MMA Junkie News

UFC champ Georges St-Pierre injured but won't 'freeze' division

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

Newly crowned middleweight champion Georges St-Pierre today revealed a neck injury he suffered during his title-winning fight against Michael Bisping, but he said he still plans to fight interim titleholder Robert Whittaker.

“There’s going to be news about it in the next few weeks, but I don’t plan to hold the title and not defend it,” St-Pierre told reporters today during a media call five days after his win at UFC 217 in New York.

St-Pierre (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC), who submitted Bisping (30-8 MMA, 20-8 UFC) via rear-naked choke in the third round of the pay-per-view headliner at Madison Square Garden, said the injury occurred in the first round of the fight when the Brit threw an elbow from the bottom that contacted that back of his head.

“It looked very insignificant when it happened,” St-Pierre said. “It wasn’t the strength of the hit. It was more the precision of it. It’s not his fault. We’re not allowed to hit there, but it was just in the heat of the fight, and it’s normal.

“My neck was so inflamed, when I was on the floor, I had a hard time posturing up because it was hurting very bad. It felt like I couldn’t contract my head to posture up. After the fight when I cooled down, it was terrible. It was like my neck couldn’t move. Now it’s still sore, but it got a lot better. I got treatment on it, so I’ll be back 100 percent.”

RelatedRobert Whittaker: Georges St-Pierre 'looked slower than he's ever been' at UFC 217

First on the new champ’s itinerary, however, is a vacation to “forget about fighting.” He plans to talk with UFC officials about their plans for unifying the middleweight title against Whittaker (19-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC), who welcomed a meeting with St-Pierre in February at UFC 221 in Perth, Australia.

But St-Pierre resisted repeated questions to tie him down to a timeline.

“(UFC President) Dana White is going to talk with my agent, they’re going to figure it out, and we’ll see after I come back from vacation,” he told MMAjunkie when asked if he would be interested in unifying the title at UFC 221, or would prefer to fight elsewhere.

Whatever he decides, St-Pierre said he’ll make up his mind soon.

“We’ll see what I want to do and where my head is,” he said. “I have no intention of holding onto the belt and freezing the division. That’s not what I want to do. Robert Whittaker is in my contract. If I want to fight again, it has to be against Robert Whittaker at 185 (pounds). That’s in my contract. I cannot, for example, go fight (welterweight champ) Tyron Woodley or go fight another guy.”

RelatedWith UFC 217 win, did Georges St-Pierre just settle an old argument about MMA greats?

St-Pierre said he didn’t know if he’d return to the welterweight division following a fight with Whittaker.

Asked if he might simply retire instead of returning to middleweight, the new champ giggled.

“I don’t know,” he said. “It’s the same question from a different angle. That’s why I can’t talk about this – I don’t know right now

“I understand it’s normal, but I don’t even know for myself what’s going to be the next move.”

For complete coverage of UFC 217, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with Matt Brown, Daniel Weichel, Ricky Palacios, Jason Buchamer


Filed under: Bellator, News, UFC

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Matt Brown, Daniel Weichel, Ricky Palacios and Jason Buchamer.

Brown co-headlines Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 120 event against Diego Sanchez. Weichel fights featherweight champion Patricio Freire on Nov. 16 at Bellator 188. Palacios is part of Saturday’s “Combate Americas: Copa Combate” single-night tournament. Former MMAjunkie Radio intern Buchamer helps us recap the latest episode of “The Ultimate Fighter 26.”

MMAjunkie Radio airs from 1 to 3 p.m. ET (10 a.m. to noon PT), live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. You can watch and listen live on MMAjunkie’s Facebook and YouTube pages. Additionally, SiriusXM Rush (Ch. 93) carries a replay later in the day (8-10 p.m. ET) and the following morning (7-9 a.m. ET), or catch a replay on demand.

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

  • HOW TO WATCH (ON WEB): Watch a live stream on MMAjunkie’s Facebook or YouTube pages.
  • HOW TO CALL: MMAjunkie Radio takes phone calls from listeners throughout the show. Call into the MMAjunkie Radio hotline at (866) 522-2846.
  • HOW TO DISCUSS: The MMAjunkie MMA Forums has a section devoted solely to MMAjunkie Radio. Stop by the MMAjunkie Radio forum to discuss the show, interact with the hosts, suggest future guests and catch up on the latest MMAjunkie Radio news.
  • HOW TO VISIT THE SHOW: You can watch MMAjunkie Radio live and in person at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The booth is located in the resort’s Race & Sports Book next to the Mandalay Bay poker room. To plan a trip to Sin City and MMAjunkie Radio, go to www.mandalaybay.com.

Filed under: Bellator, News, UFC

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2561 with John McCarthy, Jon Anik, Patricio Freire

Stream or download Wednesday’s episode of MMAjunkie Radio with guests John McCarthy, Jon Anik and Patricio Freire.

McCarthy co-hosted the entire show in-studio, sharing his experiences from officiating at last Saturday’s UFC 217 in New York. Anik, in transit between UFC 217 and UFC Fight Night 120, calls in to share insight into preparation that goes into fight week. Freire talked about his upcoming title defense against Daniel Weichel on Nov. 16 at Bellator 188 in Tel Aviv, Israel.

You can listen below or stream the entire episode on AudioBoom.com.


Filed under: Bellator, News, Radio, UFC

5 reasons to watch Bellator 187, with A.J. McKee, 'Baby Slice,' Sinead Kavanagh and more

Bellator heads to Dublin for Friday’s Bellator 187 event. The card lost its originally scheduled main event when rising Irish featherweight James Gallagher suffered a knee injury in October, but enough local fighters remain on the card to give the Irish crowd something to cheer about, including main event combatant Brian Moore.

Moore landed in the top spot when Gallagher, his teammate at SBG Ireland, was removed from the fight. Moore faces another rising star in the featherweight division in the headlining bout: A.J. McKee.

McKee and Gallagher have been in a war of words for quite a while. Even though Gallagher is no longer on the card, that hasn’t stopped McKee from taking shots at his nemesis in the lead up to the event.

“We should be fighting,” McKee told MMAjunkie. “It just keeps confirming that he’s scared. He’s little princess Gallagher. It’s a shame, but you can’t send a 19-year-old boy to do a man’s job. So that’s why they replaced him with Brian Moore.”

In the co-main event, Kevin Ferguson Jr., the son of the late Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson, faces Fred Freeman.

Bellator 187 takes place at 3Arena and airs via tape delay on Spike.

1. Championship goals

A.J. McKee

A few weeks after he turned 22, McKee laid out the blueprint for his MMA career.

“I plan on being the youngest champ ever,” McKee told MMAjunkie. “Jon Jones was 23 when he did it, so I’ve got a full year to beat that coming from April. (I also want to keep) being undefeated, keep that 0 and be the (Floyd) Mayweather of MMA. Just keep breaking records.”

While McKee has been impressive since turning pro with Bellator in 2015, the promotion has kept him away from the top fighters in the featherweight division. Names such as Daniel Weichel, Georgi Karakhanyan, Emmanuel Sanchez, Pat Curran and Daniel Straus don’t appear anywhere on his record. That makes McKee’s plan to capture gold in the next five months seem a tad too ambitious.

That’s not to say 22-year-old McKee hasn’t had a good run with the promotion; he has. His nine-fight winning streak is tied for longest in Bellator history with former welterweight champion Ben Askren. McKee has six finishes in those nine fights.

McKee (9-0 MMA, 9-0 BMMA) faces Moore (10-5 MMA, 1-1 BMMA), an SBG Ireland teammate of Gallagher’s, in this headlining bout. If the 30-year-old Moore manages to end the winning streak of his teammate’s nemesis, things might get a little crazy inside the arena.

2. Looking for progress

Kevin Ferguson Jr.

At Bellator 187, Ferguson fights in his third pro bout. In his debut he relied mostly on takedowns and striking, but his inexperience showed when he failed to lock in an anaconda choke and was easily reversed and quickly submitted via Aaron Hamilton’s second-round guillotine.

In his second fight with the promotion, Ferguson used power punches to put Darryal Griffin to the mat. Once on the ground, he used elbows and hammerfists to end the fight by TKO at the 3:40 mark of the first round.

Ferguson is still a very raw talent. He eschews jabs in favor of power strikes such as uppercuts and big overhands. He also tends to leave openings for submissions on the ground, but that’s not too much of a surprise considering his lack of experience in the cage.

Ferguson (1-1 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) has had nearly six months of gym work to ready himself for this 165-pound catchweight fight against Fred Freeman (1-0 MMA, 0-0 BMMA). With that prep time, there’s the expectation that we’ll see a more polished fighter when he steps into the cage in Dublin.

Freeman is 1-0 as a pro, but he has an extensive amateur background.

3. Getting back in the win column

Sinead Kavanagh

Sinead Kavanagh has hit a rough patch. After opening her career with a four-fight winning streak, the SBG Ireland fighter has lost her two most recent bouts.

Kavanagh got her start as a boxer before transitioning to MMA. That’s very evident from her “KO” nickname, as well as her striking heavy style.

In the first loss of her career, a decision defeat to Iony Razafiarison, Kavanagh’s lack of takedown defense was evident. The Irish fighter also showed a subpar game off of her back in that loss. She’s much more comfortable and confident in a fight if her opponent will stand and trade bungalows in the center of the cage.

Kavanagh’s (4-2 MMA, 1-2 BMMA) strengths and weaknesses are something her opponent, Maria Casanova (2-5-1 MMA, 0-0 BMMA), is undoubtedly aware of. If Casanova, who has two submission wins on her record, can get the fight to the ground, she has a much better chance of walking away from her Bellator featherweight debut with a victory.

Like Kavanagh, Casanova has losses in her two most recent bouts.

4. A big opportunity at home

Paul Redmond

Well-traveled veteran Paul Redmond makes his Bellator debut in his hometown of Dublin. The 31-year old has fought for 10 different promotions, including the UFC, Cage Warriors and BAMMA since he made his pro debut in April 2010.

This lightweight bout marks Redmond’s fifth consecutive fight in Ireland. He is 3-1 in his four most recent contests. His only loss during that run was a February split-decision defeat to Norman Parke. Had Redmond won that bout, he would have captured the BAMMA lightweight champion. Parke came in heavy for the fight, making him ineligible for the title.

Once primarily known for his ground game, Redmond has made a concerted effort to shore up his striking.

Redmond was originally booked to fight at Bellator 169 against former featherweight title contender Weichel. An injury knocked him from that card.

Redmond’s (13-7 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) opponent at Bellator 187, Sergio de Jesus Santos (4-5 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) doesn’t have the name recognition of Weichel, but this could be a good showcase fight for Redmond. For Santos, who has lost his two most recent bouts, this fight is an opportunity to get a win over a recognizable name.

5. A fresh start

Charlie Ward

Charlie Ward’s two-run stint in the UFC was brief. In those fights, he spent a little more than three minutes inside the octagon. Abdul Razak Alhassan knocked him out in 53 seconds in his first bout with the promotion. Ward’s second fight, a highlight-reel slam knockout loss to Galore Bofando, lasted a little more than two minutes. The SBG Ireland fighter, who was on a three-fight winning streak before his two recent losses, makes his Bellator debut in Dublin, and you can bet he hopes he has more success than he did with the UFC.

Ward (3-3 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) is a brawler. He loves nothing more than getting into a firefight and slinging wild bombs. If he can implement his style against John Redmond (7-12 MMA, 0-0 BMMA), he should have a crowd-pleasing bout.

Redmond also makes his Bellator debut at Bellator 187. As his 7-12 record indicates, he’s had a rough go as a professional fighter. He has a 2-5 record since 2014. His two victories have come by way of knockout.

This middleweight matchup might not be pretty, but it could be entertaining, and sometimes that’s enough.

For more on Bellator 187, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: Bellator, News

NASCAR's 2017 finale includes 4-bout Bellator card with guests 'Hendo' and 'Rampage'

NASCAR’s 2017 season finale will be accompanied by some Bellator fights.

The Monster Energy Bellator MMA Fight Series will host its fourth and final event of the year on Nov. 19 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fla., which also hosts NASCAR’s Ford Championship Weekend.

The four-bout Bellator event is free and open to all attendees prior to the start of the “Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series: Ford Ecoboost 400.” It takes place at the speedway’s Monster Energy Fan Zone.

Special guests include MMA vets Dan Henderson and Quinton Jackson.

RelatedChael Sonnen recounts the time Dan Henderson hilariously failed at giving fight advice

The fights kick off at 11:30 a.m. ET (8:30 a.m. PT), Henderson and “Rampage” arrive at 1 p.m. ET, and the race commences at 2:30 p.m. ET.

The headliners of the untelevised MMA card – featherweights Matt Wagy (10-4) vs. Kester Mark (5-4) – will be “in consideration to be signed to a multi-fight Bellator MMA contract” according to today’s announcement.

The card features:

  • Matt Wagy (10-4) vs. Kester Mark (5-4)
  • Johnny Eblen (2-0) vs. Emmanuel Verdier (3-1)
  • Thais Souza (0-1 amateur) vs. Ashley Samples (0-2 amateur)
  • Landon Stewart (0-0) vs. Rudial Mora (0-0)

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


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

UFC-Norfolk's Angela Hill motivated to work toward Rose Namajunas rematch

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Angela Hill’s run in the UFC has been up, down and then up again, and she hopes it continues toward the top.

Hill (7-3 MMA, 2-3 UFC), coming off a win in her last fight, looks to keep the momentum going when she takes on Nina Ansaroff (7-5 MMA, 1-2 UFC) on Saturday in the opening FS1 prelim of UFC Fight Night 120, which takes place at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va.

Putting together a winning streak in the UFC strawwweight division has proven difficult for the former Invicta FC champion. She won her UFC debut in Sept. 2014 before losing back-to-back fights to Tecia Torres and current champion Rose Namajunas, who knocked out Joanna Jedrzejczyk for the title last weekend at UFC 217.

RelatedUFC Fight Night 120 pre-event facts: Matt Brown matches longtime record in retirement bout

The two losses prompted Hill down to Invicta FC, where she put together a four-fight winning streak that included her title win and one defense. Her return to the UFC didn’t fare well, however, as she dropped a decision to title contender Jessica Andrade last February at UFC Fight Night 104.

Now that Hill is back in the win column – in the UFC, that is – after earning a decision from Ashley Yoder at The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale in July, she hopes to continue climbing the ranks until she either gets a second shot at Namajunas or a crack at Jedrzejczyk, who was on her mind for some time.

“I’ve always wanted my rematches, but I wanted to make sure that I was ready when I did have those rematches,” Hill told MMAjunkie on Wednesday. “You know, everyone’s on the list that I’ve lost to when it comes to that. But I definitely feel like I was a totally different fighter when I did fight (Namajunas). I was motivated to fight (Jedrzejczyk) when she was champ. I was hoping that I could work my way up to that. I was already thinking about what I was going to do for the face-off and everything.

“But now that (Jedrzejczyk is) out of the picture, she’s still going to be around. I’d still love to fight her at some point. Yeah, I’m definitely going for that title run after I feel I’ve got enough wins, and I’ve impressed enough to get a go at (Namajunas).”

Check out the video above to hear more from Hill on her mindset heading into her fight on Saturday.

And for more on UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

July 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Angela Hill (red gloves) reacts after defeating Ashley Yoder (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Angela Hill (red gloves) fights Ashley Yoder (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Angela Hill (red gloves) fights Ashley Yoder (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Angela Hill (red gloves) fights Ashley Yoder (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Angela Hill (red gloves) fights Ashley Yoder (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Angela Hill (red gloves) fights Ashley Yoder (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Angela Hill (red gloves) fights Ashley Yoder (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Angela Hill (red gloves) fights Ashley Yoder (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Angela Hill (red gloves) fights Ashley Yoder (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Angela Hill (red gloves) fights Ashley Yoder (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Angela Hill (red gloves) fights Ashley Yoder (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Angela Hill (red gloves) fights Ashley Yoder (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Angela Hill (red gloves) fights Ashley Yoder (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Angela Hill (red gloves) fights Ashley Yoder (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Angela Hill (red gloves) fights Ashley Yoder (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Angela Hill (red gloves) fights Ashley Yoder (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Angela Hill (red gloves) reacts after defeating Ashley Yoder (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Angela Hill (red gloves) reacts after defeating Ashley Yoder (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/umQKNiz8gcoMfx2FXUoG5a/283229", customAnalytics: true, title: "Hill def. Yoder", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

Dustin Poirier trying to move past Alvarez debacle, believes win over Pettis has him in title mix

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – On the heels of what at the time likely was the biggest opportunity of Dustin Poirier’s career, he has one Saturday that could top it.

And while Poirier (21-5 MMA, 13-4 UFC) is committed to focusing on former UFC and WEC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis (20-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC), whom he meets in the UFC Fight Night 120 main event, it’s hard to completely forget the debacle that was his UFC 211 fight against Eddie Alvarez in May.

In that fight in Dallas, in the second round, former champ Alvarez landed a pair of knees to the head while Poirier was grounded. The cageside doctor ultimately stopped the fight, and referee Herb Dean ruled the fight a no-contest rather than a disqualification win for Poirier.

Poirier believes a win over someone like Alvarez could have gotten him a title shot. But that didn’t come. Alvarez went on to get a coaching spot on the current season of “The Ultimate Fighter” opposite Justin Gaethje.

RelatedDustin Poirier zeros in on Anthony Pettis but first wondered 'where the (expletive)' Eddie Alvarez is

“I don’t like to stare in the rearview, but the losses, or what could have been from that fight, it’s uncountable,” Poirier on Wednesday told MMAjunkie in Virginia ahead of his Saturday return. “I mean, I could have gotten a title shot with that win. I lost my win bonus. I lost ‘Fight of the Night’ bonus, probably. So we’re talking a lot of money, and potentially a lot more money with the title shot. Another win on my record.

“It goes on and on and on, so I don’t even like to think about it. I haven’t watched the fight but once since it happened, and that was the day after. I’m on to the next thing.”

The next thing is Pettis at UFC Fight Night 120, which takes place Saturday at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va. It airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

When Poirier got the call with the Pettis offer on the table – a fight Pettis says he asked for – he knew he was the kind of opponent that could get him back into that title conversation. Poirier currently is ranked No. 13 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA lightweight rankings. Pettis is No. 11.

“I was pumped about it, because here’s another former world champion, another opportunity for me to go out there and show the kind of fighter I am,” Poirier said. “I can’t be mad with them matching me up with two former world champions in a row. I beat the first one, and I’m about to beat the second one. That just shows you the caliber that I am. I’m world-champion class, I know that.”

And with the UFC’s lightweight title picture in a constant state of flux, who knows what could come with a win. Champion Conor McGregor likely gets interim champ Tony Ferguson next – if he can sort out his demands with the UFC. Alvarez and Gaethje are scheduled to fight at UFC 218 next month and no doubt are in the mix. Khabib Nurmagomedov and Edson Barboza fight at UFC 219.

But the Poirier-Pettis winner will no doubt be pleading his case to be in that mix.

“I feel like I’m one away with a win over Anthony Pettis, if not there,” Poirier said. “I mean, Kevin Lee just got (an interim) title shot ranked No. 7 (in the UFC rankings). I feel like I beat Eddie Alvarez, who was ranked No. 2 or 3 at the time, so I know I’m there.”

For more from Poirier, check out the video above.

And for more on UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Apr 4, 2015; Fairfax, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) celebrates after the first round of a technical knock out against Diego Ferreira (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Patriot Center. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports Apr 4, 2015; Fairfax, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Diego Ferreira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Patriot Center. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports Apr 4, 2015; Fairfax, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Diego Ferreira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Patriot Center. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports Apr 4, 2015; Fairfax, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Diego Ferreira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Patriot Center. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports Apr 4, 2015; Fairfax, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Diego Ferreira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Patriot Center. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports Sep 27, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Dustin Poirier gets ready for a featherweight fight against Conor McGregor during UFC 178 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Apr 16, 2014; Quebec City, Quebec, Canada; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) celebrates beating Akira Corassani (not pictured) during their featherweight bout at Colisee Pepsi. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports Dec 28, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Dustin Poirier wins his UFC Middleweight Bout against Diego Brandao (not pictured) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Poirier won the fight. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Apr 16, 2014; Quebec City, Quebec, Canada; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) hits Akira Corassani (blue gloves), during their featherweight bout at Colisee Pepsi. Poirier won by KO/TKO. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports Dec 28, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Dustin Poirier wins his UFC Middleweight Bout against Diego Brandao (not pictured) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Poirier won the fight. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Dec 28, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) walks away from Diego Brandao (blue gloves) after winning his UFC Middleweight Bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Dec 28, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) and Diego Brandao (blue gloves) fight during their UFC middleweight bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Dec 28, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) and Diego Brandao (blue gloves) during their UFC Middleweight Bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Poirier won the fight. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Dec 28, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) and Diego Brandao (blue gloves) fight during their UFC middleweight bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Dec 28, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Dustin Poirier during his UFC Middleweight Bout against Diego Brandao (not pictured) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Poirier won the fight. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Bobby Green (blue) fights Dustin Poirier (red) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Bobby Green (blue) fights Dustin Poirier (red) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Bobby Green (blue) fights Dustin Poirier (red) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Bobby Green (blue) fights Dustin Poirier (red) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Bobby Green (blue) fights Dustin Poirier (red) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Sep 10, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Drew Dober (red gloves) competes against Jason Gonzalez (blue gloves) during UFC 203 at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-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/Z7Vq9zpzdwRcohsw9bwDGk/283282", customAnalytics: true, title: "Dustin Poirier", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

Watch ex-Bellator champ Michael Chandler train hard for comeback in powerful mini-doc


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

Michael Chandler is a man on a mission.

Certainly you haven’t forgotten the gruesome ankle injury Chandler suffered in the first round of his title defense with Brent Primus that cost him the lightweight championship in June at Bellator NYC.

It was an unfortunate thing to happen to Chandler, who showed a warrior spirit by continuing to fight through until the referee stepped to have him examined by the cageside doctor. The decision was obvious: Chandler (16-4 MMA, 13-4 BMMA) couldn’t continue, so he lost his belt via injury TKO to Primus (8-0 MMA, 6-0 BMMA).

RelatedPrimus rematch? Sure, but Michael Chandler also eyes 170 with MacDonald and Daley

Now some four-plus months later, Chandler, who spoke to MMAjunkie Radio in September about future plans, is training for a comeback. You can see him hard at work in the wonderfully produced mini-documentary “The Mind of the Obsessed.” And in it, Chandler also has a message for Primus.

“He was praying to God that I didn’t get up off that stool and come back out to fight him. Because he knew I was going to finish him. He had a man completely debiliated, literally on one leg, and he didn’t even land a punch. He was afraid to take it. He was afraid to win. He was afraid to be the champion.

“When I rematch him, and I step back into that cage, I’m going to finish him in the first round.”

Check out the full mini-doc from the folks at Absolute Motivation in the video above.

Ans for complete coverage of Bellator NYC, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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

Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Brent Primus (blue gloves) reacts to fight against Michael Chandler (red gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Michael Chandler (red gloves) fights Brent Primus (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Michael Chandler (red gloves) fights Brent Primus (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Michael Chandler (red gloves) fights Brent Primus (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Michael Chandler (red gloves) fights Brent Primus (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Michael Chandler (red gloves) ankle looked at buy doctor during fight against Brent Primus (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Michael Chandler (red gloves) ankle durning the fight against Brent Primus (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Michael Chandler (red gloves) fights Brent Primus (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/AL7ThTk8Mg3iohryXbwYNG/283164", customAnalytics: true, title: "Primus def. Chandler", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, Videos

Trio of fights added to UFC Fight Night 124 in St. Louis

Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Thiago Alves (red gloves) competes against Patrick Cote (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Thiago Alves (red gloves) competes against Patrick Cote (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Thiago Alves (red gloves) competes against Patrick Cote (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Thiago Alves (red gloves) competes against Patrick Cote (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Thiago Alves (red gloves) competes against Patrick Cote (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Thiago Alves (red gloves) competes against Patrick Cote (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Thiago Alves (red gloves) competes against Patrick Cote (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Thiago Alves (red gloves) competes against Patrick Cote (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Jim Miller (red gloves) fights Thiago Alves (blue gloves) during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Jim Miller (red gloves) fights Thiago Alves (blue gloves) during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports May 30, 2015; Goiania, GO, Brazil; Thiago Alves reacts before his fight against Carlos Condit during UFC Fight Night at Goiania Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 30, 2015; Goiania, GO, Brazil; Carlos Condit (red gloves) fights Thiago Alves (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Goiania Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 30, 2015; Goiania, GO, Brazil; Carlos Condit (red gloves) fights Thiago Alves (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Goiania Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 30, 2015; Goiania, GO, Brazil; Carlos Condit (red gloves) fights Thiago Alves (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Goiania Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 30, 2015; Goiania, GO, Brazil; Carlos Condit (red gloves) fights Thiago Alves (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Goiania Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-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/jTmsZX5wvus7SPwnTjWfFE/283277", customAnalytics: true, title: "Thiago Alves", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

The fight card for the UFC’s debut event in St. Louis has three new additions.

The UFC Fight Night 124 matchups include welterweights Zak Cummings (21-5 MMA, 6-2 UFC) vs. Thiago Alves (22-11 MMA, 14-8 UFC), lightweights Marco Polo Reyes (7-4 MMA, 3-1 UFC) vs. Matt Frevola (6-0 MMA, UFC), and lightweights James Krause (24-7 MMA, 5-3 UFC) vs. Alex White (12-3 MMA, 3-3 UFC).

UFC Fight Night 124 takes place Jan. 14 at Scottrade Center in St. Louis. The card airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, though the full fight card and bout order haven’t been finalized.

RelatedVitor Belfort announces fight vs. Uriah Hall for January 2018

Cummings, a 33-year-old wrestler based out of Missouri, looks for the first three-fight winning streak of his UFC career following recent submissions wins over Alexander Yakovlev and Nathan Coy. He meets former title challenger Alves, a 34-year-old Brazilian who recently halted a two-fight skid with a decision victory over Patrick Cote in April. A subsequent booking with Mike Perry was scrapped in September after a hurricane forced Alves to pull out of the fight.

Reyes, a 33-year-old Mexican fighter, was on a four-fight winning streak before a recent TKO loss to James Vick. He now meets Frevola, a 27-year-old promotional newcomer who submitted Jose Flores at DWCS 8 in August.

Krause, 31, recently moved from lightweight to welterweight to score a decision victory over Tom Gallicchio for his third straight win. He takes on White, a 29-year-old Missouri native who recently score a TKO victory over Mitch Clarke for his second victory in three fights.

The latest UFC Fight Night 124 card now includes:

  • Vitor Belfort vs. Uriah Hall
  • Thiago Alves vs. Zak Cummings
  • Matt Frevola vs. Marco Polo Reyes
  • James Krause vs. Alex White

For more on UFC Fight Night 124, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: News, UFC

Episode No. 9 recap: 'The Ultimate Fighter 26: A New World Champion'

Episode No. 9 of “The Ultimate Fighter 26: A New World Champion” opens with the fighters getting ready to turn the page to the quarterfinal round. First, though, is some entertainment outside the house.

UFC President Dana White rents the coaches and cast members a boat for a tour of Lake Las Vegas. The fighters are able to blow off some steam before the competition resumes.

Preparation for the quarterfinals begins, and in the first matchup No. 1 Roxanne Modafferi meets No. 8 Emily Whitmire. Both are members of Team Gaethje, and coach Justin Gaethje decides he’s going to remove himself from preparation of both fighters. Instead, the assistant coaches are divided to benefit both.

Modafferi believes her experience and well rounded ability are going to lead her to victory, and she hopes to debut a special spinning backfist in the matchup.

At the weigh-in, Modafferi and Whitmire come in under the 126-pound flyweight limit. A respectful staredown follows, and the first quarterfinal tournament bout is official.

Fight day arrives. Modafferi and Whitmire head to the TUF gym for their fight. They finalize preparation in the locker rooms with their respective coaching staffs before making the walk to the octagon. They enter the cage, and the next tournament fight is underway.

#1 Roxanne Modafferi (21-13) vs. #8 Emily Whitmire (2-1)

Round 1 – They get into a early exchange, but nothing lands clean. Whitmire starts landing the jab and her straight right. Modafferi is standing in the pocket and pressuring with kicks and her jab. Both fighters connect with punches. Modafferi goes for a spinning backfist, but Whitmire gets out of the way and moves into a body lock position. She’s holding Modafferi against the fence and attempts to drag the fight to the ground. Modafferi keeps upright and eventually reverses the position. Modafferi lands some knees to the body and trips Whitmire down to the canvas. Modafferi is working from half guard before finally advancing to mount. Whitmire gives up her back and Modafferi begins to work for the rear-naked choke. Whitmire attempts to scramble free, but Modafferi keeps control and ends up in the mount. Modafferi begins to land some heavy elbows from on top, forcing Whitmire to give up her back again. Modafferi opens up with more heavy shots just as the 10-second warning sounds. The referee gives a warning to Whitmire to escape, but she’s can’t. Modafferi lands more shots and gets the stoppage with one second remaining.

Roxanne Modafferi def. Emily Whitmire via TKO (punches, elbows) – Round 1

“I feel awesome right now,” Modafferi says after becoming the first fighter to advance to the semifinals. “I feel very proud of myself for my fight. I feel I showcased some of my standup, good movement, and I’m just happy I could get the win. This is my third mount TKO in a row.”

Whitmire is emotional after the fight and blames herself for the outcome, saying she was hoping the fight would be stopped because she didn’t want to fight a second round. Whitmire says she needs to “work on digging in and figuring it out.”

With the first quarterfinal matchup in the books, focus shifts to the second quarterfinal match. This time it’s Team Alvarez teammates who face off, with No. 4 DeAnna Bennett scheduled to take on No. 12 Sijara Eubanks.

Bennett and Eubanks are friends and roommates in the house. They aren’t thrilled over the fact they have to fight each other.

During practice, coach Eddie Alvarez tells Bennett and Eubanks he’s not going to help either of them prepare for the upcoming fight. Similar to Team Gaethje, he will remove himself from the situation and allow the assistant coaches to provide help for each side.

A familiar narrative begins to emerge with Eubanks as the fight gets closer. She’s physically the largest athlete in the tournament and nearly missed weight for her opening-round bout. The cut goes well until the final moments, where there’s serious doubt about whether Eubanks will shed her final pound.

At the official weigh-in, Bennett comes in under the 126-pound flyweight limit. Eubanks, however, comes in at 126.75 pounds on her first attempt. Team Gaethje’s Lauren Murphy immediately jumps in the sauna and begins losing weight in the event Eubanks can’t fight.

Eubanks enters the sauna and forces Murphy to leave because it’s Team Alvarez’s training time. That flares up another conflict between Murphy and coach Alvarez, but Murphy decides to use alternative methods of cutting weight.

At the end of the one-hour weigh-in period, Eubanks makes her second weigh-in attempt. Eubanks hits the 126-pound flyweight limit, and the matchup with Bennett is now official. A friendly staredown follows.

Fight day arrives. Bennett and Eubanks head to the TUF gym for their fight. They finalize preparation in the locker rooms with their respective coaching staffs before making the walk to the octagon. They enter the cage, and the next tournament fight is underway.

#4 DeAnna Bennett (8-3) vs. #12 Sijara Eubanks (2-2)

Round 1 – Eubanks opens with a hard right hand. Bennett is being mobile and uses good foot movements to evade the heavy shots with her speed. Bennett presses forward and tags Eubanks with a combination. Bennett forces her way into the clinch but breaks away with a knee. Bennett sneaks an uppercut inside, but as she moves away Eubanks throws a right hand that misses. She follows with a perfect left high kick that lands clean to the side of the head. Bennett goes down hard, and Eubanks walks off with the brutal highlight-reel knockout.

Sijara Eubanks def. DeAnna Bennett via knockout (head kick) – Round 1

KICK GAME PROPER! @SarJnCharge lands the stunning head kick to move onto the semifinals! #TUF26 pic.twitter.com/BiJQmVRUVX

— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) November 9, 2017

“I got one more fight (in) this house, and I’m through the roof,” Eubanks says after her victory. “Every time I hit a challenge, I have a rough weight cut. I fight. I had a rough weight cut, and I fight. This time it’s coming together. It feels like the suns and the moons and the stars are lining up in my favor, and I just feel so unstoppable right now. I’m so pumped.”

After the fight, Modafferi, who will fight Eubanks in the semifinal round, approaches her upcoming opponent and tells her “I was really impressed with your technique. I’m really looking forward to fighting you.”

Also see:

Catch new episodes of “The Ultimate Fighter 26: A New World Champion” every Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT) on FS1. MMAjunkie recaps each episode of the reality series.


Filed under: News, UFC

Dominick Cruz out of UFC 219 fight with Jimmie Rivera

Dominick Cruz’s return to the octagon will have to be pushed back and, as a result, UFC 219 has lost a significant bout.

Cruz (22-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC) has been ruled out of his fight with Jimmie Rivera after suffering a broken arm, according to a report from MMAFighting.com. Rivera  (21-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC) confirmed Cruz’s withdrawal from the bout when reached by MMAjunkie via text message.

UFC 219 takes place Dec. 30 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

RelatedJohn Lineker won't issue callouts or pick dates, but he'll be on stand-by for Cruz-Rivera UFC 219 fight

Cruz, No. 3 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA bantamweight rankings, dropped the 135-pound belt to Cody Garbrandt at UFC 207 last December. Cruz opted to take time off and was originally angling for a fight against the winner of Garbrandt vs. T.J. Dillashaw, who knocked out “No Love” last Saturday to reclaim the title at UFC 217.

After losing his second MMA fight in November 2008, No. 5 Rivera has rattled off 20 consecutive wins, including five in the UFC. He’s coming off a unanimous decision over Thomas Almeida at UFC on FOX 25 in July.

It remains unclear if the UFC will attempt to find Rivera a replacement opponent.

The latest UFC 219 card includes:

  • Edson Barboza vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov
  • Jimmie Rivera vs. opponent TBD
  • Cynthia Calvillo vs. Carla Esparza
  • Matheus Nicolau vs. Louis Smolka
  • Carlos Condit vs. Neil Magny
  • Khalil Rountree vs. Gokhan Saki
  • Rick Glenn vs. Myles Jury
  • Emil Meek vs. Kamaru Usman
  • Marc Diakiese vs. Dan Hooker

For more on UFC 219, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) reacts to fight against Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/jwAuHLk827APNsUmcmwckG/283248", customAnalytics: true, title: "Rivera def. Almeida", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Cris Cyborg rep: Holly Holm 'pricing herself out' of UFC 219 title fight intentionally

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg agreed to fight Holly Holm at UFC 219 – that’s what her camp knows.

If money is what’s preventing the fight from happening, a representative for Cyborg says they’ll just have to move on.

“The big fights are the ones you want as a fighter,” manager George Prajin today told MMAjunkie. “Those lead to the most money. I can’t speak for her camp. All I can say is that Cris has agreed to the fight.”

RelatedCheck out Holly Holm's unique training while she waits for 'good offer' to fight champ Cris Cyborg

Cyborg remains on good terms with the UFC and awaits her next matchup, Prajin said. That search remains active as the date for her possible return approaches.

Camps for Cyborg (18-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) and Holm (11-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) were in talks for a fight at UFC 219, which takes place Dec. 30 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. But today Holm’s longtime manager, Lenny Frequez, told MMAFighting.com the deal is “dead” after he and the promotion “could not come to financial terms.”

“I would assume Holly doesn’t want to fight Cris,” Prajin said. “Holly is pricing herself out of the fight because she doesn’t want to fight her.”

Fresquez didn’t immediately reply to a message requesting comment.

UFC President Dana White was optimistic about getting a deal done, as was Holm, though she expressed concerns over drug testing that eventually spilled into a social media fight in which Cyborg and Holm verbally sparred over the issue.

RelatedCris Cyborg clarifies stance on Holly Holm and USADA testing

Cyborg complained she’s been targeted by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and questioned whether Holm’s camp – which she claimed had perpetuated more doping violations than any other camp – was under the same scrutiny. Holm shot back a video reply pointing out she’d actually been tested on more occasions in the most recent quarter of the year.

Prajin, though, shot down the idea that drug testing had anything to do with the difficulty putting the fight together. The real problem, he added, is finding a willing opponent.

“There aren’t many girls willing to fight her in the first place,” Prajin said. “So whoever’s willing to take that courageous step, hey, we welcome it.”

For more on UFC 219, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

May 14, 2016; Curitiba, Brazil; Cris Justino (red) awaits the start of her fight against Leslie Smith during UFC Fight Night at Arena Atletico Paranaense. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 14, 2016; Curitiba, Brazil; Cris Justino (red) lands a punch to the face of Leslie Smith (blue) during UFC Fight Night at Arena Atletico Paranaense. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 14, 2016; Curitiba, Brazil; Cris Justino (red) throws a kick defended by Leslie Smith (blue) during UFC Fight Night at Arena Atletico Paranaense. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 14, 2016; Curitiba, Brazil; Cris Justino (red) fights against Leslie Smith (blue) during UFC Fight Night at Arena Atletico Paranaense. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 14, 2016; Curitiba, Brazil; Cris Justino (red) reacts after defending Leslie Smith (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Arena Atletico Paranaense. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 14, 2016; Curitiba, Brazil; Cris Justino (red) reacts for the fans and cameras after defending Leslie Smith (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Arena Atletico Paranaense. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 14, 2016; Curitiba, Brazil; Cris Justino (red) reacts for the fans and cameras after defending Leslie Smith (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Arena Atletico Paranaense. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 14, 2016; Curitiba, Brazil; Cris Justino (red) reacts after defending Leslie Smith (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Arena Atletico Paranaense. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 14, 2016; Curitiba, Brazil; Cris Justino (red) reacts after defending Leslie Smith (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Arena Atletico Paranaense. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 14, 2016; Curitiba, Brazil; Cris Justino (red) reacts after defending Leslie Smith (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Arena Atletico Paranaense. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Sep 24, 2016; Brasilia, Brazil; Cris Cyborg (red gloves) before her fight against Lina Lansberg (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Sep 24, 2016; Brasilia, Brazil; Cris Cyborg (red gloves) fights Lina Lansberg (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Sep 24, 2016; Brasilia, Brazil; Cris Cyborg (red gloves) fights Lina Lansberg (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Sep 24, 2016; Brasilia, Brazil; Cris Cyborg (red gloves) fights Lina Lansberg (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Sep 24, 2016; Brasilia, Brazil; Cris Cyborg (red gloves) fights Lina Lansberg (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Sep 24, 2016; Brasilia, Brazil; Cris Cyborg (red gloves) celebrates defeating Lina Lansberg (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Sep 24, 2016; Brasilia, Brazil; Cris Cyborg (red gloves) celebrates defeating Lina Lansberg (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Sep 24, 2016; Brasilia, Brazil; Cris Cyborg (red gloves) celebrates defeating Lina Lansberg (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Sep 24, 2016; Brasilia, Brazil; Cris Cyborg (red gloves) celebrates defeating Lina Lansberg (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Sep 24, 2016; Brasilia, Brazil; Cris Cyborg (red gloves) celebrates defeating Lina Lansberg (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-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/bTjGvR9MzSFsZuKxiFrTbW/283231", customAnalytics: true, title: "Cris Cyborg", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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Why fighting Dustin Poirier at UFC Fight Night 120 made sense to Anthony Pettis

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – For the past couple of years, Anthony Pettis has been trying to figure out what makes sense.

When Pettis lost his lightweight title to Rafael dos Anjos in March 2015 at UFC 185, “Showtime” stuck around in the division for another two fights, only to lose to eventual champion Eddie Alvarez and top contender Edson Barboza back to back.

That prompted a move to featherweight, where Pettis choked out Charles Oliveira at UFC on FOX 21 last year before failing to make weight for an interim title fight with current undisputed champion Max Holloway, who won by third-round TKO.

Where did all this leave Pettis? Wanting to return to 155 pounds, which he did in July and picked up a decision win over Jim Miller at UFC 213.

RelatedUFC Fight Night 120 pre-event facts: Matt Brown matches longtime record in retirement bout

Now Pettis (20-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC) gears up for a UFC Fight Night 120 headliner on Saturday vs. Dustin Poirier (21-5 MMA, 13-4 UFC), which takes place at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va., and airs on FS1 following prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Simply put, the matchup just makes sense to Pettis.

“They actually gave me the choice. They said, ‘Who do you want to fight next?’ Dustin Poirier made sense coming off that Eddie Alvarez fight,” Pettis told MMAjunkie on Wednesday. “Eddie was booked or about to be booked for ‘The Ultimate Fighter.’ That left Dustin open. … I’ve been watching his style for a long time. For me it made sense. I just got done with a southpaw training camp in Jim Miller. Let’s move right to Dustin Poirier, another southpaw, and I can just refine these skills.”

Poirier enters the bout after a controversial finish with Alvarez at UFC 211. The fight ended when Alvarez landed illegal knees to the downed Poirier, resulting in a no-contest.

Related'Countdown to UFC Fight Night 120' full episode with Anthony Pettis vs. Dustin Poirier

Poirier originally wanted a rematch with Alvarez but eventually saw the upside in a match with Pettis, who gives Poirier credit for having a “complete fighting style.” But he also feels the matchup suits him just fine.

“I feel like my fighting style is a little different than everyone he’s faced in the lightweight division,” Pettis said. “He’s never felt a guy like me, where I can have that many tools and that many options when it comes to striking. It’s not just a boxing match for me. I got the kicks. I got the takedowns if I need them. And I have the experience. I’ve fought so many five-round fights. It’s not even a big deal to me anymore.

“I think I definitely have a lot of advantages. I just have to fight my game plan. I can’t let him get his confidence. When he fights going forward, that’s when we see a dangerous Dustin Poirier. When he’s on his heels, that’s when he has problems.”

To hear more from Pettis, watch the video above.

And for more on UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Frankie Edgar injured, off UFC 218 title fight vs. Max Holloway

Frankie Edgar has suffered an injury and will not be able to compete against featherweight champion Max Holloway at UFC 218.

Brazilian outlet Combate first reported the news, which ESPN.com’s Brett Okamoto confirmed. Sources close to the fighters told MMAjunkie that Edgar suffered a fractured orbital bone.

The title fight was set to headline the UFC 218 pay-per-view, which takes place at Dec. 2 at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.

Representatives for Edgar (22-5-1 MMA, 16-5-1 UFC) declined comment to MMAjunkie on the situation.

The Combate report states a search is underway for a replacement to face Holloway (18-3 MMA, 14-2 UFC), who was to make his first title defense as undisputed champ after unifying the title with a dominant win over Jose Aldo at UFC 212.

Edgar most recently notched a win over up-and-comer Yair Rodriguez at UFC 211, upping his current win streak to two after a loss to Aldo in a fight for the interim featherweight title at UFC 200.

The UFC 218 lineup now includes:

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

  • Champ Max Holloway vs. TBA – for featherweight title
  • Francis Ngannou vs. Alistair Overeem
  • Henry Cejudo vs. Sergio Pettis
  • Eddie Alvarez vs. Justin Gaethje
  • Tecia Torres vs. Michelle Waterson

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

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

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

May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Yair Rodriguez (blue gloves) looks around after being defeated by Yair Rodriguez (red gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Frankie Edgar (red gloves) fights Yair Rodriguez (blue gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Frankie Edgar (red gloves) fights Yair Rodriguez (blue gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Frankie Edgar (red gloves) fights Yair Rodriguez (blue gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Frankie Edgar (red gloves) fights Yair Rodriguez (blue gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Frankie Edgar (red gloves) fights Yair Rodriguez (blue gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Frankie Edgar (red gloves) fights Yair Rodriguez (blue gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Frankie Edgar (red gloves) fights Yair Rodriguez (blue gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Frankie Edgar (red gloves) fights Yair Rodriguez (blue gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Frankie Edgar (red gloves) Defeats Yair Rodriguez (blue gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Frankie Edgar (red gloves) celebrate after defeating Yair Rodriguez (blue gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-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/RWa5sKTf9yYuzF5ZYxwsG4/283211", customAnalytics: true, title: "Edgar def. Rodriguez", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Darren Till vs. Stephen Thompson? Don't get too excited just yet

UFC President Dana White made headlines late Tuesday night when he said, according to Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times, that the promotion was moving its Feb. 24 event from Orlando to England to have rising welterweight Darren Till headline vs. Stephen Thompson in his home country.

As it turns out, that wasn’t entirely true, which Pugmire clarified today in a series of tweets.

Just wanted to correct the schedule info. that @danawhite referred to regarding @darrentill2 last night …

— Lance Pugmire (@latimespugmire) November 8, 2017

White said he's pulling Till from the 2/24 Orlando card and moving him in bout against @WonderboyMMA in Till's "hometown."

— Lance Pugmire (@latimespugmire) November 8, 2017

While there's a March 17 Fight Night card in London, White specified Till would fight in his hometown, Liverpool.

— Lance Pugmire (@latimespugmire) November 8, 2017

Here was White's quote: "So what you do is, I literally switch my whole schedule. I’m laying [stuff] out here I shouldn’t be talking about.

— Lance Pugmire (@latimespugmire) November 8, 2017

…. We’re supposed to do this fight in Orlando. I’m pulling it from Orlando and I’m moving it out to his hometown in England."

— Lance Pugmire (@latimespugmire) November 8, 2017

White later said he has a staff meeting today to hammer out the details of several fights, including @darrentill2 vs. @WonderboyMMA

— Lance Pugmire (@latimespugmire) November 8, 2017

Apologize for the confusion on the @darrentill2 matter, obviously a star in the making, which White details in coming @latimessports story.

— Lance Pugmire (@latimespugmire) November 8, 2017

There’s a lot to unpack here, so let’s start with this fact: UFC Fight Night 127 already was announced for Feb. 24 at Amway Center in Orlando. And, according to a report in the Orlando Sentinel, that remains unchanged.

It seems the UFC planned to put the undefeated Till (16-0-1 MMA, 4-0-1 UFC), coming off a huge win over Donald Cerrone, on that card but would now rather have him headline in his hometown of Liverpool – which, of course, makes a ton of sense. For what it’s worth, the UFC declined comment when reached by MMAjunkie.

Where the confusion comes into play is Pugmire seemingly drawing the conclusion – based on White’s quote – that the UFC aimed to relocate UFC Fight Night 127 from Orlando to Liverpool. Potentially standing in the way of that are a few things.

RelatedAfter biggest win of career over 'Cowboy' Cerrone, Darren Till sets sights on 'Wonderboy' Thompson

First, there’s the fact that Liverpool’s Echo Arena is already booked for Cage Warriors 90 on Feb. 24, although, given the good working relationship between the two promotions, one would think Cage Warriors would give up the venue for the UFC’s debut in the city.

Then again, if the UFC really wants Till to headline a card in England, the easy choice would be UFC Fight Night 128 just three weeks later on March 17 at The O2 in London. But it sounds like Liverpool specifically is what the UFC wants.

Last, but not least, another potential road block is whether or not the UFC’s reported desired opponent for Till will be healthy enough by Feb. 24 – or if he even wants the fight. Thompson’s father and coach, Ray Thompson, told MMAFighting.com that there’s no interest in Till and that such a matchup hadn’t even been pitched by the UFC. Stephen Thompson (14-2-1 MMA, 9-2-1 UFC) faces a 45-day medical suspension after his win over Jorge Masvidal this past weekend at UFC 217. Who knows if “Wonderboy” will even be ready on time?

So, basically, the UFC wants a specific thing to happen – Till headlining in his hometown of Liverpool. But it’ll take a lot of shifting parts to make that a reality.

We’ll wait and see.

For more on UFC Fight Night 127, visit the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

Oct 21, 2017; Gdansk, Poland; Darren Till (blue gloves) defeats Donald Cerrone (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ergo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 21, 2017; Gdansk, Poland; against Donald Cerrone (red gloves) before his fight against Darren Till during UFC Fight Night at Ergo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 21, 2017; Gdansk, Poland; Darren Till (blue gloves) before his fight against Donald Cerrone (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ergo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 21, 2017; Gdansk, Poland; Darren Till (blue gloves) fights against Donald Cerrone (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ergo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 21, 2017; Gdansk, Poland; Darren Till (blue gloves) fights against Donald Cerrone (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ergo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 21, 2017; Gdansk, Poland; Darren Till (blue gloves) fights against Donald Cerrone (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ergo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 21, 2017; Gdansk, Poland; Darren Till (blue gloves) fights against Donald Cerrone (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ergo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 21, 2017; Gdansk, Poland; Darren Till (blue gloves) defeats Donald Cerrone (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ergo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 21, 2017; Gdansk, Poland; Darren Till (blue gloves) defeats Donald Cerrone (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ergo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 21, 2017; Gdansk, Poland; Darren Till (blue gloves) defeats Donald Cerrone (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ergo 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/UZsamSNiLxzY8ii5puwMNW/283202", customAnalytics: true, title: "Till def. Cerrone", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC

24 is the magic number for UFC Fight Night 120's Clay Guida and Joe Lauzon

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Clay Guida and Joe Lauzon have been fighting in the UFC for 11 years and never fought each other.

Of all the places they’d end that streak, Norfolk, Va., doesn’t seem like a leading candidate. They seemed to have been chugging along fine fighting everyone but each other.

The UFC couldn’t hold off forever, though.

Guida (33-17 MMA, 13-11 UFC) and Lauzon (27-13 MMA, 14-10 UFC) are a few days away from finally exchanging fists Saturday on the FS1-televised main card of UFC Fight Night 120. With 24 octagon bouts apiece and 24 post-fight bonuses between them, they’re two of the most experienced and rewarded UFC competitors to ever face off.

“It’s going to be fireworks in there, and everybody knows it,” Guida said. “This fight has been a long time coming. Somehow, Joe and I have always just maybe missed each other. You know we’d never dodge anybody.

It had never been offered to me, and I’m sure it had never been offered to him. I jumped right at it, just like I’m sure he jumped at it.”

Don’t tell Guida the fight should have happened a decade ago. You’ll make him feel old.

Guida might be 35, but he’s feeling better now than he did a decade ago. Every part of his job has been maximized for efficiency. There’s no more of the waste that comes with youth.

He ventures the thing that’s kept him going this long is his work ethic. He is always training and improving in the gym. He also might have some really good genetics.

It’s long past the time Guida and Lauzon were considered hot up-and-comers with the potential to fight for a title. But Guida said there’s still time to get back to that status, no matter how crowded the lightweight division is with new and established talent.

“Here’s the deal – I left the UFC lightweight division a few years ago to go down to 145 for star power,” he said. “I was probably No. 3 in the rankings. I had back-to-back decision losses to Benson Henderson, who went on to be the champ, Gray Maynard, who was almost the champ – those are arguably two of the best guys in the world at the time, and I lost razor-close decisions.

“I left on my terms. I left in the top three or four, and I’m going to be back in the top one or two within the year. I’m coming for all these jokers and clowns and hot shots that think they’re tough.”

For more from Guida, check out the video above.

And for more on UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Clay Guida (blue) fights Brian Ortega (red) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Clay Guida (blue) fights Brian Ortega (red) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Nov 7, 2015; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Clay Guida (red gloves) competes against Thiago Tavares (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Apr 4, 2015; Fairfax, VA, USA; Clay Guida (red gloves) points to Robbie Peralta (blue gloves) after their fight during UFC Fight Night at Patriot Center. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports Apr 4, 2015; Fairfax, VA, USA; Clay Guida (red gloves) and Robbie Peralta (blue gloves) celebrate after their fight during UFC Fight Night at Patriot Center. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports Apr 4, 2015; Fairfax, VA, USA; Clay Guida (red gloves) fights Robbie Peralta (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Patriot Center. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports Apr 4, 2015; Fairfax, VA, USA; Clay Guida (red gloves) fights Robbie Peralta (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Patriot Center. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports Apr 4, 2015; Fairfax, VA, USA; Clay Guida (red gloves) fights Robbie Peralta (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Patriot Center. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports Apr 4, 2015; Fairfax, VA, USA; Clay Guida (red gloves) fights Robbie Peralta (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Patriot Center. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports July 26, 2014; San Jose, CA, USA; Clay Guida (red gloves) fights Dennis Bermudez (blue gloves) during the featherweight bout of the FOX UFC Saturday at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 26, 2014; San Jose, CA, USA; Clay Guida (red gloves) fights Dennis Bermudez (blue gloves) during the featherweight bout of the FOX UFC Saturday at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 26, 2014; San Jose, CA, USA; Clay Guida (red gloves) fights Dennis Bermudez (blue gloves) during the featherweight bout of the FOX UFC Saturday at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 26, 2014; San Jose, CA, USA; Clay Guida (red gloves) kicks Dennis Bermudez (blue gloves) during the featherweight bout of the FOX UFC Saturday at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 26, 2014; San Jose, CA, USA; Clay Guida (red gloves) punches Dennis Bermudez (blue gloves) during the featherweight bout of the FOX UFC Saturday at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 26, 2014; San Jose, CA, USA; Clay Guida (red gloves) before the featherweight bout of the FOX UFC Saturday at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports Jun 7, 2014; Albuquerque, NM, USA; UFC fighter Clay Guida takes a photo with ring card girls during UFC Fight Night 42 at Tingley Coliseum. Hallmann won via third round submission. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 31, 2013; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Clay Guida gets ready for his fight during the UFC-164 bout at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports Jan 26, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Clay Guida reacts after defeating Hatsu Hioki (not pictured) during UFC on FOX 6 at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports Jan 26, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Clay Guida (white shorts) fights against Hatsu Hioki (gray shorts) during UFC on FOX 6 at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports Jan 26, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Clay Guida (top) fights against Hatsu Hioki (bottom) during UFC on FOX 6 at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports Jan 26, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Clay Guida yells out before his fight against Hatsu Hioki (not pictured) during UFC on FOX 6 at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports Jun 22, 2012; Atlantic City, NJ, USA; Clay Guida (top) fights Gray Maynard in a lightweight bout during UFC on FX at Revel Resort and Casino. Gray Maynard won the fight by split decision in the fifth round. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/qaXugFHCs7AWwkDoDeywoa/283150", customAnalytics: true, title: "Clay Guida", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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UFC 217 medical suspensions: Georges St-Pierre, Stephen Thompson receive 45 days

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Georges St-Pierre’s triumphant return at UFC 217 earned him the middleweight title and a 45-day medical suspension, likely from some nasty cuts courtesy of Michael Bisping.

St-Pierre’s (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC) former training partner, Stephen Thompson (14-2-1 MMA, 9-2-1 UFC), walked away from the event with a unanimous-decision win over Jorge Masvidal (32-13 MMA, 9-6 UFC) and the same 45-day term.

MMAjunkie today received a full list of medical suspensions stemming from this past Saturday’s event, which took place at Madison Square Garden in New York and was regulated by the New York State Athletic Commission.

RelatedUFC 217 post-event facts: Record set as 3 new champs crowned in historic night

Citing medical privacy laws, the commission said it does not release details on the nature of the suspensions.

Thompson reported a thumb injury in the wake of his win, leading to speculation about his readiness to return for a proposed fight with Darren Till at a UFC event scheduled for Feb. 24. After UFC President Dana White confirmed the matchup, Thompson told MMAWeekly.com he had not received or accepted an offer to face Till.

All fighters received a minimum 7-day suspension.

The full list of medical suspensions from UFC 217 include:

For complete coverage of UFC 217, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) defeats Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) defeats Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) defeats Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Michael Bisping (red gloves) reacts after losing to Georges St-Pierre (not pictured) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) greets Michael Bisping (red gloves) after their fight in UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) greets Michael Bisping (red gloves) after their fight in UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) greets Michael Bisping (red gloves) after their fight in UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-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/t2pBbXqn6WUG8Z2WigLLpQ/283178", customAnalytics: true, title: "St-Pierre def. Bisping", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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Ex-champ Andrei Arlovski knows he can't keep losing, but 'it's primetime for heavyweights'

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski knows the score. He can’t continue to keep losing in the octagon.

After five straight setbacks, it’s unlikely the UFC will give him many more chances – if any – with a loss to Junior Albini (14-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) on Saturday at UFC Fight Night 120.

“I consider myself a smart person, and if I’m going to be losing all the time and getting hit, of course, I’m going to finish this,” Arlovski (25-15 MMA, 14-9 UFC) told MMAjunkie in advance of his FS1-televised fight against Albini at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va. “I don’t want to be an invalid in a few years, because I have family, and I still have a lot of things to do in my life.”

What’s keeping Arlovski in the fight is the possibility he might be able to reverse the trend. He sees examples like UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture and boxing legend George Foreman and thinks he could turn things around late in his career.

As long as he feels he can still compete in the octagon, who’s to tell him he can’t?

“I think it’s primetime for heavyweights,” Arlovski said. “I think I still have a few more years.”

That said, Arlovski is making accomodations to make sure the final years of his career are comfortable. He is now training at the famed American Top Team in South Florida, close to where his family resides, after seven years of working with Greg Jackson at Jackson Winkeljohn Academy.

It was very hard for Arlovski to leave Jackson, but he could no longer bear being away from his loved ones for extended periods of time during training camp.

Now undertaking his second fight under the new camp, Arlovski’s first and foremost goal against Albini is to stay on task. He is prone to getting into reckless firefights, which isn’t good for his chin. If he wants to be successful, he mustn’t stray from the strategies that work.

“I have to be patient,” he said. “I understand expectations are awesome, but for me, it’s more important to stick with my gameplan against Albini.”

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

And for more on UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Jan 28, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Andrei Arlovski (red gloves) competes against Francis Ngannou (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Sep 3, 2016; Hamburg, Germany; Josh Barnett (blue gloves) competes against Andrei Arlovski (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Barclaycard Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Sep 3, 2016; Hamburg, Germany; Josh Barnett (blue gloves) competes against Andrei Arlovski (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Barclaycard Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Sep 3, 2016; Hamburg, Germany; Josh Barnett (blue gloves) competes against Andrei Arlovski (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Barclaycard Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports May 8, 2016; Rotterdam, Netherlands; Andrei Arlovski fights against Alistair Overeem during UFC Fight Night at Ahoy Rotterdam. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports May 8, 2016; Rotterdam, Netherlands; Andrei Arlovski moves in with a punch as Alistair Overeem defends during UFC Fight Night at Ahoy Rotterdam. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Jan 2, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Stipe Miocic (red gloves) competes against Andrei Arlovski (blue gloves) during UFC 195 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Jan 2, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Stipe Miocic (red gloves) competes against Andrei Arlovski (blue gloves) during UFC 195 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Sep 5, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Frank Mir (blue gloves) and Andrei Arlovski (red gloves) during their heavyweight bout at UFC 191 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Sep 5, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Frank Mir (blue gloves) and Andrei Arlovski (red gloves) during their heavyweight bout at UFC 191 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports 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/UeV2D8SUDYTzsyVGKFXuY7/283145", customAnalytics: true, title: "Andrei Arlovski", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC

Cage Warriors 89 adds Belgium's Tommy Depret vs. 5-time UFC vet John Maguire

With Cage Warriors visiting Belgium later this month, the promotion has added a local veteran to take on a UFC vet.

Cage Warriors officials today announced that Belgium’s Tommy Depret (12-5) will take on England’s John Maguire (24-9) at Cage Warriors 89, which takes place Nov. 25 at Lotto Arena in Antwerp, Belgium. As with all Cage Warriors events, the card stream on UFC Fight Pass.

“Scarface” Depret enters the fight on a two-fight winning streak, scoring first-round stoppages in both affairs. Eleven of Depret’s 12 career wins have come by stoppage, including six in the first round.

Meanwhile, “The One” Maguire debuted in the UFC in 2011 with back-to-back victories, including a “Submission of the Night” win over DaMarques Johnson. However, consecutive decision losses to John Hathaway, Matt Riddle and Mitch Clarke saw him part ways with the promotion. Maguire has gone 6-3 since his release, including a 5-1 run in his past six outings.

The Cage Warriors 89 lineup now includes:

  • Karl Moore vs. Mauro Cerilli
  • Cindy Dandois vs. Kerry Hughes
  • Tommy Depret vs. John Maguire
  • Donovan Desmae vs. Aiden Lee
  • Ayton De Paepe vs. Jack Shore
  • Massai Sant’anna vs. Artur Szczepaniak
  • Leon Jansen vs. Jan Quaeyhaegens
  • Ben Dandois vs. Chico Martinez
  • Sameer Alekozai vs. Matthias Lodahl

For more on Cage Warriors 89, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: Cage Warriors, News

UFC Fight Night 120 pre-event facts: Matt Brown matches longtime record in retirement bout

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

The UFC’s lengthy stretch of events in the fourth quarter of the year continues Saturday with UFC Fight Night 120, which takes place at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va., and airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

The deep fight card filled with notable names features a key lightweight bout in the main event. Dustin Poirier (21-5 MMA, 13-4 UFC) looks to continue his run of success since returning to the 155-pound division when he takes on former UFC champion Anthony Pettis (20-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC) in a matchup with high potential for fireworks.

Four other former UFC champions and title challengers are also featured on the card, which marks the organization’s fourth event in Virginia. For more on the numbers behind the event, check below for 80 pre-event facts about UFC Fight Night 120.

* * * *

Main event

Dustin Poirier

Poirier is 5-1 (with one no-contest) since he returned to the UFC lightweight division in April 2015.

Poirier’s 13 victories since 2011 in UFC competition are tied for fourth most in the company behind Donald Cerrone (19), Demetrious Johnson (15) and Max Holloway (14).

Poirier’s eight stoppage victories since 2011 in UFC competition are tied for fourth most in the company behind Cerrone (13), Tony Ferguson (nine) and Holloway (nine).

Poirier lands 6.72 significant strikes per minute in UFC lightweight competition, the best rate among active fighters in the weight class.

Poirier is one of three fighters in UFC history to earn two or more submission victories by D’Arce choke. Tony Ferguson and Vicente Luque also accomplished the feat.

Related'Countdown to UFC Fight Night 120' full episode with Anthony Pettis vs. Dustin Poirier

Anthony Pettis

Pettis makes his fourth UFC main-event appearance. He’s 1-2 in previous headliners.

Pettis was successful in his return to the lightweight division in July after a two-fight stint at featherweight.

Pettis has alternated wins and losses over his past four fights. He was victorious in his most recent bout against Jim Miller at UFC 213.

Pettis has earned 16 of his 20 career victories by stoppage. That includes five of his seven UFC wins.

Pettis is the only fighter in UFC history to win consecutive UFC lightweight title fights by submission.

Pettis’ three knockout victories in UFC/WEC competition stemming from a kick to the head or body are tied for fourth most in combined promotional history behind Cerrone (six), Vitor Belfort (four) and Edson Barboza (four).

Co-main event

Matt Brown

Matt Brown (20-16 MMA, 13-10 UFC) competes in his 24th UFC welterweight bout, tied with Josh Koscheck for most appearances in divisional history.

Brown is 1-5 in his past six bouts after going on a seven-fight UFC winning streak from 2012-2014.

Brown has earned 18 of his 20 career victories by stoppage. That includes 11 of his 13 wins under the UFC banner.

Brown’s 13 victories in UFC welterweight competition are tied for fifth most in divisional history behind Georges St-Pierre (19), Matt Hughes (16), Josh Koscheck (14) and Thiago Alves (14).

Brown’s 11 stoppage victories in UFC welterweight competition are tied with Hughes for most in divisional history.

Brown’s nine knockout victories in UFC welterweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Brown lands 54 percent of his significant strike attempts in UFC welterweight competition, the highest rate in divisional history.

Brown’s 24 submission attempts in UFC welterweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Chris Lytle (31).

RelatedUFC welterweight Matt Brown says he'll retire after fighting Diego Sanchez

Diego Sanchez

Diego Sanchez (27-10 MMA, 16-10 UFC) returns to the welterweight division for the first time since February 2012. He’s 9-4 in the weight class under the UFC banner.

Sanchez competes in his 27th UFC bout, tied for the third most appearances in company history behind Michael Bisping (28) and Miller (28).

Sanchez has alternated wins and losses of his past seven UFC appearances. He suffered a loss to Al Iaquinta in his most recent bout at UFC Fight Night 108.

Sanchez is the only active UFC fighter who was a cast member on “The Ultimate Fighter 1.”

Sanchez is one of two fighters in UFC history to compete in four different weight classes. Kenny Florian also accomplished the feat.

Sanchez has earned his past eight victories by decision. He hasn’t finished an opponent since Luigi Fioravanti at The Ultimate Fighter 7 Finale in June 2008.

Sanchez has fought to a decision 18 times in UFC competition, the most in company history.

Sanchez has absorbed 1,117 total head strikes in his UFC career, the second most among active fighters behind B.J. Penn (1,282) and third most overall in company history behind Penn and Tito Ortiz (1,167).

Sanchez has earned six “Fight of the Night” bonuses in UFC competition, tied for fourth most in company history behind Nate Diaz (eight), Frankie Edgar (seven) and Joe Lauzon (seven).

Remaining main card

Andrei Arlovski

Andrei Arlovski (25-15 MMA, 14-9 UFC) competes in his 24th UFC heavyweight bout, the second most appearances in divisional history behind Frank Mir (27).

Arlovski enters the event on a five-fight losing skid, the longest of his career. He hasn’t earned a victory since September 2015.

Arlovski is 4-5 since he returned to the UFC for a second stint in June 2014.

Arlovski’s 14 victories in UFC heavyweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Mir (16).

Arlovski’s 11 stoppage victories in UFC heavyweight competition are tied with Gabriel Gonzaga for second most in divisional history behind Mir (13).

RelatedOn 5-fight skid, ex-champ Andrei Arlovski training at ATT ahead of UFC-Norfolk

Andrei Arlovski

Arlovski’s nine knockout victories in UFC heavyweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Cain Velasquez (10).

Arlovski’s 10 knockdowns landed in UFC heavyweight competition are tied with Velasquez for second most in divisional history behind Junior Dos Santos (12).

Arlovski’s eight knockout losses in UFC/WEC/PRIDE/Strikeforce competition are tied with Mir, Gonzaga and Antonio Silva for second most in combined organizational history behind Alistair Overeem (nine).

Arlovski defends 81.5 percent of all opponent takedown attempts in UFC heavyweight competition, the highest rate in divisional history.

Junior Albini (14-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) enters the event on a 10-fight winning streak. He hasn’t suffered a defeat since August 2012.

Albini has earned 12 of his 14 career victories by stoppage.

Nate Marquardt

Nate Marquardt (35-18-2 MMA, 13-11 UFC) competes in his 23rd UFC middleweight bout, tied with Bisping for most appearances in divisional history.

Marquardt is 3-5 since he returned to the UFC middleweight division in June 2014. He’s 3-8 in his past 11 bouts overall.

Marquardt’s 13 victories in UFC middleweight competition are tied with Yushin Okami for third most in divisional history behind Bisping (16) and Anderson Silva (14).

Marquardt’s nine stoppage victories in UFC middleweight competition are tied with Leben for second most in divisional history behind Silva (11).

Marquardt’s 11 knockdowns landed in UFC middleweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Silva (13).

Nate Marquardt

Marquardt’s four knockdowns landed against Dean Lister at UFC Fight Night 8 stand as the most in a UFC middleweight fight.

Marquardt’s 33 takedowns landed in UFC middleweight competition are fourth most in divisional history behind Chris Weidman (36), Rafael Natal (36) and Chael Sonnen (35).

Marquardt’s 18 career losses are the most of any active member of the UFC roster.

Cezar Ferreira (11-6 MMA, 7-4 UFC) is 3-1 since he returned to the UFC middleweight division in April 2016.

Ferreira completes 69.2 percent of his takedown attempts in UFC middleweight competition, the highest rate in divisional history.

Raphael Assuncao

Raphael Assuncao (25-5 MMA, 9-2 UFC) is 9-1 since he dropped to the UFC bantamweight division in August 2011.

Assuncao’s nine victories in UFC bantamweight competition are third most in divisional history behind T.J. Dillashaw (11) and Urijah Faber (10).

Assuncao has earned seven of his nine UFC victories by decision.

Assuncao defends 70 of all opponent significant strike attempts in UFC bantamweight competition, the third highest rate in divisional history behind Vaughan Lee (71.5 percent) and Dominick Cruz (70.9 percent).

Clay Guida (33-17 MMA, 13-11 UFC) was successful in his return to the UFC lightweight division at UFC Fight Night 112 in July.

Guida’s 63 takedowns landed in UFC competition are fifth most in company history behind St-Pierre (90), Gleison Tibau (84), Johnson (73) and Edgar (67).

Guida has attempted 172 takedowns during his UFC career, third most in company history behind Demian Maia (223) and Edgar (189).

Joe Lauzon

Joe Lauzon (27-13 MMA, 14-10 UFC) competes in his 25th UFC lightweight bout, the third most appearances in divisional history behind Miller (27) and Tibau (26).

Lauzon’s 14 victories in UFC lightweight competition are tied for the fourth most in divisional history behind Miller (16), Tibau (16) and Cerrone (15).

Lauzon has alternated wins and losses over his past eight UFC appearances. He lost his most recent bout against Stevie Ray at UFC Fight Night 108.

Lauzon has earned 25 of his 27 career victories by stoppage. He’s finished 18 of those wins by submission.

Lauzon’s 12 stoppage victories in UFC lightweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Lauzon’s seven submission victories in UFC lightweight competition are tied with Diaz for the most in divisional history.

Lauzon’s 29 submission attempts in UFC competition are third most in company history behind Miller (38) and Lytle (31).

Lauzon has been awarded 15 fight-night bonuses during his UFC career, tied with Diaz for most in company history.

Preliminary card

John Dodson

John Dodson (19-8 MMA, 8-3 UFC) is 2-1 since he returned to the UFC bantamweight division in April 2016. He’s 3-1 in the weight class overall.

Dodson’s 37-second knockout of Manny Gamburyan at UFC on FOX 19 stands as the fifth fastest knockout in UFC bantamweight history.

Dodson has suffered all eight of his career losses by decision.

Tatiana Suarez (4-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) returns to competition for the first time since July 8, 2016. The 491-day layoff is the longest of her nearly four-year career.

Suarez earned the first and only D’arce choke submission in UFC women’s competition at the TUF 23 Finale.

Viviane Pereira’s (13-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) 13-fight MMA winning streak is longest among female UFC fighters.

Pereira has earned both of her UFC victories by decision.

Sage Northcutt

Sage Northcutt (8-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC), 21, is the youngest of the 26 fighters scheduled to compete at the event.

Northcutt, at 19, became the youngest fighter in UFC history to earn a victory when he defeated Francisco Trevino at UFC 192.

Angela Hill (7-3 MMA, 2-3 UFC) is 1-1 since she returned to the UFC for a second stint in February.

Hill is 5-1 since her initial release from the UFC in late 2015.

Hill’s two knockdowns landed in UFC strawweight competition are tied with champ Rose Namajunas for most in divisional history.

Nina Ansaroff (7-5 MMA, 1-2 UFC) competes in her just her third bout since November 2014.

Court McGee

Court McGee (18-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC) is 2-2 since he returned from a nearly two-year layoff in December 2015.

McGee is 4-3 since he dropped to the welterweight division in February 2013.

McGee is one of three fighters in UFC history to land 100-plus significant strikes in a single fight in two separate weight classes. Nam Phan and Valerie Letourneau also accomplished the feat.

Sean Strickland (18-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) is 3-2 since he dropped to the UFC welterweight division in February 2015.

Jake Collier (10-4 MMA, 2-3 UFC) has alternated wins and losses over his five-fight UFC career. He lost his most recent bout against Devin Clark at UFC on FOX 24.

Collier is one of four fighters in UFC history to earn a knockout stemming from a spinning back kick to the body. He accomplished the feat against Alberto Uda at UFC Fight Night 88.

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

FightMetric research analyst and live statistics producer Michael Carroll contributed to this story. Follow him on Twitter @MJCflipdascript.

March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Diego Sanchez is declared the winner against Jim Miller during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Jul 9, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Joe Lauzon (blue gloves) punches Diego Sanchez (red gloves) during UFC 200 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Jul 9, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Joe Lauzon (blue gloves) and Diego Sanchez (red gloves) fight during UFC 200 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Diego Sanchez fights against Jim Miller during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Diego Sanchez fights against Jim Miller during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Diego Sanchez lands a kick against Jim Miller during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Diego Sanchez fights against Jim Miller during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Diego Sanchez reacts following his match against Jim Miller during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Diego Sanchez reacts following his match against Jim Miller during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Diego Sanchez is declared the winner against Jim Miller during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Jun 7, 2014; Albuquerque, NM, USA; Diego Sanchez (red) and Ross Pearson (blue) fight during their lightweight bout during UFC Fight Night 42 at Tingley Coliseum. Sanchez won via split decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jun 7, 2014; Albuquerque, NM, USA; Diego Sanchez (red) and Ross Pearson (blue) fight during their lightweight bout during UFC Fight Night 42 at Tingley Coliseum. Sanchez won via split decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jun 7, 2014; Albuquerque, NM, USA; Diego Sanchez (red) and Ross Pearson (blue) fight during their lightweight bout during UFC Fight Night 42 at Tingley Coliseum. Sanchez won via split decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jun 7, 2014; Albuquerque, NM, USA; Diego Sanchez (red) and Ross Pearson (blue) fight during their lightweight bout during UFC Fight Night 42 at Tingley Coliseum. Sanchez won via split decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jun 7, 2014; Albuquerque, NM, USA; Diego Sanchez (red) and Ross Pearson (blue) fight during their lightweight bout during UFC Fight Night 42 at Tingley Coliseum. Sanchez won via split decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jun 7, 2014; Albuquerque, NM, USA; Diego Sanchez (red) celebrates his victory over Ross Pearson (blue) after their lightweight bout during UFC Fight Night 42 at Tingley Coliseum. Sanchez won via split decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jun 7, 2014; Albuquerque, NM, USA; Diego Sanchez (red) celebrates his victory over Ross Pearson (blue) after their lightweight bout during UFC Fight Night 42 at Tingley Coliseum. Sanchez won via split decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Oct 19, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Gilbert Melendez (red gloves) fights against Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) in their lightweight bout during UFC 166 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports Oct 19, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Gilbert Melendez (red gloves) fights against Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) in their lightweight bout during UFC 166 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports Oct 19, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Gilbert Melendez (red gloves) fights against Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) in their lightweight bout during UFC 166 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-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/KWhZReSUq3hkUTAvVF43J3/283069", customAnalytics: true, title: "Diego Sanchez", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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