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Watch Montreal Canadiens fans give UFC champ Georges St-Pierre a rousing ovation

MMA Junkie News -

Georges St-Pierre came back after nearly four years away from MMA and choked out Michael Bisping earlier this month at UFC 217 to become the new UFC middleweight champion, making him just the fourth fighter in UFC history to hold title belts in two divisions.

Pretty much everyone was in awe of what St-Pierre (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC) accomplished that night, especially after the long layoff. Even Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reacted.

The love from Canada continued Tuesday night as St-Pierre, with the title belt over his shoulder, walked out to center ice for the ceremonial puck drop in his hometown before the Canadiens-Blue Jackets game at Bell Centre.

Via Twitter:

What a reaction for @GeorgesStPierre at @CanadiensMTL!!!#GoHabsGo pic.twitter.com/cFDne5tPoG

— UFC Canada (@UFC_CA) November 15, 2017

So what’s next for St-Pierre? Well, first some time off. And then hopefully after that he unifies the middleweight title with interim champion Robert Whittaker (19-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC).

We’ll be waiting, but hopefully it’s not too long.

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

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

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

Justin Buchholz talks Cody Garbrandt's UFC 217 title loss and current Team Alpha Male role

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Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

Cody Garbrandt’s first attempt to defend the UFC bantamweight title didn’t go as planned. But given the rough road there, coach Justin Buchholz thinks the former champion’s solid start at UFC 217 served as a testament to his skills.

Garbrandt (11-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) was a 2-1 betting favorite heading into UFC 217’s co-headliner against then-ex-champ and former Team Alpha Male stablemate T.J. Dillashaw (15-3 MMA, 11-3 UFC). And his heavy hands almost confirmed those expectations in the first round, when he had the challenger in serious trouble.

But Dillashaw was able to turn things in around in the second, pulling off an unexpected knockout to take back the bantamweight title.

RelatedUFC 217 results: T.J. Dillashaw finishes rival Cody Garbrandt to reclaim 135-pound title

Buchholz, who cornered Garbrandt, hadn’t gotten back to Team Alpha Male by the time he checked in with MMAjunkie Radio. But he shared some thoughts on Garbrandt’s comeback.

“When it comes to Cody regaining the title, it’s honestly just the focus he has,” Buchholz said. “A focused Cody Garbrandt, man, you saw what he did against Dominick Cruz. You saw what he did last year. And he was on the losing end of kind of a firefight.

“It will be an interesting process, coming back.”

Buchholz went into some detail in regard to less-than-ideal leadup to the drama-filled UFC 217 match. The two bantamweights, of course, were originally supposed to meet in July, after they were done with their roles as opposing coaches on Season 25 of “The Ultimate Fighter.”

A back injury, however, forced “No Love” out of the booking – and we got about four extra months of beefing, with the occasional finger-pointing and even controversial leaked sparring footage.

When the two finally met in the octagon on Nov. 4, it was Dillashaw’s night. And Buchholz in no way takes away from Dillashaw’s merit there; he was always acutely aware of how dangerous of an opponent he was as they headed into the fight.

RelatedCody Garbrandt recaps this post-fight chat with T.J. Dillashaw, stands 'behind everything I said'

But what we saw up in the octagon was the result of a process that, especially considering such a worthy opponent, could’ve been better.

“Honestly, Cody, he was hurt a lot this year,” Buccholz said. “This is a known fact: The fight is won or lost in the gym. It’s such a known fact. So the camp going into it, it’s everything. With Cody’s injuries and what was going on with the gym. I just felt like – especially to get someone like T.J., T.J. is one of the most sickest competitors I’ve ever seen. He will train hard, and he will do whatever it takes to win this fight and this competition. He’s so ultra competitive.

“Cody has that competitive streak, as well, but I’ve never really seen another fighter like T.J. who has that type of just singular focus like that. And to train for T.J. Dillashaw for a year – this guy’s training, just in the gym, just trying to get back everything that he thinks was taken from him or whatnot. And this is the guy we’re going to face. I knew we were in for a tough fight.

“People would always ask me, they’d say, ‘What is the tougher fight?’ They’d do the MMA math, and they’d say, ‘Cody humiliated Dominick Cruz, and Cruz beat T.J.’ But that is MMA math. And we know it’s all bull(expletive). It doesn’t matter. It’s the setup. It’s the matchup. I knew we had a super tough competitor out there. And it was hard to get Cody the camp that I felt we needed to deal with someone like T.J.”

After the fight, Garbrandt briefly touched on the “long, hard road” and the adjustments he had to make “on the fly” due to the multiple procedures he had to have stemming from his back injury. But ultimately, he reiterated he made no excuses for the loss.

RelatedUrijah Faber would consider unretiring to fight T.J. Dillashaw, but nobody get any ideas

“I’m just thankful to be here and have health,” Garbrandt added.

Garbrandt went on to add that, at least, he went out on his shield. And the coach agrees that, all in all, his athlete did showcase some serious skill in there.

“With all that being said about Cody’s camp, he still almost put away in the first round,” Buccholz said. “That is a credit to how amazing of an athlete and a fighter he is. He was looking good. He was looking good and got caught with that kick.”

Buchholz also took the opportunity to address another topic that’s been on the news, though this time it’s one involving himself: his situation at Team Alpha Male. The UFC vet, who recently made a victorious return to fighting, caused some waves late last month when he announced that he was no longer the head MMA coach for the Sacramento-based team.

Buchholz, who now leads the muay Thai training there and has some “deep” loyalties to fighters such as UFC vets Darren Elkins and Cynthia Calvillo, clarified to MMAjunkie Radio that the situation wasn’t a “business thing.”

“I don’t run the MMA program anymore,” Buccholz said. “We were at the old gym, and I think two months into this gym we moved into a new facility. The program I had set and worked on and had coached over, it wasn’t really what I was trying to do.

“There was a lot of influences coming in. It wasn’t the same tone. I don’t want to be considered the head of a program I’m not in complete control over. It’s basically what happened.

” … Business aside, I love coaching. I love the team. I was the first guy to fight in the UFC on the team, when everyone was at WEC. I’ve done a lot for the team. So it’s not really a business thing, it’s just – I have these standards in the way that I like to run things.”

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

For complete coverage of UFC 217, check out the UFC Events 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 and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; T.J. Dillashaw (blue gloves) yells at Cody Garbrandt (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; T.J. Dillashaw (blue gloves) fights against Cody Garbrandt (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; T.J. Dillashaw (blue gloves) fights against Cody Garbrandt (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; T.J. Dillashaw (blue gloves) fights against Cody Garbrandt (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; T.J. Dillashaw (blue gloves) fights against Cody Garbrandt (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; T.J. Dillashaw (blue gloves) fights against Cody Garbrandt (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; T.J. Dillashaw (blue gloves) fights against Cody Garbrandt (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Cody Garbrandt (red gloves) fights against T.J. Dillashaw (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Cody Garbrandt (red gloves) fights against T.J. Dillashaw (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; T.J. Dillashaw (blue gloves) yells at Cody Garbrandt (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; T.J. Dillashaw (blue gloves) reacts after defeating Cody Garbrandt (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/KoBeZjHtZFD3Q5mhhdpHZi/284451", customAnalytics: true, title: "Dillashaw def. Garbrandt", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

Jimmie Rivera tweets sales pitch, then challenges T.J. Dillashaw for UFC bantamweight title

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Jimmie Rivera believes he’s done enough to earn a stab at T.J. Dillashaw’s bantamweight title. But considering results aren’t always what count in times like these, you can’t blame a guy for exploring some angles.

Rivera (21-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC), who is left without an opponent after injury forced former champion Dominick Cruz (22-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC) out of a scheduled UFC 219 meeting, took to Twitter today to throw a jab at newly re-crowned champ Dillashaw (via Twitter).

Saw @TJDillashaw interview on @MMAFighting . @UrijahFaber is the reason you got into MMA,@ufc and won a title. Then you leave. I have an old school Martial Arts upbringing and loyalty is huge. I looked up to Urijah as a legend and beat him, I'll whoop your ass 10 times worse.

— Jimmie Rivera (@JimmieRivera135) November 14, 2017

Saw T.J. Dillashaw’s interview on MMAFighting. Urijah Faber is the reason you got into MMA, UFC and won a title. Then you leave. I have an oldschool martial arts upbringing and loyalty is huge. I looked up to Urijah and beat him, I’ll whoop your ass 10 times worse.

If the first Tweet read more like a sales pitch than a challenge, the second one made sure to clarify his intentions. (via Twitter)

I need someone for Dec 30th and @ufc needs a main event! Lets go @TJDillashaw. You only fought for 7 and a half minutes, I know you're in shape and healthy. Step up and stop trying to run down to 125.

— Jimmie Rivera (@JimmieRivera135) November 14, 2017

I need someone for Dec 30th and the UFC needs a main event. Let’s go, T.J. Dillashaw. You only fought for 7 and a half minutes, I know you’re in shape and healthy. Step up and stop trying to run down to 125.

Rivera did beat Faber in September of 2016, walking away from their UFC 203 encounter with a clean sweep on the scorecards. Each fighter went on to fight once more – Rivera dominated Thomas Almeida en route to a unanimous decision, while Faber beat Brad Pickett in what has (so far) marked his retirement as an MMA fighter.

Recently, though, Faber (34-10 MMA, 10-6 UFC) hinted at how a matchup with former pupil Dillashaw (15-3 MMA, 11-3 UFC) could maybe lure him back into the game. That, incidentally, is what seems to have sparked the comments that irked Rivera – though he did not clarify which article he was referring to.

“(A fight with Faber) sounds like the easiest payday ever,” Dillashaw told BJPenn.com, via MMAFighting.com. “I mean it’s just comical. I mean, come out of retirement, get a title shot off of what, losing to Jimmie Rivera and looking like crap in his fights? I mean it’s hilarious.

RelatedJimmie Rivera: Ex-champ Dominick Cruz's style 'not practical,' makes him 'really accident-prone'

“But, like I said, it’d be an easy payday, so I guess I shouldn’t be laughing at it. I should be pumping him up.”

Of course, there are a few roadblocks there. Dillashaw has made it quite clear that he wants a meeting with flyweight kingpin Demetrious Johnson next – and is willing to cut an added 10 pounds in order to make that happen. And, considering his wife is having a baby due Dec. 28, fighting on Dec. 30 might not sound too appealing.

Whether Rivera, who’s currently ranked No. 5 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA bantamweight rankings, will ever get his shot at the No. 1 fighter remains to be seen. But messing with the hornet’s nest that is Dillashaw’s relationship with some of his former Team Alpha Male peers seems like as good a bet as any.

For more on UFC 219, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) fights Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Thomas Almeida (blue gloves) reacts to fight against Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-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/jwAuHLk827APNsUmcmwckG/284514", customAnalytics: true, title: "Rivera def. Almeida", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC

Alexander Volkanovski gets third different opponent for UFC Fight Night 121

MMA Junkie News -

The UFC found a way to keep Alexander Volkanovski on UFC Fight Night 121.

The promotion today announced that Volkanovski, after losing two previous opponents, is set to face newcomer Shane Young on Saturday in an FS1-televised featherweight bout, which takes place at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney.

Volkanovski (15-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) originally was supposed to fight Jeremy Kennedy, but Kennedy dropped out last month because of a back injury. Humberto Bandenay replaced Kennedy, but Bandenay was forced to withdraw last week also because of injury, leaving Volkanovski’s status in limbo.

As it turns out, the UFC has found one final replacement in the 24-year-old Young (11-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC) from New Zealand. He’ll make his UFC debut on a five-fight winning streak, each bout with a different promotion.

Australia’s Volkanovski ran his winning streak to 12 fights in June when he took a unanimous decision from Mizuto Hirota at UFC Fight Night 110 in New Zealand. His UFC debut came in November 2016 in his home country when he stopped Yusuke Kasuya with a second-round TKO in a lightweight fight. Of his 15 career wins, a dozen have come by stoppage.

With the booking, UFC Fight Night 121 lineup is set as follows:

MAIN CARD (FS1, 10 p.m. ET)

  • Fabricio Werdum vs. Marcin Tybura
  • Joanne Calderwood vs. Bec Rawlings
  • Tim Means vs. Belal Muhammad
  • Daniel Kelly vs. Elias Theodorou
  • Alex Volkanovski vs. Shane Young

PRELIMINARY CARD (FS1, 8 p.m. ET)

  • Ryan Benoit vs. Ashkan Mokhtarian
  • Will Brooks vs. Nik Lentz
  • Anthony Hamilton vs. Adam Wieczorek
  • Damien Brown vs. Frank Camacho

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 6:30 p.m. ET )

  • Alex Chambers vs. Nadia Kassem
  • Jenel Lausa vs. Eric Shelton
  • Jake Matthews vs. Bojan Velickovic
  • Rashad Coulter vs. Tai Tuivasa

Fore more on UFC Fight Night 121, check out the UFC Rumorssection of the site.

Jun 10, 2017; Auckland, NZ; Alexander Volkanovski (red gloves) celebrates the victory against Mizuto Hirota (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Spark Arena. Mandatory Credit: Simon Watts-USA TODAY Sports Jun 10, 2017; Auckland, NZ; Alexander Volkanovski (red gloves) fights against Mizuto Hirota (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Spark Arena. Mandatory Credit: Simon Watts-USA TODAY Sports Jun 10, 2017; Auckland, NZ; Alexander Volkanovski (red gloves) fights against Mizuto Hirota (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Spark Arena. Mandatory Credit: Simon Watts-USA TODAY Sports Jun 10, 2017; Auckland, NZ; Alexander Volkanovski (red gloves) fights against Mizuto Hirota (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Spark Arena. Mandatory Credit: Simon Watts-USA TODAY Sports Jun 10, 2017; Auckland, NZ; Alexander Volkanovski (red gloves) fights against Mizuto Hirota (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Spark Arena. Mandatory Credit: Simon Watts-USA TODAY Sports Jun 10, 2017; Auckland, NZ; Alexander Volkanovski (red gloves) celebrates the victory against Mizuto Hirota (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Spark Arena. Mandatory Credit: Simon Watts-USA TODAY Sports Jun 10, 2017; Auckland, NZ; Alexander Volkanovski (red gloves) celebrates the victory against Mizuto Hirota (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Spark Arena. Mandatory Credit: Simon Watts-USA TODAY Sports Jun 10, 2017; Auckland, NZ; Alexander Volkanovski (red gloves) celebrates the victory against Mizuto Hirota (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Spark Arena. Mandatory Credit: Simon Watts-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/xtwcdhXViS8x6kotoCXTtZ/284534", customAnalytics: true, title: "Volkanovski def. Hirota", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC

The Speed Bag: The lunacy of Bellator's heavyweight grand prix – and why that's a great thing

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, Videos

At long last, Bellator will have a new heavyweight champion. It’s just that, you’re going to have to wait more than a year from now, it appears, to know who it is.

And when the new champ’s name gets called, there’s a chance it could be a fighter many MMA fans would’ve otherwise considered to be washed up. There’s also a chance it could be a fighter who’s not a heavyweight at all, but instead a 205-pounder.

Is it a little bit crazy that Bellator has put together a yearlong eight-man grand prix featuring four heavyweights (Fedor Emelianenko, Frank Mir, Matt Mitrione and Roy Nelson) and four guys who are normally light heavyweights (current champ Ryan Bader, plus Quinton Jackson, Muhammad Lawal and Chael Sonnen)? Yeah, of course it is.

But in the latest edition of The Speed Bag, our own Ben Fowlkes says that’s just what makes it, well … kinda awesome.

For Ben’s take on the heavyweight grand prix, check out the video above.

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

Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ryan Bader (red gloves) enters the arena prior to fighting Linton Vassell (not pictured ) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Linton Vassell (blue gloves) enters the arena prior to fighting Ryan Bader (not pictured) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Linton Vassell (blue gloves) enters the arena prior to fighting Ryan Bader (not pictured) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ryan Bader (red gloves) enters the arena prior to fighting Linton Vassell (not pictured ) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Linton Vassell (blue gloves) in the ring prior to fighting Ryan Bader (not pictured) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ryan Bader (red gloves) looks on during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Linton Vassell (blue gloves) fights Ryan Bader (red gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ryan Bader (red gloves) fights Linton Vassell (blue gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Linton Vassell (blue gloves) fights Ryan Bader (red gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ryan Bader (red gloves) fights Linton Vassell (blue gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-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/fbc378hacKJiwChRG3ezY5/284428", customAnalytics: true, title: "Bader def. Vassell", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start(); Take Our Poll (function(d,c,j){if(!d.getElementById(j)){var pd=d.createElement(c),s;pd.id=j;pd.src='http://s1.wp.com/wp-content/mu-plugins/shortcodes/js/polldaddy-shortcode.js';s=d.getElementsByTagName(c)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(pd,s);} else if(typeof jQuery !=='undefined')jQuery(d.body).trigger('pd-script-load');}(document,'script','pd-polldaddy-loader'));
Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, Videos

UFC champ Amanda Nunes is MMA's only representative on Forbes' '30 under 30'

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UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes is in some pretty elite company.

Forbes.com today unveiled its “30 Under 30 2018” lists, including one for the sports world.

Nunes, a 29-year-old Brazilian, appears on the list with the likes of boxer Canelo Alvarez, the Atlanta Falcons’ Julio Jones, swimmer Jessica Long, tennis player Sloane Stephens and NASCAR driver Kyle Larson, among others.

Here’s Forbes.com‘s summary of Nunes:

“She sent shockwaves through the UFC world by defeating Ronda Rousey in just 48 seconds. The first openly gay champion for the sport, Nunes is the reigning women’s bantamweight champion with a 15-4 record. Nunes has an endorsement deal with TEN spring water.”

Other “30 under 30” categories include Art & Style, Hollywood & Entertainment, Games, Music, Media and Science.

Nunes (15-4 MMA, 8-1 UFC), the No. 1 fighter in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA women’s bantamweight rankings, is currently riding a six-fight winning streak, which includes a title win over Miesha Tate and defenses over Ronda Rousey and Valentina Shevchenko. “The Lioness” also has three “Performance of the Night” bonuses in her past five fights.

Nunes expected to sit out the rest of 2017 and return in early 2018.

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

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


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

Lorenz Larkin vs. Fernando Gonzalez catchweight fight headlines Bellator 193

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Sep 23, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; Paul Daley vs Lorenz Larkin during Bellator 183 at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports Sep 23, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; Paul Daley vs Lorenz Larkin during Bellator 183 at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports Sep 23, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; Paul Daley vs Lorenz Larkin during Bellator 183 at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Douglas Lima (red gloves) fights Lorenz Larkin (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Douglas Lima (red gloves) fights Lorenz Larkin (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Douglas Lima (red gloves) fights Lorenz Larkin (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Douglas Lima (red gloves) fights Lorenz Larkin (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Douglas Lima (red gloves) fights Lorenz Larkin (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Douglas Lima (red gloves) fights Lorenz Larkin (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Douglas Lima (red gloves) fights Lorenz Larkin (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-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/rxpmtq4u7EJYkvs6ByjzK8/284479", customAnalytics: true, title: "Lorenz Larkin", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Bellator 193’s main event will be an all-California affair.

Officials today announced a headlining fight between Lorenz Larkin (18-7 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) and Fernando Gonzalez (27-14 MMA, 7-1 BMMA), who will meet at a catchweight of 180 pounds.

Bellator 193 takes place Jan. 26 at Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, Calif., and the main card airs on Spike following prelims on Spike.

Larkin, a longtime Bellator and Strikeforce fighter, is still searching for his first UFC win. Since joining the organization earlier this year, he’s suffered a title loss via decision to champ Douglas Lima and a knockout defeat to Paul Daley. Prior to Bellator setbacks, the 31-year-old California native, who’s fought as heavy as light heavyweight before his recent welterweight run, was on a 4-1 run.

He meets Gonzalez, a muay Thai vet who’s on an 8-1 run, though he’s missed weight for his past two bouts (wins over Brandon Girtz and Brennan Ward). The 34-year-old Californian and former WEC and Strikeforce fighter’s only loss during his recent win came via split decision to Michael Page.

Additional Bellator 193 bouts will be announced in the coming weeks.

For more on Bellator 193, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: Bellator, News

Ref Marc Goddard responds to Conor McGregor, clarifies Bellator 187 melee facts in Facebook post

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, UFC

As it turns out, referee Marc Goddard’s first statement addressing the Conor McGregor melee at Bellator 187 wasn’t enough. He had much more to say, chiefly so he could clear up any confusion.

Following his short 37-word tweet on Saturday, Goddard today wrote a lengthy Facebook post to make sure the facts are known. Goddard shared his message not long after McGregor posted an apology for jumping the cage Friday, which set off a chaotic sequence at the conclusion of the fight between McGregor’s SBG Ireland teammate, Charlie Ward, and John Redmond at 3Arena in Dublin.

RelatedABC head expects UFC will sanction Conor McGregor for Bellator 187 cage jump – and says he's off UFC 219

In his apology, McGregor called out Goddard for what McGregor “horrendous decision in trying to pick an unconscious fighter up off the floor and force the fight to continue.” Goddard’s Facebook message was, at least in part, a direct response to McGregor’s claim.

Goddard said he heard the 10-second warning, but because of the noisy crowd reaction to Ward’s left hook that dropped Redmond, Goddard stopped the fight in the final moments “with the belief that (the) bell had indeed been sounded.” Goddard supports his claim pointing to video evidence that he stepped in without waving his hands as if to signal the fight was over.

McGregor, who wasn’t a licensed cornerman, immediately jumped the cage to celebrate with Ward, and all hell broke loose from there. Goddard said he proceeded to react under the assumption that Round 2 was still to come and could not make a clear determination of Redmond’s condition because of McGregor’s actions.

RelatedTrading Shots: Conor McGregor jumps in cage and crosses line, so now what?

“Had I been allowed to make my determination without the interference of unauthorized persons in the cage in the first place then the ensuing melee would have indeed not occurred and normal protocol could have ensued,” Goddard said. “I then (would’ve) notified all concerned and we could conclude the bout officially and satisfactorily. At no point did I attempt to ‘pick up an unconscious fighter’ [he was not unconscious] and of course would never ‘force the fight to continue.’

“The important point to note here is that the condition and safety of the fighter trumps any and all other decisions. Their ability to be safely allowed to continue in a contest is only ever called by the referee, the person in charge of that contest and the sole arbiter. When I am unfairly delayed or robbed of that opportunity from outside and external sources, it brings not only the sport into disrepute but from my primary role and function of being able to make the right decision, the correct decision that is both safe and fair to the athlete concerned.”

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

— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) November 10, 2017

Goddard said that because he had yet to determine the bout was over, his immediate goal was to restore order by getting both fighters to their corners for the rest period. He also wanted McGregor out of the cage.

Goddard, though, takes umbrage with anyone who believes he instigated physical contact with McGregor, pointing to the video to support his claim. Goddard also has a problem with those who believe he had an ax to grind with McGregor because of their prior history.

“So to all of you out there who wrongly assumed that I approach Charlie to eject Conor then you are sadly mistaken and plain wrong,” Goddard said. “The only reason I approach is to tell Charlie to (go) back to his corner as the fight was not over. It’s called restoring order and gaining control – who else was going to do it?”

You can read Goddard’s entire statement below via Facebook:

After a couple of days of downtime and reflection I would like to offer some clarification on the events that unfolded in the fight between Charlie Ward & John Redmond at Bellator 187. As per usual there is much assumption and conjecture so allow me to clear the up the facts and put to bed the inaccuracies.

The 1st round was progressing and passing without incident and subsequently my involvement. As the round drew to a close the 10 second warning sounded and that was heard and acknowledged by me. Soon after Charlie Ward connected with a left hand that slumped John Redmond to his knees. At this exact point I could not and had not made my determination that John was either out of the contest or not in the position to intelligently defend himself.

The punch and action that followed naturally resulted in a surge of crowd noise, one that was so significant I had already made my determination that I could not audibly hear the bell sound for the end of the round, I had made my decision to step in with the belief that bell had indeed been sounded, when in actual fact it had not. This is a critical fact to the ensuing proceedings.

At this point on my step in, and you will clearly see from the video replay that I only step across and do not wave the fight off. Charlie Ward, understandably so had reeled off in celebration thinking that I had indeed ended the contest and not as I had actually done, called time on what I believed to be the end of the round. Two distinctly different endings.

At this point Conor McGregor, who had once again been stood for the entire duration of the round in close proximity of the cage had taken my intervention, wrongly, as the end of the contest and proceeded to jump the fence to enter the fighting area to congratulate what he believed to be his team mates victory. At this point again my immediate concern was John Redmond who was still on his hands and knees and not in a position to look up and at me, please remember at this point I had still not officially called a stop to the contest.

John Redmond was moving and still in an obvious daze from the concussive blow. At this point, due to the ensuing confusion and people in the ring who shouldn’t be, I had still not decided that Redmond was out of the contest and that I has stepped in to stop the fight for what I had ultimately believed to have been the bell sound. Had I have had the chance to look and assess the condition of Redmond, even in real time to ascertain should the fight be stopped then I would naturally have done so, of course I did not.

As I see Conor McGregor in the ring – this is the ONLY reason that I approach Mr Ward. Conor is of zero concern to me at this point, he “happened to be there” [wrongly] and my intention again as you will clearly see from the video is to approach Charlie to let him know that the fight was not at that point officially over, that he should return to his corner and wait for my assessment and call. Had I indeed ended the bout then the fact Conor McGregor was in the ring would have been of zero concern to me and I wouldn’t even have approached them. I would have no need to.

I was talking only to Charlie Ward at this point and you will see me put my arms between him and Conor McGregor, trying to separate and restore order to notify him to go back to his corner and continue the rest period, I was trying to communicate with Charlie Ward and then trying to tell Conor to leave, it wasn’t done yet. This is when Conor McGregor began firstly his verbal assault in my direction. My only thought at this point was to notify Charlie Ward, and his corner team, of my decision at the time and restore order to the fighting area. Also the condition of Paul Redmond and then subsequently bringing in the Dr in the rest period to make a determination. Of course the ensuing mêlée and confusion had completely prevented that from happening, that is the result of the actions of one man.

Still at this point I had no dialogue with the official timekeeper as order and control was trying to be kept in the cage. I will make zero allowance for what people believe to be a referee’s intervention and not a security or commission representative’s job. Know this – when a fight is in swing and in the fighting area then as long as that is going on and the relevant parties are present and involved then it is my responsibility to provide the over-riding authority, it always had/has and it always will be so please allow me to first make that categorically clear. Whilst those combatants and all who surround them are within the fighting area both before during and after the contest then they will and they are under my jurisdiction – make no mistake about that fact. So to the people who think and believe otherwise then you are categorically and wholly wrong. When I referee it is my area and I will control it.

So to all of you out there who wrongly assumed that I approach Charlie to eject Conor then you are sadly mistaken and plain wrong, the only reason I approach is to tell Charlie to Go back to his corner as the fight was not over. It’s called restoring order and gaining control – who else was going to do it?

People have a strange habit, particularly in highly charged and emotional affairs such as MMA contest’s of seeing and believing what indeed has not happened. There has been the notion and belief of the fact that I had pushed Conor McGregor when this factually and categorically untrue – please again watch the video and you will see very clearly that I have my arms in between Charlie and Conor whilst trying to tell Charlie to return to his corner and let me make my determination, pushing fighters, or anyone unnecessarily so is simply not in my nature, or protocol of conduct to do so. It is then again, clearly, that you will see Conor McGregor who put his hands on my chest to shove me, I then turn and walk away to go back and check on the condition of Paul Redmond.

Immediately behind me Conor McGregor is running after me, incensed that the fight was not yet officially ruled over, trying to get round a commission representative, this is unbeknown to me and again if you look at the video he then breaks free of the commissioner and round into my back, it was a light and insignificant touch of no concern to me but what is of paramount importance here is the facts. The video does not lie. Again at this point I wanted to look at Paul Redmond and had notified his corned that it was not over, I had called for what I had believed to be the bell. Conor McGregors actions and ensuing melee of additional people with and connected to him, again with zero need or authority to even be in the cage, had also resulted in Paul Redmond being knocked around by the very people who were trying to ensure his safety and well being.

It was then that finally, in a second of respite amongst the carnage do I get to see the timekeeper who tells me that bell was sounded one second after I had stepped across. This is when it becomes apparently and easily clear to me that the fight was now officially ruled and over and Charlie Ward had indeed rightfully won the fight, based upon my actions alone.

Conor McGregor was then forcefully ejected from the cage, whilst still trying to get to me and continuing his verbal tirade and threats, including “seeing me in Birmingham” [my hometown] Conor McGregor’s threats are of no concern to me. He then circled outside of the cage and jumped back up on the cage and when a commission official tried to get him down he struck out to him. The video presents all the evidence that is needed. People are mistakenly under the belief that they are entitled to their own opinion and I’m not really up for that train of thought however, we can argue that one, but what you’re never entitled to is your own facts – these will always remain unchanged.

It is of imperative importance that this point is understood – once I know that I had stepped across and in between the fighters at 4:59 [or any time for that matter] then the fight is officially over and there is no going back. Again at this point it was categorically clear to me that Paul Redmond was indeed in no state to continue and the rightful winner was Charlie Ward. Had I been allowed to make my determination without the interference of unauthorized persons in the cage in the first place then the ensuing melee would have indeed not occurred and normal protocol could have ensued. I then notified all concerned and we could conclude the bout officially and satisfactorily. At no point did I attempt to “pick up an unconscious fighter” [he was not unconscious] and of course would never “force the fight to continue”

The important point to note here is that the condition and safety of the fighter trumps any and all other decisions. Their ability to be safely allowed to continue in a contest is only ever called by the referee, the person in charge of that contest and the sole arbiter. When I am unfairly delayed or robbed of that opportunity from outside and external sources it brings not only the sport into disrepute but from my primary role and function of being able to make the right decision, the correct decision that is both safe and fair to the athlete concerned.

I have enjoyed a very good and enjoyable relationship over many, many years with fighters and members of SBGi who have always represented themselves and the team with class and respect. I would like to thank all the team who approached and messaged me directly. I wish you all continued success and good fortune.
Literally thousands of messages received too, I appreciate your support and kind words but this is about MMA not me. I have declined every single media/news request to speak publically, these are my own words. I would like to thank Mike Mazzulli ABC president and the inspectors from the Mohegan Tribe Commission for the support.

I do not wish for any further action to be taken against any party, in particular Conor McGregor, but ultimately that is entirely out of my hands. I hope that the situation can be reviewed, learned from on how we could prevent a repeat instance and then case closed, we move on for the good of the sport.
I have known, witnessed and refereed Conor on many previous occasions over the years and watched, even in support of his meteoric rise, speaking publically to commend him and offer an insight when others had turned against him. I have known Conor before he was the mega star that he is now, long before he amassed his fame and fortune – the difference being I respected him the same and treated him no different back then.

The sport of MMA is the bigger picture here and is of my primary concern and anyone who knows me, truly knows me, will underline that. As I said on Saturday morning before leaving Dublin – I operate with integrity, belief and values – all of the time, every time.

I apologise in advance for the lengthy statement.

My respect and thanks.

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


Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, UFC

Will Oscar De La Hoya box UFC champ Conor McGregor? In 2018? Betting lines are up

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Will former boxing champion Oscar De La Hoya actually end up boxing Conor McGregor? And when? You can put your money where your mouth is.

Another week, another challenge from a non-MMA fighter for the UFC lightweight champion. And we’ve got some opening odds at the sports book for the possible bout.

De La Hoya (39-6), an Olympic gold medalist who later became one of boxing’s big stars, hasn’t fought since a 2008 loss to Manny Pacquiao. But the 44-year-old “Golden Boy” is apparently willing to make a return for a fight with McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC, 0-1 boxing).

“You know, I’m competitive,” De La Hoya told “Golden Boy Radio with Tattoo and the Crew” (via For The Win).” “I still have it in me. I’ve been secretly training. I’m faster than ever and stronger than ever.

“I know I can take out Conor McGregor in two rounds. I’ll come back for that one. Two rounds – just one more (fight). I’m calling him out. Two rounds – that’s all I need. That’s all I’m going to say. You heard it on Golden Boy Radio. Two rounds – that’s all I need.”

RelatedUFC President Dana White 'getting into boxing, 100 percent'

De La Hoya no doubt saw the financial success when McGregor boxed Floyd Mayweather in August. McGregor had some early success – by design, according to Mayweather – before suffering a 10th-round TKO loss. Still, McGregor and Mayweather are likely both walking away with hefty nine-figure paydays when all is said and done.

So what about De La Hoya? MMA fans are undoubtedly ready for McGregor to enter the cage – as a defending champion, not as a way-too-involved teammate – but the oddsmakers think there’s at least a small chance the boxing fight happens.

Bovada has opened the following lines:

Will Oscar De La Hoya fight in 2018?
Yes +300 (3/1)
No -500 (1/5)

Will Oscar De La Hoya fight Conor McGregor in 2018?
Yes +400 (4/1)
No -700 (1/7)

Oscar De La Hoya vs. Conor McGregor
Oscar De La Hoya -140 (5/7)
Conor McGregor EVEN (1/1)

At those odds, a winning $100 bet on De La Hoya would earn a net profit of $71.43 (for an implied win probability of 58.3 percent). A winning $100 bet on McGregor, meanwhile, would net a profit of $100 (implied win probability of 50 percent).

Is it a fight you’d want to see? Cast your vote below.

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

Take Our Poll (function(d,c,j){if(!d.getElementById(j)){var pd=d.createElement(c),s;pd.id=j;pd.src='http://s1.wp.com/wp-content/mu-plugins/shortcodes/js/polldaddy-shortcode.js';s=d.getElementsByTagName(c)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(pd,s);} else if(typeof jQuery !=='undefined')jQuery(d.body).trigger('pd-script-load');}(document,'script','pd-polldaddy-loader')); 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/HPw3CvabZ8Rz65P6nkwQP6/284465", customAnalytics: true, title: "Mayweather def. McGregor", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Interview: Royce Gracie says jiujitsu 'got really really bad in the past 20 years' - Bloody Elbow

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Bloody Elbow

Interview: Royce Gracie says jiujitsu 'got really really bad in the past 20 years'
Bloody Elbow
Today, is more of an athlete [against an athlete], because after many years proving that Gracie Jiu-Jitsu was the best style, everybody had to learn Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. So it became that Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is like the bond, the glue between all the other ...

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Conor McGregor apologizes for Bellator 187 fiasco, blasts ref's 'horrendous decision'

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, UFC

Conor McGregor has apologized for setting off a melee this past Friday at Bellator 187.

The UFC lightweight champion today released a statement to try to explain why it happened at the Dublin event.

The trouble began when longtime McGregor teammate Charlie Ward (4-3 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) dropped opponent John Redmond (7-13 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) with a hook late in the first round (watch the highlights above). Referee Marc Goddard stepped in to stop the bout as McGregor hopped the fence and tackled Ward in apparent celebration.

RelatedConor McGregor jumps cage at Bellator 187, confronts referee Marc Goddard

The veteran ref then ordered McGregor out of the cage – the second time he’s had words with the Irish star over his cageside demeanor – only to have McGregor curse him out and shove him as officials tried to calm the situation.

McGregor then exited the cage, only to march back in after officials tried to usher him out. “Notorious” then he hopped the cage once more, and when a Bellator employee named tried to stop him, he appeared to reply with a slap to the face.

Here’s McGregor’s full statement (via Instagram):

“I sincerely apologize for my behavior at last weekends fight event in Dublin. While trying to support a loyal teammate and friend, I let my emotions get the best of me and acted out of line. As a multiple weight UFC champion, executive producer, role model and public figure, I must hold myself to a higher standard.

“The referee Marc Gonard was making a horrendous decision in trying to pick an unconscious fighter up off the floor and force the fight to continue into the second round. Even against the wishes of the said fighters coach. The fight was over.

“After witnessing my fighter in a fight where the worst happened and the opponent passed away from his injuries on the night, I thought the worst was about to happen again, and I lost it and over reacted. I am sorry to everyone.

“I sincerely apologize to the Director of the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation, Mike Mazzulli, all the officials and staff working the event, Andy Ryan and his fighter John, two stonch ones that put up a great fight every time. That side will always have my respect, and lastly every one of my fans. I love yous all!

“I’ve always learned from my mistakes and this will be no different.”

Association of Boxing Commissions President Mike Mazzulli, who was at the event in a regulatory role, is currently evaluating his legal options for how to handle the incident.

For complete coverage of Bellator 187, check out the MMA Events 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/HPw3CvabZ8Rz65P6nkwQP6/284472", customAnalytics: true, title: "Mayweather def. 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Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, UFC

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with 'King Mo,' Nina Ansaroff and Chazz Walton

MMA Junkie News -


Filed under: Bellator, News, UFC

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Muhammad Lawal, Nina Ansaroff and Chazz Walton.

“King Mo” was announced as one of eight participants in the Bellator MMA World Grand Prix 2018. Ansaroff defeated Angela Hill this past Saturday at UFC Fight Night 120. Walton co-headlines Friday’s Titan FC 46 event against Raush Manfio.

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

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

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

Filed under: Bellator, News, UFC

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2564 with Dustin Poirier, Frank Mir

MMA Junkie News -

Stream or download Monday’s episode of MMAjunkie Radio with guests Dustin Poirier and Frank Mir.

Poirier unpacked his win over Anthony Pettis at this past weekend’s UFC Fight Night 120 card in Norfolk, Va. Former UFC heavyweight champion Mir called in to talk about his upcoming spot in the recently announced Bellator heavyweight grand prix, which will take place over the course of 2018 and crown a new champ.

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


Filed under: Bellator, News, Radio, UFC

Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu rolls out welcome mat for Bellator 188

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

Israel has rolled out the welcome mat for this week’s Bellator 188 event.

Ahead of Thursday’s event, which takes place at Menora Mivtachim Arena Arena in Tel Aviv (and airs on Spike on Friday via delay), Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with some Bellator luminaries.

The PM’s press office released some photos, as well as a video (watch it above) on its official YouTube page.

RelatedBellator 188 pre-event facts: Can John Salter overtake middleweight submission record?

Meeting PM Netanyahu were Bellator 188 fighters Noad Lahat and Haim Gozali, as well as Bellator brand ambassadors/notables Fedor Emelianenko and Royce Gracie. They met at the nation’s Parliament in Jerusalem.

The PM even did a little sparring. Check out the above and some photos below.

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

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

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

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Jul 16, 2017; Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom; Paul Felder (blue gloves) reacts after defeating Stevie Ray (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Jul 16, 2017; Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom; Stevie Ray (red gloves) fights Paul Felder (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Jul 16, 2017; Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom; Paul Felder (blue gloves) reacts after defeating Stevie Ray (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Feb 19, 2017; Halifax, NS, Canada; Paul Felder before the start of his fight against Alessandro Ricci (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Scotiabank Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Feb 19, 2017; Halifax, NS, Canada; Paul Felder (red gloves) fights Alessandro Ricci (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Scotiabank Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Feb 19, 2017; Halifax, NS, Canada; Paul Felder (red gloves) fights Alessandro Ricci (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Scotiabank Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Feb 19, 2017; Halifax, NS, Canada; Paul Felder (red gloves) fights Alessandro Ricci (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Scotiabank Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Feb 19, 2017; Halifax, NS, Canada; Paul Felder (red gloves) reacts after defeating Alessandro Ricci (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Scotiabank Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Feb 19, 2017; Halifax, NS, Canada; Paul Felder (red gloves) reacts after defeating Alessandro Ricci (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Scotiabank Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Sep 24, 2016; Brasilia, Brazil; Francisco Trinaldo (red gloves) competes against Paul Felder (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Sep 24, 2016; Brasilia, Brazil; Francisco Trinaldo (red gloves) competes against Paul Felder (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Sep 24, 2016; Brasilia, Brazil; Paul Felder (blue gloves) reacts during his fight against Francisco Trinaldo (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Sep 24, 2016; Brasilia, Brazil; Francisco Trinaldo (red gloves) competes against Paul Felder (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 29, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Paul Felder (blue gloves) kicks Joshua Burkina (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports May 29, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Paul Felder (blue gloves) reacts after win against Joshua Burkman (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-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/ukmiEtmNkTJ2aLSYdjmYRQ/284434", customAnalytics: true, title: "Paul Felder", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Paul Felder thinks a fighter’s schedule and activity – or lack thereof – should play a bigger part in MMA rankings.

This past month, Felder (14-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC), a veteran UFC lightweight who also called the action as part of this past weekend’s UFC Fight Night 120 coverage, lost his original UFC 218 opponent, Al Iaquinta (13-3-1 MMA, 8-2 UFC), who was replaced by Charles Oliveira (22-7 MMA, 10-7 UFC).

The fight takes place Dec. 2 at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, and it closes out the FS1-televised prelims that precede the night’s pay-per-view main card. It’s a high-profile slot for Felder, but with the loss of Iaquinta, he thinks he’s also losing an opportunity.

RelatedAl Iaquinta out, Charles Oliveira in against Paul Felder at UFC 218

Felder, who’s on a 4-1 run following recent knockout wins over Alessandro Ricci and Stevie Ray, isn’t ranked in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA lightweight rankings, nor is he in the top 15 on the official UFC.com list. Neither is Oliveira. However, Iaquinta, who’s fought just once since April 2015 (a knockout win over Diego Sanchez), is on both lists: No. 14 and No. 10, respectively.

“I was really pissed,” Felder told MMAjunkie prior to the release of this week’s updated rankings. “Iaquinta’s No. 11 (on the UFC.com list), and he’s been sitting at the top of that division for a while, and who have you beaten recently to be holding that spot? There’s a whole bunch of us busting our asses to fight guys to get that number next to our names.

“I think he either needs to (expletive) or get off the pot. Hang up the gloves and sell real estate, or fight.”

Felder has won “Performance of the Night” bonuses in his two recent wins, but the 33-year-old knows that winning impressively is only part of the equation; he also likely needs to beat ranked opposition to climb the ranks himself. That knowledge is at the center of his frustration with Iaquinta, who had a lengthy contract dispute with the UFC before his return to the cage in April.

RelatedAhead of UFC 217, James Vick has some serious questions about how the rankings work

“I still don’t know all the details about what he even hurt,” Felder said. “At first I thought he was playing games again and pulled out. Does anybody know what’s hurt? Nobody has. I don’t know if it’s true or not. If he’s really hurt, then obviously I’ll eat my word. But come on, man. I don’t see him training or anything. There’s no posts. It sucks.

“But hey, Charles Oliveira, I’ve been watching him forever. He’s back at lightweight, and it’s a dangerous fight. Beating a guy like him gets me closer to the top 15, if not in there.”

So, for now, Felder remains focused on the silver lining. Oliveira is a solid opponent, and it’s also brought a new dynamic to Felder’s training camp – and also a possible threat.

“His standup is very traditional Brazilian muay Thai,” Felder said of Oliveira. “That’s been more fun to train for that style. As far as the standup portion of training camp, that’s been more exciting. Obviously the grappling got more intense.

“(But) the only way I plan on going to the ground is putting him on his ass and hitting him.”

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


Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie rankings, Nov. 14: Poirier rises; big week for Tybura

MMA Junkie News -

With a win over a former champion, Dustin Poirier is on the rise in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie rankings.

Poirier defeated former titleholder Anthony Pettis in UFC Fight Night 120’s headliner, which moved him from No. 13 to No. 11 at lightweight. Pettis, meanwhile, falls from No. 11 to No. 12.

As for upcoming events, Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 121 headliner offers rankings honorable mention Marcin Tybura a chance to jump in the top 15 in the heavyweight division when he takes on former titleholder and No. 3-ranked Fabricio Werdum.

Check out all of the rankings above.


Filed under: Bellator, MMA Rankings, News, PFL, UFC

'Big' John McCarthy breaks down bizarre situation that led to Curtis Blaydes' TKO win at UFC 217

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Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

The star-studded UFC 217 had no shortage of remarkable moments. While most of it was for good reasons, such as massive upsets and unexpected finishes, there was also some negative attention – specifically, some head-scratching refereeing.

The first confusing moment of the night happened in the second bout, when an illegal blow thrown by Curtis Blaydes (8-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) on Aleksei Oleinik (55-11-1 MMA, 4-2 UFC) prompted the referee to step in and halt the action. The replay showed that while an illegal kick had been thrown, it had only grazed the ear of Oleinik.

When a doctor’s assessment determined that Oleinik could no longer continue, suspense set in as to what would follow. By the letter of the law, an illegal strike had ultimately made its way to a fighter. But, quite obviously, the fight-stopping damage had not stemmed from it.

Ultimately, Blaydes was declared the TKO winner of the heavyweight bout. And, amid the mess, the MMA community seemed to agree the right call was made. But considering both intent behind the strike and the fact that the blow did touch him, would Oleinik be right in disagreeing with the result?

RelatedConfused by the Curtis Blaydes-Aleksei Oleinik finish at UFC 217? Here's an explanation

According to longtime referee “Big” John McCarthy, the answer is a clear no. The referee’s job, he explained, is first and foremost to ensure the safety of the fighters. And, with that in mind, all the steps taken by Blake Grice on that night were the correct ones.

“Blaydes did something that was illegal,” McCarthy said. “He threw a kick and he did touch the ear of Alexi Oleinik. Blake Grice comes in, he calls a stop to the action. When he calls a stop to the action, he separates the fighters – he does exactly what he’s supposed to do.”

When the doctors of the particularly cautious New York State Athletic Commission stepped in to assess the wobbly Oleinik, who’d been through the ringer in the minutes prior to the stoppage, it was decided he was too hurt to go on, which posed additional questions.

“So what was he damaged by?” McCarthy said. “Was he damaged by a foul or was he damaged by legal blows? Well, he was damaged by legal blows. All of the blows that hurt him and made it to where the doctors are now saying, ‘He is unable to continue’ were all done legally in that fight.

“What stopped the fight was an illegal action by Blaydes. He ends up throwing a kick. Did the kick touch Alexei? Yes, it did. It touched his ear. Did it have any effect? Did it hurt him? No. It had no effect on any of the damage he had occurred. ”

RelatedUFC 217's Curtis Blaydes gives his side of story on confusing finish vs. Aleksei Oleinik

Faced with an illegality, the referee had to weigh the options.

“(The referee) says, ‘Yes, there was a foul. And if the fighter can go on, I may take a point for that foul. But I can’t take a point because the fight is not going on,'” McCarthy said. “And I can’t go to the judges scorecards based on the round that this is in.

“So I can now determine that this is either a no-contest, or I have a disqualification, or I can say that because the doctors say that the fight can’t go and that was caused by legal blow, this is a TKO victory by Blaydes.”

Ultimately, McCarthy believes that Grice’s thought process was one that did right by Blaydes, by the commission and even, as unhappy as he may have been hearing it at the time, Oleinik.

McCarthy also took the time to address what became yet another controversial point of that fight. Once the instant replay was requested, UFC Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Marc Rather could be seen showing it to officials on a screen octagonside.

Considering that the commissions are supposed to work independently from the UFC, and that Ratner is ultimately an employee who looks out for the interests of the promotion, his seeming involvement in NYSAC’s decision raised some eyebrows. And it wasn’t the first time.

Ratner’s role, McCarthy explained, is to use his expertise to provide insight and answers to the UFC’s commentary team – not commission officials. And, while he’ll admit that Ratner has in the past been (unwillingly) “stuck” in situations that he shouldn’t be involved in, that’s not at all what happened at UFC 217.

“What occurred was, Blake asked for instant replay,” McCarthy said. “And the commission has a monitor, but they couldn’t get the replay up on the monitor. So Marc took and swung his monitor around, said, ‘Here it is.’ And let them view his monitor.

“If you look, Marc’s not giving him any information. He’s got (referee) Dan Miragliotta there and he watches the replay on that monitor that is Marc’s monitor.”

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

Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Curtis Blaydes (blue gloves) fights Aleksei Oleinik (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Curtis Blaydes (blue gloves) fights Aleksei Oleinik (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Curtis Blaydes (blue gloves) fights Aleksei Oleinik (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Curtis Blaydes (blue gloves) fights Aleksei Oleinik (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Curtis Blaydes (blue gloves) fights Aleksei Oleinik (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Curtis Blaydes (blue gloves) fights Aleksei Oleinik (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Curtis Blaydes (blue gloves) fights Aleksei Oleinik (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Curtis Blaydes (blue gloves) fights Aleksei Oleinik (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/2vTBQeNZPSbmU4nNFBDsZW/284326", customAnalytics: true, title: "Blaydes def. Oleinik", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

Bellator 188 pre-event facts: Can John Salter overtake middleweight submission record?

MMA Junkie News -

Bellator’s second consecutive overseas event take place on Friday when Bellator 188 goes down from Menora Mivtachim Arena in Tel Aviv, Israel.

After losing the original main event just days out, the four-fight line-up on Spike (which airs via tape-delay) features a featherweight headliner. Israel’s own Noah Lahat (11-3 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) takes on Haim Gozali (7-4 MMA, 1-1 BMMA).

For more on the numbers behind Friday’s Bellator 188 fight card, check out a dozen pre-event facts.

* * * *

Main card

Noad Lahat

Lahat, 33, is the oldest of the eight scheduled main card fighters.

Lahat is 2-1 since he was released from the UFC in February 2016.

Gozali has earned all eight of his career victories by first-round stoppage. Six of those wins are by submission.

John Salter’s (14-3 MMA, 4-0 BMMA) four-fight Bellator winning streak in middleweight competition is the second longest active streak in the division behind Rafael Carvalho (five).

Salter has earned all 13 of his career victories by stoppage. He’s also been stopped inside the distance in all his losses.

Salter’s three submission victories in Bellator middleweight competition are tied with Justin Butcher for most in divisional history.

Jason Radcliffe (12-4 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) returns to Bellator for the first time since a 14-second knockout victory in his promotional debut at Bellator 158 in June 2016.

Radcliffe is 3-2 since his initial Bellator appearance.

Radcliffe has never gone to a decision in his 16-fight career.

Jessica Middleton (2-2 MMA, 2-2 BMMA) competes in her fifth Bellator flyweight bout, the third most appearances in divisional history behind Ilima Macfarlane (six) and Emily Ducote (six).

Middleton has suffered her two career losses to Macfarlane and Ducote.

Arsen Faitovich (4-1 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) 24, is the youngest of the eight scheduled main card fighters.

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


Filed under: News

Bidding opens at $3,000 for Dustin Poirier's UFC-Norfolk fight gear to benefit slain officer's family

MMA Junkie News -

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Filed under: News, UFC

Now that one of the biggest – if not the biggest – wins of Dustin Poirier’s career is in the books, you can own all the gear that went along with it.

MMAjunkie recently reported on Poirier’s decision to auction off his fight kit from UFC Fight Night 120, as well as his plans to auction off his gear after all his future fights to raise money for important causes close to him. He first auctioned off his gear following UFC 211 in May and raised $5,100 for the Second Harvest Food Bank in his home city of Lafayette, La., which translated to 3,000 meals for needy families.

This past Saturday, Poirier (22-5 MMA, 14-4 UFC) took out former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis (20-7 MMA, 7-6 UFC) with a third-round TKO in a “Fight of the Night” winner at UFC Fight Night 120, which took place at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va.

And now, Poirier has his fight kit on eBay to raise money for the family of Lafayette Police Cpl. Michael Middlebrook, who was killed in the line of duty in October.

The bidding opened at $3,000, and there already is a bid on it. Bidding ends Thursday.

The auction includes: Poirier’s Reebok shorts, warm-up pants, shirt, hat, hand wraps and gloves – all worn to the cage or in the cage.

Check out the video above to hear from Poirier about the auction and his plans for future auctions. Below, don’t miss the highlights of his big win over Pettis.

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

Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) reacts after beating Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) walks out for the fight against Dustin Poirier (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) walks out tot he fight against Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) celebrates beating Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier (red gloves) fights Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) leaves the fight against Dustin Poirier (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/oLeXGUMhkr8i7LDMVe8As8/284425", customAnalytics: true, title: "Poirier def. Pettis", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start(); if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_oSaXIkXl_RbnemIYZ_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/oSaXIkXl.json","ph":2} );
Filed under: News, UFC

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