Feed aggregator

Floyd Mayweather doubles down on MMA tease with another video of himself inside cage

MMA Junkie News -

Welp. We’re just never going to be done with Floyd Mayweather, are we?

One day after posting a cryptic video of himself simply walking into an MMA cage, Mayweather followed up with a second video of himself standing in the center of the cage and delivering a message (via Twitter).

Come at the king, you best not miss… pic.twitter.com/uHx4SJngHx

— Floyd Mayweather (@FloydMayweather) February 1, 2018

“2018. Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather. MMA. What are the odds, Paddy? What are the odds.”

Mayweather, of course, welcomed Conor McGregor to the boxing ring last summer, schooling the UFC lightweight champion before winning by 10th-round TKO in “The Money Fight” that did huge numbers and raked in a ton of cash. Mayweather said afterward that he was officially retired, but he continues to tease another possible crossover.

RelatedFloyd Mayweather takes aim at Conor McGregor's alleged bounty with Irish drug cartel

The idea of the soon-to-be 41-year-old Mayweather, an all-time boxing legend who holds a perfect 50-0 record, competing in MMA never has been taken seriously. But late last year UFC President Dana White did declare a deal was in the works to get Mayweather in the octagon, which was quickly shut down.

It sounds preposterous that Mayweather would dare to step inside the cage for a fight, but we live in these crazy times of a former reality TV star serving as our President. Oh, and money talks. So who knows what any of this means?

via GIPHY

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

Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. lands a hit against Conor McGregor during their boxing match at the at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. reacts before his bout against Conor McGregor at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor reacts with the audience before his bout against Floyd Mayweather Jr. at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor before fighting Floyd Mayweather Jr at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor moves in against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the first round at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor moves in against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the first round at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor moves in against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the first round at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor moves in with a hit against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the first round at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) and Conor McGregor (white trunks) box in the first round of their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) and Conor McGregor (white trunks) box in the first round of their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) and Conor McGregor (white trunks) box in the first round of their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) and Conor McGregor (white trunks) box in the first round of their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) and Conor McGregor (white trunks) box in the first round of their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. lands a hit against Conor McGregor during their boxing match at the at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. fights against Conor McGregor during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor moves in with a hit against Floyd Mayweather Jr. during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor fights against Floyd Mayweather Jr. during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor holds onto Floyd Mayweather Jr. during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor moves in with a hit against Floyd Mayweather Jr. during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. lands a hit against Conor McGregor during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. lands a hit against Conor McGregor during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor lands a hit on Floyd Mayweather Jr. during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. lands a hit on Conor McGregor during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor moves in with a hit against Floyd Mayweather Jr. during the sixth round at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) celebrates after knocking out Conor McGregor (white trunks) during their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mayweather won via 10th round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) celebrates after knocking out Conor McGregor (white trunks) during their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mayweather won via 10th round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) celebrates after knocking out Conor McGregor (white trunks) during their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mayweather won via 10th round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. reacts following his TKO victory against Conor McGregor in the tenth round at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Referee Robert Byrd stops the fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor in the tenth round at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Boxing referee Robert Byrd holds Conor McGregor after stopping the right in the tenth round against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the tenth round during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) reacts after knocking out Conor McGregor (not pictured) in their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mayweather won via tenth round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor (left) and Floyd Mayweather Jr. (right) shake hands after their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mayweather won via tenth round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor reacts following his loss in the tenth round by TKO to Floyd Mayweather Jr. at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (left) embraces Conor McGregor following their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/HPw3CvabZ8Rz65P6nkwQP6/300356", customAnalytics: true, title: "Mayweather def. McGregor", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Emily Ducote vs. Kristina Williams added to Bellator 195 in Oklahoma

MMA Junkie News -

A women’s flyweight matchup is the newest addition to Bellator’s return to WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Okla.

MMAjunkie today learned from promotion officials that Emily Ducote (6-3 MMA, 4-2 BMMA) will take on Kristina Williams (1-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) on the Paramount-televised main card of Bellator 195, which takes place on March 2.

Ducote looks to rebound from a fifth-round submission loss to current champ Ilima-Lei Macfarlane in a failed bid for Bellator’s inaugural women’s flyweight title. Prior to the loss, Ducote had racked up Bellator wins over Jessica Middleton and Katy Collins.

Meanwhile, Williams made her professional debut at October’s Bellator 185 event, heading fellow prospect Heather Hardy her first loss when doctors waved off the fight at the end of the second round.

With the addition to the card, Bellator 195 now includes:

  • Champ Darrion Caldwell vs. Leandro Higo – for bantamweight title
  • Joe Taimanglo vs. Joe Warren
  • Emily Ducote vs. Kristina Williams
  • Romero Cotton vs. Justin Reeser
  • Ky Bennett vs. Morgan Solis
  • Andrew Parker vs. Levi Queen
  • Teagan Dooley vs. Kevin Holland
  • Thomas Lopez vs. Aaron Webb
  • Treston Thomison vs. Jessie Vasquez

For more on Bellator 195, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Injury moves Ray Borg vs. Brandon Moreno to UFC 223 in Brooklyn

MMA Junkie News -

A key flyweight matchup expected to take place in Austin will instead be held in New York.

UFC officials today announced that a Brandon Moreno (14-4 MMA, 3-1 UFC) injury forced the promotion to delay a scheduled bout with Ray Borg (11-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC), pulling it off February’s UFC Fight Night 126 card and pushing it back seven weeks to UFC 223, which takes place April 7 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

The night’s official bout order has yet to be revealed, but the main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Borg is No. 5 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA flyweight rankings, and Moreno is No. 8.

Moreno, a 24-year-old Mexican fighter, became a quick fan favorite after storming on the UFC scene with a three-fight winning streak. “The Assassin Baby” picked off some big names – Louis Smolka, Ryan Benoit and Dustin Ortiz – during the stretch, which pushed his overall winning streak to 11 fights. However, in his most recent bout, he suffered a unanimous-decision defeat to fellow contender Sergio Pettis in August’s UFC Fight Night 114 headliner.

Moreno now meets Borg, a 24-year-old who went 5-1 with victories over the likes of Smolka and Jussier Formiga to earn a title shot with champ Demetrious Johnson. However, in UFC 216’s co-headliner this past October, “The Tazmexican Devil” suffered a fifth-round submission loss to the champ via dazzling armbar

With the addition, UFC 223 now includes:

  • Interim champ Tony Ferguson vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov – for interim lightweight title
  • Champ Rose Namajunas vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk – for strawweight title
  • Paul Felder vs. Al Iaquinta
  • Michael Chiesa vs. Anthony Pettis
  • Felice Herrig vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz
  • Chris Gruetzemacher vs. Joe Lauzon
  • Ray Borg vs. Brandon Moreno

For more on UFC 223, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site

Stipe Miocic, Daniel Cormier coaching staffs revealed for 'The Ultimate Fighter 27'

MMA Junkie News -

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

Heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic and light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier will square off in a mammoth showdown this summer at UFC 226 – but not before they complete several weeks together as opposing coaches on “The Ultimate Fighter.”

Miocic (18-2 MMA, 12-2 UFC) and Cormier (20-1 MMA, 9-1 UFC) will coach 16 undefeated athletes split into two weight classes, with lightweights and featherweights going through the traditional tournament format to win a UFC contract.

RelatedUFC 226 odds: Stipe Miocic opens as favorite over fellow UFC champ Daniel Cormier, but ...

The cast for the 27th season of the reality series was revealed last week. Now so have the coaching staffs thanks to posts on social media.

Team Miocic consists of Miocic, Chris Camozzi, Dustin Jacoby, James Krause, and Marcus Marinelli (via Twitter).

#TeamMiocic #TUF can't wait! pic.twitter.com/Tnsj6Szsg9

— Chris Camozzi (@ChrisCamozzi) January 31, 2018

Team Cormier consists of Cormier, Bob Cook, Javier Mendez, Cain Velasquez, Leandro Vieira, and Deron Winn (via Twitter).

With the champ @dc_mma and the team during first day of filming #TUF27. pic.twitter.com/uNcbdWtYQB

— Cain Velasquez (@cainmma) January 31, 2018

Filming for the series began this week. The show premieres Apr. 18 on FS1 with a two-hour season debut and will conclude July 6 with The Ultimate Fighter 27 Finale.

The next night on July 7, Miocic will put his heavyweight title on the line against Cormier in the headliner of UFC 226, which takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and airs on pay-per-view. Prelims are slated for FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

For more on UFC 226, visit the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) celebrates his win over Volkan Oezdemir (not seen) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) celebrates his victory against Volkan Oezdemir (not seen) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) fights Volkan Oezdemir (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) fights Volkan Oezdemir (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) fights Volkan Oezdemir (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) fights Volkan Oezdemir (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) fights Volkan Oezdemir (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) fights Volkan Oezdemir (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) fights Volkan Oezdemir (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) fights Volkan Oezdemir (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) fights Volkan Oezdemir (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) fights Volkan Oezdemir (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) fights Volkan Oezdemir (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) fights Volkan Oezdemir (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) fights Volkan Oezdemir (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) fights Volkan Oezdemir (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) fights Volkan Oezdemir (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Daniel Cormier (red gloves) celebrates his win over Volkan Oezdemir (not seen) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-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/aJTGE2feJLrvejkbWnwYQJ/300321", customAnalytics: true, title: "Cormier def. Oezdemir", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

UFC-Belem co-main event breakdown: John Dodson vs. Pedro Munhoz

MMA Junkie News -

if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_mLZBZU96_FLu19iir_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/mLZBZU96.json","ph":2} );

MMAjunkie Radio cohost and MMAjunkie contributor Dan Tom provides an in-depth breakdown of all of UFC Fight Night 125’s top bouts. Today, we look at the co-main event.

UFC Fight Night 125 takes place Saturday at Mangueirinho Gymnasium in Belem, Para, Brazil, and the card airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

* * * *

John Dodson (19-9 MMA, 8-4 UFC)

John Dodson

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’3″ Age: 33 Weight: 135 lbs. Reach: 66″
  • Last fight: Decision loss to Marlon Moraes (Nov. 11, 2017)
  • Camp: Jackson-Wink MMA (New Mexico)
  • Stance/striking style: Southpaw/kickboxing
  • Risk management: Good

Supplemental info:
+ “The Ultimate Fighter” season 14 winner
+ 2x wrestling state champ (New Mexico)
+ 10 KO victories
+ 2 submission wins
+ 8 first-round finishes
+ KO power
+ Athletic and agile
^ Closes distance quickly
+ Dangerous left hand
^ Accurate shot selection
+ Improved kicking ability
+ Works well off of caught kicks
+ Solid counter wrestling
^ Superb scrambling and getups

Pedro Munhoz (15-2-1 MMA, 5-2-1 UFC)

Pedro Munhoz

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’6″ Age: 31 Weight: 135 lbs. Reach: 64″
  • Last fight: Submission win over Rob Font (Oct. 28, 2017)
  • Camp: American Top Team (Florida)
  • Stance/striking style: Orthodox/muay Thai
  • Risk management: Fair

Supplemental info:
+ RFA bantamweight title
+ Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt
+ 2x no-gi grappling champion
+ 3 KO victories
+ 8 submission wins
+ 6 first-round finishes
+ Aggressive pace and pressure
+ Solid muay Thai technique
^ Accurate knees and elbows
+ Hard leg and head kicks
+ Competent takedown ability
+ Slick transitional grappler
^ Scrambles well/positionally aware
+ Dangerous guillotine choke
+ Active and attacking guard
^ Looks to sweep or stand

Summary:

The co-main event in Brazil features a bantamweight battle between John Dodson and Pedro Munhoz.

Dodson, a former title challenger at flyweight, has traded wins and losses since moving back up the 135 pounds. Looking to get back on track with a win, Dodson will first have to head behind enemy lines.

Welcoming the American to his backyard is Munhoz, a former RFA bantamweight champion, who is currently riding a four-fight winning streak. Seeking to take another step toward a title shot, Munhoz will attempt to use this showcase spot to state his case.

Starting off on the feet, we have a matchup between a stalking pressure-fighter and a stick-and-move stylist who can counter with effect.

Typically coming in as the smaller man, Dodson does well at compensating for his stature with speed and craft. A fighter who thrives off of rhythm and reads, Dodson has no issues feinting or playing in space when he needs to and can explode forward with flying knees or punches at the drop of a dime.

The 14-year pro has also developed into a sharp counter striker over the years.

Similar to a smaller version of Chuck Liddell, Dodson will steadily revert to hanging back by the inner-black octagon lines as he looks for crushing counters. Offering up heavy left hands and the occasional Thai kick from his power side, Dodson often does enough damage to sway a fight in his favor, regardless of whether or not he can get the stop.

The problem, however, is that Dodson sometimes has a habit of lulling action, especially when being pressured. As we saw in his fights with Demetrious Johnson, John Lineker, and Marlon Moraes, Dodson had his hardest moments of the match when being pressured. Considering who his counterpart is here, it will be interesting to see how Dodson responds.

A more traditional pressure-fighter, Munhoz acts as if he has a built-in magnet with the way in which he steadily stalks opponents. Initially sharpening his muay Thai at Blackhouse and Kings MMA, Munhoz has proven himself to be a multi-dimensional threat.

A carryover from his grappling days, Munhoz’s leg and hip dexterity translate nicely to his kicks, adding a natural snap to his assault. Munhoz’s flexibility also translates into other parts of his game – we saw the Brazilian execute beautiful roundhouse knees in his war with Jimmie Rivera.

Although Munhoz has traditionally lacked a strong boxing presence, the 31-year-old has shown fundamental improvements to his jab and other areas while under his current care of American Top Team. That said, Munhoz’s upgrades have primarily been offensive, which makes me wonder if he will adjust his defenses for this matchup.

With pressure comes harsh weather, and we’ve seen Munhoz taxed by left hands from either stance regardless of whether or not he was winning or losing.

Should Munhoz’s high-pressure approach fail to produce the results he desires, I will be curious to see how he fairs in initiating grappling exchanges. Despite wielding a solid double-leg takedown, Munhoz typically gets into grappling territory through caught kicks or snap-downs to a front-headlock position.

Though I could see the latter of those options having play in this matchup, all of the above is usually easier said than done against Dodson.

Coming from a wrestling base, Dodson – accompanied by his speed and movement – makes for a tough customer to take down. The two-time state wrestling champ also maintains an excellent posture, making said snap-downs harder to achieve. When taken down, Dodson does an excellent job of scrambling safely back to his feet, utilizing the cage as an assist whenever possible.

Nevertheless, mixing up with Munhoz – even for a second – can be game over.

An accomplished grappler in and out of the gi, Munhoz has shown little issue translating his game to MMA, hitting slick submissions from what are sometimes strange positions. Possessing the most potent guillotine south of 145 pounds, the Brazilian will be keeping a constant threat for Dodson in his back pocket.

The oddsmakers and public are tentatively touching this these betting lines, listing Dodson -150 and Munhoz +130 as of this writing.

Given how these two match up on paper, I do not blame anyone for having difficulty in confidently taking a side. I could easily see a scenario where Dodson’s stick-and-move sensibilities and reluctance to turn up the heat costs him once again on the scorecards. And yes, I could also see Munhoz pulling another guillotine choke out of his hat.

Still, it’s difficult to ignore the fact that Munhoz has a propensity to take damage in both victory and defeat, with left hands being his common culprit. And considering how much success both Russell Doane and Justin Scoggins had from the southpaw stance, I have a hard time seeing Dodson and his camp not having a blueprint of how to correct past mistakes here. For that reason, I’ll ever-so-slightly side with Dodson to do enough damage to dictate this fight’s outcome.

Official pick: Dodson by decision

For more on UFC Fight Night 125, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Derrick Lewis was trapped in heavy-metal hell and couldn't escape

MMA Junkie News -

Don’t expect Derrick Lewis to walk out to heavy metal for his next bout at UFC Fight Night 126 – or ever, for that matter.

Why would we say that?

Well, just take a look at this classic Twitter most from “The Black Beast” today:

HELP ME pic.twitter.com/ENg7hlltS9

— Derrick Lewis (@Thebeast_ufc) January 31, 2018

Lewis out here showing why he might have the best social media game in the UFC. And give the man an Oscar for the tears streaking down his face. Hilarious.

via GIPHY

Lewis (18-5-1 MMA, 3-2 UFC) next fights Marcin Tybura (16-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) in the UFC Fight Night 126 co-headliner, which takes place Feb. 18 at Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas, and airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

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

if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_bICL2ZSu_RbnemIYZ_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/bICL2ZSu.json","ph":2} );

Luke Rockhold: Yoel Romero not ready for deep, dark world that awaits at UFC 221

MMA Junkie News -

if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_kRaGyBlD_FLu19iir_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/kRaGyBlD.json","ph":2} );

Yoel Romero (12-2 MMA, 8-1 UFC) may strike a menacing presence, but count Luke Rockhold (16-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC) among those who are unimpressed.

At next week’s UFC 221 event in the Australian city of Perth, Rockold was expecting an opportunity to win back the UFC middleweight title he lost to Michael Bisping in 2016. But with current champ Robert Whittaker unexpectedly sidelined, Rockhold instead challenges Yoel Romero for an interim belt in the pay-per-view headliner.

RelatedUFC champ Robert Whittaker provides first update since concerning health update

It’s still an intriguing contest. After all, Rockhold is currently No. 3 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middleweight rankings while Romero checks in just behind at No. 4. But Rockhold doesn’t necessarily consider the contest as a proving ground. Instead, he sees the matchup as an opportunity to prove he can match Whittaker’s performance against Romero and become the first man in the UFC to down the “Soldier of God.”

“No one’s putting away Romero other than me and Whittaker, so that’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to put him away,” Rockhold said. “I’m going to show what’s up, and then I’m going to take on Whittaker.”

Whittaker’s exact return date is still uncertain, though he recently took to social media to report he was making a quick recovery from a potentially dangerous infection.

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

Of course, Romero – even at 40 – isn’t exactly an easy opponent, and he boasts a lifetime of wrestling on the world’s highest level before transitioning to MMA. Rockhold sees strength in his opponent but said it doesn’t come close to matching his own.

“I know Yoel believes in himself,” Rockhold said. “I know he is almost overconfident at times. I think he doesn’t really understand where the dangers are I pose to him. I know what he is and what he’s capable of, but I’m going to give this guy more than he can handle. I’m going to shut him down. I’m willing to go deeper than he’ll ever go.

“Some people act the part. Some people talk the part. But to be the part, to go there and to get into those moments, I’ve never been outdone. I’m willing to go deeper and darker than any of these motherf*ckers. Yoel can look it, and he can act it, but I’ll bring it out of him, and I’ll push this thing to a different world that he’s not ready for.”

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

Stylistically, Romero would certainly be considered the better wrestler, but Rockhold’s grappling chops could provide some issues for his opponent on the canvas. Meanwhile, Rockhold is a more technically sound striker, but Romero’s power is unquestionable, as witnessed by the 10 knockouts he’s earned in 12 career wins.

Rockhold said balancing the equation is simple: He’s better everywhere.

“I don’t know if Yoel thinks he can grapple with me,” Rockhold said. “He’ll be in for a surprise if he really wants to take it there. So whether he wants to strike, and he thinks he’s OK there, I’m going to make him pay there, and I think he falls back to his instincts, and he tries to wrestle. I’m going to make him pay for the wrestling. I’m going to hit scrambles. I’m going to be on top. I’m going to get in positions where he’s never felt.”

Rockhold opened the matchup as an underdog, but the line has since shifted, and he’s currently an ever-so-slight favorite. The fight features unquestionably two of the best middleweights in the world, but Rockhold said the talent discrepancy between the two is vast, and he intends to prove it at UFC 221.

“Mark my words: I’ve done it,” Rockhold said. “I’ll never be outdone. I’m a fighter. I’ve been here, and I’ve proven that over and over and over, and I’m going to go prove it again.”

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

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

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia, Brian “Goze” Garcia and Dan Tom. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

Sep 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Luke Rockhold (Red Gloves) reacts to fight against David Branch (Blue Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Don Wright-USA TODAY Sports Sep 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Luke Rockhold (Red Gloves) fights David Branch (Blue Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Don Wright-USA TODAY Sports Sep 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Luke Rockhold (Red Gloves) fights David Branch (Blue Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Don Wright-USA TODAY Sports Sep 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Luke Rockhold (Red Gloves) fights David Branch (Blue Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Don Wright-USA TODAY Sports Sep 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Luke Rockhold (Red Gloves) fights David Branch (Blue Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Don Wright-USA TODAY Sports Sep 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Luke Rockhold (Red Gloves) fights David Branch (Blue Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Don Wright-USA TODAY Sports Sep 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Luke Rockhold (Red Gloves) fights David Branch (Blue Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Don Wright-USA TODAY Sports Sep 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Luke Rockhold (Red Gloves) fights David Branch (Blue Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Don Wright-USA TODAY Sports Sep 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Luke Rockhold (Red Gloves) fights David Branch (Blue Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Don Wright-USA TODAY Sports Sep 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Luke Rockhold (Red Gloves) fights David Branch (Blue Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Don Wright-USA TODAY Sports Sep 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Luke Rockhold (Red Gloves) fights David Branch (Blue Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Don Wright-USA TODAY Sports Sep 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Luke Rockhold (Red Gloves) fights David Branch (Blue Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Don Wright-USA TODAY Sports Sep 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Luke Rockhold (Red Gloves) fights David Branch (Blue Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Don Wright-USA TODAY Sports Sep 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Luke Rockhold (Red Gloves) fights David Branch (Blue Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Don Wright-USA TODAY Sports Sep 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Luke Rockhold (Red Gloves) fights David Branch (Blue Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Don Wright-USA TODAY Sports Sep 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Luke Rockhold (Red Gloves) fights David Branch (Blue Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Don Wright-USA TODAY Sports Sep 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Luke Rockhold (Red Gloves) fights David Branch (Blue Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Don Wright-USA TODAY Sports Sep 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Luke Rockhold (Red Gloves) fights David Branch (Blue Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Don Wright-USA TODAY Sports Sep 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Luke Rockhold (Red Gloves) fights David Branch (Blue Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Don Wright-USA TODAY Sports Sep 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Luke Rockhold (Red Gloves) fights David Branch (Blue Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Don Wright-USA TODAY Sports Sep 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Luke Rockhold (Red Gloves) fights David Branch (Blue Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Don Wright-USA TODAY Sports Sep 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Luke Rockhold (Red Gloves) fights David Branch (Blue Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Don Wright-USA TODAY Sports Sep 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Luke Rockhold (Red Gloves) reacts to fight against David Branch (Blue Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Don Wright-USA TODAY Sports Sep 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Luke Rockhold (Red Gloves) reacts to fight against David Branch (Blue Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Don Wright-USA TODAY Sports Sep 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Luke Rockhold (Red Gloves) reacts to fight against David Branch (Blue Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Don Wright-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/UcKGwEF3UBxZ6UANwB6hkH/300240", customAnalytics: true, title: "Rockhold def. Branch", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Champ Amanda Nunes – future UFC matchmaker? Maybe, if Invicta FC role goes as planned

MMA Junkie News -

if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_kKujdEbp_FLu19iir_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/kKujdEbp.json","ph":2} );

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – We’re no strangers to seeing UFC champion Amanda Nunes up on stage in front of a scale – but not quite like what we saw her at this month’s Invicta FC 27 event.

Rather than size up her competition with one of her typical “Lioness” stares, Nunes stood in the middle, fully clothed, separating different pairs of fighters as they faced off for their own bouts.

“(It) definitely was crazy for me, being in the front,” Nunes told MMAjunkie with a laugh. “Nina (Ansaroff, girlfriend and fellow UFC fighter) told me, ‘You look like you want to fight those girls. That was crazy. Relax.’”

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

Nunes (15-4 MMA, 8-1 UFC), of course, wasn’t fighting any of them on Jan. 13. Rather, she was leading her first weigh-in as part of Invicta FC’s talent-development team, where the UFC bantamweight champ will now perform matchmaking and talent-scouting duties.

Much like the other duties that come with her new gig, being the one to square other people off will take some getting used to. But, happy to be a part of it, Nunes is willing to put in the work to make sure that this is yet another thing in which she excels at.

“That was a huge step in my life  – to feel that moment, (to) be with Invicta, be the matchmaker for Invicta,” Nunes said. “This is awesome. Everything has been happening in my life right now and I’m happy.”

So far, all parties involved seem quite satisfied with the partnership. Invicta FC President Shannon Knapp, who also saw in Brazil’s Nunes a great chance to bridge a gap between the promotion and its abundant Brazilian talent, told MMAjunkie Radio she was encouraged by Nunes’ first fight week.

RelatedInvicta FC's Shannon Knapp talks decision to bring UFC champ Amanda Nunes on board

Nunes, who’d known Knapp since their Strikeforce days, said she’s found a perfect outlet to share the experienced she’s acquired throughout a decade-long career and help other women like her thrive as they make their own paths in MMA.

There is bound to be a bit of a balancing act there between the behind-the-scenes job and her active reign as UFC women’s bantamweight champion. But Nunes is optimistic that she’ll manage just fine.

“I have my time off in between training – I have my days off,” Nunes said. “Things are going to work out. Shannon is very good with timing. We can work very well tother. Only look at videos and see if you like the girls? This is nothing. This is a pleasure to do, to help other girls to grow.”

And hey, who knows, she just might just end up planting some seeds for what can be a solid retirement plan.

RelatedAmanda Nunes unsure why Cris Cyborg champ-vs.-champ negotiations are dragging

“Of course, after I retire, I want to be in (the sport),” Nunes said. “I might get a job with the UFC after that. Maybe the matchmaker for (the) UFC one day? Maybe? You know, I (will) be working on it. I know I’m going to be very good at it. I know a very good striker. I know very good grappling. Putting a fight together, I know very well. And I think it’s going to be awesome.”

Before any of that happens though, Nunes still has some things to do in the octagon. After defending her bantamweight belt for a second time in September, “The Lioness” is now eager for a chance to become the first woman to hold multiple UFC belts. A desire that, according to Nunes, is now riding solely on 145-pound champ and fellow countrywoman Cris Cyborg saying yes.

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

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

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) 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; 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; 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; 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 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/VmdxYzNRQCwFjN3cFenG9g/300260", customAnalytics: true, title: "Nunes def. Shevchenko", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Roy Nelson admits he hoped Bellator title run would have started with lighter opponent

MMA Junkie News -

if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_TD6siJmB_FLu19iir_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/TD6siJmB.json","ph":2} );

It’s always a little tough to tell just how seriously to take Roy Nelson, but it’s hard to argue with his logic.

Nelson (23-14 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) takes on Matt Mitrione (12-5 MMA, 3-0 BMMA) in a heavyweight grand prix quarterfinal matchup on Feb. 16 at Bellator 194, which takes place at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. The bout serves as the final contest of the Paramount-broadcast main card following prelims on MMAjunkie.

The winner of the tournament will be awarded Bellator’s vacant heavyweight title, and Nelson admits he’s pretty excited to have that opportunity so early in his run with the promotion.

“The one thing I love about a grand prix and a tournament format is just that it takes the politics out of the game,” Nelson told MMAjunkie. “You can see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Handicapping the field for the grand prix is an interesting proposition. After all, while Nelson and Mitrione join true heavyweights Fedor Emelianenko and Frank Mir in the field, light heavyweight champion Ryan Bader faces multi-division fighter Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal in the opening round, and natural middleweight Chael Sonnen already advanced with a win over Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.

Nelson believes just picking likely winners based on size isn’t a wise idea and believes the results will ultimately come down to stylistic matchups.

RelatedVideo: Watch the first Bellator heavyweight grand prix face-offs

“Ryan Bader is a big 205er,” Nelson said. “The only two people that are really, really super small that probably shouldn’t be here but they just like to fight is Chael and ‘Mo.’ ‘Mo’ walks around like 210, but he has back abs. He’s just one of those guys that if he had to cut, he’d be a 185er.”

And here’s where Nelson’s tongue-in-cheek approach to media comes in to play. While he already owns a 2012 win over Mitrione, Nelson said the matchup wasn’t all that appealing. After all, if you can assume the bigger man will generally be the harder puncher, the safe play would seem to be to face the lightest man possible, Nelson argues.

“I wanted the lightest guy first,” Nelson said. “I was like, ‘Give me Chael.’ From doing ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ and doing other tournaments, I’m like, ‘Let’s go with who’s the smallest guy first. Let’s kind of go that way.’

“The heavier you are, the harder you hit. That’s how I’ve got to look at it. … I preferred the little guys, but if I’ve got to get a big guy, cool, whatever.”

Fighting on opposite sides of the tournament bracket, Nelson will need to make it to the grand prix final to earn himself that Sonnen contest. First up, though, is Mitrione, and Nelson believes his hand will be raised again, much like it was in their first meeting.

Then it’s two more fights for Nelson to claim the heavyweight title, and he hopes there’s some excitement along the way.

“Winning the belt is kid of first and foremost, but it’s always about entertaining the fans,” Nelson said. “You’ve got to do both. Our job is both.”

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

And for more on Bellator 194, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Sep 23, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; Roy Nelson vs Javy Ayala during Bellator 183 at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports Sep 23, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; Roy Nelson vs Javy Ayala during Bellator 183 at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports Sep 23, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; Roy Nelson vs Javy Ayala during Bellator 183 at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports Sep 23, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; Roy Nelson vs Javy Ayala during Bellator 183 at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports Sep 23, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; Roy Nelson vs Javy Ayala during Bellator 183 at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports Sep 23, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; Roy Nelson vs Javy Ayala during Bellator 183 at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports Sep 23, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; Roy Nelson vs Javy Ayala during Bellator 183 at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports Sep 23, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; Roy Nelson vs Javy Ayala during Bellator 183 at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports Sep 23, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; Roy Nelson vs Javy Ayala during Bellator 183 at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports Sep 23, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; Roy Nelson vs Javy Ayala during Bellator 183 at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports Sep 23, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; Roy Nelson vs Javy Ayala during Bellator 183 at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports Sep 23, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; Roy Nelson vs Javy Ayala during Bellator 183 at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-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/ZfXvZvE4iXYD3vAXhjnrXa/300235", customAnalytics: true, title: "Nelson def. Ayala", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Com formato inovador, torneio de Jiu-Jitsu na Coreia do Sul promete ganhar o mundo

GracieMag News -

Insung Jang ataca Shane Hill-Taylor na final de 2017 do Spyder Invitational BJJ. Foto: Divulgação

Inúmeros torneios de Jiu-Jitsu nascem a cada temporada com a promessa de lançar um novo conceito ao nosso bom e velho Jiu-Jitsu. Para brigar de igual com organizações já conhecidas na comunidade da arte suave, o Spyder Invitational BJJ traz um formato inovador de disputa, que visa sacudir o mundo do Jiu-JItsu.

Idealizado e realizado na Coréia do Sul, país figurativamente sem tradição no Jiu-Jitsu, o Spyder Invitational BJJ quer decolar não só como evento, mas também com o lançamento de novos atletas locais com grandes habilidades e chances iguais de disputa com os medalhões da arte suave mundial.

Para tal, o torneio conta com apenas duas categorias de peso (até 76kg e acima de 76kg), no qual faixas-pretas, marrons e roxas se enfrentam livremente, sem subdivisão por graduação.

Em sua edição de estreia, em 2016, apenas atletas coreanos entraram na disputa. Já em 2017, americanos e brasileiros também integraram o card. Para 2018, nomes famosos do cenário mundial lutam em busca do título no Spyder Invitational BJJ.

Nas preliminares, que rolam no dia 11 de fevereiro, nomes como Hugo Marques (Soul Fighters), Kaynã Duarte (Atos) e Jonathas Gracie (Atos) disputarão com nomes de alto nível da Coréia do Sul as seis vagas para o torneio principal, que acontece em julho, e já tem garantidos nomes como Keenan Cornelius (Atos), Paulo MIyao (Unity), Rudson Mateus (CTA), Shane Hill-Taylor (Lloyd Irvin) e outros craques.

Fique ligado no GRACIEMAG.com e confira de perto o melhor torneio já realizado pelo Spyder Invitational BJJ, evento que promete sacudir o cenário internacional do Jiu-Jitsu.

Joe Soto to fight out contract at UFC-Belem, aims to continue octagon run

MMA Junkie News -

if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_RJ3yu860_FLu19iir_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/RJ3yu860.json","ph":2} );

Joe Soto’s UFC career has been a wild ride thus far, but he’s not ready for it to end just yet.

Soto (18-6 MMA, 3-4 UFC) wraps up his current four-fight deal with the UFC at Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 125 event, where he takes on fellow bantamweight Iuri Alcantara (34-9 MMA, 9-6 UFC) in Belem, Para, Brazil. The bout takes place on the FS1-televised prelims following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass and preceding the night’s FS1-televised main card.

Soto admits a positive showing would certainly help his cause but doesn’t think the hope for a new deal adds any real pressure to the contest.

“It’s definitely a big deal, but I guess every fight is kind of like that,” Soto told MMAjunkie Radio. “Your next fight is always your biggest fight.”

Soto was in a much more enviable position before Dec. 1, boasting a three-fight winning streak heading into a matchup with Brett Johns at The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale. However, after suffering a submission loss via calf slicer just 30 seconds into the contest, Soto admits he walked away a little frustrated with the result.

“It kind of sucks that I didn’t get to perform,” Soto said. “That’s the only thing that sucks about it: I didn’t feel like I got to perform. I worked so hard for that last fight, too. But that’s the fight game. You never know how it’s going to go. Anything can happen.”

On the bright side, Soto gets a chance to make a quick return to action, which he appreciates as the sole bread winner for his family. And finishing a four-fight deal with a 3-1 record would certainly seem worthy of a new deal, especially when all three wins came in visits to international destinations.

Soto admits that’s his goal, with free agency not exactly looming as a beacon on the horizon.

“This is definitely where I want to stay and where I want to be,” Soto said. “I want to stay here. I like fighting in the UFC. I want to fight the toughest guys. The UFC has taken care of me pretty good.”

Soto’s UFC career thus far has been one of wild streaks, starting with an unexpected title shot and then three even more unexpected losses. Three straight wins followed before the loss to Johns. The next chapter may very well be written on Saturday night.

“This is the biggest stage, and you can probably make the most money here, especially with the bonuses if you’re lucky enough to get a bonus,” Soto said. “I don’t think I’d rather fight anywhere else unless I have to.”

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

For more on UFC Fight Night 125, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia, Brian “Goze” Garcia and Dan Tom. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with Kamaru Usman, Kayla Harrison and Ali Abdelaziz in studio

MMA Junkie News -

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Kamaru Usman, Kayla Harrison and Ali Abdelaziz all in studio.

Usman is coming off a win over Emil Meek at UFC Fight Night 124 on Jan. 14. Olympic gold medalist Harrison is gearing up for an MMA debut with PFL (formerly WSOF), where she does commentary work. Veteran MMA manager Abdelaziz reps the likes of Khabib Nurmagomedov, Justin Gaethje and Cody Garbrandt.

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

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

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

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2611 with Ben Nguyen, Brendan Fitzgerald, Ana Julaton

MMA Junkie News -

Stream or download Tuesday’s episode of MMAjunkie Radio with guests Ben Nguyen, Brendan Fitzgerald and Ana Julaton.

Nguyen, who faces Jussier Formiga on Feb. 10 at UFC 221, called in to talk about his upcoming fight. UFC play-by-play commentator Brendan Fitzgerald called into the program to help preview UFC Fight Night 125, which takes place on Feb. 2 in Brazil. Julaton, who faces Heather Hardy on Feb. 16 at Bellator 194, co-hosted the entire episode in-studio.

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

Why is UFC on FOX, which was supposed to take MMA to the next level, now hitting new lows?

MMA Junkie News -

It was the summer of 2011 when the UFC signed a new TV deal that company executives hailed as a groundbreaking move that would change the sport of MMA forever. After years of slugging it out on cable with Spike, the UFC was headed to network TV, thanks to a new deal with FOX.

“This was it for me. This is what I always wanted,” UFC President Dana White said at a press conference announcing the deal that August. “This is what I always felt was the pinnacle for us here in the United States. Not just to be on the No. 1 network in the country, but to be on a network with all the other real big sports: NFL, Major League Baseball, NASCAR, etc. It’s going to take the sport to the next level.”

And at first, it did. The UFC’s initial foray onto FOX that fall – a single-fight broadcast of a heavyweight title bout between Junior Dos Santos and Cain Velasquez – peaked with nearly nine million viewers. If the fight hadn’t ended with a Dos Santos knockout win in just 64 seconds, that number might very well have broken 10 million.

Subsequent events on FOX in 2012 and 2013 did solid overall ratings numbers, with the five highest-rated events in the UFC on FOX series all coming in the years prior to 2014.

RelatedDana White likes odds of Brock Lesnar, Georges St-Pierre, Jon Jones, Diaz brother fighting in 2018

Since then, however, viewership numbers have been on a steady decline. Average ratings in 2017 were worse than those in 2016, which in turn were down from the numbers in 2015.

Up until Saturday night’s UFC on FOX 27 event, the low-water mark was last summer’s card headlined by Chris Weidman vs. Kelvin Gastelum, which drew 1.64 million viewers (the following event, Robbie Lawler vs. Rafael dos Anjos, did only slightly better).

This past weekend’s event in Charlotte drew just 1.59 million viewers in overnight ratings – a new series low. To put that in perspective, the UFC pulled in about as many viewers for an event on FOX in 2018 as UFC pay-per-view prelims routinely drew on Spike TV back in 2011.

Ronaldo Souza head-kicks Derek Brunson in the UFC on FOX 28 main event.

Loyal viewers may tell themselves that it doesn’t matter. After all, if you’re enjoying the show, why should you care if the number of other people doing the same is 10,000 or 10 million?

But it matters a great deal to TV networks, which means it matters to the UFC, which is in the midst of negotiating a new broadcast rights deal that it hopes will fetch a huge revenue increase.

Whether the UFC gets the deal it wants or doesn’t, it could have major ramifications for MMA’s future in North America. That alone makes it worth asking: What happened?

How did the UFC on FOX go from groundbreaking game-changer to a lackluster series that pulls in about as many viewers as a “Will & Grace” rerun? And what does that mean as we head into a pivotal year for the sport’s biggest player?

For starters, you have to put the recent downturn in context. It’s not just the UFC that’s experiencing a ratings drop – it’s live sports in general.

RelatedTwitter Mailbag: Does Dana White's vocal support for Donald Trump risk alienating fans – or certain fighters?

As recently as a couple years ago, live sports were widely considered to be the last bastion of DVR-proof programming, making those properties uniquely valuable to advertisers. Younger audiences might be getting their TV needs met through Netflix or Hulu, but live sports would stop them from completely “cutting the cord,” or so the thinking went.

That theory hasn’t held up so well, as plenty of major sports properties saw some dip in ratings during 2017. Network TV in general has seen a recent decline in viewership, with FOX taking some of the hardest hits.

Some of that might be because technology is changing our viewing habits. We don’t have to sit down in front of the TV to get our sports fix, just like we don’t have to accept that whatever’s offered from the few major networks is all there is to choose from.

Plus, there are just more sports and entertainment offerings constantly competing for our attention, on demand, across multiple platforms. Whether you have an entire niche sport to spotlight or just a funny video you made with your friends, there are more ways to see and share it now than there were even a few years ago. There was a time when the UFC was a beneficiary of that trend. Now it’s another voice struggling to be heard.

But the UFC also has to bear some responsibility for its own numbers. Looking at the differences between the highest-rated FOX events and the lowest, it’s clear that the quality of the card matters.

Ratings for pay-per-view prelims on FS1 have held fairly steady, but when it comes to trying to draw millions of viewers to a network TV event, title fights and meaningful match-ups generally do better than a series of bouts that feel like the best available leftovers.

RelatedThe Speed Bag: What's even happening with 'The Ultimate Fighter' anymore?

But at this stage in its FOX deal, the UFC doesn’t seem interested in pulling out all the stops to deliver a major ratings win. Last Saturday’s middleweight rematch of uncertain importance, backed by an extremely mediocre main card, made that fairly clear.

The UFC on FOX event next month is another reminder, as Josh Emmett meets Jeremy Stephens in a headliner that should produce a fun fight, but probably won’t blow anyone away with sheer star power, which in turn creates its own trend.

After years of booking FOX events like they’re nothing particularly special – the tier of UFC programming that’s somewhere below the one that’s good enough to pay for – fans almost can’t help but pick up on that message. These are not the events that really, truly matter the most. If they were, they’d be on pay-per-view, which is where MMA’s actual game-changers happen.

This has to be a consideration for potential TV partners. The difference between UFC on FOX 1 and UFC on FOX 27 illuminates just how much variance there can be in the quality of the product that the UFC chooses to put on network TV.

The opportunity to showcase MMA’s best on network TV? Maybe that can still be a groundbreaking, game-changing, can’t-miss proposition. But one thing the FOX deal has shown is that a broadcast deal with the UFC doesn’t guarantee a network the full power of the UFC machine.

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

Mar 4, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC president Dana White (center) attempts to separate Conor McGregor (left) from Nate Diaz during weigh-ins for UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Oct. 28, 2011; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC president Dana White (center) breaks up a fight between welterweight fighters B.J. Penn (left) and Nick Diaz during weigh ins for UFC 137 at the Mandalay Bay event center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Oct. 28, 2011; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC president Dana White (center) breaks up a fight between welterweight fighters B.J. Penn (left) and Nick Diaz during weigh ins for UFC 137 at the Mandalay Bay event center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Mar 15, 2013; Montreal, Quebec, Canada; UFC president Dana White (center) steps in between Georges St.Pierre and Nick Diaz during the weight-in for UFC 158 at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports Jul 5, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Dana White (center) separates Norman Parke (left) and Kazuki Tokudome as they face off at the weighs-in for their UFC fight at the Mandalay Bay Event Center. Norman Parke takes on Kazuki Tokudome at the MGM Grand Garden Arena July 6. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jul 5, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Dana White (center) separates Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman (right) at today's weighs-in for their UFC fight at the Mandalay Bay Event Center. Silva takes on Weidman at the MGM Grand Garden Arena July 6. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jul 5, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Dana White (center) separates Norman Parke (left) and Kazuki Tokudome as they face off at the weighs-in for their UFC fight at the Mandalay Bay Event Center. Norman Parke takes on Kazuki Tokudome at the MGM Grand Garden Arena July 6. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports December 13, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; UFC lightweight fighters Abel Trujillo (left) and Roger Bowling (right) face-off in front of UFC president Dana White (center) in the official weigh-in for UFC on FOX 9 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports Dec 27, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC President Dana White (center) separates Dustin Poirier (left) and Diego Brandao as they face off for their UFC Featherweight Bout on December 28 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Oct 24, 2014; Rio de Janeiro, BRAZIL; William Macario (left) and Neil Magny are separated by Dana White during weigh-ins for UFC 179 at Ginasio do Maracanazinho. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jan 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC President Dana White separates Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier during the weigh in for their Light Heavyweight Title Bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 30, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC President Dana White looks on as Ian McCall and John Linekar face off at the weigh in for their lightweight bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports May 22, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Uriah Hall (L) and Rafael Natal (R) are separated by UFC president Dana White (C) after weighing in for their middleweight bout at MGM Grand Ballroom. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports May 22, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Uriah Hall (L) and Rafael Natal (R) are separated by UFC president Dana White (C) after weighing in for their middleweight bout at MGM Grand Ballroom. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports May 22, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Chris Weidman (L) and Vitor Belfort (R) are separated by UFC president Dana White (C) after weighing in for their middleweight championship bout at MGM Grand Ballroom. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jul 10, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC president Dana White (center) separates Conor McGregor (right) and Chad Mendes (left) during weigh-ins for UFC 189 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jul 10, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC president Dana White (center) separates Conor McGregor (right) and Chad Mendes (left) during weigh-ins for UFC 189 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports December 11, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor pose are separated by UFC president Dana White during weigh-ins for UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Dec 9, 2016; Toronto, ON, Canada; Cub Swanson and Dooho Choi (right) pose as UFC President Dana WHite intervenes during weigh ins for UFC 206 at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 27: Conor McGregor and Eddie Alvarez face-off as UFC president Dana White breaks them up at the UFC 205 press conference at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on September 27, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) Mar 4, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC president Dana White (center) separates fighter Jon Jones (right) from Daniel Cormier during a press conference prior to weigh-ins for UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC president Dana White (center) separates fighter Jon Jones (right) from Daniel Cormier during a press conference prior to weigh-ins for UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor (left) is held back by UFC president Dana White during weigh-ins for UFC 196 fight against Nate Diaz (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Dec 9, 2016; Toronto, ON, Canada; Donald Cerrone extends his hand to Matt Brown (right) as UFC President Dana White intervenes during weigh ins for UFC 206 at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 11: UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes faces off with Ronda Rousey after UFC 205 Weigh-ins in preparation for their UFC 207 fight that will take place on December 30, 2016 at Madison Square Garden on November 11, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) Dec 29, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC president Dana White (center) holds back Dominick Cruz (left) from Cody Garbrandt during weigh ins for UFC 207 at T Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Dec 29, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC president Dana White (center) holds back Dominick Cruz (left) from Cody Garbrandt during weigh ins for UFC 207 at T Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Dec 29, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC president Dana White (center) holds back Dominick Cruz (left) from Cody Garbrandt during weigh ins for UFC 207 at T Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Dec 29, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes (left) faces off against Ronda Rousey during weigh ins for UFC 207 at T Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Apr 14, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; UFC president Dana White (center) steps in to break up a face off between Jeremy Stephen (left) and Renato Moicano (right) during weigh ins for UFC Fight Night at the Kansas City Power and Light District. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-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/DCRSLT8kxzK5NayU3VqbQh/300209", customAnalytics: true, title: "Dana White separates UFC fighters", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Relembre Fedor Emelianenko em duplo knockdown e aqueça para o histórico GP de Bellator

GracieMag News -

O choque de tratores entre Fedor e Mitrione. Foto: Reprodução

O GP de pesos pesados do Bellator seguirá a todo vapor em 2018. Após o duelo de abertura, com a vitória sobre Chael Sonnen sobre Rampage Jackson, exibida ao vivo e com exclusividade pelos canais Fox Sports no dia 20 de janeiro, teremos nos próximos meses uma das lutas do GP mais aguardadas.

Fedor Emelianenko, lendário peso pesado russo, terá pela frente o campeão finalizador Frank Mir, no dia 28 de abril, no Bellator 197, em Illinois. Fedor, de 41 anos, revelou que sua motivação para voltar a competir é se manter em plena forma na temporada 2018. Mas o que esperar da pedreira russa contra Frank Mir?

Em sua luta mais recente, Emelianenko encarou Matt Mitrione, que também está no GP, na primeira edição do Bellator em Nova York. No duelo, um acontecimento curioso: Fedor e Matt entraram para golpear simultaneamente e ambos foram ao solo. Matt se recuperou antes e acabou conseguindo a vitória.

Muitas emoções nos aguardam neste GP de pesados, que conta ainda com nomes como Ryan Bader, Roy Nelson e King Mo, além de Sonnen, que avançou na disputa. E para você, amigo leitor, Fedor ainda tem “garrafas para vender” e pode surpreender no torneio? Relembre no vídeo abaixo a disputa entre Fedor e Mitrione e comente conosco!

Jessica-Rose Clark sees Alexis Davis as her next logical UFC matchup

MMA Junkie News -

if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_rWeyhd8H_FLu19iir_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/rWeyhd8H.json","ph":2} );

Jessica-Rose Clark has only been in the UFC for a little more than two months, but she’s already got a clear idea of her path to the top.

After back-to-back decision wins over Paige VanZant and Bec Rawlings, Clark (9-4 MMA, 2-0 UFC) sees one very logical matchup on the horizon: Alexis Davis (19-7 MMA, 6-2 UFC).

And sure, we’re currently living in a day of “money fights” and using a little bad blood to sell matchups, but Clark’s thought process is much more calculated. Currently sitting at No. 8 in the latest UFC.com official rankings, Clark was one spot higher before Katlyn Chookagian’s win at this past weekend’s UFC on FOX 27.

While she was still at No. 7, the Australian took a look up the rankings, used the UFC’s preferred pattern of matching up fighters coming off wins, added in a touch of humility with respect to her chances at a title shot against current champ Nicco Montano and came back with a logical foe in the “Ally-Gator.”

“I figure I’m ranked No. 7 now,” Clark recently told MMAjunkie Radio. “I’m the only person with two wins in the flyweight division. I feel like I should get a higher-ranked opponent. There are only three girls in front of me who are coming off wins, which are Lauren (Murphy), Alexis and Nicco. Lauren and I are managed by the same guy, we’re managed by Danny (Rubenstein). I know he doesn’t want me to fight her. Nicco, I’m pretty sure that fight’s not going to happen yet because there’s Sijara (Eubanks), there’s Valentina (Shevchenko), there’s other girls who are ahead of me who probably deserve that fight before I do, so that leaves Alexis. I’d be down for Alexis.”

RelatedJessica-Rose Clark had emotional week in St. Louis after robbery, but 'I came here to do a job'

Like Clark, Davis also boasts a two-fight UFC winning streak, earning a bantamweight win over Cindy Dandois this past April before dropping down to 125 pounds and picking up a decision win over Liz Carmouche in December.

Despite Clark’s busy schedule as of late, “Jessy Jess” says she’s not looking for any significant time off. In fact, she joked that she hopes it’s booked no more than four months from now because “I’ve only got five months worth of rent saved up.”

Clark says UFC officials haven’t tipped their hand just yet, but she believes the fight seems like the right idea.

“I like her style,” Clark said. “Her style matches up really well to mine, so that’s kind of the name I’m hoping for right now. I’m just going to see what they come back with.”

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

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

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia, Brian “Goze” Garcia and Dan Tom. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

Frank Mir: Fedor Emelianenko 'still a phenomenal fighter,' tough matchup in Bellator grand prix

MMA Junkie News -

if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_5O63PBpk_FLu19iir_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/5O63PBpk.json","ph":2} );

While many have written off Fedor Emelianenko as a shell of his once-dominant self, Frank Mir isn't about to go there.

So when Mir found out he’d be fighting Emelianenko in the opening round of the Bellator MMA World Grand Prix to crown a heavyweight champion, he had one immediate thought.

“Damn, that’s a tough first fight,” Mir told MMAjunkie.

Ex-UFC champion Mir (18-11 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) and former Pride champ Emelianenko (36-5 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) square off in the tournament’s third quarterfinal April 28 at All State Arena in Rosemont, Ill. The bout will headline a yet-to-be-named event set to air on Paramount following prelims on MMAjunkie.

For Mir, it will be his first fight in more than two years and mark his Bellator debut following his release from the UFC. As for Emelianenko, it’s a chance to get back on track after his Bellator debut nearly ended in a double knockout.

RelatedWhat excites Fedor Emelianenko about Bellator's heavyweight tournament? Staying in shape

There’s little doubt the matchup features two fighters well past their primes. Mir, 38, has lost six of eight dating back to May 2012. The 41-year-old Emelianenko, meanwhile, is 5-4 in his last nine, which includes three-straight losses in now-defunct Strikeforce and a knockout to Matt Mitrione last June at Bellator NYC.

None of that changes Mir’s assessment.

“No joke, Fedor is still a phenomenal fighter,” he said. “I know a lot of people don’t have the eyes that I have, and they look at him and go, ‘Well, look at his results.’ And that’s easy to say in our sport, you know. … Fedor is extremely good. He’s still very quick. He hasn’t lost his power in his punches. Even when he threw the punch against Mitrione, Mitrione fell down. Mitrione is a big guy.

“I think the difference I try to explain to everybody, (people will say) ‘Well, he used to be unbeatable.’ Yeah, that’s not because he’s gotten worse. Everybody has gotten better.”

RelatedWhy 'big-game hunter' Frank Mir wanted Fedor Emelianenko in Bellator grand prix

Even though Mir still views the matchup as dangerous, he fully expects to defeat Emelianenko. Mir, who holds the UFC heavyweight record with eight submissions, points to Emelianenko’s lack of experience against high-level grapplers and mixed results when he has.

Emelianenko avoided being submitted twice against Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in 2004. But six years later, Emelianenko was submitted by Fabricio Werdum in just 69 seconds via armbar for his first loss in 28 fights.

The way Mir sees it, Emelianenko should be on high alert with his limbs.

“I still have almost twice as many submissions as (Werdum) does,” Mir said. “When it comes to taking a limb, I’m still the king.”

To hear more from Mir, watch the video above.

And for more on Bellator 197, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Mar 20, 2016; Brisbane, Australia; Frank Mir (blue gloves) looks on before his bout with Mark Hunt (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Brisbane Entertainment Centre. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Mar 20, 2016; Brisbane, Australia; Mark Hunt (red gloves) competes against Frank Mir (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Brisbane Entertainment Centre. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Mar 20, 2016; Brisbane, Australia; Frank Mir (blue gloves) receives attention after being knocked out by Mark Hunt (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Brisbane Entertainment Centre. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Sep 5, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Frank Mir (blue gloves) stands in the ring during a heavyweight bout against Andrei Arlovski (not shown) at UFC 191 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Sep 4, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Andrei Arlovski (left) and Frank Mir face off for for their heavyweight bout at UFC 191 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Sep 5, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Frank Mir (blue gloves) and Andrei Arlovski (red gloves) during their heavyweight bout at UFC 191 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Sep 5, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Frank Mir (blue gloves) and Andrei Arlovski (red gloves) during their heavyweight bout at UFC 191 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Sep 5, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Frank Mir (blue gloves) and Andrei Arlovski (red gloves) during their heavyweight bout at UFC 191 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jul 15, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; Frank Mir (red) enters the arena before his fight with Todd Duffee (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Valley View Casino Center. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports Feb 22, 2015; Porto Alegre, Brazil; Antonio Silva (red gloves) fights against Frank Mir (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ginasio do Gigantinho. Mandatory Credit: Jason da Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 22, 2015; Porto Alegre, Brazil; Frank Mir (blue gloves) after defeating Antonio Silva during UFC Fight Night at Ginasio do Gigantinho. Mandatory Credit: Jason da Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 22, 2015; Porto Alegre, Brazil; Antonio Silva (red gloves) fights against Frank Mir (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ginasio do Gigantinho. Mandatory Credit: Jason da Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 22, 2015; Porto Alegre, Brazil; Frank Mir (blue gloves) after defeating Antonio Silva during UFC Fight Night at Ginasio do Gigantinho. Mandatory Credit: Jason da Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 22, 2015; Porto Alegre, Brazil; Frank Mir (blue gloves) before his fight against Antonio Silva during UFC Fight Night at Ginasio do Gigantinho. Mandatory Credit: Jason da Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 1, 2014; Newark, NJ, USA; Frank Mir (red gloves) fights Alistair Overeem (not pictured) during UFC169 at Prudential Center. 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/RAJrc7J3W8UuKpA8h5ftNi/300166", customAnalytics: true, title: "Frank Mir", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Meet the mother of two and accidental MMA fighter who lost 150 pounds during undefeated run

MMA Junkie News -

Olivia Parker was 32 and 325 pounds when she somewhat accidentally ended up at Knoxville Martial Arts Academy.

Parker had enrolled in a local weight loss program called “Get Fit Seymour,” which required its participants to work out at least once a week. When she got to the class she was supposed to attend that Thursday, however, she realized it was full. She had to find something else to do that very night, or she would be kicked off the program.

Then she saw a kickboxing class on the schedule.

“I was thinking like Tae Bo – as in I was going to punch and kick the air in this room set up for just ‘Get Fit Seymour’ people,” Parker told MMAjunkie. “It was in the basement of this old church – I guess the church was being used, but the basement under it was not.”

Parker and two other women from the same program, whom she didn’t know, walked in with her.

“We get halfway down the stairs and we start smelling that bleached mat smell, that kind of sweaty guy smell,” Parker recalled.

One of the women turned back right then and there. Parker and the other one locked eyes and gulped, but pressed forward nonetheless.

“I get down there and there’s a gigantic cage right in front of the doorway,” Parker said. “And in that cage is (UFC light heavyweight) Ovince Saint Preux and another guy. And as I walk in, ‘Vince kind of slams the guy and the whole room just shakes.”

That was enough to scare off the second woman that had gone with her. And it would have been enough to scare off Parker, too, if it hadn’t been for Taylor, the wife of gym owner Eric Turner, who basically grabbed Parker and dragged her to the mat for kickboxing class.

“I wanted no part of that,” Parker said. ” I was like, ‘No way am I doing this.'”

Still, she took the class. And then, happy with the gym and its welcoming, encouraging environment, she took another one. And another one. Six months and 60 shed pounds later, she was suggested a Brazilian jiu-jitsu class. Again, she was reluctant. But again, she did it. Sure enough, she loved it.

So they suggested she try MMA practice.

“I was like, ‘I am not fighting anybody in the cage,'” Parker said. “I’m a 32-year-old mother of two. I am a teacher. I have my career. This is crazy. I go home and tell my husband, ‘I think I’m going to try this MMA class out.’ And my husband, who knows me very well, says, ‘Olivia, you’re so competitive you’re going to end up in a cage.'”

Parker denied it at the time. She was just taking classes, she insisted. Yet, a few months later, there she was, knocking out her opponent in the first round of her amateur debut.

“It was terrifying, but I also loved it,” Parker said. “Once I felt that adrenalin and I got in there and did it and I realized, ‘I could do this,’ I kind of fell in love with it. And I’ve been fighting ever since.”

Earlier this month, Parker knocked out Erica Camp at Valor Fights 47 to add a fifth win to her unbeaten amateur career. They were all finishes. From the time she took her first kickboxing class to now, she’s dropped about 150 pounds.

As far as weight loss stories go, this is certainly a successful one. But, looking at her journey, it seems a lot less about what she lost than it is about what she found.

‘I am finally, fully me’

While Parker’s introduction to MMA was an accident – “a blunder, if you will” – it wasn’t the start of her athletic life. In fact, for a lot of it, training was all she knew. She’d competed in track and basketball, which she played all through college. But then she graduated.

“I thought that the part of me, that the competitive drive in me, that I had to give that part of myself up,” Parker said.

Her parents, Parker says, were always supportive of her athletic endeavors. But, at the same time, there were some expectations as to how her life was supposed to look like.

“You get done with college, you’re going to get married, fall in love or meet your career,” Parker said. “You’re going to fall in line and do the things you’re supposed to. You’re going to be a wife. You’re going to be a mother. You’re going to do these things. You’re going to follow this set of principles.”

Parker ticked all the correct boxes. She started a career as a teacher. She got married. She had two sons. And she loved all those things, too. But, somehow, she felt like something was missing.

“I didn’t know how to deal with stress, because my body had always fueled that into athletics,” Parker said. “So I just started eating my feelings. I started trying to figure out – I didn’t know how to be that thing that I was told that I had to be.”

But then she inadvertently stumbled onto Knoxville Martial Arts Academy and found in Erick, Taylor and in other women like her the encouragement to step out of that box.

“They’re looking at you and they’re saying, ‘You be you. You can’t be anything else besides yourself,'” Parker said. “I think they recognized that hunger in me, that edge that I had tried so hard to repress.”

Parker still – happily – teaches American Literature to 11th graders and rather than pushback has received encouragement from her people at school. Her two sons, who are 6 and 8, often go to the gym with her. And while she doesn’t want to bring them at her fights just yet, they have seen quite a few sparring sessions.

Parker’s husband is entirely on board with her career, and not only goes to all her fights but helps manage her media and find sponsors. And even the family members who aren’t that enthused about the idea of MMA, like her mom or her in-laws, do their best to help out so her training schedule works.

Parker’s day-to-day now involves waking up at 5 a.m. for some type of cardio, teaching classes during the day and then, at least three times a week, spending more than three hours a night at the gym. And she’s not complaining about any of it.

“Once I kind of embraced that part of me and I took that part of myself back, I am way happier,” Parker said. “I’m a better mother. I’m a better teacher. I’m a better wife. Because I am finally, fully me.'”

‘That’s just kind of how I roll’

Parker’s story has gained some local notoriety. She’s had TV crews in her classroom and has even done meet-and-greet sessions in which she got a chance to talk to people looking for some guidance when it comes to changing their own lives.

But Parker won’t settle for being an inspirational story. She’s now focused on getting her weight down to 145 or 155 pounds, safely and slowly, in order to expand her pool of opponents. Her coach is the one who ultimately makes those calls, but Parker feels ready and would like to make the move to professional MMA “in the near future.”

Sure, 35 is not exactly the average age for a pro debut. But, then again, average doesn’t seem to be a word that Parker operates under.

“I’m just a very competitive person, so if I’m doing something, I’m going to do it and be as good as I can,” Parker said. “I’m going as far as I can go. That’s just kind of how I roll.”

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

Pages

Subscribe to igrapple.org aggregator