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Why it matters that Dana White is truthful about UFC having its 'biggest year ever' in 2017

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

The UFC is having a good year in 2017. Better than good. It’s great – the “biggest year ever” in the history of the company. Don’t believe it? Just ask Dana White. In fact, only ask him and no one else. Because, to hear the UFC president tell it, he is the only reliable source of information about the UFC.

“It drives me crazy when I see these guys write these stories about the business,” White said in a media scrum this past week before UFC 217. “You know what you know about the business? What I tell you. That’s what you know.”

Moments later, White would take it one step further: “There’s nothing factual about anything that’s ever written about this business.”

Pause for a moment and let that sink in. Adjust for the requisite fight promoter hyperbole. Cross-reference with the claims White made all week about revenue and pay-per-view numbers. Add in his stated belief that any and all accurate information about the MMA business must come directly from Dana White. Spend the next few minutes numbly considering the nature of truth itself.

It isn’t the first time White has drifted into this territory. On several occasions he has admonished fans never to believe anything they hear about the UFC and its plans unless it comes from the UFC itself.

Nevermind the fact that the UFC has, on numerous occasions, disavowed media reports only to later admit that they were true. Forget that a vehement denial from White himself has become a kind of joking shorthand for official confirmation among many MMA fans.

Anybody who claims to have a monopoly on the facts should expect some skepticism. That goes double when your relationship with the truth has historically been, to put it mildly, strained. (Anybody else remember when the UFC definitely wasn’t for sale, and anyone who said otherwise should expect to hear from the UFC’s lawyers?)

Which brings us back to the question that started all this: What kind of year is the UFC having in 2017?

RelatedDana White explains why 2017 is UFC's best year ever 'by a long shot'

It’s a fair question. It’s been on people’s minds, especially after two monster years in 2015 and 2016, leading up to the UFC’s $4.2 billion sale. If you were paying attention lo these past 10 months, you might have noticed that business seems to have slowed from that frenzied peak.

There are reasons for it. Conor McGregor, the biggest PPV star in MMA history, hasn’t fought for the UFC at all in 2017. Neither has Ronda Rousey, the other star who helped propel the UFC to unprecedented recent PPV success. Brock Lesnar, who returned for one fight in 2016, got chased back to pro wrestling by USADA. And speaking of USADA, Jon Jones returned from suspension for one fight this year – and that was all it took to line him up for another suspension.

According to reported buyrates, the UFC had five PPVs in 2016 that sold more than 1 million buys. Coming into UFC 217 (which White claimed had eclipsed 1 million buys, with help from record-breaking sales in Canada), the company had yet that mark with a single event this year.

But there’s where White takes issue, with the whole idea that any of us could know how many PPVs the UFC sells.

“Whose indications (that PPV are down) are that?” White said following UFC 217. “People who don’t know what the (expletive) they’re talking about.”

And there we are again. The truth in these matters is known only to White, so we have to take his word for it. In that case, it’d be nice if he didn’t have such a reputation for lying straight to our faces, but what are you going to do, right?

RelatedSo, what's Jon Jones been up to lately?

Except that, occasionally we do get a glimpse inside the UFC’s business. We got a pretty good one thanks to that investor presentation that the new owners put together last summer.

Prior to this, most UFC PPV sales estimates came from longtime MMA and pro wrestling writer Dave Meltzer. And when we compare Meltzer’s numbers with those reported to potential UFC investors, we see an awful lot of agreement. In several cases, internal UFC documents reported the same buyrate figures that Meltzer did. For a guy who doesn’t know what he’s talking about, that’s a hell of a lucky guess.

But you don’t necessarily need to look at the UFC’s books in order to guess that a year without McGregor and Rousey and Lesnar – with only brief help from Jones – probably resulted in a down year on PPV. That’s just common sense. To claim that the UFC did even better on PPV without them than it did with them is to claim that these stars don’t matter, that in fact all the fighters are more less interchangeable and it’s only the UFC brand that matters.

Which is not to say that the UFC couldn’t have still done well in terms of revenue this year, even with a dip in PPV sales.

Don’t forget, the sale in 2016 came with some serious “cost savings opportunities,” including heavy staff reductions and greater “corporate discipline,” in the words of the investor pitch. Then there’s the actual biggest fight of the year, the boxing match between McGregor and Floyd Mayweather.

RelatedWhat investor documents tell us about the UFC's past – and its future

The UFC got a cut of that money in exchange for letting McGregor participate in the fight, and it was reportedly the largest single payday for the company all year. White essentially admitted that he was including that windfall in his assessment of the UFC’s overall financial health, but all that fight told us is that McGregor and Mayweather are both bankable stars – not that the UFC is soaring higher than ever.

The only reason this conversation should even matter to fans is because it clearly matters to the UFC. The forces of revenue and PPV buys shape nearly every decision the UFC makes, and those decisions in turn shape the entire sport.

The overall strength of fight cards, the state of fighter pay, the trunks that fighters wear into the cage, the price of UFC PPVs and UFC Fight Pass subscriptions, it’s all tied up in this same math problem.

What you see when you turn on a UFC event is inextricably linked to what the owners see when they look at their sales figures. Fans are watching a sport; the UFC is running a business.

Not that anyone who isn’t named Dana White could possibly know anything about it, of course. He says it’s all going fine, just great, couldn’t be better. And what possible reason would he have to lie about something like that?

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

Mar 4, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC president Dana White (center) attempts to separate Conor McGregor (left) from Nate Diaz during weigh-ins for UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Oct. 28, 2011; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC president Dana White (center) breaks up a fight between welterweight fighters B.J. Penn (left) and Nick Diaz during weigh ins for UFC 137 at the Mandalay Bay event center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Oct. 28, 2011; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC president Dana White (center) breaks up a fight between welterweight fighters B.J. Penn (left) and Nick Diaz during weigh ins for UFC 137 at the Mandalay Bay event center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Mar 15, 2013; Montreal, Quebec, Canada; UFC president Dana White (center) steps in between Georges St.Pierre and Nick Diaz during the weight-in for UFC 158 at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports Jul 5, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Dana White (center) separates Norman Parke (left) and Kazuki Tokudome as they face off at the weighs-in for their UFC fight at the Mandalay Bay Event Center. Norman Parke takes on Kazuki Tokudome at the MGM Grand Garden Arena July 6. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jul 5, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Dana White (center) separates Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman (right) at today's weighs-in for their UFC fight at the Mandalay Bay Event Center. Silva takes on Weidman at the MGM Grand Garden Arena July 6. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jul 5, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Dana White (center) separates Norman Parke (left) and Kazuki Tokudome as they face off at the weighs-in for their UFC fight at the Mandalay Bay Event Center. Norman Parke takes on Kazuki Tokudome at the MGM Grand Garden Arena July 6. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports December 13, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; UFC lightweight fighters Abel Trujillo (left) and Roger Bowling (right) face-off in front of UFC president Dana White (center) in the official weigh-in for UFC on FOX 9 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports Dec 27, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC President Dana White (center) separates Dustin Poirier (left) and Diego Brandao as they face off for their UFC Featherweight Bout on December 28 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Oct 24, 2014; Rio de Janeiro, BRAZIL; William Macario (left) and Neil Magny are separated by Dana White during weigh-ins for UFC 179 at Ginasio do Maracanazinho. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jan 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC President Dana White separates Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier during the weigh in for their Light Heavyweight Title Bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 30, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC President Dana White looks on as Ian McCall and John Linekar face off at the weigh in for their lightweight bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports May 22, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Uriah Hall (L) and Rafael Natal (R) are separated by UFC president Dana White (C) after weighing in for their middleweight bout at MGM Grand Ballroom. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports May 22, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Uriah Hall (L) and Rafael Natal (R) are separated by UFC president Dana White (C) after weighing in for their middleweight bout at MGM Grand Ballroom. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports May 22, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Chris Weidman (L) and Vitor Belfort (R) are separated by UFC president Dana White (C) after weighing in for their middleweight championship bout at MGM Grand Ballroom. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jul 10, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC president Dana White (center) separates Conor McGregor (right) and Chad Mendes (left) during weigh-ins for UFC 189 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jul 10, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC president Dana White (center) separates Conor McGregor (right) and Chad Mendes (left) during weigh-ins for UFC 189 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports December 11, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor pose are separated by UFC president Dana White during weigh-ins for UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Dec 9, 2016; Toronto, ON, Canada; Cub Swanson and Dooho Choi (right) pose as UFC President Dana WHite intervenes during weigh ins for UFC 206 at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 27: Conor McGregor and Eddie Alvarez face-off as UFC president Dana White breaks them up at the UFC 205 press conference at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on September 27, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) Mar 4, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC president Dana White (center) separates fighter Jon Jones (right) from Daniel Cormier during a press conference prior to weigh-ins for UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC president Dana White (center) separates fighter Jon Jones (right) from Daniel Cormier during a press conference prior to weigh-ins for UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor (left) is held back by UFC president Dana White during weigh-ins for UFC 196 fight against Nate Diaz (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Dec 9, 2016; Toronto, ON, Canada; Donald Cerrone extends his hand to Matt Brown (right) as UFC President Dana White intervenes during weigh ins for UFC 206 at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 11: UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes faces off with Ronda Rousey after UFC 205 Weigh-ins in preparation for their UFC 207 fight that will take place on December 30, 2016 at Madison Square Garden on November 11, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) Dec 29, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC president Dana White (center) holds back Dominick Cruz (left) from Cody Garbrandt during weigh ins for UFC 207 at T Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Dec 29, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC president Dana White (center) holds back Dominick Cruz (left) from Cody Garbrandt during weigh ins for UFC 207 at T Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Dec 29, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC president Dana White (center) holds back Dominick Cruz (left) from Cody Garbrandt during weigh ins for UFC 207 at T Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Dec 29, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes (left) faces off against Ronda Rousey during weigh ins for UFC 207 at T Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Apr 14, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; UFC president Dana White (center) steps in to break up a face off between Jeremy Stephen (left) and Renato Moicano (right) during weigh ins for UFC Fight Night at the Kansas City Power and Light District. 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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Phil Davis wonders about future title shot – or 'King Mo' – after Bellator 186

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, Videos

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Former Bellator light heavyweight champion Phil Davis isn’t sure just what the promotion will have for him next.

This past Friday, Davis (18-4-1 MMA, 5-1 BMMA) took a unanimous decision from Leo Leite (10-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) on the main card of Bellator 186. Was that enough to get back to a title fight with the man who took the belt from him, Ryan Bader?

“Absolutely (I deserve a title shot),” Davis told MMAjunkie. “It’s about going out there and really pushing the pace and pushing the action and giving the fans what they want.”

Bellator 186 took place Friday at Bryce Jordan Center on Penn State’s campus in University Park, Pa. The main card aired on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

But if fighting for the title isn’t meant to be just yet, given he lost to Bader in June, Davis said he’s prepared to fight anyone, even if that anyone winds up being Muhammad Lawal, whom Bellator President Scott Coker says is likely to fight Bader for the belt.

“I need ‘Mo’ to show up for a fight,” Davis said. “He’s a great fighter, but he just gets injured. … I’m down for anything. … I would love to fight for the belt – any time, anywhere. But if someone walts to fight me forst, I’m open to it.”

Check out the video above for more from Davis after Bellator 186.

And for complete coverage of Bellator 186, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; The hand of Phil Davis (red gloves) is raised after defeating Leo Leite (not pictured) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Leo Leite (blue gloves) enters the arena prior to fighting Phil Davis (not pictured) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Phil Davis (red gloves) enters the arena prior to fighting Leo Leite (not pictured) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Leo Leite (blue gloves) stands in the ring prior to fighting Phil Davis (not pictured) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Phil Davis (red gloves) fights Leo Leite (blue gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Phil Davis (red gloves) fights Leo Leite (blue gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Phil Davis (red gloves) fights Leo Leite (blue gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Phil Davis (red gloves) fights Leo Leite (blue gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Leo Leite (blue gloves) fights Phil Davis (red gloves) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Phil Davis (red gloves) fights Leo Leite (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/CAWNkxXuTA9gTs63FrSruZ/282781", customAnalytics: true, title: "Davis def. Leite", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, Videos

Dana White explains why 2017 is UFC's best year ever 'by a long shot'

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

NEW YORK – UFC President Dana White’s had lofty expectations for UFC 217. And judging by his talk with reporters following Saturday’s event at New York’s Madison Square Garden, they were surpassed. he said.

Asked about what the triumphant return of Canadian icon Georges St-Pierre (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC) – a former welterweight titleholder who joined the small club of two-division UFC champs after taking Michael Bisping’s (30-8 MMA, 20-8 UFC) middleweight crown in UFC 217 pay-per-view headliner – could mean in terms of taking the UFC back to Montreal, White replied with some bold figures.

“It would obviously make sense to go back to Montreal with (St-Pierre),” White said. “I told some of you guys this yesterday, but (Floyd Mayweather and UFC champ Conor McGregor) had the record there in Canada. We were No. 2 and 3 or something like that. We’re pretty sure that this beat Mayweather and McGregor in Canada tonight.

“I told some of you yesterday that this would do a million (pay-per-view buys). I was way wrong. It did over a million. I’ll have a definite answer tomorrow, but it’s looking like we destroyed it.”

RelatedUFC 217 draws reported 18,201 attendance for $6.1 million live gate in Madison Square Garden return (updated)

UFC 217 featured three PPV title bouts – all of which saw belts changing hands. In the night’s headliner, St-Pierre came back from a four-year layoff to squeeze Bisping (30-8 MMA, 20-8 UFC) into a submission. The co-headliner saw T.J. Dillashaw (15-3 MMA, 11-3 UFC) overcoming an unfavorable first round to knock out previously undefeated Cody Garbrandt (11-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) in the second and re-claim the 135-pound title.

And then, of course, there was massive underdog Rose Namajunas(7-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC) demolishing the previously unbeaten Joanna Jedrzejczyk (14-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) in the first round of their strawweight title encounter in a way that not that, it’s safe to say, not many people saw coming.

RelatedRose Namajunas over Joanna Jedrzejczyk by KO? Odds against it were astounding

The night was so rich in flashy finishes that five “Performance of the Night” bonuses were distributed; Namajunas, Dillashaw and St-Pierre made an added $50,000 bank, while Ricardo Ramos and Ovince Saint Preux took home $25,000 each.

While there are quite a few cards that look stacked on paper, for one of them to deliver in such a stellar way is, in White’s words, “awesome.” Still, considering the amount of solid events the promotion has put together, White said, singling out UFC 217 as the best fight card ever would be tough.

“But it was one of the best ever – if not the best ever,” White said.

But UFC 217 isn’t the only thing keeping White in good spirits. Although the UFC president had raised some eyebrows in his previous remarks that the UFC was bound to have its best year yet in 2017, he reiterated his thoughts on the  year in quite emphatic manner during Saturday’s post-fight press conference.

“Whose indications (that PPV are down) are that? People who don’t know what the (expletive) they’re talking about,” White said. “If you don’t know what’s going on in our business, how can you speculate that we’re having a bad year? This is the best year, by a long shot, in the company’s history. Boom.

“Ronda (Rousey) didn’t fight. Conor didn’t fight in MMA. Jon Jones fought once. And Anderson Silva, Chuck Liddell – the list goes on and on and on. The business is kicking ass. Best year ever, by a long shot.”

The statement, it’s worth noting, encompasses the revenue made by the mega-showdown between Mayweather and McGregor – which, according to White’s most recent account, garnered 6.7 million PPV buys around the world.

RelatedWhite now claims Mayweather-McGregor did 6.7 million PPV buys; Showtime still mum

As for why would “The Money Fight” be included in this math – well, why wouldn’t it?

“You can’t take that out; it happened,” White said. “And if that didn’t happen, Conor would have fought twice this year. You can’t take it out. Who cares if it’s a boxing match? It’s revenue that the company made that we spent four months of our resources promoting.”

To hear White’s full interview, check out the video above.

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

Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) defeats Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) defeats Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) defeats Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Michael Bisping (red gloves) reacts after losing to Georges St-Pierre (not pictured) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) greets Michael Bisping (red gloves) after their fight in UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) greets Michael Bisping (red gloves) after their fight in UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) greets Michael Bisping (red gloves) after their fight in UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/t2pBbXqn6WUG8Z2WigLLpQ/282652", customAnalytics: true, title: "St-Pierre def. Bisping", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

Tywan Claxton discusses 'KO of Year' flying knee and sending Aaron Pico a box of tampons

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Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos

Tywan Claxton recently secured a frontrunner for “Knockout of the Year” honors, but his reaction to it was rather simple: “The fight’s over, and I’ve got all of my teeth.”

On Friday’s Bellator 186 preliminary card, Claxton (1-0) blasted fellow featherweight Jonathan Bonilla-Bowman (1-1) with a flying knee – one that seemed to glide halfway across the cage – before the knockout video quickly went viral.

Here’s a clip of the KO, which streamed on MMAjunkie from Bryce Jordan Center on Penn State’s campus in University Park, Pa.:

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During sparring sessions, Claxton said he often throws a few punches and then launches with a flying knee, which often gets a “calm down” warning from his teammates. Claxton, a former NCAA Division II wrestler, said it’s fun – but also can produce mixed results.

“Half the time, I really don’t know how to control it,” the 24-year-old said after the event. “Like, I almost went over (Bonilla-Bowman’s) head. But it’s fun to warm up with it, though. I’ll tell you that much.”

RelatedTywan Claxton's massive flying-knee KO emphatically announced his arrival to Bellator

Claxton, who had a lengthy undefeated amateur run before turning pro for his Bellator 186 bout, hopes his buzzy win leads to bigger opportunities. He wants a big-name opponent, such as James Gallagher.

He said he also tried to troll Bellator top prospect Aaron Pico into a fight by sending a “gift” to his gym.

RelatedAaron Pico's emphatic Bellator 183 KO just what he needed after that awful debut

“Look, the thing with Pico is, if you send a man tampons to his gym and he doesn’t respond, you can’t say too much more because then you become a bully, and I’m not big on being a bully,” he said. “So I kind of backed off the Aaron Pico situation.

“If he ever wants to fight and prove his manhood, then let’s do it. If he doesn’t want to fight, I’m not going to pressure him to fight me. It kind of is what it is with him. I just thought that he was getting the hype, and I told him that was my hype, and I was going to take it.”

And for the rest of the division?

“It’s over,” he said. “It’s over. Grab a shovel. Dig your own grave. I’m coming for you.”

For complete coverage of Bellator 186, check out the MMA Events section of the site.


Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos

O dia em que Cauã Reymond foi salvo pelo Jiu-Jitsu

GracieMag News -

Cauã Reymond faz sua guarda favorita contra Gigi Paiva, na Alliance Rio, no Leblon. Foto: Daniel Amaral/Gallerr

O ator Cauã Reymond, faixa-preta formado por Alexandre “Gigi” Paiva na Alliance e ex-competidor em eventos da CBJJ, carrega até hoje grandes lições do dojô, úteis para sua vida e profissão. Para usar uma palavra da moda, o galã global nutre gratidão pelo Jiu-Jitsu que aprendeu.

Em entrevista exclusiva publicada nas páginas de GRACIEMAG, Cauã detalhou de que modos o Jiu-Jitsu foi seu grande aliado para pacificar a mente em situações de perigo. Ao ser assaltado certa vez, ou em outras quando foi provocado por algum abusado, o faixa-preta teve calma e controle para evitar graves problemas, segundo ele graças à serenidade que o Jiu-Jitsu traz. Contudo, em dadas ocasiões, o Jiu-Jitsu foi realmente pontual para salvar sua pele – literalmente.

“Tem um aspecto importantíssimo do Jiu-Jitsu que é o de não se precipitar uma situação”, disse o ator, “ou seja, de manter a frieza e não reagir, o que muitas vezes apazigua e soluciona uma situação. Já passei por situações de pessoas tentando me provocar, principalmente quando estas pessoas sabiam que eu já tinha lutado Jiu-Jitsu… Alguns indivíduos passam da conta, em ocasiões como no sambódromo por exemplo, e tentam se autoafirmar em cima de você. Nessas situações eu sempre soube buscar a melhor saída, falar firme quando preciso, manter a noção de espaço e escapar da ameaça da melhor maneira.”

Cauã já passou por outros casos, quando ainda era modelo:

“Certa vez eu estava na Itália tirando umas fotos, eram idos de 1999. Para você ver como eu não conseguia parar de treinar, eu pegava o kimono e ia numa academia de judô manter a forma. Eu morava em Milão e meu vizinho de porta era um marinheiro americano, um ex-Navy Seal que tinha sofrido uma explosão de granada na Somália, tinha umas marcas no braço e virou modelo, era dono de um rosto marcante. Ele tomava uns remédios tarja preta e gostava de me provocar, perguntando o que era Jiu-Jitsu, queria brincar de briga, essas coisas. Eu procurava evitar sempre. Até que um dia na rua ele me agarrou, nos embolamos e dei um armlock nele. Ele ficou enfurecido comigo. Bateu na minha porta com um facão horas depois, me xingando, dizendo que o braço dele estava machucado. Mas eu como sempre mantive a frieza, expliquei que não quis machucá-lo e a situação se tranquilizou. Depois a esposa dele me explicou que ele tinha esquecido de tomar alguns dos remédios.”

O ator teve a pele salva em outra situação, quando se acidentou no asfalto na Flórida:

“Em outra ocasião estava em Miami e um motorista bateu na minha moto. Dei cinco rolamentos e saí intacto. Poderia ter me machucado feio. Esta foi mais uma vantagem que o Jiu-Jitsu me proporcionou: sempre fui capaz de fazer a maioria das minhas cenas de ação, sem precisar ser substituído por um dublê. Como sempre fui um atleta bem alongado, sempre tive uma compreensão e uma inteligência corporal úteis em muitos papéis que fiz”, lembrou Cauã.

E você, amigo leitor, já foi salvo pelo Jiu-Jitsu em alguma enrascada? Comente conosco e, para ler o artigo completo e conferir outras lições de Jiu-Jitsu, assine agora a GRACIEMAG Digital, moderna versão da sua revista preferida para ler no celular, tablet e computador!

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with Walt Harris and Tywan Claxton

MMA Junkie News -


Filed under: Bellator, News, UFC

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Walt Harris and Tywan Claxton.

Harris was disqualified after hitting fellow heavyweight Mark Godbeer with an illegal kick at UFC 217 on Saturday. Claxton scored a highlight-reel flying-knee knockout a night prior at Bellator 186.

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

Aprenda com a primeira aula de Roberto Gordo na GMI Start BJJ

GracieMag News -

Gordo ensinou seus melhores truques na GMI Start BJJ. Foto: Reprodução

Depois de longa temporada em Abu Dhabi, Roberto “Gordo” Correa chegou à Flórida com a missão de ensinar o seu fino Jiu-Jitsu na nossa GMI Start BJJ.

A academia, tocada por Rafael “Gordinho”, já estava em plena atividade, mas a chegada do popularizador da meia-guarda promete dar ainda mais refino ao ensino do Jiu-Jitsu em Pembroke Pines.

Para sua aula de estreia no dojô, Gordo contou com a presença de Zé Mario Sperry, célebre campeão mundial absoluto em 1998 formado por Carlson Gracie, além de um exército de alunos, famintos para aprender as artimanhas de Gordo.

No vídeo, você confere a primeira aula do professor na nova academia. Veja e visite nosso catálogo GMI, com algumas das melhores academias de Jiu-Jitsu do Brasil e do mundo.

Fired-up James Vick pleads for ranked opponent, but 'can't put a gun to a guy's head'

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

NEW YORK – James Vick is sick and tired of begging for ranked competition and hopes his impressive second-round TKO win over Joseph Duffy at UFC 217 will finally get him where he wants to be in the lightweight division.

Vick (12-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) picked up his eighth victory in a nine-fight UFC career on Saturday when he became the first to stop Duffy (17-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC) with strikes. It was another solid performance, and having competed in the featured preliminary-bout prior to the pay-per-view main card at Madison Square Garden in New York, Vick hopes he’s finally put the division on notice.

“What else can I do?” Vick said following his win. “That was my third finish in a row, against a high-level opponent. That was the first time Joe Duffy’s ever been knocked out, and he had 18 professional fights. I better have got some attention.”

RelatedUFC 217 results: James Vick keeps rolling, TKOs Joseph Duffy with 1 tick left in second

Vick knows that in the current UFC landscape, winning alone isn’t enough. He’s also aware that calling his shot is an important part of the game, and Vick came prepared to let the world know what he wants next.

Not only did Vick name the winner of next weekend’s UFC Fight Night 120 main event between Anthony Pettis (20-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC) and Dustin Poirier (21-5 MMA, 13-4 UFC) as his preferred next opponent, but he targeted the headlining spot of the recently announced UFC Fight Night 126 card on Feb. 18 in Austin as his preferred date and location.

“I’ll get on the card, but what I want is that main-event spot,” Vick said. “I’m 8-1. That’s one of the highest winning percentages in the UFC. It’s time to move forward now. I’m 30 years old. My goal is to be a world champion now. How many Joe Duffys do I have to beat?

“I want the winner of next week, Anthony Pettis vs. Dustin Poirier. I don’t want to shoot too low with a No. 3 guy that I’m not going to get, but Pettis or Poirier is ranked No. 8 in the world. Whoever wins is going to take that. So yeah, whoever wins that I want. The timeframe is perfect. Give them a couple weeks to heal up and get in camp.”

RelatedUFC 217 post-event facts: Record set as 3 new champs crowned in historic night

Although Vick is pushing for a big-fight opportunity, he said he’s been left disappointed before. Vick said he thinks UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby is doing his best to get him marquee fights, but there’s an issue finding willing opposition.

After beating a name like Duffy, he said he hopes that finally changes.

“Sean has been very good to me recently,” Vick said. “He tried as hard as he could to get a ranked guy, but they don’t want to fight me. They literally do not want to fight me. You can’t put a gun to a guy’s head.

“The thing is I’m in the high-risk, low-reward category right now. So I want to put myself into the high-reward category by making my name bigger. I’m doing my part, so hopefully the UFC, they’ve helped me recently in giving me a good push, and hopefully they continue to do so.”

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

Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; James Vick (red gloves) fights Joe Duffy (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; James Vick (red gloves) fights Joe Duffy (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; James Vick (red gloves) fights Joe Duffy (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; James Vick (red gloves) fights Joe Duffy (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; James Vick (red gloves) fights Joe Duffy (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; James Vick (red gloves) fights Joe Duffy (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; James Vick (red gloves) fights Joe Duffy (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; James Vick (red gloves) fights Joe Duffy (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; James Vick (red gloves) fights Joe Duffy (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; James Vick (red gloves) defeats Joe Duffy (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; James Vick (red gloves) defeats Joe Duffy (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; James Vick (red gloves) defeats Joe Duffy (blue 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/QrEADhtCfdDnnJokTNMpRa/282732", customAnalytics: true, title: "Vick def. Duffy", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

Opponent switch: Eryk Anders meets LFA champ Markus Perez at UFC Fight Night 123

MMA Junkie News -

Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Eryk Anders (blue gloves) reacts to fight against Rafael Natal (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Rafael Natal (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Rafael Natal (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Rafael Natal (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Rafael Natal (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Rafael Natal (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Rafael Natal (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Rafael Natal (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Rafael Natal (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Rafael Natal (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Rafael Natal (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Rafael Natal (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Rafael Natal (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Eryk Anders (blue gloves) reacts to fight against Rafael Natal (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nassau Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports Jul 22, 2017; Long Island, NY, USA; Eryk Anders (blue gloves) reacts to fight against Rafael Natal (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/zJRzXSqQfcNuy5Fgxc6szR/282790", customAnalytics: true, title: "Anders def. Natal", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Eryk Anders will go from fighting one UFC newcomer to another when he makes his return to the octagon at UFC Fight Night 123.

Anders (9-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) announced on Sunday that John Phillips (21-6 MMA, 0-0 UFC) is out of their scheduled middleweight bout at the December event. He now fights another promotional newcomer and now-former LFA middleweight champion: Markus Perez (9-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC).

The switch was revealed on Anders’ social media (via Instagram):

“Got a new opponent for #ufcfightnight in #Fresno, Ca. I️ will be welcoming Markus Pérez to the UFC. His style makes for an interesting matchup #punchface”

UFC Fight Night 123 takes place Dec. 9 at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif. The card airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, though the full fight card and bout order haven’t been finalized.

Anders made a successful UFC debut in July, when he quickly put away now-retired UFC veteran Rafael Natal with a first-round knockout at UFC on FOX 25. The unbeaten 30-year-old, who won a national title with the University of Alabama football team in 2009, has earned seven of his nine career victories by stoppage.

He welcomes Perez to the UFC in what will be a battle of unbeatens. The 27-year-old Brazilian last competed at LFA 22 in September, when he earned a first-round submission win over Ian Heinisch to remain undefeated and claim the vacant LFA middleweight title.

The nature of Phillips’ withdrawal from the event is unknown at this time.

The latest UFC Fight Night 123 lineup now includes:

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

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


Filed under: News, UFC

Ricardo Ramos: UFC 217 spinning elbow knockout of Aiemann Zahabi my hardest hit ever

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

NEW YORK – UFC bantamweight Ricardo Ramos didn’t bring out his spinning (expletive) for Aiemann Zahabi. But when Zahabi started to pressure him, he was ready to let it go.

“It was not something I was planning especially for him, but that’s something that we train a lot,” Ramos told MMAjunkie backstage after a highlight-reel knockout of Zahabi in the UFC Fight Pass-streamed opener at UFC 217. “I had some secret weapons for him, and I always have these weapons.

“When Aiemann is pressuring, he attacks, and that’s what happened.”

RelatedWatch Ricardo Ramos' insane spinning elbow KO at UFC 217

Zahabi (7-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) had availed himself relatively well in rounds one and two, cutting off many of Ramos’ unconventional attacks with straight counters of his own. Although he appeared to be struggling to stay mobile, his feet flat-footed, he sent Ramos (11-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) reeling backward in the third and final frame.

The spinning elbow that sent Zahabi unconscious to the mat surprised just about everyone at Madison Square Garden. That includes Ramos.

Asked whether his fight-ending strike was the hardest he’d ever hit a man, he let out a squeal of joy.

“This was the hardest,” Ramos said.

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

Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Ricardo Ramos (blue gloves) defeats Aiemann Zahabi (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Ricardo Ramos (blue gloves) fights Aiemann Zahabi (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Ricardo Ramos (blue gloves) fights Aiemann Zahabi (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Ricardo Ramos (blue gloves) fights Aiemann Zahabi (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Ricardo Ramos (blue gloves) fights Aiemann Zahabi (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Ricardo Ramos (blue gloves) fights Aiemann Zahabi (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Ricardo Ramos (blue gloves) fights Aiemann Zahabi (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Ricardo Ramos (blue gloves) defeats Aiemann Zahabi (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/tYyAtMa2jBfCWA8mYwgtdk/282358", customAnalytics: true, title: "Ramos def. Zahabi", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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Horiguchi-Oliveira, McCall-Kape among tourney bouts set for Rizin FF 8 on Dec. 29

MMA Junkie News -

The quarterfinal-round matchups are set for Rizin FF’s bantamweight tournament.

Officials announced the four pairings on Sunday.

The quarterfinals of the yearlong tournament take place at Rizin FF 8. The event, which streams as an online pay-per-view in North America, takes place at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. The semifinals and tournament conclusion take place two days later at Rizin FF 9, which is slated for the same venue.

On one side of the bracket, former UFC flyweight title challenger Kyoji Horiguchi (20-2), who recently knocked out Hideo Tokoro, meets undefeated Gabriel Oliveira (10-0), who’s fresh off a highlight-reel knockout of Tatsuya Kawajiri. Additionally, UFC vet Ian McCall (13-5-1), who fights for the first time since a six-bout UFC run, meets Portugal’s Manel Kape (7-1) in the other bout.

RelatedIan McCall on Rizin signing, desire to stomp Manel Kape's head

The other side of the bracket features DEEP bantamweight champ Takafumi Otsuka (23-12-1) vs. undefeated German Khalid Taha (11-0) and King of Pancrase Shintaro Ishiwatari (23-6-4) vs. Frenchman Kevin Petshi (13-3).

The tourney-reserve bout, which features Anthony Birchak (13-5) vs. Jae Hoon Moon (9-10), is slated for Rizin FF 8. Light heavyweights Karl Albrektsson (6-1) vs. Jiri Prochazka (18-3-1) are also slated to fight, likely at Rizin FF 8.

The latest Rizin FF 8 card includes:

  • Manel Kape vs. Ian McCall – bantamweight grand prix quarterfinal (bracket A)
  • Kyoji Horiguchi vs. Gabriel Oliveira – bantamweight grand prix quarterfinal (bracket A)
  • Takafumi Otsuka vs. Khalid Taha – bantamweight grand prix quarterfinal (bracket B)
  • Shintaro Ishiwatari vs. Kevin Petshi – bantamweight grand prix quarterfinal (bracket B)
  • Anthony Birchak vs. Jae Hoon Moon – bantamweight grand prix quarterfinal reserve bout
  • Karl Albrektsson vs. Jiri Prochazka

For more on Rizin FF 8 and Rizin FF 9, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: News

Saad Awad looking for more respect after 15th Bellator fight, knockout of Freeman

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Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Fifteen fights into his Bellator career, lightweight Saad Awad has grown a little tired of being just another fighter.

After a first-round knockout of Zach Freeman (9-3 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) to open the Bellator 186 main card this past Friday, Awad (21-9 MMA, 9-6 BMMA) said he’s ready for a step up in competition – for a little respect.

“I kind of do feel (I don’t get enough respect),” Awad told MMAjunkie. “I don’t have a big following. I know people know who I am – but more of the hardcore fans. I just think it would be nice to be out there more. When you’re the first fight on the (main) card, they don’t really promote you, which I understand. You promote the main event and the co-main event. I don’t usually get much promotion. But it’s my 15th fight in Bellator, and I think it’s the first time (I was at a post-fight news conference).”

Bellator 186 took place Friday at Bryce Jordan Center on Penn State’s campus in University Park, Pa. The main card aired on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

One of the problems for Awad may be that when he’s gone up against Bellator’s higher-level lightweights, he hasn’t typically come out on top.

His resume features losses to Brennan Ward, Derek Anderson, David Rickels, Patricky Freire and Will Brooks, though his loss to Brooks came eight months after he knocked him out in 43 seconds.

But Freeman was coming off a brilliant submission of highly touted prospect Aaron Pico, and it gave Awad two wins in a row. Was it enough to start getting the respect he’s seeking?

Check out the video above for more from Awad after Bellator 186.

And for complete coverage of Bellator 186, check out the MMA Events section of the site.


Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos

'Dana White: Lookin' for a Fight' S2E4: Merab Dvalishvili's 15-second KO

MMA Junkie News -


Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

“Dana White: Lookin’ for a Fight” is back with its fourth episode of the second season, which now can be watched in its entirety.

White, who hosts the series with former UFC champion Matt Serra and MMA vet Din Thomas, uses the show to search for future UFC talent, though there are plenty of pitstops along the way.

In the fourth episode of Season 2, Gian Villante steps in for Thomas as the guys hit New York City. They celebrate Serra’s birthday while taking batting practice with the New York Mets (with special guests Chris Weidman and Kelvin Gastelum), do a ride-along with the New York Police Department, dance with the Rockettes and grab a New York slice.

The guys also visit nearby New Jersey, where they check out Serra protege and featherweight James Gonzalez at Ring of Combat 59. They also watch a fight between Roufusport fighter Raufeon Stots and Serra student Merab Dvalishvili, who got a quick win to earn himself a UFC contract.

Check it out above.

Also see:

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

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

Jiu-Jitsu: Georges St-Pierre e o mata-leão que apagou Bisping no UFC 217

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GSP já com a cana do braço no pescoço de Bisping para garantir o cinturão do UFC. Foto: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Em noite de gala no UFC 217, realizado no último sábado, no Madison Square Garden, em Nova York, Georges St-Pierre voltou para o octógono com o pé direito. Após quase 4 anos longe dos cages, o canadense ex-campeão dos meio-médios fez o seu retorno contra Michael Bisping, em combate que valeu o cinturão dos médios, e o Jiu-Jitsu forte do pupilo de Renzo Gracie e Matt Serra foi posto em prática.

No duelo, GSP começou com o controle do centro do cage. Algumas trocas de soco da média para a curta distância rolaram entre os atletas, mas sem real perigo de nocaute. Bisping voltou mais esperto na segunda etapa. Com leve cansaço do canadense, o cipriota naturalizado inglês atacou melhor na trocação e, mesmo derrubado no single leg, não se rendeu e voltou a pontuar em pé.

No terceiro assalto, St-Pierre não pensou duas vezes e levou logo para o solo no single-leg. Bisping se movimentou bem com as costas no solo e levantou, mas um cruzado forte de GSP levou o campeão ao chão novamente, e este acabou por ter o canadense nas suas costas. De lá, GSP aplicou o mata-leão da vitória: após passar o braço, Bisping não bateu e dormiu no estrangulamento. Vitória de Georges, que agora se coloca ao lado de Randy Couture, BJ Penn e Conor McGregor como campeão em duas categorias diferentes do UFC.

Confira no vídeo abaixo o legdrag e a finalização certeira de GSP!

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Trading Shots: Did UFC 217 title turnover teach us a lesson about the price of arrogance?

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Three very confident champions all lost their titles in brutal fashion at UFC 217. What, if anything, is the lesson here? MMAjunkie columnist Ben Fowlkes and retired UFC and WEC fighter Danny Downes discuss.

* * * *

Fowlkes: What a night, eh, Danny? For the first time in UFC history, three titles changed hands in three consecutive bouts. Another way to look at it: In all three title fights, we saw some version of a story that is as rare in real life as it is satisfying. I refer now, of course, to the story of hubris punished.

Think about it. Michal Bisping? Joanna Jedrzejczyk? Cody Garbrandt? All three came into their title defenses talking a metric ton of crap. All three, to one extent or another, played the role of the bully, constantly poking a finger in the challenger’s chest while threatening all manner of humiliating violence. Then, one by one, all three got beaten up.

To make the contrast between the defeated bullies and the victorious bullied even more glaring, you had Rose Namajunas out there using her victory speech to encourage us to be nice and hug each other. You had Georges St-Pierre apologizing for the using the word “balls” in public (surely, NYC residents were scandalized by such talk). You had T.J. Dillashaw … well, he didn’t gloat anywhere near as obnoxiously as he could have, and that’s something, especially against a bitter rival and former teammate.

Is it all one big coincidence, Danny? Or is there something to learn from a night when the plot of basically every teen movie from “The Karate Kid” to “Never Back Down” became reality in the UFC?

Downes: Who knew that all it took for Ben Fowlkes to get back into the church pew was three UFC titles changing hands in one night? Maybe next week we can change the name of this column to “Trading Blessings” and we talk about how #blessed we are in our lives.

Of course it’s a coincidence! You constantly talk about how we shouldn’t read any morality into MMA. Well, we shouldn’t attribute any metaphysical arc of justice to it either. The same night as these alleged “bullies” lost their titles, former NFL player and domestic abuser Greg Hardy started his new career as an MMA fighter.

I think there’s a mistake in grouping all three of the former title holders in the same group. They were all arrogant in their bullying, but in different degrees. Bisping was his usual, grating self, with the mix of cocky Englishman, condescension and lack of self-awareness that we’ve come to expect. He even dresses the part of a bad guy in a low budget action movie.

Garbrandt’s attitude was driven more by personal animus towards Dillashaw. He probably crossed a line or two in the etiquette department (it’s never appropriate to brag about sparring “wins”), but that could be attributed to the fact that he really did not like Dillashaw. Rightly or wrongly, he finds Dillashaw disloyal and that really annoyed him.

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

I personally find Jedrzejczyk’s case the most interesting. She’s always had a mean streak, but in the buildup to this fight, she seemed especially nasty. Particularly in the way she attacked Namajunas, who tried to bring awareness to mental health issues.

Was this a case of Jedrzejczyk turning up her persona to 11, or was it a case of her drinking her own Kool-Aid? When everyone in the MMA landscape says you’re the baddest woman on the planet, you’re probably going to start calling yourself the boogeywoman, speaking in crazy hyperbole and looking for a role in the new “Roadhouse” remake. (Sorry, I think that last one was somebody else who believed her own hype.)

Regardless of what type of bully they personified, it appears they all received their comeuppance. I’m sure many fans enjoyed watching them lose their respective titles. I’m also sure that many fans aren’t looking for a kinder, gentler UFC fighter.

Fighters, too, aren’t going to be telling themselves, “You know, I should be more respectful to my opponent.” Everyone is going to be chasing that Conor McGregor money. As result, you’re going to get bootleg McGregors (cough* Colby Covington cough*) trying to be a more athletic Biff Tannen.

You compared last night to “The Karate Kid.” Do you think the “good guys” won last night? Do MMA fans have cocky A-hole fatigue? What should we learn from last night other than it’s really difficult to keep your title?

Fowlkes: I’m not going to say it was a moral failing that caused the downfall of these three champions, but especially in Jedrzejczyk’s case, it did seem like a disdain for her opponent’s skills (and maybe an overabundance of faith in her own) played a role in her loss. Arrogance can be a good selling point in combat sports. But if it’s also a character trait that you bring into the fight, it can get you knocked out.

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

As for the question of cocky A-hole fatigue, yes and no. It was strangely refreshing to see Namajunas pull off the night’s biggest upset, only to turn around and insist that she felt “like a normal person” afterward, because it is who you are with or without the belt that really matters.

And when GSP did his polite Canadian gentleman thing, you did get the sense that people were more into it because it was such a departure from the swaggering braggadocio we’ve gotten accustomed to lately.

I’m under no illusion that this is the beginning of an MMA culture change. Fighters saw McGregor getting fame and money, so they naturally tried to emulate the form hoping for similar results. That’s not going to stop all at once, or maybe ever.

Let’s not forget, when we were used to having St-Pierre and his G-rated trash talk around on the regular, we got to a point where we found it all a bit boring. He had to go away and come back in a different era for anybody to appreciate it.

But I do think that Saturday night might have been a reminder that there’s more than one path to the waterfall. Not everyone needs to be the sneering, cocky champ. The more people who try that act, the more of an opening it creates for something – anything – else.

Downes: If there’s one thing MMA fighters can learn from Hamlet (other than don’t get involved in Danish politics), it’s “this above all: to thy own self be true.” We’re so quick to tie MMA to professional wrestling that we conflate fighters with characters.

To be sure, fighters need to have some type of “brand.” The idea of letting your fighting do all the talking is naive, and it ignores the business of the sport.

When we have fighters out there working a gimmick, though, it cheapens everything else. Chael Sonnen had a decent thing going, but he went over the line into becoming a caricature of himself. I would argue that you’re better off having a boring personality than an insincere one.

Look at Sage Northcutt. I would assume by now he’s in on the joke, but it still works because that’s his personality. When wannabe McGregors spout uncreative nonsense, it seems ridiculous. It’s like when you tried to bring back the word fetch. Stop trying to make fetch happen, Ben. It’s not going to happen!

MMA is at its best when there’s variety. That applies to fighter personalities as much as it does to fighting styles. Homogeneity isn’t entertaining, and MMA fans aren’t a monolith. We all have different opinions of what we find entertaining, and the more options we have presented, the sport in general will be healthier. Some of us cheer for the bully. Some of us root for the underdog. But all of us want the sport to grow.

For more on UFC 217, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Ben Fowlkes is MMAjunkie and USA TODAY’s MMA columnist. Danny Downes, a retired UFC and WEC fighter, is an MMAjunkie contributor who has also written for UFC.com and UFC 360. Follow them on twitter at @benfowlkesMMA and @dannyboydownes.

Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) celebrates with the belt after defeating Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (left) faces off with Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) reacts after her fight against Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Rose Namajunas (blue gloves) celebrates with the belt after defeating Joanna Jedrzejczyk (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/PRfxKkNk5hxschbqceYpyk/282692", customAnalytics: true, title: "Namajunas def. Jedrzejczyk", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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UFC 217's Ovince Saint Preux simply wanted Ilir Latifi to know he didn't forget callout

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NEW YORK – Resurgent UFC light heavyweight Ovince Saint Preux didn’t call out Ilir Latifi, all appearances to the contrary.

“I didn’t pick him; he picked me,” Saint Preux told reporters backstage at UFC 217 after a thunderous knockout of Corey Anderson on the FS1-televised prelims at Madison Square Garden. “He called me out a while back, and I said, ‘Let’s do it.’ When this situation came up, I jumped on it.

“And I’m jumping right back on it. Dec. 30 we can make it happen.”

Saint Preux (22-10 MMA, 10-5 UFC), who topped Anderson (9-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) for his third straight win, hasn’t heard whether the promotion will grant his desired date, which marks the date for UFC 219 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. But, he added, “I’m pushing it.”

With two fights in 42 days, it’s hard to argue he’s pushing the bounds of activity. A December fight would mark his fifth octagon appearance in 2017.

Saint Preux previously traveled to Japan for a FS1-televised headliner at UFC Fight Night 117. He tapped short-notice replacement Yushin Okami with a Von Flue choke, his second consecutive win using the rare submission.

Going from the famed Saitama Super Arena to Madison Square Garden, Saint Preux said things couldn’t get much better. A fight in Vegas with Latifi (13-5 MMA, 6-3 UFC), who in September outpointed Tyson Pedro at UFC 215, would be a start.

But don’t get it mixed up – he’s merely responding to a request.

“He called me out. I’m just letting him know I didn’t forget about him,” Saint Preux said.

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

Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Ovince Saint Preux (red gloves) fights Corey Anderson (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Ovince Saint Preux (red gloves) fights Corey Anderson (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Ovince Saint Preux (red gloves) fights Corey Anderson (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Ovince Saint Preux (red gloves) fights Corey Anderson (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Ovince Saint Preux (red gloves) fights Corey Anderson (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Ovince Saint Preux (red gloves) fights Corey Anderson (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Ovince Saint Preux (red gloves) fights Corey Anderson (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Ovince Saint Preux (red gloves) fights Corey Anderson (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Ovince Saint Preux (red gloves) fights Corey Anderson (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Ovince Saint Preux (red gloves) fights Corey Anderson (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Ovince Saint Preux (red gloves) fights Corey Anderson (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Ovince Saint Preux (red gloves) fights Corey Anderson (blue 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/jzHH59PtohDwVXecJjmDsi/282516", customAnalytics: true, title: "Saint Preux def. Anderson", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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Sean Shelby's Shoes: What's next for Georges St-Pierre and UFC 217's other winning fighters?

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(ALSO SEE: Sean Shelby’s Shoes: What’s next for UFC 217’s losing fighters?)

The UFC landscape shifted on Saturday with UFC 217, which took place at Madison Square Garden in New York, and featured a record-setting three title changes on the pay-per-view main card, which followed prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

In the main event, former longtime UFC welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC) made history by becoming the organization’s fourth two-division titleholder, winning the middleweight crown from Michael Bisping (30-8 MMA, 20-8 UFC) courtesy of a third-round technical submission.

Prior to St-Pierre’s comeback performance, T.J. Dillashaw (15-3 MMA, 11-3 UFC) also regained UFC gold when he took out former teammate and training partner Cody Garbrandt (11-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) for the bantamweight strap. And in a third title change, Rose Namajunas (7-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC) became the new UFC strawweight champ when she halted the momentum of Joanna Jedrzejczyk (14-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) with a first-round knockout.

Other winners from the main card included two-time UFC welterweight title challenger Stephen Thompson (14-2-1 MMA, 9-2-1 UFC) and undefeated middleweight prospect Paulo Costa (11-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC).

After every event, fans wonder whom the winners will be matched up with next. And with another night of UFC action in the rearview mirror, it’s time to look forward, put on a pair of Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard’s shoes, and play UFC matchmaker for UFC 217’s winning fighters.

* * * *

Paulo Costa

Brad Tavares

Should fight: Brad Tavares
Why they should fight: Rising middleweight prospect Costa picked up a monumental victory for his young career when he defeated former champion Johny Hendricks by second-round TKO.

Costa had not faced anyone with Hendricks’ credentials prior to the bout, but the Brazilian handled his business in impressive fashion, and now he becomes a new contender worth following at 185 pounds.

Considering his quick rise through three UFC fights, seeing Costa get another notable step up in competition would be far from surprising. No one has been able to stop him so far, but Tavares (16-4 MMA, 11-4 UFC) has proven to be one of the most competitive and durable fighters in the weight class since his promotional debut in 2010.

Tavares has fought and beaten some of the best the division has to offer in his UFC career. He’s riding a three-fight winning streak with victories over some solid names, and he’d provide Costa a stern test that, at this point, would likely mean even more than a win over a slumping Hendricks.

Stephen Thompson

Darren Till

Should fight: Darren Till
Why they should fight: After two failed title bids and nearly 17 months without a win, Thompson sent a stern reminder that he’s a dangerous player in the welterweight division when he took out one of the weight class’ most dangerous contenders in Jorge Masvidal.

“Wonderboy” got back on track with a unanimous-decision victory. The performance helped him regain some of the status he lost in his underwhelming title fight with champ Tyron Woodley at UFC 209 in March, but the reality is Thompson is still winless in two fights against the current champ and is unlikely to get another crack at the gold unless the belt changes hands.

Plenty of intriguing matchups are available to help Thompson start the build toward an irrefutable case for a third UFC title shot. The one that stands out most, however, is against streaking Till (15-0-1 MMA, 4-0-1 UFC), who recently earned a main-event victory over Donald Cerrone at UFC Fight Night 118 this past month.

Rose Namajunas

Joanna Jedrzejczyk

Should fight: Jedrzejczyk
Why they should fight: There isn’t much of an explanation needed for why Namajunas should have an immediate rematch with Jedrzejczyk following her title-winning upset.

Namajunas’ shocking first-round knockout victory is easily the biggest upset in the brief history of the 115-pound division. She handed the Polish fighter her first career loss, and given Jedrzejczyk’s previous dominance leading up to the fight, it only makes sense to run it back, which has been a precedent for longtime champions.

T.J. Dillashaw

Should fight: Demetrious Johnson
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why Dillashaw should drop to flyweight to fight champion Johnson (27-2-1 MMA, 15-1-1 UFC) next.

Georges St-Pierre

Should fight: Robert Whittaker
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why St-Pierre should meet interim 185-pound champ Whittaker (19-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC) in a title-unification bout next.

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

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Sean Shelby's Shoes: What's next for Michael Bisping and UFC 217's other losing fighters?

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(ALSO SEE: Sean Shelby’s Shoes: What’s next for UFC 217’s winning fighters?)

UFC 217 was not a good night for champions. All three titleholders who entered the octagon dropped their belts with a stoppage loss on Saturday’s pay-per-view card at Madison Square Garden in New York.

The fairytale title reign of Michael Bisping (30-8 MMA, 20-8 UFC) came to a halt in the main event when he dropped the middleweight title to Georges St-Pierre (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC) with a third-round technical submission.

Prior to that, Cody Garbrandt (11-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) and Joanna Jedrzejczyk (14-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) had their undefeated records, as well as UFC titles, taken away with knockout losses to T.J. Dillashaw (15-3 MMA, 11-3 UFC) and Rose Namajunas (7-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC), respectively.

Also on the main card, former welterweight champion Johny Hendricks (18-8 MMA, 13-8 UFC) continued his career slide while Jorge Masvidal (32-13 MMA, 9-6 UFC) experienced another disappointing setback.

After every event, fans wonder whom the losing fighters will be matched up with next. And with another night of UFC action in the rearview mirror, it’s time to look forward, put on a pair of Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard’s shoes, and play UFC matchmaker for UFC 217’s losing fighters.

* * * *

Johny Hendricks

Rashad Evans

Should fight: Rashad Evans
Why they should fight: Hendricks’ career slide took arguably it’s most worrisome turn when the former champ suffered a second-round TKO loss to rising middleweight prospect Paulo Costa.

After being forced out of the welterweight division due to multiple failed weight cuts, Hendricks won his 185-pound debut earlier this year. He lost his subsequent fight against veteran Tim Boetsch, but after falling short against a previously unproven prospect, he’s in a challenging position.

Hendricks is just 1-5 in his past six UFC fights dating back to March 2015. He moved his camp to Jackson-Wink MMA in Albuquerque, N.M., in hopes of finding new results, but it didn’t go his way. As long as Hendricks decides he wants to fight, he’s going to be a notable name who will have a job with the UFC or elsewhere.

“Bigg Rigg” desperately needs to win his next fight, and fighting someone who’s at a similar stage in his career might be the only thing to help him regain his confidence and form. Fellow ex-champ Evans (19-7-1 MMA, 14-7-1 UFC) is no gimme fight when he’s on point, but even the current version of Hendricks would likely be a favorite.

Jorge Masvidal

Dong Hyun Kim

Should fight: Dong Hyun Kim
Why they should fight: Just when Masvidal appeared to be on the cusp of a welterweight title shot, he suddenly finds himself on a two-fight losing skid after suffering a unanimous-decision defeat to Stephen Thompson.

Masvidal fell short against the two-time title challenger and is now in a difficult position. His two losses came against the best in Thompson and Demian Maia, but in a similar situation to when he was fighting at 155 pounds, Masvidal has had trouble winning at the most crucial moments.

Nevertheless, Masvidal isn’t going anywhere and will attempt to fight his way back into the mix. Kim (22-4-1 MMA, 13-4 UFC) is coming off a loss to Masvidal’s teammate Colby Covington, and he’d surely be happy to follow up on his good friend’s handiwork with a showdown against “Stun Gun.”

Joanna Jedrzejczyk

Rose Namajunas and Joanna Jedrzejczyk

Should fight: Namajunas
Why they should fight: After putting together one of the most dominant title runs in UFC history, Jedrzejczyk finally experienced her first career setback with an upset loss to Rose Namajunas to drop the 115-pound title.

Although it was a surprising and disappointing outcome for the Polish fighter, it’s obvious what has to happen for her next: an immediate rematch with Namajunas. The UFC often gives dominant titleholders an immediate chance to regain the belt, and Jedrzejczyk has more than earned that opportunity.

If there were a clear No. 1 contender who had been overdue for a title shot, then perhaps there would be an argument to go a different direction for Namajunas’ first title challenger. No such contender exists, so Jedrzejczyk vs. Namajunas 2 should be next.

Cody Garbrandt

Should fight: John Lineker
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why Garbrandt should fight Lineker (30-8 MMA, 11-3 UFC) next after his title-fight loss.

Michael Bisping

Should fight: Luke Rockhold
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why Bisping should have his trilogy bout with Rockhold (16-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC) following his title-fight loss.

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

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/282704", customAnalytics: true, title: "Dillashaw def. Garbrandt", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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Randy Brown derailed hype train of 'privileged little kid' Mickey Gall at UFC 217

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NEW YORK – Randy Brown didn’t expect to be booed in his hometown, especially against a guy from New Jersey.

“I’m from Queens, and I didn’t get the love,” Brown (10-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) told reporters backstage at UFC 217. “I was like, ‘all right.'”

Fighting Mickey Gall (4-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC), a Garden State native, he could understand why the general populous might underestimate him. Gall had shot to stardom on “Dana White: Looking for a Fight,” the same show that launched his UFC career. Gall had beaten ex-WWE champ Phil “CM Punk” Brooks, and then Sage Northcutt, the most heavily hyped fighter to emerge from the UFC president’s talent showcase.

“He’s the more popular guy,” Brown said. “I get that. He’s got all those WWE fans.”

It still hurt to see on his home turf. But Brown knew something else: superior skill beats hype.

“The realness is in the cage,” he said.

On Saturday, Brown showed UFC fans the truth of that statement by outworking Gall en route to a decision victory on the FS1-televised prelims of Saturday’s pay-per-view event at Madison Square Garden.

Gall talked himself up quite a bit beforehand, calling Brown “a gift” and joking his opponent was to fight for the “Looking for a Fight” title he won by beating Northcutt.

Brown saw the interviews proclaiming dominance and the swagger from Gall, a fighter with whom he’d trained on two occasions and considered a friend. In the weeks before the fight, Brown said he warned Gall.

“I was like, ‘Make sure that man shows up, the person you faking to be, if he doesn’t show up, you’re going to be bleeding, and you’re going to get hurt,'” he said. “Tonight that man didn’t show up.”

Although Gall implied he had the inside track on Brown from their previous work together, the opposite played out inside the octagon. Brown repeatedly outstruck Gall and cut him up with ground and pound after nabbing takedowns.

By the final round, Gall’s face was a mask of red as Brown pounded away. The final scorecards were 29-28 twice and 29-27.

“These cameras come in. This is a facade. This is a part of the game. But you need to be secure within yourself and actually be secure within yourself and actually know what you can do,” Brown said. “You can’t fall into this and try to act. Nah, man. That will catch up to you. And tonight it caught up to him.”

To be sure, Brown still considers Gall a friend and thinks the young fighter will be back better than ever. Only for now, a correction is in order.

“He’s a privileged little kid, and I just had to fight for it,” Brown said.

As he made his way to the UFC, Brown never got the same amount of hype as Gall. He didn’t call out Punk, of course, and suffered setbacks in the octagon. Now that he’s accomplished what he set out to do, it would be understandable if he wanted his promoter to transfer the attention bestowed on Gall.

Instead, Brown wants to earn those hometown cheers.

“It’s my job to be who I am and make people want to see me, and that’s what I’m going to do,” Brown said. “I don’t need anybody to give me any false accolades and build me up. I build myself up.”

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

Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Randy Brown (red gloves) fights Mickey Gall (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Randy Brown (red gloves) fights Mickey Gall (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Randy Brown (red gloves) fights Mickey Gall (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Randy Brown (red gloves) fights Mickey Gall (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Randy Brown (red gloves) fights Mickey Gall (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Randy Brown (red gloves) fights Mickey Gall (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Randy Brown (red gloves) fights Mickey Gall (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Randy Brown (red gloves) fights Mickey Gall (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Randy Brown (red gloves) fights Mickey Gall (blue gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Mickey Gall (blue gloves) bleeds from a cut during his fight against Randy Brown 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/qAzPssQ7tvjBNX6eeSjC7g/282456", customAnalytics: true, title: "Brown def. Gall", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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