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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

London calls: UFC Fight Night event announced for March 17 at The O2

Mar 18, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Jimi Manuwa (red gloves) greets his fans after his win over Corey Anderson during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Mar 18, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Jimi Manuwa (red gloves) fights Corey Anderson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Mar 18, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Jimi Manuwa (red gloves) fights Corey Anderson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Mar 18, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Jimi Manuwa (red gloves) fights Corey Anderson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Mar 18, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Jimi Manuwa (red gloves) fights Corey Anderson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Mar 18, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Jimi Manuwa (red gloves) defeats Corey Anderson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Mar 18, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Jimi Manuwa (red gloves) defeats Corey Anderson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Mar 18, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Jimi Manuwa (red gloves) defeats Corey Anderson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Mar 18, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Jimi Manuwa (red gloves) defeats Corey Anderson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Mar 18, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Jimi Manuwa (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Mar 18, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Jimi Manuwa (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Mar 18, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Jimi Manuwa poses with his coaches during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Mar 18, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Jimi Manuwa poses with his coaches during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-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/dkkZDqFB68vW6w6WnKDdJ/281501", customAnalytics: true, title: "Manuwa def. Anderson", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

The UFC is set for a return to London in March.

UFC officials today announced a UFC Fight Night event for England’s capital city on March 17.

The event takes place at The O2. Broadcast plans haven’t been announced, and no fights are yet official for the card. The UFC’s most recent London event, UFC Fight Night 107 with a Jimi Manuwa vs. Corey Anderson headliner, took place March 18 and streamed entirely on UFC Fight Pass.

The 2018 return is the UFC’s 10th event in London, which hosted its first show in July 2002 with UFC 65.

“London is always a landmark event for UFC; the fights, fans and city itself always deliver,” UFC Senior Vice President of International and Content David Shaw stated. “To see how the organization has grown from the first event at The Albert Hall in 2002 is incredible. Our dedicated fans have helped us grow the sport in the U.K. to where it is today, and we are delighted to bring our 10th event to London. 2018 will be an exciting year for UFC in EMEA, and we will certainly be kicking things off in style in March.”

Tickets go on sale to the general public on Feb. 2.

For a look back at the UFC’s history in London, check out the UFC-produced graphic below.

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

(Click to enlarge)


Filed under: News, UFC

Watch today's star-studded UFC 217 press conference today at 3 p.m. ET

NEW YORK – You can watch a live stream of today’s UFC 217 press conference, which features all six title-fight participants, here on MMAjunkie at 3 p.m. ET (noon PT).

The fan and media event takes 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.

In addition to UFC President Dana White, today’s press conference features 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) ad 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).

MMAjunkie will be on scene at the event and will have full coverage throughout the day.

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

Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) reacts after winning his fight against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) enters the arena before his fight against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) cut under his left eye during his fight against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) in the UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) fights against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) cut under his left eye during his fight against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) in the UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) bleeds from a cut during his fight against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) in the UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) enters the octagon before his fight against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) celebrates his first round knockout of Luke Rockhold (red) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) fights Luke Rockhold (red) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) fights Luke Rockhold (red) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) celebrates his first round knockout of Luke Rockhold (not pictured) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) celebrates with his wife after his first round knockout of Luke Rockhold (not pictured) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Feb 27, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Anderson Silva (red gloves) competes against Michael Bisping (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Feb 27, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Anderson Silva (red gloves) competes against Michael Bisping (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Feb 27, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Michael Bisping reacts after his fight against Anderson Silva during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/mCWH6kigogSDYNhSJ5YG4T/281499", customAnalytics: true, title: "Michael Bisping", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

Bellator 186 live and official weigh-in results (9 a.m. ET)

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – Bellator returns Friday and touches down for the first time at Penn State University. Today, the fighters will step on the scale for the official weigh-ins.

The official weigh-ins take place at the host hotel in College Station, Pa. Later today, the event’s ceremonial weigh-ins take place at Bryce Jordan Center on Penn State’s campus in University Park, Pa. The same venue hosts Friday’s event, which has a main card airs on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

In the main event, Ryan Bader (23-5 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) puts his light heavyweight title on the line against Linton Vassell (18-5 MMA, 7-2 BMMA). In the co-feature, Emily Ducote (6-2 MMA, 4-1 BMMA) and Ilima Macfarlane (6-0 MMA, 5-0 BMMA) rematch for Bellator’s inaugural women’s wlyweight title.

Bellator 186 weigh-in results include:

MAIN CARD (Spike, 9 p.m. ET)

  • Champ Ryan Bader () vs. Linton Vassell () – for light heavyweight title
  • Emily Ducote () vs. Ilima MacFarlane () – for inaugural women’s flyweight title
  • Chris Dempsey () vs. Ed Ruth ()
  • Phil Davis () vs. Leo Leite ()
  • Saad Awad () vs. Zach Freeman ()

PRELIMINARY CARD (MMAjunkie, 7 p.m. ET)

  • Josh Fremd () vs. Ryan Parker ()
  • Ethan Goss () vs. Andrew Salas ()
  • Frankie Buenafuente () vs. Francis Healy ()
  • Jonathan Bonilla-Bowman () vs. Tywan Claxton ()
  • Matt Secor () vs. Logan Storley ()
  • Matthew Lozano () vs. Dominic Mazzotta ()
  • Mike Otwell () vs. Michael Trizano ()
  • Brett Martinez () vs. Mike Wilkins ()
  • Scott Clymer () vs. Michael Benjamin Putnam ()

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/281495", customAnalytics: true, title: "Bader def. Davis", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News

'PFL: Fight Night' live video stream and official results (8:25 p.m. ET)

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“PFL: Fight Night” takes place tonight, and you can join us for a live video stream and official results from the four-fight card here on MMAjunkie at 8:25 p.m. ET (5:25 p.m. PT).

“PFL: Fight Night” takes place at the Washington Hilton in Washington D.C.

Former WSOF heavyweight champion Blagoy Ivanov (15-1) and Brazilian veteran Caio Alencar (11-1) headline the card.

The event serves as a partnership project with Fight For Children, “a nonprofit based in Washington D.C. with a mission to ensure all kids in the District of Columbia region, especially those in the highest need areas, receive a quality early education and solid foundation for future success,” according to PFL officials.

Official “PFL: Fight Night” results include:

  • Blagoy Ivanov vs. Caio Alencar
  • Lance Palmer vs. Steven Siler
  • Daniel Gallemore vs. Mike Kyle
  • Josenaldo Silva vs. Timur Valiev

For more on “PFL: Fight Night,” check out the MMA Events section of the site.


Filed under: News, PFL, Videos

Video: Watch today's Bellator 186 ceremonial weigh-ins live on MMAjunkie at 5 p.m. ET


Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, Videos

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Bellator 186 ceremonial fighter weigh-ins take place today, and you can catch a live video stream of the proceedings here on MMAjunkie at 5 p.m. ET (2 p.m. PT).

The weigh-ins take place at at Bryce Jordan Center on Penn State’s campus in University Park, Pa. The same venue hosts Friday’s event, which has a main card on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

In addition to the video stream above, you can check out the early and official Bellator 186 weigh-in results from earlier in the day.

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/281497", customAnalytics: true, title: "Bader def. Davis", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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Episode No. 8 recap: 'The Ultimate Fighter 26: A New World Champion'

Episode No. 8 of “The Ultimate Fighter 26: A New World Champion” opens with fight preparation for No. 9 seed Christina Marks of Team Alvarez, who fights No. 8 Emily Whitmire of Team Gaethje in the final opening-round tournament bout.

With Team Gaethje ahead 4-3 in wins so far in the tourney, it’s up to Marks to get a victory and even the playing field for Team Alvarez going into the next round.

Coach Eddie Alvarez has high praise for Marks’ striking but admits that, similar to several other fighters in the tournament, she doesn’t have much grappling or ground skills. Nevertheless, Alvarez said he can guide his fighter to victory.

Back at the “TUF” house, Team Alvarez’s Lauren Murphy is still fuming over her negative interactions with her head coach following her loss earlier in the season. She is debating putting in a request to switch teams and start training with Team Gaethje.

The next day, Murphy arrives at the gym and announces she wants to be part of Team Gaethje. Coach Justin Gaethje and his staff immediately welcome Murphy with open arms, and training gets off to a smooth start.

As Whitmire begins to turn up the intensity in training, she’s also being cautious not to agitate a rib injury that’s been lingering since early in the competition. Whitmire has the support of her good friend and former UFC champion Miesha Tate, who is in the gym as a guest coach. Tate agrees to corner Whitmire for her fight.

Once Team Gaethje finishes training and Team Alvarez arrives at the gym, Murphy takes coach Alvarez aside for a personal conversation. She tells him she’s been frustrated and thinks it would be better for her situation to move to the other team. The news doesn’t sit well with Alvarez, and he tells the rest of his fighters that a “cancer” and “disease” was just cut out of the team.

With that drama aside, it’s time for one of the most anticipated events of each season: the coaches’ challenge. For the first time in the history of the reality series, the coaches will face off in a swimming competition. Coaches Alvarez and Gaethje will have to swim 16 lengths in a 50-meter pool (Olympic-size). The winner gets $10,000, and $1,500 for each member of his team.

Both men are concerned about how they will perform in the race. Gaethje gets off to a quick start while Alvarez opts to pace himself. His strategy begins to pay dividends, and Gaethje slows down significantly after just a few laps. Alvarez takes over and wins in lopsided fashion, but Gaethje is determined to finish the race despite being blown out.

At the weigh-in, Marks and Whitmire come in under the 126-pound flyweight limit. An intense staredown follows, and the eighth opening-round tournament bout is official.

Fight day arrives. Marks and Whitmire head to the TUF Gym for their fight. They finalize preparation in the locker rooms with their respective coaching staffs before making the walk to the octagon. They enter the cage, and the next tournament fight is underway.

No. 8 Emily Whitmire (2-1) vs. No. 9 Christina Marks (8-8)

Round 1 – Whitmire open by faking an overhand right then immediately shooting in for a takedown. She puts Marks on her back less than five seconds in and establishes half guard. Whitmire attempts to advances while Marks is looking to scramble and give up her back. Whitmire gets too high and falls over the top, but before Marks can escape, Whitmire locks on an armbar. She adjusts position and forces Marks to verbally submit, ending the shortest fight of the season.

Emily Whitmire def. Christina Marks via verbal submission (armbar) – Round 1

“There’s no words to describe the emotion I’m feeling right now,” Whitmire says afterward. “I couldn’t be happier with myself and with the team. Everything just worked out perfect.”

Team Gaethje takes a 5-3 lead in the competition with Whitmire’s victory. The opening round of the tournament has come to its conclusion, meaning the quarterfinals are up next. The quarterfinal matchups are set, and the field shakes out as follows:

Bracket A

  • No. 1 Roxanne Modafferi (Team Gaethje) vs. No. 8 Emily Whitmire (Team Gaethje)
  • No.  4 DeAnna Bennett (Team Alvarez) vs. No. 12 Sijara Eubanks (Team Alvarez)

Bracket B

  • No.  2 Barb Honchak (Team Alvarez) vs. No. 10 Rachael Ostovich (Team Gaethje)
  • No. 6 Montana Stewart (Team Gaethje) vs. No. 14 Nicco Montano (Team Gaethje)

Also see:

Catch new episodes of “The Ultimate Fighter 26: A New World Champion” every Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT) on FS1. MMAjunkie recaps each episode of the reality series.


Filed under: News, UFC

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

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

NEW YORK – Former UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks maintains an illness kept him from making weight in his previous fight. He playfully chided the media for reporting the information, despite the fact that he hadn’t informed anyone about it.

Now on the verge of his third bout as a middleweight, a twitchy Hendricks (18-7 MMA, 13-7 UFC) claimed all systems are a go for a must-win fight against Paulo Borrachinha (10-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) at UFC 217. He said the Brazilian will have a bad night when they meet on the event’s pay-per-view main card at Madison Square Garden in New York.

“I’m not going to get sick this time,” Hendricks told reporters at Wednesday’s media day. “If I don’t get sick, it’s an easy weight cut. Easy weight cut means good fight for me.”

So far, those have been in short supply. Hendricks came in heavy for a bout against Tim Boetsch at UFC Fight Night 112, adding to a long list of weight-induced struggles outside the cage. He was stopped in the second round, bringing him to 2-5 in his past seven outings.

RelatedUFC 217 pre-event facts: All 6 title-fight competitors sport astoundingly deep resumes

Hendricks has taken drastic measures to pull out of his current stall. The Texan drove across state lines to train at the famed Jackson Wink Academy in Albuquerque, N.M., getting in rounds with a bevy of top-tier UFC fighters.

The undefeated Borrachinha stands between Hendricks and redemption. The up-and-comer has stopped his past two opponents with fists. All but one of them have made it out of the first round.

“Yeah, he’s a large human being,” Hendricks said. “He feeds his muscles babies, and that’s the jist of it. All show, no go – that’s what I like to say. And we’ll find out on Saturday if they have any go in them.”

That’s likely the question most fans will be asking of Hendricks when he steps into the octagon. Looming before that fight is a battle with the scale.

Hendricks said there are many struggles behind the scenes that the public never knows about. Unlike other professions, he said, fighters have to suck it up and keep going. Plenty of times, he has come in less than 100 percent, whether he let the world know or not.

This time, though, he said everything is going just smoothly.

“I’m not sick,” he said. “I’m not fat. I’m just chillin’.”

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

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

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

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, Videos

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – Linton Vassell has been in this position before three years ago.

But the difference between that Vassell (18-5 MMA, 7-2 BMMA) and the one who will challenge for the light heavyweight title held by Ryan Bader (23-5 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) at Bellator 186, he says, is night and day.

In 2014, Vassell was strong early against then-champion Emmanuel Newton, but gassed out late and was finished in the fifth round. But after moving most of his training from his native England to South Florida, things are looking a lot different these days.

“I don’t even consider the two the same,” Vassell today told MMAjunkie. “When I fought Emmanuel Newton, I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t training to my best. The training partners I had, some of them were welterweights. … I thought I was ready because I felt fit.

“Now I’m in South Florida training with some of the best. I feel like my time has just come perfectly right now. … I was the biggest name on my team back in England, and I just wasn’t getting pushed.”

RelatedBellator 205-pound champ Ryan Bader interested in heavyweight tournament

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. Vassell’s shot at Bader’s 205-pound title is the main event.

Some of those best in Florida that Vassell mentioned include the likes of former UFC champs Luke Rockhold and Rashad Evans. And Vassell is hoping that work helps him against another standout wrestler in Bader.

In May, Vassell submitted former light heavyweight champion Liam McGeary. Then he had to wait on Bader’s title win over Phil Davis at Bellator 180 to find out if he was going to get a shot at the belt. It was supposed to be Muhammad Lawal, but thanks to injuries and shuffling, Vassell got the call.

“It was so satisfying to actually, one, get the win over Liam McGeary – a top, top boy, a former world champion,” Vassell said. “But it was amazing to actually finally get the nod and say I’m fighting Ryan Bader for the title. They said it might be ‘King Mo,’ so I put a tweet out to say, ‘This has to be fake news.’ I don’t know what happened, but obviously I got the nod. But everything went to plan.”

Now that he has the shot against Bader, he’ll clearly be watching out for the champ’s standout wrestling. But other than that, it’s Bader’s big-fight resume Vassell is impressed with.

“He has experience,” he said. “He’s fought some of the toughest. But other than that, I feel like we match up perfectly because my style, I feel like no one can imitate it.”

For more from Vassell, 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

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

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Filed under: News, PFL, Radio Highlight, Videos

Lance Palmer is coming off a loss, but given the circumstances, he’s not beating himself up too much over it.

Palmer (11-3) meets Steven Siler (29-16) at Thursday’s “PFL: Fight Night” – a joint charity effort between the promotion and nonprofit Fight For Children. The bout, which co-headlines the card, will also mark the former WSOF champion’s first outing since a title-costing loss to Andre Harrison at WSOF 35 back in March.

There was, however, an extenuating factor there: Palmer broke his hand in the first round of the five-round affair. In fact, that was the second fight in a row that happened.

Still, Palmer made it to the judges’ scorecards. Sure, Palmer will say, there are always lessons – good and bad – to be taken from losses. But as he returned to the locker room from this one, his focus was more on the aftermath of the injury than on anything else.

“The things that go through your mind after a loss are obviously, ‘What could I have done better and things that I could have done differently?” Palmer told MMAjunkie Radio ahead of the event, which streams on the promotion’s website and MMAjunkie. “(But) that fight was more that I was pissed that I broke my hand in the first round. And it kind of hindered everything that I wanted to show in the fight. And everything that I wanted to do in that fight against Andre.”

That doesn’t mean Palmer doesn’t respect Harrison’s skills as a fighter. In fact, he would love to meet him in the finals of the million-dollar tournament that PFL has in the works for next year. But considering he fought with a single hand for four rounds, Palmer thinks his performance was “pretty great.”

Between the past encounter with Harrison and a possible future one sits the one with Siler, a UFC veteran and former Titan FC title challenger who’s also looking to get back on the winning path after a WSOF 35 loss of his own. The two meet on the co-headliner at the Washington Hilton in Washington D.C.

Palmer has some added weapons for this specific preparation. At his Team Alpha Male training grounds, he was able to gather some knowledge from former two-time UFC 145-pound title challenger Chad Mendes and UFC featherweight Darren Elkins – both of whom have fought (and beaten) Siler in the past.

But while the four-time NCAA Division I All-American wrestler did make the most of the insight, there’s a limit to how much he’s drawing from them.

“We have a good game plan going in,” Palmer said. “But obviously every matchup is different. It doesn’t matter if Elkins fought him a certain way or Chad fought him another way. My style is different than both of those guys, so I’m going to have to go about it another way.”

The future after this particular fight is up in the air, as Palmer has yet to figure out the specifics of his deal with his current promotion. The reason being: Palmer still had two more fights with WSOF before the promotion became PFL. With the change, he’s not yet sure where he stands, something he’s hoping to clarify within the next few weeks.

But his plans for further down the road are clearer. Palmer, who turns 31 early next year, only expects to fight until he’s 35. So, rather than trying to revolutionize his style or expect major leaps in training, he’s learned to make the best of what he’s got while he has it.

“I think the main thing for me is just enjoying the time while I’m in this sport,” Palmer said. “And making it something special and giving people fights to remember and things like that as I go through it. Just improving every day. And little aspects of every area of the fight game. Not really trying to make crazy gains in certain areas because that’s unrealistic.

“You just have to look for the little details every day. And look at improving even one area a day is something that keeps me motivated. And that’s what I enjoy.”

To hear from 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, Radio Highlight, Videos

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

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

NEW YORK – Jorge Masvidal is not very pleased with the direction the sport has gone in terms of earning UFC title shots. However, he knows he might just have to play into the trend in order to get one in the welterweight division.

Masvidal (32-12 MMA, 9-5 UFC), who meets Stephen Thompson (13-2-1 MMA, 8-2-1 UFC) on Saturday at UFC 217, has been circling a title shot for the past few fights. He could have solidified one with a victory over Demian Maia earlier this year, but ultimately came up short in the fight.

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

Now Masvidal, 32, is back in position to potentially set up a bout with champ Tyron Woodley (18-3-1 MMA, 8-2-1 UFC). Thompson is coming off two failed bids against Woodley, and if Masvidal can beat him he thinks it would be enough to validate a crack at the gold. However, given the state of the sport, he knows something extra is probably needed.

“You know what’s more important than winning is the post-fight speech,” Masvidal told MMAjunkie at today’s UFC 217 media event. “That’s what goes viral. If I do something pretty stupid, then yeah, I’ll probably get the title shot. I don’t know if I need to jump over the cage and get in somebody’s face or do like that (expletive) (Michael) Bisping and spit on people’s corner. I don’t know what I’m going to do have to do, but it’s going to have to be something of retardedness.

“That’s the age that we live in. It’s reality TV and Kim Kardashian and them have brainwashed people into thinking that’s what life is about: the more wretchedness, the more you get seen and stuff. So if I do something stupid after the fight, no matter how boring the fight might have been, I’ll get a title shot.”

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

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

Potential post-fight antics aside, Masvidal, No. 9 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA welterweight rankings, said he’s largely looking forward to the matchup with No. 2-ranked Thompson. He does have some reservations, though, and that’s about how his opponent will approach things once in the octagon.

Thompson’s second title fight with Woodley at UFC 209 earned nearly unanimous criticism as one of the more underwhelming contests of the year. Masvidal knows he could be in for a frustrating night if Thompson doesn’t engage, but he said he’s mentally prepared to deal with that and implement his gameplan.

“Hopefully he doesn’t come on his bicycle and just (expletive) not fight,” Masvidal said. “I’m going to look to break his face like I always do. I just want to fight. He wants to dance and (expletive), that’s different. I want to fight. Hopefully he came with the same mindset, to fight.

“I’m going to deliver. I’m not worried about what he’s going to do at the end of the day. It will just give more action to the fans if he does fight. But whether he fights or not, it’s not going to be his night.”

Masvidal hopes to put on a type of performance which will prove a title shot is necessary without going outside of his character with some “retardedness.” Whether he will deliver, though, remains to be seen.

“I’m No. 1 after this fight,” Masvidal said. “When I took this fight he was No. 1 in the division. Me beating him puts me as No. 1, by a lot. He went 10 rounds with the champion, both fights were extremely close, so it’s a no-brainer I think.”

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

Dec 3, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jorge Masvidal (blue gloves) fights Jake Ellenberger (red gloves) during the TUF tournament of champions at Palms Casino. Mandatory Credit: Tracy Lee-USA TODAY Sports Dec 3, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jorge Masvidal (blue gloves) fights Jake Ellenberger (red gloves) during the TUF tournament of champions at Palms Casino. Mandatory Credit: Tracy Lee-USA TODAY Sports Dec 3, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jorge Masvidal (blue gloves) fights Jake Ellenberger (red gloves) during the TUF tournament of champions at Palms Casino. Mandatory Credit: Tracy Lee-USA TODAY Sports Jul 30, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Ross Pearson (red gloves) competes against Jorge Masvidal (blue gloves) during UFC 201 at Phillips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports Jul 30, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Jorge Masvidal (blue gloves) reacts after the first round against Ross Pearson (not shown) during UFC 201 at Phillips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports Jul 30, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Ross Pearson (red gloves) competes against Jorge Masvidal (blue gloves) during UFC 201 at Phillips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports May 29, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Lorenz Larkin (blue gloves) gets punched by Jorge Masvidal (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports May 29, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Lorenz Larkin (blue gloves) gets punched by Jorge Masvidal (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports May 29, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Lorenz Larkin (blue gloves) gets punched by Jorge Masvidal (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Nov 28, 2015; Seoul, South Korea; Benson Henderson (red gloves) competes against Jorge Masvidal (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Olympic Gymnastics Arena. Mandatory Credit: Lili Troncale-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/abFDrLdwaNra2Aat9k88g4/281421", customAnalytics: true, title: "Jorge Masvidal", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

UFC champ Conor McGregor declares he won't return to octagon unless he's co-promoter

UFC lightweight champ Conor McGregor broke barriers with his record-setting boxing match against Floyd Mayweather.

Now, he wants to become the first fighter to co-promote an MMA event with the UFC – and he claims he won’t return unless the McGregor Sports and Entertainment logo finds its way inside the octagon.

“I was promoter on the Mayweather fight, and we’re in current negotiations,” McGregor told the crowd during a Q&A prior to the debut of his biopic “Notorious” in Dublin. “I ain’t stepping in that octagon again unless I’m part owner of the whole setup – I’m a promoter.”

McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) was answering a question about whether his future plans include a homecoming fight, perhaps at Croke Park in Dublin. The Irish star seemed hesitant about the idea, saying his considerations for taking a fight are different now that he’s playing a role in the business behind the events. But he also admitted the pull of a fight on home soil might prove too strong.

At the moment, McGregor said he’s still weighing his options as to his next move. Although he appeared to welcome a UFC lightweight title unifier against interim champ Tony Ferguson (24-3 MMA, 14-1 UFC), and UFC President Dana White said the fight is next on his schedule, he said the experience of watching his story play out on screen brought his current situation into perspective.

“Seeing this, it’s taking me back and making me realize, if I really, truly want to get back into the fighting – I’m in (the) negotiation stage,” McGregor said. “Everyone’s trying to get me to do something for money, and that’s all the way up, and all the way down. That’s from the fight game, that’s talk, that’s what they’re trying to do.

“They’re trying to get me back before the end of the year to make the company money so they can re-service the debt after the big $4.2 billion sale and all this bollocks, and I’m sitting there watching them type of wars I came through, back-to-back-to-back, and watching how I got there, and I’m like, I need to take my time here. I’m in no hurry. I’m in a great position. I’m in the forever money stage now. My money is up there rattling around in the money counter machine, so I’m good.”

McGregor banked a guaranteed $30 million for his boxing match with Mayweather, the highest disclosed purse ever taken home for a UFC fighter. But he said his payday could “clear $100 million” if the event performed as expected on pay-per-view. According to White, it did and then some, drawing 6.7 million buys worldwide.

The UFC president didn’t raise an objection to McGregor’s promotional company getting involved in “The Money Fight,” though the fighter was not listed as an official promoter of the event, as was UFC parent Zuffa.

McGregor, though, claims he was a promoter and would need to share the role with Zuffa if he returns to the UFC. That would put him in uncharted territory, as no fighter or other promotional entity has shared such a relationship with the industry-leading fight promotion.

UFC 219 serves as the UFC’s end-of-year event on Dec. 30 at T-Mobile Arena, and McGregor’s inclusion has been heavily speculated.

Whatever the UFC lightweight champ decides to do next, he said his top priority is making sure it’s the right deal for him – and the right preparation to ensure success.

“I still love fighting,” he said. “I love watching that (movie). I’m twitching watching all them shots being thrown. It’s just something I love to do. I don’t know what it is. I will fight again, no doubt, and I’ll fight multiple times. But when I do do it, I must eliminate all the outside stuff, because there’s so much business stuff, so much personal stuff, so much everything involved in an empire – running it, maintaining it, building it.

“You’ve got all these separate entities growing. I’ve got employees that have employees, and it’s all involved in this whole bubble. So if I truly get back and it’s time to fight again, I must distance myself.”

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

Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. lands a hit against Conor McGregor during their boxing match at the at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. reacts before his bout against Conor McGregor at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor reacts with the audience before his bout against Floyd Mayweather Jr. at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor before fighting Floyd Mayweather Jr at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor moves in against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the first round at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor moves in against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the first round at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor moves in against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the first round at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor moves in with a hit against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the first round at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) and Conor McGregor (white trunks) box in the first round of their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) and Conor McGregor (white trunks) box in the first round of their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) and Conor McGregor (white trunks) box in the first round of their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) and Conor McGregor (white trunks) box in the first round of their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) and Conor McGregor (white trunks) box in the first round of their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. lands a hit against Conor McGregor during their boxing match at the at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. fights against Conor McGregor during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor moves in with a hit against Floyd Mayweather Jr. during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor fights against Floyd Mayweather Jr. during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor holds onto Floyd Mayweather Jr. during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor moves in with a hit against Floyd Mayweather Jr. during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. lands a hit against Conor McGregor during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. lands a hit against Conor McGregor during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor lands a hit on Floyd Mayweather Jr. during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. lands a hit on Conor McGregor during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor moves in with a hit against Floyd Mayweather Jr. during the sixth round at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) celebrates after knocking out Conor McGregor (white trunks) during their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mayweather won via 10th round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) celebrates after knocking out Conor McGregor (white trunks) during their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mayweather won via 10th round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) celebrates after knocking out Conor McGregor (white trunks) during their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mayweather won via 10th round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. reacts following his TKO victory against Conor McGregor in the tenth round at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Referee Robert Byrd stops the fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor in the tenth round at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Boxing referee Robert Byrd holds Conor McGregor after stopping the right in the tenth round against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the tenth round during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) reacts after knocking out Conor McGregor (not pictured) in their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mayweather won via tenth round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor (left) and Floyd Mayweather Jr. (right) shake hands after their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mayweather won via tenth round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor reacts following his loss in the tenth round by TKO to Floyd Mayweather Jr. at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (left) embraces Conor McGregor following their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/HPw3CvabZ8Rz65P6nkwQP6/281429", customAnalytics: true, title: "Mayweather def. 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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

With Anatoly Tokov out at Bellator 188, Jason Radcliffe meets John Salter in Israel

Bellator’s return to Israel later this month has seen a change to a middleweight fight on the main card.

Anatoly Tokov (25-2 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) has suffered an undisclosed injury and his out of his fight against John Salter (14-3 MMA, 4-0 BMMA), a Bellator official today told MMAjunkie. Stepping in for Tokov will be Jason Radcliffe (12-4 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) on short notice.

Bellator 188 takes place Nov. 16 at Menora Mivtachim Arena Arena in Tel Aviv, Israel. The main card airs on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

It’s Bellator’s second trip to Tel Aviv after a sellout show at Bellator 164, which featured Douglas Lima’s welterweight title-winning bout against Andrey Koreshkov. This time around, champ Patricio Freire puts his featherweight belt on the line against Daniel Weichel.

Radcliffe will try to snap a two-fight skid that comes on the heels of a seven-fight winnning streak over two and a half years. Included in that run was a 14-second knockout of Jack Mason at Bellator 158, the Londoner’s lone fight for the promotion.

Radcliffe started out his 2017 campaign promising with a second-round knockout win on a card in India. But in his debut for Cage Warriors in June, he was stopped by Oskar Piechota with a 32-second TKO in a fight for the middleweight title. Piechota went on to sign with the UFC. And in October, he suffered a TKO loss to Shane Mitchell in Australia.

Salter has six straight wins, including four straight for Bellator. All six of the victories in that run have come by stoppage, including the most recent three in the first round. Since his release from the UFC in 2010, Salter has gone 9-1. Most recently, he submitted Kendall Grove with a first-round rear-naked choke at Bellator 181 in July.

Tokov was attempting to build on a successful promotional debut in February when he stopped Francisco France with a second-round TKO at Bellator 172. That got him back on track after a majority decision loss thi spast December, which snapped a 17-fight winning streak for the Russian.

With the change, the Bellator 188 lineup now includes:

MAIN CARD (Spike, 9 p.m.)

  • Champ Patricio Freire vs. Daniel Weichel – for featherweight title
  • Jason Radcliffe vs. John Salter
  • Denise Kielholtz vs. Jessica Middleton
  • Jeremiah Labiano def. Noad Lahat
  • Arsen Faitovich vs. Haim Gozali

PRELIMINARY CARD (MMAjunkie, 7 p.m.)

  • Oron Kahlon vs. Julian Maloku
  • Rami Abuhave vs. Alexander Nikulin
  • Shimon Gosh vs. Francisco Silva
  • Iren Racz vs. Olga Rubin
  • Gad Abisror vs. Alexey Trofimov
  • Shay Almog vs. Anthony Nisim Mor
  • Or Eliov vs. Natanel Parisi
  • Moshe Ben Chimol vs. Ivan Solomatov
  • Matan Levi vs. Erik Sianov
  • Mor Attias vs. Assaf Batan

For more on Bellator 188, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: Bellator, News

'PFL: Fight Night' weigh-ins results


Filed under: News, PFL, Videos

“PFL: Fight Night” is good to go as all eight fighters made weight today.

In the headliner, Blagoy Ivanov (15-1) and Caio Alencar (11-1) clash in a heavyweight bout. And in the co-main event, former two-time WSOF featherweight champion Lance Palmer (11-3) meets ex-UFC fighter Steven Siler (29-16).

“PFL: Fight Night” takes place Thursday at the Washington Hilton in Washington D.C. and airs at 8 p.m. ET on MMAjunkie.

Below are the full weigh-in results:

  • Blagoy Ivanov (262) vs. Caio Alencar (253.4)
  • Lance Palmer (145.8) vs. Steven Siler (145.4)
  • Daniel Gallemore (261) vs. Mike Kyle (241.4)
  • Josenaldo Silva (135.2) vs. Timur Valiev (135.8)

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


Filed under: News, PFL, Videos

'UFC 217 Embedded,' No. 3: Does Joanna Jedrzejczyk's nail color look familiar?


Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

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

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

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

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

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

In the third episode of “Embedded,” Jedrzejczyk visits a Polish neighborhood and goes to church at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York. Garbrandt heads to Renzo Gracie Academy and talks about having a surprise for Dillashaw, who continues training back in California. Bisping gets coaching advice from autograph seekers, while St-Pierre incorporates water training into his regimen.

Check out the full episode above.

Also see:

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

Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) reacts after winning his fight against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) enters the arena before his fight against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) cut under his left eye during his fight against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) in the UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) fights against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) cut under his left eye during his fight against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) in the UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) bleeds from a cut during his fight against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) in the UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 8, 2016; Manchester, UK; Michael Bisping (red gloves) enters the octagon before his fight against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC 204 at Manchester Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) celebrates his first round knockout of Luke Rockhold (red) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) fights Luke Rockhold (red) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) fights Luke Rockhold (red) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) celebrates his first round knockout of Luke Rockhold (not pictured) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) celebrates with his wife after his first round knockout of Luke Rockhold (not pictured) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Feb 27, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Anderson Silva (red gloves) competes against Michael Bisping (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Feb 27, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Anderson Silva (red gloves) competes against Michael Bisping (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Feb 27, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Michael Bisping reacts after his fight against Anderson Silva during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/mCWH6kigogSDYNhSJ5YG4T/281414", customAnalytics: true, title: "Michael Bisping", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

Cody Garbrandt 'most hungry fighter ever' going into UFC 217 grudge match vs. T.J. Dillashaw

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

NEW YORK – The pursuit of a UFC championship belt is the driving force for nearly every fighter in the sport. Now that he has the UFC bantamweight belt, though, Cody Garbrandt said his passion is even stronger.

Garbrandt (11-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) has no shortage of motivation going into his first 135-pound title defense. He fights for the first time this year after suffering a back injury and returns to a highly anticipated grudge match with T.J. Dillashaw (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC).

The former Team Alpha Male teammates have a well documented feud that began when Dillashaw parted ways with the team. It’s been a tumultuous road to the fight, but Garbrandt said all the struggles were worthwhile.

“Three days until I put on my best performance and defend my title,” Garbrandt told reporters at today’s UFC 217 open workouts. “It’s exciting. It’s going to be worth it.”

RelatedChamp Cody Garbrandt: T.J. Dillashaw moves around gyms like 'a prostitute on the corner'

UFC 217 takes place Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York. Garbrandt, No. 1 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA bantamweight rankings, meeting No. 3-ranked Dillashaw in the pay-per-view co-headliner following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Although it’s been a lengthy break, Garbrandt still returns with some momentum on his side. The undefeated champion put on one of the all-time great title-winning performances when he dismantled Dominick Cruz for a unanimous decision at UFC 207 last December.

Garbrandt intends on picking up where he left off and ending his rivalry against Dillashaw with another one-sided performance.

“You can expect me to be better than ever before,” Garbrandt said. “I’m the most hungry fighter ever.

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

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Ilima Macfarlane's time for freaking out over title fight at Bellator 186 is over

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, Videos

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – Ilima Macfarlane was a little nervous in the buildup to Bellator 176 that she’d get to fight week and start to freak out.

After all, she’s fighting for Bellator’s inaugural women’s flyweight title. But it’s not just that. Macfarlane said the freakouts tend to happen every fight. But this time, maybe she kept it more in control than normal.

“Freak-outs always happen,” Macfarlane told MMAjunkie today. “It’s moreso the weight cut, when you’re low on calories and low on water intake and everything. But so far, I think I’ve managed it pretty well. I haven’t had crazy freak-outs.

“(It was) very smooth sailing these past couple weeks. My camp was really good – I had a solid camp. We prepared really well for the rematch. Everything was good. My weight was good. It was just a matter of managing the weight.”

RelatedEmily Ducote didn't think Bellator title shot would come this soon, but ready to take advantage

Macfarlane (6-0 MMA, 5-0 BMMA) meets Emily Ducote (6-2 MMA, 4-1 BMMA) in a rematch for Bellator’s first women’s flyweight belt in the Bellator 186 co-main event at Bryce Jordan Center on Penn State’s campus in University Park, Pa. The main card airs on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

The two fought in December 2016 at Bellator 167, where Macfarlane won a unanimous decision.

Macfarlane is a 3-1 favorite in the fight according to the oddsmakers. But that doesn’t mean she’s looking past Ducote, who has had 11 months to improve and gone 2-0 since their first meeting.

That said, Macfarlane does admit to keeping tabs on other women in Bellator’s fledgling flyweight division. She’d be silly not to. And she knows if she gets past Ducote on Friday and has gold around her waist, there will be no shortage of potential challengers wanting to throw hats in the ring.

RelatedIlima Macfarlane just fine with Emily Ducote rematch for flyweight title at Bellator 186

“There’s a fight coming up in December (at Bellator 191 in England) between Valerie Letourneau and Kate Jackson,” Macfarlane said. “I would think that on paper, they would get the next title shot. They’re veterans, they’re big names that were signed. A lot of girls are on my radar, but obviously I’m thinking about Friday.”

Letourneau (8-6 MMA, 0-0 BMMA), recently signed as a free agent from the UFC, meets Jackson (9-2-1 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) on Dec. 15 at Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle, England. Coincidentally, Letourneau was supposed to fight Ducote in July before an injury bumped her promotional debut to next month.

But before Macfarlane can officially think about a Letourneau-Jackson winner, she has to take care of business in her rematch with Ducote. And while she’d love a finish, she also sees some benefits if the fight heads into the championship rounds and she goes 25 minutes for the first time.

“Of course, ideally, I’d like the finish and get it over with as soon as possible,” she said. “But I would be grateful if it does go five rounds because it shows I can do it. I can do the five rounds.”

For more from Macfarlane, including her outlook on why social media is important, 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

Bellator 205-pound champ Ryan Bader interested in heavyweight tournament

For Bellator light heavyweight champion Ryan Bader, one of the promotion’s selling points is the chance to fight in multiple divisions.

Should he successfully defend his title at Bellator 186, Bader is eyeing a future move to heavyweight. He plans to volunteer for a tournament the Viacom-owned promotion is planning.

“I would definitely like to throw my hat in the ring with that and see where it goes,” Bader (23-5 MMA, 1-0 BMMA), who on Friday faces Linton Vassell (18-5 MMA, 7-2 BMMA), told MMAjunkie. “That’s one thing that intrigued me about coming to Bellator was those different opportunities.

“First and foremost, I’m the light heavyweight champion, and I need to defend that belt. That’s happening on Friday, and from there, we’ll see what transpires.”

Bellator 186 takes place at Bryce Jordan Center in University Park, Pa. The main card, including the headlining Bader vs. Vassell fight, airs live on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

RelatedChamp Ryan Bader to show 'disrespectful' Linton Vassell 'another level' at Bellator 186

Bellator President Scott Coker recently told MMAjunkie the promotion’s first priority is crowning a heavyweight champion, which he expects to do in the first quarter of 2018. The new champ faces plenty of top-tier opposition with several imports joining the big-man class within the past year.

Bader isn’t in a rush to move up, but one of his goals is to add another belt to his collection.

“I would love to be in that tournament and fight a couple of fights quickly, and if there is a belt at the end of that, that would be awesome to be a two-division champ and come back and defend my light heavyweight title,” he said.  “It’s one of those things where you’re looking in the future a little bit. I’ve got to go out and win this fight, and really just see what’s next with them. But I’m open to all that.”

If he were to try his luck in the big-man class, Bader said he would prefer to compete as a smaller heavyweight, fighting around 233 pounds, rather than trying to compete with the heavier players in the division.

“My body’s used to fighting at a certain weight, so I would pretty much just not cut weight and do a little extra strength training,” he said. “(I’d) make sure I’m strong and not muscled around by these bigger guys – be faster and use my cardio.”

So far, Bellator has yet to crown a multi-division champion; Joe Warren captured belts at bantamweight and featherweight, but was unable to hold on to both at the same time.

The promotion’s longtime tournament format didn’t facilitate the accomplishment, of course. But with Coker oriented toward tentpole events and superfights, the idea of a two-division champ might not be so far away.

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


Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News

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