MMA Junkie News

Elias Theodorou happy he gets to haunt Daniel Kelly's dreams after UFC-Sydney

if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_ps1nE2Wb_FLu19iir_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/ps1nE2Wb.json","ph":2} );
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

SYDNEY – Elias Theodorou was no stranger to Daniel Kelly before they threw down at UFC Fight Night 121 on Saturday.

But after his unanimous decision win, Theodorou (14-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) went into some detail about an altercation he had with Kelly (13-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) a couple days before their middleweight fight at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney. Their fight aired on the main card on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

“In some of the media, he was calling me two-faced,” Theodorou said after the fight. “After (media day), we said, ‘Is it OK if we take the elevator with you?’ After the door shut, he says, ‘You know what, mother(expletive)?’ and starts cussing at me.

“He goes, ‘You’re gonna act all two-faced and say you’re gonna be my friend? None of this stuff.’ And he goes, ‘It doesn’t matter. We’re gonna fight and I’m never gonna see you again.'”

Theodorou and Kelly were in the house together on the UFC’s “Nations” season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” which pitted fighters from Canada (Theororou) against fighters from Australia (Kelly).

But with his win in the books, it sounds like Theodorou isn’t harboring any hard feelings with the 40-year-old Kelly, who was a four-time Olympian in judo for Australia.

“Now I get to haunt him in his dreams,” Theodorou said. “But the important thing is, I have no animosity toward him. It’s a true honor stepping in the cage with him. … I didn’t shake his hand in the beginning (of the fight), but I did in the third round because it was a true honor.”

Theodorou won that aforementioned “TUF: Nations” season with a TKO of Sheldon Westcott in April 2014, then won two more fights for a perfect 11-0 start to his career and 3-0 in the UFC. After a loss to Thiago Santos, he got back on the right track with wins over Sam Alvey and Cezar Ferreira.

But in July, he dropped a decision to Brad Tavares. So the win over Kelly was huge to keep Theodorou from the first skid of his career, but also to get him back toward putting together another streak if he wants to be a middleweight contender.

“I’ve still got to go back to the drawing board,” he said. “For now, I’m happy I won against a really tough guy and I’m back on a win streak. Obviously, there’s things I could’ve done better.

“… He’s resilient. He’s a true warrior – especially someone in his fourth decade. He’s been doing judo longer than I’ve been on this earth. As someone that’s only been doing martial arts for eight years in any capacity – and six of those years I’ve been professional – I’m always growing and I’m learning. And I have to do that from this fight.”

For more from Theodoroou, check out the video above.

And for complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 121, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Elias Theodorou reacts against Daniel Kelly during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Daniel Kelly moves in with a hold as Elias Theodorou defends during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Daniel Kelly moves in with a hit against Elias Theodorou during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Elias Theodorou lands a hit against Daniel Kelly during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Daniel Kelly applies a hold against Elias Theodorou during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Elias Theodorou moves in with a kick against Daniel Kelly during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Elias Theodorou pins Daniel Kelly to the cage during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Elias Theodorou lands a hit against Daniel Kelly during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Elias Theodorou moves in with a hit against Daniel Kelly during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Daniel Kelly moves in with a hit as Elias Theodorou jumps to defend during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Daniel Kelly applies a hold against Elias Theodorou during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Daniel Kelly pins Elias Theodorou to the mat during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Elias Theodorou moves in with a kick against Daniel Kelly during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Elias Theodorou fights against Daniel Kelly during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Elias Theodorou lands a kick against Daniel Kelly during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-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/gknUjDqNbotydkfEA7Ss5U/285671", customAnalytics: true, title: "Theodorou def. Kelly", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

Jake Matthews not thrilled with win at UFC-Sydney, but believes welterweight is his home

if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_YlWv27ZU_FLu19iir_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/YlWv27ZU.json","ph":2} );
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

SYDNEY – It wasn’t very smooth sailing for Jake Matthews on Saturday night in front of his home fans. But a win is a win is a win.

Matthews (11-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) took a split decision from Bojan Velickovic (15-6-1 MMA, 2-3-1 UFC) in their welterweight bout on the UFC Fight Night 121 main card. It was Matthews’ return to 170 pounds for the first time since before he was in the UFC.

UFC Fight Night 121 took place at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney. It aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

“It’s obviously good to get the win,” Matthews told MMAjunkie after the fight. “I was very nervous before this fight after the last two losses. I knew I had to get the win, but the nerves had shut me down a bit. It wasn’t the best fight. I pretty much flipped the game plan around.”

Matthews came into the fight with back-to-back losses as a lightweight. The victory was his first since a “Fight of the Night” submission of Johnny Case in March 2016.

Getting back in the win column was crucial for Australia’s Matthews, so much so that he said he had to control the emotion to make sure he focused on the fight.

“I was just harboring a lot of emotion,” Matthews said. “I couldn’t even look at the crowd walking out because I would start crying. To be fighting in Australia, back in the octagon after 12 months out, I could hear all my friends and family – it was good.”

Ten of the 14 media members tracked by MMADecisions.com scored the fight for Velickovic, though. Only three scored it for Matthews, and one scored it a draw.

But Matthews believes he’ll start to feel more comfortable in his new weight class and thinks welterweight is where he belongs after being at lightweight his first seven fights in the UFC.

“I’ve still got a good 12 months before I probably get up to a proper welterweight size,” Matthews said. “I went 7-0 as a welterweight (before I came to the UFC), and I was walking around probably at 165 pounds back then – weighing in in pants and with phones in my pocket just to seem bigger.

“Obviously, welterweight in the UFC is a little different. I was just testing the waters (Saturday), but I’m just happy to get a win. I got a little bit sick after the last one cutting that much weight, so I felt a lot better this time.”

For more from Matthews, check out the video above.

And for complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 121, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Jake Matthews pins Bojan Velickovic to the mat during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Bojan Velickovic applies a hold against Jake Matthews during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Bojan Velickovic applies a hold against Jake Matthews during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Jake Matthews moves in with a hit against Bojan Velickovic during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Bojan Velickovic moves in with a hit as Jake Matthews defends during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Jake Matthews fights against Bojan Velickovic during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Bojan Velickovic moves in with a hit against Jake Matthews during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Bojan Velickovic pins Jake Matthews to the mat during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Bojan Velickovic pins Jake Matthews to the mat during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Jake Matthews pins Bojan Velickovic to the mat during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-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/TaV98MqJkKG3mBvKBTmVWM/285669", customAnalytics: true, title: "Matthews def. Velickovic", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

Tai Tuivasa isn't so sure his UFC-Sydney win was by flying-knee knockout, but it'll do

if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_6w983HaO_FLu19iir_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/6w983HaO.json","ph":2} );
Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

SYDNEY – Tai Tuivasa wasn’t entirely sure how he did it, but he felt pretty good about his first-round knockout of Rashad Coulter at UFC Fight Night 121.

And why not? A brutal stoppage win in his UFC debut was good news for the former boxer and professional rugby player. And fighting in front of his home crowd didn’t prove too nerve-wracking, especially once Tuivasa (6-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) settled in.

“Once my music came on, and I heard my peoples, I was at home,” Tuivasa told MMAjunkie. “Once I’m in the cage throwing punches, I’m all good.”

Still, Tuivasa wasn’t entirely clear on how he’d accomplished this feat when questioned so soon after the bout. Asked about the kick that had scooped Coulter’s leg out from under him, Tuivasa seemed surprised to learn he’d thrown one.

As for the flying knee that dropped Coulter (8-4 MMA, 0-2 UFC) cold on the mat in the final minute of the opening round? Tuivasa wasn’t convinced that his hang time made him deserving of the distinction.

“I don’t think it was a flying (knee),” Tuivasa said. “I don’t even think I got off the ground that much. But it was there.”

Now, at 24 and with an undefeated professional record in MMA, Tuivasa finds himself suddenly in the UFC spotlight. He’s yet to fight outside of Australia, but a memorable win in his UFC debut is bound to draw some attention, which he isn’t exactly shying away from, despite his relative inexperience.

“I’m here to fight,” Tuivasa said. “If I get caught, I’m coming to swing. That’s what we do. That’s why I’m in this sport. If you’re not here to become the best, you’re wasting your time.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 121, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Tai Tuivasa reacts following his match against Rashad Coulter during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Tai Tuivasa fights against Rashad Coulter during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Tai Tuivasa lands a hit against Rashad Coulter during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Tai Tuivasa brings down Rashad Coulter during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Tai Tuivasa moves in with a punch as Rashad Coulter defends during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Tai Tuivasa defends against Rashad Coulter during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Rashad Coulter moves in with a hold against Tai Tuivasa during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Rashad Coulter brings down Tai Tuivasa during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Tai Tuivasa lands a knee hit against Rashad Coulter during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-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/xwApzZynWWrS2tunUffqBb/285436", customAnalytics: true, title: "Tuivasa def. Coulter", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

Will Georges St-Pierre vs. Robert Whittaker title-unifier headline UFC 221 in Perth?

if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_XQ90DceN_FLu19iir_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/XQ90DceN.json","ph":2} );
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

SYDNEY – Could the biggest fight of Robert Whittaker’s life come close to home?

Nothing is definite, but UFC officials are hoping Whittaker (19-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC), the interim middleweight champion, will meet recently crowned undisputed titleholder Georges St-Pierre (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC) at UFC 221.

The event, UFC 221, marks the organization’s debut in the state of Western Australia – with Perth Arena in the capital city of Perth playing host to a rare pay-per-view card outside of North America.

No main event has been announced for the card, but Whittaker, a 26-year-old New Zealand native who fights out of Australia, could be a major draw in the new market.

“No news yet,” Dave Shaw, the UFC’s vice president of international content, told MMAjunkie following this weekend’s UFC Fight Night 121 event in Sydney. “I think, as you guys know, the X factor right now is how Georges is doing.”

St-Pierre, who submitted Michael Bisping (30-8 MMA, 20-8 UFC) via third-round rear-naked choke earlier this month in UFC 217’s PPV headliner, told reporters after the event that he suffered a neck injury in the fight and isn’t sure when he’ll return – or if he will return, and whether it’ll even be at middleweight.

RelatedUFC champ Georges St-Pierre injured but won't 'freeze' division

“Listen, bottom line is that we want to have Robbie fight in Perth,” Shaw said of Whittaker. “The stars are sort of aligning for that event, having a pay-per-view there.

” … We want to blow it out of the water and make it a very significant event and make a real impact – not only for Western Australians but for Australian fans all over the country.”

Following UFC 217, UFC President Dana White said “Bobby Knuckles,” who’s No. 2 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middleweight rankings, is first up for No. 1-ranked St-Pierre, a former longtime welterweight titleholder who returned from a four-year layoff to beat Bisping. But like White, Shaw isn’t sure of St-Pierre’s recovery time table from the grueling bout.

“It’s probably going to come down to Georges,” Shaw said. “Three months for anybody is a quick turnaround, so if we an line up that fight, that’d be amazing. But there’s no real update at this point.”

RelatedRobert Whittaker: Georges St-Pierre 'looked slower than he's ever been' at UFC 217

The UFC rarely hosts PPV cards outside of North America due to the time difference. To capitalize on the lucrative U.S. and Canadian PPV markets, the UFC always broadcasts PPV events in Saturday prime time – with a main-card kickoff at 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT). For Perth, which is 13 hours ahead of the Eastern time zone, that means UFC 221 will start locally on Sunday morning.

Shaw, though, doesn’t expect it to be a problem.

“That’s just the name of the game if we’re going to be in the territory,” he said.

For more on UFC 221, including the still-developing fight card, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Take Our Poll (function(d,c,j){if(!d.getElementById(j)){var pd=d.createElement(c),s;pd.id=j;pd.src='http://s1.wp.com/wp-content/mu-plugins/shortcodes/js/polldaddy-shortcode.js';s=d.getElementsByTagName(c)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(pd,s);} else if(typeof jQuery !=='undefined')jQuery(d.body).trigger('pd-script-load');}(document,'script','pd-polldaddy-loader')); 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/yqLJdA8di6FKJk8FTie845/285681", customAnalytics: true, title: "Whittaker def. Romero", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

UFC Fight Night 121 post-event facts: A long night leads to a dubious new record

if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_WxFOqz5X_FLu19iir_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/WxFOqz5X.json","ph":2} );
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

The UFC’s latest trip to Australia took place Saturday with UFC Fight Night 121, which went down at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney and aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

The heavyweight headliner saw Fabricio Werdum (23-7-1 MMA, 11-4 UFC) defeat Marcin Tybura (16-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) by unanimous decision, concluding a 13-fight card that featured 10 fights decided by the scorecards.

It was a lengthy night of fights, but nevertheless the UFC’s 11th event “Down Under” produced some notable results. For more on the numbers to come out of Saturday’s lineup, check below for 45 post-event facts about UFC Fight Night 121.

* * * *

General

Allphones Arena (now Qudos Bank Arena)

The UFC-Reebok Athlete Outfitting payout for the event totaled $122,500.

Debuting fighters went 4-1 at the event.

Nik Lentz, Tai Tuivasa and Damien Brown earned $50,000 UFC Fight Night 121 fight-night bonuses. Frank Camacho’s $50,000 bonus was withheld because he missed weight.

UFC Fight Night 121 drew an announced attendance of 10,021. No live gate was revealed for the event.

Betting favorites went 10-3 on the card.

Total fight time for the 13-bout card was 3:04:18, the longest in the UFC’s 418-event history.

UFC Fight Night 121 featured 10 decisions, tied for the most on a single card in UFC history.

Main card

Fabricio Werdum

Werdum earned his second UFC victory in a 42-day stretch.

Werdum improved to 9-2 since he returned to the UFC for a second stint in February 2012.

Tybura has suffered both of his UFC losses by decision.

Jessica-Rose Clark (8-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC) improved to 3-3 (with one no-contest) in her past seven fights.

Bec Rawlings’ (7-7 MMA, 2-4 UFC) three-fight losing skid is the longest of her career. She hasn’t earned a victory since March 2016.

Rawlings was unsuccessful in her UFC women’s flyweight debut.

Rawlings has suffered five of her seven career losses by decision.

Belal Muhammad

Belal Muhammad (13-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) has earned nine of his 13 career victories by decision. That includes three of his four UFC wins.

Tim Means (27-9-1 MMA, 9-6 UFC) fell to 7-4 (with one no-contest) since he returned to the UFC for a second stint in May 2014.

Means has suffered four of his six UFC losses by decision.

Jake Matthews (11-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) was successful in his return to the UFC welterweight division.

Bojan Velickovic (15-5-1 MMA, 2-3-1 UFC) fell to 1-3-1 since he dropped to the UFC welterweight division in July 2016.

Velickovic has suffered all six of his career losses by decision.

Elias Theodorou

Elias Theodorou (14-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) has earned four of his six UFC victories by decision.

Theodorou failed to complete a takedown in a winning performance for the first time in his UFC career.

Daniel Kelly (13-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) suffered consecutive losses for the first time in his career.

Kelly suffered the first decision loss of his career.

Alex Volkanovski (16-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) extended his winning streak to 13 consecutive fights. He hasn’t suffered a defeat since May 2013.

Shane Young (11-4 MMA, 0-1 UFC) has suffered all four of his career losses by decision.

Preliminary card

Ryan Benoit

Ryan Benoit (10-5 MMA, 3-3 UFC) has alternated wins and losses over his past nine fights.

Benoit has earned eight of his 10 career victories by stoppage.

Benoit earned just the second knockout victory stemming from a head kick in UFC flyweight history. Louis Smolka also accomplished the feat.

Ashkan Mokhtarian (13-3 MMA, 0-2 UFC) suffered the first knockout loss of his career.

Nik Lentz

Lentz (28-8-2 MMA, 12-5-1 UFC) improved to 3-1 since he returned to the UFC lightweight division in December 2015.

Lentz earned his first submission victory since March 26, 2011 – a span of 2,429 days (more than six years) and 13 fights.

Lentz’s 18 guillotine choke submission attempts in UFC competition are the most in company history.

Will Brooks (18-4 MMA, 1-3 UFC) suffered his third consecutive loss to extend the longest skid of his career. He hasn’t earned a victory since July 2016.

Brooks has suffered all four of his career losses by stoppage.

Tai Tuivasa

Tuivasa (6-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) has earned all six of his career victories by stoppage.

Tuivasa has earned all of his career victories by knockout.

Tuivasa earned just the second knockout victory stemming from a flying knee in UFC heavyweight history. Werdum also accomplished the feat.

Rashad Coulter (8-3 MMA, 0-2 UFC) suffered consecutive losses for the first time in his career.

Coulter has suffered all three of his career losses by stoppage.

Frank Camacho

Camacho (21-5 MMA, 1-1 UFC) was successful in his UFC lightweight debut.

Nadia Kassem (5-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) earned the first decision victory of her career.

Alex Chambers (5-4 MMA, 1-3 UFC) suffered the first decision loss of her career.

Jenel Lausa (7-4 MMA, 1-2 UFC) has suffered both of his UFC losses by decision.

Adam Wieczorek (9-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) extended his winning streak to eight fights. He hasn’t suffered a defeat since November 2011.

Wieczorek earned the first decision victory of his career.

Anthony Hamilton’s (15-9 MMA, 3-7 UFC) four-fight losing skid is the longest of his career. He hasn’t earned a victory since July 2016.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 121, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

FightMetric research analyst and live statistics producer Michael Carroll contributed to this story. Follow him on Twitter @MJCflipdascript.

Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum reacts following his fight against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Marcin Tybura moves in with a kick as Fabricio Werdum defends during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum lands a hit against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum lands a hit against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum hits Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum hits Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum hits Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum hits Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum moves in for a hit against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum moves in for a hit against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum fights Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum moves in with a knee hit against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Marcin Tybura defends against Fabricio Werdum during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum lands a kick against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum holds Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum pushes Marcin Tybura toward the cage during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum lands a hit against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum lands a hit against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum reacts following his victory by decision against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum reacts following his victory by decision against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-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/TbN2uvtugmxi8DnzN2s9QC/285633", customAnalytics: true, title: "Werdum def. Tybura", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Belal Muhammad called out Colby Covington because of ignorant '5th-grade trash-talk'

if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_sUQy15ZQ_FLu19iir_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/sUQy15ZQ.json","ph":2} );
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

SYDNEY – UFC welterweight Belal Muhammad scored the biggest win of his career and immediately knew who he wanted to fight next.

Following his split decision over Tim Means on Saturday at UFC Fight Night 121, Muhammad (13-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) used his octagon interview to put some heat on MMA’s current biggest villain, Colby Covington, calling him a “little coward” and promising a hospital visit if they run into each other on the street.

“I just want to get a top-15 guy, hopefully Colby Covington,” Muhammad, who’s won three straight, told MMAjunkie backstage at Qudos Bank Arena. “He’s sitting on the sidelines begging (UFC champion Tyron) Woodley for a fight, but Woodley’s hurt. So, there’s nobody else for him to fight. All these other guys are already booked.

RelatedBelal Muhammad calls out Colby Covington, threatens hospital visit if they run into each other

“Colby Covington needs an opponent. I’m here, December 30th, let’s do it. What’s up?”

Covington (13-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) has been at the center of much controversy lately. It started last month after he defeated Demian Maia in Sao Paulo at UFC Fight Night 118, where he called the people of Brazil “filthy animals” during his post-fight speech. Covington hasn’t been the least bit apologetic for his racist remarks, instead only fanning the flames.

Covington’s ant-Brazil sentiment continued this week during an altercation with Fabricio Werdum that was caught on camera. The Brazilian heavyweight was charged with common assault for allegedly hitting Covington with a boomerang. Werdum said Covington was the instigator when he called Werdum a “Brazilian animal” as they crossed paths in the hotel lobby.

Near the end of his live-stream, Covington again went on an anti-Brazil tirade.

RelatedJon Jones blasts Colby Covington for racism, throws shade after Fabricio Werdum altercation

“F*ck Brazil. F*ck Fabricio Werdum. Little b*tch ass,” Covington said. “F*ck Brazil. A bunch of filthy animals. And they wonder why they get talked to like that. Because they’re a bunch of animals.”

It’s that kind of talk that Muhammad has no tolerance for. And that’s why he wants a piece of Covington inside the octagon.

“I got a lot of Brazilian fans, a lot of Brazilian friends. My coach is Brazilian,” Muhammad said. “When you disrespect the whole country like that, and it’s not even in a good way. You have like fifth-grade trash-talk. So it’s not even good trash-talk. It’s just being ignorant for no reason. When people talk like that, they deserve to get slapped. And I’m the guy to do the slapping.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 121, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Belal Muhammad moves in with a hit against Tim Means during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Tim Means moves in with a hit against Belal Muhammad during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Tim Means moves in as Belal Muhammad defends during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Tim Means moves in with a kick against Belal Muhammad during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Belal Muhammad moves in with a hit against Tim Means during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Belal Muhammad moves in with a hit against Tim Means during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Belal Muhammad defends against Tim Means during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Tim Means moves in with a hit as Belal Muhammad defends during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Belal Muhammad moves in with a hit against Tim Means during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Tim Means fights Belal Muhammad during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Tim Means moves in with a hit as Belal Muhammad defends during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Belal Muhammad moves in with a hit against Tim Means during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Belal Muhammad pins Tim Means to the mat during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-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/jAAEYt76CeiuLERhrCS5yk/285616", customAnalytics: true, title: "Muhammad def. Means", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

Sean Shelby's Shoes: What's next for Fabricio Werdum and UFC Fight Night 121's other winning fighters?

if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_qwzAnBOk_FLu19iir_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/qwzAnBOk.json","ph":2} );
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

The octagon doesn’t touch down in Sydney very often, but UFC Fight Night 121 provided plenty of cage time for the Australian fans. All six main-card bouts went to a decision on Saturday’s FS1-televised lineup at Qudos Bank Arena.

Former UFC heavyweight champ Fabricio Werdum (23-7-1 MMA, 11-4 UFC) even went all five rounds in the main event, dominating Marcin Tybura (16-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) to a unanimous decision to strengthen his argument for another shot at the title he lost in May 2016.

Prior to the headliner, Jessica-Rose Clark (8-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC), Belal Muhammad (13-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) and Jake Matthews (11-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) edged their respective opponents by split decision, while Elias Theodorou (14-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) and Alex Volkanovski (16-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) earned unanimous nods on the scorecards.

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 Fight Night 121’s winning fighters.

* * * *

Alex Volkanovski

Jeremy Kennedy

Should fight: Jeremy Kennedy
Why they should fight: Volkanovski continued to thrive since joining the UFC roster when he improved to 3-0 under inside the octagon with an utterly dominant performance against short-notice promotional newcomer Shane Young.

Volkanovski had his way with Young en route to a unanimous decision victory and now has won 16 of his 17 career fights. The Australian could be major problem in the featherweight division, but he needs tougher opponents in order to prove exactly where he stands among the best.

Once upon a time, before multiple injury changes, Volkanovski was scheduled to fight Kennedy (11-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) at the event. The Canadian was forced to withdraw due to a back injury, but if his recovery is on track for a return early next year, it would be interesting to see how the unbeaten fighter approached Volkanovski, who has been a tough riddle to solve.

Elias Theodorou

Anthony Smith

Should fight: Anthony Smith
Why they should fight: “Ultimate Fighter: Nations” winner Theodorou picked up a unanimous decision win over fellow cast member Dan Kelly, much to the dismay of the Australian crowd.

Every time Theodorou has experienced a setback he’s rebounded with a win, and following a defeat to Brad Tavares in July, he did that again by outpointing Kelly over the course of three rounds of middleweight action.

There’s definitely something to be desired with Theodorou’s style visually, but on paper it’s proven effective. He’s won six of eight UFC fights so far and has some notable wins to his credit within that record. The Canadian will surely want to keep the balling rolling, and there’s no shortage of tough competition at 185 pounds.

Theodorou’s faults have come against opponents capable of out-striking him. There’s no guarantee Smith (27-13 MMA, 4-2 UFC) would be able to do that, but “Lionheart’s” height, size and strength has the potential to give Theodorou all sorts of problems.

Jake Matthews

Shinsho Anzai

Should fight: Shinsho Anzai
Why they should fight: It was a bumpy return back to the UFC welterweight division, but ultimately Matthews managed to get his hands raised with a split-decision victory over a gritty Bojan Velickovic.

After a hot start to his UFC career, Matthews has had some struggles of late. He hoped a change in weight class would bring out his best, but he just scratched by against Velickovic in a rather unimpressive manner. The upside for the Aussie, though, is the fact he’s still young at just 23.

Matthews has been given few easy fights to this point, and that’s unlikely to change going forward. Anzai (10-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC) is a tough and durable opponent who has back-to-back wins on his UFC record. The Japanese fighter is on approximately the same level of Matthews in the division, so there’s no reason not to pit them against each other.

Belal Muhammad

Warlley Alves

Should fight: Warlley Alves
Why they should fight: Muhammad picked up the biggest victory of her career when he outworked and edged UFC veteran Tim Means by split decision in the card’s featured bout.

Muhammad has shown some solid skills each time he’s stepped in the octagon. He dropped two of his first three fights with the promotion, but since has reeled off three-straight, with the win over Means being the most meaningful yet.

The only thing holding Muhammad back at this point is his low rate of stoppage victories. He need a big finish to take things to the next level, and a fight with an ulna-aggressive, powerful foe like Alves (11-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) would give him every opportunity to make that happen.

Jessica-Rose Clark

Joanne Calderwood

Should fight: Joanne Calderwood
Why they should fight: After making her UFC debut on just 11 days’ notice against a veteran of the octagon, Clark now finds herself with a winning record inside the octagon and high aspirations for the future in the women’s flyweight division.

Clark may have missed weight, but still picked up a split-decision win over Bec Rawlings to announce her arrival in the UFC. The circumstances were far from ideal, but Clark made the most of them and already has big aspirations for her future, such as fighting for the title.

The women’s 125-pound division is still in its infancy in the UFC. Clark has intentions of being a significant part of the weight class, but will have to see how “The Ultimate Fighter 26” tournament, which will crown the inaugural champion, shakes out.

In the meantime, Clark should look to fight an opponent who is not part of “TUF 26.” Calderwood (11-3 MMA, 3-3 UFC) was originally supposed to face Rawlings at the event but was forced to withdraw on short notice. Clark filled in for her, now she should fight against her.

Fabricio Werdum

Should fight: Alexander Volkov
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why Werdum should fight Volkov (29-6 MMA, 3-0 UFC) next.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 121, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum reacts following his fight against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Marcin Tybura moves in with a kick as Fabricio Werdum defends during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum lands a hit against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum lands a hit against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum hits Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum hits Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum hits Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum hits Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum moves in for a hit against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum moves in for a hit against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum fights Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum moves in with a knee hit against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Marcin Tybura defends against Fabricio Werdum during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum lands a kick against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum holds Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum pushes Marcin Tybura toward the cage during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum lands a hit against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum lands a hit against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum reacts following his victory by decision against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum reacts following his victory by decision against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-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/TbN2uvtugmxi8DnzN2s9QC/285653", customAnalytics: true, title: "Werdum def. Tybura", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

Why does Fabricio Werdum have to make it so hard to root for him?

if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_WxFOqz5X_FLu19iir_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/WxFOqz5X.json","ph":2} );
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

What a week for Fabricio Werdum. What a couple months, actually. A recap, for those joining this career already in progress:

• In September, during a media appearance to promote UFC 216, the former UFC heavyweight champ got into it with current UFC lightweight champ Tony Ferguson, repeatedly using a gay slur before things nearly got physical between two men separated by about half a foot and 50 pounds or so.

• In October, he lost his original UFC 216 opponent, Derrick Lewis, due to a last-minute injury withdrawal. That left him in a fight with replacement opponent Walt Harris, whom he armbarred with a quickness, thereby reminding us that when a heavyweight is unranked, there’s usually a reason.

• After that, he accepted an offer to fill in for Mark Hunt in a fight against Marcin Tybura at UFC Fight Night 121 in Sydney. But when he got to the “Land Down Under,” he made news by beefing with UFC welterweight Colby Covington, whom Werdum hit with a boomerang on the sidewalk outside the host hotel. This was caught on camera and turned into an unintentionally hilarious local news story. Then he was charged with simple assault two days before his main event bout.

• But the bout went on, of course, giving Werdum a chance to go five rounds with Tybura at the longest UFC event in company history. He won a unanimous decision victory, then made his case for a title shot based more on his cumulative accomplishments than his recent ones. Did he not realize or just not care that his request comes at a time when he’s been in the news more for his misbehavior than his fighting? Unclear. “Vai Cavalo” just wants his title shot. What? Why’s everybody looking at him like that?

It’s a strange time for the 40-year-old Werdum. He’s got to be at least within sight of retirement, and clearly he wants another title for his trophy case before he hangs up the gloves. His last two wins came against unheralded opponents, but you can hardly blame him for that, since all he’s doing is showing up and fighting who’s there.

Then again, when you can’t bring him to lunch or to Australia without him making all the wrong kind of headlines, how eager can you be to give him another chance at calling himself your UFC heavyweight champion?

Even when he’s not actively doing wrong, he’s still the most famous fighter to keep stubbornly aligning himself with Chechen dictator Ramzan Kadyrov, who recently threatened nuclear war while also voicing his support for the murder of gay people. Werdum is all too happy to keep taking his money in exchange for lending his own name to the virulently anti-gay dictator’s cause, and he seems baffled whenever anyone suggests that it might be a problem.

But if we’re wondering why Werdum can’t seem to get out of his own way, maybe we should look at the lessons he’s no doubt learned from all his recent experiences.

For instance, when he got all slur-happy with Ferguson? According to the UFC, his penance was “outreach” in the Las Vegas LGBTQ community, but there’s no indication he’s actually done it, and in fact he reportedly told a Brazilian media outlet that he hadn’t been punished at all.

He’s unlikely to get off so easy for his boomerang attack, if only because a) it was caught on camera, and b) the local police already are involved. Even so, the initial response from the UFC has been non-committal. It’s still investigating, said Dave Shaw, the promotion’s vice president of international content. It’s going to try to determine whether either Werdum or Covington violated the “Athlete Conduct Policy.”

If hitting someone in the neck with a boomerang somehow didn’t violate that policy, that in itself would be pretty newsworthy.

Then there’s the whole buddying up with a violent dictator and accused war criminal thing, which doesn’t seem to bother the UFC in the least. These independent contractors are apparently free to pick up any sponsors they want outside the cage, even if it means shouting out a warlord’s MMA team on a UFC broadcast, as Werdum did in Sydney.

Even if there aren’t going to be any significant consequences from his employer, now might be a good time for Werdum to think about what kind of fighter he wants to be known as.

He’s got to be nearing the end of his run in MMA. There was a time when he was the guy who beat the great Fedor Emelianenko. Then he was the guy who beat high-elevation Cain Velasquez for the UFC title.

But now? Seems more and more like he’s the guy who gets harder to root for the more you know about him. And while that might not have been his first impression in this sport, it could end up being his lasting one if he isn’t careful.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 121, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum reacts following his fight against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Marcin Tybura moves in with a kick as Fabricio Werdum defends during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum lands a hit against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum lands a hit against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum hits Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum hits Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum hits Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum hits Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum moves in for a hit against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum moves in for a hit against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum fights Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum moves in with a knee hit against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Marcin Tybura defends against Fabricio Werdum during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum lands a kick against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum holds Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum pushes Marcin Tybura toward the cage during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum lands a hit against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum lands a hit against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum reacts following his victory by decision against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum reacts following his victory by decision against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-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/TbN2uvtugmxi8DnzN2s9QC/285645", customAnalytics: true, title: "Werdum def. Tybura", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Bellator 188 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 this past week’s Bellator 188 event at Menora Mivtachim Arena in Tel Aviv, Israel, several of the winning and losing fighters, along with their coaches, training partners or family members, took to social media to react to the event or share a message with supporters.

* * * *

The defeated

The victorious

Now it's time to enjoy this beautiful city! #israel #telaviv #BEAUTIFULLIFE pic.twitter.com/dyzOImjAyv

— Denise Kielholtz (@Denisekielholtz) November 17, 2017

Today we went to the deadsea and massada.. #blessed #israel pic.twitter.com/nnWHxLMc8t

— Denise Kielholtz (@Denisekielholtz) November 19, 2017

For complete coverage of Bellator 188, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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


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

Bellator 188 post-event facts: John Salter's submission skills getting record-book recognition

if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_BBKfv5ly_FLu19iir_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/BBKfv5ly.json","ph":2} );
Filed under: Bellator, News

Bellator 188’s main card underwent a bevy of changes, but in the end the local crowd got a moment to celebrate when Israel’s own Noad Lahat defeated Jeremiah Labiano in the featherweight headliner.

The event took place Friday at Menora Mivtachim Arena in Tel Aviv and aired via one-day delay on Spike.

Lahat’s (12-3 MMA, 3-1 BMMA) unanimous-decision win over Labiano (11-6 MMA, 0-2 BMMA) closed out a four-fight televised lineup that saw all previous matchups end inside the distance via first-round submissions.

For more on the numbers behind the show, check out 20 post-event facts about Bellator 188.

* * * *

General

Debuting fighters went 1-0 at the event.

Betting favorites went 4-0 on the main card.

Betting favorites improved to 14-4 (one fight had even odds) in Bellator main events this year.

Total fight time for the four-bout main card was 18:56.

* * * *

Main card

Noad Lahat

Lahat improved to 3-1 since he was released from the UFC in February 2016.

Labiano has suffered both of his Bellator losses by decision.

Haim Gozali (8-4 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) has earned all eight of his career victories by stoppage.

Gozali has earned both of his Bellator victories by first-round submission in a total fight time of two minutes and 26 seconds.

Gozali’s 45-second submission victory was the second fastest in Bellator welterweight history behind Evangelista Santos’ 30-second finish of Brennan Ward at Bellator 153.

Arsen Faitovich (4-2 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) suffered the first submission loss of his career.

John Salter

John Salter’s (15-3 MMA, 5-0 BMMA) five-fight Bellator winning streak in middleweight competition is tied with Rafael Carvalho for the longest active streak in the division.

Salter has earned all 14 of his career victories by stoppage.

Salter’s four submission victories in Bellator middleweight competition are most in divisional history.

Jason Radcliffe (12-5 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) suffered his third consecutive loss to extend the longest skid of his career. He last won in March.

Radcliffe has suffered all five of his career losses by stoppage.

Denise Kielholtz

Denise Kielholtz (1-1 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) earned the first victory of her career.

Jessica Middleton (2-3 MMA, 2-3 BMMA) suffered her third consecutive loss after starting her career 2-0.

Middleton has suffered both of her career stoppage losses by submission.

For complete coverage of Bellator 188, check out the MMA Events section of the site.


Filed under: Bellator, News

Nadia Kassem wants Paige VanZant flyweight fight after missing 115 pounds in UFC debut

if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_TDOxouAj_FLu19iir_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/TDOxouAj.json","ph":2} );
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

SYDNEY – The last time Nadia Kassem mixed it up with Alex Chambers was during a training session before she was even a pro fighter.

This time was on the prelims of UFC Fight Night 121 in Sydney, where Kassem (5-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) won a unanimous decision in her UFC debut, and she’s hoping for a much higher profile bout in her next outing as a result.

“I would love to fight Paige VanZant at 125 (pounds),” Kassem said. “She beat Alex previously, I just beat her tonight, and I feel like that would make the most sense.”

It would also make things a little easier on Kassem, who missed weight for this 115-pound affair and found herself trying to explain it in post-fight remarks backstage.

“I tried my best,” Kassem told MMAjunkie. “I stopped sweating in the sauna. I was in there all night, cutting water weight for a whole day. … Everyone feels like crap in the sauna. Sweatsuit on, the boys are sweating, and I’m not. That scares me.”

According to Kassem, she had to practically be carried back to her room, which resulted in a blown weight cut that was “not professional,” but at least it ended in a victory in front of her hometown crowd after a strong performance against the more experienced Chambers (5-4 MMA, 1-3 UFC).

“It was an awesome feeling getting a win,” Kassem said. “I was attacking the (submissions), going for everything. My heart was on the line. I wanted to prove a point that I’m here to stay.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 121, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Nadia Kassem reacts during her match against Alex Chambers at UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Nadia Kassem is introduced before her match against Alex Chambers during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Alex Chambers applies a hold against Nadia Kassem during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Nadia Kassem lands a hit against Alex Chambers during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Nadia Kassem lands a kick against Alex Chambers during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Nadia Kassem moves in with a hit as Alex Chambers defends during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Nadia Kassem reacts during her match against Alex Chambers at UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Nadia Kassem pins Alex Chambers to the mat during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Nadia Kassem moves in with a hit against Alex Chambers during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Nadia Kassem lands a kick against Alex Chambers during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Nadia Kassem moves in with a punch against Alex Chambers during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Alex Chambers brings down Nadia Kassem during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Alex Chambers moves away from Nadia Kassem during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Nadia Kassem moves in with a kick against Alex Chambers during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-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/9vsZD5vugarnTbzXfKYVQP/285402", customAnalytics: true, title: "Kassem def. Chambers", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

UFC light heavyweight contender Volkan Oezdemir arrested on battery charge in Florida (Updated)

if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_WvEjGmyC_FLu19iir_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/WvEjGmyC.json","ph":2} );
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

(Updated at 10:50 a.m. ET on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017, to reflect Broward County Sheriff’s Department’s update of Oezdemir’s bond amount and pending release on bond.)

UFC light heavyweight contender Volkan Oezdemir may have a hurdle to cross that doesn’t deal with getting a title shot.

Oezdemir was arrested Saturday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and charged with aggravated battery causing bodily harm or disability. According to his arrest record, he was being held in the Broward County jail pending a bond hearing Sunday morning.

By mid-morning, his arrest record was updated to reflect he was being held on $10,000 bond, and later to reflect his release on bond was pending.

The state of Florida’s statute for Oezdemir’s charge says a person commits aggravated battery if he “intentionally or knowingly causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement.”

No other details of the case were made available, and a full arrest report was not yet searchable in the Broward County Sheriff’s department’s database.

Oezdemir (15-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC), a 28-year-old Switzerland native, has been training in South Florida with Combat Club, a team that formed in the wake of the general dissolution of the Blackzilians.

Oezdemir came to the UFC earlier this year and took a short-notice fight against Ovince Saint Preux at UFC Fight Night 104 in Houston. There, he upset the favored “OSP with a split decision.

But since then, his climb into title contention has been much more definitive. At UFC Fight Night 109 in Sweden, he took out Misha Cirkunov with a 28-second knockout. And at UFC 214 in July, he needed just 42 seconds to starch Jimi Manuwa with a bonus-winning knockout, giving him five straight wins.

Earlier this month, light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier told MMAjunkie that he and Oezdemir were close to finalizing a title fight. At the time, Cormier said the title bout likely would happen at the beginning of 2018.

On Saturday night, Cormier posted on his Instagram account that he was “so excited to do this again. Boys we ready!!”

Cormier’s longtime friend and American Kickboxing Academy teammate Luke Rockhold has been training at Combat Club, as well, with striking coach Henri Hooft. Because of that, Oezdemir tried to troll Cormier on social media by implying he was getting the inside scoop on the champion. But it didn’t necessarily go his way.

The UFC has not yet commented on Oezdemir’s arrest. Stay tuned to MMAjunkie for more on this story when it becomes available.

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

May 28, 2017; Stockholm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden; Volkan Oezdemir (red gloves) reacts after defeating Misha Cirkunov (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ericsson Globe. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Feb 4, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Ovince Saint Preux (red gloves) fights Volkan Oezdemir (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Feb 4, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Ovince Saint Preux (red gloves) fights Volkan Oezdemir (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Feb 4, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Ovince Saint Preux (red gloves) fights Volkan Oezdemir (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Feb 4, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Ovince Saint Preux (red gloves) fights Volkan Oezdemir (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Feb 4, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Ovince Saint Preux (red gloves) fights Volkan Oezdemir (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Feb 4, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Volkan Oezdemir (blue gloves) defeats Ovince Saint Preux (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 28, 2017; Stockholm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden; Volkan Oezdemir (red gloves) reacts before his both against Misha Cirkunov (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Ericsson Globe. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports May 28, 2017; Stockholm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden; Volkan Oezdemir (red gloves) fights Misha Cirkunov (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ericsson Globe. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports May 28, 2017; Stockholm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden; Volkan Oezdemir (red gloves) fights Misha Cirkunov (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ericsson Globe. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports May 28, 2017; Stockholm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden; Volkan Oezdemir (red gloves) reacts after defeating Misha Cirkunov (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ericsson Globe. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports May 28, 2017; Stockholm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden; Volkan Oezdemir (red gloves) reacts after defeating Misha Cirkunov (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Ericsson Globe. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports May 28, 2017; Stockholm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden; Volkan Oezdemir (red gloves) reacts after defeating Misha Cirkunov (right) during UFC Fight Night at Ericsson Globe. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/HEBcogVsJo8qj8t4c4FpL7/285625", customAnalytics: true, title: "Volkan Oezdemir", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

UFC Fight Night 121 Athlete Outfitting pay: Yearly payout approaches $5.5 million

if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_WxFOqz5X_FLu19iir_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/WxFOqz5X.json","ph":2} );
Filed under: News, UFC

SYDNEY – Fighters from Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 121 event took home UFC Athlete Outfitting pay, a program that launched after the UFC’s deal with Reebok, totaling $122,500.

UFC Fight Night 121 took place at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney. The card aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Three fighters led with the way with $15,000 payouts, including former UFC champ Fabricio Werdum (23-7-1 MMA, 11-4 UFC), who earned a unanimous-decision victory in the main event.

The full UFC Fight Night 121 UFC Athlete Outfitting payouts included:

Fabricio Werdum: $15,000
def. Marcin Tybura: $2,500

Jessica-Rose Clark: $2,500
def. Bec Rawlings: $5,000

Belal Muhammad: $5,000
def. Tim Means: $15,000

Jake Matthews: $5,000
def. Bojan Velickovic: $5,000

Elias Theodorou: $5,000
def. Daniel Kelly: $5,000

Alex Volkanovski: $2,500
def. Shane Young: $2,500

Ryan Benoit: $5,000
def. Ashkan Mokhtarian: $2,500

Nik Lentz: $15,000
def. Will Brooks: $2,500

Tai Tuivasa: $2,500
def. Rashad Coulter: $2,500

Frank Camacho: $2,500
def. Damien Brown: $2,500

Nadia Kassem: $2,500
def. Alex Chambers: $2,500

Eric Shelton: $2,500
def. Jenel Lausa: $2,500

Adam Wieczorek: $2,500
def. Anthony Hamilton: $5,000

Under the UFC Athlete Outfitting program’s payout tiers, which appropriate the money generated by Reebok’s multi-year sponsorship with the UFC, fighters are paid based on their total number of UFC bouts, as well as Zuffa-era WEC fights (January 2007 and later) and Zuffa-era Strikeforce bouts (April 2011 and later). Fighters with 1-5 bouts receive $2,500 per appearance; 6-10 bouts get $5,000; 11-15 bouts earn $10,000; 16-20 bouts pocket $15,000; and 21 bouts and more get $20,000. Additionally, champions earn $40,000 while title challengers get $30,000.

In addition to experience-based pay, UFC fighters will receive in perpetuity royalty payments amounting to 20-30 percent of any UFC merchandise sold that bears their likeness, according to officials.

Full 2017 UFC-Reebok sponsorship payouts:

Year-to-date total: $5,445,000
2016 total: $7,138,000
2015 total: $3,185,000
Program-to-date total: $15,768,000

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 121, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum reacts following his fight against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Marcin Tybura moves in with a kick as Fabricio Werdum defends during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum lands a hit against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum lands a hit against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum hits Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum hits Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum hits Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum hits Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum moves in for a hit against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum moves in for a hit against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum fights Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum moves in with a knee hit against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Marcin Tybura defends against Fabricio Werdum during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum lands a kick against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum holds Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum pushes Marcin Tybura toward the cage during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum lands a hit against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum lands a hit against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum reacts following his victory by decision against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum reacts following his victory by decision against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-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/TbN2uvtugmxi8DnzN2s9QC/285566", customAnalytics: true, title: "Werdum def. Tybura", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC

Fight Tracks: The walkout songs of UFC-Sydney with well-timed AC/DC (RIP, Malcolm Young)

if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_WxFOqz5X_FLu19iir_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/WxFOqz5X.json","ph":2} );
Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC

While it takes intense training, world-class skills and maybe even a bit of luck to register a UFC win, picking the right song to accompany you to the cage is a key talent, as well.

See what the fighters of Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 121 in Sydney went with as their backing tracks.

* * * *

Fabricio Werdum def. Marcin Tybura via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 49-46)

Fabricio Werdum: “Akhmat Fight Club” by Sharpuddi Ismailov

Marcin Tybura: “40:1” by Sabaton

Jessica-Rose Clark def. Bec Rawlings via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Jessica-Rose Clark: “Only One” by John Butler Trio

Bec Rawlings: “Natural Born Killaz” by Dr. Dre feat. Ice Cube

Belal Muhammad def. Tim Means via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Belal Muhammad: “We Ready” by Archie Eversole

Tim Means: “Ladies and Gentleman” by Saliva

Jake Matthews def. Bojan Velickovic via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Jake Matthews: “Hard as a Rock” by AC/DC

Bojan Velickovic: “I Lived” by OneRepublic

Elias Theodorou def. Daniel Kelly via unanimous decision (30-28, 30-27, 30-26)

Elias Theodorou: “Don’t Forget Me” by Red Hot Chili Peppers

Daniel Kelly: “Most People I Know” by Billy Thorpe and The Aztecs

Alex Volkanovski def. Shane Young via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)

Alex Volkanovski: “Game of Thrones” theme (Violin Rock Cover) by Jason Yang & Roger Lima

Shane Young: “Dedicated To” by Home Brew

Ryan Benoit def. Ashkan Mokhtarian via knockout (head kick) – Round 3, 2:38

Ryan Benoit: “What They Want” by Russ

Ashkan Mokhtarian: “Can’t See Me” by Tupac

Nik Lentz def. Will Brooks via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 2, 2:05

Nik Lentz: “Greatest Show Unearthed” by Creature Feature

Will Brooks: “I’m Ill” by Red Cafe feat. Fabolous

Tai Tuivasa def. Rashad Coulter via knockout (flying knee) – Round 1, 4:35

Tai Tuivasa: “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton

Rashad Coulter: “Worth” by Anthony Brown

Frank Camacho def. Damien Brown via split decision (28-29, 30-27, 29-28)

Frank Camacho: “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor

Damien Brown: “Bad Company” by Five Finger Death Punch

Nadia Kassem def. Alex Chambers via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-27)

Nadia Kassem: “I Rep That West” by Ice Cube

Alex Chambers: “The Greatest” by Sia feat. Kendrick Lamar

Eric Shelton def. Jenel Lausa via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-25)

Eric Shelton: “Bout 2 Blow” by Empire Cast feat. Yazz & Timberland

Jenel Lausa: “Bebot” by The Black Eyed Peas

Adam Wieczorek def. Anthony Hamilton via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Adam Wieczorek: “Beds Are Burning” by Midnight Oil

Anthony Hamilton: “Last Breath” by Future

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 121, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Elias Theodorou reacts against Daniel Kelly during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Daniel Kelly moves in with a hold as Elias Theodorou defends during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Daniel Kelly moves in with a hit against Elias Theodorou during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Elias Theodorou lands a hit against Daniel Kelly during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Daniel Kelly applies a hold against Elias Theodorou during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Elias Theodorou moves in with a kick against Daniel Kelly during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Elias Theodorou pins Daniel Kelly to the cage during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Elias Theodorou lands a hit against Daniel Kelly during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Elias Theodorou moves in with a hit against Daniel Kelly during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Daniel Kelly moves in with a hit as Elias Theodorou jumps to defend during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Daniel Kelly applies a hold against Elias Theodorou during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Daniel Kelly pins Elias Theodorou to the mat during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Elias Theodorou moves in with a kick against Daniel Kelly during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Elias Theodorou fights against Daniel Kelly during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Elias Theodorou lands a kick against Daniel Kelly during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-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/gknUjDqNbotydkfEA7Ss5U/285569", customAnalytics: true, title: "Theodorou def. Kelly", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC

Not to toot his own horn, but Fabricio Werdum knows his UFC title-shot credentials are best

if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_OP6pmOvp_RbnemIYZ_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/OP6pmOvp.json","ph":2} );
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

SYDNEY – Former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum wants a title shot after picking up his second victory in a 42-day stretch. His argument? No one in the weight class is more deserving.

“I feel for sure I deserve it,” Werdum told MMAjunkie following his unanimous decision win over Marcin Tybura in Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 121 headliner. “It’s not just now for this fight and my last fight. I’ve beat a lot of guys – Fedor Emelianenko, Cain Velasquez, Minotauro (Nogueira). I have a history. For 20 years I’ve been fighting. Not just now. I have two belts in my home. Only one fighter in the world is a jiu-jitsu champion, a submission champion and a UFC champion. It’s me.

“I don’t like when I say that, but I know this is true for sure. Given the opportunity I just want to show again. One more belt on my wall at home, I will stop after that. No, no, I’m joking.”

RelatedUFC exec: Conclusions on alleged Fabricio Werdum assault of Colby Covington premature

Werdum (23-7-1 MMA, 11-4 UFC) beat Marcin Tybura (16-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) in lopsided fashion in the UFC Fight Night 121 main event, which took place at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney and aired on FS1. “Vai Cavalo” stepped into the fight as a short-notice replacement after beating Walt Harris by 65-second submission at UFC 216 in October, and he managed to put on another strong performance.

As a former titleholder with wins over a bevy of competition, Werdum believes he should be next to challenge current heavyweight king Stipe Miocic (17-2 MMA, 11-2 UFC). The Brazilian lost the title to Miocic by first-round knockout at UFC 198 in May 2016 and has been working toward a rematch ever since.

Currently, the winner of next month’s UFC 218 co-headliner between Alistair Overeem (43-15 MMA, 8-4 UFC) and Francis Ngannou (10-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC) figures to fight for the belt. Despite the fact he suffered a majority-decision loss to Overeem at UFC 213 in July, Werdum believes his overall resume is stronger than anyone. He’s willing to continue to fight to prove it and hopes the UFC keeps him active.

RelatedTwitter reacts to Fabricio Werdum's dominant win over Marcin Tybura at UFC Fight Night 121

“I want to fight more,” Werdum said. “Long time ago I’ve been waiting one year for a fight. Why am I waiting like six months, seven months? I want to fight more. I want to fight maybe five times a year. This fight (Alistair) Overeem vs. Francis (Ngannou), I don’t think Francis deserves it yet because he just started (MMA) now. Overeem has a big history, too, but I think I deserve the title shot. I just want the opportunity.”

One person Werdum said he wouldn’t fight next is Derrick Lewis (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC), who he was scheduled to fight at UFC 216 before “The Black Beast” withdrew on fight day due to injury. Werdum said he doesn’t want to try running that fight back but also wouldn’t name any potential next opponents outside the champion.

RelatedEnough with 'could,' says Francis Ngannou: UFC 218 win will earn me title shot

After a quick turnaround and high-paced fight with Tybura over five rounds, Werdum said he looks forward to a brief rest, and praised his UFC Fight Night 121 opponent for the challenging scrap.

“I’m very tired, because it’s five rounds, five minutes,” Werdum said. “Tybura is a very tough fighter. I know this before. He’s a very young guy. He deserves it. I used my experience there. Everybody saw that. I tried to finish the fight a lot of times. He had good defense.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 121, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_WxFOqz5X_RbnemIYZ_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/WxFOqz5X.json","ph":2} );
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

UFC exec: Conclusions on alleged Fabricio Werdum assault of Colby Covington premature

if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_XQ90DceN_FLu19iir_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/XQ90DceN.json","ph":2} );
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

SYDNEY – The UFC is taking its time in determining what happened during the altercation between Fabricio Werdum and Colby Covington.

Werdum, 40, was charged this past week with common assault for allegedly throwing and hitting Covington, 29, with a boomerang outside the Hilton Sydney, which served as the host hotel for UFC Fight Night 121.

The UFC’s initial response in a statement was that it would investigate to determine if either fighter broke Athlete Conduct Policy regulations. According to vice president of international content Dave Shaw, that investigation is ongoing.

RelatedJon Jones blasts Colby Covington for racism, throws shade after Fabricio Werdum altercation

“From a company standpoint, we’re still collecting as much information as we can,” Shaw said in a press conference at Qudos Bank Arena following UFC Fight Night 121. “We’ve spoken to Werdum and his team. We spoke to Covington. We spoke to the hotel security. We spoke to police.

“So we are not at a point to make any conclusions yet. It’s just too early. There’s still a process that we need to go through. And, listen, at this point, it’s in the hands of the New South Wales Police. I think Werdum is going to have some conversations in the next few weeks at least with them.”

The encounter between Werdum and Covington took place Wednesday (Thursday locally), and parts of it were captured in two videos.

RelatedAustralian TV news report on Werdum-Covington boomerang incident is ... interesting?

Werdum told MMAjunkie the incident started in the hotel lobby, where he crossed paths with Covington, who called him a “Brazilian animal.” During a live-stream, Covington claimed Werdum punched him, which Werdum denied. Werdum did not make mention of the alleged assault with the boomerang, which was filmed separately and posted to Facebook.

Covington ended his live stream with racist remarks, calling the people of Brazil “filthy animals.”

“F*ck Brazil. F*ck Fabricio Werdum. Little b*tch ass,” Covington says. “F*ck Brazil. A bunch of filthy animals. And they wonder why they get talked to like that. Because they’re a bunch of animals.”

Werdum, who was victorious in Saturday’s FS1-televised main event against Marcin Tybura, is expected to appear in court on Dec. 13.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 121, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum reacts following his fight against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Marcin Tybura moves in with a kick as Fabricio Werdum defends during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum lands a hit against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum lands a hit against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum hits Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum hits Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum hits Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum hits Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum moves in for a hit against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum moves in for a hit against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum fights Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum moves in with a knee hit against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Marcin Tybura defends against Fabricio Werdum during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum lands a kick against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum holds Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum pushes Marcin Tybura toward the cage during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum lands a hit against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum lands a hit against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum reacts following his victory by decision against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum reacts following his victory by decision against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-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/TbN2uvtugmxi8DnzN2s9QC/285593", customAnalytics: true, title: "Werdum def. Tybura", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

UFC Fight Night 121 video highlights: Nik Lentz submits Will Brooks


Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

There was a little bit of bad blood between Nik Lentz and Will Brooks heading into UFC-Sydney, but Lentz choked it all away.

Lentz (28-8-2 MMA, 12-5-1 UFC) submitted Brooks (18-4 MMA, 1-3 UFC) with a second-round guillotine choke, then called out anyone at his former camp, and Brooks’ current camp, American Top Team – with a $50,000 bet on the table. Lentz forced the 5-1 favored Brooks to tap at the 2:05 mark of the second round.

The lightweight bout was part of the preliminary card of today’s UFC Fight Night 121 event at at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney. It aired on FS1 following additional prelims on UFC Fight Pass and ahead of the main card on FS1.

Check out the finish in the highlights clip above.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 121, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Nik Lentz reacts following his victory by submission against Will Brooks during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Nik Lentz moves in with a hit as Will Brooks defends during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Nik Lentz lands a hit against Will Brooks during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Nik Lentz moves in with a kick against Will Brooks during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Nik Lentz moves in with a hit as Will Brooks counter hits during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Will Brooks moves in with a hit as Nik Lentz defends during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Nik Lentz applies a hold against Will Brooks during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Nik Lentz puts Will Brooks in a hold during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Nik Lentz applies a hold against Will Brooks during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Nik Lentz applies a hold against Will Brooks during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Nik Lentz reacts following his match against Will Brooks during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Nik Lentz reacts following his victory by submission against Will Brooks during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-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/wzxZGNvdcWY5Ax2JtDXfTf/285587", customAnalytics: true, title: "Lentz def. Brooks", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

UFC Fight Night 121 video highlights: Ryan Benoit KOs Ashkan Mokhtarian


Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

Ryan Benoit seemed frustrated through much of his fight against Ashkan Mokhtarian, who did plenty of circling when he wasn’t landing his left hand. But Benoit capitalized when he needed to.

Benoit (10-5 MMA, 3-3 UFC) knocked Mokhtarian (13-3 MMA, 0-2 UFC) out with a head kick in the third round – when he potentially was down a pair of rounds on the scorecards. The end came at the 2:38 mark of the final frame.

The catchweight bout (Benoit missed the flyweight limit) closed out the preliminary card of today’s UFC Fight Night 121 event at at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney. It aired on FS1 following additional prelims on UFC Fight Pass and ahead of the main card on FS1.

Check out the finish in the highlights video clip above.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 121, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Ryan Benoit reacts following his knockout against Ashkan Mokhtarian during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Ashkan Mokhtarian moves in with a kick against Ryan Benoit during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Ashkan Mokhtarian moves in with a hit against Ryan Benoit during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Ryan Benoit moves in with a hit as Ashkan Mokhtarian defends during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Ryan Benoit moves in with a hit as Ashkan Mokhtarian defends during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Ryan Benoit lands a hit against Ashkan Mokhtarian during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Ryan Benoit lands a hit against Ashkan Mokhtarian during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Ryan Benoit fights against Ashkan Mokhtarian during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Ryan Benoit lands a kick against Ashkan Mokhtarian during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Ryan Benoit reacts following his knockout against Ashkan Mokhtarian during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-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/NLVFqU78hRS8oZHFwAo5mH/285579", customAnalytics: true, title: "Benoit def. Mokhtarian", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

Video replay: UFC Fight Night 121 post-event press conference


Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

SYDNEY – Check out a video replay of the UFC Fight Night 121 post-event news conference.

UFC Fight Night 121 took place Sunday (but aired live on Saturday in North America due to the time difference) at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney. It aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Check out the full replay of the post-event press conference above.

And for more on UFC Fight Night 121, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

UFC Fight Night 121 draws announced 10,021 fans in Sydney

if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_WxFOqz5X_FLu19iir_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/WxFOqz5X.json","ph":2} );
Filed under: News, UFC

SYDNEY – Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 121 event drew an announced attendance of 10,021. No live gate total was announced.

UFC officials announced the tallies following the event, which MMAjunkie attended..

UFC Fight Night 121 took place Sunday (but aired live on Saturday in North America due to the time difference) at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney. It aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

UFC Fight Night 121 was the 11th event in Australia and fifth in Sydney. The UFC first visited the country in 2010.

The best attendance mark in Sydney came in 2011 with “UFC 127: Penn vs. Fitch.” The pay-per-view event took place at Acer Arena (now Qudos Bank Arena) and drew 18,186 attendees for an estimated live gate of $3.5 million.

For more on UFC Fight Night 121, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum reacts following his fight against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Marcin Tybura moves in with a kick as Fabricio Werdum defends during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum lands a hit against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum lands a hit against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum hits Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum hits Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum hits Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum hits Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum moves in for a hit against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum moves in for a hit against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum fights Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum moves in with a knee hit against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Marcin Tybura defends against Fabricio Werdum during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum lands a kick against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum holds Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum pushes Marcin Tybura toward the cage during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum lands a hit against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum lands a hit against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum reacts following his victory by decision against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-USA TODAY Sports Nov 18, 2017; Sydney, Australia; Fabricio Werdum reacts following his victory by decision against Marcin Tybura during UFC Fight Night at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hyde-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/TbN2uvtugmxi8DnzN2s9QC/285285", customAnalytics: true, title: "Werdum def. Tybura", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC

Pages