The List: Making the case for 5 possible Georges-St Pierre UFC comeback fights

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For too long, our writers’ hyper-specific arguments have been confined to the private corridors of the Internet. Welcome to The List, where we take their instant message bickerings, add a little polish, and make them public. Today, we make a case for who should fight Georges St-Pierre in his UFC comeback fight.

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The winner of Tyron Woodley vs. Stephen Thompson, because it just makes sense

Stephen Thompson and Tyron Woodley

Stephen Thompson and Tyron Woodley

Ben Fowlkes: GSP was the most dominant welterweight champion in UFC or MMA history, so why are we seriously talking about any fight other than one for the welterweight title? That’s his belt, people. I mean, I know it’s actually not, but come on, you also know that it totally is. He didn’t lose it; he released it into the wild. And since then, holding onto it has been a struggle for all who’ve tried. If you want to be the man in that weight class, you need to beat the man.

Plus, isn’t this what we’re all wondering, whether St-Pierre could go away for so long and still come back and run things in his old division?

Imagine him jumping right back in after more than three years away and snatching the UFC welterweight title right back. He’d be a legend, which he already is, but now he’d be king of the other legends. St-Pierre would get to sit at the head of the legends’ table. He’d have Fedor Emelianenko jumping up to refill his iced tea. He’d be like, “Pass the breadsticks,” and Anderson Silva would have to do it. Know why? Because only the GOAT could give up his title, go on a walkabout in search of aliens or whatever, then come right back and instantly be the champ again.

That’s why he should fight the Woodley-Thompson winner. And you know this.

Michael Bisping, because it’s a money fight with history on the line

Michael Bisping

Michael Bisping

John Morgan: St-Pierre’s comeback fight needs to be something epic, something special. Winning back the welterweight title he vacated in order to take his more than three-year sabbatical? That hardly seems necessary. Facing fellow MMA legend Anderson Silva? That’s an idea that would have been incredible in 2012.

No, there needs to be real history on the line, and that means a chance to become just the fourth man to win a title in two different weight classes. So, UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping, you’ve got your money fight.

I could see the case for booking St-Pierre vs. Conor McGregor (especially if GSP really can make 155 pounds), but it seems right now “The Notorious” is focused entirely on a proposed boxing match with Floyd Mayweather. If that’s the case, St-Pierre doesn’t have time to wait around and let the Irishman work out those details. That leaves Bisping as the only accessible champion for St-Pierre, and it would be one heck of a financial draw.

The real stumbling block, of course, would be getting Bisping to agree to not face Yoel Romero right now, because it’s clear Bisping can’t wait to book that fight (wink, wink). But if presented with a chance to face a legend in St-Pierre, especially as an undersized middleweight who hasn’t competed in forever, Bisping would be out of his mind not to sign the contract.

It makes sense for St-Pierre and Bisping, and it’s a historical fight that checks all of the boxes rather than a booking that’s simply about a cash grab.

Anderson Silva, because, even five years late, it still would be awesome

Anderson Silva

Anderson Silva

Simon Samano: Five years ago, as boxing failed to produce Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao in their primes, the UFC flirted with booking the MMA superfight of all superfights: then-middleweight champion Anderson Silva vs. then-welterweight champion St-Pierre. UFC President Dana White even said in late 2012 that it was “likely” and would happen at a packed Cowboys Stadium. It was going to be epic.

Then 2013 happened, and ugh. Silva lost twice to Chris Weidman and suffered a broken leg in the rematch, and St-Pierre stunned us all when he decided to step away following his ninth straight welterweight title defense. The window closed just like that.

But it wasn’t sealed shut! Here we are in 2017, and the UFC has the opportunity to make this happen again. It doesn’t even matter that it’s five years late. And you know why? Because the names are legendary. Because it will be good for business. And, most importantly, because five years later we’re still debating whether Silva or GSP is the GOAT, despite Silva being 1-4 in his past five fights and despite GSP’s nearly four-year layoff.

You know you want that settled for good. And if they don’t fight, you’ll always be curious.

Conor McGregor, because if it makes dollars, it makes sense

Conor McGregor

Conor McGregor

Fernanda Prates: I thought about dropping some $$$$$$$$ signs here and just leaving it at that, but apparently my job entails words. Lame, but let’s try.

St-Pierre vs. Conor McGregor is one of those matchups that sounds almost outlandish at first, but then it starts making a somewhat alarming amount of sense. Obviously, there’s the aforementioned money factor: If these two separately are capable of doing what they have, one can only imagine the kind of figures their combined power could generate.

Spoiler: More than what the brain of a person whose disposable income doesn’t accommodate couture pocket squares can comprehend.

That’s why the matchup makes sense for the UFC, GSP and McGregor. So what’s in it for the rest of us, who won’t get to fatten our custom-made Louis Vuitton wallets or expand our Bentley collections mostly because they don’t really exist? Well, we get an intriguing matchup between two freak athletes who could actually put each other in danger. I know, not as cool as a Bentley, but bear with me here.

We’re talking about an uber dominant ex-champ who beat the then-best for over half a decade, thanks to one of MMA’s most stifling grappling games and Stephen Hawking levels of octagon IQ. And then we’re talking about a borderline supernatural striker with hands as powerful as they are precise, who got two UFC belts via, well, total demolition.

But then we’ve got a 35-year-old returning after a nearly four-year layoff, who also didn’t look quite as unbeatable when he left. And we’ve got a man whose smaller frame was once a featherweight’s and who’s also shown that the closest thing he has to kryptonite is effective grappling.

Now tell me you’re not the least bit curious?

A Diaz brother, because because it might be just as fun – and lucrative

Nate Diaz

Nate Diaz

Steven Marrocco: If good ol’ “Rush” is looking to ease back into the fight game after four years gone, someone’s waiting for him. Actually, two are.

Nick Diaz has no cottonmouth when it comes to getting another fight with the former champ, his white whale and chief seller of wolf tickets at UFC 158. He’s already turned down two big offers from UFC boss White. Obviously, he’s waiting for the money one. Aside from McGregor, that’s St-Pierre.

There would be no lack of real tickets sold to watch those two face off again at a press conferenceDiaz schedule permitting – and in the octagon.

Even though the same outcome is almost assured, put the fight in California and watch the Diaz believers show up in droves. Then wait for the pay-per-view numbers to come in.

If the elder Diaz doesn’t want it, heck, give the younger one the shot. Nate Diaz is now a bonafide draw on his own, and you can sell a brother seeking vengeance all day. It’s still the same style matchup for St-Pierre, with an enticing X-factor of time off to make people question whether he can deliver the same performance. Like I said, the answer is probably yes. But there would be a lot of people who would want to see if that’s true.

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Michael Chiesa calls out Eddie Alvarez – ‘If he’s man enough he’ll accept my challenge’

Michael Chiesa is chomping at the bit to make his long-awaited return to action after a back injury bounced him from scheduled showdown against Tony Ferguson last summer.

And he isn’t looking for an easy out.

During a recent Q&A session this past Saturday in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada prior to UFC Fight Night 105 weigh-ins, “Maverick” called out former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight champion, Eddie Alvarez.

“Eddie lost the title to Conor (McGregor), but it’s a fight that makes sense,” said Chiesa via MMA Junkie. “Eddie’s a tough guy, former champion in other promotions, but he’s had his time. I think it’s mine.”

Alvarez hasn’t stepped into the cage since losing his 155-pound strap to Conor McGregor at UFC 205 last November. And though he was rumored to take on Nate Diaz later this year, nothing has been made official.

If it were up to Cheisa, Alvarez would stop sitting around doing nothing and take him up on his challenge.

“He says he wants to sit around and see what happens (at UFC 209) on March 4, but why don’t you fight somebody? Don’t just sit around and wait for it,” Chiesa said. “If he’s man enough to step up to the challenge, there’s a big bearded guy in the Northwest waiting to get into a 15-minute fist fight with him. Let’s see if he takes the bait.”

Chiesa is currently riding a three-fight win streak, but hasn’t competed since April of 2016 when he defeated Beneil Darisuh at UFC on FOX 19.

Anyone feeling a potential matchup between Chiesa and Alvarez?

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Bellator 172 Salaries: Freire ($80K), Kongo ($75K), Koscheck ($75K) Top Payroll

Patricky Freire pocketed an event-high $80,000 for his victory over Josh Thomson in the Bellator 172 headliner this past Saturday. View full post on Recent News on

The Biggest Screwjobs And Injustices In UFC History

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As if mixed martial arts wasn’t a tough enough sport as it is, there’s always the chance that a fighter will be on the receiving end of a monumental screwjob from either the referee or the judges. There are few sports as lax in the enforcement of rules as MMA. The rules set was ported from boxing with little attention payed to the difference between the sports, and as a result there’s all sorts of strange grey areas that effectively allow a less than scrupulous fighter to foul their opponent multiple times without being punished.

That’s because the only options a ref has is to warn a fighter or take a point from them. Since most MMA fights are three rounds worth a point each to the dominant fighter, taking a single point drastically changes the entire outcome of the fight, making it nearly impossible for a fighter who loses a point to win on the scorecards. So instead, we have referees refusing to do anything about flagrant kicks to the groin, pokes to the eye, grabbing of the fence, and a variety of other lawless behavior.

Here’s some of the worst outcomes due to this policy of inaction.

Holly Holm vs Germaine De Randamie

The most recent example we have, and a perfect example of how a seemingly obvious rule – you’re not allowed to hit your opponent after the bell – gets twisted to the point where it isn’t enforced. Following the second round of their inaugural women’s featherweight title fight, De Randamie threw a mean combo at the end of the round that knocked Holm’s mouthpiece out and left her staggering to her corner on rubber legs. The problem? Half of the shots came after the horn to end the round had sounded.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, the same thing happened at the end of the third, with De Randamie once again letting fly with a combo that saw half her punches slip through following the horn. The referee warned her after this incident, but no points were taken for either infraction. This ended up being a pretty big deal not just because the first incident knocked Holly senseless. She also ended up losing the fight to Germaine on the scorecards with three 48-47 scores. If the ref had taken away a point, the fight would have been declared a draw. When Holm’s camp filed an appeal with the New York State Athletic Commission, they argued that both fouls deserved point deductions, giving Holm a 47-46 victory and the 145 pound championship belt.

Few think her appeal with the NYSAC will be successful. For one, commissions tend to resist admitting they screwed up, especially in such a way that changed the outcome of a main event title fight. But more importantly, the Unified Rules of MMA are written in such a way that it isn’t quite clear when a fighter should stop fighting. The rules list “Attacking an opponent after the bell has sounded the end of the period of unarmed combat” as a foul, but then goes on to say “Once the referee has made the call of time, any offensive actions initiated by the fighter shall be considered after the bell and illegal.”

So by some interpretations of the rule, it is only a foul if the referee steps in to stop the fight and the fighter continues to attack after then. But since the ref in this case didn’t get inbetween Holm and De Randamie fast enough, De Randamie’s attacks were legal. Pretty ridiculous, huh?

Anthony Johnson vs Kevin Burns

Another area of MMA rules that need improvement is the eye poke department. As we mentioned earlier, MMA rules were poorly ported over from boxing, where they wear giant padded mitts that don’t allow for fingers in the eye. Meanwhile, MMA gloves aren’t just designed with the fingers exposed, the UFC gloves actually pull the hand open and lead to more fighters having their fingers outstretched … the perfect position for eye pokes. What’s worse, there’s no time cooked into the rules so a fighter can recover following a poke. If you get kicked in the junk, you get up to five minutes to catch your breath. Seeing double from a guy going two joints deep into your eye? You better be ready to fight again in 30 seconds, or they’ll stop the fight.

Back in 2008, the now light heavyweight contender Anthony Johnson was a rising welterweight prospect facing Kevin Burns. Burns ended up putting his open hand in Johnson’s eyes four times. Each instance was clearly caught on instant replay, with Kevin’s fingers going deep into Johnson’s eyes. It was so bad that afterwards, Anthony had to have surgery to fix a laceration that went from one end of his eye to the other.

As if that wasn’t awful enough, the fourth eye poke left Johnson writhing on the canvas in pain, and the ref went ahead and ruled the fight a TKO win for Burns! A decision that was upheld by the Nevada State Athletic Commission despite clear evidence of all the eye pokes. But Johnson ended up getting his revenge. The UFC set up a rematch five months later, and Rumble flattened Burns with a head kick knockout in the third round.

Jon Jones vs Matt Hamill

Sometimes it isn’t the calls a referee refuses to make but the ones they do that cause controversy. In 2009, Jon Jones was quickly rising to the top of the light heavyweight division and held a 9-0 unbeaten record … an unbeaten record he would still have today if his fight against Matt Hamill hadn’t been ruled a DQ loss. The fight only lasted four minutes, with Jones hitting Hamill with everything but the kitchen sink.

After knocking Hamill to the ground, Jones followed up with an endless stream of ground and pound to his opponent’s head. But for some reason, the referee refused to stop the fight despite Hamill covering up and being unresponsive. And then Jones threw a 12-6 elbow to Hamill’s head, and suddenly the fight was over. The referee hit Jones with a foul for the illegal strike, and because Hamill could not continue the fight was ruled a DQ loss for Jones.

The 12-6 elbow (named after the position of the elbow coming down in relation to a clock) is another one of those strange rules that has existed since the earliest days of MMA. Commissions saw tae kwon do and karate fighters breaking stacks of bricks and boards with downward elbows and had nightmares imagining one being dropped during a fight and exploding someone’s skull, so it was banned. Of course, it’s no more deadly than any other elbow, and just getting a bit of an angle so your elbow is 11-5 or 1-7 makes it legal.

It’s a dumb rule, and it cost Jon Jones his perfect record. At worst, the fight should have been ruled a no contest. At no point in the fight was Hamill winning, so to award him a win as if he was robbed of victory by this foul is absurd.

Johny Hendricks vs Georges St. Pierre

Even judges can get starstruck, and most fighters know if they’re facing a champion or legend in the sport, they’re really going to have to beat the brakes off their opponent to earn a win via the scorecards. Most recently, we saw this happen in the UFC 208 fight between Anderson Silva and Derek Brunson. Despite outstriking Silva almost 2-1, Brunson still lost a decision to “The Spider” that many consider outrageous. But at least that fight wasn’t for a title like Johny “Big Rig” Hendricks vs Georges St. Pierre back in 2013.

St. Pierre had been on an especially dominant run, having won nearly every round of every fight he’d been in since a fluke loss to Matt Serra back in 2007. So maybe the judges were just so used to giving him 10-9 rounds that Johny Hendrick’s surprise domination of the welterweight champion left them too confused to enter in the right scores. Hendricks battered GSP with hard elbows and even managed to take the typically unrelenting St. Pierre down where he inflicted even more damage from on top. Georges left the cage black and blue while Hendricks was unscathed. Regardless, the judges awarded Georges the split decision win, with two judges giving him 48-47 scores over the one judge who gave the fight to Hendricks 48-47.

The fight is even more controversial because Georges declared his intention to leave the sport immediately following the fight, denying Hendricks the chance for a rematch. Hendricks still believes he has GSP’s number, and is currently angling for another fight now that the Canadian legend is returning to the Octagon.

Demetrious Johnson vs. Ian McCall

When the UFC decided to create a flyweight division, they did so by holding a tournament with all the best 125 pounders in the company. At the end of the brackets, Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson and Ian McCall faced off for the inaugural flyweight title fight. The two went to war in a close match that was considered one of the best of the year, and at the end of three rounds Johnson was declared the winner via majority decision.

But it turned out that there was a screw up when counting the scores, and the fight should have actually been determined a draw. Normally draws are somewhat disappointing but due to special tournament rules, a draw in this fight would have led to a sudden victory round between Johnson and McCall. But by the time the error was realized, the fight had already been called and the screw up cost fans and the sport an exciting fourth round in a fight that was already considered legendary.

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Rose Namajunas Explores Colorado In “Thug Diaries”

This episode we wrap up our trip to Indonesia, prepare for our next fight at UFC Kansas City April 15 against Michelle Waterson, and get a little high in Colorado with Matt Lloyd from Mountain Strong Denver.

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Sergio Pettis taking his time before challenging UFC flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson

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HALIFAX – The UFC has a history of throwing contenders at UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson before many believed they were ready to face the pound-for-pound king.

Sergio Pettis doesn’t want to be included in that category.

Pettis (15-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC), who is riding a three-fight winning streak including a recent unanimous decision win over John Moraga at UFC Fight Night 103 in January, said he knows he’s eventually going to find himself in the octagon with Johnson (25-2-1 MMA, 13-1-1 UFC) should he continue to dominant the flyweight division as he has since its inception in 2012.

At just 23, though, Pettis said he’s in no rush to make that happen.

“Obviously the whole goal is to be the champion,” Pettis told fans at a Saturday fan Q&A session ahead of the weigh-ins for UFC Fight Night 105 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. “I’ve got to take my time and go through the rankings. I’ve got a lot of people in front of me I’ve got to get through and keep performing like I did in my last fight and keep getting comfortable in the octagon.”

Although Pettis, No. 9 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA flyweight rankings, is riding a nice wave of momentum, it wasn’t long ago when “The Phenom” suffered an upset TKO loss to Ryan Benoit at UFC 185 in March 2015. Two fights before that, he was submitted by Alex Caceres.

Benoit and Cacares are the only fighters to defeat Pettis, and in both those fights the Roufusport product and brother of former UFC champ Anthony Pettis was winning before being caught in a fight-ending sequence.

Although he would still have an undefeated record if those slip-ups did not occur, Pettis admits each setback has been crucial to his growing process. Moreover, he believes the outcomes will help him be a better fighter when he eventually does reach the top.

“Of course I would like to get those fights back, but I think those fights are necessary for my career,” Pettis said. “I feel like those losses made me realize how much I love the sport and the stuff I could work on to get better and better. A loss is a loss in life, in fighting. You’ve got two routes: Get better, or get bitter. I definitely think I got better.”

As far as his immediate future goes, Pettis said he’s not entirely sure what’s next. The UFC has recently had an exodus of 125-pound talent with contenders Kyoji Horiguchi, Ali Bagautinov and Zach Makovsky all parting ways with the promotion. Pettis had yet to fight any of those names, and with most around him in the rankings either booked, injured or coming off a loss, he doesn’t know what his next matchup is going to look like.

“(I’m) still waiting,” Pettis said. “I have to see where the flyweight division goes. Everyone who I want to fight right now has a fight. I’ll just wait and see what happens.”

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Video: Demi Lovato talks MMA training, life dating Bellator ‘Bomba’ on ‘Ellen’

Singer, songwriter Demi Lovato is no stranger to the mixed martial arts (MMA) scene, as the pop star — and former child actress — has been training in all disciplines if MMA for more than one year. She also dated former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight champion Luke Rockhold briefly, and is currently in a relationship with Bellator MMA standout Guilherme Vasconcelos.

During a recent appearance on “The Ellen Show,” Lovato talked about her training, what it’s like to date a professional MMA fighter and whether or not she feels any sympathy when “Bomba” lays a beatdown on his opponents inside the Bellator cage.

Hint: She doesn’t.

In fact, Lovato — who was nominated for a Grammy this year — is taking MMA so serious that Jay Glazer of FOX Sports recently revealed that she is actually contemplating partaking in a sanctioned bout. Lovato talks all things MMA starting at the 3:47 mark in the video player embedded above.


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Bellator 172 Medical Suspensions: Josh Thomson Gets Potential 6-Month Layoff After KO Loss

Josh Thomson returned to the cage following more than a year away at Bellator 172. After a knockout loss to Patricky Freire, Thomson could be facing another extended layoff. View full post on Recent News on

Boxing Legend Freddie Roach Was Key In Getting Georges St-Pierre Back In The UFC

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In the world of boxing, there are few people as universally respected as Freddie Roach. Through years of training the biggest stars of the sport, he’s managed to keep his head above most of the drama and beef that constantly swirls outside the ring. And in the past several years, he’s been bringing that lovable personality and knowledge of combat sports over to mixed martial arts as well.

He started his work with Georges St-Pierre, overhauling the wrestling-heavy Canadian’s style and giving him one of the most devastating jabs in the UFC — just ask Josh Koscheck about it. He was never the same after Georges broke his orbital bone back in 2010. And now it sounds like Roach was instrumental in bridging the gap between Georges and the UFC so the two parties could work out a new deal.

Roach has known new UFC owner Ari Emanuel for decades and also has close ties to UFC president Dana White from their days in boxing. He added in CAA agent Nick Khan and together with Georges, they worked out a deal.

“We weren’t looking to steal anyone away from anybody,” Roach told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “We just wanted to make the best deal we could for Georges. I do train him quite a bit, and he is a great guy. He needed some help, and that’s what we did. Georges was a little disappointed (before) because his people couldn’t get the deal done, and couldn’t negotiate the deal with Dana. I think there was a little ‘dislike’ there somewhere along the way. Me and Nick being neutral parties and having a good game plan, I think we pulled off a great deal for him. I think it was a very fair deal.”

“It all worked out really well. At the end of the day, I think everyone was happy. I’m looking forward to getting Georges ready for these fights. I think it will be a lot of fun.”

Georges may not be the only UFC superstar Roach ends up training soon. According to Freddie, Floyd Mayweather asked him to train up Conor McGregor if the boxing vs. MMA superfight between the two top names came together. Does Roach think that fight is really going to happen?

“According to Mayweather, yes,” Freddie said. “He told me he would fight [McGregor]. Everything is pointing in that direction right now. At one point, I didn’t think it was possible.”

“I think it would take a long time for Conor to get ready for a boxing match, a pure boxing match. But ya know, one punch can change everything. It’s the sport we’re in. I’m not gonna count him out completely. I think Mayweather is the favorite, yes, but I wouldn’t count anyone out. Because he throws, he throws hard and he’s not afraid to throw.”

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Robert Whittaker Down For April Meeting With Gegard Mousasi

Robert Whittaker is enjoying some time away from the grind of MMA, but when he returns, he’ll gladly throw down with Gegard Mousasi.

Check out highlights of Whittaker’s interview with “Submission Radio.”

If Robert Whittaker was offered the fight with Anderson Silva

“No, they didn’t get me up for anything like. I have my own agenda as well, so I only take fights when I can, if my body’s healthy and if it’s good for me.”

“I fight when I can. I love fighting, I don’t try and stray away from it. I love fighting big-name card fights. So if my body’s healthy and I’m ready for a fight, I’ll take a fight. So early in the year I had just had my son and I was recovering from some injuries that I sustained last camp and during the fight, and yeah, I just take my time. I’m in no rush. I’ve got age and time on my side.”

On Mousasi and Weidman being booked and if he thought he should’ve been booked against one of them

“I’m happy to let them slug it out. I’m happy to let them just throw down with each other. I’m not going anywhere. I’m here. Every time I’m not fighting I’m just increasing my skillset and just getting better at what I do and I’m getting more efficient at my training. So if I get them beforehand or I get to them after, it doesn’t bother me. I’ll end up getting to everyone.

When Rob will be ready to fight and his response to Gegard Mousasi insinuating that he was avoiding him

“I’m happy to fight after April. If I have to fight sooner I will, but you know, I think April is a good time. Looking at dates after April I think are good for me because my family would have settled down, and I heard (laughs) Mousasi say that I’m having a long holiday – and I am, I am, I’m enjoying it (laughs). It’s not up to him when I’m gonna stop my holiday.”

“I think people that know me know I’m not scared of anyone. I’m not ducking anyone. I’ll fight him very well after my bloody holiday.”

With the top contenders in the division already taken, if Rob would be willing to fight guys ranked below him

“I definitely want a fight with a top-five contender. I fought dudes that were under me and I think I deserve a shot at the guys above me. My goal and my objective is to keep going up and that’s the way I’m going to do it.”

Where he sees himself in the division by the end of the year

“I only see myself going up, to be honest, and I see myself beating a couple of guys in the top five and either being in contention for the belt or holding the belt. But the UFC’s a funny sport. It has its ups and downs and we’ll just have to wait and see.”

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‘Part Reptile: UFC, MMA and Me’: Dan Hardy chronicles his life and fighting life in new autobiography

The following is an excerpt released to MMAjunkie from Dan Hardy’s soon-to-be-released autobiography, “Part Reptile: UFC, MMA and Me.” The book chronicles the life and career Hardy, a former UFC welterweight title challenger now working in a broadcast capacity for the promotion.

“Part Reptile: UFC, MMA and Me” will be released March 23 and is currently available for pre-order at Amazon.


dan-hardy-part-reptileMy life to date has revolved around fighting, around my pursuit of striking a man’s jaw with the optimum speed, power and timing to rotate his head, disturb the grid of nerves and blood vessels connecting his brain to his skull, and render him temporarily unconscious. My fights are my reference points. And I admit that sometimes I struggle with that fact because I know most people tend to bookmark their journey with more traditional, much less malevolent, landmarks. They recall the likes of birthdays or holidays when seeking to put a moment in time from the past into context. Where were you living in 2004? Well, let’s see. I turned forty in 2004 so that means I … What were you doing with yourself in 2012? That was the year we spent a month traveling through Europe so … Ask me the same questions and I’m beating Hidetaka Monma into a bloody submission in Tokyo or putting Duane Ludwig to sleep with a sharp left hook in Vegas. Choose another year and I could be the fighter rising gingerly from the canvas in a semi-fugue state or battling to keep the blood flowing from my head back to my heart as my jugular vein and carotid artery are closed by an arm attempting to choke the life from out of me. Beyond that brief, exhilarating existence inside a cage, my mind’s eye won’t wander too far. To the torture of the gym or more psychological and spiritual preparation elsewhere perhaps, but certainly no further. Fighting. For thirty-four years, my journey has been signposted by fighting.

The Origins of a Fighter

From a fetal ball, curled up on a blue gym mat, I rolled my head to one side and tried to focus on a figure in the sparse crowd watching on. Through the haze of a fuzzy version of consciousness I spied my mother, sobbing and dabbing at the tears building in her brown eyes and threatening to flow freely down her cheek. I was seven years old and I clearly remember thinking, no, this is not for me.

dan-hardy-book-excerpt-1It all began a few years before that. Looking back, Michelangelo has a lot to answer for. Like every other young boy at school in the late 1980s, I became obsessed with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. When the bell sounded for break time, I sprinted onto the playground with an imaginary orange mask tied around my head, swinging make-believe nunchaku in the air with innocent, childish glee. I chose Michelangelo out of the four because he appeared to be everything I was not. He was the loud and funny one, the laid-back free spirit. In that always-too-brief window between lessons I longed to be that character, for I knew as soon as I was back in the classroom I’d revert to Dan, the quiet, insular, still-unsure-of-himself kid. Many years later it dawned on me that Raphael, the darker lone wolf of the quartet, was closer to the real me, but at five years old that Californian surfer-dude persona was the one I most aspired to.

Life had been a pretty comfortable bubble up until that point. I was basically not long out of the safe confines of playschool and, with no older brothers or sisters to lock horns with, home life had been largely strife-free too. The first three years were spent at my grandparents’ house in Clifton, three miles south of Nottingham city centre in the Midlands of England. My mother and father were both only seventeen when I arrived and did not yet have the means to fend totally for themselves. Mum, the youngest sister of three, was terrified of telling Grandad she was pregnant but he took it in his stride.

‘It doesn’t matter,’ he said after a brief pause to consider the life changing news. ‘We will love it and look after it.’

I remember going to my parents’ wedding when I was three, sitting on the church pew eating Jelly Tots and playing with a toy car. Before long we’d moved into our own small home. We were still in Clifton at this stage, regarded as a relatively rough working-class area of Nottingham, but we never had any major problems. A few weeks before I was born, my dad, Mark, began an engineering apprenticeship and for many years he worked twelve-hour day or night shifts. When he was on nights I remember having to tip-toe about the house, fearful of waking the potentially angry, hibernating bear upstairs. Thirty-five years later he’s still at the same company, albeit now in a management role and long past having to grind it out through the night. After a few years we moved to the slightly more affluent, lower-middle-class environs of Silverdale so I could go to a half-decent school in neighbouring West Bridgford. Mum was a part-time aerobics instructor and began volunteering at the pre-school I attended. She would eventually go to university to earn a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in childcare and now runs the school.

dan-hardy-book-excerpt-2In many ways we all grew up together, Mum and Dad maturing and learning to handle their own emotions while I looked on and absorbed everything. The little I understood about conflict or aggression I picked up from watching them going through the regular trials and tribulations of daily life that we all experience in our early twenties. Mum was a lioness, a generally relaxed character until she felt the need to protect one of her own. So it was from my dad that I would catch more frequent glimpses of the combative side to our family’s nature. He was an only child but my grandma is a very tough woman and, along with her sisters, she ensured her son was anything but mollycoddled. I remember standing on the touchline on a Sunday morning while he tore about the football pitch for ninety minutes. Grandad Ian was often alongside me, doling out sweets from a secret stash in his coat pocket. Unlike his son in centre midfield, sliding forcefully into every tackle and wading determinedly into the centre of the melees that pepper the average pub league match, it seemed to me that Grandad always had such a calm demeanour. Later I’d sit in the corner of the pub after the game and watch Dad enthusiastically participate in the caustic banter between teammates that British sporting environments are renowned for. I knew he was the same at work, nailing lunch-boxes to benches and verbally torturing any poor soul who had the misfortune of committing the most minor of mistakes.

My sister Gemma was born when I was four and the following summer we went on a budget holiday to Mallorca, staying in a hotel that struggled desperately to justify the three stars on its gable wall. One day we returned from the beach to find that Gemma’s cot had been removed from the room. When Dad went downstairs to ask for it back I was there to witness him lunge across the reception desk at an ignorant manager who dismissively suggested we drag a mattress off another bed and let the newborn lie on that. Even at four years old, I understood my dad’s anger. I didn’t know what he was angry about exactly, but I knew that he was arguing in defence of my little sister. I always took the responsibility of being a big brother very seriously and I remember immediately feeling very protective of her as soon as she was born. Gemma has been one of my biggest supporters from day one and a huge source of inspiration for me. I’ve never known anyone so musically talented and able to learn new things so quickly. After receiving a saxophone as a Christmas gift one year around the age of ten, she barely put it down to eat dinner and was playing like Lisa Simpson by the end of the day. She attended a lot of my UFC fights and I could always pick her voice out of the crowd above all others. Even with thousands of people cheering, my ears seemed to be tuned in to her particular tone. It may be because I’m so familiar with it, or perhaps it is down to us having basically the same DNA, but either way it gave me a much-needed boost at the right time in many of my fights.

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ONE Championship: Ma Jia Wen wants to make a name for himself outside of China

With mixed martial arts (MMA), Muay Thai and kickboxing shows happening in China almost every single weekend, local fighters can make a living without ever leaving the country. In fact, welterweight Wang Sai even turned his back on Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) because he felt he could earn more money competing in his homeland.

But some Chinese fighters are not content to merely make a living out of the sport without ever establishing themselves on the worldwide stage. Ma Jia Wen was not short of offers but decided to sign for Asia’s biggest MMA promotion, ONE Championship, because he had ambitions which went well beyond his nation’s borders.

“Even though the fight purse are lower relative to some local Chinese shows I still choose ONE because it provides an international platform. Also it is much more regulated and the competition level is much higher.”

Wen has fought five times for ONE Championship, winning three of those matches. The 20-year-old phenom has fought in big indoor arenas in Beijing, Guangzhao, Singapore, and Macau against opponents from Russia and the Philippines as well as China itself.

The memory of my first bout still resonate with me. Everything about it left a tremendous impression on me; the back stage, my entrance, seeing the light, entering the cage, feeling the mat, looking across at my opponent and ultimately winning the fight. It is still surreal to me.

He first appeared at ONE: “Dynasty of Champions” in June 2015, and says this is an experience that he will cherish for the rest of his life.

“The memory of my first bout still resonate with me. Everything about it left a tremendous impression on me; the back stage, my entrance, seeing the light, entering the cage, feeling the mat, looking across at my opponent and ultimately winning the fight. It is still surreal to me.”

Next up is a match against Indonesia’s Yohan Mulia Legowo on March 11th. It will be Wen’s first time fighting in Thailand and he hopes to win over the fans at the Impact Arena in Bangkok.

“I honestly don’t know how the international audiences view me as a fighter and as a person because my English is limited. Lately, I am more aware of my international presence and recognition and I am flattered, it’s something to be proud of and no-one outside of China would know my name if I wasn’t fighting for ONE Championship.”

Wen trains out of Tianjin Top Team and has a background in freestyle wrestling. He says fighting for a big international promotion brings more pressure than competing in China but it is a challenge he relishes.

“Of course I wish to demonstrate my best ability to the worldwide audiences and it can be stressful sometimes. I do believed that the added pressure is a good thing for me. It forces me to be more focused.”

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Report: Ex-UFC Fighter Terry Etim Hospitalized After Running ‘In and Out’ of Traffic

Eleven-time UFC veteran Terry Etim has been hospitalized after “running in and out of traffic” in the Old Swan area of Liverpool, according to a report from the Liverpool Echo. View full post on Recent News on

Bellator 179’s Rory MacDonald ‘chomping at the bit’ after enduring 2016 full of broken noses

Filed under: Bellator, Featured, Featured Videos, News, Videos

LONDON – You could refer to 2016 as the Year of the Broken Nose for Rory MacDonald.

The former UFC welterweight title contender first shattered his nose during the 2015 Fight of the Year, a brutal fifth-round TKO loss to then-champion Robbie Lawler. His nose broke again in 2016, several times leading up to and again during his June bout with Stephen Thompson.

Finally past the recurring, and now with Bellator, MacDonald (18-4 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) can’t hardly wait to make his promotion debut when he face Paul Daley (39-14-2 MMA, 5-1 BMMA) in the May 19 main event of Bellator 179.

“I’ve been chomping at the bit,” MacDonald told MMAjunkie. “I wish I could just get in there and fight. Unfortunately I made a bad decision last year training when I shouldn’t have been and breaking my nose throughout the year. I had to pay for that and be patient. It was good for me, though. I’m very hungry to rebound my career and take it to these guys.”

Currently on a two-fight losing streak, MacDonald’s attempt at a turnaround will begin with Daley, who said he is expecting to win by knockout. MacDonald expects Daley to fight accordingly.

“He’s a banger, as they say,” MacDonald said. “He comes to knock your head off. I can see he’s an aggressive guy, and that’s what I’m looking forward to.”

To hear more from MacDonald on training partner Georges St-Pierre’s return and how he plans on exploiting Daley, check out the video above.

And for more on Bellator 179, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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2017 kicks off as the year of the Brazilian resurgence

SAO PAULOBrazilian fighters have always been respected in the MMA scene, since the creation of what would become the UFC by the Gracie family, through the domination of Minotauro Nogueira, Wanderlei Silva, Shogun Rua and others during the Pride Era.Not that long ago, Brazilians held four UFC belts simultaneously – in a time when there were only seven weight classes. That was just after the Octagon made its first trip to the South American country after 13 years away. UFC got huge in Brazil, and names like Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort were just as big as those of any other major celebrity.S … Read the Full Article Here View full post on UFC News

Cris Cyborg failed to disclose banned substance until after flagged drug test, scored USADA exemption anyway

Invicta FC featherweight champion and part-time Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) headliner, Cristiane Justino, found herself in trouble with United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) last December following a violation of the organization’s drug testing policy.

“Cyborg” was taking the banned substance Spironolactone, but failed to disclose the physician-prescribed treatment until after she was zapped by USADA, which raised questions about discretion and arbitrariness.

In short, special treatment (like this).

To help answer some the lingering questions about the decision-making process, USADA released a statement explaining the steps Justino took to earn a retroactive therapeutic use exemption (TUE).

From MMA Fighting:

Her use of the medication was not initially disclosed; but more importantly, once contacted by USADA, she immediately identified the medication as the source of her positive test, submitted all necessary medical information and demonstrated that it was being used for legitimate medical purposes without enhancing her performance. Those are the primary considerations when reviewing any TUE application.

Didn’t work for this guy.

Now that she’s free and clear, “Cyborg” can return to the Octagon at her natural weight of 145 pounds. Unfortunately, we still don’t know who the Brazilian will fight, with newly-crowned division champion calling for a Holly Holm rematch.

It’s lonely at the top.

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UFC 210 Update: Gregor Gillespie, Andrew Holbrook to Clash in Buffalo on April 8

New York native Gregor Gillespie will get a chance to compete on home soil when he locks horns with Andrew Holbrook at UFC 210. View full post on Recent News on

Yoel Romero’s Manager Slams Michael Bisping For ‘Ducking’ His Client

Getty Image / Steve Marcus

XXX: Return of Xander Cage thespian Michael Bisping has a part-time gig as an MMA fighter. Did you know that? Fascinating stuff, really. Anyway, there’s been a bit of grumbling (and showmanship) from top middleweight contender Yoel Romero’s camp over the lack of title fight coming the Soldier of God’s way. The latest critique of Bisping came via Romero’s manager Malki Kawa on Tuesday’s edition of The Luke Thomas Show.

Kawa’s client is the clear cut #1 contender in the division, but Bisping’s unapologetic interest in big money fights (like say a certain Georges St-Pierre comeback bout) has made this potential tilt a non-priority for the British MMA vet. According to Kawa, Bisping is actively sidestepping a fight with Romero. Why? A fight with Romero could derail Bisping’s gravy train final act.

“The reality of it is that Dana agrees and so does every single person that owns the UFC, has a piece of the UFC,” said Kawa on the SiriusXM Rush program. “From the celebrity owners to Ari Emanuel, Patrick Whitesell, every one of the employees at WME, every single person here at First Round Management, and probably the millions and millions of fans that watch the UFC agree that Yoel Romero deserves the next shot at Michael Bisping. I think the issue here is the following: Michael Bisping understands that his days are numbered when it comes to a guy like Yoel Romero. I think he understands the game very well from every opponent he’s picked.”

Romero’s agent cited fights like the Bisping/Henderson clash from October as evidence of lower card guys being gifted what Romero has arguably earned. Kawa makes no bones about his belief that Bisping is ducking Romero. (He also is not saying “ducking” in a positive Gordon Bombay sort of way.)

“I don’t care what anybody says, he is absolutely ducking Yoel Romero right now. It’s been confirmed to me by everybody at the UFC. Michael Bisping wants no part of Yoel Romero at this point. None whatsoever.

“I’m not telling you that he’s necessarily ducking him because he doesn’t want to ever fight him, I just think that right now, at this point he’s just trying to sidestep that fight, take this Georges St-Pierre fight, hope he wins, and if he wins, ‘I’ll fight Yoel Romero.’ If he doesn’t win, ‘I got my payday,’ and then Yoel can go and fight Georges.”

It’s not hard to find reasonable points for why Bisping should or should not fight Romero. On paper, Romero seems like a strong contender to fustigate Bisping and end this lucrative title headliner run he’s enjoying which might not be too appealing for a man being punched in the face for a living. On the other, Yoel Romero has more than done his part as a fighter and pseudo promoter to come across like a badass you could hype a fight with. Here’s hoping whatever happens isn’t shaped by the inevitable next high profile UFC injury.

(Via MMA Fighting)

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Derrick Lewis Suffered Broken Bone In Win Over Travis Browne

My foot is broken

A post shared by Derrick Lewis (@thebeastufc) on

Derrick Lewis will have a little extra time to prepare for his next fight, as the UFC heavyweight contender announced that he broke his foot Tuesday.

Lewis finished Travis Browne this past weekend at UFC Fight Night 105.

The post Derrick Lewis Suffered Broken Bone In Win Over Travis Browne appeared first on

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Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET): Derrick Lewis, Dominique Robinson and Ken Hathaway (in studio)

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Derrick Lewis, Dominique Robinson and Ken Hathaway.

Lewis is coming off a brutal knockout win over Travis Browne in the UFC Fight Night 105 main event in Canada on Sunday. In addition, MMA vet Dominique Robinson and MMAjunkie videographer Ken Hathaway will co-host the show in the studio.

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. You can watch and listen live on MMAjunkie’s Facebook and YouTube pages. Additionally, SiriusXM Rush (Ch. 93) carries a replay later in the day (8-10 p.m. ET) and the following morning (7-9 a.m. ET), or catch a replay on demand.

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

  • HOW TO WATCH (ON WEB): Watch a live stream on MMAjunkie’s Facebook or YouTube pages.
  • 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 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

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Top 10: Brazilian Moments in the UFC

Amanda Nunes celebrates with the belt after defeating Ronda Rousey at UFC 207 last December” align=”center” />Home to iconic fighters and diehard fans, Brazil has always been the spiritual home of mixed martial arts, and from Gracie to Nunes, the history of the nation in the sport is intertwined with the history of the UFC as well. And though it’s difficult to narrow it all down for a list like this, here are ten of the top Brazilian moments in UFC history.1993Gracie wins first UFC tournamentOn paper, Royce Gracie never had a chance. In reality, it was the rest of the field in the first … Read the Full Article Here View full post on UFC News

‘Stronger’ Stephen Thompson packed on eight pounds of muscle for Tyron Woodley rematch, anticipates ‘dramatic weight cut’ for UFC 209

Stephen Thompson will do everything within his power to win the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight title, a goal he failed to achieve at the UFC 205 pay-per-view (PPV) event last November in New York.

That was then. This is now.

After battling Tyron Woodley to a five round-draw in the “Empire State” (watch it), the former kickboxing phenom went back into training camp with the intention of getting stronger and faster for their second go-round.

“Wonderboy” talks to

“Last time I was walking around at about 182 (pounds). I’m up to 190 (pounds) and I’m trying to stay about right there. I am not trying to get over that. It is still a dramatic cut. But, I have done it before. I have done it in the past. So I know I can do it. I am feeling stronger and I am feeling faster than ever man. In the past I have actually gone out there and looked for the knockout and just found that I wear myself out trying. So now I am more patient. If the knockout happens then it happens. If not, I am ready to go five, five-minute rounds of war. That is what I am preparing for. I am just looking to go out there and leave it all in the Octagon.”

He might be leaving it all in the hospital (like this guy).

That depends on just how ”dramatic” his weight cut gets — sans IV hydration — during fight week, which is just the sort of thing local athletic commissions love to hear from high-profile fighters.

Thompson and Woodley will run it back in the main event of the UFC 209 PPV a week from Saturday night (March 4, 2017) inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada (details), with the winner moving on to fight … well we don’t know just yet, thanks to this guy.

Stay tuned.

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Matt Riddle Would Rather Stay On The Indies Than Go To NXT Right Now


Every year, there’s a different independent pro wrestler setting the scene on fire. In 2015, it was Zack Sabre Jr. In 2016, there can be no doubt that the most buzz went to Matt Riddle, one of the most natural pro wrestlers to come around in some time. The former UFC fighter was purported to be one of the main reasons WWE and EVOLVE originally formed their partnership, but he’s still under contract to WWNLive and is tearing up the indies all over the world.

And that’s just the way Riddle wants things for now. He’s not in any rush to make it to WWE (or more accurately NXT, which is where he would start out), and he’s loving what he’s doing. He explained his situation to Live Audio Wrestling, and pretty much Michael Landon’d things, saying NXT can wait.

I think the biggest thing people realize is yeah, there is way more money in WWE. Of course, but the indies are just great. I don’t know how else I can explain it any other way. I was at NXT the other day, the crowd was huge, they roared and everything but it’s just very, very commercial. It’s very commercial, the lights go on, they come off, they focus here, they focus there, this, that and the other thing, camera here, camera there, you know? It’s a really big production and there’s nothing wrong with that. I was fighting in the UFC, I’ve been part of big productions like that but the indies have this real gritty feeling to them. Especially when you’re in Europe or even here in America, you’re usually in a tight room or a tight, big room with 700-1500 people packed in there, going crazy, chanting, throwing stuff. I think it’s just a more raw element and for me, right now, I think that’s the only place I want to be right now. Don’t get me wrong, I would like to wrestle for WWE one day or maybe sooner than later if it happens but right now, I really like what I’m doing on the indies, I can be as creative as possible, no one tells me how to wrestle. They’re like hey, you’re in this match, you’ve got this much time which is awesome and I go do it. I really wouldn’t want to change anything at the moment.

So you still have plenty of time to go check out Riddle on the indies, and I wholeheartedly encourage you to do so, because he’s the real deal. It’s all but a certainty that he’ll end up in NXT at some point, but don’t miss him, baby, because he’s not going to miss a thing.

View full post on MMA – UPROXX

UFC 209 Primer: Tyron Woodley Vs. Stephen Thompson

The first meeting between Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson was a five-round, 25-minute battle that resulted in a majority draw.

Woodley defends his welterweight title at UFC 209 on March 4 against Thompson in the rematch.

The post UFC 209 Primer: Tyron Woodley Vs. Stephen Thompson appeared first on

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Here we go again: Filipovic out, Liam McGeary now meets Brett McDermott in Bellator 173 main event

For the second time in 48 hours, Bellator 173 headliner Liam McGeary has a new opponent for Friday’s card.

On Monday, Bellator officials announced that Chris Fields had been forced out of the Bellator 173 main event against former light heavyweight champion McGeary (11-1 MMA, 8-1 BMMA) and would be replaced by promotional newcomer Vladimir Filipovic (8-2 MMA, 0-0 BMMA).

But today, Filipovic is out, too. Stepping up on two days’ notice to take his place will be Brett McDermott (7-4 MMA, 0-0 BMMA), who like Filipovic will be making his promotional debut.

A Bellator official confirmed the change to MMAjunkie today and said visa issues for Filipovic were the culprit for taking him off the card. The news of McDermott’s short-notice assignment first was reported by SevereMMA’s Peter Carroll.

Bellator 173 takes place Friday at SSE Arena Belfast in Northern Ireland. The night’s main card airs on Spike via tape delay in the U.S.

McDermott, an Englishman known as “The Spartan,” has six of his seven career wins by knockout. He has alternated wins and losses in his past seven fights, starting with a knockout of Bellator heavyweight Oli Thompson in December 2014. His resume includes a fight against Bellator standout Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal in December 2015 under the Rizin FF banner, but after that loss he went 2-1 in 2016 with a pair of knockouts.

McGeary, a 34-year-old English fighter who’s No. 9 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA light heavyweight rankings, won his first 11 pro bouts – 10 via stoppage – before ceding his title to current champ Phil Davis. Prior to the setback, McGeary won the belt with a decision victory over Emanuel Newton and defended it with a submission victory over Tito Ortiz.

Filipovic is a 26-year-old Serbian who has been competing professionally since 2014. He’s currently 5-1 in his past six outings, with the lone loss in that stretch coming to Anatoly Tokov, who made his Bellator debut at this past weekend’s Bellator 172 event. Filipovic boasts three career wins by knockout and three by submission. Now he’ll have to wait for another day to make his big-show debut.

With the change, Bellator 173 now includes:

MAIN CARD (Spike, 9 p.m. ET via tape delay)

  • Liam McGeary vs. Brett McDermott
  • James Gallagher vs. Kirill Medvedovsky
  • Sinead Kavanagh vs. Iony Razafiarison
  • Colin Fletcher vs. Alex Lohore


  • Norman Parke vs. Paul Redmond
  • Dominique Wooding vs. Andy Young – for BAMMA interim world flyweight title
  • Damien Lapilus vs. Ronnie Mann – for vacant BAMMA world featherweight title
  • Rhys McKee vs. Myles Price – for BAMMA Lonsdale lightweight title
  • Pelu Adetola vs. John Redmond
  • Jai Herbert vs. Steve Owens
  • Daniel Rutkowski vs. Niall Smith
  • Ross McCorriston vs. Blaine O’Driscoll
  • Stephen Kilifin vs. Andrew Murphy
  • Daniel Olejniczak vs. Jonathan Reid
  • Glenn Irvine vs. Keith McCabe

For more on Bellator 173, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News View full post on News | MMAjunkie

UFC Unfiltered: Michael Bisping & Harley Flanagan

UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping calls in to discuss who his next opponent might be, Anderson Silva vs. Derek Brunson, why he dislikes Hector Lombard, and how his knee is healing up after surgery. Plus, hardcore music legend and Renzo Gracie black belt Harley Flanagan joins Jim Norton and Matt Serra in studio to talk about his life in music and jiu jitsu. And, the guys discuss all things UFC Fight Night Halifax. Some of the highlights from Episode 71 of UFC Unfiltered include: Bisping is going to the spa, courtesy of Yoel Romero Bisping on a fight with GSP Clip 3: Bisping on rec … Read the Full Article Here View full post on UFC News

Latest UFC rankings update: Derrick Lewis outranks Mark Hunt, Carla Esparza drops out of top five

Johny Hendricks M.I.A. following UFC Halifax.

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight power puncher, Derrick Lewis, won his sixth straight fight at 265 pounds last Sunday night (Feb. 19, 2017) by knocking the block off former top contender Travis Browne in the UFC Fight Night 105 main event.

Watch the FS1 replay here.

The knockout win in Halifax marked the fifth finish in six tries for “The Black Beast” but only returned one spot in the official UFC rankings. That means the mixed martial arts (MMA) media thinks Travis Browne is a tomato can, or just hates Lewis for being a big meanie face.


Compare the drop for ex-UFC strawweight champion Carla Esparza with that of “Hapa” and you’ll see something is fishy with the way these subjective lists are tallied, but that’s nothing new. Abolish the rankings altogether as far as I’m concerned.

Take a look at what the latest rankings field looks like courtesy of Note: (+/- = movement in rankings, *NR = Not previously ranked).

1 Demetrious Johnson
2 Conor McGregor
3 Daniel Cormier
4 Jose Aldo
5 Cody Garbrandt
6 Stipe Miocic
7 Joanna Jedrzejczyk
8 Dominick Cruz
9 Tyron Woodley
10 Michael Bisping
11 Amanda Nunes
12 Max Holloway
13 Khabib Nurmagomedov
14 TJ Dillashaw
15 Yoel Romero

Champion: Demetrious Johnson
1 Joseph Benavidez
2 Henry Cejudo
3 Jussier Formiga +1
4 Wilson Reis +1
5 Sergio Pettis +1
6 Dustin Ortiz +2
7 Ian McCall
8 Ray Borg +1
9 Brandon Moreno +1
10 Tim Elliott +1
11 John Moraga +1
12 Louis Smolka +1
13 Ben Nguyen +1
14 Alexandre Pantoja +1
15 Ryan Benoit *NR

Champion: Cody Garbrandt
1 Dominick Cruz
2 TJ Dillashaw
3 Raphael Assuncao
4 John Lineker
5 Jimmie Rivera
6 Bryan Caraway
7 Aljamain Sterling
8 Michael McDonald
9 John Dodson
10 Thomas Almeida
11 Eddie Wineland
12 Johnny Eduardo
13 Rani Yahya
14 Pedro Munhoz
15 Iuri Alcantara

Champion: Jose Aldo
1 Max Holloway (Interim Champion)
2 Frankie Edgar
3 Ricardo Lamas
4 Cub Swanson
5 Jeremy Stephens
6 Anthony Pettis
7 Chan Sung Jung
7 Charles Oliveira
7 Yair Rodriguez
10 Brian Ortega
11 Dennis Bermudez
12 Dooho Choi
13 Mirsad Bektic
14 Darren Elkins
15 Renan Barao

Champion: Conor McGregor
1 Khabib Nurmagomedov
2 Tony Ferguson
3 Eddie Alvarez
4 Rafael Dos Anjos
5 Edson Barboza
6 Nate Diaz
7 Michael Johnson
8 Michael Chiesa
9 Beneil Dariush
10 Dustin Poirier
11 Francisco Trinaldo
12 Gilbert Melendez
13 Evan Dunham
14 Al Iaquinta
15 Will Brooks

Champion: Tyron Woodley
1 Stephen Thompson
2 Robbie Lawler
3 Demian Maia
4 Carlos Condit
5 Neil Magny
6 Jorge Masvidal
7 Dong Hyun Kim
8 Donald Cerrone
9 Gunnar Nelson
10 Tarec Saffiedine +1
11 Kamaru Usman +1
12 Jake Ellenberger +1
13 Ryan LaFlare +2
14 Matt Brown
15 Santiago Ponzinibbio *NR

Champion: Michael Bisping
1 Yoel Romero
2 Luke Rockhold
3 Jacare Souza
4 Chris Weidman
5 Gegard Mousasi
6 Robert Whittaker
7 Anderson Silva
8 Vitor Belfort
9 Derek Brunson
10 Kelvin Gastelum
11 Krzysztof Jotko
12 Thales Leites
13 Uriah Hall
14 Tim Boetsch
15 Sam Alvey

Champion: Daniel Cormier
1 Anthony Johnson
2 Alexander Gustafsson
3 Glover Teixeira
4 Ryan Bader
5 Jimi Manuwa
6 Mauricio Rua
7 Corey Anderson
8 Ovince Saint Preux +1
9 Volkan Oezdemir +1
10 Ilir Latifi +1
11 Rogerio Nogueira +1
12 Gian Villante +1
13 Patrick Cummins +1
14 Jan Blachowicz +1
15 Jared Cannonier *NR

Champion: Stipe Miocic
1 Fabricio Werdum
2 Cain Velasquez
3 Alistair Overeem
4 Junior Dos Santos
5 Ben Rothwell
6 Francis Ngannou
7 Derrick Lewis +1
8 Mark Hunt -1
9 Andrei Arlovski +1
10 Travis Browne -1
11 Stefan Struve
12 Alexander Volkov
13 Daniel Omielanczuk
14 Aleksei Oleinik
15 Tim Johnson

Champion: Joanna Jedrzejczyk
1 Claudia Gadelha
2 Karolina Kowalkiewicz
3 Jessica Andrade +1
4 Rose Namajunas +1
5 Tecia Torres +1
6 Michelle Waterson +1
7 Joanne Calderwood +1
8 Carla Esparza -5
9 Randa Markos *NR
10 Paige VanZant
11 Maryna Moroz -2
12 Felice Herrig -1
13 Jessica Aguilar -1
14 Jessica Penne -1
15 Justine Kish *NR

Champion: Amanda Nunes
1 Valentina Shevchenko
2 Ronda Rousey
2 Julianna Pena +1
4 Holly Holm
5 Raquel Pennington
6 Sara McMann +1
7 Cat Zingano -1
8 Liz Carmouche
9 Bethe Correia
10 Germaine de Randamie
11 Alexis Davis
12 Ashlee Evans-Smith
13 Marion Reneau
14 Jessica Eye
15 Leslie Smith

You can expect these standings to change in less than two weeks — especially in the welterweight division — when UFC 209: “Woodley vs. Thompson 2” takes place on Sat., March 4, 2017 inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada (full details here).

Until then, let us know what you think of the latest rankings movement in the comments section below.

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Bellator 179’s MacDonald bringing ‘the old Rory back’ against Daley, who expects a knockout win

Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News

LONDON – A former UFC title challenger who’s currently ranked No. 4 in the latest USA TODAY/MMAjunkie MMA welterweight rankings, Rory MacDonald has certainly earned his status as one of the top 170-pounders in the world.

However, riding back-to-back losses for the first time in his career, MacDonald (18-4 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) believes he’s “got a lot to redeem” in his upcoming Bellator debut. Which is why the May 19 headliner against Paul Daley (39-14-2 MMA, 5-1 BMMA) is not simply about getting his hand raised again.

“The statement needs to be made with my performance,” MacDonald said during a press conference in London today. “And I’ve been working hard on new things. I’m shying away from point fighting a little bit. I want my strengths to shine in this fight. I want to come after Paul. I want to put him away early and in impressive fashion.

“This fight won’t look anything like that (Stephen Thompson) fight. I have a lot to prove. That fight is probably the most embarrassing fight of my career. I want to make a statement with this fight. I won’t be looking anything like that. I won’t be picking shots from the outside circling. You’ll be seeing the old Rory back.”

Bellator 179 takes place May 19 at SSE Arena in London. The main card will air in Spike, though complete broadcast plans haven’t been announced. (Past Bellator events in Europe have aired on a tape-delay basis on Spike.)

Today’s news conference was also attended by Derek Anderson, who’s set to have his welterweight debut against Michael Page; heavyweight Bobby Lashley, who’d just been announced by Bellator President Scott Coker as part of the card; and, of course, Daley himself. Page, Coker informed, couldn’t attend due to illness.

The tone between Daley and MacDonald was cordial, respectful and even playful at times. Daley, who’d been asking for the scrap from the start, made no secret of how much he admires the Canadian fighter, who he repeatedly placed among “the best in the world.” So much that, when they first shook hands, his inner fan came out.

“It was just really great to meet him,” Daley said. “I am a true fan of the sport, as well as being a fighter. I’ve never met Rory. I’ve seen him fight a lot. I’ve been a big big fan of his fighting style and what he does in the cage, so it was just a bit of a fanboy moment, if anything, finally meeting the guy before I fight him on May 19.”

But then, of course, even respect has its limits.

“I do hold him in high regard,” Daley said. “And that’s also one of the reasons I called him out. I like to test myself, and I think this is a big test for me, but I’ve been in these tests before and I passed them. I’m expecting a tough fight, but I’m also expecting to win. And win by knockout.”

MacDonald said that his intention upon signing with Bellator following the decision to not renew his UFC deal was to face 170-pound champ Douglas Lima. But, with that failing to materialize given injury issues on Lima’s end, he sees the Daley matchup as a chance to properly make his way up in the new promotion.

“I kept asking, like every week, ‘Put that (Lima) fight together,’” MacDonald said. “But it didn’t happen. A lot comes down to timing, and I understand. These guys need a break after a fight and he got hurt, so I understand. Not going for the title, the guy to get to the title will be Paul, so it’s the perfect fight.

“It’s my first fight in Bellator and people are going to see me working up the ladder. They’re going to see me fighting the No.1 contender for that title shot. So I think people get to see a little build up in the division for me.”

While they disagree as far as outcome goes, both headliners seem to entertain similarly violent expectations as to how the scrap will play out. In true “Red King” fashion, MacDonald predicts a “bloody fight” and a “war,” while Daley believes his Canadian opponent and his “fighter spirit” will provide for a “blood-and-guts type of fight.”

MacDonald also clarified that, in spite of what he originally expected, he didn’t need surgery on his nose – which is actually “straighter” after Stephen Thompson broke it at last June’s UFC Fight Night 89. Now, confident it’s “at 100 percent” after a lot of patience, he “can’t wait to get my hands on somebody.”

The idea, MacDonald says, is to stay as active as possible moving forward. And, since he’s not “too big on cutting weight all the time,” sees going back-and-forth between 170 and 185 pounds as a good way to fight every three months.

Asked about maybe facing former PRIDE champion and MMA legend Wanderlei Silva, who’s set to return this year from a three-year suspension by the Nevada Athletic Commission, MacDonald didn’t wince.

“Let’s do it,” MacDonald said. “That’s perfect.”

In fact, why stop at middleweight?

“If someone were to drop out, like, say Paul got injured last minute, I’ll fight anyone on the card,” MacDonald said. “I don’t care how big they are. So Bellator doesn’t have to worry about getting a replacement fight.”

Noticing that Paul Daley pointed at Bobby Lashley as he made that remark, MacDonald reiterated.

“Yeah, even that big guy over there.”

To hear from MacDonald and Daley, check out the video above.

And for more on Bellator 179, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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Silva’s sons enjoyed UFC 208 walkout moment with The Spider

When the lights dimmed for the UFC 208 co-main event at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Anderson Silva celebrated his family as much as his own career. The Brazilian superstar came out accompanied only by his two sons, Gabriel, 19, and Kalyl, 18, with his coaches following a little further behind. The two boys hugged their father and sat on the first row to watch Silva go toe to toe with Derek Brunson.A few minutes later, following a barrage of shots and fan shouts, Gabriel and Kalyl were by the Octagon’s door waiting for Silva to exit after being declared the unanimous winner by the judges … Read the Full Article Here View full post on UFC News

‘Tough’ Michael Bisping: Georges St-Pierre moving up to fight me is a ‘bad idea’

Now that Georges St-Pierre has inked a new deal to return to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the question as to who will welcome “Rush” back into the Octagon seems to be the hot topic.

The current popular choice is a showdown against current Middleweight champion Michael Bisping, as both men made their interest in fighting one another very clear.

While “The Count” is more than willing to brush the current No. 1 contender at 185 pounds to the side momentarily (sorry, Yoel) to land a million-dollar payday against the former welterweight champion of the world, he doesn’t think it’s a good move for “Rush” to move up a weight class to face him.

Especially coming off a three-year layoff.

“If they offer me the No. 1 contender, I’ll take the No. 1 contender. If they offer me ‘GSP,’ listen, I will be a fool not to take it, of course I will take ‘GSP.’ If they were to offer that fight, but there’s been no word about it,” said Bisping during a recent interview on the UFC: “Unfiltered” podcast.

“I hope they do. After three years, I think it’s a tough fight for ‘GSP’ If I’m honest. Fighters know the hardest part of fighting, of course it’s the physical; but the hardest part is the mental aspect. There’s self-doubt, inner-demons. ‘GSP’ kind of had a tough fight last time out against Johny Hendricks and spending three years away, and coming back stepping up a weight class and fighting me, I think that’s a bad idea for Georges St-Pierre. If he wants to do it then God bless.”

Admittedly, St-Pierre left the fight game shortly after his win over “Bigg Rigg” at UFC 167 back in 2013 in order to focus on his battle with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). With his head seemingly in the right place and his demons conquered, “Rush” is ready to get back into the cage to face the best UFC has to offer.

But is taking on someone as active as “The Count” — who is on quite a roll with wins over Luke Rockhold, Anderson Silva, and Dan Henderson in a span of just nine months — a good idea?

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