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Today in MMA History: Fedor Emelianenko gets final win of his streak, Brett Rogers begins long, dark descent

It was only eight years ago and yet the MMA world was such a different place. For one thing, Strikeforce still existed. For another, a heavyweight by the name of Brett Rogers was undefeated.

And the great Fedor Emelianenko? He was still great, with a streak that included 27 fights without a defeat, stretching through the demise of PRIDE and into the uncertain future that followed it.

He didn’t know it then, but Emelianenko was about to notch the last win in his streak before the wheels fell off. And Rogers, who was about to suffer the first loss of his pro career, would soon find that to be the least of his troubles, as his personal life unraveled and he went from jail to the streets of downtown Minneapolis and back again.

But on Nov. 7, 2009, they were the stars, these two heavyweights fighting in the primetime main event of Strikeforce’s debut on the CBS network. Before it was over, more than 5 million people would tune in to watch – and they got a finish that would repeat itself in GIFs and viral videos for years to come.

The first thing to know about that night is who Emelianenko was back then, and what he meant to his new friends at Strikeforce. For much of the decade, the Russian heavyweight had been an unbeatable enigma who North American fans only glimpsed from afar, but couldn’t get enough of.

On MMA forums, you found serious discussions about how he would do in a fight against a grizzly bear. Thanks to help from Photoshop and Michelangelo, soon Fedor could be seen armbarring God. The more he seemed to resist this sort of attention, the more fans heaped it upon him. Fedor was a phenomenon that even he couldn’t control.

After dominating the competition in PRIDE, where the heavyweight division was generally thought to be stronger than in the UFC, Emelianenko slowly gained the consensus title of world’s best heavyweight. Sure, his impressive record in Japan was padded with New Year’s Eve freak show wins over the likes of Zuluzinho and Hong-Man Choi, but after the UFC bought PRIDE (without securing promotional rights to Emelianenko in the process) and ultimately dismantled it, he’d also racked up legitimate wins in the U.S. with the upstart Affliction MMA promotion.

Affliction held two MMA events between July 2008 and January 2009, and Emelianenko headlined both. First he demolished former UFC heavyweight champ Tim Sylvia in 36 seconds, which even longtime Emelianenko detractor Dana White had to admit was impressive, then he rebounded from a rough start against Andrei Arlovski, another former UFC champ, to knock him out cold with a single punch in the first round.

The lasting image from that fight was a haunting one, with Arlovski facedown on the canvas, eyes open but seeing nothing, looking for all the world like a dead man while Emelianenko strolled calmly away.

All this was supposed to lead to a climactic clash with Josh Barnett at Affliction’s third event, dubbed “Trilogy,” but a last-minute drug test failure by Barnett resulted in the event being cancelled and Emelianenko finding himself once again without a fight promotion to dominate.

It didn’t take long for the UFC to come calling. The UFC President White described his focus on signing Emelianenko as an “obsession.” Later reports described an island getaway in Curacao, where the UFC offered Emelianenko a multi-million dollar contract, a blockbuster fight against former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, and, to sweeten the deal for Emelianenko’s handlers, even reportedly offering to purchase M-1 Global, the fight promotion owned and operated by Emelianenko’s longtime manager Vadim Finkelchtein.

While Emelianenko and M-1 Global officials would later refute some of those claims about the grandiosity of the offer, the end result was that negotiations failed and Emelianenko soon signed a deal with Strikeforce, which agreed to give M-1 Global partial billing as a co-promoter. White harbored resentment over the meeting for years, later recalling that he’d warned Emelianenko and his management that the heavyweight was “one punch away from being worth zero.”

Rogers hoped to be the man to land that punch in the fall of 2009. And why not? He’d come seemingly out of nowhere to make a name for himself as a terrifying knockout artist in EliteXC. He’d even fanned the flames of a rivalry with internet sensation Kimbo Slice, only to see Slice defeated by a light heavyweight in an upset that would bring down the entire company.

Along with a host of others, Rogers was scooped up by Strikeforce in the aftermath, and in his second fight with the promotion, he surprised everyone with a 22-second knockout of Arlovski, who was less than six months removed from his near win turned sudden defeat at the hands of Emelianenko.

Rogers had power. He had confidence. He had about five inches and 30 pounds on Emelianenko. Plus, he’d yet to lose a fight. This big man with the mohawk, the one who’d come out of Chicago’s Cabrini-Green housing projects and then fought his way to fame while working a job changing tires at Sam’s Club, could he be the one to dethrone an MMA great?

The fight headlined a four-fight network TV card on CBS, live from the Sears Centre outside Chicago. On the undercard, future UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum edged out Antonio Silva via unanimous decision, and then-Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi came on to TKO Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou in the second round. In the penultimate bout, Jake Shields outpointed Jason “Mayhem” Miller over five rounds for the Strikeforce middleweight title.

When the ominous gong sounded near the end of the night, it could only mean one thing – Fedor was coming.

“He is considered to be the one fighter in the world with no flaws,” said CBS commentator Gus Johnson said of Emelianenko as he made his way to the cage.

Looking at the tale of the tape before the fight started, former UFC champ turned commentator Frank Shamrock described Rogers as “a literal giant.”

“Can Fedor kill the giant?” he asked.

During introductions, ring announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr. added a little extra flair when he referred to Rogers as a “top-ranked heavyweight” and “undefeated big-time striker.”

In the opposite corner, Emelianenko was as implacable as ever, standing stone-faced and stoic as his corner hoisted the WAMMA (World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts) title that he’d won almost without seeming to notice or care a year earlier.

If Rogers was intimidated by the great Fedor, he didn’t show it early on. A jab from Rogers in the opening seconds of the fight smashed Emelianenko’s nose, drawing blood that would flow everywhere over the course of the opening round. After being taken down quickly, Rogers got back up, looking to use his weight to suffocate the smaller Russian against the fence.

After once again gaining the space he needed to strike, Emelianenko hurt Rogers with a sharp left hook, then took him down as Rogers covered up and retreated.

“MMA is considered a game of human chess,” commentator Mauro Ranallo said as Emelianenko worked short strikes from the top position. “Fedor is the Kasparov of combat, and that jab by Rogers has awoken the beast.”

“Can Brett Rogers be Bobby Fischer?” replied Johnson, thereby bringing an end to the chess metaphors for the night, now that the only two players most people could name had both been mentioned.

Emelianenko gave Rogers a chance to get back in the fight when he tried for a kimura that allowed Rogers to roll on top. For his sins, he was punished with some solid ground-and-pound from Rogers, which Emelianenko managed to stop by threatening with one of his slick armbar transitions off his back.

By the time the bell rang to end the first, Rogers looked weary from his efforts, while Emelianenko just looked bloody. As usual, Emelianenko’s face betrayed not even the barest hint of emotion as he came out of his corner for the second.

Soon he was back up on his toes, bouncing around with his hands held low, searching for his opening as Rogers waited, feinting from afar but seemingly unable to convince himself to throw.

That was all it took: that moment’s hesitation. In one smooth motion, Emelianenko flung himself forward with a right hand that crushed Rogers’ jaw, dipping his head low and he punched, his shoulder colliding with the big man’s body after he connected.

Rogers’ head jackknifed to one side, and then he crashed to the floor, arms out at his sides before he gained just enough awareness to roll away from the follow-up strikes that were already en route.

Referee John McCarthy waited just long enough to see Emelianenko bounce a left and a right off Rogers’ unresponsive and only partially protected head before he stepped in to call it off. The cage flooded with the usual cast of Emelianenko’s friends and associates and hangers-on, from the bearded priests to the money men in suits.

“I don’t know who’s happier, Fedor or his entourage,” said Ranallo.

When the camera found Rogers, he was sitting up, looking from side to side like a man who’d just awoken from a frightening and confusing dream, only to find that a party had somehow broken out in his bedroom.

For the official announcement, Emelianenko stood in the center of the cage, draped in the Russian flag with the cut on his nose suddenly looking like no more than a scratch. He was so happy, he may have even smiled.

Nov7.2009

Fedor Emelianenko earns the final victory of his 9 year undefeated streak,

when he knocks out Brett Rogers with a haymaker pic.twitter.com/CWOeU786Pv

— MMA History Today (@MMAHistoryToday) November 7, 2017

Both men’s lives and careers would take a turn after this night. That one punch White had predicted, the one that would render Emelianenko abruptly worthless? Instead it was a submission – a triangle choke/armbar combo from Werdum the following June – and instead of sapping Emelianenko’s glory all at once, it set off a slow leak that continues still.

After the loss to Werdum to snap his streak, Emelianenko would lose his next two fights in Strikeforce, first a doctor stoppage against “Bigfoot” Silva and then a TKO loss to Dan Henderson.

He rebounded in 2011 with a return to more friendly confines and matchmaking, reeling off a series of wins of questionable value in both Russia and Japan. In June 2016 he took on former UFC light heavyweight Fabio Maldonado in St. Petersburg and was nearly knocked out before winning a highly questionable decision victory that still stands as perhaps the best possible example of “home cooking” from MMA judges.

In his most recent outing, Emelianenko was reunited with former Strikeforce President Scott Coker, who needed two tries to successfully get the 40-year-old Emelianenko into the Bellator cage. Once there, it took all of 74 seconds for him to be knocked out by former UFC heavyweight Matt Mitrione.

Rogers’ downward spiral would prove to be much darker. Even after the loss to Emelianenko he somehow managed to challenged Alistair Overeem for the Strikeforce heavyweight title in his very next fight. Overeem ran through him easily for a first-round TKO, and Rogers would go on to lose two of his next three, including a submission loss to Barnett in the opening round of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix.

But after the UFC purchased Strikeforce, Rogers was among the first of the contract casualties after news broke that he’d been arrested for a particularly horrifying incident of domestic violence. UFC President White announced that Rogers had been cut, effective “immediately.” Rogers pleaded guilty to the charges and served a 60-day sentence.

He would later sign with Bellator in an attempt to turn both his life and his career around, but he only fought twice for the organization, splitting a pair of bouts.

Rogers was arrested again earlier this year, this time on sexual misconduct charges for allegedly groping multiple men in a Saint Paul, Minn., public library over a period of several months, during which Rogers was reportedly homeless. While incarcerated, he was also accused of groping a cellmate, eventually entering an Alford plea to three separate charges in May, just a little over two years after his last MMA fight, a decision loss to Derrick Mehmen.

“I know that I fell down pretty hard,” Rogers said after he first signed with Bellator a year after his domestic violence arrest. “But I want to prove to people that you can bounce back. You can, if your heart is in it and you know your mistakes.”

For Rogers, the mistakes were just beginning. Not that he could have known back then how far he still had to fall.

“Today in MMA History” is an MMAjunkie series created in association with MMA History Today, the social media outlet dedicated to reliving “a daily journey through our sport’s history.”


Filed under: Featured, News, Strikeforce

Bellator 187's Kevin 'Baby Slice' Ferguson Jr. no longer feeling pressure of Kimbo's legacy

Whether he liked to recognize it or not, Kevin Ferguson Jr. has been under the microscope since his first time stepping into the cage for an MMA fight. That hans’t changed much going into his third professional bout at Bellator 187, but Ferguson Jr. has learned the let go of the pressure.

Ferguson Jr. (1-1 MMA, 1-1 BMMA), or “Baby Slice,” is the son of the late Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson, a famous street-brawler turned MMA fighter who competed for the likes of Bellator, UFC and EliteXC. Many second-generation fighters come into the sport with preconceived expectations, and Ferguson Jr. is no different.

Following his first pro win earlier this year and coming into a 165-pound catchweight fight with Fred Freeman (1-0 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) at Friday’s Bellator 187 event, which takes place at 3Arena in Dublin and airs via tape-delay on Spike, Ferguson Jr. said he’s finally settling into a comfort zone.

“Definitely (the pressure is gone),” Ferguson Jr. told MMAjunkie. “You’ve got to work hard. You’ve got to push yourself if you want to be in this sport, and that’s what I’ve learned. Hard work, it pays off. I’ve just got to maintain it and not lose focus.”

Related'Baby Slice,' Kevin Ferguson Jr., wants to be more than a bearded brawler

Prior to his pro debut, Ferguson Jr. said it was important to him to follow in the footsteps of his late father and carry on his legacy. He still wants to do that but is aware it’s not a goal that’s quickly accomplished. There are many hurdles to a typical MMA career, and Ferguson Jr. experienced one already by losing his first pro fight.

Ferguson Jr., 25, bounced back in his sophomore outing at Bellator 179 in May, though. He earned a first-round TKO of Darryal Griffin, and getting that victory made him realize that climbing the top of the sport is going to be a long and difficult journey.

It also motivated him, though. Ferguson Jr. admitted his work ethic was not where it should have been off the bat. He’s had many takeaways from his early ups and downs, though, and said at this point he’s 100 percent committed to becoming elite.

“My first fight, I was just learning,” Ferguson Jr. said. “I didn’t really know everything. I was just in the sport and having fun with it. Now I’m taking it serious. I’m putting my all into it. I understand when you work hard, it pays off. It’s more the gym part: going to the gym more, pushing myself more and training. Mentally, I’m ready. But now I’m ready mentally and physically.”

RelatedToday in MMA History: Seth Petruzelli KO'd Kimbo Slice, and EliteXC went down with him

At this point in his career, Ferguson Jr. said it’s all about growing and getting better as a fighter. He trains with a solid crew at Team Bodyshop in California, but with less than 10 minutes of overall cage time to his credit, there’s still a lot he hasn’t yet experienced.

Ferguson Jr. said he will take as quick a victory as Freeman gives him at Bellator 187, but he wouldn’t mind a longer fight to display his improvements since his previous bout six months ago.

“The main goal is to go in there and get that ‘W,'” Ferguson Jr. said. “But I also want to do things. I want to show off what I’ve been working on. I want to beat this guy up, cut him up. I want to work on the things we’ve worked on. It’s fun to have a knockout, but it’s always good to showcase your skills.”

After dropping his debut then rallying in his second fight, Ferguson Jr. said he hopes Bellator 187 marks the beginning of a long run of success in the sport. He said he’s doing all the right things in and out of the gym to thrive, and with less pressure on his shoulders than he had from the outset. The plan now is to go on a long winning streak, and “Baby Slice” doesn’t view Freeman as the man to stop him.

“I’m 1-1 and on a one-fight winning streak,” Ferguson Jr. said. “I want at least to get to 10 or eight. That’s the goal, for sure.”

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


Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News

USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie rankings, Nov. 7: GSP back on the pound-for-pound list

After four years away from the competition, Georges St-Pierre is once again a UFC champion.

This time, of course, it’s in the middleweight division. So what do you do with the former welterweight title holder in both the 185-pound and pound-for-pound rankings? Well, in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA rankings, St-Pierre moves to the very top of the middleweight ranks, while settling in at No. 9 on the pound-for-pound list.

Take a look at how those divisions look with St-Pierre back in action, and inspect the rankings across every division following a stacked UFC 217 event, as well as Bellator 186.


Filed under: Bellator, MMA Rankings, News, PFL, UFC

UFC-Norfolk broadcast plans set for FS1, including James Krause's analyst debut

May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) fights Dustin Poirier (blue gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) fights Dustin Poirier (blue gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) fights Dustin Poirier (blue gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) fights Dustin Poirier (blue gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) fights Dustin Poirier (blue gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) fights Dustin Poirier (blue gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) fights Dustin Poirier (blue gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) fights Dustin Poirier (blue gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) fights Dustin Poirier (blue gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) fights Dustin Poirier (blue gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) fights Dustin Poirier (blue gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) fights Dustin Poirier (blue gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) is warned by referee while fighting Dustin Poirier (blue gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Dustin Poirier (blue gloves) sits on the ground after fighting Eddie Alvarez (red 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/6CC7Bo3VyAHjPVGzSgfoFD/282817", customAnalytics: true, title: "Alvarez vs. Poirier", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

The UFC’s fourth event in Virginia takes place Saturday when UFC Fight Night 120 goes down from Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, and it’ll feature the in-studio analyst debut of a current UFC fighter.

The card airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass and is headlined by a lightweight bout between former UFC champ Anthony Pettis (20-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC) and Dustin Poirier (21-5 MMA, 13-4 UFC).

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

A FOX Sports official today told MMAjunkie that UFC welterweight James Krause (24-7 MMA, 5-3 UFC) will join the studio crew for the first time. He will accompany UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley and retired former title challenger Kenny Florian at the desk, while Todd Grisham serves as host. Laura Sanko is set to conduct backstage interviews from Virginia.

Krause will join the crew for Friday’s weigh-in show on FS1, as well as the post-fight show on the same channel following the event.

Doing commentary cageside for UFC Fight Night 120 will be the combination of Jon Anik and UFC lightweight Paul Felder (14-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC).

The full UFC Fight Night 120 card includes:

MAIN CARD (FS1, 10 p.m. ET)

  • Anthony Pettis vs. Dustin Poirier
  • Matt Brown vs. Diego Sanchez
  • Junior Albini vs. Andrei Arlovski
  • Cezar Ferreira vs. Nate Marquardt
  • Raphael Assuncao vs. Matthew Lopez
  • Clay Guida vs. Joe Lauzon

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

  • John Dodson vs. Marlon Moraes
  • Viviane Pereira vs. Tatiana Suarez
  • Sage Northcutt vs. Michel Quinones
  • Nina Ansaroff vs. Angela Hill

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

  • Court McGee vs. Sean Strickland
  • Jake Collier vs. Marcel Fortuna
  • Karl Roberson vs. Darren Stewart

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


Filed under: News, UFC

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with Muhammed Lawal, Justin Buchholz


Filed under: Bellator, News, UFC

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Muhammed Lawal and Justin Buchholz.

“King Mo” Lawal calls in to discuss a number of important topics, including a potential fight with Bellator light heavyweight champ Ryan Bader, as well as his latest forays into professional wrestling and the situation at American Top Team. Meanwhile, Buchholz discusses the coaching roles at Team Alpha Male and how they might change again following Cody Garbrandt’s weekend loss to T.J. Dillashaw.

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 #2559 with Walt Harris, Tywan Claxton

Stream or download Monday’s episode of MMAjunkie Radio with guests Walt Harris and Tywan Claxton.

Harris shared his side of the disqualification result against Mark Godbeer this past Saturday at UFC 217. Claxton discussed his viral flying-knee knockout of Jonathan Bonilla-Bowman at this past Friday’s Bellator 186.

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


Filed under: Bellator, News, Radio, UFC

ONE Championship 63 highlights: Aung La N Sang's risk pays off

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

ONE Championship middleweight titleholder Aung La N Sang took a major risk by fighting dangerous heavyweight striker Alain Ngalani in an open-weight this past Friday at ONE Championship 63.

It was clear Ngalani’s (3-4) strength was an X-factor, but it couldn’t prevent hometown hero Sang (21-10) from locking in guillotine choke to win the main event at the 4:51 mark of Round 1.

The event took place at Thuwunna Indoor Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar, and streamed via online pay-per-view in North America.

Check out the highlights above and full results from ONE Championship 63 below:

For more on ONE Championship 63, check out the MMA Eventssection of the site.


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

Gilbert Burns challenges, Olivier Aubin-Mercier accepts for UFC on FOX 27 in Charlotte

Gilbert Burns (12-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) and Olivier Aubin-Mercier (10-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) are looking to make life easy for UFC matchmakers.

With no trash talk needed, the two UFC lightweights are simply hoping to book a clash at the recently announced UFC on FOX 27 event, which takes place Jan. 27 at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C.

Burns recently issued the challenge, and Aubin-Mericer happily accepted. Now the two simply need to get UFC brass to offer up a few bout agreements.

Sup bro @oliaubin anything line up? How about Charlotte NC Jan 27?? UFC FN

— GILBERT BURNS (@GilbertDurinho) November 7, 2017

Yes lets do it

— Olivier Aubin (@oliaubin) November 7, 2017

Nice!! What do you say @seanshelby @ufc @danawhite @AliAbdelaziz00 https://t.co/WFNuUPXmfC

— GILBERT BURNS (@GilbertDurinho) November 7, 2017

Burns saw action most recently at September’s UFC Fight Night 116 event, scoring a second-round knockout of Jason Saggo. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist has shown moments of brilliance, earning four stoppages in his five UFC wins to date, though he’s struggled to gain consistent results, alternating wins and losses over his past four appearances.

Meanwhile, Aubin-Mercier fought the same night in September, taking home a split-decision win over Tony Martin. The result was the Canadian’s third consecutive victory, improving his record to 6-1 in his seven outings since falling short in the tournament final of “The Ultimate Fighter Nations: Canada vs. Australia.”

For more on UFC on FOX 27, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Jan 30, 2016; Newark, NJ, USA; Olivier Aubin-Mercier (black trunks) fights Diego Ferreira (white trunks) during UFC on Fox 18 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jan 30, 2016; Newark, NJ, USA; Olivier Aubin-Mercier (black trunks) fights Diego Ferreira (white trunks) during UFC on Fox 18 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jan 30, 2016; Newark, NJ, USA; Olivier Aubin-Mercier (black trunks) fights Diego Ferreira (white trunks) during UFC on Fox 18 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Apr 25, 2015; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Olivier Aubin-Mercier (red) reacts after defeating David Michaud (blue)(not pictured) during their lightweight bout during UFC 186 at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports Apr 25, 2015; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Olivier Aubin-Mercier (red) reacts after his fight against David Michaud (blue) (not pictured) during their lightweight bout during UFC 186 at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports Apr 25, 2015; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Olivier Aubin-Mercier (red) reacts after his fight against David Michaud (blue) (not pictured) during their lightweight bout during UFC 186 at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports Apr 16, 2014; Quebec City, Quebec, Canada; From left, Chad Laprise (red gloves), referee Yves Lavigne and Olivier Aubin-Mercier (blue gloves) after their welterweight bout at Colisee Pepsi. Laprise won by decision. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports Apr 16, 2014; Quebec City, Quebec, Canada; Chad Laprise (red gloves) fights against Olivier Aubin-Mercier (blue gloves) during their welterweight bout at Colisee Pepsi. Laprise won by decision. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports Apr 16, 2014; Quebec City, Quebec, Canada; Chad Laprise (red gloves) fights Olivier Aubin-Mercier (blue gloves) during their welterweight bout at Colisee Pepsi. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports Apr 16, 2014; Quebec City, Quebec, Canada; Chad Laprise (red gloves) fights against Olivier Aubin-Mercier (blue gloves) during their welterweight bout at Colisee Pepsi. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-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/5yHTwhAWbWLP9EBqFYojxF/282911", customAnalytics: true, title: "Olivier Aubin-Mercier", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC

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

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

For a good chunk of time earlier this year, all Dustin Poirier wanted was another 15 minutes with ex-champ Eddie Alvarez.

After their May showdown at UFC 211 was ruled a no-contest, Poirier wanted to take out his frustration on Alvarez over losing half his purse.

Poirier (21-5 MMA, 13-4 UFC) talked up a rematch. He appealed the official result and waited for the UFC to compensate his loss. Then Alvarez (28-5 MMA, 3-2 UFC) got booked as a coach on “The Ultimate Fighter 26” opposite surging lightweight Justin Gaethje (18-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC).

When the UFC called Poirier offering a bout with ex-champ Anthony Pettis (20-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC), it didn’t exactly come as good news.

“My first original thought was, ‘Where the (expletive) is Eddie Alvarez?'” Poirier told MMAjunkie Radio. “But then I said alright.”

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

Then, the MMA veteran thought about it and drew some positives: another chance to beat an ex-champion, a fighter coming off a win and a main-card spot on FS1 at UFC Fight Night 120, which takes Saturday at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va.

“This is a fun, exciting fight,” Poirier said. “This guy is another former world champion. What can I really be upset about? It’s a main event fight – we’re all eyes on us – against another world champion, and I’ll just show again what kind of caliber fighter I am.”

Since moving up from the featherweight division, Poirier is 5-1 as a lightweight with the one no-contest from his meeting with Alvarez. A win over Pettis will undoubtedly benefit his resume and perhaps get him the type of fights he’s looking for – title eliminators.

At No. 13 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA lightweight rankings, Poirier has a chance to take a step up by beating No. 11 Pettis.

Is Alvarez off his radar? No, but there’s a different target right now.

“I’ve been training 12 weeks for Anthony Pettis, so that’s all I’m focused on right now,” Poirier said. “After Nov. 11, we’ll see what the future holds. But right now, it’s all about Pettis.”

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

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

Sep 16, 2016; Hidalgo, TX, USA; Dustin Poirier pumps his fists during weigh in for UFC Fight Night at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Pokorny-USA TODAY Sports Sep 16, 2016; Hidalgo, TX, USA; Dustin Poirier and Michael Johnson face off after weigh in for UFC Fight Night at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Pokorny-USA TODAY Sports Sep 17, 2016; Hidalgo, TX, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) competes against Michael Johnson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Porkorny-USA TODAY Sports Feb 11, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Jim Miller (blue gloves) during UFC 208 at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Feb 11, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Jim Miller (blue gloves) during UFC 208 at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Feb 11, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Jim Miller (blue gloves) during UFC 208 at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Feb 11, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Jim Miller (blue gloves) during UFC 208 at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Feb 11, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) raises his arms in victory after defeating Jim Miller (blue gloves) during UFC 208 at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) fights Dustin Poirier (blue gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Dustin Poirier (blue gloves) sits on the ground after fighting Eddie Alvarez (red 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/HAt4D3uNYBsEbUYcnjf7TS/282866", customAnalytics: true, title: "Dustin Poirier UFC", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

Roberts vs. Westcott, Blachowicz vs. Cannonier added to UFC on FOX 26 in Winnipeg

UFC on FOX 26 additions include a pair of fighters looking to build on recent wins and a replacement opponent making a quick turnaround.

UFC officials today announced that England’s Danny Roberts (14-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) will meet Canada’s Sheldon Westcott (9-3-1 MMA, 1-2 UFC) at UFC on FOX 26, which takes place Dec. 16 at MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Additionally, light heavyweight Jan Blachowicz (20-7 MMA, 3-4 UFC) has agreed to step in against Jared Cannonier (10-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC).

The night’s official bout order has yet to be revealed.

Roberts saw action most recently at July’s UFC Fight Night 113, scoring a TKO win over Bobby Nash. Roberts is now 8-1 in his past nine appearances (including four in the UFC), with the lone loss in that time coming to fast-rising contender Mike Perry.

Meanwhile, Westcott picked up his first official UFC win at UFC 195 in January 2016. The result snapped a two-fight losing streak for the 33-year-old Westcott, who will look to return from nearly two years on the sidelines thanks to injuries.

Blachowicz fought just three weeks ago, picking up a submission win over Devin Clark at UFC Fight Night 118 in Poland. The victory was a much-needed result for the veteran, and he now hopes to build on that momentum stepping in for Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, who was pulled from the contest after being flagged by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

Cannonier got back on track in July with a third-round TKO of Nick Roehrick at the TUF 25 Finale in Las Vegas. Roehrick was a late replacement for Steve Bosse, who had to pull out of the fight with an injury. That got Cannonier back in the win column after a decision loss to Glover Teixeira at UFC 208 snapped a two-fight streak.

With the addition, UFC on FOX 26 now includes:

  • Robbie Lawler vs. Rafael dos Anjos
  • Jose Aldo vs. Ricardo Lamas
  • Mike Perry vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio
  • Misha Cirkunov vs. Glover Teixeira
  • Julian Marquez vs. Vitor Miranda
  • Galore Bofando vs. Chad Laprise
  • Tim Elliott vs. Justin Scoggins
  • Oluwale Bamgbose vs. Alessio Di Chirico
  • Jordan Mein vs. Erick Silva
  • Sultan Aliev vs. Nordine Taleb
  • John Makdessi vs. Abel Trujillo
  • Jan Blachowicz vs. Jared Cannonier
  • Danny Roberts vs. Sheldon Westcott

For more on UFC on FOX 26, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: News, UFC

Volkan Oezdemir on UFC title shot vs. Daniel Cormier: 'Just waiting on a contract to sign'

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

NEW YORK – UFC light heavyweight Volkan Oezdemir just needs to sign the paper to make his fight with champ Daniel Cormier official.

Backstage at UFC 217, Oezdemir (15-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) told reporters he is the next contender for Cormier (19-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC), and all that needs to be confirmed is a date.

“Nothing is confirmed right now, but everything is in talks,” Oezdemir said this past Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York City. “I’m just waiting on a contract to sign, and I’m on.”

RelatedAlexander Gustafsson will wait for Daniel Cormier-Volkan Oezdemir winner, picks 'DC' to retain

Oezdemir indicated UFC 220 is a leading candidate to host the bout. The pay-per-view event takes place Jan. 20 at TD Garden in Boston. It’ll be Cormier’s first fight since losing the title to Jon Jones, only to be reinstated when Jones (21-1-1 MMA, 15-1-1 UFC) failed a post-fight drug test for a banned substance.

Oezdemir doesn’t question the legitimacy of Cormier’s title and is grateful to the champ for giving him the opportunity to fight.

“He is the champ,” Oezdemir said. “I have no doubt about that. He beats everyone at heavyweight and light heavyweight. He’s the champ. What happened with Jones is controversial, so now, everything’s different. But Cormier’s one of the toughest guys in the 205-pound division and pound-for-pound also. It’s amazing for me to be fighting him.”

Cormier declared Oezdemir the No. 1 contender to his belt after an informal online poll, and the two have playfully jabbed each other online. The fight was initially discussed as a possibility for December, but Cormier followed doctor’s orders to give himself more time to heal after a knockout loss to Jones in July at UFC 214.

Cormier recently said the fight is nearly a done deal but didn’t mention a date.

And that’s the issue I️ don’t underestimate u at all. I️ believe u are the one that are counting eggs before they hatch. All good you will C https://t.co/0zsNdEiadu

— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) November 5, 2017

Recently, Oezdemir tried to drag Cormier’s longtime training partner and friend Luke Rockhold into the fray with Rockhold training at Oezdemir’s gym. Cormier countered that Rockhold is the classic inside man. Oezdemir doesn’t believe that’s true, but he doesn’t care either way.

“I respect the relationship,” Oezdemir said. “(Rockhold is) training with me. (Cormier) can know all the secrets about me. He’s not going to be able to avoid my power. So all the technique he can do, it’s all about the power in my hands. (Rockhold has) never told me anything. He’s a straightforward guy. I like D.C. also. I respect him, and I really appreciate what he’s offering.”

With only three octagon bouts to his name, it’s been a dizzying rise for the Turkish-Swiss fighter. If the fight takes place in February, it will mark Oezdemir’s one-year anniversary with the UFC.

He plans to celebrate by knocking out Cormier.

For more on UFC 220, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Volkan Oezdemir moves in against Jimi Manuwa during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Volkan Oezdemir moves in with a hit against Jimi Manuwa during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Volkan Oezdemir moves in with a hit against Jimi Manuwa during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Volkan Oezdemir moves in with a hit against Jimi Manuwa during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Volkan Oezdemir reacts following his knockout victory against Jimi Manuwa during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Volkan Oezdemir reacts following his knockout victory against Jimi Manuwa during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Volkan Oezdemir reacts following his knockout victory against Jimi Manuwa during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Volkan Oezdemir reacts following his knockout victory against Jimi Manuwa during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-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/rTsGCcX2BJSR4ZHnjpCPye/282878", customAnalytics: true, title: "Oezdemir def. Manuwa", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

Ronda Rousey pitches Microsoft's Xbox One X with swift punch to the junk


Filed under: Blue Corner, News, UFC, Videos

Ronda Rousey hasn’t shown much of a desire to return to MMA, but that doesn’t mean she’s avoiding the spotlight, entirely.

The former women’s bantamweight champ is currently pitching Microsoft’s new Xbox One X gaming console, which goes on sale today and promises to wow users with “immersive true 4K gaming.” Rousey took to a New York stage on Monday’s edition of “Conan” to demonstrate the power of the console.

While she was handed an Xbox controller to start the demonstration, things took a quick turn from there. Check out the video above to see the complete segment, and stick around for the multi-player demonstration.

Rousey (12-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) hasn’t competed in the UFC since a December 2016 loss to Amanda Nunes. While she appears unlikely to make an octagon return, Rousey does remain a record-holder in the promotion, with six consecutive defenses of a women’s UFC belt.

Former strawweight champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk (14-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) had a chance to tie that mark at this past weekend’s UFC 217 event but suffered a shocking first-round knockout loss to new title holder Rose Namajunas (7-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC).

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

December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Ronda Rousey fights against Amanda Nunes during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes (right) against Ronda Rousey during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes lands punches while Ronda Rousey is against the cage during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Ronda Rousey reacts against the cage after being hit in the face during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Ronda Rousey leaves with her mother AnnMaria DeMars follwing her loss against Amanda Nunes during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Nov 15, 2015; Melbourne, Australia; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) competes against Holly Holm (blue gloves) during UFC 193 at Etihad Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Nov 15, 2015; Melbourne, Australia; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) competes against Holly Holm (blue gloves) during UFC 193 at Etihad Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Nov 15, 2015; Melbourne, Australia; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) competes against Holly Holm (blue gloves) during UFC 193 at Etihad Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Sep 4, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC Women's Bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey answers questions for fans before the weigh-ins for UFC 191 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Sep 4, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC Women's Bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey answers questions for fans before the weigh-ins for UFC 191 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Sep 4, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC Champion Ronda Rousey holds her championship belt before the weigh-in at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) celebrates after defeating Bethe Correia (not pictured) during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) celebrates after defeating Bethe Correia (not pictured) during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) reacts after knocking out Bethe Correia (not pictured) during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) fights Bethe Correia (blue gloves) during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) reacts after knocking out Bethe Correia (blue gloves) during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) looks on prior to her fight against Bethe Correia (not pictured) during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) vs. Bethe Correia (blue gloves) during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) looks on prior to her fight against Bethe Correia (not pictured) during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Ronda Rowdy Rousey (red gloves) looks on prior to her fight against Bethe Pitbull Correia (not pictured) during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jul 31, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Ronda Rousey during weigh-ins for UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jul 15, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; UFC champion Ronda Rousey arrives for the 2015 ESPY's award show at Nokia Theater. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Feb 28, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) reacts after defeating Cat Zingano (not pictured) during their women's bantamweight title bout at UFC 184 at Staples Center. Rousey won in 14 seconds of the first round. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Feb 28, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) and Cat Zingano (blue gloves) during their women's bantamweight title bout at UFC 184 at Staples Center. Rousey won in 14 seconds of the first round. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Feb 28, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Ronda Rousey arrives in the arena to defend her women's bantamweight title against Cat Zingano (not pictured) at UFC 184 at Staples Center. Rousey won in 14 seconds of the first round. 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/xjsa2W7EZUFu5UdyZxrZfS/282902", customAnalytics: true, title: "Ronda Rousey", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Blue Corner, News, UFC, Videos

MMAjunkie reader predictions: Make your picks for UFC Fight Night 120 in Virginia

We want your predictions for Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 120 event in Virginia.

Our staff picks feature includes the consensus picks from MMAjunkie readers. Simply cast your vote for each bout below, and we’ll use the official tallies that are registered by Thursday at noon ET (9 a.m. PT).

Those MMAjunkie MMA reader consensus picks will be part of the UFC Fight Night 120 staff picks we release Friday ahead of the event. UFC Fight Night 120 takes place Saturday at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va. It airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

* * * *

Anthony Pettis vs. Dustin Poirier

Records: Anthony Pettis (20-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC) vs. Dustin Poirier (21-5 MMA, 13-4 UFC)
Past five: Pettis 2-3, Poirier 4-1
Division: Lightweight
Rankings: Pettis No. 11, Poirier No. 13
Odds (as of 11/06/17): Pettis -125, Poirier +105

Take Our Poll (function(d,c,j){if(!d.getElementById(j)){var pd=d.createElement(c),s;pd.id=j;pd.src='http://s1.wp.com/wp-content/mu-plugins/shortcodes/js/polldaddy-shortcode.js';s=d.getElementsByTagName(c)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(pd,s);} else if(typeof jQuery !=='undefined')jQuery(d.body).trigger('pd-script-load');}(document,'script','pd-polldaddy-loader')); Matt Brown vs. Diego Sanchez

Records: Matt Brown (20-16 MMA, 13-10 UFC) vs. Diego Sanchez (27-10 MMA, 16-10 UFC)
Past five: Brown 1-4, Sanchez 2-3
Division: Welterweight
Rankings: None
Odds (as of 11/06/17): N/A

Take Our Poll (function(d,c,j){if(!d.getElementById(j)){var pd=d.createElement(c),s;pd.id=j;pd.src='http://s1.wp.com/wp-content/mu-plugins/shortcodes/js/polldaddy-shortcode.js';s=d.getElementsByTagName(c)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(pd,s);} else if(typeof jQuery !=='undefined')jQuery(d.body).trigger('pd-script-load');}(document,'script','pd-polldaddy-loader')); Junior Albini vs. Andrei Arlovski

Records: Junior Albini (14-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) vs. Andrei Arlovski (25-15 MMA, 14-9 UFC)
Past five: Albini 5-0, Arlovski 0-5
Division: Heavyweight
Rankings: None
Odds (as of 11/06/17): N/A

Take Our Poll (function(d,c,j){if(!d.getElementById(j)){var pd=d.createElement(c),s;pd.id=j;pd.src='http://s1.wp.com/wp-content/mu-plugins/shortcodes/js/polldaddy-shortcode.js';s=d.getElementsByTagName(c)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(pd,s);} else if(typeof jQuery !=='undefined')jQuery(d.body).trigger('pd-script-load');}(document,'script','pd-polldaddy-loader')); Cezar Ferreira vs. Nate Marquardt

Records: Cezar Ferreira (11-6 MMA, 7-4 UFC) vs. Nate Marquardt (35-18-2 MMA, 13-11 UFC)
Past five: Ferreira 3-2, Marquardt 2-3
Division: Middleweight
Rankings: None
Odds (as of 11/06/17): N/A

Take Our Poll (function(d,c,j){if(!d.getElementById(j)){var pd=d.createElement(c),s;pd.id=j;pd.src='http://s1.wp.com/wp-content/mu-plugins/shortcodes/js/polldaddy-shortcode.js';s=d.getElementsByTagName(c)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(pd,s);} else if(typeof jQuery !=='undefined')jQuery(d.body).trigger('pd-script-load');}(document,'script','pd-polldaddy-loader')); Raphael Assuncao vs. Matthew Lopez

Records: Raphael Assuncao (25-5 MMA, 9-2 UFC) vs. Matthew Lopez (10-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC)
Past five: Assuncao 4-1, Lopez 4-1
Division: Bantamweight
Rankings: Assuncao No. 4
Odds (as of 11/06/17): N/A

Take Our Poll (function(d,c,j){if(!d.getElementById(j)){var pd=d.createElement(c),s;pd.id=j;pd.src='http://s1.wp.com/wp-content/mu-plugins/shortcodes/js/polldaddy-shortcode.js';s=d.getElementsByTagName(c)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(pd,s);} else if(typeof jQuery !=='undefined')jQuery(d.body).trigger('pd-script-load');}(document,'script','pd-polldaddy-loader')); Clay Guida vs. Joe Lauzon

Records: Clay Guida (33-17 MMA, 13-11 UFC) vs. Joe Lauzon (27-13 MMA, 14-10 UFC)
Past five: Guida 2-3, Lauzon 2-3
Division: Lightweight
Rankings: None
Odds (as of 11/06/17): N/A

Take Our Poll (function(d,c,j){if(!d.getElementById(j)){var pd=d.createElement(c),s;pd.id=j;pd.src='http://s1.wp.com/wp-content/mu-plugins/shortcodes/js/polldaddy-shortcode.js';s=d.getElementsByTagName(c)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(pd,s);} else if(typeof jQuery !=='undefined')jQuery(d.body).trigger('pd-script-load');}(document,'script','pd-polldaddy-loader'));

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

Aug 27, 2016; Vancouver, BC, Canada; Charles Oliveira (blue gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports Aug 27, 2016; Vancouver, BC, Canada; Anthony Pettis (red gloves) competes against Charles Oliveria (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports Aug 27, 2016; Vancouver, BC, Canada; Anthony Pettis (red gloves) competes against Charles Oliveria (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports Aug 27, 2016; Vancouver, BC, Canada; Anthony Pettis (red gloves) competes against Charles Oliveria (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports Aug 27, 2016; Vancouver, BC, Canada; Anthony Pettis (red gloves) competes against Charles Oliveria (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports Apr 23, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Anthony Pettis (red gloves) competes against Edson Barboza (blue gloves) during UFC 197 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Apr 23, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Anthony Pettis (red gloves) competes against Edson Barboza (blue gloves) during UFC 197 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Apr 23, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Anthony Pettis (red gloves) competes against Edson Barboza (blue gloves) during UFC 197 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Apr 23, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Anthony Pettis (red gloves) competes against Edson Barboza (blue gloves) during UFC 197 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Apr 23, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Anthony Pettis (red gloves) competes against Edson Barboza (blue gloves) during UFC 197 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Apr 23, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Anthony Pettis (red gloves) competes against Edson Barboza (blue gloves) during UFC 197 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Apr 23, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Anthony Pettis (red gloves) greets Edson Barboza (blue gloves) after their fight UFC 197 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Jan 17, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Anthony Pettis (red) looks on between rounds of a lightweight bout against Eddie Alvarez (not pictured) at UFC Fight Night at the TD Garden. Alvarez won after three rounds by split decision. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 17, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Anthony Pettis (red) kicks Eddie Alvarez (blue) during a lightweight bout at UFC Fight Night at the TD Garden. Alvarez won after three rounds by split decision. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 17, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Anthony Pettis (red) kicks Eddie Alvarez (blue) during a lightweight bout at UFC Fight Night at the TD Garden. Alvarez won after three rounds by split decision. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-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/MwQVVnLUrf5h6L5wpshsmY/282718", customAnalytics: true, title: "Anthony Pettis", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

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

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

If UFC interim middleweight champion Robert Whittaker gets the next crack at Georges St-Pierre, he feels good about his chances.

St-Pierre, making his return after four years away from the sport, choked out Michael Bisping in the UFC 217 pay-per-view headliner to become the new middleweight champion Saturday in New York.

The outcome was somewhat of a surprise to Whittaker (19-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC), who admitted that he picked Bisping (30-8 MMA, 20-8 UFC) to defeat St-Pierre (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC). With UFC 217 now out of the way, the stage could be set for Whittaker and St-Pierre to unify the title.

RelatedSean Shelby's Shoes: What's next for Georges St-Pierre and UFC 217's other winning fighters?

And if that happens, Whittaker likes his chances based on what he saw while sitting cageside at Madison Square Garden.

“To be honest, he looked slower than he’s ever been,” Whittaker said of St. Pierre’s performance, according to Australian website news.com.au. “He’s just as crafty. You can see the intelligence is still there. His fight IQ is still there. He obviously hits harder at middleweight.

“But I hit hard, and I hit fast — and much harder and faster than Bisping. And I have much better defense than Bisping. So it looks good.”

Whittaker became the interim champion after winning a unanimous decision over Yoel Romero in a five-round “Fight of the Night” in July at UFC 213.

There’s no guarantee St-Pierre will stay in the division after claiming the belt from Bisping. Although UFC President Dana White said Whittaker would be his next opponent, it at least seems possible GSP could decide to go after welterweight champion Tyron Woodley to reclaim the belt he never lost before retiring in 2013. Talk of super fight with UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor also has been floated around.

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

But still, Whittaker is at least in the conversation to land a showdown with St-Pierre, who said before UFC 217 that he was contractually obligated for at least another middleweight fight. And if that happens, Whittaker will be at least a little star struck by the opportunity.

“I can’t even put it into words,” Whittaker said. “I was a massive fan of him when I was younger — and when I was at welterweight, as well. Every welterweight in the world aspired to become something like him. If I got the privilege of fighting him? Man, dream come true.”

The ideal scenario for the Australian would be if the promotion booked he and St-Pierre for UFC 221, which takes place Feb. 18 at Perth Arena in Perth, Australia. If not, then Whittaker is willing to wait to make his dream of fighting St-Pierre a reality.

“I’m happy to wait,” Whittaker said. “Fighting a legend like that is worth the time. My wants have to go on the back seat a bit for him. He’s a living legend, and in respect I’ll do that. But if he’s going to hang around at middleweight we’ll touch gloves eventually. I’m confident.”

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

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Urijah Faber would consider unretiring to fight T.J. Dillashaw, but nobody get any ideas

Finally, after nearly a year of animosity between ex-teammates turned rivals T.J. Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt, the score was settled over the weekend, with Dillashaw scoring a knockout at UFC 217 to become bantamweight champion for the second time.

So that it’s, right? This means we’re done with the whole Team Alpha Male vs. Dillashaw story line. Aren’t we?

Maybe not – and that’s got to do with more than just a potential rematch between Dillashaw (15-3 MMA, 11-3 UFC) and Garbrandt (11-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC).

RelatedCody Garbrandt recaps this post-fight chat with T.J. Dillashaw, stands 'behind everything I said'

Speaking to “The MMA Hour” on Monday, UFC Hall of Famer and Team Alpha Male founder Urijah Faber said he “would have to consider” coming out of retirement to fight Dillashaw if presented with the opportunity.

“I was in a Metro PCS Q&A (during UFC 217 fight week) and someone was asking me, ‘What would it take to bring you out of retirement?’ I said, ‘The biggest dollars,’ and a girl said, ‘If T.J. calls you out after this fight, would that bring you out of retirement?’ And I just said, ‘That sounds like fun,’” Faber said.

“It’s unbeknownst to me if anyone’s asking for that, calling for that or offering that. I haven’t heard it. I would have to consider that if they came and talked to me. There’s one thing I know for sure is, I’m not afraid of a good fight, and I enjoy it, and I like making money. But I would hate for that to be the focus rather than Cody getting back in there and getting his shot to redeem himself, because he’s been the guy who’s been there on the front lines. He’s been the guy who’s been putting in the time to be the world champion right now, and I’ve retired.”

These remarks come on the heels of Faber (34-10 MMA, 10-6 UFC) telling MMAjunkie Radio last month “there’d be a few scenarios” that could get him back inside the octagon, and apparently facing his former pupil is one of them.

But is that a fight we really need to see? Better yet, is that a fight we want to see?

No doubt Faber is one of the greatest featherweights in UFC/WEC history, but there’s a reason the 38-year-old hung up his gloves last December. He went 2-3 in his final five bouts to close his career, which included losses to top contenders Dominick Cruz and Jimmie Rivera.

We couldn’t possibly expect Faber to be all that competitive against Dillashaw.

To me, there’s nothing appealing about this matchup, but maybe I’m in the minority. Let us know in the poll below.

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

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

Take Our Poll (function(d,c,j){if(!d.getElementById(j)){var pd=d.createElement(c),s;pd.id=j;pd.src='http://s1.wp.com/wp-content/mu-plugins/shortcodes/js/polldaddy-shortcode.js';s=d.getElementsByTagName(c)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(pd,s);} else if(typeof jQuery !=='undefined')jQuery(d.body).trigger('pd-script-load');}(document,'script','pd-polldaddy-loader')); Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; T.J. Dillashaw (blue gloves) yells at Cody Garbrandt (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; T.J. Dillashaw (blue gloves) fights against Cody Garbrandt (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; T.J. Dillashaw (blue gloves) fights against Cody Garbrandt (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; T.J. Dillashaw (blue gloves) fights against Cody Garbrandt (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; T.J. Dillashaw (blue gloves) fights against Cody Garbrandt (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; T.J. Dillashaw (blue gloves) fights against Cody Garbrandt (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; T.J. Dillashaw (blue gloves) fights against Cody Garbrandt (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Cody Garbrandt (red gloves) fights against T.J. Dillashaw (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Cody Garbrandt (red gloves) fights against T.J. Dillashaw (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; T.J. Dillashaw (blue gloves) yells at Cody Garbrandt (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; T.J. Dillashaw (blue gloves) reacts after defeating Cody Garbrandt (red gloves) during 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/KoBeZjHtZFD3Q5mhhdpHZi/282855", customAnalytics: true, title: "Dillashaw def. Garbrandt", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC

Bellator 186's Ed Ruth: 'Sky's the limit' after big knockout win

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Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos

UNIVERSITY PARK, Penn. – Penn State alums attending this past Friday’s Bellator 186 might have expected Ed Ruth to put on a wrestling clinic against Chris Dempsey.

The MMA middleweight did put on a little ground-and-pound clinic. But then he gave them a knockout for the ages.

Ruth (4-0 MMA, 4-0 BMMA), a three-time NCAA champ for the Nittany Lions, used his fists to stop Dempsey (11-6 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) and up his current unbeaten streak to four at Bryce Jordan Center.

RelatedBellator 186 post-event facts: Ilima Macfarlane's dominant run leads to inaugural 125-pound belt

The end was a surprise even to Ruth. He extended his right hand, and suddenly the referee was putting a hand on his chest to stop the bout.

“I’m like what do I do now?” he Ruth told reporters after his Spike-televised fight.

Many a wrestler has made the transition to the cage, but Ruth’s credentials distinguish him as a prospect. He’s already drawn endorsements from many MMA veterans, including Nittany Lion turned light heavyweight standout Phil Davis, who picked up a decision win on Bellator’s 186 main card.

The only question now is how far he can go.

RelatedBellator 186 reactions: Winning and losing fighters on social media

“For me being the wrestler, to knock someone out on their feet, just completely digress into boxing, that’s a big moment for me,” Ruth said. “That’s like a game-changer.

“It’s like, ‘OK, not only am I dangerous with my wrestling, I can also utilize my striking and my boxing.’ I just feel like the sky’s the limit.”

For complete coverage of Bellator 186, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ed Ruth (red gloves) enters the arena prior to fighting Chris Dempsey (not pictured) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Chris Dempsey (blue gloves) enters the arena prior to fighting Ed Ruth (not pictured) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ed Ruth (red gloves) reacts after defeating Chris Dempsey (not pictured) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Chris Dempsey (blue gloves) fights Ed Ruth (red gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ed Ruth (red gloves) fights Chris Dempsey (blue gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ed Ruth (red gloves) fights Chris Dempsey (blue gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ed Ruth (red gloves) fights Chris Dempsey (blue gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Chris Dempsey (blue gloves) fights Ed Ruth (red gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ed Ruth (red gloves) fights Chris Dempsey (blue gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ed Ruth (red gloves) fights Chris Dempsey (blue gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ed Ruth (red gloves) fights Chris Dempsey (blue gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ed Ruth (red gloves) holds up a Penn State jersey after defeating Chris Dempsey (not pictured) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ed Ruth (red gloves) exits the rings after defeating Chris Dempsey (not pictured) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-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/pXq7jzhjbaxq9dLrHfJbHN/282814", customAnalytics: true, title: "Ruth def. Dempsey", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos

UFC 217 reactions: Winning and losing fighters on social media

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

Since the early days when the sport was anything but a mainstream endeavor, the MMA industry has thrived and survived through various websites, forums and, perhaps most importantly, social-media platforms.

Fighters interact with fans, each other and many more through the likes of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, which helps outsiders get a deeper look into the minds of the athletes.

Following Saturday’s UFC 217 event at Madison Square Garden in New York, several of the winning and losing fighters, along with their coaches, training partners or family members, took to social media to react to the event or share a message with supporters.

* * * *

The defeated

Hey, @RazorBlaydes265 Hey, big guy. You're doing great. But, no offense, I was taken out of the cage commissioners, I'm not alone went.

— Alexey Oleynik (@oleynikufc) November 5, 2017

Oh and I’m contesting that BS! Godbeer is a bitch! #UFC217

— walt harris (@thebigticket205) November 5, 2017

Tell me why I was clearly destroying him and decided to fowl him? Makes no sense! He quit! Take your 5 and continue! Bitch move! https://t.co/Hqs8yYDbNl

— walt harris (@thebigticket205) November 5, 2017

DQ? No way No contest if anything! @MarkGodbeerUK wanted out and he found a way! #LossForTheFans

— walt harris (@thebigticket205) November 5, 2017

Congrats to stephen. Wasn’t my night. I’ll be back.

— Jorge Masvidal UFC (@GamebredFighter) November 5, 2017

Live and Die by the sword! I will be back, thanks for all the love and support!! Congrats to @TJDillashaw

— Cody Garbrandt (@Cody_Nolove) November 5, 2017

The victorious

Everyone has an opinion and untitled to it but the camera doesn't lie. I'm no pussy. If it has to happen again I'm game.

— Mark Godbeer (@MarkGodbeerUK) November 5, 2017

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

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

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/282805", customAnalytics: true, title: "St-Pierre def. Bisping", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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Why it matters that Dana White is truthful about UFC having its 'biggest year ever' in 2017

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

The UFC is having a good year in 2017. Better than good. It’s great – the “biggest year ever” in the history of the company. Don’t believe it? Just ask Dana White. In fact, only ask him and no one else. Because, to hear the UFC president tell it, he is the only reliable source of information about the UFC.

“It drives me crazy when I see these guys write these stories about the business,” White said in a media scrum this past week before UFC 217. “You know what you know about the business? What I tell you. That’s what you know.”

Moments later, White would take it one step further: “There’s nothing factual about anything that’s ever written about this business.”

Pause for a moment and let that sink in. Adjust for the requisite fight promoter hyperbole. Cross-reference with the claims White made all week about revenue and pay-per-view numbers. Add in his stated belief that any and all accurate information about the MMA business must come directly from Dana White. Spend the next few minutes numbly considering the nature of truth itself.

It isn’t the first time White has drifted into this territory. On several occasions he has admonished fans never to believe anything they hear about the UFC and its plans unless it comes from the UFC itself.

Nevermind the fact that the UFC has, on numerous occasions, disavowed media reports only to later admit that they were true. Forget that a vehement denial from White himself has become a kind of joking shorthand for official confirmation among many MMA fans.

Anybody who claims to have a monopoly on the facts should expect some skepticism. That goes double when your relationship with the truth has historically been, to put it mildly, strained. (Anybody else remember when the UFC definitely wasn’t for sale, and anyone who said otherwise should expect to hear from the UFC’s lawyers?)

Which brings us back to the question that started all this: What kind of year is the UFC having in 2017?

RelatedDana White explains why 2017 is UFC's best year ever 'by a long shot'

It’s a fair question. It’s been on people’s minds, especially after two monster years in 2015 and 2016, leading up to the UFC’s $4.2 billion sale. If you were paying attention lo these past 10 months, you might have noticed that business seems to have slowed from that frenzied peak.

There are reasons for it. Conor McGregor, the biggest PPV star in MMA history, hasn’t fought for the UFC at all in 2017. Neither has Ronda Rousey, the other star who helped propel the UFC to unprecedented recent PPV success. Brock Lesnar, who returned for one fight in 2016, got chased back to pro wrestling by USADA. And speaking of USADA, Jon Jones returned from suspension for one fight this year – and that was all it took to line him up for another suspension.

According to reported buyrates, the UFC had five PPVs in 2016 that sold more than 1 million buys. Coming into UFC 217 (which White claimed had eclipsed 1 million buys, with help from record-breaking sales in Canada), the company had yet that mark with a single event this year.

But there’s where White takes issue, with the whole idea that any of us could know how many PPVs the UFC sells.

“Whose indications (that PPV are down) are that?” White said following UFC 217. “People who don’t know what the (expletive) they’re talking about.”

And there we are again. The truth in these matters is known only to White, so we have to take his word for it. In that case, it’d be nice if he didn’t have such a reputation for lying straight to our faces, but what are you going to do, right?

RelatedSo, what's Jon Jones been up to lately?

Except that, occasionally we do get a glimpse inside the UFC’s business. We got a pretty good one thanks to that investor presentation that the new owners put together last summer.

Prior to this, most UFC PPV sales estimates came from longtime MMA and pro wrestling writer Dave Meltzer. And when we compare Meltzer’s numbers with those reported to potential UFC investors, we see an awful lot of agreement. In several cases, internal UFC documents reported the same buyrate figures that Meltzer did. For a guy who doesn’t know what he’s talking about, that’s a hell of a lucky guess.

But you don’t necessarily need to look at the UFC’s books in order to guess that a year without McGregor and Rousey and Lesnar – with only brief help from Jones – probably resulted in a down year on PPV. That’s just common sense. To claim that the UFC did even better on PPV without them than it did with them is to claim that these stars don’t matter, that in fact all the fighters are more less interchangeable and it’s only the UFC brand that matters.

Which is not to say that the UFC couldn’t have still done well in terms of revenue this year, even with a dip in PPV sales.

Don’t forget, the sale in 2016 came with some serious “cost savings opportunities,” including heavy staff reductions and greater “corporate discipline,” in the words of the investor pitch. Then there’s the actual biggest fight of the year, the boxing match between McGregor and Floyd Mayweather.

RelatedWhat investor documents tell us about the UFC's past – and its future

The UFC got a cut of that money in exchange for letting McGregor participate in the fight, and it was reportedly the largest single payday for the company all year. White essentially admitted that he was including that windfall in his assessment of the UFC’s overall financial health, but all that fight told us is that McGregor and Mayweather are both bankable stars – not that the UFC is soaring higher than ever.

The only reason this conversation should even matter to fans is because it clearly matters to the UFC. The forces of revenue and PPV buys shape nearly every decision the UFC makes, and those decisions in turn shape the entire sport.

The overall strength of fight cards, the state of fighter pay, the trunks that fighters wear into the cage, the price of UFC PPVs and UFC Fight Pass subscriptions, it’s all tied up in this same math problem.

What you see when you turn on a UFC event is inextricably linked to what the owners see when they look at their sales figures. Fans are watching a sport; the UFC is running a business.

Not that anyone who isn’t named Dana White could possibly know anything about it, of course. He says it’s all going fine, just great, couldn’t be better. And what possible reason would he have to lie about something like that?

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

Mar 4, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC president Dana White (center) attempts to separate Conor McGregor (left) from Nate Diaz during weigh-ins for UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Oct. 28, 2011; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC president Dana White (center) breaks up a fight between welterweight fighters B.J. Penn (left) and Nick Diaz during weigh ins for UFC 137 at the Mandalay Bay event center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Oct. 28, 2011; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC president Dana White (center) breaks up a fight between welterweight fighters B.J. Penn (left) and Nick Diaz during weigh ins for UFC 137 at the Mandalay Bay event center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Mar 15, 2013; Montreal, Quebec, Canada; UFC president Dana White (center) steps in between Georges St.Pierre and Nick Diaz during the weight-in for UFC 158 at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports Jul 5, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Dana White (center) separates Norman Parke (left) and Kazuki Tokudome as they face off at the weighs-in for their UFC fight at the Mandalay Bay Event Center. Norman Parke takes on Kazuki Tokudome at the MGM Grand Garden Arena July 6. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jul 5, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Dana White (center) separates Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman (right) at today's weighs-in for their UFC fight at the Mandalay Bay Event Center. Silva takes on Weidman at the MGM Grand Garden Arena July 6. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jul 5, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Dana White (center) separates Norman Parke (left) and Kazuki Tokudome as they face off at the weighs-in for their UFC fight at the Mandalay Bay Event Center. Norman Parke takes on Kazuki Tokudome at the MGM Grand Garden Arena July 6. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports December 13, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; UFC lightweight fighters Abel Trujillo (left) and Roger Bowling (right) face-off in front of UFC president Dana White (center) in the official weigh-in for UFC on FOX 9 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports Dec 27, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC President Dana White (center) separates Dustin Poirier (left) and Diego Brandao as they face off for their UFC Featherweight Bout on December 28 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Oct 24, 2014; Rio de Janeiro, BRAZIL; William Macario (left) and Neil Magny are separated by Dana White during weigh-ins for UFC 179 at Ginasio do Maracanazinho. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jan 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC President Dana White separates Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier during the weigh in for their Light Heavyweight Title Bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 30, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC President Dana White looks on as Ian McCall and John Linekar face off at the weigh in for their lightweight bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports May 22, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Uriah Hall (L) and Rafael Natal (R) are separated by UFC president Dana White (C) after weighing in for their middleweight bout at MGM Grand Ballroom. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports May 22, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Uriah Hall (L) and Rafael Natal (R) are separated by UFC president Dana White (C) after weighing in for their middleweight bout at MGM Grand Ballroom. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports May 22, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Chris Weidman (L) and Vitor Belfort (R) are separated by UFC president Dana White (C) after weighing in for their middleweight championship bout at MGM Grand Ballroom. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jul 10, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC president Dana White (center) separates Conor McGregor (right) and Chad Mendes (left) during weigh-ins for UFC 189 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jul 10, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC president Dana White (center) separates Conor McGregor (right) and Chad Mendes (left) during weigh-ins for UFC 189 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports December 11, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor pose are separated by UFC president Dana White during weigh-ins for UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Dec 9, 2016; Toronto, ON, Canada; Cub Swanson and Dooho Choi (right) pose as UFC President Dana WHite intervenes during weigh ins for UFC 206 at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 27: Conor McGregor and Eddie Alvarez face-off as UFC president Dana White breaks them up at the UFC 205 press conference at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on September 27, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) Mar 4, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC president Dana White (center) separates fighter Jon Jones (right) from Daniel Cormier during a press conference prior to weigh-ins for UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC president Dana White (center) separates fighter Jon Jones (right) from Daniel Cormier during a press conference prior to weigh-ins for UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor (left) is held back by UFC president Dana White during weigh-ins for UFC 196 fight against Nate Diaz (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Dec 9, 2016; Toronto, ON, Canada; Donald Cerrone extends his hand to Matt Brown (right) as UFC President Dana White intervenes during weigh ins for UFC 206 at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 11: UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes faces off with Ronda Rousey after UFC 205 Weigh-ins in preparation for their UFC 207 fight that will take place on December 30, 2016 at Madison Square Garden on November 11, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) Dec 29, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC president Dana White (center) holds back Dominick Cruz (left) from Cody Garbrandt during weigh ins for UFC 207 at T Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Dec 29, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC president Dana White (center) holds back Dominick Cruz (left) from Cody Garbrandt during weigh ins for UFC 207 at T Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Dec 29, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC president Dana White (center) holds back Dominick Cruz (left) from Cody Garbrandt during weigh ins for UFC 207 at T Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Dec 29, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes (left) faces off against Ronda Rousey during weigh ins for UFC 207 at T Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Apr 14, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; UFC president Dana White (center) steps in to break up a face off between Jeremy Stephen (left) and Renato Moicano (right) during weigh ins for UFC Fight Night at the Kansas City Power and Light District. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/DCRSLT8kxzK5NayU3VqbQh/282810", customAnalytics: true, title: "Dana White separates fighters", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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Phil Davis wonders about future title shot – or 'King Mo' – after Bellator 186

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, Videos

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Former Bellator light heavyweight champion Phil Davis isn’t sure just what the promotion will have for him next.

This past Friday, Davis (18-4-1 MMA, 5-1 BMMA) took a unanimous decision from Leo Leite (10-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) on the main card of Bellator 186. Was that enough to get back to a title fight with the man who took the belt from him, Ryan Bader?

“Absolutely (I deserve a title shot),” Davis told MMAjunkie. “It’s about going out there and really pushing the pace and pushing the action and giving the fans what they want.”

Bellator 186 took place Friday at Bryce Jordan Center on Penn State’s campus in University Park, Pa. The main card aired on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

But if fighting for the title isn’t meant to be just yet, given he lost to Bader in June, Davis said he’s prepared to fight anyone, even if that anyone winds up being Muhammad Lawal, whom Bellator President Scott Coker says is likely to fight Bader for the belt.

“I need ‘Mo’ to show up for a fight,” Davis said. “He’s a great fighter, but he just gets injured. … I’m down for anything. … I would love to fight for the belt – any time, anywhere. But if someone walts to fight me forst, I’m open to it.”

Check out the video above for more from Davis after Bellator 186.

And for complete coverage of Bellator 186, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; The hand of Phil Davis (red gloves) is raised after defeating Leo Leite (not pictured) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Leo Leite (blue gloves) enters the arena prior to fighting Phil Davis (not pictured) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Phil Davis (red gloves) enters the arena prior to fighting Leo Leite (not pictured) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Leo Leite (blue gloves) stands in the ring prior to fighting Phil Davis (not pictured) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Phil Davis (red gloves) fights Leo Leite (blue gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Phil Davis (red gloves) fights Leo Leite (blue gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Phil Davis (red gloves) fights Leo Leite (blue gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Phil Davis (red gloves) fights Leo Leite (blue gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Leo Leite (blue gloves) fights Phil Davis (red gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Phil Davis (red gloves) fights Leo Leite (blue gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-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/CAWNkxXuTA9gTs63FrSruZ/282781", customAnalytics: true, title: "Davis def. Leite", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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Dana White explains why 2017 is UFC's best year ever 'by a long shot'

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

NEW YORK – UFC President Dana White’s had lofty expectations for UFC 217. And judging by his talk with reporters following Saturday’s event at New York’s Madison Square Garden, they were surpassed. he said.

Asked about what the triumphant return of Canadian icon Georges St-Pierre (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC) – a former welterweight titleholder who joined the small club of two-division UFC champs after taking Michael Bisping’s (30-8 MMA, 20-8 UFC) middleweight crown in UFC 217 pay-per-view headliner – could mean in terms of taking the UFC back to Montreal, White replied with some bold figures.

“It would obviously make sense to go back to Montreal with (St-Pierre),” White said. “I told some of you guys this yesterday, but (Floyd Mayweather and UFC champ Conor McGregor) had the record there in Canada. We were No. 2 and 3 or something like that. We’re pretty sure that this beat Mayweather and McGregor in Canada tonight.

“I told some of you yesterday that this would do a million (pay-per-view buys). I was way wrong. It did over a million. I’ll have a definite answer tomorrow, but it’s looking like we destroyed it.”

RelatedUFC 217 draws reported 18,201 attendance for $6.1 million live gate in Madison Square Garden return (updated)

UFC 217 featured three PPV title bouts – all of which saw belts changing hands. In the night’s headliner, St-Pierre came back from a four-year layoff to squeeze Bisping (30-8 MMA, 20-8 UFC) into a submission. The co-headliner saw T.J. Dillashaw (15-3 MMA, 11-3 UFC) overcoming an unfavorable first round to knock out previously undefeated Cody Garbrandt (11-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) in the second and re-claim the 135-pound title.

And then, of course, there was massive underdog Rose Namajunas(7-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC) demolishing the previously unbeaten Joanna Jedrzejczyk (14-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) in the first round of their strawweight title encounter in a way that not that, it’s safe to say, not many people saw coming.

RelatedRose Namajunas over Joanna Jedrzejczyk by KO? Odds against it were astounding

The night was so rich in flashy finishes that five “Performance of the Night” bonuses were distributed; Namajunas, Dillashaw and St-Pierre made an added $50,000 bank, while Ricardo Ramos and Ovince Saint Preux took home $25,000 each.

While there are quite a few cards that look stacked on paper, for one of them to deliver in such a stellar way is, in White’s words, “awesome.” Still, considering the amount of solid events the promotion has put together, White said, singling out UFC 217 as the best fight card ever would be tough.

“But it was one of the best ever – if not the best ever,” White said.

But UFC 217 isn’t the only thing keeping White in good spirits. Although the UFC president had raised some eyebrows in his previous remarks that the UFC was bound to have its best year yet in 2017, he reiterated his thoughts on the  year in quite emphatic manner during Saturday’s post-fight press conference.

“Whose indications (that PPV are down) are that? People who don’t know what the (expletive) they’re talking about,” White said. “If you don’t know what’s going on in our business, how can you speculate that we’re having a bad year? This is the best year, by a long shot, in the company’s history. Boom.

“Ronda (Rousey) didn’t fight. Conor didn’t fight in MMA. Jon Jones fought once. And Anderson Silva, Chuck Liddell – the list goes on and on and on. The business is kicking ass. Best year ever, by a long shot.”

The statement, it’s worth noting, encompasses the revenue made by the mega-showdown between Mayweather and McGregor – which, according to White’s most recent account, garnered 6.7 million PPV buys around the world.

RelatedWhite now claims Mayweather-McGregor did 6.7 million PPV buys; Showtime still mum

As for why would “The Money Fight” be included in this math – well, why wouldn’t it?

“You can’t take that out; it happened,” White said. “And if that didn’t happen, Conor would have fought twice this year. You can’t take it out. Who cares if it’s a boxing match? It’s revenue that the company made that we spent four months of our resources promoting.”

To hear White’s full interview, check out the video above.

And 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/282652", customAnalytics: true, title: "St-Pierre def. Bisping", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

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