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Bellator 186 results: Ilima Macfarlane taps Emily Ducote in fifth to win inaugural flyweight title

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Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ilima Macfarlane (red gloves) walks out of the ring after defeating Emily Ducote (not pictured) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Emily Ducote (blue gloves) enters the arena prior to fighting Ilima Macfarlane (not pictured) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ilima Macfarlane (red gloves) enters the arena prior to fighting Emily Ducote (not pictured) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ilima Macfarlane (red gloves) gestures prior to fighting Emily Ducote (not pictured) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Emily Ducote (blue gloves) stands in the ring prior to fighting Ilima Macfarlane (not pictured) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ilima Macfarlane (red gloves) fights Emily Ducote (blue gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ilima Macfarlane (red gloves) fights Emily Ducote (blue gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Emily Ducote (blue gloves) fights Ilima Macfarlane (red gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ilima Macfarlane (red gloves) fights Emily Ducote (blue gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ilima Macfarlane (red gloves) lands a punch on Emily Ducote (blue gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ilima Macfarlane (red gloves) fights Emily Ducote (blue gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Emily Ducote (blue gloves) fights Ilima Macfarlane (red gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Emily Ducote (blue gloves) throws a punch at Ilima Macfarlane (red gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Emily Ducote (blue gloves) fights Ilima Macfarlane (red gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ilima Macfarlane (red gloves) fights Emily Ducote (blue gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/JvWR9fivgTq7zJe4wmF6V/281992", customAnalytics: true, title: "Macfarlane def. Ducote", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Bellator has its first women’s flyweight champion, and it’s Ilima Macfarlane. But Emily Ducote did not go down without a major fight.

Macfarlane (7-0 MMA, 6-0 BMMA) finally put Ducote (6-3 MMA, 4-2 BMMA) away with an armbar and a verbal submission from a triangle choke late in the fifth round. But Ducote tested her most of the fight in what may have been a close one had it gone to the judges. The finish came at the 3:42 mark of the final round.

The inaugural women’s flyweight title bout was the co-main event of today’s Bellator 186 event at Bryce Jordan Center on Penn State’s campus in University Park, Pa. It aired on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

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

Ducote landed an early kick, but Macfarlane countered with a quick combo. Macfarlane swung hard seconds later with a right, but was just off the mark. A Ducote leg kick was on the spot, and Macfarlane moved in to clinch up. She landed a knee, then another, from a Thai clinch before Ducote finally broke away a minute in. Ducote briefly dragged Macfarlane to the canvas 100 seconds in, but the Hawaiian was right back up.

Macfarlane stalked Ducote down not long after that and landed several heavy shots. Ducote clinched up trying to recover, but again Macfarlane landed knees to the body. Then Macfarlane scooped Ducote up for a takedown right in front of Ducote’s corner. She tried to take her back, then went after a rear-naked choke. She had it briefly, then worked to half-guard and landed elbows from up top with 90 seconds left. With a minute left, Macfarlane went after a striaght armbar, then jumped over to near mount. She stayed after the armbar and turned it over with 10 seconds left. But Ducote survived the frame.

Ducote kicked early in the second, but ate a couple punches from Macfarlane after. Macfarlane landed a solid jab that was too quick for Ducote to catch up to. Ducote worked kicks to Macfarlane’s lead leg, but they didn’t appear to be stopping her. When she kicked harder, Macfarlane threw harder counters. Macfarlane seemed more patient in the first half of the frame and was willing to eat a few leg kicks – and they may have started to take their toll. With each one, Ducote’s corner got more and more confident with Macfarlane backing up. The kicks let Ducote climb right back into the fight.

Ducote started the third with more leg kicks. If she lacked the same kind of punching power that Macfarlane had, she seemed poised to make up for it with the kicks. Macfarlane tried to chase her down for a takedown just about a minute in, but Ducote wasn’t there. Macfarlane put together a combination 90 seconds in, then clinched up with Ducote for more knees. That was where she found success in the first and went back to it when she needed to.

Ducote finally broke away, but not long after, Macfarlane landed perhaps her best combo of the fight. When Ducote threatened with punches, Macfarlane shot for a single-leg takedown. But with 90 seconds left, she found herself still working to complete it. With 45 seconds left, Macfarlane tried twice to pick Ducote up and failed. But the third time was the charm and she finished the round with a few punches from on top.

Ducote opened the fourth with another leg kick, but ate a few punches for her effort. They tied up briefly, but Macfarlane wasn’t able to get anything done in the clinch. Macfarlane continued to work through Ducote’s kicks, but with two minutes left Ducote turned up the aggression in her striking game. A solid right from Macfarlane landed, but she struggled to put combinations together and Ducote stayed aggressive. With 40 seconds left, Macfarlane got the fight to the ground. But Ducote reversed it with a trip and got to side control to end the frame.

Macfarlane opened the final frame with a pair of right jabs, then just missed a Superman punch. Ninety seconds in, Ducote got back to her leg kicks, but found herself taken down by Macfarlane. But there once again, Ducote reversed to get on top. Macfarlane worked for a triangle choke from the bottom and had half the round keep working at it. She finally locked it up tight enough to get Ducote’s arm and roll it over for an armbar finish when Ducote verbally tapped.

Up-to-the-minute Bellator 186 results include:

  • Ilima Macfarlane def. Emily Ducote via verbal submission (armbar) – Round 5, 3:42 – to win inaugural women’s flyweight title
  • Phil Davis def. Leo Leite via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Ed Ruth def. Chris Dempsey via knockout (punch) – Round 2, 0:27
  • Saad Awad def. Zach Freeman via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 1:07
  • Scott Clymer def. Michael Benjamin Putnam via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 3:07
  • Mike Wilkins def. Brett Martinez via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 1:09
  • Michael Trizano def. Mike Otwell via submission (D’Arce choke) – Round 2, 2:07
  • Dominic Mazzotta def. Matthew Lozano via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) – Round 1, 2:37
  • Logan Storley def. Matt Secor via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Tywan Claxton def. Jonathan Bonilla-Bowman via knockout (flying knee) – Round 1, 1:29
  • Frankie Buenafuente def. Francis Healy via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Andrew Salas def. Ethan Goss via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
  • Josh Fremd def. Ryan Parker via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 1:25

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

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Bellator 186 results: Ilima Macfarlane taps Emily Ducote in fifth to win inaugural flyweight title

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News

Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ilima Macfarlane (red gloves) walks out of the ring after defeating Emily Ducote (not pictured) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Emily Ducote (blue gloves) enters the arena prior to fighting Ilima Macfarlane (not pictured) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ilima Macfarlane (red gloves) enters the arena prior to fighting Emily Ducote (not pictured) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ilima Macfarlane (red gloves) gestures prior to fighting Emily Ducote (not pictured) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Emily Ducote (blue gloves) stands in the ring prior to fighting Ilima Macfarlane (not pictured) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ilima Macfarlane (red gloves) fights Emily Ducote (blue gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ilima Macfarlane (red gloves) fights Emily Ducote (blue gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Emily Ducote (blue gloves) fights Ilima Macfarlane (red gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ilima Macfarlane (red gloves) fights Emily Ducote (blue gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ilima Macfarlane (red gloves) lands a punch on Emily Ducote (blue gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ilima Macfarlane (red gloves) fights Emily Ducote (blue gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Emily Ducote (blue gloves) fights Ilima Macfarlane (red gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Emily Ducote (blue gloves) throws a punch at Ilima Macfarlane (red gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Emily Ducote (blue gloves) fights Ilima Macfarlane (red gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ilima Macfarlane (red gloves) fights Emily Ducote (blue gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/JvWR9fivgTq7zJe4wmF6V/281992", customAnalytics: true, title: "Macfarlane def. Ducote", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Bellator has its first women’s flyweight champion, and it’s Ilima Macfarlane. But Emily Ducote did not go down without a major fight.

Macfarlane (7-0 MMA, 6-0 BMMA) finally put Ducote (6-3 MMA, 4-2 BMMA) away with an armbar and a verbal submission from a triangle choke late in the fifth round. But Ducote tested her most of the fight in what may have been a close one had it gone to the judges. The finish came at the 3:42 mark of the final round.

The inaugural women’s flyweight title bout was the co-main event of today’s Bellator 186 event at Bryce Jordan Center on Penn State’s campus in University Park, Pa. It aired on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

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

Ducote landed an early kick, but Macfarlane countered with a quick combo. Macfarlane swung hard seconds later with a right, but was just off the mark. A Ducote leg kick was on the spot, and Macfarlane moved in to clinch up. She landed a knee, then another, from a Thai clinch before Ducote finally broke away a minute in. Ducote briefly dragged Macfarlane to the canvas 100 seconds in, but the Hawaiian was right back up.

Macfarlane stalked Ducote down not long after that and landed several heavy shots. Ducote clinched up trying to recover, but again Macfarlane landed knees to the body. Then Macfarlane scooped Ducote up for a takedown right in front of Ducote’s corner. She tried to take her back, then went after a rear-naked choke. She had it briefly, then worked to half-guard and landed elbows from up top with 90 seconds left. With a minute left, Macfarlane went after a striaght armbar, then jumped over to near mount. She stayed after the armbar and turned it over with 10 seconds left. But Ducote survived the frame.

Ducote kicked early in the second, but ate a couple punches from Macfarlane after. Macfarlane landed a solid jab that was too quick for Ducote to catch up to. Ducote worked kicks to Macfarlane’s lead leg, but they didn’t appear to be stopping her. When she kicked harder, Macfarlane threw harder counters. Macfarlane seemed more patient in the first half of the frame and was willing to eat a few leg kicks – and they may have started to take their toll. With each one, Ducote’s corner got more and more confident with Macfarlane backing up. The kicks let Ducote climb right back into the fight.

Ducote started the third with more leg kicks. If she lacked the same kind of punching power that Macfarlane had, she seemed poised to make up for it with the kicks. Macfarlane tried to chase her down for a takedown just about a minute in, but Ducote wasn’t there. Macfarlane put together a combination 90 seconds in, then clinched up with Ducote for more knees. That was where she found success in the first and went back to it when she needed to.

Ducote finally broke away, but not long after, Macfarlane landed perhaps her best combo of the fight. When Ducote threatened with punches, Macfarlane shot for a single-leg takedown. But with 90 seconds left, she found herself still working to complete it. With 45 seconds left, Macfarlane tried twice to pick Ducote up and failed. But the third time was the charm and she finished the round with a few punches from on top.

Ducote opened the fourth with another leg kick, but ate a few punches for her effort. They tied up briefly, but Macfarlane wasn’t able to get anything done in the clinch. Macfarlane continued to work through Ducote’s kicks, but with two minutes left Ducote turned up the aggression in her striking game. A solid right from Macfarlane landed, but she struggled to put combinations together and Ducote stayed aggressive. With 40 seconds left, Macfarlane got the fight to the ground. But Ducote reversed it with a trip and got to side control to end the frame.

Macfarlane opened the final frame with a pair of right jabs, then just missed a Superman punch. Ninety seconds in, Ducote got back to her leg kicks, but found herself taken down by Macfarlane. But there once again, Ducote reversed to get on top. Macfarlane worked for a triangle choke from the bottom and had half the round keep working at it. She finally locked it up tight enough to get Ducote’s arm and roll it over for an armbar finish when Ducote verbally tapped.

Up-to-the-minute Bellator 186 results include:

  • Ilima Macfarlane def. Emily Ducote via verbal submission (armbar) – Round 5, 3:42 – to win inaugural women’s flyweight title
  • Phil Davis def. Leo Leite via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Ed Ruth def. Chris Dempsey via knockout (punch) – Round 2, 0:27
  • Saad Awad def. Zach Freeman via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 1:07
  • Scott Clymer def. Michael Benjamin Putnam via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 3:07
  • Mike Wilkins def. Brett Martinez via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 1:09
  • Michael Trizano def. Mike Otwell via submission (D’Arce choke) – Round 2, 2:07
  • Dominic Mazzotta def. Matthew Lozano via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) – Round 1, 2:37
  • Logan Storley def. Matt Secor via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Tywan Claxton def. Jonathan Bonilla-Bowman via knockout (flying knee) – Round 1, 1:29
  • Frankie Buenafuente def. Francis Healy via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Andrew Salas def. Ethan Goss via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
  • Josh Fremd def. Ryan Parker via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 1:25

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

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Bellator 186 results: Phil Davis outworks gritty Leo Leite for unanimous decision

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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/281990", customAnalytics: true, title: "Davis def. Leite", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Leo Leite wasn’t an easy out for Phil Davis, but the former champ got the job done Friday night in front of his home fans.

Davis (18-4-1 MMA, 5-1 BMMA) took a unanimous decision from Leite (10-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) and handed the Brazilian his first MMA setback. Davis, a former Penn State wrestling All-American, took a trio of 30-27 scores for the sweep.

The light heavyweight bout was part of the main card of today’s Bellator 186 event at Bryce Jordan Center on Penn State’s campus in University Park, Pa. It aired on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

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

Davis pawed a jab out, then threw a right kick in the first 15 seconds. Then the right hands came. About 45 seconds into the fight, Leite drove in and tried to push Davis to the cage. Davis reversed things and put Leite’s back on the fence. Leite, a judo standout, Nearly tripped Davis down. But moments later, Davis took him to the canvas. There, Leite threatened with a leglock, but Davis shucked it off and used a headlock to get to a better position.

Back on the feet in the center midway through, Leite landed a solid punch, then tried a looping right hand that Davis blocked. Davis’ left hand was just off the mark twice, but a thudding leg kick after that was the best strike of the fight. A left hook followed for Davis, and a kick hurt Leite right after that. Davis started to load up with 90 seconds left and looked for a fight-ending opening.

He stalked Leite down, but Leite landed a counter left that briefly wobbled Davis. And after another Davis leg kick, a right hand landed, as well. Davis came forward with his hands slightly down, then missed a Superman punch. But his straight right was on the money seconds later. Leite stayed in the pocket, though, and was able to land a solid punch before the round’s end.

Davis landed a right, then a left quickly into the second and continued to walk Leite down. But seconds later, Leite caught a finger in the eye and got a reprieve while the doctor looked at him. On the restart, Davis shot for a takedown, but it wasn’t there. A head kick missed after that, and Leite seemed motivated by a coupel solid punches that were on the mark. Midway through, Davis threw a pair of wild punches, then pushed Leite to the fence. He landed a kick on the break, but the two tied up again seconds later. The action faded down the stretch in the round and went to the third.

Davis put together a combination of several punches a minute into the final round, then backed away from Leite’s counter. A body kick was on the mark not long after, and 90 seconds in Davis went after a takedown. Leite was able to turn it around with his judo background, but it was back to the feet quickly for both. Davis just missed a head kick midway through, then fended off some big offensive attempts from Leite before turning in some of his own. When Leite missed a punch, Davis tried to take him down. But with two minutes left, it wasn’t there. Davis landed a big left with 90 seconds left, then pushed Leite to the fence. Davis stayed after a finish late in the frame, but it wasn’t there.

Up-to-the-minute Bellator 186 results include:

  • Phil Davis def. Leo Leite via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Ed Ruth def. Chris Dempsey via knockout (punch) – Round 2, 0:27
  • Saad Awad def. Zach Freeman via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 1:07
  • Scott Clymer def. Michael Benjamin Putnam via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 3:07
  • Mike Wilkins def. Brett Martinez via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 1:09
  • Michael Trizano def. Mike Otwell via submission (D’Arce choke) – Round 2, 2:07
  • Dominic Mazzotta def. Matthew Lozano via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) – Round 1, 2:37
  • Logan Storley def. Matt Secor via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Tywan Claxton def. Jonathan Bonilla-Bowman via knockout (flying knee) – Round 1, 1:29
  • Frankie Buenafuente def. Francis Healy via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Andrew Salas def. Ethan Goss via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
  • Josh Fremd def. Ryan Parker via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 1:25

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

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Bellator 186 results: Phil Davis outworks gritty Leo Leite for unanimous decision

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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/281990", customAnalytics: true, title: "Davis def. Leite", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Leo Leite wasn’t an easy out for Phil Davis, but the former champ got the job done Friday night in front of his home fans.

Davis (18-4-1 MMA, 5-1 BMMA) took a unanimous decision from Leite (10-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) and handed the Brazilian his first MMA setback. Davis, a former Penn State wrestling All-American, took a trio of 30-27 scores for the sweep.

The light heavyweight bout was part of the main card of today’s Bellator 186 event at Bryce Jordan Center on Penn State’s campus in University Park, Pa. It aired on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

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

Davis pawed a jab out, then threw a right kick in the first 15 seconds. Then the right hands came. About 45 seconds into the fight, Leite drove in and tried to push Davis to the cage. Davis reversed things and put Leite’s back on the fence. Leite, a judo standout, Nearly tripped Davis down. But moments later, Davis took him to the canvas. There, Leite threatened with a leglock, but Davis shucked it off and used a headlock to get to a better position.

Back on the feet in the center midway through, Leite landed a solid punch, then tried a looping right hand that Davis blocked. Davis’ left hand was just off the mark twice, but a thudding leg kick after that was the best strike of the fight. A left hook followed for Davis, and a kick hurt Leite right after that. Davis started to load up with 90 seconds left and looked for a fight-ending opening.

He stalked Leite down, but Leite landed a counter left that briefly wobbled Davis. And after another Davis leg kick, a right hand landed, as well. Davis came forward with his hands slightly down, then missed a Superman punch. But his straight right was on the money seconds later. Leite stayed in the pocket, though, and was able to land a solid punch before the round’s end.

Davis landed a right, then a left quickly into the second and continued to walk Leite down. But seconds later, Leite caught a finger in the eye and got a reprieve while the doctor looked at him. On the restart, Davis shot for a takedown, but it wasn’t there. A head kick missed after that, and Leite seemed motivated by a coupel solid punches that were on the mark. Midway through, Davis threw a pair of wild punches, then pushed Leite to the fence. He landed a kick on the break, but the two tied up again seconds later. The action faded down the stretch in the round and went to the third.

Davis put together a combination of several punches a minute into the final round, then backed away from Leite’s counter. A body kick was on the mark not long after, and 90 seconds in Davis went after a takedown. Leite was able to turn it around with his judo background, but it was back to the feet quickly for both. Davis just missed a head kick midway through, then fended off some big offensive attempts from Leite before turning in some of his own. When Leite missed a punch, Davis tried to take him down. But with two minutes left, it wasn’t there. Davis landed a big left with 90 seconds left, then pushed Leite to the fence. Davis stayed after a finish late in the frame, but it wasn’t there.

Up-to-the-minute Bellator 186 results include:

  • Phil Davis def. Leo Leite via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Ed Ruth def. Chris Dempsey via knockout (punch) – Round 2, 0:27
  • Saad Awad def. Zach Freeman via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 1:07
  • Scott Clymer def. Michael Benjamin Putnam via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 3:07
  • Mike Wilkins def. Brett Martinez via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 1:09
  • Michael Trizano def. Mike Otwell via submission (D’Arce choke) – Round 2, 2:07
  • Dominic Mazzotta def. Matthew Lozano via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) – Round 1, 2:37
  • Logan Storley def. Matt Secor via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Tywan Claxton def. Jonathan Bonilla-Bowman via knockout (flying knee) – Round 1, 1:29
  • Frankie Buenafuente def. Francis Healy via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Andrew Salas def. Ethan Goss via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
  • Josh Fremd def. Ryan Parker via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 1:25

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

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Bellator 186 results: Ed Ruth stays perfect for home fans, KOs Chris Dempsey in second

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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/281988", customAnalytics: true, title: "Ruth def. Dempsey", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – It took a little bit of extra work, but Ed Ruth electrified his home fans with a massive second-round knockout at Bellator 186.

Ruth (4-0 MMA, 4-0 BMMA) stayed perfect as a pro and stopped UFC veteran Chris Dempsey (11-6 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) with a thudding right hand to the side of the head early in the middle frame. The former Penn State University All-American wrestler and Pennsylvania native then went into celebration mode.

The middleweight bout was part of the main card of today’s Bellator 186 event at Bryce Jordan Center on Penn State’s campus in University Park, Pa. It aired on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

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

Ruth pumped his jab early and backed Dempsey up. Dempsey tried to go low, but Ruth easily fended it off and landed a right hand. He then pushed Dempsey back again with more jabs, but Dempsey stood in the pocket and threw back.

Seconds later, Ruth landed a kick, then took Dempsey to the canvas. He worked to take his back while his home fans chanted his name. Dempsey labored to get back to his feet, but Ruth was able to get a choke, then hopped to mount briefly. He worked around to side control and went after an armbar before posturing up.

Midway through the round, he again got on top and briefly had a choke attempt, then jumped to full mount to work ground-and-pound. Dempsey rolled over and Ruth took his back standing. With less than two minutes left, Dempsey got back to his feet and tried to restart. Ruth looked a little tired from the efrort, and with 30 seconds left Dempsey caught him in a choke, but Ruth survived it to go to the second.

Dempsey looked energized at the start of the second, but Ruth stood in with him and landed two big right hands. Then a third absolutely crumpled Dempsey’s feet. Ruth knew enough to walk away with the one-hitter quitter and his fourth knockout in four pro fights.

“(A knockout) was definitely the plan,” Ruth said. “I just wanted to show everyone I’m more than wrestling. I’m a complete fighter, and I’m a complete athlete. I just want to keep climbing the ranks. I just want to keep getting better and keep proving to everyone I can do this.”

Up-to-the-minute Bellator 186 results include:

  • Ed Ruth def. Chris Dempsey via knockout (punch) – Round 2, 0:27
  • Saad Awad def. Zach Freeman via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 1:07
  • Scott Clymer def. Michael Benjamin Putnam via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 3:07
  • Mike Wilkins def. Brett Martinez via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 1:09
  • Michael Trizano def. Mike Otwell via submission (D’Arce choke) – Round 2, 2:07
  • Dominic Mazzotta def. Matthew Lozano via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) – Round 1, 2:37
  • Logan Storley def. Matt Secor via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Tywan Claxton def. Jonathan Bonilla-Bowman via knockout (flying knee) – Round 1, 1:29
  • Frankie Buenafuente def. Francis Healy via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Andrew Salas def. Ethan Goss via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
  • Josh Fremd def. Ryan Parker via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 1:25

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

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Bellator 186 results: Ed Ruth stays perfect for home fans, KOs Chris Dempsey in second

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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/281988", customAnalytics: true, title: "Ruth def. Dempsey", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – It took a little bit of extra work, but Ed Ruth electrified his home fans with a massive second-round knockout at Bellator 186.

Ruth (4-0 MMA, 4-0 BMMA) stayed perfect as a pro and stopped UFC veteran Chris Dempsey (11-6 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) with a thudding right hand to the side of the head early in the middle frame. The former Penn State University All-American wrestler and Pennsylvania native then went into celebration mode.

The middleweight bout was part of the main card of today’s Bellator 186 event at Bryce Jordan Center on Penn State’s campus in University Park, Pa. It aired on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

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

Ruth pumped his jab early and backed Dempsey up. Dempsey tried to go low, but Ruth easily fended it off and landed a right hand. He then pushed Dempsey back again with more jabs, but Dempsey stood in the pocket and threw back.

Seconds later, Ruth landed a kick, then took Dempsey to the canvas. He worked to take his back while his home fans chanted his name. Dempsey labored to get back to his feet, but Ruth was able to get a choke, then hopped to mount briefly. He worked around to side control and went after an armbar before posturing up.

Midway through the round, he again got on top and briefly had a choke attempt, then jumped to full mount to work ground-and-pound. Dempsey rolled over and Ruth took his back standing. With less than two minutes left, Dempsey got back to his feet and tried to restart. Ruth looked a little tired from the efrort, and with 30 seconds left Dempsey caught him in a choke, but Ruth survived it to go to the second.

Dempsey looked energized at the start of the second, but Ruth stood in with him and landed two big right hands. Then a third absolutely crumpled Dempsey’s feet. Ruth knew enough to walk away with the one-hitter quitter and his fourth knockout in four pro fights.

“(A knockout) was definitely the plan,” Ruth said. “I just wanted to show everyone I’m more than wrestling. I’m a complete fighter, and I’m a complete athlete. I just want to keep climbing the ranks. I just want to keep getting better and keep proving to everyone I can do this.”

Up-to-the-minute Bellator 186 results include:

  • Ed Ruth def. Chris Dempsey via knockout (punch) – Round 2, 0:27
  • Saad Awad def. Zach Freeman via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 1:07
  • Scott Clymer def. Michael Benjamin Putnam via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 3:07
  • Mike Wilkins def. Brett Martinez via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 1:09
  • Michael Trizano def. Mike Otwell via submission (D’Arce choke) – Round 2, 2:07
  • Dominic Mazzotta def. Matthew Lozano via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) – Round 1, 2:37
  • Logan Storley def. Matt Secor via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Tywan Claxton def. Jonathan Bonilla-Bowman via knockout (flying knee) – Round 1, 1:29
  • Frankie Buenafuente def. Francis Healy via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Andrew Salas def. Ethan Goss via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
  • Josh Fremd def. Ryan Parker via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 1:25

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

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Bellator 186 results: Saad Awad stops Zach Freeman with pair of right hands in first

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – After another Bellator stoppage for his resume, Saad Awad was left lamenting why he isn’t getting more recognition and bigger fights.

Awad (21-9 MMA, 9-6 BMMA) stopped Zach Freeman (9-3 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) just 67 seconds into the first round with a two-punch TKO courtesy of a pair of right hands that appeared to be merely glancing blows, but were enough to put Freeman on the canvas and get referee Keith Peterson to shut things down.

The lightweight bout opened up the main card of today’s Bellator 186 event at Bryce Jordan Center on Penn State’s campus in University Park, Pa. It aired on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

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

Awad tried a low kick 25 seconds in, and Freeman answered with one of his own seconds later. Freeman faked a shot, then threw left hand. But seconds later, Awad landed a right hand that stunned Freeman, and right after that one more grazed Freeman’s head and he went down.

Awad essentially called the fight himself by raising his hands and not dropping to the canvas to go for the finish, and Peterson said he had done enough for the TKO.

Some fans in the crowd booed what they deemed to be a quick stoppage without giving Freeman a chance to get up and get back in the fight. But Awad said he’s got power, and he knew he had Freeman hurt.

“I saw him after the first hit, that I hurt him a little bit, that it landed,” Awad said. “A lot of people don’t know who I am. This is my 15th fight in Bellator. I have eight finishes in this cage. Come on: Give me something big.”

Up-to-the-minute Bellator 186 results include:

  • Saad Awad def. Zach Freeman via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 1:07
  • Scott Clymer def. Michael Benjamin Putnam via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 3:07
  • Mike Wilkins def. Brett Martinez via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 1:09
  • Michael Trizano def. Mike Otwell via submission (D’Arce choke) – Round 2, 2:07
  • Dominic Mazzotta def. Matthew Lozano via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) – Round 1, 2:37
  • Logan Storley def. Matt Secor via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Tywan Claxton def. Jonathan Bonilla-Bowman via knockout (flying knee) – Round 1, 1:29
  • Frankie Buenafuente def. Francis Healy via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Andrew Salas def. Ethan Goss via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
  • Josh Fremd def. Ryan Parker via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 1:25

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


Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News

Bellator 186 results: Saad Awad stops Zach Freeman with pair of right hands in first

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – After another Bellator stoppage for his resume, Saad Awad was left lamenting why he isn’t getting more recognition and bigger fights.

Awad (21-9 MMA, 9-6 BMMA) stopped Zach Freeman (9-3 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) just 67 seconds into the first round with a two-punch TKO courtesy of a pair of right hands that appeared to be merely glancing blows, but were enough to put Freeman on the canvas and get referee Keith Peterson to shut things down.

The lightweight bout opened up the main card of today’s Bellator 186 event at Bryce Jordan Center on Penn State’s campus in University Park, Pa. It aired on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

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

Awad tried a low kick 25 seconds in, and Freeman answered with one of his own seconds later. Freeman faked a shot, then threw left hand. But seconds later, Awad landed a right hand that stunned Freeman, and right after that one more grazed Freeman’s head and he went down.

Awad essentially called the fight himself by raising his hands and not dropping to the canvas to go for the finish, and Peterson said he had done enough for the TKO.

Some fans in the crowd booed what they deemed to be a quick stoppage without giving Freeman a chance to get up and get back in the fight. But Awad said he’s got power, and he knew he had Freeman hurt.

“I saw him after the first hit, that I hurt him a little bit, that it landed,” Awad said. “A lot of people don’t know who I am. This is my 15th fight in Bellator. I have eight finishes in this cage. Come on: Give me something big.”

Up-to-the-minute Bellator 186 results include:

  • Saad Awad def. Zach Freeman via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 1:07
  • Scott Clymer def. Michael Benjamin Putnam via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 3:07
  • Mike Wilkins def. Brett Martinez via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 1:09
  • Michael Trizano def. Mike Otwell via submission (D’Arce choke) – Round 2, 2:07
  • Dominic Mazzotta def. Matthew Lozano via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) – Round 1, 2:37
  • Logan Storley def. Matt Secor via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Tywan Claxton def. Jonathan Bonilla-Bowman via knockout (flying knee) – Round 1, 1:29
  • Frankie Buenafuente def. Francis Healy via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Andrew Salas def. Ethan Goss via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
  • Josh Fremd def. Ryan Parker via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 1:25

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


Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News

Colby Covington: I'm the No. 1 contender to 'ass-kisser' Tyron Woodley

Oct 28, 2017; Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil; Colby Covington (blue gloves) reacts after defeating Demian Maia (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Oct 28, 2017; Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil; Colby Covington (blue gloves) makes his way to the octagon before his bout against Demian Maia (not pictured) UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Oct 28, 2017; Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil; Demian Maia (red gloves) makes his way to the octagon before his bout against Colby Covington (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Oct 28, 2017; Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil; Demian Maia (red gloves) makes his way to the octagon before his bout against Colby Covington (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Oct 28, 2017; Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil; Demian Maia (red gloves) fights Colby Covington (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Oct 28, 2017; Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil; Demian Maia (red gloves) fights Colby Covington (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Oct 28, 2017; Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil; Demian Maia (red gloves) fights Colby Covington (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Oct 28, 2017; Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil; Demian Maia (red gloves) fights Colby Covington (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Oct 28, 2017; Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil; Demian Maia (red gloves) fights Colby Covington (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Oct 28, 2017; Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil; Demian Maia (red gloves) fights Colby Covington (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Oct 28, 2017; Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil; (Editor's Note: Graphic Content) Demian Maia (red gloves) fights Colby Covington (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Oct 28, 2017; Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil; (Editor's Note: Graphic Content) Demian Maia (red gloves) fights Colby Covington (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Oct 28, 2017; Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil; (Editor's Note: Graphic Content) Demian Maia (red gloves) reacts after losing to Colby Covington (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Oct 28, 2017; Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil; (Editor's Note: Graphic Content) Demian Maia (red gloves) reacts after losing to Colby Covington (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/KGJwMcimq5RCV6xhf83E5o/282066", customAnalytics: true, title: "Covington def. Maia", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Surging UFC welterweight Colby Covington has a time in mind for the title shot he’s convinced is around the corner.

Covington (13-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) believes he’s the rightful No. 1 contender for the welterweight title held by Tyron Woodley (18-3-1 MMA, 8-2-1 UFC), and he’s targeting early 2018 to take the belt.

“You cannot argue (ex-lightweight champ and current welterweight Rafael dos Anjos) is ahead of me when he’s lost to two bums on losing streaks,” Covington said on Chael Sonnen’s “You’re Welcome” podcast. “He beat Saffiedine on a three-fight losing streak, and he beat Neil Magny on a two-fight losing streak. So you can’t consider that bum, has-been, juicer ahead of me.

RelatedJorge Masvidal weighs in on possibly having to fight his friend, Colby Covington

“And (Robbie) Lawler was knocked out in under 2 minutes against Woodley, so he doesn’t really have an argument to be ahead of me. Frankly, he knows he doesn’t want any part of me in the octagon. So I think I am the No. 1 contender, and me and ass-kisser Tyron Woodley need to get it on first quarter of next year in St. Louis.”

After an impressive comeback win over Demian Maia (25-8 MMA, 19-8 UFC) last week at UFC Fight Night 119 in Sao Paulo, Covington picked up his fifth straight win. But it was his celebration speech that got UFC fans buzzing when he insulted the Brazilian audience and was pelted with debris.

In the wake of his speech, which some critics said was racist, the UFC announced Covington’s behavior is under review. That doesn’t draw much of a reaction from the 29-year-old fighter, though.

RelatedTyron Woodley isn't amused by Colby Covington's schtick, but is he missing a golden opportunity?

“It’s not a big deal,” Covington said. “When you’re a bad guy, whatever. Throw suspensions at me, whatever it wants to do. I’m the bad buy now.”

Apparently, that moniker has now been applied to his longtime gym, American Top Team. Several Brazilian ATT fighters denounced his behavior. ATT co-founder Ricardo Liborio denounced Covington’s language and implied his departure was related to the incident.

“Liborio is a fake,” Covington replied. “The guy’s trying to ride my coattails and use my stardom from the weekend to put himself over and make himself look like a good guy since I’m the most hated guy in Brazil right now. It’s a complete joke.”

What isn’t a joke to Covington is the attention he’s garnered by going full heel or, perhaps more accurately, going full heel at the right time and for the right audience. He is no stranger to controversial quotes, but now he is the target of a whole country.

RelatedColby Covington doesn't care about Amanda Nunes or any other Brazilian ATT fighters he offended

In other words, job well done for a guy trying to get people to care.

“It was probably one of the greater weekends of my life to completely piss off a whole country and have them, with their third-world country, throwing their $5 hotdogs and $10 at me,” Covington said. “That was amazing. What more reaction do you want out of a performance than that? I’m a man of my word. I said I was going to retire Demian Maia, and I’m saying I’m going to retire Tyron Woodley.”

Now, he just has to convince Woodley to take the fight – or force the UFC’s hand. Woodley is eyeing the winner of Saturday’s middleweight title fight between champ Michael Bisping and ex-welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre. But he is now responding to Covington after dismissing him.

If you’re Covington, that’s a promising start to getting a signature on the dotted line.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 119, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC

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

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

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Tywan Claxton’s (1-0) professional MMA debut was one to remember.

Just short of 90 seconds into his Bellator 186 fight with featherweight Jonathan Bonilla-Bowman (1-1), “Speedy” rushed in, leaped in the air, reached for Bonilla-Bowman’s head for a Thai plum, and threw a massive flying left knee – all at the same time.

The result was an incredible knockout, which you can see in the video above.

Bonilla-Bowman was out cold on the canvas. It took him nearly twi minutes to get to his stool, and he needed help getting out of the cage.

Bellator 186 took place tonight at Bryce Jordan Center on Penn State’s campus in University Park, Pa.

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

<p>Mercedes Terrell</p> <p>Zach Freeman</p> <p>Saad Awad</p> <p>Saad Awad vs. Zach Freeman</p> <p>Chris Dempsey</p> <p>Ed Ruth</p> <p>Ed Ruth vs. Chris Dempsey</p> <p>Leo Leite</p> <p>Phil Davis</p> <p>Phil Davis vs. Leo Leite</p> <p>Emily Ducote</p> <p>Ilima Macfarlane</p> <p>Ilima Macfarlane</p> <p>Ilima Macfarlane vs. Emily Ducote</p> <p>Linton Vassell</p> <p>Ryan Bader</p> <p>Ryan Bader vs. Linton Vassell</p> 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/zazxERF5PS6Fmx5b4nCRR3/282081", customAnalytics: true, title: "Bellator 186 Ceremonial Weigh-ins", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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How childhood friend, fellow judoka Ronda Rousey influenced Pauline Macias' path to MMA

There certainly has been a fair share of women whose own MMA journeys were inspired by Ronda Rousey’s success.

For Pauline Macias, that might ring especially true.

Like Rousey, Macias had dedicated the majority of her life to judo. But after 20 years, despite the fact she was still doing well at it, she was burned out. It was time for something else. So what better inspiration than her childhood friend, who had just basically pushed the UFC into creating a weight division around her?

“One time I went home to California and stayed with (Rousey) just to say hi, hang out and catch up, because I hadn’t seen her in a couple of years,” Macias told MMAjunkie. “Going from the last time I saw her – she was doing judo, to this time she already had a couple of fights in the UFC. It was a totally different life. And it was like, ‘Oh, wow.’

One thing led to another and, before she knew it, Macias was training full time. Less than one year later, she had her first amateur MMA bout. She won that one. And the next one. As she prepares for her third cage outing, at this Saturday’s FloCombat.com-streamed Valor 46, she’s planning on doing it for a lot longer.

Of course, it’s not exactly illogical for someone with a martial arts background to migrate to MMA. And combining the loss in excitement for judo with a lifelong athletic vocation, the choice for another individual competitive endeavor was quite fitting.

Still, as Macias weighed the options of joining the police or fire department, Rousey’s push made a difference.

“If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have had the spark,” Macias said. “I never really watched the sport before her, to be honest with you. I had some friends that had fought in the UFC before, but I didn’t really think anything of it. It just wasn’t something that crossed my mind really. So it was kind of her influence.”

Once she got started, though, Macias was right at home. Adding new elements to her pre-existing skill set made her excited to learn again. And while introducing the face-punching side of things isn’t always a smooth experience for some grappling-based athletes, it wasn’t something that the 29-year-old struggled with.

“I think I anticipated it being much worse, to be honest,” Macias said. “The way people made it sound, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh.’ But really, most of the times getting hit in the head hurts a lot less than being slammed on my head in judo.”

Macias can’t overstate how much her judo base contributed to her MMA game. Of course, there’s the obvious: For a fighter, it doesn’t hurt to be athletic. But having traveled the world to go up against some of the best in your sport certainly helps deal with the competitive side of things.

But judo, it turns out, wasn’t the only card Macias had up her sleeve. If for some having cameras and lights on you might take some getting used to, for instance, it was something that Macias had already dealt with on a more intense scale when she competed in cheerleading.

Related'At a crossroads,' is Ronda Rousey headed to the WWE ... with husband Travis Browne?

Add to that gymnastics, and you have a trio of skills that, separately, might seem weird. But that started making a whole lot of sense.

“I guess I always kind of wondered why I always did these three sports and how they would end up,” Macias said. “And it’s crazy, because MMA is a sport where you can have your own style and come up with everything, and you see new moves all the time.

“Finally, everything I’ve ever done in my life comes down to now that I’m finding MMA. And getting to use so many different aspects and so many different things that I didn’t realize later on in life would help.”

All of this experience, however, couldn’t prepare Macias for what she would deal with before even stepping into the cage for her first amateur outing. At the time, Macias was having a tough time getting fights. So, when a chance popped up on short notice, she took it.

King of the Cage needed a woman capable of making the 125-pound limit on three days notice. Having last competed in judo at 114, Macias was totally fine with that. And, eager to get the ball rolling on her MMA career, traveling to Idaho was a non-issue as well.

But that’s when she stepped into unfamiliar territory.

“Judo is such a respectful sport. Everybody is very respectful,” Macias said. “But with this, I remember the girl I fought was from Idaho. And walking to the cage, people were like reaching at me, hitting me. I was like, ‘What?’ My dad’s in my corner, he walked me and he was just, ‘Man, I was just hoping that we would get to the cage.'”

It also doesn’t hurt that Macias seeming fearlessness when faced with situations that most people wouldn’t exactly be comfortable in. Being pushed out of a moving truck, for instance. Also thanks to a push by Rousey, Macias works as a stuntwoman. And her choice of words to describe slightly terrifying situations speaks volumes.

“One stunt, my entire body was lit on fire,” Macias said excitedly. “And I had to run and break through french doors. That was really fun. Maybe the only scary part of that is that you have to hold your breath for them to be able to put you out. But I didn’t really think about that at the time.”

In fact, even then Macias’ life has intersected with Rousey’s.

“I also did a stunt job with Ronda one time, for her Metro PCS commercial,” Macias recalled. “Getting thrown in the octagon.”

There’s also something to be said for the fact that, for Macias, fighting wasn’t an obligation, but rather a choice. While Macias had obviously always had a knack for physical activity, having tried her hand at basically every sport, she was always “kind of bookworm” too.

Macias, in fact, graduated with honors – going on to earn a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Colorado. Still, once the fire for judo went out, she decided to just keep being an athlete.

“I like it a lot more. I don’t know anything else,” Macias said.

‘I just thank (Rousey) for paving the way’

Considering the massive icon that Rousey became, it’s hard not to think of her as somewhat of a measuring stick for up-and-comers. Women coming from judo, especially, are bound to get that comparison sooner or later.

When you’re a woman coming from judo who happens to have been close friends with Rousey since junior high, being attached to the ex-champ’s name is downright inevitable.

Macias is aware of that. And while she believes that people are bound to realize the two have entirely different fighting styles – as they did in judo – she isn’t bothered by the comparisons.

“I embrace it, definitely,” Macias said. “I don’t think it’s every day that someone you’ve known since your childhood grows up to be a superstar in a sport that you very well can do. I know it’s inevitable. I just thank her for paving the way.”

Now, however, Macias is focused on making her own way in MMA. For that, she trains under Chris Beasley at Nashville MMA – home to UFC fighters like bantamweight Luke Sanders. And while she does dream big, her main focus has been on taking it one step at a time.

For now, Macias doesn’t have a specific timeline as for when she wants to have her pro debut. But she could’ve taken some shortcuts. In fact, Macias recalled, even before her amateur debut she’d had a meeting with Invicta FC president Shannon Knapp.

Instead of jumping straight into Invicta, however, the fighter chose to take the  longer road. Why? For no reason other that she wants to make sure it leads somewhere.

“I kind of just took a step back and really just wanted to make sure I got the experience first,” Macias said. “For me, the judo experience helped me so much that I was like, ‘You know what? I don’t want to try and rush it. Because it is nice to have things fast. And I’d love to be in the UFC tomorrow.

“But I know what you have to do to get success. I know you have to put in work. I do want to have a long career at this. I don’t want to just kind of fight and maybe rush it too much and it not work out the way I want.”

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


Filed under: News

UFC 217 ceremonial weigh-ins video highlights, gallery: GSP just laughs off Michael Bisping

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NEW YORK – UFC 217 ceremonial fighter weigh-ins took place today, and MMAjunkie was on the scene.

The weigh-ins happened at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York. The arena hosts Saturday’s event, which has a main card on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

In the headliner, middleweight champ Michael Bisping (30-7 MMA, 20-7 UFC) puts his belt on the line against former welterweight title holder Georges St-Pierre (25-2 MMA, 19-2 UFC).

Related10 reasons to watch UFC 217, where everyone seems to be beefin' in a big way

In the co-main event, bantamweight champ Cody Garbrandt (11-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) steps in against former champ and teammate T.J. Dillashaw (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC), while in the third title fight, strawweight champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk (14-0 MMA, 8-0 UFC) meets former title challenger. Rose Namajunas (6-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC).

All the fighters made weight this morning at the official weigh-ins and came face to face one final time before stepping inside the octagon tomorrow.

Check out the video highlights above, as well as our photo gallery below.

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

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Jorge Masvidal weighs in on possibly having to fight his friend, Colby Covington

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UFC veteran Jorge Masvidal moved up to welterweight to ease the strain on his body from cutting weight and seek out better career prospects.

While he’s a lot more comfortable preparing for fights, the decision also has brought the uncomfortable possibility of facing his longtime teammate, Colby Covington.

Covington is the hot new thing in the UFC welterweight division after a win over multi-time title contender Demian Maia and a controversial rant against Brazil. A title shot isn’t out of the realm of possibility if Covington can earn another high-profile victory.

RelatedRound 2: Michael Bisping and Jorge Masvidal had another altercation ahead of UFC 217

Masvidal (32-12 MMA, 9-5 UFC) is rooting for Covington (13-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) to get a title shot. But as Masvidal prepares to take on two-time title challenger Stephen Thompson (13-2-1 MMA, 8-2-1 UFC), his teammate’s success raises a difficult question: Would they set aside their friendship if they had to?

“The goal’s still the same – not fight each other and destroy everybody else,” Masvidal, who meets Thompson on the pay-per-view main card of Saturday’s UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden, told MMAjunkie Radio. “But obviously we both want the title, because when you finally get to make some decent money is when you have that belt wrapped around your waist. We obviously both have mouths to feed, so it gets complicated there.”

Masvidal doesn’t sound overly eager to address the issue. He also points out an option that might keep them from having to do so down the road, though it puts added strain on his body.

RelatedUFC 217's Jorge Masvidal: Post-fight stupidity might be needed to earn title shot

“I can go down to 155 (pounds) and revive that whole division while Conor (McGregor’s) doing whatever he’s doing and not defending that title,” Masvidal said. “I could go there and bust up (Tony) Ferguson and then fight Conor while things clear up at 170. There’s lots of ways this thing could go down.

“But right now, I don’t think about any of that, man. I’ve got an opponent ahead of me. He’s got two hands, two feet, and the only thing I’m worried about is snapping his jaw. So whatever happens after that happens.”

Masvidal and Covington share a friendship that stretches back to their early days as MMA fighters. Masvidal staunchly defended his teammate’s behavior following his fight with Maia and said he could handle himself if it brought any additional danger. Amid an apparent fracture within their longtime gym, American Top Team, Masvidal stands by Covington.

RelatedMichael Bisping, Jorge Masvidal get into profane altercation at UFC 217 fighters' hotel

Even with the possibility of a future showdown, Masvidal carries a lot of pride for what he and his friend have been able to do in the sport.

“Me and Colby have talked about this for a long time,” he said. “It’s crazy because we talked about it when we were dead broke, sharing an apartment, fighting for table scraps. And now we’ve set out (to do) what we’ve accomplished. We’ve put ourselves in the position to take over.”

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

Apr 20, 2013; San Jose, CA, USA; Jorge Masvidal prepares to fight Tim Means (not pictured) during the lightweight bout prelims of the UFC on Fuel TV at HP Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports Apr 20, 2013; San Jose, CA, USA; Tim Means (right) fights Jorge Masvidal (left) during the lightweight bout prelims of the UFC on Fuel TV at HP Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports Apr 20, 2013; San Jose, CA, USA; Jorge Masvidal (right) defeats Tim Means (left) during the lightweight bout prelims of the UFC on Fuel TV at HP Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports Jul 27, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Michael Chiesa (red tape) throws a punch at Jorge Masvidal (blue tape) during their lightweight bout at Key Arena. Masvidal won by TKO. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jul 27, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Michael Chiesa (black shorts) competes against Jorge Masvidal (white shorts) during their lightweight bout at Key Arena. Masvidal won by TKO. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Nov 6, 2013; Fort Campbell, KY, USA; Jorge Masvidal (red gloves) fights Rustam Khabilov (blue gloves) in the lightweight bout during UFC Fight for the Troops at Fort Campbell. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Lindsey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 6, 2013; Fort Campbell, KY, USA; Jorge Masvidal (red gloves) fights Rustam Khabilov (blue gloves) in the lightweight bout during UFC Fight for the Troops at Fort Campbell. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Lindsey-USA TODAY Sports Apr 18, 2014; Orlando, FL, USA; Jorge Masvidal faces off with Pat Healy (right) during a weigh-in for UFC on FOX 11 at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports Apr 19, 2014; Orlando, FL, USA; Pat Healy (blue gloves) blocks a punch from Jorge Masvidal (red gloves) in their lightweight fight during UFC on FOX 11 at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports Apr 19, 2014; Orlando, FL, USA; Jorge Masvidal (red gloves) celebrates victory against Pat Healy (blue gloves) in their lightweight fight during UFC on FOX 11 at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports Jan 28, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Donald Cerrone (red gloves) competes against Jorge Masvidal (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Jan 28, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Donald Cerrone (red gloves) competes against Jorge Masvidal (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Jan 28, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Donald Cerrone (red gloves) competes against Jorge Masvidal (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Jan 28, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Donald Cerrone (red gloves) competes against Jorge Masvidal (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Jan 28, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Donald Cerrone (red gloves) reacts after his match against Jorge Masvidal (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Pepsi Center. 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/j5Qv3eeA3YRfNoywNJbnqK/281996", customAnalytics: true, title: "Jorge Masvidal", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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Daniel Cormier: UFC title bout vs. Volkan Oezdemir nearly official, will show him 'new level'

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NEW YORK – UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier says it won’t be long before a formal date and location are announced for his title defense against Volkan Oezdemir.

Cormier (19-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC), who was recently reinstated as champion after Jon Jones was flagged with a potential USADA violation and stripped of the gold, has been angling for a matchup with Oezdemir (15-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) for his next title defense. The fight is essentially locked in; Cormier just said it’s a matter of an official announcement being made.

“Volkan and I are going to fight,” Cormier told MMAjunkie. “The thing is pretty close to getting confirmed. We’re going to be getting it going, me and Oezdemir.”

RelatedEveryone is making fun of Daniel Cormier's struggle with an audio cord

It wasn’t long ago when Cormier dismissed a fight with Oezdemir entirely. He was in the midst of his feud with Jones and, with confidence he would win their rematch at UFC 214 in July, thought he was going to be tied into the rivalry with “Bones” for at least one more fight.

When Jones flunked his drug test, though, the situation completely changed, and along with it the landscape of the 205-pound division. Oezdemir has won a number of fights in impressive fashion since, and now he’s looking forward to the contest.

“Last year I said something to the effect of, ‘If I’m here fighting Volkan Oezdemir and Misha Cirkunov, I’ve done something wrong,'” Cormier said. “No one would have thought Volkan would have done this all in one year. It’s been amazing what he has accomplished. But as I always say, they’ve got levels to this game. This is a new level. He’s going to realize that more in the octagon.”

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

Cormier said the fight with Oezdemir will happen in the “beginning of next year,” but promotion is already underway. Oezdemir has been training at Combat Club in Florida, which also has housed former UFC middleweight champion and Cormier’s good friend, Luke Rockhold.

Oezdemir attempted to troll Cormier by indicating he was getting the inside scoop, but Cormier fired back in kind. He said Rockhold’s presence at Combat Club, as well as American Kickboxing Academy, is unlikely to play into the fight, because gauging info isn’t his style.

“Luke has to do the best thing for Luke,” Cormier said. “He has this great chemistry with Henri Hooft, who is a fantastic coach. He likes to train with him. I’m not ever going to hold anything against my brother for seeking a way to better himself. He’s going to be home in a couple weeks, so he’ll be back in our gym. Which is crazy that he’ll be popping between both camps. He’s doing what’s best for Luke Rockhold, and I applaud him for it.”

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

July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; UFC president Dana White puts the championship belt on Jon Jones following his victory against Daniel Cormier during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Jon Jones before the match against Daniel Cormier during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Jon Jones lands an elbow hit as Daniel Cormier defends during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Jon Jones lands an elbow hit as Daniel Cormier defends during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Daniel Cormier defends as Jon Jones moves in for a hit during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Jon Jones moves in for a hit against Daniel Cormier during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Daniel Cormier defends as Jon Jones moves in for a hit during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Daniel Cormier defends as Jon Jones moves in for a hit during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Jon Jones reacts following his TKO victory against Daniel Cormier during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Jon Jones fights Daniel Cormier during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Jon Jones moves in with a knee hit against Daniel Cormier during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Jon Jones lands a kick against Daniel Cormier during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Jon Jones moves in for a hit against Daniel Cormier during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Jon Jones moves in for a hit against Daniel Cormier during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Jon Jones moves in for a hit against Daniel Cormier during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Jon Jones lands hits against Daniel Cormier during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Jon Jones pins Daniel Cormier to the mat during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Jon Jones reacts following his victory against Daniel Cormier during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Jon Jones reacts following his TKO victory against Daniel Cormier during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Jon Jones is declared the winner against Daniel Cormier by TKO 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/bdoeQcZL7CgusvB3jtbMZ9/282046", customAnalytics: true, title: "Jones def. Cormier", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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Ion Cutelaba flagged for possible USADA violation, removed from UFC 217

UFC 217 has lost a fight at the last minute.

The bout between light heavyweights Ion Cutelaba and Michael Oleksiejczuk has been scrapped after Cutelaba was flagged by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency for a potential violation stemming from a disclosure on his pre-fight form.

Below is the statement from the UFC:

The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Ion Cutelaba of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from its investigation into voluntary disclosures by Cutelaba during an out-of-competition sample collections on October 18 and October 19, 2017. USADA has provisionally suspended Cutelaba and his fight against Michal Oleksiejczuk has been cancelled from the November 4, 2017, UFC 217 fight card.

USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case involving Cutelaba. Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, there is a full and fair legal process that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed. Additional information will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward.

Cutelaba vs. Oleksiejczuk had been set for the early prelims on UFC Fight Pass that precede the FS1 prelims and pay-per-view main card, which take place Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Cutelaba (13-3 MMA, 2-2 UFC) and Oleksiejczuk (12-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) both made weight at this morning’s official weigh-ins without issue, coming in at 205.6 and 205.2 pounds, respectively.

The 23-year-old Cutelaba is 2-2 in four UFC appearances since June of 2016. He was in search of his first winning streak with the promotion after most recently knocking out Henrique da Silva in 22 seconds at UFC Fight Night 110 this past June.

Oleksiejczuk was looking to make his UFC debut.

UFC 217 will go on with 11 bouts. The final lineup is below:

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

  • Champ Michael Bisping vs. Georges St-Pierre – for middleweight title
  • Champ Cody Garbrandt vs. T.J. Dillashaw – for bantamweight title
  • Champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Rose Namajunas – for women’s strawweight title
  • Jorge Masvidal vs. Stephen Thompson
  • Paulo Costa vs. Johny Hendricks

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

  • Joseph Duffy vs. James Vick
  • Mark Godbeer vs. Walt Harris
  • Corey Anderson vs. Ovince Saint Preux
  • Randy Brown vs. Mickey Gall

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 7 p.m. ET)

  • Curtis Blaydes vs. Aleksei Oleinik
  • Ricardo Ramos vs. Aiemann Zahabi

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


Filed under: News, UFC

Mickey Gall: Randy Brown fighting for 'Lookin' for a Fight' belt he took from Sage Northcutt

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

NEW YORK – UFC welterweight Mickey Gall remains the most successful product of “Dana White’s Lookin’ for a Fight” Web series. But there’s only so long he wants to be known for that.

After beating ex-WWE champ turned MMA fighter Phil “CM Punk” Brooks in his debut, and then deflating the hype of fellow reality show vet Sage Northcutt, Gall (4-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) is ready to return to the main-card, pay-per-view life.

First, though, the 25-year-old New Jersey native must put away Randy Brown (9-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC), another veteran of the show.

“I’ve got the ‘Lookin’ for a Fight’ belt. I took that from Sage,” Gall joked to MMAjunkie at a media day for UFC 217, where he faces Brown on the FS1-televised prelims at Madison Square Garden in New York City. “He had it, I took it, and now I’m giving Randy a shot at it.”

RelatedUFC 217 face-offs: Jorge Masvidal with a throat-slash, Randy Brown with a phone call

Brown has been more active than Gall inside the UFC octagon since the show, but he’s struggled with consistency, losing two of his five appearances. The fight doesn’t appear to be a step up for Gall, who’s won three straight, including his high-profile debut.

Gall looks at the fight as “a gift,” but anticipates bigger challenges in the future.

“This might be my last ‘Lookin’ for a Fight’ guy, so I’m going to coast off into the sunset with that belt, and then as I become a legit welterweight contender, and then No. 15, 10, No. 5, and then I’ll have a title shot,” he said.

Gall faces a crowded field in the 170-pound division. Not only that, he’s got to cut through the noise of contenders vying for title shots against champ Tyron Woodley. Now, the callouts that helped him get a high-profile debut against Punk are downright commonplace.

“I’ve noticied a huge wave in callouts over the past year or two,” Gall said. “I think I’m a reason for that. I think people are seeing my success with it. There’s been people doing it for years, but now, it’s become, like, mandatory.

“After certain fights, like Tony Ferguson calling out (Conor) ‘McNuggets’ (McGregor) or Jon Jones calling out Brock Lesnar. There’s a million of them. (Cris) Cyborg is calling chicks out on Instagram. So I think people are figuring it out.

“It’s a chance to get your say; you can put your two cents in. It adds a little bit of drama. It makes it a little personal, and it makes it fun. We’re not just athletes – we’re entertainers.”

RelatedAfter UFC champ Cris Cyborg points to drug testing, Holly Holm points to scoreboard

Not everyone is cut out for the approach he took, however.

“There’s some clunky ones,” he said. “They’re very cringe-worthy. Sometimes people act out of your character, and that’s a problem. If that’s not you – take Jim Miller. He won’t be calling someone out. So he doesn’t. But some of these guys are like, ‘Let me try to become a star now,’ and it just comes off bad and fraudulent and cringey.”

Gall has learned a few lessons about the timing of such invitations, as well. A previous callout of the retired Dan Hardy was met with a shrug from the onetime welterweight title challenger, who noted he was retired and had no intention of fighting an up-and-comer.

That isn’t going to stop Gall from speaking up. He has another callout in mind if he takes the win from Brown on Saturday. Of course, he’s keeping the lid on until he steps up to the post-fight mic.

After all, there won’t be much drama to add unless there’s some suspense.

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

Sep 10, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Mickey Gall (blue gloves) defeats C.M. Punk (red gloves) during UFC 203 at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports Sep 10, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Mickey Gall (blue gloves) defeats C.M. Punk (red gloves) during UFC 203 at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports Sep 10, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Mickey Gall (blue gloves) defeats C.M. Punk (red gloves) during UFC 203 at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports December 17, 2016; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sage Northcutt (red gloves) fights Mickey Gall (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports December 17, 2016; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sage Northcutt (red gloves) fights Mickey Gall (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports December 17, 2016; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sage Northcutt (red gloves) fights Mickey Gall (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports December 17, 2016; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sage Northcutt (red gloves) fights Mickey Gall (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports December 17, 2016; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sage Northcutt (red gloves) fights Mickey Gall (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports December 17, 2016; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sage Northcutt (red gloves) fights Mickey Gall (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports December 17, 2016; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sage Northcutt (red gloves) fights Mickey Gall (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports Apr 20, 2013; San Jose, CA, USA; Jorge Masvidal prepares to fight Tim Means (not pictured) during the lightweight bout prelims of the UFC on Fuel TV at HP Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports Apr 20, 2013; San Jose, CA, USA; Jorge Masvidal prepares to fight Tim Means (not pictured) during the lightweight bout prelims of the UFC on Fuel TV at HP Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports Apr 20, 2013; San Jose, CA, USA; Jorge Masvidal prepares to fight Tim Means (not pictured) during the lightweight bout prelims of the UFC on Fuel TV at HP Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/xLyubLM5QTiMMrh9oboamL/281952", customAnalytics: true, title: "Mickey Gall", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

'UFC 217 Embedded,' No. 5: 'Believe me, I'm taking your soul with me'


Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

The UFC returns to New York’s famed Madison Square Garden this week, and the promotion has rolled out its “Embedded” treatment for a preview of Saturday’s UFC 217 event.

UFC 217, which features three title fights, takes place Saturday. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

In the headliner, middleweight champ Michael Bisping (30-7 MMA, 20-7 UFC) puts his belt on the line against former welterweight title holder Georges St-Pierre (25-2 MMA, 19-2 UFC).

RelatedUFC 217 face-offs: Jorge Masvidal with a throat-slash, Randy Brown with a phone call

In the co-main event, bantamweight champ Cody Garbrandt (11-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) steps in against former champ and teammate T.J. Dillashaw (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC), while in the third title fight, strawweight champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk (14-0 MMA, 8-0 UFC) meets former title challenger. Rose Namajunas (6-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC).

In the fifth episode of “Embedded,” Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson takes in Halloween night in Times Square. Dillashaw trains to reclaim his title, while Jedrzejczyk trains to retain hers. St-Pierre meets with legendary coaches Firas Zahabi, Freddie Roach and Renzo Gracie, and also proposes an odd fight for Dana White to promote. Bisping gets into a heated encounter with welterweight Jorge Masvidal after a run through the city. All six title fighters hold a press conference and stare each other down on stage.

Also see:

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

Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) reacts after winning his fight against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) enters the arena before his fight against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) cut under his left eye during his fight against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) in the UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) fights against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) cut under his left eye during his fight against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) in the UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) bleeds from a cut during his fight against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) in the UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) enters the octagon before his fight against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) celebrates his first round knockout of Luke Rockhold (red) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) fights Luke Rockhold (red) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) fights Luke Rockhold (red) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) celebrates his first round knockout of Luke Rockhold (not pictured) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) celebrates with his wife after his first round knockout of Luke Rockhold (not pictured) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Feb 27, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Anderson Silva (red gloves) competes against Michael Bisping (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Feb 27, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Anderson Silva (red gloves) competes against Michael Bisping (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Feb 27, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Michael Bisping reacts after his fight against Anderson Silva during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/mCWH6kigogSDYNhSJ5YG4T/282002", customAnalytics: true, title: "Michael Bisping", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

More superstars, more problems? Why Conor McGregor's demands could be a UFC game-changer

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Conor McGregor will return to the UFC, he says, but not as just another fighter.

“I’m a promoter,” the UFC lightweight champion said recently, vowing not to step in the octagon again unless he’s “part owner of the whole setup.”

We saw this coming, didn’t we? The instant he inked a deal to fight Floyd Mayweather, and the minute the proceeds from what’s likely to be one of the biggest pay-per-view fights of all time began flooding into his bank account, it was inevitable that McGregor’s whole deal was going to change.

RelatedConor McGregor declares he won't return to UFC unless he's co-promoter

How do you go back to making a few million per fight in your $40,000 Reebok kit after you’ve boxed Mayweather for the “Money Belt”? How do you keep them down on the farm once they’ve had their name on the canvas at T-Mobile Arena?

The issue for the UFC is that now McGregor doesn’t need to fight. Unless he’s on the Mike Tyson personal finance program (it ain’t cheap feeding those pet tigers), he doesn’t need to do anything in exchange for money ever again.

So if he wants to own a piece of the company, if he wants to co-promote his own fights, all he has to do is ask. If the UFC says no, fine, he can take an extended vacation. He can let the UFC figure out how to hit the million-pay-per-view buy mark without his help. He can tell the UFC’s new owners that they just paid billions to acquire a company whose sales pitch was based in a large part on the revenue he brought in.

You know, back when he still had to fight for a living.

It’s a special kind of problem for the UFC. The reason McGregor is so valuable to the company is because he’s a rare kind of superstar. But because he’s a superstar, he no longer needs to rent out his value to the UFC if he decides he doesn’t like the going rate.

RelatedDana White on Conor McGregor's co-promotion demand: 'Easy to deal with,' deal will get done

To some extent, this is a built-in problem for fight promoters. When your business is convincing people to get punched in the face for money (most of which will become yours, and some of which you will give back them), it can be a problem if they ever have so much cash that they no longer need yours.

It’s a situation UFC President Dana White highlighted when discussing issues with the boxing business model several years ago.

“Essentially what you get in the end, is you get two multimillionaires who step in the ring and do everything they can to avoid a fight, so they can win – just barely win – to get to the next multimillion-dollar fight, that we pay for,” White said. “… You know what happens when you get $37 million and you’re a fighter? (mimes running away) ‘I don’t want to get punched in the face!’”

But imagine being a UFC fighter and hearing this theory espoused by your multimillionaire boss. The whole reason you’re doing all this – taking the physical punishment, making the day-to-day sacrifices, drastically increasing your risks of brain damage down the road – is because you hope to hit it big. But the guys in suits don’t want you to hit it too big, because then maybe you won’t throw your body back into the wood-chipper quite so willingly.

And you have to admit, there’s something to that logic. Look at MMA’s history with superstar fighters. From Brock Lesnar to Ronda Rousey – even, to some extent, the prodigal son Georges St-Pierre – the biggest names don’t tend to stick around all that reliably.

For the UFC, creating a star is the first step to losing one. That makes sense once you consider the brutal, unforgiving nature of life as a professional cage fighter.

But there’s the rub for the UFC. While it’s probably a headache to have fighters whose demands increase along with their fame, what are you left with without them?

RelatedUFC champ Conor McGregor unveiled for 'EA UFC 3' video-game cover

McGregor’s a good example. The last couple years he’s been a godsend for the UFC. In 2015, he headlined two events that sold a combined 2.025 million buys, according to the UFC’s own investor documents. He reportedly added more than 4 million buys in three events the following year, making him the biggest PPV star in company history.

Which is, of course, how we got here. It was because he was such a star that he managed to finagle a blockbuster boxing match while still under UFC contract. And because of the money and the fame that came from that, he can now write his own ticket with the UFC.

Whatever he wants, the UFC’s in no position to refuse. An ownership stake in the company, his name in big bold letters right next to the UFC’s? Fine. His pick of opponents, dates, venues? Absolutely. He could demand that White personally bring a rug from his house and present it to McGregor as a gift.

If he meets any resistance, no problem. He can afford to do nothing.

But the UFC still relies on PPV sales for a big chunk of its overall revenue, and it relies on star-power to sell those PPVs. With other stars either pursuing other careers or else sabotaging their chances at this one, it’s not like there are a ton of McGregor substitutes at the moment.

Even if there were, who’s to say the UFC wouldn’t face similar demands from them? And if you end up giving the No. 1 pay-per-draw a piece of the company, how long before No. 2 demands the same thing? What happens if, for those occasional superstars, owning the UFC becomes the new leaving the UFC?

Maybe all it takes is for them to see it happen once in order to know that it’s possible. And McGregor, as you might have noticed, seems to have a thing for breaking new ground.

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

Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. lands a hit against Conor McGregor during their boxing match at the at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. reacts before his bout against Conor McGregor at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor reacts with the audience before his bout against Floyd Mayweather Jr. at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor before fighting Floyd Mayweather Jr at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor moves in against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the first round at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor moves in against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the first round at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor moves in against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the first round at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor moves in with a hit against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the first round at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) and Conor McGregor (white trunks) box in the first round of their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) and Conor McGregor (white trunks) box in the first round of their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) and Conor McGregor (white trunks) box in the first round of their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) and Conor McGregor (white trunks) box in the first round of their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) and Conor McGregor (white trunks) box in the first round of their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. lands a hit against Conor McGregor during their boxing match at the at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. fights against Conor McGregor during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor moves in with a hit against Floyd Mayweather Jr. during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor fights against Floyd Mayweather Jr. during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor holds onto Floyd Mayweather Jr. during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor moves in with a hit against Floyd Mayweather Jr. during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. lands a hit against Conor McGregor during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. lands a hit against Conor McGregor during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor lands a hit on Floyd Mayweather Jr. during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. lands a hit on Conor McGregor during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor moves in with a hit against Floyd Mayweather Jr. during the sixth round at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) celebrates after knocking out Conor McGregor (white trunks) during their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mayweather won via 10th round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) celebrates after knocking out Conor McGregor (white trunks) during their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mayweather won via 10th round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) celebrates after knocking out Conor McGregor (white trunks) during their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mayweather won via 10th round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. reacts following his TKO victory against Conor McGregor in the tenth round at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Referee Robert Byrd stops the fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor in the tenth round at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Boxing referee Robert Byrd holds Conor McGregor after stopping the right in the tenth round against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the tenth round during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) reacts after knocking out Conor McGregor (not pictured) in their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mayweather won via tenth round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor (left) and Floyd Mayweather Jr. (right) shake hands after their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mayweather won via tenth round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor reacts following his loss in the tenth round by TKO to Floyd Mayweather Jr. at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (left) embraces Conor McGregor following their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/HPw3CvabZ8Rz65P6nkwQP6/281938", customAnalytics: true, title: "Mayweather def. 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UFC 217 official weigh-in video, photos: Welcome back, Georges St-Pierre

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

NEW YORK – The fighters on Saturday’s blockbuster UFC 217 event have all made weight ahead of the promotion’s return to Madison Square Garden.

It was a drama-free event for the promotion, with all 24 fighters making weight for the card without issue.

Included in that mix is former welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre (25-2 MMA, 19-2 UFC), who returns from nearly four years away from the sport in order to headline UFC 217 and challenge middleweight champion Michael Bisping (30-7 MMA, 20-7 UFC).

In addition, bantamweight champ Cody Garbrandt (11-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) meets ex-champ and former teammate T.J. Dillashaw (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC), and women’s strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk (14-0 MMA, 8-0 UFC) takes on Rose Namajunas (6-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC).

Check out the video highlights above from the official weigh-ins ahead of Saturday’s card in New York. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

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

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Video: Johny Hendricks' comical UFC 217 weigh-in included an underwear disclaimer

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

NEW YORK – Even when he makes weight, Johny Hendricks knows how to bring some drama to a UFC weigh-in.

This time, though, he also brought some laughs.

Earlier today at UFC 217’s early and official weigh-ins, Hendricks (18-7 MMA, 13-7 UFC), who meets fellow middleweight Paulo Borrachinha (10-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) on Saturday’s UFC 217 pay-per-view main, hit the scale for the fight, which takes place at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

He was one of the first to weigh in, in fact (via Twitter):

#UFC217 weigh-in results: @JohnyHendricks – (185.8) https://t.co/uIBnsjsGEJ pic.twitter.com/xeKFlyf6cE

— MMAjunkie (@MMAjunkie) November 3, 2017

Hendricks, the former UFC welterweight champion who’s missed weight three times during his current 1-4 skid, stripped naked and got behind a towel for the weigh-in, but he assured attendees – mostly reporters and photographers – that it was only because he misjudged the weight of his underwear.

RelatedUFC 217's Johny Hendricks reports this time he's not sick, not fat – just chillin'

But he also misjudged his misjudgment, as you can see in the video above.

For a full rundown of the proceedings, check out the official UFC 217 weigh-in results.

And for more on UFC 217, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

Feb 19, 2017; Halifax, NS, Canada; Johny Hendricks (red gloves) leaves the octagon after defeating Hector Lombard (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Scotiabank Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Feb 19, 2017; Halifax, NS, Canada; Johny Hendricks before fighting against Hector Lombard during UFC Fight Night at Scotiabank Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Feb 19, 2017; Halifax, NS, Canada; Johny Hendricks (red gloves) fights Hector Lombard (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Scotiabank Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Feb 19, 2017; Halifax, NS, Canada; Johny Hendricks (red gloves) fights Hector Lombard (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Scotiabank Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Feb 19, 2017; Halifax, NS, Canada; Johny Hendricks fights against Hector Lombard during UFC Fight Night at Scotiabank Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Feb 19, 2017; Halifax, NS, Canada; Johny Hendricks (red gloves) fights Hector Lombard (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Scotiabank Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Feb 19, 2017; Halifax, NS, Canada; Johny Hendricks reacts after the end of his fight against Hector Lombard during UFC Fight Night at Scotiabank Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Jun 25, 2017; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Tim Boetsch (red gloves) fights Johny Hendricks (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Pokorny-USA TODAY Sports Jun 25, 2017; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Tim Boetsch (red gloves) fights Johny Hendricks (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Pokorny-USA TODAY Sports Jun 25, 2017; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Tim Boetsch (red gloves) fights Johny Hendricks (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Pokorny-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/pEh6khrTrVd6kYEvd6JYJ6/281954", customAnalytics: true, title: "Johny Hendricks", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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