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If you were around a UFC event in the mid-1990s, there’s a good chance you have a story involving an alcohol-fueled Tank Abbott. UFC Hall of Famer Pat Miletich is no different.

Abbott (10-15 MMA, 8-10 UFC) was known as a brawler with dozens of unsanctioned fights. He joined the UFC in 1995 in an attempt to translate that experience into octagon success. Sometimes it went well for him; others times it didn’t. He certainly didn’t have the same career success as Miletich (29-7-2 MMA, 8-2 UFC), who at UFC 17.5 in October 1998 captured the welterweight title before defending it four times.

Miletich wasn’t the type to turn away from conflict during his prime fighting years, he said, be it inside or outside the octagon. However, he said the same can’t be said for Abbott, who apparently portrayed the opposite of his tough-guy demeanor during a confrontation with Miletich in December 1996 at Ultimate Ultimate 1996 in Birmingham, Ala.

“I walked up to Tank, and he was talking to (Bob) Meyrowitz, who owned the UFC at the time (under) Semaphore Entertainment Group,” Miletich told MMAjunkie Radio. “Tank had been in the bar dancing with his shirt off, dancing on the dance floor, grabbing everybody’s women. So I walk up to talk to Meyrowitz. Tank’s standing right there. I go, ‘Hey Tank, good fight.’ Then he palms my face and shoved me away.”

Although there’s a dramatic size different between Abbott, a heavyweight, and Miletich, a welterweight, it apparently didn’t stop Miletich from attempting to retaliate. But the way he tells it, Abbott wanted no part of that.

“There’s a drink railing between (us); I’m on the dance floor side, he’s on the bar side, and I looked at him and I go, ‘You fat mother(expletive). I’m knocking you out right now,’” Miletich said. “So I started marching toward the end of the drink rail to come around. I was just going to attack him.

“Well, he starts walking with me, and I’m assuming he’s going to meet me at the end of it. So we’re walking, (but) he takes a right and goes out the door of the place. Then somebody grabs me and goes, ‘Don’t go out there.’ Then I go, ‘No, I’m knocking his fat ass out right now.’ So I’m going outside – and he and his three buddies are running down the street.”

Despite Abbott apparent sudden exit, Miletich said wasn’t about to let the man who had disrespected him out of his crosshairs. He pursued Abbott back to the fighter hotel but was never able to exact his revenge.

“I start chasing him, but they got like a two block lead on me,” Miletich said. “So I’m chasing them like, ‘You fat son of a (expletive). I’m going to beat your ass.’ I get to the hotel, and he’s already got in the hotel, and I go in, and Tra Telligman’s in the lobby, and I go, ‘Tra, did you see Tank come in here?’ He goes, ‘Yeah, dude. He just sprinted up those stairs.’ So I sprinted up the stairs, and another fighter is there. I go, ‘Did you see Tank?’ He goes, ‘Yeah, he just got on the elevator.’”

Miletich said his opportunity to settle the score never came to fruition. However, he said he thought Abbott was always aware of what he had done, because every time they were around each other following that incident, Miletich said Abbott did everything he could to avoid him.

“From then on every time I see Tank, he literally would just go hide,” Miletich said. “I wanted to beat his ass so bad.”

Check out the full conversation above.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show, available on SiriusXM Ch. 93, is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to

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Rory MacDonald has gone to Bellator.

Tom Wright got axed.

Georges St-Pierre might never have an organized fight outside of a courtroom again.

Canadian fans are outright boycotting an event in the nation’s biggest city.

It is a dark time for the UFC in Canada, and it’s been a long time coming. There have been times over the course of the past few years when things have gotten rocky or when big promises have been broken, but it finally seems to have gone past the point of no return.

This week will go down as one of the bleakest in the history of the promotion’s efforts north of border, as new owner WME-IMG trimmed the UFC’s Canadian office while simultaneously waging contractual war with the biggest MMA star the country has ever produced. Perhaps inconveniently, tickets for UFC 206, which is the first major event in Canada since 2014, went on sale around the same time.

The results were predictably mixed.

The path the UFC has taken in Canada is a cautionary tale for any business that fancies global domination. While the promotion has also canned executives and closed offices in other major hubs, not that long ago, it was Canada that was set to carry the UFC into its next golden age.

President Dana White called it the “mecca of MMA” on more than one occasion.

The biggest crowd in the history of the sport filled Rogers Centre in 2011, a record that stood until last year.

Tickets went as fast to see non-regional stars such as Chuck Liddell and Shogun Rua as they did to see St-Pierre or MacDonald.

And now it’s all gone.

As the UFC aggressively watered down its product in 2012, Canada was arguably hit the hardest. UFC 149, held in Calgary, is legendary for its paltriness. UFC 152 in Toronto was only good because of Jon Jones’ unwillingness to bow to his corporate masters.

UFC 154 and 158 were honest attempts to do right by Canadian fans, buoyed by a St-Pierre return versus Carlos Condit and then a title defense against his greatest foil, Nick Diaz. But after that, things went off the rails.

Meaningless events such as Dan Henderson fighting Rashad Evans, Jon Jones defending against Alex Gustafsson (which was irrelevant right up until Gustafsson fought the fight of his life) and Demetrious Johnson defending his title became the norm for pay-per-views on Canadian soil.

The UFC then further strategized its Canadian market expansion by hitting regions of the country with smaller shows in smaller places, mostly with uninspired results and response. Places such as Halifax, Quebec City and Saskatoon began to book events, with the biggest name to ever appear on one surely being middleweight champion Michael Bisping.

It was a gamble, one that centered on the longstanding notion that fans were loyal to the brand and not to its stars or, increasingly, the quality of a card.

It didn’t pay off.

The Canadian market responded by making the UFC an afterthought, much like the way the promotion had treated Canada as it attempted to expand into other areas of the globe. The result is what came to a head this week, with whatever breath left in the proverbial lungs of this dying market colored with passionate negativity.

It’s tough to say exactly how to weigh the confluence of events that has largely killed the UFC in Canada. Carelessness from the promotion obviously deserves attention, but a bad, confusing television deal in the country, the insistence on pushing regional fighters instead of objectively good ones and the general malaise when it comes to constructing big events to occur on Canadian soil are all factors.

The promotion had a great opportunity to cultivate Canada and maintain its upward trajectory given how much the country enjoys contact sports and how much it embraced MMA in the mid-2000s, when such a welcome was hard to find in most places.

Yet here we are, with a world title fight booked for Toronto and Canadians actively undermining it because of the way the UFC has treated them and also their greatest MMA hero.

Nobody would have seen that coming a few years ago, but it’s not hard to see how we got here.


Follow me on Twitter @matthewjryder!

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Rashad Evans will look to put an end to the bleeding of a two-fight losing streak when he faces Tim Kennedy at UFC 205 on Nov. 12, 2016 in New York City.

But, he won’t get to do it in main card action, as “Suga” will take on his old teammate on the undercard portion of the stacked pay-per-view (PPV) event. It will mark the first time Rashad competed in the preliminary portion of a UFC event.

That said, he’s just happy to be on the biggest card of the year.

“I’m excited to be on this card with a bunch of killers and be a part of something so huge,” Evans said. “I’m on the prelims that’s how stacked this card is, I’ve never been on the prelims in my life,” said Evans to FloCombat.

The fight will also Mark Rashad’s first event fight at middleweight. Unfortunately it will come against a former teammate in Kennedy. It’s a relationship that turned sour along the line, though Evans doesn’t see where, as he is upset that Tim decided to “talk shit.”

“Tim and I were really cool. I have a lot of respect for what he’s done and from a service standpoint for this country. I was disappointed he was trying to talk s**t to me. We’re in the fight business, this is what we do, this is how we eat, I love to fight and I make money doing it.”

To hear Kennedy say it, the tension is due to the fact that it was Evans who requested to fight Kennedy in his debut at 185 pounds.

Furthermore, Tim stated it was he who has the right to be upset with his old training partner after “Suga” reminded Kennedy that it was he who got the best of him during training sessions.

But, there’s two side to every store, as Tim says that is far from the case, as he was brought in simply to prepare Evans and he didn’t got at him full speed to protect him from getting inured prior to his fight.

Nevertheless, the time for talking will soon be at an end, and both men will get the chance to prove once and for all who really is the best fighter between them, as there will be no pulling punches this time around.

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

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Challenging Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in the court system may not be the best way to spend your winter, which is why former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre must play it cool during his ongoing contractual battle with the mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion. It’s a clash of he said, she said that has ultimately pinned the greatest champion in UFC history against new ownership.

If GSP is looking to gain any perspective from fellow fighters who have been through the UFC ringer before, he may want to open his ears and listen to what former UFC champion Randy Couture had to say about fighting the promotion in court. After all, Couture went to battle with the promotion over the course of 13 months to prove his free agent status, move on from UFC and challenge Fedor Emelianenko in a heavyweight superfight (which didn’t happen).

“I settled because I was 45 years old,” said Couture in a recent interview with MMA Junkie. “They were going to drag it out as long as they could and basically try to bankrupt me. I’d already spent $500,000 of my own money to pursue getting away and being able to make the biggest fight of that time happen.”

“They’re going to hire the same lawyers and do the same thing to keep Georges in line and keep Georges fighting for their brand.”

While Couture’s battle with UFC isn’t the exact same instance as St-Pierre’s ongoing tilt with the promotion, “The Natural” believes it could play out the same way.

“At the end of the day, it still boils down to the same issues,” added Couture. “This company has been signing fighters to coercive and literally awful contracts for years. It’s been one of the things that I’ve fought with them over since day one, since they bought the company, over ancillary rights, over (right to match) and retirement clauses, and having a little bit of leverage as their heavyweight champion when they bought the company, we fought over all these things. It’s one of the reasons I’m persona non grata with the company now.”

Considering GSP wants to compete and UFC could use his star power heading into 2017, hopefully the Canadian superstar can work some magic and avoid a costly court case. At the end of the day, $500,000 is not a number St-Pierre wants to see on the wrong side of the ledger.

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Two fights before he knocked out Luke Rockhold to capture the UFC middleweight title, Michael Bisping had to survive a back-and-forth battle with Thales Leites.

Leites, who dropped the UFC Fight Night 72 fight by split decision, said he’d like one more crack at the now-champion.

Before he can put himself in a position to challenge for the belt, though, Leites (26-6 MMA, 11-5 UFC) has a date with Krzysztof Jotko (18-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 100. The event takes place Nov. 19 at Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo. It airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, though the bout order hasn’t been finalized.

The Brazilian told MMAjunkie he knows the streaking Jotko is anything but an easy out. But, of course, Leites expects to have his hand raised after the bout.

“He’s stronger, and he likes ground and pound, but I’m ready for everything, any situation that can happen inside the cage,” Leites said. “I will be ready. He’s top 15, if I’m not wrong. He’s coming off four straight wins. Of course he’s a tough opponent, and I’m ready more than ever.”

Leites picked up a win in his most recent outing, a third-round rear-naked choke submission of Chris Camozzi at UFC Fight Night 92. The win snapped a two-fight losing skid that began with the July 2015 loss to Bisping. Leites currently holds the No. 12 spot in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middleweight rankings.

He had an eight-fight winning streak snapped when Bisping edged him to take the decision, but Leites feels things could go much differently in a rematch.

“There would be a lot of different things because I’m much more confident,” Leites said. “In my mind, I should put much more pressure against the cage and try taking him down more than I did in that fight. But, you know, it happens. Time machines don’t exist. You just keep working to the future, and maybe one day we can face each other again.”

A rematch would make for the second time Leites fought for the 185-pound championship. In April 2009 at UFC 97, Leites faced off with longtime division kingpin Anderson Silva, who took the decision in an ugly affair, resulting in significant criticism of the then-champ for playing with, rather than destroying, what looked to be an overmatched opponent.

Silva’s win over him puts him on a list with Bisping of fighters Leites would like one more chance to face.

But he’s keeping a level head, he said, and approaching his career one moment at a time.

“I would like a chance for a rematch with all the opponents who beat me, of course,” Leites said. “Maybe one day, you know? All I can do is stay working hard and winning my fights. If the time comes one day, I will be ready.”

Check out the full video above.

And for more on UFC Fight Night 100, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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M-1 Global announced Wednesday that reigning welterweight champion Alexey Kunchenko will defend his crown against Murad Abdulaev in the main event of M-1 Challenge 72. View full post on Recent News on

Gegard Mousasi will stop at nothing to stand out in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight division. Not only has Mousasi entered a battle of verbal threats with mixed martial arts (MMA) superstar Conor McGregor, but the former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion has called out a slue of divisional standouts after cruising past Vitor Belfort at UFC 204 earlier this month.

Well, it now seems as if Mousasi is adding yet another name to his UFC hit list, recently setting his sights on former UFC welterweight title challenger Nick Diaz.

“With Vitor Belfort, they didn’t give me the fight because I asked for it,” said Mousasi in an interview with MMA Junkie. “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.”

Diaz, who is ready to come back after serving a lengthy suspension for testing positive for marijuana use, has not fought inside of the Octagon since headlining UFC 183 opposite Anderson Silva. Ironically, that was the first time Diaz had ever competed at 185 pounds in his MMA career. But that doesn’t mean the 170-pound standout wouldn’t move up to middleweight again and enjoy another easy weight cut.

It seems unlikely that Mousasi will be the guy to draw Diaz in his return to the Octagon, especially since “Dreamcatcher” just nabbed a headlining spot opposite Uriah Hall at UFC Fight Night 99 on Nov. 19, but it’s nice to see Mousasi putting his name out there and attempting to gain more promotional momentum.

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Not everyone is a fan of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) superstar Conor McGregor. As a fighter who calls his own shots, banks millions and never seems to stop talking, McGregor doesn’t also give himself the best chance to be liked by his peers. Well, current UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier believes it really doesn’t matter if McGregor is liked or not. You have to appreciate his value for what it is and recognize the Irishman’s ability to sell.

“He brings more eyes. I think he is the anti-hero,” said Cormier in a recent interview with The Sun. “He is Stone Cold Steve Austin from 2000. The guy that you’re supposed to kinda root against, but you want to root for. Everything that he does before would have gotten people to boo you. But it’s like they’ve taken to it. It’s something so different that what they’re used to seeing the people love it. I think it’s fine.”

While McGregor isn’t going to land a stone cold stunner on anyone inside the Octagon anytime soon, he is capable of shutting the lights off with one punch, which is something that has fueled his growing popularity.

“Like I used to tell people when they used to ask about Tito Ortiz,” added Cormier. “I’m like you’re gonna pay to see the man fight because you want to see him either win, or you want to see him lose. He talks it and he backs it up. And Conor does the same thing. He’s working magic for the UFC.”

Champions recognize champions, right? While that may not be true for all of UFC’s current titleholders, it’s safe to say Cormier would love the opportunity to compete on a McGregor-led fight card. After all, those type of cards are the biggest in mixed martial arts (MMA) today.

McGrgeor is currently set to headline UFC 205 on Nov. 12 in New York City as he challenges Eddie Alvarez for lightweight gold, while Cormier will defend his light heavyweight strap opposite Anthony Johnson in a rematch at UFC 206 on Dec. 10 from Toronto.

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Will Jon Jones manage to talk his way out of a lengthy suspension when he goes before the Nevada State Athletic Commission to discuss his failed drug test later this month? If so, does that mean fans will also be as forgiving? MMAjunkie columnist Ben Fowlkes and retired UFC and WEC fighter Danny Downes debate the matter in this week’s Trading Shots.

Fowlkes: Hey Danny, do you by any chance recall back in July when one of the world’s greatest fighters was pulled from what was supposed to be the UFC’s biggest event, all because he tested positive for performance-enhancing substances? Yeah, well, what this column presupposes is … maybe he didn’t?

OK, I mean, he definitely did test positive, but according to what Jones’ attorney said on “The Luke Thomas Show,” those substances came from a supplement Jones was taking. Howard Jacobs told Thomas that both Jones’ camp and USADA both independently tested the supplement and found the banned substances that Jones popped positive for, neither which were listed on the supplement’s label.

So there you are, the old contaminated creatine defense. USADA has shown itself to be at least somewhat amenable to that argument in the past. Yoel Romero (12-1 MMA, 7-0 UFC) tried it and got a reduced six-month suspension. If Jones (22-1 MMA, 16-1 UFC) receives the same penalty, he could be cleared to fight as soon as January.

My question to you is, say it goes down like that. Say Jones and USADA both agree that he took a tainted supplement, and he comes back in 2017 to resume his run through the light heavyweight division. Will he do so with at least that part of his record expunged? Will he go back to being the old Jon Jones, the occasionally obnoxious party boy in need of a full-time driver? Will we strike “PED cheat” from the rap sheet, or will fans and foes still insist that he doped his way to greatness?

Downes: I’m of the opinion that fans don’t really care about PED use in general. They’ll throw the cheater accusation out here and there, but that’s only towards fighters they didn’t like to begin with. I doubt that the fans who dislike Jones are going to going to change their mind based on what USADA says about possible tainted supplements. It’s like saying that Hillary Clinton receiving the endorsement of Perez Hilton or Scott Bakula (which actually happened) is going to change the hearts and minds of voters.

I should really be asking what you and your friends in the media will decide. Does Jones get a pass like Dan Henderson? Does he get a passing mention now and then like Chael Sonnen? Or does he get the full force of the Ben Fowlkes finger-wagging like Vitor Belfort?

I suppose it’s a hard call for you. There’s the immediate suspicion of the tainted supplement defense. It’s up there with tainted meat or the dog ate my homework. At the same time, the supplement industry, in general, is under-regulated so it’s entirely possible that these companies put ingredients in their products which they don’t disclose.

There’s also the argument that “all athletes should know what they’re putting into their bodies.” On its surface, it seems like a reasonable claim, but it doesn’t hold up in practice. The fighters who can afford to hire nutritionists, they trust them. When your doctor gives you a prescription, do you immediately go online to check?

For the fighters who don’t hire professional assistance, it’s even more difficult. Yes, they may have a list of banned substances, but the average person still thinks of steroids as something you buy from a bodybuilder in a gym locker room. It doesn’t come in some over-the-counter powder.

But I think winning usually solves everything. As long as Jones comes back and reclaims his title, this ordeal will be an annoying footnote. Or am I being too magnanimous?

Fowlkes: I think a lot depends on public perception of the fighter before he got popped. Romero’s a good example.

For years he’s been walking around with the physique of an action figure. So when he failed a drug test shortly after USADA testing began, that was bound to look like confirmation of long-held suspicions to some people.

It’s a similar situation with Belfort, who has inhabited many different bodies over the course of his lengthy career, and who now finds himself looking extremely average, both in terms of physique and performance, in the USADA era.

Then there’s Brock Lesnar, a giant who’s been dogged by PED speculation his whole career. His camp has been testing everything from eye drops to foot cream looking for a way out of his positive tests, giving the whole thing a real O.J. Simpson-searching-for-the-real-killers vibe.

But Jones? Rumors have swirled for a long time about his recreational drug use, and those rumors got an extra kick when he tested positive for cocaine. But even his harshest detractors didn’t often accuse him of fueling his success with PEDs. Being a naturally gifted phenom was kind of his whole thing from the beginning.

This is the guy who debuted in the UFC less than four months after his first pro fight. He’s the guy who learned his striking techniques from YouTube videos. He’s also the guy who was partying and doing blow in training camp, then still put on a clinic against Daniel Cormier. We may never have thought he was strictly clean, but we never had reason to suspect that he was doing anything except for the kind of drugs that might diminish rather than elevate his performances.

In that sense, the tainted supplement excuse should work. (And you mentioned the supplement industry as “under-regulated”? That’s putting it lightly.) But with the way Jones has relished in stoking his haters, both among fans and fellow fighters, you know people aren’t going to let ammunition like this sit on the shelf. That’s true regardless of whether or not the people who end up using it actually believe it.

Downes: Ah, so the “eye test” determines who gets the benefit of the doubt? I suppose you’re right, but that’s still a pretty flimsy metric to determine a fighter’s legacy.

Conjecture should not be the preferred way to decide who’s a cheater. Let’s say Roy Nelson and Tyron Woodley find themselves in the same exact situation as Jones. You’re going to give more credence to the Woodley accusation because he looks like a guy who might be on PEDs?

One thing that gets lost in this argument is the UFC’s drug policy. Let’s say Jones is telling the truth. Look at all the time and millions of dollars he’s lost. In the environment now, you’re guilty until you prove your innocence. Fortunately for Jones, he has the resources to properly defend himself and survive this delay. Few UFC fighters have the means to do so.

Other sports have defined processes for athletes to defend themselves, and those processes are usually arrived at via mutual consent through collective bargaining negotiations. The UFC is different. But justice should not be something afforded only to the elite.

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In late March 2016, the UFC was riding as high as it ever had. Coming off a hastily constructed event starring Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz that organically generated a box-office and pay-per-view bonanza, another boon came when, after years of stalling, the New York State Assembly finally passed a bill that legalized mixed martial arts.

At UFC headquarters in Las Vegas, the development was viewed as such a watershed moment that company CEO Lorenzo Fertitta led the entire office in a champagne toast.

But what seemed like the beginning of a new cycle of prosperity quickly spiraled into something else entirely. Within weeks, reported that the UFC’s owners were in advanced talks to sell the promotion. Shortly after that, Fertitta and his brother Frank were out as majority owners, taking a multibillion-dollar payday in selling to a consortium led by Hollywood talent agency WME-IMG.

With that, everything changed. The family shop officially became what it had quietly been for years: big business.

It may or may not be a coincidence that in the time since the $4 billion sale, the UFC’s athletes have become more vocal about perceived management slights, pay concerns and injustices than ever in the promotion’s history.

Its detractors are numerous and diverse.

Just days ago, longtime welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, who is largely viewed as the linchpin of the promotion’s success in Canada and a reliable pay-per-view star, declared himself a free agent, setting in motion the near certainty of pending legal action between the two sides.

In a lengthy and candid interview with MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani, St-Pierre said an inability to reach a new deal over the course of several months contributed to his public disenchantment.

“Most fighters in the UFC, they are starving,” he said. “And for UFC, it’s very easy when you keep a lot of your staff starving, they are easier to control.”

St-Pierre’s case recalls that of former UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture, who attempted a similar maneuver in 2007 before scrapping his attempt at free agency in favor of signing a new deal with the UFC.

In the past, most dust-ups involved only the biggest names on the roster, as those with less seniority or promotional value saw little good in publicly criticizing the organization and facing potential repercussions.

That attitude has changed drastically.

Over the last few months, many members of the rank and file, from bona fide superstars to mid-level athletes to relative newcomers, have gone on the record with issues that as recently as a year ago they discussed only in private among teammates and close confidantes.

Take, for instance, the case of Al Iaquinta, a lightweight who began competing in the UFC in 2012 and reached as high as No. 12 in the rankings before going under the knife for knee surgery in December 2015.

Weeks ago, Iaquinta blasted the UFC on The MMA Hour, saying management had stripped him of the ability to earn post-fight bonuses for three bouts, denied him a chance to renegotiate his contract and originally declined to pay for surgery on the knee he injured while competing for the promotion.

Iaquinta, a native New Yorker, was so incensed that he eventually turned down the opportunity to fight in his home state at Madison Square Garden. He then took it a step further, saying he had retired and moved on to a career in real estate.

There are plenty of others.

Women’s featherweight standout Cris Cyborg has openly and repeatedly questioned the UFC’s approach toward her, saying on Fox Sports’ Speak for Yourself she would have her own division if she had “blond hair and blue eyes,” a swipe at the UFC’s treatment of star Ronda Rousey.

A few weeks ago, interim featherweight champion Jose Aldo asked for his release and promised he would never again fight in the UFC—a move prompted, he told Combate (h/t MMA Fighting), by his distrust in UFC President Dana White after being passed over for a unification bout with Conor McGregor. Aldo met with UFC brass Wednesday, and although he suggested the meeting was productive, he seemed to leave with the same plans he arrived with, telling MMAjunkie, “I think we need to go our own ways.”

There are others. Lightweight contender Khabib Nurmagomedov recently lashed out after saying he felt like a pawn used to set up UFC 205’s McGregor vs. Eddie Alvarez main event. In the aftermath, Nurmagomedov told The Luke Thomas Show that if he didn’t get a title shot after fighting (and presumably beating) Michael Johnson in November, he’d not only leave the UFC but also flex his influence to make sure the promotion never held an event in Russia.

Women’s bantamweight contender Julianna Pena told MMA Fighting she too was considering leaving the promotion after disagreeing with its handing Rousey a title shot upon her return.

Heavyweight veteran Mark Hunt has been at loggerheads with the promotion since after his UFC 200 opponent Brock Lesnar failed a drug test, which marked the third time he fought an opponent who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in competition.

“People are scared for years because the company is going to get them,” Hunt told MMA Fighting in July. “Well, f–k the company. They don’t give a s–t about you or anyone else.”

Even welterweight Lorenz Larkin got in on the act, telling Fox Sports of his frustrations in getting marketed despite an exciting style that jibes with the promotion’s usual preferences.

“There’s no push for me,” he said. “Everything I’ve done, I’ve done by myself or with my team as far as on my side. On the other side, I’ll take any fight and I bring it every time I step into the cage, but as far as me getting pushed as an athlete, that’s not happening.”

Adding to the frayed nerves, the new ownership recently purged the UFC’s employee rolls, laying off a number of key executives and support personnel. In total, about 15 percent of the workforce was let go, according to MMAjunkie. There have also been rumblings that ownership will trim down the athlete roster next. All this is taking place under the evolving fighter rights movement, with the new Professional Fighters Association working to organize UFC athletes into a united front.

All things considered, for new management it’s been a wobbly beginning at best and an inauspicious one at worst.

That couldn’t contrast more from the results on paper.

As 2016 goes, it has been something of a banner year. More specifically, the final six months of the year may well break every revenue record for a comparable time frame.

During that time, the promotion is likely to boast four pay-per-view events that surpass 1 million pay-per-view buys.

According to Dave Meltzer, both UFC 200 and UFC 202 passed the 1 million mark. UFC 205, featuring McGregor headlining the UFC’s New York arrival, is a near-lock to blow past that number and has a reasonable shot to set a record for event buys. The next month, Rousey returns in a show that is also likely destined to shoot into the seven figures.

To contextualize how rare a stretch like this is, the UFC went a span of over three years without a single one million PPV seller from August 2010 to December 2013, according to numbers compiled by MMA Payout through the Wrestling Observer.

For the new ownership, these are heady days but tricky ones. From the outside, the UFC may have seemed like an obvious and winning investment, but things have sure gotten difficult fast.

Back in the mid-2000s when investors were throwing money at MMA startups, White had a go-to spiel about promoters who thought they could waltz into the space and immediately make a fortune. It went something like this: “These guys have no clue what they’re doing. We’re in the fight business. We live and breathe this thing.”

Now, aside from White, that’s no longer true. He’s one of the last remaining fight-business purists, the livers and breathers. All of the new WME-IMG people around him are businesspeople, the kind he used to rail about. And all of them will be the ones who determine the UFC’s future.

On paper, the promotion is riding high. Events are selling, and stars are generating more attention than ever before. But just below the surface, the discontent is simmering.

Anything under that kind of pressure can only have two outcomes: Either the new ownership finds a way to cool off its aggrieved parties, or things move to a boil and, eventually, an explosion.

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The rapidly-rising Bellator Kickboxing promotion isn’t pulling any punches — or kicks — with its next show, which is slated for Dec. 10 in Florence, Italy. View full post on Recent News on

The ballot won’t be cast for another three months, but that won’t stop two verbal pugilists from throwing blows in the interim. Bellator 170: “Ortiz vs Sonnen” comes to The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., on Jan. 21, 2016. It’s the only fight announced so far for the card. And, quite frankly, may be the only fight you need to announce. It will be the first fight for Chael Sonnen since the self-described “Bad Guy” signed with Bellator.

Sonnen quickly vowed to go on “a legends ass kicking tour” and threw out names like Tito Ortiz as possible opponents.

For the “Bad Boy,” Ortiz, it will be his first bout since 2015 when he lost a world title shot against Liam McGeary. Before that devastating defeat Ortiz reeled off back-to-back wins for the first time in years, finishing Alexander Shlemenko and outworking Stephan Bonnar.

Both men are returning from long layoffs and losses in their last fight. So, while they prepare physically for the war, they are happy to score some points verbally in the mock political debate seen here.

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Michael Bisping just outlasted mixed martial arts (MMA) legend Dan Henderson at UFC 204 and is already setting his sights on a new opponent. While “The Count” is open to a middleweight title defense opposite former champion Chris Weidman (if Weidman can get past Yoel Romero at UFC 205 on Nov. 12), he has also lobbied for a superfight with former UFC welterweight king Georges St-Pierre.

Even though GSP is currently in contractual deadlock with UFC, Bisping hasn’t shied away from a potential clash with Canada’s MMA megastar. According to Bisping, all St-Pierre has to do is sign the dotted line.

“Honestly, I don’t know anything about the situation,” said Bisping regarding GSP’s beef with UFC in a recent interview with Sport 360. “Georges talked about fighting me a while ago and I’d love to fight the guy. It’d be terrific for me business-wise, and I also think I’d beat the guy.”

“Of course it’s a good fight for me so it’s down to him. I’m here if you want to fight Georges, let’s go. Sign the papers buddy. That’s all you’ve got to do.”

You can’t blame Bisping for trying. If GSP can work out his issues with the promotion he”ll be the hottest ticket in MMA outside of Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey. And if Bisping can get St-Pierre to move up to 185 pounds, his chances of cashing in on the welterweight’s return increase exponentially, especially since “The Count” is healthy and ready to go.

“I had a CT scan after the fight [UFC 204], and I’m all good,” said Bisping. “There’s some misinformation going around. I don’t know where they’re all getting it, but they are incorrect. I’m good, I’m healthy.”

“My leg is a little bruised, but a bit of ice and a few more days, and I’ll be good to go.”

If Bisping were to meet St-Pierre inside of the Octagon this year it would probably come at UFC 206 on Dec. 10 from Toronto, Canada, which is currently being headlined by a light heavyweight title rematch between champion Daniel Cormier and knockout king Anthony Johnson.

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Fedor Emelianenko is always in need of recognizable heavyweight opponents and he may have found one – if Shane Carwin is to be believed.

Carwin (12-2), a former UFC interim heavyweight champion who recently announced his intentions to return to fighting, tweeted a photo of a Rizin FF glove with a message reading, “Hey @rizin_PR you are going to need bigger gloves, these do not fit, not even close!”

Of course, this sent fans into a fit of fantasy matchmaking. Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic and Wanderlei Silva are among those competing in the Rizin FF open-weight tournament currently and in the Wild West world of Japanese MMA, it’s possible to see either man across the ring from Carwin in the future.

However, Carwin tweeted he accepted a fight with Emelianenko (36-4) “two weeks ago” and said the ball is in the Russian’s court.

“I accepted that fight two weeks ago,” the tweet read. “Would be an honor. It is up to him.”

Carwin last fought in June 2011, losing a unanimous decision to Junior Dos Santos at UFC 131. The loss to Dos Santos came on the heels of his submission loss to Brock Lesnar at UFC 116.

Prior to the loss to Lesnar, Carwin won the first 12 fights of his career, all by first-round stoppage. At UFC 111, he captured the interim heavyweight title with a knockout of Frank Mir.

He retired from MMA after his two-fight losing skid and a series of injuries.

Emelianenko has only been slightly more active, fighting twice since his own short-lived retirement in 2012. Once the most dominant heavyweight on the planet, his 27-fight winning streak from April 2001 to November 2009 included a lengthy reign as PRIDE champion.

He returned for his retirement this past December with a TKO of unheralded Singh Jaideep in the Rizin FF ring. In June, Emelianenko faced former UFC fighter Fabio Maldonado. Maldonado came very close to knocking out the Russian in the early stages of the fight and was competitive throughout the fight, earning the decision in the eyes of many viewers. Emelianenko won the official decision, however, and is now riding a five-fight winning streak.

For more on the upcoming MMA schedule, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Featured, News View full post on News | MMAjunkie
Thales Leites: If time comes for rematch with UFC champ Michael Bisping, I'll be ready
Before he can put himself in a position to challenge for the belt, though, Leites (26-6 MMA, 11-5 UFC) has a date with Krzysztof Jotko (18-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 100. The event takes place Nov. 19 at Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo. It

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Glory, the world’s leading kickboxing promotion, will take to the Mile High City on Friday as Glory 34: Denver will be the main form of entertainment inside the 1stBank Center in Broomfield, just outside Denver, Colo. View full post on Recent News on

BROOMFIELD, Colo. — Dustin Jacoby (9-8) turned in a solid first round against former GLORY Middleweight champion, Simon Marcus (45-3-2) at GLORY 34 on Friday night (October 21, 2016), but unfortunately for him, blocking a kick with his left arm proved costly. Jacoby, 28, suffered a broken arm and could not continue after the first round, which he won on all three judges score cards, and Marcus was awarded the technical knockout victory (TKO) inside 1STBANK Center.

“I felt great man,” Jacoby told Todd Grisham after the fight. “I was winning that round. I knew I was going to win this fight. Simon threw  a hard ass kick and caught me right in the arm. I felt it break right away. I finished the first round. I was still putting hands on him and using the teep. It just sucks … I came here to win … It just sucks.”

“The Hanyak” told MMAMania he is scheduled to have surgery on the broken arm on Monday.

“That’s what we practice to do,” Marcus told Todd Grisham after the bout. “Every kick, every knee, every punch, when it lands correctly it’s supposed to do damage. I landed it good on the arm and it broke, so … Training hard.”

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Eddie Alvarez does not truly respect Conor McGregor. The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight king has already made it known that he’s questioning McGregor’s fighting spirit heading into UFC 205 on Nov. 12 from New York City, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Alvarez had more to say about the Irishman after McGregor posted the following on Instagram:

The lab

A photo posted by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma) on

In response to McGregor’s new found cardio training, Alvarez took it upon himself to challenge “Notorious” via Twitter, recently comparing the Irishman’s bicycle efforts to the “Tour de France.”

Shots fired! Alvarez is well known as one of the most durable athletes in mixed martial arts (MMA) today, so it’s interesting to see what he thinks about McGregor trying to increase his reserve tank, which has been called into question in the past. Despite the new regiment, McGregor’s best chances to win at UFC 205 still reside in the first two rounds.

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Edson Barboza has picked up back-to-back wins over big-name lightweights in his most recent outings. Now, his career is in a holding pattern while he waits for the UFC to schedule his next bout.

Barboza (18-4 MMA, 12-4 UFC) is currently riding a two-fight winning streak after picking up decision wins over former UFC champ Anthony Pettis and ex-Strikeforce titleholder Gilbert Melendez. Those victories have the 30-year-old Brazilian in the No. 5 spot in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA lightweight rankings.

While speaking with MMAjunkie Radio, Barboza said he’s healthy and ready to fight – so ready, in fact, his family and coaches have to remind him to calm down in the gym.

“This year has been so pleasant for me,” Barboza said. “I’ve not gotten injured. I’m 100 percent healthy and train hard every day. My wife and my coach talked to me and said, ‘Bro, you have to slow it down a little bit because you don’t have a fight yet. Just slow it down a little bit.’ But thank God, I feel great; I feel better than ever. I’m just waiting for the UFC to call.”

Now training out of New York, Barboza obviously had his eyes set on UFC 205, which takes place Nov. 12 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

While two of his teammates got the call for the event, Barboza will not compete at the UFC’s long-awaited return to The Empire State.

“My training partners are fighting here, Frankie Edgar and Eddie Alvarez,” Barboza said. “I’m not disappointed, but I would love to fight on the same card as my training partners. Everybody tries to push each other in training, and we get better. It’s not happening, but I’m keeping training, focusing and getting better.”

The downside to Barboza’s climb up the division is the lack of available fights to move him further up the rankings. With the fighters ranked above him tied up in future bouts, the list of names with which risk matches reward is short.

When prodded by the MMAjunkie Radio hosts, Barboza refused to call out any of his fellow lightweights. Instead, he deferred to the UFC’s judgment while calling for a big matchup.

“I want to fight,” Barboza said. “I don’t like to say names, but I want to fight. I hope to fight somebody who is close to me in the rankings. I want to fight someone who puts me very close to a title shot. I’ve been in the UFC for a long time. I deserve a big fight.

“I’m just waiting on UFC to call me, man. UFC, call me, give me a fight and make things for me right now. My last two fights I did well. I’m ready for a big fight.”

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Bloody Elbow
The Korean Superboy wants to become UFC's first Asian champ and dethrone McGregor
Bloody Elbow
25-year-old Choi Doo-Ho, more commonly known as 'The Korean Superboy', could very well be the future of the UFC's featherweight division. Choi, who trains out Busan, South Korea, signed with MMA's premiere promotion in 2014 and is beginning to make …

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M-1 Challenge 71 is set to take place Friday night in Ingushetia, Russia, and the event will be headlined by a light heavyweight encounter between Viktor Nemkov and Attila Vegh. View full post on Recent News on

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