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  1. BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Veteran UFC flyweight Dustin Ortiz might not be the backup plan if Henry Cejudo or T.J. Dillashaw fail to make weight. But Ortiz will still hit the 125-pound mark – just in case. “It’s all about the opportunity and being ready for him, so I’ll be there at 125 on the dot,” he told MMAjunkie in advance of his bout against Joseph Benavidez at UFC on ESPN+ 1, which takes place Saturday at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.. “Hey, I’ll fight T.J. I’ll fight Henry. It doesn’t matter. “That’s the kind of fighter people want to see, and that’s the kind of fighter I am. I haven’t turned down any fights in the UFC. Maybe I asked for more time. I took short-notice fights. So I’ve got what, the third most UFC fights in flyweight history? I wasn’t the first guy here, but I’m still here. So that says something. Ortiz was called up after Benavidez asked to take a fight instead of merely getting paid to make weight in case his services were needed. It’s Ortiz’s second go-around with the two-time title challenger, who beat him via decision in 2014 and looks to get a third shot at the belt. Although there’s been a lot of talk about the flyweight division being shuttered in the event of a Dillashaw win, Ortiz doesn’t put much stock into the headlines. “Every fight is a save-the-division fight,” he said. “Every fight is the most important fight of your career when you get to the UFC. I treat them all the same. I’m showing up very prepared. I’m looking to knock out Joe in the first round, just like I did in my last couple of fights.” To hear more from Ortiz, check out the video above. For more on UFC on ESPN+ 1, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site. Voir l'article complet
  2. BROOKLYN, N.Y. – One-time UFC light heavyweight title challenger Glover Teixeira is switching up his style to make sure his final fighting years are successful. When Teixeira (27-7 MMA, 10-5 UFC) thinks about retirement, the 39-year-old Brazilian doesn’t have a set date. But he doesn’t want to stick around too long. “I want to keep fighting,” Teixeira, who on Saturday faces short-notice replacement Karl Roberson at UFC on ESPN+ 1, told MMAjunkie on Thursday at media day. “I want to prove it to myself. I feel great. I feel my conditioning is there, and I train with young guys. “But, yeah, I don’t want to be fighting in old age and have bad fights.” Related Video: UFC on ESPN+ 1 media day face-offs UFC on ESPN+ 1: Aging Glover Teixeira knows he 'can't just bang it out' anymore Teixeira’s UFC career has seesawed in recent years with wins over up-and-comers and bad losses to top contenders. But he still aims to fight several times this year. When he decides to hang up his gloves, it will be his own decision. He doesn’t take any sort of lesson from watching his former training partner, UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell, suffer a dramatic knockout loss in a comeback fight against Tito Ortiz this past November. “It has nothing to do (with that),” Teixeira said. “Chuck does it because he loves to do it. He’s one of the best of all time, and he’s always going to be one of the best of all time.” Teixeira said he’ll always be the aggressive fighter that throws heavy leather in the octagon. He’ll just be a little smarter as he moves forward. For more on UFC on ESPN+ 1, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site. Gallery Photos: UFC on ESPN+ 1 open workouts view 11 images Voir l'article complet
  3. MMAjunkie Radio co-host and MMAjunkie fight analyst Dan Tom breaks down the UFC’s top bouts. Today, we look at the featured prelim for UFC on ESPN+ 1. UFC on ESPN+ 1 takes place Saturday at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. The main card steams on ESPN+ following prelims on ESPN and ESPN+. Also see: UFC Brooklyn main event breakdown: Can Cejudo calm Dillashaw’s chaos? Alexander Hernandez (10-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) Gallery Photos: Best of Alexander Hernandez view 18 images Staple info: Height: 5’9″ Age: 26 Weight: 155 lbs. Reach: 77″ Last fight: Decision win over Olivier Aubin-Mercier (7-28-18) Camp: Ohana Academy (Texas) Stance/striking style: Switch-stance/kickboxing Risk management: Fair Supplemental info: + Regional MMA title + Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt + Wrestling base + 4 KO victories + 2 submission wins + 5 first-round finishes + KO power ^ Heavy-handed striker + Athletic and explosive mover ^ Will shift stances + Strong inside the clinch ^ Good dirty boxing and knees + Demonstrates good wrestling + Shows solid submission grappling Donald Cerrone (14-11 MMA, 21-8 UFC) Gallery Photos: Best of Donald Cerrone view 156 images Staple info: Height: 6’1″ Age: 35 Weight: 155 lbs. Reach: 73″ Last fight: Submission win over Mike Perry(Nov. 10, 2018) Camp: BMF Ranch (New Mexico) Stance/striking style: Orthodox/muay Thai Risk management: Fair Supplemental info: + Multiple muay Thai titles ^ 28-0 as a pro kickboxer + 9 KO victories + 17 submission wins + 15 first-round finishes + KO power + Intelligent strike setups ^ Feints, reads, reacts + Devastating head kicks + Accurate and intercepting knees + Hard leg kicks ^ Most landed in UFC history + Underrated wrestling ability + Excellent transitional grappler Point of interest: Pressure’s on Serving as the featured prelim on ESPN is a fun lightweight fight between two men who aren’t the type to shy away from the pressure cooker of combat. Alexander Hernandez, in just two UFC fights, already has caught the attention of pros and pundits alike with the way he carries himself both in and out of the cage. The 26-year-old standout hails from the Ohana Academy in San Antonio, Texas, but has spent time in both the Pacific Northwest and Southern California, cross-training with the likes of T.J. Dillashaw and many others. Looking up to the current 135-pound champion, Hernandez almost mimics Dillashaw’s shifting sensibilities, moving like a much smaller man. Staying light yet loaded on his feet, Hernandez seems to keep a good sense of range, exploding on the drop of a dime. Coupled with his ability to wrestle and strike within small spaces, Hernandez could make for a deceptively difficult matchup for many in the division. That said, there’s no denying that the kid from Texas will have his biggest test before him in the form of Donald Cerrone. A pronounced muay Thai striker, Cerrone embraces his kickboxing base, using leg kicks and teeps from a distance. Mixing in his punches appropriately to both the head and body, Cerrone will draw out his opponent’s defenses to set up the fight-ending head kicks that comprise his highlight reel. In recent years, the 13-year pro has proven to provide much more than kicks and knees standing, showing strides in his ability to connect punches inside the pocket or in combination. Related Alexander Hernandez predicts 'violent handoff' of torch from Donald Cerrone at UFC on ESPN+ 1 Since working with Brandon Gibson, the more recent iterations of Cerrone have him moving his head and torso offline and at angles, unloading his punches with different mechanics than before. Often punching his way out of exchanges with his left hook, Cerrone will feed his newfound flow into his patented head kicks, displaying an arsenal that’s much more symbiotic than before. Still, the man known as “Cowboy” traditionally has struggled with fighters who can pressure early, which is what makes a matchup with Hernandez so compelling. Next point of interest: Level-changing threats 1 2 …3Voir l'article complet
  4. NEW YORK – The past year hasn’t been easy for Paige VanZant in terms of her fighting career. She had multiple surgeries to repair a broken arm but is finally healthy and prepared to return Saturday night. VanZant (7-4 MMA, 4-3 UFC) meets Rachael Ostovich (4-4 MMA, 1-1 UFC) in a women’s flyweight bout at UFC on ESPN+ 1. VanZant has dealt with layoffs of more than a year before, but this was the first one caused by injury. Although VanZant was able to accomplish some positive things from a personal perspective – such as getting married – the time off still hasn’t been easy. “This was by far the most challenging, especially because I was forced to not train,” VanZant told MMAjunkie Thursday at media day. “During all those opportunities, I was on ‘Dancing With The Stars’ living out an amazing dream. I was still able to train and being athletic and do everything 100 percent. I had to just sit at home (this time), which was awful. Everyone else is like, ‘Dream vacation.’ I couldn’t do anything. I was able to go to the gym and watch, but it was hard to be able to say, ’Don’t do anything.’” Related Video: UFC on ESPN+ 1 media day face-offs Rachael Ostovich before UFC on ESPN+ 1: 'I already feel like I won' just by fighting UFC on ESPN+ 1 takes place at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. VanZant vs. Ostovich is part of the main card, which streams on ESPN+ following televised prelims on ESPN and early prelims on ESPN+. VanZant admits there were some serious low moments over the past 12 months. The most difficult happened when she learned that, after months of recovery, she needed a second surgery to repair the damage to her arm. All the trials and tribulations have made VanZant stronger, though, she said, because it forced her to address some potential weaknesses. “I’ve been working with a mental coach, with an athletic coach to try to get the mental side stronger,” VanZant said. “It’s hard to come back from such a significant injury and significant layoff. That’s one thing I think is going to be a huge addition to my coach. “Going into every fight I have those doubts and those questions and those fears, but I feel, for this one, it feels right. Everything feels right, and it’s falling into place perfectly. This is my moment to show I really belong right here, right now.” Related Rachael Ostovich assures Greg Hardy 'there's no negative' while meeting him at UFC Brooklyn For VanZant, the matchup with Ostovich represents an opportunity to get back on track. She hasn’t won a fight since August 2016 and is coming off back-to-back losses, the most recent of which marked her UFC debut at 125 pounds. VanZant said she’s feeling the effects of being out of competition for so long, particularly when it comes to the weight cut. “I cannot believe that I ever used to make 115, especially cause I’m walking around, and I don’t see myself as being much smaller than anybody in the 125 division,” VanZant said. “My coaches and my husband, I’ve never cut to 115 with this camp, and they were like, ‘There’s no way.’ I can’t believe I used to do 115.’ “I’m getting so hungry, and I don’t know why they do these media days on Thursday, the hardest weight cut day. I feel like I’m really cranky, and I’m snapping at some people. I’m not trying to. But I feel good. It’s typical. This is the way I feel every weight cut, and cutting any amount of weight is miserable. But I’m looking forward to getting through it and performing on Saturday.” VanZant called the matchup with Ostovich a “real test” after her injury layoff. She believes it’s an advantageous pairing to help her get back on track and put her in position to make a run toward the top of the weight class. “Winning this fight, I will have my first win in this division,” VanZant said. “I’ve got to continue to climb up the rankings. I would love to fight somebody in the top 15, continue to fight someone ranked and move my way up.” For more on UFC on ESPN+ 1, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site. Gallery Photos: Best of Paige VanZant view 31 images Voir l'article complet
  5. MMAjunkie Radio kicks off tonight at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT) with guests David Branch, Eric Albarracin and Nasrat Haqparast. MMAjunkie Radio airs from 8 to 10 p.m. ET (5 to 7 p.m. PT), live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. You can watch and listen live above or on MMAjunkie’s YouTube page. Additionally, SiriusXM Fight Nation (Ch. 93) airs the show live, or you can catch an on-demand replay on the SiriusXM app. MMAjunkie Radio listener guide: HOW TO WATCH (ONLINE): Watch a live stream on MMAjunkie’s YouTube page. HOW TO CALL: MMAjunkie Radio takes phone calls from listeners throughout the show. Call the MMAjunkie Radio hotline at (866) 522-2846. HOW TO VISIT THE SHOW: You can watch MMAjunkie Radio live and in person at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The booth is located in the resort’s sports book next to the Mandalay Bay poker room. To plan a trip to Sin City and MMAjunkie Radio, go to www.mandalaybay.com. (Note: You must be 21 or older to enter the casino.) HOW TO INTERACT: Follow MMAjunkie Radio on your favorite social-media platforms, including Twitter, Facebookand Instagram. HOW TO SUBSCRIBE: Never miss an episode of MMAjunkie by subscribing via iTunes, Stitcher or Audioboom. Voir l'article complet
  6. BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Colby Covington has been screaming from the rooftops about his treatment at the hands of the UFC, giving interviews to all major MMA media outlets about being passed over for a welterweight title shot. UFC President Dana White hasn’t heard any of it – or so he told reporters Thursday at a press conference for UFC on ESPN+ 1. “I haven’t heard one thing about Colby Covington,” he said. But if you’re asking White what he thinks about Covington’s apparent status as the No. 2 contender, he’d say what he always says about staying in the title hunt. Related Twitter Mailbag: Does Colby Covington deserve our sympathy now? Colby Covington: Dana White is a piece of (expletive) person with no morals or values Colby Covington rails at UFC over title snub, vows to confront Dana White “When opportunities pop up, take ’em,” White said in response to a question from MMAjunkie. “When opportunity knocks, answer the door. Period, end of story.” Covington (14-1 MMA, 9-1 UFC) recently told MMAjunkie Radio he didn’t believe he was being punished for refusing champ Tyron Woodley (19-3-1 MMA, 9-2-1 UFC) this past fall at UFC 228. Why else, he said, would he receive two subsequent offers to fight Woodley in November and January? Instead, Covington pointed to a conspiracy between the UFC and manager Ali Abdelaziz, who went to bat for the promotion in its ongoing anti-trust litigation (and denied any wrongdoing in going to bat for his client, Kamaru Usman, who will face Woodley at UFC 235 on March 2 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas). White didn’t address Covington’s theory, because he claims not to have kept up on current events (though MMAjunkie did request comment on this story). But White agrees the trash-talking contender isn’t being punished – he simply lost his place in line. Related Colby Covington picks Tyron Woodley to 'smoke' Kamaru Usman at UFC 235 What we learned about UFC title matchmaking from Woodley, Usman, Covington and White “You can ask anybody who’s been on this stage for a long time, when we call, if you take the fight, you take the fight. And if you don’t, other people will,” White said. “That’s how this thing goes. It keeps rolling. When we call and we make an offer, you take it. He didn’t. “He’ll get another shot. It’s just not going to be when he wanted and when he thought it was coming. Usman went in there and fought that fight (vs. Rafael dos Anjos). I said that night, I wasn’t shy about it, ‘Usman looked good tonight. I’d actually like to see Usman versus Woodley,’ and we got it done.” Covington has said he’ll only accept a title fight for his next UFC bout – or he’ll seek his release from the promotion. He floated the idea of a career in WWE and said he’s enough of a draw that he no longer needs the UFC to build his brand. He even promised to physically confront White at the next UFC event. White clearly begs to differ. And he’s not making any promises about when that next call will come. “I don’t know, we’ll see,” he said. For more on UFC 235, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site. Gallery Photos: Best of Colby Covington view 22 images Voir l'article complet
  7. BROOKLYN, N.Y. – The state of the UFC flyweight division still remains somewhat of a mystery heading into the UFC on ESPN+ 1 title fight between Henry Cejudo and T.J. Dillashaw. UFC President Dana White made it on Thursday that no clear answers will be coming until after the fight. Cejudo (13-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC), the UFC flyweight champ who welcomes bantamweight champ Dillashaw (16-3 MMA, 12-3 UFC) down to his weight class for the title fight, has said numerous times that he wants to “resurrect” the 125-pound class, which seemingly has been on the chopping block for several months. Although there are flyweight fights booked into March, the UFC has done little to assure what will happen beyond that. Dillashaw coming down to take the belt would seemingly put the division on life support (if it isn’t already), but Cejudo vows to win and keep it around, which he told White at the UFC on ESPN+ 1 pre-fight news conference. Related UFC on ESPN+ 1 press conference face-offs video: Cejudo whips out snake in front of Dillashaw Twitter Mailbag: What are Henry Cejudo and T.J. Dillashaw really fighting over, anyway? “With all due respect Dana, you did day at one point that women’s fighting would never enter (the UFC),” Cejudo said. “Ronda Rousey became one of the biggest superstars. I know there’s a place in your heart. What I am saying is: Let’s make a deal. I beat this man Saturday night, the flyweight division stays.” Unfortunately for Cejudo, White simply smiled and didn’t offer a response that would take away from speculation the weight class is being dissolved. “We’ll see what happens on Saturday,” White said. “Let’s see what happens.” Cejudo believes former UFC champ Demetrious Johnson, who he dethroned as the only flyweight champ in company history at UFC 227 in August, didn’t do a ton to generate interest and excitement for the division. Cejudo plans on being a different type of champ, though, he said. From Cejudo’s perspective, he isn’t just fighting for his own future. He’s also fighting for everyone else in the division. “This is much bigger than me,” Cejudo said. “This is for all the flyweights that are not big enough to make 135 pounds. I’m fighting for their family. There’s a big inspiration for me. When I’ inspired – I know I can get this done. There’s no better person to – the UFC, Dana – then to throw the Hail Mary to me.” Related UFC on ESPN+ 1 open workouts reaction video: Any cause for concern with Cejudo or Dillashaw? T.J. Dillashaw says 'scared' Henry Cejudo 'shaking in his boots' as UFC on ESPN+ 1 draws near Henry Cejudo is sacrificing to fight T.J. Dillashaw on ESPN+, which is OK – for now Dillashaw, however, seems entirely indifferent when it comes to the future of the division. He just wants to become a double champion to enhance his legacy and said he wouldn’t be bother if the UFC opts to get rid of flyweights. “I’m doing this for myself,” Dillashaw said. “This is a selfish sport. I’m winning for myself. I want to be the greatest.” Although Cejudo did not like Dillashaw’s answer, he said it won’t matter because he’s not giving up the belt. “Saturday night, the flyweight division is going to be resurrected,” Cejudo said. “Let it be known.” UFC on ESPN+ 1 takes place at Barclays Center, with a main card that streams on ESPN+ following televised prelims on ESPN and early prelims on ESPN+ 1. For more on UFC on ESPN+ 1, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site. Gallery Photos: UFC on ESPN+ 1 open workouts view 11 images Voir l'article complet
  8. BROOKLYN, N.Y. – UFC lightweight Alexander Hernandez has had some, well, colorful things to say about Donald Cerrone in the buildup to their fight Saturday night. But Hernandez (10-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) came with a full clip in a verbal shootout against Cerrone (34-11 MMA, 21-8 UFC) on Thursday at the pre-fight press conference for UFC on ESPN+ 1, savaging the UFC veteran in several exchanges. Hernandez, 26, initially thanked Cerrone for taking the fight “maybe against his better judgement,” and the shots continued to be fired from that point on. “I’m looking through the fighter,” Hernandez said. “I’m looking at the man and think the persona’s a big distraction. I just see myself facing an insecure little lad, swinging on a saddle with a pop-gun and a feather in his hat.” Related Alexander Hernandez predicts 'violent handoff' of torch from Donald Cerrone at UFC on ESPN+ 1 UFC on ESPN+ 1's 'Cowboy' Cerrone hopes path to UFC title goes through Conor McGregor Cerrone, who showed visible signs of a tough weigh cut and admitted his drop “sucks,” tried to nip things in the bud early. “That’s good,” he replied after attempting to reproduce Hernandez’s initial salvo. “I can’t wait for Saturday. But listen, my little friend, I’m not one to sit there and talk, so if you’ve got big things to say, we’re fighting on Saturday. Keep it professional. We just stood in the back, and you didn’t have much to say.” “You didn’t have much to say, either, partner,” replied Hernandez. “And I’ll tell you this, little friend, I’ll be sending your geriatric ass yee-hawing back to the stables on Saturday.” No stranger to a verbally abusive opponent, Cerrone’s calm exterior showed little cracks. Related UFC on ESPN+ 1 press conference face-offs video: Cejudo whips out snake in front of Dillashaw Alexander Hernandez plans on 'completely merking' Donald Cerrone at UFC on ESPN+ 1 “I understand you’re talking live and Saturday’s coming, so let’s fight for money on Saturday,” Cerrone said. “But I’m not the guy to sit here and talk (expletive) to you because I know what floor you’re on – they (expletive) up and put me in the wrong room. I’m right next to you, you little mother(expletive). So if you have something to say, you come knock on my door, OK?” For Hernandez, it was just a sign that he was on the right track. “We’re not on the same floor,” Hernandez said. “I’m in a different suite, for one. And for two, you’re all buddy-buddy in the back. It’s called healthy and nice. I do look healthy. I look great. You look like you spent the last two terms in the (expletive) Oval Office. You look worn out. You look aged and withered.” Longevity was an easy point of contention in a fight between one of the most active fighters in UFC history and a relative newcomer who’s yet to face any setbacks in the octagon. Cerrone, 35, played the experience card against Hernandez, pointing out his No. 2 ranking at the time of his departure to the welterweight division. “That means I beat everybody up there except for the champion,” Cerrone said. “For him to come back and for him to say he’s going to steamroll me, that I’m a stepping stone. (Expletive), I’m a mother(expletive) boulder in your way.” “You are a jester in the way,” Hernandez interrupted. “You’re an active participant. You’re concerned with entertaining people. I’m on the road to the throne. I’m on my way to kingship.” After a 1-4 octagon skid, the narrative on Cerrone’s comeback centered on a newfound maturity as he welcomed a son into the world. A submission win over Mike Perry in November showed “Cowboy” was still dangerous when backed into a corner, and the move to lightweight promised a different end than the setbacks that accompanied his previous attempts at UFC gold. Related Video: UFC on ESPN+ 1 media day face-offs Hernandez savagely mocked Cerrone’s turnaround. “On your 40th fight, if it took you that long to figure out what your goals are and that you’re meant to be a champion, you’re about 39 too (expletive) late,” Hernandez said. “For me, I know why I’m in this. I know my purpose. I know my mission, and I’m 100 percent committed to one thing. “Unlike old day-drinking Don over there, who’s got mixed mistresses and a number of extracurricular activities to hide from the greatest fear in his life, which is in front of him, I focus on one thing and one thing only. I know I’m going to be a champion. He’s No. 2, he’s always going to be No. 2. I’m going to be No. 1.” Cerrone claims he didn’t know Hernandez when the UFC proposed Saturday’s fight at Barclays Center, and he hasn’t trained specifically for the bout. Hernandez represents a stopover on his trip back up the lightweight ladder. Although Hernandez disagrees on their respective directions, he didn’t dispute the idea that his job is to show he’s more than just a guy with a loud sweater and a sharp tongue. “He went from proposing the fight against (expletive Conor) McGregor, and then they give him to me,” Hernandez said. “Yeah, I’d be thinking, ‘Who the (expletive) is this kid?’ I’m sure everybody’s asking that: Who the (expletive) am I? On Saturday, I’ll put all that curiosity to rest.” For more on UFC on ESPN+ 1, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site. Gallery Photos: UFC on ESPN+ 1 open workouts view 11 images Voir l'article complet
  9. NEW YORK – Almost from the moment he agreed to fight Greg Hardy, Allen Crowder’s goal was bigger than himself. Crowder (9-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) vowed to teach Hardy (3-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) a lesson when they faced off at UFC on ESPN+ 1. But now, he’s more focused on coming out ahead. “I need this win,” Crowder told MMAjunkie at a media day for Saturday’s ESPN+ 1 card at Barclays Center. “I want this win, and I’m going to get this win.” Related Rachael Ostovich assures Greg Hardy 'there's no negative' while meeting him at UFC Brooklyn Greg Hardy wants to be 'the great American heavyweight' of more than just UFC Crowder fell short in his octagon debut and thought Hardy would be a good opponent when scouting him on Dana White’s Contender Series. Back then, Hardy’s well-documented past with domestic violence wasn’t in the spotlight – at least not as much. But when the UFC booked his octagon debut on the same card as Rachael Ostovich, a victim in an alleged domestic assault, it shined a whole new light on the bout. One month after criticizing the UFC’s decision, Crowder takes a different stance on the situation. He just wants to focus on the fight. “I’m not God,” Crowder said. “I can’t judge the man. I don’t agree with what he done, and I’m sure he repents for his mistakes. We’ll go forward from here.” The real mission for Crowder is to take Hardy to a place he’s never been: the second round. “He’s got a hell of a right hand,” Crowder said. “He’s shown he’s got great knockout power. I want to get him into the second round, and then I want to get him on the ground and knock him out. Any way I’ve got to get the win, I’m going to get the win.” As for delivering a comeuppance, Crowder will take the attention for beating Hardy. But he the real lessons aren’t his to teach. “I want those fans, so I want to win for that reason,” Crowder said. “(Hardy has) got to deal with what he’s done. I just want to go out there and put on a great show, and I want to get the win, because I want to get the win. He’s got to repent for what he did, so that’s on him.” For more on UFC on ESPN+ 1, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site. Gallery Photos: UFC on ESPN+ 1 open workouts view 11 images Voir l'article complet
  10. BROOKLYN, N.Y. – The UFC on ESPN+ 1 pre-fight press conference took place Thursday, and MMAjunkie was on the scene for what turned out to be quite the show. UFC on ESPN+ 1 takes place Saturday at Barclays Center in Brooklyn and streams on ESPN+ with prelims featured on ESPN. In the main event, bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw moves down to challenge Henry Cejudo for his flyweight title. In the featured prelim on ESPN, veteran Donald Cerrone makes his return to lightweight to meet up-and-comer Alexander Hernandez. All four fighters were on hand for the pre-fight press conference at Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, and they delivered some heated and also awkward moments. Did @HenryCejudo just pull out a for his stare down with @TJDillashaw? Why yes he did. #UFCBrooklyn pic.twitter.com/DnTjRvpgb0 — MMAjunkie (@MMAjunkie) January 17, 2019 Chief among the awkwardness? Cejudo pulling out a rubber snake from a plastic bag and whipping it to the ground before staring down Dillashaw. That really happened. You can watch the face-offs in the video above. For more on UFC on ESPN+ 1, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site. Gallery Photos: UFC on ESPN+ 1 open workouts view 11 images Voir l'article complet
  11. What’s really at stake when the UFC flyweight champ meets the UFC bantamweight champ at UFC on ESPN+ 1 on Saturday night? Plus, are we really going to start talking about triple champs now? Really?! That and other pressing questions in this week’s Twitter Mailbag. To ask a question of your own, tweet to @BenFowlkesMMA. * * * * If TJ doesn’t make weight, can (and should) they still fight, but for the 135 pound belt? — Benny Papa (@BennyPapa987) January 16, 2019 Aren’t they already fighting for the 135-pound belt, when you think about it? The rules say that, in a bantamweight title fight, you can weigh in no heavier than 135 pounds. If you show up at 133 pounds, the title’s still on the line. Being under the weight limit doesn’t affect the status of the fight. So whether T.J. Dillashaw successfully makes flyweight or not, as long as he’s 135 pounds or under we ought to consider the bantamweight title on the line. After all, how could he lose to Henry Cejudo and still claim legitimacy at a higher weight class? The whole champion aura will crumble. Might as well put the belt in the mail and send it off to Cejudo’s house. Related T.J. Dillashaw says 'scared' Henry Cejudo 'shaking in his boots' as UFC on ESPN+ 1 draws near Is T.J. Dillashaw's weight cut for UFC flyweight title bid worth risk? Dan Hardy isn't so sure What I want to know is to what extent the outcome of this fight will affect the flyweight division. Dillashaw has said he’s being paid to “kill” the weight class by beating its champ. Does that mean that, if he fails, the division stays? Because those would be some pretty high stakes. And either way, seems like something the UFC ought to have made clear when it booked this fight. MMA, like politics, is a 'what have you done for me lately' type system. It could be argued that the UFC's made one PR stumble after another since the WME buyout. But if ESPN comes in and spins their magic, upping the presentation of the sport, will any previous backlash matter? — RoughAndTumbleweed (@RRumbleweed) January 16, 2019 I’ll be very interested to see if and how the presentation of the UFC’s product changes on ESPN. In the past, the UFC has always been very protective of its production, and with good reason. MMA was such a new thing, and in such a fragile place within the public consciousness, that you couldn’t trust some outside company who might not understand the sport or its fans to shape the whole presentation. But ESPN brings a certain mainstream sports credibility. If you’re on the “worldwide leader” on a Saturday night, you must be legit. If ESPN can make it feel even more so, it might encourage regular old stick-and-ball sports fans to give this niche product another look. What I’m most interested in seeing, though, is what the experience of watching an event on ESPN+ will be like. Is it going to have the same pacing that events on Fight Pass did, where we move quickly from one fight to the next without a lot of ads and filler? Or is it going to feel more like those laborious FOX Sports 1 events, which treated every main event like a dessert you could only get to by choking down your portion Farmers Only commercials first? I don’t think I have to tell you which one I’m hoping for. Especially when they’ve got me paying five bucks a month for it. Without actually spending much time in his peak, is Cain Velasquez past his? This guy was supposed to dominate the HW division for years, years ago. — ee Jackson (@Topherjackson81) January 16, 2019 We’ve seen no evidence to suggest that Cain Velasquez is past his prime. That’s due in large part to the fact that we’ve seen very little evidence of anything from him in the past couple years. The last time we saw him fight, at UFC 200 in 2016, he still looked pretty scary. We might assume that his skills have degraded since then due purely to the inexorable march of time, but in fairness we don’t actually know if that’s true. He’s gotten older, but we can’t say yet if he’s gotten better or worse. If he shows up in February and smokes Francis Ngannou while looking like the killer Cain of old, I won’t be surprised. If it turns out he’s lost a step or is just feeling some rust from nearly three years away, that wouldn’t surprise me either. Know what would surprise me, though? If he comes back and actually sticks around on a consistent basis without any more long injury layoffs. Do you forsee that triple champs or champ champ champs will become a thing if TJ beats Cejudo and goes after Max? It's propably only possible in the lower weight divisions, perhaps Holloway could go to 155 and then 170 but that seems unlikely. Should we just ask champs to defend? — Óskar Örn Árnason (@OskarEagle) January 16, 2019 Nope. Nonononononono. No. We are not doing this. We are not responding to the annoying double champ trend by adding on triple champs. We can’t. We won’t. It’s just too stupid to be allowed. We’ve yet to see any of the champ-champs actually maintain that status by concurrently defending belts in both divisions. A champ-champ-champ would be even worse, plus it just sounds ridiculous. I understand the urge to collect belts so you have all this shiny hardware to show off. I also understand that fighters want to cement their legacies by doing something no one else has done, which requires them to go to greater and greater lengths now that two-division champions are practically a cliche. But come on, this is getting dumb. #TMB Hey Ben, how about a triple threat match between Khabib, Nate and Conor? The way they have been going at it on Twitter, is the only way to settle it once and for all. — TLB (@tfc_tech_170) January 17, 2019 Anderson Silva wants the UFC to bring back TRT for "older fighters." 1) Wouldn't be surprised if he pissed hot. 2) If you're openly admitting that you need something extra to be competitive cause you're older, does that mean it's time to hang 'em up? — Myku (@WorldsWorstHero) January 16, 2019 Didn’t we already have this discussion in MMA? Like, five years ago? Giving some fighters but not others permission to use steroids – yes, synthetic testosterone is classified as a steroid by most anti-doping agencies – is a bad idea. It does not level the playing field for older fighters, and it inevitably leads to abuse. I get Anderson Silva’s argument. There are definitely older fighters who could keep going a little longer if we’d let them juice their way through the natural limitations of their bodies. My question is, aside from the older fighters themselves, who out there really thinks it’s that vital to keep these guys going? If aging fighters like Silva are forced to retire once their bodies can’t stop up to the rigors of training anymore, that doesn’t seem like the worst thing in the world to me. Ben Fowlkes is MMAjunkie and USA TODAY’s MMA columnist. Follow him on Twitter at @BenFowlkesMMA. Twitter Mailbag appears every Thursday on MMAjunkie. Voir l'article complet
  12. UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw is set to move down to challenge flyweight champ Henry Cejudo on Saturday night in Brooklyn, which means the finishing touches of “the most intricately executed and calculated-out weight cut in the history” of MMA are being done as we speak. UFC on ESPN+ 1 weight-ins will take place Friday morning, and the focus remains squarely on Dillashaw and how he’ll find it in him to (safely) get down to 125 pounds. Dillashaw has maintained all along that dropping down wouldn’t be an issue, and his team has gone to great lengths to make sure that’s the case. Related UFC on ESPN+ 1 open workouts reaction video: Any cause for concern with Cejudo or Dillashaw? Is T.J. Dillashaw's weight cut for UFC flyweight title bid worth risk? Dan Hardy isn't so sure At Thursday’s open workouts, Dillashaw worked out the longest, and nothing seemed out of place to MMAjunkie’s John Morgan and Mike Bohn, who were on hand to observe. For our Daily Debate, we asked: Are you worried about Dillashaw making weight for his title fight with Cejudo? The results, via Twitter: Today's #DailyDebate question for @MMAjunkieRadio: Are you worried about T.J. Dillashaw making weight for #UFCBrooklyn? — MMAjunkie (@MMAjunkie) January 16, 2019 To hear the MMAjunkie Radio crew of “Gorgeous” George, “Goze,” and Dan Tom weigh in on the question, watch the video above. You can also vote in our second-chance poll here: For more on UFC on ESPN+ 1, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site. Gallery Photos: UFC on ESPN+ 1 open workouts view 11 images Voir l'article complet
  13. UFC flyweight Rachael Ostovich had just finished an interview for her fight at UFC on ESPN+ 1 when she ran into Greg Hardy. So much had been written and said about them up to that moment Wednesday. But even before then, Ostovich had already resolved to meet Hardy in person. “Ever since the article started blowing up, I knew, ‘I have to meet him,'” Ostovich on Thursday told TSN.com. “I have to go and just squash it and get it out of the way.” Related Rachael Ostovich before UFC on ESPN+ 1: 'I already feel like I won' just by fighting Greg Hardy wants to be 'the great American heavyweight' of more than just UFC Arnold Berdon allegedly heard threatening Rachael Ostovich's life in disturbing cell phone video Critics have slammed the UFC’s decision to place Ostovich (4-4 MMA, 1-1 UFC), a victim in a recent alleged domestic violence incident, on the same card as Hardy (3-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC), who carries a conviction for domestic violence, for the promotion’s ESPN debut on Saturday night at Barclays Center. The network repeatedly has declined comment on the situation, while UFC President Dana White has taken an aggressive stance, saying Ostovich’s approval is the only thing that matters. Ostovich, who faces Paige VanZant (7-4 MMA, 4-3 UFC) on the ESPN+1 main card, understands why people are alarmed at the situation. But she won’t let anything get between her fight, and she’s determined not to let headlines define her experience with former NFL standout Hardy, who meets Allen Crowder (9-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) in his UFC debut. VIDEO: @rachaelostovich discusses meeting Greg Hardy during #UFCBrooklyn fight week pic.twitter.com/QTcldMGOT9 — Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) January 17, 2019 “This is a fight,” Ostovich said. “We’re going into a fight Saturday, and we need to make sure we’re not emotionally drained. I just want to make sure my boxes are X’d out, and I’m good to go on Saturday night. “Speaking with him, I told him, ‘There’s no negative with me and toward you. I know the media can blow things out of proportion, but just to let you know, that’s not my character. I don’t care. I’m actually happy you’re here, and I’m happy you’re making a comeback, and I hope that me and you can work together on different sides and use it for good.’ Show people that, no matter what, you can turn a bad situation into a good one.” Related Dana White fed up, done talking about Greg Hardy-Rachael Ostovich controversy Ostovich previously told MMAjunkie that even while she lay in a hospital bed after her alleged attack, she was determined to remain on the card. Despite suffering a fractured orbital in the alleged attack by her husband, she convinced White to let her face VanZant in what will be her third octagon bout. “I feel like it’s not only a challenge to myself – fighting in general is one of the most difficult sports not just physically, but mentally all around,” Ostovich told MMAjunkie. “Then I add all of this on me, this extra stuff, it’s really defining. I’m really figuring out and finding out who I am as a person. Hopefully through my life people can get motivated and inspired through it.” For more on UFC on ESPN+ 1, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site. Gallery Photos: UFC on ESPN+ 1 open workouts view 11 images Voir l'article complet
  14. Stream or download Wednesday’s episode of MMAjunkie Radio with Duane Ludwig, Aaron Pico and Damien Brown. Ludwig, who is UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw’s head coach, called in to preview this weekend’s title fight vs. Henry Cejudo at UFC on ESPN+ 1. Pico is set to face fellow featherweight Henry Corrales at Bellator 214 on Jan. 26. Brown, who is coming off of a lightweight win over Daron Cruickshank at Rizin FF 14 last month, called in to talk about what’s next for him. Stream or download the entire episode over at AudioBoom.com, or watch a replay in the video above. Voir l'article complet
  15. NEW YORK – As we inch closer to the UFC’s new era on ESPN, the top fighters on the card inched close to each other during Thursday’s media day at the host hotel. UFC on ESPN+ 1 takes place Saturday at Barclays Center in Brooklyn and streams on ESPN+ with prelims featured on ESPN. In the main event, bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw moves down to challenge Henry Cejudo for his flyweight title. In the featured prelim on ESPN, veteran Donald Cerrone makes his return to lightweight to meet up-and-comer Alexander Hernandez. Related UFC on ESPN+ 1 open workouts reaction video: Any cause for concern with Cejudo or Dillashaw? Rachael Ostovich before UFC on ESPN+ 1: 'I already feel like I won' just by fighting Greg Hardy wants to be 'the great American heavyweight' of more than just UFC Those four fighters were not on hand for media since they will be at a press conference scheduled for later Thursday. All other fighters were available at media day, including former NFL All-Pro Greg Hardy and Allen Crowder, who meet in the heavyweight co-headliner, as well as main-card fighters Rachael Ostovich and Paige VanZant. Check out the face-offs from those fighters and the rest in the video above. For more on UFC on ESPN+ 1, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site. Gallery Photos: UFC on ESPN+ 1 open workouts view 11 images Voir l'article complet

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