187 & 209, both of which Khabib pulled out. I may also be at 217 in October which is his rumored return. Am I the jinx?

— Nick (@_ainaman) July 5, 2017

Dana's commented about taking "MMA / combat sports to the next level". Crystal ball time. What do you think and hope that would entail?

— nickj812 (@nickj812) July 6, 2017

For the sake of context, here are some past instances of the UFC taking the sport to the next level:

– Signed a deal with Jakks Pacific to produce action figures of fighters.
– Got Lorenzo Fertitta to leave his Station Casinos job to focus more on the UFC.
– Signed a TV deal with FOX.
– Signed an exclusive apparel deal with Reebok.

I’m not saying these weren’t significant moves in one way or another. The FOX deal gave the UFC regular network TV exposure. Fertitta brought some needed executive savvy and sanity to the boardroom. The Reebok deal, well, you can’t say that didn’t have an impact on the sport, even if it still seems more negative than positive. I can’t remember the last time I heard anyone mention those action figures.

Point is, big business developments for the UFC don’t always feel like huge strides to fans. What fans like are the fights. If you want to take those to the next level you could put on better fights, or make them easier and cheaper to watch. You could attract more and better athletes by improving the state of fighter pay.

If any of that happens, I’ll agree that the sport has been taken to the next level. If it turns out to be UFC-branded fidget spinners or more international expansion efforts, I’m going to be a lot less impressed.

If Travis Browne loses Sat, thats 4 straight losses and a sub-.500 record in his last 10.Is he cut or given a pass because he's Mr. Rousey?

— Brandon (@_theoldcrow_) July 5, 2017

The UFC is in no hurry to cut name brand heavyweights, and Travis Browne still qualifies as one of those. As long as he can get his name in the news by having Ronda Rousey go on TV and tell tales of his valor, he’s likely to keep that position.

But also, let’s be fair and acknowledge that this three-fight losing streak he’s on includes two former UFC champs and one knockout artist who Browne was beating right up until he wasn’t. Aleksei Oliynyk represents a significant step down in both quality of competition and name value, almost as if the UFC went looking for someone Browne could beat up on before the broadcast switched to pay-per-view.

This is not a fight he can afford to lose, and you’ve got to think he knows it. Still, a loss would damage his name more than it would doom his contract status. For that, Browne has outside circumstances to thank.

#TMB lots of fun happening this weekend. Which non-title fight are you most excited about? (Obviously the most exciting is yoel/Whittaker)

— Kevin Nail (@kevin_nail) July 5, 2017

The clear answer here is Gaethje vs. Johnson, but do you know I almost forgot that Fabricio Werdum and Alistair Overeem were concluding their trilogy at UFC 213? I know, the second fight was hot garbage, but that was mostly because Werdum opted to flop to his guard rather than trusting in his striking.

Times have changed (for both of them) since then, and I am legitimately curious how those changes will manifest themselves in this rubber match.

If we're casting a UFC movie, who plays Dana White? My vote is for Christian Bale…

— Popcorn & Politics (@evildoctorwill7) July 5, 2017

Does Weidman get a pass if he receives a 4th straight loss because of the names he's losing to? I keep expecting a gimme matchup but not yet

— Jason Gammel (@bigkeg12) July 5, 2017

Chris Weidman suffers from a similar, though much less severe version of the affliction plaguing Johny Hendricks. Once you’ve been a UFC champion with a high profile, you can’t just slip back into the middle of the pack against relatively easy opponents. There are no easy fights left. Not unless you fall so far down the rankings, hitting and being hit by every branch of that tree on the way, that you finally land severely damaged at the bottom.

In other words? I know Kelvin Gastelum is far from a gimme, but Weidman had better win this one if he doesn’t want to become a cautionary tale about the fleeting nature of MMA stardom.

Your thoughts on the UFC postponing a fight (Cowboy/Lawler) where the fighter is seemingly medically cleared but too tough for his own good?

— Jay Pettry (@jaypettry) July 5, 2017

Careful throwing around terms like “medically cleared” in this sport. Depending on the state and the commission, they might not even look at the fighter until the week of the event, and even then they might be easily hoodwinked. I’ve heard stories of fighters getting cleared to compete with broken bones, torn ligaments, recently glued facial lacerations, you name it.

What I wonder is whether it was wise to rebook this fight so quickly. First you had Dana White telling us that Donald Cerrone was crazy to want to fight Robbie Lawler at UFC 213 with a groin injury and a staph infection, which seemed like sound reasoning from the UFC prez. But then the fight gets shuffled to UFC 214, less than a month later, prompting us to wonder how much healing can really take place in those extra few weeks.

Hopefully quite a bit. Not that I would want to fight Lawler at any point, for any reason, but I’d sure hate to do it when I was less than 100 percent.

What is your opinion on Bellator praising UFC fighters during broadcasts. Where as the UFC ignores Bellator like a red headed stepchild.

— Devin Scott (@dev0ved) July 5, 2017

It makes sense. If you’re Bellator, you have to assume your audience is familiar with the UFC. You rely on it, in a lot of ways, since most of your popular fighters built their names there. Mentioning the UFC on Bellator broadcasts can give fans the impression that the two are parallel promotions, signing talent back and forth without any major distinction between the two brands.

If you’re the UFC, however, mentioning Bellator might mean unwittingly alerting your fans to your biggest competitor. And why do that?

Ben Fowlkes is MMAjunkie and USA TODAY’s MMA columnist. Follow him on Twitter at @BenFowlkesMMA. Twitter Mailbag appears every Thursday on MMAjunkie.


Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, UFC

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