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Listen to today's UFC 220 media call Miocic, Ngannou, Cormier and Oezdemir

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

You can listen to today’s UFC 220 media call with the headliners and co-headliners here on MMAjunkie at 5 p.m. ET (2 p.m. PT).

Taking part in the call are UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic (17-2 MMA, 11-2 UFC) and fellow headliner Francis Ngannou (11-1 MMA, 6-0 UFC), as well as light-heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier (19-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) and fellow co-headliner Volkan Oezdemir (15-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC).

UFC 220 takes place Jan. 20 at TD Garden in Boston, and the main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Listen to the card’s top fighters discuss the event above.

And for more on UFC 220, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Stipe Miocic (red gloves) celebrates after he defeats Junior Dos Santos (blue gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Stipe Miocic (red gloves) defeats Junior Dos Santos (blue gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Stipe Miocic (red gloves) fights Junior Dos Santos (blue gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Stipe Miocic (red gloves) fights Junior Dos Santos (blue gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Stipe Miocic (red gloves) fights Junior Dos Santos (blue gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Stipe Miocic (red gloves) defeats Junior Dos Santos (blue gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Stipe Miocic (red gloves) defeats Junior Dos Santos (blue gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Stipe Miocic (red gloves)celebrates after he defeats Junior Dos Santos (blue gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports Sep 10, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Stipe Miocic (red gloves) competes against Alistair Overeem (blue gloves) during UFC 203 at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports Sep 10, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Stipe Miocic (red gloves) competes against Alistair Overeem (blue gloves) during UFC 203 at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports Sep 10, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Stipe Miocic (red gloves) competes against Alistair Overeem (blue gloves) during UFC 203 at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports Sep 10, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Stipe Miocic (red gloves) competes against Alistair Overeem (blue gloves) during UFC 203 at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports Sep 10, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Stipe Miocic (red gloves) defeats Alistair Overeem (blue gloves) during UFC 203 at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports Sep 10, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Stipe Miocic (red gloves) defeats Alistair Overeem (blue gloves) during UFC 203 at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports Sep 10, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Stipe Miocic (red gloves) greets Alistair Overeem (blue gloves) after their fight in UFC 203 at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports Sep 10, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Stipe Miocic (red gloves) defeats Alistair Overeem (blue gloves) during UFC 203 at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports Sep 10, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Stipe Miocic (red gloves) defeats Alistair Overeem (blue gloves) during UFC 203 at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports May 14, 2016; Curitiba, Brazil; Stipe Miocic (blue) reacts after defeating Fabricio Werdum (red) during UFC 198 Fight Night at Arena Atletico Paranaense. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 14, 2016; Curitiba, Brazil; Stipe Miocic (blue) exits the ring after defeating Fabricio Werdum (not pictured) during UFC 198 Fight Night at Arena Atletico Paranaense. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 14, 2016; Curitiba, Brazil; Stipe Miocic (blue) reacts after defeating Fabricio Werdum (not pictured) during UFC 198 Fight Night at Arena Atletico Paranaense. 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/GvaJQaMVwy6DqVjCrq5HfK/295469", customAnalytics: true, title: "Stipe Miocic", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

Twitter Mailbag: With all the Francis Ngannou hype, have we forgotten about Stipe Miocic?

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Why does it seem like maybe some people, possibly including the UFC, are overlooking the current UFC heavyweight champion in his potentially record-setting title defense at UFC 220 next Saturday?

And is a former middleweight great drifting toward familiar self-parody the longer he hangs around?

Plus, in which division can Bellator most plausibly lay claim to having better top fighters than the UFC, and does it matter?

All that and more in this week’s Twitter Mailbag. To ask a question of your own, tweet to @BenFowlkesMMA.

How does beating an eclectic group of nobodies and has-beens get you a title shot against Stipe Miocic? Sure, Ngannou has highlight reel power, but Miocic has beat a who's who of Heavyweights. Why is Ngannou getting a push instead of the real American hero Miocic?

— Brandon (@_theoldcrow_) January 10, 2018

You’re asking two very different questions, Mr. Crow. I suspect you know (even if you may not like) the answers to both. But fine, let’s take them one at a time.

How did Francis Ngannou get this title shot against Stipe Miocic? He nearly decapitated Alistair Overeem, who was the only other person being seriously considered for the opportunity at the time. Say what you will about the other guys on Ngannou’s record, that was a legit win over a legit contender, and if the finish had been any more brutal it would have resulted in criminal charges.

That leads us to your second question: Why is all the attention on the challenger and not the champion on the verge of breaking a UFC record that’s stood for an embarrassingly long time? Again, you know why. It’s because people see in Ngannou the terrifying force that they’ve always wanted in a heavyweight champ.

RelatedFrancis Ngannou: Stipe Miocic is UFC champ only because I wasn't here yet

Miocic has skills, obviously. He’s finished his last five opponents, four of them in the first round. Still, he doesn’t quite murder them the way Ngannou does, and he sure doesn’t have the swagger or the style. He comes off as a nice guy who’s really good at fighting.

That’s fine, but it doesn’t give a promoter a ton to work with. Ngannou, on the other hand, is a total layup. You couldn’t screw up the hype job if you tried, which explains why so much of the focus is on him. We don’t necessarily have to like it, but we should at least be able to understand it.

 

Is welterweight the only division where the Bellator champion could be more skilled than the UFC champion? There’s a good chance that both Douglas Lima and Rory McDonald would be favored against Woodley?

— Johann Castro (@thejohanncastro) January 10, 2018

I’m not sure Douglas Lima or Rory MacDonald would be favored against Tyron Woodley, but if so it probably says more about how people view the current UFC welterweight champ than about how they view the top guys in Bellator.

If we’re going to ask whether the best Bellator fighters could beat UFC champions, a lot depends on when we’re asking. Could Gegard Mousasi have beaten Michael Bisping back when he had the UFC middleweight title? Probably. Would a prime Michael Chandler have been a problem for Anthony Pettis? Maybe. Eddie Alvarez has been the lightweight champ in both promotions, and he’s still going strong.

The question is, does it matter? I mean, sure, at various points you could make the case that the Bellator champ (or even just a top contender) could maybe beat a specific UFC champ.

RelatedDouglas Lima wants respect if he beats Rory MacDonald at Bellator 192 – but he won't beg for it

But what does that change? What Bellator really lacks is the depth to put on one fight card after another that fans really want to see. It’s not that Bellator never has a No. 1 on its hands. It’s that it doesn’t have enough of the rest of the top 10.

That said, Lima defending his title vs. MacDonald at Bellator 192 is a great fight. It’s also one that, unlike lots of other high-profile Bellator offerings, actually feels like it matters beyond being a passing curiosity. It’s just too bad it has to go up against UFC 220, which is headlined by the biggest heavyweight title fight – in any organization – in at least half a decade.

 

Is Anderson leaning towards a Royce-esque progression? Both beloved legends, the game finally evolved enough to catch up to them, PED fails, fond of spouting nonsense?

— Andrew Millington (@AndrewMilington) January 10, 2018

You really know how to cut a man to his core, Andrew. There was a time when fighters might be inclined to interpret any comparison to Royce Gracie as a compliment. Safe to say that time has passed.

But I’m not sure Anderson Silva is quite there yet. In his favor is the fact that he was more dominant over a longer period of time, and in an era when that actually meant more. Whatever else we can say about his later years, which seem to stretch on and on and on, in his day he was really something beautiful.

RelatedWhat happened to Anderson Silva, and why don't we seem to care?

Still, it does seem like he’s doing an awful lot to undermine his own legacy. The drug test failures. The poor response to them, ranging from ludicrous explanations to tepid non-denial denials. The in-cage performances that aren’t so much sad as just mediocre, which is sad in its own special way from such a formerly great fighter. It all makes for a very bad look.

I suspect that when he finally retires, we’ll still find a way to remember him fondly, and for who he was at his best rather than on his long, slow decline. It would just be nice if we could go ahead and skip to that part now, rather than waiting around to see how bad it can possibly get before he’ll admit that it’s over.

 

Frankie Edgar said if Max had questions, he IS "Jeopardy", instead of just the Answer. If we are nickname accelerationists, what nickname do we give Max Blessed? "Maximum Sacrosanct"? Max "Power of the Gods"? Max "Capax Infiniti"?

— Andrew Pearson (@Vorpality) January 10, 2018

 

If you had to bet your domicile, would you choose Ngannou or Miocic (w/ or w/o considering odds)?

— Matthew Beary (@MattBeary) January 10, 2018

If I have to bet my permanent residence on any single fight in the heavyweight division, I’m going to go ahead and pack a bag first just in case. There aren’t that many sure things in all of MMA. There are almost none at heavyweight, where the most consistent narrative has been one of sudden and violent upheaval at the top.

There’s a reason no one has ever managed to defend the UFC heavyweight title more than twice in a row. It’s the same reason you shouldn’t bet anything you can’t afford to lose on the outcome of any given title fight.

That said, if you back me into a corner, I guess I’ll choose Ngannou. Do I feel secure in that pick? I do not. Is there a possibility that Miocic could thoroughly outclass him in a one-sided display that proves how far ahead of ourselves we all got with the Ngannou hype? Absolutely.

But as long as I’m trying to predict the unpredictable, I’ll go with the guy whose power is a constant and immediate threat. I’d just hate to have that as the only thing keeping a roof over my head.

 

Does UFC Hawaii happen this year and if so would you make a point of going?

— Buckeye Fal (@buckeye_fal) January 10, 2018

The UFC has complained about the logistics of putting on an event in Hawaii, but there’s never been a better time to figure it out. Max Holloway is coming into his own as a charismatic, exciting champ, and you know he’s not going to stop pushing for it until he gets a hometown (or island) title defense. And something tells me that the UFC might see more media credential applications for that one than it would for, say, Winnipeg.

 

I know Mike Goldberg is the most maligned and mocked color commentator in MMA, but aren’t you overlooking the fact that his voice is the most recognizable to casual fans who watched UFC during its “glory years,” and in turn he somewhat “legitimizes” Bellator?

— MMA Goddess (@MMAGoddess) January 10, 2018

That’s possible. I guess there could be some fans out there who would otherwise turn their noses up at Bellator but suddenly feel like it must be legit because they hear the same voice from the old UFC video games or whatever. It’s hard for me to imagine the interior lives of those people, but I can’t say they’re not out there.

 

If Renan Barao loses to Brian Kelleher where does he go from there? What are his next steps?

— Alex Scaffidi (@alex_scaffidi) January 10, 2018

That would be the point where things get really bleak for Renan Barao. It’s the point where people start throwing around terms like “precipitous decline,” and also maybe the point where he has to start worrying about getting cut, which is weird considering that it wasn’t so long ago the UFC was trying hard to sell us on what a “monster” he was.

As it stands, Barao has lost three of his last four. Another loss would give him his second two-fight losing streak in three years, and that’s bad news. What’s more, Kelleher would be the least decorated fighter to beat him since his first loss back in 2005. That makes this feel like a test to find out whether Barao is even still in the conversation.

If the answer turns out to be no, he might need to take a hard look at how he got here. Something needs to change, or else his employment status sure will.

 

Is "Too many champions" hurting the UFC? Too many weight classes and interim titles nowadays, gets confusing #tmb

— Mike Alfonso (@Mike_Alfonso) January 10, 2018

There are eight men’s divisions and four women’s (assuming we count featherweight, which has a champ but no ranked contenders). If you don’t count interim titles, that leaves 12 belts to keep track of at any given time, which doesn’t seem like too many to keep straight in the old noodle.

What hurts more than the number of legit UFC titles is the gradual devaluing of them by the UFC itself. The kneejerk creation of interim belts is part of that, but so is UFC President Dana White’s bad habit of un-promoting his own champs whenever they do something to make him mad.

It’s hard to tell us that these people are special and should be revered if you’re also telling us that they’re boring cowards who need to shut up and do as they’re told. Pick one, man. Preferably the first one.

Ben Fowlkes is MMAjunkie and USA TODAY’s MMA columnist. Follow him on Twitter at @BenFowlkesMMA. Twitter Mailbag appears every Thursday on MMAjunkie.


Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

UFC champ Amanda Nunes joins Invicta FC matchmaking, athlete development team

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes has accepted a position with Invicta FC that will see her assist with matchmaking duties and help scout talent for the all-female organization.

Nunes (15-4 MMA, 8-1 UFC) is doing her best to help grow women’s MMA by pursuing a champion vs. champion showdown with featherweight titleholder Cris Cyborg. She wants to do more than that, though, and in her mind, helping mold the next generation of talent will prove beneficial.

Not only will Nunes provide matchmaking input for future Invicta FC cards effective immediately, but she will also serve as a talent scout for the promotion, particularly in her native Brazil.

Invicta FC released an interview with Nunes announcing the news, and the UFC champ explained how the partnership came together.

“I’ve started working with Invicta to be a part of the matchmaking team,” Nunes said. “It’s going to be awesome. I love to be the matchmaker for Invicta, from my experience and I have a lot of good talents in Brazil. I love to try to find new talent, and I think my friend talked to (promoter) Shannon (Knapp) about it, then Shannon texted me and offered me to be part of the team. I was very happy, and now I’m here. I love to do something with women’s MMA.”

RelatedATT head coach: Amanda Nunes vs. Cris Cyborg '1,000 percent' going to happen

Nunes, who is coming off a split-decision win over Valentina Shevchenko in September at UFC 215, is one of the most significant figures in women’s MMA history. She has headlined some of the most noteworthy cards in recent UFC history – including her UFC 207 destruction of Ronda Rousey – and said her goal is to further lay the foundation so other fighters get similar opportunities in the future.

Considering how much women’s MMA has flourished in the past half-decade, Nunes said she envisions a day in which the UFC puts on a fight card with only female athletes. She’s seen who the sport has developed already and believes she can help it get even bigger now that she’s working with Invicta FC.

“Since I’ve stepped here into this country, women’s MMA has changed a lot,” Nunes said. “I’m so happy to be a part of this and help this grow. All those girls have been putting in hard work and good fights in. All the fans love it. Some fans go only to watch the girls fight. I think soon, it’s going to be like UFC is only going to have a show for women’s MMA.”

For more on the Invicta FC schedule, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes celebrates with the championship belt after defeating Ronda Rousey by first round TKO during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 3, 2013; Rio De Janeiro, Brazil; Amanda Nunes (black shorts) and Sheila Graff fight during UFC 163 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Aug 3, 2013; Rio De Janeiro, Brazil; Amanda Nunes (black shorts) and Sheila Graff fight during UFC 163 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Nov 5, 2013; Fort Campbell, KY, USA; Amanda Nunes during the weigh-in for UFC-Fight for the Troops at Fort Campbell. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Lindsey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 6, 2013; Fort Campbell, KY, USA; Amanda Nunes (red gloves) fights Germaine de Randamie (blue gloves) in the women's bantamweight bout during UFC Fight for the Troops at Fort Campbell. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Lindsey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 6, 2013; Fort Campbell, KY, USA; Amanda Nunes (red gloves) fights Germaine de Randamie (blue gloves) in the women's bantamweight bout during UFC Fight for the Troops at Fort Campbell. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Lindsey-USA TODAY Sports Nov 6, 2013; Fort Campbell, KY, USA; Amanda Nunes (red gloves) reacts to her victory over Germaine de Randamie (blue gloves) in the women's bantamweight bout during UFC Fight for the Troops at Fort Campbell. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Lindsey-USA TODAY Sports Sep 27, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes (blue gloves) fights Cat Zingano (red gloves) during a bantamweight fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Mar 21, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, BRAZIL; Amanda Nunes (red gloves) before her fight against Shayna Baszler (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ginasio do Maracanazinho. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Mar 21, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, BRAZIL; Amanda Nunes (red gloves) before her fight against Shayna Baszler (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ginasio do Maracanazinho. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Mar 21, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, BRAZIL; Amanda Nunes (red gloves) vs. Shayna Baszler (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ginasio do Maracanazinho. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Mar 21, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, BRAZIL; Amanda Nunes (red gloves) vs. Shayna Baszler (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ginasio do Maracanazinho. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Mar 21, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, BRAZIL; Amanda Nunes (red gloves) reacts after defeating Shayna Baszler (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ginasio do Maracanazinho. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Aug 7, 2015; Nashville, TN, USA; Sara McMann (left) and Amanda Nunes (right) during weigh ins for UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Lindsey-USA TODAY Sports Aug 8, 2015; Nashville, TN, USA; Sara McMann (red gloves) fights against Amanda Nunes (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Lindsey-USA TODAY Sports Aug 8, 2015; Nashville, TN, USA; Amanda Nunes (blue gloves) reacts to defeating Sara McMann (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Lindsey-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes during the match against Valentina Shevchenko (not pictured) during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes (left) against Valentina Shevchenko during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes lands punches against Valentina Shevchenko during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes (left) against Valentina Shevchenko during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko (right) against Amanda Nunes during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Valentina Shevchenko and Amanda Nunes react following their match during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes is declared the winner by decision against Valentina Shevchenko during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Jul 9, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes (blue gloves) punches Miesha Tate (red gloves) during UFC 200 at T-Mobile Arena. Nunez won by rear naked choke. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Jul 9, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes (blue gloves) punches Miesha Tate (red gloves) during UFC 200 at T-Mobile Arena. Nunez won by rear naked choke. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Jul 9, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes (blue gloves) punches Miesha Tate (red gloves) during UFC 200 at T-Mobile Arena. Nunez won by rear naked choke. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Jul 9, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes (blue gloves) punches Miesha Tate (red gloves) during UFC 200 at T-Mobile Arena. Nunez won by rear naked choke. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Jul 9, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes (blue gloves) reacts after defeating Miesha Tate (red gloves) during UFC 200 at T-Mobile Arena. Nunez won by rear naked choke. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Jul 9, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes (blue gloves) reacts after defeating Miesha Tate (red gloves) during UFC 200 at T-Mobile Arena. Nunez won by rear naked choke. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 11: UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes faces off with Ronda Rousey after UFC 205 Weigh-ins in preparation for their UFC 207 fight that will take place on December 30, 2016 at Madison Square Garden on November 11, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) Dec 29, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes wears a lion mask during weigh ins for UFC 207 at T Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Dec 29, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes (left) faces off against Ronda Rousey during weigh ins for UFC 207 at T Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes before her fight against Ronda Rousey during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes (right) lands a punch to the face of Ronda Rousey during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes (left) lands a punch to the face of Ronda Rousey during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes lands punches while Ronda Rousey is against the cage during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes lands punches against Ronda Rousey during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes reacts following her TKO victory against Ronda Rousey during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Ronda Rousey (right) reacts after a TKO by Amanda Nunes during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes reacts after her TKO victory against Ronda Rousey during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes celebrates with the championship belt after defeating Ronda Rousey by first round TKO during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Jan 15, 2017; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Amanda Nunes watches girlfriend Nina Ansaroff (not pictured) compete during UFC Fight Night at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Jan 15, 2017; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Nina Ansaroff (right) celebrates with girlfriend Amanda Nunes after submitting Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Jan 15, 2017; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Nina Ansaroff (left) kisses girlfriend Amanda Nunes after submitting Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Sep 9, 2017; Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; Amanda Nunes (red gloves) fights Valentina Shevchenko (blue gloves) during UFC 215 at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports Sep 9, 2017; Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; Amanda Nunes (red gloves) fights Valentina Shevchenko (blue gloves) during UFC 215 at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports Sep 9, 2017; Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; Amanda Nunes (red gloves) fights Valentina Shevchenko (blue gloves) during UFC 215 at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports Sep 9, 2017; Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; Amanda Nunes (red gloves) fights Valentina Shevchenko (blue gloves) during UFC 215 at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports Sep 9, 2017; Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; Valentina Shevchenko (blue gloves) reacts after losing her fight against Amanda Nunes (red gloves) during UFC 215 at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports Sep 9, 2017; Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; Amanda Nunes (red gloves) celebrates with the championship belt after defeating Valentina Shevchenko (blue gloves) during UFC 215 at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-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/qUvibWG9n9Vcm9fuXKwCdQ/295552", customAnalytics: true, title: "Amanda Nunes", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

UFC Fight Night 124 main-card breakdown: Jessica-Rose Clark or Paige VanZant?

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MMAjunkie Radio cohost and MMAjunkie contributor Dan Tom provides an in-depth breakdown of all of UFC Fight Night 124’s main-card bouts. Today, we look at first two main-card bouts.

UFC Fight Night 124 takes place Sunday at Scottrade Center in St. Louis and is the promotion’s first trip to the city. The card airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

ALSO SEE:

* * * *

Paige VanZant (7-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC)

Paige VanZant

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’4″ Age: 23 Weight: 125 lbs. Reach: 65″
  • Last fight: Submission loss to Michelle Waterson (Dec. 17, 2016)
  • Camp: Gracie Barra (Portland, OR)
  • Stance/striking style: Orthodox/kickboxing
  • Risk management: Fair

Supplemental info:
+ Brazilian jiu-jitsu blue belt
+ 2 KO victories
+ 2 submission wins
+ 1 first-round finish
+ Strong pace and pressure
+ Improved overall striking
^ Combination flow to kicking attacks
+ Aggressive clinch game
^ Hip tosses, knees and elbows
+ Scrappy transitional grappler
^ Consistently fights for position
+ Excellent scrambler
+/- Coming off of one-year layoff

Jessica-Rose Clark (8-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC)

Jessica-Rose Clark

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’5″ Age: 30 Weight: 125 lbs. Reach: 64″
  • Last fight: Decision win over Bec Rawlings (Nov. 18, 2017)
  • Camp: Syndicate MMA (Las Vegas, NV)
  • Stance/striking style: Orthodox/muay Thai
  • Risk management: Fair

Supplemental info:
+ Regional MMA title
+ 2 KO victories
+ 2 submission wins
+ 1 first-round finish
+ Improved overall striking
^ Good feints and footwork
+ Puts together punches well
^ Will punctuate with leg kicks
+ Strong pressure against the fence
+ Serviceable takedown ability
+ Solid top game
^ Transitions and rides well
+ Active and attacking guard game

Summary:

In a female flyweight attraction, Paige VanZant will do battle with Jessica-Rose Clark.

One of the promotion’s more recognizable talents, VanZant will be taking her trade up to 125 pounds. With her initial debut in the weight class being delayed by injury, the young prospect will have an opportunity for a fresh start in 2018.

Looking to crash the homecoming is Clark, an Australian fighter who recently relocated to Las Vegas. Coming off of a win over fellow Aussie Bec Rawlings just two months ago, Clark will attempt to add another notable name to her resume.

With this being a matchup that consists of two fighters who are young in their career, I suspect each woman to continue her trend of fight-to-fight improvements.

RelatedUFC's Paige VanZant resumes training after back injury forced fight withdrawal

VanZant – someone who would typically use strikes as a segue to get into the clinch – has gotten more comfortable as time has gone on. No longer reliant on rushing in, VanZant seems to be more comfortable in circling along the outside.

Once finding an angle or attack to her liking, VanZant will unabashedly come forward, throwing punches in left-to-right continuums while closing the distance. Adding in flashes of stance shifts to switch-kicks, VanZant continues to display her fearlessness inside of exchanges.

With that in mind, I will be looking to see if VanZant demonstrates any improvements to her defense, particularly her head movement. Should VanZant keep her head on center, she could experience some rough weather from Clark.

A fighter who primarily had a boxing arsenal early in her career, Clark mainly used her punches to plow her way into the pocket. Now, after moving to Las Vegas to work with John Wood at Syndicate MMA, we have seen Clark round out her attacks, incorporating more kicks at the end of improved combinations.

Although Clark’s patented leg kicks could get her countered (and possibly taken down in this fight), I suspect her check-knees and hooks will serve her well should VanZant’s aggression be present.

RelatedJessica-Rose Clark already feels near title shot in 'wide open' flyweight division

Clark has also worked diligently on her footwork, and I have to imagine her knack for lateral movement will help her here.

Regardless of how the striking stanzas playout, this battle will likely be decided by the outcome of clinch and wrestling exchanges.

From her knees and elbows to her signature head-and-arm throw, VanZant should be the busier of the two on paper. That said, I am not sure how those skills will translate a division up.

Clark – a sizeable flyweight and former powerlifter – has been competing at bantamweight for the bulk of her career. Furthermore, the clinch seems to be a place that Clark is very comfortable in, winning a lot of her earlier fights from her ability to dictate or capitalize in close.

Nevertheless, should VanZant find a way to get Clark down, the Australian could be in for a long night.

A relentless grappler in transit, VanZant will consistently fight and scramble for positions, all while punching and passing with an urgency that’s akin to a child who’s about to break a video game record. Despite Clark having serviceable sweeps and submissions from her guard, being on the bottom of VanZant will still be a worst-case scenario for the Aussie.

Grappling is an area where Clark has shown improvements, but her game is more positionally based, which will only add to the dynamic of this matchup. Although Clark will be at an inherent disadvantage when scrambling with VanZant, her controlling style of grappling (coupled with her size and strength) may afford her some valuable clock time to land strikes and score points should she be the one who ends up on top.

The oddsmakers and public seem to share my sentiment in this matchup, listing Clark -115 and VanZant -105 as of this writing.

No matter who you have here, it’s hard to be confident. If VanZant brings back the scrappy spirit of her earlier self (accompanied by a dusting of defensive improvements), then I could see her handily gaining steam as the fight wears on, stimying Clark in the clinch and outworking her in transitions for position.

But if VanZant fails to take down Clark (or at the very least control the clinch), then I see the Australian’s striking advantage steadily becoming apparent both in close and at range. I also would not be surprised to see Clark – who shows to have more variety to her takedowns – exercise her size advantage by getting on top first.

I hate to keep harping on size and strength, but that’s the factor that sticks out for me. Our sport is thankfully evolving to the point where “size” isn’t everything, but I still feel that those type of attributes can carry more weight in women’s MMA.

Ultimately, I have a hard time backing VanZant coming off of a long layoff and camp change, and I will be siding with Clark to score enough damage and control time to earn her a hard-fought decision win.

Official pick: Clark by decision

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Ex-UFC champ Vitor Belfort (again) announces his retirement fight

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Former UFC light-heavyweight and tournament champion Vitor Belfort announced he would retire after fighting on home soil seven months ago.

Then he said he wanted five more fights.

But in advance of a meeting with Uriah Hall (13-8 MMA, 6-6 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 124, Belfort (26-13 MMA, 15-9 UFC) declares he’ll hang up his gloves – really.

“This is my retirement fight, so after this, I’ll put my body to rest,” Belfort told the “UFC Unfiltered” podcast.

Belfort, who meets Hall in the FS1-televised co-headliner of Sunday’s fight card at Scottrade Center in St. Louis, said he’s on the cusp of rolling out a group fitness program in Brazil and wants to focus his efforts on growing a business. He also wants to spend time with his children.

RelatedUFC Fight Night 124 pre-event facts: Vitor Belfort can take sole possession of UFC stoppage record

“Life is about seasons, and I think you’ve got to know the seasons,” he told the podcast. “I think I did more than enough. Sometimes I flash back and say, ‘Wow, I’m still doing this. This is crazy.’ I’m very thankful, but I think my body needs to rest.”

Prior to a fight with Kelvin Gastelum this past March at UFC Fight Night 106, Belfort pushed the UFC to create a “legends league” to keep fighters like him active in the promotion. The idea met with positive reviews from fighters, but never gained much traction beyond that.

Then Belfort suffered his third consecutive knockout loss, and calls for retirement grew louder. Belfort subsequently announced his next fight would take place in Brazil and would be his last.

The announcement didn’t stick. After outpointing Marquardt, Belfort signed on to face Hall.

RelatedUFC Fight Night 124 co-main-event breakdown: Speed could determine Vitor Belfort vs. Uriah Hall

As Belfort explained it, the fight still fits in with his retirement plan. In 2007, he vowed to retire at age 40. He’s just three months away from turning 41, so he’s got a little time left.

A living legend and the sole representative of the UFC’s no-holds-barred days, Belfort said good training methods have helped him avoid excessive damage over the years. Still, the wear and tear from two decades in the octagon are inescapable.

“You cannot tell me the 40-year-old has a fresh body,” he said. “Of course, it’s not the same. But I knew how to take care of my body. But it’s time. I’ve got kids, and I think I’ve donated a lot of time and a lot of stuff to the sport.

“I’m still relevant to the sport, but I need to walk away. That was my journey, I accomplished a lot of great things, and I want to do other great things. I’m going to the second journey of life, and I’m happy.”

For more on UFC Fight Night 124, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Nov 7, 2015; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Vitor Belfort (red gloves) reacts after defeating Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 14, 2016; Curitiba, Brazil; Vitor Belfort (blue) reacts after losing to Ronaldo Souza (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Arena Atletico Paranaense. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Nov 7, 2015; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Vitor Belfort (red gloves) before his fight against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Nov 7, 2015; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Vitor Belfort (red gloves) before his fight against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Nov 7, 2015; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Vitor Belfort (red gloves) before his fight against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Nov 7, 2015; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Vitor Belfort (red gloves) competes against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Nov 7, 2015; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Vitor Belfort (red gloves) competes against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Nov 7, 2015; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Vitor Belfort (red gloves) competes against Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Nov 7, 2015; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Vitor Belfort (red gloves) reacts after defeating Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Nov 7, 2015; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Vitor Belfort (red gloves) reacts after defeating Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Nov 7, 2015; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Vitor Belfort (red gloves) reacts after defeating Dan Henderson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 23, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Vitor Belfort (blue gloves) after being knocked out by Chris Wiedman (not pictured) during their middleweight championship bout during UFC 187 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Weidman won via first round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports May 23, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Chris Wiedman (red gloves) and Vitor Belfort (blue gloves) fight during their middleweight championship bout during UFC 187 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Weidman won via first round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports May 23, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Chris Wiedman (red gloves) and Vitor Belfort (blue gloves) fight during their middleweight championship bout during UFC 187 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Weidman won via first round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports May 23, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Chris Wiedman (red gloves) and Vitor Belfort (blue gloves) fight during their middleweight championship bout during UFC 187 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Weidman won via first round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports May 23, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Vitor Belfort enters the arena against Chris Wiedman (not pictured) for their middleweight championship bout during UFC 187 at MGM Grand Garden Arena.Weidman won via first round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports May 23, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Vitor Belfort (blue gloves) enters the arena for his bout against Chris Wiedman (not pictured) for the middleweight championship during UFC 187 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Weidman won via first round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports May 18, 2013; Jaragua do Sul, BRAZIL; Vitor Belfort (red shorts) celebrates after defeating Luke Rockhold (not pictured) during UFC on FX 8 at ARena Jaragua. Mandatory Credit: Jason da Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 18, 2013; Jaragua do Sul, BRAZIL; Vitor Belfort (red shorts) celebrates after defeating Luke Rockhold (blue shorts) during UFC on FX 8 at ARena Jaragua. Mandatory Credit: Jason da Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 18, 2013; Jaragua do Sul, BRAZIL; Luke Rockhold (blue shorts) fights against Vitor Belfort (red shorts) during UFC on FX 8 at ARena Jaragua. Mandatory Credit: Jason da 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/c2UBV9cHQLCVL3YPGjGPQ5/295514", customAnalytics: true, title: "Vitor Belfort", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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Vitor Belfort rechaça propostas e avisa: “Esta é minha luta de aposentadoria do MMA”

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Vitor Belfort planeja encerrar o seu ciclo neste domingo. Foto: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

É chegada a hora de pendurar as luvas. Vitor Belfort, astro do UFC desde os primórdios do evento maior do MMA mundial, avisou que a luta contra Uriah Hall, no UFC deste domingo, dia 14 de janeiro, será a de despedida.

Belfort (26v, 13d, 1nc) estreou no MMA em outubro de 1996, e chegou no Ultimate em fevereiro de 1997. Mais de 20 anos depois, com passagens em diversos eventos e muitas lutas históricas, o velho leão fará sua derradeira batalha no esporte de luvinhas.

“Esta é a minha luta de aposentadoria. Depois dela vou botar o meu corpo para descansar”, disse Vitor em entrevista a Matt Serra e Jim Norton, no podcast UFC Unfiltered. “Eu acho que fiz mais do que o suficiente. Às vezes olho para traz e digo ‘nossa, eu ainda estou fazendo isso.’

“Eu sou muito grato, mas eu acho que o meu corpo precisa de descanso. Eu tenho meus negócios, quero ajudar o esporte a crescer. Nós temos que saber a hora de começar e a hora de parar. É chegada a hora.”

Vale lembrar que, em junho de 2017, no UFC 212, Belfort encarou e venceu Nate Marqurdt, em duelo que o mesmo anunciou como sua última da carreira. O problema é que, na ocasião, Belfort e sua equipe pensaram que o combate em questão seria o último do contrato, mas era o penúltimo. Com isso, a aposentadoria foi deixada para depois.

A última luta do contrato do “Fenômeno” rola no UFC St-Louis, no duelo coprincipal do car que terá na luta principal o duelo entre Jeremy Stephens e Do Ho Choi. Confira o card completo abaixo.

UFC Fight Night: Stephens x Choi
St-Louis, Missouri, EUA
14 de janeiro de 2018

Jeremy Stephens x Doo Ho Choi
Vitor Belfort x Uriah Hall
Paige VanZant x Jessica-Rose Clark
Kamaru Usman x Emil Meek

Card preliminar

Darren Elkins x Michael Johnson
James Krause x Alex White
Matt Frevola x Marco Polo Reyes
Thiago Alves x Zak Cummings
Kalindra Faria x Jessica Eye
Talita Bernardo x Irene Aldana
Danielle Taylor x JJ Aldrich
Mads Burnell x Michael Santiago
Kyung Ho Kang x Guido Cannetti

Life after 'Cowboy' win? Darren Till has bus pass, resides in uncle's spare bedroom

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There is a substantial argument to be made that the consensus favorite runs greater risk of upset in MMA than any other elite sport. The margin for error is so miniscule and the intangibles are so pervasive that yesterday’s doomed underdog can graduate to tomorrow’s formidable contender with just one well-placed blow.

Even now, with an untold number of shocks committed to the record books, fighters whose names are not easily recalled consistently find themselves overlooked by fans, pundits, oddsmakers and, for that matter, opponents.

Although he was far from alone, Donald Cerrone raised more than a few eyebrows after admitting he had never heard of fellow welterweight Darren Till before they were matched in the headlining bout of October’s UFC Fight Night 118 event in Poland.

It took Till (16-0-1 MMA, 4-0-1 UFC) less than a round to acquaint himself with Cerrone, and those fans who were left reattaching their jaws as he pulverized the former lightweight title challenger with a volley of unanswered shots.

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UFC President Dana White immediately took to social media to anoint Till the promotion’s next big star and.

And just like that, the Liverpool native was the most wanted man at 170 pounds (via Instagram):

Till couldn’t have been happier.

“All the welterweights were jealous of that and calling me Dana’s new cash cow,” Till told MMAjunkie. “If Dana’s put a target on my back, I want that. I want people to want to come and fight me so I can beat everyone on my way to the title.

“They can say what they want because if they want to come and fight me, then come and fight me. But they’re going to have a hard night because I am hard (expletive).”

Undefeated and well able to turn a phrase or two, Till has been linked with just about every upright welterweight in the intervening months, but the identity of his next opponent matters little to him. Rather refreshingly, the 25-year-old has no desire to jump the queue so as not to be later accused of being the beneficiary of favoritism.

“I just want people to know that I’m willing to fight anyone so nobody can say that I don’t deserve this or that,” the striking specialist said. “It’s not down to me to decide who deserves a shot at me or somebody else. I think we should all just fight each other and find out who the best is.

“Because sometimes a guy is champion but he’s not exactly the best. A lot of people said that about (Conor McGregor), that he got an easy go of it, but I don’t think he did.”

With such little sense of entitlement and being so firmly focused on the task before him, it’s of little surprise that Till’s life has hardly changed since he toppled Cerrone.

RelatedDarren Till: Stephen Thompson can't run, has to 'fight me sooner than later'

In fact, he’s currently the proud owner of a bus ticket while his car is being repaired, and he resides in his uncle’s spare bedroom. Till continues to enjoy the simple pleasures, and the notion of showcasing his newfound success by blowing some of the $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus he earned in Gdansk didn’t even occur to him.

“As long as I can eat and buy a pair of trainers (shoes), I’m happy,” Till said. “I’m a very content and happy man. I don’t care about the Mercs and Lamborghinis. You can leave that for the show ponies, who post all that on Instagram. I just want to work hard and talk (expletive).”

Liverpool is a relatively small town, known for revering its sporting sons, but Till has been taken aback by just how recognizable he’s become of late.

“If I go out into the town center or even some local places for a coffee, I just get people wishing me luck or asking if I’m Darren Till,” the Team Kaobon export said. “Honestly, though, that kind of stuff is overwhelming, and you can’t put it into words because it’s unbelievable.

“As I said, it’s only going to get bigger because, by the end of 2018, I really do believe I’ll be world champion.”

Team Kaobon, founded and run by head coach Colin Heron, incubated local talents such as Terry Etim, Paul Kelly, Paul Taylor and Paul Sass, all of whom have competed under the UFC banner.

They are an extremely close group – their bonds forged over countless hours on the mats – and Till gives Heron almost sole credit for the fighter he has become. Heron and Etim were in his corner for the victory over Cerrone, after which they shared a private moment of elation – a brief recognition of a pivotal threshold being crossed.

“It was one of those ‘we’ve done it’ things because it was historic for Liverpool, myself and Team Kaobon,” Till said. “I just tried to keep my cool because the best is still to come, but the ‘Cowboy’ fight did shock everyone. I’ve seen what I’m going to do and know how much I can achieve in this sport, so I’m going to keep my cool until I achieve what I want, which is greatness.”

Mike Perry, another fast-rising star at 170 pounds, was sitting cageside for the bout with Cerrone, and he and Till had a heated exchange during the latter’s post-fight interview. A matchup between the two seemed certain, but Perry subsequently lost to Santiago Ponzinibbio and was recently paired with Max Griffin.

RelatedMike Perry gets heated with Darren Till cageside at UFC-Gdansk, issues warning after

With respect to Perry, Till is currently in a position to fry bigger fish, and he has frequently called out two-time title challenger Stephen Thompson (14-2-1 MMA, 9-2-1 UFC), who bounced back from his loss to champion Tyron Woodley with a unanimous-decision win over Jorge Masdival at UFC 217.

This, Till insisted, was not a ploy to get fast-tracked to a crack at the currently injured Woodley, but to satisfy a curiosity he’s long held.

“I don’t feel like I’ve earned a title shot and, to be totally honest, I don’t even feel like I’ve earned a top-three spot,” the Liverpudlian said. “The only reason why I asked for ‘Wonderboy’ is because I think it would decipher who the best striker is (in welterweight division). But I don’t really care if it’s No. 1 or No. 10.

“He’s an excellent fighter, one of the best, and I don’t want to fight him for an easy route to the title, but because I want to test myself against the best. If he’s the guy to beat me and take all my momentum, then fair play to him. But I don’t believe he could do it.”

When Till entered the octagon to face Cerrone, his team unfurled a flag split down the middle, with the colors of England and his adopted country of Brazil. Till spent his formative years as a fighter in Brazil, having moved there on Heron’s advice after he was stabbed twice in the back at a house party.

He speaks Portuguese and has amassed quite the following in the South American nation, so he is far more equipped to headline an event there than the average European fighter

A showdown with Rafael dos Anjos (28-9 MMA, 17-7 UFC) has been mooted, particularly since the former lightweight champ overcame previous welterweight kingpin Robbie Lawler.

RelatedRafael dos Anjos will wait for UFC title shot, spurns Colby Covington callout after UFC on FOX 26 win

To follow a victory over Cerrone with a win against a man of dos Anjos’ pedigree would certainly solidify Till’s growing reputation as a genuine force in the division. Unsurprisingly, a homecoming of sorts appeals to him, and he is in no doubt as to how the bout would unfold

“A pay-per-view against dos Anjos in Brazil would be huge, and I am totally up for it,” Till said.

“The great thing is, I would go there and beat him in a round because he’s designed for me and is just too scrappy on the feet. I think Conor McGregor would have absolutely annihilated him, and I’m twice Conor’s size. I’m also a similar fighter to Conor – just much better. I would kill dos Anjos, and I just don’t know what he’s doing in this division.”

Perhaps more than ever before, it was abundantly clear just how colossal a welterweight Till is, after he and Cerrone came face to face. Yes, Cerrone is a natural lightweight, but between fights, Till walks around at a whopping 210 pounds.

However, he has missed weight just once, which was prior to his victory over Jessin Ayari this past May, though Till was fighting for the first time in almost two years.

The Englishman knows what an advantage his size is in his current bracket and is positive that it will enable a successful transition when he inevitably moves up not just one, but two divisions.

“In all honesty, I am too big for the division,” he said. “You could see with Cerrone, and I know he’s a former lightweight, but I am huge at this weight. I’m going to spend some time taking over at welterweight, but then I will move up.

“People think I’m joking, but I’m also planning on going up to light heavyweight because I still have years to go and I’m going to continue to grow. I want to be a three-weight world champion.”

For a man who has designs on reigning supreme at welterweight, Till is yet to prove he can fight at an optimum level over five rounds. As such, doubts about his credibility will linger until that particular milestone has been reached.

And, while he’s eager to do so, he’s just can’t envision it taking so long to dispatch any potential foe, despite just two of his four UFC victories arriving inside the distance.

“I’ve previously been four rounds, for a title in Brazil, but I want to go five,” he said. “So, if they put me up against ‘Wonderboy,’ let’s see if it can go five rounds. But I don’t believe anyone at this weight can go that long with me because I’m too strong and powerful.”

Somewhat paradoxically, the young Brit is a prizefighter not overly enamored by money, but still had enough savvy to become the first mixed martial artist to sign with the management company MTK Global, which represent boxers such as Tyson Fury, Carl Frampton and Michael Conlan.

His increased profile, most notably on social media, has made the recently fan-voted “UFC Breakthrough Fighter of 2017″ a viable commodity. His earning capacity has certainly expanded but he leaves such matters to those around him.

“There have been some opportunities, but I just let my coach and management deal with that,” he said. “Money can become as issue in 10 years, but right now, it doesn’t matter to me.

“I’ll become a big star, but I’ll do it my way. I’m going to keep knocking these guys off, then get the title, and when I do, I’m going to be a very active champion. I’ll fight and I’ll fight and I’ll fight.”

While fame has its benefits, it can also engender less welcome consequences, such as certain people crawling out of the woodwork to piggyback on the achievements of others. Till has experienced this ugly phenomenon firsthand.

“It happens, yeah,” he said. “That will happen to people in all walks of life who have success, but I don’t mind, as long as they just say hi, are respectful and don’t look to feed off that success. As long as you have a tight-knit circle around you and listen to what your coaches are telling you, I think you’ll be fine.”

In a sport where a significant portion of fans love nothing more than to dismiss fast-rising stars as hype-infused blowhards, Till has, to date, largely avoided such derision.

A quick glance of his Twitter or Instagram feeds will reveal mainly positive messages and the occasional challenge from a fellow fighter.

RelatedMike Perry, wishing Darren Till a very merry Christmas

“I get 10 percent negative and 90 percent positive, which is crazy because people like to tear MMA fighters down,” Till said. “I’ve just got so much support behind me, whether it be in America, Europe or all over the world. Whenever I post something on Instagram, the reaction tends to be 90 percent positive, when usually it’s 50-50.

“The European and Brazilian fanbase are basically mine – I am the biggest name. If you take Jose Aldo, Cris Cyborg and dos Anjos out of that mix, there’s nobody else, and those fans from Brazil are fully behind me.”

If Till has one complaint, it’s that the UFC has not yet found him his next opponent. It is widely assumed that he will close out the show when the promotion returns to London on St. Patrick’s Day and, as recently as Monday, Gunnar Nelson told “The MMA Hour” he’d be only too delighted to play the spoiler role.

RelatedDarren Till vs. Gunnar Nelson in England? The two welterweights seem more than down

“I kind of just wanted the Christmas over and done with it so I could get back in the gym and get a fight booked as soon as possible,” Till said. “I was expecting to have an opponent booked already, but I suppose they’re just waiting for the right fighter and the right event.

“I’m not too bothered if I end up fighting Gunnar. Obviously, Gunnar is a great fighter, but I think a win over ‘Wonderboy’ or dos Anjos would spiral me closer to the top. But I want to take the hard way there and not have people saying I’ve had it easy, because I haven’t. And that’s why I couldn’t care less who they book me against. That’s just my mentality.”

Now back training at full tilt, Till is so determined to harness the momentum the seismic win over Cerrone garnered that he’s even resisted the urge to return to Brazil and spend time with his young daughter.

“I want to go back at the right time,” he said. “At the moment, my girlfriend is working away, and I could have a fight coming up. And, even though I’m not seeing my daughter, I want to fight now, so I can pick the right time to fly her back to me. I speak to her all the time, and she misses Daddy, but it’s so good to have that contact at the moment.”

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

Oct 21, 2017; Gdansk, Poland; Darren Till (blue gloves) defeats Donald Cerrone (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ergo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 21, 2017; Gdansk, Poland; against Donald Cerrone (red gloves) before his fight against Darren Till during UFC Fight Night at Ergo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 21, 2017; Gdansk, Poland; Darren Till (blue gloves) before his fight against Donald Cerrone (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ergo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 21, 2017; Gdansk, Poland; Darren Till (blue gloves) fights against Donald Cerrone (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ergo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 21, 2017; Gdansk, Poland; Darren Till (blue gloves) fights against Donald Cerrone (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ergo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 21, 2017; Gdansk, Poland; Darren Till (blue gloves) fights against Donald Cerrone (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ergo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 21, 2017; Gdansk, Poland; Darren Till (blue gloves) fights against Donald Cerrone (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ergo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 21, 2017; Gdansk, Poland; Darren Till (blue gloves) defeats Donald Cerrone (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ergo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 21, 2017; Gdansk, Poland; Darren Till (blue gloves) defeats Donald Cerrone (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ergo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 21, 2017; Gdansk, Poland; Darren Till (blue gloves) defeats Donald Cerrone (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ergo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/UZsamSNiLxzY8ii5puwMNW/295482", customAnalytics: true, title: "Till def. Cerrone", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with Bellator 192's Henry Corrales

MMA Junkie News -


Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guest Henry Corrales.

Corrales fights Georgi Karakhanyan on Jan. 20 at Bellator 192.

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

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

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

Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos

GMI: Alex Barros ensina seu atalho preferido para passar a guarda no Jiu-Jitsu

GracieMag News -

Professor Alex Barros, nosso GMI na Nova União Grajaú. Foto: Arquivo pessoal

Como devemos enfrentar a guarda dos oponentes elásticos e contorcionistas, que ficam à vontade ao lutar com o corpo dobrado?  O professor Alex Barros, nosso GMI à frente da academia Nova União Grajaú, no Rio de Janeiro, ensina sua passagem de guarda preferida para aterrorizar os guardeiros flexíveis.

Na técnica, Alex emborca o inimigo antes de começar a aplicar os detalhes que fazem o sucesso da posição. Primeiro ele trava o quadril do oponente com o joelho e a mão na faixa. Depois faz pegada na gola e em seguida, com a mão que está na faixa, joga o adversário para o lado e dá o passo para chegar na posição lateral, garantindo os três pontos.

Confira no vídeo abaixo o passo a passo da posição e tente aplicá-la nos treinos desta semana, estudioso leitor. Oss!

 

Douglas Lima wants respect if he beats Rory MacDonald at Bellator 192 – but he won't beg for it

MMA Junkie News -

Douglas Lima is unsure whether he’s got an appropriate amount of recognition for his body of work as Bellator welterweight champion.

A strong argument can be made that he hasn’t, but all that could change with a successful title defense against Rory MacDonald at Bellator 192.

Lima (29-6 MMA, 11-2 BMMA) vs. MacDonald (19-4 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) is one of the most legitimate title fights in Bellator history. The bout headlines the Jan. 20 event at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., and airs on Paramount Network following prelims on MMAjunkie.

Only able to fight the opponents placed in front of him, Lima is pleased Bellator continues to bring strong competition to challenge for his 170-pound belt. He’s currently No. 8 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA welterweight rankings, but could enhance that position by beating No. 3-ranked MacDonald.

RelatedVideo: Rory MacDonald, at his most 'Canadian Psycho,' says Douglas Lima not on his level

With names like Lorenz Larkin (No. 12), Andrey Koreshkov (No. 15), Paul Daley and more already on his resume, there’s little doubt Lima is among the best. The Brazilian prefers to stay humble, but he does agree a case can be made that the winner of the Bellator 192 main event is the best welterweight in the world, especially when considering MacDonald already holds a dominant win over current UFC champ Tyron Woodley.

“I’d love to think (the winner is No. 1 in the world) – I think Rory’s been on the top for a long time,” Lima said on Wednesday’s Bellator 192 conference call. “He beat the guy who is supposedly the No. 1 right now – he beat him before. So he can be considered the No. 1, and I’ll take that spot when I beat him next Saturday, for sure. I’m honestly not even thinking about that. I’m just focused on the fight. I don’t really care much about rankings. There’s always going to be someone saying something like, ‘He doesn’t deserve to be No. 1.’ So, I’m not really focusing on that.”

Lima may not care about rankings, but he does acknowledge the importance of recognition. Lima has the most knockout victories in Bellator history, the most stoppages in the promotion’s welterweight history and will be competing in his sixth championship bout for the company at Bellator 192. Lima’s skill never has been much of a question, but he believes his recent performances against opponents with greater name value is helping raise his profile.

“I feel like it’s getting better,” Lima said. “Bellator is bringing out all these top guys and guys with big names. I love it. I love to have that target on my back. I love being the champion and let them all come at me. I love it. I love what Bellator is doing. The division is stacked and it feels good to sit on top of it.”

RelatedWhat makes Bellator champ Douglas Lima so scary? Jimmy Smith breaks it down

Despite all his successes, Lima is still being largely counted out ahead of Bellator 192. Oddsmakers currently list him as the betting underdog, and though some fighters thrive off that position, Lima doesn’t see himself as the one with the biggest obstacles to overcome.

“I’m being considered the underdog for many people, but in my eyes I’m not the underdog,” Lima said. “I’m the champion. I know he’s fought bigger names throughout his career, but I don’t think it matters who is the underdog or not. This is one of the best fights at welterweight right now. It doesn’t matter which organization. At welterweight, this is one of the best fights ever.

“I feel really good. I feel in my prime. I’m still young and hungry and same for him. I’m just going to go and give my best and try and knock his head off. If that’s not enough, then we’ll just keep fighting. What can I do?”

For more on Bellator 192, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Douglas Lima (red gloves) fights Lorenz Larkin (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Douglas Lima (red gloves) fights Lorenz Larkin (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Douglas Lima (red gloves) fights Lorenz Larkin (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Douglas Lima (red gloves) fights Lorenz Larkin (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Douglas Lima (red gloves) fights Lorenz Larkin (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Douglas Lima (red gloves) fights Lorenz Larkin (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Douglas Lima (red gloves) reacts to fight against Lorenz Larkin (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Douglas Lima (red gloves) fights Lorenz Larkin (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Douglas Lima (red gloves) fights Lorenz Larkin (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Douglas Lima (red gloves) fights Lorenz Larkin (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Douglas Lima (red gloves) fights Lorenz Larkin (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Douglas Lima (red gloves) fights Lorenz Larkin (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Douglas Lima (red gloves) fights Lorenz Larkin (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Douglas Lima (red gloves) fights Lorenz Larkin (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Douglas Lima (red gloves) fights Lorenz Larkin (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Douglas Lima (red gloves) fights Lorenz Larkin (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Douglas Lima (red gloves) fights Lorenz Larkin (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Douglas Lima (red gloves) fights Lorenz Larkin (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Jun 24, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Douglas Lima (red gloves) fights Lorenz Larkin (blue gloves) during Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/txAFjL5j8ejttquxHnMu8Y/295441", customAnalytics: true, title: "Lima def. Larkin", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News

Combate Americas inks five-division boxing champ Amanda Serrano

MMA Junkie News -

Combate Americas’ international scouting has landed another intriguing fighter.

The latest signing is Amanda Serrano, a 29-year-old Puerto Rican striker who’s the only female boxer to win world titles in five different weight classes.

Combate Americas officials today confirmed the signing with MMAjunkie.

Serrano, the reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO) bantamweight (118 pounds) champion and a top-10 pound-for-pound boxer, has signed an exclusive multi-year MMA deal with Combate Americas. DiBella Entertainment will continue to promote her boxing bouts.

Related'Combate Americas: Copa Combate' results: Levy Saul Marroquin wins $100K

Serrano, who’s 34-1-1 with 26 knockouts during her nine-year pro boxing career, will make her official MMA debut at a March Combate Americas event, though an opponent, weight and exact date haven’t been determined.

The Brooklyn-based fighter decided to make a move into MMA partially at the urging of former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate, who now serves as Serrano’s co-manager.

Combate Americas, headed by UFC co-founder/co-creator Campbell McLaren, is available in 21 Spanish-speaking countries and produced some of its best ratings this past year in countries such as the U.S., Mexico and Spain.


Filed under: News

What Bellator's Georgi Karakhanyan learned after two weeks with Nate Diaz

MMA Junkie News -

What can you learn in two weeks with Nate Diaz?

Bellator featherweight Georgi Karakhanyan (28-7-1 MMA, 6-5 BMMA) wanted to find out. He’d always felt a kinship with the UFC star. They shared the same engage-first philosophy on fighting.

Plus, Karakhanyan also smokes pot, so he figured they’d get along.

He called his manager and asked to set up a meeting, which he thought would provide a nice last push in advance of a fight against Henry Corrales (14-3 MMA, 2-3 BMMA) at Bellator 192, which takes place Jan. 20 at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., and airs live on Paramount.

In the small world of MMA, it wasn’t hard to make the connection. Soon, Karakhanyan was headed up I-5 for the five-hour drive to Stockton, Calif.

Nobody greeted him at the door. But eventually, he was on the mats with Diaz (19-11 MMA, 14-9 UFC), bouncing between training, cannabis and advice for five hours a day.

Karakhanyan thought he might encounter the same hostile presence Diaz portrays on TV. But looks can be deceiving.

“You think of them like bad, ‘cholo’-talking (expletive) to you, but they’re actually really cool people, man,” he said. “Nate is a cool guy. We have the same opinions about MMA.

“He also taught me some stuff about promoting fights and talking (expletive). I picked up a lot of stuff from him.”

One of the main things, Karakhanyan said, is a philosophy about how to make the most of your MMA career.

“I think some of the fighters don’t open up their mouth,” he said. “I’m a straightforward person, and I’m really honest about a lot of things. But when it’s time to open up your mouth, you’ve got to talk because I feel like this is our career, and you can’t let the promotion control your career. That’s the one thing I learned. You’re pretty much your own brand, and you’ve got to promote yourself your way.”

Diaz is a model for that, of course, though he also got a helping hand from his older brother, Nick, who built the Diaz brand into a needle-moving name in the MMA industry.

Even today, the Diaz brothers remain front-page news as fans speculate on a potential return, and they tease a comeback.

As talented as he is, Karakhanyan hasn’t even come close to that level of recognotion. But he vows that will change soon.

“I’m going to slowly put it into play,” he said. “I don’t want to be changing overnight. I want to slowly adapt into that person that’s branding himself.

“This next four or five years is very important because that’s how long I’m trying to fight, and I want to get as many belts and fight as many top fighters and make as much money as I can.”

To get there, he needs to earn a title shot against the current featherweight champ, Patricio “Pitbull” Freire. Karakhanyan, who lost a TKO to Freire in 2011 and was forced out of a rematch with a knee injury, feels the champ is on the decline and ready to be replaced.

“He’s just holding on to the belt as long as he can,” Karakhanyan said. “And if (Daniel) Weichel and (Emmanuel) Sanchez don’t take his head off, I will come and take his head off. I haven’t seen ‘Pitbull’ perform that well, even though he’s champion.

“I feel like he’s been in too many wars. He’s gets clipped in the jaw and he gets dazed, and once your chin is gone, I don’t care how much heart you have – that’s it. You’re done.”

The fight against Corrales is a nice bridge for Karakhanyan, who’s impressed by his opponent’s deep Bellator resume. He anticipates a firefight where both fighters will duke it out until one is left standing. Of course, he expects that will be him.

You might not hear him go all Diaz just yet if he wins, but that time is coming soon.

For more on Bellator 192, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News

A arte de vencer como professor de Jiu-Jitsu no Brasil, com Lucio Charly Brown

GracieMag News -

Na vida, como no Jiu-Jitsu, os obstáculos nunca desaparecem, apenas mudam de forma ou intensidade.

Para o GMI Lúcio “Charly Brown” Fernandes, professor da Gracie Barra Paraíba, as primeiras dificuldades no Jiu-Jitsu começaram bem cedo, quando a criança que tomava gosto pelos treininhos não tinha dinheiro para pagar o ônibus até a academia.

Confira como o faixa-preta da GB superou, um a um, os problemas que surgiram em sua vida, de praticante, de competidor e por fim de professor e administrador de academia.

Confira a seguir o que aprendemos com a jornada de Lucio rumo a uma academia de sucesso, em João Pessoa, PB!

Lucio Charly Brown, nosso GMI na Paraíba: percalços e sucesso como professor. Foto: Acervo Pessoal.

 

“Dou aulas há 20 anos, desde 1998. Quando comecei no Jiu-Jitsu, a academia mais próxima da minha casa ficava a 40 quilômetros de distância. Mas a paixão e a vontade de seguir esta estrada era maior”.

“Hoje sou professor de Jiu-Jitsu faixa-preta três graus, e resido em João Pessoa, na Paraíba.”

“Quando comecei a treinar, o problema não era que nossa arte tinha pouca fama na minha região. Era pior: as pessoas nem sabiam pronunciar a palavra Jiu-Jitsu. As técnicas nos chegavam pela revista GRACIEMAG e fitas.”

“Eu era faixa-branca e não tinha condições de pagar a passagem para ir treinar três vezes por semana. Só existia dinheiro para a ida. Eram quatro conduções para ir e voltar, e eu ia com um amigo que morava no meu bairro, Valentina de Figueiredo. Muitas das vezes, descíamos por trás sem pagar e corríamos para não ser pegos.”

“Nosso professor, Luiz Barboza, sempre estranhava. Perguntava por que estávamos tão suados e esbaforidos. Respondíamos que fazíamos questão de chegar para o treininho totalmente aquecidos.”

“Todos os dias, eu tinha o hábito de tomar meu café da manhã e ir para a beira de minha cama folhear por várias vezes minha última edição de GRACIEMAG. Tenho até hoje a coleção das revistas.”

“Meu grande sonho, que eu falava para todo mundo ouvir, é que um dia eu iria lutar no clássico Tijuca Tênis Clube, no Rio de Janeiro. Ficava imaginando como seria a praia de Copacabana, como seriam as ondas da Barra.”

“Em 2004, cumpri o prometido: lutei o Campeonato Brasileiro de faixa-marrom, e trouxe a primeira medalha de nossa equipe do Rio de Janeiro. Liderei um processo que hoje nos faz uma academia recheada de campeões nacionais e internacionais, e uma das mais respeitadas do Nordeste.”

“Tenho um lema: ‘A falta de oportunidade é injusta, mas não é invencível.’”

“Meu primeiro ídolo foi meu vizinho: Jordan Negão dos Santos. Ele me apresentou o Jiu-Jitsu. Graças a ele e a seus incentivos, mudei completamente o rumo de minha vida, e meu esporte se tornou meu estilo de vida e minha profissão.”  

“No início, meu pai não entendia minha paixão pelos treinos de Jiu-Jitsu. Luiz Gonzaga Fernandes era o seu nome. Precisei treinar escondido dele por alguns anos, enquanto ele espiava minha orelha para ver se eu estava frequentando a academia. Quando ele percebeu que não tinha como evitar, se tornou meu fã número um.”

“Quando meu pai faleceu, fiquei muito mal e pensei em desistir de tudo. Entrei em início de depressão. Com a ajuda de minha mãe e dos amigos no Jiu-Jitsu consegui dar a volta por cima. Passei a canalizar a saudade do meu pai nas competições, e lutar por ele.”

“O Jiu-Jitsu me tornou mais otimista, me acalmou em inúmeras situações extremas, me deu uma capacidade de tentar entender e perdoar as pessoas que eu não tinha. Aprendi a viver bem comigo mesmo.”

“Graças aos ideais do mestre Carlos Gracie Jr incutidos à filosofia da GB, as academias aqui da região que tinham apenas alunos lutadores hoje têm mulheres, crianças, maridos e famílias inteiras treinando lado a lado, aprendendo e se exercitando juntos em nossa escola.”

“Hoje minha academia em João Pessoa e as demais filiais contam com mais de 400 atletas. Conheci diversas partes do mundo. E nunca mais calotei o ônibus ou corri de ninguém.”

>> >> Reportagem originalmente publicada na GRACIEMAG #241; assine já!

>>> Quer entrar para o programa GRACIEMAG Indica e ser um GMI? Saiba mais aqui.

Grade the 'UFC 221: Whittaker vs. Rockhold' poster

MMA Junkie News -

What do you think of the official poster for the UFC’s second pay-per-view event of the year?

Officials recently revealed the poster for “UFC 221: Whittaker vs. Rockhold.”

UFC 221 takes place Feb. 11 (but airs live in North America on Feb. 10 due to the time difference) at Perth Arena in Perth, Western Australia, Australia. The main card airs on PPV following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

RelatedUFC 221 lineup is finalized; how do you rate Western Australia's PPV debut?

In the main event, middleweight champion Robert Whittaker (19-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC), who’s No. 2 in the TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middleweight rankings, meets former titleholder and No. 3-ranked Luke Rockhold (16-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC). Whittaker, a former interim champ, was promoted to undisputed titleholder after Georges St-Pierre recently vacated the belt shortly after winning it from Michael Bisping.

In the co-headliner of UFC 221, which marks the UFC’s PPV debut in Western Australia, veteran slugger Mark Hunt (13-11-1 MMA, 8-5-1 UFC), who’s No. 10 at heavyweight, meets No. 14-ranked Curtis Blaydes (9-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC).

Here’s the official poster, featuring both fights (via Twitter):

The countdown is on for #UFC221 pic.twitter.com/VPlPo7iWVk

— UFC Aus/New Zealand (@UFC_AUSNZ) January 11, 2018

The promo isn’t unlike some we saw in 2017, including UFC 210 and UFC Fight Night 103.

What do you think of the UFC 221 poster? Grade it below.

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

Take Our Poll (function(d,c,j){if(!d.getElementById(j)){var pd=d.createElement(c),s;pd.id=j;pd.src='http://s1.wp.com/wp-content/mu-plugins/shortcodes/js/polldaddy-shortcode.js';s=d.getElementsByTagName(c)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(pd,s);} else if(typeof jQuery !=='undefined')jQuery(d.body).trigger('pd-script-load');}(document,'script','pd-polldaddy-loader')); July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) is awarded the belt from UFC president Dana White after defeating Yoel Romero (red gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) walks to the octagon to fight Yoel Romero (not pictured) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Whittaker def. Romero via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47). Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Whittaker def. Romero via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47). Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Whittaker def. Romero via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47). Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) celebrates after fighting Yoel Romero (red gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) celebrates after fighting Yoel Romero (red gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) leaves the octagon with wife Sofia Whittaker (left) after defeating Yoel Romero (not pictured) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Whittaker def. Romero via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47). Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports Apr 15, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Ronaldo Souza (Red Gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (Blue Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Apr 15, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Ronaldo Souza (Red Gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (Blue Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Apr 15, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Ronaldo Souza (Red Gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (Blue Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Apr 15, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Robert Whittaker (Blue Gloves) reacts to fight against Alexander Volkov (Red Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Apr 15, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Robert Whittaker (Blue Gloves) reacts to fight against Alexander Volkov (Red Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Apr 15, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Robert Whittaker (Blue Gloves) reacts to fight against Alexander Volkov (Red Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Apr 15, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Robert Whittaker (Blue Gloves) reacts to fight against Alexander Volkov (Red Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Nov 27, 2016; Melbourne, Australia; Robert Whittaker (red gloves) competes against Derek Brunson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Rod Laver Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Nov 27, 2016; Melbourne, Australia; Robert Whittaker (red gloves) celebrates winning his bout against Derek Brunson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Rod Laver Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Nov 27, 2016; Melbourne, Australia; Robert Whittaker (red gloves) celebrates with fans after winning his bout against Derek Brunson (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Rod Laver Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-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/BhQBf9KhhmkmxUUyXybkMR/295479", customAnalytics: true, title: "Robert Whittaker", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Blue Corner, News, UFC

Bryan Caraway vs. Cody Stamann slated for UFC 222 in Las Vegas

MMA Junkie News -

May 29, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Aljamain Sterling (red gloves) competes against Bryan Caraway (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports May 29, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Aljamain Sterling (red gloves) competes against Bryan Caraway (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports May 29, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Aljamain Sterling (red gloves) competes against Bryan Caraway (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports May 29, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Aljamain Sterling (red gloves) competes against Bryan Caraway (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Jul 25, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Bryan Caraway (blue gloves) fights against Eddie Wineland (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports Jul 25, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Bryan Caraway (blue gloves) fights against Eddie Wineland (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports Jul 25, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Bryan Caraway (blue gloves) fights against Eddie Wineland (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports Jul 25, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Bryan Caraway (blue gloves) fights against Eddie Wineland (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports Jul 25, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Bryan Caraway (blue gloves) fights against Eddie Wineland (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports Jul 25, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Bryan Caraway (blue gloves) reacts after the fight against Eddie Wineland (not pictred) during UFC Fight Night at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports Jul 25, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Bryan Caraway (blue gloves) reacts after the fight against Eddie Wineland (not pictred) during UFC Fight Night at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports Jun 7, 2014; Albuquerque, NM, USA; Erik Perez (red) and Bryan Caraway (blue) fight during their bantamweight bout during UFC Fight Night 42 at Tingley Coliseum. Caraway won via second round submission. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jun 7, 2014; Albuquerque, NM, USA; Bryan Caraway (blue) celebrates his victory over Erik Perez their bantamweight bout during UFC Fight Night 42 at Tingley Coliseum. Caraway won via second round submission. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jun 7, 2014; Albuquerque, NM, USA; Bryan Caraway (blue) celebrates his victory over Erik Perez their bantamweight bout during UFC Fight Night 42 at Tingley Coliseum. Caraway won via second round submission. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jun 7, 2014; Albuquerque, NM, USA; Bryan Caraway (blue) celebrates his victory over Erik Perez their bantamweight bout during UFC Fight Night 42 at Tingley Coliseum. Caraway won via second round submission. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-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/ueRGGuGeoxktDcz5XkqZRW/295474", customAnalytics: true, title: "Bryan Caraway", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

A ranked bantamweight will return in March at UFC 222.

Bryan Caraway (21-7 MMA, 6-2 UFC), who’s No. 11 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA bantamweight rankings, takes on Cody Stamann (16-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) at the event.

UFC officials announced the fight via reviewjournal.com.

RelatedUFC 222 opening odds: Champ Max Holloway favored big against Frankie Edgar

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

Caraway is coming off back-to-back decision wins over standouts Eddie Wineland and Aljamain Sterling, and he’s now 4-1 over his past five fights. However, the 33-year-old WEC vet and “The Ultimate Fighter 14” semifinalist fought once in 2015, once in 2016, and not at all in 2017 due to injuries.

He now meets Stamann, who picked up decision victories over Terrion Ware and Tom Duquesnoy in his firs two UFC bouts. The 28-year-old, who launched his career in 2011 on the Midwest regional circuit, now has an overall winning streak of nine fights.

The latest UFC 222 card includes:

  • Champ Max Holloway vs. Frankie Edgar – for featherweight title
  • C.B. Dollaway vs. Hector Lombard
  • Andrei Arlovski vs. Stefan Struve
  • Sean O’Malley vs. Andre Soukhamthath
  • Mackenzie Dern vs. Ashley Yoder
  • Ketlen Vieira vs. Cat Zingano
  • Bryan Caraway vs. Cody Stamann

For more on UFC 222, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: News, UFC

UFC's Amanda Ribas 'humiliated and victimized,' warns fellow fighters after two-year suspension

MMA Junkie News -

Despite a failed drug test and subsequent two-year suspension that spoiled her planned UFC debut, Amanda Ribas is maintaining her innocence.

The 24-year-old Brazilian strawweight sent a statement to MMAjunkie following Wednesday’s announcement of her suspension from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), the UFC’s drug-testing partner.

The failed drug test, which scrapped Ribas’ (6-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) 2017 bout with Juliana Lima (9-4 MMA, 3-3 UFC) on the undercard of The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, was due to ostarine, a selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM) that’s banned year-round.

RelatedUFC's Amanda Ribas accepts two-year suspension for anti-doping violation

Ribas initially maintained her innocence, and following the announcement of a career-stalling two-year suspension, she hasn’t backed down from that stance. She also offered some addition details.

According to Ribas, the failed drug test was likely due to a tainted supplement, and at her own cost, she had her an array of supplements tested. Ostarine wasn’t detected in any of them, though she said they may have been in a bottle of supplements she completed and thus didn’t have available to test.

“However, we did find (clenbuterol), which also is a forbidden substance, but oddly enough, never showed up in my tests,” she wrote.

Ribas said she hopes her situation serve as a wakeup call for fellow fighters, who may pay put too much faith into the safety and legitimacy of the supplements they take. (USADA.org includes a large amount of information on supplements for athletes and even has a special section devoted to ostarine.)

Here’s Ribas’ full statement:

“This is Amanda Ribas. I am fighter under contract to the UFC. Recently one of my anti doping tests performed by USADA came out positive for the steroid Ostarine.

“This would have been my debut in the UFC and the fulfillment of my dream!

“Those who know me, know my opinion and thoughts on PEDs. I was a Brazilian National Judo team member, and I am a professional MMA fighter. I have always been completely against any kind of cheating and the use of any of these kinds of products!

“When the test came back positive, I, along with my manager and trainer, gathered all the supplements and medicines I had been using, and sent them to USADA to try to find out how this had shown up in my body. Not only had I not used it, up until that moment, I had never even heard of Ostarine!

“After spending a lot of money on the testing of the supplements (which is paid for by the athlete), we were unable to find Ostarine in any of the products. However, we did find clumbeterol, which also is a forbidden substance, but oddly enough, never showed up in my tests.

“I have never used anything like this in my life, and I feel extremely humiliated and victimized at being punished for something I did not do. The fact that clumbeterol appeared in one of my supplements shows the poor quality and low standards of many of the supplement products on sale in Brazil and worldwide. For sure, I used a supplement that contained traces of Ostarine, but since it never occurred to me that things like this could happen, I must have used it up and thrown it away.

“It happened to me, and it has happened to other Brazilian athletes as well as athletes from other countries. I want to declare my innocence, and leave an urgent warning to all other athletes in Brazil and worldwide. This happens! It represents a huge risk to our lives and our careers! I will make it my mission to tell the world what happened to me, so that maybe I can avoid it happening to somebody else!

“I will serve my suspension, I will train hard, and I will come back and become UFC Champion!”

Ribas’ suspension is retroactive to June 7, 2017, the day her test was performed. She can return to competition on June 7, 2019.

For complete coverage of The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, check out the UFC Events section of the site.


Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Vídeo: O estrangulamento de Nicholas Meregali no Europeu de Jiu-Jitsu

GracieMag News -

Nicholas Meregali com o seu estrangulamento de lapela. Foto: Ivan Trindade/GRACIEMAG

Falta pouco para o início de mais um Europeu de Jiu-Jitsu da IBJJF, e a ansiedade no mundo da arte suave só aumenta. O evento, agendado para rolar entre os dias 16 e 21 de janeiro, vai trazer para Odivelas a nata do Jiu-Jitsu mundial para mais uma vez fazer história nos tatames em Portugal.

E para aquecer as turbinas para o torneio, vamos relembrar mais uma das inúmeras atuações implacáveis de Nicholas Meregali. Ainda na faixa-marrom, no Europeu de 2016, o hoje faixa-preta campeão mundial encarou Adam Wardzinski, terror do Jiu-Jitsu em terras europeias.

Para superar o adversário e conquistar o ouro no peso pesado, Nicholas pegou as costas, estabilizou e atacou com pressão no estrangulamento de lapela. Confira o duelo completo no vídeo abaixo e acompanhe no GRACIEMAG.com todos os detalhes do Europeu de Jiu-Jitsu 2018!

MMAjunkie's '2017 Moments of the Year': The 10 storylines that shaped our traffic

MMA Junkie News -

As MMAjunkie dishes out its year-end awards – recognizing the best fighters, fights, coaches and everything else associated with the sport – today we focus on the top moments.

More specifically, these are the stories that clicked with MMAjunkie readers. The good, the bad, the ugly, the wild, the crappy – this past year had it all.

I dug through our year-end traffic report to find the stories that resonated with the MMAjunkie faithful. Here they are, in no particular order.

* * * *

Score one for the good girls (and guys)

After dethroning Joanna Jedrzejczyk, the UFC’s long-reigning women’s strawweight champion, Rose Namajunas had every opportunity to gloat. After contentious pre-fight buildup that sometimes bordered on nasty, “Thug Rose” earned the right to rub it in the ex-champ’s face following her knockout win at UFC 217. Instead, the ever-graceful Namajunas said she was simply sick of the hate and implored MMA to return to its roots of “honor and respect.”

After a year of high-profile trash-talking and social-media beefs, the classy post-fight comments from the new champ were a breath of fresh air, as were similarly inspiring post-fight comments from Andre Fili and Brian Ortega.

if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_ix9Rhqc1_RbnemIYZ_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/ix9Rhqc1.json","ph":2} ); ‘The Money Fight’ actually happened

The possibility of UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor meeting boxing legend Floyd Mayweather? In an actual boxing match? With a $100 pay-per-view price tag? With all of the logistical, financial and promotional headaches that would be involved with some of combat sports’ biggest and most-demanding personalities? It actually happened – and it provided a year’s worth of coverage, for better or worse.

Sure, “The Money Fight” may have been the endeavor that fight fans loved to hate, but they spent nearly a full calendar doing so. Nearly everyone involved got rich. MMA got the national – and international – spotlight. UFC lightweights, meanwhile, are still waiting for a return to normal.

if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_uWDEvPR3_RbnemIYZ_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/uWDEvPR3.json","ph":2} ); Breaking MMA’s most prestigious record – with style

UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson is the sport’s top pound-for-pound fighter. He’s all but cleaned out his division. He’s seemingly unbeatable. He’s a true ambassador for a perpetually overlooked division. But the king of 125-pounders rarely gets his due (especially due to that whole T.J. Dillashaw debacle).

At UFC 216, “Mighty Mouse” looked to break Anderson Silva’s long-held UFC record for consecutive title defenses. Even taking sole possession of what’s arguably MMA’s most prestigious record probably wouldn’t have earned Johnson the respect he deserves. But then he notched his record 11th straight title defense with the year’s best submission – an eye-popping, gravity-defying armbar. Sure, we’ll bicker over the name (he calls it “The Mighty Armbar,” and we prefer “The Mouse Trap”), but it was the perfect way to enter the record books in style.

if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_Phndtmif_RbnemIYZ_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/Phndtmif.json","ph":2} ); Bellator hit pay-per-view – and it was so Bellator

While Bellator has worn many hats over the years, MMA’s No. 2 promotion seemed to do some real self-reflection in 2017. And if you’re a fight fan who enjoys a little weirdness from time to time, the promotion’s return to pay-per-view with Bellator NYC/Bellator 180 largely delivered. If nothing else, it was memorable, largely because Bellator embraced the weirdness.

Sure, past-their-prime UFC vets squared off in the headliner, with Chael Sonnen topping rival Wanderlei Silva. That’s par for the course on a major Bellator card. But we also had a still-relevant heavyweight contender – Matt Mitrione – destroying a legend in Fedor Emelianenko. Additionally, champ Douglas Lima defended, blue-chip prospect Aaron Pico got a rude welcome to MMA, and Michael Chandler’s knee provided one of the year’s biggest in-cage debacles.

Throughout the year – and especially with its latest PPV offering – Bellator reminded us that it’s very much not the UFC. That can be a very good thing. Stay weird, Bellator. It’s working for you.

if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_YvJOhEDt_RbnemIYZ_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/YvJOhEDt.json","ph":2} ); GSP returns

Everything old seems new again – at least in MMA. We were reminded of that in November, when former longtime UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre returned from a four-year layoff, moved up to middleweight, and dethroned polarizing champ Michael Bisping to become the fourth two-division champ in UFC history.

Some MMA supporters are simply St-Pierre fans; some just love to hate Bisping. Either way, “Rush’s” return was reason to celebrate. And for longtime fight fans, fellow vets and the bean-counters at the UFC, seeing an all-time great return to his former glory was some inspirational stuff.

St-Pierre’s future is uncertain (he’s already vacated the belt, after all). But few MMA notables have represented the sport as well as St-Pierre has, so it’s no surprise that his return to competition proved to be one of the year’s brighter moments.

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Filed under: AXS TV Fights, Bellator, Featured, News, PFL, UFC

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