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Sean Shelby's Shoes: What's next for Jose Aldo and UFC 218's other losing fighters?

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

(ALSO SEE: Sean Shelby’s Shoes: What’s next for UFC 218’s winning fighters?)

Saturday’s UFC 218 event at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit delivered plenty of entertainment value. That won’t matter to the five losing fighters from the pay-per-view main card, though.

In the main event, Jose Aldo’s (26-4 MMA, 8-3 UFC) aspirations of a third UFC featherweight title reign were crushed by Max Holloway(19-3 MMA, 15-3 UFC). Alistair Overeem (43-16 MMA, 8-5 UFC) suffered a brutal knockout loss in the co-headliner. Additionally, Sergio Pettis (16-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC), Justin Gaethje (18-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) and Michelle Waterson (14-6 MMA, 2-2 UFC) were all topped by their foes.

After every event, fans wonder whom the losing fighters 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 218’s losing fighters.

* * * *

Michelle Waterson

Cortney Casey

Should fight: Cortney Casey
Why they should fight: Waterson suffered consecutive losses for the first time in her career when she came out of the wrong end of a unanimous decision against Tecia Torres in an important strawweight bout.

After falling short against now-champ Rose Namajunas in April, Waterson faltered against the streaking Torres, who put herself in solid standing to challenge for the title with the win.

Waterson is one of the bigger names in the 115-pound division, and as a result, she’s going to get tough competition nearly every fight. Casey (7-5 MMA, 3-4 UFC), who lost to Felice Herrig on the UFC 218 preliminary card, is a lower-ranked opponent but never an easy out.

Justin Gaethje

James Vick

Should fight: James Vick
Why they should fight: The remarkable winning streak of Gaethje was finally brought to an end courtesy of former UFC and Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez in their anticipated fight.

Gaethje suffered a third-round knockout loss to fellow “The Ultimate Fighter 26” coach Alvarez. Gaethje knows his fighting style comes with great risk, and the former WSOF titleholder finally paid the price.

Gaethje’s still a very fresh face to the UFC, and there are countless fights ahead that could bring entertainment. Surging contender Vick (12-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC), who’s riding a three-fight winning streak, is clamoring for a top-ranked opponent. Perhaps Gaethje would be a willing adversary.

Sergio Pettis

Ray Borg

Should fight: Ray Borg
Why they should fight: After putting together a solid run that put him in a title-eliminator, Pettis’ run toward the UFC flyweight title experienced a hiccup courtesy of Olympic gold medalist Henry Cejudo.

Pettis suffered a unanimous-decision loss to Cejudo that will put him back to the drawing board in terms of making a run at the 125-pound belt. At 24 he’s still got plenty of time to progress, and there’s no doubt Pettis will go right back to work.

Given his character, Pettis will search for the biggest challenge available to help him rebound. Fighting another young flyweight in Borg (11-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC), who is coming off a title-fight loss to champ Demetrious Johnson at UFC 216 in October, would provide him with an opportunity to make a statement.

Alistair Overeem

Cain Velasquez

Should fight: Cain Velasquez
Why they should fight: Overeem’s latest climb to the UFC heavyweight title suffered a critical blow courtesy of a violent Francis Ngannou knockout, and now it’s difficult to determine where “The Reem” goes from here.

Overeem is still incredibly dangerous and skilled, but the first-round loss to Ngannou is a tough setback for the former Strikeforce champ. Overeem has said the UFC belt is the one thing missing from his mantel, but after a failed title shot against now-champ Stipe Miocic at UFC 203 in September 2016, then the loss to Ngannou three fights later, he’s in a tough spot.

If Overeem has the fortitude to make another run at the belt, he could certainly do that within a few fights. It would be understandable if he weren’t up for it more than 20 years after his debut, but assuming he is, a matchup with ex-champ Velasquez (14-2 MMA, 12-2 UFC), who recently said he’s aiming for a return next year, could get him right back on track.

Jose Aldo

Should fight: Anthony Pettis
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why Aldo should move up to lightweight to fight Pettis (20-7 MMA, 7-6) next.

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

Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Ring Girl is seen before the fight between Alistair Overeem and Francis Ngannou during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Alistair Overeem (red gloves) fights Francis Ngannou (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Alistair Overeem (red gloves) fights Francis Ngannou (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Alistair Overeem (red gloves) fights Francis Ngannou (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Francis Ngannou (blue gloves) reacts to fight against Alistair Overeem (red gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Francis Ngannou (blue gloves) reacts to fight against Alistair Overeem (red gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Francis Ngannou (blue gloves) reacts to fight against Alistair Overeem (red gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/PVHvwAmcPibVKkBiQxUBCm/288847", customAnalytics: true, title: "Ngannou def. Overeem", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

After violent UFC 218 finish of Charles Oliveira, Paul Felder still welcomes Al Iaquinta next

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

DETROIT – At first Paul Felder wasn’t exactly happy about fellow lightweight Al Iaquinta pulling out of their fight.

But after beating replacement Charles Oliveira (22-8 MMA, 10-8 UFC) in violent fashion on Saturday’s featured prelim at UFC 218, Felder (22-8 MMA, 10-8 UFC) still thinks Iaquinta (13-3-1 MMA, 8-2 UFC) would be a great opponent – even if he’s still unsure as to why he withdrew from their meeting in the first place.

RelatedPaul Felder questions Al Iaquinta's ranking: '(Expletive) or get off the pot'

“I know his knee has been an issue for a really long time,” Felder said after his FS1-televised bout at UFC 218, which took place at Little Caesars Arena in downtown Detroit. “But I think he was just busy selling houses. And I’m not saying that in a disrespectful way. He said in an interview, he’s like, ‘Look, this is a guy that, if I’m going to fight him, I’m going to go full out, and I want to be fully prepared.’

“And I took that as a sign of respect. Maybe with more time. Maybe if we say spring or summer and build it up, maybe me and him could kind of co-headline or headline something, and I think that’s something people can get behind.”

This could be a tough one to put together, considering a recent chat with B.J. Penn Radio had Iaquinta, who also discussed his withdrawal from UFC 218, questioning his very future as an MMA fighter. But a tweet that “Raging” threw directly at Felder today showed that at least he’s aware of his peer’s interest – until he deleted it.

RelatedUFC 218 results: Paul Felder survives Charles Oliveira's ground game, gets second-round KO

While his UFC future has yet to be determined, Felder can celebrate a pretty impressive present. The second-round knockout of Oliveira rounded out a perfect UFC year for Felder, who knocked out all of his three opponents while earning two “Performance of the Night” bonuses in the process.

The beautifully violent finish, though, didn’t come easy. First, it involved getting out of a tight D’Arce choke that, worsened by an “idiotic” mistake in trying to escape, had Felder concerned.

“For a minute there, I was like, ‘I’m going to get choked out,'” Felder said.

After gasping for air, though, Felder was able to escape. And the risk he took in staying on the ground with the grappling-savvy Oliveira paid off later, when he unleashed some hellish elbows to prompt a stoppage in the second round of the lightweight encounter.

But it wasn’t exactly all smooth sailing there, either, and Felder found himself in the unpleasant position of having to keep punishing an opponent who he had felt tapping.

“Me and (referee Dan Miragliotta) were just talking about it,” Felder said. “He saw (the tap) too, but he thought he was saying like, ‘Wow, nice shot.’ Hey, in the heat of the moment – I’m doing my job. You guys saw me pause for a second. And then he’s still there, and the fight’s not over. And you better believe I’m not stopping until somebody pulls me off. I couldn’t believe how many more I got off before the fight was stopped. …

“On camera, it probably looks like it’s about 0.1 of a second but, for me, it feels like 10 seconds of me being like, ‘Is it going to be over?'”

Felder’s year in the octagon is most likely over, but he’s not off the hook with the UFC just yet. After spending some time with his daughter, whom he paid homage to with an adorable Peppa Pig mouthguard on Saturday, the lightweight will be in the commentary booth for next weekend’s UFC Fight Night 123.

To hear Felder’s full chat with reporters, check out the video above.

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


Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

UFC 218 post-event facts: Max Holloway and Francis Ngannou doing record-setting stuff

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Filed under: News, UFC

“The Blessed Era” continued in a big way on Saturday when UFC featherweight champon Max Holloway further added to his ridiculous resume with another victory over Jose Aldo in UFC 218[s pay-per-view headliner.

Holloway (19-3 MMA, 15-3 UFC) defended his 145-pound title for the first time with a third-round TKO of Aldo (26-4 MMA, 8-3 UFC) at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.

“Blessed” wasn’t the only one to put himself in the record books, though. For more on the numbers to come out of the UFC’s penultimate pay-per-view of the year, check below for 60 post-event facts from UFC 218.

* * * *

General

Little Caesars Arena

The UFC-Reebok Athlete Outfitting payout for the event totaled $185,000.

Eddie Alvarez, Justin Gaethje, Yancy Medeiros and Alex Oliveira earned $50,000 UFC 218 fight-night bonuses. All earned “Fight of the Night” bonuses (“Performance of the Night” awards weren’t issued).

Debuting fighters went 0-1 on the card.

UFC 218 drew an announced attendance of 17,587 for a live gate of $2 million.

Betting favorites went 10-3 on the card.

Total fight time for the 13-bout card was 2:11:47.

Main card

Max Holloway

Holloway extended his career-high winning streak to 12 fights. He hasn’t suffered a defeat since August 2013.

Holloway, 25, became the youngest fighter in UFC history to earn 15 victories with the organization.

Holloway became the fifth fighter in UFC history to tally a 12-fight winning streak.

Holloway’s 12-fight winning streak in UFC competition is fifth longest in company history behind Anderson Silva (16), Jon Jones (13), Demetrious Johnson (13) and Georges St-Pierre (13).

Holloway’s 12-fight winning streak in UFC competition is third longest among active fighters in the company behind Johnson (13) and St-Pierre (13).

Holloway’s 11-fight UFC winning streak in featherweight competition is the longest active streak in the division.

Max Holloway

Holloway’s 14 victories in UFC featherweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Holloway’s nine stoppage victories in UFC featherweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Holloway’s seven knockout victories in UFC featherweight competition are most in divisional history.

Holloway became the first fighter in UFC history to land 100 or more significant strikes in six separate fights.

Aldo fell to 1-3 in his past four fights after going undefeated for more than a decade.

Aldo has suffered all three of his career losses by stoppage. That includes three knockout losses in UFC competition.

Francis Ngannou

Francis Ngannou’s (11-1 MMA, 6-0 UFC) six-fight winning streak in UFC heavyweight competition is the longest active streak in the division.

Ngannou’s six-fight stoppage streak in UFC competition is the longest among active fighters.

Ngannou became the fourth modern-era UFC fighter to begin his career with the organization with six consecutive stoppages. Silva, Rich Franklin and Ronda Rousey also accomplished the feat.

Ngannou has earned all 11 of his career victories by stoppage.

Ngannou has earned five of his six UFC victories by knockout.

Alistair Overeem

Alistair Overeem (43-15 MMA, 8-5 UFC) fell to 7-2 in his past nine UFC appearances dating back to December 2014.

Overeem’s 11 knockout losses in MMA competition are the most of any active member on the UFC roster.

Henry Cejudo (12-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) has earned five of his six UFC victories by decision.

Sergio Pettis (16-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC) fell to 4-2 since he dropped to the UFC flyweight division in March 2015.

Pettis suffered the first decision loss of his career.

Eddie Alvarez

Alvarez (29-5 MMA, 4-2 UFC) improved to 1-1 (with one no-contest) in his past three fights.

Alvarez has earned 23 of his 29 career victories by stoppage.

Alvarez and Gaethje (18-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) combined for 227 significant strikes landed, the fourth highest single-fight total in UFC lightweight history.

Gaethje had his 18-fight winning streak snapped for the first defeat of his career.

Tecia Torres’ (10-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) six victories in UFC strawweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Joanna Jedrzejczyk (eight).

Torres has earned nine of her 10 career victories by decision.

Michelle Waterson (14-6 MMA, 2-2 UFC) suffered her first decision loss since June 30, 2007 – a span of 3,808 days (more than 10 years) and 18 fights.

Preliminary card

Paul Felder

Paul Felder (15-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC) has earned five of his seven UFC victories by stoppage.

Charles Oliveira (22-8 MMA, 10-8 UFC) fell to 1-1 since he returned to the UFC lightweight division in April 2017. He’s 3-4 in the organization at 155 pounds.

Charles Oliveira fell to 2-4 in his past six fights.

Charles Oliveira has suffered seven of his eight career losses by stoppage.

Yancy Medeiros vs. Alex Oliveira

Medeiros (15-4 MMA, 6-4 UFC) improved to 3-0 since he moved up to the UFC welterweight division in September 2016.

Medeiros has earned all three of his UFC welterweight victories by stoppage.

Medeiros vs. Alex Oliveira (17-4-1 MMA, 7-3 UFC) was the first fight in UFC history to feature two knockdowns for each fighter.

Alex Oliveira (17-4-1 MMA, 7-3 UFC) fell to 5-2 (with one no-contest) in UFC welterweight competition.

Alex Oliveira suffered the first knockout loss of his career.

Drakkar Klose (8-1-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) had his nine-fight unbeaten streak snapped for the first defeat of his career.

Felice Herrig

Felice Herrig’s (14-6 MMA, 5-1 UFC) five victories in UFC strawweight competition are tied with champ Rose Namajunas for third most in divisional history behind Jedrzejczyk (eight) and Torres (six).

Herrig’s four-fight UFC winning streak in strawweight competition is the longest active streak in the division.

Herrig has earned nine of her 14 career victories by decision.

Cortney Casey (7-5 MMA, 3-4 UFC) has suffered all four of her UFC losses by decision.

Amanda Cooper

Amanda Cooper (3-3 MMA, 2-2 UFC) earned the first knockout victory of her career.

Angela Magana (11-9 MMA, 0-3 UFC) suffered her fifth consecutive loss to extend the longest skid of her career. She hasn’t earned a victory since August 2011.

Magana suffered the first knockout loss of her career.

Abdul Razak Alhassan (8-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) has earned all his career victories by first-round knockout.

Sabah Homasi (11-7 MMA, 0-2 UFC) has suffered six of his seven career losses by stoppage.

Dominick Reyes

Dominick Reyes (8-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) has earned seven of his eight career victories by first-round stoppage. That includes both of his UFC wins.

Jeremy Kimball (15-7 MMA, 1-2 UFC) has suffered all seven of his career losses by stoppage.

Kimball has suffered six of his seven career losses by submission.

Justin Willis (6-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) has earned all of his career stoppage victories by knockout.

Allen Crowder (9-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) has suffered all three of his career losses by knockout.

For complete coverage of UFC 218, 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.

Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Ring Girl is seen before the fight between Alistair Overeem and Francis Ngannou during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Alistair Overeem (red gloves) fights Francis Ngannou (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Alistair Overeem (red gloves) fights Francis Ngannou (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Alistair Overeem (red gloves) fights Francis Ngannou (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Francis Ngannou (blue gloves) reacts to fight against Alistair Overeem (red gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Francis Ngannou (blue gloves) reacts to fight against Alistair Overeem (red gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Francis Ngannou (blue gloves) reacts to fight against Alistair Overeem (red gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/PVHvwAmcPibVKkBiQxUBCm/288806", customAnalytics: true, title: "Ngannou def. Overeem", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC

After UFC 218 win, Tecia Torres wants rubber match with new champ Rose Namajunas

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

Tecia Torres won her third straight fight with a unanimous-decision victory over Michelle Waterson on Saturday at UFC 218, which leaves the question of what should come next for “The Tiny Tornado” in a suddenly wide open women’s strawweight division.

Fortunately, Torres (10-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) has some ideas on the matter. As she told reporters after she outlasted Waterson (14-6 MMA, 2-2 UFC) in Detroit’s pay-per-view opener on Saturday in Detroit, she could see herself in a fight with fellow contender Claudia Gadelha (15-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC), or maybe even taking on the eventual winner of the slated bout between Karolina Kowalkiewicz (11-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) and Jessica Andrade (17-6 MMA, 8-4 UFC), who are expected to fight in February at UFC on FOX 28.

“But really, I’d like a title fight,” Torres said. “I’d like that grudge match. I think it’s a fight that fans want to see.”

Of course, fans already have seen it. Twice, in fact. Current UFC women’s strawweight champion Rose Namajunas (7-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC) split a pair of bouts with Torres, with Torres claiming the decision victory in the first meeting at Invicta FC 6 in 2013, and Namajunas winning the UFC rematch via the same method last year.

RelatedUFC 218 results: Cardio pays dividends for Tecia Torres in decision win over Michelle Waterson

What’s more, the two young fighters each had the honor of giving each other the first professional losses of their respective careers, so already there’s plenty of history between them.

“I think the story is there,” Torres said. “And I think it would be a great fight for the fans and for myself. Nothing against Rose, business is business. I want that title fight, and I’ve been wanting it for a long time.”

Namajunas is fresh off her upset victory over longtime champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 217, where she stunned the MMA world with a first-round TKO of one of the UFC’s most dominant champions. And while Jedrzejczyk has vowed to reclaim her title, no future plans have been announced regarding the division’s next title fight.

RelatedNew champ Rose Namajunas 'sick of all the hate' in MMA, vows to set good example after UFC 217

According to Torres, the quick win by Namajunas was an impressive one, but didn’t leave a lot of opportunities for film study.

“I was totally impressed by Rose in her last fight, but I mean … there wasn’t really much to see out of that,” Torres said. “You’ve seen Rose as a fighter. She’s very unpredictable. She’s very good at her jiu-jitsu, very good striker, well-rounded fighter. Every fight presents something new, so I wouldn’t be able to pick something out of there. It would just be me and her fighting.”

Fortunately for Torres, she has plenty of experience there with two fights against Namajunas already. If she could face her for a third time, she said, and this time in a five-round fight rather than a three-rounder, she’s confident that her cardio and fast pace would become an advantage.

“I know how she hits,” Torres said. “I’ve taken her hits for six rounds, so it’d be a fun fight, and I’d be very comfortable and just excited about it. She’s a true representation of the strawweight division, and it’d be an honor to fight her a third time for a title.”

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

Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; UFC Tecia Torres (red gloves) reacts after fight against Michelle Waterson (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; UFC Tecia Torres (red gloves) fights Michelle Waterson (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; UFC Tecia Torres (red gloves) fights Michelle Waterson (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; UFC Tecia Torres (red gloves) fights Michelle Waterson (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; UFC Tecia Torres (red gloves) fights Michelle Waterson (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; UFC Tecia Torres (red gloves) fights Michelle Waterson (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; UFC Tecia Torres (red gloves) fights Michelle Waterson (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; UFC Tecia Torres (red gloves) fights Michelle Waterson (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; UFC Tecia Torres (red gloves) fights Michelle Waterson (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; UFC Tecia Torres (red gloves) fights Michelle Waterson (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; UFC Tecia Torres (red gloves) fights Michelle Waterson (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; UFC Tecia Torres (red gloves) fights Michelle Waterson (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; UFC Tecia Torres (red gloves) and Michelle Waterson (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; UFC Tecia Torres (red gloves) fights Michelle Waterson (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; UFC Tecia Torres (red gloves) fights Michelle Waterson (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; UFC Tecia Torres (red gloves) fights Michelle Waterson (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; UFC Tecia Torres (red gloves) reacts after fight against Michelle Waterson (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/yQU6vGvvBqsaKpEupqHV4n/288769", customAnalytics: true, title: "Torres def. Waterson", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

Johnson and Dillashaw? Henry Cejudo will fight either, but says 135 champ 'in for a treat' at 125

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

After his unanimous-decision victory over Sergio Pettis on Saturday at UFC 218 in Detroit, Henry Cejudo is ready for something bigger.

Whether that’s a rematch with current UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson (27-2-1 MMA, 15-1-1 UFC) or a fight against UFC bantamweight titleholder T.J. Dillashaw (15-3 MMA, 11-3 UFC), who has teased the idea of coming down a weight class, Cejudo’s up for either, as he told reporters following UFC 218.

“From what I’ve heard, (Johnson) doesn’t really want to fight (Dillashaw) just yet, or he wants the right money,” Cejudo said. “And I said I’ll welcome T.J. to the weight class. If D.J. does not want to fight him, I’ll fight T.J. I know with him, he’s a former wrestler, it’s going to be a mixed fight. I like it at 125 pounds.”

What the Olympic gold medal-winning wrestler does not like, however, are Dillashaw’s chances of becoming a two-division champion if he meets Johnson at flyweight. In fact, Cejudo (12-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) said, he thinks a Johnson-Dillashaw fight would be great for the 125-pound division, mostly because it would show people how good Johnson really is.

“I have no rivalry with T.J., but I can see Demetrious Johnson easily handling T.J.,” Cejudo said. “Because you lose an additional 10 pounds against the pound-for-pound king, going down to his weight class? Well-rounded, good wrestler, good striker, just a great mixed martial artist? Man, you’re in for a treat. He can say he’s light and everything, but when you get down to 125 pounds, you’re going to feel it the next day. And Demetrious is a cardio machine. I think that’s what’s going to make that fight dangerous.”

UFC President Dana White said on Saturday that the Johnson-Dillashaw fight is “going to happen,” even if it hasn’t been announced. But if it does, that leaves Cejudo with an uncertain immediate future.

RelatedDana White: T.J. Dillashaw vs. Demetrious Johnson is happening next

The former title challenger is on a two-fight winning streak, with his only losses coming against Johnson and perennial flyweight contender Joseph Benavidez. Prior to UFC 218, Pettis’ (16-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC) name was thrown around as a possible challenger for Johnson’s title, but Cejudo’s UFC 218 win over Pettis (16-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC) would seem to remove him from that picture.

For his part, Cejudo said he still wants a rematch with Johnson, in part because “when you get rocked in front of 20,000 people, it’s personal.”

But then, he added, since the loss to Johnson was the first of his pro career, and his only defeat via stoppage, it was also an important learning experience that has served him well.

“I really did believe that I was going to beat up Demetrious Johnson when I fought him,” Cejudo said. “Like, deep down in my heart, in my mind, I thought I was going to beat this dude, like beat him up. And I was watching it, because sometimes I’ll get these Instagram alerts, and I was watching it and I remember watching when I lost. I was so sad and disappointed. I just kept looking down, like, ‘Did this just happen?’ But through that, it literally did, it made me respect him and everybody else in my weight class.”

For more on UFC 218, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Henry Cejudo (red gloves) fights Sergio Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Henry Cejudo (red gloves) fights Sergio Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Henry Cejudo (red gloves) fights Sergio Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Henry Cejudo (red gloves) fights Sergio Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Henry Cejudo (red gloves) fights Sergio Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Henry Cejudo (red gloves) fights Sergio Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Henry Cejudo (red gloves) fights Sergio Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Henry Cejudo (red gloves) fights Sergio Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Henry Cejudo (red gloves) fights Sergio Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Henry Cejudo (red gloves) fights Sergio Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Henry Cejudo (red gloves) fights Sergio Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Henry Cejudo (red gloves) fights Sergio Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Henry Cejudo (red gloves) fights Sergio Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Henry Cejudo (red gloves) fights Sergio Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Henry Cejudo (red gloves) fights Sergio Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Henry Cejudo (red gloves) fights Sergio Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Henry Cejudo (red gloves) fights Sergio Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Henry Cejudo (red gloves) fights Sergio Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Henry Cejudo (red gloves) fights Sergio Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Henry Cejudo (red gloves) and Sergio Pettis (blue gloves) react after fight during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Henry Cejudo (red gloves) fights Sergio Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Henry Cejudo (red gloves) fights Sergio Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Henry Cejudo (red gloves) fights Sergio Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/HyVs8FDjsXs9pqgXDd5uDA/288742", customAnalytics: true, title: "Cejudo def. Pettis", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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Francis Ngannou is getting extra bonus check, and he's using it on UFC champ Stipe Miocic

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

DETROIT – Francis Ngannou didn’t get an official UFC 218 fight-night bonus, but he’s been promised some extra cash, and he knows exactly how he’s going to use it.

In Saturday’s UFC 218 pay-per-view co-headliner at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Ngannou (11-1 MMA, 6-0 UFC) blasted fellow heavyweight contender Alistair Overeem (43-16 MMA, 8-5 UFC) with a violent fight-ending punch early in the first round.

RelatedUFC 218 results: Francis Ngannou locks up title shot with sickening KO of Alistair Overeem

After the victory, which had social media buzzing, UFC President Dana White confirmed Ngannou gets reigning heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic (17-2 MMA, 11-2 UFC) next.

When does Ngannou, who entered UFC 218 as the No. 9-ranked fighter in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA heavyweight rankings, want the fight with No. 1 Miocic to happen?

“As soon as possible,” Ngannou said after the event. “I’m injury-free, so I’m ready to go. I’ve been out a long time (before UFC 218) – like 10 months – and now I want to (fight again).”

Despite his powerful knockout win, Ngannou didn’t receive a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus. Instead, the UFC handed out four “Fight of the Night” bonuses (to Eddie Alvarez, Justin Gaethje, Yancy Medeiros and Alex Oliveira).

RelatedUFC 218 bonuses: Amazing night forces two 'Fight of the Night' awards

White, though, said Ngannou will get an unofficial one. After all, Ngannou has set up camp at the UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas, which is just a short walk to White’s office.

“Trust me, Francis lives at the Performance Institute, and I don’t need him knocking on my (expletive) door looking for his bonus,” White joked when asked by MMAjunkie. “We’ll get him situated.”

White didn’t say how much the bonus might be, Ngannou already has it earmarked for a few things, including his camp for Miocic.

“I have a thousand things to do in MMA,” said Ngannou, who plans to open a gym for kids in his native Cameroon. “I’m going to do a good training camp because Stipe is a champ. He’s a good guy. He’s doing well, so I need to prepare and have a good training camp.

“I’ll probably also go to Paris for a while and do some of my training camp there. I’ll go to Cameroon and visit my family and keep helping them too.”

RelatedStipe Miocic discusses life as champ and life-saving firefighter in FS1's new 'In the Clinch'

When he was told White has promised to give him an unofficial bonus, Ngannou was relieved.

“That’s a good thing,” he said. “I do need that money. I moved from Paris to Vegas, so that took a lot of money. I need some money now. And I was out for 10 months.

“And to be honest, every one of you guys loves money too.

As for a prediction, Ngannou, a 31-year-old Cameroonian who eventually fled to Paris and took up MMA training just five years ago, opted to keep it simple.

“The fight between me and Stipe, it will go the same way as the other ones – knockout,” he said.

As for after Miocic, Ngannou goals remain just as lofty.

“First of all, I want to be the first African to have a UFC belt,” he said. “I want to be the one to open the UFC in Africa, basically in Cameroon. I want Cameroon to be the first country in Africa to (host) the UFC. It’d be good. It’d be honor for me.”

And while a victory over combat-sports legend Overeem is a big one, Ngannou said it’s the biggest one of his career.

“The biggest win of my career is coming,” he said.

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

(MMAjunkie’s Matt Erickson and Mike Bohn contributed to this report on site in Detroit.)

Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Ring Girl is seen before the fight between Alistair Overeem and Francis Ngannou during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Alistair Overeem (red gloves) fights Francis Ngannou (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Alistair Overeem (red gloves) fights Francis Ngannou (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Alistair Overeem (red gloves) fights Francis Ngannou (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Francis Ngannou (blue gloves) reacts to fight against Alistair Overeem (red gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Francis Ngannou (blue gloves) reacts to fight against Alistair Overeem (red gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Francis Ngannou (blue gloves) reacts to fight against Alistair Overeem (red gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/PVHvwAmcPibVKkBiQxUBCm/288767", customAnalytics: true, title: "Ngannou def. Overeem", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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Conor McGregor threw a subtle jab on Twitter, and Max Holloway quickly countered

It appears Conor McGregor has some interest in a rematch with fellow UFC champ Max Holloway following the latter’s thrilling UFC 218 main event victory over Jose Aldo.

Well, a rematch with jabs on Twitter, anyway.

Holloway (19-3 MMA, 15-3 UFC) scored a third-round TKO win over Aldo (26-4 MMA, 9-3 UFC) for his first featherweight title defense, which came in Saturday’s UFC 218 pay-per-view headliner at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. With the win, the Hawaiian become the first to defeat “Scarface” twice; McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC), meanwhile, fought and beat the 145-pound great just once.

During UFC 218’s post-event news conference Holloway was asked about the possibility of a rematch with McGregor, who beat “Blessed” via decision at UFC Fight Night 26 in August 2013 (via Instagram):

Since the defeat, Holloway has gone on a remarkable 12-fight winning streak; McGregor, meanwhile, captured titles in two weight classes and fought all-time great Floyd Mayweather in a boxing blockbuster in August. Today, after Holloway’s victory, the Irishman posted a not-so-cryptic jab at his former foe, who was a little banged up in their 2013 bout (via Twitter):

I miss those sunglasses. pic.twitter.com/0fa7U9dM4Y

— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) December 3, 2017

Holloway wasted no time firing back at McGregor, and it appears he was more than prepared for the occasion. The 25-year-old called McGregor a “retired fighter,” and he had a lovely graphic to go along with his response (via Twitter):

Miss the sunglasses? I bet you also miss 2015 brother. Retired fighters love the past. pic.twitter.com/UWGnJG2KEe

— Max Holloway (@BlessedMMA) December 3, 2017

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

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

Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) celebrates with family after fight against Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Jose Aldo (blue gloves) enters the arena before the fight during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) before the fight against Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) wife watches the fight against Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. 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Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) celebrates with family after fight against Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. 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Sean Shelby's Shoes: What's next for Nicco Montano and TUF 26 Finale's other winning fighters?

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

“The Ultimate Fighter 26” came to a conclusion on Friday with the crowning of a new UFC champion.

The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale took place at Park Theatre in Las Vegas, and it aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass. In the headliner, Nicco Montano (4-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) won the “TUF 26” tournament and the inaugural women’s flyweight crown with a unanimous-decision vivctory over veteran Roxanne Modafferi (21-14 MMA, 0-2 UFC).

While Montano’s win was the most significant on the card, other fighters, including Sean O'Malley (9-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC), Lauren Murphy (10-3 MMA, 2-3 UFC), Gerald Meerschaert (27-9 MMA, 3-1 UFC) and Brett Johns (15-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC), also picked up victories. Meanwhile, DeAnna Bennett (8-3-1 MMA, 0-0-1 UFC) and Melinda Fabian (4-3-2 MMA, 0-0-1 UFC) fought to a majority draw.

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 The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale’s winning fighters.

* * * *

Brett Johns

Pedro Munhoz

Should fight: Pedro Munhoz
Why they should fight: It was clear after his first two UFC fights that Johns is a talent to watch in the bantamweight division. His 30-second submission victory over Joe Soto, however, legitimized the Welshman in a whole new light.

Johns quickly finished Soto with just the second calf-slicer submission in UFC history. It was a major statement against the former Bellator champ and UFC title challenger, and with 15 straight wins, Johns appears ready for the next level of competition at 135 pounds.

A showdown with Munhoz (15-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC), who’s also on the cusp of breaking through to the next level of the division thanks to a four-fight winning streak, could be just what the doctor ordered to give Johns his biggest test to date.

Gerald Meerschaert

Vitor Miranda

Should fight: Winner of Vitor Miranda vs. Julian Marquez at UFC on FOX 26
Why they should fight: Meerschaert delivered in the final fight of his UFC contract when he scored a thunderous body-kick knockout of Eric Spicely in their middleweight bout.

After fending off Spicely’s early submission attacks, Meerschaert found a home for his body kicks. He finally put his opponent down midway through the second round, and now Meerschaert enters free agency with three wins in four UFC fights, all of which came by stoppage.

Meerschaert excites every time he steps in the octagon, and that’s seemingly the type of talent the UFC would want to keep around. The promotion has let a variety of free agents walk over the past few years, though, so it’s no guarantee Meerschaert stays under the UFC banner for his next fight.

Assuming he does, there are some compelling bouts ahead at 185 pounds. The winner of the UFC on FOX 26 bout between Mirada (12-6 MMA, 3-3 UFC) and Marquez (6-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) would be suitable because, like Meerschaert, both men have a high finishing rate.

Lauren Murphy

Mara Romero Borella

Should fight: Mara Romero Borella
Why they should fight: It came by the skin of her teeth in the form of a split decision, but Murphy managed to get the job done in her official UFC flyweight debut against fellow ex-Invicta FC champ Barb Honchak.

After going 1-3 in her UFC bantamweight run, Murphy got the fresh start she was looking for after a frustrating “TUF 26” stint. She has championship aspirations, and though the bout could have easily gone the other way, Murphy beat a fighter who was once considered No. 1 in the weight class.

If Murphy wants the belt, though, she will need to produce more convincing victories going forward. Borella (12-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC) made a splash in her promotional debut at UFC 216 in October with a first-round submission of Kalinda Faria. Murphy could take that momentum away from her – or, oppositely, Borella could move to 2-0 in the UFC against another notable name.

Sean O’Malley

Patrick Williams

Should fight: Patrick Williams
Why they should fight: The first edition of “The Suga Show” in the UFC went off without any major hitches. O’Malley pushed his undefeated record to 9-0 with a unanimous-decision win over Terrion Ware in a fun bantamweight scrap.

O’Malley had high expectations entering the octagon after earning a UFC contract with a spectacular knockout at a Dana White’s Contender Series event. He didn’t produce the same type of finish against his most experienced foe to date in Williams, but he got a solid win that will only help the 23-year-old grow moving forward.

At such a young age and with tremendous potential, O’Malley should be getting a slow build from the UFC brass. Williams (8-5 MMA, 1-2 UFC) is certainly no pushover, but he’s been used in the past of gauge the ability of similar 135-pound prospects, including Tom Duquesnoy. He should be put in a similar spot for O’Malley.

Nicco Montano

Should fight: Valentina Shevchenko
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why Montano should fight Shevchenko (14-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) in her first title defense.

For complete coverage of The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) celebrates after defeating Roxanne Modafferi (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) fights Roxanne Modafferi (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) fights Roxanne Modafferi (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) fights Roxanne Modafferi (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) fights Roxanne Modafferi (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) fights Roxanne Modafferi (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) fights Roxanne Modafferi (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) fights Roxanne Modafferi (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) fights Roxanne Modafferi (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) fights Roxanne Modafferi (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) fights Roxanne Modafferi (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) fights Roxanne Modafferi (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) fights Roxanne Modafferi (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) fights Roxanne Modafferi (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) fights Roxanne Modafferi (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) fights Roxanne Modafferi (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) fights Roxanne Modafferi (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) fights Roxanne Modafferi (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) fights Roxanne Modafferi (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) fights Roxanne Modafferi (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) fights Roxanne Modafferi (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) fights Roxanne Modafferi (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) celebrates after defeating Roxanne Modafferi (not pictured) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) celebrates after defeating Roxanne Modafferi (not pictured) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) celebrates after defeating Roxanne Modafferi (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-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/QdfxWVJgx5bKd3v9a2FafU/288724", customAnalytics: true, title: "Montano def. Modafferi", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

TUF 26 Finale post-event facts: A rare finish, a new striking record and armbars galore

Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) celebrates after defeating Roxanne Modafferi (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) fights Roxanne Modafferi (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) fights Roxanne Modafferi (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) fights Roxanne Modafferi (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) fights Roxanne Modafferi (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) fights Roxanne Modafferi (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) fights Roxanne Modafferi (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) fights Roxanne Modafferi (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) fights Roxanne Modafferi (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) fights Roxanne Modafferi (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) fights Roxanne Modafferi (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) fights Roxanne Modafferi (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) fights Roxanne Modafferi (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) fights Roxanne Modafferi (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) fights Roxanne Modafferi (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) fights Roxanne Modafferi (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) fights Roxanne Modafferi (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) fights Roxanne Modafferi (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) fights Roxanne Modafferi (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) fights Roxanne Modafferi (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) fights Roxanne Modafferi (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) fights Roxanne Modafferi (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) celebrates after defeating Roxanne Modafferi (not pictured) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) celebrates after defeating Roxanne Modafferi (not pictured) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Dec 1, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nicco Montano (red gloves) celebrates after defeating Roxanne Modafferi (blue gloves) during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-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/QdfxWVJgx5bKd3v9a2FafU/288414", customAnalytics: true, title: "Montano def. Modafferi", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

History was made at The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale on Friday when the organization officially crowned the inaugural champion of its newest weight class: the women’s flyweight division.

Unheralded Nicco Montano (4-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) completed her surprising run to the gold when she outpointed Roxanne Modafferi (21-14 MMA, 0-2 UFC) via unanimous decision in the event headliner, which took place at Park Theatre in Las Vegas and aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Montano’s “Fight of the Night” effort capped off an 11-fight card, which saw seven bouts end with a stoppage. For more of the numbers behind the first of two UFC cards from this past weekend, check below for 32 post-event facts to come out of The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale.

* * * *

General

Brett Johns

The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale featured three armbar submission finishes, tied with UFC on FUEL TV 10 for the most on a UFC card in the modern era.

The UFC-Reebok Athlete Outfitting payout for the event totaled $112,500.

Debuting fighters went 6-4-2 at the event.

Montano, Modafferi, Gerald Meerschaert and Brett Johns earned $50,000 TUF 26 Finale fight-night bonuses.

Betting favorites went 7-3 on the card. One fight ended in a draw.

Total fight time for the 11-bout card was 1:42:31.

Main card

Nicco Montano

Montano became the inaugural UFC women’s flyweight champion.

Montano became UFC champion just 742 days after her professional debut.

Modafferi fell to 6-3 since her initial UFC release in November 2013.

Modafferi has suffered 10 of her 14 career losses by decision. That includes both of her UFC defeats.

Lauren Murphy (10-3 MMA, 2-3 UFC) was successful in her UFC flyweight debut.

Barb Honchak (10-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) had her nine-fight winning streak snapped for her first official defeat since September 2010.

Honchak has suffered all three of her career losses by decision.

Gerald Meerschaert

Meerschaert (27-9 MMA, 3-1 UFC) has earned 25 of his 27 carer victories by stoppage. That includes all three of his UFC wins.

Eric Spicely (10-3 MMA, 2-3 UFC) suffered the first knockout loss of his career.

DeAnna Bennett (8-3-1 MMA, 0-0-1 UFC) had her winless streak extended to four fights. She hasn’t earned a victory since September 2015.

Johns’ (15-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) 15-fight MMA winning streak is the second longest among active UFC bantamweight fighters behind Jimmie Rivera (20).

Johns earned just the second calf-slicer submission in UFC history. Charles Oliveira also accomplished the feat.

Johns’ 30-second submission victory was second fastest in UFC/WEC combined bantamweight history behind Patrick Williams’ 23-second finish at UFC 188.

Joe Soto (18-6 MMA, 3-4 UFC) suffered his fourth loss in his past six fights.

Soto suffered just the second submission loss of his career and his first since Aug. 5, 2011 – a span of 2,311 days (more than six years) and 14 fights.

Preliminary card

Montana De La Rose

Montana De La Rosa (8-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC) has earned all of her career stoppage victories by submission.

Christina Marks (8-9 MMA, 0-1 UFC) has suffered seven of her nine career losses by submission. All of her career stoppage losses are by submission.

Ryan Janes (10-3 MMA, 2-2 UFC) has earned eight of his 10 career victories by stoppage.

Janes earned the first knockout victory of his career.

Ryan Janes

Janes and Andrew Sanchez (9-4 MMA, 2-2 UFC) combined for 255 significant strikes landed, a new single-fight record for a UFC middleweight bout.

Karine Gevorgyan (3-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) has suffered all three of her career losses by stoppage.

Ariel Beck (4-5 MMA, 0-1 UFC) suffered her third consecutive loss to extend the longest skid of her career. She earned her first victory since March 2016.

Beck suffered the first knockout loss of her career.

Shana Dobson (3-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) earned the first knockout victory of her career.

Gillian Robertson (4-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) has earned all of her career stoppage victories by submission.

Emily Whitmire (2-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) has suffered both of her career losses by submission.

For complete coverage of The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale, 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.


Filed under: News, UFC

Changing of guard to slamming of door, Max Holloway's rematch win seals Jose Aldo in UFC's past

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

There were times when it seemed like Max Holloway didn’t know who he was fighting in UFC 218’s main event – or maybe he did and just didn’t care.

Jose Aldo, once the most dominant featherweight champion the UFC has ever known, stood there chopping at his legs and hammering at his head, and still it was as if Holloway couldn’t convince himself to be the least bit concerned. If anything, he seemed encouraged. The more he could convince Aldo to plant his feet throw, going punch for punch in an escalating battle of pace of pressure, the sooner he could get rid of him.

And so Holloway (19-3 MMA, 15-3 UFC) kept on him, cranking up the volume on his own output even when it meant taking an Aldo (26-4 MMA, 8-3 UFC) right hand to the face in response. Did it bother him? Not really. At least, not enough to make him take a backward step. He was too busy suffocating Aldo, breaking his body and his spirit with the force of his own relentless attack.

At a certain point of the third round, watching Aldo resist felt a little like watching a drowning man thrash around in the middle of a vast lake. You can see where it’s headed, and you know some part of him can too, but he won’t accept it and for that you have to respect him. He’s not going anywhere, and you know he can’t keep it up forever, but still.

Even as Holloway shoved his head back underwater, Aldo kept fighting for just one more breath, and then one more after that. In those final, flailing moments, he was as courageous in defeat as he’d ever been in victory.

RelatedUFC 218 results: Max Holloway retains belt, stops Jose Aldo again in third round

If their first fight was a changing of the guard at featherweight, this one was the slamming of a door. Holloway came in as the champ, but he left as the man. He’s the present and the future, while Aldo is officially the past, all but sealed in the tomb of MMA history.

You got the sense that he knew it too, which might be why he struggled so fiercely until referee Herb Dean made it all stop. For Aldo this rematch had been a consequence of circumstances, as much a threat as a gift. Win as a short-notice replacement, and you’re right back on top – a three-time UFC champ. Lose and you may never get another chance.

Holloway saw it. In his interviews after the fight, he was already talking about Aldo in the past tense. Granted, he meant no disrespect. Quite the opposite, in fact. Holloway was the one to remind us all that, while he intends to have the belt for a good long while, he’s got a ways to go before he can put himself alongside the man he just beat for the second time in six months.

“He’s the greatest of all time,” Holloway said of Aldo. “He got seven, eight title defenses. I’ve got to catch up. Numbers don’t lie. Women lie, men lie, but numbers don’t lie. I’ve only got one defense. I’ve got a bunch of catching up to do. He’s still the GOAT, I still respect him, and I’m coming for that record, though.”

RelatedChamp Max Holloway sees 4-title future, but wants featherweight GOAT status first

This, it seemed, was Holloway’s promise, and it comes at a necessary moment in time. Just look around. The UFC champion at middleweight isn’t sure he wants to be one. The champ at lightweight is off working his way through a checklist of self-destructive fame cliches. The welterweight champ might want to be a middleweight and the heavyweight champ just wants more money.

Then there’s Holloway, offering that rarest of commodities in the present market: multiple title defenses in his current division.

Right about now it’s so refreshing you’d almost swear it was a brand new idea that had never been tried. Except, of course, by the man who was last seen sitting in the cage and peering up at his coach with swollen, glassy eyes, looking at him like, well I tried.

And he did, too. Right up until he couldn’t anymore.

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

Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) celebrates with family after fight against Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Jose Aldo (blue gloves) enters the arena before the fight during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) before the fight against Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) wife watches the fight against Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) celebrates with family after fight against Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) celebrates with family after fight against Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/zafjwopo8yyQsrsuvMkt48/288736", customAnalytics: true, title: "Holloway def. Aldo", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Justin Scoggins says 'spinal process fracture' has forced him out of UFC on FOX 26

Jun 17, 2017; Singapore, Singapore; Ulka Sasaki (blue gloves) competes against Justin Scoggins (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Jun 17, 2017; Singapore, Singapore; Ulka Sasaki (blue gloves) competes against Justin Scoggins (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Jun 17, 2017; Singapore, Singapore; Ulka Sasaki (blue gloves) competes against Justin Scoggins (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Jun 17, 2017; Singapore, Singapore; Justin Scoggins (red gloves) reacts after his match against Ulka Sasaki (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports Feb 6, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Justin Scoggins (blue gloves) reacts after winning against Ray Borg (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Nov 19, 2016; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Pedro Munhoz (red gloves) fights Justin Scoggins (red gloves) UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Nov 19, 2016; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Pedro Munhoz (red gloves) fights Justin Scoggins (red gloves) UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Nov 19, 2016; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Pedro Munhoz (red gloves) fights Justin Scoggins (red gloves) UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 6, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Ray Borg (red gloves) fights against Justin Scoggins (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Nov 19, 2016; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Pedro Munhoz (red gloves) fights Justin Scoggins (red gloves) UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Nov 19, 2016; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Pedro Munhoz (red gloves) fights Justin Scoggins (red gloves) UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 6, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Ray Borg (red gloves) fights against Justin Scoggins (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports May 23, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Justin Scoggins (red gloves) and Josh Sampo (blue gloves) fight during their flyweight bout during UFC 187 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Scoggins won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports May 23, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Justin Scoggins (red gloves) and Josh Sampo (blue gloves) fight during their flyweight bout during UFC 187 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Scoggins won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports May 23, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Justin Scoggins (red gloves) celebrates after defeating Josh Sampo (not pictured) in their flyweight bout during UFC 187 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Scoggins won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-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/UG52Qq3j3F8t7juD2M2BKV/288743", customAnalytics: true, title: "Justin Scoggins", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Justin Scoggins will look for a fresh start in 2018.

The veteran UFC flyweight today announced a “spinal process fracture” has forced him out of a matchup with Tim Elliott (14-8-1 MMA, 3-6 UFC) later his month at UFC on FOX 26.

Scoggins (11-4 MMA, 4-4 UFC) made made the announcement via Twitter:

Unfortunately I will not be able to compete on December 16th in Winnipeg due to a spinal process fracture. Thank you for the support, I can't wait to put on a show for you next year.

— Tank Scoggins (@ScogginsFlow) December 3, 2017

“Unfortunately I will not be able to compete on December 16th in Winnipeg due to a spinal process fracture. Thank you for the support, I can’t wait to put on a show for you next year.”

UFC officials haven’t made a formal announcement, and it’s not clear if a replacement will be sought.

UFC on FOX 26 takes place Dec. 16 at MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. It airs on FOX following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass. Scoggins vs. Elliott was slated for the FS1-televised prelims.

When he does return, Scoggins could be fighting for his UFC job. After decision wins over Josh Sampo and Ray Borg, the 25-year-old has suffered submission defeats to Pedro Munhoz (at bantamweight) and Ulka Sasaki (in his return to flyweight – and in a bout he was winning early).

Meanwhile, Elliott, who went 2-4 in his first UFC stint, briefly left the organization for a title reign with Titan FC. The 30-year-old then re-signed with the UFC, won “The Ultimate Fighter 24” to earn a title shot, and then suffered a hard-fought decision loss to champ Demetrious Johnson in December. He’s 1-1 since then with a decision victory over Louis Smolka (in a “Fight of the Night” performance) and a submission defeat to Ben Nguyen.

The latest UFC on FOX 26 card now includes:

MAIN CARD (FOX, 8 p.m. ET)

  • Robbie Lawler vs. Rafael dos Anjos
  • Josh Emmett vs. Ricardo Lamas
  • Mike Perry vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio
  • Misha Cirkunov vs. Glover Teixeira

PRELIMINARY CARD (FS1, 5 p.m. ET)

  • Jan Blachowicz vs. Jared Cannonier
  • Julian Marquez vs. Vitor Miranda
  • Galore Bofando vs. Chad Laprise
  • Tim Elliott vs. Justin Scoggins
  • John Makdessi vs. Abel Trujillo
  • Oluwale Bamgbose vs. Alessio Di Chirico

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 3:30 p.m. ET)

  • Jordan Mein vs. Erick Silva
  • Sultan Aliev vs. Nordine Taleb
  • Danny Roberts vs. Sheldon Westcott

For more on UFC on FOX 26, visit the UFC Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: News, UFC

Amanda Cooper after UFC 218 win: 'I don't think the sport needs' Angela Magana

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DETROIT – Amanda Cooper bludgeoned Angela Magana inside the octagon at UFC 218, then picked up where she left off during her post-fight interview.

Magana (11-9 MMA, 1-3 UFC) is among the most polarizing figures in the sport, and Cooper (3-3 MMA, 2-2 UFC) battered her to a second-round TKO in their strawweight bout on Saturday at UFC 218, which took place at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.

With the loss, Magana’s winless skid is nearly seven years long. Afterward, Cooper said she doesn’t belong in the UFC, and perhaps the sport overall.

“I don’t think the sport needs her,” Cooper told reporters in her UFC 218 post-fight scrum, which MMAjunkie attended. “I don’t think the UFC needs her. Maybe she needs it. As soon as I called her out she was on Twitter freaking out. I think she gets something out of it. I don’t mean to be mean, but I think she probably needed that a little bit. I don’t think the sport needs her, but I think she needs it.”

Cooper elaborated her thoughts on Magana, and questioned why she continues in the sport after so many unsuccessful years.

“She convinces herself of false,” Cooper said. “I can’t imagine losing as many times as she has in a row or not fighting after two years. I can’t imagine going through all the things she went through. Hurricane, no electricity, not training. I can’t imagine going through all that and being confident. I don’t think she says the thing she says on Twitter and social media to amp herself up. I don’t think she’s faking it. I think she truly believes she’s great.

“Every time I’ve lost I’m like, ‘Man, I suck.’ I have to think about it and go home and build myself up. She’s lost and lost and lost and hasn’t fought in a few years and still thinks she’s the toughest (expletive) in the world. Maybe she’s just mentally stronger than most. I don’t know what she’s going to think after this. I feel bad for saying that, but good for her.”

Thoughts on her opponent aside, Cooper said UFC 218 marks the most memorable moment of her career thus far. The Michigan native got to put in work in front of a local audience, and she said she will never forget the win.

“I definitely think it’s got to be one of my favorite memories out of anything I’ve ever done,” Cooper said. “I’ve done a lot of stuff in my life. I have a lot of fight experience, 14 years. That’s going to rank the highest right now.”

With only six pro fights to her name and a .500 record in the UFC and overall, Cooper said she’s prepared to move on to the next challenge. She said she’s not interested in fighting anyone off “The Ultimate Fighter,” and would prefer a fresher face in the organization going forward.

“I want someone new, I want someone different,” Cooper said. “I know there’s a ton of fighters in this weight class right now. I want to be able to watch someone for the first few times and learn them and not see them on TV every single week and put them on a pedestal.”

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

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Abdul Razak Alhassan won't criticize Herb Dean's UFC 218 stoppage, ready to rematch Sabah Homasi

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DETROIT – Abdul Razak Alhassan is down to run it back with Sabah Homasi following his controversial first-round TKO win at UFC 218.

And not long after he said he’d like another shot at Homasi, UFC President Dana White said he’d get one and that it already had been booked.

Referee Herb Dean erred in the welterweight fight on Saturday, which took place on the FS1-televised portion of the UFC 218 prelims at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. The main card aired on pay-per-view. Alhassan (8-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) grazed Homasi (11-7 MMA, 0-2 UFC) with a weird shot that forced him down to knee, and that’s when the referee jumped in.

Alhassan refused to criticize Dean’s decision to intervene in the fight, and also said he understands why he stepped in from his given position.

“I would never say the referee did a bad job,” Alhassan said after the fight. “The referee is there to make sure we’re safe and we don’t hurt each other or put somebody in a position that’s going to put them in the hospital. But the position I was in, I’m sure he thought he was in danger. The way he dropped, he dropped really quick. When he dropped he kind of held my leg so I knew he was still in there a little bit. I won’t blame the referee for stopping it early.”

Alhassan attempted to keep in high spirits following the fight, but he admits the anticlimactic and controversial ended took some of the luster away.

“It takes a little bit away, but a win is a win,” Alhassan said. “I wouldn’t mind fighting him again just to make sure I put him away next time.”

Alhassan said he wasn’t told anything definitive from the UFC brass in terms of a rematch with Homasi, but given how the fight ended, he believes that’s what’s going to be next in his career.

“Right now it kind of looks like I’m going to have to give him a rematch,” Alhassan said. “I don’t mind. If it’s the rematch, I’ll give him the rematch.”

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

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Dominick Reyes in no rush to rise though 'aging' UFC light heavyweight division

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DETROIT – Dominick Reyes knows he’s in a thin weight class in the UFC, but has no intentions of rushing toward the title.

Reyes (8-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) got his second win in the UFC light heavyweight division on Saturday when he scored a first-round submission of Jeremy Kimball (15-7 MMA, 1-2 UFC) at UFC 218, which took place at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. The bout streamed on UFC Fight Pass prior to the FS1-televised prelims and pay-per-view main card.

The 205-pound division is relatively barren when it comes to legitimate contenders, and an unbeaten fighter like Reyes makes an interesting addition. He knows he can do big things, but is not gunning for a quick climb to the top.

“I don’t think about it like that,” Reyes said after the fight. “I think I need to take care of business each fight and pick the right fights at each point in my career. I’m still growing. I’m a young fighter still. I’m not asking for a title. I’m waiting for the right time. Whoever they offer me next will be the right fight, so we’ll see.”

At 27 and with only eight fights (seven of which have come by stoppage), Reyes believes his future is bright. He knows what outsiders think of his weight class, and although he largely agrees, he said he wants to do things his way.

“I knew if I would get in the UFC it would be at light heavyweight because there’s not a lot of guys, the division is aging,” Reyes said. “With my skillset and my athleticism I feel like I could rise quickly. Here I am and it’s going exactly how I planned. I’m going to move along at my pace and see where it goes.”

As far as his performance against Kimball went, Reyes said he was pleased with his work. He expected a more striking-heavy affair, but will gladly take the submission.

“I did not think he would shoot,” Reyes said. “I thought he would bang it out with me. I guess he got a little comfortable and started to shoot. I did a few things that I need to work on. I got hit when I shouldn’t have got hit. Overall, I’m happy.”

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

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Max Holloway vs. Conor McGregor 2? Don't count on it (for now), Dana White says

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DETROIT – Max Holloway has had quite the run since losing to Conor McGregor in 2013, but don’t expect to see a rematch anytime soon.

At UFC Fight Night 26 more than four years ago, Holloway suffered a decisive decision loss to McGregor, who was fighting in just his second UFC fight.

Since then, Holloway has won 12 consecutive fights, which included a second straight victory over Jose Aldo. It came in Saturday’s UFC 218 pay-per-view headliner and marked his official first featherweight title defense.

RelatedTwitter reacts to Max Holloway's TKO of Jose Aldo in UFC 218 title defense

McGregor, meanwhile, has since become the sport’s biggest star, which included a brief reign as featherweight champion before a move up to lightweight, where he’s the current titleholder.

After Saturday’s event at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Holloway (19-3 MMA, 15-3 UFC), who picked up a third-round TKO win over Aldo (26-4 MMA, 8-3 UFC), said he wants to solidify himself as the greatest 145-pounder the sport has ever known.

Still, the 25-year-old Hawaiian didn’t discount the possibility of moving up a weight class or two – and even jokingly mentioned fighting at heavyweight one day because of his eating habits.

Could that open the door for McGregor vs. Holloway 2? According to UFC President Dana White, who recently suggested McGregor may not fight again in the UFC, fans shouldn’t hold their breath.

RelatedUFC President Dana White: Conor McGregor 'might never fight again'

“Again, like I said last week to everybody who was in my office, who knows if Conor’s even going to fight again,” White said after UFC 218. “I’m rolling like he’s not.

“But yeah, if Conor comes back and defends his title, anything is possible.”

McGregor hasn’t fought since an August boxing blockbuster against Floyd Mayweather ended in a TKO loss, and he’s been dealing with a fair amount of out-of-the-cage issues. With a reported nine-figure payday for the Mayweather fight, McGregor may have little incentive to rush back to the UFC octagon, where interim lightweight titleholder Tony Ferguson (23-3 MMA, 13-1 UFC) is also awaiting a fight with “Notorious.”

Holloway, though, doesn’t seem to concerned about avenging that loss to McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC), which probably seems like a distance memory given his current run of success. Besides, Holloway said he’s focused on other things – namely, Aldo’s record of seven UFC featherweight title defenses.

“This is huge,” Holloway said after his UFC 218 victory. “People ask what this makes me. It makes me a guy with two wins over Aldo, and I got a bunch more to catch up to him. He’s the greatest of all time. He got seven, eight title defenses. I’ve got to catch up. Numbers don’t lie. Women lie, men lie, but numbers don’t lie. I’ve only got one defense. I’ve got a bunch of catching up to do. He’s still the GOAT, I still respect him, and I’m coming for that record, though.”

RelatedChamp Max Holloway sees 4-title future, but wants featherweight GOAT status first

As for Aldo, White suggested it’s time the former king of 145 pounds to make some decisions about his future. That could include a move up to lightweight, where the 31-year-old Brazilian may have his best options for future big fights.

“Jose Aldo is one of the longtime reigning champions in this sport,” White said. “He is an absolute legend. The guy has nothing left to prove.

“I think it’s one of those things where he has to go down, sit down with his family, and decide what he wants to do next. He’s got plenty of money, though.”

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

Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) celebrates with family after fight against Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Jose Aldo (blue gloves) enters the arena before the fight during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) before the fight against Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) wife watches the fight against Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) celebrates with family after fight against Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. 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After going 'full Nick Diaz,' Felice Herrig says Cortney Casey threw 'booger blood chunk' at UFC 218

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DETROIT – Felice Herrig says Cortney Casey threw a “booger blood chunk” at her in their UFC 218 bout, but strangely enough, she’s accustomed to having her opponents release bodily fluids inside the octagon.

Herrig (14-6 MMA, 5-1 UFC) defeated Casey (7-5 MMA, 3-4 UFC) by split decision in their strawweight bout, which took place on Saturday’s preliminary card at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. In the midst of the action, both fighters flipped each other off and Casey actually threw some blood in Herrig’s direction.

The situation may have angered other fighters, but Herrig said she enjoyed it and took everything in stride.

RelatedUFC 218 results: Felice Herrig takes split decision from Cortney Casey in close fight

“We both went full Nick Diaz,” Herrig said after the fight. “She got a little upset because I got her with the shot and saw it on her face. Fighters get emotional. She flicked a booger at me – it was great. It was entertaining for the fans. I like being in entertaining fights. I’m not mad at her. It was cool. I was entertained by it. I thought it was entertaining. … It was a booger chunk. It was a booger blood chunk.”

Blood-slinging aside, Herrig and Casey had a competitive three-round fight. “Lil’ Bulldog” left the octagon with her fourth consecutive victory in the 115-pound division, which is the longest active streak in the weight class.

Herrig closed her eyes and was hoping for the decision to go her way while Bruce Buffer was reading the cards, but she said that wasn’t because she thought she lost. She said it was because of the unpredictable nature of MMA judging.

“I definitely thought I had the ‘W,’ but you never know with judges,” Herrig said. “It was hard to tell just because she had the range on me. I thought I landed more shots. She was wanting to lure me in with punches. I could see that. I had to pick and choose my shots.”

On arguably the best run of her career, Herrig said she believes she’s in good position to challenge of the title sooner than later. Joanna Jedrzejczyk is likely to get a rematch with Rose Namajunas after losing the belt in stunning fashion at UFC 217 this past month, but Herrig doesn’t think she’s far behind.

“Four in a row I think I’m coming in like a dark horse,” Herrig said. “I don’t care (who is next), honestly. Every time I think I want somebody they give me somebody else, so I really don’t give a (expletive).”

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

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Yancy Medeiros and Alex Oliveira met up for hospital pic following UFC 218 'Fight of the Night'

DETROIT – Yancy Medeiros and Alex Oliveira produced one of the most exciting fights in recent memory at UFC 218, and it was all love afterward.

Medeiros (15-4 MMA, 6-4 UFC) and Oliveira (17-4-1 MMA, 7-3 UFC) put on a thrilling fight at Saturday’s event, which took place at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. The welterweight bout aired on the FS1-televised prelims prior to the pay-per-view main card, and it was one of two UFC 218 bouts that earned “Fight of the Night” honors (along with Eddie Alvarez vs. Justin Gaethje).

Medeiros and Oliveira were both dropped multiple times in their fight. Medeiros, though, emerged with a third-round TKO win, which moved him to 3-0 since he jumped up to 170 pounds in September 2016. Afterward, the fighters were transported to hospital, where they met up for a picture. Alex Davis, Oliveira’s manager, sent us the image:

UFC officials said Medeiros and Oliveira were transported to the hospital for precautionary reasons, and though they were sporting some superficial damage, both fighters appeared to be in high spirits after the memorable encounter.

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

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

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UFC 218 Athlete Outfitting pay: Program total passes $16 million mark

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DETROIT – Fighters from Saturday’s UFC 218 event took home UFC Athlete Outfitting pay, a program that launched after the UFC’s deal with Reebok, totaling $185,000.

UFC 218 took place at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, and the main card aired on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Leading the way was UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway (19-3 MMA, 15-3 UFC), who earned a maximum program payout of $40,000 as a titleholder. “Blessed” defended his belt against Jose Aldo (26-4 MMA, 9-3 UFC) by third-round TKO in the event headliner.

The full UFC 218 UFC Athlete Outfitting payouts included:

Max Holloway: $40,000
Jose Aldo: $30,000

Alistair Overeem: $10,000
Francis Ngannou: $5,000

Henry Cejudo: $5,000
Sergio Pettis: $5,000

Eddie Alvarez: $5,000
Justin Gaethje: $2,500

Tecia Torres: $5,000
Michelle Waterson: $2,500

Charles Oliveira: $15,000
Paul Felder: $5,000

Alex Oliveira: $10,000
Yancy Medeiros: $10,000

David Teymur: $2,500
Drakkar Klose: $2,500

Felice Herrig: $5,000
Cortney Casey: $5,000

Amanda Cooper: $2,500
Angela Magana: $2,500

Sabah Homasi: $2,500
Abdul Razak Alhassan: $2,500

Jeremy Kimball: $2,500
Dominick Reyes: $2,500

Justin Willis: $2,500
Allen Crowder: $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: $5,847,500
2016 total: $7,138,000
2015 total: $3,185,000
Program-to-date total: $16,170,500

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


Filed under: News, UFC

Champ Max Holloway sees 4-title future, but wants featherweight GOAT status first

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DETROIT – The sky is the limit for UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway after his win over Jose Aldo in the UFC 218 main event. His current plans, however, are solely based around defending his belt as long as possible.

Holloway (19-3 MMA, 15-3 UFC) put on a repeat performance of his title-winning victory over Aldo (26-4 MMA, 8-3 UFC) at UFC 212 in June when he stopped “Scarface” by third-round TKO in Saturday’s UFC 218 headliner, which took place at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit and aired on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

RelatedTwitter reacts to Max Holloway's TKO of Jose Aldo in UFC 218 title defense

The scintillating performance marked Holloway’s 12th consecutive octagon victory, putting him in rare company in terms of the longest winning streaks in UFC history. “Blessed” said at UFC 218’s post-fight news conference, which MMAjunkie attended, that he doesn’t see himself slowing down any time soon. If things continue to go his way, Holloway not only sees himself being the best 145-pound champion ever, but could also take belts in multiple other weight classes.

“The only thing that’s going to stop me is medically, or I can’t make the weight,” Holloway said. “I’m not going to force my body to do something it doesn’t want to. I’ll go up to 155. I was talking to Michael Bisping and them on the (FS1 post-fight) show, and Michael was like, ‘Can you win another title?’ … I was like, ‘Michael, you’re cutting Maxi Baby short.’ Us Hawaiians love to eat. I want to go for four titles – (155), 170, 185. I might even be at heavyweight one day. You guys know our eating habits are bad in Hawaii. One day I might make history.

“This is what champions do,” he continued. “Champions defend. You’re not a champion until you defend your title. I always want to bring stability (to the division). I want to prove to people, if you want to be a champion, this is how you do it. It took me 10 fights to get an interim belt and 11 to get the undisputed. I don’t want anybody else to go through that. I want to be like (Demetrious Johnson), the guys pop up and you get sent down to the bottom of the barrel, bother. Keep trying to catch up.”

RelatedUFC champ Max Holloway not distracted by records: 'I want to be here for a long time'

It wasn’t long ago when Aldo held an undeniable status as the best featherweight in MMA history. Holloway beat the Brazilian twice back-to-back, though, and now the conversation has to be reconsidered. Aldo still holds many of the all-time records in the division, including a record seven consecutive title defenses. Holloway said he won’t consider his legacy superior until he breaks all those records.

“This is huge,” Holloway said. “People ask what this makes me. It makes me a guy with two wins over Aldo, and I got a bunch more to catch up to him. He’s the greatest of all time. He got seven, eight title defenses. I’ve got to catch up. Numbers don’t lie. Women lie, men lie, but numbers don’t lie. I’ve only got one defense. I’ve got a bunch of catching up to do. He’s still the GOAT, I still respect him, and I’m coming for that record, though.”

Holloway’s outlook on being a champion is increasingly rare in the sport’s current landscape. Many titleholders are looking to cash in on super fights or change weight classes, but that’s not how Holloway intends to move forward with his career – at least not yet, anyway.

The Hawaiian said he wants to be a classic type of champion who is willing to take on all comers. So when it comes to the discussion about his next opponent, he said he simply doesn’t care who is standing across the octagon, because he intends on beating everyone at least once, anyway.

“These guys are cupcakes – I want the new flavor,” Holloway said. “I want to know what the new flavor tastes like. I know how the other ones tastes, so that’s great, that’s fine. I’ll fight them all. They’re going to all take Ls like I said. By the time I’m done with this division, when you look at the top 15, everybody is going to have an L next to their name. Some guys two, and you’re lucky, you’re going to have three.

“People want to get their money and leave the game, they want to set history or whatever and this and that,” he continued. “Right now I’m focused on champ life. I want to be a champion. I want to be a long-reigning featherweight champion. I want to be in the history books everywhere, as a champion and this and that. Later on my career when I start getting good then I can start doing exhibition matches for money and stuff. Right now, I think the world needs to know what a champion looks like and I’m trying to put my foot down and say, ‘This is what a champion looks like.’ I don’t cry about anything. If you think you’re the best, come fight ‘Blessed.'”

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

Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) celebrates with family after fight against Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Jose Aldo (blue gloves) enters the arena before the fight during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) before the fight against Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) wife watches the fight against Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) celebrates with family after fight against Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) celebrates with family after fight against Jose Aldo (blue gloves) during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/zafjwopo8yyQsrsuvMkt48/288696", customAnalytics: true, title: "Holloway def. Aldo", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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Dana White: T.J. Dillashaw vs. Demetrious Johnson is happening next

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DETROIT – UFC President Dana White said flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson’s next title defense will be against current bantamweight champ T.J. Dillashaw.

“Yeah, that fight’s going to happen,” White told reporters at the post-event press conference for UFC 218, which took place Saturday at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. “We haven’t announced it yet.”

White didn’t say when and where the fight would take place, or whether he’d yet spoken to Johnson, who was in attendance at the pay-per-view event. Johnson watched cageside as his former opponent, Henry Cejudo, halted the rise of promising up-and-comer Sergio Pettis.

Johnson has repeatedly hedged on a “superfight” with a bantamweight champ, declaring he would need $2 million to agree to it. White balked at the demand.

Dillashaw, however, has persisted. After taking the bantamweight title this past month from his rival Cody Garbrandt, he renewed his call to move down in weight to challenge Johnson, who turned down a potential fight in favor of a record-breaking 11th title defense against Ray Borg in October.

Dillashaw claims he can make the flyweight limit without issue. Cejudo, however, warned that fighting down a division might be detrimental to his performance.

“He can say he’s light; when you get down to 125 pounds, you’re going to feel it the next day, and Demetrious is a cardio machine,” the onetime title challenger said at UFC 218’s post-fight presser. “I think that’s what’s going to make that fight dangerous. How at 135 pounds, it might be different. But at 125 pounds, I can say it will be a pretty dominant win by Demetrious Johnson.”

Before any more predictions get made, though, it sounds like the UFC needs to iron out the details on the champ vs. champ showdown.

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

Dec 3, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) defeats Tim Elliott (blue gloves) during the TUF tournament of champions at Palms Casino. Mandatory Credit: Tracy Lee-USA TODAY Sports Dec 3, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) fights Tim Elliott (blue gloves) during the TUF tournament of champions at Palms Casino. Mandatory Credit: Tracy Lee-USA TODAY Sports Dec 3, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) fights Tim Elliott (blue gloves) during the TUF tournament of champions at Palms Casino. Mandatory Credit: Tracy Lee-USA TODAY Sports Dec 3, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) fights Tim Elliott (blue gloves) during the TUF tournament of champions at Palms Casino. Mandatory Credit: Tracy Lee-USA TODAY Sports Dec 3, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) defeats Tim Elliott (blue gloves) during the TUF tournament of champions at Palms Casino. Mandatory Credit: Tracy Lee-USA TODAY Sports Apr 23, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) competes against Henry Cejudo (blue gloves) during UFC 197 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Apr 23, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) knocks down Henry Cejudo (blue gloves) during UFC 197 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Apr 23, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) reacts after defeating Henry Cejudo (blue gloves) during UFC 197 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Apr 23, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) reacts after defeating Henry Cejudo (blue gloves) during UFC 197 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Apr 23, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) reacts after defeating Henry Cejudo (blue gloves) during UFC 197 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Sep 5, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) and John Dodson (blue gloves) during their flyweight title bout at UFC 191 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Johnson won the fight. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sep 5, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) during his flyweight title bout against John Dodson (not pictured) at UFC 191 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Johnson won the fight. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sep 5, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) and John Dodson (blue gloves) during their flyweight title bout at UFC 191 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Johnson won the fight. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sep 5, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) after defeating and John Dodson (not pictured) in the flyweight title bout at UFC 191 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Johnson won the fight. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sep 5, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC president Dana White puts the championship belt on Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) after defeating John Dodson (not pictured) in the flyweight title bout at UFC 191 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Johnson won the fight. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY 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/mCVxgLk25EVCFkrwbjhRq4/288687", customAnalytics: true, title: "Demetrious Johnson", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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