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Jason Knight vs. Gabriel Benitez added to UFC Fight Night 123

MMA Junkie News -

UFC Fight Night 123 has a new featherweight bout on its card.

The promotion on Thursday announced Jason Knight will take on Gabriel Benitez at the FS1-televised event, which takes place Dec. 9 at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif.

Knight (20-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC) will enter the bout after a first-round TKO loss to Ricardo Lamas at UFC in July snapped a four-fight winning streak.

Benitez (19-6 MMA, 3-2 UFC) also will look to get back in the win column. In his most recent bout at UFC 211 in May, Benitez dropped a unanimous decision to Enrique Barzola. Benitez is 1-2 in his last three fights, alternating wins and losses.

With the addition, UFC Fight Night 123 now includes:

  • Cub Swanson vs. Brian Ortega
  • Liz Carmouche vs. Alexis Davis
  • Scott Holtzman vs. Darrell Horcher
  • Eryk Anders vs. Markus Perez
  • Trevin Giles vs. Antonio Braga Neto
  • Carls John de Tomas vs. Alex Perez
  • Chris Gruetzemacher vs. Davi Ramos
  • Bryan Caraway vs. Luke Sanders
  • Merab Dvalishvili vs. Frankie Saenz
  • Benito Lopez vs. Albert Morales
  • Aljamain Sterling vs. opponent TBA
  • Gabriel Benitez vs. Jason Knight

For more on UFC Fight Night 123, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: News, UFC

UFC-Norfolk in-depth breakdown: Stylistic matchups, fight picks, best bets and fantasy studs

MMA Junkie News -

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

MMAjunkie Radio co-host and MMAjunkie contributor Dan Tom provides an in-depth breakdown of all of UFC Fight Night 120’s main-card bouts.

UFC Fight Night 120 takes place Saturday at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va., and it airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

* * * *

Dustin Poirier (21-5-1 MMA, 13-4 UFC)

Dustin Poirier

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’9″ Age: 28 Weight: 155 lbs. Reach: 73″
  • Last fight: No-conest with Eddie Alvarez (May 13, 2017)
  • Camp: American Top Team (Florida)
  • Stance/striking style: Switch-stance/kickboxing
  • Risk management: Fair

Supplemental info:
+ Regional MMA titles
+ Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt
+ 10 KO victories
+ 6 submission wins
+ 12 first-round finishes
+ KO power
+ Improved overall boxing
^ Cage-cutting, shifting, angles
+ Accurate left cross
^ Dangerous off of the counter
+ Strong inside of the clinch
+ Underrated wrestling ability
+ Excellent transitional grappler
^ Solid submissions and scrambling
+/- Aggressive in exchanges

Anthony Pettis (20-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC)

Anthony Pettis

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’10” Age: 30 Weight: 155 lbs. Reach: 72″
  • Last fight: Decision win over Jim Miller (July 8, 2017)
  • Camp: Roufusport (Milwaukee, WI)
  • Stance/striking style: Switch-stance/kickboxing
  • Risk management: Fair

Supplemental info:
+ Former UFC lightweight champion
+ Taekowndo black belt (3rd degree)
+ Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt
+ 9 KO victories
+ 7 submission wins
+ 12 first-round finishes
+ Good footwork and feints
+ Improved boxing
^ Accurate counter-cross
+ Diverse kicking game
^ Dangerous body attacks
+ Improved wrestling ability
+ Excellent transitional grappler
^ Slick submission setups
+/- 2-1 against UFC southpaws

Summary:

The main event for UFC Fight Night 120 is a potential barnburner between Dustin Poirer and Anthony Pettis.

Comming off of a controversial no-contest with Eddie Alvarez earlier this year, Poirer gets another opportunity against a former champion.

Looking to avoid the role of stepping stone is Pettis, a former kingpin at 155 pound who’s seeking to make a statement in his return to the division.

Starting off on the feet, we have a matchup of two dangerous and diverse strikers.

Poirier, the southpaw, has made significant improvements to his game since moving shop to American Top Team. Demonstrating an excellent awareness of footwork, the Louisianan slugger will now shift his stance for setups or adjust his angles accordingly.

Utilizing this style of shifting to create attack opportunities, Poirier has also shown to sit down more on his punches, giving three fighters their first stoppage losses since moving to lightweight. Whether he is prodding, pulling or returning, everything Poirier throws seems to have a real potency to it.

Still, firepower is a two-way street.

Coming from a taekwondo base, Pettis has been able to bring a spectacular array of kicking attacks into the cage. Balancing out his traditional stylings under the tutelage of Duke Roufus, we have seen Pettis round out his attacks with punches and feints to help set up his fight-ending kicks.

As flashy as some of the kicks on his highlight reel may be, Pettis’ body kick seems to be his bread and butter, and he unloads them from either stance with authority. Considering that his opponent likes to utilize a shell-defense, this could be a strike worth watching for from Pettis.

That said, the former lightweight champion won’t be without trends of his own. Despite having a good radar for most strikes, left hands seem to be Pettis’ common culprit. Given that the left-cross (both coming forward and off the counter) is Poirier’s best punch, Pettis, too, will have to be on high alert inside of exchanges.

Regardless of how heated striking stanzas get, this fire could reach even higher temperatures should it touch the floor.

Both men have quietly developed their wrestling games and possess serviceable takedown abilities in the open and against the fence. Although I give Poirer a slight edge in this department for being the more consistent pursuer of shots, I would not bank on either man comfortably grounding the other.

Furthermore, each fighter does well with creating scrambles once grounded, making ground exchanges even more compelling. Neither competitor is afraid to throw up attacks from their back, nor is he afraid to bait a submission from topside to pass and advance. And with the proven grit that is attached to their technical savvy, I suspect that both men will be hard to submit soberly.

With Las Vegas odds slightly favoring Pettis, I can’t say that I disagree.

Not only does Pettis have multiple paths to victory, but he is also the more proven five-round product. Poirier, who tends to give a little too much of himself at times, could find himself in troublesome spots should he not manage his approach wisely.

However, should the Louisianan avoid the big shots early and stay present at the steering wheel, I see his pressure-fighting approach paying dividends both stylistically and on the scorecards. Pettis has the propensity to fight in between the fence and inner-black octagon lines, which also just so happens to be where Poirier makes his money (whether it be by strikes or takedowns).

If Poirier is allowed to reach his cruising altitude, Pettis could quickly find himself reacquainted with the wrong side of pressure. For that reason, I will reluctantly side with Poirier in what I feel will ultimately be a back-and-forth war.

Whichever side you are on, I suggest caution in playing it; this is a gunfight, folks.

Official pick: Poirier by decision Official outcome: To be determined

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Jiu-Jitsu: Reta final de inscrições para o Classic BJJ Pro em Fortaleza

GracieMag News -

Classic BJJ promete agitar Fortaleza no feriado de 15 de novembro. Foto: Divulgação

As inscrições para o Classic BJJ Pro estão em reta final, com encerramento neste sábado, dia 11 de novembro. O torneio com disputas com e sem kimono será realizado no feriado de 15 de novembro (Proclamação da República) e promete agitar o Colégio Gustavo Braga em Fortaleza, Ceará.

Válido pelo Ranking MeiaGuarda, o evento já tem confirmados nomes conhecidos na região, como Marcelo Marques, Pedro Henrique, Almir Jr, Aloisio Jr, Alysson Bruno, Napoleão Cavalcante, Matheus Carlos, Samuel Falcão, Luiz Otávio, Jonas Bruno, Fernando Kylderi, João Victor Machado, Davi Silva, Anderson Leal, Antonio Filho, Relter Filho, Lindisney Lima, Rodrigo Feitosa, Macksuel Maciel, Felipe Carlos, Gabriel Almeida, , Rithy Sales, Leidiane Regis e Jeanne Rafaelly, entre outros atletas.

Inscreva-se já e junte-se a eles. O registro pode ser feito nas lojas TOGO, OSS, Moringa ou Fort Nutri.

Confira os valores da inscrição:

Categoria – 60 reais
Absoluto – 40 reais
Com kimono + Sem kimono (Categorias) – 100 reais
Com kimono + Sem kimono (Categorias + Absolutos) – 150 reais
Projeto Social – 25 reais

Mais informações podem ser obtidas pelo telefone (85) 98954-3813, ou no site www.meiaguarda.com.br.

Diego Sanchez rejuvenated at welterweight, ready for resurgence at UFC-Norfolk

MMA Junkie News -

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

NORFOLK, Va. – It’s been an up-and-down run for Diego Sanchez for years now.

After the Season 1 “Ultimate Fighter” middleweight winner dropped back to lightweight from a four-fight run at welterweight, he’s gone 4-4 in the division. (He also had a one-fight stint at featherweight, which was a loss to Ricardo Lamas.)

But on Saturday, Sanchez (27-10 MMA, 16-10 UFC) returns to the welterweight division to take on Matt Brown (20-16 MMA, 13-10 UFC) in the UFC Fight Night 120 co-main event, and the extra 15-pound savings has him rejuvenated and feeling like he can make a run at a title again.

UFC Fight Night 120 takes place Saturday at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va. It airs on FS1, including Sanchez-Brown in the welterweight co-feature, following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

RelatedMatt Brown having second thoughts about retirement heading into UFC-Norfolk

“After my loss at UFC 200 … I had to lose to realize that I wasn’t fighting at my best,” Sanchez today told MMAjunkie after a workout in Norfolk, Va. “I wasn’t fighting at my healthiest. It was a hard thing to do. I took that first knockout loss by Al Iaquinta and it made me realize, ‘Ya know what, Diego? You’re 35 years old. You can’t recover from these weight cuts the way you used to when you were 25 years old.’

“I soul searched for months and I said, ‘Ya know what? For the remainder of my career, I’m going to enjoy it.’ Everybody knows I can’t fight forever. Everybody knows that from 35, you’re looking at the window closing on your career. And I know that.”

Sanchez looked around and saw the sport starting to change once USADA started more stringent drug testing. He saw fighters moving up a weight class and finding success, conceivably because they were getting the training benefit of not cutting the weight they once did.

And honestly, Sanchez said needing to make the cut to 155 just had him outright unhappy.

“I went down to 155 for the challenge,” Sanchez said. “I went down to 155 back in the day when (testosterone-replacement therapy) was allowed to be done. These guys didn’t even have a test for Human Growth Hormone. On top of that, they were using IVs to rehydrate.

“So once USADA came in the game, the sport started to adapt and evolve … things are changing. The game is changing. And you’re seeing that the real truth of it is, when fighters are natural, it’s not the size of the dog, it’s the fight in the dog.”

On Saturday, he believes he’ll have plenty of fight and is hoping for a return to the “Nightmare” of old, even though Brown is a 3-1 favorite against him.

For more from Sanchez, check out the video above.

And for more on UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Diego Sanchez is declared the winner against Jim Miller during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Jul 9, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Joe Lauzon (blue gloves) punches Diego Sanchez (red gloves) during UFC 200 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Jul 9, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Joe Lauzon (blue gloves) and Diego Sanchez (red gloves) fight during UFC 200 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Diego Sanchez fights against Jim Miller during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Diego Sanchez fights against Jim Miller during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Diego Sanchez lands a kick against Jim Miller during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Diego Sanchez fights against Jim Miller during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Diego Sanchez reacts following his match against Jim Miller during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Diego Sanchez reacts following his match against Jim Miller during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Diego Sanchez is declared the winner against Jim Miller during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Jun 7, 2014; Albuquerque, NM, USA; Diego Sanchez (red) and Ross Pearson (blue) fight during their lightweight bout during UFC Fight Night 42 at Tingley Coliseum. Sanchez won via split decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jun 7, 2014; Albuquerque, NM, USA; Diego Sanchez (red) and Ross Pearson (blue) fight during their lightweight bout during UFC Fight Night 42 at Tingley Coliseum. Sanchez won via split decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jun 7, 2014; Albuquerque, NM, USA; Diego Sanchez (red) and Ross Pearson (blue) fight during their lightweight bout during UFC Fight Night 42 at Tingley Coliseum. Sanchez won via split decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jun 7, 2014; Albuquerque, NM, USA; Diego Sanchez (red) and Ross Pearson (blue) fight during their lightweight bout during UFC Fight Night 42 at Tingley Coliseum. Sanchez won via split decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jun 7, 2014; Albuquerque, NM, USA; Diego Sanchez (red) and Ross Pearson (blue) fight during their lightweight bout during UFC Fight Night 42 at Tingley Coliseum. Sanchez won via split decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jun 7, 2014; Albuquerque, NM, USA; Diego Sanchez (red) celebrates his victory over Ross Pearson (blue) after their lightweight bout during UFC Fight Night 42 at Tingley Coliseum. Sanchez won via split decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jun 7, 2014; Albuquerque, NM, USA; Diego Sanchez (red) celebrates his victory over Ross Pearson (blue) after their lightweight bout during UFC Fight Night 42 at Tingley Coliseum. Sanchez won via split decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Oct 19, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Gilbert Melendez (red gloves) fights against Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) in their lightweight bout during UFC 166 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports Oct 19, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Gilbert Melendez (red gloves) fights against Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) in their lightweight bout during UFC 166 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports Oct 19, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Gilbert Melendez (red gloves) fights against Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) in their lightweight bout during UFC 166 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-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/KWhZReSUq3hkUTAvVF43J3/283419", customAnalytics: true, title: "Diego Sanchez", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

LFA 29 set for Dec. 15 with bantamweight title fight

MMA Junkie News -

LFA 29 is set for next month in Minnesota, and a title fight tops the card.

LFA 29 takes place at Mystic Lake Casino Hotel in Prior Lake, Minn., and the main card airs on AXS TV.

The vacant bantamweight title will on the line in the main event when former UFC fighter Chico Camus (18-7) takes on fast-rising prospect Ricky Simon (10-1).

RelatedUsually the one eating punches in training, LFA's Mackenzie Dern happy to land some of her own

Camus, who went 3-4 (with one no-contest) during a three-year UFC run, is 4-0 since then with a string of decision victories with RFA and LFA. The 32-year-old former flyweight, who’s fought at bantamweight in his past two bouts, now meets Simon, a 25-year-old Titan FC and KOTC vet who recently scored a split-decision victory over Donavon Frelow at DWCS 5 for his third straight win.

In the co-main event, former Bellator fighter and “The Ultimate Fighter 12” competitor Mike Richman (18-7) fights in his home state when he takes on lightweight Jeff Peterson (8-4), who’s won five straight.

The latest LFA 29 lineup includes:

For more on LFA 28, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News

Matt Brown having second thoughts about retirement heading into UFC-Norfolk

MMA Junkie News -

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

NORFOLK, Va. – Matt Brown is only a couple months removed from telling the world his UFC Fight Night 120 co-main event against Diego Sanchez would be his final walk to the cage.

But with the promise of retirement looming just two days away, Brown (20-16 MMA, 13-10 UFC) isn’t so sure anymore he’s going to want to leave his gloves in the cage after he fights Sanchez (27-10 MMA, 16-10 UFC).

“(Retirement is) not really on my mind, to be honest,” Brown today told MMAjunkie after a workout for fans in Norfolk, Va. “I’m focused on Saturday. I’ll revisit that next week (and) over the holidays with family and friends and we’ll figure everything out then.”

UFC Fight Night 120 takes place Saturday at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va. It airs on FS1, including Brown-Sanchez in the welterweight co-feature, following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

RelatedJoe Lauzon knows you want 'Fight of the Night' for him and Clay Guida, but he won't chase it

Brown’s UFC run the past three-plus years has been a rough one, which may have helped motivate his initial announcement that he was going to walk away after the Sanchez fight.

Brown, who will turn 37 in January, has gone just 1-5 his past six fights. After decision losses to former champs Robbie Lawler and Johny Hendricks, he submitted Tim Means in July 2015. But since then, he’s had three straight stoppage losses to Demian Maia, Jake Ellenberger and Donald Cerrone.

So did he just let his emotions get the best of him and make a hasty announcement when he was having a bad day?

“It was kind of a moment thing,” Brown said. “But at the same time, I think a huge part of it is I’m scared of retirement. I don’t know what I’m going to do – I never gave myself a Plan B. I never gave myself a way out. And that kind of motivates me. I can’t be afraid of something. It could end at any day. I could tear an ACL or have a heart attack. You don’t know. I’ve never been one to back down from things I fear. That’s probably the biggest fear right now – retirement.”

After a head-kick knockout loss to Cerrone at UFC 206 11 months ago, he took nearly a year off with the goal being to figure out what life after fighting was going to be like. But here he is, ready to fight Sanchez, and he still isn’t sure.

Brown said he never fully committed to figuring it out while he was off – though he does know after fighting he’ll want to be a regular around the gym, coaching and training with other fighters.

It may be weeks or months before we know if “The Immortal” truly will be done fighting after he takes on Sanchez, against whom he’s more than a 3-1 favorite.

But Brown said he can’t think about the skid he’s on – even if he does sort of still have the potential for retirement in his peripheral vision.

“The past few fights have not been indicative of what I can actually do,” he said. “I try to just kind of put it out of my mind. I’m approaching this fight like I’ve never fought before and I’m never going to fight again. Just (Saturday) is the only thing on my mind, and I don’t have anything else that’s affecting my mental state at all.”

For more from Brown, check out the video above.

And for more on UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Jul 30, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Matt Brown (red gloves) competes against Jake Ellenberger (blue gloves) during UFC 201 at Phillips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports Jul 30, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Matt Brown (red gloves) competes against Jake Ellenberger (blue gloves) during UFC 201 at Phillips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports May 14, 2016; Curitiba, Brazil; Matt Brown (blue) fights against Demian Maia (red) on the mat during UFC Fight Night at Arena Atletico Paranaense. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 14, 2016; Curitiba, Brazil; Matt Brown (blue) looks on after losing to Demian Maia (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Arena Atletico Paranaense. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jul 11, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Matt Brown (red gloves) and Tim Means (blue gloves) fight during UFC 189 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Brown won via first round submission. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jul 11, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Matt Brown (red gloves) and Tim Means (blue gloves) fight during UFC 189 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Brown won via first round submission. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jul 11, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Matt Brown (red gloves) submits Tim Means (blue gloves) during UFC 189 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Brown won via first round submission. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jul 11, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Matt Brown (red gloves) reacts after submitting Tim Means (blue gloves) during UFC 189 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Brown won via first round submission. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jul 11, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Matt Brown (red gloves) reacts after submitting Tim Means (not pictured) during UFC 189 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Brown won via first round submission. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 14, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Johny Hendricks (red) fights Matt Brown (blue) in a welterweight bout during UFC 185 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports Mar 14, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Johny Hendricks (red) fights Matt Brown (blue) in a welterweight bout during UFC 185 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports Mar 14, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Johny Hendricks (red) fights Matt Brown (blue) in a welterweight bout during UFC 185 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports Mar 14, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Johny Hendricks (red) fights Matt Brown (blue) in a welterweight bout during UFC 185 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports Mar 14, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Johny Hendricks (red) fights Matt Brown (blue) in a welterweight bout during UFC 185 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports Mar 14, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Johny Hendricks (red) fights Matt Brown (blue) in a welterweight bout during UFC 185 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-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/2dvKXH2s5eGgSwjGBAnADC/283374", customAnalytics: true, title: "Matt Brown", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

'Rampage' Jackson signs multi-fight Bellator contract

MMA Junkie News -

One of MMA’s all-time greats will continue fighting for Bellator.

The promotion today announced that it has signed Quinton Jackson to a multi-fight contract. “Rampage” (37-12 MMA, 4-1 BMMA) is expected to return to action in early 2018.

“I am excited for this new beginning and looking forward to an action packed 2018,” Jackson said in a Bellator-issued statement. “I can’t wait to get back in the cage and put on exciting fights for both the ‘Rampage’ and Bellator fans.”

Jackson, 39, most recently competed under the Bellator banner earlier this year in March, dropping a unanimous decision to Muhammed Lawal in a heavyweight main event at Bellator 175. The rematch loss snapped a five-fight winning streak.

RelatedNASCAR's 2017 finale includes 4-bout Bellator card with guests 'Hendo' and 'Rampage'

“Rampage,” a former PRIDE middleweight champion and UFC light heavyweight title holder, first competed for Bellator in 2013 after nearly six years with the UFC. He holds victories over some of the biggest names in MMA history, including Chuck Liddell, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Dan Henderson, and Wanderlei Silva.

“With ‘Rampage’ Jackson, you know what you’re going to get every time he steps inside the Bellator cage – an exciting fight and interest from fans all over the world,” Bellator President Scott Coker said. “I knew that keeping ‘Rampage’ with Bellator was integral to our continued growth as a promotion, and I’m pleased that we were able to come to an agreement that allows us to plan some great future matchups for him.”

For more on the upcoming Bellator schedule, visit the MMA Rumors section of the site.

May 17, 2014; Southaven, MS, USA; Quinton Jackson walks out before the fight against Muhammed Lawal during BFC 120 at Landers Center. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports May 17, 2014; Southaven, MS, USA; Muhammed Lawal walks out before the fight against Quinton Jackson during BFC 120 at Landers Center. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports May 17, 2014; Southaven, MS, USA; Quinton Jackson before the fight against Muhammed Lawal during BFC 120 at Landers Center. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports May 17, 2014; Southaven, MS, USA; Muhammed Lawal (red gloves) fights against Quinton Jackson (blue gloves) during BFC 120 at Landers Center. Quinton Jackson defeats Muhammed Lawal by unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports May 17, 2014; Southaven, MS, USA; Muhammed Lawal (red gloves) fights against Quinton Jackson (blue gloves) during BFC 120 at Landers Center. Quinton Jackson defeats Muhammed Lawal by unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports May 17, 2014; Southaven, MS, USA; Muhammed Lawal (red gloves) fights against Quinton Jackson (blue gloves) during BFC 120 at Landers Center. Quinton Jackson defeats Muhammed Lawal by unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports May 17, 2014; Southaven, MS, USA; Muhammed Lawal (red gloves) fights against Quinton Jackson (blue gloves) during BFC 120 at Landers Center. Quinton Jackson defeats Muhammed Lawal by unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports May 17, 2014; Southaven, MS, USA; Muhammed Lawal (red gloves) fights against Quinton Jackson (blue gloves) during BFC 120 at Landers Center. Quinton Jackson defeats Muhammed Lawal by unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports May 17, 2014; Southaven, MS, USA; Muhammed Lawal (red gloves) fights against Quinton Jackson (blue gloves) during BFC 120 at Landers Center. Quinton Jackson defeats Muhammed Lawal by unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports May 17, 2014; Southaven, MS, USA; Muhammed Lawal (red gloves) fights against Quinton Jackson (blue gloves) during BFC 120 at Landers Center. Quinton Jackson defeats Muhammed Lawal by unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports May 17, 2014; Southaven, MS, USA; Muhammed Lawal (red gloves) fights against Quinton Jackson (blue gloves) during BFC 120 at Landers Center. Quinton Jackson defeats Muhammed Lawal by unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports May 17, 2014; Southaven, MS, USA; Muhammed Lawal (red gloves) fights against Quinton Jackson (blue gloves) during BFC 120 at Landers Center. Quinton Jackson defeats Muhammed Lawal by unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports May 17, 2014; Southaven, MS, USA; Muhammed Lawal between rounds against Quinton Jackson during BFC 120 at Landers Center. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports May 17, 2014; Southaven, MS, USA; Muhammed Lawal (red gloves) fights against Quinton Jackson (blue gloves) during BFC 120 at Landers Center. Quinton Jackson defeats Muhammed Lawal by unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports May 17, 2014; Southaven, MS, USA; Muhammed Lawal (red gloves) fights against Quinton Jackson (blue gloves) during BFC 120 at Landers Center. Quinton Jackson defeats Muhammed Lawal by unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports May 17, 2014; Southaven, MS, USA; Muhammed Lawal (red gloves) fights against Quinton Jackson (blue gloves) during BFC 120 at Landers Center. Quinton Jackson defeats Muhammed Lawal by unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports May 17, 2014; Southaven, MS, USA; Muhammed Lawal (red gloves) fights against Quinton Jackson (blue gloves) during BFC 120 at Landers Center. Quinton Jackson defeats Muhammed Lawal by unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports May 17, 2014; Southaven, MS, USA; Muhammed Lawal (red gloves) fights against Quinton Jackson (blue gloves) during BFC 120 at Landers Center. Quinton Jackson defeats Muhammed Lawal by unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports May 17, 2014; Southaven, MS, USA; Muhammed Lawal after the fight against Quinton Jackson during BFC 120 at Landers Center. Quinton Jackson defeats Muhammed Lawal by unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports May 17, 2014; Southaven, MS, USA; Muhammed Lawal after the fight against Quinton Jackson during BFC 120 at Landers Center. Quinton Jackson defeats Muhammed Lawal by unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports May 17, 2014; Southaven, MS, USA; Quinton Jackson after the fight against Muhammed Lawal during BFC 120 at Landers Center. 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Filed under: Bellator, News

Ahead of UFC Fight Night 120, Marlon Moraes reflects on 1st loss in almost 6 years

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Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Raphael Assuncao (red gloves) reacts to fight against Marlon Moraes (blue gloves) during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Raphael Assuncao (red gloves) before the fight against Marlon Moraes (blue gloves) during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Marlon Moraes (blue gloves) before the fight against Raphael Assuncao (red gloves) during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Raphael Assuncao (red gloves) fights Marlon Moraes (blue gloves) during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Raphael Assuncao (red gloves) fights Marlon Moraes (blue gloves) during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Raphael Assuncao (red gloves) fights Marlon Moraes (blue gloves) during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Marlon Moraes (blue gloves) reacts to fight against Raphael Assuncao (red gloves) during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Raphael Assuncao (red gloves) fights Marlon Moraes (blue gloves) during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Raphael Assuncao (red gloves) fights Marlon Moraes (blue gloves) during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Raphael Assuncao (red gloves) reacts to fight against Marlon Moraes (blue gloves) during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-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/JbztgoDLpsGorTAtWaR6kb/283292", customAnalytics: true, title: "Assuncao def. Moraes", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

When bantamweight Marlon Moraes enters the UFC octagon on Saturday, it’ll be under circumstances he hasn’t experience in quite some time: He’ll be coming off a loss.

By dropping a split decision to bantamweight contender Raphael Assuncao (25-5 MMA, 9-2 UFC) in his octagon debut at UFC 212, Moraes (18-5-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) also halted a winning streak that dated back to 2011. All but two of the 13 wins in that timeframe took place with his former WSOF home, where Moraes defended the bantamweight title five times before signing with the UFC.

Moraes is now fully focused on his next battle: a UFC Fight 120 bantamweight meeting with former 125-pound title challenger John Dodson (19-8 MMA, 8-3 UFC). But as present-driven as he is, it’s hard to completely dismiss the past.

“It does affect your ego a little bit,” Moraes told MMAjunkie ahead of the FS1-televised preliminary-card bout, which takes place at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va . “I want to get back out there soon, come back strong.

“(I want to) win this fight well and do everything I know. I think it’s another way to motivate me and to push me to go to my limit.”

RelatedUFC Fight Night 120 pre-event facts: Matt Brown matches longtime record in retirement bout

Moraes was certainly given no easy task to start off his UFC run. Fellow Brazilian Assuncao, who was just coming off a win over tough up-and-comer Aljamain Sterling, is a perennial contender who at one point rode an impressive seven-fight UFC winning streak that included a win over current champ T.J. Dillashaw.

Prior to his loss to Dillashaw in a UFC 200 rematch, Assuncao hadn’t tasted defeat since Erick Koch knocked him out in 2011.

Still, the No. 7 fighter in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA bantamweight rankings believes he could have done better against No. 4 Assuncao.

“Honestly, Raphael is a fighter who’s a top-three, top-five fighter in the UFC,” Moraes said. “But I had every intention to beat him. It was a very tight fight. It was a split decision that, honestly, was kind of controversial. But it wasn’t my best night.”

There’s a bright side there, though.

“If I could do that on a bad night,” Moraes pondered, “on a good night, I can certainly go up against anyone in the division.”

It’s with the same bittersweet approach that Moraes reflects upon his first setback in years. Sure, losing isn’t great – especially when you believe you could have done more to keep it from happening. But count on Moraes to, once more, offer a silver lining.

“Normally, in life, it’s very hard to deal with failure,” Moraes said. “And a loss – I failed. I didn’t win. But, mainly, because it wasn’t a great performance. When you fight and lose, but you give it everything you have, there’s that sense of fulfilled duty. But to me, it intensified a bit because that wasn’t the best Marlon you’ve seen inside the cage.

“It was hard at first. But it’s good, because it’d been a while since I’d lost. It’d been a while since I felt who was really with me and who wasn’t. And a time like this shows those who really are with you.”

RelatedMMA's week out of the cage: May-Mac World Tour, John Dodson gets hitched and more

In any case, Moraes is ready to move on. Which, of course, starts with Dodson. The recipe for a winning performance isn’t exactly mysterious: At the gym, Moraes put in the hours and the work. And, in the cage, it’s about pressure, moving forward and setting the pace.

“I’m an athlete who likes to fight in every area,” Moraes said. “And I hope to leave it in all there. It will be a well-rounded fight. You won’t see Marlon  shying away from the striking, from wrestling or jiu-jitsu. It will be an aggressive Marlon who’ll attack in every area.

“I’m prepared and I’m going to give it my all in pursuit of this win.”

While a 0-1 start to a UFC career isn’t ideal, it’s not like Moraes is just anyone in the bantamweight shuffle. He was, after all, a highly victorious champion. And, currently occupying the No. 9 spot in the UFC’s official rankings, it’s safe to say a win over No. 8 Dodson could award him some goodwill with the promotion.

But the former WSOF kingpin didn’t come into the UFC to start handpicking opponents. And neither is he willing to let future possibilities distract him from what is happening right now.

“My main focus is this fight – this win,” Moraes said. “To get in there and do the best fight of my life. That’s it and nothing else.”

For more on UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: News, UFC

LFA 28 set for Dec. 8 in Dallas with Cutts vs. Willis headliner

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May 30, 2015; Goiania, GO, Brazil; Damon Jackson during his fight with Rony Jason Mariano during UFC Fight Night at Goiania Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 30, 2015; Goiania, GO, Brazil; Damon Jackson before his fight with Rony Jason Mariano during UFC Fight Night at Goiania Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 30, 2015; Goiania, GO, Brazil; Rony Jason Mariano (red gloves) fights Damon Jackson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Goiania Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 30, 2015; Goiania, GO, Brazil; Rony Jason Mariano (red gloves) fights Damon Jackson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Goiania Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports August 30, 2014; Sacramento, CA, USA; Damon Jackson (blue gloves) fights Yancy Medeiros (red gloves) during the lightweight bout of UFC 177 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports August 30, 2014; Sacramento, CA, USA; Yancy Medeiros (red gloves) fights against Damon Jackson (blue gloves) during the lightweight bout of UFC 177 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports August 30, 2014; Sacramento, CA, USA; Yancy Medeiros (red gloves) fights against Damon Jackson (blue gloves) during the lightweight bout of UFC 177 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports August 30, 2014; Sacramento, CA, USA; Damon Jackson (blue gloves) fights Yancy Medeiros (red gloves) during the lightweight bout of UFC 177 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports August 30, 2014; Sacramento, CA, USA; Yancy Medeiros (red gloves) fights against Damon Jackson (blue gloves) during the lightweight bout of UFC 177 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports August 30, 2014; Sacramento, CA, USA; Yancy Medeiros (red gloves) fights against Damon Jackson (blue gloves) during the lightweight bout of UFC 177 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/uZmvTsfwdSuwYeUxFixjqX/283310", customAnalytics: true, title: "Damon Jackson", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

LFA 28 will take place next month in Dallas, and the fight card is taking shape.

LFA 28 takes place at The Bomb Factory in Dallas, and the main card airs on AXS TV.

In welterweight main event, Evan Cutts (8-3), a 26-year-old from Dallas, looks for his fourth win in five fights when he meets unseated Jaleel Willis (8-0), a 25-year-old former Bellator and WSOF fighter who has four knockouts in eight career wins.

In the lightweight co-headliner, Damon Jackson (12-2-1), a 29-year-old former UFC fighter and “Fight Master” quarterfinalist who’s 3-1 since his UFC release, looks to continue his success with Legacy FC/LFA when he takes on undefeated Thai Clark (7-0), a 28-year-old who’s 7-0 with five decisions since turning pro in 2014.

The latest LFA 28 lineup includes:

For more on LFA 28, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News

Congressman grills UFC executive during Ali Expansion Act hearing

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

It was a scrap almost from the gavel.

Congressman Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., grilled UFC executive Marc Ratner during a subcommittee hearing today in Washington, D.C., calling the industry-leading promotion the “Don King of MMA” after several testy exchanges over the way fighters are ranked and promoted.

Mullin, a former MMA fighter and co-sponsor of a bill to expand Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act to include MMA fighters, accused Ratner of “misleading the American people” about a statement in opposition to the bill.

“When you say boxers are treated like MMA fighters, clarify that statement that you’re talking about the health of the fighter, but not the professional ranking system, and not about the financial disclosures, because there are distinct differences,” said Mullin, who represents Oklahoma’s 2nd district in the house. “And the Ali Act is the backstop to boxers. There is no backstop for MMA fighter. It’s take it or leave it, and that’s why I say the UFC has become the Don King of MMA.”

Today’s hearing was the second time the Ali Expansion Act was publicly discussed on Capitol Hill. The bill’s first version, introduced during the 114th session of Congress, died in committee. Mullin reintroduced a new version, H.R. 44, during the 115th session.

The current bill has 57 co-sponsors and remains in the house’s Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection, which is a part of the house Energy and Commerce committee.

The bill, explored in depth in an MMAjunkie report this past year, aims to provide greater protections for MMA fighters by forcing promoters to provide greater disclosure of the revenues they earn, forbidding coercive contracts, establishing an independent rankings system, and eliminating conflicts of interest.

RelatedWith Ali Act, a long battle for MMA's future is just beginning

Ratner, vice president of regulatory affairs for the UFC, appeared on behalf of the promotion to argue why the expansion act wasn’t suited for the sport of MMA. Opposite on the dais was UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture, a vocal advocate for the Act’s expansion since the bill was introduced, as well as Dr. Kristen Dams-O’Connor, an expert on brain trauma, and Greg Sirb, the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission’s executive director.

Ratner read from a prepared statement that expressed the UFC’s commitment to health and safety standards and its contribution to the regulatory framework of the sport. He argued MMA fighters and boxers are treated the same from a regulatory standpoint, and that current regulatory standards are working as intended. He argued the imposition of a sanctioning model would run contrary to the promotion’s “merit-based, competitive matchmaking decisions.”

“We put on the fights that the fans want to see,” Ratner said. “Fighters, fans and sports reporters keep MMA promoters accountable. H.R. 44 would remove from the promoter the decisions regarding when and against whom fighters are matched, and might force inter-promotional fights. Because
different promotions have less comprehensive health and safety standards than the UFC, our fighters would be endangered.”

Mullin immediately went on the offensive in response to Ratner’s focus on health and safety, as well as his claim that MMA fighters and boxers are treated the same. He cited several instances where the promotion circumvented its own ranking systems to make fights, including this past Saturday’s UFC 217 headliner between Georges St-Pierre (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC) and Michael Bisping (30-8 MMA, 20-8 UFC).

“If the UFC is considered a professional sport, then it should be on a merit-based rankings system,” Mullin said, “when the fans know the No. 1 contender actually has a shot at the title. Because we haven’t seen that at (middleweight). How did Dan Henderson – and I like Dan Henderson, this is no knock on him – but he wasn’t even in the top-10, and when was he last in the top-10? He got to fight Bisping for the title shot. Did the (No.) 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 (ranked contenders) refuse?

“When Dan Henderson fought Michael Bisping, it was a natural rematch from a fight four or five years ago,” Ratner countered.

“But then it wasn’t a title shot, but yet it was for a title shot,” Mullin shot back. “Then that means the world championship belt that the UFC has isn’t really a world championship belt. It’s really what (UFC Chief Operating Officer) Lawrence Epstein personally told me: It’s simply an award they bestow on the best fighter that night. That’s insulting to every professional athlete.

“How did (Georges St-Pierre) get a fight for the title when he hasn’t had a fight in four years, much less at 185 pounds, where he never fought for the belt?”

“St-Pierre hadn’t fought in four years, you’re absolutely right,” Ratner answered.

“So how did he get a title shot?” Mullin questioned.

“St-Pierre was a former champion,” Ratner replied, “a former pound-for-pound best fighter in the world, according to our. …”

“So he still didn’t fight for a title,” Mullin persisted. “He fought for an award bestowed upon the best fighter of the night.”

Check out the above video to watch Mullin’s questioning of Ratner.

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

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Michael Johnson gets Darren Elkins at UFC Fight Night 124 in first featherweight bout

MMA Junkie News -

Michael Johnson will be welcomed to the UFC featherweight division by a formidable foe.

Johnson (17-12 MMA, 9-8 UFC) today announced on his Instagram that he’s set to fight the red-hot Darren Elkins (23-5 MMA, 13-5 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 124, which takes place Jan. 14 at Scottrade Center in St. Louis and airs on FS1.

Brazilian website Combate was first to report the news.

Johnson told MMAjunkie last month that he wanted his first featherweight fight to be against top-10 opponent, and that’s what he’ll get in Elkins, who is riding a five-fight winning streak.

Johnson will enter the 145-pound division looking to reverse a recent tailspin. He’s lost four of his previous fight bouts, including two in a row. In his most recent encounter, Johnson was TKO’d in July by former WSOF champion Justin Gaethje in The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale main event. The two engaged in a blistering slugfest considered to be a “Fight of the Year” contender before Gaethje finished Johnson late in the second round.

The gritty Elkins, No. 10 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA featherweight rankings, won both of his fights in 2017. In March, Elkins rallied to knock out Mirsad Bektic in the third round at UFC 209. Elkins followed that “Performance of the Night” with a split-decision win over Dennis Bermudez in July at UFC on FOX 25.

The latest UFC Fight Night 124 card now includes:

  • Vitor Belfort vs. Uriah Hall
  • Thiago Alves vs. Zak Cummings
  • Matt Frevola vs. Marco Polo Reyes
  • James Krause vs. Alex White
  • Darren Elkins vs. Michael Johnson

For more on UFC Fight Night 124, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Sep 17, 2016; Hidalgo, TX, USA; Michael Johnson (blue gloves) defeats Dustin Poirier during UFC Fight Night at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Porkorny-USA TODAY Sports Aug 8, 2015; Nashville, TN, USA; Michael Johnson (red gloves) fights against Beneil Dariush (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Lindsey-USA TODAY Sports December 19, 2015; Orlando, FL, USA; Nate Diaz moves in with a punch against Michael Johnson during UFC Fight Night at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports December 19, 2015; Orlando, FL, USA; Nate Diaz defends against a kick by Michael Johnson during UFC Fight Night at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports Aug 9, 2015; Nashville, TN, USA; Michael Johnson speaks during a press conference after UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Lindsey-USA TODAY Sports Aug 8, 2015; Nashville, TN, USA; Beneil Dariush (blue gloves) reacts after defeating Michael Johnson (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Lindsey-USA TODAY Sports Aug 8, 2015; Nashville, TN, USA; Michael Johnson (red gloves) fights against Beneil Dariush (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Lindsey-USA TODAY Sports Aug 8, 2015; Nashville, TN, USA; Michael Johnson (red gloves) fights against Beneil Dariush (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Lindsey-USA TODAY Sports Aug 8, 2015; Nashville, TN, USA; Michael Johnson (red gloves) fights against Beneil Dariush (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Lindsey-USA TODAY Sports Aug 7, 2015; Nashville, TN, USA; Michael Johnson during weigh ins for UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Lindsey-USA TODAY Sports Feb 22, 2015; Porto Alegre, Brazil; Michael Johnson (blue gloves) celebrates after his fight against Edson Barboza (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ginasio do Gigantinho. Mandatory Credit: Jason da Silva-USA TODAY Sports Sep 17, 2016; Hidalgo, TX, USA; Michael Johnson (blue gloves) defeats Dustin Poirier during UFC Fight Night at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Porkorny-USA TODAY Sports Sep 17, 2016; Hidalgo, TX, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) competes against Michael Johnson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Porkorny-USA TODAY Sports Sep 17, 2016; Hidalgo, TX, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) competes against Michael Johnson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Porkorny-USA TODAY Sports Sep 17, 2016; Hidalgo, TX, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) competes against Michael Johnson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Porkorny-USA TODAY Sports Sep 17, 2016; Hidalgo, TX, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) competes against Michael Johnson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Porkorny-USA TODAY Sports Sep 17, 2016; Hidalgo, TX, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) gets knocked down by Michael Johnson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Porkorny-USA TODAY Sports Sep 17, 2016; Hidalgo, TX, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) gets knocked down by Michael Johnson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Porkorny-USA TODAY Sports Sep 17, 2016; Hidalgo, TX, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) gets knocked down by Michael Johnson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Porkorny-USA TODAY Sports Sep 17, 2016; Hidalgo, TX, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) gets knocked down by Michael Johnson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Porkorny-USA TODAY Sports Sep 17, 2016; Hidalgo, TX, USA; Michael Johnson (blue gloves) defeats Dustin Poirier during UFC Fight Night at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Porkorny-USA TODAY Sports Sep 17, 2016; Hidalgo, TX, USA; Michael Johnson (blue gloves) defeats Dustin Poirier during UFC Fight Night at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Porkorny-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/BmPeLHi26f6C5PxADa7iAb/283349", customAnalytics: true, title: "Michael Johnson", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC

Twitter Mailbag: On McGregor's career crossroads, Holloway's replacement challenger, and more

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What will his next choice of opponent tell us about the UFC lightweight champion’s true goals? And who would make the best replacement to fight for the UFC featherweight title now that Frankie Edgar is injured? Plus, the UFC is getting into boxing now? Seriously?

All that and more in this week’s Twitter Mailbag. To ask a question of your own, tweet to @BenFowlkesMMA.

* * * *

As a McGregor fan, at what point should I become annoyed at Conor’s, let’s called it, lukewarm desire to defend a UFC belt against a legitimate contender? Lot of Diaz and Mayweather rumors in the air.

— Michael (@NOTORIOU5_Nigel) November 8, 2017

You have to decide for yourself where that point is, but this seems like a pretty clear crossroads. If Conor McGregor’s next fight (assuming the UFC gives in to his ownership demands) isn’t a UFC lightweight title defense against Tony Ferguson, or whoever holds the interim belt by then, it’s going to get a lot harder to refer to him as a UFC champion.

And I don’t say that lightly, since prior to this point I could see his reasoning for not defending his UFC belts. He’s an ambitious man, which meant he was always looking for something bigger and better. He was also looking for monster paydays and historic fights.

He’s had both in the past couple years. And we enjoyed it so much, we didn’t get overly concerned when it sometimes failed to adhere to a clear logic. But where’s he going to go from here? It’s tough to take a step up from that Floyd Mayweather bout. The best thing he can do is cement himself as a champion by making his first defense against a worthy challenger. And “El Cucuy” is as worthy as it gets.

With Poirier/Pettis, Brown/Sanchez, Lauzon/Guida, and Dodson/Moraes, is UFC FN Norfolk the ultimate hardcore fan appreciation or Just Bleed card?

— Jay Pettry (@jaypettry) November 8, 2017

It’s definitely not targeting the casual audience, that’s for sure. But if you heard all about how awesome UFC 217 was and you decided to tune in to the next free cable TV fight to judge the action for yourself, you could do a lot worse.

There’s bound to be some good action here, especially in the main and co-main. And if you don’t know Diego Sanchez’s long history in the sport, maybe you won’t even be bummed out if Matt Brown steamrolls him the way I expect him to.

Plus, if you can stay up and endure the commercials, Dustin Poirier and Anthony Pettis are probably going to give you one hell of a show in the headliner. I just can’t see that being a boring fight, no matter how it goes.

The question is, do any of these fights have immediate ramifications for their divisions? With a couple possible exceptions, no, not really. But that doesn’t mean they won’t be a good time for anyone with FS1 in their cable package this Saturday night.

Of the three available rematches for Holloway (also, lamas, Swanson) which is the most needed?

— Tyler Marentette (@dudleydigges) November 9, 2017

“Needed” is a tricky term, especially since Max Holloway already beat all three of those guys. So then you ask yourself two questions: 1) Who has done the most to earn a rematch, and 2) Who’d be the most fun and/or marketable fight for the champ?

Right away that rules out Jose Aldo, I’m sorry to say. He hasn’t fought since his TKO loss to Holloway in June, and the fight was so one-sided that I don’t see anyone getting too excited about running it back.

So how about Ricardo Lamas? He’s riding a two-fight winning streak with two finishes over tough fighters, so that’s a plus. Still, it’s not like he was at the top of anybody’s contender list, and he doesn’t have a super strong fanbase pushing to see him get another shot.

That leaves Cub Swanson, a reliably exciting fighter with four straight wins, the last two of which came with “Fight of the Night” honors. MMA fans love them some Cubbie Sampson. He’s bound to give you a show in victory or defeat, and he seems very into the idea of stepping in as replacement, judging by his initial reaction to the Frankie Edgar injury news on Twitter.

The only problem is, if you pull Swanson out of his fight with Brian Ortega, you create a domino effect of booking problems for UFC matchmakers. But hey, that’s their problem.

Has Thug Rose been given enough credit for UFC217?She went and flat out whooped Joanna but everyone's talking about Joanna's over-confidence

— MMA Ninja Geek (@MMA_Ninja_Geek) November 8, 2017

That’s a very fair point. For as long as it lasted, Rose Namajunas looked spectacular in her UFC 217 title bout. She wasn’t the least bit intimidated by Joanna Jedrzejczyk, but she also didn’t get overly excited when the fight started to swing her way.

In short, she looked like a well-rounded, mature fighter, which is saying something for a 25-year-old champion with only 10 pro fights in under five years of competition.

The real test is what happens now. Winning a UFC title can change your life in both good and bad ways. Everything we’ve heard from her recently makes me think Namajunas can handle it, but it’ll be interesting to see what kind of challenge she faces in her first defense.

Do you believe Joanna’s record earns her an immediate rematch, or should a stopped (concussed) fighter get rest and a tuneup?

— shawn (@BuddyHuggs) November 8, 2017

Jedrzejczyk had a long and dominant enough reign at strawweight that I think she deserves an immediate rematch – when she’s ready for it. But you’re right that she might be better off taking some time to rest and recover after that fight, especially since she still seems hazy about what happened there at the very end.

@benfowlkesMMA #tmb does this mean we have to learn how to spell Joanna Champion's last name?

— Joe (@joec59) November 8, 2017

UFC 185 Hendricks beats Brown and improves to 17-3, on the heels of losing the closest of decisions against Lawler for the title. Last 6 he's 1-5 and looks like my friend who drinks for a living. 185 was march of 2015, usada July same year. Just coincidence? #tmb

— Bruno Walber Viana (@obrunowalber) November 8, 2017

First of all, I totally want to hang out with your friend. Second, I’ve got to admit that my eyebrows were literally raised after I read your question.

But we want to be careful about this line of reasoning. Fighters can go on losing skids with or without the help of performance-enhancing drugs. This is just that kind of business. Failure can beget doubt, which begets all sorts of bad and desperate decisions, which begets more failure. We’ve seen it over and over in MMA.

And riddle me this: If Johny Hendricks’ current woes are all the result of getting off whatever you think he was on, all due to a fear of USADA, wouldn’t he have been tempted to get back on the good stuff and take his chances with the drug tests by now? I know I would.

everybody knows that Cyborg is an alltime great, but are they doing a disservice to her legacy by installing her as queen of a non-functional, boutique division? Why on earth can't W145 be a functioning division like the others?

— Bardamu (@MacPherson9999) November 8, 2017

Cris Cyborg wasn’t “installed” on the throne of the 145-pound division – she took it by force. From Strikeforce to Invicta FC to the UFC, she’s beaten the tar out of anyone willing to buy the ticket and take the ride.

As for why the division doesn’t function like all the others, part of it is the lack of naturally occurring depth. There just aren’t a ton of female fighters with the size to compete in the 145-pound division, and Cyborg’s already beaten most of the existing ones.

And so far, the UFC hasn’t seemed that interested in cultivating an actual division there, maybe because it fears there aren’t enough good fighters to populate it, especially since Bellator already has several ranked fighters in the division under contract. In the UFC’s eyes, Cyborg is the whole show at 145 pounds.

Her opponents have mostly been a rotating cast of 135-pounders who were convinced to move up and take their chances, and that didn’t end well for any of them. Perhaps as a result, the job of convincing them seems to be getting harder and harder.

Do we ever see a boxing match on a UFC card? If so, when? #tmb

— JB (@captainfabulou2) November 8, 2017

I’ll believe the UFC as a boxing promoter when I see it, and even then I’m going to have some questions. Those questions may include, but are not limited to:

How are the payouts going to work, since top boxing talent usually gets paid a whole lot more than top MMA fighters?

And how can you oppose the Ali Act Expansion for MMA, but essentially admit that it’s fine for the boxing side of your business?

And speaking of the Ali Act, will the UFC try to require the same restrictive contracts of boxers that it does of MMA fighters?

Then there’s the other, arguably bigger question: Who is the intended audience for this? You need different fighting surfaces for the two different sports, so doing them both at the same event is tricky (ask Bellator). Plus, there’s not as much crossover between the two fanbases as people sometimes think, except when it comes to the few really big names in both sports.

I’m not saying the UFC can’t become a boxing promoter. What I am saying is that I wouldn’t be surprised if those “Zuffa Boxing” shirts become collector’s items soon. You know, in the same way that Atlanta Falcons 2017 Super Bowl Champions shirts are.

How excited was the CME to hear that Robert "Bobby knuckles" Whittaker has accepted his new nickname?

— Lotis Butchko (@LotisButchko) November 8, 2017

Does tapping to strikes deserve more scorn than tapping to a submission?

— Brandon (@_theoldcrow_) November 8, 2017

Short answer: no.

Slightly longer answer: depends on the circumstances, but still mostly no.

I’ve done battle with my nemesis Danny Downes on this topic before, but my position remains unchanged. I think there’s functionally very little difference between tapping to strikes and covering up in the fetal position while waiting for the referee to stop it. It makes no sense that we accept the latter as just something that happens, while the former makes a fighter an immediate object of scorn.

Why is @MMAjunkie breaking everyone’s hearts and posting fake news about till and woodley pic.twitter.com/v236eHjlrs

— Bombular (@nefaramos) November 8, 2017

In fairness, what we reported is UFC President Dana White said the fight was happening. And if you’ve been following this sport for any length of time, you ought to know that White excels at the art of just saying stuff. This time, it seems like he announced a fight without even discussing it with at least one of the participants.

And wasn’t White the one who, just last week, complained about inaccurate reporting on MMA? Wasn’t he the one who claimed that there’s “nothing factual that’s ever written about this business”? If that’s true, maybe it’s because we’re too willing to take his word for it, regardless of how many times he lies to us.

Ben Fowlkes is MMAjunkie and USA TODAY’s MMA columnist. Follow him on Twitter at @BenFowlkesMMA. Twitter Mailbag appears every Thursday on MMAjunkie.

Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Jose Aldo (red gloves) reacts to fight against Max Hollway (blue gloves) during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; General view of the arena for the fight between Jose Aldo (red gloves) Max Hollway (blue gloves) during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Max Hollway (blue gloves) enters the arena before the fight against Jose Aldo (red gloves) during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Jose Aldo (red gloves) enters the arena before the fight against Max Hollway (blue gloves) during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Jose Aldo (red gloves) and Max Hollway (blue gloves) touch gloves before the fight during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Jose Aldo (red gloves) fights Max Hollway (blue gloves) during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Jose Aldo (red gloves) fights Max Hollway (blue gloves) during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Jose Aldo (red gloves) fights Max Hollway (blue gloves) during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Jose Aldo (red gloves) fights Max Hollway (blue gloves) during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Jose Aldo (red gloves) fights Max Hollway (blue gloves) during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Jose Aldo (red gloves) fights Max Hollway (blue gloves) during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Jose Aldo (red gloves) fights Max Hollway (blue gloves) during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Jose Aldo (red gloves) fights Max Hollway (blue gloves) during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Jose Aldo (red gloves) fights Max Hollway (blue gloves) during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Jose Aldo (red gloves) fights Max Hollway (blue gloves) during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Jose Aldo (red gloves) reacts to fight against Max Hollway (blue gloves) during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Jose Aldo (red gloves) reacts to fight against Max Hollway (blue gloves) during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Jose Aldo (red gloves) reacts to fight against Max Hollway (blue gloves) during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Max Hollway (blue gloves) reacts to victory against Jose Aldo (red gloves) fights during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Max Hollway (blue gloves) reacts to victory against Jose Aldo (red gloves) fights during UFC 212 at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-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/B84CQRWMH4V4dxLzmg3uQL/283330", customAnalytics: true, title: "Holloway def. Aldo", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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Joe Lauzon knows you want 'Fight of the Night' for him and Clay Guida, but he won't chase it

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Joe Lauzon remembers the MMAjunkie headline when his fight against Clay Guida was announced in August: “Write the bonus check now,” it declared.

No pressure, right? But it’s a perfectly reasonable expectation of a headline, one would think. After all, Lauzon (27-13 MMA, 14-10 UFC) is the UFC’s all-time leader in bonus checks with 15, which have totaled out to more than $700,000 extra disclosed cash for him in his 24-fight career with the promotion. Guida (33-17 MMA, 13-11 UFC) has 24 fights in the UFC, as well, and has nine bonuses of his own.

Given the pair’s propensity for finishes, and propensity for being just as active in the 14th minute as they are in the first, Lauzon has to understand why everyone is expecting a typical barnburner from them at UFC Fight Night 120, which takes place Saturday at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va. It airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, and Lauzon-Guida open up the main card.

Related24 is the magic number for UFC Fight Night 120's Clay Guida and Joe Lauzon

But Lauzon is adamant he can’t go chasing after a bonus check, akin to a baseball power hitter trying to hit a homer.

“The $50,000 matters, but when you go chasing after something like that, generally you don’t catch it,” Lauzon told MMAjunkie on Wednesday ahead of the fight. “I haven’t done as well in bonuses in the last eight fights or so. Before, it was like almost every single fight, I was getting a bonus. I got 10 bonuses in my first 13 (UFC) fights, I think. It’s slowed down. But I was never looking for it. They were just happening on their own. They were happening organically.

“I think it’s going to be the same thing (against Guida). I’m not worried, ‘Oh, I’ve gotta go out there and get a bonus.’ No. I’ve got to go out there and win a fight.”

Lauzon debuted in the UFC in 2006 and shocked former lightweight champion Jens Pulver with a 48-second konckout. That was his first bonus. In his first 14 UFC fights, he had 12 bonuses. There only were three events he didn’t pocket an extra award check, but he made up for it on one of them by grabbing a double bonus in 2012 for his UFC on FOX 4 submission of Jamie Varner, which also won “Fight of the Night.”

But he’s right – the bonuses have slowed down. In the past four years, he only has three. That’s a great career for some fighters, but we’re talking about Joe Lauzon here – the bonus king. The stretch also has been an up-and-down period for him with a 5-5 record. For the past eight fights, he’s alternated wins and losses, and he’s coming off a majority-decision setback against Stevie Ray in April.

So naturally, he’s due against Guida, who recently returned to lightweight after a run at featherweight. Guida is a 50-fight veteran. Lauzon has 40. They’ve both been in the UFC for more than a decade and debuted one event apart in 2006. How they’ve missed meeting up over the years is merely a fluke, it seems.

“I was excited,” Lauzon said of the call about the matchup. “You always see these guys that have been around for a long time and go, ‘I wonder how it would go against that guy.’ A lot of those guys, I’ve fought now. I’ve fought Jim Miller twice, I fought Diego (Sanchez), I fought a lot of these guys. But it never worked out with Clay, and I was excited for it. We’ve both been around for so long and it’s just great that we’re going to get to see how it actually would play out.”

But if you want that back-and-forth 15-minute war, like both Lauzon and Guida have demonstrated they’re more than happy to be involved in in the past, Lauzon doesn’t necessarily want to oblige you.

Sure, he’ll go down that road if that’s how it plays out. But when he fought Sanchez at UFC 200, everyone expected the same kind of brawl, and Lauzon took yet another bonus for a quick stoppage.

“In and out (is what I want). In and out,” Lauzon said. “We can go in there and have a three-round brawl, or we can go out there, like when I fought Diego – that was pretty much a perfect fight for me. I clipped him right off the bat, and TKOd him in like a minute and a half. That was great. … Quick, easy fight is the best for me. I know the fans and the UFC would like to see a little bit longer fight and us really go at it and test it each other. But for me, I want a flawless victory – go out there and bang him with a hand and catch him in a guillotine or something.

“… Maybe we’re both going to be bleeding all over the place. I don’t know. But that’s not what I’m looking for. If it happens, I’m all about partaking. We’ll go for it. But we’ll see what happens.”

For more from Lauzon, check out the video above.

And for more on UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Aug 27, 2016; Vancouver, BC, Canada; Jim Miller (blue gloves) fights Joe Lauzon (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports Aug 27, 2016; Vancouver, BC, Canada; Joe Lauzon (red gloves) reacts to fight against Jim Miller (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports Aug 27, 2016; Vancouver, BC, Canada; Joe Lauzon (red gloves) reacts to fight against Jim Miller (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports Aug 27, 2016; Vancouver, BC, Canada; Joe Lauzon (red gloves) reacts to fight against Jim Miller (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports Aug 27, 2016; Vancouver, BC, Canada; Joe Lauzon (red gloves) reacts to fight against Jim Miller (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports Jul 9, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Joe Lauzon (blue gloves) reacts to his win against Diego Sanchez (red gloves) during UFC 200 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Jul 9, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Joe Lauzon (blue gloves) and Diego Sanchez (red gloves) fight during UFC 200 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Jul 9, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Joe Lauzon (blue gloves) punches Diego Sanchez (red gloves) during UFC 200 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports December 11, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Evan Dunham defends against Joe Lauzon during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Jul 25, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Joe Lauzon (red gloves) reacts after the fight against Takanori Gomi (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports Jul 25, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Joe Lauzon (red gloves) celebrates his win against Takanori Gomi (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports Jul 25, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Takanori Gomi (blue gloves) fights against Joe Lauzon (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports Jan 31, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Al Iaquinta (blue gloves) is kicked by Joe Lauzon (red gloves) during their lightweight bout during UFC 183 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 31, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Al Iaquinta (blue gloves) fights Joe Lauzon (red gloves) during their lightweight bout during UFC 183 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports December 14, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Joe Lauzon (red gloves) defeats Mac Danzig during the lightweight bout of the UFC on FOX 9 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/4osMu6tQsGRTHmjahABwzd/283289", customAnalytics: true, title: "Joe Lauzon", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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UFC champ Georges St-Pierre brushes off GOAT talk: 'It's an illusion'

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The MMA world can keep arguing its “greatest of all time” takes, but don’t expect Georges St-Pierre to chime in.

With his third-round finish of Michael Bisping (30-8 MMA, 20-8 UFC) in Saturday’s UFC 217 pay-per-view headliner, St-Pierre (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC) became only the fourth fighter in UFC history to hold titles in two different divisions. More impressively, he did so after returning from a four-year layoff, in a division 15 pounds heavier than the one that he’d dominated for more than six years.

St-Pierre, in fact, hasn’t lost a fight since Matt Serra pulled the upset of a lifetime at UFC 169 in 2007 – a loss he later avenged. Add that to the fact that he was only the second man to submit Bisping in the UFC, and you have a pretty solid “GOAT” case there.

Still, St-Pierre won’t wear that title himself.

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

Granted, the UFC’s current 185-pound champion wasn’t asked directly if he thought he should be the one to carry it. But, inquired as to whether former 205-pound kingpinJon Jones’ latest outside-the-cage shenanigans should remove him from the conversation, St-Pierre’s answer pretty much said it all.

“There’s no such thing as the greatest of all time,” St-Pierre said today during a conference call, in which he also discussed his post-UFC 217 future. “It doesn’t exist. It’s an illusion.”

To illustrate his point, St-Pierre offered an analogy: In sports like baseball or football, having the strongest team doesn’t necessarily translate to a victorious night. While many people would think that’s not the same with fighting, he argued, the principle is the same: The strongest man is not necessarily the one getting his hand raised.

“Even though you’re the best, it doesn’t mean you’re not going lose,” St-Pierre said. “And it doesn’t mean nobody’s going to beat you. For example, I fought Michael Bisping Saturday night, at Madison Square Garden. In that particular night, at that particular moment, at that particular place, I beat Michael Bisping. But that doesn’t mean if I fight him tomorrow that he’s not going to beat me.”

While it hasn’t happened in quite some time, St-Pierre has made peace with the fact that he can lose – even if it’s to someone he’d beat “nine times out of 10.” So, as much as we can use specific achievements to speculate about who’s the best fighter the sport has seen, experience has taught St-Pierre to refrain from doing the same.

RelatedGeorges St-Pierre's comeback so awesome even Canada's Prime Minister reacted

“When I started in MMA, I wanted to be the strongest man in the world,” St-Pierre said. “But there’s no such thing as being the strongest man in the world. Everybody can beat everybody at any given day, or any given time. That’s what I learned. There’s no such thing as being the strongest man in the world.

“You can be the best one day, but tomorrow you’re not. That’s the truth about this sport.”

For complete coverage of UFC 217, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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UFC 217's 'Thrill and Agony' will make your eyes water

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

If you though UFC 217 was an emotional rollercoaster on fight night, wait until you see the new behind-the-scenes and cageside footage.

The “Thrill and Agony” series takes us up close and behind the scenes of pay-per-view events, and at UFC 217, we saw some emotional aftermath after three titles changed hands.

UFC 217 took place Saturday at Madison Square Garden Arena in New York, and the main card aired on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

RelatedSean Shelby's Shoes: What's next for Georges St-Pierre and UFC 217's other winning fighters?

In “Thrill and Agony,” raw emotion is put on display, primarily with the corner and cageside cams that captured teammates, friends and family reacting to the fights.

Some of the most emotional footage comes from the night’s first title fight when heavy underdog Rose Namajunas (7-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC) upset strawweight champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk (14-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC). Check out the reactions from the fighters, their corners, family and friends – and the cageside broadcasters above.

It also includes the aftermath of new bantamweight champ T.J. Dillashaw (15-3 MMA, 11-3 UFC) taking out former teammate and training partner Cody Garbrandt (11-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) in the co-headliner, as well as Georges St-Pierre (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC) dethroning middleweight titleholder via submission Michael Bisping (30-8 MMA, 20-8 UFC) in the headliner.

The above video is a preview of “Thrill and Agony.” The full episode is available on UFC Fight Pass for subscribers.

For complete coverage of UFC 217, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) celebrates with the belt after defeating Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (left) faces off with Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) reacts after her fight against Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) celebrates with the belt after defeating Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/PRfxKkNk5hxschbqceYpyk/283317", customAnalytics: true, title: "Namajunas def. Jedrzejczyk", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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UFC champ Georges St-Pierre injured but won't 'freeze' division

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Newly crowned middleweight champion Georges St-Pierre today revealed a neck injury he suffered during his title-winning fight against Michael Bisping, but he said he still plans to fight interim titleholder Robert Whittaker.

“There’s going to be news about it in the next few weeks, but I don’t plan to hold the title and not defend it,” St-Pierre told reporters today during a media call five days after his win at UFC 217 in New York.

St-Pierre (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC), who submitted Bisping (30-8 MMA, 20-8 UFC) via rear-naked choke in the third round of the pay-per-view headliner at Madison Square Garden, said the injury occurred in the first round of the fight when the Brit threw an elbow from the bottom that contacted that back of his head.

“It looked very insignificant when it happened,” St-Pierre said. “It wasn’t the strength of the hit. It was more the precision of it. It’s not his fault. We’re not allowed to hit there, but it was just in the heat of the fight, and it’s normal.

“My neck was so inflamed, when I was on the floor, I had a hard time posturing up because it was hurting very bad. It felt like I couldn’t contract my head to posture up. After the fight when I cooled down, it was terrible. It was like my neck couldn’t move. Now it’s still sore, but it got a lot better. I got treatment on it, so I’ll be back 100 percent.”

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

First on the new champ’s itinerary, however, is a vacation to “forget about fighting.” He plans to talk with UFC officials about their plans for unifying the middleweight title against Whittaker (19-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC), who welcomed a meeting with St-Pierre in February at UFC 221 in Perth, Australia.

But St-Pierre resisted repeated questions to tie him down to a timeline.

“(UFC President) Dana White is going to talk with my agent, they’re going to figure it out, and we’ll see after I come back from vacation,” he told MMAjunkie when asked if he would be interested in unifying the title at UFC 221, or would prefer to fight elsewhere.

Whatever he decides, St-Pierre said he’ll make up his mind soon.

“We’ll see what I want to do and where my head is,” he said. “I have no intention of holding onto the belt and freezing the division. That’s not what I want to do. Robert Whittaker is in my contract. If I want to fight again, it has to be against Robert Whittaker at 185 (pounds). That’s in my contract. I cannot, for example, go fight (welterweight champ) Tyron Woodley or go fight another guy.”

RelatedWith UFC 217 win, did Georges St-Pierre just settle an old argument about MMA greats?

St-Pierre said he didn’t know if he’d return to the welterweight division following a fight with Whittaker.

Asked if he might simply retire instead of returning to middleweight, the new champ giggled.

“I don’t know,” he said. “It’s the same question from a different angle. That’s why I can’t talk about this – I don’t know right now

“I understand it’s normal, but I don’t even know for myself what’s going to be the next move.”

For complete coverage of UFC 217, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with Matt Brown, Daniel Weichel, Ricky Palacios, Jason Buchamer

MMA Junkie News -


Filed under: Bellator, News, UFC

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Matt Brown, Daniel Weichel, Ricky Palacios and Jason Buchamer.

Brown co-headlines Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 120 event against Diego Sanchez. Weichel fights featherweight champion Patricio Freire on Nov. 16 at Bellator 188. Palacios is part of Saturday’s “Combate Americas: Copa Combate” single-night tournament. Former MMAjunkie Radio intern Buchamer helps us recap the latest episode of “The Ultimate Fighter 26.”

MMAjunkie Radio airs from 1 to 3 p.m. ET (10 a.m. to noon PT), live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. You can watch and listen live on MMAjunkie’s Facebook and YouTube pages. Additionally, SiriusXM Rush (Ch. 93) carries a replay later in the day (8-10 p.m. ET) and the following morning (7-9 a.m. ET), or catch a replay on demand.

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

  • HOW TO WATCH (ON WEB): Watch a live stream on MMAjunkie’s Facebook or YouTube pages.
  • HOW TO CALL: MMAjunkie Radio takes phone calls from listeners throughout the show. Call into the MMAjunkie Radio hotline at (866) 522-2846.
  • HOW TO DISCUSS: The MMAjunkie MMA Forums has a section devoted solely to MMAjunkie Radio. Stop by the MMAjunkie Radio forum to discuss the show, interact with the hosts, suggest future guests and catch up on the latest MMAjunkie Radio news.
  • HOW TO VISIT THE SHOW: You can watch MMAjunkie Radio live and in person at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The booth is located in the resort’s Race & Sports Book next to the Mandalay Bay poker room. To plan a trip to Sin City and MMAjunkie Radio, go to www.mandalaybay.com.

Filed under: Bellator, News, UFC

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2561 with John McCarthy, Jon Anik, Patricio Freire

MMA Junkie News -

Stream or download Wednesday’s episode of MMAjunkie Radio with guests John McCarthy, Jon Anik and Patricio Freire.

McCarthy co-hosted the entire show in-studio, sharing his experiences from officiating at last Saturday’s UFC 217 in New York. Anik, in transit between UFC 217 and UFC Fight Night 120, calls in to share insight into preparation that goes into fight week. Freire talked about his upcoming title defense against Daniel Weichel on Nov. 16 at Bellator 188 in Tel Aviv, Israel.

You can listen below or stream the entire episode on AudioBoom.com.


Filed under: Bellator, News, Radio, UFC

Oil Sheikhs of Combat Sports: The violent Gulf monarchies investing in MMA & jiu-jitsu - Bloody Elbow

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Bloody Elbow

Oil Sheikhs of Combat Sports: The violent Gulf monarchies investing in MMA & jiu-jitsu
Bloody Elbow
Twelve years after Sheikh Tahnoon kindled interest in BJJ, a deal between Flash Entertainment, a subsidiary of the UAE government, and the Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) came to fruition. By 2010, the United Arab Emirates will own 10 percent of ...

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