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  1. European MMA fans were on the verge of tears when it was announced that a rib injury had forced Tom Duquesnoy out of his bantamweight tilt with Nathaniel Wood at UFC 232. Andre Ewell has since replaced the French fighter and will take on the Brit in Las Vegas, but “The Prospect” insisted that the fans were not the only people who were disappointed that the former Cage Warriors champion vs. former BAMMA champion bout fell apart. “I’m gutted that Tom pulled because I know that meant so much to a lot of fans around Europe especially,” Wood told Eurobash. “Obviously, me and him were on the same promotion with BAMMA about two or three years ago, so that’s a fight that’s been in the works for a long time. For me, I’m just glad I got a replacement and I’ve still got a fight.” If all goes according to plan for Wood, a victory over Ewell will pave his way to a main card slot in his hometown for the promotion’s annual show in the English capital. Although he believes Duquesnoy could have contested their initial bout even with his rib injury, he insisted he would be more than happy if the promotion rebooked their clash for the March event. “I’d like to think that [Duquesnoy] wouldn’t have done that. He’s been around and he’s done so well in his career that I can’t imagine he’s just pulled out to avoid me. I definitely feel like the rib injury is a bit of an excuse because I feel like maybe he wasn’t in the right camp and he realized he was in for a fight,” said Wood. “Maybe he just thought, ‘I’ve hurt my rib a little bit, let’s pull out’, because I’ve done exactly what he’s done in the past and I’ve pushed on through fight camps. There’s never been a time when I’ve gone in there feeling 100 percent fresh, but it is what it is. I hope he heals up, gets better and we can get the fight on for another time, maybe in London.” Wood also declared interest in a showdown with a man he has had previous online interactions with, and the last man to fight his mentor Brad Pickett, Marlon Vera. “I think I’d rather fight ‘Chito’ Vera. That’s a guy I really want to fight, he gave me a lot of crap, so that’s a fight I’ll definitely be asking for. 100 percent [I’d be interested in fighting] Tom Duquesnoy [in London] as well. They can all get it, as they say.” Check out the latest episode of Eurobash. The Nathaniel Wood interview begins at 1:05:30. Afficher l’article complet
  2. Stefan Sekulić will have to wait to get his second shot in the UFC. The 26-year-old Serbian welterweight has been issued a two-year suspension by USADA after testing positive for the anabolic agent drostanolone and its metabolites, as well as a metabolite of metandienone, in an in-competition fight night drug test on Sept. 15 at UFC Moscow. USADA officials announced the suspension on Tuesday. Sekulić (12-3) suffered a unanimous decision loss to Ramazan Emeev at UFC Moscow, which served as his Octagon debut. The setback snapped a run of success for Sekulić that saw the young prospect win eight out of his prior nine fights on the Serbian regional scene. Sekulić’s two-year suspension is retroactive to Oct. 31, the date of his initial provisional suspension, meaning he will be cleared to return to active competition on Oct. 31, 2020. He will be 28 years old. Afficher l’article complet
  3. Before Sage Northcutt found himself winning UFC fights as a teenager, he was a youth karate prodigy, winning tournaments all over the world. So it’s only fitting that the next chapter of the Houston native’s career will find him traveling the planet in search of championships in several martial arts disciplines. The 22-year old recently ended his free agency by leaving the UFC and joining Asia’s largest promotion, ONE Championship. And the fact ONE stages competitions in MMA, Muay Thai, and kickboxing played a factor in his decision to sign, as Northcutt says he wants to become a world champion in all three. “What I think is cool is, they have, not only do they have MMA, but they also have Muay Thai and they have kickboxing,” Northcutt said on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour with Luke Thomas. “So, I want to be the champion in MMA, I want to be the champion in Muay Thai and kickboxing. I want to do it all. And I think that ONE Championship is going to be really cool because I believe that I’m going to display my different skills in each of those and I believe be the champ in each of those. I think it’s the perfect league.” Northcutt, whose three-year UFC journey culminated in a second-round knockout of Zak Ottow at UFC Boise in July, figured to have plenty of suitors as a young and marketable fighter who is only beginning to tap into his potential. This was confirmed by Northcutt needing little time beyond the UFC’s 90-day exclusivity window before signing with the Singapore-based company. “I was always keeping the options open to see which direction I take,” Northcutt said. “But I knew when I was going to have the Zak Ottow fight there was going to be a 90-day period. I wasn’t sure if the UFC was going to make me wait all 90 days to get back with me about re-signing or if they were going to come in to offer and match what some other league was offering.” A trip to Singapore to see ONE in person helped cement Northcutt’s opinion. “It was super cool,” Northcutt said. “There have been a lot of people who have said that actually haven’t seen their events, they were saying, ‘hey Sage, I don’t know if you want to go to ONE because, they may not as big as the UFC is’. But, over there at ONE Championship, they had over 35 million viewers watching the fights ... it’s definitely huge and I thought it was really cool how, when you walked out they had fireworks shooting out through the arena and then when the people that had the title won the ONE championship or defended their title, they had gold confetti everywhere. It was really cool.” Northcutt’s sunny optimism stands out in the oft-rancorous MMA world, but even he noted the UFC seemed to be putting him on ice a little bit as he headed toward the final fight of his contract, which ultimately ended up being the win over Ottow. On several occasions, as Northcutt and the UFC negotiated, potential bouts fell through or were pushed back. “Before the fight, actually, the UFC had put me off a little bit,” Northcutt said. “I had scheduled a fight and they had tried to re-sign me, I guess, and we were negotiating with them and they said we’re going to move you to this card, and then the next card, and then it got moved to the next card to another card and then I finally got to fight, so the time frame kept being put off and put off and put off.” But you’re not going to get Northcutt to badmouth his UFC experience. In the time between his memorable UFC debut in a 57-second knockout of Francisco Trevino in Houston at UFC 192 to the knockout of Ottow, “Super” Sage went through his college years in a very public display. Along the way, he got shade from fellow fighters for getting opportunities ahead of others, had some high-profile stumbles in the cage, and then went to Team Alpha Male and beginning to mature as a competitors. Along the way, he went 5-0 at 155 pounds. “I think my favorite moments would be two moments,” Northcutt said. “Coming into the UFC, being the youngest fighter ever to come into the UFC, and winning the most fights being undefeated 5-0 at lightweight in the UFC, and my last fight, going out with a knockout and showing how much I’ve improved since my first fight in the UFC against Zak Ottow.” Those experiences will serve him well as he heads to ONE, where he’s expected to make a February or March debut, and attempts his ambitious goal of becoming a three-sport champion. Afficher l’article complet
  4. A valuable commodity in the television world before transitioning to mixed martial arts, Aaron Chalmers has promised to help deliver a U.K. and Irish television deal ahead of his Bellator Newcastle showdown with Corey Browning on Feb. 9. The fight card for the Newcastle event was released Monday, and based on his history of helping his previous organization, BAMMA, over the the line with a broadcast deal, “The Joker” is confident the same can be done for Bellator. Chalmers’ celebrity from his days as a cast member of Geordie Shore brought a whole new television audience to the U.K. sport when BAMMA secured a deal with ITV 4 ahead of his third professional fight. He claims that 80 MTV channels broadcasted his Bellator debut and he is intent on bringing the same viewership to his sophomore outing for the promotion. “My last Bellator fight, it was shown on something crazy like 80 MTV channels around the world,” Chalmers told Eurobash. “Tell me another fighter who’s had three fights that can be put across on not only Channel 5, but also by 80 MTV channels across the world? You can’t. I don’t care what anyone says, no other fighter can do that, it’s as simple as that. Because I was on an MTV show, MTV backed me to the hilt and they will be showing all of my fights. “It’s a massive audience. The fans that will be in Newcastle for the fight, maybe 80 percent of them will be diehard MMA fans, but the other 20 percent might be Geordie Shore fans, but they’re still in the stadium and they’re still supporting, so what difference does it make? To be an MMA fan you have to go to your first MMA fight; you’re not an MMA fan when you’re born, you’ve got to build up to being a fan after you start watching. What’s to say Geordie Shore fans can’t be MMA fans, because that’s what I feel happens.” For his recent fight announcement, Chalmers poked fun at Bellator’s infamous Peppa Pig faux pas that saw the adored children’s cartoon beamed around the U.K. and Ireland instead of Gegard Mousasi’s title defense against Rory MacDonald. While the U.S. promotion has failed to gain a regular live slot in Britain and Ireland, Chalmers thinks everything will be sorted in time for the beginning of the promotion’s European series, which kicks off in Newcastle. “I’m going to be honest, yes,” replied Chalmers when asked if he was the man that would help Bellator harness a TV deal in the U.K. and Ireland. “Look at what I did for BAMMA; within my [third] fight we had that ITV 4 deal. I was being criticized before the last Newcastle show and I said, ‘What am I doing wrong? I’m bringing a show to Newcastle,’ because BAMMA weren’t going to go there, ‘and I’m bringing the TV deal’. What comes with that is sponsors will start sponsoring the fighters. A lot of people were like, ‘You’re actually right, you’re bringing a lot of things [to the table] for fighters’. “Last year, fighters were getting more sponsors because of the TV deal, so some people will see the good things and some people will see the bad.” A household name in the U.K. and Ireland, Chalmers also discussed the importance of a television deal in terms of building fighters’ brands. “It’s business; it’s not just about being a fighter anymore, you’re a brand. You’ve got to put yourself across, that’s how you make money. Look at the promotion we thought up the other week, me and K [manager] sat down and we thought that up; I thought of the joke and he mixed the Peppa Pig thing in with it. It’s little things like that, you’ve got promote yourself in the right way. This is the way I look at it now: you can be the best fighter in the world, but if you’re not promoting yourself properly, you’re not getting the opportunities that you should be,” he explained. “I’m getting opportunities that maybe I shouldn’t be because I’m promoting myself in the right way.” Check out the latest episode of Eurobash. The Aaron Chalmers interview begins at 11:45. Afficher l’article complet
  5. mmafighting

    Rewind: Bellator Hawaii

    HONOLULU — After Bellator 212 and 212, MMA Fighting’s E. Casey Leydon takes a look back at the Bellator Hawaii cards, including Ilima-Lei Macfarlane’s homecoming win over Valerie Letourneau and Michael Chandler winning the lightweight title from Brent Primus. Afficher l’article complet
  6. There was a time when Jon Jones was one of the most active champions in the sport. Over a near four-year reign from early 2011 to early 2015, Jones fought 10 times while establishing a new record for consecutive defenses of the UFC light heavyweight title with eight straight. It’s a run unlike any other in the history of the sport — with respected names like Daniel Cormier, Alexander Gustafsson, and Mauricio Rua lining his résumé, Jones ruled over the 205-pound division with an iron fist and seemed to be on a path destined for all-time greatness before his troubles out-of-the-cage derailed him in a major way. Things have not been the same since. Between a pair of drug-testing suspensions and the bizarre hit-and-run accident that initially cost him his UFC title, “Bones” has only competed twice over the past three years, most recently in a July 2017 rematch against Cormier that stands today as a no-contest because of Jones’ aforementioned problems with USADA. But now Jones is back once more, slated to make his long-awaited return to the Octagon on Dec. 29 in a rematch against Gustafsson for the vacant light heavyweight title. And although UFC 232 will mark the third consecutive outing where Jones will be forced to overcome a long layoff, striking coach Brandon Gibson sees a positive side to his student’s lengthy absences away from the cage, and thinks there’s a way they could end up benefiting the 31-year-old moving forward. “He’s not getting his brains battered in [during his time off],” Gibson explained Monday on The MMA Hour. “He’s not getting concussions. He’s taking care of his body and his mind, and this is such a — at this top one percent, these guys are tough. That’s not an aspect that comes with sparring or anything like that. The time off where we’re not having impact, where his body’s not getting beaten up and broken down, where we’re just continuing to evolve the skill and the technique and the strategy and develop Jon that much more as a martial artist is key. And you said he’s 31, he has a long fight career ahead of him still, and he really feels like this time off has prolonged his career that much more. “If he was still fighting three to five times a year like he was when he was younger, I think that will burn guys out early. I think that’s where you start seeing the guys in their mid-thirties that are slow, that are not reacting, that can’t pull the trigger, that just aren’t recognizing things like they used to, and I think a lot of that comes with just the toll of the training camps in addition to the fights. So just having these kind of pre-camps where it’s just all technical-based, I think has been really good for him. I think it’s going to show in the fight. We had a long layoff before Ovince Saint Preux, and we had a long layoff before the second DC fight, and he came out sharp and focused, and new in a lot of ways.” The rematch between Jones and Gustafsson is one long in the making. Before they were slated to meet at UFC 232, the two light heavyweight rivals collided back in 2013 in an all-time great contest at UFC 165. Even today, that first fight stands as the toughest challenge Jones has ever faced. Gustafsson pushed Jones to the brink, but ultimately fell short — the American titleholder rallied in the championship rounds to win a unanimous decision and defend his 205-pound strap. Gustafsson has only competed five times in the five-plus years since UFC 165, amassing a 3-2 record over that span, however Team Jones isn’t overlooking the formidable Swede. “I think Gustafsson has improved and grown tremendously as a fighter,” Gibson said. “I think he’s become that much more fluid. I think he’s become that much more of a precision striker. I think his wrestling’s gotten better. He’s had these five-round bouts since. I think Gustafsson’s really matured. I think we look at Jon at that [first] fight and think [about] how many more tools we have now, how many more setups, how much more strategy, and how better we are at all the little transitional elements now. “I think it’s going to be a very different fight. We find ourselves always kinda falling into that fight to study as a baseline like we did with the first Cormier fight, but I find myself watching Gus’ fight with DC or [Jan Blachowicz] or Glover (Teixeira) that much more, to try to pick up trends of his newer style as much as we can.” Gustafsson may have fought to mixed results since his loss to Jones, but his two most recent outings may be the most predictive as to the type of foe that awaits on Dec. 29. Gustafsson rides into UFC 232 having won two straight fights. He looked sensational in both, outpointing Blachowicz before brutalizing Teixeira via fifth-round knockout. “I think his confidence has grown,” Gibson said of Gustafsson. “I think his confidence with his wrestling has grown. I think his endurance and his cardio and his stamina has grown. We’d be foolish to think that Gus isn’t going to come ready for anything but a five-round battle this time, where, the first fight, I feel like Gus in some ways, he just didn’t have it in the championship rounds, and that’s when Jon was really able to take the lead and do the damage and show why he’s a champion. “So I think Gus is going to be well prepared cardio-wise, I think his boxing technique and his setups have grown, and his wrestling defense continues to be outstanding. In fights like the [Blachowicz] fight, he had brilliant ground-and-pound and brilliant position and timing on his shots, so Gustafsson’s an all-around dangerous guy.” Back in 2013, the first Jones vs. Gustafsson matchup flew under the radar in the minds of many in the MMA community before exceeding all expectations as an all-time great fight. Safe to say, the same cannot be said about the rematch. UFC 232 stands as one of the most anticipated fight nights of 2018, and the main event serves as a pivotal crossroads for the careers of both light heavyweight competitors. “This second one is so much more than that,” Gibson said. “Everybody knows what an amazing championship fight that first bout was, and this has been a long time coming. Both of these guys have been matched up before and things didn’t work out, so I know they’ve both always had their eyes on each other and we knew that this day would come.” Afficher l’article complet
  7. Some people have all the luck, but in Dominick Cruz’s case, it all seems to be bad. The oft-inured fighter has not competed since losing his bantamweight title to Cody Garbrandt at UFC 207 in 2016. He was scheduled to face Jimmie Rivera last December in a de facto number-one contender bout but suffered a broken arm and was forced to pull out from the card. That injury developed into a more long-term problem when Cruz opted not to get surgery. When he finally had the surgery and was cleared to fight, Cruz had a fight set with John Lineker for the upcoming UFC 233 card but last week, Cruz was once again forced to withdraw from the fight due to injury. It was just one more in a long line of setbacks for the former champion and one that could keep him sidelined for a long time. “I’ve done everything very carefully to make sure that I’m ready for this one,” Cruz told Ariel Helwani of ESPN recently. “[I start sparring] and at the very end of my second round, I threw a right hand and as I throw an overhand right I felt . . . a click in my right shoulder and then I felt my fingers go numb. Right away I knew something separated because you’re not supposed to get blood flow and numbness to your fingers unless it’s a detrimental injury. So I stopped right away, got out, and I literally left that practice knowing that I told my shoulder and went straight to an MRI. “My subscapularis is completely torn off and my supraspinatus is 75 percent torn off. So from what I understand, they have to take the tendon and reattach it with a screw of some sort into the bone to get everything reconnected. . . It’s basically an ACL [tear] of the shoulder.” Cruz is one of the most snakebitten fighters in MMA history. Despite joining the UFC in 2011 when the WEC was absorbed, Cruz has only fought six times in the organization. After defending his title twice in 2011, Cruz suffered an actual ACL tear in 2012 that had to be operated on twice as his body rejected the first ACL that he was given. In 2014, he was finally set to return from that injury when he tore his groin. Nine months later, Cruz finally came back and obliterated Takeya Mizugaki and was set to challenge for the 135 title he had been stripped of, but then tore his other ACL which kept him out until 2016, where he fought three times, reclaiming the title, defending it, and then losing it to Garbrandt. He has not fought since. But despite this nearly unparalleled run of bad luck, Cruz isn’t going to let this beat him. “Understanding it really serves no purpose because there is no understanding.,” said Cruz. “It just is what it is. To try to understand it will just take you in a loop that will never end. So I choose to look at this as just the way it is and what can I do with that is the question. “With all that being said, how I feel is sadness. Extreme sadness, to be honest. It hurts. I want to cry. But I also know that this is a long road that I’ve had already. I’ve already been down this, I’ve had these injuries. You can attack whatever you want to this situation but it never defeats me and it never will. It’s just part of my journey and it’s going to be part of my legacy. How many people go through life with problems and have to get back up? Life is no different from fighting and that’s why I love fighting so much. Sport is a metaphor to life. . . You never get to quit in life so if you quit in sports, exactly when you quit in sports is exactly when quit at life.” As Cruz says, his injury history is now an indelible part of his legacy and, for many, will be the first thing many people think of when his name is mentioned. The other part of that legacy is being arguably the best bantamweight in the history of the sport, and Cruz says the two go hand in hand. “I’m not the greatest bantamweight of all time despite my injuries,” said Cruz. “I’m the greatest bantamweight of all time because of my injuries.” MUST-READ STORIES Surprise. Anderson Silva ‘very surprised’ by ‘Jacare’ Souza’s recent title shot criticisms. Money fight. Ray Longo wants to see Al Iaquinta fight Conor McGregor next. Farewell? Bobby Green clarifies retirement talk, criticizes judging after UFC on FOX 31 loss. USADA. UFC featherweight Bharat Vijay Kandare given two-year suspension by USADA. VIDEO STEW The MMA Hour. Fight Motion. The return of Jon Jones. Al Iaquinta-Kevin Lee. This the dude Anderson is training with for Izzy. LISTEN UP Anik & Florian. Recapping the UFC’s final UFC on FOX card. The Co-Main Event. Reviewing Bellator’s double header plus looking ahead to UFC 232. SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE Kevin Lee can’t be held down. Get paid. Everybody waiting on me to respond. I’m just waiting on a fight I need to get paid @NeilMagny where you at? #easymoney — Jorge Masvidal UFC (@GamebredFighter) December 17, 2018 Hell yeah me too! pic.twitter.com/eF15vVE66A — tim means (@MeansTim) December 17, 2018 All the beef. I thought Chandralone was a star and AJ McKee was the future? Two terrible events together. People are seeing through the fake acts and they’re not impressed. Imagine if these were tape delayed, would they even do over 150k viewers? https://t.co/3OKEpxgZwG — Patricio Freire (@PatricioPitbull) December 17, 2018 This guy’s trash talk consists of calling people nerds and calling men women. I can’t understand how come his ratings are so miserable https://t.co/Psgv1k4dQV — Patricio Freire (@PatricioPitbull) December 17, 2018 Not surprised the biggest cheater in this sport continues to lie.1)I agreed to a title fight in April on 3 weeks notice and they changed it. 2)No one makes my statements but myself. You on the other hand could use some help,like you have with the doctors injecting steroids on you https://t.co/o2pOQUKyss — Patricio Freire (@PatricioPitbull) December 18, 2018 3)About the other fighters, just like you, whoever talks shit or challenge me is invited to come and get their beatings. 4)Fuck you @MikeChandlerMMA. And fuck you @lthomasnews, acting like his cheerleader. https://t.co/o2pOQUKyss — Patricio Freire (@PatricioPitbull) December 18, 2018 Tony so antsy. I Fought Trough Hurricanes & Pressed Forward Through Sandstorms Strip That Bitch & Let’s Make A Fight @danawhite -Champ Shit Only I’m Your Huckleberry #snapintuit x SnapJitsu pic.twitter.com/eTfkFHt2g8 — Tony Ferguson (@TonyFergusonXT) December 17, 2018 Call out. SpaceMac 2019. I am launching rockets in 19’ #staystrapped pic.twitter.com/1rI4F3fwtz — Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) December 18, 2018 Ouch. Working harder after the loss. I promise that I won’t ever quit till I’m the best fighter in the world, I make no excuses, I just get better! Failure will only fuel me. #Deadicated #pushinglimit #onepercent pic.twitter.com/TfRIx5UPc8 — Dead Ruth (@edruth67) December 17, 2018 FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS Eric Spicely (10-4) vs. Stephen Regman (9-3); CES 54, Jan. 19. Tony Gravely (16-5) vs. Kris Moutinho (7-2); CES 54, Jan. 19. Zabit Magomedsharipov (16-1) vs. Jeremy Stephens (28-15); UFC 235, March 2. FINAL THOUGHTS Damn, man. Dominick Cruz has to be the most snakebitten fighter in MMA history. Only person who I can even think of offhand to come close is Ian McCall (or Jon Jones I guess if you want to go there). Hope when he comes back he’s still as good as he ever was. 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
  8. Sean Strickland suffered a major scare over the weekend. Per an Instagram post that has since been deleted, the 27-year-old UFC welterweight explained that was involved in a motorcycle accident after a session at the King’s MMA gym in Huntington Beach, Calif. He provided an update on Sunday via a short video, in which he also mentions when he expects to be back in action: “I think I was going straight and a car turned out in front of me,” Strickland said. “I got into an accident going 45 miles per hour. I was unconscious for about three hours. I got knee surgery last night, the doctor said it’s not that bad. So I should be back at it in a few months.” The day prior, he shared an image of himself in a neck brace: Strickland (20-3) last fought in October, defeating Nordine Taleb via second-round TKO at UFC Moncton. He’s alternated wins and losses in his last five bouts and holds a UFC record of 7-3. Afficher l’article complet
  9. Zabit Magomedsharipov has been unbeatable in the Octagon so far, but he could be getting a major step-up in competition next when he takes on veteran Jeremy Stephens. MMA Fighting confirmed with sources that Magomedsharipov (16-1) and Stephens (28-15) are in talks to face one another in a featherweight bout at UFC 235 on March 2 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, following an initial report by ESPN. In four UFC appearances, Magomedsharipov has gone 4-0 to extend his overall win streak to 12 straight. Three of those UFC wins have come by way of submission, including a rare Suloev Stretch kneebar submission of Brandon Davis in his last outing at UFC 228 in September. Stephens is coming off of a busy 2018 in which he recorded back-to-back knockout wins over Doo Ho Choi and Josh Emmett before losing via first-round TKO to former featherweight champion Jose Aldo in July. He has won three of his last four fights and is 15-14 inside the Octagon. When he makes his next walk to the cage, Stephens will join Jim Miller as one of only two fighters with at least 30 UFC appearances. “Lil Heathen” took to Instagram on Monday to express his enthusiasm for the matchup. Afficher l’article complet
  10. LOS ANGELES — At a press conference Monday at his new Spider Kick gym in Los Angeles, Anderson Silva discusses his upcoming UFC 234 fight with Israel Adesanya, criticisms levied at him by friend “Jacare” Souza, still wanting to fight Georges St-Pierre and Conor McGregor, boxing and much more. Afficher l’article complet
  11. Former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir headlined a list of four fighters to be issued medical suspensions in the aftermath of Bellator’s Hawaiian double-header weekend. The Hawaii Boxing Commission released the event’s finalized medical suspension report to MMA Fighting on Monday. Mir suffered a second-round defeat to Javy Ayala via submission due to strikes in Bellator 212’s co-main event. As a result of damage sustained in the contest, Mir will be forced to sit out 30 days before returning to active competition, per Hawaii commission officials. The three other fighters who received similar medical suspensions were Kala Hose (60 days), Kaeo Meyers (30 days), and Kona Oliveira (30 days). Bellator’s Hawaiian double-header took place Dec. 14 and Dec. 15 at the Neal S. Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu. Bellator 212’s main card aired live on DAZN and Paramount Network, while Bellator 213’s main card aired live solely on DAZN. A complete list of Bellator 212 and Bellator 213’s medical suspensions can be seen below. Bellator 212 Frank Mir: Suspended 30 days Kaeo Meyers: Suspended 30 days Bellator 213 Kona Oliveira: Suspended 30 days Kala Hose: Suspended 60 days Afficher l’article complet
  12. LOS ANGELES — Anderson Silva doesn’t seem to appreciate recent comments made about him by former training partner Ronaldo Souza. “Jacare” said in a live chat with the Brazilian website PVT last week that he didn’t believe Silva would deserve a UFC middleweight title shot if he beats Israel Adesanya at UFC 234 in February. UFC president Dana White told Silva that a victory would earn him that No. 1 contender spot. Silva said Monday at a press conference at his new Spider Kick gym that he was “surprised” to hear Souza’s comments, especially because of the history between the two men dating back to their time in Brazil as teammates. “‘Jacare,’ when he come to train to my team in Brazil, I just opened the door of my gym and I helped a lot and supported a lot,” Silva said. “I’m very surprised that ‘Jacare’ was talking about that situation, especially because he respects me. I tried to help ‘Jacare’ many times. I fight with Dana and Ed Soares one time when ‘Jacare’ came close to fighting for the belt.” Souza, who just beat Chris Weidman at UFC 230 in November, said Silva, the legendary former champ, is coming off a suspension for a positive drug test and would only be getting an opportunity for the belt because of his name. Robert Whittaker defends the title against Kelvin Gastelum in the main event of the UFC 234 card that Silva vs. Adesanya will take place at in Melbourne, Australia. ”In my (jiu-jitsu) days, I competed in the state tournament to earn a spot in the World Championship. If I didn’t win the state champion, I didn’t fight the Worlds,” Souza said. “(If I won), no one would jump the line. Now, because the guy has a name and everything… The reality is, Anderson is coming off doping, man. Anderson is out of the ranking.” Silva, 43, has not fought since beating Derek Brunson by unanimous decision at UFC 208 in February 2017. “The Spider” failed a drug test, the second one of his career, late last year. In July, USADA, the UFC’s anti-doping partner, announced that Silva would be suspended for one year, retroactive to November 2017. The agency found that Silva, who was facing a four-year ban as a second-time offender, had failed the drug test due to the ingesting of a tainted supplement. Silva (34-8, 1 NC) has just that one win over Brunson dating back to 2012. Souza (26-6, 1 NC) also has a win over Brunson and is coming off the victory over Weidman, who likely would have earned a title shot had he won last month. Silva said previously that one of the reasons why he accepted the fight with Adesanya was because White promised a win would earn him a title shot. Silva’s message to his old friend is that this was not his choice — it was the UFC’s. “I don’t know [why] Jacare is doing this, but it’s not my fault,” Silva said. “I try to do my best in my job. And that’s the point Dana offered to me, to fight for the belt again. It’s not my fault. I need to say ‘Jaca,’ it’s not me. It’s Dana White.” Afficher l’article complet
  13. Al Iaquinta has headlined the past two events he’s fought at and his coach Ray Longo thinks it’s time for him to reel in the biggest fish in MMA. Few fighters in the UFC’s lightweight division are hotter than Iaquinta right now. Having just picked up second unanimous decision win over fellow contender Kevin Lee this past Saturday at UFC on FOX 31 in Milwaukee, Iaquinta has now won six of his last seven fights with his only loss during that stretch coming via unanimous decision to Khabib Nurmagomedov. That fight, which headlined UFC 223 in April, only came about after Iaquinta was pulled from a bout with Paul Felder so that Nurmagomedov would have an opponent for a scheduled lightweight championship bout that saw two different opponents (Tony Ferguson, then Max Holloway) withdraw. Now that Iaquinta is back on the winning track, Longo wants to match him up with UFC star Conor McGregor, one of the promotion’s most proven draws. “I’d really like to see him fight Conor next,” Longo told Luke Thomas on The MMA Hour. “I don’t think Conor deserves the Khabib rematch at all. It looks like they’re going to give Ferguson Khabib, which is 100 percent fair. That makes fair sense, not everything is fair sense, it’s money sense. “But I’d like to see Al get a big money fight against a great guy who can bring a lot of eyeballs to pay-per-view. I think that would be great. I think Al deserves it and I think that’s a great matchup. I’d love to see it and I’d love to be a part of it.” Though Iaquinta has long been known by the moniker “Raging Al”, he appeared to show a softer side both in the lead-up and aftermath of the UFC on FOX 31 main event. He made little attempt to insult Lee and after out-striking him on fight night, he was nothing but respectful afterwards as well. This more mature Iaquinta could find himself forced to engage in mental warfare should he and McGregor be paired up, but Longo joked that he’s more worried about what McGregor would dig up on himself than his fighter. “I think I take that back, I don’t even think I want that in my life,” Longo said. “I think I’d rather run for political office than have that guy researching, doing my background checks. But I don’t think Al gives a shit. I think it’s all good. I think Conor knows who he can get away with that shit with and who he can’t, he’s a street kid. I think that will be to no avail and that’s all good stuff. “It’s entertainment at the end of the day, I don’t take anything personal at this point. Al just wants to fight. It’s almost like what he did with Kevin Lee. Same Al. That’s what you want to say? Now’s your time to do it. It’s put up or shut up.” Even taking into account the enormous success he’s had, Iaquinta is one of several contenders in a 155-pound division that is arguably the deepest in all of MMA. UFC on FOX 31 was almost a showcase for the division, with Iaquinta, Edson Barboza, and Charles Oliveira shining on the main card, and promising prospects Drakkar Klose and Joaquim Silva picking up important wins on the preliminaries. And that’s not even mentioning the likes of Ferguson and Dustin Poirier who are waiting in the wings for the right opponent. Post-fight, Iaquinta mentioned Ferguson as a potential opponent and that’s a matchup Longo would welcome if Ferguson and Nurmagomedov are not booked to compete against one another soon. “That’s a great fight. I got Ferguson up there,” Longo said. “Ferguson is unbelievable, so that’s a great challenge for Al, but I think Ferguson does deserve the fight with Khabib. I’m just going based on that. “Al’s going to take any fight, I think he deserves a big fight for sure either way it goes. I think Ferguson, the Khabib fight is the way to go because Ferguson, what else can that guy do in the division? I think it’s only fair to give him the title fight. But if it has to be Al for some reason then that’s fine, that’s great.” Afficher l’article complet
  14. UFC featherweight Bharat Vijay Kandare will be sidelined for two years. The 29-year-old Indian fighter has accepted a two-year suspension after violating the UFC’s Anti-Doping Policy in an out-of-competition drug test conducted on July 23, USADA officials announced Monday. Kandare tested positive for exogenous boldenone — an anabolic agent — and its metabolites in the failed test, as well as a metabolite of tamoxifen, which USADA classifies as a hormone and metabolic modulator. Kandares’s two-year suspension is retroactive to Nov. 2, the date of his initial provisional suspension. Kandare (5-2) has competed only once in the UFC. He lost his promotional debut via first-round submission to Song Yadong last November at UFC Shanghai. Kandare was scheduled to compete in a bantamweight contest earlier this year against Wuliji Buren at UFC 227 but withdrew from the contest. “The goal of the UFC Anti-Doping Program is to deter the use of performance-enhancing drugs and this necessarily means we will identify and hold accountable those who use performance-enhancing substances to gain an advantage in the Octagon,” USADA CEO Travis Tygart said Monday in a statement. “As the Program continues to grow and innovate, we will do our best to continue to protect clean athletes so that athletes can win in the Octagon without cheating and endangering their health and safety and that of their competitors.” Kandare will be cleared to return to UFC competition on Nov. 2, 2020. Afficher l’article complet
  15. Bobby Green might have had one foot out the Octagon door this weekend, but don’t shut the cage on him just yet. Saturday’s UFC on FOX 31 preliminary card on Saturday saw Green lose a unanimous decision to Drakkar Klose and then shortly after announce his retirement via Instagram (Green has since made his account private and he’s working to delete all of his social media), citing issues with the judging as one reason for his decision. Green spoke to MMA Fighting on Monday to offer some clarity on the situation, though he couldn’t say for sure whether this was the last time fans will see him compete. “It’s still fresh, I don’t f*kin’ know,” Green said. “I just don’t feel like the sport will understand me. It’s okay. It don’t understand me, it don’t understand my style, they don’t understand how I talk, they don’t understand that I’m trying to be a showman. This is a show. They came to see the show. When everybody comes to see my show, they go, ‘That was so f*cking different.’ It’s different, I bring that different.” In 34 pro bouts, Green has suffered nine losses and five of those have come on the scorecards. He doesn’t have an issue with all of those calls, but he’s confident that he defeated Klose and he called it the “worst” decision he’s had to deal with in his career. Green’s style, which often sees him leaving his hands low during his fights and employing lots of subtle movements and feints, was not enough to convince the judges that he’d won on Saturday and he acknowledged that there are things he’s doing in the cage that might not translate live. “I’m really sad about the way judging is. I think that we need to have better judging,” Green said. “We need to do different things with MMA. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying the fight’s not close, you can see certain things going certain ways. I understand how people can see certain things. But if you truly sit down and watch that tape, you’ll see the true winner.” The 32-year-old lightweight was also unhappy with what he saw as illegal tactics on Klose’s part, especially since referee Keith Peterson let Klose get away with it. “This motherf*cker grabbed my gloves at least three times. You’ve got to watch the video. He’s grabbing my gloves,” Green said. “That’s a blatant point deduction. That should be a point deduction — the ref doesn’t stop it and just separate ‘em. No, that’s a point deduction, that’s a cheat. “I could see if there’s a low blow, that’s a low blow, that’s a warning and then if it happens again, they take points and shit like that. In this situation, no, that’s a blatant cheat.” Missing out on a win bonus stung for Green as much as the usual pain that comes from losing a fight. He thought his varied striking was enough to get the decision (an argument at least somewhat supported by FightMetric stats that show Green having out-landed Klose in every round) and that Klose was swinging “big and crazy” for the most part, with his best shots coming from “stupid little leg kicks”. Green doesn’t plan to change his approach anytime soon and if he can’t figure out how to win over the judges, then he’s strongly considering moving on to a line of work that lets him provide for and spend more time with his three kids. “I’m really trying to put a show on for the fans, but the style is very different to digest,” Green said. “I just do different things and I feel like if they’re not going to understand my style, that’s when I’m like, ‘Maybe I shouldn’t be dealing with this.’ I’ve been putting all this time into this stuff and I need to have some type of reward at the end of this. “If I’m not doing this for my kids’ better future, why am I doing it? I think I should spend more time with them and do a normal job if I’m making $30,000. I could do a normal job and I’d be around more.” Pressed on the question of retirement, Green was non-committal, though his frustration with the cycle of training, cutting weight (he says making weight for the Klose fight was particularly grueling), fighting, paying gym fees, and then starting that all over again is evident. Making matters worse, Green was only able to log two fights in 2018 after injuries forced him to withdraw from two other bookings. Still, given that he emerged relatively unscathed from the Klose fight, it sounds like Green hasn’t completely abandoned the idea of getting back in there and proving to everyone that his unorthodox style works. “I’m ready to get back in there to show people — I’ll go back in there next month to fight again and show you all that you gotta watch me, you’ve gotta watch my fighting style,” Green said. “It’s f*cking crazy, it’s like this little slippy bully, it looks like he’s hitting me, but he just barely glanced. It’s just this weird thing where people think he’s really hitting me. I don’t think I’m ever going to get understood in terms of my style. That’s what the problem is. “I don’t know right now in terms of how I feel about that. I’m already getting to where I’m like, ‘Man, f*ck this shit.’ I’m just not gonna be understood.” Afficher l’article complet

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