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  1. Paulo Costa is expected to challenge Israel Adesanya for the UFC middleweight gold next. | Esther Lin, MMA Fighting Israel Adesanya’s coach Eugene Bareman recently said that “nothing has come over my desk in regards” to a UFC title fight between his protege and No. 1 contender Paulo Costa, but “Borrachinha’s” manager Wallid Ismail disputes that claim. Ismail reached out to MMA Fighting to say that Bareman “lied” about never being offered a date for a championship fight with the undefeated Brazilian. According to the manager, UFC considered booking the middleweight title for UFC 251 on July 11 in Abu Dhabi, but eventually went a different direction. “His coach lied,” Ismail told MMA Fighting. “He has to understand that when he says something in Australia we can see it right away in Brazil through the internet. He can’t lie. There was an offer for July 11, and then they said August, and now they are talking September or October.” Costa was expected to face Adesanya earlier this year, but a lingering arm injury prevented it from happening. Yoel Romero stepped in to challenge “The Last Stylebender” instead, losing a lackluster decision in March. “Adesanya can’t choose opponents, this is not a f***ing video game,” Ismail said. “If he wants to choose opponents, just buy the UFC game. This is MMA and you have to put the No. 1 contender against the champion. The point is, this champion had a disaster of a performance last time he fought, so ‘Borrachinha’ is coming to save this pay-per-view.” Even though Costa and his team were targeting a July date with Adesanya, they also campaigned for a coaching gig on The Ultimate Fighter. Ismail says this rivalry would break ratings records and “Dana White loved the idea.” Ismail doesn’t have a definite answer from the UFC on whether the reality show will actually happen, though. “It would be huge,” Ismail said of a possible TUF season and the actual title fight. “Everybody loves watching two guys that hate each other. When was the last time you saw two undefeated guys fighting for the belt? It’s going to be incredible.” Costa lives and trains in Brazil and would not be allowed in the United States for a UFC fight due to travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The UFC has a series of events booked for Las Vegas in August, so Costa is not an option for any of those shows. With a date yet to be determined, Ismail sends a final message to the unbeaten 185-pound king. “Don’t run away from this fight please,” Ismail said. “His coach is trying to act like a manager now and that’s how careers end. We’re hoping to have a date some time this year, and I just hope they stop crying. Adesanya is crying. He can’t say anything online until he actually signs the deal. If you’re offered a fight and don’t take it, you can’t say anything.” Afficher l’article complet
  2. Esther Lin, MMA Fighting MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck and Alexander K. Lee react to the weekend’s massive news of Jorge Masvidal stepping in to face Kamaru Usman for the welterweight title in the new main event of UFC 251. Afficher l’article complet
  3. Gilbert Burns was pulled from the UFC 251 main event after testing positive for COVID-19. | Esther Lin, MMA Fighting Back in his house in Florida after the devastating news of Gilbert Burns’ positive test for the coronavirus, which knocked him off a UFC 251 title bout with Kamaru Usman on July 11, Herbert Burns still can’t believe what just happened. The Burns brothers, alongside training partner and UFC veteran Vagner Rocha, left Florida to Las Vegas late last week and were tested for the virus upon arrival at the hotel, and “no one had any symptoms.” Gilbert had a light headache, he said, but they thought it was due to his pre-fight diet. The UFC welterweight contender was on point with his diet before hopping on a long flight to Abu Dhabi on Friday night, so he just laid on his bed and watched movies all day Thursday during quarantine. The next morning, however, a phone call changed his plans. “It was crazy,” Herbert Burns told MMA Fighting. “He was woken up in the morning, the UFC said they were going to his room to test him again. My test result came back negative a bit later, at around 2 p.m. And then the UFC came and said his first test came back positive, and so did Vagner’s. The news of Greg Jones’ also testing positive came later.” The UFC pulled the plug on the championship bout before Burns’ second test came back, Herbert said. “It’s tough, a very complicated situation,” Herbert said. “‘Durinho’ trained really hard, he was fine — and I believe he will be able to conquer this belt for Brazil, for us, but some things are out of our control. You have to let it in God’s hands now. If He took this opportunity from ‘Durinho’s’ hands now it’s because something better will come down the line.” Burns has no idea how they might have gotten infected by the virus, but recognizes that the pandemic is getting out of control in Florida. Burns confirmed that Kami Barzini and Aung La N Sang, coach and teammate, also recently tested positive for COVID-19, but doesn’t think they were the ones to pass it on to the 170-pounder. Gilbert and his corners decided to drive all the way from Las Vegas to Florida after his fight got cancelled, and spoke with his wife, family and psychologist to “accept” the situation. Herbert, the only one to test negative, hopped on a flight back and is quarantined at home before being tested one more time on Monday. “I’ve been in similar situations before,” Herbert said, “When I was fighting for ONE Championship and never, ever got the chance to fight for the belt. I was very frustrated and couldn’t accept it, I wanted to control the situation and ended up never fighting for the belt there. But now I’m in the UFC, and I have two great wins here. “God takes one thing because He has something better down the line, and ‘Durinho’ accepted this way quicker than me [laughs].” Burns is now focused on getting back to 100 percent and being healthy enough to start a new training camp. Jorge Masvidal will step in as a replacement on July 11, pending a negative COVID-19 test to allow him to travel to Abu Dhabi alongside his team. Afficher l’article complet
  4. Esther Lin, MMA Fighting Jorge Masvidal knew his worth. The UFC’s only “BMF” champion had done his research to understand the kind of money he was generating and he wasn’t going to budge until the promotion came to him with an offer worth his time. When that didn’t happen, Masvidal walked away from the negotiating table and the UFC opted to book Gilbert Burns against Kamaru Usman instead. On Friday night, Masvidal and his team got a call from the UFC asking if he’d like to revisit that discussion because Burns tested positive for COVID-19 and they wanted him to face Usman on short notice. Twenty-four hours later, the UFC and Masvidal agreed to terms on a new deal and now the new UFC 251 main event is official. “We had to break them down,” Masvidal told ESPN when asked how his deal with the UFC came together on short notice. “That’s why some people don’t seem too happy that we’re announcing it, they didn’t want to talk about it too much. You can see it in their faces over their anger and anguish. I’m going to do my job always, which is to provide for me and my family, I’m not going to give a f**k what anybody says, this guy says, that guy says. “I’ve been in this business a while. I know what I generate. We know what we generate. It’s a numbers game. The numbers are there. It’s not ‘I think I deserve this.’ No, I see on paper what I bring in. Me and my team know what I deserve.” According to Masvidal, there were a lot of problems with the initial offer to fight Usman on July 11. Not only was the UFC not catering to his demands for back end on the pay-per-view profits but the guaranteed money up front was unacceptable as well. “I’m not asking for them to pay me something outrageous,” Masvidal explained. “No. I’m asking to give me more money of what I do bring in off the pay-per-view side and that’s what we were fighting for. We came to a pretty good deal so I’m happy right now. “The initial deal with [Kamaru Usman] was a sh*t deal on the pay-per-view end and on the guarantee side, so I have two negatives. I could understand you don’t want to give me that much on the guaranteed [money]. But on the pay-per-view, what I bring in, what people purchase, I want more money than that and they weren’t budging, and that was that. So all this craziness had to happen for them to come to their senses.” With the new deal in place, Masvidal admits he didn’t get everything he wanted in the negotiations but the terms were much more acceptable than what had previously been offered. He’s not discussing particulars but Masvidal appears satisfied with his new contract as he prepares to fight for the welterweight title on Saturday night. “Now I didn’t get exactly what I wanted but I got very, very close to it,” Masvidal said. “So I’m taking the fight. I’m happy more than anything cause I get to break this guy’s face and get paid for it. But one thing I’m not going to do, which I’ve done for a long part of my career is get underpaid. That’s not going to happen no more. Not from here going forward. “Since I came back from Mexico after the [Darren] Till fight, me and my management sat down, we discussed the numbers where I needed to be at and we needed to hit those very quick. We’re not there yet but we’re headed in that direction. So moving forward after this fight, they’re going to treat me accordingly or I’ll just step in last minute, six days to go and get paid then I guess. I’m going to get paid every time out.” While he did have to ink a new contract extension because “you want to get paid, you gotta sign a 10 fight contract every time,” Masvidal is a much happier fighter today than he was a week ago. And apparently the UFC feels the same way. “They love me,” Masvidal said about the promotion. “I just saved their f**king asses. I’m literally their favorite person in the whole f**king world right now.” With contract negotiations settled and fight official, the biggest concern surrounding Masvidal now is how well prepared could he be after accepting a fight against the best welterweight in the sport on six days’ notice? Well, Masvidal’s head coach Mike Brown told MMA Fighting previously that he had been working with top wrestlers including three-time NCAA champion Bo Nickal as well as helping Dustin Poirier prepare for his recent fight against Dan Hooker. Add to that after 48 professional bouts, Masvidal already knows how to fight and he doesn’t see Usman as the kind of threat that requires three months of training. “I’m not in Ben Askren shape cause he’s a hell of a wrestler or even fight a guy like Darren Till,” Masvidal said. “But am I in shape for this bum I’m about to decapitate and baptize? Hell yeah.” Despite the late notice and a less than perfect training camp, Masvidal isn’t any less confident in the results coming his way on Saturday night. In fact, he promises another highlight reel ending except this time he’ll become a UFC champion afterwards. “Me baptizing his ass in front of the whole world,” Masvidal predicted. “Cold blooded as can be. His body’s [gasping] for air as I got my hand raised over him. “I’m going to baptize him for the world to see. It’s going to be violent. It’s going to start violent. It’s going to end violent.” Afficher l’article complet
  5. Thiago Santos and Jon Jones at UFC 239 in Las Vegas on July 6 | Esther Lin, MMA Fighting Few things infuriate MMA fans more than a fight being scored incorrectly, though the term “robbery” tends to be thrown around carelessly and is often steeped in bias. With Robbery Review, we’ll take a look back at controversial fights and determine whether the judges were rightly criticized for their decision or if pundits need to examine their own knee-jerk reactions. There’s a segment of critics out there who believe that UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones should be on a two-fight losing streak right now. We’ve already covered how “Bones” got away with one in his most recent title defense when he earned a unanimous nod over Dominick Reyes, but it was the fight before that close call that had fans beginning to question if Jones’ dominance was a thing of the past. Monday marks the one-year anniversary of Jones’ five-round fight with Thiago Santos at UFC 239, a bout that saw Santos go the distance with the champ despite suffering severe injuries to his left leg. “Marreta” didn’t just make it to the final bell, in the eyes of some he did enough to capture the title and become the first man to hand Jones a legitimate loss. Santos fell short on the scorecards, but with the benefit of hindsight we can see whether he was truly robbed of his opportunity to wear the light heavyweight crown. What was the official result? Jon Jones def. Thiago Santos via split decision. How did the fight go? Let’s get this out of the way right now: As far as sheer output goes, there isn’t a lot to score in this fight (for reasons that will become clear in the second round). Santos supporters would have you believe that Jones was absolutely handled in the striking department here, a suggestion that doesn’t stand up to the slightest level of scrutiny. That said, Santos won round one. Call it Jones being a slow starter or just wary of an opponent with one-strike KO potential, but Jones seemed hesitant to take risks. The first round was primarily a battle of leg kicks and it was Santos who drew the first roar from the crowd with a wicked kick to Jones’ calf that had Jones dancing for a second. Jones caught a Santos kick, but couldn’t get a takedown or connect with a spinning back elbow on the follow-up. Suddenly, we have the makings of a live dog. Santos showed beautiful work on the feet in round one and he grew bolder as the round progressed. The commentary leaned towards Santos after the first five minutes, and rightfully so. Alas, just seconds into round two, disaster struck. Santos landed a leg kick, but his plant leg buckled. He was visibly hurt. Jones attempted to pounce, but was met with a flurry of punches. It says a lot that Jones remains respectful of Santos’ striking from this point forward despite it being obvious that Santos was hobbled. The champion looked to establish his jab, though he didn’t commit to it. Jones’ body work shouldn’t be ignored and he landed some powerful kicks to Santos’ mid-section throughout the fight. By the way, credit to Dr. Joe Rogan for identifying that Santos had a torn ACL in between rounds. It is crazy how Santos continued to throw effective kicks in the later rounds. Not only that, he was springing forward with punching combinations that weren’t 100 percent successful, but still enough to give Jones pause. It’s in the third that we see Jones assert himself though. A counter elbow by Jones knocked Santos down (more of a trip) and then he connected with a glancing flying knee. It also became clear that—for better or for worse—Jones had no interest in using his wrestling to win and he’s confident in his kickboxing. He admitted as much post-fight. The injury took a lot of steam out of Santos’ offense and Jones won the most convincing round of the fight yet heading into the championship frames. Jones had zero sympathy for Santos’ injuries as he continued to rifle kicks into Santos’ body and legs, including the dreaded oblique kick. His leg work was almost sinister, and I mean that as a compliment. Jones’ arm reach was finally starting to give Santos problems too and it looked like the fight was at worst, for Jones, tied up heading into round five. Both guys look fresh in the fifth and let’s just reiterate one more time that Santos was still winning exchanges despite competing with MULTIPLE TORN LIGAMENTS against arguably the greatest fighter in MMA history. He won the first minute of round five, but could he sustain it? Jones walked the challenger down and though his output wasn’t extraordinary, it was consistent. He’s scoring just enough. The question is, was Santos landing the harder strikes? He won the crowd over and if it were up to them, we would have heard “and new” at night’s end. But it wasn’t to be. What did the judges say? Michael Bell scored it 48-47 Jones. Derek Cleary scored it 48-47 Jones. Junichiro Kamijo scored it 48-47 Santos. The judges were in agreement on two of the rounds, giving Santos the first and Jones the third. Here’s the breakdown of the rest: Round 2 - Jones (Bell, Cleary) Round 4 - Santos (Cleary, Kamijo) Round 5 - Jones (Cleary, Kamijo) Cleary’s scorecard mattered the most in the final round as Bell had Jones up 39-37 on his card, while Kamijo had it 39-37 for Santos. Only Cleary had it tied through four rounds. What did the numbers say? (Statistics per UFC Stats) If we’re just looking at the raw stats, Jones has a credible claim that he matched Santos on the feet. Santos was unquestionably the busier fighter, but Jones was more effective. Here are the significant strike numbers: Jones — 59/90 (65 percent) Santos — 43/166 (25 percent) This isn’t to say that Santos should be penalized for inaccuracy, just that he may not have been as successful with some of his flurries as it appeared at first glance. After round one, which Santos won 11-7, Jones had the striking advantage in every round (R2: 11-7, R3: 14-6, R4: 11-8, R5: 16-11). It’s here that we need to mention the usual disclaimer that not all significant strikes are created equal and it’s certainly possible that Santos was landing the more damaging strikes even if he was connecting less frequently. One aspect of the fight that may have been overlooked is Jones’ body work. He ended up with a 16-7 advantage in that department, and also had the slight edge in head strikes (11-9) and leg strikes (32-27). There were no takedowns or knockdowns (including Jones’ counter elbow in round two that tripped up an off-balance Santos) in the fight. What did the media say? Of the 18 media member scores tallied by MMA Decisions, 14 scored the fight for Jones, 4 for Santos (including our own Jed Meshew). Four people gave the fight to Jones 49-46, while the biggest deviation came from MMA Junkie, who gave all five rounds (50-45) to the champion. What did the people say? (Data derived from MMA Decisions and Verdict MMA) Voters on MMA Decisions know what they saw and that’s a win for Santos. Almost 50 percent scored the fight 48-47 Santos, and the number goes over that mark if you count the 3.4 percent who scored it 49-46 for the challenger. The second highest fan score was 48-47 Jones at 29.7 percent, with 8.2 percent scoring it 49-46 Jones. A draw result was hardly considered as it garnered only 2.4 percent of the vote. Over at Verdict MMA, voters leaned the opposite way, giving Jones the last four rounds, including huge marks in the third and fourth. Jon Jones defeats Thiago Santos by split decision. The Global Scorecard results for this fight are very interesting.#UFC239 pic.twitter.com/gXWAn1MzdS — Verdict (@VerdictMMA) July 7, 2019 The Verdict MMA scoring system takes the cumulative total of every submitted fan score (filtering out aberrant scores like random 10-7s if they comprise less than one percent of the total) in every round and divides by the amount of submitted scores to determine the winner of each round and also in totality. Jones’ final margin of victory was 133 points. His performance in rounds three and four more than made up for the close second and fifth rounds, while Santos’ 46-point win in round one wasn’t enough to close the gap. This was a convincing win according to Verdict MMA math. MMA Fighting did not issue a formal poll following the fight, but did ask for fan feedback on the result, which can be seen in the conversation below: Jon Jones retains his light heavyweight belt, defeating Thiago Santos via split decision. Did you agree with the call? #UFC239 pic.twitter.com/FAMMmx2gB1 — MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) July 7, 2019 How did I score it? Jones won, despite a performance that was at times uninspiring and confounding. I distinctly recall giving Jones round 2-5 watching this live, but upon review I can see an argument for 48-47 Santos. The first and third round shouldn’t be up for dispute, but rounds two and five were close. I favored the defensive skills of Jones, which became more prominent as the fight progressed even as Santos kept searching for new ways to attack. He missed a lot though and I didn’t need a stat sheet to tell me that. Jones’ refusal to grapple also made me want to score the fight against him, but Santos doesn’t get points for Jones ignoring one of his greatest strengths. If anything, Jones is correct in his assessment that his striking held up against the highly vaunted kickboxing of “Marreta,” even though people won’t be mistaking Jones for prime Remy Bonjasky anytime soon. I actually stand by my original score of Jones 49-46. Upon review, Jones was scoring to the body more than people (including myself) remember and that was a big factor in him retaining. Was it a robbery? After seeing Jones go unchallenged for so long outside of a few rounds against Daniel Cormier, it would be fun to say “robbery” here, wouldn’t it? Santos winning the first round definitely shifted the whole narrative right out of the gate. An undersized challenger with a fan-friendly style, seeing Santos stand toe-to-toe with Jones was genuinely exciting. He was clearly up 10-9 to start and by round two the “Santos is doing better than expected” storyline was in full gear. Add in the fact that he was fighting with an injury and how could you not root for him? It’s a great story and Santos is heroic. But he wasn’t dominant against Jones and there isn’t enough evidence, anecdotal or statistical, to validate any outrage over the judges’ decision. The final verdict Not a robbery. Afficher l’article complet
  6. Esther Lin, MMA Fighting In the wake of Jorge Masvidal inking a deal to face welterweight champion Kamaru Usman at UFC 251, the promotion has also debuted a new poster for the event. Masvidal joined the card in rapid-fire fashion after Gilbert Burns was forced out of the main event following a positive test for COVID-19. In a matter of days, Masvidal came to an agreement with the UFC on a new deal, flew to Las Vegas to undergo his own COVID-19 test and now he’s en route to Abu Dhabi to face Usman on “Fight Island.” On Monday, the UFC revealed the new UFC 251 poster featuring Masvidal in the main event slot as he seeks to win his first major championship in the organization. Usman vs. Masvidal will headline the card, which will also feature two more title fights as Alexander Volkanovski takes on Max Holloway for the second time with the featherweight title up for grabs while Petr Yan and Jose Aldo will go to war to determine a new bantamweight champion. Afficher l’article complet
  7. Esther Lin, MMA Fighting With UFC 251 just days away, see how Alexander Volkanovski and Max Holloway ended up in the co-main event in Abu Dhabi. Afficher l’article complet
  8. Esther Lin, MMA Fighting The sting of losing the UFC featherweight championship didn’t really weigh Max Holloway down too much after falling to Alexander Volkanovski this past December. While many called him the greatest 145-pound fighter of all time, Holloway never bought into the hype or accolades surrounding his title reign and instead he just focused on the next contender standing in line to face him. He carried that same attitude out of his loss to Volkanovski as Holloway planned to face whoever the UFC put in front of him next but ultimately the promotion decided to do an immediate rematch now scheduled for July 11 on “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi. It turns out Holloway didn’t even need to request the fight because he says it was Volkanovski who requested another showdown with him as the Australian seeks to cement his championship status. “I didn’t ask for the rematch,” Holloway revealed when speaking to MMA Fighting. “I didn’t need to. He asked for it.” Automatic rematches for former champions can be tricky territory because a second consecutive loss means the chances of getting a third opportunity against the same fighter is virtually impossible. In recent history only Stipe Miocic has found success in an immediate rematch after he avenged a prior defeat to Daniel Cormier with a fourth-round TKO to reclaim the heavyweight title this past August. Prior that, a number of former champions fell short in their bids to win back the gold. Frankie Edgar beat B.J. Penn to become champion and then solidified his status as the best 155-pound fighter in the world with another win over the UFC Hall of Famer. Edgar then suffered the same fate after he lost his title to Benson Henderson and then came up short in a razor-close decision in the rematch. As the longest reigning middleweight champion in company history, Anderson Silva definitely deserved another shot at Chris Weidman after falling to him in their first meeting. Sadly, the rematch ended in devastating fashion after Silva broke his leg in the second round during a striking exchange. Holloway was actually responsible for handing Aldo back-to-back losses after they met on two consecutive occasions as well. Despite those odds seemingly stacked against him, the 28-year-old Hawaiian isn’t thinking much about what this rematch means or the chances that a win would likely set up a third showdown with Volkanovski in the future. “No pressure,” Holloway said. “I’m 0-0 every fight. You know this, my man. “The next fight is always the most important one. That’s how it works with the UFC - if you’re actually asking for the toughest fights. They give it to you if that’s what you want, and you know me. You know what I always ask for.” While he’s downplaying the significance of the immediate rematch, Holloway knows how much is on the line when he sets foot in the octagon this Saturday night at UFC 251. On top of all that, he had to deal with a less than ideal training camp due to the COVID-19 outbreak that swept the globe and forced Hawaiians to make a lot of shared sacrifices to slow down the spread of the deadly disease. In fact, Holloway did the majority of his work at home while speaking to his coaches over Zoom and without any sparring partners to push him for rounds at a time. He did stay healthy, which is a change of pace from the usual rigors of an intense training camp and Holloway is the last person in the world to make excuses, especially considering what other people were facing thanks to the coronavirus. Instead of complaining, Holloway put his extra energy towards those who needed it most. “It’s going to be a long road for Hawaii,” Holloway said. “Unemployment is one of the highest in the U.S. because we rely so much on tourism. When things got bad we got hit up by dozens of charities. Most important is people need to eat, so we’re working with the Hawaii FoodBank. We’ve done some things already and we have several more in the works. I hope to announce a couple more big campaigns next week. “I got to spend more time with [my family]. I got to reset. But yeah Hawaii is having a hard time. For my team, we’ve prioritized charitable work so we have a lot of stuff in the pipeline now. It’s always on our list but now it’s half our list. It’s just a different world and we have a responsibility to Hawaii.” While COVID-19 spikes have started popping up again all over the United States, Holloway is ready to put his full attention back on fighting starting with his title bout this weekend. If all goes well, Holloway will return home with a title to lift the spirits of his friends and family at home and then he hopes to make the featherweight division a little more active again. “I’m always trying to keep a high pace,” Holloway said. “I fought my last four title fights in 12 months. If I won at [UFC] 245 I probably would’ve tried to fight on the March card to be honest. “So it is what it is. When I can dictate the pace for the division, things move faster.” Afficher l’article complet
  9. Marlon Moraes | Esther Lin, MMA Fighting This weekend, the UFC will crown a new bantamweight champion when Petr Yan and Jose Aldo lock horns at UFC 251 on ‘Fight Island’. Unfortunately for one man, that leaves him out in the cold and it sounds like he’s not happy with the situation. Top contender Marlon Moraes is currently the No. 1-ranked bantamweight in the world and is coming off a split decision win over Jose Aldo at UFC 245. But despite beating Aldo, it is the former two-time featherweight champion (and current sixth-ranked bantamweight) who is getting a shot at the vacant title. Even worse for Moraes though, is that he’s been stuck sitting idly by on the sidelines while the rest of the division moves on. Since Moraes last competed, Aljamain Sterling staked his claim for the next title shot with a demolition of fifth-ranked Cory Sandhagen, and Cody Garbrandt rekindled some of the old magic that made him champion when he turned in a KO of the Year candidate over Raphael Assuncao. Both men have designs on the bantamweight title, creating a logjam at the top of the division, and Moraes’ lack of fight to reinsert himself in that conversation is starting to frustrate him. Taking to Instagram recently, Moraes vented his frustrations with the other 135 contenders and called out two former bantamweight champions, Garbrandt and Dominick Cruz, for fights. “I’m not the best making excuses!” Moraes wrote. “I was taught to say yes for every challenge. Get the F.. in the Ring and Fight. Enough is enough thats names available and they all saying No. what’s up? (Cody Garbrandt) fastest hands in all roster etc etc why No ??? (Dominick Cruz) best bantamweight all the time etc etc why no???” “Am I wrong???? Would you watch these fights?” Cruz, who most recently lost his own bantamweight title big against Henry Cejudo, failed to respond; however, Garbrandt was quick to reply, saying that he agree to fight in October. Prior to his KO of Assuncao last month, Garbrandt had lost three straight in the division, all by knockout. The win over Assuncao vaulted “No Love” back up the rankings and should Moraes and Garbrandt fight, the winner would certainly be on the short list to face the winner of Yan-Aldo. MUST-READ STORIES Out. Gilbert Burns tests positive for COVID-19, pulled from UFC 251 main event against Kamaru Usman. In. Jorge Masvidal passes COVID-19 test, fight against Kamaru Usman official for UFC 251. Condolences. Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, Khabib’s father, dies from COVID-19 complications. Business, man. Sean O’Malley ‘ain’t getting sh*t’ from Reebok so he’s starting his own apparel line along with the ‘Suga’ strain. Rankings. Behind the panel: A closer look at the UFC’s rankings system. VIDEO STEW Reaction to Gilbert Burns being out. This post-fight video from Poirier-Hooker is wild. These guys don’t get paid enough. Volkanovski at Fight Island. Max at Fight Island. How good was Ken Shamrock, actually? Free fight. LISTEN UP Severe MMA. Discussing UFC 251, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, and Brendan Schaub. SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE Hell of a promo. pic.twitter.com/u83Thd20CJ — danawhite (@danawhite) July 5, 2020 Ready to go. Shmoood #UFC251 pic.twitter.com/xSExxWEuVp — KAMARU USMAN (@USMAN84kg) July 6, 2020 Seal of approval. Real fights are better fights — Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) July 5, 2020 Salty. Real? I would maul you! I will out grapple you and out box you.. and I slap you up don’t talk abt real https://t.co/O8aQ5d8uEi — GILBERT BURNS DURINHO (@GilbertDurinho) July 6, 2020 LOL. Ugh now I gotta see that effing video all over Twitter this week. So annoying — Ye 2020 (@Benaskren) July 6, 2020 Imagine the most embarrassing moment of your life being replayed incessantly on twitter — Ye 2020 (@Benaskren) July 6, 2020 Suck it Helwani https://t.co/WfeQpBwiea — Ye 2020 (@Benaskren) July 6, 2020 Kinda makes you wonder why the UFC didn’t just pay Masvidal in the first place. When u hear Masvidal-Usman is on. pic.twitter.com/f0egMb6wHW — Bryce Mitchell (@ThugnastyMMA) July 5, 2020 Rumors. The Max/Volk fight at risk I Heard which is why masvidal got what he wanted in the deal || Good for him! @GamebredFighter — Josh Thomson (@THEREALPUNK) July 5, 2020 Lost revenue. I’m happy @USMAN84kg for a replacement opponent and I’m also heartbroken for @GilbertDurinho he still #1 contender — Ali Abdelaziz (@AliAbdelaziz00) July 5, 2020 Throwing shade. Shore and Wood declined to fight my cornerman on short notice. This 2 cowards don’t deserve to be the part of best fight organization in the world, because they picked easier options for themselves — Petr “No Mercy” Yan (@PetrYanUFC) July 6, 2020 Seems like Tony is interested. Wolverine. Seven days later, good as new! pic.twitter.com/T1gGmY6XHC — Dan Hangman Hooker (@danthehangman) July 5, 2020 Fight poster. The last stop on #UFCFIghtIsland! #InAbuDhabi @VisitAbuDhabi pic.twitter.com/yyMkJEPFwZ — UFC (@ufc) July 3, 2020 FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS Kamaru Usman (16-1) vs. Jorge Masvidal (35-12); UFC 251, July 11. Modestas Bukauskas (10-2) vs. Andreas Michailidis (12-3); UFC Fight Night, July 15. Aaron Phillips (12-3) vs. Jack Shore (12-0); UFC Fight Night, July 15. Carla Esparza (16-6) vs. Marina Rodriguez (12-0-2); UFC Fight Night, July 25. Nicolas Dalby (18-3-1) vs. Jesse Ronson (21-10); UFC Fight Night, July 25. Luke Sanders (13-3) vs. Chris Gutierrez (15-3-1); UFC Fight Night, Aug. 1. Frankie Saenz (12-6) vs. Jonathan Martinez (11-3); UFC Fight Night, Aug. 1. Peter Barrett (11-3) vs. Steve Garcia (11-4); UFC Fight Night, Aug. 8. FINAL THOUGHTS 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, add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting, and like us on Facebook. Afficher l’article complet
  10. Esther Lin, MMA Fighting The UFC 251 main event is now official. Late Sunday night, Jorge Masvidal received the results of his COVID-19 test, which cleared the way for him to fight Kamaru Usman with the welterweight title up for grabs on Saturday night on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. Multiple sources confirmed the news to MMA Fighting on Sunday with the UFC also announcing the main event as official. OFFICIAL. The BMF steps in on six days notice for #UFC251 @VisitAbuDhabi #InAbuDhabi pic.twitter.com/eNq5CZMTTM — UFC (@ufc) July 6, 2020 Both Masvidal and Usman traveled to Las Vegas on Sunday to put the finishing touches on their bout agreements as well as undergoing COVID-19 testing. Now the fighters will board private, chartered flights to Abu Dhabi on Monday. The athletes will not be on the same plane together, however, as Masvidal will fly on a private plane charter by his representatives at First Round Management. Of course after landing in Abu Dhabi, Usman, Masvidal and their coaches will undergo several more COVID-19 tests before officially being cleared to compete on Saturday night, but the biggest hurdle has now been cleared. The UFC came to an agreement with Masvidal in a matter of hours after Gilbert Burns was knocked out of the UFC 251 main event after he tested positive for the coronavirus. Once the two sides reached a deal, Masvidal boarded a flight bound for Las Vegas to undergo COVID-19 testing with hopes of fighting for the welterweight title six days later. Now the fight is official as Masvidal faces Usman in the UFC 251 main event from “Fight Island.” Afficher l’article complet
  11. Esther Lin, MMA Fighting Frankie Saenz and Jonathan Martinez will join the lineup for the UFC’s return to Las Vegas. Multiple people with knowledge of the promotion’s plans confirmed to MMA Fighting that the bantamweight matchup will take place Aug. 1 following an initial report from MMA Junkie. The event will take place at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas. Saenz will make his first walk to the octagon since March 2019 where he suffered a first-round TKO loss to Marlon Vera. The Fight Ready product entered that fight on back-to-back decision wins over Henry Briones and Merab Dvalishvili. Saenz prepares to make his 10th UFC appearance, holding a promotional record of 5-4. Martinez is 2-2 in his UFC run and looks to get back to the win column. After dropping his promotional debut to Andre Soukhamthath in October 2018, “Dragon” picked up consecutive victories over Wuliji Buren and Pingyuan Liu. In his most recent appearance, the Factory X trained 135er lost a controversial split decision to Andre Ewell at UFC 247 in February. The UFC’s Aug. 1 fight card will be headlined by a women’s bantamweight bout between former champion Holly Holm and surging contender Irene Aldana. Afficher l’article complet
  12. Esther Lin, MMA Fighting The Jorge Masvidal vs. Kamaru Usman fight is almost official for UFC 251. See how the pros, including Nate Diaz, reacted to the big news on Sunday below. Real fights are better fights — Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) July 5, 2020 Masvidal will likely lose on short notice but probably got paid big and that’s what was more important to him. If he loses they set up rematch with full length camp. — Ye 2020 (@Benaskren) July 5, 2020 When u hear Masvidal-Usman is on. pic.twitter.com/f0egMb6wHW — Bryce Mitchell (@ThugnastyMMA) July 5, 2020 Masvidal v Usman...here we go! Wild! #ufc251 — Kenny Florian (@kennyflorian) July 5, 2020 Jorge Masvidal is the Ultimate BMF — Leah McCourt (@leahmccourtmma) July 5, 2020 I’m happy @USMAN84kg for a replacement opponent and I’m also heartbroken for @GilbertDurinho he still #1 contender — Ali Abdelaziz (@AliAbdelaziz00) July 5, 2020 Why don’t they just let masvidal and usman fight in Vegas since they’re both already here and there’s no fans anyway — Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) July 5, 2020 Usman, only cuz Masvidal didn’t have a real camp. It’s gonna be a lot harder than people think though. Masvidal is a junkyard dog man. He’s gonna make it filthy and fun AF. — Josh Thomson (@THEREALPUNK) July 5, 2020 I mean couldn’t have been better timing for leverage for Jorge ehh — Brian Kelleher (@brianboom135) July 6, 2020 Afficher l’article complet
  13. Sage and Colbey Northcutt | Facebook Sage Northcutt couldn’t be happier that his ONE Championship journey has become a family affair. Though his own ONE Championship debut in May 2019 ended in a knockout loss to Cosmo Alexandre, Northcutt’s older sister Colbey fared better just six months later when she defeated Putri Padmi at a show in Singapore to pick up her first pro MMA victory. Whenever the two make their sophomore appearances for ONE, Northcutt is hoping that they are booked on the same card. “[Colbey’s] first fight for ONE Championship, it went great, it was amazing,” Northcutt said in a recent interview with MMA Fighting. “I can see that’s just the beginning for her. I think she’s gonna keep doing amazing things and getting better and better now that she’s training and able to keep improving. … I hope that me and Colbey can fight on the same card sometime in the future. That would be super cool. “We used to do that growing up when we first started having amateur fights for MMA, we used to fight on the same card. That would be so cool to do that for ONE Championship.” Both Sage, 24, and Colbey, 27, have an extensive martial arts background competing in karate and kickboxing dating back to their childhoods. Sage has won multiple youth championships in karate, while Colbey found success as an amateur kickboxer, and the two also competed in MMA as amateurs before turning pro. While Sage is eager to fight alongside Colbey again as they did many at many competitions growing up, ONE Championship star Angela Lee has previously spoken about the stress she feels fighting on the same shows as her brother Christian. Both Lees currently hold titles in the organization. Northcutt thinks being back on the same card as his sister would actually bring some much-needed relief. “I don’t know about added stress,” Northcutt said. “For me, having all the karate tournaments growing up with my sister and also competing as an amateur MMA fighter with my sister on the same card. Same night, same card, back-to-back. I didn’t really feel any added stress. “I felt kind of stress relief for me, I guess because I was getting to focus on my sister too and think about her doing great, then my coaches using that to pump me up because she always did amazing in her fights. I didn’t really feel any added stress, but I could definitely see something like that if things weren’t to pan out as what you’d want, or just being in that environment.” Northcutt expects ONE CEO Chatri Sityodtong to capitalize on having another pair of fighting siblings on the roster at some point. Overall, Northcutt speaks highly of what he’s seen so far in regards the promotion’s well-publicized emphasis on honor and respect as opposed to the climate of trash talk he’d become accustomed to with some North American promotions. It suits Northcutt, who has become known among fans for his politeness, though he admitted that things can get heated in the Northcutt household. One activity that his family has used to kill time during COVID-19 quarantine is the card game UNO and it has led to some heated sessions at the table. As supportive as Sage is of Colbey and her nascent MMA career, when it comes to family game night, it’s every Northcutt for themselves. “It gets super competitive,” Northcutt said. “Me and my family are always super competitive. Obviously, we don’t like to lose. “We can be super nice, but no one likes to lose. Especially UNO? Not happening.” Afficher l’article complet
  14. Esther Lin, MMA Fighting The Alexander Volkanovski vs. Max Holloway full fight video showcases the memorable first encounter between the two fighters at UFC 245. Volkanovski won his 18th straight fight, earning a unanimous decision (48-47 x2, 50-45) against Holloway in the co-main event on Dec. 14, 2019 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Watch their full fight above. Afficher l’article complet
  15. Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images When Frank Camacho needed an opponent on less than 72 hours notice, Justin Jaynes stepped in and made the most of his opportunity. “Guitar Hero” got to make his long awaited octagon debut at UFC on ESPN 11, finishing the tough and durable Camacho is just 41 seconds to earn his first UFC win, along with an extra $50,000 for “Performance of the Night.” Taking a short notice fight is nothing new for the 30-year-old Jaynes. In fact, the Xtreme Couture standout began his MMA career at the age of 17 in Michigan. After 47 amateur bouts—and fighting multiple nights during a single week in some cases—Jaynes knew the fighting path was the one he was born to take. The mentality he learned in the less than glamorous world of unsanctioned fighting sticks with him today. In Jaynes’ opinion, he’s one of the few remaining fighters who looks at the sport in that way. “We used to call those the ‘Wild Wild West’ days if you were around during that time,” Jaynes told MMA Fighting while appearing on What the Heck. “Those were the good old days, honestly. Those were the times where people fought because they wanted to see who the toughest mother f’er was. “All these business men nowadays—these 20 to 25-year-old kids—are coming up, ‘Oh, I want to handpick my opponents. I have an edge on him.’ F*ck that! We used to show up at the bar, ‘You’re tough. You’re tough. How much do you weigh? I weigh the same, let’s fight and let’s see who is tougher.’ I feel like MMA is getting away from that. Everyone sees the Conor McGregors talking sh*t, handpicking their opponents. I feel like I’m one of last generation of that kind of fighter who fought just to see who the baddest guy was.” After 19 professional appearances, putting together a four-fight streak of opening round finishes, and winning nine out of his last 10, it was long overdue for the Michigan-born fighter to get the call. With fights in multiple regional promotions around the U.S., Jaynes walked to hallowed octagon and didn’t feel those jitters most debutantes before him have described. “It was like any other fight,” Jaynes explained. “I feel like I deserved to be here for the last couple of years. I’ve been at Xtreme Couture since 2009 and I’ve trained with the best-of-the-best. I’ve trained with world champions. I know where I belong. I know how tough I am, so when I got in the octagon, it was the first time that I can remember that I wasn’t nervous. “Those fights on the regional scene were nerve wracking because it doesn’t matter who you’re fighting. Everybody has a puncher’s chance and I’ve fought at 170 and 185. I’m not knockoutable—if that’s even a word. I knew Frank and I were going to get into a phone booth and one of us was going down. I, obviously, hoped it was him. But when I was in the cage and Bruce Buffer was introducing me, I was shaking my head thinking, ‘Yup, I’m supposed to be here mother f*cker.’” Jaynes told his coaches before the fight began that he would be swinging for the fences until his opponent was knocked out, or he ran out of gas and would, ultimately, suffer the same fate. Both men were looking for a highlight reel, with the newcomer gaining the upper hand, stunning his opponent. After a flurry of devastating punches, the fight was stopped. The respect he had for Camacho was already through the roof. After those 41 seconds, it grew even more. “I have hit some people as hard as I can in my life and Frank has one of the best chins (in the sport),” Jaynes said. “He was out on his feet briefly, and even when the referee separates us he still tries to throw a punch. F*ckin hats off to him, man. He’s one of the toughest S.O.B.’s I’ve ever stepped in the cage with. I hit him with 100-percent power shots four, five, six times. “Hats off to Herb Dean for stepping in there when he did because Frank wasn’t going to quit.” Now that he has that elusive first UFC win under his belt, Jaynes has a list of fighters that are on his radar—including a fellow Michigan-bred fighter on the roster who owns a victory over Jaynes from their high school wrestling days. “I’ve got a hit list,” Jaynes stated. “Drakkar Klose—I think that would be a great fight. I would love to fight Drakkar because we have history since 2007. “Austin Hubbard, man, that would be sweet. He’s coming off a win, I’m coming off a win on the same show. I’d like to fight him, probably, the most. He beat my friend Max (Rohskopf) and I would like to redeem that loss. “If me and my manager decide to go to 145—which could happen because I’m only like 5’3” so moving down is an option—I’d love to fight Alex Caceres. He’s a great name, great fighter, has a lot of experience, and has a two-fight win streak. If I decide to move down, I’d love to get a shot at him, a true veteran of the sport. Those are the three names on my list and hopefully by August I’d like to be back in there.” Afficher l’article complet

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