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  2. NASHVILLE – Stephen Thompson is the contender who has arguably benefited most from Kamaru Usman taking the UFC welterweight title away from Tyron Woodley. Thompson (14-3-1 MMA, 9-3-1 UFC), who returns from a 10-month layoff to fight Anthony Pettis (21-8 MMA, 8-7 UFC) in Saturday’s UFC on ESPN+ 6 headliner, believes a win wouldn’t put him far away from title consideration at 170 pounds. He twice failed to capture the gold from Woodley, but now that the belt has changed hands, his spirit is uplifted. “Having a new champion, I knew it was going to be better for my career,” Thompson told MMA Junkie. “Nobody wants to see Thompson vs. Woodley 3, and I kind of understood that. I would have to have two or three more fights before I even get that shot again. This, now that we’ve got a new champion, is going to be a faster way up. “The division has changed dramatically since the last time I fought. Got a new champion, Darren Till got knocked out by a guy that I’ve already beat. It’s up in the air. I’m ranked No. 4 right now, so any one of us could be fighting for that title again.” UFC on ESPN+ 6 takes place at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn. The entire card streams on ESPN+. Thompson hasn’t fought since losing a competitive decision to Darren Till at UFC Fight Night 130 in May. He suffered a knee injury in the bout and has been working toward a comeback following surgery. Thompson wanted to fight sooner, but said he couldn’t find an opponent to accept a bout with him. That’s when ex-lightweight titleholder Pettis made a surprising callout of “Wonderboy,” and the matchup quickly materialized from there. “I just couldn’t get (a fight),” Thompson said. “I tried to fight Robbie Lawler, it didn’t happen. (Santiago) Ponzinibbio, Leon Edwards and nothing came to fruition. I was headed to Denver, Colo., for a snowboarding trip, and I took my phone off airplane mode and my phone was blowing up and I’m like, ‘What’s going on?’ I saw Anthony Pettis called me out. I’m like, ‘Wow. Let’s get this thing happening.’ “I’ve always been a fan of Anthony Pettis because we have similar styles. I think this is going to be a fun fight. Definitely a fight for the fans.” On paper, the matchup with Pettis looks like it has serious potential for entertainment. Both men come from striking backgrounds and are highly diverse on the feet. Thompson said he thinks it will meet expectations. “This is definitely going to be a straight-up ninja fight,” Thompson said. “He’s very flashy, and I like to throw different angles and different kicks, too. So it’s going to be whoever is the best ninja that night. “I know he’s very crafty. He’s got good jiu-jitsu, good wrestling, and I’m prepared wherever the fight goes. I’m expecting and the fans are expecting just a barnburner, and that’s what we’re going to give them.” If Thompson wins at UFC on ESPN+ 6, he said he will be on the short list of potential title challengers. All signs point to Colby Covington getting the next shot at champ Usman, then the likes of Woodley and Ben Askren could be in the mix, as well. All those fighters come from wrestling backgrounds, and as a striking-based fighter, Thompson likes how he matches up with the best. “A lot of these guys have been wrestlers, and it’s something I’m used to,” Thompson said. “I do have a better striking game than any one of those guys. My goal is to be better all around, just be a better MMA fighter – not just be a better striker, but be an MMA fighter. So we’ve been working hard on my wrestling and jiu-jitsu, and especially my wrestling defense, to keep the fight standing to where I want it. I know these guys are high-level wrestlers, but it doesn’t bother me.” Although the belt is on his mind, Thompson already sees his next step after UFC on ESPN+ 6: a fight in his hometown of Greenville, S.C., where the UFC will visit for the first time on June 22 with UFC on ESPN+ 11. Having Thompson headline the card seems like a natural fit, and he’s hoping he can come out of the fight with Pettis unscathed so he can make the quick turn. “I hope I’m coming out of this fight uninjured, no hurt feet or hands or anything like that, and be able to fight again three months later,” Thompson said. “I got some guys in mind I’ve been wanting to fight for a long time. Lawler, RDA; I think that would be a good fight for my hometown.” For more on UFC on ESPN+ 6, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site. Voir l'article complet
  3. Two former top lightweights will meet in a key welterweight clash in New York. Rafael dos Anjos and Kevin Lee are set to fight in the 170-pound main event of UFC Rochester on May 18, officials told the Democrat & Chronicle. This will be Lee’s first welterweight appearance in the Octagon. For dos Anjos (28-11), this will mark the Brazilian’s sixth consecutive fight at welterweight after a lengthy lightweight run that saw him capture a UFC championship at 155 pounds. He is 3-2 at 170 pounds, having dropped back-to-back five-round unanimous decisions to Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington. The latter bout was for an interim welterweight title. Lee (17-4) has competed for an interim UFC lightweight title, losing to Tony Ferguson via submission at UFC 216 in October 2017. “The Motown Phenom” has had difficulties making the cut to 155 pounds in the past, recently missing weight last April ahead of a bout with Edson Barboza. In his most recent outing, Lee lost a five-round unanimous decision to Al Iaquinta. UFC Rochester is scheduled to take place at Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, N.Y., with the main card airing on the ESPN+ streaming service. Afficher l’article complet
  4. The good news is Luke Rockhold is moving up to light heavyweight to face Jan Blachowicz at UFC 239! The bad news is that T.J. Dillashaw’s career is in tatters. This was Wednesday morning in the UFC. The news broke in reverse order, of course. Dillashaw posted on his Instagram early that he had “voluntarily relinquished” his bantamweight title after being popped by the New York State Athletic Commission for a banned substance, which really sucks. But I’ll tell you what, the UFC has mastered the art of the sidetrack; it can counter any ugly headline by pulling a string of colored tissue from its sleeve. Rockhold, who has flirted with the idea of moving up, has his fight. He’s headed to Vegas in July. That news was “coincidentally” announced shortly after Dillashaw’s. As for Dillashaw? Well, not to dwell on that, but he’s headed for an all-too-common rebuild, no matter his level of innocence or guilt. At the very least, his title run is over (for now), and so is his 2019. And that’s a crazy turn of events from just two months ago, when the “Killashaw” hype train was chugging through Brooklyn. Heading into the new year, Dillashaw was on a roll. Not only was he headlining the first big event of the year, he was kicking off the UFC’s new era on ESPN in his fight with Henry Cejudo — an association that led naturally into pound-for-pound discussion. Was he great? He was certainly right at the cusp of greatness. If he added a second belt to his collection by taking Henry Cejudo’s flyweight title, there was an argument to be made. That’s why the word “historic” was being bandied about before his big fight at the Barclays Center, and ESPN ran an online feature of Dillashaw in throes of a damning weight cut of 29 pounds in 12 weeks. Did it humanize Dillashaw to see him behind the scenes in varying states of emaciation, with cold broccoli and a tableful of supplements, standing on a scale and slumped over his person like a half-dead thing in a hoodie? Or did it make him more borglike than ever? In fighting, it’s a fine line, and fans see what they want to see. In any case, Dillashaw was merely communicating was how far he was willing to go to get what he wanted. The premise for that freely dubbed superfight was novel: Dillashaw was being commissioned to go down and kill off the UFC’s flyweight division. That’s what he believed anyway. And he was going to great lengths to be the best damn pint-sized bounty hunter he could be. Maybe too many great lengths. Turns out that Dillashaw’s fate — like so many before him in the fight game — was far more malleable than his stone features. Dillashaw lost his bid for the 125-pound title in just 32 seconds that night, and now, as of today, he’s lost his bantamweight title, too. If the former was controversial for being a premature stoppage, the latter is controversial for being radically out of character for a guy who lived and breathed his own wholesomeness. Is it hypocrisy? To an extent, it always is. But to judge from Dillashaw’s initial statement, he’s either trying to get to the bottom of things — or simply accepting the consequences. “To all my fans, I wanted to be the first one to let you know that USADA and the NYSAC have informed me of an adverse finding in a test taken from my last fight,” he wrote. “While words can’t even begin to express how disappointed I am at this time, please know that I’m working with my team to understand what has occurred and how to resolve this situation as quickly as possible. Out of fairness and respect to the rest of the my division, I’ve informed the UFC that I’ll be voluntarily relinquishing my title while I deal with this matter. I want to thank all of you in advance.” Dillashaw was suspended for a year by the NYSAC, and was fined $10,000. In other words, his week in Brooklyn was a certifiable disaster. He ended up losing both titles, and any chance of that rematch he wanted with Cejudo at 135 pounds. If there’s a silver lining to any of this — and the UFC is forever making the most of unfortunate situations — it’s that the divisions can function more clearly now. Joseph Benavidez, who is the legit No. 1 contender for Cejudo at 125 pounds, has a right to get his rematch. Marlon Moraes, the No. 1 contender at bantamweight, can fight either Pedro Munhoz or Aljamain Sterling for the vacant title there. If the UFC insists, it can have Moraes versus Cejudo for that vacant bantamweight title. For every miscalculation in judgment or false step, there are people standing by who benefit from it. In the UFC, the difference between becoming a P4P great and careening off into the netherness of a troubled career is two months. In January, Dillashaw was poised to cement his legacy in MMA by becoming the UFC’s latest dual champion. In March, he has no belts, no explanations, no hopes. Come April? May? Who knows. In the UFC, it’s roll with the punches. You take the good news with the bad, and watch careers spike up and down like the Dow Jones. It’s all part of the game. Afficher l’article complet
  5. Gallery Photos: Best of Kevin Lee view 10 images A welterweight clash between former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos and Kevin Lee will headline the UFC’s first trip to Rochester, N.Y. UFC officials on Wednesday told the Democrat and Chronicle that the 170-pound bout will serve as the main event of UFC on ESPN+ 9, which streams live on ESPN+ from Blue Cross Arena on May 18. Dos Anjos is currently ranked No. 8 in the latest USA TODAY Sports MMA welterweight rankings, while Lee sits at No. 5 in the lightweight list. However, after having difficulty cutting down to the division’s 155-pound limit in a pair of recent outings, Lee now moves up to 170 pounds for the first time in his UFC career. Related UFC lightweight Kevin Lee 'done playing around,' says coaching changes on the way Dos Anjos returns to action for the first time since falling short to current UFC welterweight champ Kamaru Usman in a No. 1 contender fight last November. He’ll now face Lee, who challenged unsuccessfully for an interim UFC title in October 2017. Since that setback, Lee earned an impressive TKO win over fellow top contender Edson Barboza before losing a heartbreaking decision to Al Iaquinta this past December. With the addition to the card, the UFC on ESPN+ 9 lineup now includes: Rafael dos Anjos vs. Kevin Lee Sijara Eubanks vs. Aspen Ladd Zak Cummings vs. Trevin Giles Grant Dawson vs. Mike Trizano Patrick Cummins vs. Ed Herman For more on UFC on ESPN+ 9, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site. Gallery Photos: Best of Rafael dos Anjos view 99 images Voir l'article complet
  6. On va voir ce que ça va pouvoir apporter Luke Rockhold à cette division! (Le gars monte en -93 et affrontera Jan Blachowicz lors de l'UFC 239 du 6 Juillet prochain).
  7. Bellator 218 takes place Friday at WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Oklahoma. The main card airs on Paramount and streams on DAZN. Prelims stream on MMA Junkie. In the headliner, featherweights Emmanuel Sanchez (17-4 MMA, 9-3 BMMA) and Georgi Karakhanyan (28-8-1 MMA, 6-6 BMMA) meet in a rematch of their January 2017 affair at Bellator 170. Sanchez was originally expected to compete in the night’s main event against Ashleigh Grimshaw, who was forced to withdraw due to injury. In stepped Karakhanyan, who looks to avenge a majority decision loss in the pair’s first meeting. What are the keys to victory for each fighter the second time around? Watch the video above to hear the MMA Junkie Radio crew’s breakdown and predictions. For more on Bellator 218, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site. Voir l'article complet
  8. Do you think Dana White is more a Thin Mints man, or a Tagalong kind of guy? We’ll find out soon, it seems, as the UFC president just committed to buying 1,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies from Michelle Waterson’s daughter, Araya. White took to social media to reveal he’d been hit with “the cutest sales pitch I’ve ever seen in my life!!!” and was ready to shell out $4,000 for the annual fundraiser for the Girl Scouts of the USA. This is the cutest sales pitch I’ve ever seen in my life!!! This is @karatehottiemma’s daughter. I’m going to buy 1000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies!!! pic.twitter.com/rWbuLFwtRw — Dana White (@danawhite) March 20, 2019 So take note, fighters – the next time negotiations for your next fight aren’t going so well, don’t ask your manager to handle something your daughter could probably accomplish with a properly rehearsed cell-phone video. Waterson (16-6 MMA, 4-2 UFC) returns to action at next week’s UFC on ESPN 2 event in Philadelphia, where she takes on Karolina Kowalkiewicz (12-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC). “The Karate Hottie,” who sits as an honorable mention in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie MMA women’s strawweight rankings, looks to move up the list against No. 6 Kowalkiewicz. Prior to the fight, Waterson and her daughter will be featured as part of an ESPN “E:60” profile entitled “Cage Mom.” You can check out a preview of the feature in the video above. Here’s how ESPN describes the episode: Eight years ago, Michelle Waterson was still in the early stages of her professional MMA career when UFC president Dana White famously declared that no women would ever fight for the UFC. Around that same time, she learned that she was going to have a baby. But instead of ending her career, baby Araya gave Waterson the one thing she didn’t realize she was missing: a reason to fight. Today, Waterson, known as the Karate Hottie, is the UFC’s ninth-ranked strawweight, and she’s among six fighters who are mothers to crack the top ten. She sat down with E:60’s Tisha Thompson to talk about how she balances motherhood and her professional fighting career and why she has decided to allow her now eight-year-old daughter to watch every one of her fights, no matter how gruesome they can be. For more on UFC on ESPN 2, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site. The Blue Corner is MMA Junkie’s blog space. We don’t take it overly serious, and neither should you. If you come complaining to us that something you read here is not hard-hitting news, expect to have the previous sentence repeated in ALL CAPS. Voir l'article complet
  9. The shocking news of T.J. Dillashaw’s adverse USADA findings is certain to set off a sequence of dominoes and one fighter affected in a major way is UFC flyweight champion Henry Cejudo. Back at UFC Brooklyn in January, Cejudo successfully defended his title against Dillashaw, the bantamweight champion who was going down a division for a second belt, winning by first-round TKO. Dillashaw and UFC president Dana White argued that the stoppage was premature and it appeared that the two were destined to meet again, either in a rematch for Cejudo’s title or with Cejudo returning to 135 pounds for his chance to become a dual-division champion. Any discussions on that front are now moot with Dillashaw voluntarily relinquishing his title as his case is investigated and he serves a one-year suspension from the New York State Athletic Commission. MMA Fighting spoke to Cejudo’s head coach Eric Albarracin (calling from a bioXcellerator treatment center in Medellin, Colombia, preparing Patricio “Pitbull” Freire for his upcoming fight with Michael Chandler) to get his thoughts on the situation and he expressed remorse for Dillashaw should this prove to be a misunderstanding, and also lamented what could be a lost opportunity for Cejudo. “My instant reaction to tell you the truth was I felt sorry for T.J.,” Albarracin said. “I was like, man this guy was the champ chasing another belt, he had to come down a weight class, trying to beat the guy who beat the G.O.A.T. to become the pound-for-pound best and he lost it all. I kind of felt sorry, I was hoping it was a mistake on two different ends. I was hoping it was a mistake because he’s got a family to support and I don’t wish that on anybody, that fall from glory. “But then on the other hand it kind of sucks for Henry because Henry really wanted that rivalry fight and that money fight and the belt at 135 and that made the most sense. Let’s move up, we shut the critics up, we get another fight at 135, we beat him again, we win the belt, there’s a rivalry there, everybody wants to watch it because [Dillashaw was] on Joe Rogan and telling everybody that he didn’t lose the fight, Henry didn’t beat him. We were going to shut the critics up once and for all. Dana was saying that the fight was stopped early, so we were going to shut everybody up.” Asked how close a Cejudo-Dillashaw rematch was in coming to fruition, Albarracin said it would have been perfect for them to be part of the UFC 239 card in Las Vegas during International Fight Week. He wouldn’t even mind if Cejudo’s next fight played the co-headliner to the return of Conor McGregor. “It kind of throws a wrench in our plans because we were really pushing for that International Fight Week, Henry vs. T.J.,” Cejudo said. “Especially if Conor McGregor was going to be on that card, that would have been something to be part of.” Albarracin reiterated multiple times that he hoped it was simply a mistake, though he added that Cejudo’s victory over Dillashaw would be that much more impressive in retrospect should it be proven that Dillashaw was benefiting from banned substances. Dillashaw, a two-time bantamweight champion who has wins over Dominick Cruz, Cody Garbrandt, Renan Barao, and Raphael Assuncao, has already put together a resume that puts him among the all-time greats, and Albarracin thinks that Cejudo beating him made a statement not just for Cejudo, but the entire flyweight division. “If (Dillashaw) was on something, that just raises Henry’s stock,” Albarracin said. “For a flyweight, the flyweights who everybody thinks sucks and are boring and want to get rid of the division, and he beats the greatest bantamweight of all-time who has an adverse USADA finding.” The field is wide open now for Cejudo, who could schedule another flyweight title defense and give the UFC a reason to keep that division around or still make that jump back up to bantamweight and face another top contender there for a vacant title. Albarracin mentioned Marlon Moraes as likely being first in line to claim a spot in the next bantamweight title fight, though he noted that Moraes and Cejudo have the same representation. Another name he brought up was Joseph Benavidez, a longtime UFC flyweight title contender who holds a 2016 split decision win over Cejudo. Albarracin said that Cejudo would love to “serve Joe Benavidez up a cold plate of Aztec warrior revenge.” Albarracin believes that its Cejudo who holds the cards now in deciding his next matchup. “If I know Henry, he still wants that [bantamweight] belt,” Albarracin said. “But I don’t know if that’s the money fight though. To tell you the truth, I think Henry’s the money fight now. “Henry’s created his own kind of legacy in his own division and people should be wanting to come to him to fight him because of what he’s done in this sport as far as beating Demetrious Johnson, the greatest pound-for-pound fighter of all time, 11 straight title defenses, and then beat the greatest bantamweight of all-time. So Henry, to me, has created his own superfight division.” Afficher l’article complet
  10. Both the New York State Athletic Commission and U.S. Anti-Doping Agency have confirmed that T.J. Dillashaw failed a drug test. Just what that he tested positive for, though remains a mystery. Dual statements from the regulators revealed little information about the substance that caused an adverse finding for Dillashaw (16-4 MMA, 12-4 UFC), who this morning announced the unfortunate news and his decision to relinquish the UFC bantamweight title. According to USADA, the in-competition test window starts noon the day prior to a fight and ends after post-bout samples are collected. The agency’s stance on Dillashaw reflects new rules on the reporting of potential violations in the UFC’s anti-doping program. This past September, the promotion said it would no longer announce potential violations before the conclusion of a particular case. UFC executives believed the delay would guard against fighters unfairly being branded cheaters. Earlier today, NYSAC officials confirmed Dillashaw has been suspended one year – retroactive to his Jan. 19 title fight against flyweight champ Henry Cejudo (13-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) – and fined $10,000 for “violations relating to use of a prohibited substance,” the commission said in a statement, declining further comment. The UFC has yet to weigh in on Dillashaw’s move to vacate the belt. The now ex-champion had pushed hard for a rematch with Cejudo after a first-round TKO stoppage he felt was premature. Cejudo, meanwhile, had lobbied to put the bantamweight belt on the line in the rematch. Contenders such as Marlon Moraes, Pedro Munhoz and Aljamain Sterling sat in limbo with no direction announced by the promotion. Dillashaw’s conquest for Cejudo’s flyweight title was documented extensively. Although many MMA observers expressed concern over his physical appearance during his training camp, he made weight through a rigorous diet and exercise program. News of the adverse finding marks the first time Dillashaw has been accused of cheating after repeated accusations by his ex-teammate and two-time opponent, former champ Cody Garbrandt. For complete coverage of UFC on ESPN+ 1, check out the UFC Events section of the site. Voir l'article complet
  11. On Saturday, the UFC makes its return to Tennessee after nearly two years away with UFC on ESPN+ 6, which takes place at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville and streams on ESPN+. A welterweight fight with great potential for excitement headlines the card as perennial contender Stephen Thompson (14-3-1 MMA, 9-3-1 UFC) returns to competition after 10 months on the sidelines to take on former lightweight champ Anthony Pettis (21-8 MMA, 8-7 UFC), who competes in his third UFC weight class. For more on the numbers behind the UFC’s fifth fight card in Nashville, check below for 45 pre-event facts about UFC on ESPN+ 6. * * * * Main event Thompson competes in his sixth UFC headliner. He’s 3-2 in previous main events. Thompson is 1-2-1 in his past four fights dating back to November 2016. Thompson’s nine knockdowns landed in UFC welterweight competition are tied for fourth most in divisional history behind Thiago Alves (13), Jake Ellenberger (11) and Tyron Woodley (10). Thompson’s five knockout victories since 2012 in UFC welterweight competition are second most in the division behind Matt Brown (seven). Thompson’s five fight-night bonuses since 2012 for UFC welterweight bouts are tied for third most in the division behind Erick Silva (seven) and Brown (six). Thompson has suffered all three of his career losses by decision. Pettis moves up to the welterweight division for the first time in his 22-fight UFC/WEC career. He’s also competed at lightweight and featherweight. Pettis has alternated wins and losses over his past seven fights. He lost his most recent bout against Tony Ferguson at UFC 229. Pettis is 3-6 in his past nine UFC appearance dating back to when he lost the UFC lightweight title in March 2015. Pettis is the only fighter in UFC history to win consecutive UFC lightweight title fights by submission. Pettis’ nine stoppage victories in UFC/WEC lightweight competition are tied for fifth most in divisional history behind Donald Cerrone (14), Nate Diaz (12), Joe Lauzon (12) and Jim Miller (10). Pettis’ five submission victories from a bottom position in UFC/WEC competition are tied with Nate Diaz for most in combined company history. Co-main event Curtis Blaydes (10-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) has earned eight of his 10 career victories by stoppage. Blaydes completes 55.9 percent of all his takedown attempts in UFC heavyweight competition, the highest rate among active fighters in the weight class. Blaydes’ takedown rate of 6.75 per 15 minutes of fighting is highest in UFC heavyweight history and second highest overall in company history behind Gregor Gillespie (7.44). Blaydes’ 33 takedowns landed in UFC heavyweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Cain Velasquez (34). Blaydes’ 10 takedowns landed against Mark Hunt at UFC 221 tied the record for second most in a single UFC heavyweight fight behind Velasquez’s 11 takedowns landed at UFC 155. Justin Willis’ (8-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) four-fight UFC winning streak in heavyweight competition is tied with Daniel Cormier for the longest active streak in the division. Willis is one of three heavyweights in UFC history to earn knockouts stemming from a knee and an elbow strike. Tai Tuivasa and Cheick Kongo also accomplished the feat. Willis has earned three of his four UFC victories by decision. Remaining main card John Makdessi (16-6 MMA, 9-6 UFC) is one of six fighters in UFC history to earn a knockout stemming from a spinning back fist. He accomplished the feat at UFC 129. Makdessi defends 71.4 percent of opponent significant strike attempts in UFC lightweight competition, the second highest rate among active fighters in the weight class behind Desmond Green (71.5 percent). Makdessi defends 86.8 percent of all opponent takedown attempts in UFC lightweight competition, the third best among active fighters in the weight class behind Donald Cerrone (88.9 percent) and Mairbek Taisumov (87.5 percent). Jussier Formiga’s (22-5 MMA, 8-4 UFC) competes in his 13th UFC flyweight bout, the fifth most appearances in divisional history behind Demetrious Johnson (15), Joseph Benavidez (15), John Moraga (14) and Dustin Ortiz (14). Formiga’s three-fight UFC winning streak in flyweight competition is tied for the third longest active streak in the division behind Henry Cejudo (four) and Deiveson Figueiredo (four). Formiga’s eight victories in UFC flyweight competition are tied for third most in divisional history behind Johnson (13) and Benavidez (12). Formiga’s three submission victories in UFC flyweight competition are tied for second most in divisional history behind Johnson (five). Formiga defends 85.2 percent of all opponent takedown attempts in UFC flyweight competition, the second highest rate in divisional history behind Ian McCall (90 percent). Deiveson Figueiredo’s (15-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) 15-fight MMA winning streak is the longest of any fighter in the UFC flyweight division. Figueiredo’s four-fight UFC winning streak in flyweight competition is tied with Cejudo for the longest active streak in the division. Figueiredo has earned 13 of his 15 career victories by stoppage. All three of his UFC finishes are by knockout. Luis Pena (3-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) drops to the UFC featherweight division after spending his previous octagon appearances at lightweight. Steven Peterson (17-7 MMA, 1-1 UFC) has alternated wins and losses over his past seven fights. He won his most recent bout at The Ultimate Fighter 27 Finale in July. Maycee Barber (6-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC), 20, is the youngest of the 24 fighters scheduled to compete at the event. Barber moves up to the UFC women’s flyweight division after making her promotional debut at strawweight. J.J. Aldrich (7-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) moves up to the UFC women’s flyweight division after spending her previous four octagon appearances at strawweight. Aldrich has earned all three of her UFC victories by decision. Preliminary card Bobby Moffett (14-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC) has earned his past three victories by submission using the Brabo choke. That includes his UFC debut at UFC Fight Night 139. Frankie Saenz (13-4 MMA, 5-2 UFC), 38, is the oldest of the 24 fighters scheduled to compete at the event. Saenz has earned all five of his UFC victories by decision. Alexis Davis (19-8 MMA, 6-3 UFC) is 1-1 since she dropped to the UFC flyweight division in December 2017. Randa Markos (8-6-1 MMA, 4-5-1 UFC) competes in her 11th UFC strawweight bout, tied with Joanna Jedrzejczyk for the most appearances in divisional history. Markos has completed at least one takedown against nine of her 10 UFC opponents. Markos and Marina Rodriguez fought to the first draw in UFC strawweight history at UFC Fight Night 137 in September. Angela Hill (8-5 MMA, 3-5 UFC) is 2-3 since she returned to the UFC for a second stint in February 2017. Hill’s two knockdowns landed in UFC strawweight competition are tied with Rose Namajunas for most in divisional history. For more on UFC on ESPN+ 6, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site. FightMetric research analyst and live statistics producer Michael Carroll contributed to this story. Follow him on Twitter @MJCflipdascript. Voir l'article complet
  12. Till est un mec qui cutt à mort quand tu vois son gabarit, c'est pour ça qu'il est aussi haut car niveau skills il est très moyen il a une grosse qualité dans le jeu de jambe et la mobilité du buste mais c'est bien tout. Cutter large c'est chaud car ton corps est fragilisé, surtout pour supporter les gros impact à la tête tu es plus sujet aux KO's. C'est pour ça notamment que la prise de ceinture de Conor en feather était loin d'être aussi facile que certains le prétendent. Till touche a ses limites là, et je lui dis bon courage pour rester en welter. C'est le Masvidal le plus impressionant que j'ai pu voir perso, très très explosif
  13. Stream or download Tuesday’s episode of MMA Junkie Radio with guests Marlon Vera and Angela Hill. UFC bantamweight “Chito” Vera meets Frankie Saenz at Saturday’s UFC on ESPN+ 6 event, while strawweight Hill faces Randa Markos on the same card. Stream or download the entire episode over at AudioBoom.com, or watch a replay in the video above. Voir l'article complet
  14. LONDON – UFC light heavyweight Jimi Manuwa knows when he wants to fight. He just doesn’t know who will stand on the other side of the cage. But for the man known as “Poster Boy,” the name doesn’t really matter. “There’s loads of new contenders in light heavyweight, so I’m good to go,” Manuwa recently told reporters, including MMAjunkie. “That’s what happens. There’s always new fighters coming through. It’s great for the sport.” Manuwa last saw action in December, suffering a disappointing knockout loss to one such new name, Thiago “Marreta” Santos. The English slugger has been sidelined since then but says he’s healing from a groin injury at a promising rate and now eyes June 1’s UFC on ESPN+ 10 as the perfect card to host his return. “We’re getting there, getting fit,” Manuwa said. “I think I’m aiming for the June card in Sweden.” A perennial contender at 205 pounds, Manuwa’s recent three-fight slide has seen him drop to No. 13 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie MMA light heavyweight rankings. But the Brit believes he’s capable of beating anyone in the division and mentioned names such as No. 5 Dominick Reyes and No. 11 Johnny Walker as intriguing new arrivals to the division. “With the light heavyweights, I think with the top-10, top-15, anyone can beat anyone,” Manuwa said. To hear more from Manuwa, check out the video above. For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, including UFC on ESPN+ 10, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site. Voir l'article complet
  15. T.J. Dillashaw is no longer the UFC bantamweight champion and is out for at least a year thanks to his positive USADA test after UFC Brooklyn. Check out how the pros reacted to the news Wednesday morning below. Mr. Faber himself told me in person once that his former team mate abuses from substances and of course other members that we know as well. — Raphael Assuncao (@RaphaAssuncao) March 20, 2019 So T.J Dillashaw was on the sauce then Im shook..... pic.twitter.com/zKSvGFDriG — Paul Redmond (@RedserMma) March 20, 2019 If UFC will ask me to fight for the vacated title tomorrow I will agree without a doubt in my mind and I don’t care who will be my opponent. I want that belt! — Petr “No Mercy” Yan (@PetrYanUFC) March 20, 2019 Can’t say I’m surprised. What a very unfortunate situation for the bantamweight division. https://t.co/Q5z1eqUZic — Michael Chiesa (@MikeMav22) March 20, 2019 Well..... this is bad https://t.co/qIA7S4WWTt — Nam Phan (@NamPhanMMA) March 20, 2019 Bantam Weight champ a cheater, and they are killin of the flyweight div?!? Rough times https://t.co/xoyL1z7Z6o — Tim Elliott (@TElliott125) March 20, 2019 I bet it was something he took for the 125 cut — Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) March 20, 2019 Afficher l’article complet
  16. Like a little pre-fight banter, but feeling a little burned out on the intense brand of trashtalk that has become all the rage in MMA? Roxanne Modafferi (22-15 MMA, 1-3 UFC) vs. Antonina Shevchenko (7-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) may be the fight for you. The contest takes place at next month’s UFC on ESPN+ 7, which is scheduled for April 20 at Yubileyniy Arena in St. Petersburg, Russia. Former title challenger Modafferi is ranked No. 7 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie MMA women’s flyweight rankings, while the undefeated Shevchenko appears primed to make an impact in the rankings following her impressive UFC debut. But you want a little flavor in your matchups, right? Well, Modafferi recently took to social media to get the discussion started. No stranger to cosplay, Modafferi used the upcoming feature film “Avengers: Endgame” as inspiration. Tune in for Roxy vs Antonina Shevchenko @AntoninaPantera April 20th in UFC Fight Night, St. Petersburg, Russia…. #ufc #captainAmerica #ufcstpetersburg @ufc @espnmma pic.twitter.com/AeFmdgc6N1 — Roxanne Modafferi (@Roxyfighter) March 11, 2019 While Shevchenko hasn’t been terribly outspoken through her brief octagon run, “La Pantera” decided she couldn’t let it go – even offering a prediction of a first-round finish in their clash. Super hero?@Roxyfighter I got things simple. I will send you to sleep in first round and go to drink tea with friends!pic.twitter.com/31a8jZBojH — Antonina Shevchenko (@AntoninaPantera) March 17, 2019 While Modafferi isn’t one to engage in much trashtalk – she is “The Happy Warrior,” after all – the Syndicate MMA fighter offered her take on the matchup. The fight will definitely end in the first round, but not the way you think. I wanna go to my dad’s retirement party the next week without a mark on my face. @ufc @espnmma #ufc https://t.co/5kcgM9ib0Y — Roxanne Modafferi (@Roxyfighter) March 17, 2019 It’s no “three piece with a soda,” but “tea with friends” and “my dad’s retirement party” might be more your speed. For more on UFC on ESPN+ 7, check out the UFC Rumors section the site. The Blue Corner is MMA Junkie’s blog space. We don’t take it overly serious, and neither should you. If you come complaining to us that something you read here is not hard-hitting news, expect to have the previous sentence repeated in ALL CAPS. Voir l'article complet
  17. With this morning’s shocking development that UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw was ‘voluntarily relinquishing’ his title, the 135-pound title will now be up for grabs. So who should get their shot at the belt? We take a look at the options below, ranging from the highly likely to the slightly bizarre. Take a look at our thoughts, and offer yours in the comments below. Check out the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie MMA bantamweight rankings, as well, if you’re looking for a little inspiration in terms of potential matchups. Marlon Moraes Marlon Moraes Marlon Moraes (22-5-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) absolutely has to be involved in any bantamweight title fight should the promotion care about legitimacy in terms of a fighter claiming the vacant belt and being considered a true champion. The former WSOF bantamweight champion came to the promotion in 2017 and promptly lost a hotly contested split-decision to Raphael Assuncao at UFC 212 – a bout that 16 out 17 tracked media outlets scored for Moraes, according to MMADecisions.com. Since that time Moraes has earned four wins over legitimate contenders, including Assuncao in a rematch, and earned three “Performance of the Night” bonuses. In short, the “Magic” man is the leader in the clubhouse. Henry Cejudo Henry Cejudo UFC flyweight champion Henry Cejudo (14-2 MMA, 8-2 UFC) has certainly enjoyed a front-row seat for the drama that has unfolded, as it was his belt that was on the line when Dillashaw dropped down for an opportunity at champ-champ status, only to be rebuked in a mere 32 seconds. While Dillashaw had called for a rematch at flyweight, it made more sense for Cejudo to move up to 135 pounds and take his shot at a second belt. Of course, with Dillashaw no longer involved, Cejudo may want to focus on keeping the flyweight division around – which has seemed anything but a certainty – by defending his belt at 125 pounds. Cejudo and Moraes also share a manger in Dominance MMA’s Ali Abdelaziz, so the team may collectively decide it’s better to avoid a fight. But if Cejudo wants his shot at becoming .a double champ, he’s certainly done enough to earn the call. Aljamain Sterling Aljamain Sterling It wasn’t long ago that the Aljamain Sterling (17-3 MMA, 9-3 UFC) hype train seemed well on its way to complete derailment. A pair of split-decision losses to Raphael Assuncao and Bryan Caraway were disappointing setbacks, but a 67-second knockout loss to Marlon Moraes in December 2017 was a true crushing blow. But since then, “The Funk Master” has battled back with a victory over a previously undefeated Brett Johns, turned in a “Submission of the Year” win over Cody Stamann and put together perhaps his most complete victory to date a dominant decision win over Jimmie Rivera. Perhaps a rematch with Moraes and a shot at redemption – along with a UFC title – could pique fans’ interests. John Lineker John Lineker While John Lineker (31-8 MMA, 12-3 UFC) spent the early part of his UFC career trying to convince the world (and maybe himself) that he was a flyweight, “Hands of Stone” has seen his career flourish since moving up to 135 pounds. Lineker hasn’t fought since May, after a pair of previously scheduled contests fell through, but he currently stands at an incredible 8-1 in his past nine appearances, with the only loss during that time coming to Dillashaw. With his propensity to stand and bang, Lineker is one of the division’s most exciting fighters, and a clash with Moraes could produce a very violent start to a new champion’s title run. Pedro Munhoz Pedro Munhoz He may be a bit of a wild card, but Pedro Munhoz (18-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC) has certainly earned a right to be part of the discussion, as well. “The Young Punisher” was in action earlier this month and secured a thrilling first-round knockout over former champ Cody Garbrandt, earning a “Fight of the Night” bonus in the process. With such a recent victory on which to lean, Munhoz could certainly put his hand in the air, as he did following that big win. But the body of work is far deeper than just that victory over “No Love,” with Munhoz standing at 7-1 in his past eight appearances and boasting three “Performance of the Night” wins in that stretch. Raphael Assuncao Raphael Assuncao OK, listen, it’s a stretch since he was submitted by Marlon Moraes in his most recent octagon appearance, but Raphael Assuncao (27-6 MMA, 11-3 UFC) has been chasing a title shot since his arrival in the UFC in 2011. Ever the company man, Assuncao has taken fights against the best in the world, even when it wasn’t always in his best interest. With a pair of fights (including a win) already under his belt against Moraes, perhaps a trilogy fight between two Brazilians for the vacant title could be an easy sell. Assuncao also boasts a previous win over Dillashaw that he could use to bolster his case. Kyoji Horiguchi Kyoji Horiguchi You may have stopped paying attention since he moved back to Japan, but Kyoji Horiguchi (26-2 MMA, 7-1 UFC) hasn’t lost since his infamous 2015 UFC title shot against Demetrious Johnson. In fact, the American Top Team product now boasts an 11-fight winning streak and is the Rizin FF bantamweight champion. When’s the trade deadline, again? Petr Yan Petr Yan I mean, this absolutely isn’t going to happen, but Petr Yan (12-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) did volunteer for the assignment, and I’ll watch this guy fight anyone. For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site. Voir l'article complet
  18. It’s was only a few months ago when television commercials featuring famed boxing ring announcer Michael Buffer and the sport’s leading active North American drawing card, Canelo Alvarez, talking about the $9.99 price tag of DAZN and how it would be the death of pay-per-view. Given that the UFC in 2018, did an estimated 5,515,000 pay-per-views buys, which generated approximately $185 million for the promotion, including the biggest show in company history in October, the idea that pay-per-view was anywhere close to dead seemed laughable. And to a degree, the new deal announced Monday with ESPN+ and UFC seems to guarantee nothing of the sort will happen until 2025. But the announcement was still a seismic shift in the industry. The big winner in this deal appears to be the UFC, which, in getting a guaranteed flat fee from ESPN+, has an insurance policy against future declines in pay-per-view or the inability to create new major draws who will have the drawing power of current stars like Conor McGregor or Jon Jones. While the exact flat fee wasn’t released, industry sources have indicated the number is in line with what UFC has been earning on pay-per-view the past few years. A second component of the deal is that if revenues increase past that average, the UFC gets a cut of that increase. The big losers is the television pay-per-view industry, notably inDemand, DirecTV and the Dish Network. The three companies that controlled the pay-per-view industry for decades, now, with the exception of a few boxing shows with secondary draws, and pro-wrestling fans who haven’t signed up for cheaper streaming services, are dead when it comes to the live event business. John Ourand of Sports Business Journal reported the deal was precipitated by the DirecTV/UFC negotiations after the deals with all three companies expired at the end of the year. DirecTV wasn’t marketing UFC 234 at all, and until just days before the show, wasn’t even planning on carrying it until both sides agreed to a last-minute deal for just the show. That carried on through UFC 235 earlier this month. But with the deal, all three are cut out immediately, as ESPN+ subscribers will be the only ones who can order the show inside the U.S. starting with UFC 236 on April 13 in Atlanta. According to Ourand, the UFC was pushing to change the revenue split from the previous 50/50 to a 65/35 split. The UFC’s position in theory felt stronger than ever, with stars like Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin being pulled from pay-per-view by the huge guarantees from DAZN. The UFC gave the television pay-per-view business steady monthly events that weren’t compromised by them streaming for a much lower price, like has been the case with World Wrestling Entertainment since 2014, which put shows formerly priced at $60 as part of its monthly streaming package that goes for $9.99 monthly. DirecTV wouldn’t budge off the 50/50 split. Ourand also reported that UFC and inDemand, which handles the pay-per-view business for Americans with traditional cable television providers like Comcast and Verizon, had come to an agreement on a new deal. However, UFC had yet to sign the contract. The new deal only applies to the U.S. Pay-per-view will remain the same, largely ordered through cable companies, in Canada and Australia. For the UFC fan base that has adapted to streaming, the change is minor. The pay-per-view price is down from $64.95 to $59.95, but ESPN+ is a $4.99 monthly service, which makes up the difference. Historically, there are significantly more transmission issues with streaming pay-per-view than with television. Even of late, when the UFC has offered pay-per-views through various streaming methods, as well as through television, the breakdown is usually 75 percent or more order the shows on traditional television. There are some people who are simply more comfortable with television that won’t order shows on the Internet, and there are people in rural areas who don’t have a strong enough stream to handle those type of live events, although that figure is likely dwindling. Still, with the WWE example, until the company stopped reporting its pay-per-view numbers more than a year ago, there were still about 20 percent of the previous level of pay-per-view orders still ordering from television providers at $59.95 for regular shows and $74.95 for WrestleManias, rather than the $9.95 monthly charge for the streaming service. Since the UFC is going to be exclusively on ESPN+, and only for subscribers to the service, and not with a significantly lower price tag, that percentage that has continued to order pay-per-views are not going to be serviced. On the flip side, perhaps those losses can be overcome because ESPN itself, with a heavy expenditure on buying the rights, has a strong economic incentive to market the shows harder than ever. There is likely no single entity in the U.S. that can raise the potential value of a live sports event like ESPN can by giving it credibility and importance as a major sporting event based on coverage. Still, ESPN is assuming the risk if UFC future shows don’t deliver the kind of numbers they have done in the past. And the pattern of pay-per-view for the last few years is far less consistency than in the past. UFC fans are more willing to skip a show if the line-up isn’t interesting. But if there is a big main event, they are doing bigger numbers than ever before, as evidenced by most of the biggest UFC shows in history being since 2016. With pay-per-view being such a major revenue stream for UFC, in fact, the biggest revenue stream until television rights fees just recently overtook it, it created an uneasy feeling. With Endeavor heavily in debt regarding the $4 billion purchase price of UFC, the volatile nature of the “feast-or-famine” pay-per-view business was an issue. Even more, that business was more reliant than ever on the biggest stars. Getting a guaranteed money deal in that realm makes the companies who helped finance the UFC’s purchase more at ease. In addition, if Endeavor does go public, the stock market will look at guaranteed monthly income far more favorably than income that is unpredictable and widely varying. It’s unclear what this will mean for the top UFC fighters who had pay-per-view points in their deals. If no longer having a television component for pay-per-view leads to decline — and it will, the unknown being how much — that means lower bonuses. In addition, guaranteed income from the big shows over the course of the year hurts the leverage of a McGregor or a Jones. They still will have leverage to cut strong deals because ESPN+ will want them fighting as much as possible, given how much they are paying for big shows. But the leverage won’t be nearly as much as they’ve had in recent years. It’s less concerning to UFC to put together a show, like UFC 237, with a Rose Namajunas vs. Jessica Andrade main event, which would likely not do well under the previous way of doing business. Now the major income from that show would be guaranteed. It also creates a situation where the UFC no longer needs those type of draws, nor will they be hurt significantly if stars leave the sport and aren’t replaced by equal level stars. “Essentially, this deal removes the inherent risk of month-to-month PPVs,” said one source within UFC. “Some PPVs break records (Conor) and some don’t do well because main events get canceled. This deal removes the risk/unpredictability of that model. Now ESPN can market the hell out of these PPVs and drive the sales.” Afficher l’article complet
  19. Bellator Europe’s sophomore effort continues to fill out, and a highly touted prospect now has an opponent, while a Bellator Kickboxing champ will try his hand at MMA for the first time in more than a decade. Bellator officials today announced that undefeated middleweight Fabian Edwards (6-0 MMA, 2-0 BMMA) will face Portuguese newcomer Falco Neto (11-9 MMA, 0-0 BMMA), while Bellator Kickboxing welterweight title holder Raymond Daniels (0-1 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) will make his Bellator MMA debut against Jon Durrant (0-0 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) at Bellator Europe 2, which takes place May 4 at Resorts World Arena in Birmingham, England. The card is expected to stream on DAZN in North America. Edwards made his professional debut under the Bellator banner with a May 2017 first-round knockout. He then racked up four more stoppage wins under the BAMMA banner before returning to Bellator for the promotion’s first Bellator Europe card, picking up a decision win over Lee Chadwick in February. He now meets Portugal’s Neto, who makes his promotional debut. “Telelo” has earned nine of his 11 career wins via stoppage, including seven by knockout. Meanwhile, Daniels is known as one of Bellator Kickboxing’s most entertaining athletes and now returns to an MMA cage for the first time since a 2008 submission loss under the Strikeforce banner. He takes on Durrant, who makes his professional debut. With the additions to the card, the Bellator Europe 2 lineup now includes: MAIN CARD Brent Primus vs. Tim Wilde Derek Campos vs. Ryan Scope Fabian Edwards vs. Falco Neto Raymond Daniels vs. Jon Durrant PRELIMINARY CARD Aiden Lee vs. Saul Rogers Brian Moore vs. Binh Son Le Domingos Barros vs. Rob Beech Lee Chadwick vs. James Mulheron Giorgio Pietrini vs. Jim Wallhead David Khalsa vs. Dominique Wooding Ashley Reece vs. Craig Turner Kane Mousah vs. Mateusz Piskorz Corey Beldon vs. Akonne Wanliss Daniel Cassell vs. John Nicholls For more on Bellator Europe 2, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site. Voir l'article complet
  20. This is The A-Side Live Chat on MMA Fighting. Today on the show, we’ll be talking the UFC’s new pay-per-view deal with ESPN. What does it mean? How will it affect fans’ viewing habits? How will it affect fighters, if at all? Why did the UFC do it? We’ll also discuss Jorge Masvidal’s coming-out party at UFC London, where he knocked out Darren Till and got into a scuffle backstage post-fight with Leon Edwards. Where does Masvidal go from here? How much has this raised his profile? Should Masvidal vs. Edwards be next? In addition, Conor McGregor has alluded to a potential comeback fight this summer. Could it be against Nate Diaz in a trilogy fight? What else is out there at this point for McGregor? And what would it take to get him back in the Octagon? We will also speak about the recently booked UFC Ottawa headliner: Donald Cerrone vs. Al Iaquinta. How does this further shape the lightweight division? Is this the right matchup for both? How will it likely play out? Also on tap, we’ll chat about UFC Nashville this coming weekend, headlined by an intriguing welterweight matchup between Anthony Pettis and Stephen Thompson. Where would a win put either of those guys? Is Pettis likely to stay at welterweight? Can “Wonderboy” get back in the title hunt now that Kamaru Usman is the champion? If there is time, we can also talk about the issues that Tony Ferguson is going through outside the cage, as well as any other important developments coming out of UFC London. UFC Nashville has some other very solid fights, Bellator 218 is coming up Friday night headlined by Emmanuel Sanchez vs. Georgi Karakhanyan, and ONE Championship has its huge card — with the debuts of Demetrious Johnson and Eddie Alvarez — around the corner next week. There is plenty to talk about, so join us to discuss all of the above and much more. All is up for discussion. The chat will start at our time of 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT. As always, we’ll post the video window as the event draws near and answer any questions you might have if you post them in the comments below. For the comments you deem the most deserving, please click the “rec” button. Comments in green will get first priority. Please link this page and use the hashtags #theaside or #chatwrappers on Twitter when you’re watching to tell everyone you’re taking part with us. Audio-only versions of the podcast can be found on Soundcloud, iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, and Stitcher. Afficher l’article complet
  21. T.J. Dillashaw has revealed that the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) and USADA have informed him of an “adverse finding” from a drug test stemming from his first-round loss to Henry Cejudo, who he faced for the flyweight title at UFC Brooklyn in January. Dillashaw also revealed that he would relinquish his UFC bantamweight title out of “fairness and respect” for the rest of the division until the matter is resolved. The former bantamweight champion broke the news of the findings and his relinquishing of the title on social media on Wednesday morning. The post read: “To all my fans, I wanted to be the first one to let you know that USADA and the NYSAC have informed me of an adverse finding in a test taken from my last fight. While words can’t even begin to express how disappointed I am at this time, please know that I’m working with my team to understand what has occurred and how to resolve this situation as quickly as possible. Out of fairness and respect to the rest of the my division, I’ve informed the UFC that I’ll be voluntarily relinquishing my title while I deal with this matter. I want to thank all of you in advance.” According to ESPN journalist Ariel Helwani, Dillashaw has been suspended for a year by the NYSAC. He also noted that it is still unclear what Dillashaw has tested positive for and that a formal announcement should be made later this morning. Afficher l’article complet
  22. Check out these photos of T.J. Dillashaw through the years Voir l'article complet
  23. Fabian Edwards will finally get a chance to impress in front of his hometown crowd when he faces off against Falco Neto Lopes at Bellator Birmingham on May 4th. Bellator announced the fight via press release on Wednesday along with the signing of established U.K. featherweight Kane Mousah, who takes on Mateusz Piskorz in his debut on the same night. Edwards (6-0-0) is widely considered one of the most outstanding prospects in Europe at the moment. In his last outing, he underlined his promise with a sound decision win over former Cage Warriors champion Lee Chadwick, a veteran of nearly 40 fights. Chadwick was the first man to force Edwards the distance, with all five of Edwards’ previous pro opponents being finished—three by submission and two by knockout. Lopes (11-9-0) is a Portuguese middleweight who makes his Bellator debut on the night. He has failed to string two wins together over his last nine bouts but is coming into the contest on the back of a knockout win over Rumen Ganchev who he stopped at Porto Fight Club 3 last June. Mousah (11-2-0) got back to winning ways with a first round knockout of George Emanuel in his last outing at Celtic Gladiator 22 in November. He came into the bout on the back of the first loss of his career—a split decision loss to former UFC fighter Robert Whiteford. Mousah competes under the Bellator banner for the first time in Birmingham. Piskorz (14-4-0) rides a two-fight win streak into his clash with Mousah, taking a first-round win over Kurbanjiang Tuluosibake at MFP 220 last May before edging out Iain Feenan to claim a split decision win at Rage in the Cage 4 in November. He will also make his Bellator debut on the night. Speaking on this week’s Eurobash podcast, Edwards insisted that he is keen to get back to finishing ways. “I want to go out and put a performance on, because I’m still a disappointed with the last one [Chadwick]. I need to put a performance on,” Edwards told Eurobash. “I want to show that I’m an entertaining fighter. I like to finish and it says so on my record—14 finishes in 16 fights.” The Fabian Edwards interview 1:05:30. Afficher l’article complet
  24. T.J. Dillashaw has announced plans to vacate the UFC bantamweight title as he deals with an issue with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) following his January loss to Henry Cejudo at UFC on ESPN+ 1. Dillashaw (16-4 MMA, 12-4 UFC) today revealed on social media that an “adverse finding” came out of a test taken in conjunction with the fight against UFC flyweight champion Cejudo (13-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC), which took place Jan. 26 in Brooklyn, N.Y. Neither USADA nor NYSAC officials were immediately available for comment when contacted by MMAjunkie. As a result of the situation, and while he deals with the process, Dillashaw, 33, says he will be giving up his UFC title (via Instagram): Dillashaw did not reveal the substance that brought up the adverse test but made it clear he intends on investigating the matter with his team and working with USADA and the NYSAC. The fight with Cejudo marked Dillashaw’s first career contest at 125 pounds after competing is entire career at 135. The UFC on ESPN+ 1 matchup was Dillashaw’s attempt at becoming one of just a handful of fighters to simultaneously hold belts in two different weight classes. However, an early Cejudo barrage saw the fight called off in just 32 seconds. A disappointed Dillashaw didn’t approve of the quick stoppage and had been campaigning for a rematch, though Cejudo had countered with an offer to come up to 135 pounds and compete for that title, give him a shot at history. Although he has never previously failed a doping test, Dillashaw was repeatedly accused of being a cheater by former Team Alpha Male teammate Cody Garbrandt ahead of their UFC 217 title fight in November 2017. For complete coverage of UFC on ESPN+ 1, check out the UFC Events section of the site. Gallery Henry Cejudo def. T.J. Dillashaw at UFC on ESPN+ 1: Best photos view 12 images Voir l'article complet
  25. Conor McGregor’s fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 was the biggest fight in UFC history. It had all the elements a truly historic clash. McGregor, the brash talking champion in exile, returning to reclaim his title against a man entirely his opposite, both in style and personality. Nurmagomedov, Combat Sambo Ivan Drago , undefeated for a decade and looking establishing himself as the rightful lightweight champion and “humble” McGregor for disparaging remarks about his country, religion, and family. But while the fight did record-breaking numbers, the actual contest was not a particularly great fight. Nurmagomedov trounced McGregor, almost from the opening bell, taking “Notorious” down with relative ease and imposing his will. Nurmagomedov even dropped McGregor with and overhand in the second round, and eventually submitted the former two-division champion with a neck crank in the fourth round. But now, several months removed from his loss, McGregor thinks he has the answer for what happened, and wants the chance to fix it. THREAD: Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) says there was “dispute” in fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib), calls him a formidable opponent. pic.twitter.com/MMYrRtYQnZ — Mike Pendleton (@MP2310) March 19, 2019 “He’s a formidable opponent, wrestled bears since he was a kid, has put a lot of time in his standup work,” McGregor told fans in Chicago over the weekend (video courtesy of Mike Pendleton). “He was a lot sharper than I anticipated it was going to be. I’ve got to respect that. It was his big moment. “It’s easy to do this once. It’s very easy for someone to be given something and to do it just one time. You put your absolute all into it. But to do it time after time and year after year, that’s when the motivation kind of dips, that’s when the dedication kind of lacks, and that’s when people creep up. That’s what I feel has happened here. I didn’t give him his respect, I marched forward, I didn’t give a sh*t, I got caught with that overhand. If I was switched on, I would not get caught with that overhand in any form of combat. I’m very confident, very eager, very in shape, let’s keep it going.” McGregor has had a whirlwind couple of years. After winning the UFC lightweight title, the double champion crossed over to boxing for a superfight with Floyd Mayweather, started his own clothing line and brand of whiskey, and was arrested for attacking a bus Nurmagomedov was on. McGregor had not fought MMA in two years when he stepped in against the best lightweight in the world, a tall task for anyone. Of course, McGregor couldn’t just leave it at that. Instead, he questioned the cowardly nature of Nurmagomedov’s approach to their fight and his insistence on wrestling. McGregor continues: “He almost dropped me, but then shot for the legs. Stand there and fight” pic.twitter.com/aLVqx3trsv — Mike Pendleton (@MP2310) March 19, 2019 “Imagine almost dropping someone - because he almost got me, but he didn’t drop me - I got back to my feet, threw shots, threw a knee, and then he shot [for a takedown],” McGregor exclaimed. “Imagine almost dropping someone with a picture-perfect shot, a picture-perfect punch, and then shooting for the legs. You almost got the fight done and you shoot for the legs?! Stand up and fight.” The strategy worked out well for Nurmagomedov, who violently ground-and-pounded McGregor for most of the rest of the round en route to a 10-8 score. McGregor did recover in the third round, putting combinations together and looking like he may turn the tide, but in the fourth, Nurmagomedov finally got a truly dominant position and finished the bout. But despite this, McGregor maintains that the two need to have a rematch, if for no other reason than the post-fight brawl wherein he and members of Nurmagomedov’s entourage threw punches at each other in the cage while Khabib jumped the fence to attack Dillon Danis. All of that, demands retribution. McGregor: “There was dispute in this last fight. I slapped his brother and cousin around on top of the cage. He tried to jump out and run. This is not over. So there’s dispute, there’s got to be a rematch. pic.twitter.com/PLDcxavMWV — Mike Pendleton (@MP2310) March 19, 2019 “When you beat a man convincingly, it’s not really necessary to go back for a rematch but when there’s dispute, there must be a rematch,” McGregor said. “There was dispute in my last one. I slapped his brother and his cousin on top of the cage, he tried to jump out and run. This is not over, so there’s dispute, there has to be a rematch.” McGregor isn’t the only one who wants a rematch though. A rematch between Conor and Khabib is the biggest fight the UFC can put together at this point and UFC President Dana White is hoping the two fighters will square off again this year. Unfortunately, Nurmagomedov is refusing to fight until November in protest against the suspensions and fines handed out by the Nevada Athletic Commission over the UFC 229 brawl. In the meantime though, Conor can always finish up the trilogy he says he owes Nate Diaz. “Diaz gave me my rematch and I’ve got respect for that,” McGregor said (video from TMZ Sports). “We fought, he beat me, he gave me a rematch at the exact same weight, there was no hesitation. That’s a true fighter right there so I’ve got nothing but respect. I owe him the trilogy now and the trilogy will happen.” McGregor is suspended until April for his role in the UFC 229 brawl. He had previously been linked to a bout with Donald Cerrone, but with Cerrone now set to face Al Iaquinta, McGregor is targeting a July return against a yet to be determined opponent. MUST-READ STORIES Explainer. UFC’s new exclusive pay-per-view deal with ESPN+, explained. El Cucuy. Dana White: Fighting right now would not be in Tony Ferguson’s ‘best interest’. Cheap Shot. Leon Edwards: Jorge Masvidal must settle score for UFC London ‘cheap shot’. Blame. Dana White not putting blame on Jorge Masvidal or Leon Edwards for UFC London clash. Close. Dominick Reyes sees himself ‘one, two’ fights away from Jon Jones. Shakeup. Injury, car accident lead to Bellator 218 main card shakeup. VIDEO STEW MMA light heavyweight rankings history. Top 5 finishes of UFC Nashville. All-Access Usman at TMZ and Rogan’s show. Jimmy Smith on Till and Masvidal. Cyborg heads to South Africa. LISTEN UP Eurobash. Interviews with Leon Edwards, Molly McCann, and Fabian Edwards. Fights Gone By. Recapping Jorge Masvidal’s two big wins over the weekend. SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE Good for Tony. Psychologist appt went well, Thanks Doc Champ Shit Only pic.twitter.com/BveeHnNGxI — Tony Ferguson (@TonyFergusonXT) March 20, 2019 Beef. Please re watch the fight killer and tell me what you see. Thanks, you should come train at @HBUTC I’ll pay for you for a month to help educate you on mma please take some classes and watch training. So you understand what goes on in a fight that way you get more educated. — Juan Archuleta (@jarchmma) March 13, 2019 Dudu you won’t do shit about it! Juan will pick you up and slam you on your head! I train with him everyday and he is different fighter just sit and watch him and learn my friend! PoRrrraaaaadaaaaa — Georgi Karakhanyan (@georgimma) March 19, 2019 You should worry about your fight but already you’re here come on.. Tell me NAMES and TITLES that Y have won in your career that prove that because you train with Juan that he is different? Another thing before sending any joke to me, think! You're talking to a thinking fighter. — Dudu Dantas (@DuduDantasMMA) March 19, 2019 Tachi Palace vs Isaac De Jesus who would knock you out! Than I defended against Micah Miller. WSOF vs Lance Palmer who would slam you on your head just like Juan so you shut the fuck up little wanna be cristiano Ronaldo of mma! Who you beat last! Nobody! Shut the fuck up! — Georgi Karakhanyan (@georgimma) March 19, 2019 hahahahha We're talking about hight level. I'm going to make you think one more time, we're talking about the best MMA event in the world @BellatorMMA . How many times have you been a champion? Man research before, study before you speak, it costs nothing. It's free. https://t.co/2mMMnx1Ydt — Dudu Dantas (@DuduDantasMMA) March 19, 2019 You thinking fighter huh? Were you thinking a lot when Macdonald knock you out?! — Georgi Karakhanyan (@georgimma) March 19, 2019 Hahaha I'm the only fighter on the planet who retired another fighter being knocked out. But this is past I've already won again and you? Be careful that @ElMatador145 will rip your head off as the @PatricioPitbull did. — Dudu Dantas (@DuduDantasMMA) March 19, 2019 Hahahahaha he’s been thinking weather or not to take up @rickybandejas on his call out lmao — Juan Archuleta (@jarchmma) March 19, 2019 You have a bad lawyer. But the fact is that you have no argument. Made a fight that the fans said you missed. We're going to run into each other before — Dudu Dantas (@DuduDantasMMA) March 19, 2019 Can’t wait — Juan Archuleta (@jarchmma) March 19, 2019 The UFC really pushing Askren. This Week in Pop Culture w/ @BenAskren pic.twitter.com/yRgHeOeoJG — UFC (@ufc) March 19, 2019 Call out. @DomReyes I got a notification saying you responded back 45min ago and said you wanted it in July in Vegas.. Now I sign on to respond and it says tweet unavailable?! Don't tell me you already switched up THAT quick... @AliAbdelaziz00 get the contract ready. #ufc #letsgo — Corey Anderson UFC (@CoreyA_MMA) March 19, 2019 That sucks. Savage ankle pick from Ngannou. Monday mailbag! What are some BIG challenges you had to over come? Thank you @francisngannou #bellyrubapproved @monsterenergy @ricosproducts @UFC@bellatormma #bellator #ufc#mmatraining #mma#challenges #mmafighting pic.twitter.com/R3LDqqeNRi — Roy Nelson (@roynelsonmma) March 19, 2019 Cyborg trying to pick a fight with Ronda still. I heard Ronnie is untouchable? @wwe let #CyborgNation make wrestling real again.https://t.co/LDW6VxBi3l pic.twitter.com/R8IhtbsYpl — Cris Cyborg (@criscyborg) March 19, 2019 That is one bricked up dude. Ivan Shtyrkov signs with the UFC. Undefeated Russian will compete in the light heavyweight division pic.twitter.com/kDiw8U4Qrj — Denis Geyko (@DenisGeykoRT) March 19, 2019 FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS Donald Cerrone (35-11, 1 NC) vs. Al Iaquinta (14-4-1); UFC Ottawa, May 4. Ryan Scope (11-2) vs. Derek Campos (19-8); Bellator Birmingham, May 4. Raymond Daniels (0-1) vs. Jon Durrant (0-0); Bellator Birmingham, May 4. TODAY IN MMA HISTORY 2016: Frank Mir fought for the final time in the UFC, getting knocked out by Mark Hunt at UFC Fight Night 85. Mir ended up failing an in-competition drug test and was suspended for two years. Mir maintains that he never knowingly ingested any banned substances. FINAL THOUGHTS Conor, I hate to break it to you my guy, but it doesn’t get much more convincing than your fight with Khabib. Fortunately, the UFC is pretty clearly setting you up against the winner of Poirier-Holloway so you might get your shot after all. Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow. EXIT POLL If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @JedKMeshew on Twitter and let him know about it! Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram, and like us on Facebook! Afficher l’article complet
  26. LONDON – Joanne Calderwood is 2-0 since moving to the UFC women’s flyweight division, and she insists it’s no accident. Spending her days split between training at Las Vegas’ Syndicate MMA and the UFC Performance Institute, Calderwood believes she’s taking her career seriously for the first time, and she’s reaping the rewards of her invested effort, even she hasn’t reached her ultimate goal just yet. “I feel like my strawweight body wasn’t good,” Calderwood recently told reporters, including MMA Junkie. “I was kind of skinny-lean, so it wasn’t good. I feel like now, each camp, it’s getting better and better. I can see changes in my body, so I know it’s not going to be – obviously I wanted it to be the first camp. I wanted it to be like, ‘Oh, she actually looks like a fighter, but it’s taken, like – well, I’ve still not got the body I want, so maybe next camp. But I know it’s going to take some time.” Still, it’s hard to deny the quality of Calderwood’s performances. A surprising submission win over Kalindra Faria was followed by an impressive decision over Ariane Lipski, washing away the frustration of back-to-back losses to Cynthia Calvillo and Jessia Andrade. Calderwood said her confidence has improved right alongside her fighting skills, and she thinks that “JoJo 2.0” is a very real entity. “I wasn’t honest with myself (earlier in my career),” Calderwood said. “I was just kind of winging it and going with he flow. For a professional athlete, you shouldn’t be doing that. You need all the help you can get, and you need to invest in yourself – your body and your mind – because at the end of the day, that’s the tool you’re taking in with you.” Calderwood (13-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) had a big opportunity up next, taking on Katlyn Chookagian (11-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) at UFC 238, which takes place June 8 at United Center in Chicago. With Calderwood currently ranked No. 14 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie MMA women’s flyweight rankings and Chookagian at No. 6, it has real meaning in the division, especially since it takes place on a card that sees current champ Valentina Shevchenko put her belt on the line against Jessica Eye. Calderwood said UFC President Dana White advised her to stay ready to move up the bill, and the Scottish striker said she’ll oblige. Related Jessica Eye sees weaknesses in champ Valentina Shevchenko, won't be 'a pushover' at UFC 238 Megan Anderson wants UFC 238 spot, heard UFC is 'finally starting to sign some featherweights' After all, Calderwood believes her tool is now as sharp as ever – though she joked there may be one more investment to make before the fight. “I know (Chookagian) is an awkward fighter – oh yeah, and a noisy one because when she fights, she’s all ‘ish, ish, ish,’ so I feel like I have to be better than that, maybe go in with a mic or something,” Calderwood said with a smile. “But yeah, I just see it being a real – I”m going to bite down on my gumshield and go after it.” For more from Calderwood, check out the video above. And for more on UFC 238, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site. Gallery Photos: Joanne Calderwood through the years Voir l'article complet
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