Feed aggregator

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

MMA Junkie News -

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/294917", customAnalytics: true, title: "Robert Whittaker", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

The lineup is set for “UFC 221: Whittaker vs. Rockhold,” which marks the organization’s debut pay-per-view event in Western Australia.

Although the country has hosted previous UFC shows – 11 to be exact – the organization has banked its lucrative PPV business on just a couple of Australian events, including “UFC 193: Rousey vs. Holm,” which took place in Melbourne in 2015.

Its first such event in Western Australia 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.

RelatedRobert Whittaker, Luke Rockhold discuss Georges St-Pierre's departure before UFC 221 title fight

It’s not exactly the deepest PPV offering in UFC history, but the card does feature a title fight. In the headliner, champion Robert Whittaker (19-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC), who’s No. 2 in the TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middleweight rankings, meets former titleholder 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.

Whittaker, a 27-year-old New Zealander who’s the centerpiece of the fight card, is on an eight-fight winning streak (with four knockouts) since a 2014 loss to Stephen Thompson. Meanwhile, No. 3-ranked Rockhold, 33, rebounded from his title loss to Bisping with a submission victory over former WSOF champ David Branch in September.

In the co-main event, 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) at UFC 221.

RelatedMegan Anderson dismisses Cris Cyborg's claim of UFC 221 title fight as ‘fake news’ (Updated)

Hunt, a 43-year-old native New Zealand and crowd favorite, is coming off a “Fight of the Night” win over Derrick Lewis, but his future was in jeopardy following a controversial first-person column that discussed the health effects of a career in combat sports. He was recently cleared to return to competition and now fights 26-year-old Blaydes, who’s 3-0 (with one no-contest) since a 2016 loss to top contender Francis Ngannou.

Rounding out the main card are heavyweights Cyril Asker (9-3 MMA, 2-2 UFC) vs. Tai Tuivasa (6-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC), welterweights Jake Matthews (11-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) vs. Li Jingliang (14-4 MMA, 6-2 UFC), and light heavyweights Tyson Pedro (6-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) vs. Saparbek Safarov (8-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC).

In the featured prelim, lightweights Damien Brown (17-11 MMA, 2-3 UFC) and ”Maestro” Dong Hyun Kim (15-8-3 MMA, 2-2 UFC) clash.

The full UFC 221 lineup includes:

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

  • Champ Robert Whittaker vs. Luke Rockhold – for middleweight title
  • Curtis Blaydes vs. Mark Hunt
  • Cyril Asker vs. Tai Tuivasa
  • Li Jingliang vs. Jake Matthews
  • Tyson Pedro vs. Saparbek Safarov

PRELIMINARY CARD (FS1, 8 p.m. ET)

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 6:45 p.m. ET)

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'));
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

LFA announces signing of 17-year-old Lucas Brennan, son of UFC, PRIDE vet Chris Brennan

MMA Junkie News -

Lucas Brennan, 17, has secured LFA’s first multi-fight amateur contract.

LFA officials recently announced that Brennan, the son of UFC and PRIDE vet Chris Brennan, will compete in three amateur contests under the LFA banner before then making his pro debut with the company.

Brennan (0-0) made his amateur debut in August, earning a third-round submission win at an Xtreme Knockout Amateur Series bantamweight contest in Texas. He’s also a decorated grappler, currently boasting a Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt and having already secured a handful of world titles in grappling competition.

Chris Brennan (21-13-1) was active from 1996 until 2012. A grappling specialist, as well, Chris earned 19 of his 21 career wins by submission. Along the way, Chris Brennan fought three times for the UFC and another three times for PRIDE and facing notables such as John Alessio, Thomas Denny, Takanori Gomi, Tatsuya Kawajiri, Antonio McKee, Pat Miletich, Vitor Ribeiro, Shannon Ritch and Joe Stevenson along the way.

LFA’s next event, “LFA 30: Millender vs. Barnes,” takes place Jan. 12 at OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa, Calif. As with all LFA events, the night’s main card airs on AXS TV.

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


Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News

Bellator 192's Goiti Yamauchi plans to finish Michael Chandler first, expects title shot after

MMA Junkie News -

Goiti Yamauchi respects Michael Chandler. Just, you know, not enough to change his plans of finishing him quickly.

Yamauchi (22-3 MMA, 8-2 BMMA) meets Chandler (16-4 MMA, 13-4 BMMA) Jan. 20 on the main card of Bellator 192. While the 25-year-old lightweight has had his fair share of Bellator battles, this one carries special weight. Not only is he meeting an experienced former champion, but one who’s fresh off a title loss.

Yamauchi, on his end, knows he’s about to face his stiffest test yet. But if that’s in any way fazing him, he’s doing a fine job at hiding it.

“I really respect what he did in Bellator, but don’t get me wrong: I will not respect him in the cage, and I will end him in two rounds,” Yamauchi told MMAjunkie. “I’m ready to shock everyone and get the win. I’m very confident and optimistic. I’m going to finish him as quickly as possible.”

Bellator 192 takes place at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. The main card airs on Paramout, following prelims on MMAjunkie.

That might be a bit of a bold prediction, considering current champ Brent Primus was the only opponent who managed to get Chandler out of the cage before the fourth round of a pro MMA bout. And even then, Chandler didn’t exactly want to leave.

But, at the same time, it’s in line with what Yamauchi has been doing in the cage; his three most recent battles, starting with a Bellator 162 meeting with Ryan Couture last October, all ended in first-round submission victories. Of the Japanese-born Brazilian’s 22 professional wins, 18 came via submission.

The outstanding recent results, Yamauchi says, are simply a reflection of his and his team’s hard work, paired with the natural blossoming age for high-level athletes. Rather than a good spell, Yamauchi sees it as part of an evolution process that is still not done.

“I’m getting better and better, and there’ll be an even better version on Jan. 20 – the best that’s ever been seen,” Yamauchi said.

Yamauchi is so confident in what he’s already been doing that he hasn’t changed anything in his training for Chandler and the sharp wrestling that usually comes with the ex-champion. Rather, the up-and-comer chose to focus on what he’s already good at.

“To stop his wrestling, it will take good jiu-jitsu and a solid hand on his chin – and I have both,” Yamauchi said.

It wouldn’t be a stretch to think that Chandler, who many expected would get an immediate rematch over Primus given the weird circumstances of their first bout, will get his new stab at the crown with a win over the hungry up-and-comer.

Yamauchi’s situation is a little trickier. While a fourth straight win over someone of Chandler’s caliber does make a strong case, he still has competition like perennial contender Patricky Freire, who most recently beat ex-UFC-champ Benson Henderson, also campaigning for title glory.

But, if you ask Yamauchi, this one is a no-brainer.

“There’s no other way,” Yamauchi said. “This will actually be the title fight, except it only has three rounds. There’s no other fight that makes sense. After this one, I will be the one fighting for the title.”

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

if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_7E0GIr0e_RbnemIYZ_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/7E0GIr0e.json","ph":2} );
Filed under: Bellator, News

Jiu-Jitsu: Buchecha, Lo, Miyao e Márcio André em ação no ACBJJ 10, em São Paulo

GracieMag News -

Marcinho com o cinturão do ACBJJ 9, após sua conquista no Rio de Janeiro. Foto: Vitor Freitas

Os fãs de Jiu-Jitsu terão um início de 2018 inesquecível, e o responsável por tornar realidade a vontade de ver de perto alguns dos principais nomes mundiais da modalidade em ação será o Absolute Championship Berkut. A maior organização de lutas da Europa desembarca pela segunda vez no Brasil com seu show da arte suave, desta vez em São Paulo, no ginásio do clube Hebraica, no dia 26 de janeiro. O galáctico card do show tem 17 lutas, incluindo duas disputas de título e nomes como Marcus Buchecha, Leandro Lo, Romulo Barral, Bráulio Estima, entre outros gigantes.

No topo do card, um choque de titãs. Os jovens talentosos Luiz Panza e João Gabriel Rocha duelam pelo título da categoria peso pesado (acima de 95 kg) após excelentes resultados nos torneios do evento. Na disputa pelo cinturão no peso leve (até 65 kg), um embate de campeões mundiais entre Augusto Tanquinho (2013) e Paulo Miyao (2015). Tanquinho brilhou na última edição do evento, em dezembro passado, e sagrou-se campeão do GP até 60 kg, enquanto Miyao já faturou o torneio da categoria em duas oportunidades.

Dez vezes campeão mundial e maior nome do Jiu-Jitsu na atualidade, Marcus Buchecha vestirá seu kimono para abrilhantar a noite do ACB JJ 10. Buchecha retorna ao seu estado natal para enfrentar o perigoso Mahamed Aly. Outro duelo que está no imaginário dos fãs da arte suave é o desafio entre o também paulista e pentacampeão mundial Leandro Lo, contra Otávio Sousa, tricampeão do mundo. Outro dono de cinco títulos mundiais escalado para o show é Lucas Lepri, que enfrenta o talentoso Marcio André, campeão do GP da sétima edição do evento, no Rio de Janeiro.

Após excelente temporada em 2017, quando alcançou o título mundial, Erberth Santos terá pela frente um desafio europeu. Ele encara o polonês Adam Wardzinski, campeão nacional peso e absoluto em 2016. Campeão mundial e do ADCC em 2015, Claudio Calasans enfrenta o duro Patrick Gaudio, enquanto o bicampeão do ADCC Yuri Simões pega o russo Abdurakhman Bilarov.

Duas lendas vivas do Jiu-Jitsu enriquecem o cartão de lutas do ACB JJ 10. Rômulo Barral e Bráulio Estima somam juntos oito títulos mundiais, cinco de “Rominho” e três do “Carcará”, e lutam contra Arnaldo Maidana e Rudson Mateus, respectivamente. Para completar, o experiente Rodrigo Cavaca mede forças com Igor Silva, Gabriel “Fedor” Lucas encara Ricardo Evangelista e Mikey Musumeci, terceiro americano a se sagrar campeão mundial de Jiu-Jitsu na história, pega Rafael Barata.

“O card que o ACB está trazendo para o Brasil, para a edição em São Paulo, é simplesmente o melhor de todos os tempos. Teremos incríveis disputas pelo cinturão, lutas muito bem casadas e a oportunidade dos fãs assistirem diversos campeões mundiais de Jiu-Jitsu em ação. O Brasil é o berço da arte suave, então nada mais justo que ser palco da união do maior evento europeu com as melhores lutas de Jiu-Jitsu. O ACB valoriza com excelência as artes marciais, sua filosofia, seus lutadores, seus fãs, e é isso que o público pode esperar do evento no Brasil, um grande espetáculo no qual os protagonistas são os lutadores de verdade, aqueles que têm a filosofia das artes marciais em sua essência”, comentou Rick Monstro, empresário e representante do ACB no Brasil.

Os fãs já podem garantir seu lugar no evento para acompanharem de perto às espetaculares lutas do ACB JJ 10. Os ingressos do primeiro lote estão disponíveis através do site https://acbjj10.eventbrite.com. Os ingressos custam a partir de R$ 30,00 (trinta reais).

O direito de transmissão do ACB JJ 10 para o Brasil está em processo de negociação com alguns veículos de comunicação de TV aberta e fechada. “Assim que anunciamos o card do show através das redes sociais do ACB, o impacto foi muito grande. Fomos procurados por alguns veículos para exibição para o Brasil, e acredito que muito em breve encerraremos as negociações e o público de todo o país poderá acompanhar todas as emoções da grande noite de lutas que teremos”, encerrou Rick.

(Fonte: Assessoria de imprensa)

MMAjunkie's best UFC photos from January-February 2017: Face-morphing and faceplants

MMA Junkie News -

if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_TDPkTgsw_FLu19iir_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/TDPkTgsw.json","ph":2} );
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

2017 was another busy year for the UFC with 39 total events around the globe. MMAjunkie and USA TODAY Sports had a photographer at each of those shows, which featured 457 different fights.

Some of the sport’s most epic and iconic moments are captured through a lens. With another year of octagon action complete, it’s time to look back the best photos from the past 12 months.

The organization put on a total of five events in the opening two months of the year: UFC Fight Night 103 in Phoenix; UFC on FOX 23 in Denver; UFC Fight Night 104 in Houston; UFC 208 in Brooklyn, N.Y.; and UFC Fight Night 105 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

USA TODAY Sports Images photographers Mark J. Rebilas, Ron Chenoy, Ed Mulholland and Tom Szczerbowski were on assignment for those events and captured the best moments in and out of the cage.

Check out the photo gallery for January and February below. Above, don’t miss the best-of-the-best video.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Jan 15, 2017; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Dmitri Smoliakov reacts after a TKO by Cyril Asker (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; Chase Sherman (left) is punched in the face by Walt Harris 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; Yair Rodriguez (right) greets B.J. Penn following their fight during UFC Fight Night at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Jan 28, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Alex Caceres (red gloves) reacts after the fight against Jason Knight (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Jan 28, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Andrei Arlovski (red gloves) competes against Francis Ngannou (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Jan 28, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Donald Cerrone (red gloves) competes against Jorge Masvidal (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Jan 28, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Valentina Shevchenko (red gloves) celebrates after defeating Julianna Pena (blue gloves, not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Feb 4, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Curtis Blaydes (blue gloves) defeats Adam Milstead (red gloves) by TKO during UFC Fight Night at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Feb 4, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Jessica Andrade (red gloves) defeats Angela Hill (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Feb 4, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Marcel Fortuna (blue gloves) knocks down Anthony Hamilton (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Feb 4, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Felice Herrig (blue gloves) defeats Alexa Grasso (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Feb 4, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Chan Sung Jung (blue gloves) defeats Dennis Bermudez by knockout during UFC Fight Night at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Feb 11, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Jacare Souza (red gloves) fights Tim Boetsch (blue gloves) during UFC 208 at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Feb 11, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Anderson Silva (red gloves) celebrates after his victory against Derek Brunson (blue gloves) during UFC 208 at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Feb 19, 2017; Halifax, NS, Canada; Jack Marshman (red gloves) fights Thiago Santos (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Scotiabank Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Feb 19, 2017; Halifax, NS, Canada; Carla Esparza (red gloves) fights Randa Markos (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Scotiabank Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Feb 19, 2017; Halifax, NS, Canada; Sara McMann (red gloves) reacts with Gina Mazany (blue gloves) after their fight during UFC Fight Night at Scotiabank Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Feb 19, 2017; Halifax, NS, Canada; Johny Hendricks (red gloves) fights Hector Lombard (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Scotiabank Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Feb 19, 2017; Halifax, NS, Canada; Derrick Lewis (red gloves) reacts after defeating Travis Browne (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Scotiabank Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Feb 19, 2017; Halifax, NS, Canada; Derrick Lewis (red gloves) reacts after defeating Travis Browne (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Scotiabank Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports Feb 19, 2017; Halifax, NS, Canada; Derrick Lewis poses with his championship belt following a press conference after defeating Travis Browne during UFC Fight Night at Scotiabank Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports 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/nH5hq2e2MfCH4LTLt7dV3j/294740", customAnalytics: true, title: "Best UFC Photos of 2017: January-February", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

MMAjunkie's '2017 Comeback Fighter of the Year' is a pretty obvious choice

MMA Junkie News -

if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_IpGuJAlo_FLu19iir_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/IpGuJAlo.json","ph":2} );
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

It didn’t take a lot of brainstorming to come up a winner for this year’s “Comeback Fighter of the Year” in MMA.

When you go away for four years, then come back and fight a weight class up from where you once dominated, and you win a title by choking the champ unconscious, you stand to get the honor.

To little surpise, the “Comeback Fighter of the Year” for 2017 goes to Georges St-Pierre.

RelatedDana White: Georges St-Pierre 'ain't fighting Conor McGregor' if he returns to UFC

St-Pierre (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC) vacated his welterweight title in a surprise move in 2013. He left only rumors, really for the reasons why he decided to walk away – though the move never really was called an actual retirement.

In the first part of 2017, after many months of rumors, “GSP” confirmed the comeback was a real thing, and UFC President Dana White announced he’d return at middleweight, not welterweight, to challenge then-champ Michael Bisping (30-8 MMA, 20-8 UFC).

Their fight finally went down, after some delays, in the UFC 217 main event at Madison Square Garden in New York in November, and St-Pierre put Bisping out with a third-round rear-naked choke to become just the fourth two-division champion in UFC history.

My general rule of thumb has always been, if you’ve been inactive for more than a year, I’ll automatically pick against you. It’s your job as a fighter to convince me to come back around before those famous MMAjunkie staff picks have their publish button hit. If you’ve been out for two years, no way. If you’ve been out for four? C’mon. No way you’re winning your comeback fight – not when it’s against a champ 15 pounds up from where you always fought.

But St-Pierre, clearly, is a different level of fighter. He might as well be … well, an alien.

Of course, nothing with St-Pierre can be all that simple. Only a few weeks after winning the title, St-Pierre announced he had ulcerative colitis, a condition that would need to be figured out before he can commit to another fight – and one that might make it harder for him to fight at middleweight.

So the champ vacated the belt he had just won, and now, after what certainly was a fairly monstrous payday, his future once again is uncertain – even if his longtime coach, Firas Zahabi, would love to see him fight Conor McGregor for what would be another huge paycheck.

But regardless of how things turned out eventually, just coming back, period, after four years to beat someone of Bisping’s caliber was a pretty amazing feat.

What do you think? Did anyone else come close to topping St-Pierre for “Comeback Fighter of the Year” in 2017? Sound off in the comments.

Also see:

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

Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) fights Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) defeats Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) defeats Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) defeats Michael Bisping (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Michael Bisping (red gloves) reacts after losing to Georges St-Pierre (not pictured) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) greets Michael Bisping (red gloves) after their fight in UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) greets Michael Bisping (red gloves) after their fight in UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Georges St-Pierre (blue gloves) greets Michael Bisping (red gloves) after their fight in UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/t2pBbXqn6WUG8Z2WigLLpQ/294799", customAnalytics: true, title: "St-Pierre def. Bisping", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Amanda Nunes: Cris Cyborg and I should fight to 'leave our marks on the sport'

MMA Junkie News -

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) 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 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 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 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 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 fights 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 reacts during the match against Valentina Shevchenko during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 9, 2015; Nashville, TN, USA; Amanda Nunes speaks during a press conference after 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 (red 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 (red gloves) (not pictured) 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 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; 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; 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; 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 7, 2015; Nashville, TN, USA; Amanda Nunes during weigh ins for UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Lindsey-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 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 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 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) before her fight against Shayna Baszler (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ginasio do Maracanazinho. 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/qUvibWG9n9Vcm9fuXKwCdQ/294882", customAnalytics: true, title: "Amanda Nunes", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

UFC women’s bantamweight champ Amanda Nunes isn’t hung up about a fight with featherweight champ Cris Cyborg.

Although Cyborg (18-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) is eying a fight with Invicta FC featherweight champ Megan Anderson (8-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC), Nunes (15-4 MMA, 8-1 UFC) is down for a UFC champ vs. UFC champ showdown.

“First of all, I have nothing personal against @criscyborg I do believe it is the fight that everyone wants to see and a fight where we can both leave our marks on this sport,” Nunes wrote today (via Twitter).

First of all, I have nothing personal against @criscyborg I do believe it is the fight that everyone wants to see and a fight where we can both leave our marks on this sport.

— Amanda Nunes (@Amanda_Leoa) January 6, 2018

Nunes’ position bolsters the one recently put forward by UFC President Dana White, who said Nunes vs. Cyborg is the fight to make after Cyborg’s dominant win over ex-bantamweight champ Holly Holm at UFC 219.

“Amanda Nunes wants to fight Cyborg,” White said. “That is the fight to make, and that is the fight I will make. That’s the fight.

“Amanda Nunes is a big, strong, powerful puncher. I think she matches up very well with Cyborg, too, and I think that’s a fun fight. And that’s the fight to make.”

Cyborg called to face Anderson after her recent win, though a post she wrote announcing an offer for UFC 221 was shot down as “fake news” by Anderson.

RelatedCris Cyborg isn't making UFC's job easy when it comes to women's featherweight title; should she?

After White made his opinion known, Cyborg wrote a post on her official website making the case for a fight with Anderson or Invicta FC contender Pam Sorenson. Cyborg said Nunes should work herself into title contention to earn a title shot at featherweight.

“If Megan Anderson is not ready to fight, then the next available contender Pam Sorenson deserves the opportunity. I can continue giving fans superfights. However, in order for this division to grow, it is my responsibility to respect the work of all the women fighting at (145 pounds) and give the top girls a chance at the title once they have earned it.

“If Amanda Nunes truly wants an opportunity at the (145-pound) belt, a win against any ranked contender in that division would help establish her back in a weight class she left before fighting me.”

It isn’t the first time Nunes, who fought at featherweight earlier in her career, has talked up a potential fight with Cyborg. Four months removed from her second title defense, a decision over Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 215, she has shifted toward a fight with Cyborg after initial reluctance.

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

if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_YiMBTZz9_RbnemIYZ_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/YiMBTZz9.json","ph":2} );
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Donald Cerrone talks Jackson-Wink MMA's skid, '(expletive)' Cris Cyborg social media incident

MMA Junkie News -

Donald Cerrone is as surprised as anyone with the current octagon struggles of the famed Jackson-Wink MMA fight camp.

Following Holly Holm’s unanimous decision loss to Cris Cyborg in the UFC 219 main event six days ago, the trend of losses by the team based in Albuquerque, N.M., began to get some attention.

Over the past few months, the likes of Holm, Cub Swanson, Alistair Overeem, Michelle Waterson and Cerrone (32-10 MMA, 19-7 UFC) have fallen short in high-profile UFC fights. A handful of other names have lost inside the octagon, as well, marking a surprising run for a team widely regarded as one of the best in the world.

Although having ups and downs in the results category is a natural occurrence for all major gyms, Cerrone, who is currently on a career-worst three-fight losing skid after his knockout against Darren Till at UFC Fight Night 118 in October, said he’s not experienced anything similar in his long tenure with the team.

RelatedUFC champ Cris Cyborg responds to banning of Jackson-Wink photographer

“It’s just wild,” Cerrone told the “UFC Unfiltered” podcast with Matt Serra and Jim Norton. “I mean, (expletive), it’s not a thing that’s the norm. When we step in there we’ve been a pretty successful squad, but lately we’ve had a bit of trouble. Look at me, I’m (expletive) three losses. The first I’ve had ever. It’s (expletive), I don’t know what the (expletive) is going on.”

The narrative around Jackson-Wink MMA’s struggles comes at a time where the team is under the spotlight for some disturbing reasons. Following Holm’s loss to UFC featherweight champ Cyborg at UFC 219, the team’s official photographer made some disparaging remarks on social media about the Brazilian, calling her a man on Instagram.

Since the incident, the Jackson-Wink MMA photographer has been publicly scrutinized, banned from receiving credentials from UFC events, and subsequently made a public apology to Cyborg. Cerrone was not pleased about the situation, and even felt it necessary to post about it on social media (via Instagram):

TEAM! I have been a part of @gregjacksonmma before my first WEC fight. The recent comments made by their social media team don’t represent the team that I know, love and fight for.

Cerrone explained why he felt it was necessary to comment on the situation and reiterated that he does not condone what happened.

“I know (Cyborg), but regardless of who it was – like if somebody wants to go say that, do it on your own time,” Cerrone said. “You’re not the (expletive) media person for one of the largest MMA schools in the country and then (expletive) start talking like a total (expletive) jackass, you know what I mean? That was my take off that.”

Cerrone returns to the octagon Feb. 18 when he meets Yancy Medeiros (15-4 MMA, 6-4 UFC) in the main event of UFC Fight Night 126, which takes place 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, 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/294730", customAnalytics: true, title: "Till def. Cerrone", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Best Bellator photos from January-February 2017: Tito Ortiz's final gravedigger celebration

MMA Junkie News -

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/TDnddMGWPwkx88QarsMC3U/294787", customAnalytics: true, title: "Best Bellator Photos of 2017: January-February", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Bellator continued to make noise in the MMA world in 2017, putting on a number of high-profile and notable events that captured the attention of fight fans more than ever before.

Although it wasn’t its busiest year in terms of volume of events, Bellator put on arguably more big fights over the past 12 fights than any year prior. Now it’s time to relive some of those moments in picture form.

The flourishing organization put on four events in the first two months of the year. Bellator 170 kicked things off in Inglewood, Calif., followed by Bellator 171 in Mulvane, Kan.; Bellator 172 in San Jose, Calif.; and Bellator 173 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Naturally, the promotion had a photographer posted cageside for every bout at every event. To see the best snapshots from Bellator’s January and February fight cards, check out the photo gallery above.

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


Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News

Kajan Johnson vs. Rustam Khabilov added to UFC Fight Night 127 in London

MMA Junkie News -

A lightweight bout between Kajan Johnson and Rustam Khabilov is the latest addition to March’s UFC Fight Night 127 lineup.

Johnson (22-11-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) confirmed the matchup with Khabilov (22-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC) on social media following an initial report from MMA journalist Farah Hannoun (via Twitter):

The Ragin' MMA Podcast can confirm our host @IamRagin will compete against @RustamTheTiger at #UFCFightNightLondon pic.twitter.com/cZ9f3Knqh9

— Ragin' MMA Podcast (@RaginMMAPodcast) January 5, 2018

UFC Fight Night 127 takes place March 17 at The O2 in London. The entire card streams on UFC Fight Pass, though the full fight card and bout order haven’t been finalized.

After falling short in his UFC debut, Johnson only has seen octagon success since. The 33-year-old Canadian is riding a three-fight winning streak, with the most recent, a third-round knockout of Adriano Martins at UFC 215 in September, being the biggest victory of his career.

Khabilov is also on a strong run of late. His winning streak currently stands at five consecutive fights, including notable wins over Desmond Green, Leandro Silva, Chris Wade and Norman Parke.

The latest UFC Fight Night 127 card includes:

  • Jan Blachowicz vs. Jimi Manuwa
  • Leon Edwards vs. Peter Sobotta
  • Magomed Ankalaev vs. Paul Craig
  • Mark Godbeer vs. Dmitry Poberezhets
  • Nasrat Haqparast vs. Alex Reyes
  • Kajan Johnson vs. Rustam Khabilov

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

Sep 9, 2017; Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; Kajan Johnson (red gloves) defeats Adriano Martins (blue gloves) during UFC 215 at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports Sep 9, 2017; Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; Kajan Johnson (red gloves) fights Adriano Martins (blue gloves) during UFC 215 at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports Sep 9, 2017; Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; Kajan Johnson (red gloves) fights Adriano Martins (blue gloves) during UFC 215 at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports Sep 9, 2017; Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; Kajan Johnson (red gloves) fights Adriano Martins (blue gloves) during UFC 215 at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports Sep 9, 2017; Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; Kajan Johnson (red gloves) fights Adriano Martins (blue gloves) during UFC 215 at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports Sep 9, 2017; Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; Kajan Johnson (red gloves) fights Adriano Martins (blue gloves) during UFC 215 at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports Sep 9, 2017; Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; Kajan Johnson (red gloves) fights Adriano Martins (blue gloves) during UFC 215 at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports Sep 9, 2017; Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; Kajan Johnson (red gloves) fights Adriano Martins (blue gloves) during UFC 215 at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports Sep 9, 2017; Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; Kajan Johnson (red gloves) fights Adriano Martins (blue gloves) during UFC 215 at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports Sep 9, 2017; Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; Kajan Johnson (red gloves) defeats Adriano Martins (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/EE7mS9vZb242bBz6RYiFuS/294873", customAnalytics: true, title: "Johnson def. Martins", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC

Conor McGregor, Showtime's Stephen Espinoza bicker over 'Money Fight' numbers

MMA Junkie News -

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/HPw3CvabZ8Rz65P6nkwQP6/294857", customAnalytics: true, title: "Mayweather def. McGregor", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Conor McGregor and UFC President Dana White believe Showtime Sports executive Stephen Espinoza is selling wolf tickets about the pay-per-view numbers for “The Money Fight.”

For Espinoza, the feeling apparently is mutual.

After Espinoza responded to a tirade from White on the domestic take for the Aug. 26 boxing match between McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) and Floyd Mayweather (50-0 boxing), the UFC lightweight champion got in the middle to back up his promoter.

Espinoza, in turn, shot down McGregor.

RelatedIt's a new year, and the next phase of the Conor McGregor saga is just beginning

The latest rift between the industry-leading MMA promotion and the premium cable channel exposed itself after White went off about the officially reported numbers for Mayweather vs. McGregor. An official Showtime release said the event drew 4.3 million PPV buys in North America, failing to eclipse the 4.6 million garnered for Mayweather’s 2015 “Fight of the Century” with Manny Pacquiao.

Showtime did not announce the international buyrate for Mayweather-McGregor, which White has claimed was 6.7 million. Despite the fact that the two numbers measured different things, White was incensed with Showtime’s release.

“I don’t give a (expletive) about Showtime’s (expletive) full of (expletive) press release they put out. It’s the biggest fight ever, ever in combat sports history,” White told Yahoo! Sports. “The thing did over 6.7 million buys, and if the service didn’t drop we would have got closer to 7 million.”

RelatedEvery stop on the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor world tour, ranked and scored

White questioned the domestic figure released by Showtime and added, “the way that they handled that press release, and what they did – I didn’t trust them before, and now I despise those (expletive) guys. The Showtime guys, I’ll never work with them again – ever.”

Informed of White’s ire on Twitter, Espinoza’s response was far more composed. But it also carried a hint of sarcasm.

“Sounds like he’s upset because we committed the cardinal sin of telling the truth (when we released the accurate total for N. American PPV buys on MayMac),” Espinoza wrote on social media. “Strange that telling the truth, in a press release vetted by all parties in advance, is something to be ‘despised’ for.”

Via Twitter:

Sounds like he's upset because we committed the cardinal sin of telling the truth (when we released the accurate total for N. American PPV buys on MayMac).

Strange that telling the truth, in a press release vetted by all parties in advance, is something to be "despised" for. https://t.co/rFxKXz0Bjz

— Stephen Espinoza (@StephenEspinoza) January 5, 2018

McGregor, who referred to Espinoza as a “weasel” after his mic was cut on the first stop of “The May-Mac World Tour” in Los Angeles, couldn’t idly stand by.

“Shut your weasel mouth,” McGregor interjected via Twitter. “Who gives a (expletive) about the North American numbers when we are the GLOBAL KINGS you shmuck. WORLDWIDE. No.1!”

Shut your weasel mouth. Who gives a fuck about the North American numbers when we are the GLOBAL KINGS you shmuck. WORLDWIDE. No.1! https://t.co/tq5Gj1Os7Y

— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) January 5, 2018

As he did during the press tour, Espinoza dismissed McGregor’s response.

“LOL…except that it wasn’t #1 in worldwide revenues either,” he wrote in response to McGregor via Twitter:

LOL…except that it wasn't #1 in worldwide revenues either. https://t.co/QXy9CWtKFy

— Stephen Espinoza (@StephenEspinoza) January 5, 2018

A call to Showtime requesting comment wasn’t immediately returned.

Almost from the second McGregor fell to a swarm of punches from Mayweather for a TKO loss last August, talk of a rematch has been the hot topic of the MMA industry. Speculation ramped up recently when Mayweather spoke of a request to fight in the UFC for a potential billion-dollar payday. The retired boxer later played down his comments and said White was attempting to leverage them for a better TV deal.

White’s No. 1 priority right now is getting McGregor back in the cage, which he hopes to do in the first quarter of this year. Whether the UFC lightweight champ wants to is another matter. White said McGregor has talked about returning in August, which would likely force the UFC to strip him of the title and promote a fight between interim champ Tony Ferguson and top contender Khabib Nurmagomedov for the undisputed belt.

For more on “The Money Fight: Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor,” check out the MMA Events section of the site.

if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_IDuR5djK_RbnemIYZ_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/IDuR5djK.json","ph":2} );
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Dana White opens up on $50,000 donation that helped save a young Thai girl's life

MMA Junkie News -

UFC President Dana White is the most visible presence of the industry-leading promotion and has been for more than a decade. But from time to time, he still browses the internet like a regular fan to see what’s being said about his work and MMA.

When he does, he visits The Underground, a long-running message board that serves as the sport’s collective ID and has helped keep MMA vibrant over so many years. A chance visit to the site in 2010 led to an unexpectedly life-changing moment for White and a young girl from Thailand, who’s alive today thanks to the UFC executive’s charity.

The girl, Tuptim Jadnooleum, is the daughter of “Kru Nai” Rattanachai, a teacher at Tiger Muay Thai and MMA in Phuket, Thailand. She needed a liver transplant and would die if the family couldn’t come up with the $50,000 needed to perform the surgery.

RelatedDana White: Cyborg vs. Nunes is next; Ferguson vs. Nurmagomedov likely before McGregor

The dire situation was brought to light by MMA fighter Ben Pittsley, who trained at the camp. He posted an emotional plea on The Underground to help the Jadnooleum family, noting she would die in two weeks if she didn’t receive help. He specifically called out White.

“He really pointed me out,” White recently told Yahoo! Sports. “And a lot of people gave him some slack in the way that he was talking to me, like, ‘You should do this.’ But the guy talked to me the way that I talk, and I understood what he was saying, and I said, ‘You know what? This guy’s right.'”

White transferred the $50,000 and helped save Tuptim’s life. But he didn’t see the effect of his donation until he recently visited Phuket on vacation (via Twitter).

Dana White is in Phuket. He stopped by to visit the girl whose operation he paid for a few years ago pic.twitter.com/rnomscB8Uu

— James Goyder (@JamesGoyder) January 3, 2018

Seven years later, Tuptim Jadnooleum is alive and well, though she still needs medications to fight off infections.

“(Retired UFC fighter) Mike Swick set it up for us to meet, and I met her. We hung out a couple days ago, and it was awesome,” White said. “She’s beautiful, and she’s the sweetest thing in the world, and her family are really nice, good people. Last night we went to the muay Thai fights together, and she sat with me. It was awesome. I want to have a relationship with her. I don’t want that to be the last time I ever see her.”

White subsequently invited the girl and her family to accompany him to a UFC show in Las Vegas.

“It’s one of the greatest things I’ve ever done in my life,” White said. “I feel so lucky that I was able to do it.”

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

Mar 4, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC president Dana White (center) attempts to separate Conor McGregor (left) from Nate Diaz during weigh-ins for UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Oct. 28, 2011; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC president Dana White (center) breaks up a fight between welterweight fighters B.J. Penn (left) and Nick Diaz during weigh ins for UFC 137 at the Mandalay Bay event center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Oct. 28, 2011; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC president Dana White (center) breaks up a fight between welterweight fighters B.J. Penn (left) and Nick Diaz during weigh ins for UFC 137 at the Mandalay Bay event center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Mar 15, 2013; Montreal, Quebec, Canada; UFC president Dana White (center) steps in between Georges St.Pierre and Nick Diaz during the weight-in for UFC 158 at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports Jul 5, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Dana White (center) separates Norman Parke (left) and Kazuki Tokudome as they face off at the weighs-in for their UFC fight at the Mandalay Bay Event Center. Norman Parke takes on Kazuki Tokudome at the MGM Grand Garden Arena July 6. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jul 5, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Dana White (center) separates Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman (right) at today's weighs-in for their UFC fight at the Mandalay Bay Event Center. Silva takes on Weidman at the MGM Grand Garden Arena July 6. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jul 5, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Dana White (center) separates Norman Parke (left) and Kazuki Tokudome as they face off at the weighs-in for their UFC fight at the Mandalay Bay Event Center. Norman Parke takes on Kazuki Tokudome at the MGM Grand Garden Arena July 6. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports December 13, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; UFC lightweight fighters Abel Trujillo (left) and Roger Bowling (right) face-off in front of UFC president Dana White (center) in the official weigh-in for UFC on FOX 9 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports Dec 27, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC President Dana White (center) separates Dustin Poirier (left) and Diego Brandao as they face off for their UFC Featherweight Bout on December 28 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Oct 24, 2014; Rio de Janeiro, BRAZIL; William Macario (left) and Neil Magny are separated by Dana White during weigh-ins for UFC 179 at Ginasio do Maracanazinho. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Jan 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC President Dana White separates Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier during the weigh in for their Light Heavyweight Title Bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 30, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC President Dana White looks on as Ian McCall and John Linekar face off at the weigh in for their lightweight bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports May 22, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Uriah Hall (L) and Rafael Natal (R) are separated by UFC president Dana White (C) after weighing in for their middleweight bout at MGM Grand Ballroom. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports May 22, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Uriah Hall (L) and Rafael Natal (R) are separated by UFC president Dana White (C) after weighing in for their middleweight bout at MGM Grand Ballroom. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports May 22, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Chris Weidman (L) and Vitor Belfort (R) are separated by UFC president Dana White (C) after weighing in for their middleweight championship bout at MGM Grand Ballroom. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jul 10, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC president Dana White (center) separates Conor McGregor (right) and Chad Mendes (left) during weigh-ins for UFC 189 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jul 10, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC president Dana White (center) separates Conor McGregor (right) and Chad Mendes (left) during weigh-ins for UFC 189 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports December 11, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor pose are separated by UFC president Dana White during weigh-ins for UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Dec 9, 2016; Toronto, ON, Canada; Cub Swanson and Dooho Choi (right) pose as UFC President Dana WHite intervenes during weigh ins for UFC 206 at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 27: Conor McGregor and Eddie Alvarez face-off as UFC president Dana White breaks them up at the UFC 205 press conference at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on September 27, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) Mar 4, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC president Dana White (center) separates fighter Jon Jones (right) from Daniel Cormier during a press conference prior to weigh-ins for UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC president Dana White (center) separates fighter Jon Jones (right) from Daniel Cormier during a press conference prior to weigh-ins for UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor (left) is held back by UFC president Dana White during weigh-ins for UFC 196 fight against Nate Diaz (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Dec 9, 2016; Toronto, ON, Canada; Donald Cerrone extends his hand to Matt Brown (right) as UFC President Dana White intervenes during weigh ins for UFC 206 at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 11: UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes faces off with Ronda Rousey after UFC 205 Weigh-ins in preparation for their UFC 207 fight that will take place on December 30, 2016 at Madison Square Garden on November 11, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) Dec 29, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC president Dana White (center) holds back Dominick Cruz (left) from Cody Garbrandt during weigh ins for UFC 207 at T Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Dec 29, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC president Dana White (center) holds back Dominick Cruz (left) from Cody Garbrandt during weigh ins for UFC 207 at T Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Dec 29, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC president Dana White (center) holds back Dominick Cruz (left) from Cody Garbrandt during weigh ins for UFC 207 at T Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Dec 29, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes (left) faces off against Ronda Rousey during weigh ins for UFC 207 at T Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Apr 14, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; UFC president Dana White (center) steps in to break up a face off between Jeremy Stephen (left) and Renato Moicano (right) during weigh ins for UFC Fight Night at the Kansas City Power and Light District. 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/294820", customAnalytics: true, title: "Dana White separates UFC fighters", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Cris Cyborg isn't making UFC's job easy when it comes to women's featherweight title; should she?

MMA Junkie News -

if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_vtU8BHx6_FLu19iir_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/vtU8BHx6.json","ph":2} );
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

There’s an old saying, and here I’m paraphrasing just a tad, but it goes something like this: If you want to make the gods laugh, tell them Dana White’s plans for Cris Cyborg.

It happened again just this week. Almost as soon as the UFC president went on record promising that Cyborg vs. UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes was “the fight to make” and “the fight (White) will make,” the UFC women’s featherweight champion popped up with other ideas.

“As a world champion it is important that you face the (No. 1) contender,” Cyborg (19-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) wrote on her official website on Thursday. “That is what makes it sport and not entertainment, otherwise what are the girls fighting at (145 pounds) training to work towards if they know they will never be given a title shot even if they become the best in the world? I have a responsibility to the sport to ensure that when I retire the division continues to exist, and it is because of that I want my next fight to be against a contender from the featherweight division that has fought at (145 pounds) within the last year.”

RelatedUFC champ Cris Cyborg shoots down Dana White's push for Amanda Nunes showdown

There are a couple problems with that request. For starters, the UFC effectively does not have a women’s featherweight division. It has a champion, but no contenders. It’s the one weight class where it doesn’t even bother coming up with rankings. Saying you want to ensure that the division “continues to exist” is a little like organizing a charity to protect endangered unicorns.

The other problem is figuring out who that top contender might be. Cyborg initially set her sights on Invicta FC champion Megan Anderson (8-2 MMA, 4-1 Invicta FC), which made sense. She’s an actual featherweight, and she already owns a meaningful title in the division, so why not?

But Anderson may or may not be ready to fight in time to suit the UFC’s plans, and lately she’s remained almost intentionally opaque about her next move and the timetable for it, so that’s a problem.

Fortunately, Cyborg has a backup in mind, and it’s Invicta FC featherweight Pam Sorenson (5-2 MMA, 2-1 Invicta FC). By all means, go ahead and raise your hand if you saw that one coming.

Needless to say, Cyborg vs. Sorenson is not anybody’s idea of a dream fight, in large part because most fans have only heard of one of those two people. Sorenson is an undersized featherweight who isn’t even the top contender for the title in Invicta FC, much less the UFC. The one thing she has going for her, it seems, is that she already said she’d take the job.

RelatedMiesha Tate has problem with possible Cris Cyborg-Megan Anderson title matchup

You can see why that might not be enough for White and the UFC. If you’re going to pay Cyborg half a million bucks to fight, you want it to be an event. And while the promise of Cyborg beating up some poor soul who didn’t realize what she signed up for until the first punch landed has proved to be a surprisingly durable marketing strategy in the past, it’s not as appealing as the old champion vs. champion routine.

Still, Cyborg does have a point. You know, in a way. If the UFC is going to have a women’s featherweight title, shouldn’t there be a division to go with it? And if it’s just a one-woman show featuring Cyborg against a rotating cast of bantamweights, what happens when Cyborg isn’t around anymore? What is even the point of having this belt, other than to put something shiny on the event posters?

These are sound, logical arguments. They’re still not going to increase anyone’s excitement level for Cyborg vs. a series of largely anonymous victims. Cyborg vs. Nunes (15-4 MMA, 8-1 UFC), however? Sure, we’d watch that. Even if it makes us hypocrites.

What Cyborg wants is to be treated like the other champions. What the UFC wants is to profit off this one featherweight phenom without committing to a division that may or may not have much of a future without her.

It’s not hard to see it from both sides. It’s just that, for the majority of fans, there’s likely only one side they’d pay for at the moment.

For complete coverage of UFC 219, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Dec 30, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cris Cyborg celebrates her victory by unamimous decision against Holly Holm and her title defense following UFC 219 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Dec 30, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cris Cyborg is introduced before fighting against Holly Holm during UFC 219 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Dec 30, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Holly Holm moves in with a hit as Cris Cyborg defends during UFC 219 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Dec 30, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Holly Holm moves in with a hit as Cris Cyborg defends during UFC 219 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Dec 30, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cris Cyborg lands a hit against Holly Holm during UFC 219 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Dec 30, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Holly Holm moves in with a kick as Cris Cyborg defends during UFC 219 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Dec 30, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cris Cyborg moves in with a hit against Holly Holm during UFC 219 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Dec 30, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cris Cyborg defends against Holly Holm during UFC 219 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Dec 30, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cris Cyborg moves in with a hit against Holly Holm during UFC 219 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Dec 30, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cris Cyborg moves in with a hit against Holly Holm during UFC 219 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Dec 30, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Holly Holm moves in with a kick as Cris Cyborg defends during UFC 219 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Dec 30, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cris Cyborg fights against Holly Holm during UFC 219 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Dec 30, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cris Cyborg moves in with a kick as Holly Holm defends during UFC 219 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Dec 30, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cris Cyborg lands a hit against Holly Holm during UFC 219 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Dec 30, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cris Cyborg lands a hit against Holly Holm during UFC 219 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Dec 30, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Holly Holm lands a hit against Cris Cyborg during UFC 219 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Dec 30, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Holly Holm lands a hit against Cris Cyborg during UFC 219 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Dec 30, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cris Cyborg celebrates her victory by unamimous decision against Holly Holm and her title defense following UFC 219 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Dec 30, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cris Cyborg celebrates her victory by unamimous decision against Holly Holm and her title defense following UFC 219 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Dec 30, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cris Cyborg is declared the winner by unanimous decision against Holly Holm and retains her title followng UFC 219 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-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/qPrnZ2GMzKchbr2tKPsHvf/294773", customAnalytics: true, title: "Cyborg def. Holm", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Bellator 192 Countdown, No. 1: 'Rampage,' Sonnen and their $10k per takedown side bet

MMA Junkie News -

if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_mWBkptuz_FLu19iir_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/mWBkptuz.json","ph":2} );
Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, Videos

Bellator MMA’s heavyweight grand prix kicks off later this month, and the promotion is rolling out a special three-part series previewing the matchup between Quinton Jackson and Chael Sonnen.

“Rampage” (37-12 MMA, 4-1 BMMA) and Sonnen (29-15 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) meet at Bellator 192, which takes place on Jan. 20 at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. The night’s main card airs on the soon-to-be-rebranded Paramount following prelims on MMAjunkie.

In the first edition of “Bellator Countdown,” Jackson and Sonnen begin their media obligations ahead of the contest, and each of the fighters handle the responsibilities in a very different way. However, a few good stories are told along the way – including how Jackson proposed to his wife twice: first while sitting on a toilet and then directly before getting KTFO in front of the world.

As the day wears on, Jackson decided the matchup needs some higher stakes and promises to give Sonnen $10,000 for every takedown he can secure in the contest.

Check out the video above.

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


Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, Videos

UFC's Jessica Penne gets 18-month suspension for unspecified steroid

MMA Junkie News -

UFC anti-doping partner USADA today announced women’s strawweight Jessica Penne has accepted an 18-month suspension for an unspecified steroid.

USADA today reported Penne, 34, tested positive for the presence of an anabolic androgenic steroid of exogenous origin despite initially testing negative for prohibited substances following an out-of-competition urine test conducted on March 20, 2017.

Penne (12-5 MMA, 1-3 UFC) was flagged after a review of her Athlete Biological Passport revealed irregularities in her urine. USADA ordered Penne’s urine sample to be retested, and it was positive for a banned substance. But the result didn’t come back in time to keep her from fighting Danielle Taylor (9-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC) one month later at UFC Fight Night 108.

Penne’s lost the fight to Taylor, which was her third straight UFC defeat.

After being notified of the positive test, Penne told USADA she was prescribed dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), an exogenous anabolic agent, by her doctor. After a review of the case, her explanation was accepted by USADA and the Tennessee Athletic Commission, which oversaw UFC Fight Night 108, according to USADA’s release.

Penne’s suspension is retroactive to April 23, the night of the FS1-televised event.

“Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, as well as the World Anti-Doping Code, an athlete’s period of ineligibility for using a prohibited substance may be decreased if the athlete lacks significant fault for the anti-doping policy violation,” USADA stated in a press release issued. “In this instance, although Penne was not successful in her attempt to obtain a retroactive or prospective Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) for DHEA after her positive test, it was determined that her degree of fault was reduced because her use of the prohibited substance was under the care of a physician. Accordingly, Penne received a corresponding reduction to 18-months from the standard two-year period of ineligibility for a non-Specified Substance under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 108, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Apr 22, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Danielle Taylor (blue gloves) defeats Jessica Penne during UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports Apr 22, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Jessica Penne (red gloves) fights Danielle Taylor (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports Apr 22, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Jessica Penne (red gloves) fights Danielle Taylor (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports Apr 22, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Jessica Penne (red gloves) fights Danielle Taylor (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports Apr 22, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Jessica Penne (red gloves) fights Danielle Taylor (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports Apr 22, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Jessica Penne (red gloves) fights Danielle Taylor (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports Apr 22, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Jessica Penne (red gloves) fights Danielle Taylor (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports Apr 22, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Jessica Penne (red gloves) fights Danielle Taylor (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports Apr 22, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Jessica Penne (red gloves) fights Danielle Taylor (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports Apr 22, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Jessica Penne (red gloves) fights Danielle Taylor (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports Apr 22, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Jessica Penne (red gloves) fights Danielle Taylor (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports Apr 22, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Jessica Penne (red gloves) fights Danielle Taylor (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports Apr 22, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Danielle Taylor (blue gloves) defeats Jessica Penne during UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports Apr 22, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Danielle Taylor (blue gloves) defeats Jessica Penne during UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports Apr 22, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Danielle Taylor (blue gloves) defeats Jessica Penne during UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-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/YvKDs7URfjdyYuCq7NT2rC/294791", customAnalytics: true, title: "Taylor def. Penne", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

MMAjunkie's '2017 Comeback of the Year': Darren Elkins lives up to 'The Damage' nickname

MMA Junkie News -

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid4621179066001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5348219932001
Filed under: News, UFC

Few nicknames seem as apt as Darren Elkins’, which – through a lengthy, hard-fought, blue-collar-like UFC tenure – has characterized the punishment he both gives and receives.

“The Damage” monicker certainly applied to both ends of the spectrum during his UFC 209 bout with Mirsad Bektic in March.

Elkins doesn’t talk a big game. He doesn’t call out would-be opponents on social media. He doesn’t tangle with adversaries during press conferences, and from all accounts, he leads a rather quiet life outside of the cage.

But inside the octagon, the former professional pipefitter applies the same work ethic to his current job, and it’s produced some memorable results. And, especially recently, it’s paid off. The 33-year-old currently sits in the No. 10 spot in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA featherweight rankings, thanks in part to a five-fight winning streak that includes that wild victory over Bektic 10 months ago.

Initially, Bektic looked every bit the 7-1 favorite as he battered, bloodied and thoroughly dominated Elkins at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. As the blood bath played out, social media lit up with calls for referee Chris Tognoni to halt the extended shellacking.

Then, after two rounds of – as he put it – getting his ass kicked, opportunity struck for Elkins, and “The Damage” proved once again that he can never be counted out in a fight. If he’s got pulse, by golly, he’s got a chance.

When Bektic, who had been dominating the fight with his striking, inexplicably went for a heel hook, Elkins had his opening. Before Bektic could get fully upright, Elkins – clearly fatigued and badly bloodied, but suddenly gifted a new life – buckled his opponent with a right hand and then dropped and finished him with a head kick.

What followed was a blood-curdling scream of celebration that commentator and in-cage interviewer Joe Rogan called “primal” (via YouTube):

With just a little more than a minute-and-a-half left in the fight, Elkins had scored a stunning and improbable return from the brink of a defeat – a major upset, no less – and wrapped up MMAjunkie’s “2017 Comeback of the Year.”

“I’m not totally happy with the fight because I obviously was losing the first two rounds that bad, and I don’t like that feeling,” Elkins told MMAjunkie Radio after the fight. “But when it comes to guts, when it comes to (expletive) steel balls, I’m always there. And I have a chin.

“You can’t just put me away. If you don’t put me away, I’m always in the fight.”

Also see:

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

Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Darren Elkins (blue gloves) reacts after submitting Mirsad Bektic (not pictured) during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Elkins won via third round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Darren Elkins (blue gloves) and Mirsad Bektic (red gloves) fight during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Elkins won via third round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Darren Elkins (blue gloves) and Mirsad Bektic (red gloves) fight during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Elkins won via third round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Darren Elkins (blue gloves) and Mirsad Bektic (red gloves) fight during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Elkins won via third round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Darren Elkins (blue gloves) and Mirsad Bektic (red gloves) fight during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Elkins won via third round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Darren Elkins (blue gloves) and Mirsad Bektic (red gloves) fight during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Elkins won via third round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Darren Elkins is tended to in-between rounds against Mirsad Bektic (not pictured) during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Elkins won via third round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Darren Elkins (blue gloves) and Mirsad Bektic (red gloves) fight during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Elkins won via third round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Darren Elkins (blue gloves) and Mirsad Bektic (red gloves) fight during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Elkins won via third round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Darren Elkins (blue gloves) and Mirsad Bektic (red gloves) fight during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Elkins won via third round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Darren Elkins (blue gloves) and Mirsad Bektic (red gloves) fight during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Elkins won via third round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Darren Elkins (blue gloves) and Mirsad Bektic (red gloves) fight during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Elkins won via third round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Darren Elkins (blue gloves) and Mirsad Bektic (red gloves) fight during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Elkins won via third round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Darren Elkins (blue gloves) and Mirsad Bektic (red gloves) fight during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Elkins won via third round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Darren Elkins (blue gloves) reacts after submitting Mirsad Bektic (not pictured) during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Elkins won via third round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Darren Elkins (blue gloves) reacts after submitting Mirsad Bektic (not pictured) during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Elkins won via third round TKO. 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/R8VjzTT5htmNnFKpVgZdFK/294615", customAnalytics: true, title: "Elkins def. Bektic", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with NFL veteran, MMA analyst A.J. Hawk

MMA Junkie News -


Filed under: News, Videos

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guest A.J. Hawk.

Hawk, a former standout for the Green Bay Packers in the NFL, will talk about the latest MMA news with us. He’s a co-host on “MMA Tonight” on SiriusXM Radio.

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: News, Videos

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2593 with Al Iaquinta, Michael Chandler

MMA Junkie News -

Stream or download Thursday’s episode of MMAjunkie Radio with guests Al Iaquinta and Michael Chandler.

Iaquinta said he’s healthy and ready to fight, but is waiting on the UFC’s decision for a bump in pay. Chandler competes at Bellator 192 on Jan. 20 vs. Goiti Yamauchi and discussed his upcoming matchup.

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


Filed under: Bellator, News, Radio, UFC

Al Iaquinta gave UFC money figure to fight Paul Felder, hasn't received response

MMA Junkie News -

if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_cAV8Wxcn_FLu19iir_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/cAV8Wxcn.json","ph":2} );
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

UFC lightweight Al Iaquinta said he’s recovered and is ready to fight. The only problem is, he’s not ready to fight for the numbers attached to his current contract.

“Guys are getting paid to fight scrubs,” Iaquinta on Thursday told MMAjunkie Radio. “I’m just trying to get paid frickin’ something to live on for these guys that are (expletive) everyone up.”

Iaquinta (13-3-1 MMA, 8-2 UFC), who was forced to withdraw from a fight with Paul Felder (15-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC) at UFC 218 due to an undisclosed injury, said he’s waiting on the UFC after a recent exchange over money.

“They were trying to get me to fight (Paul) Felder again, but I told them what I wanted to fight him, and it wasn’t unreasonable, but I haven’t heard back from them,” Iaquinta said. “The ball’s in their court right now.”

RelatedAfter violent UFC 218 finish of Charles Oliveira, Paul Felder still welcomes Al Iaquinta next

The relationship between the 30-year-old Iaquinta, who also works as a real estate agent, and the UFC appears no better now than it was for much of 2017, when Iaquinta repeatedly berated the UFC over pay and was banned from receiving post-fight bonuses, leading him to call for a fighters union. UFC officials have disputed Iaquinta’s recollection of the events that put the two parties on the outs.

So it appears Iaquinta is back to a standoff situation. Although he feels justified in asking for more money, he doesn’t expect the UFC will budge.

“There’s a lot of guys in the UFC that are getting paid way more than what I asked for, and they don’t even have a number next to their name, and they haven’t knocked anyone out,” Iaquinta said. “What I asked for is not unreasonable, and it’s in their court now. I don’t know what they’re going to do, but I don’t think they like me. I think they’re probably just going to let me (sit out and not fight).”

Iaquinta owes two fights to the promotion, but his contract can be extended if he turns down fights, leaving him in long-term limbo with the promotion.

RelatedPaul Felder questions Al Iaquinta's ranking: '(Expletive) or get off the pot'

He cited a $75,000 purse collected by Edson Barboza in a UFC 219 fight opposite Khabib Nurmagomedov as an example of why fighters need to get paid more money. Barboza was badly battered by the Dagestani fighter en route to a unanimous decision.

“That’s like, life-changing (expletive) right there,” Iaquinta said. “That (expletive) with your mind, and his face is never going to look the same. And $75,000 is barely worth it.”

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.

Apr 4, 2015; Fairfax, VA, USA; Al Iaquinta (blue gloves) celebrates after defeating Jorge Masvidal (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Patriot Center. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports Apr 4, 2015; Fairfax, VA, USA; Al Iaquinta (blue gloves) gestures to the fans after fighting Jorge Masvidal (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Patriot Center. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports Apr 4, 2015; Fairfax, VA, USA; Al Iaquinta (blue gloves) fights Jorge Masvidal (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Patriot Center. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports Apr 4, 2015; Fairfax, VA, USA; Jorge Masvidal (red gloves) fights Al Iaquinta (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Patriot Center. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports Apr 4, 2015; Fairfax, VA, USA; Jorge Masvidal (red gloves) fights Al Iaquinta (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Patriot Center. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports Apr 4, 2015; Fairfax, VA, USA; Jorge Masvidal (red gloves) fights Al Iaquinta (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Patriot Center. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports Apr 4, 2015; Fairfax, VA, USA; Al Iaquinta (blue gloves) looks on after being injured against Jorge Masvidal (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Patriot Center. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports Apr 4, 2015; Fairfax, VA, USA; Jorge Masvidal (red gloves) fights Al Iaquinta (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Patriot Center. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports Jan 31, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Al Iaquinta (blue gloves) celebrates his victory over Joe Lauzon (not pictured) following their lightweight bout during UFC 183 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 31, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Al Iaquinta (blue gloves) connects a punch on Joe Lauzon (red gloves) during their lightweight bout during UFC 183 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 31, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Al Iaquinta (blue gloves) punches Joe Lauzon (red gloves) during their lightweight bout during UFC 183 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Jan 31, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Al Iaquinta (blue gloves) punches on Joe Lauzon (red gloves) during their lightweight bout during UFC 183 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Feb 1, 2014; Newark, NJ, USA; Al Iaquinta (red gloves) celebrates after beating Kevin Lee (no pitctured) during UFC 169 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Feb 1, 2014; Newark, NJ, USA; Al Iaquinta (red gloves) bleeds from his noise during his against Kevin Lee (not pictured) during UFC 169 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Feb 1, 2014; Newark, NJ, USA; Al Iaquinta (red gloves) fights Kevin Lee (blue gloves) during UFC 169 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Feb 1, 2014; Newark, NJ, USA; Al Iaquinta (red gloves) fights Kevin Lee (blue gloves) during UFC 169 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Feb 1, 2014; Newark, NJ, USA; Al Iaquinta (red gloves) fights Kevin Lee (blue gloves) during UFC 169 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Feb 1, 2014; Newark, NJ, USA; Al Iaquinta (red gloves) fights Kevin Lee (blue gloves) during UFC 169 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Feb 1, 2014; Newark, NJ, USA; Al Iaquinta (red gloves) fights Kevin Lee (blue gloves) during UFC 169 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Feb 1, 2014; Newark, NJ, USA; Al Iaquinta (red gloves) fights Kevin Lee (blue gloves) during UFC 169 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports 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/7oJHFi85gqybrhjxAmihTc/294668", customAnalytics: true, title: "Al Iaquinta", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

Pages

Subscribe to igrapple.org aggregator