MMA Junkie News

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2533 with Cody Stamann, Westin Wilson and Nate Landwehr

Stream or download Wednesday’s episode of MMAjunkie Radio with guests Cody Stamann, Westin Wilson and Nate Landwehr.

Stamann fights Tom Duquesnoy on Oct. 7 at UFC 216, and Wilson meets Gaston Reyno on Oct. 6 at Bellator 184. Landwehr is coming off a win over Mikhail Korobkov on Sept. 23 at M-1 Challenge 83.

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


Filed under: Bellator, News, Radio, UFC

Lightweight title eliminator headlines ONE Championship 66 in Thailand

A lightweight title challenger and No. 1 contender will be crowned at “ONE Championship 66: Warriors of the World.”

Officials today announced a fight between Shannon Wiratchai (8-1) and Rasul Yakhyaev (10-6).

ONE Championship 66 takes place Dec. 9 at Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand, and the event streams as an online pay-per-view in North America.

RelatedONE Championship's November lineup? Open-weight fight, champ-vs.champ, retirement title bout

Wiratchai, a 28-year-old Thai fighter, has won six straight fights – all under the ONE Championship banner. Most recently, he used a knee to knock out Rajinder Singh Meena in just 29 seconds. It was his third straight knockout victory and his fourth consecutive stoppage win.

He meets Yakhyaev, a 26-year-old Chechen fighter who returns to ONE Championship for the first time since 2015. The ABC vet is currently stuck in a three-fight losing skid.

Other fighters were announced for the card, though their opponents weren’t revealed: Thai atomweight Rika Ishige (2-1), former strawweight champ Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke (8-2), strawweight Kritsada Kongsrichai (5-3) and lightweight Sagetdao Petpayathai (2-0).

The latest ONE Championship 66 card includes:

  • Shannon Wiratchai vs. Rasul Yakhyaev
  • Rika Ishige vs. TBA
  • Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke vs. TBA
  • Kritsada Kongsrichai vs. TBA
  • Sagetdao Petpayathai vs. TBA

For more on ONE Championship 66, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: News

Scott Coker: Chuck Liddell would need 'battery of tests' before fighting in Bellator

UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell is talking like he’s about to make a comeback in the Bellator cage. But if he does, it won’t be as simple as just signing a fight deal.

“I’d have to talk to Viacom about it,” Bellator President Scott Coker told MMAjunkie, referring to the promotion’s corporate parent. “He’d have to go through a battery of tests, and it would be a longer process than he would be fighting in January.”

Liddell (21-8 MMA, 16-6 UFC) recently welcomed a matchup with three-time UFC title challenger and Bellator star Chael Sonnen (30-14-1 MMA, 1-1 BMMA), prompting more speculation about ending his retirement seven years after a trio of knockout losses ended his UFC career.

RelatedChuck Liddell: Chael Sonnen 'the easy fight' if I come out of retirement

But Coker said he hasn’t even spoken to Liddell about fighting as of late. Instead, he’s interested in having the ex-champ work with Bellator behind the scenes, as he was when rumors of a comeback first surfaced.

“I’ve got to reach out and see if (Liddell would) like to do some fan fest stuff for us and be in the community, but that’s it,” Coker said. “There’s no fight for him.”

Asked whether he’s completely ruled out the idea of a Liddell return, Coker said, “We really haven’t even had that conversation.”

Whatever agreement Liddell and Sonnen might have worked out on their own, it sounds like Coker will need convincing – and for good reason. Liddell’s most recent losses demonstrated a decreased capacity for taking punches to the head, a stark reversal from his earlier career when his chin was a huge advantage.

RelatedChuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz 3? Chael Sonnen would watch, but isn't betting it will happen

UFC President Dana White expressed concerns for Liddell’s health and declared his career was over after a knockout loss to Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 97. But Liddell convinced White to let him make one more octagon walk, signing on to fight ex-champ Rich Franklin at UFC 115. After a spirited exchange late in the first round, Franklin caught Liddell with a right to the jaw and sent him flopping to the canvas.

Recently on social media, Liddell has shown off an improved physique to indicate he’s close to fight shape. But he wouldn’t just have to convince Coker he’s able to fight. He would need to submit medical paperwork to prove he’s healthy enough to do it professionally.

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


Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, UFC

Alliance MMA adds Victory FC to growing staple of regional promotions


Filed under: News

Alliance MMA continues to make noteworthy moves in the space of U.S.-based regional promotions, this time with the acquisition of one of the sport’s most reputable pipelines for talent.

Victory FC and all its assets have been purchased by Alliance MMA, which is currently the lone publicly traded entity in MMA.

MMAjunkie learned of the move from Alliance MMAPresident Rob Haydak and Victory FC General Manager Ryan Stoddard. A formal announcement is expected to be made today, as well.

“There’s always a moment that we strive for as a business owner, and that’s to build it up to the point where you feel in a very good position to sell the company and continue to grow,” Stoddard told MMAjunkie. “This was as great a time as ever. Alliance is a young company, so it’s great to get in with them early on. It provides a lot of infrastructure that a company like ours really needs, as we’ve really grown faster than we can keep up with in the last 20 months.

“For us to come along and achieve a checkmark and a life goal, which is to build a business and sell it, and on top of everything else, have the opportunity to grow even bigger and be a part of something bigger is a very unique opportunity I really couldn’t pass up.”

Victory FC has hosted more than 50 events since its inaugural fight card on June 16, 2002. Since then, the organization has served a platform for the careers of such names as former UFC and WEC lightweight champion Benson Henderson, Jake Ellenberger, Tecia Torres, Travis Browne, Anthony Smith, Josh Neer and many others.

The promotion has hosted events across Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and South Dakota, but company executives plan to make moves into new territories in the future, beginning with Texas. Victory FC’s exposure on a global scale has risen in recent years, too, after the organization signed a deal to stream on UFC Fight Pass in November 2015.

The partnership with UFC Fight Pass will remain despite the transfer in ownership, with eight to 10 live events planned per year.

“Our contract (with UFC Fight Pass) runs for another three or four years,” Stoddard said. “We’re in deep with them. We don’t plan on going anywhere. They don’t plan on us going anywhere, and the future for Victory is truly and really brighter than ever. I’m excited to be a part of something bigger, as well as have the opportunity to see where we can take this thing.

“Having those resources is super important. This will allow me to operate Victory as best and as efficiently as possible, which is something I really haven’t been able to do in the past 20 months since we’ve grown so fast.”

With the acquisition, Victory FC pushes the number of Alliance MMA-owned fight organization up to a dozen. It joins the likes of Cage Fury Fighting Championship, Combat Games MMA, Hoosier Fight Club, V3Fights, Shogun Fights and more.

With the experience of the Alliance MMA team now behind him, Stoddard is anticipating tremendous growth for his promotion.

“When you talk about that infrastructure, having a full-time marketing staff, having that many people who help you with sponsorship capabilities, as well as medicals and the financial pieces – that’s also a massive part of it,” Stoddard said. “We’ve always wanted to go into bigger markets. Looking into 2018, we plan to expand heavily behind Omaha and Nebraska, all the way into Dallas, Texas. None of that would be possible without Alliance. This is a total game changer for us and our ability to really increase our footprint.”

As for the Alliance MMA side, company president Haydak expects big things from what he considers one of the top up-and-comping fight promoters in the sport.

“Ryan, without question, is young, he’s aggressive and he’s got a great awareness for talent and attentions to details, especially in production quality,” Haydak said. “What we bring to the table for Ryan is an infrastructure. We have in-house graphic designers, we have writers, we have a social media team. A whole network that he’s going to be able to tap into so that Ryan can continue to grow the scale of Victory. We’re going to give him the tools necessary in our partnership to grow the Victory brand.”


Filed under: News

Andrea Lee vs. Kalindra Faria a late addition to next week's UFC 216 lineup

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Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News, UFC

Next week’s UFC 216 lineup will apparently have 13 fights, after all.

A women’s flyweight bout between Paige VanZant (7-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) and Jessica Eye (11-6 MMA, 1-5 UFC) was recently removed from the card, but another female fight has been added: LFA 125-pound champion Andrea Lee (8-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) vs. fellow promotional newcomer Kalindra Faria (18-5 MMA, 0-0 UFC).

Lee tweeted news of the bout following an initial report from MMAFighting.com. UFC officials, though, haven’t made a formal announcement.

UFC 216 takes place Oct. 7 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, and it airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and UFC Fight Pass.

RelatedOff UFC 216 card, Paige VanZant is a real mess right now

It’s not clear where Lee vs. Faria will be placed on the lineup, though it could take the open PPV slot in the wake of the VanZant-Eye cancellation.

Lee, a 28-year-old Texan, fought this past week and defended her LFA belt with a second-round submission victory over Jamie Thorton (watch the highlights above). It marked her first title defense. Lee, who’s also an Invicta FC vet and former Legacy FC champion, now has four straight wins.

Prior to her latest win, Lee explained why she didn’t take a spot on “The Ultimate Fighter 26,” which crowns the UFC’s inaugural flyweight champion. Lee – now proven correct – said she thought she could make it to the UFC even without a “TUF” spot.

She now meets Faria, a 31-year-old Brazilian who made her pro debut nearly nine years ago. She’s currently on a three-fight winning streak, which included a September 2016 decision victory over vet Carina Damm to claim the Titan FC wome’s bantamweight title.

Thirteen of Faria’s 18 career wins have come via stoppage.

The latest UFC 216 card includes:

  • Tony Ferguson vs. Kevin Lee – for interim lightweight title
  • Champ Demetrious Johnson vs. Ray Borg – for flyweight title
  • Derrick Lewis vs. Fabricio Werdum
  • Beneil Dariush vs. Evan Dunham
  • Tom Duquesnoy vs. Cody Stamann
  • Will Brooks vs. Nik Lentz
  • Bobby Green vs. Lando Vannata
  • Poliana Botelho vs. Pearl Gonzalez
  • Mark Godbeer vs. Walt Harris
  • Magomed Bibulatov vs. John Moraga
  • Thales Leites vs. Brad Tavares
  • Marco Beltran vs. Matt Schnell
  • Kalindra Faria vs. Andrea Lee

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


Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News, UFC

Episode No. 5 recap: 'The Ultimate Fighter 26: A New World Champion'

Episode No. 5 of “The Ultimate Fighter 26: A New World Champion” opens with a still-emotional No. 3 Lauren Murphy riding back to the TUF house with the rest of Team Alvarez following her upset loss to Team Gaethje’s No. 14 Nicco Montano on the previous episode.

Murphy says she expected to reach the finals and be one half of the inaugural UFC women’s flyweight title fight, but she admits some moments of self-doubt began to creep into her mind just moments before the bout. Back at the TUF house, Murphy is upset she can’t get the comfort of her family after the disappointing result.

The next morning, Murphy is feeling better but decides to skip practice. She says she hopes coach Eddie Alvarez doesn’t give “some big speech at the gym about how, like, I should be back in there already.” That’s exactly what happens, though.

“She lost, and you’re not here? You’re probably not built for this,” Alvarez tells his fighters at the next Team Alvarez training session. “I appreciate you being here. Shana (Dobson) did the same. She came in, she lost, took it on the chin, came out and started training again. It’s not what happens, it’s how we react to it. So let’s react properly today. Thoughts and feelings mean nothing here. Zero, zilch. They’re not going to win you a fight here, your thoughts and feelings. I just need you girls to fight.”

Focus shifts to preparation for the next fight, where No. 12 Sijara Eubanks of Team Alvarez will fight No. 5 Maia Stevenson of Team Gaethje. Coach Alvarez says he believes Eubanks’ seeding in the tournament is way off, and her power and well-rounded ability are going to become advantageous in the upcoming bout.

At the second Team Alvarez training session of the day, Murphy returns to practice. She’s greeted by Alvarez and the rest of the coaching staff. They have a discussion about Murphy’s loss, and coach Alvarez attempts to lift Murphy’s spirits. She doesn’t say much at first but in confessional vents a lot of frustration in Alvarez’s direction.

The TUF gym is later overtaken by Team Gaethje. Stevenson, who is the wife of 16-fight UFC veteran and “TUF 2” winner Joe Stevenson, is feeling some pressure to make her own name in the sport. She doesn’t want people to think she’s only in the competition because of her husband and says it’s a “mental game” to get it out of her mind, but coach Justin Gaethje believes she’s capable.

As the fight approaches, there is some concern within Team Alvarez regarding Eubanks’ weight cut. She still has 10 pounds to cut, but believes, “everyone else is more concerned about my weight than I am.” At 126.5 pounds, though, Eubanks runs into a wall with her weight loss. She’s having difficulty ridding herself of the final half-pound, and the drama begins.

Instead of putting herself through anymore physical strain, though, coach Alvarez suggest Eubanks cuts off a sizable portion her lengthy dreadlocks. Eubanks takes it in stride and says, “My girlfriend is not going to be happy.”

The official weigh-ins for the fight take place, and both fighters hit the 126-pound women’s flyweight limit. A tense staredown follows.

Fight day arrives, and the fifth tournament bout is nearly underway. Stevenson and Eubanks finalize preparation with their coaches, and the athletes walk to the cage.

#5 Maia Stevenson (6-4) vs. #12 Sijara Eubanks (2-2)

Round 1 – Eubanks pumps the jab to begin the fight and tags Stevenson with a left hand. Eubanks shoots for a takedown, but it’s easily stuffed. Stevenson comes in with some combinations and is tagging Eubanks with clean shots. Stevenson’s jab is on point early, and Eubanks shoots for another takedown. She gets Stevenson down and immediately spins to the back. Stevenson works up to her feet slowly but Eubanks is working her with her with hard, short strikes. Stevenson is pinned against the cage and struggling to deal with Eubanks’ strength. Eubanks is landing shots at will against the fence then decides to change to a single leg and drag Stevenson back to the canvas. Eubanks postures up and batters Stevenson with some heavy strikes until the end of the round.

Round 2 – Eubanks misses on two big punches and eats a counter combination. She shoots for a takedown and Stevenson defends until her back is against the fence. Eubanks drops for the single-leg takedown and gets Stevenson down again. Eubanks advances to half guard and applies an americana. Stevenson squirm her arm free but Eubanks easily controlling her. She switches to the kimura and wrenches Stevenson’s arm behind her back, forcing her to tap out and end the one-sided fight.

Sijara Eubanks def. Maia Stevenson via submission (kimura) – Round 2

“The fight went really well,” Eubanks says after her victory. “It felt like all the suns and stars and stuff aligned for me, because it was a rough day yesterday, but we doubled down and had a super great day today.”

Team Gaethje’s lead is cut to 3-2 in the competition with Eubanks’ win for Team Alvarez, who take control of fight selection. With his choice, coach Alvarez selects No. 2 Barb Honchak to go up against No. 15 Gillian Robertson of Team Gaethje next.

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

Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz 3 on St. Patrick's Day makes sense to John Kavanagh. Sure, why not?

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

It’s all but a foregone conclusion that UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz will fight for a third time upon McGregor’s return to MMA, the winner of next month’s Tony Ferguson-Kevin Lee interim title fight be damned!

At this point, it’s simply a matter of figuring out the date and location for the McGregor-Diaz trilogy. Irish newspaper The Sunday World last weekend reported it was in the works for UFC 219 on Dec. 30 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, to which UFC President Dana White flat-out denied was “not true at all.”

Speaking at the launch of the Original Penguin AW17 collection in Dublin with Mike Sheridan, McGregor’s coach, John Kavangh, reiterated that “December 30th is definitely not happening” while adding he wishes for the fight to happen on St. Patrick’s Day.

Via MMAFighting.com.

“If it was my choice, and I must stress that this is only my choice and that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen, it would be Nate Diaz in March,” Kavanagh said. “That’s what I would push towards. I have in my head that it would be a Paddy’s Day card in New York, Nate Diaz 3. I think that would be absolutely amazing. That’s what I would wish for. That’s what I’ll be leaning towards with my 0.1 percent influence when I meet with Conor and (manager) Audie (Attar) tomorrow. I want Diaz 3, Paddy’s Day in New York.”

So why Diaz for the third time? Why not the conventional move of unifying the title against the Ferguson vs. Lee winner at UFC 216? Because, as Kavanagh put it, “Conor doesn’t have to do that anymore” – as in, he doesn’t have to take fights according to rankings or what’s deemed the right thing.

There’s that and simply the allure of Diaz.

“I always think that if I was to develop a fighter that would give Conor his best or worst night, either way you look at it, I would come up with Nate Diaz,” Kavanagh said. “He can walk through anything. He can match him somewhat in the trash talk, and then you have the thing between Conor’s crew and his crew.

“For a bunch of reasons (Diaz is the right fight). It’s not just about being the right guy; that’s all amateur level. This is professional, and it’s about entertainment. (MMA) is part sport, part entertainment, and I just find it hard to think of a better build-up and a better show than that trilogy fight.”

I find it hard to argue with Kavanagh’s stance here. McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) and Diaz (19-11 MMA, 14-9 UFC) have split two incredible fights, with Diaz choking out McGregor at UFC 196 and McGregor taking a hard-fought majority decision in the UFC 202 rematch. They were both great fights and broke pay-per-view records, so despite what the rankings say, it makes sense for business and the spirit of competition.

They have to settle the score. And, well, doing it on St. Patrick’s Day would just be an added bonus to hype it up. With all the Irish in attendance, that arena might never be the same again.

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

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

March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor reacts following his loss during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor reacts following his loss against Nate Diaz during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor reacts following his loss during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor reacts following his loss against Nate Diaz during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor reacts following his loss during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor reacts following his loss against Nate Diaz during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz celebrates his victory by submission against Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor reacts after losing during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz celebrates his victory by submission against Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz celebrates his victory by submission against Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor is tended to by a doctor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor is looked at by the ring doctor following his loss against Nate Diaz during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor is tended to by a doctor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz lands punches against Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz (top) against Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz pins Conor McGregor against the mat during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz (top) against Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz (top) against Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz (top) against Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz lands punches against Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz (right) against Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz applies a chokehold against Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz (right) against Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz (right) against Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz (left) against Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz (left) against Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz pins Conor McGregor against the mat during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz lands a punch against Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz (right) against Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor (left) punches Nate Diaz in the face during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor (left) against Nate Diaz during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor (left) against Nate Diaz during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz pins Conor McGregor against the cage during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor (left) against Nate Diaz during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor (right) against Nate Diaz during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz (right) against Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz moves in for a punch against Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz moves in for a punch against Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz reacts against Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz (right) reacts against Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor (left) against Nate Diaz during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor (right) against Nate Diaz during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz (right) reacts against Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor (left) against Nate Diaz during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz (right) against Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/vkPdyLSw6Lk9egr9uQGKB8/274988", customAnalytics: true, title: "Diaz def. McGregor", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC

Bellator champ Eduardo Dantas says he's close to being best-ever bantamweight

In Eduardo Dantas’ mind, he’s unblemished in the Bellator cage.

So when he fights Darrion Caldwell (10-1 MMA, 7-1 BMMA) next month, he’s not just trying to extend his unbeaten streak, but cement his legacy.

“I’m nearing my goal – to be the best bantamweight in history,” Dantas (20-4 MMA 10-1 BMMA) told MMAjunkie in advance of his Spike-televised headliner against Caldwell at Bellator 184, which takes place Oct. 6 at WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Okla. “I’ll chop down whoever is standing in front of me.”

“I only lost once in Bellator, and I got payback. So I’m not really 10-1. Since I returned the favor, I feel undefeated.”

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

Feeling and being are two different things, of course. There’s no getting around the fact that Dantas did lose in the Bellator cage to ex-champ Joe Warren in 2014, though he did avenge the setback this past December.

Then there was a highly publicized knockout loss to Tyson Nam at a 2012 Shooto Brazil event. Nam leveraged his fame into a deal with the WSOF, only to hit a four-fight slide.

Dantas’ most recent outing, which was reclassified as a non-title bout when LFA champ Leandro Higo missed weight, ended in a razor-thin split decision.

RelatedHe missed weight and lost a title shot, but is there still hope for Bellator's Leandro Higo?

The champ, however, doesn’t count his setback to Warren as a true defeat, and he dismisses the other fights. Now in his second title reign, the 28-year-old Dantas, who’s No. 7 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA bantamweight rankings, is looking at the next few years of his career as a victory tour.

“Whoever is on my way during my climb, I’ll beat them all,” he said. “I see myself as the best bantamweight in the world. I just need to beat all the top guys to prove it.

“I want for Bellator to hire them all, so everyone can see that I’m the best of the best.”

Dantas will need Bellator if he wants his accomplishment to be recognized in the eyes of the MMA world. The promotion’s 135-pound division isn’t as robust as the heavier divisions, though the recent acquisition of No. 13-ranked Michael McDonald is a step in the right direction.

As with most weight classes, the UFC holds the majority of top-ranked fighters, so it will be difficult for Dantas to face the kind of world-class competition he wants on a regular basis.

Still, No. 15-ranked Caldwell is a solid challenge. After slowly creeping into the rankings, he’s 11 months removed from avenging his only professional loss, to journeyman Joe Taimanglo. A title shot against Dantas at Bellator 177 was postponed when he suffered an undisclosed injury.

The re-booked fight is still risky for Dantas. Beat Caldwell, and he’s unlikely to move up the rankings. Lose, and his fall will be precipitous.

“Is he dangerous? Yes,” Dantas said. “But there’s nothing special about him. He has good wrestling, but I’m better than him in every way – on the feet, on the ground, or when defending takedowns.

“Wherever the fight goes, he’ll be scared. I’ll chew him up. I saw fear in his eyes. He’ll feel the champion’s axe. He awakens my most primitive instincts.”

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


Filed under: Bellator, News

Dominick Cruz-Jimmie Rivera, Cynthia Calvillo-Carla Esparza on tap for UFC 219 in Las Vegas

Two former champions are set to return to the octagon at UFC 219, which marks the organization’s final event of the year.

Former UFC bantamweight titleholder Dominick Cruz (22-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC) will see action for the first time since losing the title to Cody Garbrandt, when he takes on the 20-fight winning streak of Jimmie Rivera (21-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC). Also, former strawweight champ Carla Esparza (12-4 MMA, 3-2 UFC) is set to clash with rising star Cynthia Calvillo (6-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC).

The UFC made the fights official today.

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

Cruz, No. 2 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA bantamweight rankings, dropped the 135-pound belt to Garbrandt at UFC 207 last December. Cruz opted to take time off since and was originally angling for a fight against the winner of November’s title fight between Garbrandt and T.J. Dillashaw.Cruz will have to get a win under his belt first, though.

Beating No. 5 Rivera has proven to be no easy task, however. After losing his second MMA fight in November 2008, 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.

No. 5-ranked Esparza, meanwhile, has been up and down down since losing her title to Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 185 in March 2015. She won her most recent bout, though, using a takedown-heavy game plan to top Maryna Moroz by unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night 112 in June.

Esparza will attempt to avoid becoming a signature win for No. 12-ranked Calvillo, who has been on a tear since making her UFC debut on short notice at UFC 209 in March. Calvillo has gone 3-0 inside the octagon in short order and will attempt to become the first and only UFC fighter with four victories in 2017.

Also set for UFC 219, per the Las Vegas Review Journal, is a flyweight contest between Louis Smolka (11-4 MMA, 5-4 UFC) and Matheus Nicolau (12-1-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC).

The UFC 219 currently includes:

  • Dominick Cruz vs. Jimmie Rivera
  • Cynthia Calvillo vs. Carla Esparza
  • Matheus Nicolau vs. Louis Smolka

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/275014", customAnalytics: true, title: "Rivera def. Almeida", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

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

UFC heavyweight prospect Francis Ngannou won’t get a title shot, but he will get an ex-champion.

Ngannou (10-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC), who lost a spot on UFC 215 when Junior Dos Santos was flagged for a potential anti-doping violation, will meet the man he called out as a fill-in: Alistair Overeem (43-15 MMA, 8-4 UFC).

The UFC today announced the bout between Ngannou and Overeem, which will take co-headline UFC 218. The Dec. 2 event from Little Caesar’s Arena in Detroit will air on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

RelatedAlistair Overeem, graphic designer extraordinaire, accepts Francis Ngannou challenge

Ngannou called out Overeem on Twitter after Dos Santos fell off the UFC 215 card. Overeem responded in kind.

“I heard someone is trying to skip the line,” he wrote, adding a nifty graphic. “Can’t allow such a thing to happen. So @francis_ngannou let’s go!”

The battle is certain to have title implications.

Ngannou has won nine straight fights, including a knockout of ex-champ Andrei Arlovski. Overeem, meanwhile, is on the rebound after a failed title bid at UFC 203, winning fights against ex-champ Fabricio Werdum and Mark Hunt.

Overeem, a former Strikeforce, DREAM and K-1 champ, is No. 2 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA heavyweight rankings, while Ngannou is No. 9.

Ngannou didn’t exactly get his wish after calling to fight champ Stipe Miocic at UFC 218. But he definitely got a tough replacement.

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

July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Alistair Overeem (blue gloves) celebrates after defeating Fabricio Werdum (red gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Fabricio Werdum (red gloves) fights Alistair Overeem (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Fabricio Werdum (red gloves) fights Alistair Overeem (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Fabricio Werdum (red gloves) fights Alistair Overeem (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Fabricio Werdum (red gloves) fights Alistair Overeem (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Fabricio Werdum (red gloves) fights Alistair Overeem (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Fabricio Werdum (red gloves) fights Alistair Overeem (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Fabricio Werdum (red gloves) fights Alistair Overeem (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Fabricio Werdum (red gloves) fights Alistair Overeem (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Fabricio Werdum (red gloves) fights Alistair Overeem (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/TdqoLcDQAyUKAiYtxiRuoV/274999", customAnalytics: true, title: "Overeem def. Werdum", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Scott Coker open to Bellator heavyweight tournament but wants to crown champion first

With a new influx of talent, and an unclaimed championship belt, Bellator’s heavyweight division is ripe for a tournament.

Bellator President Scott Coker, no stranger to the format, likes the idea of pairing the division’s baddest big guys against each other. But he said a new champion will be crowned before that happens.

“I think we will have some more fights, see how these guys fare, and then we can talk about something like that,” Coker today told MMAjunkie.

Coker said a matchup between Roy Nelson (23-14 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) and Matt Mitrione (12-5 MMA, 3-0 BMMA) “makes a lot of sense” as a fight for the title, though he also mentioned the surging Cheick Kongo (27-10-2 MMA, 9-2 BMMA) as a potential contender.

RelatedRoy Nelson's only problem with Bellator debut? Listening to coach

“I’d like to crown a heavyweight champ in the first part of (2018),” Coker said.

As UFC heavyweights, the trio are very familiar with each other. Nelson beat Mitrione and Kongo in succession, while Mitrione outpointed Kongo.

Kongo is the most experienced in the Bellator cage with 11 appearances, including a failed bid for the title against Vitaly Minakov, who left a void in the division when the promotion stripped him for inactivity.

Mitrione, meanwhile, joined the fold in March 2016 and has won three straight, with a June knockout of Fedor Emelianenko marking his most recent appearance.

This past Saturday, Nelson made a successful debut with a decision over Jay Ayala at Bellator 183. Before stepping into the cage, Nelson suggested a tournament would be the best way to establish a pecking order.

RelatedBellator 183's Roy Nelson excited to be doing an old job that's suddenly become new again

Coker has held several high-profile tournaments as the head of the now-defunct Strikeforce, including a one-night middleweight tournament in 2007 and the highly hyped Strikeforce World Grand Prix Heavyweight tournament in 2011. But he shifted away from the format after taking the reigns at Bellator in 2014, emphasizing super fights and “tentpole” events over the tournament format favored by previous Bellator chief Bjorn Rebney.

Coker isn’t opposed to the idea of crowning a heavyweight tournament champ, as he did for the Strikeforce grand prix. But in Bellator, he first wants to establish a champion to challenge a tournament winner.

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

Sep 23, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; Roy Nelson vs Javy Ayala during Bellator 183 at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports Sep 23, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; Roy Nelson vs Javy Ayala during Bellator 183 at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports Sep 23, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; Roy Nelson vs Javy Ayala during Bellator 183 at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports Sep 23, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; Roy Nelson vs Javy Ayala during Bellator 183 at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports Sep 23, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; Roy Nelson vs Javy Ayala during Bellator 183 at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports Sep 23, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; Roy Nelson vs Javy Ayala during Bellator 183 at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports Sep 23, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; Roy Nelson vs Javy Ayala during Bellator 183 at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports Sep 23, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; Roy Nelson vs Javy Ayala during Bellator 183 at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports Sep 23, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; Roy Nelson vs Javy Ayala during Bellator 183 at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports Sep 23, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; Roy Nelson vs Javy Ayala during Bellator 183 at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports Sep 23, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; Roy Nelson vs Javy Ayala during Bellator 183 at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports Sep 23, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; Roy Nelson vs Javy Ayala during Bellator 183 at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-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/ZfXvZvE4iXYD3vAXhjnrXa/274976", customAnalytics: true, title: "Nelson def. Ayala", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News

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