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  1. CFFC Undefeated former CFFC welterweight champion Sean Brady makes his long awaited UFC debut in Boston this weekend when he takes on Court McGee. The newcomer admits training partner Eddie Alvarez played a “huge part” in him putting pen to paper with the organization after his rumored debut earlier this year in his native Philly. Now, Brady looks forward to making a huge splash in Beantown this weekend. “It’s been a rollercoaster,” Brady told MMA Fighting’s Eurobash podcast. “It’s been some of my highest highs and and some of my lowest lows. I defended my belt for CFFC, and about two weeks later, I pretty much thought I was just going to be defending my belt again.” As Brady recalled, things started looking up when he received a call from former UFC lightweight champion Alvarez. “Eddie, he’s from Philly, and I know Eddie pretty well,” Brady said. “He called me and we were setting up some training because he was getting ready for one of his [ONE Championship] fights. We were just setting up training and he was like, ‘Man, you haven’t got signed yet?’ I told him, ‘I’m just waiting to see what’s up.’ “We hung up the phone, and I was driving to go train, and Eddie starts sending me screenshots of him talking to Dana [White]. Sure as sh*t, I got a contract the next day. All of my hard work is what got me here, but Eddie is a huge part of me being signed. I can’t thank Eddie enough.” Although there was talk of Brady getting the call-up to the UFC earlier, he thinks it his debut couldn’t have come at a better time now that he’s established himself with a 10-0 record. “It all worked out the way it was supposed to work out,” Brady said. “A lot of people were trying to get me signed earlier on in my career when I was 5-0. I knew I wasn’t ready, (and) I wanted to get some more experience. I feel like at 10-0, I’ve got the perfect amount of experience, and I’m good enough to fight anyone in the welterweight division and beat them. A lot of people are going to be surprised by what I do in the UFC.” Brady expects to be one of the big stars from this weekend’s card at TD Garden, but he’s under no illusion about the difficulty of his first test against McGee. “Court is the toughest guy I’ve ever fought,” Brady said. “He’s a grinder, he’s a gamer and he’s been in the UFC longer than I’ve been a professional fighter. He’s got a lot more experience than me. But I’ve been training with some of the best guys at welterweight, middleweight and at 205 for a long time. I can hold my own and do even better than hold my own. I know what I can bring to the table, no one has just seen it yet.” Check out Sean Brady’s appearance on Eurobash. His interview begins at 1:12:00. Afficher l’article complet
  2. Dominick Reyes | Esther Lin, MMA Fighting Dominick Reyes isn’t the type to hide his enthusiasm about the excitement swirling around him. Reyes landed in Boston earlier this week and arrived in a sports-crazy city where he’ll soon be headlining a major MMA event. The posters have his face on them, the commercials tell his story, the production will focus on whether he has the goods to take the next step up the UFC light heavyweight ladder on the road to a potential title fight with Jon Jones. He’s not just not on the championship radar; he may only be one well-placed strike away. “It’s super cool,” he told MMA Fighting. “It’s surreal. It’s dream-come-true type stuff. I’m just happy and excited and balanced and at peace.” Reyes’ peace among the chaos comes from preparation. A longtime competitive athlete, Reyes has long put emphasis on film study, a trait he picked up during his football days at Stony Brook University, where he played as a safety and still ranks among the top-10 in career tackles. This study has paid dividends before. In June 2017, he faced Jordan Powell at LFA 13. While scouring Powell’s fight videos on Youtube, Reyes noticed Powell dropped his hands and shook his head after taking a good strike, intent on showing his opponent and the world that he was just fine. To prepare for the moment, Reyes drilled a head kick keying off the movement. When the two squared off, Reyes pursued Powell with a flurry along the cage line. He grazed Powell with a right cross, and just as he predicted, Powell dropped his hands and shook his head. Or, he started to shake his head. Before he could finish, Reyes fired off a left head kick, knocking Powell face-first to the canvas, unconscious. It took just 53 seconds. The video quickly went viral, and within days, Reyes was signed to a UFC contract. His rise up the UFC rankings has been swift. His debut came just over two years ago, and here he stands No. 4 in the division, with only three men that Jones has already defeated between him and a title shot. Still, it’s none of those men that Reyes will face at UFC on ESPN 6, instead matching up with former middleweight champion Chris Weidman. A few years ago, when Reyes was still grinding his way through the regional scene, Weidman was the kind of guy that Reyes wanted to emulate. In fact, at the start of 2015, Reyes bought a journal and listed his goals for the year. Among the career goals he wrote in black ink was this: “Chris Weidman-like year.” “I wanted to have a breakout year like the year he had when he beat Anderson Silva,” he said. “He came out of nowhere, really. And I saw a lot of myself in Chris. The way he handled himself, the way he did things. And I said, ‘I need to have a big year like that.’ For me, that Chris Weidman was the standard I was trying to live up to.” Just a few years later, Reyes feels ready to surpass his old measuring stick. Moreover, the buildup toward the fight has gone just a bit past collegial expectations, with the pair exchanging trash talk on social media. Reyes says it’s a bit surreal to be facing Weidman, pointing out that at the time Weidman was the champion, he had barely begun training and was just another guy at the bar running his mouth, telling his friends he could beat up the champ. These days though, he’s sure he was right. Remember, he is a student of the game. Since signing for this bout, he has examined Weidman very closely, watched every second of the four losses he’s had in his last five bouts. Reyes says there are specific things he sees in film, but not anything he wants to give away right now. He’ll wait to exploit those during the fight. “He’s had a tough time, man,” he said. “I just think that he’s aging a little bit here. He’s relied on his athleticism a lot. He’s a great wrestler but his athleticism got him through a lot. He had a good chin early in his career. Now, he’s older. He’s 35, and he’s lost a step. Things that used to work aren’t working, and it’s just not going well for him.” If you listen to Weidman though, you’d never know it. Weidman has used a considerable amount of his recent bandwidth on Jones, who he has long said he is coming for. Nonsense, Reyes says. He says it is a callback to Weidman’s early days, when he predicted he would go out and beat Anderson Silva not once but twice. “He’s trying to repeat history,” Reyes said. “Everyone’s doubting him and he wants to do it and then say, ‘I told you.’ I know he’s doing. But I think he’s trying to talk himself into it a little bit.” To Reyes, the confidence is not quite artificial, but it’s at least wavering. Either way, Weidman is in trouble. Reyes knows adversity, he reminds you. In his last fight against Volkan Oezdemir, he was tied after two rounds, capturing the final round on all three judges’ scorecards to pull out a tight win. It was a gut-check that he says was “far more valuable than a first-round knockout.” He got to suffer through pain, fight fatigue, dig deep and find out he was up to the task. Now, he’s right where he needs to be, where he should be, with only his past gold standard between him and going for the gold. “I want to win this emphatically,” he said. “This is a performance-based industry. If I go out and put on a great performance against a guy like Chris, that title fight is inevitable.” Afficher l’article complet
  3. Dominick Reyes and Chris Weidman will square off in the UFC on ESPN 6 main event Friday night. | Thomas Lakes, MMA Fighting MMA Fighting has UFC on ESPN 6 results for the Reyes vs. Weidman fight card Friday night, as well as live blogs of the top fights, and UFC on ESPN 6 Twitter updates. In the main event, Dominick Reyes will welcome former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman to the light heavyweight division. Yair Rodriguez and Jeremy Stephens will settle their grudge match in a key featherweight contest in the co-main event. Check out UFC on ESPN 6 results below. Main card (ESPN2 at 9 p.m. ET) Dominick Reyes vs. Chris Weidman Yair Rodriguez vs. Jeremy Stephens Greg Hardy vs. Ben Sosoli Joe Lauzon vs. Jonathan Pearce Maycee Barber vs. Gillian Robertson Deron Winn vs. Darren Stewart Undercard (ESPN2 at 6 p.m. ET) Charles Rosa vs. Manny Bermudez Molly McCann vs. Diana Belbita Kyle Bochniak vs. Sean Woodson Randy Costa vs. Boston Salmon Court McGee vs. Sean Brady Brendan Allen vs. Kevin Holland Daniel Spitz vs. Tanner Boser Afficher l’article complet
  4. Esther Lin, MMA Fighting Deron Winn made no secret that he wanted to fight English middleweight Darren Stewart, but “The Dentist” is confident that he will have the last laugh following the duo’s online back and forth in the lead up to their UFC on ESPN 6 clash. “To him it’s trash talk, but to me it’s just banter,” Stewart told MMA Fighting. “We all talked to each other like that when we were kids in school, so to me it’s just fun. Whether he takes it seriously, I don’t know, but I can’t just sit there and take it. In school, we had to be good at two things – fighting and cussin’. I feel like I’m killing him [in the back and forth], but he’s just a weird character, man.” Stewart revealed that he stopped engaging Winn online after the American withdrew from their social media jousting for a couple of weeks. “It’s a confusing one, because when the doors shut everyone is going to see you for who you really are. I was personally doing this for banter. He started it, I’ll finish it. I don’t really even hear from him anymore. At one stage, two weeks passed and he sent me, ‘Hey pea-head, I’m back now.’ From then on, I just ignored it because if he was going to start a cussin’ match he should’ve kept it going. He said he was on holiday, but I don’t get why you’d have to stop…it’s not work. For me, it’s always been pure banter.” The former Cage Warriors fighter admits that he can relate to the confidence Winn has as an undefeated fighter. “I can’t blame him because he’s from AKA, he’s unbeaten. I was like that when I was unbeaten. I wasn’t as arrogant, I was always humble, but there was a part of me that thought I was untouchable,” Stewart admitted. “The difference between me and him is, when I felt as though I was untouchable, I had already been in wars. He hasn’t fought anyone like me and he hasn’t been in any wars. He’s talking about how he’s going to put me in deep waters, but if you’ve seen my fights I’ve been in loads of deep waters – I’ve been to hell and back. He’s only had six fights. The only deep waters he’s been in are in training situations and it’s not the same. He just beats people up, but he’s not going to be able to do that to me. If I get taken down, I don’t stay down. The people he’s fought just stay there and get beaten up. He’s just a joker.” Although Winn has yet to taste defeat as a professional fighter, Stewart believes his height will give him a huge edge of the 5-foot-5 middleweight. “I train with people that height. I might not train with people that are as high level in wrestling as he is, but [people that height] can’t get in on me. What is he 5-foot-5? I’ll stand in front of him and make him swing and miss. He has no options but to try and close that gap, but I’m so fast that by the time he closes that gap I’m gone. Everyone he’s fought has been the same height as me, I understand that, but they stood in front of him and didn’t use their feet. Even against Eric Spicely, when Spicely moved a bit, he was okay, but as soon as he planted his feet it was [Winn’s] time to shoot,” he said. “Everyone is just getting hyped off his last fight where he threw the most significant strikes ever. But, I’m not being funny, he threw the most significant strikes and didn’t knock the guy down once. What does that tell you? I knocked Spicely down in the second round with a jab and I hadn’t even introduced sports science into my training at that point, I’m just a genetic freak. I’ve just got to keep him at range, he ain’t got no cardio at all. He’s never fought someone with my kind of movement.” Afficher l’article complet
  5. Dolly Clew, Cage Warriors British heavyweight Tom Aspinall has become the 93rd fighter to sign for the UFC from European promotion Cage Warriors. Cage Warriors announced the Team Kaobon fighter’s signing via social media on Friday. Congratulations to UK heavyweight Tom Aspinall, the 93rd fighter to go from Cage Warriors to the UFC. After a stunning knockout at CW107, the future was inevitable. Good luck! pic.twitter.com/yvX0uuuFyR — Cage Warriors (@CageWarriors) October 18, 2019 Aspinall (7-2-0) is currently on a three-fight win streak. He returned to MMA in 2019 on the back of a stint as a professional boxer. He scored a knockout win in his sole professional boxing appearance in 2017 and was also drafted in as a sparring partner for celebrated British champion, Tyson Fury. A key training partner of Darren Till’s, Aspinall returned as the headline fighter at Cage Warriors 101 in February. Unfortunately, his meeting with French heavyweight Sofiane Boukichou was brought to close when Aspinall broke his opponent’s leg as he was checking a kick. He scored a signature first-round knockout victory in his last outing at Cage Warriors 107, again in Liverpool, when he stopped Mickael Ben Hamouda in the first round of their main event clash. Afficher l’article complet
  6. Chris Weidman and coach Ray Longo | Esther Lin, MMA Fighting If all goes according to plan, Chris Weidman will be a new fighter on Friday. The former UFC middleweight champion is moving up to 205 pounds for the first time, and even though he has just one win in the previous four years, there’s reason to believe he’s just one impressive performance away from turning his fortunes around. He’ll be in for a tough fight against Dominick Reyes, a rising light heavyweight contender who’s a perfect 11-0 as a pro with five straight wins in the Octagon. But Weidman is no stranger to tall tasks, having fought Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, Kelvin Gastelum, Gegard Mousasi, Yoel Romero, and Luke Rockhold in his past five fights. Although it’s been an ugly stretch for the 35-year-old Weidman, who of those five only managed to beat Gastelum after 13 straight victories, his coach Ray Longo prefers to think the “All-American” isn’t far from his peak, and that removing a brutal weight cut from the equation can only help him. “He was doing good in all those fights, and it’s hard to tell if that was the difference,” Longo told MMA Fighting when asked if his team ever felt he should move to light heavyweight sooner. “So we’re going to find out (on Friday). I don’t want to believe it was the difference, but it could have been, it definitely could have been. At this stage where these guys are at, every fight is a big fight, you’re fighting the top guys, and things have to be squared away. “You see champions lose, a guy like Rashad Evans, (and) there’s a lot of guys who just can’t get back on track (like) Johny Hendricks. Mentally it’s very, very tough. Everybody tries going up, going down, so I think this is gonna be a big move for Chris, and I’m excited about it and we’ll see what happens. “I don’t know with those other fights if it was the weight thing, (but) it very well could have been. Here’s one thing that’s a fact: Cutting weight is not good for you. I don’t give a s*it who you are. Some guys deal with it better, but there’s no way frying your body like that is good.” Weidman hasn’t competed heavier than 185 pounds since before his UFC days. He joins a number of notable middleweights moving up a division, including past opponents Jacare and Rockhold. “Jacare” has yet to make his light heavyweight debut, and Rockhold fared poorly in his, suffering a second-round knockout loss to Jan Blachowicz in July. Fellow middleweight transplants Anthony Smith and Thiago Santos became title contenders after jumping to 205 pounds. It’s unclear whether Weidman will end up on the same track as Smith or Santos, or if he ends up like his old rival Rockhold. His coach is confident that at the very least, Weidman is more likely to enter fight night in better health, which is an important factor given the fighter’s past injury woes. “He’s always kind of talked about [moving to light heavyweight], so I don’t remember when it first came up,” Longo said. “I’m excited to see how he feels at 205, I think it’s gonna make a big difference. He’s looking great now, and he’s not gonna have to kill his body to get to 205. “As these guys get older that becomes an issue. You can have an injury that feels good when you start making weight, you dehydrate your body and all of a sudden injuries rear (their) ugly head, so I’m excited to see what happens with him. Right now, he looks good, (and) he feels good.” It’s not just a change of scenery for Weidman, who’s stated his intention to become the first man to earn a true victory over current UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. It’s a boast that’s made for an eye-catching headline, even if it’s something that Longo doesn’t want to begin to discuss in earnest until they see how Weidman fares against Reyes. “I don’t even bring it up, because I want to concentrate on Dominick Reyes, and that’s the conversation we have anytime it comes up,” Longo said. “He’s got one goal, to get by Dominick Reyes, (and) then I’m open to anything.” Weidman fights Reyes in the main event of UFC on ESPN 6 this Friday at TD Garden in Boston. Afficher l’article complet
  7. Juliana Velasquez (left) puts her undefeated record on the line against Bruna Ellen. | Esther Lin, MMA Fighting Brazilian flyweights Juliana Velasquez and Bruna Ellen will collide in what could be a No. 1 contender bout at Bellator’s upcoming event in Hawaii on Dec. 21, promotion officials confirmed to MMA Fighting following a report by KITV. The card will be headlined by undefeated flyweight champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane defending her throne against Kate Jackson, while AJ McKee Jr. battles Derek Campos in a featherweight grand prix quarterfinal bout in the co-main event slot. Velasquez vs. Ellen will be featured in the main card in Hawaii’s Neal S. Blaisdell Center. Velasquez (9-0) was hoping that a win over Kristina Williams in July would secure her a shot at the 125-pound gold, but a second-round TKO finish wasn’t enough. The Brazilian judoka is undefeated in the sport with three stoppages in four Bellator appearances. Ellen (5-2) scored an unanimous decision win over Elina Kallionidou the last time she entered the circular cage in July, bouncing back from a decision defeat to Williams last November and improving to 3-2 under the Bellator banner. Afficher l’article complet
  8. mmafighting

    UFC on ESPN 6 predictions

    Chris Weidman (pictured) fights Dominick Reyes in the light heavyweight main event of UFC on ESPN 6 in Boston on Friday | Thomas Lakes, MMA Fighting Chris Weidman isn’t being eased into the ranks of the light heavyweight division. As a former UFC champion at 185 pounds, it’s understandable that the matchmakers wouldn’t want to give Weidman a lay-up in his first fight in a new weight class, but they’ve set a high bar pairing him up with the undefeated Dominick Reyes in the main event of UFC on ESPN 6 on Friday. Reyes is 5-0 inside the Octagon so far and owns the longest active UFC light heavyweight win streak. He’ll be extra motivated to keep his perfect record intact given that the path to Jon Jones is wide open. Finishing an established name like Weidman could be just the statement he needs to tighten up his case for a title shot. As for the co-main event, don’t worry, you are not experiencing deja vu. Yair Rodriguez and Jeremy Stephens are indeed fighting again, a makeup for the disastrous UFC Mexico City main event four weeks ago that lasted just 15 seconds when Stephens was unable to continue following an accidental eye poke. Though they won’t have a chance to compete for five rounds this time, fans should still be in for a treat so long as both fighters can keep their fingers to themselves. In other main card action, top heavyweight prospect Greg Hardy meets newcomer Ben Sosoli, lightweight lifer Joe Lauzon makes his 27th UFC appearance when he takes on Jonathan Pearce, future flyweight contenders Maycee Barber and Gillian Robertson square off, and Deron Winn looks to go 2-0 in the UFC when he fights Darren Stewart in a catchweight (188.5 pounds) bout. What: UFC on ESPN 6 Where: TD Garden in Boston. When: Friday, Oct. 18. The entire card will air on ESPN2, with the seven-fight preliminaries beginning at 6 p.m. ET and the six-fight main card starting at 9 p.m. ET. Chris Weidman vs. Dominick Reyes There’s no getting around it: Dominick Reyes is bigger, faster, stronger, and younger than Chris Weidman. As simplistic as it sounds, those are going to be massive hurdles for Weidman to deal with regardless of any possible skill gap between the two. Weidman’s game still has a lot of appealing aspects. At 35, he fights like a man five years younger, fearlessly wading into exchanges and pushing the pace against the very best at 185 pounds. This mentality has also been to his detriment in recent times. It’s chilling to think what will happen to him if he decides to stand and bang with Reyes. “The Devastator” is just beginning to peak physically. He has power in both hands, a quick head kick, and he’s agile enough to avoid Weidman’s grappling attempts. Should this end up on the ground, that’s Weidman’s best bet to win this one as Reyes’s defense is largely untested down there. It’s conceivable that Weidman frustrates Reyes by taking him into unfamiliar territory, tires him out, and scores a submission. There are just so many things that can go wrong in the standup before Weidman closes the distance and one only need to look at his last four losses to see the various ways that he can get caught and finished, even when it seems like he’s in the fight. Kudos to Weidman and his team for making the move to a new division and eliminating a stressful weight cut, it might just be too little too late. Pick: Reyes Yair Rodriguez vs. Jeremy Stephens Here’s what I wrote about the Yair Rodriguez-Jeremy Stephens matchup last month: Don’t let his .500 record inside the Octagon fool you, “Lil Heathen” has only been knocked out twice in 44 pro bouts and that’s having shared the cage with some of the heaviest hitters in MMA. It will take a lot for Rodriguez to put him down, especially since Rodriguez should look to approach this match carefully. Rodriguez showed a solid chin in the Chan Sung Jung matchup, but he won’t want to find out how it stands up against the hammers of Stephens. With a couple of inches of height on Stephens, Rodriguez’s top-shelf kicking game will be on full display and he’ll use it to keep Stephens from wading in and brawling. Stick-and-move will be the name of the game for Rodriguez if he wants to pick up his second consecutive win here. Unless either man has experienced a major change in their training regimen or undergone some bizarre physical transformation via underground scientific experiment in the past 27 days, that analysis still stands. Sure, there’s the added emotional element from the last meeting that could play a factor, but gauging intangibles is a fool’s game unless you’re truly convinced that there’s some sort of karmic retribution coming for Rodriguez given his somewhat churlish behavior following what happened with Stephens last time. My original prediction was Rodriguez by decision after five rounds. Change that to three rounds and we’re good to go. Pick: Rodriguez Greg Hardy vs. Ben Sosoli If the intention is to create a contender in Greg Hardy, the matchmakers couldn’t be doing a better job. That’s not to take away from Hardy’s development; regardless of who he’s fighting (and what one may think of his outside-of-the-cage issues), he’s developed exactly how you would want an elite prospect to, showing sharper striking, a modicum of takedown defense, and learning not to knee people when you shouldn’t knee people. He’s amazingly fast and coordinated for a heavyweight and he’s been given a hittable target in the affable Ben Sosoli. Sosoli is a hard-luck hero, having failed to make the UFC through The Ultimate Fighter and the Contender Series before getting this short-notice call. He can take a punch and could be the man to test Hardy’s cardio and heart if this goes past the first round, a scenario that Hardy has only faced once (the ill-fated Allen Crowder fight). And he could test Hardy’s chin too as there haven’t been too many opponents willing to trade shots with the former NFLer. Just looking at their body types, it might look like Sosoli is a walkover win for Hardy. However, this isn’t a bodybuilding contest, which makes Sosoli a live dog given his striking confidence and a decent resume compared to Hardy’s other opponents. I’m still predicting a Hardy KO win, but wouldn’t be shocked if Sosoli pulled off the upset and sent Hardy and his team back to the drawing board. Pick: Hardy Joe Lauzon vs. Jonathan Pearce Is the writing on the wall for Joe Lauzon? “J-Lau” has been in so many wars, it’s almost surprising that it took as long as it did for the 35-year-old’s durability to visibly decline. It’s not that Lauzon was impossible to finish in his prime, it’s just become clear that his ability to get as good as he gives has diminished greatly (back in November 2017, he was finished via strikes by Clay Guida. It was the first knockout win for Guida in nine years). Should this be one of Lauzon’s last fights (or the last depending on how it goes), at least the matchmakers have given him a young gun who will stand in the pocket with him and throw. Jonathan Pearce has shown he can fight smartly and circle well to find angles; he’s also shown that he’ll absorb punches if it means landing one of his own. Again, it’s the kind of opponent a young Lauzon would have thrived against. The other factor to consider here is that Lauzon projects as having the much stronger ground game. It’s getting there against Pearce that will be a problem, as will keeping up with Pearce’s output. Fighters the same age as Pearce will have trouble matching his pace, an opponent eight years his senior even more so. Pearce by knockout. Pick: Pearce Maycee Barber vs. Gillian Robertson The youngest fighter on the card at just 21 years old, Maycee Barber showed some defensive deficiencies in her last fight. In a perfect world, she’d be given a step back in competition to address these holes; in the UFC, she’s instead been given another step up. Gillian Robertson is legit. For whatever reason—perhaps it’s the Canadian’s unassuming personality or the fact that her last four fights have taken place outside of the U.S.—Robertson has flown under the radar, despite the fact that she’s 4-1 with all of her wins coming by way of knockout or submission. In fact, she has the most finishes in the UFC’s nascent women’s flyweight division. I’m not convinced Barber has the takedown defense to stop Robertson from making this a ground battle, which is where Robertson thrives. What Barber has going for her is great instincts as far as knowing when to turn up the offensive volume and when to dial it back, as well as an aggressive clinch game, which is one of the most difficult skills for a young fighter to master. She’s not a delicate prospect who has been wading through the competition either. If her last fight with JJ Aldrich showed weaknesses, it also showed her ability to work through those weaknesses and find a way to win. This is the toughest main card fight to predict and I don’t see either woman’s reputation being damaged too badly by a loss, nor do I expect this to be the last time these two meet in the cage. Let’s say Robertson takes this first encounter though. Pick: Robertson Deron Winn vs. Darren Stewart It’s never a good thing for a fighter to miss weight, but I favored Deron Winn before he came in heavy on Thursday, and the extra poundage isn’t shifting my opinion. It just so happens that Winn’s greatest strength, his elite wrestling, also happens to be one of Darren Stewart’s biggest weaknesses. Stewart struggled to stay upright against Edmen Shahbazyan in his last loss and while he bounced back with an uneventful victory over Bevon Lewis, he didn’t get to show if his takedown defense has improved at all. Winn’s UFC debut against Eric Spicely forced him to show other aspects of his game as Spicely coaxed him into an enjoyable brawl. Like his mentor Daniel Cormier, Winn is going to be at a height and reach disadvantage in a lot of matchups and like “D.C.” he can make up for it with timing and relentless pressure. The threat of the takedown will also benefit him greatly against Stewart. After winning a Fight of the Night in his UFC debut, Winn could have acquired a taste for the standup; more likely, he goes back to his roots against Stewart, grounding him early and often and securing a TKO or wrestling his way to a convincing decision victory. Pick: Winn Preliminaries Manny Bermudez def. Charles Rosa Molly McCann def. Diana Belbita Sean Woodson def. Kyle Bochniak Boston Salmon def. Randy Costa Sean Brady def. Court McGee Kevin Holland def. Brendan Allen Tanner Boser def. Daniel Spitz Afficher l’article complet
  9. Esther Lin, MMA Fighting Just a few years ago, Luke Rockhold was considered one of the brightest prospects in all of MMA, with the potential to lord over the middle weight division for year to come. Now, almost impossibly, it appears the former middleweight champion is strongly considering calling it a career. Speaking with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani recently, Rockhold said he currently has no designs on fighting again. “I have no interest in fighting right now,” Rockhold said. It’s easy to see why Rockhold feels that way. After losing his middleweight title when Michael Bisping knocked him out in 2016, Rockhold rebounded with a comeback win over David Branch. He then was knocked out yet again, this time by Yoel Romero in an interim title bid. Following that loss, Rockhold spent the better part of a year battling a shin injury which required multiple surgeries. He finally made his return to the cage in July, jumping up to the light heavyweight division with designs on reinvigorating his career. Instead, he once again fell prey to a left hook, getting knocked out by Jan Blachowicz at UFC 239. That loss prompted UFC President Dana White to encourage Rockhold to retire from the sport and evidently, Rockhold feels the same way. Though he says he’s not ready to make a formal announcement because he doesn’t like “closing doors,” when asked if he it was possible he’d never fight again, Rockhold was clear. “Very [possible].” Should this be the end of Rockhold’s career, he retires with an excellent resume. Though his recent rough run brings it down some, Rockhold has a career record of 16-5 and is the only man to have held both Strikeforce and UFC titles. MUST-READ STORIES Results. Palmer, Pineda, Schulte and Radzhabov advance to PFL Season 2 finals. Shocking. UFC President Dana White will not make Conor McGregor vs. Frankie Edgar. Serious. Former Team Nogueira employees Richardson Moreira, Erivan Conceicao under investigation for rape. Banned. Ali Abdelaziz banned from PFL events pending resolution of battery case. Beef. Israel Adesanya goes in on Jon Jones, bringing up hit-and-run, USADA incidents. Sure. Colby Covington: I’ll slap Dana White in face with UFC belt if he tries to put it on me. USADA. UFC newcomer Melissa Gatto receives one-year USADA suspension for failed drug test. VIDEO STEW UFC Boston Preview Show. Khabib ditched his own press conference in Moscow. Looks like he’s trying to get in on the BMF title game. Zhang Weili calls out Joanna. Kang got a BMF promo. TTTHS. LISTEN UP Fights Gone By. Dissecting the biggest fights at UFC Boston. UFC Unfiltered. Interviews with Kevin Lee and Uriah Hall. SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE Winn on missing weight. All nonsense aside, I’m excited to get in the cage tomorrow night. I take full responsibility for my mess up but now it’s time to rock. Sorry to those who I let down and thank you to the ones who stay loyal with me. https://t.co/RjDdcDe66F — Deron Winn (@DeronWinn) October 17, 2019 Harsh but fair. If u can’t make weight u fuk — Chito Vera (@chitoveraUFC) October 17, 2019 Chael still beefing with Tito. Tito, you’ve had that old belt for 16 years and still don’t know how it snaps together? pic.twitter.com/J2KDG3DdNc — Chael Sonnen (@ChaelSonnen) October 17, 2019 Tito narc’d to IG, folks He’s TEKASHI 68 the off-brand SNITCH of the WEEK — Chael Sonnen (@ChaelSonnen) October 17, 2019 And now he’s beefing with Campbell McLaren too. @ChaelSonnen I don’t know you but saying Tito vs Alberto will be a work is a huge insult and slur on my reputation as one of the creators of our sport. Fuck you. Stronger words to follow. https://t.co/KLYZZmHpN0 — Campbell McLaren (@campbellcombate) October 17, 2019 Camptown McLawrence or whatever... You have to HAVE a reputation in order for someone to cast a slur on it. Luckily, in your case, you don’t. So we’re good. Enjoy the fake fight. ChaCha https://t.co/XScPg0DDBa — Chael Sonnen (@ChaelSonnen) October 17, 2019 And Chael you need a sense of humor to make jokes. https://t.co/duyPDhUJah — Campbell McLaren (@campbellcombate) October 17, 2019 Oh And... Nice pic You look like the night manager at a Wendy’s in Wichita — Chael Sonnen (@ChaelSonnen) October 17, 2019 It would take 2 years to teach Tito Hogan’s “Leg Drop” finish-So I’m guessin’ you’ll do a DQ or a run-in by one of your interns in “Sting” makeup... — Chael Sonnen (@ChaelSonnen) October 17, 2019 That poor sap Campbell shook the wrong tree — Chael Sonnen (@ChaelSonnen) October 17, 2019 Man Michael Bisping has been through it. New, stranger beef. Last time I’m saying this you’re in trouble already I’m coming for you! @Benaskren keep abt BJJ https://t.co/zOMDV92kYd — GILBERT BURNS DURINHO (@GilbertDurinho) October 18, 2019 Im shaking in my boots! I mean i've never heard a fighter talk tough before. How original. https://t.co/C95qdbAYwm — Ben Askren (@Benaskren) October 18, 2019 I can beat you @Benaskren on a wrestling match. Since u are afraid to fight me and get knocked out again let’s do this. After Demian taps u out and u get cut from the UFC we can do it on the mats. My rules or your rules. @flograppling or @flowrestling set it up BOOM ROASTED! https://t.co/PmlO7KGH9P — GILBERT BURNS DURINHO (@GilbertDurinho) October 18, 2019 Mike’s still got it. I’m not getting back in the ring but I could just paying it forward. Love talking to this generation of fighters. @Justin_Gaethje @OttmanAzaitar . pic.twitter.com/xlW57OJtch — Mike Tyson (@MikeTyson) October 17, 2019 FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS Doo Ho Choi (14-3) vs. Charles Jourdain (9-2); UFC Busan, Dec. 21. FINAL THOUGHTS Enjoy the fights tonight and see y’all on Monday. 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, add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting, and like us on Facebook. Afficher l’article complet
  10. Ryan Loco Two No. 7 tournament seeds will face off with two No. 1 frontrunners in the featherweight and lightweight divisions of the PFL Season 2 tournament. In the PFL 8 playoff headliner at lightweight, underdog Loik Radzhabov denied Chris Wade a rematch with Season 1 winner Natan Schulte, wearing down the American with a smothering attack. Radzhabov had advanced to the semis after a nail-biter against Islam Mamedov, who fought to a majority draw, requiring a poll of judges to decide the fight’s overall winner. All three chose Radzhabov, whose striking left its mark opposite Mamedov’s grappling. In the semifinal bout, Wade tried mightily to control Radzhabov against the fence and on the mat. But every time, Radzhabov managed to right himself and fire back with heavy punches, and by the second round, Wade was spent. By the final frame, Radzhabov was battering his foe at every range as Wade desperately shot for a takedown. The scorecards were unanimously 30-27 for Radzhabov, who will meet Schulte in the Season 2 finals on Dec. 31 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. PFL 8 took place at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas and aired on ESPN+ and ESPN2. Schulte gets another trip to finals In the night’s co-headliner, Season 1 lightweight champion and No. 1 seed Natan Schulte punched his tickets to the Season 2 finals with a fight that started on shaky ground. Akhmet Aliev was no easy mark for Schulte’s grappling and twice won takedown battles, putting the Brazilian on bottom. What Aliev wasn’t able to withstand was the pressure that’s been a signature of Schulte. In the second round, the Season 1 champ used his striking to setup a takedown. When he got on top, he quickly capitalized, setting up an arm-triangle that forced a tap at the 2:26 mark of the middle frame. Kennedy no match for tourney newcomer Pineda Featherweight Daniel Pineda appeared not the least bit worried when a wheel kick whiffed and put him on his back. When he didn’t have the leverage for a hip toss, he got back up with ease. Nothing Kennedy did bothered him, because he had a counter for everything. And sure enough, when Kennedy exposed his neck on a single-leg attempt, he patiently waited to apply a guillotine choke that forced a tap at the 4:00 mark of the opening frame. Pineda, who knocked out his quarterfinal opponent Movlid Khaybulaev in just 29 seconds, now moves to meet Season 1 featherweight tourney winner Lance Palmer in the finals. “Hey Palmer, bring it,” the UFC and Bellator vet said afterward. “Let’s go.” Palmer pins Gilpin for spot in finals Featherweight Lance Palmer didn’t have quite as easy of a time, but he secured a spot in the Season 2 tourney finals with a dominant performance over Alex Gilpin. Palmer, the Season 1 featherweight champ and No. 1 seed, was in the driver’s seat when it came to takedowns. But he also showed off more of his striking skills than usual as Gilpin invited a standup fight in the second round. A last-second flying knee and choke attempt from Gilpin allowed Palmer to set up a reversal and final stretch of top control. PFL 8 Playoff final results: Loik Radzhabov def. Chris Wade via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) Natan Schulte def. Akhmet Aliev via submission (arm-triangle choke) - Round 2, 2:26 Daniel Pineda def. Jeremy Kennedy via submission (guillotine) - Round 1, 4:00 Chris Wade def. Nate Andrews via majority decision (19-19, 20-18, 20-18) Loik Radzhabov vs. Islam Mamedov is declared a majority draw (Mamedov advances by winning judges’ tiebreaker) Akhmet Aliev def. Rashid Magomedov via unanimous decision (20-18, 20-18, 20-18) Lance Palmer def. Alex Gilpin via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) Natan Schulte def. Ramsey Nijem via submission (rear-naked choke) - Round 1, 0:52 Jeremy Kennedy def. Luis Rafael Laurentino via TKO (strikes) - Round 2, 1:24 Daniel Pineda def. Movlid Khaybulaev via KO (strikes) - Round 1, 0:29 Alex Gilpin def. Andre Harrison via submission (ninja choke) - Round 2, 1:49 Lance Palmer def. Alexandre Almeida via unanimous decision (20-17, 20-18, 20-18) Afficher l’article complet
  11. Ryan Loco Two No. 7 tournament seeds will face off with two No. 1 frontrunners in the featherweight and lightweight divisions of the PFL Season 2 tournament. In the PFL 8 playoff headliner at lightweight, underdog Loik Radzhabov denied Chris Wade a rematch with Season 1 winner Natan Schulte, wearing down the American with a smothering attack. Radzhabov had advanced to the semis after a nail-biter against Islam Mamedov, who fought to a majority draw, requiring a poll of judges to decide the fight’s overall winner. All three chose Radzhabov, whose striking left its mark opposite Mamedov’s grappling. In the semifinal bout, Wade tried mightily to control Radzhabov against the fence and on the mat. But every time, Radzhabov managed to right himself and fire back with heavy punches, and by the second round, Wade was spent. By the final frame, Radzhabov was battering his foe at every range as Wade desperately shot for a takedown. The scorecards were unanimously 30-27 for Radzhabov, who will meet Schulte in the Season 2 finals. PFL 8 took place at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas and aired on ESPN+ and ESPN2. Schulte gets another trip to finals In the night’s co-headliner, Season 1 lightweight champion and No. 1 seed Natan Schulte punched his tickets to the Season 2 finals with a fight that started on shaky ground. Akhmet Aliev was no easy mark for Schulte’s grappling and twice won takedown battles, putting the Brazilian on bottom. What Aliev wasn’t able to withstand was the pressure that’s been a signature of Schulte. In the second round, the Season 1 champ used his striking to setup a takedown. When he got on top, he quickly capitalized, setting up an arm-triangle that forced a tap at the 2:26 mark of the middle frame. Kennedy no match for tourney newcomer Pineda Featherweight Daniel Pineda appeared not the least bit worried when a wheel kick whiffed and put him on his back. When he didn’t have the leverage for a hip toss, he got back up with ease. Nothing Kennedy did bothered him, because he had a counter for everything. And sure enough, when Kennedy exposed his neck on a single-leg attempt, he patiently waited to apply a guillotine choke that forced a tap at the 4:00 mark of the opening frame. Pineda, who knocked out his quarterfinal opponent Movlid Khaybulaev in just 29 seconds, now moves to meet Season 1 featherweight tourney winner Lance Palmer in the finals. “Hey Palmer, bring it,” the UFC and Bellator vet said afterward. “Let’s go.” Palmer pins Gilpin for spot in finals Featherweight Lance Palmer didn’t have quite as easy of a time, but he secured a spot in the Season 2 tourney finals with a dominant performance over Alex Gilpin. Palmer, the Season 1 featherweight champ and No. 1 seed, was in the driver’s seat when it came to takedowns. But he also showed off more of his striking skills than usual as Gilpin invited a standup fight in the second round. A last-second flying knee and choke attempt from Gilpin allowed Palmer to set up a reversal and final stretch of top control. PFL 8 Playoff final results: Loik Radzhabov def. Chris Wade via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) Natan Schulte def. Akhmet Aliev via submission (arm-triangle choke) - Round 2, 2:26 Daniel Pineda def. Jeremy Kennedy via submission (guillotine) - Round 1, 4:00 Chris Wade def. Nate Andrews via majority decision (19-19, 20-18, 20-18) Loik Radzhabov vs. Islam Mamedov is declared a majority draw (Mamedov advances by winning judges’ tiebreaker) Akhmet Aliev def. Rashid Magomedov via unanimous decision (20-18, 20-18, 20-18) Lance Palmer def. Alex Gilpin via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) Natan Schulte def. Ramsey Nijem via submission (rear-naked choke) - Round 1, 0:52 Jeremy Kennedy def. Luis Rafael Laurentino via TKO (strikes) - Round 2, 1:24 Daniel Pineda def. Movlid Khaybulaev via KO (strikes) - Round 1, 0:29 Alex Gilpin def. Andre Harrison via submission (ninja choke) - Round 2, 1:49 Lance Palmer def. Alexandre Almeida via unanimous decision (20-17, 20-18, 20-18) Afficher l’article complet
  12. Dana White | Esther Lin, MMA Fighting The word of the UFC’s biggest star isn’t enough to sway promotion president Dana White. White on Thursday said he won’t abide Conor McGregor’s recent order to make a fight with Frankie Edgar, arguing the former lightweight champ hasn’t earned the opportunity. Not only that, White told the Boston Herald, but Edgar’s recent decision to move to the bantamweight division ruled him out. “That Frankie Edgar isn’t going to happen,” White said. “Frankie is two weight classes below him. (Edgar) is in a position; he was supposed to fight Aljamain Sterling, and Aljamain fell out and got hurt. “Frankie’s coming to the end of his career, and he could end up getting himself into a title position again. So to take the Conor fight makes no sense.” McGregor, whose return to the UFC in July was delayed by a broken hand, popped up on Twitter on Wednesday to issue his latest fight proclamation. He called out White to “make the bout” in response to an exchange with Edgar, who told his fellow ex-champ he’d already agreed to take the fight. The pair once were targeted to fight after McGregor won the featherweight belt from Jose Aldo. But instead, McGregor moved to the lightweight division, and his history-making win set them on different paths. Edgar signaled his move to 135 pounds after a heartbreaking setback against featherweight champ Max Holloway in his most recent attempt to capture UFC gold. He was indeed scheduled to take on Sterling at UFC 244 next month, but a wrist injury to “Funkmaster” ruled out the opportunity. It’s not the first time McGregor’s demands have been denied by White. But the UFC president said the star will still return to the octagon. “I think Conor will fight next year,” White said. Afficher l’article complet
  13. mmafighting

    UFC on ESPN 6 preview show

    BOSTON - With less than 24 hours to go until UFC on ESPN 6, MMAFighting’s Jose Youngs and Mike Heck of Flocombat.com break down the important storylines for Saturday’s event at TD Garden in Boston. Afficher l’article complet
  14. mmafighting

    PFL 8 playoff results

    Lance Palmer and Alexandre Almeida | Ryan Loco MMA Fighting has PFL 8 results for the PFL playoff event Thursday night at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The PFL 8 card will feature the lightweight and featherweight playoffs, with two fighters from each division advancing to the PFL finals on New Year’s Eve. All of Thursday’s fighters will be competing twice in one night. Quarter-final bouts will be two-round affairs. In the event of a draw, judges will determine who should advance based on overall performance in the fight (“PRIDE rules”). Check out PFL 8 results below. Main Card (ESPN+, 10:30 p.m. ET) Lightweight Semifinal TBD vs. TBD Lightweight Semifinal TBD vs. TBD Featherweight Semifinal TBD vs. TBD Lightweight Quarter-final Chris Wade vs. Nate Andrews Lightweight Quarter-final Islam Mamedov vs. Loik Radzhabov Lightweight Quarter-final Akhmet Aliev vs. Rashid Magomedov Preliminaries (ESPN 2, 8 p.m. ET) Featherweight Semifinal TBD vs. TBD Lightweight Quarter-final Natan Schulte vs. Ramsey Nijem Featherweight Quarter-final Luis Rafael Laurentino vs. Jeremy Kennedy Featherweight Quarter-final Movlid Khaybulaev vs. Daniel Pineda Featherweight Quarter-final Alex Gilpin vs. Andre Harrison Featherweight Quarter-final Lance Palmer vs. Alexandre Almeida Afficher l’article complet
  15. Photo via Gatto’s Facebook UFC bantamweight Melissa Gatto received a one-year suspension from USADA after she failed a drug test prior to her Octagon debut. Gatto was originally expected to make her first appearance at UFC 239 in July, but she was pulled from the card. She later revealed she had been flagged for a potential violation of the UFC’s anti-doping policy. On Thursday, USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) officially announced Gatto’s suspension following her positive drug test. “Gatto Regonha, 23, tested positive for furosemide as the result of an out-of-competition urine sample she provided on June 5, 2019,” USADA officials wrote in a statement. “Furosemide is a Specified Substance in the class of Diuretics and Masking Agents and prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List. “Gatto Regonha’s one-year period of ineligibility began on June 5, 2019, the date her positive sample was collected. Regonha’s positive test also falls under the jurisdiction of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which has imposed a sanction in accordance with its rules.” Diuretics are used to help expel water and salt from the body, which has led to the common use of the drug in athletes cutting weight for sports such as MMA. Gatto had previously revealed that she expected a one-year suspension after she tested positive for the diuretic in an interview with MMA Fighting. She added she wanted to have her supplements tested, but couldn’t afford the $500 cost required. All fighters in the UFC are afforded an adjudication process by USADA, but they are required to pay for any costs associated with a potential appeal. Ultimately, Gatto accepted the one-year suspension from USADA, and she will be eligible to compete again after June 5, 2020. Afficher l’article complet

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