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Nate Diaz 'sick of not fighting,' wants UFC champ Tyron Woodley this year

MMA Junkie News -

Nate Diaz has broken his silence about the specific next steps in his career.

Diaz (19-11 MMA, 14-9 UFC), a UFC vet who hasn’t competed since a majority-decision loss to Conor McGregor in their rematch at UFC 202 in August 2016, posted on social media this past month that he’s ready to return to the octagon, likely in early summer. Since then, however, there hasn’t been much progress.

Now “The Ultimate Fighter 5” winner and fan-favorite has publicly said his plans, and they include a championship showdown with UFC welterweight titleholder Tyron Woodley (18-3-1 MMA, 8-2-1 UFC) this year.

“I’m getting to the point where I’m sick of not fighting; I’m not getting any younger,” Diaz told ESPN.com‘s Brett Okamoto on Tuesday. “I put that tweet out saying I wanted to fight in May or June, but I didn’t say who because I was weighing my options. And now, Woodley is my best option.

RelatedRafael dos Anjos to UFC champ Tyron Woodley: 'Shame on you' for wanting Nate Diaz fight

“I see him on TMZ every week, talking about me. I’m like, ‘What the (expletive)? If that’s what you want to do.’ It’s not really my weight class, but I’m with it. I think it’s my title we’re fighting for. If he’s the one calling me out, whose title are we fighting for? Who’s the real champion here?”

Woodley has said for several months that he’s open to and interested in a matchup with Diaz – despite the latter’s lack of recent credentials at 170 pounds. Outside of his submission win over McGregor in their first meeting – at UFC 196 in March 2016 – Diaz hasn’t won a fight at welterweight in more than seven years.

Nevertheless, Diaz’s name value could potentially slide him into the fight he wants, likely much to the dismay of Rafael dos Anjos (28-9 MMA, 17-7 UFC), who has already been promised the next title shot and has pestered Woodley for pursuing a fight against Diaz.

RelatedTyron Woodley's UFC welterweight title and its possible suitors

Diaz said he’s ready to share the octagon with Woodley at any time, as long as he can come to financial terms with UFC officials and get a “two- or three-month” training camp in first.

“We’ll figure it out,” Diaz said. “There’s definitely going to be something. I’m trying to fight. … I told them I’d fight him on shorter notice but would send them what I wanted in the contract. It was nothing out of the norm. My boxing coach said something about $15 million in an interview, but that was never the number.”

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

Aug 20, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz (red gloves) competes against Conor McGregor (blue gloves) during UFC 202 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Jan. 30, 2009; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC fighter Nate Diaz flexes at the weigh ins for his fight against Clay Guida (not pictured) for the lightweight bout in UFC 94 at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino. Guida defeated Diaz on a split decision. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Jan. 31, 2009; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC fighter Clay Guida (white trunks) raises his arms after knocking down Nate Diaz (red trunks) during the lightweight bout in UFC 94 at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino. Guida defeated Diaz on a split decision. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Dec. 30, 2011; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC fighter Nate Diaz (bottom) with brother Nick Diaz during a lightweight bout at UFC 141 at the MGM Grand Garden event center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Dec 30, 2011; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC fighter Nate Diaz (right) against Donald Cerrone during a lightweight bout at UFC 141 at the MGM Grand Garden event center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Dec 30, 2011; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC fighter Nate Diaz (right) against Donald Cerrone during a lightweight bout at UFC 141 at the MGM Grand Garden event center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Dec 30, 2011; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC fighter Nate Diaz (right) against Donald Cerrone during a lightweight bout at UFC 141 at the MGM Grand Garden event center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Dec 30, 2011; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC fighter Nate Diaz (right) against Donald Cerrone during a lightweight bout at UFC 141 at the MGM Grand Garden event center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Dec. 30, 2011; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC fighter Nate Diaz (left) talks with UFC president Dana White after winning a lightweight bout at UFC 141 at the MGM Grand Garden event center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Dec 30, 2011; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC fighter Nate Diaz leaves the octagon after defeating Donald Cerrone (not pictured) during a lightweight bout at UFC 141 at the MGM Grand Garden event center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 5, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Nate Diaz before his lightweight bout against Jim Miller during UFC on Fox 3 at the Izod Center. Nate Diaz wins by submission in round two Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Dec 8, 2012, Seattle, WA, USA; Ben Henderson (left) fights Nate Diaz (right) during their first round Championship lightweight bout at MMA on FOX 5 at Key Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports Dec 8, 2012, Seattle, WA, USA; Ben Henderson (not pictured) fights Nate Diaz during their second round Championship lightweight bout at MMA on FOX 5 at Key Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports Apr 20, 2013; San Jose, CA, USA; Nate Diaz (left) fights Josh Thomson (right) during the lightweight bout of the UFC on Fuel TV at HP Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports Apr 20, 2013; San Jose, CA, USA; Nate Diaz fights Josh Thomson (not pictured) during the lightweight bout of the UFC on Fuel TV at HP Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports Dec 12, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Rafael dos Anjos (left) and Nate Diaz (right) face off during weigh-ins for UFC Fight Night at Phoenix Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports December 13, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Nate Diaz against Rafael dos Anjos (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 13, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Nate Diaz during UFC Fight Night at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 13, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Rafael dos Anjos kicks Nate Diaz during UFC Fight Night at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 13, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Nate Diaz hits Rafael dos Anjos during UFC Fight Night at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 13, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Rafael dos Anjos (top) against Nate Diaz during UFC Fight Night at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 13, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Nate Diaz cut while fighting Rafael dos Anjos during UFC Fight Night at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 13, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Nate Diaz reacts following his fight against Rafael dos Anjos during UFC Fight Night at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 19, 2015; Orlando, FL, USA; Nate Diaz moves in with a punch against Michael Johnson during UFC Fight Night at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports December 19, 2015; Orlando, FL, USA; Nate Diaz moves in with a punch against Michael Johnson during UFC Fight Night at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports December 19, 2015; Orlando, FL, USA; Nate Diaz on the mat following his fight against Michael Johnson during UFC Fight Night at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports December 19, 2015; Orlando, FL, USA; Nate Diaz against Michael Johnson during UFC Fight Night at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports December 19, 2015; Orlando, FL, USA; Michael Johnson against Nate Diaz during UFC Fight Night at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC president Dana White (center) attempts to separate Conor McGregor (left) from Nate Diaz during weigh-ins for UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz reacts with a middle finger to Conor McGregor (not pictured) during weigh-ins for UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz (right) against Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz lands a punch against Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz moves in with a punch against Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor moves in for a punch against Nate Diaz during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz is tended to by trainers during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz (right) against Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz reacts against Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz (right) against Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 5: Nate Diaz punches Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on March 5, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz applies a chokehold against Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz (top) against Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 5: Nate Diaz applies a choke hold to win by submission against Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on March 5, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 5: Nate Diaz celebrates after defeating Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on March 5, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) Aug 20, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz (red gloves) competes against Conor McGregor (blue gloves ) during UFC 202 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Aug 20, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz (red gloves) competes against Conor McGregor (blue gloves ) during UFC 202 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Aug 20, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz (red gloves) competes against Conor McGregor (blue gloves ) during UFC 202 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Aug 20, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz (red gloves) competes against Conor McGregor (blue gloves) during UFC 202 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Aug 20, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz (red gloves) competes against Conor McGregor (blue gloves) during UFC 202 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Nate Diaz wipes blood from his eyes during his welterweight mixed martial arts bout against Conor McGregor at UFC 202 on Saturday, Aug. 20, 2016, in Las Vegas. McGregor won by split decision. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken) Aug 20, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz (red gloves) competes against Conor McGregor (blue gloves) during UFC 202 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Conor McGregor, right, and Nate Diaz embrace following their welterweight mixed martial arts bout at UFC 202 on Saturday, Aug. 20, 2016, in Las Vegas. McGregor won by split decision. 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Marcus Meira ensina raspagem da guarda fechada com armlock na Action Jiu-Jitsu

GracieMag News -

Professor Marcus Meira mostra os detalhes da sua raspagem da guarda fechada. Foto: Reprodução

Professor na Action Jiu-Jitsu School, nossa GMI na Barra da Tijuca, no Rio de Janeiro, o faixa-preta Marcus Meira tem à sua disposição algumas posições de fácil aplicação e funcionalidade justa, que podem cair como uma luva no seu jogo.

Na posição de hoje, Marcus escalou o amigo Luiz Alves, e mostrou uma raspagem da guarda fechada que termina com um armlock sorrateiro após cair na montada. Para executar a inversão, o professor laça o braço adversário dominando a gola cruzada. Depois, usa as pernas da guarda fechada para puxar o oponente e criar espaço para aplicar o ganchos, para depois pendular e cair montado. Sem soltar a pegada no braço, o professor ajusta no cotovelo inimigo, levanta a perna oposta e cria a alavanca necessária para finalizar.

Veja os detalhes da movimentação, pegadas e posições com o Marcus Meira e coloque mais esta opção no seu jogo da guarda fechada!

'UFC 221 Embedded,' No. 1: Curtis Blaydes on how Mark Hunt fight came together

MMA Junkie News -

The UFC returns to pay-per-view this week, and the promotion has rolled out its “Embedded” treatment to preview UFC 221.

The event takes place Sunday (but airs live in North America on Saturday due to the time difference) at Perth Arena in Perth, Western Australia. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

In the headliner, heavyweight champion Luke Rockhold (16-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC), who’s No. 3 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middleweight rankings, takes on No. 4-ranked Yoel Romero (12-2 MMA, 8-1 UFC). And in the co-main event, No. 10-ranked heavyweight and fan favorite Mark Hunt (13-11-1 MMA, 8-5-1 UFC) meets No. 14 Curtis Blaydes (9-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC).

Here’s the UFC’s description of the first “Embedded” episode:

“On Episode 1 of UFC 221 Embedded, middleweight title contender Luke Rockhold braves the traffic patterns down under as he arrives in Perth to a traditional Australian meal. Opponent Yoel Romero braces himself for a week of media before his title showdown. Heavyweight Curtis Blaydes takes in the Big Game and recounts how he landed his big fight against local legend Mark Hunt. “The Super Samoan” moves into his fight week home, looks back on his career and hits the gym. Rockhold shops for organic produce and get Ali-inspired advice in the sauna.”

Check out the full episode in the video above.

For more on UFC 221, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Curtis Blaydes (blue gloves) fights Aleksei Oleinik (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Curtis Blaydes (blue gloves) fights Aleksei Oleinik (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Curtis Blaydes (blue gloves) fights Aleksei Oleinik (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Curtis Blaydes (blue gloves) fights Aleksei Oleinik (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Curtis Blaydes (blue gloves) fights Aleksei Oleinik (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Curtis Blaydes (blue gloves) fights Aleksei Oleinik (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Curtis Blaydes (blue gloves) fights Aleksei Oleinik (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Curtis Blaydes (blue gloves) fights Aleksei Oleinik (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/2vTBQeNZPSbmU4nNFBDsZW/301631", customAnalytics: true, title: "Blaydes def. Oleinik", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with Valentina Shevchenko, Matt Mitrione, Ben Saunders, Dominique Steele, Kyle Stewart

MMA Junkie News -

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Valentina Shevchenko, Matt Mitrione, Ben Saunders, Dominique Steele and Kyle Stewart.

Shevchenko defeated Priscila Cachoeira this past Saturday at UFC Fight Night 125 and sparked an industry-wide discussion about officiating and late stoppages. Mitrione meets Roy Nelson on Feb. 16 at Bellator 194 in the opening round of the Bellator heavyweight grand prix. Saunders fights Alan Jouban on Feb. 24 at UFC on FOX 28. Steele fights Nikolay Aleksakhin on Feb. 22 at Fight Nights Global 83. Stewart meets Jaleel Willis in the LFA 33 headliner on Feb. 16.

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

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

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

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2616 with Roy Nelson, Josh Emmett

MMA Junkie News -

Stream or download Tuesday’s episode of MMAjunkie Radio with guests Roy Nelson and Josh Emmett.

Nelson, who rematches Matt Mitrione at next week’s Bellator 194, is confident ahead of the upcoming heavyweight grand prix and is excited at the prospect of becoming a world champion for the first time since his IFL days. Emmett, who headlines UFC on FOX 28 against Jeremy Stephens later this month, believes he’s worthy of his quick rise up the featherweight rankings and thinks with another big win, a title shot should come sooner rather than later.

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

Rafael dos Anjos to UFC champ Tyron Woodley: 'Shame on you' for wanting Nate Diaz fight

MMA Junkie News -

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Rafael dos Anjos is sick and tired of Tyron Woodley mentioning Nate Diaz as a potential challenger to his UFC welterweight title.

Dos Anjos (28-9 MMA, 17-7 UFC) has been deemed the next challenger to the UFC welterweight title since his unanimous-decision win over fellow ex-champ Robbie Lawler at UFC on FOX 26 in December (check out his post-fight interview above). Champ Woodley (18-3-1 MMA, 8-2-1 UFC) however, has purposefully disregarded the matchup, hoping for a “bigger” fight instead.

First, it was Woodley angling for a matchup with former two-division UFC titleholder Georges St-Pierre (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC). When that started to look bleak due to St-Pierre’s medical condition, “The Chosen One” turned his attention to Diaz (19-11 MMA, 14-9 UFC), who hasn’t fought since his majority-decision loss to Conor McGregor at UFC 202 in August 2016.

RelatedColby Covington: Tyron Woodley vs. Rafael dos Anjos would mean lowest PPV ever for UFC

Woodley told ESPN.com this week he thinks there’s a good chance Diaz will be his next opponent when he returns to the octagon in the summer following a recent shoulder surgery.

Naturally, this frustrated former 155-pound champ dos Anjos, who’s 3-0 since moving up to welterweight (via Twitter):

@TWooodley man up and stop talk about fight that make no sense, everyone know that I'm the real contender. You want to fight a guy that has never beat a real welterweight in his whole life. Shame on you…

— Rafael dos Anjos (@RdosAnjosMMA) February 7, 2018

Outside of his high-profile pair of fights against McGregor in 2016, Diaz hasn’t fought in the welterweight division since April 2011. His last win over someone other than “The Notorious” was against Marcus Davis at UFC 118 in August 2010.

RelatedTyron Woodley's UFC welterweight title and its possible suitors

Dos Anjos has made it clear he’ll be livid if the UFC grants Diaz a title shot ahead of him. The Brazilian has beaten Lawler, Neil Magny and Tarec Saffiedine during his stint at 170 pounds, and despite UFC President Dana White’s continued assurance a title shot is on the horizon, Woodley keeps looking elsewhere for his next foe (via Twitter):

0

— Rafael dos Anjos (@RdosAnjosMMA) February 6, 2018

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

Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Rafael Dos Santos celebrates defeating Robbie Lawler during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Robbie Lawler fights Rafael Dos Santos during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Robbie Lawler fights Rafael Dos Santos during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Robbie Lawler fights Rafael Dos Santos during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Robbie Lawler fights Rafael Dos Santos during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Robbie Lawler fights Rafael Dos Santos during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Robbie Lawler fights Rafael Dos Santos during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Robbie Lawler fights Rafael Dos Santos during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Robbie Lawler fights Rafael Dos Santos during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Robbie Lawler fights Rafael Dos Santos during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Robbie Lawler fights Rafael Dos Santos during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Robbie Lawler fights Rafael Dos Santos during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Robbie Lawler fights Rafael Dos Santos during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Robbie Lawler fights Rafael Dos Santos during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Robbie Lawler fights Rafael Dos Santos during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Robbie Lawler fights Rafael Dos Santos during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Robbie Lawler after losing to Rafael Dos Santos during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Rafael Dos Santos celebrates defeating Robbie Lawler during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Rafael Dos Santos celebrates defeating Robbie Lawler during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Rafael Dos Santos after defeating Robbie Lawler during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-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/eqhQXmqAeMUy2HjMDp4ock/301622", customAnalytics: true, title: "Dos Anjos def. Lawler", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

GRACIEMAG #252 – Rickson Gracie e o novo desafio do Samurai

GracieMag News -

A GRACIEMAG #252 já está disponível em sua versão digital e a partir do dia 15 de fevereiro nas bancas de todo o Brasil.

Para conferir tudo o que a revista dedicada ao Jiu-Jitsu mais lida do Brasil tem a oferecer este mês, acesse www.graciemagshop.com.br e faça já sua assinatura.

Boa leitura e bons treinos!

Marcio André ensina raspagem da guarda-aranha com passagem no Jiu-Jitsu

GracieMag News -

Marcio André e Oswaldo Jurema na academia DJ Bros, nossa GMI no Recreio dos Bandeirantes. Foto: Reprodução

Atleta de Nova União e um dos competidores mais versáteis da nova geração, Marcio André mostrou, em seminário recente na nossa GMI DJ Bros, uma de suas raspagens preferidas da guarda-aranha, com termino no cem-quilos.

Na aula, auxiliada pelo professor GMI Oswaldo Jurema, Marcinho coloca o adversário na guarda-aranha e chuta o mesmo para cima. Com a perna oposta, Marcio envolve a perna do oponente e usa o pé na axila para desequilibrar e derrubar. Com as costas no solo, o faixa-preta, passa a perna que sobra por cima do corpo e, sem soltar a pegada, sobe no leg-drag para fazer a transição, livrar as pernas e chegar no cem-quilos.

Estude com atenção os detalhes da posição de Marcio André e raspe com sucesso no treininho de hoje!

Roberto Gordo ensina a anular uma das passagens de guarda mais frequentes do Jiu-Jitsu

GracieMag News -

Roberto Gordo e Rafael Gordinho juntos na Start BJJ Academy. Foto: Reprodução

Professor na nossa GMI Start BJJ Academy, na Flórida, Roberto Gordo traz para o estudioso leitor de GRACIEMAG duas opções para contra-atacar a passagem escorregando o joelho, uma das opções mais básicas e comuns nos treinos e campeonatos.

Na posição, o faixa-preta mostra como anular a progressão da passagem, travando o joelho do oponente. Em seguida, com a perna oposta da passagem, ele projeta o professor Rafael Gordinho para frente, e faz o pêndulo para levantar e ganhar as costas. Na segunda opção, quando o adversário trava o braço, Gordo usa a pegada como vantagem para girar o eixo e terminar por cima.

Veja em detalhes no vídeo abaixo e utilize as opções para surpreender seus adversários no próximo treino. Oss!

Video: Watch UFC 221 headliner Yoel Romero shut down ex-champ Chris Weidman in 2016

MMA Junkie News -

Heading into UFC 205, Yoel Romero was riding a seven-fight winning streak and got a date with a former UFC middleweight champion.

At the late-2016 event, Romero extended his winning streak to eight – and picked up his fifth fight-night bonus during the stretch – with a highlight-reel finish of Chris Weidman.

Check out the full fight above.

Related'UFC 221 Countdown' full episode with Romero-Rockhold, Hunt-Blaydes

And catch Romero (12-2 MMA, 8-1 UFC), who’s No. 4 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middleweight rankings, back in action this weekend, when he takes on No. 3-ranked Rockhold (16-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC) in UFC 221’s main event.

UFC 221 takes place Sunday (but airs live in North America on Saturday due to the time difference) at Perth Arena in Perth, Western Australia, and the main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Romero and Rockhold fight for an interim title while champ Robert Whittaker recovers from a staph infection.

For more on UFC 221, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Yoel Romero (blue gloves) celebrates after defeating Chris Weidman (red gloves) during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Yoel Romero (blue gloves) takes down and defeats Chris Weidman (red gloves) during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Yoel Romero (blue gloves) takes down and defeats Chris Weidman (red gloves) during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Yoel Romero (blue gloves) takes down and defeats Chris Weidman (red gloves) during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Yoel Romero (blue gloves) celebrates after defeating Chris Weidman (red gloves) during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero celebrates his victory against Ronaldo Souza during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero before fighting against Ronaldo Souza during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero fights against Ronaldo Souza during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero fights against Ronaldo Souza during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero lands punches against Ronaldo Souza during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero lands punches against Ronaldo Souza during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero lands punches against Ronaldo Souza during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero lands a kick against Ronaldo Souza during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Apr 19, 2014; Orlando, FL, USA; Yoel Romero celebrates a victory after his middleweight fight against Brad Tavares (not pictured) during UFC on FOX 11 at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports Sep 27, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (blue gloves) fights Tim Kennedy (red gloves) during a middleweight fight during UFC 178 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Sep 27, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (blue gloves) fights Tim Kennedy (red gloves) during a middleweight fight during UFC 178 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Sep 27, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero celebrates his knockout victory over Tim Kennedy during a middleweight fight during UFC 178 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Sep 27, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero celebrates his knockout victory over Tim Kennedy during a middleweight fight during UFC 178 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Jan 15, 2014; Duluth, GA, USA; Yoel Romero ( red gloves) fights Derek Brunson during UFC Fight Night at Gwinnett Center. Romero wons. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports Jan 15, 2014; Duluth, GA, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) reacts during his fight against Derek Brunson during UFC Fight Night at Gwinnett Center. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-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/TjTgRbYRZNpq5FRg5jHkUd/301489", customAnalytics: true, title: "Yoel Romero", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

John Dodson vs. Pedro Munhoz rebooked for UFC 222 in Las Vegas

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Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; John Dodson (red gloves) reacts after losing to Marlon Moraes (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; John Dodson (red gloves) fights Marlon Moraes (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; John Dodson (red gloves) fights Marlon Moraes (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; John Dodson (red gloves) fights Marlon Moraes (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; John Dodson (red gloves) fights Marlon Moraes (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 11, 2017; Virginia, VA, USA; John Dodson (red gloves) reacts after losing to Marlon Moraes (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports Apr 22, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; John Dodson (red gloves) fights Eddie Wineland (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports Apr 22, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; John Dodson (red gloves) fights Eddie Wineland (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports Apr 22, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; John Dodson (red gloves) fights Eddie Wineland (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports Apr 22, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; John Dodson (red gloves) defeats Eddie Wineland (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports Apr 22, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; John Dodson (red gloves) defeats Eddie Wineland (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports Apr 22, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; John Dodson (red gloves) defeats Eddie Wineland (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports Oct 1, 2016; Portland, OR, USA; John Lineker (red gloves) fights against John Dodson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports Oct 1, 2016; Portland, OR, USA; John Lineker (red gloves) fights against John Dodson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports Oct 1, 2016; Portland, OR, USA; John Lineker (red gloves) fights against John Dodson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-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/PBSfj3UUgPdb3NyHgaz89j/301608", customAnalytics: true, title: "John Dodson", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

John Dodson and Pedro Munhoz will give it another go at UFC 222.

UFC officials recently announced Dodson (19-9 MMA, 8-4 UFC), who’s an honorable mention in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA bantamweight rankings, and No. 13-ranked Munhoz (15-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) are booked for the event.

The fighters were originally scheduled to fight in this past weekend’s UFC Fight Night 125 co-headliner in Brazil, but Munhoz missed weight by four pounds, and Dodson didn’t agree to such an allowance for a catchweight bout.

RelatedJohn Dodson to receive portion of 'show' money for UFC-Belem after Pedro Munhoz misses weight

UFC 222 takes place March 3 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, and the main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass. However, the full fight card and bout order haven’t been finalized.

Dodson, a former flyweight title challenger, is 2-2 since moving back up to the bantamweight division. In addition to wins over Manny Gamburyan and Eddie Wineland, the 33-year-old Jackson-Wink MMA fighter suffered losses – both came via split decision – to John Lineker and Marlos Moraes.

He meets now Munhoz, a 31-year-old Brazilian who went 1-2 (with one no-contest due to a failed drug test) in his first four UFC fights. However, the former RFA champ has been on a recent roll while going 4-0 with three submission victories and three “Performance of the Night” bonuses, including his recent victory over Rob Font.

The latest UFC 222 card includes:

  • Frankie Edgar vs. TBA
  • C.B. Dollaway vs. Hector Lombard
  • Andrei Arlovski vs. Stefan Struve
  • Mackenzie Dern vs. Ashley Yoder
  • Ketlen Vieira vs. Cat Zingano
  • Sean O’Malley vs. Andre Soukhamthath
  • Bryan Caraway vs. Cody Stamann
  • Jordan Johnson vs. Adam Milstead
  • Beneil Dariush vs. Bobby Green
  • John Dodson vs. Pedro Munhoz

For more on UFC 222, visit the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

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Rashad Evans reportedly was in line to to face Michael Bisping at next month’s UFC Fight Night 127 event in London. It seemed like a foregone conclusion. Everyone thought it was happening.

“I thought so, too, man,” Evans told MMAjunkie Radio on Monday. “I got the call, and I thought it was going to happen, but things didn’t work out on the negotiating side between the UFC and Bisping.”

Indeed, it was Bisping (30-9 MMA, 20-9 UFC) who called off what would’ve been a rematch. He had teased potentially competing at the UFC Fight Pass-streamed March 17 event from The O2 in London. Bisping, 38, has expressed an interest in fighting once more before retirement, preferably in England.

That’s why it made made sense to Evans (19-7-1 MMA, 14-7-1 UFC), who wasn’t sure why the booking fell through.

RelatedRashad Evans says commentating can make you 'feel stupid,' discusses move back to 205

“I don’t know exactly what it was about, but I guess the talks broke down after the (bout) agreement happened,” Evans said.

He continued, “I think it was contract stuff. I think Bisping is near the end of his contract, and I know he’s been talking about retirement. … I’m guessing somewhere along the lines of where the UFC could use Bisping and where he ultimately wants to be. I don’t think there was an agreement.”

Evans and Bisping first squared off in 2007 at UFC 78, where the then-unbeaten “Suga” won a split decision on his rise to claiming the light heavyweight title two fights later. The bout served as Bisping’s last in the 205-pound division before a drop down to 185.

Evans, 38, needs a win in the worst way after losing his last four fights. He was hoping the chance would come against the former UFC middleweight champion, but if it’s maximizing earnings that Bisping is after for his final fight, then Evans can’t blame him.

“For him, trying to get the bread, hey, get as much money as you can,” Evans said. “Because at the end of the day, this is a sport we can’t do forever. So I’m never against somebody making as much money as you can.”

RelatedLyoto Machida explains Michael Bisping callout: Fight should've already happened

For his part, Evans plans on just riding out the rest of his deal, even though he’s hip to the mindset of today’s fighters speaking up about their worth, especially in the wake of the UFC’s $4.2 billion sale to WME-IMG in 2016.

“I don’t want to have my mind pre-set on what I should do if there’s no need for it,” Evans said. “Fighters are different now, because we’re starting to see our worth more than ever. Four billion dollars and hearing our worth and what the UFC sold for, it woke up the fighters in a different way.

“Because we didn’t get any of that. We didn’t get nothing but an email that said, ‘We sold the company.’ And it’s nothing against the Fertittas. They were great the way they ran the organization, and they’re great people. It’s just the price of business, but we understand the cost and the price of business now more than ever.”

For more on UFC Fight Night 127, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

David Branch vs. 'Marreta' Santos, Corey Anderson vs. Patrick Cummins added to UFC-Atlantic City

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A pair of contests has been added to the UFC’s upcoming return to New Jersey, though a main event still awaits.

UFC officials today announced middleweights David Branch vs. Thiago “Marreta” Santos and light heavyweights Corey Anderson vs. Patrick Cummins for the April 21 event, which takes place at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

With the additions, UFC Fight Night 128 now includes:

  • Aspen Ladd vs. Leslie Smith
  • Merab Dvalishvili vs. Augusto Mendes
  • Magomed Bibulatov vs. Ulka Sasaki
  • David Branch vs. Thiago “Marreta” Santos
  • Corey Anderson vs. Patrick Cummins
  • Siyar Bahadurzada vs. Luan Chagas

For more on UFC Fight Night 128, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA rankings, Feb. 6: 'Marreta' ready to drop hammers

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With four straight knockout wins, UFC middleweight Thiago “Marreta” Santos says he’s ready to take on the division’s elite. We’re not about to disagree.

Santos scored a thrilling second-round TKO win over Anthony Smith (28-13 MMA, 4-3 UFC) in the “Fight of the Night” at this past weekend’s Bellator 125 event in Brazil. After a pair of disappointing setbacks to Eric Spicely and Gegard Mousasi in 2016, Santos has since come roaring back with four consecutive knockouts, bringing his UFC record to 8-2 in his previous 10 appearances, and now sits as an honorable mention in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middleweight rankings.

Also in the middleweight division, former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida (23-8 MMA, 15-8 UFC) kept his No. 13 position with a hard-fought win over the formerly undefeated Eryk Anders (10-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC).

The middleweight division could be in for a bigger shakeup this weekend, with Yoel Romero (12-2 MMA, 8-1 UFC) and Luke Rockhold (16-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC) clashing in the main event of UFC 221 in Australia. Ahead of that event, take a look at the latest rankings across every division.

For more on UFC 221, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Thiago Santos (red gloves) defeats Anthony Smith (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Thiago Santos (red gloves) fights Anthony Smith (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Thiago Santos (red gloves) fights Anthony Smith (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Thiago Santos (red gloves) fights Anthony Smith (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Thiago Santos (red gloves) fights Anthony Smith (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Thiago Santos (red gloves) fights Anthony Smith (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Thiago Santos (red gloves) fights Anthony Smith (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Thiago Santos (red gloves) fights Anthony Smith (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Thiago Santos (red gloves) fights Anthony Smith (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Thiago Santos (red gloves) fights Anthony Smith (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Thiago Santos (red gloves) fights Anthony Smith (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Thiago Santos (red gloves) defeats Anthony Smith (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Thiago Santos (red gloves) defeats Anthony Smith (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Thiago Santos (red gloves) defeats Anthony Smith (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Thiago Santos (red gloves) defeats Anthony Smith (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Thiago Santos (red gloves) defeats Anthony Smith (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/nxk7NHCWK2TTMAXBoQNyLC/301541", customAnalytics: true, title: "Santos def. Smith", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Soft-spoken knockout artist Thiago 'Marreta' Santos learning to ask for more – and wouldn't mind Chris Weidman in New York

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It’s hard to think of a line that better encapsulates Thiago “Marreta” Santos’ MMA career more than the one that the UFC middleweight said, himself, before Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 125.

“My goal is always to win convincingly,” Santos told Combate.com. “My marketing is (made with) punches to the face, kicks and elbows.”

Those who have been following Santos since “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 2” have been repeatedly given proof of that.

In the public sphere, we got to watch the middleweight beat nine of the 13 opponents he’s met in the octagon so far, while keeping an admirable pace of three fights a year since 2015. We often got to watch him do it in devastating fashion, too – only one of them, then-undefeated Elias Theodorou, made it to the judges’ scorecards.

Backstage, though, Santos’ presence has been different. Whether it’s entering a bout on a three-fight winning streak or a two-fight skid, Santos has never been one for braggadocio. He won’t feed you clicky one-liners or engage in Twitter feuds. And other than some politely-issued desires, like the one for a rematch with now-Bellator fighter Gegard Mousasi, his presence has remained largely call-out free.

On Saturday, though, Santos (17-5 MMA, 9-4 UFC) raised his voice a little higher than usual. After folding Anthony Smith (27-14 MMA, 4-3 UFC) in the second round to add a fourth straight knockout to his current streak – tying a record held by Anderson Silva in the process – Santos asked for what he believed he’d earned.

“It’s my fourth consecutive win with a knockout,” Santos told reporters backstage after the win. “I’m one of the fighters with more knockouts in my division. I deserve an opportunity. I had one with Mousasi, but with little time to be ready. I want a good name and that I can be ready for it. I would like one of the top-six: (Robert) Whittaker, (Luke) Rockhold, (Chris) Weidman – I accept any of these.”

Even those lines, he later admitted, took some arm-twisting.

“I will always prioritize the practical part, what I do in the octagon,” Santos told MMAjunkie. “But this other aspect also needs to be worked on. And that’s what I did in my last fight. That also came from my coaches and my manager. They told me, ‘You have to talk, man. You’ve already been doing it, so now you need to talk about what you’ve been doing.’ They instructed me.

“But I still only talk with conviction in what I’m actually doing. I will only market what I am effectively getting done. My marketing can’t be bigger than me; it has to be a continuation of my actions.”

That doesn’t sound at all surprising coming from someone who has always taken pride in having his achievements come from both his effort and his ability to making – and sticking to – his own plans.

Santos, who hails from Rio de Janeiro’s infamous Cidade de Deus slum, took no shortcuts to get to where he is. First, there was a seven-year army stint. Then, a “TUF: Brazil” run. And now, 13 fights into his UFC career, he’s at a place where he can feasibly make some requests.

From the start, Santos knew the potential he had to get places. But, when he looks back, it’s with a measure of awe.

“Of course I have goals,” Santos said. “I dream of being a UFC champion. But I’m already very grateful for what I have, what I’ve accomplished and what I’ve become. A boy from Cidade de Deus, … when I stop to think about it, I get a little stunned.”

“I don’t see myself as a talented guy”

Santos currently splits his time between the U.S., where he does part of his camp at Florida’s American Top Team, and Rio, where he trains at Tata Fight Team. Other than preparing for his fights – which happens often, considering his activity – Santos also runs a training center in the community where he was raised. There, he conducts a social project where local kids can take martial arts lessons for free.

As someone who’s seen, first-hand, how negative influences can find fertile ground in places where opportunities are scarce, Santos has taken it upon himself to be a positive one.

“I don’t see myself as a talented guy – as a guy who was born with a talent, or a gift,” Santos said. “Some guys were born with a gift. Like (ex-UFC-champ) Anderson Silva – he was born with a talent for this. (Soccer player) Neymar, as well. I’m not. I transformed into a fighter thanks to hard work and dedication.

“So I’m very blessed. I think God allowed that so I can help people. It’s not for no reason. I believe that. So I try, as much as I can, to do something. Even if it’s not much, I try to also help and pay these blessings forward. I think it’s the least I can do.”

Whether talent was a factor or not, fact is that the somewhat one-dimensional striker that was quickly beaten by fellow “TUF” alum Cezar Ferreira in his short-notice UFC debut has evolved into a legitimate threat in the UFC’s 185-pound division.

A threat that, all things considered, isn’t exactly wrong in aiming a little higher in the rankings. While Santos did throw around a few names, again, he’s not in the business of call-outs. He just wants a fight that will get him closer to the belt.

And if he can’t have it his way? As usual, he’ll adjust.

“I want to fight three times this year, like I did last year,” Santos said. “So, doing the math, I want a fight by June. If we don’t have an offer to fight a big guy – whomever comes, I’ll fight. I don’t want to wait around. ‘Oh, if I don’t get this fight,’ – no, none of that.

“We’re going to put a little pressure, of course, but mostly I want to stay active and keep working.”

There’s a reason behind that, too. It’s Santos understanding that he doesn’t really have that much time to sit back and carefully plan a path toward the title like some of his younger peers do.

“I don’t think I have to make a career plan,” Santos said before his previous win, over Jack Hermansson. “That’s for a 20, 22-year old who’s just joining the UFC.”

Not that Santos is exactly old, either. But, other than the inevitable wear-and-tear of fighting, his 33-year-old body also has to account for the damage suffered in the several years he spent as a paratrooper. Add it all up and, understandably, he’s starting to feel it a little.

“My body, it’s been through a lot,” Santos said. “I was in the army for seven years and it was hard on my body. Now, with fighting and cutting weight, I already have all these pains. I don’t see myself fighting past 40. Of course, that’s how I feel now. Maybe at 38 I’ll feel good and think ‘Well, I can push it a little more.’ But, today, that’s how I feel.”

In any case, Santos still has a few years left before that happens. And while he’s yet to touch the extra money that came with three post-fight bonuses – two for “Performance of the Night” and a “Fight of the Night” one – he probably wouldn’t mind collecting some more.

As per usual, Santos is not going to start calling out those he’d like to collect them with – or over. But, while we’re at it, he might as well throw out this one little thought that has crossed his mind.

“A fight I’d like is Weidman,” Santos said. “I’d really like to fight him, maybe in New York. I’ve never fought there. I’d love to meet New York and dance with him there.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 125, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Thiago Santos (red gloves) defeats Anthony Smith (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Thiago Santos (red gloves) fights Anthony Smith (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Thiago Santos (red gloves) fights Anthony Smith (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Thiago Santos (red gloves) fights Anthony Smith (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Thiago Santos (red gloves) fights Anthony Smith (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Thiago Santos (red gloves) fights Anthony Smith (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Thiago Santos (red gloves) fights Anthony Smith (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Thiago Santos (red gloves) fights Anthony Smith (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Thiago Santos (red gloves) fights Anthony Smith (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Thiago Santos (red gloves) fights Anthony Smith (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Thiago Santos (red gloves) fights Anthony Smith (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Thiago Santos (red gloves) defeats Anthony Smith (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Thiago Santos (red gloves) defeats Anthony Smith (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Thiago Santos (red gloves) defeats Anthony Smith (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Thiago Santos (red gloves) defeats Anthony Smith (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Thiago Santos (red gloves) defeats Anthony Smith (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/nxk7NHCWK2TTMAXBoQNyLC/301527", customAnalytics: true, title: "Santos def. Smith", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Joshua Burkman vs. Alex Morono added to UFC Fight Night 126 in Austin

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A welterweight matchup has been added to the UFC’s return to the Lone Star State.

UFC officials today announced that Josh Burkman (28-16 MMA, 6-11 UFC) will face Alex Morono (13-4 MMA, 2-1 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 126, which takes place next Sunday at Frank Erwin Center in Austin.

The contest is scheduled for the evening’s UFC Fight Pass-streamed early prelims following additional prelims and a main card that each air on FS1.

Both fighters find themselves in need of a victory. Burkman, 37, carries a four-fight losing streak into the contest after dropping consecutive UFC outings to Drew Dober, Michel Prazeres, Zak Ottow and Paul Felder. The most recent setback, a first-round knockout loss to Dober, took place in July, so Burkman enters the fight with a little less than seven months on the sidelines.

Burkman revealed his involvement in the card a little less than one week ago, insisting fighting is simply in his blood.

Meanwhile, Morono, 27, was in action most recently in September, suffering a split-decision loss to Keita Nakamura in Japan. The result stands as Morono’s only official UFC loss to date, though he also came up short via TKO to Niko Price at UFC Fight Night 104 in February 2017. However, that result was later overturned when Price tested positive for marijuana.

With the addition to the card, UFC Fight Night 126 now includes:

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

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

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

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

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

  • Josh Burkman vs. Alex Morono
  • Humberto Bandenay vs. Steven Peterson

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

Joe Rogan: Mario Yamasaki should've stopped Valentina Shevchenko fight '15 or 20 times'

MMA Junkie News -

Add longtime UFC commentator Joe Rogan to the list of people who thought referee Mario Yamasaki botched his duty to ensure fighter safety at UFC Fight Night 125.

Yamasaki has come under fire since Saturday night, when he allowed former UFC bantamweight title challenger Valentina Shevchenko (15-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC) to put a prolonged beating on newcomer Priscila Cachoeira (8-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) before locking in a second-round submission to end the flyweight bout, which took place at Mangueirinho Gymnasium in Belem, Para, Brazil.

Since fight night, the circumstances around the ending of the bout have caused a hot debate. UFC President Dana White ripped Yamasaki on Instagram, while the Brazil commission which sanctioned the event also admitted the veteran referee did not do his job at an acceptable standard. Yamasaki has also publicly defended himself in the form of an official statement.

RelatedTwitter reacts to Valentina Shevchenko's flyweight debut, Yamasaki's poor stoppage at UFC-Belem

Rogan addressed the matter on today’s “Joe Rogan Experience” podcast with guest Cameron Hanes, and like many others, he believes Yamasaki had numerous chances to wave off the contest due to strikes before Shevchenko ended it with the rear-naked choke.

“Mario Yamasaki said he gave her the opportunity to, ‘Be a warrior,'” Rogan said. “That’s what he said. That was his take on it. I mean, not just beat up. Did you see the stats? The actual physical striking stats? It was some unbelievably overwhelming number, like one vs. several hundred, in the significant strike department. Like literally, she landed one decent punch.

“They should have stopped that fight a long time ago. That fight should have been stopped 15 or 20 times.”

Yamasaki hasn’t been the only person to receive blame in the wake of the controversial fight. Cachoeira’s corner has received criticism for not protecting its fighter by throwing in the towel, as have UFC matchmakers for booking such a lopsided affair.

Rogan agreed it was a disservice to Cachoeira to put her in the octagon with an opponent of Shevchenko’s caliber.

“It was a bad matchup, because that girl, I believe it was her UFC debut,” Rogan said “To have a UFC debut, to have a woman that’s fought for the title and is a world-class striker, I mean literally one of the very-best strikers on the planet earth – male or female – it’s just not fair.”

RelatedPriscila Cachoeira looking at surgery for ACL and meniscus tears suffered in loss to Shevchenko

Although most of the post-fight discussion has revolved around the nature of the bout, Shevchenko’s dominance was what ultimately sparked the conversation. After narrowly losing a bantamweight title fight to Amanda Nunes at UFC 215 in September, “Bullet” dropped to the women’s 125-pound division and looked as sharp as ever.

Rogan made sure to spotlight the level of Shevchenko’s ability.

“Valentina is one of the most well-rounded women in the sport,” Rogan said. “She subbed Julianna Pena off her back, she stands up and out-strikes Holly Holm. She went toe-to-toe with Amanda Nunes, she went toe-to-toe with some of the best kickboxers in the world. She’s a world champion muay Thai fighter. She’s just a (expletive) beast. She’s an all-around just bad-ass fighter.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 125, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Valentina Shevchenko (red gloves) fights Priscila Cachoeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Valentina Shevchenko (red gloves) defeats Priscila Cachoeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Valentina Shevchenko (red gloves) fights Priscila Cachoeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Valentina Shevchenko (red gloves) fights Priscila Cachoeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Valentina Shevchenko (red gloves) fights Priscila Cachoeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Valentina Shevchenko (red gloves) fights Priscila Cachoeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Valentina Shevchenko (red gloves) fights Priscila Cachoeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Valentina Shevchenko (red gloves) fights Priscila Cachoeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Valentina Shevchenko (red gloves) fights Priscila Cachoeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Valentina Shevchenko (red gloves) fights Priscila Cachoeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Valentina Shevchenko (red gloves) fights Priscila Cachoeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Valentina Shevchenko (red gloves) fights Priscila Cachoeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Valentina Shevchenko (red gloves) defeats Priscila Cachoeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Valentina Shevchenko (red gloves) fights Priscila Cachoeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Valentina Shevchenko (red gloves) defeats Priscila Cachoeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/2s5k3AFUyXJrP7ndeeQaZ8/301550", customAnalytics: true, title: "Shevchenko def. Cachoeira", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Fight Nights Global turns eyes to U.S. market, promises different approach than previous Russian attempts

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In 2017, Fight Nights Global successfully hosted 25 events in and around the company’s Russian base. However, moving into the new year, the promotion is massively broadening its horizons – and that includes events in the U.S.

The promotion isn’t the first Russian organization to eye the market, but Fight Nights Global President Kamil Gadzhiev believes the company’s vision will prove the most successful to date.

“In my opinion, the key mistake of all Russian companies which have tried to do something in the American market is that they haven’t started thinking globally,” Gadzhiev told MMAjunkie. “They tried to change the location but didn’t change the mentality. You should be interesting for fans from Russia, the U.S., Brazil, and all those countries where people love MMA.

“Hosting an event in the U.S. is not the main goal: The main goal is to make all of our events deserving of the attention of a wider audience – I should note, not only the MMA audience – and we are willing to do everything to achieve this. We need names, quality, media and PR.”

Fight Nights Global, previously known as Eurasia Fight Nights, has made some inroads already on the U.S. market. Until recently, the organization streamed some of its events live on UFC Fight Pass, displaying a penchant for massive production elements to accompany the in-cage action. The most successful of those events was June 2016’s EFN 50, which saw Fedor Emelianenko take home a controversial majority-decision win over Fabio Maldonado.

The promotion has also begun to target more U.S.-based fighters for its roster, which Gadzhiev believes will help the company to achieve its goals in the market.

“I believe Fight Nights Global is familiar to American MMA fans due to the fact that there is a sufficient number of American fighters in our roster, and of course, MMA fans in America had the opportunity to appreciate the Fight Nights Global 50 event, in which Fedor Emelianenko was featured as the main event,” Gadzhiev said. “It is not right to say that we are starting work in the American MMA industry. We’ve been working in the global market because the status of the company is not determined by the event geography but by the birth certificates of its fighters.

“The leading American and Brazilian fighters battle in our gigs. This means that we have been in the global MMA industry for a long time. And I should say that our events are hosted at the highest level of standards of the global industry. Speaking of actual presence, Fight Nights Global has opened an office in the U.S. and will, indeed, start hosting events there pretty soon – different states, different cities. Thank God we have a roster of American fighters which, of course, will be updated. The number of tournaments on this continent will replenish annually.”

There’s no question that Gadzhiev and his fellow Fight Nights Global execs see the promotion as a potential player on the global stage. That said, Gadzhiev said he’s not quite ready to start declaring war on the current leading promotions in the U.S. market. Instead, Gadzhiev believes the product will soon begin to speak for itself.

“As for now, it makes no sense talking about competition,” Gadzhiev said. “Every company has its own path, its own format. We don’t want to compete with anyone; we want to be the best. You just have to do your job well. I understand that the American audience enjoys a good, quality MMA product. But, if we are to arrange events, we will make sure they arouse the interest of the American audience.

“The initial plan is to achieve the same success in the U.S. that we’ve achieved in Russia and other countries. Our main slogan is, ‘Better to be than to seem.’ We’re ready to not only talk the talk but also walk the walk in the U.S.”

Gadzhiev points to U.S. signees such as Cody East, Michael Graves, Tony Johnson, Derrick Mehmen, Tyson Nam and Dominique Steele as proof of the promotion’s efforts to make inroads in the U.S. market – with the promise of more to come in the near future.

“We are scouting for top American talent, guys who are willing to fight at the highest level events,” Gadzhiev said. “We will work on their PR component. It is also necessary to sign young guys, maybe host some selection tournaments – and of course, free agents. We have something to offer, and it’s not just money.”

There are many details yet to be determined. When and where Fight Nights Global will host its first U.S. event remains to be seen. And while the company is currently utilizing online platform FightGlobe.com to broadcast its next event from Russia, “Fight Nights Global 83: Alibekov vs. Aliev,” the promotion will seek a U.S.-based broadcaster, as well.

All in due time, says Gadzhiev. But he insists it will be sooner rather than later.

“The goal of any company is to earn money, of course – otherwise, it would not be a business, and we believe that MMA is a business, a very promising one,” Gadzhiev said. “We are different from many companies in the MMA industry, as we are attracting money from sponsors, money from ticket sales and television rights money. Of course, we expect that the company’s financial performance should improve dramatically since we’re stepping foot on lucrative American soil. The world of today is rapidly changing, and the media world is changing at a rate far greater, so we will emphasize on the so-called ‘technological aspect’ – we see great potential in new technological innovations, and we are actively studying the market and prospects of earnings.

“Right now we are focused on figuring out the market. Once we realize how we can attract the crowd, what matchup should be on the program, what TV channels are interested in purchasing our content, etc., we will publicly announce the rest of the details.”

For more on Fight Nights Global’s upcoming schedule, including Fight Nights Global 83, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Yushin Okami drops two divisions to welterweight, meets Dhiego Lima at UFC on FOX 29

MMA Junkie News -

A welterweight bout between Dhiego Lima and Yushin Okami is the latest addition to April’s UFC on FOX 29 lineup.

UFC officials today announced the bout between Lima (12-6 MMA, 1-4 UFC) and Okami (34-11 MMA, 13-6 UFC).

UFC on FOX 29 will take place April 14 at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Ariz., near Phoenix. The main card will air on FOX following prelims expected for FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Despite losing his past three UFC fights over two stints, Lima will get another chance at octagon success at UFC on FOX 29. The Brazilian, who is the brother of former Bellator champ Douglas Lima, struggled in his first UFC run but got a call back in 2017 as part of the “Redemption” season of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series.

Lima made it to the finals of the 16-man tournament but ultimately lost to Jesse Taylor by second-round submission. The 29-year-old believes the outcome is tainted, though, because Taylor failed an out-of-competition drug test not long after the bout.

And speaking of forgettable UFC returns, Okami came back to the organization for a second stint on extremely short notice in September when he subbed in for the injured Mauricio “Shogun” Rua to fight Ovince Saint Preux at UFC Fight Night 117. “Thunder” offered little resistance in the fight, succumbing to a submission in less than two minutes.

Okami’s fight against Saint Preux took place in the light heavyweight division. Now the 36-year-old former UFC middleweight title challenger will drop two weight classes to 170 pounds for the clash with Lima.

With the addition, UFC on FOX 29 now includes:

  • Justin Gaethje vs. Dustin Poirier
  • Matt Brown vs. Carlos Condit
  • Arjan Bhullar vs. Adam Wieczorek
  • John Moraga vs. Wilson Reis
  • Dhiego Lima vs. Yushin Okami

For more on UFC on FOX 29, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Sep 22, 2017; Saitama, Japan; Ovince Saint Preux (red gloves) defeats Yushin Okami (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Saitama Super Arena. Mandatory Credit: Susumu Nagao-USA TODAY Sports Sep 22, 2017; Saitama, Japan; Yushin Okami (blue gloves) before fighting Ovince Saint Preux (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Saitama Super Arena. Mandatory Credit: Susumu Nagao-USA TODAY Sports Sep 22, 2017; Saitama, Japan; Ovince Saint Preux (red gloves) before fighting Yushin Okami (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Saitama Super Arena. Mandatory Credit: Susumu Nagao-USA TODAY Sports Sep 22, 2017; Saitama, Japan; Bruce Buffer announces the fight between Ovince Saint Preux and Yushin Okami during UFC Fight Night at Saitama Super Arena. Mandatory Credit: Susumu Nagao-USA TODAY Sports Sep 22, 2017; Saitama, Japan; Ovince Saint Preux (red gloves) before fighting Yushin Okami (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Saitama Super Arena. Mandatory Credit: Susumu Nagao-USA TODAY Sports Sep 22, 2017; Saitama, Japan; Ovince Saint Preux (red gloves) fights Yushin Okami (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Saitama Super Arena. Mandatory Credit: Susumu Nagao-USA TODAY Sports Sep 22, 2017; Saitama, Japan; Ovince Saint Preux (red gloves) fights Yushin Okami (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Saitama Super Arena. Mandatory Credit: Susumu Nagao-USA TODAY Sports Sep 22, 2017; Saitama, Japan; Ovince Saint Preux (red gloves) fights Yushin Okami (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Saitama Super Arena. Mandatory Credit: Susumu Nagao-USA TODAY Sports Sep 22, 2017; Saitama, Japan; Ovince Saint Preux (red gloves) fights Yushin Okami (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Saitama Super Arena. Mandatory Credit: Susumu Nagao-USA TODAY Sports Sep 22, 2017; Saitama, Japan; Ovince Saint Preux (red gloves) fights Yushin Okami (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Saitama Super Arena. Mandatory Credit: Susumu Nagao-USA TODAY Sports Sep 22, 2017; Saitama, Japan; Ovince Saint Preux (red gloves) fights Yushin Okami (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Saitama Super Arena. Mandatory Credit: Susumu Nagao-USA TODAY Sports Sep 22, 2017; Saitama, Japan; Ovince Saint Preux (red gloves) fights Yushin Okami (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Saitama Super Arena. Mandatory Credit: Susumu Nagao-USA TODAY Sports Sep 22, 2017; Saitama, Japan; Yushin Okami (blue gloves) is checked on after his fight against Ovince Saint Preux (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Saitama Super Arena. Mandatory Credit: Susumu Nagao-USA TODAY Sports Sep 22, 2017; Saitama, Japan; Ovince Saint Preux (red gloves) defeats Yushin Okami (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Saitama Super Arena. Mandatory Credit: Susumu Nagao-USA TODAY Sports Sep 22, 2017; Saitama, Japan; Ovince Saint Preux (red gloves) defeats Yushin Okami (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Saitama Super Arena. Mandatory Credit: Susumu Nagao-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/XhXtCQMiehnzMbTxfX773L/301531", customAnalytics: true, title: "Saint Preux def. Okami", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Michael Bisping responds to Lyoto Machida, open to fellow ex-champ as retirement opponent

MMA Junkie News -

Michael Bisping heard Lyoto Machida’s post-UFC Fight Night 125 callout loud and clear. And he might just take him up on it.

Following his split-decision win over Eryk Anders in this past Saturday’s headliner in Brazil, Machida (23-8 MMA, 15-8 UFC) politely asked to fight Bisping (30-9 MMA, 20-9 UFC), who appears to have just one trip to the octagon remaining before retirement.

“The Dragon” said he felt a matchup with Bisping was long overdue and should have happened already. A variety of circumstances have prevented it, but the former UFC light heavyweight titleholder believes the time is now. Speaking on his “Believe You Me” podcast, Bisping admitted he’s interested, but before officially agreeing to anything, said he needs to speak with the UFC brass.

“He’s had a great career, and it ticks all the boxes (for my retirement fight) from that standpoint,” Bisping said. “That’s about it. As of right now, I’ve got to speak to the UFC and find out what’s going on for myself. I’m not considering opponents or who they are. I’ve got to speak to (UFC President) Dana (White) and the UFC guys and figure out what’s going on next and in life.”

RelatedMichael Bisping announces he's not competing at UFC Fight Night 127 in London

Bisping, 38, said he appreciated the respectfulness of Machida’s request to fight him. “The Count” said his he has a mutual admiration for the Brazilian, even if he does have a failed drug test on his resume.

“He just said we were supposed to fight a couple of times over the years and that it hadn’t happened and that basically he had a lot of respect for me,” Bisping said. “I’ve got a lot of respect for Machida, I really do. He’s one of the true martial arts specialists and one of the true martial artists that competes in the octagon, so I have respect for him. Of course, there was the whole steroid issue, … there’s always going to be an asterisk over him.”

“I’ve (got) no problem with the decision, but what I do have a problem with is what Machida said afterwards,” Bisping continued. “I’m only joking, I don’t really have a problem with it; he called me out once again.”

RelatedSean Shelby's Shoes: What's next for Lyoto Machida and UFC Fight Night 125's other winning fighters?

Prior to Machida’s comments, the leading candidate for Bisping’s retirement fight appeared to be Rashad Evans (19-7-1 MMA, 14-7-1 UFC). The UFC was targeting the bout for UFC Fight Night 127 in March, but Bisping opted not to take the fight after competing twice in November.

There was interest in Bisping’s side to fight Evans, mainly because he would have had the opportunity to avenge his first career loss. “Suga” beat Bisping via split decision at UFC 78 in November 2007, and a rematch more than 10 years later did have some compelling aspects. The timing of it all simply didn’t work, though.

“The Rashad fight we spoke about, and it didn’t materialize,” Bisping said. “The Machida fight, as well, is something that could serve as my last bout. (The fight is) very similar to Rashad in many ways: He’s a former champion, had a long career and getting to the final stages of his career. He’s someone I haven’t fought and have a lot of respect for.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 125, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Kyoto Machida (red gloves) defeats Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Kyoto Machida (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Kyoto Machida (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Kyoto Machida (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Kyoto Machida (red gloves) defeats Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Kyoto Machida (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Kyoto Machida (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Kyoto Machida (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Kyoto Machida (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Kyoto Machida (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Kyoto Machida (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Kyoto Machida (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Kyoto Machida (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Kyoto Machida (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Kyoto Machida (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Kyoto Machida (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Kyoto Machida (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Kyoto Machida (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Kyoto Machida (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Kyoto Machida (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Kyoto Machida (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Kyoto Machida (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Kyoto Machida (red gloves) fights Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Kyoto Machida (red gloves) defeats Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Kyoto Machida (red gloves) defeats Eryk Anders (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/kaJgcLT7USmWYQHd5A2whK/301525", customAnalytics: true, title: "Machida def. Anders", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

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