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Estude a raspagem com armlock de Bruno Malfacine no Pan de Jiu-Jitsu

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Bruno Malfacine vibra após finalizar no Pan de Jiu-Jitsu. Foto: Ivan Trindade/GRACIEMAG

Nove vezes campeão mundial no peso-galo, o astro Bruno Malfacine não se limita a lutar apenas no maior torneio da IBJJF. Adepto da competição, o craque da Alliance fez grandes apresentações em outros torneios de grande porte, e o Pan-Americano de Jiu-Jitsu foi um desses palcos.

No torneio do ano passado, antes de migrar para o MMA, o levinho deu um show em uma das quartas de final do torneio, ao enfrentar Chad Lundy. Depois de puxar para guarda ao segurar na gola num tiro de longa distância, Bruno aplicou uma raspagem da guarda de la riva e antes de concluir a inversão já saiu no braço, com o golpe que valeu a vitória. Horas depois, a fera conquistaria o ouro do torneio.

Reveja o lance no vídeo abaixo, estude as pegadas e a posição de Bruno Malfacine e aplique nos seus treinos!

How Yves Edwards changed the course of Jeremy Stephens' career

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LOS ANGELES – To this day, UFC featherweight Jeremy Stephens thanks retired fighter and current UFC commentator Yves Edwards for changing his life.

It’s a strange accolade, considering Edwards’ most obvious contribution to Stephens’ life was a right hook and an elbow that rendered him unconscious six years ago at UFC on FOX 5.

But to Stephens (27-14 MMA, 14-13 UFC), it was the catalyst that turned his life around.

“That was a pivotal point in my life, in all aspects of my life,” he told reporters today at a media event in support of his fight with Josh Emmett (13-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) at UFC on FOX 28, which takes place Feb. 24 at Amway Center in Orlando, Fla. “That was a game-changer for me, and I’m blessed that it actually did happen.”

Stephens, 31, is known today as one of the most iron-willed and iron-jawed competitors in the UFC. But at UFC on FOX 5, he walked into the octagon having never been separated from consciousness in a fight. He’d also never endured as tumultuous a buildup to one.

Two months prior to the event on Dec. 8, 2012, Stephens wasn’t in a gym training for 15 minutes in the cage. He was in jail.

Then 26, Stephens was arrested in Minneapolis on Oct. 5, just hours before he was supposed to fight Edwards at UFC on FX 5. UFC officials worked frantically to bond him out of jail, but he wound up missing the event.

An alleged bar brawl the year prior in Stephens’ native Des Moines, Iowa, had come back to haunt him. It came in the form of an arrest warrant on a charge of assault. Stephens, according to local reports, allegedly had joined in when a friend attacked another male in the bar’s parking lot. The male stopped breathing twice and was transported to the hospital in critical condition.

Stephens’ management claimed he had merely been present at a party in which an intoxicated person had gotten into an altercation with another person at the party. Stephens wasn’t arrested after police initially investigated the incident and wasn’t notified of a pending warrant, according to a statement. Still, police took him in. The charges were eventually dropped.

It was a bizarre turn in Stephens’ career, and yet the incident and its fallout wound up reshaping the way he thought about fighting. He initially brushed off a question about it from a reporter when asked how it affected him. Then, he changed his mind.

“One thing I take away from that – I’ll just go ahead and throw it out there – is I got knocked out by Yves Edwards,” Stephens said. “I had a situation pop up. I took a fight on short notice, and it was the most chaotic time in my life. It was the first time I really had to fight for money. I wasn’t in shape, and I got knocked out. Yves Edwards, what better guy to get knocked out by?”

Before that fateful night, Stephens said he would’ve barreled forward and kept with the strategy that had worked so well for his career: seek and destroy. Afterward, he started thinking more about strategy.

“It changed my game up,” he said. “I started moving my head. I started finding better techniques. I started wrestling my butt off. I learned a lot from that.”

Now, Stephens not only calls himself a whole new fighter, but a whole new man, a true competitor who’s willing to meet every challenge in front of him to get the title. Still a guy whose goal is seek and destroy, but using smart tactics.

“I’m still here, years later, putting it down and giving you guys the highlight knockouts,” he said.

Thank Yves Edwards for that. These days, Stephens gets a reminder every time Edwards calls for a pre-fight interview in prep for his UFC commentary job.

“That guy will still call me up and interview me, and I have no problem with that situation,” Stephens said. “I love Yves. Me and him have hung out. He’s a great guy. I’m glad that happened. Because if I was still the same guy, if you don’t grow, you’re going to get picked apart pretty quick.”

For more on UFC on FOX 28, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jeremy Stephens fights against Max Holloway during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Max Holloway lands a punch against Jeremy Stephens during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 11, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jeremy Stephens reacts during weigh-ins for UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Jul 11, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jeremy Stephens (blue gloves) reacts after knocking out Dennis Bermudez (not pictured) during UFC 189 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Stephens won via third round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jul 11, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Dennis Bermudez (red gloves) is knocked out by Jeremy Stephens (blue gloves) during UFC 189 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Stephens won via third round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jul 11, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jeremy Stephens (blue gloves) reacts after knocking out Dennis Bermudez (not pictured) during UFC 189 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Stephens won via third round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jul 11, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Dennis Bermudez (red gloves) and Jeremy Stephens (blue gloves) fight during UFC 189 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Stephens won via third round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jul 11, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Dennis Bermudez (red gloves) and Jeremy Stephens (blue gloves) fight during UFC 189 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Stephens won via third round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jul 11, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Dennis Bermudez (not pictured) and Jeremy Stephens (blue gloves) fight during UFC 189 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Stephens won via third round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jul 11, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Dennis Bermudez (not pictured) and Jeremy Stephens (blue gloves) fight during UFC 189 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Stephens won via third round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jul 10, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jeremy Stephens weighs in for his bout against Dennis Bermudez (not pictured) during weigh-ins for UFC 189 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jun 28, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; Cub Swanson (red gloves) fights Jeremy Stephens (blue gloves) in a Featherweight bout at UFC Fight Night 43 at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports Jun 28, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; Cub Swanson (red gloves) fights Jeremy Stephens (blue gloves) in a Featherweight bout at UFC Fight Night 43 at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports Jun 28, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; Cub Swanson (red gloves) fights Jeremy Stephens (blue gloves) in a Featherweight bout at UFC Fight Night 43 at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports Jun 28, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; Cub Swanson (red gloves) fights Jeremy Stephens (blue gloves) in a Featherweight bout at UFC Fight Night 43 at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports Jun 28, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; Jeremy Stephens prepares for a fight with Cub Swanson (not pictured) in a Featherweight bout at UFC Fight Night 43 at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports Jan 25, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Darren Elkins (red gloves) reacts after beating Jeremy Stephens (not pictured) during UFC on FOX 10 at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports Jun 28, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; Jeremy Stephens prepares for a fight with Cub Swanson (not pictured) in a Featherweight bout at UFC Fight Night 43 at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports Jan 25, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Darren Elkins (red gloves) reacts after beating Jeremy Stephens (not pictured) during UFC on FOX 10 at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports Jan 25, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Darren Elkins (red gloves) fights Jeremy Stephens (blue gloves) during UFC on FOX 10 at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports Jan 25, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Darren Elkins (red gloves) fights Jeremy Stephens (blue gloves) during UFC on FOX 10 at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports Jan 25, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Darren Elkins (red gloves) fights Jeremy Stephens (blue gloves) during UFC on FOX 10 at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports Jan 25, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Darren Elkins (red gloves) fights Jeremy Stephens (blue gloves) during UFC on FOX 10 at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports Jan 24, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Darren Elkins (Left) and Jeremy Stephens (Right) after their weigh-in for the UFC on FOX 10 fight, as Dana White looks on at the Chicago Theatre. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports Jan 24, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Jeremy Stephens during his weigh-in for the UFC on FOX 10 fight, at the Chicago Theatre. 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Fight Nights Global 84 set for March 2 in Slovakia, features UFC vet Ali Bagautinov

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Onetime UFC title challenger Ali Bagautinov (16-6) returns to action on March 2 when he faces Northern Ireland’s Andy Young (11-9).

The two meet in the co-main event of Fight Nights Global 84, which takes place at Hant Arena in Bratislava, Slovakia.

The night’s headliner sees Fight Nights Global bantamweight champion Tomas Deak (17-9-1) face Russian challenger Sharamazan Shupanov (4-1-1).

Bagautinov is currently sits at No. 12 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA flyweight rankings. “Puncher” fought seven times under the UFC banner, including a failed bid for the flyweight title but was released from the promotion following a November 2016 loss to Kyoji Horiguchi. Bagautinov stumbled in his first post-octagon outing, suffering a knockout loss to Tyson Nam but has since bounced back with back-to-back wins over Pedro Nobre and Danny Martinez.

“Taz” Young is looking to rebound from a November 2017 majority-decision loss to Daniel Barez at BAMMA 32. Prior to that setback, Young stood at 5-1 in his previous six outings.

Fight Nights Global 84 also features a heavyweight contest between five-time UFC vet Viktor Pesta (12-4) and Russia’s Alexander Gladkov (9-1).

The complete Fight Nights Global 84 lineup includes:

  • Champ Tomas Deak vs. Sharamazan Shupanov – for bantamweight title
  • Ali Bagautinov vs. Andy Young
  • Alexander Gladkov vs. Viktor Pesta
  • Samuel Kristofic vs. Nodar Kudukhashvili
  • Shamil Amirov vs. Yasubey Enomoto
  • Filip Tomczak vs. Jozef Wittner
  • Marek Mazuch vs. Abdoul Soulake
  • Dritan Barjamaj vs. Yevgeny Orlov
  • Maxim Butorin vs. Vitaliy Stoyan

Joe Rogan: Floyd Mayweather has no chance against Conor McGregor, but CM Punk different story

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UFC broadcaster Joe Rogan doesn’t give Floyd Mayweather (50-0 boxing) any chance at defeating Conor McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) in the UFC – but thinks a fight against fellow MMA neophyte Phil “CM Punk” Brooks (0-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) makes sense.

“Whatever the (expletive) odds Vegas puts on (a McGregor vs. Mayweather MMA fight), that’s cute,” Rogan said on today’s edition of “The Joe Rogan Experience MMA Show.” “If it’s 10-1, 100-1, I bet it’s going to be like 900-1. Something crazy. ‘Buster’ Douglas was only 42-1 (against Mike Tyson). If they’re smart, because Conor’s going to kick his legs out – he’s not even going to have a chance to come close enough. Conor’s going to kick his (expletive) legs out; he doesn’t have any chance. Then if he decides to shoot in and clinch, he’s going to clinch and he’s going to rag doll him.”

“Listen, if this fight takes place, Floyd doesn’t have a chance. (Against CM Punk), Floyd’s got a real chance.”

The idea of Mayweather competing in the UFC seems insane. After all, as incredible as the undefeated boxer was (and still is) in the squared circle, he doesn’t have any grappling experience on any level. He also turns 41 later this month.

Nevertheless, Mayweather is a master of promotion and has kept his name in the news with a few well-placed social media posts teasing his entrance to the UFC. Additionally, Floyd’s uncle, Jeff Mayweather, recently joked that Punk might make a suitable first opponent for Floyd rather than trying to go straight at McGregor.

Like most, Rogan admits the possibility is a bit ridiculous – but maybe just crazy enough to work.

“Unless CM Punk figures out a way – CM Punk is way bigger. Let’s be honest about that,” Rogan said. “CM Punk is a guy who was wrestling at like 190 pounds, cut weight to get to 170 to fight in the UFC. He’s not on anything. I’m pretty sure, at least according to everyone I’ve talked to everyone that knows anything about him, (he’ clean). That said, Floyd Mayweather is the greatest boxer, maybe of all-time – at least on paper he is. Unbelievable accomplishments; 50-0. I don’t care if the last fight was Conor McGregor. He’s still 50-0. That’s (expletive) insane. He’s on another level of everyone who is on another level.

“The question is: Can Floyd fight the same way he does with big gloves, with MMA gloves? I say this because Floyd’s broken his hands multiple times. He’s had some serious surgeries on his hands. Maybe they’ve cured it, and maybe they’re fine, but we’ve known for a long time he’s preferred puffier gloves when he’s fought. But he hasn’t had hand problems in a while. His hands looked (expletive) great against Conor.”

Is it going to happen? Who knows? The idea of Mayweather vs. McGregor in a boxing match seemed pretty crazy right up until it happened. And UFC President Dana White sure seems open to the possibility.

Mayweather vs. Punk might be surprisingly competitive. Mayweather vs. McGregor would likely be a one-sided beatdown, but fans – and haters – of both fighters would reach for their wallets if it was booked, and in the world of combat sports, if it makes dollars, it makes sense.

“I think (Mayweather) is going to make half a billion dollars (if he fights in MMA) – half a billion,” Rogan said. “It’s really possible. They really might rake it in with that fight. Floyd might be willing to do it. I think you could sell it. I think if Conor gave five, six months for a training camp. I can’t wait.”

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

Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. lands a hit against Conor McGregor during their boxing match at the at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. reacts before his bout against Conor McGregor at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor reacts with the audience before his bout against Floyd Mayweather Jr. at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor before fighting Floyd Mayweather Jr at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor moves in against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the first round at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor moves in against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the first round at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor moves in against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the first round at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor moves in with a hit against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the first round at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) and Conor McGregor (white trunks) box in the first round of their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) and Conor McGregor (white trunks) box in the first round of their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) and Conor McGregor (white trunks) box in the first round of their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) and Conor McGregor (white trunks) box in the first round of their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) and Conor McGregor (white trunks) box in the first round of their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. lands a hit against Conor McGregor during their boxing match at the at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. fights against Conor McGregor during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor moves in with a hit against Floyd Mayweather Jr. during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor fights against Floyd Mayweather Jr. during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor holds onto Floyd Mayweather Jr. during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor moves in with a hit against Floyd Mayweather Jr. during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. lands a hit against Conor McGregor during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. lands a hit against Conor McGregor during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor lands a hit on Floyd Mayweather Jr. during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. lands a hit on Conor McGregor during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor moves in with a hit against Floyd Mayweather Jr. during the sixth round at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) celebrates after knocking out Conor McGregor (white trunks) during their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mayweather won via 10th round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) celebrates after knocking out Conor McGregor (white trunks) during their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mayweather won via 10th round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) celebrates after knocking out Conor McGregor (white trunks) during their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mayweather won via 10th round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. reacts following his TKO victory against Conor McGregor in the tenth round at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Referee Robert Byrd stops the fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor in the tenth round at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Boxing referee Robert Byrd holds Conor McGregor after stopping the right in the tenth round against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the tenth round during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) reacts after knocking out Conor McGregor (not pictured) in their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mayweather won via tenth round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor (left) and Floyd Mayweather Jr. (right) shake hands after their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mayweather won via tenth round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor reacts following his loss in the tenth round by TKO to Floyd Mayweather Jr. at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (left) embraces Conor McGregor following their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/HPw3CvabZ8Rz65P6nkwQP6/302663", customAnalytics: true, title: "Mayweather def. 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UFC Fight Night 126 pre-event facts: Despite skid, 'Cowboy' has legendary resume

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The UFC returns to Texas for the first time since May on Sunday with UFC Fight Night 126, which takes place at Frank Erwin Center in Austin and airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Welterweight contenders headline arguably the deepest UFC card this year so far. Fan favorite and UFC vet Donald Cerrone (32-10 MMA, 19-7 UFC) returns to the octagon with hopes reclaiming his winning ways when he meets streaking Hawaiian slugger Yancy Medeiros (15-4 MMA, 6-4 UFC), who’s coming off a win in a 2017 “Fight of the Year” contender.

For more on the numbers behind the UFC’s third venture to Austin, check below for 45 pre-event facts about UFC Fight Night 126.

* * * *

Main event

Donald Cerrone

Cerrone’s three-fight skid is the longest of his career. He hasn’t earned a victory since December 2016.

Cerrone makes his 37th UFC/WEC appearance, the most in the combined history of the two organizations.

Cerrone’s 37 appearances in UFC/WEC/PRIDE/Strikeforce competition are third most in combined organizational history behind Wanderlei Silva (40) and Dan Henderson (40).

Cerrone’s 16 appearances since 2014 in UFC competition are most in the company.

Cerrone’s 19 victories in UFC competition are tied with Demian Maia for third most in company history behind Michael Bisping (20) and Georges St-Pierre (20).

Cerrone’s 25 victories in UFC/WEC/PRIDE/Strikeforce competition are tied with Henderson for the second most in combined organizational history behind W. Silva (27).

Cerrone is 4-3 since he moved up to the UFC welterweight division in February 2015.

Donald Cerrone

Cerrone’s 13 stoppage victories in UFC competition are tied for third most in company history behind Vitor Belfort (14) and Anderson Silva (14).

Cerrone’s 17 stoppage victories in UFC/WEC competition are the most in combined organizational history.

Cerrone’s 17 stoppage victories in UFC/WEC/PRIDE/Strikeforce competition are tied for third most in combined organizational history behind Mirko Filipovic (21) and W. Silva (20).

Cerrone’s six knockout victories stemming from a head kick in UFC competition are the most in company history. No one else has more than four.

Cerrone’s 14 knockdowns landed in UFC competition are tied with Chuck Liddell for third most in company history behind A. Silva (18) and Jeremy Stephens (17).

Cerrone’s 18 fight-night bonuses in UFC/WEC bouts are the most in combined organizational history.

Cerrone’s 13 fight-night bonuses in UFC bouts are tied with A. Silva for third most in company history behind Nate Diaz (15) and Joe Lauzon (15).

Yancy Medeiros

Medeiros is 3-0 since he moved up to the UFC welterweight division in September 2016.

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

Medeiros vs. Alex Oliveira at UFC 218 is the only fight in UFC history to feature two knockdowns for each fighter.

Co-main event

Derrick Lewis

Derrick Lewis (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC) makes his 13th UFC heavyweight appearance since 2014, the most in the division.

Lewis has earned 16 of his 18 career victories by knockout. That includes eight of his nine UFC wins.

Lewis’ eight knockout victories in UFC competition since 2014 are the most among active fighters in the organization.

Lewis’ eight knockout victories in UFC heavyweight competition are tied for the third most in divisional history behind ex-champs Cain Velasquez (10) and Andrei Arlovski (nine).

Lewis is the only fighter in history to have his first eight UFC fights end in a knockout.

Lewis’ six knockout stemming from ground strikes in UFC competition are tied with Randy Couture for second most in company history behind Velasquez (eight).

Marcin Tybura

Lewis absorbs 1.58 significant strikes per minute in UFC heavyweight competition, the best rate among active fighters in the division.

Marcin Tybura (16-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) has earned 13 of his 16 career victories by stoppage.

Tybura and Fabricio Werdum combined for 282 significant strikes landed at UFC Fight Night 121, the single-fight record for a UFC heavyweight bout.

Remaining main card

James Vick

James Vick (12-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC), who stands 6-foot-3, is the tallest lightweight on the UFC roster.

Francisco Trinaldo (22-5 MMA, 12-4 UFC), 39, is the oldest of the 24 fighters scheduled to compete at the event.

Trinaldo is 8-1 in his past nine UFC appearances dating back to May 2014.

Trinaldo is one of six fighters in UFC history to earn two arm-triangle-choke victories. He’s one of only three fighters to earn the submission from half-guard.

Thiago Alves (22-11 MMA, 14-8 UFC) competes in his 22nd UFC welterweight bout, the fourth most appearances in divisional history behind Josh Koscheck (24), Matt Brown (24) and Matt Hughes (23).

Thiago Alves

Alves’ 14 victories in UFC welterweight competition are tied with Koscheck for third most in divisional history behind St-Pierre (19) and Hughes (16).

Alves’ 13 knockdowns landed in UFC welterweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Alves’ eight knockout victories in UFC welterweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Brown (10).

Alves’ four knockout victories stemming from knee strikes in UFC competition are most in company history.

Alves has landed 280 leg kicks in UFC competition, the second most in company history behind Cerrone (314).

Alves’ 52 leg kicks landed against Seth Baczynski at UFC on FOX 11 are the second most landed in a three-round UFC fight. Benson Henderson, who landed 53 kicks against Cerrone at UFC Fight Night 59, holds the single-fight record.

Sage Northcutt

Sage Northcutt (9-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC), 21, is the youngest of the 24 fighters scheduled to compete at the event.

Northcutt, at 19, became the youngest fighter in UFC history to earn a victory when he defeated Francisco Trevino at UFC 192.

Diego Ferreira (12-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) returns to competition for the first time since January 2016 following a USADA suspension. He’s fought just once since April 2015.

Preliminary card

Joby Sanchez

Joby Sanchez (11-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) returns to the UFC for a second stint. He’s 4-0 since his most recent UFC fight in December 2015.

Brandon Davis (8-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) competes in his second UFC bout in a 30-day stretch. He lost to Kyle Bochniak at UFC 220 in January.

Steven Peterson (16-6 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has alternated wins and losses over his past five fights. He was victorious in his most recent bout at LFA 28 in December, when claimed a TKO win over Dustin Winter.

Josh Burkman

Josh Burkman (28-16 MMA, 6-11 UFC) is 1-6 (with one no-contest) since he returned to the UFC for a second stint in January 2015.

Burkman returns to the welterweight division after a four-fight stint at lightweight, where he went 1-3.

Burkman’s 11 UFC losses are tied for second most in company history behind Stephens (13).

Burkman is one of eight fighters in UFC history to earn a knockout stemming from a slam. He accomplished the feat against Sam Morgan at The Ultimate Fighter 2 Finale.

Burkman’s 21-second knockout of Morgan at the TUF 2 Finale is the fastest slam knockout in UFC history.

For more on UFC Fight Night 126, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

Oct 21, 2017; Gdansk, Poland; against Donald Cerrone (red gloves) before his fight against Darren Till during UFC Fight Night at Ergo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 21, 2017; Gdansk, Poland; against Donald Cerrone (red gloves) before his fight against Darren Till during UFC Fight Night at Ergo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 21, 2017; Gdansk, Poland; Donald Cerrone (red gloves) fights against Darren Till (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ergo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Donald Cerrone lands a kick against Robbie Lawler during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Donald Cerrone and Robbie Lawler react following their match during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Donald Cerrone moves in with a hit against Robbie Lawler during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Jan 28, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Donald Cerrone (red gloves) competes against Jorge Masvidal (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Jan 28, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Donald Cerrone (red gloves) competes against Jorge Masvidal (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Dec 10, 2016; Toronto, ON, CAN; Donald Cerrone (red gloves) fights Matt Brown (blue gloves) during UFC 206 at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Dec 10, 2016; Toronto, ON, CAN; Donald Cerrone (red gloves) fights Matt Brown (blue gloves) during UFC 206 at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Dec 10, 2016; Toronto, ON, CAN; Donald Cerrone (red gloves) fights Matt Brown (blue gloves) during UFC 206 at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Dec 10, 2016; Toronto, ON, CAN; Donald Cerrone (red gloves) reacts to fight with Matt Brown (blue gloves) during UFC 206 at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Jun 18, 2016; Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; Patrick Cote (blue gloves) fights Donald Cerrone (red gloves) in a welterweight bout during UFC Fight Night at TD Place Arena. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports Jun 18, 2016; Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; Patrick Cote (blue gloves) fights Donald Cerrone (red gloves) in a welterweight bout during UFC Fight Night at TD Place Arena. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports Jun 18, 2016; Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; Donald Cerrone (red gloves) reacts after his welterweight bout against Patrick Cote (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at TD Place Arena. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-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/PVhrMETcnLxfjDpbGMSqL5/302605", customAnalytics: true, title: "Donald Cerrone", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Alexander Gustafsson wants Daniel Cormier, will settle for knocking out Luke Rockhold

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With the UFC’s light heavyweight title temporarily on hold, top contender Alexander Gustafsson (18-4 MMA, 10-4 UFC) is making alternate arrangements.

Gustafsson, currently ranked No. 5 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA light heavyweight rankings, believes he’s next in line for a shot at current UFC champ Daniel Cormier. But with “DC” set to face heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic this summer, Gustafsson is suggesting he could keep himself busy by knocking out Cormier’s teammate, Luke Rockhold (16-5 MMA, 6-4 UFC), who has been teasing a move up to 205 pounds.

“The Mauler” today took to social media to send an official invitation to Rockhold, though he promised a rude welcome to the light heavyweight division.

Gustafsson was last in action in May 2017, scoring a vicious fifth-round knockout of the heavy-hitting Glover Teixeira in the main event of UFC Fight Night 109. This past November, he went under the knife to repair an injured shoulder but is now looking to book his return fight. The towering Swede has hoped that would result in a rematch with current champ Cormier, who downed Gustafsson via split decision in an epic 2015 encounter. However, with Cormier booked to fight Miocic after their stint as coaches on “The Ultimate Fighter 27,” that will have to wait.

Meanwhile, Rockhold suffered a knockout loss to fellow top contender Yoel Romero in the main event of UFC 221. Even prior to the setback, Rockhold told MMAjunkie a move to light heavyweight was nearing.

Now he’s got an official invitation.

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

May 28, 2017; Stockholm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden; (Editors Note: Graphic Content) Alexander Gustafsson (red gloves) fights Glover Teixeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ericsson Globe. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports May 28, 2017; Stockholm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden; Glover Teixeira (blue gloves) makes his day to the octagon before his bout with Alexander Gustafsson (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Ericsson Globe. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports May 28, 2017; Stockholm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden; Alexander Gustafsson (red gloves) makes his way to the octagon before his bout with Glover Teixeira (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Ericsson Globe. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports May 28, 2017; Stockholm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden; Alexander Gustafsson (red gloves) reacts before his bout with Glover Teixeira (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Ericsson Globe. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports May 28, 2017; Stockholm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden; Alexander Gustafsson (red gloves) reacts before his bout with Glover Teixeira (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Ericsson Globe. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports May 28, 2017; Stockholm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden; Alexander Gustafsson (red gloves) fights Glover Teixeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ericsson Globe. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports May 28, 2017; Stockholm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden; Alexander Gustafsson (red gloves) fights Glover Teixeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ericsson Globe. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports May 28, 2017; Stockholm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden; Alexander Gustafsson (red gloves) fights Glover Teixeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ericsson Globe. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports May 28, 2017; Stockholm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden; Alexander Gustafsson (red gloves) fights Glover Teixeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ericsson Globe. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports May 28, 2017; Stockholm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden; Alexander Gustafsson (red gloves) fights Glover Teixeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ericsson Globe. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports May 28, 2017; Stockholm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden; Alexander Gustafsson (red gloves) fights Glover Teixeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ericsson Globe. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports May 28, 2017; Stockholm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden; Alexander Gustafsson (red gloves) fights Glover Teixeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ericsson Globe. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports May 28, 2017; Stockholm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden; Alexander Gustafsson (red gloves) fights Glover Teixeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ericsson Globe. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports May 28, 2017; Stockholm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden; Alexander Gustafsson (red gloves) fights Glover Teixeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ericsson Globe. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports May 28, 2017; Stockholm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden; (Editors Note: Graphic Content) Alexander Gustafsson (red gloves) fights Glover Teixeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ericsson Globe. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports May 28, 2017; Stockholm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden; (Editors Note: Graphic Content) Alexander Gustafsson (red gloves) fights Glover Teixeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ericsson Globe. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports May 28, 2017; Stockholm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden; Alexander Gustafsson (red gloves) fights Glover Teixeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ericsson Globe. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports May 28, 2017; Stockholm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden; (Editors Note: Graphic Content) Alexander Gustafsson (red gloves) fights Glover Teixeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ericsson Globe. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports May 28, 2017; Stockholm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden; (Editors Note: Graphic Content) Alexander Gustafsson (red gloves) fights Glover Teixeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ericsson Globe. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports May 28, 2017; Stockholm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden; Alexander Gustafsson (red gloves) fights Glover Teixeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ericsson Globe. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/CMu4Gbjt2hGWdgpHWWXjB8/302638", customAnalytics: true, title: "Gustafsson def. Teixeira", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Man, Joanna Jedrzejczyk just won't stop with the weight cut excuses for her loss to Rose Namajunas

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Even with a rematch booked, Joanna Jedrzejczyk continues to brood over her first fight with Rose Namajunas. And for the woman formerly known as “Joanna Champion,” that brooding apparently involves an awful lot of excuses.

In yet another interview, Jedrzejczyk can be seen shifting the blame for her loss at UFC 217 squarely onto the shoulders of her team, who she says “failed” her in the lead-up to that fight.

“Many people asked me if I change coaches, club. … My answer was ‘no’ because my coaches did their best to be in the best possible shape,” Jedrzejczyk told Polsat Sport (via Bloody Elbow). 
“The doctor, who had a big impact on how I felt 30 hours before the fight, failed.”

This is not exactly a new explanation, either for MMA in general or specifically for Jedrzejczyk. It’s the old “weight cut ate my homework” defense. And it pretty much never, ever works.

Jedrzejczyk (14-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) has doubled down on that strategy in recent weeks, and the result has been fairly typical. By refusing to just let her loss to Namajunas (7-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC) be and focus all attention on the rematch, slated for UFC 223, she’s squandered much of the goodwill she’d built up with fans during her reign as a popular, charismatic strawweight champion.

The worst part is, it’s entirely a problem of her own making.

There are plenty of things that can go wrong for fighters. Some excuses are even bound to be legitimate. But once the cage door closes, no one really cares. Going through with the fight means trading away your right to claim that you were in no condition to fight.

At this point, the best thing Jedrzejczyk could do is stop talking about the first fight. Like, completely. No more explanations or excuses. No more blaming the people around her. Just stop talking about it.

The good news is, there’s another ready topic of conversation just sitting there. This fight is going to happen again, which, if you’re Jedrzejczyk, means a chance to prove that it was all just a fluke in the first place.

Maybe limit yourself to talking about that. At least it’ll be a refreshing change.

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

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

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/302627", customAnalytics: true, title: "Namajunas def. Jedrzejczyk", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Should Tyron Woodley take Rashad Evans' advice and abandon his feud with Dana White?

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July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Tyron Woodley is declared the winner and retains his title against Demian Maia during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Tyron Woodley defends against Demian Maia during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Demian Maia lands a hit against Tyron Woodley during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Tyron Woodley moves in for a hit against Demian Maia during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Tyron Woodley moves in for a hit against Demian Maia during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Demian Maia moves in for a hit as Tyron Woodley counters during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Tyron Woodley escapes a hold from Demian Maia during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Tyron Woodley moves in with a hit as Demian Maia defends during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Demian Maia applies a hold against Tyron Woodley during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Tyron Woodley reacts following his match against Demian Maia during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-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/aLMpBgycrmYyAuHaimWZnW/302609", customAnalytics: true, title: "Woodley def. Maia", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

“Some of the fans might not know this,” former UFC light-heavyweight champion Rashad Evans said on “The MMA Hour” this week, “but I was the original Tyron Woodley, as far as my relationship with (UFC President Dana White).”

This is pretty near to a statement of pure fact. It’s one of those things that rings so true that, when you hear it, you almost wonder why it even needs to be said.

If you were following this sport closely back in Evans’ heyday, you remember. You remember White’s nearly constant criticism of him. You remember Evans’ attempts to take a stand for the fights he wanted and against the ones he didn’t. You remember a fighter explaining that he was trying to build a personal brand while the guy whose job it was to promote him kept telling him that he didn’t have one.

Sound familiar?

You can’t blame Evans for looking at the current UFC welterweight champ’s public battle against White and seeing shades of his own past. This verbal back and forth between Woodley and White? The only real difference is that these days a lot of happens on the UFC’s own TV show.

RelatedDana White says Tyron Woodley 'full of sh*t' on Nate Diaz fight; champ fires back

Evans’ advice to Woodley is to abandon this particular fight – the one where Woodley and White argue over which title challenger will be next, or even which ones have been discussed – as an utterly unwinnable one. You can see where he might get that idea.

“It’s a hard thing to do because your ego gets involved,” Evans said. “You know (White’s) wrong, and you want to prove it. You might feel it’s because of this or because of that, and you want to expose the truth, but at the end of the day, at what expense? Your legacy, your chance to be remembered for what you love to do. At the end of the day, these are the things that make you hate fighting.”

This tells us more about Evans’ own regrets than it does about anything Woodley’s doing. It’s a glimpse of a man who wishes he hadn’t let himself get so caught up in the frustrating business of pro fighting that he forgot why he ever got started in it to begin with.

That’s understandable. It also makes you wonder what he thinks he could have done so differently – remember, this is the guy who used to get criticized for being cocky and also for being boring, sometimes in the same breath – and whether or not he’d even be capable of taking his own advice if he were in Woodley’s shoes today.

RelatedRashad Evans thought Michael Bisping rematch was set but understands why it fell through

Part of the issue for Woodley is that he’s come too far down this path to just shut up and play nice. It probably wouldn’t help him any if he did, since fans and UFC management both seem to have made their minds up about him. Neither are known for their ready willingness to reconsider their own opinions.

There’s also this: As much as people say they’re sick of what they see as Woodley’s constant complaints, it’s easily the most interesting aspect of his UFC title reign.

Some of that is a consequence of how his last couple title defenses have gone. Woodley vs. Demian Maia? Or Woodley vs. Stephen Thompson II? If you ever want to feel like you hate fighting more than Evans ever did, go back and watch those.

But the thing keeping Woodley’s name in the headlines through all that is his willingness to speak his mind, even when fans hate what he’s saying. He’s polarizing enough that he makes people care, even when his fights do the opposite.

That still may not be ideal – in a perfect world, he’d rebrand himself as a swaggering Irishman with a better finishing percentage – but at least it’s something. It’s a reason for people to have an opinion on Woodley, and it’s a reason that springs from something genuine.

Evans might imagine an alternate reality for himself, one where he stays quiet and does whatever the UFC asks, but that’s no guarantee of success either. Not in this sport, where you can still get used and ignored and discarded even if you don’t stand up for yourself.

If that happened to you, then you might end up with a whole different set of regrets. And you might like those even less.

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

Bellator 194 main-event breakdown: Can Roy Nelson upset tourney favorite Matt Mitrione?

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MMAjunkie Radio cohost and MMAjunkie contributor Dan Tom provides an in-depth breakdown of all of Bellator’s top bouts, and today, we look at Bellator 194’s main event.

Bellator 194 takes place Friday at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., and airs on Paramount following prelims streamed on MMAjunkie.

* * * *

Roy Nelson (23-14 MMA, 1-0 UFC)

Roy Nelson

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’0″ Age: 41 Weight: 262 lbs. Reach: 72″
  • Last fight: Decision win over Javy Ayala (Sept. 23, 2017)
  • Camp: Country Club (Las Vegas, NV)
  • Stance/striking style: Orthodox/kickboxing
  • Risk management: Fair

Supplemental info:
+ Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt
+ IFL heavyweight and grand-prix titles
+ 14 KO victories
+ 5 submission wins
+ 13 first-round finishes
+ KO power
+ Deceptive athleticism
+ Devastating right hand
+ Devastating head kicks
+ Strong inside of the clinch
+ Underrated wrestling ability
^ Defensively and offensively
+ Solid positional grappler

Matt Mitrione (12-5 MMA, 3-0 UFC)

Matt Mitrione

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’3″” Age: 39 Weight: 256 lbs. Reach: 82″
  • Last fight: TKO win over Fedor Emelianenko (June 24, 2017)
  • Camp: Hard Knocks 365 (Indiana/Florida)
  • Stance/striking style: Southpaw/kickboxing
  • Risk management: Fair

Supplemental info:
+ Former NFL player
+ 11 KO victories
+ 7 first-round finishes
+ KO power
+ Explosive speed and athleticism
+ Solid feints and footwork
+ Accurate left hand
^ Coming forward and off of the counter
+ Strong inside the clinch
+ Underrated wrestling ability
^ Improved defense and getups
+ Dangerous ground striker

Summary:

The main event for Bellator 194 features the second bout of the organization’s heavyweight grand prix as Roy Nelson and Matt Mitrione battle for the second time.

Winning their initial bout back in 2012, Nelson will be looking to repeat history with a big win here whereas Mitrione, the odds-on favorite to win the tournament, is deadset on bringing balance to the record books.

Starting off on the feet, we have a similar dynamic as the first fight: a forward-pressuring power puncher vs. a violent stick-and-move stylist.

RelatedMatt Mitrione on status as Bellator grand prix frontrunner: I should be

Mitrione, the more mobile of the two, will have some on-paper advantages going his way.

A natural athlete, the former NFL pro has translated his talents well to MMA. Fighting from a southpaw stance, Mitrione will work behind improved feints and footwork while measuring the threat before him.

Whether he is drawing out his opposition or finding an offensive angle of his own, Mitrione seems to have a natural feel when it comes to fighting in space. Keeping his patented left cross at the ready, Mitrione can punish his opponents down the centerline both coming forward and off of the counter. And since his time spent working with Henri Hooft in South Florida, Mitrione has only sharpened his fundamentals and strengthened the arsenal surrounding his left hand.

Nevertheless, the way in which Mitrione leaps in and out often makes for collisions that can work against him – something that he will need to be mindful of considering the opposition at hand.

RelatedMatt Mitrione: 'Zero revenge factor' headed into Bellator grand-prix rematch with Roy Nelson

Enter Nelson.

Don’t let the big belly and mullet fool you; beneath the semi-comical build lies a complete mixed martial artist.

Using his deceptive athleticism, Nelson will shuffle his way into the pocket behind feints and fakes. Often prodding his left hand and changing levels, he will look to create a sense of defensive uncertainty that helps set up his big right hand.

Although the 14-year pro possesses underrated leg kicks, going to the well may be what serves Nelson best in this matchup. Not only is it a useful weapon against southpaws on paper, but intercepting right hands have also been the common culprit in Mitrione’s career.

Should this fight go past the first round, then we may see wrestling play a decent factor in deciding the outcome.

RelatedRoy Nelson discusses most exciting aspect of Bellator grand prix rematch with Matt Mitrione

In recent years, Nelson has gone back to a more grappling-heavy approach. Parlaying the pressure he produces, Nelson will corral his opposition into the cage as he looks to change his level. From chaining off his double-legs to hitting an outside trip, Nelson has a surprisingly serviceable takedown game he likes to utilize against the fence.

That said, taking Mitrione down will be no easy task.

Not only is the former NFL athlete hard to pin down due to his movement, but his wrestling has quietly improved over the years. Putting in hard hours with the Purdue University wrestling team, Mitrione has added solid technique to his athleticism.

Whether he is digging for an underhook or framing off his opponent’s hips, Mitrione demonstrates an understanding and awareness of crucial positions like he hadn’t before. He’s also spent a decent amount of time working with catching wrestling coach Neil Melanson, which I only imagine has helped Mitrione’s ground game further.

Still, the 39-year-old will likely be at a disadvantage should he allow Nelson to get him down and settle into position.

Related'Bellator 194 Countdown,' No. 1: Who knew Matt Mitrione was so OCD?

In his last fight against Javy Ayala, Nelson showed that he still can establish a half-guard or crucifix positions to pin down his more athletic counterparts. Regardless of whether or not get can the finish, this type of offense could earn Nelson favor with the judges.

The oddsmakers and public seem somewhat decided on who they like, listing Mitrione -190 and Nelson +165 as of this writing.

Given Mitrione’s recent run and slighter higher ceiling on paper, I can understand why he is favored to take the win in a rematch. Mitrione will also have the comfort of a full camp and large cage, something he didn’t have in their first meeting.

However, after looking at this one a bit closer, I ended up siding with Nelson. Despite his last handful of UFC performances not being the most impressive, I believe that Nelson has shown signs of rejuvenation from his in-fight tactics to his overall attitude.

More importantly, Mitrione still seems to have a propensity to eat right hands (dropped in two of his last three contests), something I have trouble overlooking here. The pick is Nelson by an upset TKO in the first round.

Official pick: Nelson inside the distance

For more on Bellator 194, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Sep 24, 2016; Brasilia, Brazil; Roy Nelson (red gloves) after his fight against Antonio Silva (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Apr 14, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Roy Nelson during weigh ins for UFC Fight Night at the Kansas City Power and Light District. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Apr 14, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Roy Nelson during weigh ins for UFC Fight Night at the Kansas City Power and Light District. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Apr 15, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Alexander Volkov (red) and Roy Nelson (blue) fight during UFC Fight Night at the Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Apr 15, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Alexander Volkov (red) and Roy Nelson (blue) fight during UFC Fight Night at the Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Jul 7, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Roy Nelson moves in with a hit against Derrick Lewis during UFC Fight Night at MGM Grand Graden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Jul 7, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Derrick Lewis lands a hit against Roy Nelson during UFC Fight Night at MGM Grand Graden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Feb 6, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Roy Nelson (red gloves) reacts after winning the fight against Jared Rosholt (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Feb 6, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Roy Nelson (red gloves) reacts after winning the fight against Jared Rosholt (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Feb 6, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Roy Nelson (red gloves) fights against Jared Rosholt (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Feb 6, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Roy Nelson (red gloves) fights against Jared Rosholt (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Feb 6, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Roy Nelson (red gloves) fights against Jared Rosholt (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Feb 6, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Roy Nelson (red gloves) fights against Jared Rosholt (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Mar 14, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Roy Nelson (red) fights Alistair Overeem (blue) in a heavyweight bout during UFC 185 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports Mar 14, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Roy Nelson (red) fights Alistair Overeem (blue) in a heavyweight bout during UFC 185 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports Mar 14, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Roy Nelson (red) fights Alistair Overeem (blue) in a heavyweight bout during UFC 185 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports Mar 14, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Roy Nelson (red) fights Alistair Overeem (blue) in a heavyweight bout during UFC 185 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports Oct 19, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) fights against Roy Nelson (blue gloves) in their heavyweight bout during UFC 166 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports Oct 19, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) fights against Roy Nelson (blue gloves) in their heavyweight bout during UFC 166 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports Jun 15, 2013; Winnipeg, MB, Canada; Roy Nelson fights Stipe Miocic (not pictured) during their Heavyweight bout at UFC 161 at MTS Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-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/RvKao6iKYVc5KVbis5j8bk/302597", customAnalytics: true, title: "Roy Nelson", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

UFC Fight Night 126 main-event breakdown: Ready for a 'Cowboy' vs. Yancy Medeiros gunfight?

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MMAjunkie Radio cohost and MMAjunkie contributor Dan Tom provides an in-depth breakdown of all of UFC Fight Night 126’s top bouts. Today, we look at the main event.

UFC Fight Night 126 takes place Sunday at Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas, and it airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

* * * *

Donald Cerrone (32-10 MMA, 19-7 UFC)

Donald Cerrone

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’1″ Age: 34 Weight: 170 lbs. Reach: 73″
  • Last fight: TKO loss to Darren Till (Oct. 21, 2017)
  • Camp: Jackson-Wink MMA (New Mexico)
  • Stance/striking style: Orthodox/muay Thai
  • Risk management: Fair

Supplemental info:
+ Multiple muay Thai titles
^ 28-0 as a pro kickboxer
+ 8 KO victories
+ 16 submission wins
+ 13 first-round finishes
+ KO power
+ Intelligent strike setups
^ Feints, reads, reacts
+ Devastating head kicks
+ Accurate and intercepting knees
+ Hard leg kicks
^ Most landed in UFC history
+ Underrated wrestling ability
+ Excellent transitional grappler
+ Dangerous triangle choke

Yancy Medeiros (15-4 MMA, 6-4 UFC)

Yancy Medeiros

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’10” Age: 30 Weight: 170 lbs. Reach: 75.5″
  • Last fight: TKO win over Alex Oliveira (Dec. 2, 2017)
  • Camp: Team Hakuilua (Hawaii)
  • Stance/striking style: Switch-stance/kickboxing
  • Risk management: Fair

Supplemental info:
+ Regional MMA title
+ Karate and wrestling base
+ 8 KO victories
+ 4 submission wins
+ 6 first-round finishes
+ KO power
+ Consistent pace and pressure
^ High-volume striker
+ Accurate and effective left hand
^ Variates shot selection and targets
+ Solid front and round kicks
+ Underrated wrestling ability
^ Defensively and offensively
+ Good scrambles and transitions
+ Dangerous guillotine choke

Summary:

The main event in Austin features a potential welterweight war between Donald Cerrone and Yancy Medeiros.

A UFC staple who needs little introduction, Cerrone has been a fan favorite for some time. Amid the first losing streak of his career, the man who calls himself “Cowboy” will attempt to get back on the right side of the tracks.

Looking to spoil those plans is Medeiros, a hard-hitting Hawaiian who’s steadily been scraping his way up the food chain. Now, with his biggest name before him, Medeiros will be seeking to make a statement in his first headlining spot.

RelatedDonald 'Cowboy' Cerrone vs. Yancy Medeiros headlines UFC Fight Night 126 in Austin

Starting off on the feet, we have a pairing of two fighters who are similar in spirit. Both men are high-volume strikers who work best when flowing at their preferred pace.

Medeiros, who comes from a wrestling and karate base, brings a unique style to the table.

Initially starting out as a light heavyweight, Medeiros utilized his frame well as he moved about the weight classes throughout his career.

Working off of prodding jabs and straight punches, Medeiros has always demonstrated a natural feel for range. Whether he is shifting stances into space or looking to feint and draw out his opponent’s offense, the Hawaiian has a knack for creating fight-changing collisions.

Medeiros also carries a deceptive kicking arsenal that smacks of his background in karate. From snapping front kicks to the solar plexus to round kicks that sneak behind his punches, the 30-year-old has many tools at his disposal.

That said, trading kicks may not be Medeiros’ first choice given the opposition at hand.

An excellent kickboxer, Cerrone does well at utilizing leg kicks and teeps to dictate action from a distance. Mixing in punches appropriately, Cerrone will draw out his opponent’s defenses to set up the fight-ending head kicks that comprise his highlight reel.

RelatedDonald Cerrone not thinking about 3-fight losing skid ahead of UFC Fight Night 126 headliner

The 12-year pro will also provide much more than kicks and knees. Cerrone’s made strides in his overall striking in recent years, particularly inside the pocket and when throwing in combination.

Under the care of Brandon Gibson, this most recent iteration of Cerrone has him moving his head and torso offline and at angles, unloading his punches with different mechanics than before. Often punching his way out of exchanges with his left-hook, Cerrone will feed his newfound flow into his patent head kicks, as his arsenal is now much more symbiotic.

Should this battle get past the initial striking stanzas, then we may see the grappling chops of each fighter at play.

Although you will seldom see Medeiros shoot for a takedown, Cerrone has little issue in dusting off a double-leg shot. Whether he is changing his level to deal with pressure, or doing so just to get into his opponent’s head, Cerrone will likely be the man with more of a motive to take things to the mat.

Still, getting Medeiros to the ground is easier said than done. The Hawaiian, who comes from a wrestling base, has always quietly carried solid defensive abilities.

RelatedYancy Medeiros cool with brawls but wants to be longterm investment for UFC

From his natural base and balance to his awareness to grips and hips, Medeiros’ long frame is harder to get in on than it appears. If Medeiros is able to shut down Cerrone in this department, then we will probably see the temperature rise even further on the feet. But if Medeiros fails to stuff the early shots, then he will be subject to dealing with Cerrone on the floor.

A slick transitional grappler, Cerrone can create and advance through scrambles like it’s second nature. The Jackson-Wink staple is a solid guard passer who parlays his pathways into quick back-takes when available. And if Cerrone misses in transition, he is consistent with punishing opponents as they try to make it back to their feet.

For that reason, Medeiros will need to be extra mindful when fighting hands and looking to stand. The Hawaiian has a dangerous guillotine and underrated ground game to boot, but exchanging on the mat with a sober Cerrone is not where he likely wants this fight.

The oddsmakers and public seem semi-tentative with their opinions, listing Cerrone -160 and Medeiros +140 as of this writing.

When looking at where each fighter currently is in his respective career, this line seems fitting to me. Medeiros, who has been undefeated since moving to welterweight, is more than a live dog in this spot.

Wielding high-volume offense that’s backed by ridiculous heart and durability, Medeiros has all the baseline tools to get the job done here. The Hawaiian also possesses superb accuracy in his left hand, and I see his left hook to the liver serving him particularly well in this matchup when looking at Cerrone’s history of assaults to his body.

That said, the same criticism can be made toward Medeiros, who has gotten hurt to the body on semi-frequent occasion inside of the octagon. Medeiros also shows a propensity eat leg kicks due to his stance, something that could bode poorly for him when facing the record holder for most leg kicks landed under the UFC banner.

Ultimately, this matchup is MMA’s equivalent to a gunfight. Both men have much more offense than they do defense, and neither will say no to a standoff. Despite me wanting to side with the Hawaiian, who is on an upswing, Medeiros’ propensity to take damage – coupled with his quick turnaround – has me feeling that Cerrone will be the last man standing come Sunday.

Official pick: Cerrone inside the distance

For more on UFC Fight Night 126, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Oct 21, 2017; Gdansk, Poland; against Donald Cerrone (red gloves) before his fight against Darren Till during UFC Fight Night at Ergo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 21, 2017; Gdansk, Poland; against Donald Cerrone (red gloves) before his fight against Darren Till during UFC Fight Night at Ergo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 21, 2017; Gdansk, Poland; Donald Cerrone (red gloves) fights against Darren Till (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ergo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Donald Cerrone lands a kick against Robbie Lawler during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Donald Cerrone and Robbie Lawler react following their match during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Donald Cerrone moves in with a hit against Robbie Lawler during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Jan 28, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Donald Cerrone (red gloves) competes against Jorge Masvidal (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Jan 28, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Donald Cerrone (red gloves) competes against Jorge Masvidal (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Dec 10, 2016; Toronto, ON, CAN; Donald Cerrone (red gloves) fights Matt Brown (blue gloves) during UFC 206 at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Dec 10, 2016; Toronto, ON, CAN; Donald Cerrone (red gloves) fights Matt Brown (blue gloves) during UFC 206 at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Dec 10, 2016; Toronto, ON, CAN; Donald Cerrone (red gloves) fights Matt Brown (blue gloves) during UFC 206 at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Dec 10, 2016; Toronto, ON, CAN; Donald Cerrone (red gloves) reacts to fight with Matt Brown (blue gloves) during UFC 206 at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Jun 18, 2016; Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; Patrick Cote (blue gloves) fights Donald Cerrone (red gloves) in a welterweight bout during UFC Fight Night at TD Place Arena. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports Jun 18, 2016; Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; Patrick Cote (blue gloves) fights Donald Cerrone (red gloves) in a welterweight bout during UFC Fight Night at TD Place Arena. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports Jun 18, 2016; Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; Donald Cerrone (red gloves) reacts after his welterweight bout against Patrick Cote (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at TD Place Arena. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-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/PVhrMETcnLxfjDpbGMSqL5/302587", customAnalytics: true, title: "Donald Cerrone", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

FS1's UFC Fight Night 126 broadcast plans set with Jimmy Smith-Brendan Fitzgerald duo

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The UFC’s third event in Austin, Texas, takes place Sunday when UFC Fight Night 126 takes place at Frank Erwin Center, and the broadcast team is set.

The card airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, and it features a welterweight headliner between Donald Cerrone (32-10 MMA, 19-7 UFC) and Yancy Medeiros (15-4 MMA, 6-4 UFC)

MMAjunkie today confirmed with a FOX Sports official that Brendan Fitzgerald and recently signed color commentators Jimmy Smith will call the action from cageside.

RelatedWatch UFC-Austin headliner 'Cowboy' Cerrone take out Jim Miller with sick kick in 2014

Analysts for Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 126 weigh-in show on FS1, as well as the pre-fight and post-fight shows Sunday on FS1, are former multi-time UFC title challenger Kenny Florian (14-6 MMA, 12-5 UFC) and ex-middleweight champ Chris Weidman (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC). Megan Olivi serves as anchor for the programs while Lauro Sanko reports onsite.

The UFC Fight Night 126 card, along with broadcast plans and air times, are as follows:

MAIN CARD (FS1, 9 p.m. ET)

  • Donald Cerrone vs. Yancy Medeiros
  • Derrick Lewis vs. Marcin Tybura
  • Francisco Trinaldo vs. James Vick
  • Thiago Alves vs. Curtis Millender
  • Sage Northcutt vs. Thibault Gouti

PRELIMINARY CARD (FS1, 7 p.m. ET)

  • Diego Ferreira vs. Jared Gordon
  • Brian Camozzi vs. Geoff Neal
  • Joby Sanchez vs. Roberto Sanchez
  • Sarah Moras vs. Lucie Pudilova

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 5:30 p.m. ET)

  • Brandon Davis vs. Steven Peterson
  • Oskar Piechota vs. Tim Williams
  • Josh Burkman vs. Alex Morono

For more on UFC Fight Night 126, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Jun 10, 2017; Auckland, NZ; Derrick Lewis (red gloves) fights against Mark Hunt (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Spark Arena. Mandatory Credit: Simon Watts-USA TODAY Sports Jun 10, 2017; Auckland, NZ; Derrick Lewis (red gloves) reacts during the fight against Mark Hunt (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Spark Arena. Mandatory Credit: Simon Watts-USA TODAY Sports Jun 10, 2017; Auckland, NZ; Derrick Lewis (red gloves) fights against Mark Hunt (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Spark Arena. Mandatory Credit: Simon Watts-USA TODAY Sports Jun 10, 2017; Auckland, NZ; Derrick Lewis (red gloves) fights against Mark Hunt (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Spark Arena. Mandatory Credit: Simon Watts-USA TODAY Sports Jun 10, 2017; Auckland, NZ; Derrick Lewis (red gloves) fights against Mark Hunt (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Spark Arena. Mandatory Credit: Simon Watts-USA TODAY Sports Feb 19, 2017; Halifax, NS, Canada; Derrick Lewis moments before the start of his fight against Travis Browne during UFC Fight Night at Scotiabank Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Feb 19, 2017; Halifax, NS, Canada; Derrick Lewis moments before the start of his fight against Travis Browne during UFC Fight Night at Scotiabank Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Feb 19, 2017; Halifax, NS, Canada; Derrick Lewis (red gloves) fights Travis Browne (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Scotiabank Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Feb 19, 2017; Halifax, NS, Canada; Derrick Lewis (red gloves) fights Travis Browne (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Scotiabank Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Feb 19, 2017; Halifax, NS, Canada; Derrick Lewis climbs the octagon fence after defeating Travis Browne during UFC Fight Night at Scotiabank Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Feb 19, 2017; Halifax, NS, Canada; Derrick Lewis poses with his championship belt following a press conference after defeating Travis Browne during UFC Fight Night at Scotiabank Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Dec 9, 2016; Albany, NY, USA; Shamil Abdurakhimov (blue gloves) fights Derrick Lewis (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Times Union Center. Mandatory Credit: Michael Adamucci-USA TODAY Sports Dec 9, 2016; Albany, NY, USA; Shamil Abdurakhimov (blue gloves) fights Derrick Lewis (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Times Union Center. Mandatory Credit: Michael Adamucci-USA TODAY Sports Dec 9, 2016; Albany, NY, USA; Derrick Lewis reacts after defeating Shamil Abdurakhimov during UFC Fight Night at Times Union Center. Mandatory Credit: Michael Adamucci-USA TODAY Sports Dec 9, 2016; Albany, NY, USA; Derrick Lewis reacts after defeating Shamil Abdurakhimov during UFC Fight Night at Times Union Center. Mandatory Credit: Michael Adamucci-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/R5RWHLgPMjy6yqjSdsr3KQ/302610", customAnalytics: true, title: "Derrick Lewis", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with C.B. Dollaway

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MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guest C.B. Dollaway.

Dollaway fights Hector Lombard on March 3 at UFC 222.

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.

Stuck with undesired rematch, Bellator 194's Patricky Freire wants fans to demand his title shot

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Sep 23, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; Patricky Pitbull (blue gloves) defeats Benson Henderson (red gloves) during Bellator 183 at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports Sep 23, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; Patricky Pitbull (blue gloves) fights Benson Henderson (red gloves) during Bellator 183 at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports Sep 23, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; Patricky Pitbull (blue gloves) fights Benson Henderson (red gloves) during Bellator 183 at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports Sep 23, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; Patricky Pitbull (blue gloves) fights Benson Henderson (red gloves) during Bellator 183 at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports Sep 23, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; Patricky Pitbull (blue gloves) fights Benson Henderson (red gloves) during Bellator 183 at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports Sep 23, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; Patricky Pitbull (blue gloves) fights Benson Henderson (red gloves) during Bellator 183 at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports Sep 23, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; Patricky Pitbull (blue gloves) fights Benson Henderson (red gloves) during Bellator 183 at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports Sep 23, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; Patricky Pitbull (blue gloves) fights Benson Henderson (red gloves) during Bellator 183 at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports Sep 23, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; Patricky Pitbull (blue gloves) fights Benson Henderson (red gloves) during Bellator 183 at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports Sep 23, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; Patricky Pitbull (blue gloves) fights Benson Henderson (red gloves) during Bellator 183 at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports Sep 23, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; Patricky Pitbull (blue gloves) fights Benson Henderson (red gloves) during Bellator 183 at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports Sep 23, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; Patricky Pitbull (blue gloves) fights Benson Henderson (red gloves) during Bellator 183 at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports Sep 23, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; Patricky Pitbull (blue gloves) fights Benson Henderson (red gloves) during Bellator 183 at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports Sep 23, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; Patricky Pitbull (blue gloves) fights Benson Henderson (red gloves) during Bellator 183 at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/EwuuQpGv9fNNqmVMRDqzoJ/302551", customAnalytics: true, title: "Freire def. Henderson", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

A rematch wasn’t high on Patricky Freire’s list coming off back-to-back wins over Josh Thomson and Benson Henderson. But he’s done complaining about his career.

Freire and his brother, featherweight champ Patricio Freire, have been two of the most vocal fighters in the Viacom-owned promotion. But the elder “Pitbull” is trying a new tack.

“I don’t want to verbally convince the boss that I deserve another title shot,” Freire (18-8 MMA, 11-7 BMMA) told MMAjunkie in advance of his second fight against Derek Campos (19-6 MMA, 8-4 BMMA), which takes place Friday at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., and airs live on Paramount. “I want to keep winning. I want to demonstrate that I have what it takes to be the next champion. I want the fans to start asking the promotion.

“It’s not about whether I feel I deserve it, or it being my turn. I would like my American and Brazilian fans to start demanding this from the promotion.”

Back-to-back wins over ex-champs certainly boosted Freire’s stock, which is why he was a little puzzled to be pitched Campos as his next challenge. But he decided that staying active is most important as he builds a case with the promotion and the public.

“This isn’t the opponent I wanted,” he said. “I always like to face different fighters. But Derek Campos is coming off four wins. No matter what, whether I win or he does, one of us should challenge for the belt next. If that doesn’t happen, it would bother me.

“If Bellator allows me to keep fighting and making money, it wouldn’t bother me as much. I just don’t want to be idle for a long time. Derek Campos, after he lost to me, only lost to Michael Chandler. He beat Derek Anderson, who defeated me twice. He currently has two victories by decision, and two by knockout. He’s near the top, as I am, and we’re close to fighting for the belt.”

It’s a position Freire knows well. He repeatedly has come close to the lightweight title, only to stumble at the last step. A knockout loss nearly two years ago to current champ Michael Chandler was his latest setback.

The loss didn’t inform Freire’s current strategy. Rather, it was his most recent opponents that taught him the importance of action over words.

“Beating two opponents like Ben Henderson and Josh Thomson, I believe it’s something every fighter wants in his career,” Freire said. “They’re both big names in MMA – great champions. They’ve both had great battles. They’re two fighters I’ve beaten. Having to face them made me evolve even more as an athlete, and as a person. I also see how humble they both are on a personal level. We can learn from that.

“Great athletes are also very humble, as opposed to others who haven’t accomplished half as much, but act with arrogance. They think they’re a big deal. They’re not. I did a lot of learning, even in victory.”

Now, he hopes to apply that to his second meeting with Campos. And if all goes well, he might not need to ask for a golden opportunity.

For more on Bellator 194, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA rankings, Feb. 13: Welcome to the top 10, Curtis Blaydes

MMA Junkie News -

The Australian crowd may not have approved, but Curtis Blaydes picked up an important win over Mark Hunt in the co-main event of UFC 221.

With the result, “Razor” Blaydes now stands at No. 8 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA heavyweight rankings, edging just ahead of Hunt.

The middleweight division was impacted by the night’s main event, with Yoel Romero picking up a devastating knockout win over Luke Rockhold, but the undercard saw a few fighters turn in solid performances, making their way into the honorable mentions in their respective divisions, priming themselves top break into the official top-15 list: Australians Tyson Pedro and Alex Volkanovski.

Both the UFC and Bellator host cards this weekend, so expect further movement across the board. Ahead of those clashes, check out the latest rankings across the board.

Watch UFC-Austin headliner 'Cowboy' Cerrone take out Jim Miller with sick kick in 2014

MMA Junkie News -

It’s been a bit since we’ve had the chance to see Donald Cerrone get his hand raised.

“Cowboy” currently is mired in a three-fight slump – the first losing skid of his lengthy pro career. It’s remarkable, really, to think about: Cerrone went nearly 40 fights against some of the best in the business and never lost consecutive fights till recently.

On Sunday, Cerrone (32-10 MMA, 19-7 UFC) has a chance to break out of his slump when he meets Yancy Medeiros (15-4 MMA, 6-4 UFC) in the UFC Fight Night 126 main event. Before his current slide against Jorge Masvidal, Robbie Lawler and Darren Till, he had won 12 of 13 – and the only loss was a lightweight title shot.

Before you watch “Cowboy” try to get back in the win column, check out one of his most vintage performances in his first UFC main event. Cerrone headlined UFC Fight Night 45 in New Jersey and took out fellow veteran Jim Miller with a brilliant head kick in the second round.

Check out that fight in the video above. Then don’t miss UFC Fight Night 126, which takes place Sunday at Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas. It airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

For more on UFC Fight Night 126, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Oct 21, 2017; Gdansk, Poland; against Donald Cerrone (red gloves) before his fight against Darren Till during UFC Fight Night at Ergo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 21, 2017; Gdansk, Poland; against Donald Cerrone (red gloves) before his fight against Darren Till during UFC Fight Night at Ergo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 21, 2017; Gdansk, Poland; Donald Cerrone (red gloves) fights against Darren Till (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ergo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Donald Cerrone lands a kick against Robbie Lawler during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Donald Cerrone and Robbie Lawler react following their match during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Donald Cerrone moves in with a hit against Robbie Lawler during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Jan 28, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Donald Cerrone (red gloves) competes against Jorge Masvidal (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Jan 28, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Donald Cerrone (red gloves) competes against Jorge Masvidal (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Dec 10, 2016; Toronto, ON, CAN; Donald Cerrone (red gloves) fights Matt Brown (blue gloves) during UFC 206 at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Dec 10, 2016; Toronto, ON, CAN; Donald Cerrone (red gloves) fights Matt Brown (blue gloves) during UFC 206 at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Dec 10, 2016; Toronto, ON, CAN; Donald Cerrone (red gloves) fights Matt Brown (blue gloves) during UFC 206 at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Dec 10, 2016; Toronto, ON, CAN; Donald Cerrone (red gloves) reacts to fight with Matt Brown (blue gloves) during UFC 206 at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Jun 18, 2016; Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; Patrick Cote (blue gloves) fights Donald Cerrone (red gloves) in a welterweight bout during UFC Fight Night at TD Place Arena. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports Jun 18, 2016; Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; Patrick Cote (blue gloves) fights Donald Cerrone (red gloves) in a welterweight bout during UFC Fight Night at TD Place Arena. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports Jun 18, 2016; Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; Donald Cerrone (red gloves) reacts after his welterweight bout against Patrick Cote (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at TD Place Arena. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-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/PVhrMETcnLxfjDpbGMSqL5/302545", customAnalytics: true, title: "Donald Cerrone", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Mr. Flying Knee? Bellator 194's Tywan Claxton trying to live down viral fame

MMA Junkie News -

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Tywan Claxton wanted to make a statement in his professional MMA debut.

Mission accomplished. Now what?

“I’ve got a couple more tricks that I’m willing to throw,” Claxton (1-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) told MMAjunkie Radio in advance of his follow-up at Bellator 194 opposite Jose Antonio Perez (0-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA).

It’s been tough for Claxton to live down the performance that made headlines around the world. Everywhere he goes, he’s the flying knee guy. Eventually, he stopped trying to fight it, even though he wanted to be known for more than one moment in time.

“I’m like, ‘Dude, I can strike. I’ve got kicks. I’ve got elbows. I can wrestle and do submissions,'” he said.

If Claxton is anything, he’s a avid learner. He appreciates diversity in skill-sets. He doesn’t like to be pigeonholed.

In his spare time, he taught himself how to code using Apple’s Swift programming language. Now, he spends almost as much time on the computer as he does on the mat.

“I have a degree in healthcare marketing, but I really don’t like healthcare,” he said. “So I just sit here and build apps between practice.”

For Claxton, the pursuit of excellence is a passion all its own. But with such a celebrated beginning in the cage, he struggled on how to deal with the next chapter of his career. He had to reset expectations.

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Looking for that next highlight reel in the gym, Claxton said, wasn’t the solution. He had a rough two weeks in sparring before he realized he was going about things the wrong way. As good as that knee was, he’d have to forget about it and start over.

Now, Claxton tries very hard to think of himself not as a human highlight-reel, but an opportunist who uses the right tools for the job.

“Let’s stick to basics,” he said. “I confuse people with my angles, and something will come. I’ve been lights out ever since.”

If lights out means dropping partners in practice, the public could be in for another show Friday at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., where Claxton and Perez kick off the Paramount-televised main card.

But don’t count on another knee just yet.

“I’m not going in there looking to throw that,” Claxton said. “I’m just going to go in there and fight how I like to fight.”

For more on Bellator 194, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia, Brian “Goze” Garcia and Dan Tom. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

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