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Co-Main Event Podcast: Download episode No. 277 with Ben Fowlkes, Chad Dundas

MMA Junkie News -

Episode No. 277 of the Co-Main Event Podcast now is available for streaming and download.

MMAjunkie/USA TODAY columnist Ben Fowlkes and Bleacher Report lead MMA writer Chad Dundas host the weekly show (also dubbed the “CME,” if you nasty). This week, the distinguished gentlemen from Montana put aside their “Dancing with the Stars” fandom to look ahead to UFC Fight Night 118 in Poland. They also talk about Mark Hunt and look forward to Michael Bisping vs. Georges St-Pierre.

Check it out at comainevent.com, or download the podcast directly.


Filed under: News

Co-Main Event Podcast: Download episode No. 277 with Ben Fowlkes, Chad Dundas

MMA Junkie News -

Episode No. 277 of the Co-Main Event Podcast now is available for streaming and download.

MMAjunkie/USA TODAY columnist Ben Fowlkes and Bleacher Report lead MMA writer Chad Dundas host the weekly show (also dubbed the “CME,” if you nasty). This week, the distinguished gentlemen from Montana put aside their “Dancing with the Stars” fandom to look ahead to UFC Fight Night 118 in Poland. They also talk about Mark Hunt and look forward to Michael Bisping vs. Georges St-Pierre.

Check it out at comainevent.com, or download the podcast directly.


Filed under: News

Filho de Royce, Khonry Gracie usa o Jiu-Jitsu e estreia com vitória no MMA

GracieMag News -

Royce Gracie com o filho Khonry, mais novo atleta de MMA do mercado. Foto: Arquivo pessoal.

Lenda do esporte, Royce Gracie mostrou a eficácia do Jiu-Jitsu no primeiro UFC da história, há quase 24 anos.

Agora, o campeão do Ultimate e Hall da Fama acompanha os primeiros passos de seu filho na modalidade que o fez famoso em todo o mundo.

Khonry Gracie, de 20 anos, não viu o pai ser campeão do UFC 1, mas seguiu os passos do progenitor no esporte de luvinhas e fez sua estreia no final do mês passado, ainda como amador.

O evento de debute de Khonry foi o Attitude MMA Fight 10, nos EUA, contra Ben Clark, na divisão de meio-médios. O Gracie tinha como estratégia buscar a queda e finalizar, mas a vitória veio na decisão unânimes dos jurados.

“Meu plano era levar a luta para o chão”, disse Khonry em entrevista ao MMA Fighting. “Meu oponente era muito duro. Foi uma ótima primeira luta. Estou feliz por ter vencido, por ter meu pai no meu córner e poder dar continuidade ao legado da família.”

Veja no vídeo abaixo a atuação de Khonry Gracie no MMA e deixe suas impressões sobre o herdeiro de Royce Gracie nos comentários!

Chegou a revista digital GRACIEMAG. Clique abaixo e leia no seu celular!

Última chance de garantir sua vaga na VIII etapa de Copa Prime de Jiu-Jitsu

GracieMag News -

Inscrições se encerram hoje. Não perca esta chance! Foto: Divulgação

A temporada da Copa Prime de Jiu-Jitsu entra em sua fase decisiva, faltando apenas 2 etapas para o encerramento do circuito e 90 pontos para a consagração dos Top Ranking de 2017.

A VIII etapa da Copa Prime de Jiu-Jitsu, com qualificação de três estrelas (peso três no ranking), será realizada no dia 22 de outubro no Ginásio do CEI, em Campo Bom (município próximo a região metropolitana de Porto Alegre-RS).

Pela primeira vez a cidade sediará uma Etapa Prime, e as inscrições Se encerram nesta terça-feira (17 de outubro) e podem ser realizadas através do site www.prosportsbjj.com.

Já a última batalha do ano, agendada para o dia 19 de novembro, promete fechar com chave de ouro a temporada. A cidade de Lajeado será palco da IX Etapa que terá qualificação de duas estrelas e peso dois no ranking. O primeiro lote de inscrições com descontos está aberto e se encerra no dia 29 de outubro. As inscrições gerais serão finalizadas no dia 14 de novembro.

Vale lembrar que os melhores atletas do ano faturarão vaga na Seleção Prime rumo às melhores competições internacionais e nacionais da modalidade: o Mundial de Jiu-Jitsu da IBJJF, em Long Beach – EUA (sete vagas), o Mundial de Master da IBJJF em Las Vegas (duas vagas) e o Campeonato Brasileiro da CBJJ em São Paulo (quatro vagas).

Participar das próximas etapas e garantir boas pontuações é uma boa oportunidade também para quem quiser melhorar sua colocação na classificação geral e garantira a sua posição no hall dos Top 10 do ano.

Por isso, não perca tempo. Inscreva-se agora na VIII Etapa da Copa Prime de Jiu-Jitsu e busque seu lugar entre os melhores do ranking!

(Fonte: Assessoria de imprensa)

Brad Tavares is all praise for the UFC's 'game-changing' Performance Institute

MMA Junkie News -

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Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

Currently riding a three-fight winning streak, Brad Tavares seems to have found his groove back after a rough patch that saw him lose three out of four octagon outings.

The positive results, Tavares (16-4 MMA, 11-4 UFC) believes, serve to show that, at 29, he’s still evolving and growing into his own as a fighter. But one thing that certainly isn’t hurting the middleweight’s momentum is the addition of a “game-changing” tool: the UFC’s recently-installed Performance Institute.

As a Las Vegas-based fighter, Tavares gets to reap the benefits of the facilities on a daily basis. Other fighters, like local Evan Dunham, have already sung the Institute’s praises. Whether it’s strength and conditioning, physical therapy or nutrition, Tavares says he’s been able to count on professionals who go the extra mile to make sure fighters are taken care of even when they’re off the clock.

“You get access to these high, high-level people,” Tavares told MMAjunkie Radio.

The entire staff, “top to bottom,” earned praise from Tavares. But he did seem to hold a special place in his heart for the chefs.

“Those guys are very, very good at what they do,” Tavares said. “They’ll have regular things there because they also have the UFC front office people that come through, but they also make health-conscious type of meals for fighters.

“That place is amazing. I don’t get to get there for breakfast much, but after my morning workouts, I go there for lunch. I’ll eat and, if I’m still hungry, I’ll go get seconds. And then I’ll take something to go for later.”

In fact, for Tavares, the Institute has basically become a part of his camp. And, given he’s only worked with them in preparation for his last two meetings (against Elias Theodorou and Thales Leites, both of which resulted in unanimous decision wins), he’s quite optimistic.

“My last camp, when I fought Elias, started a little later,” Tavares said. “So this camp was definitely better as far as coaches and staff there know me a little better. I know them a little better.

“We know what to work on and, kind of more so, what works. And that relationship will only continue to get better.”

It’s safe to assume that Tavares will be making use of the facilities for his next outing. Whom that will be against, however, is still a mystery. After UFC 216 brought about what was arguably Tavares’ biggest win yet, he’s ready for a big name.

A former, long-reigning UFC champion who just so happens to still be regarded as one of the greatest of all time? Well, if Anderson Silva gets past Kelvin Gastelum in their headlining encounter in Shanghai next month, that would do just fine.

“Depending on how that fight goes, I would love to fight somebody like Anderson,” Tavares said. “He has a name. He’s a legend. I think that would be an awesome opportunity for me. A win over him? That’d be huge.”

To hear from Tavares, check out the video above

And 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 and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.


Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

Brad Tavares is all praise for the UFC's 'game-changing' Performance Institute

MMA Junkie News -

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Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

Currently riding a three-fight winning streak, Brad Tavares seems to have found his groove back after a rough patch that saw him lose three out of four octagon outings.

The positive results, Tavares (16-4 MMA, 11-4 UFC) believes, serve to show that, at 29, he’s still evolving and growing into his own as a fighter. But one thing that certainly isn’t hurting the middleweight’s momentum is the addition of a “game-changing” tool: the UFC’s recently-installed Performance Institute.

As a Las Vegas-based fighter, Tavares gets to reap the benefits of the facilities on a daily basis. Other fighters, like local Evan Dunham, have already sung the Institute’s praises. Whether it’s strength and conditioning, physical therapy or nutrition, Tavares says he’s been able to count on professionals who go the extra mile to make sure fighters are taken care of even when they’re off the clock.

“You get access to these high, high-level people,” Tavares told MMAjunkie Radio.

The entire staff, “top to bottom,” earned praise from Tavares. But he did seem to hold a special place in his heart for the chefs.

“Those guys are very, very good at what they do,” Tavares said. “They’ll have regular things there because they also have the UFC front office people that come through, but they also make health-conscious type of meals for fighters.

“That place is amazing. I don’t get to get there for breakfast much, but after my morning workouts, I go there for lunch. I’ll eat and, if I’m still hungry, I’ll go get seconds. And then I’ll take something to go for later.”

In fact, for Tavares, the Institute has basically become a part of his camp. And, given he’s only worked with them in preparation for his last two meetings (against Elias Theodorou and Thales Leites, both of which resulted in unanimous decision wins), he’s quite optimistic.

“My last camp, when I fought Elias, started a little later,” Tavares said. “So this camp was definitely better as far as coaches and staff there know me a little better. I know them a little better.

“We know what to work on and, kind of more so, what works. And that relationship will only continue to get better.”

It’s safe to assume that Tavares will be making use of the facilities for his next outing. Whom that will be against, however, is still a mystery. After UFC 216 brought about what was arguably Tavares’ biggest win yet, he’s ready for a big name.

A former, long-reigning UFC champion who just so happens to still be regarded as one of the greatest of all time? Well, if Anderson Silva gets past Kelvin Gastelum in their headlining encounter in Shanghai next month, that would do just fine.

“Depending on how that fight goes, I would love to fight somebody like Anderson,” Tavares said. “He has a name. He’s a legend. I think that would be an awesome opportunity for me. A win over him? That’d be huge.”

To hear from Tavares, check out the video above

And 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 and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.


Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

Bellator contract allows Heather Hardy crossover in boxing, MMA

MMA Junkie News -

When boxer Heather Hardy made her professional MMA debut at Bellator 180, she needed to make an impression. There was no other way to construe a one-fight contract.

On Friday, she makes her second appearance for the Viacom-owned promotion, facing Kristina Williams (0-0 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) at Bellator 185. This time, though, it’s not such a do-or-die situation.

After a bloody beatdown of Alice Yauger in June, Hardy (1-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) signed a two-year contract with Bellator. The deal guarantees a minimum of four bouts. But more than that, it also allows her to make a living in boxing.

Rather than be held to one promoter and one sport, Hardy gets to choose.

“I’m pretty much flexible to do whatever makes sense,” she told MMAjunkie in advance of her Spike-televised fight at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. “If it’s a better deal with Bellator, then we do MMA. If boxing has a big opportunity for me, (I do boxing).

“The organizations want to see me do well, and they’re not interested in standing in the way of one another.”

Hardy still holds a contract with boxing promoter Lou DiBella. She estimates she spends 12 hours a day in the squared circle, coaching fighters at gym and training clients at the famed Gleason’s Gym in her hometown of Brooklyn, N.Y. But at the moment, she sees more opportunity in MMA.

“The way I see it is, the industry is not really willing to pay women moving forward,” she said. “If they can’t offer me a decent enough fight with a good opponent – I’m 20-0 and a two-time champion – I’m not interested in fights that don’t make sense.

“If they can’t pay these girls to come in and give the fans the fights they want to see, then it’s really not worth my time any more,” she said. “I’m really hopeful that, starting next year, promoters will be willing to bring in good competition and put on good women’s fights.”

Money motivated Hardy’s move away from boxing. But it was also expedited by MMA’s passage in her home state. After a nearly 20-year ban on MMA was removed and the sport was legalized, increased insurance requirements forced several New York-based boxing promoters, including DiBella, to cancel events.

Without a place to ply her trade, Hardy, the WBC’s international female featherweight champ, needed a way to provide for herself and her family.

Although she hasn’t quit her day job as a boxing coach and trainer, Hardy is breathing a bit easier now that she knows she’ll be fighting regularly.

“It does help me financially in the long run, knowing that I have certain paychecks coming my way,” she said. “The last month hasn’t been great, because I don’t get paid up front for them all. But it’s nice to know that over the next two years, I’ll be in a better spot financially. The more you work, the more you get paid.”

For her second bout, Hardy wants to put on the type of performance that keeps her phone ringing. She’s working hard to acclimate herself to range and speed of MMA. She grades her debut a C-plus based on a slow start and thinks she’ll be a greater threat with more experience in the gym.

“The first one was really an introduction, trying to cover all the bases just so that I knew what was going on in any particular situation,” she said. “It was like glossing over all the areas, because I kind of fast-forwarded and jumped feet-first into a fight at the Garden.

“I focused less on my boxing (for the second camp), and more on kickboxing and striking and jiu-jitsu, so I’m already acclimated and accustomed to fighting that fight.”

Hardy earned wide recognition from MMA fans for her aggressive comeback in the second and third round of her debut. But her personality also won notice from the MMA media, which caught her off guard after so many years of obscurity in boxing.

“It’s so nice to finally get recognition,” she said. “I worked so hard in boxing, and nobody really knew my name. After that one fight, I kind of skyrocketed overnight.”

She’s still got a long ways to go before she’s a household name. But now, there’s a foundation to build her name as a crossover star in combat sports.

“I’m still working two jobs and taking care of my daughter,” she said. “I don’t have that luxury where I can go away for a six-week fight camp and have a nanny take my daughter back to school. I’m not there yet. So it’s nice (to have the new deal), because it seems like I can be there one day.”

For more on Bellator 185, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

 


Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News

Bellator contract allows Heather Hardy crossover in boxing, MMA

MMA Junkie News -

When boxer Heather Hardy made her professional MMA debut at Bellator 180, she needed to make an impression. There was no other way to construe a one-fight contract.

On Friday, she makes her second appearance for the Viacom-owned promotion, facing Kristina Williams (0-0 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) at Bellator 185. This time, though, it’s not such a do-or-die situation.

After a bloody beatdown of Alice Yauger in June, Hardy (1-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) signed a two-year contract with Bellator. The deal guarantees a minimum of four bouts. But more than that, it also allows her to make a living in boxing.

Rather than be held to one promoter and one sport, Hardy gets to choose.

“I’m pretty much flexible to do whatever makes sense,” she told MMAjunkie in advance of her Spike-televised fight at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. “If it’s a better deal with Bellator, then we do MMA. If boxing has a big opportunity for me, (I do boxing).

“The organizations want to see me do well, and they’re not interested in standing in the way of one another.”

Hardy still holds a contract with boxing promoter Lou DiBella. She estimates she spends 12 hours a day in the squared circle, coaching fighters at gym and training clients at the famed Gleason’s Gym in her hometown of Brooklyn, N.Y. But at the moment, she sees more opportunity in MMA.

“The way I see it is, the industry is not really willing to pay women moving forward,” she said. “If they can’t offer me a decent enough fight with a good opponent – I’m 20-0 and a two-time champion – I’m not interested in fights that don’t make sense.

“If they can’t pay these girls to come in and give the fans the fights they want to see, then it’s really not worth my time any more,” she said. “I’m really hopeful that, starting next year, promoters will be willing to bring in good competition and put on good women’s fights.”

Money motivated Hardy’s move away from boxing. But it was also expedited by MMA’s passage in her home state. After a nearly 20-year ban on MMA was removed and the sport was legalized, increased insurance requirements forced several New York-based boxing promoters, including DiBella, to cancel events.

Without a place to ply her trade, Hardy, the WBC’s international female featherweight champ, needed a way to provide for herself and her family.

Although she hasn’t quit her day job as a boxing coach and trainer, Hardy is breathing a bit easier now that she knows she’ll be fighting regularly.

“It does help me financially in the long run, knowing that I have certain paychecks coming my way,” she said. “The last month hasn’t been great, because I don’t get paid up front for them all. But it’s nice to know that over the next two years, I’ll be in a better spot financially. The more you work, the more you get paid.”

For her second bout, Hardy wants to put on the type of performance that keeps her phone ringing. She’s working hard to acclimate herself to range and speed of MMA. She grades her debut a C-plus based on a slow start and thinks she’ll be a greater threat with more experience in the gym.

“The first one was really an introduction, trying to cover all the bases just so that I knew what was going on in any particular situation,” she said. “It was like glossing over all the areas, because I kind of fast-forwarded and jumped feet-first into a fight at the Garden.

“I focused less on my boxing (for the second camp), and more on kickboxing and striking and jiu-jitsu, so I’m already acclimated and accustomed to fighting that fight.”

Hardy earned wide recognition from MMA fans for her aggressive comeback in the second and third round of her debut. But her personality also won notice from the MMA media, which caught her off guard after so many years of obscurity in boxing.

“It’s so nice to finally get recognition,” she said. “I worked so hard in boxing, and nobody really knew my name. After that one fight, I kind of skyrocketed overnight.”

She’s still got a long ways to go before she’s a household name. But now, there’s a foundation to build her name as a crossover star in combat sports.

“I’m still working two jobs and taking care of my daughter,” she said. “I don’t have that luxury where I can go away for a six-week fight camp and have a nanny take my daughter back to school. I’m not there yet. So it’s nice (to have the new deal), because it seems like I can be there one day.”

For more on Bellator 185, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

 


Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News

LFA 27 heads to Oklahoma with Watley vs. Wilson lightweight title fight

MMA Junkie News -

LFA will return to Oklahoma next month, and the lightweight title will be on the line in the main event.

Lightweight champion Robert Watley (8-1) will take on top contender Daryl Wilson (7-1) in the LFA 27 main event, the promotion today announced. In the co-feature, Myron Dennis (15-6) will take on Ryan Spann (11-5) in a light heavyweight bout.

LFA 27 takes place Nov. 10 at Firelake Arena in Shawnee, Okla. The main card will air live on AXS TV.

Watley lost his pro debut, but hasn’t looked back with eight straight wins. He signed with LFA earlier this year and got an immediate title shot against final RFA lightweight champ Thiago Moises and won a unanimous decision at LFA 17 in July to take the belt. The fight against Wilson will be his first title defense.

Wilson will be fighting in front of his home Oklahoma fans. He comes into the fight on a four-fight winning streak, including a one-punch knockout of Jarrod Card at LFA 18 in August in just 64 seconds. That fight was his promotional debut.

Dennis and Spann were supposed to fight at LFA 9 in April, but Spann was forced out with a training injury. Dennis fought and beat Danilo Marques, instead. Spann fought and submitted LeMarcus Tucker at LFA 23 in September.

The LFA 27 event includes:

For more on LFA 27, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News

LFA 27 heads to Oklahoma with Watley vs. Wilson lightweight title fight

MMA Junkie News -

LFA will return to Oklahoma next month, and the lightweight title will be on the line in the main event.

Lightweight champion Robert Watley (8-1) will take on top contender Daryl Wilson (7-1) in the LFA 27 main event, the promotion today announced. In the co-feature, Myron Dennis (15-6) will take on Ryan Spann (11-5) in a light heavyweight bout.

LFA 27 takes place Nov. 10 at Firelake Arena in Shawnee, Okla. The main card will air live on AXS TV.

Watley lost his pro debut, but hasn’t looked back with eight straight wins. He signed with LFA earlier this year and got an immediate title shot against final RFA lightweight champ Thiago Moises and won a unanimous decision at LFA 17 in July to take the belt. The fight against Wilson will be his first title defense.

Wilson will be fighting in front of his home Oklahoma fans. He comes into the fight on a four-fight winning streak, including a one-punch knockout of Jarrod Card at LFA 18 in August in just 64 seconds. That fight was his promotional debut.

Dennis and Spann were supposed to fight at LFA 9 in April, but Spann was forced out with a training injury. Dennis fought and beat Danilo Marques, instead. Spann fought and submitted LeMarcus Tucker at LFA 23 in September.

The LFA 27 event includes:

For more on LFA 27, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News

Ahead of Bellator 185's main event, watch Alexander Shlemenko take out Kendall Grove

MMA Junkie News -


Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos

Former middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko returns to Bellator this week with his sights set on a return to a title fight.

Shlemenko (56-9 MMA, 12-3 BMMA) takes on a big name at Bellator 185 on Saturday in Gegard Mousasi (42-6-2 MMA, 0-0 BMMA), who will be making his promotional debut after a 12-fight run in the UFC. Mousasi, a former Strikeforce champ, arguably represents one of the stiffest tests of Shlemenko’s career.

But before those two headline Bellator 185, take a look at Shlemenko’s most recent Bellator outing. He has six straight wins since losing the middleweight title in an upset to Brandon Halsey a little more than three years ago. And while only one has come under the Bellator banner (a knockout win over Melvin Manhoef in 2015 was overturned due to a positive drug test for Shlemenko), it was an impressive one.

At Bellator 162 a year ago this weekend, Shlemenko knocked out Kendall Grove in the second round. Check out that fight in full above ahead of Bellator 185, with Shlemenko vs. Mousasi in the main event, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. The main card airs on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

And for more on Bellator 185, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chris Weidman (red gloves) competes against Gerard Mousasi (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chris Weidman (red gloves) competes against Gerard Mousasi (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chris Weidman (red gloves) competes against Gerard Mousasi (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chris Weidman (red gloves) competes against Gerard Mousasi (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chris Weidman (red gloves) competes against Gerard Mousasi (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chris Weidman (red gloves) competes against Gerard Mousasi (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chris Weidman (red gloves) competes against Gerard Mousasi (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chris Weidman (red gloves) competes against Gerard Mousasi (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chris Weidman (red gloves) competes against Gerard Mousasi (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chris Weidman (red gloves) competes against Gerard Mousasi (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chris Weidman (red gloves) competes against Gerard Mousasi (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chris Weidman (red gloves) competes against Gerard Mousasi (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chris Weidman (red gloves) reacts after being defeated by Gerard Mousasi (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chris Weidman (red gloves) reacts after being defeated by Gerard Mousasi (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chris Weidman (red gloves) reacts after being defeated by Gerard Mousasi (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-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/tSmDVmu2Ez7r8Ajk8PnZXf/278119", customAnalytics: true, title: "Mousasi def. Weidman", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos

Ahead of Bellator 185's main event, watch Alexander Shlemenko take out Kendall Grove

MMA Junkie News -


Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos

Former middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko returns to Bellator this week with his sights set on a return to a title fight.

Shlemenko (56-9 MMA, 12-3 BMMA) takes on a big name at Bellator 185 on Saturday in Gegard Mousasi (42-6-2 MMA, 0-0 BMMA), who will be making his promotional debut after a 12-fight run in the UFC. Mousasi, a former Strikeforce champ, arguably represents one of the stiffest tests of Shlemenko’s career.

But before those two headline Bellator 185, take a look at Shlemenko’s most recent Bellator outing. He has six straight wins since losing the middleweight title in an upset to Brandon Halsey a little more than three years ago. And while only one has come under the Bellator banner (a knockout win over Melvin Manhoef in 2015 was overturned due to a positive drug test for Shlemenko), it was an impressive one.

At Bellator 162 a year ago this weekend, Shlemenko knocked out Kendall Grove in the second round. Check out that fight in full above ahead of Bellator 185, with Shlemenko vs. Mousasi in the main event, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. The main card airs on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

And for more on Bellator 185, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chris Weidman (red gloves) competes against Gerard Mousasi (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chris Weidman (red gloves) competes against Gerard Mousasi (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chris Weidman (red gloves) competes against Gerard Mousasi (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chris Weidman (red gloves) competes against Gerard Mousasi (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chris Weidman (red gloves) competes against Gerard Mousasi (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chris Weidman (red gloves) competes against Gerard Mousasi (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chris Weidman (red gloves) competes against Gerard Mousasi (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chris Weidman (red gloves) competes against Gerard Mousasi (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chris Weidman (red gloves) competes against Gerard Mousasi (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chris Weidman (red gloves) competes against Gerard Mousasi (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chris Weidman (red gloves) competes against Gerard Mousasi (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chris Weidman (red gloves) competes against Gerard Mousasi (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chris Weidman (red gloves) reacts after being defeated by Gerard Mousasi (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chris Weidman (red gloves) reacts after being defeated by Gerard Mousasi (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Apr 8, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chris Weidman (red gloves) reacts after being defeated by Gerard Mousasi (blue gloves) during UFC 210 at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-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/tSmDVmu2Ez7r8Ajk8PnZXf/278119", customAnalytics: true, title: "Mousasi def. Weidman", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos

Poland's Salim Touahri replaces Jim Wallhead vs. Warlley Alves at UFC Fight Night 118

MMA Junkie News -

Warlley Alves will stay on this week’s UFC card in Poland, and he’ll do so against a short-notice home-country replacement.

UFC welterweight newcomer Salim Touahri (10-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has stepped in for Jim Wallhead (29-11 MMA, 0-2 UFC) and will meet Alves (10-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 118 on Saturday. MMAjunkie confirmed the booking with Touahri’s team following an initial report from Combate. UFC officials have not yet made a formal announcement of the booking.

Featuring a headlining contest between Donald Cerrone and Darren Till, UFC Fight Night 118 takes place Saturday at Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland. The entire card streams on UFC Fight Pass.

The 28-year-old Touahri has eight of his 10 career wins by stoppage ahead of his short-notice call-up to the UFC. He comes to the promotion riding a five-fight winning streak, four of which have come by knockout. When Touahri steps in the cage on Saturday, however, it will be his first fight in nearly a year.

Alves, 26, was the middleweight winner of “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3,” though he immediately returned to the welterweight division for his next three contests, where he earned victories over Alan Jouban, Nordine Taleb and Colby Covington. However, Alves has struggled in his past two outings, suffering losses to Bryan Barberena and Kamaru Usman and now finds himself looking to break a two-fight losing streak.

Wallhead, 37, is a longtime veteran of the European scene, competing professionally since 2005 and earning notable career wins over the likes of Igor Araujo, Che Mills, Frank Trigg and Joey Villasenor, among others. His persistence finally earned a UFC call in late 2016, but he’s since suffered back-to-back losses to Jessin Ayari and Luan Chagas, and was looking at a third shot at picking up a first UFC win. Now he’ll have to wait.

A timetable for Wallhead’s return was not immediately clear.

With the change to the card, UFC Fight Night 118 currently includes:

MAIN CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 3 p.m. ET)

  • Donald Cerrone vs. Darren Till
  • Jodie Esquibel vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz
  • Jan Blachowicz vs. Devin Clark
  • Oskar Piechota vs. Jonathan Wilson

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 11:45 a.m. ET )

  • Nasrat Haqparast vs. Marcin Held
  • Anthony Hamilton vs. Adam Wieczorek
  • Brian Kelleher vs. Damian Stasiak
  • Sam Alvey vs. Ramazan Emeev
  • Andre Fili vs. Artem Lobov
  • Warlley Alves vs. Salim Touahri
  • Aspen Ladd vs. Lina Lansberg
  • Felipe Arantes vs. Josh Emmett

For more on UFC Fight Night 118, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Warlley Alves is declared the winner by submission against Colby Covington during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Warlley Alves reacts following his victory by submission against Colby Covington during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Warlley Alves hugs his trainer following his victory by submission against Colby Covington during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Warlley Alves applies a chokehold to win by submission against Colby Covington during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Warlley Alves applies a hold against Colby Covington during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 11, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Warlley Alves poses with a sling shot during weigh-ins for UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Warlley Alves (red gloves) after defeating Nordine Taleb (not picture) by submission during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Warlley Alves (red gloves) after defeating Nordine Taleb (blue gloves) by submission during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Warlley Alves (red gloves) after defeating Nordine Taleb (not picture) by submission during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Warlley Alves (red gloves) after defeating Nordine Taleb (not picture) by submission during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Warlley Alves (red gloves) vs. Nordine Taleb (blue gloves) during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Warlley Alves (red gloves) vs. Nordine Taleb (blue gloves) during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Warlley Alves (red gloves) before fighting Nordine Taleb (not pictured) during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Warlley Alves (red gloves) enters before fighting Nordine Taleb (not pictured) during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 31, 2014; Sao Paulo, SP, BRAZIL; Warlley Alves reacts after defeating Marcio Alexandre Junior during the TUF Brazil 3 Finale at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 31, 2014; Sao Paulo, SP, BRAZIL; Warlley Alves (right) reacts after defeating Marcio Alexandre Junior during the TUF Brazil 3 Finale at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 31, 2014; Sao Paulo, SP, BRAZIL; Warlley Alves reacts after defeating Marcio Alexandre Junior during the TUF Brazil 3 Finale at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 31, 2014; Sao Paulo, SP, BRAZIL; Marcio Alexandre Junior (red gloves) fights Warlley Alves (blue gloves) during the TUF Brazil 3 Finale at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 31, 2014; Sao Paulo, SP, BRAZIL; Marcio Alexandre Junior (red gloves) fights Warlley Alves (blue gloves) during the TUF Brazil 3 Finale at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 31, 2014; Sao Paulo, SP, BRAZIL; Marcio Alexandre Junior (red gloves) fights Warlley Alves (blue gloves) during the TUF Brazil 3 Finale at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. 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/HDi7EiVknNwdJGzzA9NRnb/278116", customAnalytics: true, title: "Warlley Alves", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC

Poland's Salim Touahri replaces Jim Wallhead vs. Warlley Alves at UFC Fight Night 118

MMA Junkie News -

Warlley Alves will stay on this week’s UFC card in Poland, and he’ll do so against a short-notice home-country replacement.

UFC welterweight newcomer Salim Touahri (10-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has stepped in for Jim Wallhead (29-11 MMA, 0-2 UFC) and will meet Alves (10-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 118 on Saturday. MMAjunkie confirmed the booking with Touahri’s team following an initial report from Combate. UFC officials have not yet made a formal announcement of the booking.

Featuring a headlining contest between Donald Cerrone and Darren Till, UFC Fight Night 118 takes place Saturday at Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland. The entire card streams on UFC Fight Pass.

The 28-year-old Touahri has eight of his 10 career wins by stoppage ahead of his short-notice call-up to the UFC. He comes to the promotion riding a five-fight winning streak, four of which have come by knockout. When Touahri steps in the cage on Saturday, however, it will be his first fight in nearly a year.

Alves, 26, was the middleweight winner of “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3,” though he immediately returned to the welterweight division for his next three contests, where he earned victories over Alan Jouban, Nordine Taleb and Colby Covington. However, Alves has struggled in his past two outings, suffering losses to Bryan Barberena and Kamaru Usman and now finds himself looking to break a two-fight losing streak.

Wallhead, 37, is a longtime veteran of the European scene, competing professionally since 2005 and earning notable career wins over the likes of Igor Araujo, Che Mills, Frank Trigg and Joey Villasenor, among others. His persistence finally earned a UFC call in late 2016, but he’s since suffered back-to-back losses to Jessin Ayari and Luan Chagas, and was looking at a third shot at picking up a first UFC win. Now he’ll have to wait.

A timetable for Wallhead’s return was not immediately clear.

With the change to the card, UFC Fight Night 118 currently includes:

MAIN CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 3 p.m. ET)

  • Donald Cerrone vs. Darren Till
  • Jodie Esquibel vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz
  • Jan Blachowicz vs. Devin Clark
  • Oskar Piechota vs. Jonathan Wilson

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 11:45 a.m. ET )

  • Nasrat Haqparast vs. Marcin Held
  • Anthony Hamilton vs. Adam Wieczorek
  • Brian Kelleher vs. Damian Stasiak
  • Sam Alvey vs. Ramazan Emeev
  • Andre Fili vs. Artem Lobov
  • Warlley Alves vs. Salim Touahri
  • Aspen Ladd vs. Lina Lansberg
  • Felipe Arantes vs. Josh Emmett

For more on UFC Fight Night 118, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Warlley Alves is declared the winner by submission against Colby Covington during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Warlley Alves reacts following his victory by submission against Colby Covington during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Warlley Alves hugs his trainer following his victory by submission against Colby Covington during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Warlley Alves applies a chokehold to win by submission against Colby Covington during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Warlley Alves applies a hold against Colby Covington during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 11, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Warlley Alves poses with a sling shot during weigh-ins for UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Warlley Alves (red gloves) after defeating Nordine Taleb (not picture) by submission during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Warlley Alves (red gloves) after defeating Nordine Taleb (blue gloves) by submission during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Warlley Alves (red gloves) after defeating Nordine Taleb (not picture) by submission during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Warlley Alves (red gloves) after defeating Nordine Taleb (not picture) by submission during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Warlley Alves (red gloves) vs. Nordine Taleb (blue gloves) during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Warlley Alves (red gloves) vs. Nordine Taleb (blue gloves) during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Warlley Alves (red gloves) before fighting Nordine Taleb (not pictured) during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Aug 1, 2015; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Warlley Alves (red gloves) enters before fighting Nordine Taleb (not pictured) during UFC 190 at HSBC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 31, 2014; Sao Paulo, SP, BRAZIL; Warlley Alves reacts after defeating Marcio Alexandre Junior during the TUF Brazil 3 Finale at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 31, 2014; Sao Paulo, SP, BRAZIL; Warlley Alves (right) reacts after defeating Marcio Alexandre Junior during the TUF Brazil 3 Finale at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 31, 2014; Sao Paulo, SP, BRAZIL; Warlley Alves reacts after defeating Marcio Alexandre Junior during the TUF Brazil 3 Finale at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 31, 2014; Sao Paulo, SP, BRAZIL; Marcio Alexandre Junior (red gloves) fights Warlley Alves (blue gloves) during the TUF Brazil 3 Finale at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 31, 2014; Sao Paulo, SP, BRAZIL; Marcio Alexandre Junior (red gloves) fights Warlley Alves (blue gloves) during the TUF Brazil 3 Finale at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 31, 2014; Sao Paulo, SP, BRAZIL; Marcio Alexandre Junior (red gloves) fights Warlley Alves (blue gloves) during the TUF Brazil 3 Finale at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. 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/HDi7EiVknNwdJGzzA9NRnb/278116", customAnalytics: true, title: "Warlley Alves", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC

Will Brooks vs. Nik Lentz targeted for UFC Fight Night 121

MMA Junkie News -

The UFC is targeting a do-over for Will Brooks and Nik Lentz at UFC Fight Night 121.

A Brooks team member today told MMAjunkie the two will be rebooked for next month’s UFC return to Australia. UFC officials have not yet made a formal announcement of the booking.

Earlier today, Brooks (18-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC) tweeted he will fight at the event, which takes place Nov. 19 (but airs Nov. 18 in the U.S. due to the time difference) at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney. The card will air on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

The fight marks a rebooking for the veteran lightweights, who were scheduled to meet earlier this month at UFC 216 before Lentz (27-8-2 MMA, 11-5-1 UFC) wasn’t medically cleared to fight and was scratched from the card.

Nik Lentz

Lentz later released a statement saying his body wasn’t responding to insulin and he was having “diabetic like” issues that left him unable to cut weight.

On Twitter, Brooks indicated he received compensation for the canceled bout despite a statement from UFC 216’s official regulator, Nevada State Athletic Commission, that said he wasn’t paid.

Now, the former Bellator lightweight champ will work on reversing a career slide. He’s dropped his past two octagon bouts, losing via stoppage to Alex Oliveira and Charles Oliveira after a promotional debut win over Ross Pearson.

Lentz is 2-1 since returning to the lightweight division from featherweight. In February, he suffered a decision loss to Islam Makhachev.

The latest UFC Fight Night 121 card now includes:

  • Fabricio Werdum vs. Marcin Tybura
  • Joanne Calderwood vs. Bec Rawlings
  • Tim Means vs. Belal Muhammad
  • Daniel Kelly vs. Elias Theodorou
  • Humberto Bandenay vs. Alex Volkanovski
  • Ryan Benoit vs. Ashkan Mokhtarian
  • Jenel Lausa vs. Eric Shelton
  • Alex Chambers vs. Nadia Kassem
  • Rashad Coulter vs. Tai Tuivasa
  • Jake Matthews vs. Bojan Velickovic
  • Will Brooks vs. Nik Lentz

For more on UFC Fight Night 121, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: News, UFC

Will Brooks vs. Nik Lentz targeted for UFC Fight Night 121

MMA Junkie News -

The UFC is targeting a do-over for Will Brooks and Nik Lentz at UFC Fight Night 121.

A Brooks team member today told MMAjunkie the two will be rebooked for next month’s UFC return to Australia. UFC officials have not yet made a formal announcement of the booking.

Earlier today, Brooks (18-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC) tweeted he will fight at the event, which takes place Nov. 19 (but airs Nov. 18 in the U.S. due to the time difference) at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney. The card will air on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

The fight marks a rebooking for the veteran lightweights, who were scheduled to meet earlier this month at UFC 216 before Lentz (27-8-2 MMA, 11-5-1 UFC) wasn’t medically cleared to fight and was scratched from the card.

Nik Lentz

Lentz later released a statement saying his body wasn’t responding to insulin and he was having “diabetic like” issues that left him unable to cut weight.

On Twitter, Brooks indicated he received compensation for the canceled bout despite a statement from UFC 216’s official regulator, Nevada State Athletic Commission, that said he wasn’t paid.

Now, the former Bellator lightweight champ will work on reversing a career slide. He’s dropped his past two octagon bouts, losing via stoppage to Alex Oliveira and Charles Oliveira after a promotional debut win over Ross Pearson.

Lentz is 2-1 since returning to the lightweight division from featherweight. In February, he suffered a decision loss to Islam Makhachev.

The latest UFC Fight Night 121 card now includes:

  • Fabricio Werdum vs. Marcin Tybura
  • Joanne Calderwood vs. Bec Rawlings
  • Tim Means vs. Belal Muhammad
  • Daniel Kelly vs. Elias Theodorou
  • Humberto Bandenay vs. Alex Volkanovski
  • Ryan Benoit vs. Ashkan Mokhtarian
  • Jenel Lausa vs. Eric Shelton
  • Alex Chambers vs. Nadia Kassem
  • Rashad Coulter vs. Tai Tuivasa
  • Jake Matthews vs. Bojan Velickovic
  • Will Brooks vs. Nik Lentz

For more on UFC Fight Night 121, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: News, UFC

To overcome horrific abuse, one young fighter found solace in the sting of battle

MMA Junkie News -

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Filed under: News

Kohl Laren goes to sleep most nights on a twin mattress in the bed of a 1992 Ford F-250. It’s not bad. He’s got a camper shell, a hot plate to cook his breakfast in the morning, and enough sweatshirts to keep him warm through the night.

In a lot of ways it’s better than how he grew up. At least here there’s no one yelling at him, telling him that he’s worthless and denying him food. At least now he owns more than one pair of underwear and his shoes aren’t held together by duct tape. At least these days, the only beatings he takes are in the gym – and he puts himself through them on purpose.

That’s the important part for Laren, a 22-year-old kickboxer and amateur MMA fighter. After an intensely abusive childhood that led to hospitalizations and suicide attempts, he found in martial arts a form of therapy that’s helped him in ways that more conventional methods have not.

It’s what led him to his current focus, a project he’s dubbed “Chase the Pain,” in which he aims to tour the fighting arenas of Thailand and Cambodia in a journey of self-discovery through combat.

Part of the appeal is the extreme nature of the fights and the training there, Laren said. Pushing yourself through pain and fatigue, pushing past your concept of your own limits, that evokes an intense emotional state that brings him back to his history of abuse.

“It just comes out of nowhere, and when that happens, you face all these weird kind of feelings,” Laren told MMAjunkie. “That takes me to a place I haven’t been before. And for me, when I get to that place, I return to those feelings from my childhood, and that’s hopelessness and despair.”

Laren grew up in the northwestern corner of Southern California’s Orange County. His parents were separated, which left him with his mother, an L.A. County Sheriff’s deputy who abused him physically, verbally and emotionally, all while taking good care of his younger sister, he said.

His mother regularly abused drugs and alcohol, Laren said, and was eventually arrested for and pleaded guilty to DUI and child endangerment charges. But her anger toward her son seemed to stem from a seething resentment of his father.

“My sister was treated better almost in spite of me,” Laren said. “She was treated almost like an example, like this is what you would be treated like if you didn’t remind me of your dad. I was made fun of and starved and made to think that I was somehow overweight or didn’t even deserve to eat food, and this was when I was 8, 9 years old. I was severely anorexic, like 25 pounds underweight as a kid. I remember being at the hospital, and they couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me, and then they realized I just wasn’t eating.”

His family wasn’t poor. His mother could have afforded to buy him clean clothes or working shoes. The neglect was intentional, Laren said, and he internalized the abuse he endured every day.

Maybe he really was worthless. Maybe he really didn’t deserve to eat. Maybe he was a lesser human.

“Then at a certain point, me and my mom got into a fight, and I stood up for myself,” Laren said. “It was the first time I’d ever defended myself against my mom. She threw me out of the house, I was on the curb in my underwear, and my dad picked me up. I lived with my dad after that.”

It was his father who took him to his first jiu-jitsu class. What Laren soon found was that, when he was on the mats, just trying to avoid being choked and armbarred, he wasn’t thinking about all the horrible things he’d been through. The emotional scars that followed him everywhere didn’t seem to be able to follow him into the gym. There just wasn’t room for them, not with the immediate physical urgency of the task of the hand.

“That was really comforting, because I was really a prisoner of my own thoughts,” Laren said. “Any other time when I wasn’t training, I was trapped by these terrible thoughts. But when I was in the gym, it was sort of a meditative state. I could only think of myself as a martial artist and not think of all the trauma.”

He took an MMA fight as soon as he turned 18. He lost, but it wasn’t really the point. He gravitated more toward muay Thai after that. It was just so intense, so filled with painful rituals and intense training. It was there he was introduced to the concept of “intentional suffering,” a path to self-realization articulated by early 20th century philosopher George Gurdjieff.

“It’s putting yourself through something that is uncomfortable in the hopes of growing through it,” Laren said. “If you’re always in a state that’s super comfortable, you don’t really have to think about what you’re doing. But when you’re uncomfortable, it promotes an increased self-observation.”

That, in a way, is how he ended up living in his truck.

He doesn’t have to be homeless, Laren said. He’s had an apartment and the comforts of financial self-sufficiency, even if it meant working three jobs to get there at times. But that wasn’t helping him work on his issues or process his past. His martial arts journey did, but it required a focus he didn’t feel he could give while chasing a series of simultaneous paychecks.

So he gave it up and came up with his new plan. That included getting even more serious about training with his coach, Austin Ahlgren of OC Muay Thai, as well as traveling to Southeast Asia to immerse himself in a new and uncomfortable fighting environment.

It’s an effort he’s currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter, with the ultimate goal of bringing the lessons he learns back home to help others who have lived through similar trauma.

“If you notice a lot of kids who’ve been abused, they turn to drugs, alcohol, partying, anything to pretend like those feelings aren’t there, to ignore them,” Laren said. “I feel like I’m in no position to help those people until I figure out how to deal with those feelings myself, and I think going into this unfamiliar environment and putting myself through this is going to help me grow through those feelings.”

The journey and the battles along the way won’t be easy, Laren said, but then that’s kind of the point. At least this time his suffering will be on purpose, in the service of some end. At least this time it’s not for nothing. And, if it all goes the way he hopes, maybe it will lead him somewhere new.


Filed under: News

To overcome horrific abuse, one young fighter found solace in the sting of battle

MMA Junkie News -

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Filed under: News

Kohl Laren goes to sleep most nights on a twin mattress in the bed of a 1992 Ford F-250. It’s not bad. He’s got a camper shell, a hot plate to cook his breakfast in the morning, and enough sweatshirts to keep him warm through the night.

In a lot of ways it’s better than how he grew up. At least here there’s no one yelling at him, telling him that he’s worthless and denying him food. At least now he owns more than one pair of underwear and his shoes aren’t held together by duct tape. At least these days, the only beatings he takes are in the gym – and he puts himself through them on purpose.

That’s the important part for Laren, a 22-year-old kickboxer and amateur MMA fighter. After an intensely abusive childhood that led to hospitalizations and suicide attempts, he found in martial arts a form of therapy that’s helped him in ways that more conventional methods have not.

It’s what led him to his current focus, a project he’s dubbed “Chase the Pain,” in which he aims to tour the fighting arenas of Thailand and Cambodia in a journey of self-discovery through combat.

Part of the appeal is the extreme nature of the fights and the training there, Laren said. Pushing yourself through pain and fatigue, pushing past your concept of your own limits, that evokes an intense emotional state that brings him back to his history of abuse.

“It just comes out of nowhere, and when that happens, you face all these weird kind of feelings,” Laren told MMAjunkie. “That takes me to a place I haven’t been before. And for me, when I get to that place, I return to those feelings from my childhood, and that’s hopelessness and despair.”

Laren grew up in the northwestern corner of Southern California’s Orange County. His parents were separated, which left him with his mother, an L.A. County Sheriff’s deputy who abused him physically, verbally and emotionally, all while taking good care of his younger sister, he said.

His mother regularly abused drugs and alcohol, Laren said, and was eventually arrested for and pleaded guilty to DUI and child endangerment charges. But her anger toward her son seemed to stem from a seething resentment of his father.

“My sister was treated better almost in spite of me,” Laren said. “She was treated almost like an example, like this is what you would be treated like if you didn’t remind me of your dad. I was made fun of and starved and made to think that I was somehow overweight or didn’t even deserve to eat food, and this was when I was 8, 9 years old. I was severely anorexic, like 25 pounds underweight as a kid. I remember being at the hospital, and they couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me, and then they realized I just wasn’t eating.”

His family wasn’t poor. His mother could have afforded to buy him clean clothes or working shoes. The neglect was intentional, Laren said, and he internalized the abuse he endured every day.

Maybe he really was worthless. Maybe he really didn’t deserve to eat. Maybe he was a lesser human.

“Then at a certain point, me and my mom got into a fight, and I stood up for myself,” Laren said. “It was the first time I’d ever defended myself against my mom. She threw me out of the house, I was on the curb in my underwear, and my dad picked me up. I lived with my dad after that.”

It was his father who took him to his first jiu-jitsu class. What Laren soon found was that, when he was on the mats, just trying to avoid being choked and armbarred, he wasn’t thinking about all the horrible things he’d been through. The emotional scars that followed him everywhere didn’t seem to be able to follow him into the gym. There just wasn’t room for them, not with the immediate physical urgency of the task of the hand.

“That was really comforting, because I was really a prisoner of my own thoughts,” Laren said. “Any other time when I wasn’t training, I was trapped by these terrible thoughts. But when I was in the gym, it was sort of a meditative state. I could only think of myself as a martial artist and not think of all the trauma.”

He took an MMA fight as soon as he turned 18. He lost, but it wasn’t really the point. He gravitated more toward muay Thai after that. It was just so intense, so filled with painful rituals and intense training. It was there he was introduced to the concept of “intentional suffering,” a path to self-realization articulated by early 20th century philosopher George Gurdjieff.

“It’s putting yourself through something that is uncomfortable in the hopes of growing through it,” Laren said. “If you’re always in a state that’s super comfortable, you don’t really have to think about what you’re doing. But when you’re uncomfortable, it promotes an increased self-observation.”

That, in a way, is how he ended up living in his truck.

He doesn’t have to be homeless, Laren said. He’s had an apartment and the comforts of financial self-sufficiency, even if it meant working three jobs to get there at times. But that wasn’t helping him work on his issues or process his past. His martial arts journey did, but it required a focus he didn’t feel he could give while chasing a series of simultaneous paychecks.

So he gave it up and came up with his new plan. That included getting even more serious about training with his coach, Austin Ahlgren of OC Muay Thai, as well as traveling to Southeast Asia to immerse himself in a new and uncomfortable fighting environment.

It’s an effort he’s currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter, with the ultimate goal of bringing the lessons he learns back home to help others who have lived through similar trauma.

“If you notice a lot of kids who’ve been abused, they turn to drugs, alcohol, partying, anything to pretend like those feelings aren’t there, to ignore them,” Laren said. “I feel like I’m in no position to help those people until I figure out how to deal with those feelings myself, and I think going into this unfamiliar environment and putting myself through this is going to help me grow through those feelings.”

The journey and the battles along the way won’t be easy, Laren said, but then that’s kind of the point. At least this time his suffering will be on purpose, in the service of some end. At least this time it’s not for nothing. And, if it all goes the way he hopes, maybe it will lead him somewhere new.


Filed under: News

Jason Knight says he's fighting Gabriel Benitez at UFC Fight Night 123 in Fresno

MMA Junkie News -

May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Chaz Skelly (red gloves) fights Jason Knight (blue gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Ricardo Lamas lands punches against Jason Knight during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Chaz Skelly (red gloves) fights Jason Knight (blue gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Chaz Skelly (red gloves) fights Jason Knight (blue gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Chaz Skelly (red gloves) fights Jason Knight (blue gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Chaz Skelly (red gloves) fights Jason Knight (blue gloves) during UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports May 13, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Jason Knight (Blue gloves) defeats Chas Skelly (red gloves ) at UFC 211 at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports Jan 28, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Jason Knight (blue gloves) competes against Alex Caceres (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Jan 28, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Alex Caceres (red gloves) competes 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; Alex Caceres (red gloves) competes 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; Alex Caceres (red gloves) competes 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; Jason Knight (blue gloves) reacts after defeating Alex Caceres (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Jan 28, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Jason Knight (blue gloves) reacts after defeating Alex Caceres (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Nov 27, 2016; Melbourne, Australia; Dan Hooker (red gloves) competes against Jason Knight (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Rod Laver Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Nov 27, 2016; Melbourne, Australia; Jason Knight (blue gloves) lays on the cavas after competing against Dan Hooker (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/teYcmdnnUG2skRivA3Seq6/278107", customAnalytics: true, title: "Jason Knight", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Fan favorite “Mississippi Mean” is headed to California.

Jason Knight (20-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC) today announced he’s slated to fight fellow featherweight Gabriel Benitez (19-6 MMA, 3-2 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 123 (via Instagram):

UFC officials haven’t made a formal announcement.

UFC Fight Night 123 takes place Dec. 9 at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif. It airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, though the full fight card and bout order haven’t been finalized.

Knight, also known as “Hick Diaz,” was recently riding a four-fight winning streak – one that earned him three fight-night bonuses and stoppage wins over Alex Caceres and Chas Skelly. However, in his most recent bout, the 25-year-old Mississippi native got a step up in competition and suffered a TKO loss to former title challenger Ricardo Lamas, who’s No. 5 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA featherweight rankings.

RelatedJason Knight explains how Ricardo Lamas' dad helped him deal with UFC 214 loss

He now meets Benitez, a semifinalist on “The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America.” The 29-year-old Mexican fighter, who has 16 stoppages in 19 career wins, was on a 4-1 run before a recent decision loss to Enrique Barzola in a back-and-forth bout at UFC 211 in May.

With the addition to the card, UFC Fight Night 123 now includes:

  • Cub Swanson vs. Brian Ortega
  • Liz Carmouche vs. Alexis Davis
  • Scott Holtzman vs. Darrell Horcher
  • Eryk Anders vs. John Phillips
  • Trevin Giles vs. Antonio Braga Neto
  • Carls John de Tomas vs. Alex Perez
  • Chris Gruetzemacher vs. Davi Ramos
  • Bryan Caraway vs. Luke Sanders
  • Benito Lopez vs. Albert Morales
  • Gabriel Benitez vs. Jason Knight

For more on UFC Fight Night 123, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.


Filed under: News, UFC

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