MMA Junkie News

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


Filed under: Bellator, News, UFC

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

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

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

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

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

Filed under: Bellator, News, UFC

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2559 with Walt Harris, Tywan Claxton

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

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

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


Filed under: Bellator, News, Radio, UFC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

— GILBERT BURNS (@GilbertDurinho) November 7, 2017

Yes lets do it

— Olivier Aubin (@oliaubin) November 7, 2017

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

— GILBERT BURNS (@GilbertDurinho) November 7, 2017

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

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

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

Jan 30, 2016; Newark, NJ, USA; Olivier Aubin-Mercier (black trunks) fights Diego Ferreira (white trunks) during UFC on Fox 18 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jan 30, 2016; Newark, NJ, USA; Olivier Aubin-Mercier (black trunks) fights Diego Ferreira (white trunks) during UFC on Fox 18 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jan 30, 2016; Newark, NJ, USA; Olivier Aubin-Mercier (black trunks) fights Diego Ferreira (white trunks) during UFC on Fox 18 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Apr 25, 2015; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Olivier Aubin-Mercier (red) reacts after defeating David Michaud (blue)(not pictured) during their lightweight bout during UFC 186 at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports Apr 25, 2015; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Olivier Aubin-Mercier (red) reacts after his fight against David Michaud (blue) (not pictured) during their lightweight bout during UFC 186 at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports Apr 25, 2015; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Olivier Aubin-Mercier (red) reacts after his fight against David Michaud (blue) (not pictured) during their lightweight bout during UFC 186 at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports Apr 16, 2014; Quebec City, Quebec, Canada; From left, Chad Laprise (red gloves), referee Yves Lavigne and Olivier Aubin-Mercier (blue gloves) after their welterweight bout at Colisee Pepsi. Laprise won by decision. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports Apr 16, 2014; Quebec City, Quebec, Canada; Chad Laprise (red gloves) fights against Olivier Aubin-Mercier (blue gloves) during their welterweight bout at Colisee Pepsi. Laprise won by decision. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports Apr 16, 2014; Quebec City, Quebec, Canada; Chad Laprise (red gloves) fights Olivier Aubin-Mercier (blue gloves) during their welterweight bout at Colisee Pepsi. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports Apr 16, 2014; Quebec City, Quebec, Canada; Chad Laprise (red gloves) fights against Olivier Aubin-Mercier (blue gloves) during their welterweight bout at Colisee Pepsi. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/5yHTwhAWbWLP9EBqFYojxF/282911", customAnalytics: true, title: "Olivier Aubin-Mercier", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sep 16, 2016; Hidalgo, TX, USA; Dustin Poirier pumps his fists during weigh in for UFC Fight Night at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Pokorny-USA TODAY Sports Sep 16, 2016; Hidalgo, TX, USA; Dustin Poirier and Michael Johnson face off after weigh in for UFC Fight Night at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Pokorny-USA TODAY Sports Sep 17, 2016; Hidalgo, TX, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) competes against Michael Johnson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Porkorny-USA TODAY Sports Feb 11, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Jim Miller (blue gloves) during UFC 208 at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Feb 11, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Jim Miller (blue gloves) during UFC 208 at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Feb 11, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Jim Miller (blue gloves) during UFC 208 at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Feb 11, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Jim Miller (blue gloves) during UFC 208 at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Feb 11, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) raises his arms in victory after defeating Jim Miller (blue gloves) during UFC 208 at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) fights Dustin Poirier (blue gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Dustin Poirier (blue gloves) sits on the ground after fighting Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/HAt4D3uNYBsEbUYcnjf7TS/282866", customAnalytics: true, title: "Dustin Poirier UFC", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With the addition, UFC on FOX 26 now includes:

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

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


Filed under: News, UFC

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

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) November 5, 2017

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

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

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

He plans to celebrate by knocking out Cormier.

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

July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Volkan Oezdemir moves in against Jimi Manuwa during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Volkan Oezdemir moves in with a hit against Jimi Manuwa during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Volkan Oezdemir moves in with a hit against Jimi Manuwa during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Volkan Oezdemir moves in with a hit against Jimi Manuwa during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Volkan Oezdemir reacts following his knockout victory against Jimi Manuwa during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Volkan Oezdemir reacts following his knockout victory against Jimi Manuwa during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Volkan Oezdemir reacts following his knockout victory against Jimi Manuwa during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Volkan Oezdemir reacts following his knockout victory against Jimi Manuwa during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/rTsGCcX2BJSR4ZHnjpCPye/282878", customAnalytics: true, title: "Oezdemir def. Manuwa", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

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


Filed under: Blue Corner, News, UFC, Videos

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

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

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

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

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

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

December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Ronda Rousey fights against Amanda Nunes during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes (right) against Ronda Rousey during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes lands punches while Ronda Rousey is against the cage during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Ronda Rousey reacts against the cage after being hit in the face during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Ronda Rousey leaves with her mother AnnMaria DeMars follwing her loss against Amanda Nunes during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Nov 15, 2015; Melbourne, Australia; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) competes against Holly Holm (blue gloves) during UFC 193 at Etihad Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Nov 15, 2015; Melbourne, Australia; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) competes against Holly Holm (blue gloves) during UFC 193 at Etihad Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Nov 15, 2015; Melbourne, Australia; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) competes against Holly Holm (blue gloves) during UFC 193 at Etihad Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Sep 4, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC Women's Bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey answers questions for fans before the weigh-ins for UFC 191 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Sep 4, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC Women's Bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey answers questions for fans before the weigh-ins for UFC 191 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Sep 4, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC Champion Ronda Rousey holds her championship belt before the weigh-in at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) celebrates after defeating Bethe Correia (not pictured) during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) celebrates after defeating Bethe Correia (not pictured) during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) reacts after knocking out Bethe Correia (not pictured) during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) fights Bethe Correia (blue gloves) during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) reacts after knocking out Bethe Correia (blue gloves) during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) looks on prior to her fight against Bethe Correia (not pictured) during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) vs. Bethe Correia (blue gloves) during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) looks on prior to her fight against Bethe Correia (not pictured) during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Ronda Rowdy Rousey (red gloves) looks on prior to her fight against Bethe Pitbull Correia (not pictured) during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jul 31, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Ronda Rousey during weigh-ins for UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jul 15, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; UFC champion Ronda Rousey arrives for the 2015 ESPY's award show at Nokia Theater. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Feb 28, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) reacts after defeating Cat Zingano (not pictured) during their women's bantamweight title bout at UFC 184 at Staples Center. Rousey won in 14 seconds of the first round. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Feb 28, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) and Cat Zingano (blue gloves) during their women's bantamweight title bout at UFC 184 at Staples Center. Rousey won in 14 seconds of the first round. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Feb 28, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Ronda Rousey arrives in the arena to defend her women's bantamweight title against Cat Zingano (not pictured) at UFC 184 at Staples Center. Rousey won in 14 seconds of the first round. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/xjsa2W7EZUFu5UdyZxrZfS/282902", customAnalytics: true, title: "Ronda Rousey", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Blue Corner, News, UFC, Videos

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

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

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

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

* * * *

Anthony Pettis vs. Dustin Poirier

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aug 27, 2016; Vancouver, BC, Canada; Charles Oliveira (blue gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports Aug 27, 2016; Vancouver, BC, Canada; Anthony Pettis (red gloves) competes against Charles Oliveria (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports Aug 27, 2016; Vancouver, BC, Canada; Anthony Pettis (red gloves) competes against Charles Oliveria (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports Aug 27, 2016; Vancouver, BC, Canada; Anthony Pettis (red gloves) competes against Charles Oliveria (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports Aug 27, 2016; Vancouver, BC, Canada; Anthony Pettis (red gloves) competes against Charles Oliveria (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports Apr 23, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Anthony Pettis (red gloves) competes against Edson Barboza (blue gloves) during UFC 197 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Apr 23, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Anthony Pettis (red gloves) competes against Edson Barboza (blue gloves) during UFC 197 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Apr 23, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Anthony Pettis (red gloves) competes against Edson Barboza (blue gloves) during UFC 197 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Apr 23, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Anthony Pettis (red gloves) competes against Edson Barboza (blue gloves) during UFC 197 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Apr 23, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Anthony Pettis (red gloves) competes against Edson Barboza (blue gloves) during UFC 197 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Apr 23, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Anthony Pettis (red gloves) competes against Edson Barboza (blue gloves) during UFC 197 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Apr 23, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Anthony Pettis (red gloves) greets Edson Barboza (blue gloves) after their fight UFC 197 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Jan 17, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Anthony Pettis (red) looks on between rounds of a lightweight bout against Eddie Alvarez (not pictured) at UFC Fight Night at the TD Garden. Alvarez won after three rounds by split decision. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 17, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Anthony Pettis (red) kicks Eddie Alvarez (blue) during a lightweight bout at UFC Fight Night at the TD Garden. Alvarez won after three rounds by split decision. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 17, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Anthony Pettis (red) kicks Eddie Alvarez (blue) during a lightweight bout at UFC Fight Night at the TD Garden. Alvarez won after three rounds by split decision. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/MwQVVnLUrf5h6L5wpshsmY/282718", customAnalytics: true, title: "Anthony Pettis", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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Robert Whittaker: Georges St-Pierre 'looked slower than he's ever been' at UFC 217

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Take Our Poll (function(d,c,j){if(!d.getElementById(j)){var pd=d.createElement(c),s;pd.id=j;pd.src='http://s1.wp.com/wp-content/mu-plugins/shortcodes/js/polldaddy-shortcode.js';s=d.getElementsByTagName(c)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(pd,s);} else if(typeof jQuery !=='undefined')jQuery(d.body).trigger('pd-script-load');}(document,'script','pd-polldaddy-loader')); Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; T.J. Dillashaw (blue gloves) yells at Cody Garbrandt (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; T.J. Dillashaw (blue gloves) fights against Cody Garbrandt (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; T.J. Dillashaw (blue gloves) fights against Cody Garbrandt (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; T.J. Dillashaw (blue gloves) fights against Cody Garbrandt (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; T.J. Dillashaw (blue gloves) fights against Cody Garbrandt (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; T.J. Dillashaw (blue gloves) fights against Cody Garbrandt (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; T.J. Dillashaw (blue gloves) fights against Cody Garbrandt (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Cody Garbrandt (red gloves) fights against T.J. Dillashaw (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Cody Garbrandt (red gloves) fights against T.J. Dillashaw (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; T.J. Dillashaw (blue gloves) yells at Cody Garbrandt (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; T.J. Dillashaw (blue gloves) reacts after defeating Cody Garbrandt (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/KoBeZjHtZFD3Q5mhhdpHZi/282855", customAnalytics: true, title: "Dillashaw def. Garbrandt", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC

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

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Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The only question now is how far he can go.

RelatedBellator 186 reactions: Winning and losing fighters on social media

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

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

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

Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ed Ruth (red gloves) enters the arena prior to fighting Chris Dempsey (not pictured) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Chris Dempsey (blue gloves) enters the arena prior to fighting Ed Ruth (not pictured) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ed Ruth (red gloves) reacts after defeating Chris Dempsey (not pictured) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Chris Dempsey (blue gloves) fights Ed Ruth (red gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ed Ruth (red gloves) fights Chris Dempsey (blue gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ed Ruth (red gloves) fights Chris Dempsey (blue gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ed Ruth (red gloves) fights Chris Dempsey (blue gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Chris Dempsey (blue gloves) fights Ed Ruth (red gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ed Ruth (red gloves) fights Chris Dempsey (blue gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ed Ruth (red gloves) fights Chris Dempsey (blue gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ed Ruth (red gloves) fights Chris Dempsey (blue gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ed Ruth (red gloves) holds up a Penn State jersey after defeating Chris Dempsey (not pictured) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ed Ruth (red gloves) exits the rings after defeating Chris Dempsey (not pictured) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/pXq7jzhjbaxq9dLrHfJbHN/282814", customAnalytics: true, title: "Ruth def. Dempsey", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos

UFC 217 reactions: Winning and losing fighters on social media

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

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

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

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

* * * *

The defeated

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

— Alexey Oleynik (@oleynikufc) November 5, 2017

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

— walt harris (@thebigticket205) November 5, 2017

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

— walt harris (@thebigticket205) November 5, 2017

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

— walt harris (@thebigticket205) November 5, 2017

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

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

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

— Cody Garbrandt (@Cody_Nolove) November 5, 2017

The victorious

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

— Mark Godbeer (@MarkGodbeerUK) November 5, 2017

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

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

Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) defeats Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) defeats Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) defeats Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Michael Bisping (red gloves) reacts after losing to Georges St-Pierre (not pictured) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) greets Michael Bisping (red gloves) after their fight in UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) greets Michael Bisping (red gloves) after their fight in UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) greets Michael Bisping (red gloves) after their fight in UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/t2pBbXqn6WUG8Z2WigLLpQ/282805", customAnalytics: true, title: "St-Pierre def. Bisping", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC

Why it matters that Dana White is truthful about UFC having its 'biggest year ever' in 2017

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Phil Davis wonders about future title shot – or 'King Mo' – after Bellator 186

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, Videos

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; The hand of Phil Davis (red gloves) is raised after defeating Leo Leite (not pictured) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Leo Leite (blue gloves) enters the arena prior to fighting Phil Davis (not pictured) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Phil Davis (red gloves) enters the arena prior to fighting Leo Leite (not pictured) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Leo Leite (blue gloves) stands in the ring prior to fighting Phil Davis (not pictured) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Phil Davis (red gloves) fights Leo Leite (blue gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Phil Davis (red gloves) fights Leo Leite (blue gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Phil Davis (red gloves) fights Leo Leite (blue gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Phil Davis (red gloves) fights Leo Leite (blue gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Leo Leite (blue gloves) fights Phil Davis (red gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Phil Davis (red gloves) fights Leo Leite (blue gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/CAWNkxXuTA9gTs63FrSruZ/282781", customAnalytics: true, title: "Davis def. Leite", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, Videos

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

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) defeats Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) defeats Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) defeats Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Michael Bisping (red gloves) reacts after losing to Georges St-Pierre (not pictured) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) greets Michael Bisping (red gloves) after their fight in UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) greets Michael Bisping (red gloves) after their fight in UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) greets Michael Bisping (red gloves) after their fight in UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/t2pBbXqn6WUG8Z2WigLLpQ/282652", customAnalytics: true, title: "St-Pierre def. Bisping", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

Tywan Claxton discusses 'KO of Year' flying knee and sending Aaron Pico a box of tampons

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Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos

Tywan Claxton recently secured a frontrunner for “Knockout of the Year” honors, but his reaction to it was rather simple: “The fight’s over, and I’ve got all of my teeth.”

On Friday’s Bellator 186 preliminary card, Claxton (1-0) blasted fellow featherweight Jonathan Bonilla-Bowman (1-1) with a flying knee – one that seemed to glide halfway across the cage – before the knockout video quickly went viral.

Here’s a clip of the KO, which streamed on MMAjunkie from Bryce Jordan Center on Penn State’s campus in University Park, Pa.:

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During sparring sessions, Claxton said he often throws a few punches and then launches with a flying knee, which often gets a “calm down” warning from his teammates. Claxton, a former NCAA Division II wrestler, said it’s fun – but also can produce mixed results.

“Half the time, I really don’t know how to control it,” the 24-year-old said after the event. “Like, I almost went over (Bonilla-Bowman’s) head. But it’s fun to warm up with it, though. I’ll tell you that much.”

RelatedTywan Claxton's massive flying-knee KO emphatically announced his arrival to Bellator

Claxton, who had a lengthy undefeated amateur run before turning pro for his Bellator 186 bout, hopes his buzzy win leads to bigger opportunities. He wants a big-name opponent, such as James Gallagher.

He said he also tried to troll Bellator top prospect Aaron Pico into a fight by sending a “gift” to his gym.

RelatedAaron Pico's emphatic Bellator 183 KO just what he needed after that awful debut

“Look, the thing with Pico is, if you send a man tampons to his gym and he doesn’t respond, you can’t say too much more because then you become a bully, and I’m not big on being a bully,” he said. “So I kind of backed off the Aaron Pico situation.

“If he ever wants to fight and prove his manhood, then let’s do it. If he doesn’t want to fight, I’m not going to pressure him to fight me. It kind of is what it is with him. I just thought that he was getting the hype, and I told him that was my hype, and I was going to take it.”

And for the rest of the division?

“It’s over,” he said. “It’s over. Grab a shovel. Dig your own grave. I’m coming for you.”

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


Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with Walt Harris and Tywan Claxton


Filed under: Bellator, News, UFC

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Walt Harris and Tywan Claxton.

Harris was disqualified after hitting fellow heavyweight Mark Godbeer with an illegal kick at UFC 217 on Saturday. Claxton scored a highlight-reel flying-knee knockout a night prior at Bellator 186.

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

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

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

Filed under: Bellator, News, UFC

Fired-up James Vick pleads for ranked opponent, but 'can't put a gun to a guy's head'

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

NEW YORK – James Vick is sick and tired of begging for ranked competition and hopes his impressive second-round TKO win over Joseph Duffy at UFC 217 will finally get him where he wants to be in the lightweight division.

Vick (12-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) picked up his eighth victory in a nine-fight UFC career on Saturday when he became the first to stop Duffy (17-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC) with strikes. It was another solid performance, and having competed in the featured preliminary-bout prior to the pay-per-view main card at Madison Square Garden in New York, Vick hopes he’s finally put the division on notice.

“What else can I do?” Vick said following his win. “That was my third finish in a row, against a high-level opponent. That was the first time Joe Duffy’s ever been knocked out, and he had 18 professional fights. I better have got some attention.”

RelatedUFC 217 results: James Vick keeps rolling, TKOs Joseph Duffy with 1 tick left in second

Vick knows that in the current UFC landscape, winning alone isn’t enough. He’s also aware that calling his shot is an important part of the game, and Vick came prepared to let the world know what he wants next.

Not only did Vick name the winner of next weekend’s UFC Fight Night 120 main event between Anthony Pettis (20-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC) and Dustin Poirier (21-5 MMA, 13-4 UFC) as his preferred next opponent, but he targeted the headlining spot of the recently announced UFC Fight Night 126 card on Feb. 18 in Austin as his preferred date and location.

“I’ll get on the card, but what I want is that main-event spot,” Vick said. “I’m 8-1. That’s one of the highest winning percentages in the UFC. It’s time to move forward now. I’m 30 years old. My goal is to be a world champion now. How many Joe Duffys do I have to beat?

“I want the winner of next week, Anthony Pettis vs. Dustin Poirier. I don’t want to shoot too low with a No. 3 guy that I’m not going to get, but Pettis or Poirier is ranked No. 8 in the world. Whoever wins is going to take that. So yeah, whoever wins that I want. The timeframe is perfect. Give them a couple weeks to heal up and get in camp.”

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

Although Vick is pushing for a big-fight opportunity, he said he’s been left disappointed before. Vick said he thinks UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby is doing his best to get him marquee fights, but there’s an issue finding willing opposition.

After beating a name like Duffy, he said he hopes that finally changes.

“Sean has been very good to me recently,” Vick said. “He tried as hard as he could to get a ranked guy, but they don’t want to fight me. They literally do not want to fight me. You can’t put a gun to a guy’s head.

“The thing is I’m in the high-risk, low-reward category right now. So I want to put myself into the high-reward category by making my name bigger. I’m doing my part, so hopefully the UFC, they’ve helped me recently in giving me a good push, and hopefully they continue to do so.”

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

Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; James Vick (red gloves) fights Joe Duffy (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; James Vick (red gloves) fights Joe Duffy (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; James Vick (red gloves) fights Joe Duffy (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; James Vick (red gloves) fights Joe Duffy (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; James Vick (red gloves) fights Joe Duffy (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; James Vick (red gloves) fights Joe Duffy (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; James Vick (red gloves) fights Joe Duffy (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; James Vick (red gloves) fights Joe Duffy (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; James Vick (red gloves) fights Joe Duffy (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; James Vick (red gloves) defeats Joe Duffy (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; James Vick (red gloves) defeats Joe Duffy (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; James Vick (red gloves) defeats Joe Duffy (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/QrEADhtCfdDnnJokTNMpRa/282732", customAnalytics: true, title: "Vick def. Duffy", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

Opponent switch: Eryk Anders meets LFA champ Markus Perez at UFC Fight Night 123

Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Eryk Anders (blue gloves) reacts to fight against Rafael Natal (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Rafael Natal (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Rafael Natal (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Rafael Natal (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Rafael Natal (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Rafael Natal (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Rafael Natal (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Rafael Natal (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Rafael Natal (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Rafael Natal (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Rafael Natal (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Rafael Natal (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Rafael Natal (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Eryk Anders (blue gloves) reacts to fight against Rafael Natal (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Eryk Anders (blue gloves) reacts to fight against Rafael Natal (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/zJRzXSqQfcNuy5Fgxc6szR/282790", customAnalytics: true, title: "Anders def. Natal", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Eryk Anders will go from fighting one UFC newcomer to another when he makes his return to the octagon at UFC Fight Night 123.

Anders (9-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) announced on Sunday that John Phillips (21-6 MMA, 0-0 UFC) is out of their scheduled middleweight bout at the December event. He now fights another promotional newcomer and now-former LFA middleweight champion: Markus Perez (9-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC).

The switch was revealed on Anders’ social media (via Instagram):

“Got a new opponent for #ufcfightnight in #Fresno, Ca. I️ will be welcoming Markus Pérez to the UFC. His style makes for an interesting matchup #punchface”

UFC Fight Night 123 takes place Dec. 9 at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif. The card airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, though the full fight card and bout order haven’t been finalized.

Anders made a successful UFC debut in July, when he quickly put away now-retired UFC veteran Rafael Natal with a first-round knockout at UFC on FOX 25. The unbeaten 30-year-old, who won a national title with the University of Alabama football team in 2009, has earned seven of his nine career victories by stoppage.

He welcomes Perez to the UFC in what will be a battle of unbeatens. The 27-year-old Brazilian last competed at LFA 22 in September, when he earned a first-round submission win over Ian Heinisch to remain undefeated and claim the vacant LFA middleweight title.

The nature of Phillips’ withdrawal from the event is unknown at this time.

The latest UFC Fight Night 123 lineup now includes:

  • Cub Swanson vs. Brian Ortega
  • Liz Carmouche vs. Alexis Davis
  • Scott Holtzman vs. Darrell Horcher
  • Eryk Anders vs. Markus Perez
  • Trevin Giles vs. Antonio Braga Neto
  • Carls John de Tomas vs. Alex Perez
  • Chris Gruetzemacher vs. Davi Ramos
  • Bryan Caraway vs. Luke Sanders
  • Merab Dvalishvili vs. Frankie Saenz
  • Benito Lopez vs. Albert Morales
  • Aljamain Sterling vs. Rani Yahya

For more on UFC Fight Night 123, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: News, UFC

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