MMA Junkie News

UFC champ Michael Bisping: Georges St-Pierre's comeback will be '1 and done'

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

NEW YORK – Georges St-Pierre has already promised to retire Michael Bisping in the UFC 217 main event. The champion has responded with a similar type of threat.

St-Pierre makes his UFC comeback on Saturday after nearly four years when he challenges Bisping (30-7 MMA, 20-7 UFC) for the UFC middleweight title in the UFC 217 main event. The event takes place at Madison Square Garden in New York City with a pay-per-view main card following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

RelatedGeorges St-Pierre vows to retire Michael Bisping at UFC 217

Bisping has said numerous times in the build-up that he intends on making St-Pierre regret the decision to return to competition. With the fight just days away, “The Count” is not backing down from that claim.

“He’s one and done,” Bisping said at today’s UFC 217 news conference. “He’s scared like the little (expletive) he is. When he loses (he’s going to say), ‘I’m going to retire.'”

Oddly enough, it was originally Bisping who brought up the topic of retirement in the lead-up to UFC 217. The Brit has been in the UFC for more than a decade and will make a record-tying 28th octagon appearance at UFC 217. In the early stages of training camp he said retirement could be possible win or lose, but of late he’s walked back those comments.

Bisping fully expects to win and then take on interim UFC middleweight champ Robert Whittaker (19-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC) in a unification bout, possibly at the recently announced UFC 221 event in Perth, Australia, on Feb. 10.

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

“I’m going to wipe Georges up then I’ll beat up Robert Whittaker,” Bisping said. “I owe it that much.”

For now, though, Bisping’s focus is on his clash with St-Pierre. He believes all the advantages go in his favor and, as a result, expects a lopsided performance.

“My only fear is getting cuddled to death,” Bisping said. “On Saturday, I’m going to destroy him. Wipe him out.”

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

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

Georges St-Pierre vows to retire Michael Bisping at UFC 217

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

NEW YORK – Georges St-Pierre is remaining calm and composed as the final days wind down to his anticipated return to the octagon at UFC 217.

St-Pierre (25-2 MMA, 19-2 UFC) comes out of a nearly four-year hiatus on Saturday to challenge Michael Bisping (30-7 MMA, 20-7 UFC) for the UFC middleweight title. When “Rush” walked away he cited both personal and professional reasons, but with things apparently in the clear, he said he’s at peace.

RelatedWhy is Georges St-Pierre a big deal? 5 fights that defined a UFC legend

“I’m back now,” St-Pierre told reporters at today’s UFC 217 news conference. “There is no other place I want to be than where I am right now.”

UFC 217 takes place at Madison Square Garden in New York City. St-Pierre vs. Bisping headlines the pay-per-view main card following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

The build to the fight has been lengthy, and Bisping has pestered the French-Canadian throughout. St-Pierre has shown some uncharacteristic moments by getting physical with Bisping during some press conferences, but he said nothing is going to rile him up on fight week.

“It’s the calm before the storm,” St-Pierre said. “He’s got a big mouth. … If he wants to waste his energy like this, it’s all good. I’ve got one goal in mind, and that’s it.”

RelatedUFC 217 press conference face-offs: Lots of trash-talk (and Georges St-Pierre smiling)

St-Pierre took a verbal assault from Bisping at the pre-fight news conference. “The Count” ran down St-Pierre’s fighting style and said he dresses like a stock broker or history teacher.

That didn’t rattle St-Pierre, however.

“I will retire him,” St-Pierre said. “You’re going to be beaten by a history teacher on Saturday.”

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

Mar 3, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Georges St-Pierre speaks during a press conference to promote his middleweight title bout against Michael Bisping (not pictured) prior to weigh ins for UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC fighter Georges St-Pierre in attendance at UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Feb 15, 2014; Jaragua do Sul, SC, Brazil; Georges St-Pierre between rounds in a fight between Ronaldo Souza (red gloves) and Francis Carmont (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night Machida vs Mousasi at Arena Jaragua. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 15, 2014; Jaragua do Sul, SC, Brazil; Georges St-Pierre before a fight between Ronaldo Souza (red gloves) and Francis Carmont (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night Machida vs Mousasi at Arena Jaragua. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 15, 2014; Jaragua do Sul, SC, Brazil; Georges St-Pierre before a fight between Ronaldo Souza (red gloves) and Francis Carmont (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night Machida vs Mousasi at Arena Jaragua. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Nov 16, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Georges St-Pierre (red gloves) enters the cage before his welterweight championship bout during UFC 167 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Nov 16, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Georges St-Pierre (red gloves) fights against Johny Hendricks (blue gloves) in their welterweight championship bout during UFC 167 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Nov 16, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Georges St-Pierre (red gloves) fights against Johny Hendricks (blue gloves) in their welterweight championship bout during UFC 167 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Nov 16, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Georges St-Pierre (red gloves) and Johny Hendricks (blue gloves) hug after their welterweight championship bout during UFC 167 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Nov 16, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Georges St-Pierre is interviewed by Joe Rogan after his welterweight championship bout against Johny Hendricks during UFC 167 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Sep 21, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Georges St-Pierre the training partner of Francis Carmont (not pictured) yells instructions as he fights Costa Philippou (not pictured) during their Middleweight bout at UFC 165 at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Mar 13, 2013; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; UFC World champion Georges St-Pierre shakes the hand of Montreal Canadiens captain Brian Gionta (21) before the game against Ottawa Senators at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports Nov 17, 2012; Montreal, QC, Canada; Georges St-Pierre (black) ties up Carlos Condit (white) during first round action of their Welterweight Championship bout at UFC 154 at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports Nov 17, 2012; Montreal, QC, Canada; Georges St-Pierre (black) lands a punch on Carlos Condit (red) during second round action of their Welterweight Championship bout at UFC 154 at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports Nov 17, 2012; Montreal, QC, Canada; Georges St-Pierre (top) checks the remaining time left in the fifth round in his Welterweight Championship bout against Carlos Condit (bottom) at UFC 154 at the Bell Centre. St-Pierre defeated Condit by unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports Nov 17, 2012; Montreal, QC, Canada; UFC official Yves Lavigne separates Georges St-Pierre and Carlos Condit during fourth round action in their Welterweight Championship bout at UFC 154 at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports Nov 17, 2012; Montreal, QC, Canada; Georges St-Pierre reacts after the fifth round of his Welterweight Championship bout against Carlos Condit at UFC 154 at the Bell Centre. St-Pierre defeated Condit by unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports Nov 17, 2012; Montreal, QC, Canada; Georges St-Pierre is declared the winner by unanimous decision in his Welterweight Championship bout against Carlos Condit at UFC 154 at the Bell Centre. St-Pierre defeated Condit by unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports Nov 17, 2012; Montreal, QC, Canada; Georges St-Pierre poses for a photo with his parents Pauline and Roland after winning the Welterweight Championship bout against Carlos Condit at UFC 154 at the Bell Centre. St-Pierre defeated Condit by unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports Nov 17, 2012; Montreal, QC, Canada; Georges St-Pierre poses for a photo with his team after winning the Welterweight Championship bout against Carlos Condit at UFC 154 at the Bell Centre. St-Pierre defeated Condit by unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/hF8yUvbvEwuDVFQfhkLsJ5/281688", customAnalytics: true, title: "Georges St-Pierre", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

UFC 217 press conference face-offs: Lots of trash-talk (and Georges St-Pierre smiling)

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

NEW YORK – All six title-fight participants took part in today’s UFC 217 press conference, and MMAjunkie was on the scene.

The fan and media event took place at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York. The main arena at Madison Square Garden also hosts Saturday’s event, which airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

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

In addition to UFC President Dana White, today’s press conference featured middleweight champion Michael Bisping (30-7 MMA, 20-7 UFC) and fellow headliner Georges St-Pierre (25-2 MMA, 19-2 UFC), bantamweight champ Cody Garbrandt (11-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) and fellow co-headliner T.J. Dillashaw (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC), and strawweight titleholder Joanna Jedrzejczyk (14-0 MMA, 8-0 UFC) and opponent Rose Namajunas (6-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC).

In short, there was a whole lot of jawing at each other during the face-offs, and one fist made contact with a face.

Check out the video above for the highlights.

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

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 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) 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 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 Feb 26, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Michael Bisping during weigh-ins for 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 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; 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; 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 26, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Michael Bisping during weigh-ins for UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Jul 18, 2015; Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland; Michael Bisping addresses the crowd after the decision against Thales Leites at The SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 18, 2015; Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland; Michael Bisping lines up a punch against Thales Leites at The SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 18, 2015; Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland; Michael Bisping throws a left kick to Thales Leites at The SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 18, 2015; Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland; Michael Bisping connects with a left to Thales Leites at The SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 18, 2015; Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland; Michael Bisping connects with a left hook to Thales Leites at The SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 18, 2015; Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland; Michael Bisping lines up a shot against Thales Leites at The SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 18, 2015; Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland; Michael Bisping connects with a kick to the chest of Thales Leites at The SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 18, 2015; Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland; Michael Bisping connects with a kick to the head of Thales Leites at The SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 18, 2015; Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland; Michael Bisping lines up a shot against Thales Leites at The SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 18, 2015; Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland; Michael Bisping enters the ring for his bout with Thales Leites at The SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 18, 2015; Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland; Michael Bisping leaves the ring victorious after beating Thales Leites on a split decision at The SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports A referee stops the fight as Cain Velasquez, center, punches Brock Lesnar during a UFC mixed martial arts match in Anaheim, Calif., Saturday, Oct. 23, 2010. Velasquez won by TKO in the first round. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) 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/2G26nwEYrVw6cq7DaMFTAE/281678", customAnalytics: true, title: "Michael Bisping", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

With UFC 217 on deck, NYSAC adopts ABC's loss of bodily fluid recommendation

Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; UFC octagon girl holds up a sign during the fight between Miesha Tate (red gloves) and Raquel Pennington (blue gloves) during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 27: Chris Weidman reacts during the UFC 205 press conference at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on September 27, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 27: Conor McGregor addresses the media at the UFC 205 press conference at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on September 27, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 27: Joanna Jedrzejczyk (L) faces off with Karolina Kowalkiewicz (R) during the UFC 205 press conference at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on September 27, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 27: Chris Weidman (L) and Yoel Romero (R) face off during the UFC 205 press conference at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on September 27, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 27: Conor McGregor gestures to the crowd during the UFC 205 press conference at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on September 27, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Khabib Nurmagomedov (red gloves) fights Michael Johnson (blue gloves) during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Frankie Edgar (red gloves) defeats Jeremy Stephens (blue gloves) during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Tyron Woodley (red gloves) fights against Stephen Thompson (blue gloves) in their welterweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Tyron Woodley (red gloves) with his championship belt after his fight against Stephen Thompson (blue gloves) in their welterweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) before fighting against Karolina Kowalkiewicz (blue gloves) in their strawweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) with the championship belt after defeating Karolina Kowalkiewicz (blue gloves) in their strawweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) before fighting Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) fights Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) celebrates with his two championship belts after defeating Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-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/6D3uvpx4UYy8mUeMxCzAni/281634", customAnalytics: true, title: "Best of UFC 205", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

The New York State Athletic Commission would like to limit the fallout from an embarrassing in-cage accident.

The commission has adopted a recommendation from the Association of Boxing Commissions to declare a TKO in the event a competitor visibly loses control of a bodily function. The news was first reported by Newsday.com. A follow up email to the commission requesting comment was not immediately returned.

The new recommendation arrives as the commission prepares for the spotlight again with Saturday’s UFC 217, which takes place at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

In July, the ABC proposed the recommendation – which was subsequently approved – as one of several proposed changes to the unified rules, framing them as recommendations to avoid delays in implementation.

Here is the full recommendation:

“If a combatant, during a round, visibly loses control of a bodily function (vomit, urine, bowels), the fight shall be stopped by the referee and the combatant shall lose the contest by TKO.

“In the event a loss of control of a bodily function occurs in the rest period between rounds, the ringside physician shall be called in to evaluate if the combatant can continue.

“If the combatant is not cleared by the ringside physician to continue, that combatant shall lose by TKO.

“If fecal matter becomes apparent at any time, the bout shall be halted by the referee, and the offending combatant shall lose the contest by TKO. In these situations, the result shall be recorded as TKO due to medical stoppage.”

Several UFC competitors have lost control of their bodily functions during a fight. In June, UFC women’s strawweight Justine Kish accidentally defecated during a fight with Felice Herrig, necessitating some unfortunate cleanup and embarrassing, if good-hearted, admission of responsibility.

The commission’s new leadership has acknowledged missteps in the way it’s overseen previous UFC events held in the state, which only this past year legalized MMA after a nearly 20-year ban on the sport. The commission recently showed its commitment to turning things around by codifying its rule on instant replay.

Saturday’s pay-per-view event is expected to be a box office success for the UFC, which loaded the card with three title fights after its Madison Square Garden debut one year ago with UFC 205, where Conor McGregor won the lightweight title to become a simultaneous two-division champion.

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


Filed under: News, UFC

Who ya got?! Fighters weigh in on Ryan Bader vs. Linton Vassell at Bellator 186

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Ryan Bader puts his light heavyweight title up for grabs for the first time Friday night. Can Linton Vassell make his rein on the throne a short one?

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

In the headliner, Bader (23-5 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) meets Vassell (18-5 MMA, 7-2 BMMA) with the 205-pound title on the line. Bader won the belt in June in his promotional debut with a split-decision win over Phil Davis in a rematch from when they both were in the UFC.

Bader, who’s No. 3 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA light heavyweight rankings, is currently about a 4.5-to-1 favorite to win the fight, but do fellow fighters agree? Or is No. 14 Vassell their choice?

Check out the video above to get their picks.

And for more on Bellator 186, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Ryan Bader (blue gloves) reacts to fight against Phill Davis (red gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Phill Davis (red gloves) fights Ryan Bader (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Phill Davis (red gloves) fights Ryan Bader (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Phill Davis (red gloves) fights Ryan Bader (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Ryan Bader (blue gloves) fights Phill Davis (not pictured) fights during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Phill Davis (red gloves) fights Ryan Bader (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Phill Davis (red gloves) fights Ryan Bader (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Phill Davis (red gloves) fights Ryan Bader (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Phill Davis (red gloves) fights Ryan Bader (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Phill Davis (red gloves) fights Ryan Bader (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Phill Davis (red gloves) fights Ryan Bader (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Phill Davis (red gloves) fights Ryan Bader (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Phill Davis (red gloves) fights Ryan Bader (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Phill Davis (red gloves) fights Ryan Bader (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Phill Davis (red gloves) fights Ryan Bader (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Phill Davis (red gloves) fights Ryan Bader (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Phill Davis (red gloves) fights Ryan Bader (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Phill Davis (red gloves) fights Ryan Bader (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Phill Davis (red gloves) fights Ryan Bader (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Phill Davis (red gloves) fights Ryan Bader (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Phill Davis (red gloves) fights Ryan Bader (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Phill Davis (red gloves) fights Ryan Bader (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Phill Davis (red gloves) fights Ryan Bader (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Phill Davis (red gloves) fights Ryan Bader (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Phill Davis (red gloves) fights Ryan Bader (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Ryan Bader (blue gloves) reacts to fight against Phill Davis (red gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Ryan Bader (blue gloves) reacts to fight against Phill Davis (red gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-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/xaqMxtT2yuF9vtbVHUws8h/281596", customAnalytics: true, title: "Bader def. Davis", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, Videos

Fans dress like Georges St-Pierre pumped to see him at UFC 217 press conference

Georges St-Pierre is one of the calmest, coolest and collected fighters in the UFC. It’s not like the former welterweight champion was ever out there trying to rowdy up his fan base while he steamrolled through his division to become one of the greatest of all time.

But today at the UFC 217 press conference, a group of fans showed up to Madison Square Garden in New York pumped to see GSP, and they came dressed in his trademark walk-out attire, wearing a gi and headband.

Check them out (via Twitter):

Who said the fans don't remember @GeorgesStPierre?!? #UFC217 pic.twitter.com/UqTBPD6PWL

— Mike Bohn (@MikeBohnMMA) November 2, 2017

And just for the sake of comparison …

Georges St-Pierre

Nicely done, youngsters. Nicely done.

UFC 217 takes place Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York and is headlined by St-Pierre (25-2 MMA, 19-2 UFC) challenging Michael Bisping (30-7 MMA, 20-7 UFC) for the middleweight title on pay-per-view.

RelatedWhy is Georges St-Pierre a big deal? 5 fights that defined a UFC legend

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


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

Twitter Mailbag: Does Michael Bisping feel like UFC champ yet? Conor McGregor co-promoter?

Does the UFC middleweight champion really feel like the division’s best fighter heading into UFC 217? Will the transitive property tell us which way the co-main event will go? And is the UFC ready to consider co-promotion now that its biggest star demands it?

All that and more in this week’s Twitter Mailbag. To ask a question of your own, tweet to @BenFowlkesMMA.

* * * *

@benfowlkesMMA #tmb why can't I believe bisping is champion even though he has the belt? I just can't see greatness in him. Is it me??

— your bustin (@ivymike25) November 2, 2017

Did you “believe” that Luke Rockhold was the champ? I’m guessing yes, since we all saw him finish Chris Weidman, who himself had knocked out the greatest middleweight of all time to claim the title in the first place. Then Michael Bisping knocked out Rockhold, so the line of succession is about as clear and unambiguous as it can be.

But I know what you mean. Bisping has been at this for so long, hovering in that good-but-not-great zone for years, so it’s hard for people to suddenly think of him, at 38, as the best middleweight in the world. It feels like we already made up our minds about where he fits in the division, and it’s not at the top.

That part is on us. As MMA fans, we’re sometimes too quick to form conclusions and too rigidly stubborn to revise them in the face of new information. If we weren’t, we might be willing to consider the explanation that Bisping himself favors: He was always the best clean middleweight, but it took the USADA anti-doping program to create the conditions under which he could prove it.

Still, Bisping hasn’t done much as champion to change our pre-conceived notions. At a time when the division is clogged with legit contenders, he’s defended his title against none of them.

You can understand why. The title means money, and he’s trying to get paid before this ride ends. But if he wants people to accept him as the true champ, he needs to defend his belt against a true challenger. Sadly, it’s not going to happen this Saturday night, even if he beats Georges St-Pierre.

@TheNotoriousMMA wants to co-promote his next fight in the UFC. How do you see this playing out? #tmb

— Dan Hayes (@DangerHayes) November 2, 2017

It depends what co-promoting means to Conor McGregor. Does he just want to put his name on the canvas? Does he want to go down as a promoter of record for the event? Does he want an ownership stake in the UFC? Is there a clear, tangible goal here, or does he mostly want to make the UFC bend to his will and give him something no other fighter has ever gotten?

Some of those wishes are easier to fulfill than others, but now is the right time to make some big demands. The UFC needs McGregor. By every meaningful metric, he’s the biggest star in the history of the sport. If you want to sell pay-per-views (and the UFC needs to sell pay-per-views, especially right now), then you’d better do what it takes to get him back in the cage.

To make his negotiating position even stronger, McGregor is coming off a monster payday. If his fight with Floyd Mayweather really did top six million buys, as Dana White has claimed, he can afford to put his feet up for a long while. For once, time is on the fighter’s side – not the UFC’s.

If I’m McGregor right now, I start reeling off my list of demands in alphabetical order. And I don’t stop until every single one of them has been met.

@benfowlkesMMA Is there lacklustre buzz around GSPvsBisping because it's a fight that no one wanted and goes against all meritocracy? #tmb

— Cameron Lyman (@cameronlyman) November 2, 2017

An open disregard for merit-based matchmaking hasn’t historically been a major dealbreaker for fight fans, so I’m not sure that’s it. But you’re right that, with Bisping-GSP, demand originated with the fighters and not the fans, which doesn’t tend to create a ton of momentum.

We all know why St-Pierre wanted to make his comeback now, and why he wanted to do it at middleweight. He saw a champion who perceived as: a) very beatable, and b) very promotable.

We also know why Bisping liked the pairing more than he liked the idea of defending his belt against the top contender. It’s because he wanted the PPV riches that GSP used to carry with him wherever he went, and, to a lesser extent, he also liked the idea of being able to say he’d beaten the two greats of his era – GSP and Anderson Silva.

Those are the fighters’ reasons for wanting this bout. But that alone is not enough of a sales pitch for fans. It’s like telling people they should go see a movie because the studio and the actors all crunched the numbers and decided this film would make them richer without making them work too hard.

Which is not to say that fans won’t watch this event. It’s got three title fights on it, plenty of names people care about, and it’s the only thing even close to that big fight feel since Mayweather-McGregor.

But even while this will probably end up being at least a moderate success, it does highlight some of the shortcomings of the “money fight” approach to MMA matchmaking. Just because someone thinks it’ll result in a mountain of cash, that’s not always a good enough reason for us to want to contribute to it.

So who's not making weight this week?

— Trevor Campbell (@TCampbell1980) November 1, 2017

You’re seriously going to ask me that before a fight card that includes Johny Hendricks? I mean, really?

Am I the only person here that thinks people shouldn't sleep on Thug Rose's chances of upsetting JJ? What say you?

— MMA Goddess (@MMAGoddess) November 2, 2017

Anything, as they say, can happen. But I have to admit that I’m having a hard time picturing it.

Rose Namajunas is a game fighter and a good athlete, and her opportunistic submission game works well when she can put opponents where she wants them.

But how’s she going to do that against Joanna Jedrzejczyk? The champ is tough to take down, and even tougher to keep down. Meanwhile, every moment you’re standing up with her is another chance for her air out your face with punches, elbows and kicks.

I’m not saying Namajunas can’t solve the puzzle or even just catch Jedrzejczyk slipping. All I’m saying is that when I try to picture it in my mind, I draw a blank.

UFC boxing. Why tho.

— Andrew Millington (@AndrewMilington) November 1, 2017

Colby Covington gets how WWE antics can hype a fight. Should the UFC bite the bullet and invest in wrestling style stories/media training?

— Matt Mack (@MattMack15) November 1, 2017

Noooooooo. The last thing we need is the UFC handing out scripts and acting coaches. If anything, the trend of MMA fighters borrowing pro wrestling schticks to hype fights just proves that it’s tougher than it looks.

Even Colby Covington isn’t particularly good at it. What saves him is that he’s just awkward enough, yet still somehow aggressively and supremely confident that he is absolutely killing it, so he comes off as unintentionally comedic in a way that we (or, well, some of us) can enjoy without having to take too seriously.

(And the thing about him calling Brazil “a dump” and its citizens “filthy animals,” it’s obviously not complimentary. But I ask myself: Would he have done the same thing if he’d fought GSP in Montreal? Or Nick Diaz in Stockton? Yeah, I think so.)

The people who don’t enjoy Covington’s gimmick? They mostly end up hating him for it. Which is, of course, exactly what he wants. So either way it (kind of) works. I just don’t think it’s something we’d want to see night after night. Or maybe I’m just speaking for myself.

With the way Cody styled on the Dom, and TJ having a similar style as Dom.Can we use the transitive property to as a framework for sat? #tmb

— Chris A. N. (@jokercymaos14) November 1, 2017

Generally, the transitive property has a poor track record in MMA. But since there is some legitimate similarity between T.J. Dillashaw’s style and Dominick Cruz’s, you’re right that it’s worth asking if the same guy who styled on Cruz will go right back out there and breakdance all over Dillashaw’s face.

One added variable is that Dillashaw’s seen the same tape we have. He knows now how Cody Garbrandt approached and defeated that style. He doesn’t know if the UFC bantamweight champ will try to do it the exact same way this time, but he at least has more information to work with than Cruz had.

I still think the toughest thing for Dillashaw to account for is Garbrandt’s power. Afighter who can move and evade like that and still hit you back hard? That’s a tough person to game plan for. I’ll be interested to see how Dillashaw looks to solve that problem.

Anyone believe the winner of 217's main event will fight Whittaker?
Anyone believe the main event of 217 is the best fight on the card?

— kneeco (@kneeco28) November 1, 2017

If the winner is St-Pierre, I doubt it. I think he wants to win the UFC middleweight title, but I don’t think he actually wants to be the UFC middleweight champion.

Plus, since he’s a natural welterweight he has something of a built-in escape pod. He says there’s a clause in his contract that says he has to defend the belt, but it’s not hard to picture him convincing the UFC that a fight with McGregor would be a smarter financial move for all involved.

If Bisping wins, however, I think the chances of a Robert Whittaker showdown improve. As tortured as his relationship with MMA fans might be at times, Bisping longs for respect. You can hear it as he’s reeling off his accomplishments, vowing to prove the haters wrong.

And you know Bisping’s never suffered for a lack of confidence. He believes he can beat “Bobby Knuckles,” even if he’s in the minority on that one. You really think he could bring himself to retire rather than try, willingly giving up the belt he’s spent years chasing, and all without a literal fight? I’m not so sure.

As for the second question: For me, the best fight on the card is Garbrandt-Dillashaw. After that, it’s a little bit of a struggle for second place.

When Kid Rock wins the US Senate seat how soon till he hires Cowboy Cerrone??

— #BranchOfPower (@MMAStateOfMind) November 1, 2017

You don’t think Donald Cerrone has enough sense to wait it out until Senator Rock runs for president and needs a VP pick who can carry the Western states? My friend, you underestimate this man.

Ben Fowlkes is MMAjunkie and USA TODAY’s MMA columnist. Follow him on Twitter at @BenFowlkesMMA. Twitter Mailbag appears every Thursday on MMAjunkie.

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/281600", customAnalytics: true, title: "Michael Bisping", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

After KO loss, ex-UFC-champ Lyoto Machida says 'giving up will never be an option'

Lyoto Machida’s long-awaited octagon return may not have ended as planned, but it would appear “The Dragon” isn’t done just yet.

Machida (22-8 MMA, 14-8 UFC) suffered the quickest loss of his career this past Saturday, at UFC Fight Night 119, at the hands of fellow headliner Derek Brunson (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC). The middleweight bout marked Machida’s return to competition after a layoff of 28 months – 18 due to a suspension issued by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

Four days after the event, the 39-year-old ex-champ took to social media to thanks his fans, saying that “yes, ‘The Dragon is back and giving up will never be an option.”

“My biggest loss would be giving up the dream that once was my blessing,” Machida said. “An even bigger loss would be inspiring you not to go ahead when all you need to do is to keep your head up and go on.”

Here’s the full message (via Instagram):

“I would like to thank all the support I’ve received from my fans! I’m home, with my family, recovering from a result that didn’t come, but with a sense of achievement, since anyone could have given up the idea of returning to the battlefield after almost 2 years away from the sports.

“My biggest loss would be giving up the dream that once was my blessing. An even bigger loss would be inspiring you not to go ahead when all you need to do is to keep your head up and go on.

“Thus, I thank you all for the messages full of affection and strength. Saying that the Dragon is back and then giving up will never be an option!

“The day I decided I wouldn’t stop fighting, I wanted to show you that, regardless of all the hardship of life, you are either a figher or a quitter. What defines a man in his essence is not losing or winning, but his journey for what he believes. Once more, thank you for being by my side. I will always count on your support, and know that I will be supporting you back.”

Machida, who was issued a 60-day mandatory medical suspension following the loss, is now on a three-fight skid. Before Saturday, he’d suffered a knockout loss to Yoel Romero and a submission setback to former middleweight titleholder Luke Rockhold. Machida’s last win was in 2014 – a first-round knockout of C.B. Dollaway.

Brunson, who’s the No. 10 fighter in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middleweight rankings, is now two fights removed from a controversial loss to former champion Anderson Silva. Prior to that, he was on a five-fight winning streak. Brunson’s last six wins have been first-round finishes.

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

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

Oct 28, 2017; Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil; Derek Brunson (red gloves) reacts after defeating Lyoto Machida (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Oct 28, 2017; Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil; Lyoto Machida (blue gloves) makes his way to the octagon before his bout against Derek Brunson (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Oct 28, 2017; Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil; Lyoto Machida (blue gloves) makes his way to the octagon before his bout against Derek Brunson (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Oct 28, 2017; Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil; Lyoto Machida (blue gloves) makes his way to the octagon before his bout against Derek Brunson (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Oct 28, 2017; Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil; Lyoto Machida (blue gloves) makes his way to the octagon before his bout against Derek Brunson (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Oct 28, 2017; Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil; Lyoto Machida (blue gloves) reacts before his bout against Derek Brunson (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Oct 28, 2017; Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil; Lyoto Machida (blue gloves) reacts before his bout against Derek Brunson (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Oct 28, 2017; Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil; Lyoto Machida (blue gloves) reacts before his bout against Derek Brunson (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Oct 28, 2017; Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil; Derek Brunson (red gloves) reacts before his bout against Lyoto Machida (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Oct 28, 2017; Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil; Derek Brunson (red gloves) fights Lyoto Machida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Oct 28, 2017; Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil; Derek Brunson (red gloves) and Lyoto Machida (blue gloves) touch gloves before their bout during UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Oct 28, 2017; Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil; Derek Brunson (red gloves) fights Lyoto Machida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Oct 28, 2017; Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil; Derek Brunson (red gloves) fights Lyoto Machida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Oct 28, 2017; Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil; Derek Brunson (red gloves) fights Lyoto Machida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Oct 28, 2017; Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil; Derek Brunson (red gloves) fights Lyoto Machida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Oct 28, 2017; Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil; Derek Brunson (red gloves) fights Lyoto Machida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Oct 28, 2017; Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil; Derek Brunson (red gloves) reacts after defeating Lyoto Machida (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Oct 28, 2017; Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil; Lyoto Machida (blue gloves) is examined after losing to Derek Brunson (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Oct 28, 2017; Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil; Derek Brunson (red gloves) reacts after defeating Lyoto Machida (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Oct 28, 2017; Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil; Lyoto Machida (blue gloves) reacts after losing to Derek Brunson (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Oct 28, 2017; Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil; Lyoto Machida (blue gloves) reacts after losing to Derek Brunson (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Oct 28, 2017; Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil; Lyoto Machida (blue gloves) reacts after losing to Derek Brunson (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Oct 28, 2017; Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil; Derek Brunson (red gloves) reacts after defeating Lyoto Machida (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/eWbaawoH8sm7qUfhkdJ9qV/281609", customAnalytics: true, title: "Brunson def. Machida", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC

Mike Dolce makes passionate case for serious, industry-wide discussion around weight-cutting

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Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

Mike Dolce said a deeper, larger conversation around weight-cutting in MMA is probably imminent. But unless we start soon, it just might happen for the wrong reasons.

The ugly sides of severe weight cuts seem to manifest themselves in different ways each week. Just this past Friday, reporters and officials saw UFC flyweight Deiveson Figueiredo actually cry on his way to the scale before making the 126-pound limit. Lightweight Kevin Lee made no excuses for his recent loss to Tony Ferguson in an interim title affair, but talked about how his publicly tough cut  “damn near killed” him.

How difficult is the fight before the fight? Deiveson Figueiredo made it painfully evident.

Full #UFCSP weigh-ins: https://t.co/T3tHgHNroW pic.twitter.com/8qGd7wQZOz

— MMAjunkie (@MMAjunkie) October 27, 2017

Examples abound, but perhaps the most striking recent one was that of Sam Alvey (31-10 MMA, 8-5 UFC). By taking a UFC Fight Night 118 fight on 10 days’ notice, the middleweight also agreed to a more than 40-pound cut. He missed by three pounds – and the next day lost to Ramazan Emeev after an apathetic display.

For Dolce, a former MMA fighter and current nutrition specialist who’s helped his fair share of UFC athletes to the scale, Alvey is an example of what happens when fighters who are so far off their division marks take on short-notice calls.

“This is where people get hurt,” Dolce told MMAjunkie Radio. “This is what brings a black eye to the sport.”

RelatedUFC Fight Night 118 results: Ramazan Emeev fights, Sam Alvey freezes in 3-round snoozer

If on the one hand there’s an effort to bring in qualified professionals to ensure proper cuts, Dolce said, he wonders where the UFC’s great team of specialists was when it was time to advise on Alvey. Especially considering that, in this time frame and with air-travel included, the weight loss would mostly happen via dehydration.

“So this young man is going to dehydrate himself 30-plus pounds in under 10 days and then have that baseball bat swung in his skull for 15 minutes,” Dolce said. “How is this a good idea?”

More than pointing fingers, Dolce said, there’s a learning opportunity here. But that would mean taking measures much beyond the “bureaucracy and red tape” of the 10-point plan approved by the California State Athletic Commission in May.

“The onus must be on the athlete,” Dolce said. “If there was a penalty to Sam – ‘Hey, Sam, we want to give you a fight in 10 days, on another continent. You’re 40 pounds over right now. Whatever. That’s your responsibility. But if you miss weight, we’re going to fine you 50 percent of your purse, and we’re going to suspend you for six months – if you miss weight within three pounds. If you miss weight for over three pounds, you are immediately pulled from the card and then that ban is a 12-month ban.’

“Will Sam Alvey – will any fighter – then take that fight? It’s actually protecting fighters from their own toughness.”

RelatedThis video from Japan should make you want to ban extreme weight cutting in MMA

Dolce elaborated on his issues with the 10-point plan, which he said can be easily bypassed by fighters.

“Specific (urine) gravity testing? So easy to beat,” Dolce said. “Thirteen-year-olds in Iowa beat that every single season. The 30-day, the 10-day (weight check) – athletes hack that. I know the athletes right now are hacking that at California, laughing at California while they have their game in their scales. It’s silly. All this red tape is silly.”

Another issue that Dolce takes with the plan is the “suspect” limit of 10 percent of their body mass that any given fighter is allowed to have gained back by fight night. That type of measure, Dolce said, should be analyzed on an individual basis – or it will only discourage fighters to rehydrate properly.

“How is that in the interest of the athletes’ health and safety?” Dolce said. “What science actually says that you can’t hydrate more than 10 percent or you’re unhealthy? Because all the science points to adequate hydration, with no specific percentage and no specific cap.”

What can be done to change things, though? For Dolce, first there needs to be a general mobilization around the seriousness of the issue. Which includes the media. Right now, he said, headlines alerting to the dangers of weight cuts are sparsely thrown around and quickly drowned out in the noise as the MMA world moves on.

That can start with people actually paying attention when fighters like Lee, Cris Cyborg, Khabib Nurmagomedov and Anthony Pettis talk about how their harrowing cuts felt like near-death experiences.

RelatedUFC President Dana White: More divisions isn't the solution to MMA's weight-cutting woes

“Does anybody listen to this?” Dolce said. “Is anybody paying attention to this? And what is being done about it other than a few articles showing up on a few websites and then it disappears? Then the industry just moves on.

“It’s like the industry is just waiting for the worst-case scenario to happen before there’s a cultural change.”

For Dolce, in order to ensure safety, harsher penalties should be placed upon fighters. They should also be expected to be in shape for 52 weeks of the year. And, as a general rule, he said they should always be physically able to take any fight on six weeks’ notice.

If in a case like Alvey’s something ends up going terribly wrong, Dolce ponders, who’s to blame? Cases can be argued for the the promotion, for the local athletic commission or even for the management team. Ultimately, though, it’s the fighter who’ll bear the consequences.

“But is there any other contributory element to that?” Dolce said. “That’s a much deeper larger conversation that can be had. And probably will be had for the wrong reasons within the next few years if we don’t do something about it.”

To hear more from Dolce, check out the video above.

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

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


Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

Bellator 186 staff picks: Is anyone picking upsets in the 2 title fights on Penn State's campus?

Bader
vs.
Vassell Ducote
vs.
Macfarlane Dempsey
vs.
Ruth Davis
vs.
Leite Awad
vs.
Freeman MMAjunkie readers’
consensus picks
2017: 97-67
Bader
(87%)
Macfarlane
(75%)
Ruth
(68%)
Davis
(90%)
Awad
(54%) Simon Samano
@SJSamano
2017: 108-62
Bader
Macfarlane
Ruth
Davis
Freeman Ben Fowlkes @BenFowlkesMMA
2017: 106-64
2016 Champion
Bader
Macfarlane
Ruth
Davis
Freeman Dann Stupp
@DannStupp
2017: 106-64
2015 Champion
Bader
Macfarlane
Ruth
Davis
Freeman Steven Marrocco @MMAjunkieSteven
2017: 105-65
Bader
Macfarlane
Ruth
Davis
Awad Brian Garcia
@thegoze
2017: 103-67
Bader
Macfarlane
Ruth
Davis
Awad Fernanda Prates @nandaprates_
2017: 100-70
Bader
Macfarlane
Ruth
Davis
Freeman Matt Erickson @MMAjunkieMatt
2017: 98-72
Bader
Macfarlane
Ruth
Davis
Freeman George Garcia @MMAjunkieGeorge
2017: 97-73
Bader
Macfarlane
Ruth
Davis
Awad John Morgan @MMAjunkieJohn
2017: 97-73
Bader
Macfarlane
Dempsey
Davis
Freeman Mike Bohn @MikeBohnMMA
2017: 96-72
2014 Champion
Bader
Macfarlane
Ruth
Davis
Awad

Bellator returns this week with a pair of titles on the line at the top of the bill in “Happy Valley.”

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

(Click here to open a PDF of the staff picks grid in a separate window.)

In the main event, light heavyweight champion Ryan Bader (23-5 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) puts his title on the line for the first time when he meets veteran challenger Linton Vassell (18-5 MMA, 7-2 BMMA). Bader is more than a 3-1 favorite in the fight and is one of three unanimous picks on the main card from our 10 MMAjunkie editors, writers and radio hosts.

In the co-feature, Emily Ducote (6-2 MMA, 4-1 BMMA) and Ilima Macfarlane (6-0 MMA, 5-0 BMMA) meet in a rematch for the inaugural Bellator women’s flyweight title. Macfarlane won the first fight less than a year ago by unanimous decision. She’s a heavy favorite in the rematch and another unanimous pick from our staff members.

The other unanimous nod on the main card comes in the form of former 205-pound champion Phil Davis (17-4-1 MMA, 4-1 BMMA) against Leo Leite (10-0 MMA, 0-0 BMMA), who is making his promotional debut. Davis is the heaviest favorite on the main card at more than 6-1. He’ll be fighting in front of a friendly crowd at Penn State – he wrestled there in college.

Another Nittany Lions wrestling product is Ed Ruth (3-0 MMA, 3-0 BMMA), who takes on Bellator newcomer Chris Dempsey (11-5 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) in a middleweight bout on the main card. Ruth is a 9-1 pick from our staff members. And in the closest fight from a picks perspective, as well as in the betting lines, Zach Freeman (9-2 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) has a 6-4 edge over Saad Awad (20-9 MMA, 8-6 BMMA) in their lightweight fight to open the main card.

In the MMAjunkie reader consensus picks, Bader, Macfarlane, Ruth, Davis and Awad are the choices.

Check out all the picks above.

For more on Bellator 186, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Ryan Bader (blue gloves) reacts to fight against Phill Davis (red gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Phill Davis (red gloves) fights Ryan Bader (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Phill Davis (red gloves) fights Ryan Bader (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Phill Davis (red gloves) fights Ryan Bader (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Ryan Bader (blue gloves) fights Phill Davis (not pictured) fights during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Phill Davis (red gloves) fights Ryan Bader (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Phill Davis (red gloves) fights Ryan Bader (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Phill Davis (red gloves) fights Ryan Bader (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Phill Davis (red gloves) fights Ryan Bader (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Phill Davis (red gloves) fights Ryan Bader (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Phill Davis (red gloves) fights Ryan Bader (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Phill Davis (red gloves) fights Ryan Bader (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Phill Davis (red gloves) fights Ryan Bader (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Phill Davis (red gloves) fights Ryan Bader (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Phill Davis (red gloves) fights Ryan Bader (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Phill Davis (red gloves) fights Ryan Bader (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Phill Davis (red gloves) fights Ryan Bader (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Phill Davis (red gloves) fights Ryan Bader (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Phill Davis (red gloves) fights Ryan Bader (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Phill Davis (red gloves) fights Ryan Bader (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Phill Davis (red gloves) fights Ryan Bader (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Phill Davis (red gloves) fights Ryan Bader (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Phill Davis (red gloves) fights Ryan Bader (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Phill Davis (red gloves) fights Ryan Bader (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Phill Davis (red gloves) fights Ryan Bader (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Ryan Bader (blue gloves) reacts to fight against Phill Davis (red gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Ryan Bader (blue gloves) reacts to fight against Phill Davis (red gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-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/xaqMxtT2yuF9vtbVHUws8h/281199", customAnalytics: true, title: "Bader def. Davis", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News

Watch Dana White goof on the tattoos of Conor McGregor, Brock Lesnar, Alan Belcher


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

UFC President Dana White says he isn’t really a tattoo guy, which might be surprising for an MMA promoter.

In a new video from GQ.com, White plays a game of “Guess Those Tattoos.” And in the world of MMA, there’s no shortage of ink.

It gives White ample opportunity to goof on the likes of UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor, ex-heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, former interim titleholder Carlos Condit, former contender Alan Belcher (and his infamous Johnny Cash ink), vet Darren Elkins, WWE star turned MMA fighter Phil “CM Punk” Brooks and others.

RelatedMMA has inspired some terrible tattoos, but this McGregor-Diaz ink is pretty amazing

“I think tattoos are a bad idea, whether you’re a fighter or not,” White says. “But man, fighters got some bad taste in tattoos.”

When asked to identify fighters by their tattoos alone, White had a surprisingly solid success rate.

Check out the full video above.

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

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

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/HPw3CvabZ8Rz65P6nkwQP6/281576", customAnalytics: true, title: "Mayweather def. 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Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with Mickey Gall, Duane Ludwig and Jason Buchamer


Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Mickey Gall, Duane Ludwig and Jason Buchamer.

Fast-rising Gall fights fellow welterweight Randy Brown on Saturday’s UFC 217 preliminary card. Ludwig corners T.J. Dillashaw, who challenges bantamweight titleholder Cody Garbrandt, in the co-headliner of the event. Former MMAjunkie Radio intern Buchamer recaps the latest episode of “The Ultimate Fighter 26.”

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

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

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

Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

Why is Georges St-Pierre a big deal? 5 fights that defined a UFC legend

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Take heed, fight fans. The return of Georges St-Pierre in a middleweight title fight with Michael Bisping at UFC 217 on Saturday is nigh at hand.

If, like me, you’re wondering why that doesn’t seem like a bigger deal to more people, maybe it’s time to consider a lot has changed in the four years since St-Pierre last fought, and those changes might include some serious shifts in the fanbase.

For instance, you could have first discovered an interest in MMA midway through your freshman year, gotten gradually more into it during your sophomore and junior years, then graduated as a wise and haggard senior all without ever having actually lived through a GSP fight.

You could have watched every moment of the last 161 UFC events, which would have taken roughly 1,000 hours of your life, and still never have seen the former longstanding welterweight champion in action.

RelatedUFC 217 preview: The historic numbers behind Michael Bisping vs. Georges St-Pierre

What’s it to you if he’s coming back now? And if he’s so great, why doesn’t he have a bunch of fight-ending highlights floating around the internet? There’s not a single clip of him yelling at someone while throwing an energy drink at the guy’s head, so how important could he be?

All fair points (kind of). So here, let’s look back at the defining moments that made St-Pierre an MMA great – even if we have to peer into the non-HD vault of UFC fight footage to do it.

1. St-Pierre vs. Sean Sherk, UFC 56

It’s crazy to think GSP got his first crack at the UFC title in just his third fight with the promotion, and his eighth pro fight overall. What’s even crazier is that he lost, getting armbarred by Matt Hughes for the first loss of his career in a battle for the vacant 170-pound title belt.

It was a crushing blow for the 23 year-old St-Pierre, but a year later he was back near the top of the welterweight division, having reeled off four wins in a row. The last came against Sean Sherk, who would later become UFC lightweight champ, but on that night he was little more than a punching bag for a bigger, stronger GSP.

But what was really notable about the fight was what came after. During a post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, St-Pierre literally got down on his knees and begged “UFC management” for another chance at the title. It succeeded in helping him stand out, especially since the very next fight on the card saw the champion Hughes defeat Joe Riggs via submission.

RelatedWhy did Georges St-Pierre leave? Before UFC 217 return, GSP discusses self-imposed exile 2. St-Pierre vs. Matt Hughes II, UFC 65

In his rematch with the champion, St-Pierre vowed that he wouldn’t make the same mistake he did in the first fight. That mistake? “I gave him too much respect,” St-Pierre said.

He was already on the path to avoiding that error some two months before the fight, when he showed up at Hughes’ title defense against B.J. Penn at UFC 63 (a spot that was supposed to be St-Pierre’s before injury forced him out of the fight) and hugged the victorious champion before dropping one of his most famous lines.

“I’m very glad you won that fight, Matt,” St-Pierre said into the microphone. “But I’m not impressed with your performance.”

By St-Pierre standards, it was blisteringly severe trash talk. He would meet Hughes in the rematch two months later, and this time it was a different St-Pierre who showed up. Confident, aggressive, he attacked the champion with a diverse striking attack, dropping him with help from his signature Superman punch late in the first, then finishing him with a head kick followed by ground-and-pound early in the second.

At the time it felt like a monumental shift. After two long stints as champ, the first interrupted only briefly by a loss to Penn, Hughes felt like the welterweight champion of record for many MMA fans. Seeing him so easily dethroned seemed to mark the beginning of a new era – one that would continue for the better part of the next seven years, with only one brief pause …

Georges St-Pierre got revenge on Matt Serra but not before one of the most stunning upsets in MMA history.

3. St-Pierre vs. Matt Serra, UFC 69

Any conversation about the biggest upsets in MMA history must inevitably include GSP’s first fight with Serra, who came into the bout as a roughly 8-1 underdog and left as the UFC welterweight champion. This was the unthinkable in action. Serra had earned the shot by winning the welterweight division of a “comeback” season on “The Ultimate Fighter.” Coming into the bout, he seemed less like a threatening challenger and more like a man in possession of a certain kind of lottery ticket.

That all changed when Serra’s right hand found the sweet spot just behind St-Pierre’s ear. Soon the 13-1 favorite was stumbling like a newborn fawn, and Serra was swarming in for more. When the fight was finally stopped and the belt strapped around his waist, even Serra seemed to be in a state of shock.

RelatedBefore UFC 217 headliner, watch Georges St-Pierre get revenge on Matt Serra to reclaim title

As for GSP, he became obsessed with, in his words, “revenge.” He wanted nothing more than to beat Serra and reclaim his title. As he would later tell it, a sports psychiatrist he was working with compared his single-minded focus to a brick that was weighing him down day after day.

“He made me get a brick, and I wrote ‘Matt Serra’ on it, and he said, ‘When you are ready to release that brick and look to the future, you’re going to take this brick and throw it into the river.’ It sounds stupid, but that’s what I did,” St-Pierre said. “I think it helped me to release a lot of the negative energy that I had. Instead of focusing, I kept my eyes off of the goal. So now I’m focused again on the goal. I think this helped me a lot.”

After a decision win over Josh Koscheck, followed by a submission over Hughes in the rubber match for an interim title, St-Pierre got another shot at Serra almost exactly one year after their first fight. This time GSP took no chances. After touching gloves to start the fight, he immediately took Serra down and then began a systematic destruction that finally ended with a barrage of knees to the body of a downed and exhausted Serra late in the second round. He had avenged his only loss as champion. And he has yet to lose again.

Georges St-Pierre dominated B.J. Penn at UFC 94.

4. St-Pierre vs. B.J. Penn, UFC 94

GSP’s path to winning the title in the first place had gone straight through another former champion in Penn, who he narrowly defeated via split decision after being bloodied early on in a three-round fight at UFC 58. After Penn’s follow-up loss to Hughes, he returned to lightweight, where he soon won the vacant title before defending it against Sherk, who’d been stripped of the belt after testing positive for steroids in 2007.

But Penn couldn’t seem to forget about St-Pierre, and soon he was talking about going back up in weight for a champion-vs.-champion clash with the welterweight titleholder. The UFC apparently liked the idea enough to put more promotional muscle than usual behind the bout, including a new preview show called “UFC Primetime,” which showed both men’s preparations (though it also led to some criticism of Penn’s training habits and work ethic).

St-Pierre would dominate Penn in the fight, eventually forcing a corner stoppage at the end of the fourth round, but controversy soon followed. Penn and his team pointed toward a moment earlier in the fight, when one of GSP’s coaches – muay thai specialist and general guru Phil Nurse – appeared to rub Vaseline on St-Pierre’s chest between rounds.

Penn took his complaint to the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which heard from just about everyone – including Penn’s mother – in a hearing on the matter. St-Pierre and his team insisted that any violation of the rules was accidental, but for a time the accusation threatened to stick to the champion. Other previous opponents popped up with complaints that GSP felt “greasy” during their fights, though it was hard to tell what was serious accusation and what was just sour grapes.

Ultimately, the NSAC took no action against St-Pierre, and Penn had to live with the lopsided loss. Though St-Pierre would go on to defend his title seven more times, the victory over Penn was his last stoppage win to date.

Georges St-Pierre eked out a controversial win over Johny Hednricks at UFC 167.

5. St-Pierre vs. Johny Hendricks, UFC 167

After going to his “dark place” to beat Nick Diaz in March 2013, St-Pierre returned in November to face a dangerous contender on a six-fight winning streak. Hendricks made for an interesting opponent because he seemed to pose a new kind of challenge for St-Pierre. His background as an NCAA national champion wrestler meant he wouldn’t be as easy to take down as past opponents like Diaz and Carlos Condit, and his string of knockout victories suggested he could hurt the champion on the feet.

In a lot of ways, Hendricks lived up to those promises. Over five close rounds, Hendricks seemed to hurt St-Pierre with strikes at several points, leaving his already bruise-prone face looking like a lump of spoiled fruit by the end.

Georges St-Pierre after UFC 167.

Still, two of the three judges saw it for St-Pierre, surprising many fans and fellow fighters who thought Hendricks had done enough to take the title. In the cage after the win, GSP threw more fuel on the fire. He was “stepping away” from the sport of MMA, he told Rogan. He refused to explain why, or to say if or when he might return.

At the ensuing post-fight press conference, UFC President Dana White was livid. Much of his ire was directed at the judges and the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which he called “atrocious” and in need of an intervention from the governor’s office.

But as White ranted and raved – all before St-Pierre had arrived – he also complained about St-Pierre’s post-fight comments.

“He didn’t say he was going to retire,” White said of GSP. “He said, ‘I’m going to take some time off.’ You don’t just say, ‘Hey I’m going to take some time off, maybe I’ll be back, maybe I won’t.’ You owe it to the fans, you owe it to that belt, you owe it to this company, and you owe it to Johny Hendricks to give him that opportunity to fight again, unless you’re going to retire.”

St-Pierre, however, was resolute. He’d made up his mind. Having his boss scream at him while he was out of the room didn’t seem to soften his stance any.

“I’ve being fighting for a very long time at a high level,” St-Pierre said. “It’s a lot of pressure. I’ve decided I need to take time off. I vacated my title for the respect of other competitors. One day, when I feel like it, I might come back. But right now, I need a break.”

And that was the last we saw of him in the UFC. Until now.

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

Mar 3, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Georges St-Pierre speaks during a press conference to promote his middleweight title bout against Michael Bisping (not pictured) prior to weigh ins for UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC fighter Georges St-Pierre in attendance at UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Feb 15, 2014; Jaragua do Sul, SC, Brazil; Georges St-Pierre between rounds in a fight between Ronaldo Souza (red gloves) and Francis Carmont (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night Machida vs Mousasi at Arena Jaragua. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 15, 2014; Jaragua do Sul, SC, Brazil; Georges St-Pierre before a fight between Ronaldo Souza (red gloves) and Francis Carmont (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night Machida vs Mousasi at Arena Jaragua. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 15, 2014; Jaragua do Sul, SC, Brazil; Georges St-Pierre before a fight between Ronaldo Souza (red gloves) and Francis Carmont (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night Machida vs Mousasi at Arena Jaragua. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Nov 16, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Georges St-Pierre (red gloves) enters the cage before his welterweight championship bout during UFC 167 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Nov 16, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Georges St-Pierre (red gloves) fights against Johny Hendricks (blue gloves) in their welterweight championship bout during UFC 167 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Nov 16, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Georges St-Pierre (red gloves) fights against Johny Hendricks (blue gloves) in their welterweight championship bout during UFC 167 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Nov 16, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Georges St-Pierre (red gloves) and Johny Hendricks (blue gloves) hug after their welterweight championship bout during UFC 167 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Nov 16, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Georges St-Pierre is interviewed by Joe Rogan after his welterweight championship bout against Johny Hendricks during UFC 167 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Sep 21, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Georges St-Pierre the training partner of Francis Carmont (not pictured) yells instructions as he fights Costa Philippou (not pictured) during their Middleweight bout at UFC 165 at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Mar 13, 2013; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; UFC World champion Georges St-Pierre shakes the hand of Montreal Canadiens captain Brian Gionta (21) before the game against Ottawa Senators at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports Nov 17, 2012; Montreal, QC, Canada; Georges St-Pierre (black) ties up Carlos Condit (white) during first round action of their Welterweight Championship bout at UFC 154 at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports Nov 17, 2012; Montreal, QC, Canada; Georges St-Pierre (black) lands a punch on Carlos Condit (red) during second round action of their Welterweight Championship bout at UFC 154 at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports Nov 17, 2012; Montreal, QC, Canada; Georges St-Pierre (top) checks the remaining time left in the fifth round in his Welterweight Championship bout against Carlos Condit (bottom) at UFC 154 at the Bell Centre. St-Pierre defeated Condit by unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports Nov 17, 2012; Montreal, QC, Canada; UFC official Yves Lavigne separates Georges St-Pierre and Carlos Condit during fourth round action in their Welterweight Championship bout at UFC 154 at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports Nov 17, 2012; Montreal, QC, Canada; Georges St-Pierre reacts after the fifth round of his Welterweight Championship bout against Carlos Condit at UFC 154 at the Bell Centre. St-Pierre defeated Condit by unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports Nov 17, 2012; Montreal, QC, Canada; Georges St-Pierre is declared the winner by unanimous decision in his Welterweight Championship bout against Carlos Condit at UFC 154 at the Bell Centre. St-Pierre defeated Condit by unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports Nov 17, 2012; Montreal, QC, Canada; Georges St-Pierre poses for a photo with his parents Pauline and Roland after winning the Welterweight Championship bout against Carlos Condit at UFC 154 at the Bell Centre. St-Pierre defeated Condit by unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports Nov 17, 2012; Montreal, QC, Canada; Georges St-Pierre poses for a photo with his team after winning the Welterweight Championship bout against Carlos Condit at UFC 154 at the Bell Centre. St-Pierre defeated Condit by unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/hF8yUvbvEwuDVFQfhkLsJ5/281284", customAnalytics: true, title: "Georges St-Pierre", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

5 reasons to watch Bellator 186, where a once-disrespected challenger gets his wish

After he signed a free-agent deal with Bellator, former UFC light heavyweight contender Ryan Bader was booked to face Muhammed Lawal in his promotional debut, but an injury forced “King Mo” from the fight. That gave Bader the opportunity to meet then-light heavyweight champion Phil Davis at Bellator 180.

Bader won by split decision, and the victory earned him the first major title of his 10-year career. On Friday Bader looks to defend that title when he meets Linton Vassell in Bellator 186’s main event.

In the co-main event, Ilima Macfarlane faces Emily Ducote for the Bellator’s inaugural women’s flyweight title.

Former champ Davis also appears on this card and welcomes Bellator newcomer Leo Leite to the promotion.

Bellator 186 takes place at Bryce Jordan Center on Penn State’s campus in University Park, Pa., with a main card on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

Here are five reasons to watch the event.

1. Put the lesson to good use

Not long after Bader took the light heavyweight title from Davis at Bellator 180, Bellator President Scott Coker told MMAjunkie he was leaning toward Bader vs. Lawal for the freshly minted champ’s first title defense. That didn’t sit well with Vassell, who defeated former champ Liam McGeary at Bellator 179.

“I do feel disrespected,” Vassell told MMAjunkie. “I feel like what I’ve done is not enough. Beating former world champions is not enough. If you’ve got a bigger name, then you’re going to get the fight – win or lose. No disrespect for Mo, but his recent record is win, loss, win, loss.

“When Scott was asked the question (about who was next), he didn’t even mention my name. He just said, ‘Yeah, Mo will be next in line.’”

In August, the promotion gave Vassell (18-5 MMA, 7-2 BMMA), who is No. 14 in the most recent USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA light-heavyweight rankings, what he wanted: the opportunity to fight the No. 3-ranked Bader (23-5 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) for his title.

This is Vassell’s second shot at the light heavyweight crown. In his previous title fight, then-champ Emanuel Newton submitted him in the fifth round. Vassell had the champ in trouble multiple times during that contest with his own submission game, but he couldn’t force the tap.

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Vassell, who is in the midst of a three-fight winning streak, has waited three years for his second shot at Bellator gold. He’s said he learned from his first title fight loss, and we’ll find out if that’s true at Bellator 186.

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Macfarlane has had a wild ride in MMA. She made her pro debut in 2015 and won that fight with a 10-second knockout. Video of the stoppage quickly went viral after her overmatched opponent, Katie Castro, was dubbed a “soccer mom.” Since then, Macfarlane has done an excellent job of shaking off whatever stigma came with that win. She’s now 6-0, and at Bellator 186, she meets Ducote for the inaugural flyweight title.

This is the second meeting between these two. In the first fight, Macfarlane scored a unanimous-decision victory. Since that bout, Macfarlane (6-0 MMA, 5-0 BMMA) has one win – a first-round armbar submission – while Ducote (6-2 MMA, 4-1 BMMA) has a submission win and decision victory to her name.

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The first matchup between these two was fairly even. Ducote had the advantage on the feet, but Macfarlane’s aggressive ground game won her the fight.

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Former light heavyweight champ Davis (17-4 MMA, 4-1 BMMA) meets promotional newcomer Leite at Bellator 186.

Even though this is Leite’s (10-0 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) first fight with Bellator, he’s no neophyte when it comes to combat sports. He enters this bout as a former dual-division titleholder with Legacy FC. He also sports a perfect 10-0 record. Leite has also won world championships in judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. The only mark against the Brazilian is that he hasn’t fought in nearly a year.

This is a high-risk, low-reward fight for Davis. Not only is he fighting at the school where he won an NCAA Division I national wrestling championship, but he also faces an opponent who lacks the name recognition of many of his former foes. If Davis, who is ranked No. 4 in the light-heavyweight division, loses this fight, his road back to a title shot could lengthen.

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Zach Freeman

Zach Freeman raised his profile considerably in his most recent fight. Freeman was the man Bellator picked to fight the much-hyped Aaron Pico in his pro debut. Freeman ran over Pico, submitting him in 24 seconds in front of a stunned crowd at Madison Square Garden.

Freeman (9-2 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) takes a considerable step up in competition at Bellator 186, where he faces 14-fight Bellator veteran Saad Awad (20-9 MMA, 8-6 BMMA), who has been in the cage with some of the best fighters in the promotion’s lightweight division.

Awad has had mixed results in those fights, but he’s a tough, well-rounded fighter who puts a lot of pressure on his opponents. Awad defeated Ryan Quinn by decision in his most recent bout.

If Freeman can get past Awad, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Bellator fast-tracked him into a fight against a top-five lightweight in his next outing.

5. Stepping up

Ed Ruth (3-0 MMA, 3-0 BMMA) wanted a step up in competition for his fourth professional fight. He gets that in former UFC competitor Chris Dempsey (11-5 MMA, 0-0 BMMA), who had a four-fight run with the UFC between 2012-2016.

During that time, he went 1-3, and his three losses all came via first-round knockout. In his most recent bout, Dempsey was knocked out in 40 seconds by Adam Hunter at a regional show (Hunter signed with the UFC after that victory).

Ruth, a three-time NCAA Division I national wrestling champion at Penn State, turned pro in MMA in 2016.

Since inking his deal with Bellator, Ruth has looked like a solid prospect. He’s still working on his situational awareness, and he does rely heavily on his wrestling, but he’s making steady progress. One thing in Ruth’s favor in this fight is Dempsey’s takedown defense, which was a mere 16 percent during his UFC tenure.

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For more on Bellator 186, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News

Bellator 186's Ed Ruth on why punching people is way easier than wrestling

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, Videos

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – Let’s get one thing clear: Ed Ruth wants to punch someone in the face. Anyone. After all, that’s way easier than wrestling.

As it happens, on Friday at Bellator 186, the person Ruth (3-0 MMA, 3-0 BMMA) wants to punch in the face is UFC veteran Chris Dempsey (11-5 MMA, 0-0 BMMA), who is making his promotional debut against the former Penn State University wrestling standout, now an unbeaten and up-and-coming middleweight.

Bellator 186 takes place at Bryce Jordan Center on Penn State’s campus in University Park, Pa. The main card, including Ruth vs. Dempsey, airs on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

RelatedLinton Vassell says he's night and day difference from first title shot to Bellator 186

In his young MMA career, Ruth has three knockouts in three fights. For his fourth fight in his first year as a pro, he wants to keep that perfect finishing rate.

“I’m looking for the fourth knockout,” Ruth told MMAjunkie on Wednesday. “Obviously I want to go for submissions and everything (eventually). But once you first step in the cage, and you’re a young fighter, the first thing on your mind is you just want to punch somebody. You just want to hit ’em. It’s a new feeling – it’s brand new.

“(When) I was wrestling, I could just grapple you. I could just grab your leg and take you down. Now I can just punch you. That’s easy. Once you get past that initial fear of punching someone in the face, it’s great. It takes a lot of stress out of your body.”

Dempsey comes into the fight as the most accomplished MMA opponent Ruth will have been in the cage against. But he’s fallen on some hard times. After a 10-1 start to his career, he got the call from the UFC. But there, he went just 1-3, and his lone win was a questionable split decision over Eddie Gordon.

Dempsey’s three UFC losses all were knockouts, and after he was let go, he suffered another KO loss in just 40 seconds to Adam Hunter in Pittsburgh in June. But Dempsey is a Pennsylvanian, too, and may be girded by a home-state fight, even though he’ll clearly be on Ruth’s turf at Penn State.

“I didn’t train just for Chris Dempsey – I’ve been training for anybody, anybody I’ll meet in the Bellator cage,” Ruth said. “I’ve seen him as a fighter. I just don’t believe he has anything I should be scared of. I don’t think he has anything that will stump me. But as I go out there, I’m still going to respect him like he’s a champion. I don’t want to go out there with my hands down, flat-footed, and get caught. That happens. I saw a couple of his fights in the past, (but) I didn’t see too much that made me put up the alert.”

For more from Ruth, check out the video above.

And for more on Bellator 186, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, Videos

'PFL: Fight Night' co-headliner Steven Siler just trying to 'have fun beating people up'

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Filed under: News, PFL

Steven Siler had his run in the UFC, going 5-4 inside the octagon from December 2011 until his final fight with the industry leader in June 2014. Back then, the focus was 100 percent on training and fighting.

That’s a little tougher these days.

Siler (29-16), who takes Lance Palmer (11-3) in the co-main event of tonight’s “PFL: Fight Night” event in Washington D.C. (8 p.m. ET on MMAjunkie), has fought for four different promotions since leaving the UFC. PFL will mark his fifth.

RelatedWith plans to retire before 35, PFL's Lance Palmer wants to make most of time in MMA

Things are different as he now holds a regular day job in the mornings to balance with training for MMA fights. He is, however, thankful for the support he gets from his wife, who’s been doing well in real estate to allow him to concentrate more on training.

“That’s helped us out quite a bit,” Siler told MMAjunkie Radio. “Let me train a lot more, teach and just get ready for some fights.”

Because fighting is what he still enjoys most.

“I’m just trying to have fun in the gym, have fun beating people up,” Siler said.

To hear more from Siler, including his thoughts on his matchup with Palmer, check out the video above.

And for more on “PFL: Fight Night,” check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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


Filed under: News, PFL

You may not know Leo Leite, but Phil Davis knows the danger at Bellator 186

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, Videos

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – The name standing across from Phil Davis on Friday at Bellator 186 may not jump out to casual fans.

And it may not be one that many would presume would get the former champ back into quick title contention at light heavyweight. But Davis (17-4-1 MMA, 4-1 BMMA) appears to be acutely aware of the kind of threat Leo Leite (10-0 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) presents to him.

Brazil’s Leite, making his Bellator debut, is a black belt in both Brazilian jiu-jitsu and judo. And while the 39-year old only has a few fights that are quickly recognizable Stateside – he won Legacy FC’s light heavyweight title in 2014 and defended it twice the next year – he’s been competing around the world outside MMA for years.

RelatedBellator 205-pound champ Ryan Bader interested in heavyweight tournament

“He’s a high-level athlete and he has a lot of tricks,” Davis told MMAjunkie on Wednesday. “Judo is very tricky and it’s very uncommon. When Ronda Rousey was on top of her game and she was doing things to people, people thought, ‘Oh wow! I didn’t know you could just throw people like that. We haven’t seen that.’ So there’s a skill set there that you don’t see very often. We did a little special preparation just for those judo throws and a lot of things that he brings to the game.”

Bellator 186 takes place Friday at Bryce Jordan Center on Penn State’s campus in University Park, Pa. The main card, including Davis vs. Leite, airs on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

Davis came to Bellator in 2015 after a long UFC run. He won the promotion’s one-night light heavyweight tournament with a submission of Emanuel Newton and konckout of Francis Carmont, then took a unanimous decision from Muhammad Lawal in May 2016 to get a shot at the title then held by Liam McGeary.

A year ago, Davis won that belt by outpointing McGeary and moved to 4-0 in his new promotional home. But in June, at Bellator 180 in New York, he dropped a split decision to Ryan Bader – again. Bader beat him in his final UFC fight, also by split call. But in June, he had to surrender a belt.

Now he wants to start the climb back to title contention so he can get another crack at Bader, or whoever holds the title. Bader headlines Bellator 186 against Linton Vassell on Friday a few fights after Davis vs. Leite.

“This fight Friday is big and I just want to get back in the win column and just continue to gain momentum and keep pushing forward,” Davis said Wednesday. “This fight, win this in impressive fashion, and we’ll get the belt back.”

For more from Davis, check out the video above.

And for more on Bellator 186, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, Videos

MMAjunkie's 'Fight of the Month' for October: A bloody brawl that ends in a draw

With another action-packed month of MMA in the books, MMAjunkie looks at the best fights from October. Here are the five nominees, listed in chronological order, and winner of MMAjunkie’s “Fight of the Month” award for October.

At the bottom of the post, let us know if we got it right by voting on your choice.

* * * *

The Nominees

Bobby Green vs. Lando Vannata at UFC 216

Every time Lando Vannata (9-2-1 MMA, 1-2-1 UFC) has stepped in the octagon he’s delivered a bonus-worthy performance. He did it again in his lightweight bout with Bobby Green (23-8-1 MMA, 4-3-1 UFC), but it wasn’t enough to leave with a victory.

Vannata had a point taken away in the first round when he threw an illegal knee. Green continued despite absorbing the blow, and it was high-intensity for the remainder of the bout. Green’s late rally got him back in the fight, and the judges rules the contest a split draw.

Beneil Dariush vs. Evan Dunham at UFC 216

It was a tale of two fights for Evan Dunham (18-6-1 MMA, 11-6-1 UFC) and Beneil Dariush (14-3-1 MMA, 8-3-1 UFC), and the result of the entertaining lightweight bout was a majority draw.

Dariush had a big first round against Dunham, and it resulted in a pair of 10-8 scores. So even though Dunham won the second two rounds from that same pair of judges, it only got him to a pair of 28-28 scores for the draw. A third judge gave the fight to Dariush, 29-28.

Tony Ferguson def. Kevin Lee at UFC 216

It was far from an easy night of work for Tony Ferguson (24-3 MMA, 14-1 UFC), but a third-round a slick triangle choke”>triangle choke got Kevin Lee (16-3 MMA, 9-3 UFC) to tap, crowning “El Cucuy” as the UFC’s newest interim champion.

After a back-and-forth two rounds began the fight, Ferguson’s superiority on the ground allowed him to set up. Lee attempted to fight out, but the choke was too fight and he was forced to tap out, crowning Ferguson as the new interim UFC lightweight champion.

Brian Kelleher def. Damian Stasiak at UFC Fight Night 118

Brian Kelleher (18-8 MMA, 2-1 UFC) had to struggle through some early adversity against Damian Stasiak (10-5 MMA, 2-3 UFC), and then he had to find a way to put away an extremely tough opponent.

Kelleher managed to do both, rallying from behind to win the bantamweight contest. He wore Stasiak down with his physicality and managed to thump his way to a TKO stoppage with less than 90 seconds remaining in the fight.

Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos def. Max Griffin at UFC Fight Night 119

Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos (18-5 MMA, 4-1 UFC) nearly put Max Griffin (13-4 MMA, 1-2 UFC) away in the first, causing many to criticize the referee, doctors and cornermen. Griffin managed to stay in the fight, though, hurting dos Santos in the second.

But after a wild fight with swings in both directions, it was dos Santos who put things together down the stretch to beat a very tough Griffin via unanimous decision after three rounds of exciting welterweight action.

* * * *

The Winner: Bobby Green vs. Lando Vannata

In a razor-thin fight, it was a point deduction that led to the draw between lightweights Vannata and Green.

Vannata had a point taken away in the first round when he threw an illegal knee against Green. Each fighter took a 29-27 score, and a third judge scored the fight 28-28. Absent the point deduction for the illegal knee, Vannata would have walked away with a split decision win.

Vannata pushed Green back early, then ducked under a Green left hand. The two tied up briefly, and when they broke it was Vannata who landed two heavy leg kicks, the second of which nearly took Green off his feet. After a brief clinch on the fence, where Green landed a solid elbow, Vannata landed a head kick.

RelatedThat Lando Vannata-Bobby Green draw at UFC 216 was a bloody good time

Green survived it, but seconds later Vannata stunned Green and put him on the canvas. He went after him and landed ground-and-pound, but when Green tried to get up, with one of his knees still grounded, Vannata threw a big knee. He knew immediately it was illegal and referee Herb Dean stopped the fight.

Although the replays showed the knee didn’t land flush, it still was an illegal strike, and Dean took a point. On the restart, Vannata went after a guillotine choke, but Green fought out of it and with 75 seconds left they went back to work in the center of the cage. Vannata attacked Green’s lead leg down the stretch, then got a late takedown. But the point deduction turned a 10-9 round for Vannata into a 9-9.

Green landed a good left hand early in the second, but it was Vannata who made it look a little easier finding homes for his strikes. Green stayed in the fight with counters, but Vannata’s right was more effective. Even though it didn’t seem Green was landing heavy shots, Vannata was wearing the damage on his face from Green’s jabs. Midway through, Green pushed Vannata to the fence, but Vannata shrugged him off and dropped him to the canvas. Green got up quickly, but a scramble moments later had Vannata ready to take advantage.

RelatedUFC 216's Lando Vannata appeared to enjoy his ambulance ride after another 'Fight of the Night'

Back on the feet, Vannata landed a huge right hand, then started pouring it on with Green’s hands down. With a minute left, they started slugging. Vannata landed a leg kick. Green landed a knee to the body. And they both were feeling the effects late in the frame.

The two kept trading in the third, and a takedown attempt from Vannata wasn’t there a minute in. Green made sure the cuts on Vannata’s face kept the blood flowing, touching him up just enough. Green caught Vannata a few more times midway through. But Vannata kept the offense flowing, as well. They slugged it out down the stretch, and it was Green who landed several huge combinations just before the horn. Vannata walked away still standing, but with the blood gushing.

Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Lando Vannata (red gloves) and Bobby Green (blue gloves) react after their fights is declared a draw during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Lando Vannata (red gloves) kicks Bobby Green (blue gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Lando Vannata (red gloves) fights Bobby Green (blue gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Lando Vannata (red gloves) competes against Bobby Green (blue gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Lando Vannata (red gloves) fights Bobby Green (blue gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Lando Vannata (red gloves) kicks Bobby Green (blue gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Bobby Green (blue gloves) picks up Lando Vannata (red gloves) during the first round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Bobby Green (blue gloves) punches Lando Vannata (red gloves) during the second round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Bobby Green (blue gloves) punches Lando Vannata (red gloves) during the second round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Lando Vannata (red gloves) competes against Bobby Green (blue gloves) during the second round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Lando Vannata (red gloves) competes against Bobby Green (blue gloves) during the second round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Lando Vannata (red gloves) punches Bobby Green (blue gloves) during the second round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Lando Vannata (red gloves) punches Bobby Green (blue gloves) during the second round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Lando Vannata (red gloves) punches Bobby Green (blue gloves) during the third round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Lando Vannata (red gloves) kicks Bobby Green (blue gloves) during the third round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Lando Vannata (red gloves) fights Bobby Green (blue gloves) during the third round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Bobby Green (blue gloves) punches Lando Vannata (red gloves) during the third round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Lando Vannata (red gloves) punches Bobby Green (blue gloves) during the third round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Lando Vannata (red gloves) punches Bobby Green (blue gloves) during the third round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Oct 7, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Lando Vannata (red gloves) competes against Bobby Green (blue gloves) during the third round during UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/UMM4javKFGYhLFsRzdQSPP/281018", customAnalytics: true, title: "Vannata vs. Green", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start(); Take Our Poll (function(d,c,j){if(!d.getElementById(j)){var pd=d.createElement(c),s;pd.id=j;pd.src='http://s1.wp.com/wp-content/mu-plugins/shortcodes/js/polldaddy-shortcode.js';s=d.getElementsByTagName(c)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(pd,s);} else if(typeof jQuery !=='undefined')jQuery(d.body).trigger('pd-script-load');}(document,'script','pd-polldaddy-loader'));
Filed under: Bellator, News, UFC

UFC's Jim Wallhead notified of potential USADA violation

Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Luan Chagas (red gloves) fights Jim Wallhead (blue gloves) during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Jim Wallhead (blue gloves) during his fight against Luan Chagas during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Luan Chagas (red gloves) fights Jim Wallhead (blue gloves) during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Luan Chagas (red gloves) fights Jim Wallhead (blue gloves) during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Jim "Judo" Wallhead (blue gloves) before fight against Luan "Tarzan" Chagas (red gloves) during UFC 212 at Jeunesse Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Jim "Judo" Wallhead (blue gloves) reacts to fight against Luan "Tarzan" Chagas (red gloves) during UFC 212 at Jeunesse Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Jim "Judo" Wallhead (blue gloves) before fight against Luan "Tarzan" Chagas (red gloves) during UFC 212 at Jeunesse Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Sep 3, 2016; Hamburg, Germany; Jessin Ayari (red gloves) fights against Jim Wallhead (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Barclaycard Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Sep 3, 2016; Hamburg, Germany; Jessin Ayari (red gloves) fights against Jim Wallhead (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Barclaycard Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Sep 3, 2016; Hamburg, Germany; Jessin Ayari (red gloves) fights against Jim Wallhead (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Barclaycard 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/EwLAxRbTQ88ZbXH4fMsvSm/281508", customAnalytics: true, title: "Jim Wallhead", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Jim Wallhead failed a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) drug test and has been notified of a potential UFC anti-doping policy violation.

Officials announced the news on Wednesday.

Wallhead’s failed test was the result of an out-of-competition sample collected on Oct. 7.

From USADA:

“USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case involving Wallhead. 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.”

Wallhead (29-11 MMA, 0-2 UFC) recently pulled out of a UFC Fight Night 118 booking against welterweight Warlley Alves and was ultimately replaced by Salim Touahri at the Oct. 21 event.

“Judo Jimmy,” a 33-year-old BAMMA, Cage Warriors and Bellator vet, entered the UFC in 2016 with a four-fight winning streak. However, he’s fallen short in two UFC bouts with a split-decision defeat to Jessin Ayari and a submission loss to Luan Chagas.

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


Filed under: News, UFC

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