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

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

(ALSO SEE: Sean Shelby’s Shoes: What’s next for UFC 217’s losing fighters?)

The UFC landscape shifted on Saturday with UFC 217, which took place at Madison Square Garden in New York, and featured a record-setting three title changes on the pay-per-view main card, which followed prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

In the main event, former longtime UFC welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC) made history by becoming the organization’s fourth two-division titleholder, winning the middleweight crown from Michael Bisping (30-8 MMA, 20-8 UFC) courtesy of a third-round technical submission.

Prior to St-Pierre’s comeback performance, T.J. Dillashaw (15-3 MMA, 11-3 UFC) also regained UFC gold when he took out former teammate and training partner Cody Garbrandt (11-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) for the bantamweight strap. And in a third title change, Rose Namajunas (7-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC) became the new UFC strawweight champ when she halted the momentum of Joanna Jedrzejczyk (14-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) with a first-round knockout.

Other winners from the main card included two-time UFC welterweight title challenger Stephen Thompson (14-2-1 MMA, 9-2-1 UFC) and undefeated middleweight prospect Paulo Costa (11-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC).

After every event, fans wonder whom the winners will be matched up with next. And with another night of UFC action in the rearview mirror, it’s time to look forward, put on a pair of Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard’s shoes, and play UFC matchmaker for UFC 217’s winning fighters.

* * * *

Paulo Costa

Brad Tavares

Should fight: Brad Tavares
Why they should fight: Rising middleweight prospect Costa picked up a monumental victory for his young career when he defeated former champion Johny Hendricks by second-round TKO.

Costa had not faced anyone with Hendricks’ credentials prior to the bout, but the Brazilian handled his business in impressive fashion, and now he becomes a new contender worth following at 185 pounds.

Considering his quick rise through three UFC fights, seeing Costa get another notable step up in competition would be far from surprising. No one has been able to stop him so far, but Tavares (16-4 MMA, 11-4 UFC) has proven to be one of the most competitive and durable fighters in the weight class since his promotional debut in 2010.

Tavares has fought and beaten some of the best the division has to offer in his UFC career. He’s riding a three-fight winning streak with victories over some solid names, and he’d provide Costa a stern test that, at this point, would likely mean even more than a win over a slumping Hendricks.

Stephen Thompson

Darren Till

Should fight: Darren Till
Why they should fight: After two failed title bids and nearly 17 months without a win, Thompson sent a stern reminder that he’s a dangerous player in the welterweight division when he took out one of the weight class’ most dangerous contenders in Jorge Masvidal.

“Wonderboy” got back on track with a unanimous-decision victory. The performance helped him regain some of the status he lost in his underwhelming title fight with champ Tyron Woodley at UFC 209 in March, but the reality is Thompson is still winless in two fights against the current champ and is unlikely to get another crack at the gold unless the belt changes hands.

Plenty of intriguing matchups are available to help Thompson start the build toward an irrefutable case for a third UFC title shot. The one that stands out most, however, is against streaking Till (15-0-1 MMA, 4-0-1 UFC), who recently earned a main-event victory over Donald Cerrone at UFC Fight Night 118 this past month.

Rose Namajunas

Joanna Jedrzejczyk

Should fight: Jedrzejczyk
Why they should fight: There isn’t much of an explanation needed for why Namajunas should have an immediate rematch with Jedrzejczyk following her title-winning upset.

Namajunas’ shocking first-round knockout victory is easily the biggest upset in the brief history of the 115-pound division. She handed the Polish fighter her first career loss, and given Jedrzejczyk’s previous dominance leading up to the fight, it only makes sense to run it back, which has been a precedent for longtime champions.

T.J. Dillashaw

Should fight: Demetrious Johnson
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why Dillashaw should drop to flyweight to fight champion Johnson (27-2-1 MMA, 15-1-1 UFC) next.

Georges St-Pierre

Should fight: Robert Whittaker
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why St-Pierre should meet interim 185-pound champ Whittaker (19-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC) in a title-unification bout next.

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

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

Sean Shelby's Shoes: What's next for Michael Bisping and UFC 217's other losing fighters?

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

(ALSO SEE: Sean Shelby’s Shoes: What’s next for UFC 217’s winning fighters?)

UFC 217 was not a good night for champions. All three titleholders who entered the octagon dropped their belts with a stoppage loss on Saturday’s pay-per-view card at Madison Square Garden in New York.

The fairytale title reign of Michael Bisping (30-8 MMA, 20-8 UFC) came to a halt in the main event when he dropped the middleweight title to Georges St-Pierre (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC) with a third-round technical submission.

Prior to that, Cody Garbrandt (11-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) and Joanna Jedrzejczyk (14-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) had their undefeated records, as well as UFC titles, taken away with knockout losses to T.J. Dillashaw (15-3 MMA, 11-3 UFC) and Rose Namajunas (7-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC), respectively.

Also on the main card, former welterweight champion Johny Hendricks (18-8 MMA, 13-8 UFC) continued his career slide while Jorge Masvidal (32-13 MMA, 9-6 UFC) experienced another disappointing setback.

After every event, fans wonder whom the losing fighters will be matched up with next. And with another night of UFC action in the rearview mirror, it’s time to look forward, put on a pair of Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard’s shoes, and play UFC matchmaker for UFC 217’s losing fighters.

* * * *

Johny Hendricks

Rashad Evans

Should fight: Rashad Evans
Why they should fight: Hendricks’ career slide took arguably it’s most worrisome turn when the former champ suffered a second-round TKO loss to rising middleweight prospect Paulo Costa.

After being forced out of the welterweight division due to multiple failed weight cuts, Hendricks won his 185-pound debut earlier this year. He lost his subsequent fight against veteran Tim Boetsch, but after falling short against a previously unproven prospect, he’s in a challenging position.

Hendricks is just 1-5 in his past six UFC fights dating back to March 2015. He moved his camp to Jackson-Wink MMA in Albuquerque, N.M., in hopes of finding new results, but it didn’t go his way. As long as Hendricks decides he wants to fight, he’s going to be a notable name who will have a job with the UFC or elsewhere.

“Bigg Rigg” desperately needs to win his next fight, and fighting someone who’s at a similar stage in his career might be the only thing to help him regain his confidence and form. Fellow ex-champ Evans (19-7-1 MMA, 14-7-1 UFC) is no gimme fight when he’s on point, but even the current version of Hendricks would likely be a favorite.

Jorge Masvidal

Dong Hyun Kim

Should fight: Dong Hyun Kim
Why they should fight: Just when Masvidal appeared to be on the cusp of a welterweight title shot, he suddenly finds himself on a two-fight losing skid after suffering a unanimous-decision defeat to Stephen Thompson.

Masvidal fell short against the two-time title challenger and is now in a difficult position. His two losses came against the best in Thompson and Demian Maia, but in a similar situation to when he was fighting at 155 pounds, Masvidal has had trouble winning at the most crucial moments.

Nevertheless, Masvidal isn’t going anywhere and will attempt to fight his way back into the mix. Kim (22-4-1 MMA, 13-4 UFC) is coming off a loss to Masvidal’s teammate Colby Covington, and he’d surely be happy to follow up on his good friend’s handiwork with a showdown against “Stun Gun.”

Joanna Jedrzejczyk

Rose Namajunas and Joanna Jedrzejczyk

Should fight: Namajunas
Why they should fight: After putting together one of the most dominant title runs in UFC history, Jedrzejczyk finally experienced her first career setback with an upset loss to Rose Namajunas to drop the 115-pound title.

Although it was a surprising and disappointing outcome for the Polish fighter, it’s obvious what has to happen for her next: an immediate rematch with Namajunas. The UFC often gives dominant titleholders an immediate chance to regain the belt, and Jedrzejczyk has more than earned that opportunity.

If there were a clear No. 1 contender who had been overdue for a title shot, then perhaps there would be an argument to go a different direction for Namajunas’ first title challenger. No such contender exists, so Jedrzejczyk vs. Namajunas 2 should be next.

Cody Garbrandt

Should fight: John Lineker
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why Garbrandt should fight Lineker (30-8 MMA, 11-3 UFC) next after his title-fight loss.

Michael Bisping

Should fight: Luke Rockhold
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why Bisping should have his trilogy bout with Rockhold (16-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC) following his title-fight loss.

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

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/282704", customAnalytics: true, title: "Dillashaw def. Garbrandt", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

Randy Brown derailed hype train of 'privileged little kid' Mickey Gall at UFC 217

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

NEW YORK – Randy Brown didn’t expect to be booed in his hometown, especially against a guy from New Jersey.

“I’m from Queens, and I didn’t get the love,” Brown (10-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) told reporters backstage at UFC 217. “I was like, ‘all right.'”

Fighting Mickey Gall (4-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC), a Garden State native, he could understand why the general populous might underestimate him. Gall had shot to stardom on “Dana White: Looking for a Fight,” the same show that launched his UFC career. Gall had beaten ex-WWE champ Phil “CM Punk” Brooks, and then Sage Northcutt, the most heavily hyped fighter to emerge from the UFC president’s talent showcase.

“He’s the more popular guy,” Brown said. “I get that. He’s got all those WWE fans.”

It still hurt to see on his home turf. But Brown knew something else: superior skill beats hype.

“The realness is in the cage,” he said.

On Saturday, Brown showed UFC fans the truth of that statement by outworking Gall en route to a decision victory on the FS1-televised prelims of Saturday’s pay-per-view event at Madison Square Garden.

Gall talked himself up quite a bit beforehand, calling Brown “a gift” and joking his opponent was to fight for the “Looking for a Fight” title he won by beating Northcutt.

Brown saw the interviews proclaiming dominance and the swagger from Gall, a fighter with whom he’d trained on two occasions and considered a friend. In the weeks before the fight, Brown said he warned Gall.

“I was like, ‘Make sure that man shows up, the person you faking to be, if he doesn’t show up, you’re going to be bleeding, and you’re going to get hurt,'” he said. “Tonight that man didn’t show up.”

Although Gall implied he had the inside track on Brown from their previous work together, the opposite played out inside the octagon. Brown repeatedly outstruck Gall and cut him up with ground and pound after nabbing takedowns.

By the final round, Gall’s face was a mask of red as Brown pounded away. The final scorecards were 29-28 twice and 29-27.

“These cameras come in. This is a facade. This is a part of the game. But you need to be secure within yourself and actually be secure within yourself and actually know what you can do,” Brown said. “You can’t fall into this and try to act. Nah, man. That will catch up to you. And tonight it caught up to him.”

To be sure, Brown still considers Gall a friend and thinks the young fighter will be back better than ever. Only for now, a correction is in order.

“He’s a privileged little kid, and I just had to fight for it,” Brown said.

As he made his way to the UFC, Brown never got the same amount of hype as Gall. He didn’t call out Punk, of course, and suffered setbacks in the octagon. Now that he’s accomplished what he set out to do, it would be understandable if he wanted his promoter to transfer the attention bestowed on Gall.

Instead, Brown wants to earn those hometown cheers.

“It’s my job to be who I am and make people want to see me, and that’s what I’m going to do,” Brown said. “I don’t need anybody to give me any false accolades and build me up. I build myself up.”

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

Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Randy Brown (red gloves) fights Mickey Gall (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Randy Brown (red gloves) fights Mickey Gall (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Randy Brown (red gloves) fights Mickey Gall (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Randy Brown (red gloves) fights Mickey Gall (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Randy Brown (red gloves) fights Mickey Gall (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Randy Brown (red gloves) fights Mickey Gall (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Randy Brown (red gloves) fights Mickey Gall (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Randy Brown (red gloves) fights Mickey Gall (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Randy Brown (red gloves) fights Mickey Gall (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Mickey Gall (blue gloves) bleeds from a cut during his fight against Randy Brown 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/qAzPssQ7tvjBNX6eeSjC7g/282456", customAnalytics: true, title: "Brown def. Gall", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

Dana White: Robert Whittaker is next for new UFC champ Georges St-Pierre

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

NEW YORK – There’s been no shortage of speculation as to what would happen to the UFC’s undisputed middleweight title after UFC 217’s headliner.

Would a win over Georges St-Pierre send Michael Bisping into retirement? Should St-Pierre come out victorious, would the returning Canadian simply go back to the welterweight division he ruled for so long? Or, even, could current 170-pound champ Tyron Woodley cut in line and have his shot at the winner?

Would the winner of Saturday’s headliner ever get to unify the title with interim champ Robert Whittaker (19-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC)?

As we know, St-Pierre (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC) ended up claiming Bisping’s (30-8 MMA, 20-8 UFC) crown with a submission win in the pay-per-view headliner at Madison Square Garden in New York So far, neither he nor Bisping has announced a retirement. And, at least according to UFC President Dana White, there’s little doubt as to what comes next for the two-division champion.

“It’s going to be Whittaker,” White said after UFC 217.

RelatedUFC interim champ Robert Whittaker picked Michael Bisping, will wait for Georges St-Pierre

As for the details – when and where it could possibly take place, for instance – White couldn’t commit just yet.

“I don’t even know what’s going on with GSP,” White said. “He was transported to the hospital (immediately after UFC 217). He’s got to get stitches on his nose. You know, if he doesn’t take Bisping down and keeps it stands, he comes out of this fight with almost no damage. Bisping did some serious work from his back – split his nose open, had blood all over his face.

“He took some big shots from the top position. If he didn’t do that, he probably would have come out pretty much unscathed. But he’s got to go to the hospital right now. We’ll see how he is, I don’t know what the status is with him.”

White had already told ESPN.com that the fight was a “done deal.” Later asked if the meeting is “definitely” the one to make next, he was straightforward.

“Yeah,” White said.

Good thing that, before UFC 217, Whittaker was clear in that he wasn’t particularly concerned about the time or place of the bout, and instead focused solely on being prepared for whomever it’s against.

“The things is, I’ll just have to make sure I’m ready to fight when they’re ready to fight and fight them,” Whittaker said. “I’m not worried where it is, when it is – I just want to find out who it is.”

To hear from White, check out the video above.

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

July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) celebrates after fighting Yoel Romero (red gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) celebrates after fighting Yoel Romero (red gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) is awarded the belt from UFC president Dana White after defeating Yoel Romero (red gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/yqLJdA8di6FKJk8FTie845/282698", customAnalytics: true, title: "Whittaker def. Romero", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

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

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Filed under: Bellator, News

One new champion was crowned while another defended the gold on Friday at Bellator 186, which took place on the Penn State campus at Bryce Jordan Center in University Park, Pa.

In the Spike-televised headliner, Ryan Bader (24-5 MMA, 2-0 BMMA) defended his light-heavyweight title for the first time with a second-round TKO of Linton Vassell (18-6 MMA, 7-3 BMMA), which kept him undefeated since ending his UFC tenure a year ago.

The co-main event, meanwhile, saw Ilima Macfarlane (7-0 MMA, 6-0 BMMA) continue her dominance in the Bellator flyweight division. She beat Emily Ducote (6-3 MMA, 4-2 BMMA) once again, but this time she was awarded the inaugural 125-pound belt for her efforts.

Bader’s victory closed out of a five-fight main card, which saw four contests end in a stoppage. For more on the numbers behind the show, check out 20 post-event facts about Bellator 186.

* * * *

General

Ryan Bader

Debuting fighters went 0-2 at the event.

Betting favorites went 5-0 on the main card.

Betting favorites fell to 12-4 (with one even odds) in Bellator main events this year.

Total fight time for the five-bout main card was 39:14.

* * * *

Main card

Linton Vassell and Ryan Bader

Bader improved to 9-1 in his past 10 fights. The lone defeat in that stretch came to Anthony Johnson at UFC on FOX 18 in January 2016.

Vassell fell to 0-2 in Bellator title fights.

Vassell suffered his first knockout loss since Oct. 29, 2010 – a span of 2,562 days (more than seven years) and 16 fights.

Macfarlane became the inaugural Bellator flyweight champion.

Macfarlane’s six Bellator victories are most among female fighters in the organization.

Ilima Macfarlane

Macfarlane’s six-fight Bellator winning streak in the longest among female fighters in the organization.

Macfarlane’s four stoppage victories in Bellator competition are most among female fighters in the organization.

Macfarlane’s four stoppage victories in Bellator flyweight competition are most in divisional history.

Macfarlane has earned all of her Bellator stoppage victories by submission.

Ducote suffered the first submission loss of her career.

Leonardo Leite (10-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) had his 10-fight winning streak for the first defeat of his career.

Ed Ruth

Ed Ruth (4-0 MMA, 4-0 BMMA) has earned all of his career victories by knockout.

Chris Dempsey’s (11-6 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) four-fight losing skid is the longest of his career. He hasn’t earned a victory since April 2015.

Dempsey fell to 1-5 in his past six fights dating back to July 2014.

Dempsey has suffered all six of his career losses by stoppage, including five knockouts.

Saad Awad

Saad Awad (21-9 MMA, 9-6 BMMA) has earned 17 of his 21 career victories by stoppage.

Awad’s four knockout victories in Bellator lightweight competition are tied with Michael Chandler for second most in divisional history behind Patricky Freire (seven).

Zach Freeman (9-3 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) suffered the first knockout loss of his career.

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

Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ilima Macfarlane (red gloves) walks out of the ring after defeating Emily Ducote (not pictured) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Emily Ducote (blue gloves) enters the arena prior to fighting Ilima Macfarlane (not pictured) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ilima Macfarlane (red gloves) enters the arena prior to fighting Emily Ducote (not pictured) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ilima Macfarlane (red gloves) gestures prior to fighting Emily Ducote (not pictured) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Emily Ducote (blue gloves) stands in the ring prior to fighting Ilima Macfarlane (not pictured) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ilima Macfarlane (red gloves) fights Emily Ducote (blue gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ilima Macfarlane (red gloves) fights Emily Ducote (blue gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Emily Ducote (blue gloves) fights Ilima Macfarlane (red gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ilima Macfarlane (red gloves) fights Emily Ducote (blue gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ilima Macfarlane (red gloves) lands a punch on Emily Ducote (blue gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ilima Macfarlane (red gloves) fights Emily Ducote (blue gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Emily Ducote (blue gloves) fights Ilima Macfarlane (red gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Emily Ducote (blue gloves) throws a punch at Ilima Macfarlane (red gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Emily Ducote (blue gloves) fights Ilima Macfarlane (red gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ilima Macfarlane (red gloves) fights Emily Ducote (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/JvWR9fivgTq7zJe4wmF6V/282609", customAnalytics: true, title: "Macfarlane def. Ducote", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Bellator, News

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

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Filed under: News, UFC

UFC 217 will go down in the history books as one of the most memorable fight cards in UFC history. Underdogs reigned supreme as three new champions were crowned and a remarkable nine of 11 fights ended inside the distance.

With memorable action from beginning to end, the fact all three title bouts changed hands will be the cornerstone of UFC 217, which took place Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York with a pay-per-view main card following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

In the main event, Georges St-Pierre (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC) returned from a four-year hiatus to take the middleweight title from Michael Bisping (30-8 MMA, 20-8 UFC). T.J. Dillashaw (15-3 MMA, 11-3 UFC) knocked out former teammate and rival Cody Garbrandt(11-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) to take back the bantamweight title in the co-headliner, and in the most unexpected outcome of all, Rose Namajunas (7-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC) dethroned Joanna Jedrzejczyk (14-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) of strawweight gold with a quick knockout.

The biggest UFC event of the year lived up to the hype, and it showed on paper. Check below for 50 post-event facts and footnotes to come out of UFC 217.

* * * *

General

UFC 217 became the first event in UFC history to have three new champions crowned.

The UFC-Reebok Athlete Outfitting payout for the event totaled $315,000.

St-Pierre, Dillashaw and Namajunas earned $50,000 UFC 217 fight-night bonuses. Ovince Saint Preux and Ricardo Ramos received $25,000 bonuses.

UFC 217 drew an announced attendance of 18,201 for a live gate of $6.2 million.

Betting favorites went 5-6 on the card.

Total fight time for the 11-bout card was 1:46:17.

Main card

Georges St-Pierre

St-Pierre became the fourth fighter in UFC history to win titles in two weight classes. Randy Couture, B.J. Penn and Conor McGregor have also accomplished the feat.

St-Pierre’s 13 victories in UFC championship fights are the most in company history.

St-Pierre’s 20 victories in UFC competition are tied with Bisping for most in company history.

St-Pierre’s 13-fight UFC winning streak is tied with champ Demetrious Johnson for longest among active fighters in the company. He hasn’t suffered a defeat since April 2007.

St-Pierre’s 13-fight UFC winning streak is tied with Johnson and Jon Jones for second longest in company history behind Anderson Silva (16).

St-Pierre earned his first submission victory since Dec. 29, 2007 – a span of 3,598 days (nearly 10 years) and 11 fights.

St-Pierre’s 87 takedowns landed in UFC competition are most in company history.

Michael Bisping

Bisping had his five-fight winning streak snapped for his first defeat since November 2014.

Bisping has suffered his past two losses by submission after going his entire career without being submitted.

Dillashaw’s 11 victories in UFC bantamweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Dillashaw’s 11 victories in UFC/WEC bantamweight competition are tied with Urijah Faber for second most in divisional history behind Dominick Cruz (12).

Dillashaw’s seven stoppage victories in UFC bantamweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Dillashaw’s six knockout victories in UFC bantamweight competition are most in divisional history.

T.J. Dillashaw

Dillashaw’s seven knockdowns landed in UFC bantamweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Garbrandt (eight).

Dillashaw’s seven fight-night bonuses for UFC bantamweight bouts are the most in divisional history.

Garbrandt became the first UFC bantamweight champion to lose the title before making a successful defense.

Garbrandt had his 11-fight winning streak snapped for the first defeat of his career.

Garbrandt’s eight knockdowns landed in UFC bantamweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Rose Namajunas

Namajunas became the third UFC strawweight champion.

Namajunas’ five victories in UFC strawweight competition are tied with Tecia Torres for second most in divisional history behind Jedrzejczyk (eight).

Namajunas’ four stoppage victories in UFC strawweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Namajunas earned the first knockout victory of her career.

Jedrzejczyk had her 14-fight winning streak snapped for the first defeat of her professional career.

Stephen Thompson’s (14-2-1 MMA, 9-2-1 UFC) nine knockdowns landed in UFC welterweight competition are tied for third most in divisional history behind Thiago Alves (13) and Jake Ellenberger (11).

Jorge Masvidal (32-13 MMA, 9-6 UFC) fell to 4-4 since he returned to the welterweight division in July 2015.

Masvidal has suffered 10 of his 13 career losses by decision. That includes all five of his UFC defeats.

Paulo Costa

Paulo Costa (11-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) has earned all 11 of his career victories by stoppage.

Costa has earned 10 of his 11 career victories by knockout. That includes all three of his UFC wins.

Johny Hendricks (18-8 MMA, 13-8 UFC) fell to 1-2 since he moved up to the UFC middleweight division in February.

Hendricks fell to 1-5 in his past six fights.

Hendricks has suffered all three of his career stoppage losses by knockout.

Preliminary card

Joseph Duffy (16-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC) suffered the first knockout loss of his career.

Walt Harris (10-7 MMA, 3-6 UFC) suffered his second UFC loss in a 28-day stretch.

Harris fell to 3-3 since he returned to the UFC for a second stint in April 2016.

Ovince Saint Preux

Ovince Saint Preux (22-10 MMA, 10-5 UFC) earned his second UFC victory in a 42-day stretch.

Saint Preux’s three-fight UFC winning streak in light-heavyweight competition is tied with Mauricio Rua and Volkan Oezdemir for the longest active streak in the division.

Saint Preux’s eight stoppage victories since 2013 in UFC competition are most in the light-heavyweight division and tied with Derrick Lewis and Max Holloway for second most in the company behind Donald Cerrone (nine).

Saint Preux has earned 17 of his 22 career victories by stoppage. That includes eight of his 10 UFC wins.

Corey Anderson (9-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) has suffered all three of his career stoppage losses by knockout.

Mickey Gall

Mickey Gall (4-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) had his four-fight winning streak snapped for the first defeat of his career.

Curtis Blaydes (8-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) has earned seven of his eight career victories by stoppage, all by knockout.

Aleksei Oleinik (52-11-1 MMA, 4-2 UFC) suffered his first knockout loss since July 22, 2011 – a span of 2,297 days (more than six years) and 15 fights.

Ramos (11-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) has earned nine of his 11 career victories by stoppage.

Ramos became the second fighter in UFC history to earn a knockout victory stemming from a spinning back elbow. Dong Hyun Kim also accomplished the feat The Ultimate Fighter China Finale.

Aiemann Zahabi (7-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) had his seven-fight winning streak snapped for the first defeat of her career.

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

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

Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) celebrates with the belt after defeating Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (left) faces off with Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) reacts after her fight against Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) celebrates with the belt after defeating Joanna Jedrzejczyk (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/PRfxKkNk5hxschbqceYpyk/282689", customAnalytics: true, title: "Namajunas def. Jedrzejczyk", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC

In his vow to fight on after UFC 217, Michael Bisping sings a familiar tune

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Filed under: News, UFC

You didn’t think you were going to get rid of Michael Bisping that easily, did you?

Well think again, because as the former UFC middleweight champion explained after losing his title to Georges St-Pierre in Saturday’s pay-per-view main event at UFC 217 in New York, he’s not ready to retire yet.

“I don’t want my last time in the octagon to be me getting choked out,” Bisping said following the event. “So I’ll be back in there at some point.”

RelatedMichael Bisping 'crushed inside' after UFC 217 title loss, says he won't retire

We’ve heard this one before. Several times, in fact, and from some pretty great fighters. It’s a vicious cycle, is what it is.

Typically how it works is, you’re getting older and you’re coming off a loss, which is the only reason why anyone’s asking you about retirement in the first place. But you don’t want to retire on a loss. What kind of a note is that to end on?

So now you’ve got to get a win before you can feel good about calling it quits. And if you need a couple tries to get that win, so be it.

But then, what if you get that win? Isn’t that a sign that you’ve still got it after all? Turns out that retirement talk was premature. You can still win fights and cash checks, so why wouldn’t you? At least until you lose again, and then the cycle starts all over.

What makes it even trickier for Bisping (30-8 MMA, 20-8 UFC) is that middleweight has become a very dangerous place, especially for a former champ with a lot of enemies about. Think about the opponents who would make the most sense for him now. Think about which fights the UFC is likely to think it could sell.

RelatedUFC 217 results: Georges St-Pierre chokes out Michael Bisping to become two-division champ

There’s his old foe Luke Rockhold, for example. They’re due for a rubber match after splitting a pair of fights that ended with them somehow liking each other even less than when they started. The acrimony alone would garner attention, and it’s not like Rockhold has anything better to do as he waits for the title picture to clear up.

Then there’s Yoel Romero, whose beef with Bisping involved the ripping of flags and the burning of effigies, resulting in a simmering and as-of-yet-unresolved feud.

Both of those are dangerous fights for Bisping, especially now. He hopes to fight in London in March, but he also turns 39 in February. He’s won so many fights with his resiliency and his stubborn refusal to quit, and now he wears the damage from those wars all over his face.

As St-Pierre explained in his post-fight remarks, the left hook he landed to set up the finish came from diligent film study. He and his team had noticed that Bisping, who’s struggled with injuries to his right eye for several years, had difficulty with strikes that came from that side.

RelatedTwitter reacts to Georges St-Pierre's historic title win in return vs. Michael Bisping at UFC 217

Now that St-Pierre was nice enough to explain it on live TV, look for that to be something that all of Bisping’s future opponents try to use to their advantage.

Of course, maybe the UFC won’t ask too much of the company man in his return to action. He doesn’t necessarily have to fight a top middleweight if all he wants is to end on a high note. Then again, you have to reach pretty far down the middleweight ranks right now to find anyone who’s not a highly effective purveyor of violence.

Any way the story ends, Bisping will go down as one of the most successful UFC fighters of all time, as well as one of the great overachievers in MMA history. He was consistently overlooked and undervalued by fans and fellow fighters alike, but somehow he ended up with a title and the all-time record for UFC wins.

Getting one more (or not) probably won’t make any great difference to his legacy or his bank account, since both ought to be pretty secure by now. But the obstinate search for that elusive final win has a way of backfiring on aging fighters. And maybe any ending that lets you walk away with your health intact ought to be considered a happy one.

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/282672", customAnalytics: true, title: "St-Pierre def. Bisping", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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UFC 217's Curtis Blaydes gives his side of story on confusing finish vs. Aleksei Oleinik

NEW YORK – Curtis Blaydes saw an opportunity on the horizon when he noticed Aleksei Oleinik pop up off the mat in the first round of their fight. He figured he’d take advantage – and score an extra $50,000 – by greeting the Ukrainian-Russian fighter with a kick to the face in the second.

Blaydes had never rehearsed this kick, mind you. It’s hard to simulate something like that in practice. Still, no risk, no reward.

“I was trying to get a bonus,” Blaydes said after a controversial TKO of Oleinik in the second frame of their UFC Fight Pass-streamed meeting at UFC 217. “That’s what I get for trying to get a bonus.”

What Blaydes (8-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) didn’t know at the time was that the damage he’d done in the first round had already left Oleinik (55-11-1 MMA, 4-2 UFC) on wobbly legs. There would be no popping up when he got off the mat.

RelatedConfused by the Curtis Blaydes-Aleksei Oleinik finish at UFC 217? Here's an explanation

So when Oleinik got up in the second, instead of delivering a square foot to the face, Blaydes went to kick off Oliynyk’s head. As it turned out, he’d only grazed the ear. But in the moment, it looked like a blatantly illegal strike.

The referee immediately stopped the bout, throwing the bout into confusion and drawing the crowd’s ire at Madison Square Garden. Blaydes was sure he missed the strike. But he worried officials would see it otherwise and disqualify him.

“I’m looking at (Oleinik’s) face, and he seemed happy,” Blaydes said. “The way people reacted when I threw the kick, they had me second guessing, like, ‘Maybe I missed it, maybe I did kick him, (and) I just didn’t feel it.’ But watching the replay, I missed cleanly.”

When the sequence was reviewed by the referee, he did, in fact, determine that contact had been made. But in the end, that wound up being irrelevant, because the cageside doctor had determined Oleinik was unable to continue.

It was an awkward way to end a fight. The crowd certainly didn’t like it, chanting, “Let them fight.” Blaydes could only be thankful the call had gone his way.

“I was really hoping to get a clean knockout without having a doctor or any controversy,” Blaydes said. “But a win’s a win, so I’ll take it.”

Next time, he said, he’ll try to be a little more careful. And maybe only try moves he’s tested in the gym.

“I’m not going to look a gift horse in the mouth,” he said. “I won. I’m happy.”

Watch the above video to get Blaydes full reaction to his controversial fight.

For more on UFC 217, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Curtis Blaydes (blue gloves) fights Aleksei Oleinik (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Curtis Blaydes (blue gloves) fights Aleksei Oleinik (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Curtis Blaydes (blue gloves) fights Aleksei Oleinik (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Curtis Blaydes (blue gloves) fights Aleksei Oleinik (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Curtis Blaydes (blue gloves) fights Aleksei Oleinik (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Curtis Blaydes (blue gloves) fights Aleksei Oleinik (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Curtis Blaydes (blue gloves) fights Aleksei Oleinik (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Curtis Blaydes (blue gloves) fights Aleksei Oleinik (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/2vTBQeNZPSbmU4nNFBDsZW/282341", customAnalytics: true, title: "Blaydes def. Oleinik", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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Stephen Thompson ready to talk trash? 'People would just tell me to shut up'

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NEW YORK – Former UFC challenge Stephen Thompson is willing to fight his way to another title shot – because he knows he can’t talk his way into one.

“I am who I am,” Thompson said. “If I start talking trash now, then people would just tell me to shut up. ‘Stephen, we know that’s not you.’ You know what I mean?”

Thompson (14-2-1 MMA, 9-2-1 UFC) was discussing his options after a hard-fought but clear-cut unanimous-decision victory over fellow welterweight Jorge Masvidal (32-13 MMA, 9-6 UFC) on Saturday’s UFC 217 pay-per-view min card at Madison Square Garden in New York.

RelatedUFC 217 results: Stephen Thompson outworks, outstrikes game Jorge Masvidal

It was Thompson’s first fight since recovering from a knee injury following two fights (a majority draw and a majority-decision loss) to champ Tyron Woodley.

Now, Thompson, who entered UFC 217 in the No. 2 spot in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA welterweight rankings, is just looking for opponents who can help him prove to UFC matchmakers that he deserves a third shot at the belt.

“Of course, coming out here with a knockout would’ve been awesome,” he said backstage at UFC 217. “But it didn’t happen. I knew it was going to be tough.”

He thanks Masvidal both for a tough challenge and “Gamebread’s” ability to sell the fight. After all, trash-talk isn’t Thompson’s thing.

“If it wasn’t for him, we wouldn’t have this fight here, right now,” said Thompson, who credited Masvidal’s social-media callout for getting the fight booked.

RelatedUFC 217 Athlete Outfitting pay: 3 title fights help move 2017 payout past $5 million

As for what’s next, Thompson said he’ll happily fight the winner or the loser of UFC on FOX 26’s upcoming headliner between former champs Robbie Lawler (28-11 MMA, 13-5 UFC) and Rafael dos Anjos (27-9 MMA, 16-7 UFC). He also knows there’s a whole mess of up-and-coming 170-pounders – Mike Perry, Darren Till and Colby Covington, for example – who could present tough fights.

But right now, No. 3-ranked Lawler and No. 11 dos Anjos are his first choices.

“Like I said, man, my eyes are forward, and I’m not giving up that title,” Thompson said.

For more on UFC 217, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Steven Thompson (red gloves) fights Jorge Masvidal (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Steven Thompson (red gloves) fights Jorge Masvidal (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Steven Thompson (red gloves) fights Jorge Masvidal (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Steven Thompson (red gloves) fights Jorge Masvidal (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Steven Thompson (red gloves) fights Jorge Masvidal (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Steven Thompson (red gloves) fights Jorge Masvidal (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Steven Thompson (red gloves) fights Jorge Masvidal (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Steven Thompson (red gloves) fights Jorge Masvidal (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Steven Thompson (red gloves) fights Jorge Masvidal (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Steven Thompson (red gloves) fights Jorge Masvidal (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Steven Thompson (red gloves) fights Jorge Masvidal (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Steven Thompson (red gloves) fights Jorge Masvidal (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Steven Thompson (red gloves) fights Jorge Masvidal (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Steven Thompson (red gloves) fights Jorge Masvidal (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Steven Thompson (red gloves) fights Jorge Masvidal (blue 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/QctGgt2YZ4HjiLeyD2EfPV/282651", customAnalytics: true, title: "Thompson def. Masvidal", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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Wasn’t Demetrious Johnson 'crying' for a big fight? Here it is, Dana White says

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A possible meeting with T.J. Dillashaw was the sticking point in one messy situation between flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson and UFC officials not that long ago.

But with the developments of Saturday’s UFC 217 mega-event, at least two players in the equation don’t see many impediments to making it happen now.

That’s Dillashaw, as he made clear after UFC 217, and UFC President Dana White.

Back in June, Johnson (27-2-1 MMA, 15-1-1 UFC) expressed his problems with the idea of Dillashaw (15-3 MMA, 11-3 UFC) – then the UFC’s former bantamweight champion – cutting the line in front of the rest the flyweight division for a title shot. So the 125-pound kingpin insisted on meeting contender Ray Borg instead.

After a second-round knockout win over Cody Garbrant (11-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) in Saturday’s pay-per-view co-headliner at Madison Square Garden Arena in New York, however, Dillashaw reclaimed the UFC bantamweight title. And Johnson, who pulled off one crafty submission over Borg in the fifth round of their recent UFC 216 co-headliner, still holds the 125-pound title.

RelatedT.J. Dillashaw after UFC 217 title win: Demetrious Johnson can't run from me anymore

So, though White hadn’t talked to Johnson by the time he stood in front of media after UFC 217, he doesn’t see many reasons why “Mighty Mouse” wouldn’t be more open to the fight now.

“He’s been crying for a long time for a big fight,” White said. “He’s got his big fight now. You know I’m down for it, because I wanted to do it before. But now it’s even better – because they both have belts.”

At the time of the falling out between Johnson and the promotion, the flyweight champ named a few reasons why he didn’t want to fight Dillashaw. But considering he was open to a champion-vs.-champion super fight, which would then mean meeting Garbrandt, that’s one obstacle now out of the way.

And some of the other issues that had been pointed out by Johnson were also addressed by both White and Dillashaw. While the flyweight champ had his doubts about Dillashaw making the 125-pound limit, the newly reinstated bantamweight titleholder says that, while it will involve somewhat of a lifestyle change, it is a doable one considering his process to make 135 pounds now.

“The reason why I look so lean at 135 is the way I work,” Dillashaw said. “I put muscle on to be at 135. I’m not a big (bantamweight). I walk around at 150, but I stack on, and I stay lean.”

Lastly, there’s the money situation. Johnson, who broke Anderson Silva’s title defense record with the win over Borg, has always said that he’d be up for super fights – as long as he got paid accordingly for them. At some point, the $2 million sum was brought up.

White had a response for that one, too.

“He’s a partner in the pay-per-view,” White said. “Let’s see what your pay-per-view does. You’re a partner. Let’s see what you make.

“Listen, you can’t be in a position where you’re like, ‘I want $2 million. (Expletive) you. I don’t care what you make. I don’t care how much this thing sells. I just want $2 million.’ Go tell your boss you want $2 million. You don’t give a (expletive) what it costs him. See what he says.”

For White’s full chat with reporters, check out the video above.

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

Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) picks up Ray Borg (blue gloves) during the fifth round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) picks up Ray Borg (blue gloves) during the fifth round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) picks up Ray Borg (blue gloves) during the fifth round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) puts Ray Borg (blue gloves) in an armbar during the fifth round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) puts Ray Borg (blue gloves) in an armbar during the fifth round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) puts Ray Borg (blue gloves) in an armbar during the fifth round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) puts Ray Borg (blue gloves) in an armbar during the fifth round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) puts Ray Borg (blue gloves) in an armbar during the fifth round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) puts Ray Borg (blue gloves) in an armbar during the fifth round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) puts Ray Borg (blue gloves) in an armbar during the fifth round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) puts Ray Borg (blue gloves) in an armbar during the fifth round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) reacts after defeating Ray Borg (blue gloves) during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Ray Borg (blue gloves) reacts after being defeated by Demetrious Johnson (not shown) during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) reacts after defeating Ray Borg (blue gloves) during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) reacts after defeating Ray Borg (blue gloves) during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/pwsJxFLvkKpLuExYRA5Vcb/282617", customAnalytics: true, title: "Demetrious Johnson\'s UFC 216 armbar", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

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

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

There used to be a popular argument back in the day, back when Georges St-Pierre and Anderson Silva were the two most dominant champions in the UFC and it seemed like neither would ever fall.

It was that same old argument combat sports has been having since the creation of weight classes: Pound-for-pound, for whatever that means, who’s the better fighter?

This was mostly pre-Jon Jones, and pre-Demetrious Johnson. The way it would work was, when Silva went all Jedi on someone, he’d jump to the top of the list. Then GSP would go and completely shut down his next challenger, and soon he was back at No. 1.

Occasionally we dared to hope that they might actually fight each other, but come on, one reigning champ against another? Stuff like that only happened when one guy had more ambition than sense (looking at you, B.J. Penn), so it would have to remain an impossible dream.

Now several years have passed, and oh, the things we’ve seen. We saw Silva clown his way into a knockout loss. We saw his leg snap in half like a piece of dry kindling, and then we saw him come back just in time to blame a positive drug test on Thai sex juice.

We saw GSP win a debatable decision and then make his confusing exit, never to be heard from again – or at least until Michael Bisping became UFC middleweight champion.

Then, at UFC 217 in New York City on Saturday night, we saw St-Pierre (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC) blink away the blood before dropping Bisping (30-8 MMA, 20-8 UFC) with a left hook and then putting him to sleep with a rear-naked choke.

RelatedUFC 217 results: Georges St-Pierre chokes out Michael Bisping to become two-division champ

Four years away. At a weight class 15 pounds heavier than the one he once dominated. And somehow he looked as good as ever – maybe even better.

So now who looks like the greatest to ever do it?

If you’re talking about accomplishments and titles, all the stuff that fills out an MMA resume, it just got a lot harder to argue against St-Pierre. He was the rare champion to “step away” on top, opting to take his 12-fight winning streak and go home rather than staying until the forces of time and natural decay dragged him out on his back.

He was so committed to this course of action that, even when the UFC president flew into a purple rage over his decision, St-Pierre was unmoved. Ever the rational actor, GSP wasn’t about to do anything that didn’t appeal to his own cold logic.

It was the same with his comeback. The way he set his sights on Bisping, you got the sense that St-Pierre had crunched the numbers and done the math and decided that this was the perfect time and opponent. Not that he was going to rush it, of course. He’d do the fight any time after October, he told us back in May.

That prospect was so disagreeable to Bisping and the UFC that they both flirted with forgetting about the whole thing. GSP was unmoved. And then, what do you know, the fight gets booked for early November, like it was St-Pierre writing the script and the rest of the world couldn’t help but follow it.

There were plenty of reasons to think that the fight itself would not be so kind to him, though. Four years is a long time to be gone, after all. And how would his style play against a bigger man who wins fights on endurance and stubborn resiliency?

RelatedTwitter reacts to Georges St-Pierre's historic title win in return vs. Michael Bisping at UFC 217

You saw that threat poke through here and there. After a strong first round for St-Pierre, his pace slowed somewhat. Bisping began to find his rhythm. Even when St-Pierre took him down, it was Bisping doing the damage off his back, opening St-Pierre’s face with elbows from the bottom. By the time they got back to their feet, GSP’s face was a mask of blood, and his well-laid plans seemed to be under imminent threat.

Then came that left hook – the result of diligent film study, according to St-Pierre. After that, the rear-naked choke that you just knew Bisping wouldn’t tap to, even though he had no hope of escape.

The next thing you know, there’s St-Pierre with UFC gold around his waist once again, politely explaining his process while pausing to apologize for his language, which was nothing that most New Yorkers don’t already hear or say themselves on a Sunday morning subway ride to church.

When it was all over, the interviews completed and Madison Square Garden emptying out, St-Pierre still stood there in the cage, grinning and turning in circles as he took it all in, like he couldn’t bring himself to leave.

Is he the GOAT? Your new middleweight champion, @GeorgesStPierre, takes a slow stroll past press row. What an anazing night. #UFC217 pic.twitter.com/rQDxtCuBGS

— John Morgan (@MMAjunkieJohn) November 5, 2017

Or, another possible explanation, maybe that was the look of a man who already has left once, and who knows what it’s like to wonder if those moments of glory are gone for good.

This time around, he knew enough to stop and enjoy his own triumph, every last drop. Because who can say if and when the feeling will ever come again.

For more on UFC 217, check out the UFC Events section of the site.


Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

UFC interim champ Robert Whittaker picked Michael Bisping, will wait for Georges St-Pierre

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

NEW YORK CITY – UFC interim middleweight champ Robert Whittaker favored Michael Bisping to beat Georges St-Pierre in the pay-per-view headliner of Saturday’s UFC 217.

But Whittaker (19-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC) didn’t count out St-Pierre (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC), which turned out to be a good call when the former welterweight champ choked out Bisping (30-8 MMA, 20-8 UFC) at Madison Square Garden.

Even with the uncertainty then looming over his future, Whittaker, who recently returned to training after a knee injury, couldn’t get too wrapped up in the outcome of the fight. More important was simply that the winner meet him.

RelatedTwitter reacts to Georges St-Pierre's historic title win in return vs. Michael Bisping at UFC 217

“If they want to keep busy and bash themselves, good on you,” Whittaker said backstage. “Make a bit of money in the process. But I’m not going anywhere. I’m going to outlive you guys, so I’m just going to wait for the winner.”

As UFC President Dana White said after the pay-per-view event, St-Pierre vs. Whittaker is a “done deal.” That takes the guesswork out of things for Whittaker, but the question is where and when the fight takes place.

Whittaker would love it if the promotion booked them for UFC 221, which takes place Feb. 18 at Perth Arena in Perth, Australia. But he’s willing to travel if it’s necessary.

“The things is, I’ll just have to make sure I’m ready to fight when they’re ready to fight and fight them,” Whittaker said. “I’m not worried where it is, when it is – I just want to find out who it is.”

Now that he has his answer, the wait for the details just got a lot shorter.

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

July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) celebrates after fighting Yoel Romero (red gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) celebrates after fighting Yoel Romero (red gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) is awarded the belt from UFC president Dana White after defeating Yoel Romero (red gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/yqLJdA8di6FKJk8FTie845/282496", customAnalytics: true, title: "Whittaker def. Romero", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Video: Former NFLer, UFC hopeful Greg Hardy wins MMA debut (but delivers late blow)

Former NFL player Greg Hardy now has a successful amateur-MMA debut under his belt.

The 29-year-old former Pro Bowler scored a 32-second knockout win over fellow amateur Joe Hawkins (0-1) at a regional show in Fort Pierce, Fla.

However, a referee was forced to pry Hardy (1-0), who delivered at least one punch after the official tried to halt the bout, off of his opponent.

Here’s the video:

ESPN.com, which covered the fight, recapped the former defensive end’s past:

“In 2014, Hardy’s NFL career took a turn for the worse when he was accused of domestic violence. He was initially suspended 10 games by the NFL in 2015 for “conduct detrimental to the league,” but that ruling was reduced to four games while he was a member of the Cowboys. Hardy contends that he never violated the NFL’s personal conduct policy.

“Hardy’s six-year career included 165 tackles and 40 sacks in 75 games. He played one season with Dallas and five seasons with the Carolina Panthers.”

Hardy, who was arrested on felony possession of a controlled substance in 2016, apparently hasn’t ruled out an eventual return to the NFL, where he last played in 2015. For now, though, his focus is on MMA and desired UFC contract.

RelatedIn calls to keep Greg Hardy out of MMA and the UFC, our own motives are worth questioning

“I’d be a fool to turn away from what I loved doing for so long,” Hardy, who trains with American Top Team, told ESPN.com. “But it’s a habit of an athlete, a player and a baller to put his whole heart and soul into what I’m doing.

“So the UFC has got my heart and soul. That’s where I’m going in my mind and my heart. Everything that I do is focused on this MMA career, so I’m coming.”

Nov 15, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA;Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy (76) against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Dallas Cowboys 10-6. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports Nov 15, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy (76) arrives prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports Dec 27, 2015; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy (76) before a game against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports Dec 19, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) throws as Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy (76) rushes during the first half at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports Dec 19, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy (76) during the game against the New York Jets at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports Nov 15, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy (76) taunts Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans during the second half of a football game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports Nov 15, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy (76) during the second half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Dallas Cowboys 10-6. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports Nov 15, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy (76) looks on against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Dallas Cowboys 10-6. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports Nov 15, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy (76) works out prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports Nov 15, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy (76) works out prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports Nov 8, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy (76) leaves the field following a game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Eagles won 33-27 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports Nov 8, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy (76) rushes the passer against Philadelphia Eagles tackle Lane Johnson (65) in the third quarterat AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports Nov 8, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy (76) warms up on the field before the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports Nov 8, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy (76) during the first quarter of a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at AT&T Stadium. Eagles won 33-27 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports Nov 8, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy (76) warms up on the field before the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/bMsCdb9r3tPagbnsgV7bRL/282612", customAnalytics: true, title: "Greg Hardy", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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Cody Garbrandt recaps this post-fight chat with T.J. Dillashaw, stands 'behind everything I said'

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

NEW YORK – Cody Garbrandt wants to make a few things crystal clear: He’s the better fighter, and he doesn’t take back anything he said about new UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw heading into Saturday’s UFC 217 co-headliner.

He also wants a rematch.

But if you think a second meeting between the two rivals, who co-headlined at New York’s Madison Square Garden Arena in the year’s biggest pay-per-event, will be a little more civil the next time around, think again.

“I think I was being professional (heading into UFC 217) given the facts behind (the rivalry),” Garbrandt (11-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) said after his second-round knockout loss to Dillashaw (15-3 MMA, 11-3 UFC). “Still, I feel and think he’s a piece of (expletive) teammate. I stand beside my facts. He injured – he lies. Still. It doesn’t matter. Yeah, he won. Good for him.

“I’ll be back, and I’ll come with vengeance, and that belt’s going to be mine.”

It was a slightly harsher tone that the tweet he issued to his former Team Alpha Male teammate after the fight:

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

Still, as he sometimes choked back tears during the post-event press conference, Garbrandt, who nearly ended the fight at the end of the first round, kept coming back to a central point.

“Hats off to T.J.” he said. “He battled back from losing his title, and he was a hungry man. But I say I’m the better fighter in there, and I’ll show that in the rematch.”

Immediately after the fight-ending barrage of punches, Garbrandt and Dillashaw had a brief chat (which was captured by this viral photo).

Does Garbrandt remember what was said?

“I don’t,” he said. “He probably just yelled some (expletive). He had a lot of (expletive) he was carrying on – with all of the drama. And I stand behind everything I said. He’s still not a good person, but I respect him as a fighter. And that’s that.

” … I stand behind everything that I said about T.J., but I give him respect for going out there and capitalizing on a mistake, but I truly am the better fighter, and I want that rematch. I’m willing to put in the work and do whatever it takes to get the title back because it was something I was born to do.”

RelatedT.J. Dillashaw after UFC 217 title win: Demetrious Johnson can't run from me anymore

As for what’s next, Garbrandt didn’t have any immediate plans.

“If I have to fight and wipe out the whole (expletive) division, I will,” he said.

As for the big picture, he said he’s been in positions like this before. But he prefers not to dwell on the setbacks.

“I’ve been here before,” he said. “I’ve lost a lot in my life. I feel like if this is the worst thing that happens in my life, I’ve got a pretty good life.”

For more on UFC 217, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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/282607", customAnalytics: true, title: "Dillashaw def. Garbrandt", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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Michael Bisping 'crushed inside' after UFC 217 title loss, says he won't retire

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

NEW YORK – Michael Bisping is disappointed but not overly deflated following the loss of his UFC middleweight title to Georges St-Pierre[autotag] in Saturday’s UFC 217 main event.

Bisping (30-8 MMA, 20-8 UFC) was going for his second title defense in the pay-per-view headliner at Madison Square Garden in New York City, but the fight didn’t go his way. St-Pierre (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC) returned from a nearly four-year hiatus and claimed the gold with a third-round submission, marking a new chapter in the 185-pound division.

Bisping didn’t receive much praise for his title run because he claimed the belt on short notice against Luke Rockhold and then defended it against a non-top 10 opponent in Dan Henderson. His reign is over now and while naturally unhappy with how things played out, Bisping said there’s not much to hang his head about.

RelatedTwitter reacts to Georges St-Pierre's historic title win in return vs. Michael Bisping at UFC 217

“I’m proud of what I’ve achieved in this sport. I really am,” Bisping told reporters at UFC 217’s post-event news conference, which MMAjunkie attended. “You can’t take that away from me. My kids are over there. They just said, ‘I thought you would be more pissed off.’ Of course I’m pissed off. I’m crushed inside. I am. But also at the same time you’ve got to realize what’s important in life. This is what I dedicate my life to. I do it for my children.

“I’m happy with what I’ve done. I’m crushed inside, but life goes on. Every time you fight one man is going to win, and one is going to lose. You can’t cry like a little (expletive). All respect to Georges. Well done. He beat me. I felt fantastic going in there tonight. I thought I would smoke him, and I didn’t, so well done.”

Although he didn’t come out with his hand raised, Bisping said he wasn’t particularly surprised about how the fight unfolded. He lost the first round to St-Pierre before winning the second with some solid striking. St-Pierre hit his groove in the third, though, and managed to drop Bisping with a hard punch before jumping on a rear-naked choke that put him to sleep.

RelatedUFC 217 bonuses: Title winners Namajunas, Dillashaw, St-Pierre get extra $50,000

Reading St-Pierre after such a long hiatus from competition was a challenge. However, Bisping was unwilling to make excuses about the outcome.

“I didn’t win, ultimately that’s why we do it,” Bisping said. “Georges was the better man. I felt good in there. I just got clipped. It’s the way it goes. … Nothing surprised me other than that left hook that dropped me of course. That was a big surprise.”

Prior to UFC 217, Bisping mentioned the possibility of retirement – win or lose. He eventually walked back those comments and said St-Pierre wouldn’t be his last fight, and he reaffirmed that afterward. The UFC recently confirmed a March event in London. And as a proud Englishman, Bisping said he could potentially fight on that card.

The loss at UFC 217 is still fresh, but Bisping said he won’t go out on the loss to St-Pierre.

“I don’t need time off,” Bisping said. “I’m fine. I’ve got no injuries whatsoever. I’m not hurt at all. I got a couple of little marks on the face. Maybe March in London. That sounds nice. … I don’t want my last time in the octagon to be me getting choked out. So I’ll be back in there at some point.”

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/282582", customAnalytics: true, title: "St-Pierre def. Bisping", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start(); if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_IpGuJAlo_RbnemIYZ_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/IpGuJAlo.json","ph":2} );
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Excited about Rose Namajunas' UFC title win? You've got nothing on Justin Gaethje

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

If you think you were excited about Rose Namajunas’ title win at Saturday’s UFC 217 event, you’ve got nothing on Justin Gaethje.

Following UFC 217, where Namajunas (7-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC) dethroned strawweight champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk (14-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) with a dominant first-round TKO, Gaethje shared a celebratory video.

The UFC lightweight contender didn’t hold back with an emotional outburst following his teammate’s victory over previously undefeated Jedrzejczyk (via Instagram):

“Oh my God, I’m (expletive) crying right now,” Gaethje says in the video. “Ahh! Believe in yourself! Oh, Rose is my (expletive) hero and idol. Oh my God! (Expletive) yeah!”

Heading into the event, which aired on pay-per-view from Madison Square Garden Arena in New York, Jedrzejczyk was a massive 8-1 favorite, and she had turned up the pre-fight trash-talk throughout the week. Namajunas, though, took the high road.

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

“There’s just been a lot of trash-talking,” Namajunas said after UFC 217. “People aren’t really being true to themselves or honest. Maybe that’s just what they feel they need to do to entertain, but I’m kind of sick of it. I’m sick of all the hate and anger. I feel like we have a duty as fighters to try to be a better example.”

Meanwhile, Gaethje (18-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC), who’s No. 3 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA lightweight rankings, meets former champ and No. 5-ranked Eddie Alvarez (28-5 MMA, 3-2 UFC) at UFC 218 on Dec. 2 in Detroit.

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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; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) celebrates with the belt after defeating Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (left) faces off with Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) reacts after her fight against Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) celebrates with the belt after defeating Joanna Jedrzejczyk (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/PRfxKkNk5hxschbqceYpyk/282602", customAnalytics: true, title: "Namajunas def. Jedrzejczyk", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC

UFC 217 Athlete Outfitting pay: 3 title fights help move 2017 payout past $5 million

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Filed under: News, UFC

NEW YORK – Fighters from Saturday’s UFC 217 event took home UFC Athlete Outfitting pay, a program that launched after the UFC’s deal with Reebok, totaling $315,000.

UFC 217 took place at Madison Square Garden in New York City, and the main card aired on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Leading the way were the three fighters who entered – but did not exit – the event as champions. Michael Bisping (30-8 MMA, 20-8 UFC), Cody Garbrandt (11-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) and Joanna Jedrzejczyk (14-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) all received a maximum program payout of $40,000 as reigning champions coming into the card.

Those three title fights pushed the UFC 217 payout total to the second-highest mark of an event in 2017 and pushed the year’s total north of $5 million.

The full UFC 217 UFC Athlete Outfitting payouts included:

Michael Bisping: $40,000
Georges St-Pierre: $30,000

Cody Garbrandt: $40,000
T.J. Dillashaw: $30,000

Joanna Jedrzejczyk: $40,000
Rose Namajunas: $30,000

Stephen Thompson: $10,000
Jorge Masvidal: $15,000

Paulo Costa: $2,500
def. Johny Hendricks: $20,000

James Vick: $5,000
def. Joseph Duffy: $5,000

Ovince Saint Preux: $15,000
def. Corey Anderson: $5,000

Mark Godbeer: $2,500
def. Walt Harris: $5,000

Randy Brown: $5,000
def. Mickey Gall: $2,500

Curtis Blaydes: $2,500
def. Aleksei Oleinik: $5,000

Ricardo Ramos: $2,500
def. Aiemann Zahabi: $2,500

Under the UFC Athlete Outfitting program’s payout tiers, which appropriate the money generated by Reebok’s multi-year sponsorship with the UFC, fighters are paid based on their total number of UFC bouts, as well as Zuffa-era WEC fights (January 2007 and later) and Zuffa-era Strikeforce bouts (April 2011 and later). Fighters with 1-5 bouts receive $2,500 per appearance; 6-10 bouts get $5,000; 11-15 bouts earn $10,000; 16-20 bouts pocket $15,000; and 21 bouts and more get $20,000. Additionally, champions earn $40,000 while title challengers get $30,000.

In addition to experience-based pay, UFC fighters will receive in perpetuity royalty payments amounting to 20-30 percent of any UFC merchandise sold that bears their likeness, according to officials.

Full 2017 UFC-Reebok sponsorship payouts:

Year-to-date total: $5,077,500
2016 total: $7,138,000
2015 total: $3,185,000
Program-to-date total: $15,400,500

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

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Filed under: News, UFC

Fight Tracks: The walkout songs of UFC 217, including one the UFC got wrong

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

While it takes intense training, world-class skills and maybe even a bit of luck to register a UFC win, picking the right song to accompany you to the cage is a key talent, as well.

See what the fighters of Saturday’s UFC 217 in New York City, went with as their backing tracks – though we later found out new strawweight champion Rose Namanjunas intended to have a different tune, only to have a production error end up with the result listed below.

* * * *

Georges St-Pierre def Bisping via technical submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 4:23

Georges St-Pierre: “Afro Trap Pt. 7 (La Puissance)” by MHD

Michael Bisping: “Song 2” by Blur

T.J. Dillashaw def. Cody Garbrandt via knockout (punches) – Round 2, 2:41

T.J. Dillashaw: “Can’t Stop” by Red Hot Chili Peppers

Cody Garbrandt: “We Will Rock You” by Queen

Rose Namajunas def. Joanna Jedrzejczyk via KO (punches) – Round 1, 3:03

Rose Namajunas: “Supersonic” by Oasis

Joanna Jedrzejczyk: “Przejmij Ster Swoje Dlonie” by Rena Gosx Gutek

Stephen Thompson def. Jorge Masvidal via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)

Stephen Thompson: “Wonderboy” by Tenacious D

Jorge Masvidal: “Tony Montana” (Scarface Theme Song)

Paulo Costa def. Johny Hendricks via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 1:23

Paulo Costa: “2026” by Lagum

Johny Hendricks: “I’ll Sing About Mine” by Josh Abbott Band

James Vick def. Joe Duffy via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 4:59

James Vick: “Bring Em Out” by T.I.

Joseph Duffy: “Oro Se Do Bheatha Bhaile” by Sean Mor

Mark Godbeer def. Walt Harris via disqualification (illegal kick) – Round 2, 4:29

Mark Godbeer: “Supersonic” by Oasis

Walt Harris: “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana

Ovince Saint Preux def. Corey Anderson via knockout (head kick) – Round 3, 1:25

Ovince Saint Preux: “Push It” by Rick Ross

Corey Anderson: “My Time” by Fabolous

Randy Brown def. Mickey Gall via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-27)

Randy Brown: “Broad Daylight” by Vybz Kartel

Mickey Gall: “Hey Mickey/Woke Up This Morning” by Toni Basil/Alabama 3

Curtis Blaydes def. Aleksei Oleinik via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) – Round 2, 1:56

Curtis Blaydes: “Encounter The Ultimate (Mortal Kombat Theme)” by The Immortals

Aleksei Oleinik: “Ballad For The Suppression” by Vladimir Vysotsky

Ricardo Ramos def. Aiemann Zahabi via knockout (spinning elbow) – Round 3, 1:58

Ricardo Ramos: “Get Your Walk On” by Xzibit

Aiemann Zahabi: “Still Crusin” by Eazy E feat. The Game

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.

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

The MMA Road Show with John Morgan No. 136.5 – UFC 217 wrap-up with Bisping, Namajunas

Episode No. 136.5 of “The MMA Road Show with John Morgan” podcast is now available for streaming and download.

MMAjunkie lead staff reporter John Morgan hosts the show while traveling the world to cover the sport.

John Morgan and Cold Coffee wrap up what was unquestionably one of the greatest UFC events of all time, talking all about UFC 217. Hear their thoughts on the night’s card from New York’s Madison Square Garden, as well as a few words from headliner Michael Bisping and new champ strawweight champ Rose Namajunas.

Listen below, or check it out on iTunes or at themmaroadshow.com. You can also subscribe via RSS.


Filed under: News, UFC

UFC 217 video highlights: Rose Namajunas vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk


Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

Joanna Jedrzejczyk did all the talking in the lead-up to UFC 217. Rose Namajunas let her actions talk for her on fight night.

Namajunas (7-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC), the biggest underdog on the card, shut down Jedrzejczyk (14-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) in the first round with a knockout stemming from a massive left hook. Jedrzejczyk closed as a favorite of more than 8-1. The fight was called a knockout, but the champion tapped due to the onslaught of punches Namajunas rained down on her at the 3:03 mark of the first round.

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

The loss was the first of Jedrzejczyk’s professional career. The buildup to the fight featured a boat load of trash talk from Jedrzejczyk, who even took aim at Namajunas’ mental state. But in the end, Namajunas walked right through all of it.

The women’s strawweight title bout was part of the main card of today’s UFC 217 event at Madison Square Garden in New York. It aired on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Check out the highlights above, and listen to Namajunas talk about her performance below.

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

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