MMA Junkie News

Michael Bisping opens as underdog to Kelvin Gastelum in UFC-Shanghai headliner

Will the three-week turnaround to be too much for former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping?

The opening odds seem to suggest so.

This past weekend, UFC officials announced Bisping (30-8 MMA, 20-8 UFC), who lost his title to Georges St-Pierre (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC) on Nov. 4, will fight again on Nov. 26, when he meets Kelvin Gastelum (13-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC) in UFC Fight Night 122’s headliner.

Bisping, who’s No. 3 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middleweight rankings, replaced Anderson Silva (34-8 MMA, 17-4 UFC), who was flagged due to a potential U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) violation. He takes on Gastelum, who’s an honorable mention in the rankings, in a five-round headliner.

RelatedUFC 217 results: Georges St-Pierre chokes out Michael Bisping to become two-division champ

The fight, which streams on UFC Fight Pass from Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, will mean Bisping is fighting on two different continents in two UFC main events in just a 21-day span. And though he ultimately got put to sleep with St-Pierre’s rear-naked choke, he did take a fair amount of punishment before the fight-ending submission.

That could be part of the reason Bisping has opened as a +120 underdog to -161 favorite Gastelum, according to William Hill, which posted the first line for the fight (via bestfightodds.com).

A winning $100 bet on Bisping would result in a profit of $120; a winning bet on Gastelum would net a profit of $62.11. That gives a implied winning probability of 45.5 percent for Bisping and 61.7 percent for Gastelum.

RelatedMichael Bisping 'crushed inside' after UFC 217 title loss, says he won't retire

Being an underdog, though, is nothing too new for Bisping. His fight with St-Pierre closed as a pick’em with even odds, but when he won the title with an upset of Luke Rockhold, he closed as nearly a 5-1 underdog. A bout prior, he upset Silva as a +210 underdog.

Who wins his next bout? Cast your vote in the poll below.

And for more on UFC Fight Night 122, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

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')); Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) defeats Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) defeats Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) defeats Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Michael Bisping (red gloves) reacts after losing to Georges St-Pierre (not pictured) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) greets Michael Bisping (red gloves) after their fight in UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) greets Michael Bisping (red gloves) after their fight in UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) greets Michael Bisping (red gloves) after their fight in UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-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/t2pBbXqn6WUG8Z2WigLLpQ/284356", customAnalytics: true, title: "St-Pierre def. Bisping", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC

UFC 220 in Boston gets new bouts, including Dustin Ortiz vs. Alexandre Pantoja

Aug 5, 2017; Mexico City, Mexico; Dustin Ortiz (red gloves) defeats Hector Sandoval (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mexico City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Miguel Tovar-USA TODAY Sports Aug 5, 2017; Mexico City, Mexico; Dustin Ortiz (red gloves) fights against Hector Sandoval (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mexico City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Miguel Tovar-USA TODAY Sports Aug 5, 2017; Mexico City, Mexico; Dustin Ortiz (red gloves) fights against Hector Sandoval (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mexico City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Miguel Tovar-USA TODAY Sports Aug 5, 2017; Mexico City, Mexico; Dustin Ortiz (red gloves) fights against Hector Sandoval (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mexico City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Miguel Tovar-USA TODAY Sports Aug 5, 2017; Mexico City, Mexico; Dustin Ortiz (red gloves) fights against Hector Sandoval (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mexico City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Miguel Tovar-USA TODAY Sports Aug 5, 2017; Mexico City, Mexico; Dustin Ortiz (red gloves) fights against Hector Sandoval (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mexico City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Miguel Tovar-USA TODAY Sports Aug 5, 2017; Mexico City, Mexico; Dustin Ortiz (red gloves) defeats Hector Sandoval (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mexico City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Miguel Tovar-USA TODAY Sports Aug 5, 2017; Mexico City, Mexico; Dustin Ortiz (red gloves) defeats Hector Sandoval (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mexico City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Miguel Tovar-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/DbfnSUpJqptuhZ82W9vCzj/284348", customAnalytics: true, title: "Ortiz def. Sandoval", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

The lineup is taking shape for January’s UFC 220 event in Massachusetts.

New bookings include flyweights Dustin Ortiz (17-7 MMA, 6-5 UFC) vs. Alexandre Pantoja (18-2 MMA, 2-0 UFC) and featherweights Kyle Bochniak (7-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) vs. Brandon Davis (8-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC)

UFC officials announced the fights via @BGlobeSports.

UFC 220 takes place Jan. 20 at TD Garden in Boston. It airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass, though the full fight card and bout order haven’t been determined.

RelatedUFC 220 gets 2 new matchups, including Thomas Almeida vs. Rob Font

Ortiz, who’s No. 12 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA flyweight rankings, is coming off a “Performance of the Night” win over Hector Sandoval. The 28-year-old registered the fastest knockout in flyweight history with the 15-second stoppage, which came after a 1-3 stretch against the upper echelon of the division. He now takes on No. 15-ranked Pantoja, a 27-year-old Brazilian who signed with the UFC after winning RFA and AXS TV “super fight” titles. He’s since defeated Eric Shelton (split decision) and Neil Seery (submission) to push his winning streak to 11 fights.

Bochniak, a 30-year-old from Massachusetts, went 6-0 with CES MMA before signing with the UFC, where he has decision losses to Charles Rosa and Jeremy Kennedy, and a decision victory over Enrique Barzola. He meets Davis, a 27-year-old from Mississippi who signed with the UFC after earning a decision win over Austin Arnett at DWCS 4. It was his seventh straight victory.

The latest UFC 220 lineup includes:

  • Islam Makhachev vs. Gleison Tibau
  • Dustin Ortiz vs. Alexandre Pantoja
  • Thomas Almeida vs. Rob Font
  • Shane Burgos vs. Calvin Kattar
  • Kyle Bochniak vs. Brandon Davis

For more on UFC 220, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: News, UFC

Fight Nights Global 79 set for Nov. 19 with champ Pavlovich vs. Sidelnikov, Pesta vs. Kudin

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Filed under: News

Russia’s Fight Nights Global returns to action next Sunday for “FNG 79: Pavlovich vs. Sidelnikov,” a 10-fight card that takes place at Dizel Arena in Penza, Russia.

In the main event, undefeated FNG light heavyweight champion Sergey Pavlovich (11-0) meets sambo ace and longtime Fedor Emelianenko protege Kirill Sidelnikov (11-4). The co-feature sees five-time UFC veteran Viktor Pesta (11-4) make his promotional debut against Belarusian vet Alexei Kudin (23-10).

The card is expected to posted to UFC Fight Pass as Video On Demand shortly after the conclusion of the event.

Pavlovich and Sidelnikov were originally slated to meet in March, but a Sidelnikov injury forced him to withdraw from the contest, and Pavlovich went on to score the FNG title in the interim, adding significance to the rescheduled matchup.

Pavlovich’s professional record remains perfect through the first 11 bouts of his career, with eight of those wins coming by knockout – and all of those coming in the first round. Meanwhile Sidelnikov brings a five-fight winning streak into the contest.

Pesta was released from the UFC earlier this year following an unsuccessful five-fight run. However, he rebounded with a January TKO of Michal Kita in the Czech Republic and now makes his FNG debut. He now meets Kudin, who turned pro in 2002 and enters the bout on the strength of back-to-back decision wins.

The FNG 79 lineup includes:

  • Champ Sergey Pavlovich vs. Kirill Sidelnikov – for light heavyweight title
  • Alexei Kudin vs. Viktor Pesta
  • Charles Andrade vs. Vladimir Seliverstov
  • Marat Magomedov vs. Rashad Muradov
  • Mikhail Lebedev vs. Rustam Madoyan
  • Ramil Mustapaev vs. TBA
  • Chermen Kobesov vs. Andrey Kurochkin
  • Roman Silagadze vs. TBA
  • Davor Matic vs. Ivan Okhlopkov
  • Sergey Kistanov vs. Dmitriy Tomaev

Filed under: News

Sean Shelby's Shoes: What's next for Dustin Poirier and UFC Fight Night 120's other winning fighters?

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

UFC Fight Night 120 was touted as one of the most stacked non-pay-per-view and non-FOX cards this year, and in the end, the six-fight main card largely delivered at Ted Constant Convocations Center in Norfolk, Va.

Headliner Dustin Poirier (22-5 MMA, 14-4 UFC) pulled off the crowning performance of the card when he beat former UFC champ Anthony Pettis (20-7 MMA, 7-6 UFC) by third-round stoppage in the FS1-televised bout, continuing his solid run in the 155-pound division.

Elsewhere on the card, Matt Brown (21-16 MMA, 14-10 UFC), Andrei Arlovski (26-15 MMA, 15-9 UFC), Cezar Ferreira (12-6 MMA, 8-4 UFC), Raphael Assuncao (26-5 MMA, 10-2 UFC) and Clay Guida (34-17 MMA, 14-11 UFC) earned victories that ranged from total domination to scorecard squeakers.

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 120’s winning fighters.

* * * *

Clay Guida

Joseph Duffy

Should fight: Joseph Duffy
Why they should fight: Guida’s return to the UFC lightweight division is proving to be a good one after he moved to 2-0 with a victory over fellow UFC veteran Joe Lauzon.

Despite spending a decade together under the UFC banner, Guida and Lauzon had never crossed paths. When it finally happened, “The Carpenter” pulled off a first-round TKO victory over Lauzon to continue his revival in the 155-pound division.

Guida said his stint in the featherweight division was only to provide “star power” to the weight class, but he admitted lightweight is best for him. He believes he can do big things, but at 35 and with more than 50 pro fights, it remains to be seen how far he can go.

If Guida can consistently rack up wins like he did against Lauzon, he’ll have a place on the UFC roster for as long as he wants. He’s going to get challenging competition every time out, though, and Duffy (16-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC) is a very dangerous fighter.

Duffy is coming off a TKO loss to James Vick at UFC 217 this month and will surely be looking to rebound as quickly as possible. Guida represents a solid name for the Irishman, and Duffy would be a solid win for Guida.

Raphael Assuncao

Cody Garbrandt

Should fight: Cody Garbrandt
Why they should fight: Assuncao emerged victorious in a high-risk fight against an up-and-coming bantamweight when he picked up a brutal third-round knockout of Matthew Lopez.

Lopez came into the fight looking to threaten Assuncao’s status as an established top-five fighter in the 135-pound division. The Brazilian denied that possibility, though, and improved to a ridiculous 10-1 in his past 11 UFC appearances.

There’s good and bad for Assuncao at this point. He owns a victory over newly crowned UFC bantamweight champ T.J. Dillashaw, but he also has a loss to the currently titleholder in their rematch at UFC 200 in July 2016. A trilogy could always happen if the circumstances are right, but at this point, it’s obvious the UFC isn’t eager to push Assuncao into a title shot.

That leaves him in the undesirable position of fighting top opponents until he loses again or wins to the point he can’t be denied. He’ll surely want the latter, and that means taking on the next best available challenge. At this point, recently dethroned champ Garbrandt (11-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) would be his best way to make a statement.

Cezar Ferreira

Antonio Carlos Junior

Should fight: Antonio Carlos Junior
Why they should fight: Ferreira’s return to the middleweight division has been largely successful. He improved to 4-1 since returning to the weight class after scoring a split-decision victory over tough veteran and former Strikeforce champion Nate Marquardt.

“The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil” winner had had some ups and downs in his UFC tenure, but his form is consistently improving. He caught a version of Marquardt wh’os in the twilight of his career, but beating “The Great” is still a somewhat meaningful accomplishment.

Ferreira has fallen short against his most notable opponents in the past, but against Marquardt, he came through. He needs a solid test at this point, and when it comes to 185-pound fighters on the rise, Carlos Junior (9-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) looks pretty good.

Carlos Junior is another “TUF: Brazil” winner who is on a four-fight winning streak, which includes a recent submission win over Jack Marshman at UFC Fight Night 119. A matchup between the two reality-show winners is a solid enough narrative, and the fact their skills match up well only makes things better.

Andrei Arlovski

Curtis Blaydes

Should fight: Curtis Blaydes
Why they should fight: Just when Arlovski appeared to be written off for good in the UFC heavyweight division, the former champ rebounded with a crucial victory against Brazilian prospect Junior Albini.

It’s been a rough road for Arlovski in recent years. However, he managed to snap a brutal five-fight losing skid when he picked up a unanimous-decision win over Albini to return to the win column for the first time since September 2015.

Regardless of whether anyone has objections over Arlovski still fighting at this point, the 38-year-old is determined to keep going, even if he has to fight unheralded opponents in the heavyweight division.

That’s a useful item to have for UFC matchmakers, and they will likely continue to use Arlovski as a measuring stick for rising talent. Albini was unable to pass, but perhaps Blaydes (8-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC), who’s another fighter with growing momentum, would have something else to offer “The Pitbull.”

Matt Brown

Should fight: No one
Why: Although Brown has already walked back the possibility of a guaranteed retirement, a brutal knockout of Diego Sanchez seems like a solid way to ride off into the sunset for “The Immortal.”

Brown originally announced his bout with Sanchez would mark his retirement. However, he slowed those conversations ahead of fight night. Even with the first-round knockout of “The Ultimate Fighter 1” winner, it’s still an option worth considering, and Brown seems like he’s going to take some time off to make that decision.

With 24 UFC fights under his belt and at age 36, Brown has gone through the ringer inside the octagon. Every fighter who retires appears to have some measure of reluctance, but for Brown, there’s not much more to prove.

He said a hiatus from competition is coming and that it’s just a matter of whether it sticks. Only time will tell, but regardless of which way it goes, it seems Brown won’t be fighting anytime soon, and for that reason, speculating on matchmaking possibilities is a useless endeavor.

Dustin Poirier

Should fight: Winner of Eddie Alvarez vs. Justin Gaethje at UFC 218
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why Poirier should fight the winner of the UFC 218 bout between Alvarez (28-5 MMA, 3-2 UFC) and Gaethje (18-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) next.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) reacts after beating Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) walks out for the fight against Dustin Poirier (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) walks out tot he fight against Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) celebrates beating Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) leaves the fight against Dustin Poirier (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-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/oLeXGUMhkr8i7LDMVe8As8/284197", customAnalytics: true, title: "Poirier def. Pettis", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

Injury forces champ Patricio Freire out of Bellator 188; Lahat vs. Labiano new headliner

Injury has caused a major blow to this Thursday’s Bellator 188.

Featherweight champion Patricio Freire (26-4 MMA, 14-4 BMMA), who was supposed to meet Daniel Weichel (39-9, 8-1 BMMA) in the night’s title headliner, today announced that he had to withdraw due to “multiple injuries.” News of the canceled main event was first reported on Twitter by Ram Giboa.

Bellator 188 takes place Thursday at Menora Mivtachim Arena Arena in Tel Aviv, Israel. The main card airs on Spike the following day via tape delay.

In a statement released on Instagram, “Pitbull” Freire elaborated on the issues that plagued his camp. While he tried his best to work around a series of injuries, Freire said that, last Thursday, one of them got worse. After a sparring session on Friday, the champ and his team decided he was in no condition to step in the cage.

“It’d be a disrespect to me, to the fans, to my opponent and to Bellator,” Freire stated. “I’ll have to take 30 days off, and then I’ll be able to start training again. I plan to fight in February at the latest and defend my belt against Daniel Weichel.”

“I’m sad to announce I’ll no longer be fighting in Israel next week. Multiple injuries prevent me to perform.

A couple months ago due to a training accident I suffered a serious injury and started treating it immediately. I had to stop training for a few weeks and then I was able to start with several limitations. But due to those, other parts of my body were overcharged and new injuries kept piling up.

I’ve been doing physical therapy three times a day, I was lent a 25k dollars machine to sleep with every day, and although I wasn’t in my best condition I had no intention to pull out. In all my years in Bellator I only pulled out of a fight once due to a hand fracture.

Up until Wednesday the fight was 100% on. On Thursday came the doubt as one of the injuries aggravated. I deliberated with my team what to do up to 2am. I decided to test myself on Friday on my last sparring session. And then it became obvious I had no condition to step up in that cage. It’d be a disrespect to me, to the fans, to my opponent and to Bellator.

I’ll have to take 30 days off and then I’ll be able to start training again. I plan to fight in February at the latest and defend my belt against Daniel Weichel.

See you all soon.”

Freire and Weichel met before, in 2015, at Bellator 183. Freire was the winner via second-round knockout. Freire would have entered the rematch off a tetralogy meeting with former champion Daniel Straus – which saw “Pitbull” re-claim the featherweight title. Weichel, in turn, went on a four-fight streak after the loss to Freire.

MMAjunkie was able to confirm with Freire’s camp that, as originally reported by MMAFighting.com, Bellator lightweight Patricky Freire tried to step in for his brother. While Patricio never got to make the trip to Israel, Patricky is there with Pitbull Brothers athlete Luiz Victor Rocha, who fights on the preliminary card.

While the former l55-pound title challenger was willing to either meet Weichel at lightweight or anyone else under a 160-pound catchweight limit, Bellator didn’t take him up on it. Bellator has confirmed that a featherweight meeting between Israel’s Noad Lahat and Jeremiah Labiano is now the night’s main event.

Freire’s camp is now hoping that Rocha’s fight, against Israeli fighter Kirill Medvedovski, will get upgraded to the main card. The promotion, however, hasn’t released a new bout order yet.

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


Filed under: Bellator, News

Jake Collier looking for some momentum, and wants it at home at UFC-St. Louis

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

NORFOLK, Va. – Jake Collier is trying to keep his career goals small and manageable at this point. Right now, that means no more than getting a few consecutive wins together.

Collier’s (11-4 MMA, 3-3 UFC) UFC tenure has been up and down since he joined the organization in December 2014. He had another high on Saturday at UFC Fight Night 120 with a unanimous decision win over Marcel Fortuna (9-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC), and he said now is the time to get some momentum going.

For Collier, there would be no better place to do that than at UFC Fight Night 124 on Jan 14., which takes place at Scottrade Center in St. Louis – not far from Collier’s home

“I’d love to (fight on that card),” Collier told MMAjunkie. “I’ll take a week or so and get my fight back together and see if the UFC wants to throw me somebody. That’s seriously only an hour from my house – that’s my backyard. I want to fight on that card. I’m going to take about a week off and see if I can start making some noise and get on that card.”

Collier said he was looking for an impressive stoppage at UFC Fight Night 120, which took place at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va., but knew putting away Fortuna inside the distance was going to be tough. He knows his opponent had faced bigger and stronger opponents in the past, so he still considers a victory on the scorecards to be significant.

With hopes of getting back-to-back wins for the first time in the UFC in his next fight, Collier said he will fight anyone the 185-pound division has to offer. However, if matchmakers want to give him a fellow striker, he would be more than open to it.

“Nobody in the UFC is easy,” Collier said. “I prefer a non-wrestler so we can stand and exchange a little bit and put on a show for the crowd because that’s kind of what I like to do. That’s all I really ask for.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Jake Collier (red gloves) fights Marcel Fortuna (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Jake Collier (red gloves) fights Marcel Fortuna (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Jake Collier (red gloves) fights Marcel Fortuna (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Jake Collier (red gloves) fights Marcel Fortuna (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Jake Collier (red gloves) fights Marcel Fortuna (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Jake Collier (red gloves) fights Marcel Fortuna (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Jake Collier (red gloves) fights Marcel Fortuna (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Jake Collier (red gloves) fights Marcel Fortuna (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Jake Collier (red gloves) fights Marcel Fortuna (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Jake Collier (red gloves) fights Marcel Fortuna (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Jake Collier (red gloves) fights Marcel Fortuna (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-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/Sfb84i27qzg6upbHtfiDoN/283926", customAnalytics: true, title: "Collier def. Fortuna", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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UFC Fight Night 120 post-event facts: Matt Brown most prominent KO artist in UFC welterweight history

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

The UFC made its fifth stop in Virginia with Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 120 event, which took place at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, and aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

In the main event, Dustin Poirier (22-5 MMA, 14-4 UFC) continued to be one of the UFC’s biggest producers of stoppage wins when he defeated former UFC and WEC champ Anthony Pettis (20-7 MMA, 7-6 UFC) by third-round TKO to add another signature win to his resume at 155 pounds.

Poirier’s victory concluded a 13-fight card that had several notable results. For more, check below for 55 post-event facts to come out of UFC Fight Night 120.

* * * *

General

Clay Guida

The UFC-Reebok Athlete Outfitting payout for the event totaled $245,000.

Poirier, Pettis, Matt Brown and Raphael Assuncao earned $50,000 UFC Fight Night 120 fight-night bonuses.

UFC Fight Night 120 drew an announced attendance of 8,442 for a live gate of $642,070.

Betting favorites went 8-4 on the card. One fight had even odds.

Total fight time for the 13-bout card was 2:32:30.

Main card

Dustin Poirier

Poirier improved to 6-1 (with one no-contest) since he returned to the UFC lightweight division in April 2015.

Poirier has earned nine of his 14 UFC victories by stoppage.

Poirier’s 14 victories since 2011 in UFC competition are tied with Max Holloway for third most in the company behind Donald Cerrone (19) and champ Demetrious Johnson (15).

Poirier’s nine stoppage victories since 2011 in UFC competition are tied with Holloway and Tony Ferguson for second most in the company behind Cerrone (13).

Anthony Pettis

Pettis has alternated wins and losses over his past five fights.

Pettis fell to 1-1 since he returned to the UFC lightweight division in July.

Pettis fell to 2-5 in his past seven UFC appearances.

Pettis has suffered both of his career stoppage losses by knockout.

Brown’s (21-16 MMA, 14-10 UFC) 14 victories in UFC welterweight competition are tied for third most in divisional history behind Georges St-Pierre (19) and Matt Hughes (16).

Brown’s 12 stoppage victories in UFC welterweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Brown’s 10 knockout victories in welterweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Matt Brown and Diego Sanchez

Diego Sanchez (27-11 MMA, 16-11 UFC) is now 0-1 since returning to the UFC welterweight division. He’s 9-5 overall at the weight under the UFC banner.

Sanchez fell to 3-6 in his past nine UFC appearances.

Sanchez has suffered all four of his career stoppage losses by knockout.

Andrei Arlovski (26-15 MMA, 15-9 UFC) snapped a five-fight losing skid and earned his first victory since September 2015.

Arlovski improved to 5-5 since he returned to the UFC for a second stint in June 2014.

Arlovski’s 15 victories in UFC heavyweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Frank Mir (16).

Junior Albini

Junior Albini (14-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC) had his 10-fight winning streak snapped for his first defeat since August 2012.

Albini suffered the first decision loss of his career.

Cezar Ferreira (12-6 MMA, 8-4 UFC) improved to 4-1 since he returned to the UFC middleweight division in April 2016.

Ferreira has earned six of his eight UFC victories by decision.

Nate Marquardt (35-19-2 MMA, 14-11 UFC) fell to 3-6 since he returned to the UFC middleweight division in June 2014. He’s 3-9 in his past 12 bouts overall.

Marquardt fell to 3-9 in his past 12 bouts.

Marquardt’s 12 knockdowns landed in UFC middleweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Anderson Silva (13).

Marquardt’s 19 career losses are the most of any active member of the UFC roster.

Raphael Assuncao

Assuncao (26-5 MMA, 10-2 UFC) improved to 10-1 since he dropped to the UFC bantamweight division in August 2011.

Assuncao’s 10 victories in UFC bantamweight competition are tied with Urijah Faber for second most in divisional history behind T.J. Dillashaw (11).

Assuncao earned his first knockout victory since July 11, 2012 – a span of 1,949 days (more than five years) and nine fights.

Matthew Lopez (10-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) suffered the first knockout loss of his career.

Clay Guida

Clay Guida (34-17 MMA, 14-11 UFC) improved to 2-0 since he returned to the UFC lightweight division in June.

Guida earned his first knockout victory since April 2, 2008 – a span of 3,510 days (more than nine years) and 19 fights.

Joe Lauzon (27-14 MMA, 14-11 UFC) has suffered eight of his 14 career losses by stoppage.

Preliminary card

John Dodson

John Dodson (19-9 MMA, 8-4 UFC) fell to 2-2 since he returned to the UFC bantamweight division in April 2016. He’s 3-2 in the weight class overall.

Dodson has suffered all nine of his career losses by decision.

Tatiana Suarez (5-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) returned from a more than one-year layoff for her first victory since July 2016.

Viviane Pereira (13-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) had her 13-fight winning streak snapped for the first defeat of her career.

Sage Northcutt

Sage Northcutt (9-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) earned the second decision victory of his career. Both those wins have come in his past two fights.

Michel Quinones (8-3 MMA, 0-2 UFC) has suffered two of his three career losses by decision.

Nina Ansaroff (8-5 MMA, 2-2 UFC) earned just the second decision victory of her career and first since Sept. 11, 2010 – a span of 2,618 days (more than seven years) and 12 fights.

Angela Hill (7-4 MMA, 2-4 UFC) fell to 1-2 since she returned to the UFC for a second stint in February. She’s 5-2 since her initial release from the company in late 2015.

Hill has suffered three of her four career losses by decision.

Sean Strickland

Sean Strickland (19-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) improved to 4-2 since he dropped to the UFC welterweight division in February 2015.

Strickland has earned four of his six UFC victories by decision.

Court McGee (18-7 MMA, 7-6 UFC) fell to 2-3 since he returned from a nearly two-year layoff in December 2015.

McGee fell to 4-4 since he dropped to the welterweight division in February 2013.

McGee has suffered six of his seven career losses by decision.

Jake Collier

Jake Collier (11-3 MMA, 3-3 UFC) has alternated wins and losses over his six-fight UFC career.

Marcel Fortuna (9-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC) has suffered all three of his career losses by decision.

Karl Roberson (6-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) has earned five of his six career victories by stoppage.

Darren Stewart (7-2 MMA, 0-2 UFC) suffered the first stoppage loss of his career.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 120, 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 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Matt Brown (red gloves) celebrates beating Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Matt Brown (red gloves) fights Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Matt Brown (red gloves) fights Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Matt Brown (red gloves) fights Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Matt Brown (red gloves) fights Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Matt Brown (red gloves) fights Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Matt Brown (red gloves) fights Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Matt Brown (red gloves) fights Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Matt Brown (red gloves) fights Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Matt Brown (red gloves) fights Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Matt Brown (red gloves) fights Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Matt Brown (red gloves) fights Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Matt Brown (red gloves) fights Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Matt Brown (red gloves) celebrates beating Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-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/MnxDjequPU9LmscLAW63Ee/284183", customAnalytics: true, title: "Brown def. Sanchez", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Bellator 187 post-event facts: A.J. McKee sets record with 10th consecutive Bellator win

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Filed under: Bellator, News

Bellator 187’s main event came down to the wire when unbeaten prospect A.J. McKee was forced to dig deep with a submission victory over Brian Moore at Friday’s event.

McKee (10-0 MMA, 10-0 BMMA) earned a third-round submission win over Moore (10-6 MMA, 1-2 BMMA) in the Spike-televised featherweight headliner at 3Arena in Dublin, giving him the longest winning streak in Bellator history.

McKee’s victory closed out of a five-fight main card that saw four contests end in a stoppage. For more on the numbers behind the show, check out 20 post-event facts about Bellator 187.

* * * *

General

Debuting fighters went 2-4 at the event.

Betting favorites went 5-0 on the main card.

Betting favorites improved to 13-4 (one fight had even odds) in Bellator main events this year.

Total fight time for the five-bout main card was 36:44.

* * * *

Main card

A.J. McKee

McKee’s 10-fight Bellator winning streak is the longest active streak in the company.

McKee’s 10-fight Bellator winning streak is the longest streak in company history.

McKee’s 10-fight Bellator winning streak in featherweight competition is the longest active streak in the division and longest in divisional history.

McKee’s 10 victories in Bellator featherweight competition are tied with Daniel Straus and Pat Curran for second most in divisional history behind Patricio Freire (14).

McKee has earned seven of his 10 career victories by stoppage.

Moore fell to 3-4 in his past seven fights overall dating back to September 2013.

Moore has suffered both of his Bellator losses by submission.

Sinead Kavanagh (5-2 MMA, 2-2 BMMA) improved to 1-1 since she moved up to the Bellator women’s featherweight division.

Kavanagh has earned all of her career stoppage victories by knockout.

Maria Casanova (3-6-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) has just one victory in her past six fights dating back to November 2016.

Kevin Ferguson Jr.

Kevin Ferguson Jr. (2-1 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) earned the first submission victory of his career.

Fred Freeman (1-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) suffered the first loss of his career.

Charlie Ward (4-3 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) snapped his two-fight losing skid for his first victory since June 2016.

Ward has earned both of his career stoppage victories by knockout.

Paul Redmond (14-7 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) improved to 4-1 since he was released from the UFC in July 2015.

For complete coverage of Bellator 187, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Aug 25, 2017; Verona, NY, USA; A.J. McKee fights Blair Tugman during Bellator 182 at Turning Stone Casino. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports Aug 25, 2017; Verona, NY, USA; A.J. McKee fights Blair Tugman during Bellator 182 at Turning Stone Casino. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports Aug 25, 2017; Verona, NY, USA; A.J. McKee fights Blair Tugman during Bellator 182 at Turning Stone Casino. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports Aug 25, 2017; Verona, NY, USA; A.J. McKee fights Blair Tugman during Bellator 182 at Turning Stone Casino. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports Aug 25, 2017; Verona, NY, USA; A.J. McKee fights Blair Tugman during Bellator 182 at Turning Stone Casino. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports Aug 25, 2017; Verona, NY, USA; A.J. McKee fights Blair Tugman during Bellator 182 at Turning Stone Casino. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports Aug 25, 2017; Verona, NY, USA; A.J. McKee fights Blair Tugman during Bellator 182 at Turning Stone Casino. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports Aug 25, 2017; Verona, NY, USA; A.J. McKee fights Blair Tugman during Bellator 182 at Turning Stone Casino. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports Aug 25, 2017; Verona, NY, USA; A.J. McKee fights Blair Tugman during Bellator 182 at Turning Stone Casino. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports Aug 25, 2017; Verona, NY, USA; A.J. McKee fights Blair Tugman during Bellator 182 at Turning Stone Casino. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports Aug 25, 2017; Verona, NY, USA; A.J. McKee fights Blair Tugman during Bellator 182 at Turning Stone Casino. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports Aug 25, 2017; Verona, NY, USA; A.J. McKee fights Blair Tugman during Bellator 182 at Turning Stone Casino. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-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/gmqSUsgjXyZs8VRGtteFDm/283816", customAnalytics: true, title: "McKee def. Tugman", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Bellator, News

UFC-Norfolk's Clay Guida knows how baseball's home-run sluggers must feel

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

NORFOLK, Va. – Clay Guida thinks Joe Lauzon could have gone on without those follow-up blows. But landing that one solid uppercut still felt pretty good.

On Saturday Guida (34-17 MMA, 14-11 UFC) and Lauzon (27-14 MMA, 14-11 UFC) met in a lightweight main-card clash that, upon its announcement, had “Fight of the Night” written all over it. Guida, however, made sure it didn’t get that far, and he dropped Lauzon with a clean shot and followed it up with a few strikes to prompt a stoppage at the 67-second mark of Round 1.

The UFC Fight Night 120 win marked Guida’s first finish since 2011 – and first knockout since 2008. It’s safe to say he’s pretty happy with it.

RelatedUFC Fight Night 120 results: Clay Guida dominates Joe Lauzon, calls for meeting with Dana White

“I don’t think I’ve ever landed a flush knockout – a flush uppercut like that on someone,” Guida told MMAjunkie after the FS1-televised scrap, which took place at Ted Constant Convocation Center on the Old Dominion University campus in Norfolk, Va.

“I guess that’s how those professional baseball home-run sluggers feel when they smash one out of the freaking ball park. Because that felt pretty amazing.”

Here’s the blow (via Twitter)

Clay Guida combo in slow-mo #UFCNorfolk pic.twitter.com/5Atu3WPtDN

— Mike Dyce (@mikedyce) November 12, 2017

The fight between the two notoriously durable brawlers didn’t turn into the drag-out war that many expected – or perhaps wanted. But for Guida, a longtime admirer of the “awesome” Lauzon, it went pretty much according to plan.

“Joe is one of those guys – you don’t want it to go too long, because he’s so dangerous he can finish a fight at any moment,” Guida said. “I’ve seen him knock guys out, we’ve seen him sub black belts, and we’ve seen him sub very good wrestlers.

“I didn’t want to give it any chance to get out of hand. So we got in there, put some hands on him, and we got our hand raised.”

That is, apart from this one thing.

“I felt like it went a few extra strikes I didn’t want to,” Guida said.

In any case, considering it was the last fight in his UFC contract, Guida picked a remarkably good occasion to find his way back into finishes. And his post-fight handling of it didn’t hurt, either.

RelatedClay Guida gets crowd to help with UFC contract negotiations after first finish since 2011

“There was a lot at stake in this fight that didn’t know about,” Guida said. “We feel we put a stamp on it and an exclamation point. So, big things to come for ‘The Carpenter’ camp and Team Alpha Male.”

As he’d made clear in the octagon, Guida wants one specific UFC-related meeting now – and that is with UFC President Dana White. Inside the octagon,  though, Guida’s philosophy remains the same: He’s willing to fight whomever those who sign his checks want.

But, now on a two-fight winning streak since his return from a shaky stint in the lower featherweight division, Guida wants any possible competitor to know this one thing.

“We’re back at 155, and the cream is rising to the top,” Guida said. “You guys watch out. ‘The Carpenter’ is coming. I don’t care who’s in front of me. I am the cream of the 155-pound division. You guys better watch out.”

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

And for complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Clay Guida (blue gloves) celebrates beating Joe Lauzon (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Joe Lauzon (red gloves) fights Clay Guida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Joe Lauzon (red gloves) fights Clay Guida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Joe Lauzon (red gloves) fights Clay Guida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Joe Lauzon (red gloves) fights Clay Guida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Joe Lauzon (red gloves) fights Clay Guida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Joe Lauzon (red gloves) fights Clay Guida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Joe Lauzon (red gloves) fights Clay Guida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Joe Lauzon (red gloves) fights Clay Guida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Clay Guida (blue gloves) helps Joe Lauzon (red gloves) to his feet after the fight during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Joe Lauzon (red gloves) fights Clay Guida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Joe Lauzon (red gloves) and Clay Guida (blue gloves) celebrates the win during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Joe Lauzon (red gloves) and Clay Guida (blue gloves) celebrates the win during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Joe Lauzon (red gloves) fights Clay Guida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Clay Guida (blue gloves) celebrates his win against Joe Lauzon (red gloves) UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-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/waBN23r7KtkP744qKFHSMY/284258", customAnalytics: true, title: "Guida def. Lauzon", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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Marlon Moraes calls illegal blows at UFC-Norfolk 'friggin' accident,' wants Jimmie Rivera at UFC 219

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

NORFOLK, Va. – Marlon Moraes wants a date with Jimmie Rivera at UFC 219 on Dec. 30 after picking up a split decision win over John Dodson on Saturday at UFC Fight Night 120.

Former WSOF bantamweight champ Moraes (19-5-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) earned his first octagon victory when he edged out a narrow win on the scorecards over “The Ultimate Fighter 14” winner Dodson (19-9 MMA, 8-4 UFC). The fight took place at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va., and aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Moraes said he has no doubt that he won the fight, mainly because his coaches said he did. Now he turns his attention to Rivera (21-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC), who is need of an opponent after former champ Dominick Cruz pulled out of their year-end date due to injury.

RelatedUFC Fight Night 120 results: Marlon Moraes gets nod in bizarrely scored split over John Dodson

“I’m happy, but the judge for me is my coaches,” Moraes told MMAjunkie after his victory. “They said I won, so I’m happy, and I hope to go back to the gym and get better and Dec. 30, beating Jimmie Rivera.”

Although he won the fight on the scorecards, Moraes was showered with boos from the crowd after the decision was read. He said he doesn’t think that’s because they dislike him, but rather because he landed a pair of illegal blows on Dodson early in the contest.

Dodson complained to the referee about Moraes’ tactics several times throughout the 135-pound fight. Afterward, the Brazilian defended his actions and insisted he’s not a dirty fighter.

“I think the boos for the crowd were more for the two shots in the first round,” Moraes said. “I think they all knew I won, but they were a little concerned about the shots I landed with. That’s OK. I’ll go to the gym, I’ll be back. That was a friggin’ accident.”

After dominating the field in WSOF, Moraes has had two tough fights since coming to the UFC. He lost a competitive decision to Raphael Assuncao in his debut before rebounding with the win over Dodson. He said he’s starting to feel at home in the octagon, and wants to prove he belongs at the top of the division with a win over Rivera.

“That’s the fight to make,” Moraes said. “I want to fight, he has no opponent, let’s go. … There’s no easy fights up there. I’m here, I put in two tough fights, so I think I belong here.”

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

And for complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; John Dodson (red gloves) fights Marlon Moraes (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; John Dodson (red gloves) fights Marlon Moraes (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; John Dodson (red gloves) fights Marlon Moraes (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; John Dodson (red gloves) fights Marlon Moraes (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; John Dodson (red gloves) fights Marlon Moraes (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; John Dodson (red gloves) fights Marlon Moraes (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; John Dodson (red gloves) fights Marlon Moraes (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; John Dodson (red gloves) fights Marlon Moraes (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; John Dodson (red gloves) fights Marlon Moraes (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; John Dodson (red gloves) reacts after being poked in the eye by Marlon Moraes (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; John Dodson (red gloves) fights Marlon Moraes (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; John Dodson (red gloves) fights Marlon Moraes (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; John Dodson (red gloves) fights Marlon Moraes (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; John Dodson (red gloves) fights Marlon Moraes (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; John Dodson (red gloves) fights Marlon Moraes (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; John Dodson (red gloves) fights Marlon Moraes (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; John Dodson (red gloves) fights Marlon Moraes (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; John Dodson (red gloves) fights Marlon Moraes (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-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/ArNPrNCJHDU7YgPXXgeKng/284043", customAnalytics: true, title: "Moraes def. Dodson", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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Raphael Assuncao not one for 'fancy stuff,' but thinks consistency warrants UFC title shot

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NORFOLK, Va. – Back in June, Raphael Assuncao vowed to keep campaigning for a title shot. Two fights – and two wins – later, he’s making good on his promise.

On Saturday at UFC Fight Night 120, Assuncao (26-5 MMA, 10-2 UFC) beat up-and-comer Matthew Lopez (10-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) to earn a third straight win. Not only that – for what was his first knockout win since 2012, the Brazilian bantamweight also took home a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus.

It certainly wasn’t a bad day at the office for Assuncao. But as he’d already made clear while still up in the octagon, he’s (yet again) hoping to gain something else from his most recent win: a title shot.

RelatedUFC Fight Night 120 results: Raphael Assuncao chops down, lays out Matthew Lopez

Allow him to elaborate.

“If you look at everybody I’ve beaten, everything I’ve done in the octagon – if you look at me and (UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw’s) history, why not, you know?” Assuncao told MMAjunkie after the FS1-televised main-card bout, which took place at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va. “I think I deserve it. My only loss in bantamweight was (to) T.J. I lost to him in 2015. I turned around/ I won all my fights against top level guys, against up-and-comers, you name it.

“And here I am again. So we’ve got to do this trilogy.”

Assuncao does have point in that he and Dillashaw, who just recently reclaimed the 135-pound crown with a UFC 217 knockout of Cody Garbrandt, have a score to settle. The first time they met, in 2013, Assuncao walked away with a split call from a tight “Fight of the Night” affair. Then, at last year’s UFC 200 event, Assuncao returned from a long layoff to lose a clear unanimous decision.

Assuncao has since snagged three consecutive wins. Before the knockout of Lopez, Assuncao put an end to ex-WSOF-champ Marlon Moraes’ 13-fight streak and added a second straight loss to contender Aljamain Sterling’s record. Both wins came via split decision.

Still, there are roadblocks to Assuncao’s title path. After his win over Garbrandt, Dillashaw made it clear that he’d like to finally make that bout with flyweight kingpin Demetrious Johnson happen. Not to mention former 135-pound champ Dominick Cruz and contender Jimmie Rivera, who were supposed to meet each other in what had the makings of a title-eliminator bout before Cruz had to pull out.

Assuncao is currently No. 4 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA bantamweight rankings. Garbrandt and Cruz are immediately below Dillashaw, as No. 2 and No. 3 respectively, while Rivera appears just below Assuncao at No. 5.

RelatedJimmie Rivera: 'Mighty Mouse' blocking my deserved title fight with T.J. Dillashaw

Even if it doesn’t happen now, though, Assuncao believes his long-awaited attempt to claim gold is only a matter of time.

“Look – I’m not the type of fighter who’ll get up there and do backflips and fancy stuff,” Assuncao said. “But I’m very consistent. I show up, I make weight, and I do my job. I don’t talk. I don’t do anything. I have fun. I treat people well.

“I’m a martial artist. And a title shot will come.”

To hear from Assuncao, check out the video above.

And for complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Raphael Assuncao (red gloves) celebrates beating Matthew Lopez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Raphael Assuncao (red gloves) fights Matthew Lopez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Raphael Assuncao (red gloves) fights Matthew Lopez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Raphael Assuncao (red gloves) fights Matthew Lopez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Raphael Assuncao (red gloves) fights Matthew Lopez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Raphael Assuncao (red gloves) fights Matthew Lopez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Raphael Assuncao (red gloves) fights Matthew Lopez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Raphael Assuncao (red gloves) fights Matthew Lopez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Raphael Assuncao (red gloves) fights Matthew Lopez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Raphael Assuncao (red gloves) fights Matthew Lopez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Raphael Assuncao (red gloves) fights Matthew Lopez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Raphael Assuncao (red gloves) fights Matthew Lopez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Raphael Assuncao (red gloves) celebrates beating Matthew Lopez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-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/weGFvJzmwfc4yoLK3TKmQG/284226", customAnalytics: true, title: "Assuncao def. Lopez", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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Matt Brown's win, Diego Sanchez's loss, and a conflict as old as the fight game

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

History told us what was going to happen when Matt Brown met Diego Sanchez in UFC Fight Night 120’s co-main event on Saturday. Not just in the fight itself, but in everything that came after.

You take a grizzled old junkyard dog like Sanchez (27-11 MMA, 16-11 UFC), up a weight class and in there against a human woodchipper like Brown (21-16 MMA, 14-10 UFC), who swears it’s his last fight? You look at the knockouts that never used to find their way to Sanchez’s door, but only recently seemed to figure out exactly where he lives. You factor in the chance for Brown to get a finish that might be the finish.

What you have there is a recipe for sudden unconscious that would leave one man in doubt and the other as resolute as ever.

What’s too bad is that each of those post-fight feelings found their way to the wrong man. But then, you knew that would happen too, didn’t you?

Start with Brown, who was offered a fond farewell on a silver platter here. Sanchez doesn’t have the size or power or resiliency for welterweight these days. He also no longer has the quickness or speed that might otherwise be the smaller man’s saving grace. As Brown caught Sanchez’s kick and used it to walk him back into the fence, you could almost see him doing this math in his head.

Then came the elbow, an almost disdainful blow that went arcing down through Sanchez’s hopeless defenses. One was all it took to turn Sanchez upside-down and inside-out. The way Brown lingered over his crumpled body before being shoved away and into his victory celebration, you kind of got the sense that he was wishing it would have required more of him.

RelatedUFC Fight Night 120 results: Matt Brown survives near finish, devastates Diego Sanchez

So yeah, of course retirement doesn’t sound like such a great idea now. Of course he’s doubting his own decision. Why wouldn’t he?

He felt great out there, man. He had a great training camp. He was fit and focused and determined, which sometimes happens to fighters when they tell themselves it’s the last time they’ll ever have to put themselves through this. Then he went out there and smashed the guy who seemed tailor-made for smashing.

On one hand, what are the odds he’ll ever find a better win to end on? On the other, why quit when you clearly don’t have to yet?

But then you have to ask yourself what it will look like when you have to. And chances are, it’ll look a lot like what’s been going on with Sanchez lately. Not that he is in any way capable of seeing it for what it is.

RelatedMatt Brown after UFC-Norfolk knockout win: Retirement decision can wait until later

Sanchez, to the surprise of absolutely no one, was grinning through the scar tissue over on Instagram after his second straight knockout loss, assuring us, “I’m not done.”

“I still have fight in me,” Sanchez wrote.

In a way, you know that’s probably true. Even if he doesn’t have any more wins left in him, he still has the will and the desire to march directly into the cannon fire. That’ll probably be the last thing to go, which is a good way to get yourself badly hurt in this sport.

But what else is he supposed to do? He doesn’t want to go out like that. Plus, while he’s somehow only 35, in terms of chronological age, this has been Sanchez’s life for the last 15 years. He broke into the UFC by winning “The Ultimate Fighter’s” first season, for crying out loud. You think after all that he’s going to, what, go and get a job at a bank?

RelatedDiego Sanchez after brutal KO loss to Matt Brown at UFC-Norfolk: 'I'm not done yet'

These are some of the oldest conflicts in the fight game. It’s relatively easy to start this life, especially when you’re young enough that you can’t even imagine ever getting old. It’s stopping that proves to be the hard part, because whether the game tries to spit you out by force or whether it gives you the gentlest push at the end of a last loving embrace, you’re always going to wonder if it has more to offer.

Maybe just one more. And then we’ll see. But yeah, probably one more after that, just to be sure.

Because to even make it this far, you had to build up that brand of stubborn momentum, the kind that’ll carry you crashing through one wall after another – and there are a lot of them in this sport.

You can tell yourself you’re going to slow down gradually. Or you can vow to keep picking up speed. Either way, it’s probably not going to prepare you for the sudden force of that final stop.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Matt Brown (red gloves) celebrates beating Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Matt Brown (red gloves) fights Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Matt Brown (red gloves) fights Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Matt Brown (red gloves) fights Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Matt Brown (red gloves) fights Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Matt Brown (red gloves) fights Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Matt Brown (red gloves) fights Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Matt Brown (red gloves) fights Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Matt Brown (red gloves) fights Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Matt Brown (red gloves) fights Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Matt Brown (red gloves) fights Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Matt Brown (red gloves) fights Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Matt Brown (red gloves) fights Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Matt Brown (red gloves) celebrates beating Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-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/MnxDjequPU9LmscLAW63Ee/284250", customAnalytics: true, title: "Brown def. Sanchez", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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Bellator 187 highlights: Charlie Ward's TKO set off a Conor McGregor fiasco

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, Videos

Conor McGregor provided the most buzz-worthy moment on Friday at Bellator 187, but the actual sanctioned fighting had some highlights, as well.

While McGregor, the UFC lightweight champion set off a melee earlier on the card, the event, which took place at 3Arena in Dublin and aired via same-day delay on Spike, saw some familiar names in the action.

RelatedCommission rep issues statement on Conor McGregor 'assault' at Bellator 187

In the headliner, A.J. McKee (10-0 MMA, 10-0 BMMA) continued his undefeated pro run – and moved to 10-0 while fighting exclusively for Bellator – after putting featherweight Brian Moore (10-6 MMA, 1-2 BMMA) to sleep. McKee endured a nasty cut and a rally from his opponent, but he ultimately got the fight-ending rear naked choke in the third round.

Also on the card, Sinead Kavanagh (5-2 MMA, 2-2 BMMA), who missed weight for the 140-pound catchweight affair, nonetheless made quick work of Maria Casanova (3-6-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) en route to a 34-second TKO win.

Additionally, in a 161-pound catchweight fight, “Baby Slice” – Kevin Ferguson Jr. (2-1 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) – submitted Fred Freeman (1-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) in less than two minutes.

And in the main-card opener, middleweight Charlie Ward (4-3 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) scored a first-round TKO win over John Redmond (7-13 MMA, 0-1 BMMA), though his teammate, McGregor, set off this scene (via Twitter):

Madness in Dublin thanks to @TheNotoriousMMA!!! DO NOT miss #Bellator187 TONIGHT on @spike 9/8c pic.twitter.com/BGWcOBDvFb

— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) November 10, 2017

Check out all of the highlights above.

And for more on Bellator 187, including a full event recap, check out the MMA Events section of the site.


Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, Videos

Sage Northcutt focused solely on UFC career with college no longer holding him back

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

NORFOLK, Va. – Something to consider for those who forgot how young Sage Northcutt really is: While other fighters talk about recovering from broken bones or torn ligaments, the 21-year-old from Texas can’t stop talking about how good he feels after having his tonsils and wisdom teeth removed.

After his unanimous-decision victory over Michel Quinones (8-3 MMA, 0-2 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 120, words like “amazing” and “blessing” came tripping off Northcutt’s tongue, which is hardly a surprise for the youthful and exuberant young fighter.

But if you ask Northcutt (9-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC), the real difference in his life now as opposed to when he made his UFC debut may be one of focus.

As he was quick to point out after his victory at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va., on Saturday night, when fans got their first look at him he was still splitting his time between training and school. Now he’s not only more mature as a fighter, he’s also more single-minded in his pursuits.

RelatedUFC-Norfolk Twitter reaction: Sage Northcutt's return, Clay Guida's blowout, more

“Since my very first fight in the UFC, it was about two years ago, I was 19 years old,” Northcutt told MMAjunkie. “I was studying in school at the same time. I was coming out of high school. I was actually in college at Texas A&M University, so my very first fight, I was doing school at the same time. My next few fights, I was in school. But now I’ve withdrawn from school, and I’m focusing full-time on the UFC and fighting. Now I’m training at Team Alpha Male, one of the best teams in the world, and I’m growing as a fighter, getting better and better.”

According to Northcutt, he first connected with Team Alpha Male founder Urijah Faber via Instagram. The training he’s gotten there has helped him improve his overall game, he said, and his return to lightweight has helped him get back on the winning track after two losses at welterweight.

“I’m working my way up, one fight at a time,” Northcutt said. “I’m back down at lightweight, undefeated at lightweight, so that’s a blessing. I’ve been 4-0 as a lightweight. … Obviously in the future, I’m going to be looking forward to getting a belt and having Team Alpha Male there with me.”

As for his overall trajectory in the UFC, Northcutt was quick to point out that, despite his two years of UFC experience, seemingly all of which has come in the glare of the spotlight, he’s still a young fighter. That means that, while he may make some mistakes along the way, there’s also a lot of potential for growth still to come.

“I am still a kid, 21 years old right now,” Northcutt said. “I was the youngest person in the UFC to come in and win their first fight in the UFC. … I’m still growing, still getting better as a fighter, too.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Sage Northcutt (red gloves) celebrates beating Michel Quinones (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Sage Northcutt (red gloves) fights Michel Quinones (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Sage Northcutt (red gloves) fights Michel Quinones (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Sage Northcutt (red gloves) fights Michel Quinones (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Sage Northcutt (red gloves) fights Michel Quinones (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Sage Northcutt (red gloves) fights Michel Quinones (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Sage Northcutt (red gloves) fights Michel Quinones (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Sage Northcutt (red gloves) fights Michel Quinones (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Sage Northcutt (red gloves) fights Michel Quinones (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Sage Northcutt (red gloves) fights Michel Quinones (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Sage Northcutt (red gloves) fights Michel Quinones (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Sage Northcutt (red gloves) fights Michel Quinones (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Sage Northcutt (red gloves) fights Michel Quinones (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Sage Northcutt (red gloves) fights Michel Quinones (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-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/fTHEXUGswpn6n5W4DMKpr5/283983", customAnalytics: true, title: "Northcutt def. Quinones", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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Andrei Arlovski relieved after UFC Fight Night 120 win: 'Finally I broke the streak of losing'

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

NORFOLK, Va. – Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski relieved a significant amount of pressure from his shoulders Saturday when he snapped a five-fight losing skid with a decision victory over Junior Albini at UFC Fight Night 120.

Arlovski’s (26-15 MMA, 15-9 UFC) UFC career was likely on the line against Albini (14-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC), but he managed to get back in the win column for the first time since September 2015 and credited sticking to his game plan for the result.

“Finally my hard work pays off and for the first time in a long, long time I stick to my game plan,” Arlovski told MMAjunkie after the fight. “It was not 100 percent, but 95 percent. I kept my hands up. Coach told me, ‘Don’t clinch,’ but I clinched a couple times. I’m very happy now.”

RelatedJunior Albini's diaper-looking Reebok shorts at UFC-Norfolk were impossible to ignore

“The Pitbull” had many doubters going into UFC Fight Night 120, which took place at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va., and aired on FS1. His stretch of defeats came to the likes of UFC champ Stipe Miocic, Alistair Overeem, Josh Barnett, and Francis Ngannou, and a matchup with a hot prospect like Albini was a big test for the 38-year-old.

Arlovski’s experience played to his advantage, but he credited Albini for putting up a tough challenge.

“I have a lot of respect for Junior,” Arlovski said. “I came after the fight to the medical room, and I wished him luck in his future fights. Respect. Tonight it wasn’t personal, it was just business. Tonight I think I needed it more than he does. Of course I look for the KO, but my coach said when I go out, and I just need to keep my hands up. I did this pretty well.”

With 24 UFC bouts on his resume, Arlovski has fought the majority of big names in the heavyweight division. He believes he has a few more years of high-level competition left in him, and he said he will be willing to take on whoever UFC matchmakers throw his way.

“I want to go back home to my wife and my son, but I think I’ll be ready by February or March,” Arlovski said. “Of course it’s up to Dana White and the UFC. 2016 sucks for me, beginning and middle of the year in 2017 was same thing. Finally I broke the streak of losing fights.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Andrei Arlovski (blue gloves) celebrates beating J nior Albini (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; J nior Albini (red gloves) fights Andrei Arlovski (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; J nior Albini (red gloves) fights Andrei Arlovski (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; J nior Albini (red gloves) fights Andrei Arlovski (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; J nior Albini (red gloves) fights Andrei Arlovski (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; J nior Albini (red gloves) fights Andrei Arlovski (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; J nior Albini (red gloves) fights Andrei Arlovski (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; J nior Albini (red gloves) fights Andrei Arlovski (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; J nior Albini (red gloves) fights Andrei Arlovski (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; J nior Albini (red gloves) fights Andrei Arlovski (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; J nior Albini (red gloves) fights Andrei Arlovski (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; J nior Albini (red gloves) fights Andrei Arlovski (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; J nior Albini (red gloves) fights Andrei Arlovski (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; J nior Albini (red gloves) fights Andrei Arlovski (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; J nior Albini (red gloves) fights Andrei Arlovski (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; J nior Albini (red gloves) fights Andrei Arlovski (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; J nior Albini (red gloves) fights Andrei Arlovski (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Andrei Arlovski (blue gloves) celebrates beating J nior Albini (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Andrei Arlovski (blue gloves) celebrates beating J nior Albini (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Andrei Arlovski (blue gloves) celebrates beating J nior Albini (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-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/MjAnt2GJz28D7S5Cas6N2e/284175", customAnalytics: true, title: "Arlovski def. Albini", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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Mirko Cro Cop returns, meets Tsuyoshi Kohsaka at Dec. 31 Rizin FF event

Mirko Cro Cop is coming out of retirement. Again.

The veteran MMA fighter and kickboxer, who’s previously announced multiple retirements of sorts that never quite stuck, is returning to action again.

Risen FF officials today announced Cro Cop (35-11-2) will fight fellow heavyweight Tsuyoshi Kohsaka (29-12-2) on Dec. 31. The event, “Rizin FF 9: World Grand Prix Final Round,” takes place at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, and it steams on FITE TV in North America.

The announcement came on day after Rizin FF President Nobuyuki Sakakibara first mentioned that Cro Cop was returning to action to fight “a few more times” with the promotion (via Instagram):

Cro Cop, a 43-year-old UFC and PRIDE vet, claimed Rizin FF’s 2016 open-weight grand prix title after winning four fights – over the likes of Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal and Amir Aliakbari – to close out last year. It pushed the Croatian striker’s overall winning streak to seven fights. After the tourney win, he hit the sidelines but left open the door for a possible return.

He now meets Kohsaka, a 47-year-old Japanese fighter who’s a vet at both MMA and pro wrestling. He made his MMA debut 23 years ago and has fought some of the biggest names in the sport. Since returning from a nine-year layoff from 2006-2015, the famed grappler and former King of Pancrase is 1-1 with a TKO victory over James Thompson and a decision defeat to Baruto Kaito – both under the Rizin FF banner.

Rizin FF 9 also featured the conclusion of the organization’s men’s bantamweight and women’s atomweight tournaments.

For more on Rizin FF 9, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.


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Karl Roberson 'coming for everybody' as classic UFC climb to top gets underway

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NORFOLK, Va. – Karl Roberson has no problem being honest about his career intentions following a successful UFC debut on Saturday night at UFC Fight Night 120. Why? Because he knows everyone else in the sport is thinking the same.

Roberson (6-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC), who earned a first-round submission victory over Darren Stewart (7-2 MMA, 0-2 UFC) in a UFC Fight Pass-streamed middleweight bout at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va., is early in his career and has an ambitious mindset. Naturally, that has him gunning for the top.

“Everybody wants the belt,” Stewart told MMAjunkie following his victory. “What’s the point of being in this type of sport if you don’t want to be the best? I’m here to be the best. Top 10, top five, No. 1 (contender), champion. I’m coming for everybody.”

After earning a UFC contract with a 15-second TKO win on Dana White’s Contender Series 3 in August, Roberson said he wanted to deliver big in his official octagon debut.

“The win on the Contender Series was stressful,” Roberson said. “It was like the opening to everything. It either happened, or you’ve got to start all over again. Now I got to the big show; now I can have fun. Now I can show every part of my game. Now it’s time to really enjoy it.”

Roberson, 27, said he felt his ground game was being discounted in the lead-up to the contest. He managed to tap out Stewart in less than 4 minutes, though, and he said future opponents must be aware of what he can do.

“Everyone thinks I’m just a kickboxer; I’m dangerous everywhere,” Roberson said. “When he started wrestling, I got the hip toss on him, I knew we had time left in the round. So when I got his back there’s nothing he can do there.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Darren Stewart (red gloves) fights Karl Roberson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Darren Stewart (red gloves) fights Karl Roberson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Darren Stewart (red gloves) fights Karl Roberson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Darren Stewart (red gloves) fights Karl Roberson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Darren Stewart (red gloves) fights Karl Roberson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Darren Stewart (red gloves) fights Karl Roberson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Darren Stewart (red gloves) fights Karl Roberson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-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/hyt65LSYbHJ7mbveCfNtb/283894", customAnalytics: true, title: "Roberson def. Stewart", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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UFC Fight Night 120 Athlete Outfitting pay: Highest non-PPV payout in program history

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NORFOLK, Va. – Fighters from Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 120 event took home UFC Athlete Outfitting pay, a program that launched after the UFC’s deal with Reebok, totaling $245,000.

UFC Fight Night 120 took place at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va. The card aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Seven fighters on the card earned a maximum non-title payout of $20,000, the most of any card thus far in the history of the program.

The full UFC Fight Night 120 UFC Athlete Outfitting payouts included:

Dustin Poirier: $20,000
def. Anthony Pettis: $15,000

Matt Brown: $20,000
def. Diego Sanchez: $20,000

Andrei Arlovski: $20,000
def. Junior Albini: $2,500

Cezar Ferreira: $10,000
def. Nate Marquardt: $20,000

Raphael Assuncao: $15,000
def. Matthew Lopez: $2,500

Clay Guida: $20,000
def. Joe Lauzon: $20,000

Marlon Moraes: $2,500
def. John Dodson: $10,000

Tatiana Suarez: $2,500
def. Viviane Pereira: $2,500

Sage Northcutt: $5,000
def. Michel Quinones: $2,500

Nina Ansaroff: $2,500
def. Angela Hill: $5,000

Sean Strickland: $5,000
def. Court McGee: $10,000

Jake Collier: $5,000
def. Marcel Fortuna: $2,500

Karl Roberson: $2,500
def. Darren Stewart: $2,500

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: $5,322,500
2016 total: $7,138,000
2015 total: $3,185,000
Program-to-date total: $15,645,500

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) reacts after beating Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) walks out for the fight against Dustin Poirier (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) walks out tot he fight against Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) celebrates beating Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) leaves the fight against Dustin Poirier (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-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/oLeXGUMhkr8i7LDMVe8As8/284140", customAnalytics: true, title: "Poirier def. Pettis", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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Fight Tracks: The walkout songs of UFC Fight Night 120

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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 120 in Norfolk, Va., went with as their backing tracks.

* * * *

Dustin Poirier def. Anthony Pettis via TKO (submission due to injury) – Round 3, 2:08

Dustin Poirier: “The Boss” by James Brown

Anthony Pettis: “Showtime” by Jim Jones & Tum Tum

Matt Brown def. Diego Sanchez via knockout (elbow) – Round 1, 3:44

Matt Brown: “The Immortal” by Jasta

Diego Sanchez: “Hall of Fame” by Script feat. WILL.I.AM

Andrei Arlovski def. Junior Albini via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)

Andrei Arlovski: “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” by Johnny Cash

Junior Albini: “It’s a Fight” by Three 6 Mafia

Cezar Ferreira def. Nate Marquardt via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

Cezar Ferreira: “Gonna Fly Now” by Bill Conti

Nate Marquardt: “Why Wait” by P.O.D.

Raphael Assuncao def. Matthew Lopez via knockout (punch) – Round 3, 1:50

Raphael Assuncao: “Podo Vir” by Tiago Brasil

Matthew Lopez: “Lunatic Fringe” by Red Rider

Clay Guida def. Joe Lauzon via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 1:07

Clay Guida: “Kickstart My Heart” by Motley Crue

Joe Lauzon: “Move” by Thousand Foot Krutch

Marlon Moraes def. John Dodson via split decision (30-27, 27-30, 30-27)

Marlon Moraes: “Coming Home” by Diddy Dirty Money feat. Skylar Grey

John Dodson: “Children of the Night” by Kids Next Door

Tatiana Suarez def. Viviane Pereira via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)

Tatiana Suarez: “Heads Will Roll” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Viviane Pereira: “Pesadao” by IZA

Sage Northcutt def. Michel Quinones via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Sage Northcutt: “Represent” by Lecrae feat. Tedashi

Michel Quinones: “Mi Gente” by J Balvin

Nina Ansaroff def. Angela Hill via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Nina Ansaroff: “Try Everything” by Shakira

Angela Hill: “Battle Hymn” by Manowar

Sean Strickland def. Court McGee via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Sean Strickland: “Star Spangled Banner” by Electric Guitar

Court McGee: “Cinderella Man” by Eminem

Jake Collier def. Marcel Fortuna via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Jake Collier: “Remember My Name” by Maino

Marcel Fortuna: “Shoot to Thrill” by AC/DC

Karl Roberson def. Darren Stewart via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 3:41

Karl Roberson: “New Level” by A$AP Ferg feat. Future

Darren Stewart: “Original Nuttah” by Shy-FX

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) reacts after beating Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) walks out for the fight against Dustin Poirier (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) walks out tot he fight against Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) celebrates beating Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) leaves the fight against Dustin Poirier (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-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/oLeXGUMhkr8i7LDMVe8As8/284133", customAnalytics: true, title: "Poirier def. Pettis", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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Matt Brown after UFC-Norfolk knockout win: Retirement decision can wait until later

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NORFOLK, Va. – The question of whether Matt Brown’s highlight-reel knockout of Diego Sanchez at UFC Fight Night 120 will be his last will have to wait to be answered.

Brown isn’t ready to make the call yet, despite announcing that Saturday’s appearance would be his last in the octagon.

“To be honest, I’m not even thinking about it right now,” Brown told MMAjunkie after his FS1-televised win at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va. “It’s not even really a thought in my mind. I’m thinking about enjoying tonight, and we’ll talk about it later.”

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In the cage after his win, Brown (21-16 MMA, 14-10 UFC) said he would discuss the subject of retirement with friends and family before making a final decision. Until the final weeks prior to the fight, that appeared to be made. But then he walked back his declaration that he would call it a career after his meeting with Sanchez (27-11 MMA, 16-11 UFC).

A stellar training camp made Brown reconsider his end date. But there were also plenty of people telling him he shouldn’t hang it up.

“I’ve definitely had more people tell me not to retire than to retire,” Brown said. “But nobody other than me and my family really has any bearing on that – and close friends. So I’m not even going to allow anybody else’s opinions to get into my mind like that.”

Brown’s win not only added another impressive win to his resume. It also snapped a losing skid that likely motivated his decision to give himself one final chance of turning things around.

“Ending (the skid) feels good, but I felt like I needed a finish, because I wasn’t getting the job done, Brown said. “I had to at least show myself that I’m better than I’ve been fighting.”

Now that he’s done that, it’s hard to imagine Brown deciding he’s finished. But that’s a decision he’ll make for himself.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Matt Brown (red gloves) celebrates beating Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Matt Brown (red gloves) fights Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Matt Brown (red gloves) fights Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Matt Brown (red gloves) fights Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Matt Brown (red gloves) fights Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Matt Brown (red gloves) fights Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Matt Brown (red gloves) fights Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Matt Brown (red gloves) fights Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Matt Brown (red gloves) fights Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Matt Brown (red gloves) fights Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Matt Brown (red gloves) fights Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Matt Brown (red gloves) fights Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Matt Brown (red gloves) fights Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Matt Brown (red gloves) celebrates beating Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-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/MnxDjequPU9LmscLAW63Ee/284188", customAnalytics: true, title: "Brown def. Sanchez", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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