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Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2537 with guests Cub Swanson, Karyn Bryant, Marvin Vettori

MMA Junkie News -

Stream or download Thursday’s episode of  with guests Cub Swanson, Karyn Bryant, Marvin Vettori, and Jason Buchamer.

Swanson reflected on his stellar career and discussed his upcoming bout vs. Brian Ortega on Dec. 9 at UFC Fight Night 123. FS1 anchor Bryant discussed the origins of the Tony Ferguson-Kevin Lee rivalry, when Ferguson worked as an analyst and interviewed Lee after his win over Michael Chiesa. Vettori was in-studio to discuss UFC 216, which includes two of his teammates, Fabricio Werdum and Beneil Dariush. Former MMAjunkie Radio intern Buchamer recapped “The Ultimate Fighter 26,” Episode 6.

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


Filed under: News, Radio, UFC

UFC 216 early weigh-in results and live video stream

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

LAS VEGAS – MMAjunkie is on scene and reporting live from today’s early and official UFC 216 fighter weigh-ins, which kick off at noon ET (9 a.m. PT).

The early weigh-ins, which precede the day’s ceremonial affair, take place at the UFC host hotel in Las Vegas. The UFC 216 ceremonial weigh-ins take place at 8 p.m. ET at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The same venue hosts Saturday’s event, which airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and UFC Fight Pass.

Among those weighing in are headliners Tony Ferguson (23-3 MMA, 13-1 UFC) and Kevin Lee (16-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC), who fight for the interim lightweight title, and flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson (26-2-1 MMA, 14-1-1 UFC) and challenger Ray Borg (11-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC), who meet in the co-main event.

The full UFC 216 weigh-in results include:

MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)

  • Tony Ferguson (155) vs. Kevin Lee () – for interim lightweight title
  • Champ Demetrious Johnson (125) vs. Ray Borg (124) – for flyweight title
  • Derrick Lewis (263.5) vs. Fabricio Werdum (247)
  • Mara Romero Borella (126) vs. Kalindra Faria (125)
  • Beneil Dariush (156) vs. Evan Dunham (156)

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

  • Tom Duquesnoy (135.5) vs. Cody Stamann (136)
  • Will Brooks (156) vs. Nik Lentz ()
  • Bobby Green (155) vs. Lando Vannata (155.75)
  • Poliana Botelho (115) vs. Pearl Gonzalez ()

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 6:15 p.m. ET)

  • Mark Godbeer (244.5) vs. Walt Harris (251)
  • Magomed Bibulatov (126) vs. John Moraga ()
  • Thales Leites (185.5) vs. Brad Tavares (185.5)
  • Marco Beltran () vs. Matt Schnell (126)

For more on UFC 216, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Nov 5, 2016; Mexico City, Mexico; Tony Ferguson (blue gloves) defeats Rafael Dos Anjos (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Distrito Federal. Mandatory Credit: Etzel Espinosa-USA TODAY Sports May 5, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Tony Ferguson in a lightweight bout against Michael Johnson during UFC on Fox 3 at the Izod Center. Michael Johnson won by unanimous decision in the third round. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports May 5, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Michael Johnson (left) fights Tony Ferguson in a lightweight bout during UFC on Fox 3 at the Izod Center. Michael Johnson won by unanimous decision in the third round. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports May 5, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Michael Johnson (left) fights Tony Ferguson in a lightweight bout during UFC on Fox 3 at the Izod Center. Michael Johnson won by unanimous decision in the third round. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Oct 18, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Tony Ferguson during the weigh-in for UFC 166 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports Oct 19, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) fights against Mike Rio (blue gloves) in their lightweight bout during UFC 166 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports Oct 19, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) celebrates his victory against Mike Rio (not pictured) in their lightweight bout during UFC 166 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports May 24, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red) and Katsunori Kikuno (blue) throw punches during their UFC 173 welterweight bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Ferguson won the bout by TKO. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports May 24, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red) locks onto Katsunori Kikuno (blue) during their UFC 173 welterweight bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Ferguson won the bout by TKO. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports August 30, 2014; Sacramento, CA, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) fights against Danny Castillo (blue gloves) during the lightweight bout of UFC 177 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports August 30, 2014; Sacramento, CA, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) fights against Danny Castillo (blue gloves) during the lightweight bout of UFC 177 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports August 30, 2014; Sacramento, CA, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) celebrates after defeating Danny Castillo (blue gloves) during the lightweight bout of UFC 177 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports Dec 6, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red) and Abel Trujillo (blue) during UFC 181 at Madalay Bay Events Center. Ferguson won via second round submission. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Dec 6, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red) and Abel Trujillo (blue) during UFC 181 at Madalay Bay Events Center. Ferguson won via second round submission. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Dec 6, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red) and Abel Trujillo (blue) during UFC 181 at Madalay Bay Events Center. Ferguson won via second round submission. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Dec 6, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red) submits Abel Trujillo (blue) during UFC 181 at Madalay Bay Events Center. Ferguson won via second round submission. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Dec 6, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red) submits Abel Trujillo (blue) during UFC 181 at Madalay Bay Events Center. Ferguson won via second round submission. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Dec 6, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red) after submitting Abel Trujillo (blue) during UFC 181 at Madalay Bay Events Center. Ferguson won via second round submission. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Feb 28, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) during his Lightweight bout against Gleison Tibau (blue gloves) at UFC 184 at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Feb 28, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) during his Lightweight bout against Gleison Tibau (blue gloves) at UFC 184 at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jul 15, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; Josh Thomson (red) fights Tony Ferguson (blue) during UFC Fight Night at Valley View Casino Center. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jul 13, 2016; Sioux Falls, SD, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) fights against Lando Vannata (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Denny Sanford Premier Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports Jul 13, 2016; Sioux Falls, SD, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) fights against Lando Vannata (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Denny Sanford Premier Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports Jul 13, 2016; Sioux Falls, SD, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) fights against Lando Vannata (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Denny Sanford Premier Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports Nov 5, 2016; Mexico City, Mexico; Rafael Dos Anjos (red gloves) fights Tony Ferguson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Distrito Federal. Mandatory Credit: Etzel Espinosa-USA TODAY Sports Nov 5, 2016; Mexico City, Mexico; Rafael Dos Anjos (red gloves) fights Tony Ferguson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Distrito Federal. Mandatory Credit: Etzel Espinosa-USA TODAY Sports Nov 5, 2016; Mexico City, Mexico; Rafael Dos Anjos (red gloves) fights Tony Ferguson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Distrito Federal. Mandatory Credit: Etzel Espinosa-USA TODAY Sports Nov 5, 2016; Mexico City, Mexico; Rafael Dos Anjos (red gloves) fights Tony Ferguson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Distrito Federal. Mandatory Credit: Etzel Espinosa-USA TODAY Sports Nov 5, 2016; Mexico City, Mexico; Rafael Dos Anjos (red gloves) and Tony Ferguson (blue gloves) react after their fight during UFC Fight Night at Distrito Federal. Mandatory Credit: Etzel Espinosa-USA TODAY Sports Nov 5, 2016; Mexico City, Mexico; Tony Ferguson (blue gloves) defeats Rafael Dos Anjos (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Distrito Federal. Mandatory Credit: Etzel Espinosa-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/BZmaANcyDjkNFoqU9L5v2d/275978", customAnalytics: true, title: "Tony Ferguson", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start(); if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_kX1XF89z_RbnemIYZ_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/kX1XF89z.json","ph":2} );
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

10 reasons to watch UFC 216, including Demetrious Johnson’s 1,841-day title reign

MMA Junkie News -

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

The UFC is back in its hometown of Las Vegas for the first time in three months for UFC 216. Two title fights sit atop Saturday’s event.

In the headlining bout, highly ranked competitors Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee meet to determine the interim lightweight champion – and hopefully earn a shot at current lightweight kingpin Conor McGregor. No one’s sure what’s next on McGregor’s dance card, but you can bet the winner of this fight will have some choice words for the man who has yet to defend the title he won in November.

In the co-main event, the only flyweight champion in UFC history, Demetrious Johnson, looks to make his record-breaking 11th consecutive UFC title defense. Ray Borg is the man who hopes to put an end to Johnson’s 1,841-day title reign.

UFC 216 takes at T-Mobile Arena. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and UFC Fight Pass.

Here are 10 reasons to watch the event.

1. Settle those differences

Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee

The sniping between Ferguson and Lee started in June, and it hasn’t let up since. Shortly after Lee submitted Michael Chiesa via rear-naked choke, Ferguson, working as a commentator for FS1 that night, asked Lee a question he didn’t appreciate. That launched a verbal back-and-forth between the two.

RelatedUFC 216's extended preview gives origin story on Ferguson-Lee beef, ignores UFC 215 shuffle

That feud culminates in the main event of UFC 216 with the victor leaving Las Vegas as the interim 155-pound champion.

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Ferguson, the No. 3 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA lightweight rankings, has been itching for a title fight for a while. His nine-fight winning streak, the longest in UFC lightweight history, and five consecutive fight-night bonuses say he’s earned his shot.

Lee (16-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC), ranked No. 8, wasn’t the UFC’s first choice to face Ferguson, but his five-fight winning streak, two fight-night bonuses and beef with Ferguson (22-3 MMA, 12-1 UFC) earned him his shot.

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Johnson captured the flyweight title on Sept. 12, 2012. One month earlier, Borg competed in his first professional MMA fight. That means Borg (11-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) has effectively spent his entire career training and preparing to beat one man: Johnson (26-2-1 MMA, 14-1-1 UFC).

You would think the ability to focus on a single opponent for several years would give Johnson’s challengers an advantage. It hasn’t. The most recent contender who turned pro around the time Johnson became champion was Henry Cejudo, who had more than three years to prepare for Johnson. When the two met in April 2016, the champ claimed a TKO victory in the middle of the second round.

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Borg, the No. 5-ranked flyweight, has had five years to try to find one flaw he can exploit, one way to succeed where previous title contenders failed. If he does it, he can keep Johnson from taking sole possession of the UFC’s most prestigious record.

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After briefly contemplating retirement following his June loss to Mark Hunt, Derrick Lewis returns to the octagon at UFC 216. Lewis, ranked No. 12 in the heavyweight division, faces No. 3-ranked Fabricio Werdum, who enters this contest on the heels of a July loss to Alistair Overeem.

This fight could put Lewis (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC) to the test. Werdum (21-7-1 MMA, 9-4 UFC) is arguably the most dangerous ground fighter in the division. If Lewis, a heavy-handed striker, drops Werdum and follows him to the mat, he could find himself in deep waters. What makes things even trickier is Werdum sometimes exaggerates strikes and falls to the mat to get his opponent inside his guard.

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With champion Stipe Moicic without a fight due to a contract impasse, a dominant win could put the victor in the mix for a title shot when Miocic returns.

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In September, Evan Dunham won his fourth straight fight. The last time he had a UFC winning streak that long was more than seven years ago, when he was victorious in his first four bouts with the promotion.

Dunham faces No. 1-ranked lightweight Beneil Dariush, an opponent Dunham expressed interest in fighting when he spoke to MMAjunkie Radio in June.

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Dunham, known for his ground game, has developed his striking over the past few years. During his current winning streak, he’s has out-landed his opponents in significant strikes 449-163.

If Dunham (18-6 MMA, 11-6 UFC) scores a win against Dariush (14-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC), who enters this fight following a loss to contender Edson Barboza, he’s likely to break into the rankings post-UFC 216.

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Tom Duquesnoy

Tom Duquesnoy didn’t disappoint in his UFC debut. The former two-division BAMMA champion knocked out Patrick Williams early in the second round with a crisp elbow. The bantamweight victory extended Duquesnoy’s unbeaten streak to 12.

After the fight, Duquesnoy said, “Step by step, I will do everything to get the belt as soon as possible.”

Duquesnoy (15-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) jumps to featherweight for his second UFC fight. His opponent, Cody Stamann, also won his most recent fight. Stamann (15-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) defeated Terrion Ware by decision – his eighth straight.

This could be a fun striking battle. Both fighters landed more than six significant strikes per minute in their UFC debuts.

6. Former champ looks for break

Will Brooks

When former Bellator lightweight champion Will Brooks signed with the UFC, he was ranked No. 11 in the division and on an eight-fight winning streak. After his hand was raised in his promotional debut, Brooks climbed to No. 10. Today, he is unranked.

The reason for the former champ’s precipitous slide? He lost his two most recent fights by stoppage. Brooks was more than a 3-1 favorite in each of those contests – to Alex Oliveira and Charles Oliveira.

When he signed with the UFC, Brooks told MMAjunkie, “I believe I have everything it takes to be a UFC lightweight champion.”

Brooks (18-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC) hasn’t looked especially competitive in either of his UFC losses. He doesn’t get a break at UFC 216, where he faces the gritty and always competitive Nik Lentz (27-8-2 MMA, 11-5-1 UFC), who lost his most recent fight via decision.

If Brooks has any hopes of working his way back into the mix, he needs a definitive win here.

7. Collecting more bonuses than wins

Lando Vannata

Lando Vannata has been better at collecting fans and fight-night bonuses than he’s been at winning fights during his three-fight UFC run. The Jackson-Wink MMA fighter is 1-2 with the promotion, but he’s earned a fight-night bonus check in each of those contests.

Vannata is one of the more exciting fighters to join the UFC in the last year or so. He employs an aggressive and flashy striking style that finds him landing as many power strikes as he absorbs. Vannata expends a lot of energy, and as his fights progress, he tends to fade. That allows his opponents to find their target with more accuracy over time.

Vannata (9-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) faces Bobby Green in this lightweight bout. Green (23-8 MMA, 4-3 UFC) was on a roll for a few years, running up eight straight wins between September 2011 and July 2014. But he’s fought only three times since then, and he’s lost each of those matchups.

8. Long wait comes to end

Poliana Botelho (photo by Anchell Fotografia)

The UFC signed Poliana Botelho in mid-2016. An injury prevented the former XFC flyweight champion from making her scheduled promotional debut at UFC 206.

In Botelho’s (5-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) first fight in more than two years, she faces Pearl Gonzalez (6-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) in a strawweight scrap.

Botelho, a member of Nova Uniao, is a powerful striker. She isn’t particularly aggressive in the open, but when she traps her opponent against the cage, she unleashes wild combinations. All of Botelho’s wins have come by knockout. Her only loss is a five-round decision defeat to No. 13-ranked Viviane Pereira.

Cynthia Calvillo submitted Gonzalez in the third round of her UFC debut. The loss ended her six-fight winning streak.

9. A rising star with some baggage

Magomed Bibulatov

If you’re looking for a non-ranked flyweight to keep an eye on, Magomed Bibulatov might be your guy. In his UFC debut, the former WSOF flyweight champion showed an excellent array of striking techniques, good takedowns and a strong top game on his way to a dominant decision win over Jenel Lausa.

At UFC 216, Bibulatov (14-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) looks to move into the rankings at the expense of No. 11-ranked John Moraga (17-6 MMA, 6-5 UFC), who ended a three-fight losing skid with a decision win over Ashkan Mokhtarian in his most recent bout. The victory was the first since 2014 for the former title challenger.

Bibulatov does carry some baggage. In his UFC.com profile, he lists Ramzan Kadyrov, the controversial leader of the Chechen Republic, as his “hero.” He also told “The Buffalo News” that he “supports Ramzan fully.”

10. Keep your distance

Thales Leites

You can look at Thales Leites’ most recent fight, a decision win over Sam Alvey, as safe or smart. Against the powerful counterstriker, Leites relied heavily on leg kicks. That strategy worked well. The former middleweight title contender landed almost 90 percent of his leg strikes, which allowed him to rack up points while avoiding Alvey’s counters.

No. 13-ranked Leites might be wise to employ a similar tactical approach against rankings honorable mention Brad Tavares, who is a bit more active than Leites on the feet. Another reason Leites (27-7 MMA, 12-6 UFC) might use his leg kicks is Tavares (13-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) has good takedown defense, which could negate Leites ground advantage. Tavares has wins in his two most recent fights.

For more on UFC 216, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Dec 3, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) defeats Tim Elliott (blue gloves) during the TUF tournament of champions at Palms Casino. Mandatory Credit: Tracy Lee-USA TODAY Sports Dec 3, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) fights Tim Elliott (blue gloves) during the TUF tournament of champions at Palms Casino. Mandatory Credit: Tracy Lee-USA TODAY Sports Dec 3, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) fights Tim Elliott (blue gloves) during the TUF tournament of champions at Palms Casino. Mandatory Credit: Tracy Lee-USA TODAY Sports Dec 3, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) fights Tim Elliott (blue gloves) during the TUF tournament of champions at Palms Casino. Mandatory Credit: Tracy Lee-USA TODAY Sports Dec 3, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) defeats Tim Elliott (blue gloves) during the TUF tournament of champions at Palms Casino. Mandatory Credit: Tracy Lee-USA TODAY Sports Apr 23, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) competes against Henry Cejudo (blue gloves) during UFC 197 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Apr 23, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) knocks down Henry Cejudo (blue gloves) during UFC 197 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Apr 23, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) reacts after defeating Henry Cejudo (blue gloves) during UFC 197 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Apr 23, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) reacts after defeating Henry Cejudo (blue gloves) during UFC 197 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Apr 23, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) reacts after defeating Henry Cejudo (blue gloves) during UFC 197 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Sep 5, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) and John Dodson (blue gloves) during their flyweight title bout at UFC 191 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Johnson won the fight. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sep 5, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) during his flyweight title bout against John Dodson (not pictured) at UFC 191 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Johnson won the fight. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sep 5, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) and John Dodson (blue gloves) during their flyweight title bout at UFC 191 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Johnson won the fight. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sep 5, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) after defeating and John Dodson (not pictured) in the flyweight title bout at UFC 191 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Johnson won the fight. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sep 5, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC president Dana White puts the championship belt on Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) after defeating John Dodson (not pictured) in the flyweight title bout at UFC 191 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Johnson won the fight. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/mCVxgLk25EVCFkrwbjhRq4/276228", customAnalytics: true, title: "Demetrious Johnson", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Recovered from shoulder surgery, Edson Barboza wants a fight – but not just any fight

MMA Junkie News -

Considering Edson Barboza has had his sights set on an interim title shot for a while, one could certainly understand if watching UFC 216’s headliner is upsetting to him.

As it turns out, it’s not. In fact, Barboza (19-4 MMA, 13-4 UFC), who’s been vocally opposed to champ Conor McGregor’s (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) inactive reign since claiming the 155-pound crown, is glad to see the division moving along.

And though it’s Tony Ferguson (22-3 MMA, 12-1 UFC) and Kevin Lee (16-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) who are fighting for interim honors Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Barboza thinks he’s not too far from his own taste of gold.

“I know I’m close to the title shot,” Barboza told MMAjunkie. “I know I will get my chance.”

RelatedYo, Edson Barboza – Mairbek Taisumov wants to know if you wanna fight

Not that Barboza didn’t try to get the interim title shot. In fact, coming off a huge TKO win over Beneil Dariush, Barboza said he tried to convince UFC President Dana White and matchmaker Sean Shelby to have him meet Ferguson for a stab at the interim belt.

The fight would have served as a rematch for a “Fight of the Night” encounter in late 2015 at The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale, which saw Barboza being submitted after stepping in on short notice. But UFC officials didn’t go for it.

The reason, however, wasn’t that Barboza hadn’t earned it – but rather because they knew he was dealing with a seriously injured shoulder that needed medical attention. Considering Barboza went on to have surgery, that was probably the right call. Still, he not only wanted to move forward with it. He was quite confident, too.

“I know if I fought him with a bad shoulder, I’d win the fight,” Barboza said.

RelatedUFC 216's Kevin Lee intends to prove he's not 'all talk' against 'weird dude' Tony Ferguson

Sounds a bit crazy, but it’s not like Barboza hasn’t fought while hurt before. He went into his most recent scrap with the same injury – or rather, four different injuries on the same shoulder – that kept him from both the Ferguson encounter and a talked-about meeting with Justin Gaethje.

At UFC Fight Night 106, Barboza overcame a tough first round to finish Dariush with a knee in the second. But the “Performance of the Night” win looks all the more impressive knowing what the Brazilian lightweight went through prior to it.

“A couple of weeks before, I started feeling my neck a little bit, going down to my left shoulder,” Barboza recalled. “I still worked hard. I was sparring with my training partner. He shot, I defended a takedown, and I heard my shoulder kept, ‘Pop, pop, pop.’ Crazy, crazy pops.

“I have the video. I ran to my head coach, said, ‘Mark, my shoulder popped.’ He said, ‘OK, you want to stop?’ I said, ‘No, let’s finish the round.’ I did three more rounds with the one arm.'”

On the way home, Barboza started really feeling the effects of what turned out to be a tore bicep tendon and a broken piece of bone – among other things. For two weeks, he says, he didn’t punch or lift weights. He even considered, at first, pulling out of the fight.

RelatedUFC 216 headliner Tony Ferguson: 'Fake' Kevin Lee is 'trying to be something that he's not'

“But I’m a fighter, man,” Barboza said. “I love to fight. I try everything to fight.”

The decision paid off in the end, with Barboza adding a third win to a streak that features only respectable names like ex-champ Anthony Pettis and former Strikeforce titleholder Gilbert Melendez. But it also served as a huge test of Barboza’s grit.

“The first jab I threw, I said, ‘Man, that’s going to be a hard night,'” Barboza said. “Because it was so painful. The game plan (was) to throw a lot of the front hand, moving to my left side. And I couldn’t throw my left hand.

“That was the hardest fight of my career. Because I fought with one hand, very, very hard. And, like I said, Beneil is very tough. He gave me a hard time.”

After having surgery in Florida, Barboza says, he took six weeks off. Then, he started working “harder than ever” in physical therapy every day. The result was a recovery so swift that even his doctor marveled at it. Now, weeks after getting back to hard training, Barboza says he’s 100 percent pain-free and ready to go.

He’s even been calling his manager every day to get a fight. Not just any fight, though.

Edson Barboza

“I’m a fighter. I want to fight,” Barboza said. “But I’m not stupid. I want to fight somebody that really makes sense right now, get us a fight that put us closer to a title shot. Or on our way to get my chance to the title shot.

“Because I’m ready for this. I think I deserve it. I’ve been in the UFC for a long time. And I’m closer than ever to a title shot. I’m ready.”

Of course, Barboza is in the unfortunate position of being a UFC lightweight at a weird time. First, many wondered whether McGregor would ever return to MMA after his boxing match with Floyd Mayweather. And now, even if he comes back, there’s a chance McGregor won’t fight the division’s interim champ – but engage on a lucrative trilogy with Nate Diaz instead.

While Barboza can’t predict what will happen next, he knows one thing: After taking on two high-risk fights that ultimately did nothing to advance him in the rankings, he wants someone ahead of him.

“My last two fights, I fought somebody behind me in the rankings,” Barboza said. “Very risky fights, very dangerous guys. But I was there fighting. I don’t care. I’ve improved all the time. I have almost 20 fights in the UFC. A couple of weeks ago, I saw the rankings. I fought seven guys in the top-15.

“I fought everybody. I think I deserve it. I really deserve to fight the No. 1 contender, or somebody in front of me. Or a title shot.”

Considering Barboza is currently ranked No. 4 in the official UFC rankings – and No. 6 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA lightweight rankings – that doesn’t leave him too many options. Mairbek Taisumov. for instance, might just have to wait.

However, there is one man who not only fits the bill in both rankings, but doesn’t have a fight scheduled: undefeated, perennial contender Khabib Nurmagomedov (24-0 MMA, 8-0 UFC).

Some might see the Dagestani’s notoriously stifling wrestling game as a hazard to Barboza’s mostly striking-based movement. But the Brazilian, who’s quite into the matchup, isn’t fazed.

RelatedKevin Lee: Tony Ferguson's toughness just means he'll 'take a longer ass-whooping' at UFC 216

“He’s definitely one of the best in the division,” Barboza said. “I think this fight really makes sense for me. I’m ready. If the UFC books this fight, I’m ready.”

Of course, Barboza’s future also hinges on what happens with Saturday’s headliner. Although Nurmagomedov’s name is the one that most would point to as the next contender, the fact he’s been somewhat M.I.A. and even turned down a UFC 217 meeting with Ferguson could work in Barboza’s favor. Then there’s the chance McGregor fights Diaz.

Barboza is clear about wanting a title shot. But considering he doesn’t really see McGregor as the champion, he would have no problems meeting the division’s interim titleholder instead.

“That would be perfect,” Barboza said. “Like I said, if the UFC asks me to fight for the belt, for the real championship, I’d prefer to fight one of those guys. Because, like I said, McGregor for me is not the champion. He has the belt, but he’s not really the champ.”

If he does get his wish, and the interim champion is indeed next for him, Barboza believes that might just end up being a rematch.

“It’s going to be a fun fight,” Barboza said. “I think Tony Ferguson is going to win this fight. It’s hard to say that (Kevin Lee) doesn’t deserve it. He’s a great fighter, but he won just a couple of fights. Just his last fight, against (Michael) Chiesa, who’s a tough guy. But he fought nobody.

“I think Tony Ferguson is going to dominate this fight.”

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

December 11, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Edson Barboza fights against Tony Ferguson during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 11, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Edson Barboza lands punches against Tony Ferguson during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 11, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Edson Barboza pins Tony Ferguson to the mat during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Jul 25, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Edson Barboza (red gloves) reacts after winning a fight against Paul Felder (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports Jul 25, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Paul Felder (blue gloves) fights against Edson Barboza (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports Feb 22, 2015; Porto Alegre, Brazil; Michael Johnson (blue gloves) fights against Edson Barboza (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ginasio do Gigantinho. Mandatory Credit: Jason da Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 22, 2015; Porto Alegre, Brazil; Michael Johnson (blue gloves) fights against Edson Barboza (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ginasio do Gigantinho. Mandatory Credit: Jason da Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 22, 2015; Porto Alegre, Brazil; Edson Barboza (red gloves) before his fight against Michael Johnson during UFC Fight Night at Ginasio do Gigantinho. Mandatory Credit: Jason da Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jul 16, 2014; Atlantic City, NJ, USA; Edson Barboza (red gloves) celebrates his victory while Evan Dunham (blue gloves) gets attended to by the referee during a lightweight bout at Revel Casino. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports Jul 16, 2014; Atlantic City, NJ, USA; Edson Barboza (red gloves) lands a kick on Evan Dunham (blue gloves) during a lightweight bout at Revel Casino. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports Jul 16, 2014; Atlantic City, NJ, USA; Edson Barboza gets his gloves inspected during a lightweight bout at Revel Casino. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports December 14, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Danny Castillo (red gloves) fights Edson Barboza (blue gloves) during the lightweight bout of the UFC on FOX 9 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports December 14, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Danny Castillo (red gloves) fights Edson Barboza (blue gloves) during the lightweight bout of the UFC on FOX 9 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports December 14, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Danny Castillo (red gloves) fights Edson Barboza (blue gloves) during the lightweight bout of the UFC on FOX 9 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports December 14, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Edson Barboza (blue gloves) fights Danny Castillo (red gloves) during the lightweight bout of the UFC on FOX 9 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/wXweukvLXDAo9ZXoNKnLeS/276098", customAnalytics: true, title: "Edson Barboza", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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Video: Hardy, Gooden break down Demetrious Johnson vs. Ray Borg at UFC 216

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

The UFC’s most dominant champion chases history on Saturday night.

Flyweight titleholder Demetrious Johnson (26-2-1 MMA, 14-1-1 UFC) takes on challenger Ray Borg (11-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) in the UFC 216 co-headliner, which takes place Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and UFC Fight Pass.

If Johnson wins – and he’s more than a 12-1 favorite – he’ll break Anderson Silva’s record for most consecutive UFC title defenses.

Ahead of the co-main event, UFC broadcasters Dan Hardy and John Gooden step “Inside the Octagon” to break down the fight.

Johnson and Borg were supposed to headline UFC 215 in September, but a Borg illness on the day of the weigh-ins forced the fight to be canceled and pushed to Las Vegas.

Check out Hardy and Gooden’s breakdown in the video above. And stay tuned for their breakdown of the main event interim lightweight title fight between Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee.

For more on UFC 216, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

Dec 3, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) defeats Tim Elliott (blue gloves) during the TUF tournament of champions at Palms Casino. Mandatory Credit: Tracy Lee-USA TODAY Sports Dec 3, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) fights Tim Elliott (blue gloves) during the TUF tournament of champions at Palms Casino. Mandatory Credit: Tracy Lee-USA TODAY Sports Dec 3, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) fights Tim Elliott (blue gloves) during the TUF tournament of champions at Palms Casino. Mandatory Credit: Tracy Lee-USA TODAY Sports Dec 3, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) fights Tim Elliott (blue gloves) during the TUF tournament of champions at Palms Casino. Mandatory Credit: Tracy Lee-USA TODAY Sports Dec 3, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) defeats Tim Elliott (blue gloves) during the TUF tournament of champions at Palms Casino. Mandatory Credit: Tracy Lee-USA TODAY Sports Apr 23, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) competes against Henry Cejudo (blue gloves) during UFC 197 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Apr 23, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) knocks down Henry Cejudo (blue gloves) during UFC 197 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Apr 23, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) reacts after defeating Henry Cejudo (blue gloves) during UFC 197 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Apr 23, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) reacts after defeating Henry Cejudo (blue gloves) during UFC 197 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Apr 23, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) reacts after defeating Henry Cejudo (blue gloves) during UFC 197 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Sep 5, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) and John Dodson (blue gloves) during their flyweight title bout at UFC 191 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Johnson won the fight. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sep 5, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) during his flyweight title bout against John Dodson (not pictured) at UFC 191 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Johnson won the fight. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sep 5, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) and John Dodson (blue gloves) during their flyweight title bout at UFC 191 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Johnson won the fight. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sep 5, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) after defeating and John Dodson (not pictured) in the flyweight title bout at UFC 191 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Johnson won the fight. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sep 5, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC president Dana White puts the championship belt on Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) after defeating John Dodson (not pictured) in the flyweight title bout at UFC 191 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Johnson won the fight. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/mCVxgLk25EVCFkrwbjhRq4/276039", customAnalytics: true, title: "Demetrious Johnson", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start(); if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_kX1XF89z_RbnemIYZ_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/kX1XF89z.json","ph":2} );
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Video: Hardy, Gooden break down Tony Ferguson vs. Kevin Lee at UFC 216

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

The UFC will crown yet another champion on Saturday night.

Tony Ferguson (23-3 MMA, 13-1 UFC) takes on Kevin Lee (16-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) for a new interim lightweight title in the UFC 216 headliner, which takes place Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and UFC Fight Pass.

It is presumed that the winner will stay in line for a title unification fight against champion Conor McGregor – though UFC President Dana White has not made that a sure thing just yet.

Ahead of the main event, UFC broadcasters Dan Hardy and John Gooden step “Inside the Octagon” to break down the fight.

Check out Hardy and Gooden’s breakdown in the video above. And don’t miss their breakdown of the co-main event flyweight title fight between champ Demetrious Johnson and Ray Borg.

For more on UFC 216, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

Dec 3, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) defeats Tim Elliott (blue gloves) during the TUF tournament of champions at Palms Casino. Mandatory Credit: Tracy Lee-USA TODAY Sports Dec 3, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) fights Tim Elliott (blue gloves) during the TUF tournament of champions at Palms Casino. Mandatory Credit: Tracy Lee-USA TODAY Sports Dec 3, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) fights Tim Elliott (blue gloves) during the TUF tournament of champions at Palms Casino. Mandatory Credit: Tracy Lee-USA TODAY Sports Dec 3, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) fights Tim Elliott (blue gloves) during the TUF tournament of champions at Palms Casino. Mandatory Credit: Tracy Lee-USA TODAY Sports Dec 3, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) defeats Tim Elliott (blue gloves) during the TUF tournament of champions at Palms Casino. Mandatory Credit: Tracy Lee-USA TODAY Sports Apr 23, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) competes against Henry Cejudo (blue gloves) during UFC 197 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Apr 23, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) knocks down Henry Cejudo (blue gloves) during UFC 197 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Apr 23, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) reacts after defeating Henry Cejudo (blue gloves) during UFC 197 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Apr 23, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) reacts after defeating Henry Cejudo (blue gloves) during UFC 197 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Apr 23, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) reacts after defeating Henry Cejudo (blue gloves) during UFC 197 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Sep 5, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) and John Dodson (blue gloves) during their flyweight title bout at UFC 191 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Johnson won the fight. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sep 5, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) during his flyweight title bout against John Dodson (not pictured) at UFC 191 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Johnson won the fight. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sep 5, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) and John Dodson (blue gloves) during their flyweight title bout at UFC 191 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Johnson won the fight. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sep 5, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) after defeating and John Dodson (not pictured) in the flyweight title bout at UFC 191 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Johnson won the fight. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sep 5, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC president Dana White puts the championship belt on Demetrious Johnson (red gloves) after defeating John Dodson (not pictured) in the flyweight title bout at UFC 191 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Johnson won the fight. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/mCVxgLk25EVCFkrwbjhRq4/276042", customAnalytics: true, title: "Demetrious Johnson", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start(); if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_kX1XF89z_RbnemIYZ_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/kX1XF89z.json","ph":2} );
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Video: Man chased by grapplers after trying to rob Gracie Barra gym in Rio de Janeiro - Bloody Elbow

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Bloody Elbow

Video: Man chased by grapplers after trying to rob Gracie Barra gym in Rio de Janeiro
Bloody Elbow
On the night of October 4th a man coolly walked into the reception area of Gracie Barra Nova Iguaçu, a Gracie Family licensed Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gym in northern Rio de Janeiro. The man said a few words to the receptionist before vaulting over a ...

Bellator 184's Steve Kozola ready for big fights – but needs the big money, too

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Steve Kozola is ready to break into the elite tier of the Bellator lightweight division. Before he does that, though, he is seeking greater compensation from the organization.

Kozola (8-0 MMA, 3-0 BMMA) is rising up the divisional ranks and will take another step forward if he can get past Carrington Banks (6-0 MMA, 2-0 BMMA) on Friday at Bellator 184, which takes place at WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Okla., with a main card that airs on Spike following prelims streamed on MMAjunkie.

With two fights remaining on his current Bellator deal, Kozola said he’s ready to fight out his contract if necessary. However, if he does that, he believes he will continue to get mid-tier competition. In order for him to step in the cage against some of the bigger names at 155 pounds, he said a better deal is in order.

“Under this contract, it’s not reasonable for me, from a business perspective, to fight those top guys,” Kozola told MMAjunkie. “Let’s renegotiate, let’s put the right amount of money in my pocket so I can take care of my family and then we can fight these big names like Josh Thomson, Benson Henderson, Patricky ‘Pitbull’ (Freire) and all these top guys out there. I truly believe I can compete, and not only compete, but win decisively against any one of them and be a champion in this division.”

Kozola has the utmost confidence he could give Bellator its monies worth, and his track record to this point shows why. Kozola has earned all eight of his career victories by stoppage, with five of those wins coming inside the opening round.

An argument can be made Kozola hasn’t been tested enough, and that’s why he’s been able to put opponents away in such a one-sided fashion. That may be true, but Kozola said it’s more about how he approaches the fight.

“I don’t prepare to go three minutes,” Kozola said. “I prepare to dominate. So whether it’s in the first, second or third round, my goal is always to finish and win decisively and in impressive fashion so I can get in there and get out healthy and get ready for the next one.”

The only thing somewhat bothersome for Kozola going into Bellator 184 is the fact his fight with Banks won’t be seen by as many people as it could. The matchup is tucked away on the prelims, which Kozola said is somewhat disappointing, even if he understands why.

“I was a little bit just because with my last performance being as good as it was, I thought the whole prelim thing would be done with,” Kozola said. “But when I was looking at the main card and seeing all the fighters on it, these guys have 20-plus fights. They deserve to be where they are. They’ve put in the time and put in those miles. Respect to them. They deserve their spot. I’ll just keep on putting on devastating performances and be entertaining and I’m sure Bellator will find a spot for me on the main card permanently after this fight.”

Regardless of what time or which platform the fight airs on, Kozola said it’s not going to change how he performs. He intends to go into the cage and made a statement against Banks, the same way he’s done against his previous eight foes.

“I’m going to go in there and assert myself as one of the top guys in this division,” Kozola said. “I’m ready for a top-five contender, for sure.”

For more on Bellator 184, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.


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Gina Carano applauds Bellator Kickboxing, advocates for even more exposure

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Bellator Kickboxing 7 airs tonight on Spike at 11 p.m. ET, but – spoiler alert! – the event already took place Sept. 23, as part of a doubleheader with Bellator 183.

In the main event, Kevin Ross and Domenico Lomurno squared off for the inaugural featherweight title in front of thousands of fans at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif. Which is great and all, but former MMA star Gina Carano wishes it wasn’t being televised on a two-week tape delay.

“This is so awesome for Bellator to put on kickboxing for such a huge stage,” Carano told MMAjunkie on the night of the event. “But I personally think it should’ve been live. This sh*t should’ve been live.”

RelatedToday in MMA History: When Cris 'Cyborg' vs. Gina Carano elevated women's MMA to new heights

Carano was on hand to support her fiancée, Ross, as well as MMA fighter Gaston Bolanos, who she trains with. Carano’s hope is that more MMA fans will give  kickboxing – and other combat sports that are part of MMA – more of a chance.

“You know what I think? Basically, f*ck chances. F*ck it,” Carano said. “You do something, because you’re passionate about it, because it changed your life, because it made you a better person. And there’s a bunch of jiu-jitsu people and their group of people that make them a better person. We should shine the light on them, and we should also shine the light on these kickboxers and muay Thai people. I get that MMA puts it all together, and it’s its own animal. But there’s this underground thing.”

Carano at one point was the most recognizable women’s MMA star during the late 2000s, putting the now-defunct EliteXC on the map before losing to current UFC women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg in a 2009 Strikeforce title fight.

Carano alluded to her in-cage stardom being limited because of a general lack of major exposure for women’s MMA and would like kickboxing stars to not experience the same thing. She’d like them to have the opportunity to show what they’re all about.

“Thank you, Bellator and (president) Scott Coker, for always staying loyal to putting these cards out,” Carano said. “That means the world. But you’re not going to find these people like Kevin Ross and Joe Schilling. You already missed a lot of legends that came before them. You should expose the legends that we have now.”

To hear more from Carano, watch the video above.

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

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Video: Watch today's UFC 216 ceremonial weigh-ins live on MMAjunkie at 8 p.m. ET

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

LAS VEGAS – UFC 216 ceremonial fighter weigh-ins take place today, and you can catch a live video stream of the proceedings here on MMAjunkie at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT).

The weigh-ins take place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The same venue hosts Saturday’s card, which airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and UFC Fight Pass.

In addition to the video stream above, you can check out the early and official UFC 216 weigh-in results from earlier in the day.

For more on UFC 216, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Jun 25, 2017; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Kevin Lee (blue gloves) reacts after beating Michael Chiesa (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Pokorny-USA TODAY Sports Feb 1, 2014; Newark, NJ, USA; Kevin Lee (blue gloves) before his fight against Al Iaquinta (red gloves) during UFC 169 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Feb 1, 2014; Newark, NJ, USA; Al Iaquinta (red gloves) fights Kevin Lee (blue gloves) during UFC 169 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Feb 1, 2014; Newark, NJ, USA; Al Iaquinta (red gloves) fights Kevin Lee (blue gloves) during UFC 169 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Feb 1, 2014; Newark, NJ, USA; Al Iaquinta (red gloves) fights Kevin Lee (blue gloves) during UFC 169 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Feb 1, 2014; Newark, NJ, USA; Al Iaquinta (red gloves) fights Kevin Lee (blue gloves) during UFC 169 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Feb 1, 2014; Newark, NJ, USA; Al Iaquinta (red gloves) fights Kevin Lee (blue gloves) during UFC 169 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Sep 27, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Kevin Lee celebrates his victory over Jon Tuck during a lightweight fight during UFC 178 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Feb 14, 2015; Broomfield, CO, USA; Kevin Lee (blue) and Michel Prazeres (red) compete during UFC Fight Night at the 1stBANK Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Feb 14, 2015; Broomfield, CO, USA; Kevin Lee (blue) and Michel Prazeres (red) compete during UFC Fight Night at the 1stBANK Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Feb 14, 2015; Broomfield, CO, USA; Kevin Lee (blue) celebrates his win over Michel Prazeres (left) during UFC Fight Night at the 1stBANK Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports December 11, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Kevin Lee poses during weigh-ins for UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Nov 19, 2016; Belfast, Northern Ireland; Kevin Lee (red gloves) fights Magomed Mustafaev (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at SSE Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Nov 19, 2016; Belfast, Northern Ireland; Kevin Lee (red gloves) fights Magomed Mustafaev (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at SSE Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Nov 19, 2016; Belfast, Northern Ireland; Kevin Lee (red gloves) fights Magomed Mustafaev (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at SSE Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Nov 19, 2016; Belfast, Northern Ireland; Kevin Lee (red gloves) reacts to fights against Magomed Mustafaev (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at SSE Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Mar 11, 2017; Fortazela, Brazil, USA; Kevin Lee (blue gloves) fights Francisco Tinaldo (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Centro de Formacao Olimpica de Fortaleza. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Mar 11, 2017; Fortazela, Brazil, USA; Kevin Lee (blue gloves) fights Francisco Tinaldo (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Centro de Formacao Olimpica de Fortaleza. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Mar 11, 2017; Fortazela, Brazil, USA; Kevin Lee (blue gloves) fights Francisco Tinaldo (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Centro de Formacao Olimpica de Fortaleza. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Mar 11, 2017; Fortazela, Brazil, USA; Kevin Lee (blue gloves) defeats Francisco Tinaldo (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Centro de Formacao Olimpica de Fortaleza. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Mar 11, 2017; Fortazela, Brazil, USA; Kevin Lee (blue gloves) defeats Francisco Tinaldo (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Centro de Formacao Olimpica de Fortaleza. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jun 25, 2017; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Michael Chiesa (red gloves) fights Kevin Lee (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Pokorny-USA TODAY Sports Jun 25, 2017; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Michael Chiesa (red gloves) fights Kevin Lee (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Pokorny-USA TODAY Sports Jun 25, 2017; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Michael Chiesa (red gloves) fights Kevin Lee (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Pokorny-USA TODAY Sports Jun 25, 2017; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Kevin Lee (blue gloves) before his fight against Michael Chiesa (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sean Pokorny-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/NUEYhhB9cYaVsvwhUxSUdd/275980", customAnalytics: true, title: "Kevin Lee", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start(); if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_kX1XF89z_RbnemIYZ_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/kX1XF89z.json","ph":2} );
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Watch today's UFC 217 press conference with Bisping, GSP, others at 6:30 p.m. ET

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

LAS VEGAS – Check out a live stream of today’s UFC 217 press conference, which includes all six title-fight participants, live here on MMAjunkie at 6:30 p.m. ET (3:30 p.m. PT).

UFC 217 takes place Nov. 4 at iconic Madison Square Garden in New York City. The main card – one of the best of the year – airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Today’s kickoff press conference, which Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena hosts, includes all of the big names.

RelatedThat big UFC 217 event with 3 title fights? Here's the official poster

In UFC 217’s featured bout, UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping (30-7 MMA, 20-7 UFC) takes on former longtime welterweight titleholder and all-time MMA great Georges St-Pierre (25-2 MMA, 19-2 UFC), who returns from a four-year absence and moves up a weight class for the fight. Additionally, bantamweight champ Cody Garbrandt (11-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) takes on challenger T.J. Dillashaw (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) in the co-headliner, and women’s strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk (14-0 MMA, 8-0 UFC) meets Rose Namajunas (6-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC).

MMAjunkie will have full coverage of today’s fan and media event.

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

Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) celebrates his first round knockout of Luke Rockhold (not pictured) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) fights Luke Rockhold (red) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) fights Luke Rockhold (red) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) fights Luke Rockhold (red) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) celebrates his first round knockout of Luke Rockhold (red) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) celebrates with his wife after his first round knockout of Luke Rockhold (not pictured) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) celebrates his first round knockout of Luke Rockhold (red) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jun 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Michael Bisping (blue) celebrates his first round knockout of Luke Rockhold (not pictured) during UFC 199 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Feb 27, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Michael Bisping reacts after his fight against Anderson Silva during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Feb 27, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Michael Bisping reacts after his fight against Anderson Silva during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Feb 27, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Anderson Silva (red gloves) competes against Michael Bisping (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Feb 27, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Anderson Silva (red gloves) competes against Michael Bisping (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Feb 27, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Anderson Silva (red gloves) competes against Michael Bisping (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Feb 27, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Anderson Silva (red gloves) competes against Michael Bisping (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Feb 27, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Anderson Silva (red gloves) competes against Michael Bisping (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Feb 26, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Michael Bisping during weigh-ins for UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Jul 18, 2015; Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland; Michael Bisping addresses the crowd after the decision against Thales Leites at The SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 18, 2015; Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland; Michael Bisping lines up a punch against Thales Leites at The SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 18, 2015; Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland; Michael Bisping throws a left kick to Thales Leites at The SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 18, 2015; Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland; Michael Bisping fights Thales Leites at The SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-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/4S3YY8Sr42aQz3Gf9qHNtS/276223", customAnalytics: true, title: "Michael Bisping", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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Relembre os melhores lances e estude a finalização do aposentado Rafael “Sapo” Natal

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Faixa-preta de Jiu-Jitsu e competidor no MMA, Rafael “Sapo” Natal tomou uma decisão que, por vezes, pode ser a mais difícil da vida do lutador: a hora de parar.

O mineiro de 34 anos, com 12 destes dedicados ao esporte de luvinhas, se aposentou do peso médio do UFC após amargar três derrotas consecutivas na organização. O anúncio veio no programa MMA Hour:

“Conversei com minha família, meus amigos e meus treinadores”, disse Rafael. “Esse é o momento. Tenho um novo foco na minha carreira, agora como treinador, então isso é a coisa certa a fazer no momento.”

Sapo terminou a caminhada no MMA com 21 vitórias, nove derrotas e um empate. NO UFC, venceu nomes como Uriah Hall, Chris Camozzie e João Zeferino. Agora, resta saber se Rafael ainda tem garrafas para vender um um possível retorno aos tatames.

Formado por Vinícius Draculino na Gracie Barra BH, hoje tocada pelos nossos GMIs Cláudio Caloquinha e Sérgio Benini, que já formou nomes como Rômulo Barral, Felipe Preguiça e Gabriel Arges, Sapo tem qualidades de sobra para brilhar nos torneio de Jiu-Jitsu.

Confira no vídeo abaixo a primeira finalização da fera no UFC, relembre a movimentação justa do faixa-preta e diga nos comentários se Rafael Sapo deveria voltar a competir de kimono!

TUTORIAL: How to do an Omoplata from rubber guard in BJJ - BJPenn.com (press release) (blog)

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BJPenn.com (press release) (blog)

TUTORIAL: How to do an Omoplata from rubber guard in BJJ
BJPenn.com (press release) (blog)
In this video, 10th Planet black belt and Evolve instructor Rick Marshall shows us how to execute an Omoplata from the rubber guard. Rarely seen in competition, the Omoplata is one of the most creative submissions in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. It is also one ...

'UFC 216 Embedded,' No. 3: Derrick Lewis pushes cardio limits, tries negotiating a tasty meal

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

The UFC returns to Las Vegas this week, and the promotion has rolled out its “Embedded” treatment for a preview of Saturday’s UFC 216 event.

UFC 216, which features two title fights, takes place Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and UFC Fight Pass.

In the headliner, Tony Ferguson (23-3 MMA, 13-1 UFC) takes on Kevin Lee (16-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) for an interim lightweight title. The winner will stay in line for a potential unification bout against champion Conor McGregor.

In the co-main event, flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson (26-2-1 MMA, 14-1-1 UFC) looks for a UFC-record 11th straight title defense when he meets challenger Ray Borg (11-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC). That fight was pushed back from UFC 215 in September in Edmonton due to a Borg illness on fight day.

In the third episode of “Embedded,” Johnson tells the media he expects a finish, then taunts Lee with food at a press lunch in Los Angeles. Borg boards the plane for Las Vegas and receives applause on the short flight after the attendant announces his presence. Heavyweight Derrick Lewis pushes his cardio limits and does his best to negotiate a drive-through meal with his coach, while opponent Fabricio Werdum continues his training at the UFC Performance Institute. Las Vegas resident Lee returns to a changed city, determined to proceed with business as planned. Ferguson turns a basketball court into an MMA dojo.

Check out the full episode above.

Also see:

For more on UFC 216, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Feb 19, 2017; Halifax, NS, Canada; Derrick Lewis poses with his championship belt following a press conference after defeating Travis Browne during UFC Fight Night at Scotiabank Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Apr 18, 2014; Orlando, FL, USA; Derrick Lewis during a weigh-in for UFC on FOX 11 at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports Apr 19, 2014; Orlando, FL, USA; Derrick Lewis looks at Jack May after the referee stopped the fight in the first round of their heavyweight fight during UFC on FOX 11 at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports Jul 6, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Derrick Lewis enters the octagon for a heavyweight fight against Guto Inocente (not pictured) at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Jul 6, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Derrick Lewis (red gloves) goes in for a blow to Guto Inocente (blue gloves) during a heavyweight fight at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Jul 6, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Derrick Lewis (red gloves) takes down Guto Inocente (blue gloves) during a heavyweight fight at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Jul 6, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Derrick Lewis (red gloves) celebrates his knockout victory over Guto Inocente (blue gloves) during the first round of a heavyweight fight at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Feb 27, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Derrick Lewis on the scale at the weigh-in for his fight at UFC 184 at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Feb 28, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Derrick Lewis (red gloves) during his Heavyweight bout against Ruan Potts (blue gloves) at UFC 184 at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Feb 28, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Derrick Lewis (red gloves) after winning his Heavyweight bout at UFC 184 at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Oct 3, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Derrick Lewis (red gloves) competes against Viktor Pesta (blue gloves) (not pictured) during a heavyweight bout at UFC 192 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports Oct 3, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Derrick Lewis (red gloves) competes against Viktor Pesta (blue gloves) during a heavyweight bout at UFC 192 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports Oct 3, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Derrick Lewis (red gloves) competes against Viktor Pesta (blue gloves) (not pictured) during a heavyweight bout at UFC 192 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports Oct 3, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Derrick Lewis (red gloves) competes against Viktor Pesta (blue gloves) (not pictured) during a heavyweight bout at UFC 192 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports Feb 6, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Derrick Lewis (red gloves) fights against Damian Grabowski (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports April 10, 2016; Zagreb, Croatia; Derrick Lewis throws a punch against Gabriel Gonzaga during UFC Fight Night at Zagreb Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports April 10, 2016; Zagreb, Croatia; Derrick Lewis lands punches against Gabriel Gonzaga during UFC Fight Night at Zagreb Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports April 10, 2016; Zagreb, Croatia; Derrick Lewis reacts following his knockout victory against Gabriel Gonzaga during UFC Fight Night at Zagreb Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Jul 7, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Derrick Lewis lands a kick against Roy Nelson during UFC Fight Night at MGM Grand Graden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Jul 7, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Derrick Lewis lands a hit against Roy Nelson during UFC Fight Night at MGM Grand Graden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Dec 9, 2016; Albany, NY, USA; Derrick Lewis prepares for a fight against Shamil Abdurakhimov during UFC Fight Night at Times Union Center. Mandatory Credit: Michael Adamucci-USA TODAY Sports Dec 9, 2016; Albany, NY, USA; Shamil Abdurakhimov (blue gloves) fights Derrick Lewis (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Times Union Center. Mandatory Credit: Michael Adamucci-USA TODAY Sports Dec 9, 2016; Albany, NY, USA; Shamil Abdurakhimov (blue gloves) fights Derrick Lewis (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Times Union Center. Mandatory Credit: Michael Adamucci-USA TODAY Sports Dec 9, 2016; Albany, NY, USA; Derrick Lewis reacts after defeating Shamil Abdurakhimov during UFC Fight Night at Times Union Center. Mandatory Credit: Michael Adamucci-USA TODAY Sports Dec 9, 2016; Albany, NY, USA; Derrick Lewis reacts after defeating Shamil Abdurakhimov during UFC Fight Night at Times Union Center. Mandatory Credit: Michael Adamucci-USA TODAY Sports Feb 18, 2017; Halifax, NS, Canada; Derrick Lewis is interviewed by former fighter Brian Stann before fighting against Travis Browne during weigh-ins for UFC Fight Night at Scotiabank Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Feb 19, 2017; Halifax, NS, Canada; Derrick Lewis (red gloves) kneels before entering the octagon to fight Travis Browne (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Scotiabank Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Feb 19, 2017; Halifax, NS, Canada; Derrick Lewis (red gloves) reacts before fighting Travis Browne (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Scotiabank Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Feb 19, 2017; Halifax, NS, Canada; Derrick Lewis (red gloves) fights Travis Browne (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Scotiabank Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Feb 19, 2017; Halifax, NS, Canada; Derrick Lewis (red gloves) fights Travis Browne (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Scotiabank Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Feb 19, 2017; Halifax, NS, Canada; Derrick Lewis (red gloves) reacts after defeating Travis Browne (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Scotiabank Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Feb 19, 2017; Halifax, NS, Canada; Derrick Lewis (red gloves) reacts after defeating Travis Browne (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Scotiabank Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Feb 19, 2017; Halifax, NS, Canada; Derrick Lewis climbs the octagon fence after defeating Travis Browne during UFC Fight Night at Scotiabank Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Feb 19, 2017; Halifax, NS, Canada; Derrick Lewis (red gloves) reacts after defeating Travis Browne (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Scotiabank Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Feb 19, 2017; Halifax, NS, Canada; Derrick Lewis poses with his championship belt following a press conference after defeating Travis Browne during UFC Fight Night at Scotiabank Centre. 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Where does UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson rank his record winning streak?

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

LAS VEGAS – Where do UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson’s record 10 consecutive title defenses rank among the all-time great streaks in sports?

Johnson (26-2-1 MMA, 14-1-1 UFC) doesn’t know. He’s not much of a sports guy.

“I don’t know,” Johnson told MMAjunkie following his open workout on Thursday. “I don’t even pay attention to other people’s streaks.”

Maybe the better question is where would No. 11 put him. But that will be determined Saturday, when he faces Ray Borg(11-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) in the pay-per-view co-headliner of UFC 216, which takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

RelatedOh, you have the 'remedy' for Demetrious Johnson? 'Cute,' UFC champ says

If he wins, Johnson will break the all-time record for consecutive title defenses at 11, overtaking ex-champ Anderson Silva as the winningest champion in the promotion’s history.

Could that put him in the same league as other combat sports heroes like Rocky Marciano, Floyd Mayweather and Julio Caesar Chavez? Could it put him in the same league as stars from other sports?

Johnson will leave that for other’s to debate. Right now, he’s got No. 11 on his mind.

Check out the video above to hear more thoughts from the champion.

And for more on UFC 216, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

Ray Borg coach credits John Dodson as key player in prep for UFC champ Demetrious Johnson

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LAS VEGAS – Ray Borg didn’t have to look far for advice on what it’s like to face UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson.

Jackson Wink MMA striking coach Brandon Gibson said Johnson’s two-time opponent, John Dodson, played a key role in Borg’s preparation for his title fight Saturday at UFC 216.

“He’s gone in there and pushed Ray in the hard rounds,” Gibson told reporters at open workouts for Borg’s (11-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) fight against Johnson (26-2-1 MMA, 14-1-1 UFC) in the pay-per-view co-headliner at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. “Dodson’s one of those guys I think can show speed similar to Demetrious, with power behind it.

RelatedRay Borg will give Demetrious Johnson immediate rematch after 'rewriting history' at UFC 216

“So it’s been great having Dodson in the gym. He’s taken Ray under his wing like a little brother, and he’s given him a lot of insight on what he felt in those 50 minutes.”

That insight stops short of victory, of course. Johnson defeated Dodson on two separate occasions, bringing the team to 0-3 against the champ and his camp at AMC Pankration.

Still, you could do worse for advice. Dodson managed to drop Johnson multiple times in their first meeting. Borg can use all the help he can get.

Watch the above video for Gibson’s thoughts on the fight.

For more on UFC 216, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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UFC 216 in-depth breakdown: Stylistic matchups, fight picks, best bets and fantasy studs

MMA Junkie News -

MMAjunkie Radio cohost and MMAjunkie contributor Dan Tom provides an in-depth breakdown of all of UFC 216’s main-card bouts.

UFC 216 takes place Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, and the main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and UFC Fight Pass.

Tony Ferguson (22-3 MMA, 12-1 UFC)

Tony Ferguson

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’0″ Age: 33 Weight: 155 lbs. Reach: 76″
  • Last fight: Decision win over Rafael Dos Anjos (Nov. 5, 2016)
  • Camp: 10th Planet Jiu-jitsu (California)
  • Stance/striking style: Switch-stance / Kickboxing
  • Risk management: Fair

Supplemental info:
+ 2x All-American wrestler
+ Brazilian jiu-jitsu purple belt
+ 11 KO wins
+ 7 submission wins
+ 9 first-round finishes
+ Relentless pace and pressure
^ Well conditioned / consistent stalker
+ Dynamic striking assault
^ Shifts stance and variates timing
+/- Aggressive in exchanges
^ Counter availabilities
+ Solid wrestling ability
^ Superb hip, grip and lever awareness
+ Excellent from front-headlock
^ Chokes, transitions, back-takes
+ Active and attacking guard

Kevin Lee (16-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC)

Kevin Lee

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’9″ Age: 25 Weight: 155 lbs. Reach: 77″
  • Last fight: Submission win over Michael Chiesa(May 13, 2017)
  • Camp: Xtreme Couture MMA (Las Vegas, NV)
  • Stance/striking style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk management: Good

Supplemental info:
+ Regional MMA titles
+ Collegiate wrestler (division 2)
+ 1 KO victories
+ 8 submission wins
+ 5 first-round finishes
+ Improved footwork and movement
+ Works well when coming forward
^ Hard kicks and solid punches
+ Strong inside of the clinch
^ Effectively chains from body-lock
+ Excellent offensive and reactive shots
^ Has taken down 10 /11 UFC opponents
+ Intelligent transitional grappler
^ Positionally aware / fights hands
+ Dangerous back-taker
^ Heavy hips and crushing chokes

Summary:

Serving as the main event for UFC 216 is a showdown between Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee for the interim lightweight title.

Arguably the division’s No. 1 contender, Ferguson will finally get his shot at a belt after multiple failed attempts to sort things out with Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Standing in Ferguson’s way is Lee, one of the brighter standouts the weight class has to offer. Despite not yet reaching his prime, Lee feels he is right on track with destiny by fighting for a title at just 25.

Starting off on the feet, we have a battle between two strikers who are different in style, but do their best work coming forward.

Walking the line between forward-mover and voracious marauder, Ferguson can seldom be found taking a back step in his fights. Whether he is feinting or throwing, Ferguson consistently puts pressure on his opponents, looking to either slice-and-dice his was inside, or half-step his way into kill shots off of his accurate jab.

However, it is in these instances of advancement where Ferguson is most hittable, and or susceptible to being countered.

Despite not being known for his counter-striking game, Lee has quietly made improvements to his footwork, displaying an understanding of defensive and offensive angles, as his time spent working with Dewey Cooper and Mayweather’s gym is certainly showing.

With improved head movement typically accompanying upgraded footwork, Lee has also demonstrated much more discipline in rolling his head offline with his punches.

Still, the developing talent may not want to test his striking skills too much in this matchup. Even though Lee was able to stun Francisco Trinaldo standing (which is no easy feat), Ferguson has shown an uncanny ability to absorb punishment and haunt his opposition, living up to the moniker of “El Cucuy.”

Ridiculous durability aside, Ferguson does a deceptively good job of rolling with punches and coming back with heat of his own. Albeit a risky proposition, it is one that Ferguson gets positive returns on due to his persistence to stay poised and play the long game.

Regardless of how striking stanzas shakeout, I suspect that the grappling exchanges may be what decides this fight’s fate.

Inside the clinch, Ferguson is the fighter who offers more offense via his strikes and submission setups, but I believe that Lee may be the better wrestler in this space.

From his superb technique to his natural gifts of athleticism and reach, Lee has a knack for finding the hips of his opponents. Working particularly well from the body-lock, Lee does a good job of chaining off his takedown approaches.

That said, Lee will be facing a unique counter-wrestler who can also counter with submissions.

An enthusiast of the granby roll, Ferguson can counter the deepest of takedown attempts, as we have seen him hit these rolls in mid-air. For that reason, it will be interesting to watch how Lee’s takedown transitions playout with Ferguson’s creation of chaos in mind.

Typically rolling for a variety of leg-locks and entanglements, Ferguson has shown the ability to chain from position-to-position, even when hurt and under fire. Nevertheless, Ferguson could still find himself in the proverbial frying pan should he elect to look for submissions from here, especially considering that failed leg-locks often lead to back-takes – a specialty of Lee’s.

A phenomenal wrestler who seemingly embraced the submission arts early, Lee displays a preternatural ability to take the back. Fueled by slick transitions and heavy-hips, Lee arguably crushes as much as he attempts chokes, dominantly closing off airways in a way that reminds me of a vintage B.J. Penn.

If Ferguson loses his respect or sense for the position, he could find himself steadily going to sleep should he allow Lee onto his back.

Though that could be a real possibility for Lee, the problem – in my opinion – lies within the process that he will need to go through to get Ferguson to where he wants.

Whether Lee is shooting in for a double-leg or changing his level inside of clinch space, his head will inherently have to travel through a neighborhood Ferguson refers to as “snap-down city.”

With a “snap-down” being a wrestling term that refers to the pulling down of an opponent’s head to break their posture, Ferguson has seemingly made his money from this position, using it to transition to back-takes and chokes alike. Should Lee fail on his shots, we will likely see his submission defenses tested.

Under the tutelage of Robert Follis, I am sure that Lee’s defensive prep is on point as the two have proven to be an excellent pairing of coach and fighter. Still, we have seen Ferguson show the ability to hit both strikes and submissions that his opposition arguably knew was coming.

Not only does Ferguson seem to have the unshakeable confidence to help this effort, but he also has a style that I like to refer to as “presenting.”

Similar to the process of a good magician, the true magic happens when you can successfully stage an environment for your trick to work. This principle also exists in the poker arena, as the poker room is often won by the best presenters –– not necessarily the best poker players.

Whether he is presenting a false target or setting a high pace, Ferguson ultimately fights with a bigger purpose in mind. As we saw in his victory over Lando Vanatta, Ferguson used these principles to put himself in a position to finish a submission that Vanatta knew was coming.

Initially presenting the threat of a guillotine choke, Ferguson forced Vanatta to fight hands and defend, knowing it would inherently create enough space between the lats and triceps for his arm to slide through for his patented D’Arce choke.

The oddsmakers seem to agree with the potency of Ferguson’s pathways – opening him up as a moderate favorite over Lee.

As someone who has trained at Xtreme Couture for some time, matchups like these feel like a lose-lose scenario in regards to making a pick. With that in mind, I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t rooting for Lee here.

However, as an analyst, I have to be unbiased. If Lee cannot successfully score takedowns and capitalize early, then I worry for his chances given that Ferguson is built to get stronger as the fight goes on. Despite forecasting championship gold in Lee’s future, the dynamic of this matchup makes it hard not to favor Ferguson, who I see posing problems if he achieves his preferred cooking temperature.

Official pick: Ferguson inside the distance Official outcome: To be determined

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Pat Curran returns at Bellator 184, but how long will he stick around?

MMA Junkie News -

Former Bellator featherweight champion Pat Curran returns from a career-long layoff on Friday at Bellator 184. Injuries were the culprit behind the long break, and during that time Curran’s eyes were opened to a future without fighting.

Curran’s (22-7 MMA, 12-4 BMMA) problematic back has kept him out of action since May 2016. He’s fought just twice since February 2015, but will finally return to the cage at Bellator 184 when he meets John Teixeira (21-2-2 MMA, 4-1 BMMA) in a featherweight bout on the Spike-televised main card at WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Okla. Prelims stream on MMAjunkie.

The lack of competition forced Curran to find other means of financial stability, he said. He’s always carried the knowledge that he would eventually have to figure out his future beyond fighting, but an injury which doctors said might prevent him from ever stepping in the cage again accelerated the process.

RelatedBellator 184 weigh-in results: Champ Eduardo Dantas (134.5), Darrion Caldwell (134.7) set for title fight

Curran turned to a trades job in the heating and air conditioning field. Although vastly different from the role of a professional fighter, Curran said he found another passion he felt comfortable doing.

“I’m thinking about the future more,” Curran told MMAjunkie. “Financially, I definitely wanted to start bringing in some money and a paycheck every week. I wanted to start working toward a backup plan and a career. I wanted to keep my time busy and ultimately my long-term goal is I would like to get back into the trades. I really enjoy the work.

“I know fighting isn’t going to last forever. Eventually I’m going to hang up the gloves and fall back onto something else. Right now my fall-back plan is this work. It keeps me busy and it’s a very rewarding job. There’s a lot of money to be made in that career.”

Curran’s level of enjoyment with his new job is so high that he opted to keep working in the lead-up to Bellator 184. He not only did that out of necessity because he had to bring in funds to support his training camp, but he also wanted all the perks that come with the job.

“I like having insurance, I like having benefits and a paycheck every week,” Curran said. “It helps me with a mortgage for a house. It has a lot of upside, along with job security. If I didn’t have a job I wouldn’t have been able to get a full training camp like I did and be this ready.

“I was able to juggle both. After a few months of training a few times a week and working, my body was able to get adjusted to it and get in a normal routine.”

RelatedBellator 184 pre-event facts: Eduardo Dantas can take lead in championship-fight wins

In his first seven years as a fighter, Curran competed in 27 bouts. In the more than two years since, though, there have only been two fights. That doesn’t exactly sit well with “Paddy Mike.”

The recent years might be the most important of any, however, because Curran was forced to figure out the next chapter of his life. Curran admits that when wrapped up in an active fight schedule, the other aspects of life that deserve his attention are ultimately neglected. Although it’s somewhat a cliche, MMA truly is a sport where the window for success and financial gain are limited.

February 2018 will mark the 10-anniversary of Curran’s pro debut, and although he’s still only 30, his injury issues have made him fully aware that it can all come to an end at any moment.

“This kind of forced me to take a step back and come up with a second plan so I can transition to the next stage in my life,” Curran said. “It’s going to happen. When you’re busy and fighting three times a year you’re just thinking about the next fight and the next fight. Now, with the injury I wasn’t really sure if I would be able to train anymore. The doctor I saw recommended that I sit on the sidelines and start coaching and not think about fighting. He said my injury should be a warning sign from my body that I can’t do this much longer. I have a very, very short window. I have to make the most out of it right now.”

Curran knows that any fight could be his last, but said he’s feeling excellent ahead of Bellator 184 and is primed to deliver “one of the best performances” of his career. Despite his long absence from the Bellator featherweight division, Curran is still one of the top contenders out there. If he can stay active and healthy a chance to regain the 145-pound belt he’s held twice before is an attainable goal.

The dream scenario would be to add a third title reign to his resume then ride off into the sunset from the sport, but Curran is trying not to get too far ahead of himself. He wants to get back in the swing of things with a win at Bellator 184, and once that happens, he will determine the next move.

“I’d love to retire as the champion,” Curran said. “I don’t know when I’m going to retire or when it’s going to happen. Eventually my body is going to give out and stop working the way I want it to. I’d like to be a champion again and when that time comes I’ll make a decision if I want to push forward and take more damage. Right now it’s fight by fight.”

For more on Bellator 184, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: Bellator, News

Here's video of UFC 216 headliner Tony Ferguson going all over the map

MMA Junkie News -

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

LAS VEGAS – UFC interim lightweight title challenger Tony Ferguson’s mind moves a mile a minute.

But it might be moving a little faster than usual in advance of his UFC interim lightweight title fight with Kevin Lee (16-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC).

Ferguson (22-3 MMA, 12-1 UFC) talked superheroes, bears, batting cages, wrestling, and even Kazushi Sakuraba during his final media scrum in advance of his headliner at UFC 216. And that was after an hour-long open workout that he said was simply a warm-up.

RelatedUFC 216 headliner Tony Ferguson: 'Fake' Kevin Lee is 'trying to be something that he's not'

Lee’s reported weight of 174 pounds didn’t give Ferguson pause. He said he could weigh the same with a gallon of water.

As for what will happen Saturday night, Ferguson said he planned to hand Lee a “technical fall” at the pay-per-view event, which takes place Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Check it out here, and see if you can keep up with “El Cucuy.”

And for more on UFC 216, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Nov 5, 2016; Mexico City, Mexico; Tony Ferguson (blue gloves) defeats Rafael Dos Anjos (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Distrito Federal. Mandatory Credit: Etzel Espinosa-USA TODAY Sports May 5, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Tony Ferguson in a lightweight bout against Michael Johnson during UFC on Fox 3 at the Izod Center. Michael Johnson won by unanimous decision in the third round. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports May 5, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Michael Johnson (left) fights Tony Ferguson in a lightweight bout during UFC on Fox 3 at the Izod Center. Michael Johnson won by unanimous decision in the third round. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports May 5, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Michael Johnson (left) fights Tony Ferguson in a lightweight bout during UFC on Fox 3 at the Izod Center. Michael Johnson won by unanimous decision in the third round. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Oct 18, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Tony Ferguson during the weigh-in for UFC 166 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports Oct 19, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) fights against Mike Rio (blue gloves) in their lightweight bout during UFC 166 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports Oct 19, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) celebrates his victory against Mike Rio (not pictured) in their lightweight bout during UFC 166 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports May 24, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red) and Katsunori Kikuno (blue) throw punches during their UFC 173 welterweight bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Ferguson won the bout by TKO. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports May 24, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red) locks onto Katsunori Kikuno (blue) during their UFC 173 welterweight bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Ferguson won the bout by TKO. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports August 30, 2014; Sacramento, CA, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) fights against Danny Castillo (blue gloves) during the lightweight bout of UFC 177 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports August 30, 2014; Sacramento, CA, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) fights against Danny Castillo (blue gloves) during the lightweight bout of UFC 177 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports August 30, 2014; Sacramento, CA, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) celebrates after defeating Danny Castillo (blue gloves) during the lightweight bout of UFC 177 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports Dec 6, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red) and Abel Trujillo (blue) during UFC 181 at Madalay Bay Events Center. Ferguson won via second round submission. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Dec 6, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red) and Abel Trujillo (blue) during UFC 181 at Madalay Bay Events Center. Ferguson won via second round submission. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Dec 6, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red) and Abel Trujillo (blue) during UFC 181 at Madalay Bay Events Center. Ferguson won via second round submission. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Dec 6, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red) submits Abel Trujillo (blue) during UFC 181 at Madalay Bay Events Center. Ferguson won via second round submission. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Dec 6, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red) submits Abel Trujillo (blue) during UFC 181 at Madalay Bay Events Center. Ferguson won via second round submission. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Dec 6, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tony Ferguson (red) after submitting Abel Trujillo (blue) during UFC 181 at Madalay Bay Events Center. Ferguson won via second round submission. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Feb 28, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) during his Lightweight bout against Gleison Tibau (blue gloves) at UFC 184 at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Feb 28, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) during his Lightweight bout against Gleison Tibau (blue gloves) at UFC 184 at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jul 15, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; Josh Thomson (red) fights Tony Ferguson (blue) during UFC Fight Night at Valley View Casino Center. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Jul 13, 2016; Sioux Falls, SD, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) fights against Lando Vannata (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Denny Sanford Premier Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports Jul 13, 2016; Sioux Falls, SD, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) fights against Lando Vannata (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Denny Sanford Premier Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports Jul 13, 2016; Sioux Falls, SD, USA; Tony Ferguson (red gloves) fights against Lando Vannata (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Denny Sanford Premier Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports Nov 5, 2016; Mexico City, Mexico; Rafael Dos Anjos (red gloves) fights Tony Ferguson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Distrito Federal. Mandatory Credit: Etzel Espinosa-USA TODAY Sports Nov 5, 2016; Mexico City, Mexico; Rafael Dos Anjos (red gloves) fights Tony Ferguson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Distrito Federal. Mandatory Credit: Etzel Espinosa-USA TODAY Sports Nov 5, 2016; Mexico City, Mexico; Rafael Dos Anjos (red gloves) fights Tony Ferguson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Distrito Federal. Mandatory Credit: Etzel Espinosa-USA TODAY Sports Nov 5, 2016; Mexico City, Mexico; Rafael Dos Anjos (red gloves) fights Tony Ferguson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Distrito Federal. Mandatory Credit: Etzel Espinosa-USA TODAY Sports Nov 5, 2016; Mexico City, Mexico; Rafael Dos Anjos (red gloves) and Tony Ferguson (blue gloves) react after their fight during UFC Fight Night at Distrito Federal. Mandatory Credit: Etzel Espinosa-USA TODAY Sports Nov 5, 2016; Mexico City, Mexico; Tony Ferguson (blue gloves) defeats Rafael Dos Anjos (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Distrito Federal. Mandatory Credit: Etzel Espinosa-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/BZmaANcyDjkNFoqU9L5v2d/276159", customAnalytics: true, title: "Tony Ferguson", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

Watch the extended trailer for Conor McGregor's 'Notorious' documentary film

MMA Junkie News -

First teased back in July,
Conor McGregor’s “Notorious” documentary film is closer and closer to being released for the world to see.

Although McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC), the reigning UFC lightweight champion, still has a great deal of career ahead, what he’s accomplished to this point is unprecedented for an MMA fighter.

McGregor’s document film takes viewers through the highs and lows of his epic journey with special access and never-before-seen footage. The film is scheduled for early November release, and with time winding down, the first extended trailer has been released (via Twitter):

Witness the unstoppable rise of one of the most iconic stars on the planet. Visit https://t.co/TKpBTGiuFV to find out more. pic.twitter.com/pWJc4zrbdA

— Notorious: The Film (@McGregorFilm) October 5, 2017

McGregor, No. 1 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA lightweight rankings, is expected to make his return to the octagon in 2018. He recently said the winner of Saturday’s interim 155-pound title fight between No. 3-ranked Tony Ferguson (22-3 MMA, 12-1 UFC) and No. 8-ranked Kevin Lee (16-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) at UFC 216 could be a potential opponent of interest.

For more on the UFC 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, Featured Videos, News, UFC

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