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There will be no world championship on the line when Fabricio Werdum and Cain Velasquez meet for the second time in a UFC 207 bout on Friday, December 30 in Las Vegas. But don’t expect there to be any less intensity when two of the greatest heavyweights of all-time attempt to settle their score at T-Mobile Arena.Originally scheduled to face each other for the second time in February, an injury to Velasquez scrapped the bout, and heavyweight history was ultimately altered, as Werdum went on to lose the belt he took from Velasquez in June of 2015 to Stipe Miocic at UFC 198 in May.Since tha … Read the Full Article Here View full post on UFC News

I’m sure the folks at Reebok will be pleased they spent millions of dollars on an exclusive outfitting deal with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), only to learn that most mixed martial arts (MMA) fans are more likely to pick up a pair of New Balance.

Ahem, Nelson … if you would, please.

That’s according to recent data collected by YouGov, which maintains a growing database (over four million strong) designed to consistently measure people’s habits and opinions, which are then extracted by marketers to better target consumers.

From the official website:

New data from YouGov Profiles shows that 70% of people who’ve either attended a UFC event or watched one on TV within the past year are males aged 18-49 — probably not surprising given all the blood and violence on display. When comparing these UFC fans to American males aged 18-49 as a whole, however, different attitudes toward specific brands emerge.

A look at multiple tech brands, for example, reveals that 49% of UFC fans would consider purchasing a Samsung product when next on the market for a new device, compared to just 37% of men aged 18-49.

Other brands that UFC fans are significantly more likely to consider purchasing than individuals who share a similar background include Chevrolet, Buick, and Jeep for cars, Hennessy, Jim Beam, and Crown Royal for spirits, and New Balance, Wrangler, and Oakley for apparel.

That explains this foul odor…

While tastes change according to the flavor of the month, WME | IMG — who now own the world’s largest combat sports promotion — will undoubtedly be keeping a close eye on the ebb and flow of consumer habits.

Remember when TapouT Affliction Hoelzer Reich Pretorian was still a thing?

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In case you’re wondering, Dan Henderson is still pissed.

“Hendo” is a couple of weeks removed from his controversial decision loss to Michael Bisping in the UFC 204 pay-per-view (PPV) main event, which took place earlier this month in Manchester, England.

See the replay here.

And while UFC 204 was expected to serve as the final fight of Henderson’s storied mixed martial arts (MMA) career, the 46-year-old slugger could probably be talked into a rubber match … for the right price.

Henderson vents to

“It’s been a pretty mellow week since UFC 204, but I still haven’t reconciled myself with the scoring the judges put forth for my fight with Michael Bisping. I finally got around to watching the video of it last night, and I’ll admit, I’m pretty pissed about it. I was going to say frustrated, but that doesn’t quite cover the range of feelings I’ve got right now. If this fight had happened last year, and I hadn’t decided to make it my retirement fight, the fans would have demanded a trilogy. Hell, I’m pretty pissed off right now, and for the right money, I’m pretty sure I could be talked into the rubber match, not that I think he would accept another invitation to get beat up again. At the same time, I’m content with what I’ve done and in knowing, if only in my heart, that I won that fight.”

Henderson stopped Bisping at UFC 100 back in 2009.

“The Count” was pretty busted up following their 25-minute tilt across the pond and is currently riding the pine after getting slapped with a lengthy medical suspension. In addition, the winner of Chris Weidman vs. Yoel Romero, or perhaps Luke Rockhold vs. Ronaldo Souza, likely has first dibs on the Brit’s middleweight title.

Then again, some fighters (like this guy) get to do whatever the hell they want, so who knows.

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Jordan Parsons was 25 with 13 fights as a pro and three more from an amateur career that started when he was just 17. He’d spent a little less than a decade inside MMA gyms had only suffered one loss via knockout.

Still, when researchers cut open his brain after Parsons died as a result of injuries sustained in an alleged hit-and-run accident earlier this year, they found the telltale signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy – or CTE – the degenerative brain disease that has plagued athletes in other contact sports from football to boxing to hockey.

Surprised? I was. And then I was surprised by how many people seemed utterly unfazed by the news.

It’s not that we had no reason to suspect that getting hit in the head repeatedly might be bad for your brain. We understand that, or at least we think we do.

But this isn’t something we should gloss over if we care about this sport and its athletes, who generally make far less money than NFL and NHL players, and enjoy less in the way of ongoing medical care once their careers are over. If MMA equals CTE for a significant number of athletes, there are likely to be a lot of fighters who eventually find themselves in need of care that the sport is not set up to provide.

And if a 25-year-old fighter with no extraordinary history of head trauma was walking around with CTE, common sense says he’s not alone.

That’s important because of what CTE is, and what it can do. The researchers at Boston University who have studied it describe CTE as a “progressive degenerative disease of the brain” that begins with the build-up of tau protein. In its earliest stage, there are usually no outward symptoms, though the tau build-up has already begun to damage nerve cells and impair brain function.

As the disease progresses, it can lead to impulsive behavior, sudden fits of anger, severe depression, and eventually memory loss, confusion, and advanced dementia.

Stories of the horrors wrought by CTE are abundant among former NFL players. The disease was first identified in the brain of former Pittsburgh Steelers center Mike Webster, who spent his final years tormented by pain and dimming cognitive abilities. He went days without eating. He used a taser to stun himself to sleep. His family recalled him shivering in the cold because he couldn’t remember to put on a coat in the winter.

The stories have reached into combat sports as well. In 2012, I wrote this story on former MMA fighter and kickboxer Gary Goodridge, whose doctors have said he’s likely suffering from CTE. (The disease can only be positively identified with an autopsy of the brain.)

At the time, Goodridge suffered from severe memory loss. He showed wholesale personality changes. He slurred his words when he talked, and by the evening he often couldn’t remember what he’d had for breakfast that morning.

But with Goodridge, who was 46 at the time, at least we could tell ourselves that the disease was a result of fighting too long, taking too many destructive blows, and in two different combat sports. With Parsons, it’s different.

Talk to his coaches and training partners, and they’ll tell you they saw no signs that there was anything the least big wrong with Parsons. Jake Bonacci, the strength and conditioning coach with the Blackzilians squad in South Florida, said he worked with Parsons extensively in his final training camp.

“He was the same guy every day,” Bonacci told MMAjunkie. “Nothing seemed different about him.”

At the same time, team members will admit that the twice weekly sparring sessions in the gym can be brutal at times. Parsons had a reputation as a workhorse, said Blackzilians featherweight Sean Soriano, and his competitive nature pushed him to the limit in training.

“He was a tough mother(expletive),” Soriano (9-5 MMA, 0-3 UFC) said. “I don’t think he went out there looking to take blows, but he could take them and was willing to take one to give one back. That’s who he was. He was very competitive, and whether it was wrestling or sparring he was trying to get the best of it. And the way we train, sometimes you’ll have to take one to get best of it against some people.”

While the focus in some sports has shifted to concussions, researchers now believe that it’s both the concussive and “asymptomatic subconcussive hits to the head” that contribute to CTE. There may also be genetic and lifestyle components to explain why some people develop the disease relatively early, while others sustain more damage without suffering any signs of CTE.

But since MMA is still a relatively young sport, it’s hard to gauge what the true extent of the damage might be, both for the current generation of fighters and those already edging into their later years.

If Parsons had CTE at 25, and without showing any outward symptoms, how many other current fighters could there be who share the same fate? And with a disease that often manifests itself in reckless, erratic behavior, sometimes leading to violent outbursts and even suicide, how many fighters are walking around right now with a time bomb in their heads?

That thought occurred to Soriano when he heard about his friend’s posthumous diagnosis.

“Honestly, I didn’t want to read too much about it,” Soriano said. “Because a lot of us, we’re too late. We’re too deep into it. This is our career, how we make our money. It’s our passion. This does play on your mind, I guess. You think about it some, but you focus on your goals and you try not to let anything derail you from that.”

As for Bonacci, he said news of Parson’s autopsy results made him think of walking through the Miracle Mile shops on the Las Vegas strip and seeing the retired boxers signing autographs, mumbling through fan interactions, sometimes even sleeping on the tables.

He thinks about that, he said, and then he thinks about what he’s seen in MMA gyms over the years.

“I’m at pretty much every (Blackzilians) sparring session, and they do go hard,” Bonacci said. “These epic gym wars you hear about, those are real and those do happen. That’s really where the damage happens, is in the gym. Obviously, the fights don’t help, but if you’re 40 years old and you’ve been training since you were 18, that’s a ton of damage. I think we’re going to see some of these guys as they get older end up like those old boxers. I hope we don’t. But I think we will.”

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Rashad Evans wants to prove everybody wrong at UFC 205
Seven years ago, Rashad Evans was standing on top of the world as the UFC light heavyweight champion. At that time the former "Ultimate Fighter" season 2 winner achieved his dream to climb to the top of the mountain while becoming the best in the world …

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There’s no shame in being second-best.

Depending on how many are running the proverbial race you’re in, second-best can be pretty good. You might be ahead of hundreds or even thousands of other participants, so falling short of the apex isn’t that big a deal.

It could be that the top dog is just so far ahead of you and everyone else that you were never going to catch them anyway. If that’s the case, you may just fancy settling in and accepting your place, content to work with what you’ve got and steal a little shine for yourself whenever possible.

In the MMA space that’s very much what Bellator MMA has been doing over the past couple of years. The promotion once known for strict adherence to a tournament system and weekly shows on Spike TV has shifted its focus since Scott Coker became president in 2014, getting away from the realm of stringent competition and more into making things fun and drawing eyes.

Sometimes that’s taken the form of wild, hybrid events. Other times it’s been guilty-pleasure freakshow fights. But most notably, and perhaps most shrewdly, Bellator has made a business out of signing athletes and promoting fights that the UFC has done all the work on.

First Bellator landed Josh Koscheck, a legitimately huge name that the UFC spent a decade promoting, keeping in the title picture and using as a main event talent. He’d outlived his usefulness there after a lengthy losing streak and an increasing discontent with the money he was making, but for Bellator he made perfect sense.


Because Bellator already had his longtime nemesis, Paul Daley, under contract. That feud started at UFC 113, when Koscheck ground Daley to a nub for three rounds and then goaded him into throwing a punch after the fight. Daley was released from the UFC soon after and spent years bouncing around various promotions, staying relevant enough to keep people interested in the dream of a Koscheck rematch down the line.

Needless to say, as soon as Koscheck landed in Bellator the talk of lining the pair up began, and the fight was booked for this past summer. Koscheck ended up injured so it was called off, but it’s still out there and will provide a major payday for all parties involved once it’s rebooked—a payday that was built almost entirely on work done by the UFC.

More immediately it’s emerged that Bellator intends to book former UFC megastar Chael Sonnen, a recent signing, against Wanderlei Silva, who was also most recently seen on UFC marquees and remains a legend in the sport. The feud between the two is years long, dating back to the days of Sonnen’s rise through the UFC’s middleweight division and involving a number of heated exchanges, sniping in interviews, a gig coaching The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil that culminated in an all-out bareknuckle brawl and a sanctioned bout at UFC 175 that was cancelled after both men were busted for various illegal substances.

It’s not unreasonable to contend that the UFC spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in promoting that bout, even if one chooses only to focus on the costs of producing TUF and promoting UFC 175. Truthfully the number is probably into the millions, and now Bellator gets to reap the rewards a couple of years later without having to do any extra legwork.

It’s a brilliant approach to doing business for the second-best promotion in MMA, and one that you’re likely to see more of as Bellator poaches more UFC talent and hunts for big names to oppose it. It’s not that Bellator don’t have the cash to promote stars itself (it’s owned by media giant Viacom, after all); it’s that you can’t buy the type of promotion that UFC does because it’s been in the business and doing it at the highest level for so long that Bellator could never catch up.

So it’s not trying.

It’s buying names the UFC made, then buying feuds the UFC made, then cashing in. Even February’s Ken Shamrock vs. Royce Gracie rematch was a UFC feud packaged and sold by Bellator, although it came two decades after their last meeting.

Make no mistake, Bellator will never be the UFC. The best it will ever be is second-best, a viable alternative for disenchanted fighters to sign with and fans to get some solid action from.

There’s no shame in that, though. In fact if you do it right, it becomes a uniquely appealing offering in and of itself because everyone knows what you’re selling and no one expects it to be what the top dog is selling.

So stealing the shine of the UFC by promoting feuds it built but never paid off? That’s both brilliant and exciting, and Bellator should be commended for it.


Follow me on Twitter @matthewjryder!

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Muay Thai powerhouse Lion Fight returns home to Las Vegas on Friday with another card loaded with action and at Thursday’s weigh-ins, all of the main card fighters made weight. View full post on Recent News on

‘Baby Slice’ ready to make his own mark in MMA View full post on – MMA

NEW YORKKelvin Gastelum promises that when he walks into the Octagon at Madison Square Garden for his UFC 205 bout against Donald Cerrone that he will be better. Better than what? Well, according to the welterweight contender, better than a stellar performance against former world champion Johny Hendricks at UFC 200 in July.“I did pretty well on probably the worst night of my life,” he said of the Hendricks fight, which he won via shutout decision on two of the three judges’ scorecards. “It really was a horrible experience, a horrible weekend.”
Every fighter shou … Read the Full Article Here View full post on UFC News

Just when I thought I was out … they pull me back in.

Despite reports that Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) would be dissolving The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) reality show, which started on Spike, moved to FX, and now airs on FOX Sports 1, word comes that season 25 is already casting for early 2017.

MMA Junkie reports:

While exact details of the season are still undetermined, UFC officials told MMAjunkie that welterweights are likely to be featured on “TUF 25.” And rather than bring in a cast of unknowns, the promotion currently is targeting a group of “all-stars” to compete on the show, including UFC veterans and former contestants on previous editions of “The Ultimate Fighter.”

Sounds groovy.

TUF is currently airing season 24, coached by flyweight rivals Joseph Benavidez and Henry Cejudo (details). The winner is expected to move on to fight division champion Demetrious Johnson for the 125-pound strap at the end of the year.

And that sort of rags-to-riches win is not unprecedented…

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GLORY welterweight champion, Nieky Holzken and No.1-ranked contender, Murthel Groenhart, will square off in a trilogy fight later tonight at GLORY 34. Their first two fights were both close, and this one should be no different.

BROOMFIELD, Colo.–Nieky Holzken (89-11) and Murthel Groenhart (60-20-3) have faced each other twice before, and as they head into their matchup at GLORY 34 later tonight it’s almost a guarantee that the trilogy fight will be another close encounter.

The first time the two Dutch kickboxers fought was back in 2010 at United Glory 12, where the bout went to an extra round before Holzken was declared the winner by decision. In the rematch, which took place last December at GLORY 26 in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Holzken won again, this time by split decision.

Two fights. Two close decisions. So what exactly is the reason that whenever these two Welterweights meet in the ring it is a closely contested bout?

“I think we are both good fighters and high, top-level fighters,” Holzken told “So always when you have two very good fighters against each other–not just me and Murthel, but also other fighters–you get a good matchup that is difficult to decide who is the winner. It’s close, always close, or it has to be a knockout. We are both top-five fighters of the world and that is why you get close fights.”

Groenhart, who felt strongly that he won the GLORY 26 fight, was posed with the same question as the champion.

“I don’t know man,” Groenhart said. “I think it’s a little bit that we got the same style. Not really the same, but we are the best in our division. The best two guys in one division always are close to each other. I want to show that I’m the best. He wants to show he’s the best. I know I’m the best and I will make sure you see that tomorrow.”

After losing the GLORY 26 title fight to Holzken, “The Predator” dropped his next fight at GLORY 28 to Cedric Doumbe. But he kept busy, and has posted a 5-2 record, including a GLORY 31 “Contender” tournament win to earn another shot at the champion.

The 30-year-old veteran remained resolute in his quest for GLORY gold and didn’t let the controversial decision loss knock him off course. “It’s not my first time [losing a close decision] and I’ve been through a lot in my life,” said Groenhart, clad in a blue sweat suit after weighing in at 168.5 for tonight’s fight. “Confidence,” he says before pausing. “I know I’m going to win tomorrow. I know I’m going home with the belt tomorrow. If I’m good in my head and confident then nobody can beat me.”

“Why are you coming home with the belt?” he was asked.

“Because I’m going to knock him down and then the judge can say nothing,” said Groenhart, his tone changing slightly, delivering that line in full belief that is exactly what is going to happen.

Holzken, 32, has heard it all before.

“Words are words, but you have to do it in the ring,” said Holzken, sitting on a sofa in the Aloft Hotel lobby, the Spike Netherlands TV crew–who have been shadowing him the entire fight week–are rolling on his every word. “Last time he was going to rip my head off and knock me out and it didn’t happen. The first fight he said he’d knock me out and it didn’t happen. It’s not going to happen, again.”

After the staredown at Thursday’s weigh in, the two smiled at one another, then shook hands and hugged. While each of them feel confident they will come home with the belt, it’s mostly competitive as opposed to prior years.

“That’s over, we don’t have trash talk anymore,” Holzken said. “It’s all been said and done. We know how we are together.  Now we are in a different country. Many fans are not with us today, they are only watching on television. So now it’s up to us to go in the ring and we are just going to fight. “We cannot act anymore like we are ahhhhh (he waves his hands, imitating an angry fighter) or something. We know we have to do and what we can expect from each other tomorrow. Let the best man win.”

It’s safe to say Holzken and Groenhart are quite familiar with each other’s fighting style and strengths and weaknesses. However,  the No.1-ranked GLORY welterweight contender says he has some tricks up his sleeve for the trilogy fight.

“We’ve worked on some things,” Groehart teased. “Let’s just say, I was playing it safe with him the last fight. Just taking my points and moving away because he will go forward. I had a game plan: stick then get out. Hit and don’t get it. I got more points, that is what the statistics said, but I didn’t get the win. So now I”m going to play a whole different game.”

Holzken is the champ and widely considered the best welterweight on the planet for a reason: he’s 11-0 in GLORY, hasn’t lost in over four years, and has won 10 straight fights. If not for an automobile accident in 2014, which resulted in a shoulder injury, he’d likely have a few more wins on his record as well. While he has shown some vulnerability in his last few fights, he still manages to get his hand raised. And that is what all champions do.

The champ does not rest on his laurels or accomplishments either. He seeks to continue evolving and to make sure his opponents can’t figure him out and formulate an effective game plan against him. He knows Groenhart or anyone he faces are studying him hard, which he explains is why he’s always working to stay a step or two ahead.

“Just stay healthy and train very hard and try to mix up combinations and things and try to be different every three months,” Holzken said, describing the main pillars he builds his training foundation on, and how he works to stay on top and remain champion. “Every three months you have to fight a little bit different so they cannot read you. So if they do their homework and they are against you in the ring they think ‘oh shit I didn’t train for this.’ They don’t expect those kind of things. Some times I fight southpaw. Some times I do jumping knees. Some times I do a lot of back kicks. Every time I try to be a little different. That is my key to success, I think.”

The other big element in Holzken’s training and his life for that matter is his family. They are all in tow, like always, and within ear shot of this interview.

“It’s very important to have them because they do everything for me,” he explained. “If I need new underwear, they are going to get it. If I need to have drinks, they are going to get it. My family is the best. My team is also my father-in-law, my grandfather. It’s a family and we trust each other. You can see it in the Mayweathers and other top-level fighters in combat sports that have been trained by their father and have their family involved. So I think it is good for me.”

The Dutch champion, who is seeking his 90th career victory, is, of course, feeling confident he will defend his GLORY title for a third-straight time.

“I really think I am going to win. I feel very good. I feel very strong. Everything is going good. There is a little bit of strange, how do you say, breath taking here?” he asks. “Elevation,” he’s told. “Because I feel it when I train. Every fighter from another country fights here has the same problem so we have to deal with it.”

The altitude in Colorado is always a factor and could end up being one in the main event at GLORY 34. But whether they are matched up in Amsterdam or Broomfield, it’s likely going to come down to the wire if Holzken and Groenhart are in the ring.

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MMAjunkie Radio kicks off at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Stephen Thompson, Gaston Bolanos and Sammy the Squid.

“Wonderboy” Thompson is preparing for his title shot against welterweight champion Tyron Woodley in the UFC 205 co-main event on Nov. 12 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Bolanos is a muay Thai standout with future MMA aspirations. He’ll co-host the show in the studio ahead of Lion Fight 32, which airs tonight on AXS TV. And Sammy the Squid will be on for his weekly “Beat the Squid” football picks segment. This week, he goes up against listener Deane from Georgia. So far, Squid is 18-12 this season – but his opponents in Junkie Nation are 20-10.

MMAjunkie Radio airs from 1 to 3 p.m. ET (10 a.m. to noon PT), live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. The first hour of the show is available on SiriusXM Rush (Ch. 93) from 1-2 p.m. ET. You can also listen to and watch a video stream of the entire two-hour show, including the second hour, at

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

  • HOW TO WATCH (ON WEB): Check out a live video/audio stream of the show on the MMAjunkie Radio page.
  • HOW TO CALL: MMAjunkie Radio takes phone calls from listeners throughout the show. Call into the MMAjunkie Radio hotline at (866) 522-2846.
  • HOW TO DISCUSS: The MMAjunkie MMA Forums has a new section devoted solely to MMAjunkie Radio. Stop by the MMAjunkie Radio forum to discuss the show, interact with the hosts, suggest future guests and catch up on the latest MMAjunkie Radio news.
  • HOW TO VISIT THE SHOW: You can watch MMAjunkie Radio live and in person at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The booth is located in the resort’s Race & Sports Book next to the Mandalay Bay poker room. To plan a trip to Sin City and MMAjunkie Radio, go to

Filed under: AXS TV Fights, MMAjunkie Radio, News, UFC View full post on News | MMAjunkie

No, The UFC Is Not Giving Up Plans For World Domination
My colleague Matt Connolly thinks that the UFC's new owners, WME-IMG, are giving up the mixed martial arts promotion's plans for world domination. Matt does a thorough job of pointing out all the layoffs at the UFC since it was purchased for $4 billion
The UFC's Dirtiest Move Yet: Union BashingNew Republic

all 3 news articles »

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It’s funny, if you’re reading this on Saturday morning over a coffee or some breakfast, you weren’t supposed to be. You were supposed to be up and at ’em, clad in pajama pants and an old T-shirt, Fight Pass blaring while BJ Penn made his triumphant return to the UFC live from the Philippines.

The questions were supposed to be about how good he might be under Greg Jackson’s tutelage, or whether he has anything left in the tank irrespective of who’s coaching him. Then he got hurt, the event got cancelled and the questions shifted focus to ponder why the promotion was offering such a weak card in the first place or how the collapse of such a card comes about at all.

There was a time when cancelling a card was an outrageous idea. The UFC was a far cry from boxing, where a single fight props up an event and an injury causes the whole thing to go in the toilet. The UFC learned from that mistake, focusing on strong undercards and fights that could replace a main event on short notice if required.

The show must go on, as they say. And it always would.

That was the case until UFC 151.

2012 was an unwieldy year for the promotion as it put off far too many events without nearly enough talent to sustain them. Some of it was buoyed by a new television deal and the needs associated with that, but some of it seemed to come from the stubborn belief that the boom period of the previous few years would have fans yearning to buy almost anything with UFC branding—fight cards included.

The 151 story is so infamous in MMA now that it’s essentially lore: Dan Henderson was to challenge Jon Jones for the light heavyweight title, but he was hurt late in camp. The UFC scrambled to find a replacement for him and settled on middleweight contender Chael Sonnen, whom Jones refused to fight.

The card fell apart because no one in the world was about to pay pay-per-view pricing for Jake Ellenberger vs. Jay Hieron, and a heated, public feud between Jones and the UFC came about soon after. Some might argue it’s still ongoing, really.

It was the first time Zuffa had cancelled an event since taking over the UFC in 2001, and as much as the promotion tried to make Jones wear it, it had no one to blame but itself. It was a thin card, and Jones had no obligation to fight Sonnen on short notice. He actually eventually agreed to the fight and collected a dominant win at UFC 159.

It was almost two years before misfortune struck the UFC again to the tune of a cancelled event. UFC 176 was scheduled for August 2014 and was much deeper on paper than UFC 151. Names like Ronaldo Souza, Gegard Mousasi, Gray Maynard, Tony Ferguson, Derek Brunson and Bobby Green were all on the undercard and the main event was a featherweight title rematch between Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes.

Still, when Aldo went down with an injury the promotion felt there was no choice but to can the whole thing and move its fights to a number of surrounding cards—a strategy the organization had discovered and refined during the 151 fiasco. There was decidedly less public drama around the 176 cancellation, with the UFC using the word “postponed” instead of “cancelled” and stating that it simply couldn’t find an adequate replacement main event to justify moving forward.

Looking back, in a way the 176 cancellation is almost remembered fondly by fans and pundits. It bolstered roughly a half-dozen cards around it with rescheduled bouts, including a fight between Souza and Mousasi which headlined a card on free TV. Aldo and Mendes fought at UFC 179 a couple of months later and provided a Fight of the Year candidate that is still, to this day, one of the best fights in featherweight history.

All-in-all it was a loss in the literal sense, but perhaps not in the grand scheme of things.

That brings us all to this weekend and the lost Fight Night card. It’s not on the same scale and beyond the curiosity of Penn’s return, very few people will miss it even remotely. It surely won’t be remembered as any great loss and isn’t likely to provide unanswered questions like “would Dan Henderson have beaten Jon Jones?”

It’s more reasonable to believe this is nothing more than an event that didn’t need to happen being treated as such when its only attraction couldn’t make the walk. There may have been a time when that wasn’t acceptable practice for the UFC, but bigger events with bigger names have been scrapped, and that’s ushered in an era where there are no guarantees.

To that end, don’t expect this to be the last time we see it happen.


Follow me on Twitter @matthewjryder!

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Faber to fight Pickett at UFC Fight Night in Dec. View full post on – MMA

Six weeks after filming the new season of The Ultimate Fighter, and six months since his devastating first-round TKO loss to pound-for-pound king Demetrious Johnson, Henry Cejudo finally feels like he’s over the heartbreak. “I’m just disappointed in myself at this point,” Cejudo said Thursday during a media lunch in Las Vegas. “But it’s not like the Olympics where I have to wait four years. It could happen where I say something stupid, do something stupid and get a title shot.”Tickets are on sale now for The Ultimate Fighter Finale on Dec. 3. Get … Read the Full Article Here View full post on UFC News

Once more, with feeling oxygen.

A pair of former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight champions will run it back for the upcoming UFC 207 pay-per-view (PPV) event, which takes place Sat., Dec. 30, 2016 inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Fabricio Werdum vs. Cain Velasquez.

These two first went to war in the UFC 188 main event in June 2015. Velasquez (14-2), then heavyweight champion, succumbed to the submission game of his Brazilian foe after sucking wind early in the third round.

He would compete just once following the loss, a UFC 200 beatdown of Travis Browne.

Werdum (21-6-1) moved on to his first title defense against Stipe Miocic at UFC 198, but found himself looking up at the lights after eating the challenger’s fist. He too, would rebound with a win over the aforementioned “Hapa” at UFC 203, albeit in less impressive fashion.

Time to separate the champ from the scamp.

UFC 207 will be headlined by the women’s bantamweight championship contest pitting reigning division queenpin Amanda Nunes opposite returning “Rowdy” judoka Ronda Rousey. Elsewhere on the card, 135-pound kingpin Dominick Cruz puts his bantamweight belt on the line against undefeated power puncher Cody Garbrandt.

For the latest and greatest UFC 207 fight card and rumors click here.

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The UFC's Dirtiest Move Yet: Union Bashing
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Over the past 23 years, however, the UFC has evolved from a no-holds-barred blood sport into an international sensation, landing deals with Fox Sports and Reebok. In July, Lorenzo Fertitta and his brother Frank sold the UFC to a group led by talent

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Ben Henderson may have been on to something.

The former UFC lightweight champion and current Bellator top contender made headlines in August when he told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour that his training partner, Mackenzie Dern, would eventually become “bigger than Ronda Rousey.” Friday night, she took a big step forward in realizing that potential.

Dern stepped into the cage for her second professional fight at Legacy Fighting Championship 61 and posted one of the year’s more impressive wins. Check it out here, courtesy of UFC social media personality Zombie Prophet:

Facing Montana Stewart, Dern threw her legs up from guard position for an omoplata. When Stewart attempted to defend by stacking, Dern used the submission to sweep to gain top position. Then, while still controlling the arm, she managed to regain control and sink in a rear-naked choke. 

In judo, this would be called a sankaku garami transitioned into a okuri eri jime. In pro wrestling it’s something of modified crossface. In MMA, however, there doesn’t seem to be any name for it other than the “Dern Choke.”

While Dern (2-0) likely isn’t going to invent a new submission in every fight, there’s still cause to keep a close eye on her going forward. The proud owner of two World Jiu-Jitsu Championship gold medals and another gold from the ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship, she is a highly accomplished grappler who owns an advantage over all comers on the ground.

Whether she settles into fighting at 115 pounds or decides to establish herself in the 125-pound division, the 23-year-old certainly has the tools to become a serious contender.

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According to a report on FloCombat, the Bellator MMA debut for Kevin Ferguson Jr., the son of the late “Kimbo Slice,” has been postponed. View full post on Recent News on

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A heavyweight doubleheader will headline the UFC’s first visit to Albany, New York on Friday, December 9, with No. 10-ranked Derrick Lewis facing off against Shamil Abdurakhimov in the main event, while No. 13-ranked Francis Ngannou takes on Anthony Hamilton in the co-featured bout of the card, which will air on UFC FIGHT PASS.Tickets for the UFC Fight Night event, which takes place at Times Union Center, go on sale on October 28. To register for special pre-sale access, visit sporting a four-fight winning streak that includes three knockouts, Houston&rsquo … Read the Full Article Here View full post on UFC News

Even though Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight middleweight Rashad Evans (19-5-1) is on possibly the worst streak of his career, that’s not going to change his positive attitude ahead of his debut at 185 pounds for the UFC’s first trip to his home state of New York at UFC 205.

While Evans was on “UFC Unfiltered with Jim Norton and Matt Serra,” he discussed a few topics, including his upcoming bout against Tim Kennedy (18-5), his recent loss against No. 3 ranked light heavyweight Glover Teixeira (25-5), and his current mindset about fighting.

“Suga” revealed some details about the pressure he put on himself heading into fights, saying, “I used to get so, just so into my own head about ‘I have to win this fight and this has to be this and this has to be this’ and, you know, so much about the results of everything that I kind of would give myself too much anxiety about it.”

The current No. 8 ranked light heavyweight, who is in the midst of changing divisions, is on a two-fight losing skid and has lost four of his last six bouts. His last fight was a devastating loss to the hands of Glover Teixeira, who knocked out Evans within two minutes of the very first round. Rashad informed Norton and Serra of how he responded to that loss.

“After I got knocked out by Glover Teixiera, I got knocked out in like a minute and-a-half and I’m just like overwhelmingly embarrassed, and then more importantly, just disappointed because this was the fight!” said Evans. “That was the fight! That was the night I was gonna come back and I was gonna show the world that I still got it and, you know, they slept on me and everything, I was like that, and that was the fight. And I went and sh*t the bed and I’m like ‘f**k’, you know what I’m saying? I just couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t wrap my mind around it because, in my head, I just knew I was gonna win the fight.”

Since the crushing loss to the Brazilian, Evans has had some revelations about competing in mixed martial arts (MMA). He delivered some revealing and insightful things to say regarding how he has reverted his old mindset heading into a fight.

“I had to trust the fact that whatever has happened in the past and, you know, my depression after I lose, it all works out,” said Evans. “It all works out no matter what, you know what I’m saying? There’s not a loss that I had that I can’t come back from, you know? And then from going through that experience to help me to understand that I can still go out there and compete. I can win, I can lose. But at the end of the day, I’m not going to be less of a man if I lose, and training myself to that mindset has allowed me to enjoy this sport a lot more.”

Aside from his feud with Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, where most were siding with Jackson, Evans has always been one of the more likable fighters in the UFC. Hearing humanizing material like this from him only makes him more appealing to everybody. We’ll have to see if his new mindset is going to aid him to victory against Kennedy inside of “The World’s Most Famous Arena”, Madison Square Garden on Nov. 12.

To see who else is fighting at UFC 205 click here.

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Newly vocal UFC middleweight Gegard Mousasi is talking up his next opportunity, hoping to get a fight before the end of the year.

After dispatching Vitor Belfort (25-13 MMA, 14-9 UFC) earlier this month at UFC 204, Mousasi (40-6-2 MMA, 7-3 UFC) wants to let it ride and will fight in his usual weight class or step up to light heavyweight, he told MMAjunkie.

So who’s on his list?

While many linked Mousasi to a potential bout with Anderson Silva (33-7 MMA, 16-3 UFC), who took his spot at UFC 200, he bluntly declared the former middleweight champ was “not going to take the fight.”

Then there’s Uriah Hall (12-7 MMA, 5-5 UFC), whom he blasted at the UFC 204 post-event press conference. He said the matchup “doesn’t make sense for the UFC, and seeing as how Uriah Hall beat him only 11 months ago, it’s hard to argue.

“So probably, they’re going to make me wait,” reported Mousasi, who’s the No. 7 ranked fighter in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middleweight rankings.

There is one matchup that excites the former Strikeforce light heavyweight champ, however. UFC President Dana White recently declared Nick Diaz (26-10 MMA, 7-7 UFC) “ready to go,” and Mousasi would be happy to welcome the onetime UFC welterweight title challenger back to the octagon.

He’s just a little skeptical about his chances of getting the fight.

“With Vitor Belfort, they didn’t give me the fight because I asked for it,” Mousasi said. “They gave that fight to me because Vitor Belfort asked for that fight. So, hopefully, Nick Diaz is going to ask for that fight, and then I can fight him.”

Mousasi pulls no punches about his career prospects – that’s for sure. Check out the above video for more with the former champ.

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