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ONE Championship 68 highlights: A face-first crash with this 'KO of the Year' candidate

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This past week’s ONE Championship 68 event crowned a new champion and also gave us an early “Knockout of the Year” contender.

“ONE Championship 68: Global Superheroes” took place at SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay, Manila, Philippines, and the 10-fight card, which streamed as an online pay-per-view in North America, had no shortage of dramatic stoppages.

Although Geje Eustaquio (10-6) scored a decision victory over fellow headliner Kairat Akhmetov (21-2) to claim an interim flyweight belt, a host of stoppages came earlier in the card.

The most notable came from Edward Kelly (10-4), who needed just 21 seconds to unload a wild fight-ending combination on featherweight Meas Meu (5-1), who was sent airborne and then face-first into the canvas in a “KO of the Year” early candidate.

RelatedEdward Kelly just sent his opponent airborne with this ridiculous knockout

Also on the card, strawweight Joshua Pacio (11-2) overpowered and tapped out Ming Qiang Lan (0-1), flyweight Ma Hao Bin (9-1) dominated Sotir Kichukov (13-7) over three rounds, and Emilio Urrutia (11-4) blasted 145-pounder Bruno Pucci (5-3) with a first-round knockout.

Check out all of the highlights above.

Full ONE Championship 68 results included:

  • Geje Eustaquio def. Kairat Akhmetov via unanimous decision – to claim interim flyweight title
  • Joshua Pacio def. Ming Qiang Lan via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 4:01
  • Rafael Nunes def. Eric Kelly via submission (D’Arce choke) – Round 2, 1:31
  • Ma Hao Bin def. Sotir Kichukov via unanimous decision
  • Hayato Suzuki def. Yago Bryan via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 4:03
  • Emilio Urrutia def. Bruno Pucci via knockout (strikes) – Round 1, 3:33
  • Edward Kelly def. Meas Meu via knockout (strikes) – Round 1, 0:21
  • Jomary Torres def. April Osenio via knockout (strikes) – Round 1, 0:40
  • Rajinder Singh Meena def. Zehao Zhang via submission (guillotine) – Round 1, 0:42
  • Eddey Kalai vs. Adrian Matheis via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 4:15

For more on ONE Championship 68, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

UFC champ Robert Whittaker provides first update since concerning health update

UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker shared a promising update after concerns about his health became public earlier this month.

UFC President Dana White said Whittaker (19-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC) was in “serious condition” and that the 185-pound titleholder has been dealing with a serious case of staph infection in his stomach. White said the fighter was originally mistreated and afterward his medical state worsened.

Whittaker, 27, was forced to withdraw from a scheduled title defense against Luke Rockhold (16-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC) at UFC 221 on Feb. 10 because of the health issues, and now Rockhold fights Yoel Romero (12-2 MMA, 8-1 UFC) for an interim title at the pay-per-view event, which takes place in Australia.

RelatedTwitter reacts to Georges St-Pierre vacating title, Robert Whittaker-Luke Rockhold at UFC 221

Details of Whittaker’s health are still scarce, and a timeline for his return to the cage remains unclear. However, according to his latest social-media update, “The Reaper” has either already returned to training or is close to doing so (via Instagram):

“Pumped to get back to work #willbebackstrongerthanever”

Whittaker, who is riding a seven-fight UFC winning streak, is No. 2 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middleweight rankings. He most recently competed at UFC 213 in July, when he earned a unanimous-decision win over Romero to claim the interim middleweight belt.

After Georges St-Pierre vacated the UFC title in December, Whittaker was promoted to undisputed champion and booked to fight at UFC 221 in Australia, where he resides. He isn’t available for the event, but it appears he’s determined to get back to work sooner than later.

For more on UFC 221, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) celebrates after fighting Yoel Romero (red gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) celebrates after fighting Yoel Romero (red gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) is awarded the belt from UFC president Dana White after defeating Yoel Romero (red gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/yqLJdA8di6FKJk8FTie845/299971", customAnalytics: true, title: "Whittaker def. Romero", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

UFC champ Robert Whittaker provides first update since concerning health update

UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker shared a promising update after concerns about his health became public earlier this month.

UFC President Dana White said Whittaker (19-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC) was in “serious condition” and that the 185-pound titleholder has been dealing with a serious case of staph infection in his stomach. White said the fighter was originally mistreated and afterward his medical state worsened.

Whittaker, 27, was forced to withdraw from a scheduled title defense against Luke Rockhold (16-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC) at UFC 221 on Feb. 10 because of the health issues, and now Rockhold fights Yoel Romero (12-2 MMA, 8-1 UFC) for an interim title at the pay-per-view event, which takes place in Australia.

RelatedTwitter reacts to Georges St-Pierre vacating title, Robert Whittaker-Luke Rockhold at UFC 221

Details of Whittaker’s health are still scarce, and a timeline for his return to the cage remains unclear. However, according to his latest social-media update, “The Reaper” has either already returned to training or is close to doing so (via Instagram):

“Pumped to get back to work #willbebackstrongerthanever”

Whittaker, who is riding a seven-fight UFC winning streak, is No. 2 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middleweight rankings. He most recently competed at UFC 213 in July, when he earned a unanimous-decision win over Romero to claim the interim middleweight belt.

After Georges St-Pierre vacated the UFC title in December, Whittaker was promoted to undisputed champion and booked to fight at UFC 221 in Australia, where he resides. He isn’t available for the event, but it appears he’s determined to get back to work sooner than later.

For more on UFC 221, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) celebrates after fighting Yoel Romero (red gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) celebrates after fighting Yoel Romero (red gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) is awarded the belt from UFC president Dana White after defeating Yoel Romero (red gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/yqLJdA8di6FKJk8FTie845/299971", customAnalytics: true, title: "Whittaker def. Romero", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

'The Reem' Season 4, No. 7: The fallout of Alistair Overeem's brutal KO loss to Francis Ngannou

Alistair Overeem is the center of arguably the most well-produced documentary series in MMA. The latest episode of “The Reem” shows why.

The series currently is in its fourth season of production after debuting in February 2011, and now the latest episode has been unveiled.

In Episode No. 7 of Season 4, cameras follow the former Strikeforce, DREAM and K-1 champion in the buildup and fallout of his first-round knockout loss to Francis Ngannou at UFC 218 in December. The heavyweight title-eliminator saw Overeem come out on the wrong end of the 2017 “Knockout of the Year,” and he provides some candid insight into the contest.

Watch the latest episode of “The Reem” above, and if you missed any previous episodes, a complete series archive can be found here.

For complete coverage of UFC 218, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

December 19, 2015; Orlando, FL, USA; Alistair Overeem is declared the winner by technical knockout against Junior Dos Santos during UFC Fight Night at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports December 19, 2015; Orlando, FL, USA; Alistair Overeem moves in with a kick against Junior Dos Santos during UFC Fight Night at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports December 19, 2015; Orlando, FL, USA; Alistair Overeem moves in with a kick against Junior Dos Santos during UFC Fight Night at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports December 19, 2015; Orlando, FL, USA; Alistair Overeem moves in with a punch against Junior Dos Santos during UFC Fight Night at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports Mar 14, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Roy Nelson (red) fights Alistair Overeem (blue) in a heavyweight bout during UFC 185 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports Mar 14, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Roy Nelson (red) fights Alistair Overeem (blue) in a heavyweight bout during UFC 185 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports Mar 14, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Roy Nelson (red) fights Alistair Overeem (blue) in a heavyweight bout during UFC 185 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports Mar 14, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Roy Nelson (red) fights Alistair Overeem (blue) in a heavyweight bout during UFC 185 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports Mar 14, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Roy Nelson (red) fights Alistair Overeem (blue) in a heavyweight bout during UFC 185 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports Mar 14, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Roy Nelson (red) fights Alistair Overeem (blue) in a heavyweight bout during UFC 185 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports Mar 14, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Alistair Overeem (blue) before fighting Roy Nelson (red) in a heavyweight bout during UFC 185 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports Mar 13, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Alistair Overeem stands on the scale during weigh-ins for UFC 185 at Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports December 13, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Alistair Overeem reacts following his knockout victory against Stefan Struve during UFC Fight Night at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 13, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Alistair Overeem walks away after knocking out Stefan Struve during UFC Fight Night at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 13, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Alistair Overeem before fighting Stefan Struve during UFC Fight Night at US Airways Center. 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/KWWJfSTXuorWFgMRaqhoLo/299889", customAnalytics: true, title: "Alistair Overeem", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

'The Reem' Season 4, No. 7: The fallout of Alistair Overeem's brutal KO loss to Francis Ngannou

Alistair Overeem is the center of arguably the most well-produced documentary series in MMA. The latest episode of “The Reem” shows why.

The series currently is in its fourth season of production after debuting in February 2011, and now the latest episode has been unveiled.

In Episode No. 7 of Season 4, cameras follow the former Strikeforce, DREAM and K-1 champion in the buildup and fallout of his first-round knockout loss to Francis Ngannou at UFC 218 in December. The heavyweight title-eliminator saw Overeem come out on the wrong end of the 2017 “Knockout of the Year,” and he provides some candid insight into the contest.

Watch the latest episode of “The Reem” above, and if you missed any previous episodes, a complete series archive can be found here.

For complete coverage of UFC 218, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

December 19, 2015; Orlando, FL, USA; Alistair Overeem is declared the winner by technical knockout against Junior Dos Santos during UFC Fight Night at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports December 19, 2015; Orlando, FL, USA; Alistair Overeem moves in with a kick against Junior Dos Santos during UFC Fight Night at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports December 19, 2015; Orlando, FL, USA; Alistair Overeem moves in with a kick against Junior Dos Santos during UFC Fight Night at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports December 19, 2015; Orlando, FL, USA; Alistair Overeem moves in with a punch against Junior Dos Santos during UFC Fight Night at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports Mar 14, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Roy Nelson (red) fights Alistair Overeem (blue) in a heavyweight bout during UFC 185 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports Mar 14, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Roy Nelson (red) fights Alistair Overeem (blue) in a heavyweight bout during UFC 185 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports Mar 14, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Roy Nelson (red) fights Alistair Overeem (blue) in a heavyweight bout during UFC 185 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports Mar 14, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Roy Nelson (red) fights Alistair Overeem (blue) in a heavyweight bout during UFC 185 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports Mar 14, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Roy Nelson (red) fights Alistair Overeem (blue) in a heavyweight bout during UFC 185 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports Mar 14, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Roy Nelson (red) fights Alistair Overeem (blue) in a heavyweight bout during UFC 185 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports Mar 14, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Alistair Overeem (blue) before fighting Roy Nelson (red) in a heavyweight bout during UFC 185 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports Mar 13, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Alistair Overeem stands on the scale during weigh-ins for UFC 185 at Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports December 13, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Alistair Overeem reacts following his knockout victory against Stefan Struve during UFC Fight Night at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 13, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Alistair Overeem walks away after knocking out Stefan Struve during UFC Fight Night at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 13, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Alistair Overeem before fighting Stefan Struve during UFC Fight Night at US Airways Center. 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/KWWJfSTXuorWFgMRaqhoLo/299889", customAnalytics: true, title: "Alistair Overeem", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Katlyn Chookagian wants top flyweight contender after first UFC win in division

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CHARLOTTE – Katlyn Chookagian felt right at home in her victory at UFC on FOX 27. That’s because she was fighting in her natural weight class for the first time in the UFC.

Chookagian (10-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) defeated Mara Romero Borella (12-5 MMA, 1-1 UFC) by unanimous decision on Saturday’s card at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C. It was her promotional debut at flyweight, and although she doesn’t feel the performance revealed her best, “Blonde Fighter” was pleased to get the win.

“It felt really good,” Chookagian told MMAjunkie. “It wasn’t the best performance that I could have had, but after being off for a long time from an injury in my last fight, and I was just happy get back in there and get back to my natural weight class and get the win.

“The only three fights I’ve fought at bantamweight were in the UFC,” she continued. “So, I’m undefeated at flyweight, and that’s where I’m comfortable at. That’s where I want to stay.”

Chookagian admits Borella gave her a tougher fight than anticipated at UFC on FOX 27. The goal was to make a big statement to fellow 125-pound contenders, but her opponent provided more resiliency than anticipated.

“I was looking for a finish. That’s kind of what I had in my mind,” Chookagian said. “I kept visualizing that, and I wasn’t able to get it. She’s a good counter-striker, and that threw me off a little bit, but a win’s a win. I’m happy with that.”

After being sidelined with injury since April, Chookagian said it felt good to finally get back to work and win a fight injury-free. She’s ready to return to the octagon soon, she said, and hopes the UFC will give her a fight that allows her to prove exactly where she stands in the weight class.

“I want to be busy,” Chookagian said. “I train all the time, I want to get back in there. I know there’s a card coming up in Atlantic City, so I really want to be on that card, but I’ll take anything as soon as possible.

“I think this is the fourth girl in the top 10 of this division that I’ve beat,” she continued. “I think that should put me up somewhere pretty high. Someone that’s up near the top so I can work my way up.”

For complete coverage of UFC on FOX 27, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Katlyn Chookagian (red gloves) fights against Mara Romero Borella (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Katlyn Chookagian (red gloves) fights against Mara Romero Borella (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Katlyn Chookagian (red gloves) fights against Mara Romero Borella (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Katlyn Chookagian (red gloves) fights against Mara Romero Borella (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Katlyn Chookagian (red gloves) fights against Mara Romero Borella (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Katlyn Chookagian (red gloves) fights against Mara Romero Borella (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Katlyn Chookagian (red gloves) fights against Mara Romero Borella (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Katlyn Chookagian (red gloves) fights against Mara Romero Borella (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Katlyn Chookagian (red gloves) fights against Mara Romero Borella (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Katlyn Chookagian (red gloves) fights against Mara Romero Borella (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-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/kEd2T6kGmfjVQmPaiuGQvS/299688", customAnalytics: true, title: "Chookagian def. Borella", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Katlyn Chookagian wants top flyweight contender after first UFC win in division

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CHARLOTTE – Katlyn Chookagian felt right at home in her victory at UFC on FOX 27. That’s because she was fighting in her natural weight class for the first time in the UFC.

Chookagian (10-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) defeated Mara Romero Borella (12-5 MMA, 1-1 UFC) by unanimous decision on Saturday’s card at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C. It was her promotional debut at flyweight, and although she doesn’t feel the performance revealed her best, “Blonde Fighter” was pleased to get the win.

“It felt really good,” Chookagian told MMAjunkie. “It wasn’t the best performance that I could have had, but after being off for a long time from an injury in my last fight, and I was just happy get back in there and get back to my natural weight class and get the win.

“The only three fights I’ve fought at bantamweight were in the UFC,” she continued. “So, I’m undefeated at flyweight, and that’s where I’m comfortable at. That’s where I want to stay.”

Chookagian admits Borella gave her a tougher fight than anticipated at UFC on FOX 27. The goal was to make a big statement to fellow 125-pound contenders, but her opponent provided more resiliency than anticipated.

“I was looking for a finish. That’s kind of what I had in my mind,” Chookagian said. “I kept visualizing that, and I wasn’t able to get it. She’s a good counter-striker, and that threw me off a little bit, but a win’s a win. I’m happy with that.”

After being sidelined with injury since April, Chookagian said it felt good to finally get back to work and win a fight injury-free. She’s ready to return to the octagon soon, she said, and hopes the UFC will give her a fight that allows her to prove exactly where she stands in the weight class.

“I want to be busy,” Chookagian said. “I train all the time, I want to get back in there. I know there’s a card coming up in Atlantic City, so I really want to be on that card, but I’ll take anything as soon as possible.

“I think this is the fourth girl in the top 10 of this division that I’ve beat,” she continued. “I think that should put me up somewhere pretty high. Someone that’s up near the top so I can work my way up.”

For complete coverage of UFC on FOX 27, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Katlyn Chookagian (red gloves) fights against Mara Romero Borella (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Katlyn Chookagian (red gloves) fights against Mara Romero Borella (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Katlyn Chookagian (red gloves) fights against Mara Romero Borella (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Katlyn Chookagian (red gloves) fights against Mara Romero Borella (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Katlyn Chookagian (red gloves) fights against Mara Romero Borella (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Katlyn Chookagian (red gloves) fights against Mara Romero Borella (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Katlyn Chookagian (red gloves) fights against Mara Romero Borella (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Katlyn Chookagian (red gloves) fights against Mara Romero Borella (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Katlyn Chookagian (red gloves) fights against Mara Romero Borella (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Katlyn Chookagian (red gloves) fights against Mara Romero Borella (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-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/kEd2T6kGmfjVQmPaiuGQvS/299688", customAnalytics: true, title: "Chookagian def. Borella", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

After first UFC win, Ji Yeon Kim now hopes for fight closer to Korea

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CHARLOTTE – Ji Yeon Kim was, understandably, happy about beating fellow flyweight Justine Kish on Saturday.

After all, it’s not every day that a fighter gets to pick up her first UFC win, let alone a win against a tough opponent like Kish (6-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC), who was fighting in her own backyard at UFC on FOX 27.

Kim (7-1-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) had to make the particularly long journey from her own home in South Korea.

“It was my first time coming to the (U.S.),” Kim told MMAjunkie via an interpreter after the preliminary-card bout, which aired live on FS1 from Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C. “So I had a problem with the jet lag and the time difference.”

RelatedUFC on FOX 27 results: Ji Yeon Kim takes split decision from stunned Justine Kish

Making the trip, however, paid off when the judges’ official decision was read, letting Kim know that, via split, she’d officially bounced back from a loss to Lucie Pudilova in her UFC debut.

However, the win came with some controversy. Despite one judge giving Kim a 30-27 mark – against dissenting 29-28 and 28-29 scores – some people thought Kish deserved the nod. That includes 11 media outlets who scored it for Kish and four for Kim, according to MMADecisions.com.

It turns out Kim, while happy, wasn’t “100 percent satisfied” with her display, which she attributes to a couple of different reasons. First off, there was the fact that while she tried to tune it out, there was kind of a big crowd rooting against her on Saturday.

RelatedFair or foul? See how judges scored Ji Yeon Kim vs. Justine Kish at UFC on FOX 27

And then there’s the fact Kim couldn’t reap the benefits of moving down from 135 pounds to the newly created women’s flyweight class.

“I wish I could move more freely, more light,” Kim said. “But I couldn’t do that. That’s one thing I’m going to prepare for the next fight.”

Kim said her plan is to remain in the UFC’s 125-pound pool. Considering she’s just arrived there, though, the South Korean fighter said she needs some time to map out the division’s situation before thinking about possible opponents and callouts.

Given a choice, however, there’s one thing Kim would like to request.

“Personally, I want to have my next fight near Korea,” she said. “The airplane ride is pretty tough.”

To hear from Kim, check out the video above.

And for complete coverage of UFC on FOX 27, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Justine Kish (red gloves) fights against Ji Yeon Kim (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Justine Kish (red gloves) fights against Ji Yeon Kim (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Justine Kish (red gloves) fights against Ji Yeon Kim (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Justine Kish (red gloves) fights against Ji Yeon Kim (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Justine Kish (red gloves) fights against Ji Yeon Kim (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Justine Kish (red gloves) fights against Ji Yeon Kim (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Justine Kish (red gloves) fights against Ji Yeon Kim (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Justine Kish (red gloves) fights against Ji Yeon Kim (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Justine Kish (red gloves) fights against Ji Yeon Kim (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Justine Kish (red gloves) fights against Ji Yeon Kim (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Justine Kish (red gloves) fights against Ji Yeon Kim (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Justine Kish (red gloves) fights against Ji Yeon Kim (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Justine Kish (red gloves) fights against Ji Yeon Kim (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Justine Kish (red gloves) fights against Ji Yeon Kim (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Justine Kish (red gloves) fights against Ji Yeon Kim (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-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/W7R4MvoqpNRKogWTAGhUpF/299809", customAnalytics: true, title: "Kim def. Kish", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

After first UFC win, Ji Yeon Kim now hopes for fight closer to Korea

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CHARLOTTE – Ji Yeon Kim was, understandably, happy about beating fellow flyweight Justine Kish on Saturday.

After all, it’s not every day that a fighter gets to pick up her first UFC win, let alone a win against a tough opponent like Kish (6-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC), who was fighting in her own backyard at UFC on FOX 27.

Kim (7-1-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) had to make the particularly long journey from her own home in South Korea.

“It was my first time coming to the (U.S.),” Kim told MMAjunkie via an interpreter after the preliminary-card bout, which aired live on FS1 from Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C. “So I had a problem with the jet lag and the time difference.”

RelatedUFC on FOX 27 results: Ji Yeon Kim takes split decision from stunned Justine Kish

Making the trip, however, paid off when the judges’ official decision was read, letting Kim know that, via split, she’d officially bounced back from a loss to Lucie Pudilova in her UFC debut.

However, the win came with some controversy. Despite one judge giving Kim a 30-27 mark – against dissenting 29-28 and 28-29 scores – some people thought Kish deserved the nod. That includes 11 media outlets who scored it for Kish and four for Kim, according to MMADecisions.com.

It turns out Kim, while happy, wasn’t “100 percent satisfied” with her display, which she attributes to a couple of different reasons. First off, there was the fact that while she tried to tune it out, there was kind of a big crowd rooting against her on Saturday.

RelatedFair or foul? See how judges scored Ji Yeon Kim vs. Justine Kish at UFC on FOX 27

And then there’s the fact Kim couldn’t reap the benefits of moving down from 135 pounds to the newly created women’s flyweight class.

“I wish I could move more freely, more light,” Kim said. “But I couldn’t do that. That’s one thing I’m going to prepare for the next fight.”

Kim said her plan is to remain in the UFC’s 125-pound pool. Considering she’s just arrived there, though, the South Korean fighter said she needs some time to map out the division’s situation before thinking about possible opponents and callouts.

Given a choice, however, there’s one thing Kim would like to request.

“Personally, I want to have my next fight near Korea,” she said. “The airplane ride is pretty tough.”

To hear from Kim, check out the video above.

And for complete coverage of UFC on FOX 27, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Justine Kish (red gloves) fights against Ji Yeon Kim (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Justine Kish (red gloves) fights against Ji Yeon Kim (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Justine Kish (red gloves) fights against Ji Yeon Kim (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Justine Kish (red gloves) fights against Ji Yeon Kim (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Justine Kish (red gloves) fights against Ji Yeon Kim (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Justine Kish (red gloves) fights against Ji Yeon Kim (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Justine Kish (red gloves) fights against Ji Yeon Kim (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Justine Kish (red gloves) fights against Ji Yeon Kim (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Justine Kish (red gloves) fights against Ji Yeon Kim (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Justine Kish (red gloves) fights against Ji Yeon Kim (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Justine Kish (red gloves) fights against Ji Yeon Kim (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Justine Kish (red gloves) fights against Ji Yeon Kim (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Justine Kish (red gloves) fights against Ji Yeon Kim (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Justine Kish (red gloves) fights against Ji Yeon Kim (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Justine Kish (red gloves) fights against Ji Yeon Kim (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-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/W7R4MvoqpNRKogWTAGhUpF/299809", customAnalytics: true, title: "Kim def. Kish", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell joins 'Celebrity Big Brother' cast

May 23, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC former light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell attends the Anthony Johnson (not pictured) and Daniel Cormier (not pictured) light heavyweight championship bout during UFC 187 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Cormier won via third round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jul 11, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Former UFC champion Chuck Liddell attends the Chad Mendes (not pictured) and Conor McGregor (not pictured) interim featherweight title bout during UFC 189 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. McGregor won via second round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Dec 5, 2014; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; UFC former champion Chuck Liddell prior to playing fans in the EA Sports UFC video game before the UFC 181 weigh-ins at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Dec 5, 2014; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; UFC former champion Chuck Liddell plays a fan in the EA Sports UFC video game before the UFC 181 weigh-ins at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Dec 5, 2014; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; UFC former champion Chuck Liddell (right) plays a fan in the EA Sports UFC video game before the UFC 181 weigh-ins at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Nov 6, 2013; Fort Campbell, KY, USA; MMA fighter Chuck Liddell signs autographs for soldiers during UFC Fight for the Troops at Fort Campbell. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Lindsey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 6, 2013; Fort Campbell, KY, USA; MMA fighter Chuck Liddell signs autographs for soldiers during UFC Fight for the Troops at Fort Campbell. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Lindsey-USA TODAY Sports Oct. 28, 2011; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC fighter Chuck Liddell during weigh ins for UFC 137 at the Mandalay Bay event center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Oct. 28, 2011; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC fighter Chuck Liddell during weigh ins for UFC 137 at the Mandalay Bay event center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Oct. 28, 2011; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC fighter Chuck Liddell during weigh ins for UFC 137 at the Mandalay Bay event center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Feb 6, 2011; Arlington, TX, USA; Green Bay Packers tight end Andrew Quarless (81) celebrates with mixed martial artist Chuck Liddell (center) and Heidi Northcott following the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Feb 6, 2011; Arlington, TX, USA; Mixed martial artist Chuck Liddell during the first half of Super Bowl XLV between the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Feb 5, 2010; Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA; UFC former light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell at the Reebok Zigtech press conference on the Grand Floridan yacht. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports Feb 5, 2010; Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA; UFC former light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell (right) and Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chad Ochocinco at the Reebok Zigtech press conference on the Grand Floridan yacht. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports September 14, 2009; Oakland, CA, USA; Mixed Martial Arts fighter Chuck Liddell (left) poses for a photo with TV personality Guy Fieri (right) before the game between the San Diego Chargers and the Oakland Raiders at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/Uujkoz4xSoNzmRd6QUPwzM/299954", customAnalytics: true, title: "Chuck Liddell", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Former UFC champion Chuck Liddell is doing some more reality TV.

CBS officials announced on Sunday that the 2009 UFC Hall of Fame inductee is part of the cast for an upcoming celebrity edition of “Big Brother.”

Liddell will be one of 11 “celebrities” who will live in the “Big Brother” house during a week two-and-a-half-week run that kicks off Feb. 7. The 48-year-old “Iceman” joins Shannon Elizabeth, Brandi Glanville, Ariadna Gutierrez, Marissa Jaret Winokur, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Omarosa Manigault, James Maslow, Ross Matthews, Mark McGrath and Metta World Peace.

RelatedChael Sonnen describes backstage altercation with Chuck Liddell at 'Rich Eisen Show'

The short-run series, which is the first celebrity U.S. edition, counters NBC’s 2018 Winter Olympics coverage, so don’t expect monster ratings.

Liddell, who ruled the UFC light-heavyweight division from 2005-2007 with four title defenses, has been out of the cage since 2010, but he’s kept busy with both MMA and non-MMA projects.

In addition to appearing as a head coach on the first season of “The Ultimate Fighter” in 2005, Liddell has done an array of acting and TV work. In 2009, he appeared on “Dancing with the Stars” and finished 11th.

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.

UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell joins 'Celebrity Big Brother' cast

May 23, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC former light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell attends the Anthony Johnson (not pictured) and Daniel Cormier (not pictured) light heavyweight championship bout during UFC 187 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Cormier won via third round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jul 11, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Former UFC champion Chuck Liddell attends the Chad Mendes (not pictured) and Conor McGregor (not pictured) interim featherweight title bout during UFC 189 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. McGregor won via second round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Dec 5, 2014; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; UFC former champion Chuck Liddell prior to playing fans in the EA Sports UFC video game before the UFC 181 weigh-ins at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Dec 5, 2014; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; UFC former champion Chuck Liddell plays a fan in the EA Sports UFC video game before the UFC 181 weigh-ins at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Dec 5, 2014; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; UFC former champion Chuck Liddell (right) plays a fan in the EA Sports UFC video game before the UFC 181 weigh-ins at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Nov 6, 2013; Fort Campbell, KY, USA; MMA fighter Chuck Liddell signs autographs for soldiers during UFC Fight for the Troops at Fort Campbell. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Lindsey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 6, 2013; Fort Campbell, KY, USA; MMA fighter Chuck Liddell signs autographs for soldiers during UFC Fight for the Troops at Fort Campbell. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Lindsey-USA TODAY Sports Oct. 28, 2011; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC fighter Chuck Liddell during weigh ins for UFC 137 at the Mandalay Bay event center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Oct. 28, 2011; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC fighter Chuck Liddell during weigh ins for UFC 137 at the Mandalay Bay event center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Oct. 28, 2011; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC fighter Chuck Liddell during weigh ins for UFC 137 at the Mandalay Bay event center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Feb 6, 2011; Arlington, TX, USA; Green Bay Packers tight end Andrew Quarless (81) celebrates with mixed martial artist Chuck Liddell (center) and Heidi Northcott following the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Feb 6, 2011; Arlington, TX, USA; Mixed martial artist Chuck Liddell during the first half of Super Bowl XLV between the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Feb 5, 2010; Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA; UFC former light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell at the Reebok Zigtech press conference on the Grand Floridan yacht. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports Feb 5, 2010; Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA; UFC former light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell (right) and Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chad Ochocinco at the Reebok Zigtech press conference on the Grand Floridan yacht. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports September 14, 2009; Oakland, CA, USA; Mixed Martial Arts fighter Chuck Liddell (left) poses for a photo with TV personality Guy Fieri (right) before the game between the San Diego Chargers and the Oakland Raiders at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/Uujkoz4xSoNzmRd6QUPwzM/299954", customAnalytics: true, title: "Chuck Liddell", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Former UFC champion Chuck Liddell is doing some more reality TV.

CBS officials announced on Sunday that the 2009 UFC Hall of Fame inductee is part of the cast for an upcoming celebrity edition of “Big Brother.”

Liddell will be one of 11 “celebrities” who will live in the “Big Brother” house during a week two-and-a-half-week run that kicks off Feb. 7. The 48-year-old “Iceman” joins Shannon Elizabeth, Brandi Glanville, Ariadna Gutierrez, Marissa Jaret Winokur, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Omarosa Manigault, James Maslow, Ross Matthews, Mark McGrath and Metta World Peace.

RelatedChael Sonnen describes backstage altercation with Chuck Liddell at 'Rich Eisen Show'

The short-run series, which is the first celebrity U.S. edition, counters NBC’s 2018 Winter Olympics coverage, so don’t expect monster ratings.

Liddell, who ruled the UFC light-heavyweight division from 2005-2007 with four title defenses, has been out of the cage since 2010, but he’s kept busy with both MMA and non-MMA projects.

In addition to appearing as a head coach on the first season of “The Ultimate Fighter” in 2005, Liddell has done an array of acting and TV work. In 2009, he appeared on “Dancing with the Stars” and finished 11th.

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.

UFC 223's Felice Herrig puts home newspaper on blast for erroneous pic of Cortney Casey

Here’s the thing: There’s a ton of stuff that goes into a daily newspaper. The good folks who work there, generally speaking, get about 99.9 percent of them right.

That’s a ridiculously high percentage, and most people aren’t that level of near-perfect in their day-to-day jobs. But newspapers are held to a higher standard, and when something is off, it gets noticed.

UFC strawweight Felice Herrig, a Chicagoland native and resident, recently got a mention in the Chicago Tribune when she booked her next fight. There was a problem, though, and Herrig put the paper on blast on her Instagram account.

Instead of a mug of Herrig to go with a notebook-style story on Herrig (13-6 MMA, 5-1 UFC) and her upcoming fight against Karolina Kowalkiewicz (11-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC), the Trib used a mug of Cortney Casey, whom Herrig beat in at UFC 218 in Detroit in December.

“Hey @chicagotribune ….” Herrig posted, “next time you decide to put me in the paper maybe you could use a photo of me instead of my opponent. Thank you.”

Whoops.

(And while we’re at it, Tribune peeps: The phrase is tough “row to hoe,” not “road to hoe.” Ya know, for next time you’re writing about CM Punk.)

Herrig and Kowalkiewicz will throw down at UFC 223, which takes place April 7 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Herrig will be going after her fifth straight win. If she gets it, hopefully her local paper of record will grab a shot of her to use, not Kowalkiewicz.

For more on UFC 223, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

Jul 22, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Felice Herrig during weigh ins for UFC Fight Night at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports Apr 18, 2015; Newark, NJ, USA; Felice Herrig (red) walks to the ring for her fight against Paige VanZant (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Prudential Center. VanZant won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Apr 18, 2015; Newark, NJ, USA; Felice Herrig (red) is introduced for her fight against Paige VanZant (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Prudential Center. VanZant won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Apr 18, 2015; Newark, NJ, USA; Felice Herrig (red) and Paige VanZant (blue) fight during UFC Fight Night at Prudential Center. VanZant won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Apr 18, 2015; Newark, NJ, USA; Felice Herrig (red) and Paige VanZant (blue) fight during UFC Fight Night at Prudential Center. VanZant won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Apr 18, 2015; Newark, NJ, USA; Felice Herrig (red) and Paige VanZant (blue) fight during UFC Fight Night at Prudential Center. VanZant won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Apr 18, 2015; Newark, NJ, USA; Paige VanZant (blue) celebrates after her fight against Felice Herrig (red) during UFC Fight Night at Prudential Center. VanZant won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Felice Herrig left and Kailin Curran right during weigh ins for UFC Fight Night at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports July 23, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Felice Herrig (red gloves) competes against Kailin Curran (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports July 23, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Felice Herrig (red gloves) competes against Kailin Curran (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports July 23, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Felice Herrig (red gloves) celebrates after defeating Kailin Curran (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports Feb 4, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Alexa Grasso (red gloves) fights Felice Herrig (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Feb 4, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Alexa Grasso (red gloves) fights Felice Herrig (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Feb 4, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Alexa Grasso (red gloves) fights Felice Herrig (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Feb 4, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Alexa Grasso (red gloves) fights Felice Herrig (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Feb 4, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Felice Herrig (blue gloves) defeats Alexa Grasso (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Feb 4, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Felice Herrig (blue gloves) defeats Alexa Grasso (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Felice Herring and Justine Kish face off after weigh in before UFC fight night at Renaissance Waterford Oklahoma City Hotel. Mandatory Credit: Sean Pokorny-USA TODAY Sports Jun 25, 2017; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Felice Herring (red gloves) fights Justine Kish (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Pokorny-USA TODAY Sports Jun 25, 2017; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Felice Herring (red gloves) fights Justine Kish (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Pokorny-USA TODAY Sports Jun 25, 2017; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Felice Herring (red gloves) fights Justine Kish (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Pokorny-USA TODAY Sports Jun 25, 2017; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Felice Herring (red gloves) fights Justine Kish (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Pokorny-USA TODAY Sports Jun 25, 2017; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Felice Herring (red gloves) reacts after beating Justine Kish (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Pokorny-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Felice Herrig weighs in for UFC fight night at Renaissance Waterford Oklahoma City Hotel. Mandatory Credit: Sean Pokorny-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Felice Herrig (red gloves) fights Cortney Casey (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Felice Herrig (red gloves) fights Cortney Casey (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Felice Herrig (red gloves) fights Cortney Casey (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Felice Herrig (red gloves) fights Cortney Casey (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Felice Herrig (red gloves) fights Cortney Casey (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Felice Herrig (red gloves) reacts to fight against Cortney Casey (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-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/T445x9D6tZKork6ax2c2ue/299897", customAnalytics: true, title: "Felice Herrig", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

WWE's Ronda Rousey won't talk about UFC losses, says she's not retired

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Ronda Rousey is more than two years removed from the end of her dominant run as UFC champion. Still, the former UFC bantamweight titleholder won’t address the back-to-back losses that derailed her position as an MMA superstar.

Outside of a 48-second TKO loss to Amanda Nunes at UFC 207 in December 2016, Rousey (12-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) has largely remained out of the spotlight since she was dethroned of UFC gold by Holly Holm at UFC 193 in November 2015. “Rowdy” reemerged on Sunday, though, when she made a surprise appearance at WWE’s Royal Rumble event.

The appearance marked the start of Rousey’s professional wrestling career. She’s signed a multi-year deal with the WWE, and although the new chapter in her life might seem like an appropriate opportunity to address her past demons, an emotional Rousey said the time is still not right.

“I think I’d rather just not talk about that right now,” Rousey said in a sit-down interview with ESPN.com released just after news broke of her WWE signing.

RelatedTwitter reacts to Ronda Rousey's WWE debut at Royal Rumble

Rousey may not have been willing to discuss her past fights, but she did make a statement about her future in MMA. She said she hasn’t followed the UFC over the past year, but also didn’t dismiss an octagon return entirely.

Former UFC heavyweight and current WWE Universal champion Brock Lesnar has transitioned between sports, but Rousey said that’s not currently her focus. She doesn’t want to deem herself retired from fighting, but made it clear at this point her future is committed solely toward thriving under the WWE banner.

“(Retirement is) what everybody else seems to say,” Rousey said. “I never retired from judo. If that’s what you guys want to think. All I know is that I really want to devote 100 percent of my time to wrestling right now, and whatever people want to call that, they can call it.

“This is my life now,” she continued. “First priority on my timeline for the next several years. This is not a smash-and-grab; this is not a publicity stunt. When I first met with Triple H, I told him, ‘There are other things I can do with my time that’ll make way more money, but I won’t enjoy nearly as much.’”

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

December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes celebrates her victory and championship retention against Ronda Rousey during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Ronda Rousey fights against Amanda Nunes during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes lands punches against Ronda Rousey during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes lands punches against Ronda Rousey during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes lands punches against Ronda Rousey during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes moves in with a punch against Ronda Rousey during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes moves in with a punch against Ronda Rousey during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes lands a hit against Ronda Rousey during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes lands punches while Ronda Rousey is against the cage during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes lands a hit against Ronda Rousey during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes reacts following her TKO victory against Ronda Rousey during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes following her victory meets with and hugs Ronda Rousey during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes receives a kiss from girlfriend Nina Ansaroff before her match against Ronda Rousey during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Ronda Rousey reacts following her TKO defeat against Amanda Nunes during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Ronda Rousey reacts following her TKO defeat against Amanda Nunes during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes celebrates her TKO victory and championship retention against Ronda Rousey during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes reacts after her TKO victory against Ronda Rousey during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Ronda Rousey leaves with her mother AnnMaria DeMars follwing her loss against Amanda Nunes during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Ronda Rousey leaves with her mother AnnMaria DeMars follwing her loss against Amanda Nunes during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes leaves the octagon following her victory against Ronda Rousey during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Ronda Rousey reacts following her TKO defeat against Amanda Nunes during UFC 207 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/HCWTef2HZMNwE5fivJKyn3/299930", customAnalytics: true, title: "Nunes def. Rousey", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Ronda Rousey signs with WWE, debuts at Royal Rumble to declare Wrestlemania intentions

Ronda Rousey’s crossover into professional wrestling is official.

The former UFC women’s bantamweight champion has signed with WWE and made a surprise appearance at tonight’s Royal Rumble in Philadelphia.

“This is my life now,” Rousey told ESPN.com of her decision to join WWE. “First priority on my timeline for the next several years. This is not a smash-and-grab; this is not a publicity stunt. When I first met with Triple H, I told him, ‘There are other things I can do with my time that’ll make way more money, but I won’t enjoy nearly as much.'”

Rousey, 30, had her last UFC fight on Dec. 30, 2016, when she lost in 48 seconds via TKO to current champion Amanda Nunes. It was the second consecutive stoppage loss of Rousey’s career after opening 12-0 to help put women’s MMA on the map. She joined the UFC in February 2013 and reeled off six consecutive title defenses as her popularity transcended into the mainstream.

Ever since the loss to Nunes, Rousey (12-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) remained quiet on her future, never officially announcing her retirement from MMA. UFC President Dana White has said repeatedly in the past 13 months that he didn’t believe Rousey would return to the octagon.

A career in pro wrestling has been rumored for months, given Rousey’s life-long fandom. Her nickname, “Rowdy,” is an homage to late WWE Hall of Famer “Rowdy” Roddy Piper.

But even though there was speculation, nothing seemed certain until recently when it was widely reported that Rousey began meeting with WWE executives Paul “Triple H” Levesque and Stephanie McMahon. Rousey even showed up to WWE events to support friend and former MMA fighter Shayna Baszler, which only ramped up speculation.

Rousey tried to keep her Royal Rumble debut a secret this week, but many believed she was just doing her part to swerve fans. That turned out to be the case.

In her first appearance, Rousey came out after the first-ever women’s Royal Rumble match. She had a face-off of sorts with winner Asuka, Smackdown women’s champion Charlotte Flair and Raw women’s champion Alexa Bliss. Seemingly declared her intention to be part of April’s Wrestlemania pay-per-view when she gestured toward the sign hanging at Wells Fargo Center.

Here’s what went down (via WWE Twitter):

Everyone's eyes are on #WrestleMania 34…

…including @RondaRousey's!!! #RoyalRumble pic.twitter.com/ynkps4gqx5

— WWE (@WWE) January 29, 2018

What is @RondaRousey doing here?!#RoyalRumble #RumbleForAll pic.twitter.com/AN3t95ArYT

— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) January 29, 2018

It seems @RondaRousey ALSO wants to go to @WrestleMania#RoyalRumble pic.twitter.com/yha3PGBPL8

— WWE (@WWE) January 29, 2018

ROWDY @RondaRousey is shaking hands with @StephMcMahon?!#RoyalRumble pic.twitter.com/R2miS8E377

— WWE (@WWE) January 29, 2018

Trading Shots: Is Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier the best kind of fun, or just desperation mode?

With a superfight booked for UFC 226 in July, the next move in two divisions is now a settled matter. But is that a good thing? MMAjunkie columnist Ben Fowlkes and retired UFC and WEC fighter Danny Downes discuss in this week’s Trading Shots.

Fowlkes: I don’t know about you, Danny, but I received the news of the UFC’s next heavyweight title fight with great joy.

You’re telling me that after fending off Francis Ngannou and breaking the record for consecutive UFC heavyweight title defenses, Stipe Miocic (18-2 MMA, 12-2 UFC) will now defend his strap against current UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier (20-1 MMA, 9-1 UFC)? Yes, please. I will take a heaping serving of that, and I won’t even complain about the extra five bucks tacked on to the pay-per-view price without explanation.

But I hear that some people aren’t quite as pumped about this one. I hear them complaining about holding up divisions. I hear them saying it’s just more champion-vs.-champion superfight stuff, designed to do nothing more than make a cheap buck to help a company that’s in need of fast cash.

And here’s the thing, I don’t really disagree, especially with that last part. I also don’t care. Not when the result is an awesome, legitimate fight like this one. Is the UFC doing it just because it’s popular and it will sell, at least way more than anything these two could do separately at the moment? Absolutely. But the reason it will sell is because it’s a fight people actually want to see.

You tell me, Danny, what’s wrong with that?

Downes: Do you remember Dug from the movie “Up,” Ben? He was a lovable, loyal golden retriever who had a bit of a problem concentrating. You remind me of him, minus the lovable or loyal parts. Instead of focusing on what’s important, you get distracted by whatever SQUIRREL happens to jaunt by.

I agree with you that Miocic vs. Cormier is an exciting fight. It’s also something fans will want to see. What you fail to realize, though, is that this fight is not some promotional genius. It’s a necessity.

You casually throw in that this fight is a better option than anything either one of them could do separately, but you don’t explain why that’s the case. The reason this fight exists is because there is nobody left for either one of them to compete against. The light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions are so barren there’s no other choice but to book champion vs. champion.

Doesn’t that strike you as the bigger story? Heavyweight has never had the deepest talent pool, but all it took was an incredible title defense run of … [checks numbers] … three … to wipe out all contenders. Three.

Now I may not have Bodog fight posters hanging up in my bedroom like you, but that doesn’t strike me as a particularly historic run. Miocic vs. Cormier is a product of desperation. Shouldn’t that be concerning?

It’s perfectly fine to get hyped for this fight. I’m not denying that it could/should be entertaining. Instead of being preoccupied with the shiny, new fight announcement, we should look at what brought it about. Don’t you find the shallowness of these two divisions concerning?

As we discussed last week, I can think of six other divisions suffering from the same problem. There are only so many champion vs. champion fights you can make. These systemic problems are not tenable in the long term. Did any of these thoughts cross your mind, or were you too distracted by the SQUIRREL!

Fowlkes: Why you gotta be so gloomy about this? We can’t even have one great blowout party without you standing around with a broom and dustpan, reminding everyone that this is going to hurt in the morning?

By calling it a “necessity,” you also might be underplaying the whole thing. You think it’s simple and easy to put together a fight between the light heavyweight champ and the most dominant heavyweight in UFC history? (And by the way, regardless of what you think about it, Miocic’s title run is historic, because no one else has ever done it before.)

Tell me, if it’s all so easy then why hasn’t it been done before? If it’s just a backup plan borne of necessity, why is this the first time we’re seeing it? What, you think the UFC has never been in need of a killer pay-per-view headliner until now?

But I don’t even care about that. I also don’t care about your argument that both divisions are too shallow. If that’s the case, it’s an argument for this fight, not against it, since it might actually give some fresh contenders time to make their case in both weight classes while we entertain ourselves with a fight for total supremacy.

For me, this is one time when the UFC’s motives don’t really matter. Of course it’s doing this because it’s the best available option, but so what? If the end result is that fans get to see the best available option, and if the best available option is actually really compelling and not some farce driven by celebrity or phony hype, what can we possibly complain about?

It’s one thing when the UFC signs someone like CM Punk in a desperate bid for attention. That deserves to criticized, because there the result of the UFC’s hunger for easy money is a weaker product. But here it’s the opposite.

Miocic vs. Cormier is exactly the kind of thing fans have been clamoring for. And if it took the UFC slipping into desperation mode in order for us to get it, I’m fine with that. Worst-case scenario, the UFC will be forced to give us what we want. Is that so bad?

Downes: I like how you consider being the voice of reason and (correctly) pointing out the situation at large a bad thing.

Me: Ben, I don’t think you should eat that Tide pod.
You: Nerrrrrrrrd! Do you know how many Instagram likes I’ll get?!
Me: Yes, I’m sure you’ll get a lot of traffic, but have you looked at the ingredients? They’re literal poison.
You: Danny Downer! You hate fun!

I’d accuse you of being short-sighted, but you just admitted it. A responsible, rational commentator can look at a fight from a number of angles. A responsible rational commentator doesn’t get caught up in the hype of a fight announcement. You may be “getting what you want,” but it comes at a cost.

Also, no fight exists in a vacuum. For every match you make, there are reverberations throughout the divisions. In two consecutive sentences you called this fight both “desperation mode” and claimed that the worst-case scenario is you get what you want. That’s some impressive MMA myopia.

I’ll tell you what the worst-case scenario is. It’s that you completely neuter two divisions. It’s that you become so hungry for short cash infusions that you do nothing to build new stars and disinterest grows even more. It’s that you further erode the importance of titles and the entire way you’ve structured your organization for years implodes. But hey, at least it’ll be a fun night!

I know that looking at the big picture will require some critical thinking skills that you’ve seem to misplaced, so I’ll try to couch it something even you can understand – “The Simpsons.”

It’s February 1994 (a month before UFC 2, to set the timeline). Little Lisa Simpson is upset with the makers of the Malibu Stacy doll. It seems that the corporation behind it has produced a stale, uninteresting product that insults customers’ intelligence. As consumers start to question their loyalty to the product and consider moving to a competitor, the Malibu Stacy Corporation unleashes its “new” doll. It’s the same Malibu Stacy, but this time, SHE HAS A NEW HAT! Everyone rushes to buy the new doll and forgets why they were upset in the first place.

Point is, I understand the compulsion to rush toward the new toy, but I expected you to see past it. I wonder how many other accessories the UFC can sell you (at an increased price) before you come to your senses.

And for more on UFC 226, visit the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Ben Fowlkes is MMAjunkie and USA TODAY’s MMA columnist. Danny Downes, a retired UFC and WEC fighter, is an MMAjunkie contributor who has also written for UFC.com and UFC 360. Follow them on twitter at @benfowlkesMMA and @dannyboydownes.

Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) celebrates his win over Volkan Oezdemir (not seen) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) celebrates his victory against Volkan Oezdemir (not seen) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) fights Volkan Oezdemir (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) fights Volkan Oezdemir (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) fights Volkan Oezdemir (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) fights Volkan Oezdemir (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) fights Volkan Oezdemir (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) fights Volkan Oezdemir (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) fights Volkan Oezdemir (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) fights Volkan Oezdemir (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) fights Volkan Oezdemir (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) fights Volkan Oezdemir (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) fights Volkan Oezdemir (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) fights Volkan Oezdemir (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) fights Volkan Oezdemir (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) fights Volkan Oezdemir (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) fights Volkan Oezdemir (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) celebrates his win over Volkan Oezdemir (not seen) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/aJTGE2feJLrvejkbWnwYQJ/299834", customAnalytics: true, title: "Cormier def. Oezdemir", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

To honor tonight's Grammy Awards, watch UFC fighters get quizzed on music history

The Grammy Awards go down tonight in New York. And that means a little Bruno Mars and Kendrick Lamar, Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, Ed Sheeran and Imagine dragons, Foo Fighters and Nothing More.

Fighters tend to be music fans. If nothing else, they need to be when it comes time to pick out their walkout songs.

So ahead of the Grammys, the UFC quizzed some of its fighters on what song won “Record of the Year” at the Grammys for the 1993 awards season – the same year UFC 1 took place.

Check out the responses from the likes of heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic, Stephen Thompson, Felice Herrig, Uriah Hall, Dennis Bermudez, Kamaru Usman and more when they try to guess the winner.

And when they finally get it (or are told what won), they take a crack at singing a classic cover from the late, great Whitney Houston.

Check out the Twitter video above ahead of tonight’s broadcast, on which we’ll find out the 2017 winner for “Record of the Year” between “24k Magic” by Bruno Mars, “Redbone” by Childish Gambino, “The Story of O.J.” by Jay-Z, “Humble” by Kendrick Lamar, and “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, featuring Justin Bieber. (For the record, our pick is “Despacito.”)

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.

Drew Dober after razor-thin UFC on FOX 27 'Fight of the Night' victory: I deserved it

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CHARLOTTE – Drew Dober felt he deserved to get his hand raised in the UFC on FOX 27 “Fight of the Night,” even if others disagree.

Dober (19-8 MMA, 5-4 UFC) beat welterweight Frank Camacho (21-6 MMA, 1-2 UFC) by unanimous decision in a competitive main-card fight at Saturday’s event, which took place at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C.. and aired on FOX following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Under the scoring criteria as he knows it, Dober said his performance was superior, though media scores were essentially split down the middle, according to MMADecisions.com.

RelatedUFC on FOX 27 results: Drew Dober tops Frank Camacho in slugfest with an odd scorecard

“It was up in the air,” Dober told MMAjunkie after the FOX-televised bout. “Things happen in your head differently than they happen in the audience’s eyes. So of course I remember the sweeps and all the stuff he was doing well, but once I watch the tape and talked to my corners, I think I won with just my volume, my punching power and just my constant pressure and making contact.”

Dober and Camacho each earned an additional $50,000 for their efforts in producing the “Fight of the Night.” For Dober, it’s exactly the type of fight he wants every time he steps in the octagon, and he hopes the UFC will oblige him with another all-action opponent.

RelatedDrew Dober, Frank Camacho take photo together after UFC on FOX 27 'Fight of the Night'

“Fighting, entertaining the fans and getting paychecks is always nice, so let’s get as many as possible,” Dober said. “I’ve got no names. Anyone who wants to stand and trade with me, I’m down.”

To hear more from Dober post-fight, watch the video above.

And for complete coverage of UFC on FOX 27, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Drew Dober (red gloves) fights against Frank Camacho (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Drew Dober (red gloves) fights against Frank Camacho (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Drew Dober (red gloves) fights against Frank Camacho (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Drew Dober (red gloves) fights against Frank Camacho (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Drew Dober (red gloves) fights against Frank Camacho (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Drew Dober (red gloves) fights against Frank Camacho (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Drew Dober (red gloves) fights against Frank Camacho (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Drew Dober (red gloves) fights against Frank Camacho (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Drew Dober (red gloves) fights against Frank Camacho (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Drew Dober (red gloves) fights against Frank Camacho (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Drew Dober (red gloves) fights against Frank Camacho (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Drew Dober (red gloves) fights against Frank Camacho (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Drew Dober (red gloves) fights against Frank Camacho (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Drew Dober (red gloves) fights against Frank Camacho (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Drew Dober (red gloves) fights against Frank Camacho (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-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/qQnvjtGyazzHoKyRNhSr8G/299767", customAnalytics: true, title: "Dober def. Camacho", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Bellator 193 reactions: Winning and losing fighters on social media

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

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

Following Friday’s Bellator 193 event in Temecula, Calif., several of the winning and losing fighters, along with their coaches, training partners or family members, took to social media to react to the event or share a message with supporters.

Check out some of those reactions.

* * * *

The defeated

The victorious

For complete coverage of Bellator 193, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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

UFC flyweight Paige VanZant announces engagement to fighter Austin Vanderford

December 17, 2016; Sacramento, CA, USA; Paige VanZant (red gloves) fights Michelle Waterson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports December 16, 2016; Sacramento, CA, USA; Paige VanZant weighs in for her bout against Michelle Waterson during weigh-ins for UFC Fight Night at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports December 16, 2016; Sacramento, CA, USA; Paige VanZant (left) and Michelle Waterson (right) dance during weigh-ins for UFC Fight Night at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports December 17, 2016; Sacramento, CA, USA; Paige VanZant (red gloves) fights Michelle Waterson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Golden 1 Center. Waterson defeated VanZant via technical submission (rear-naked choke) Round 1, 3:21. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports December 17, 2016; Sacramento, CA, USA; Paige VanZant (red gloves) fights Michelle Waterson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Golden 1 Center. Waterson defeated VanZant via technical submission (rear-naked choke) Round 1, 3:21. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports December 17, 2016; Sacramento, CA, USA; Paige VanZant (red gloves) fights Michelle Waterson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Golden 1 Center. Waterson defeated VanZant via technical submission (rear-naked choke) Round 1, 3:21. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports December 17, 2016; Sacramento, CA, USA; Paige VanZant (red gloves) fights Michelle Waterson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Golden 1 Center. Waterson defeated VanZant via technical submission (rear-naked choke) Round 1, 3:21. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports December 17, 2016; Sacramento, CA, USA; Paige VanZant (red gloves) fights Michelle Waterson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Golden 1 Center. Waterson defeated VanZant via technical submission (rear-naked choke) Round 1, 3:21. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports December 17, 2016; Sacramento, CA, USA; Paige VanZant (red gloves) fights Michelle Waterson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports December 17, 2016; Sacramento, CA, USA; Paige VanZant (red gloves) fights Michelle Waterson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports December 17, 2016; Sacramento, CA, USA; Paige VanZant (red gloves) fights Michelle Waterson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports Aug 27, 2016; Vancouver, BC, Canada; Bec Rawlings (blue gloves) fights Paige VanZant (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports Aug 27, 2016; Vancouver, BC, Canada; Paige VanZant (red gloves) competes against Bec Rawlings (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports Aug 27, 2016; Vancouver, BC, Canada; Paige VanZant (red gloves) competes against Bec Rawlings (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports Aug 27, 2016; Vancouver, BC, Canada; Paige VanZant (red gloves) competes against Bec Rawlings (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports Aug 27, 2016; Vancouver, BC, Canada; Bec Rawlings (blue gloves) fights Paige VanZant (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports Aug 27, 2016; Vancouver, BC, Canada; Paige Vanzant (red gloves) fights against Bec Rawlings (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports Aug 27, 2016; Vancouver, BC, Canada; Paige Vanzant (red gloves) reacts during her fight against Bec Rawlings (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports Aug 27, 2016; Vancouver, BC, Canada; Paige Vanzant (red gloves) reacts after her fight against Bec Rawlings (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports Aug 27, 2016; Vancouver, BC, Canada; Paige VanZant (red gloves) reacts during fight against Bec Rawlings (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-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/hEkreDVs8hjoSmqYwUnrNi/299867", customAnalytics: true, title: "Paige VanZant", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

We can be reasonably sure of one thing: The bride probably isn’t going to need dancing lessons ahead of her wedding.

UFC flyweight Paige VanZant, who in the past couple years also has had star-making turns outside the cage on “Dancing With the Stars” and a celebrity edition of “Chopped,” is getting married.

VanZant today posted on Instagram a picture of her presumably wiping away a tear of joy while boyfriend Austin Vanderford popped the big question while down on one knee.

“I said yes!!” VanZant posted. The extra exclmation point means she apparently was extra excited.

She did not post any details of when the VanZant-Vanderford nuptials will be taking place, but she’s now officially part of Team VanVan.

VanZant (7-4 MMA, 4-3 UFC) is coming off a decision loss to Jessica-Rose Clark earlier this month at UFC Fight Night 124. She broke her right arm in the fight, and it appears to be in a sling in the photo of her with Vanderford above. That setback gave her losses in three of her past four fights.

Vanderford (3-0), a 27-year-old who fights at welterweight, stayed perfect in December with a second-round submission of Kenny Licea at Victory FC 59 in Nebraska.

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.

Sean Shelby's Shoes: What's next for Ronaldo Souza and UFC on FOX 27's other winning fighters?

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(ALSO SEE: Sean Shelby’s Shoes: What’s next for Derek Brunson and UFC on FOX 27’s other losing fighters?)

Ronaldo Souza reestablished himself as a top middleweight threat in the UFC on FOX 27 main event Saturday when he defeated Derek Brunson for a second time.

“Jacare” (25-5 MMA, 8-2 UFC) knocked out Brunson (18-6 MMA, 9-4 UFC) in the opening round of the FOX-televised headliner at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C., putting him back in the discussion of top 185-pound contenders.

Although Souza’s win was the most memorable of the night, there also were a number of other key victors. Andre Fili (18-5 MMA, 6-4 UFC) got the biggest win of his career in the co-main event, Gregor Gillespie (11-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) remained unbeaten with another stoppage, and Drew Dober (19-8 MMA, 5-4 UFC) won in the “Fight of the Night.”

After every event, fans wonder whom the winners will be matched up with next. And with another night of UFC action in the rearview mirror, it’s time to look forward, put on a pair of Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard’s shoes, and play UFC matchmaker for UFC on FOX 27’s winning fighters.

* * * *

Drew Dober

Jon Tuck

Should fight: Jon Tuck
Why they should fight: Ordinarily a lightweight, Dober was able to edge out Frank Camacho in a welterweight bout that was deemed “Fight of the Night”

A commission order stemming from a large weight cut for his previous bout saw Dober fight Camacho at 170 pounds. He encountered some difficulty adapting to the higher weight, but still managed to get the unanimous decision win.

Dober said he will return to 155 pounds for his next contest, and in the UFC’s most talent-filled weight class, there’s no shortage of potential opponents. Tuck (12-4 MMA, 4-4 UFC) is coming off a submission win over MMA legend Takanori Gomi at UFC Fight Night 111 and would likely attempt to drag Dober out of his comfort zone into a grappling situation.

Gregor Gillespie

Olivier Aubin-Mercier

Should fight: Winner of Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs. Gilbert Burns at UFC on FOX 28
Why they should fight: Gillespie is gaining traction as a fighter to watch in the stacked lightweight division, and his latest showcase was another example why.

Gillespie had his way with Jordan Rinaldi for a first-round TKO, marking his third stoppage in four UFC wins. He’s showing evolution in his skill set with each performance, and if he continues at this rate, “The Gift” could be a contender within a handful of fights.

At this point, Gillespie has shown he can handle mid-tier talent at 155 pounds. It’s time for a true and legitimate step up, and that means a fight against someone in the top 20 or 30 of the weight class.

Gillespie is viewed by many as a prospect, but at 31 and with a long collegiate wrestling career under his belt, he’s not as spry as some. It’s time for a real test to his unbeaten record, and a serious grappling threat like the winner of Aubin-Mercier (10-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) vs. Burns (12-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC), who meet at UFC on FOX 28 on Feb. 24, could give him an honest challenge.

Andre Fili

Myles Jury

Should fight: Myles Jury
Why they should fight: After alternating wins and losses over his first nine UFC appearances, Fili finally got on an octagon winning streak when he was awarded a narrow and somewhat controversial split-decision against Dennis Bermudez.

Although there are mixed opinions on who deserved the win, Fili believes he won every round against “The Menace” and is ready to move on to bigger and better in the featherweight division. The Team Alpha Male product said he’s not going to settle for anything less than a top 10 opponent, but given the landscape of the weight class, he may have to.

There are plenty of tough opponents at 145 pounds, and while overlooked, Jury (17-2 MMA, 8-2 UFC) is someone also on the cusp of breaking through. “Fury” just beat Fili’s teammate Rick Glenn at UFC 219 in December, and perhaps “Touchy” would be interested in getting some redemption.

Ronaldo Souza

Should fight: Chris Weidman
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why Brunson should fight Weidman (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) next.

For complete coverage of UFC on FOX 27, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Ronaldo Souza (red gloves) defeats Derek Brunson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Ronaldo Souza (red gloves) fights Derek Brunson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Ronaldo Souza (red gloves) fights Derek Brunson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Ronaldo Souza (red gloves) fights Derek Brunson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Ronaldo Souza (red gloves) fights Derek Brunson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Ronaldo Souza (red gloves) fights Derek Brunson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Ronaldo Souza (red gloves) fights Derek Brunson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Ronaldo Souza (red gloves) knocks Derek Brunson (blue gloves) out with a kick during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Ronaldo Souza (red gloves) defeats Derek Brunson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Ronaldo Souza (red gloves) defeats Derek Brunson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Ronaldo Souza (red gloves) defeats Derek Brunson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Jan 27, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Ronaldo Souza (red gloves) defeats Derek Brunson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-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/5XqWEGjmcFZ6MmkLrUXdYd/299805", customAnalytics: true, title: "Souza def. Brunson", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

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