Video: Ahead of UFC 206, watch Matt Brown’s wild 2014 fight with Erick Silva

Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

For Matt Brown, it didn’t get much bigger than UFC Fight Night 40. It was essentially a hometown fight – one in which he ran his winning streak to a career-best seven fights. He also picked up both “Fight of the Night” and “Performance of the Night” honors.

Oh, and did we mention that the 2014 bout with Erick Silva earned “Fight of the Year” consideration, due in large part to an absolutely wild start to the main-event bout in Cincinnati.

It was vintage Brown, and it ultimately put him in a title-eliminator in his following bout.

Check out the full fight above.

And catch Brown (20-15 MMA, 13-9 UFC) back in action on Saturday, when he meets Donald Cerrone (31-7 MMA, 18-4 UFC) in UFC 206’s pay-per-view headliner at Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

For more on UFC 206, check out the UFC Rumors section of MMAjunkie.

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Overeem will serve as commentator for GLORY: COLLISION event

The biggest event in kickboxing history just got even bigger – with the announcement UFC star Alistair Overeem will serve as a special guest commentator for this Saturday’s epic GLORY: COLLISION super-card.The GLORY: COLLISION main event sees the hotly anticipated clash between GLORY heavyweight champion Rico Verhoeven and the most dangerous puncher in kickboxing – Badr Hari. It is a dream fight fans feared would never happen – but it finally goes ahead as the headline attraction of a show which sold out the 12,500 seat Konig Pilsener Arena in Oberhausen, Germany, over a mont … Read the Full Article Here View full post on UFC News

UFC 206 predictions: ‘Holloway vs Pettis’ Fight Pass ‘Prelims’ undercard preview, Pt. 1

More Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) action is coming to Fight Pass and FOX Sports 1 this weekend (Sat., Dec. 10, 2016) when UFC 206: “Holloway vs. Pettis” storms Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.’s Patrick Stumberg kicks off the UFC 206 “Prelims” party with the first installment of a two-part undercard preview series.


Two of the most elite lower-weight strikers in Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will duke it out for an interim Featherweight interim title this Saturday evening (Dec. 10, 2016) when Max Holloway (No. 2) puts his nine-fight win streak on the line against Anthony Pettis (No. 5). The 145-pound studs will headline UFC 206, which will air live on pay-per-view (PPV) from Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario Canada, after the original main event between Light Heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier vs. Anthony Johnson was scratched because of injury.

The PPV main card will also feature Donald Cerrone vs. Matt Brown in a terrific Welterweight showdown, as well as Doo Ho Choi stepping up against Cub Swanson and Tim Kennedy’s Octagon return opposite Kelvin Gastelum.

UFC 206 features seven “Prelims” undercard matches that will set the PPV stage, three on Fight Pass and four on FOX Sports 1. Let’s see what we’ve got to look forward to in the former:

155 lbs.: Lando Vannata vs. John Makdessi

Few gave Lando Vannata (8-1) any shot when he stepped up on short notice to face Tony Ferguson, least of all the oddsmakers who made him a +475 underdog. To everyone’s surprise, “Groovy” gave “El Cucuy” the fight of his life and –despite ultimately losing via submission — hurt him worse than anyone before in UFC to date.

He has submitted four professional opponents and knocked out another three.

John Makdessi (14-5), stepping into the Octagon for the thirteenth time this weekend, continues to find himself in controversial decisions. He suffered a questionable split decision loss to Yancy Medeiros in Dec. 2014 and, most recently, scraped past The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) veteran Mehdi Baghdad in July.

Nine of his wins, including two of his last three, have come by form of knockout.

Even being careful not to overvalue Vannata’s performance against Ferguson, it’s hard not to pick him here. Makdessi continues to lack urgency in his striking despite it biting him in the rear multiple times. Against Vannata, whose slick head movement precludes serious damage and whose quality boxing can inflict the same in return, that’s just not an issue he can afford to have.

Vannata ought to have the wrestling edge and I just don’t have any faith that Makdessi will throw enough to keep him honest. Vannata uses volume and pressure to take a striking-heavy decision.

Prediction: Vannata via unanimous decision

155 lbs.: Rustam Khabilov vs. Jason Saggo

Once on the cusp of Lightweight contendership, Rustam Khabilov (20-3) has had to claw his way back up after consecutive losses to Benson Henderson and Adriano Martins. He has spent 2016 overpowering his fellow grapplers, defeating Norman Parke, Chris Wade and Leandro Silva by decision.

He will give up three inches of height to the 5’11″ Jason Saggo (12-2).

Saggo ran roughshod over Josh Shockley in his Octagon debut before losing a split decision to Paul Felder his next time out. Missing all of 2015 with a torn ACL, he returned to the cage in March and picked up wins over Justin Salas and Leandro Silva.

Eight of his 11 finishes have come by submission, seven by form of choke.

I’m not exactly sure why they keep putting Khabilov against grapplers whom he can beat but not look good against. Aside from being more active in his pursuit of submissions and ground-and-pound, Saggo really presents no issues that Khabilov didn’t already overcome in his last three fights. My major hope is that Khabilov can regain some of the confidence in his striking he had before the Henderson loss.

Even if he remains tentative, however, his wrestling is more than enough to carry him to another victory.

Prediction: Khabilov via unanimous decision

125 lbs.: Zach Makovsky vs. Dustin Ortiz

Once Bellator MMA’s Bantamweight champion, Zach Makovsky (19-7) made the drop to 125 pounds and quickly won four straight, including two in UFC. He is 1-3 since, defeating Tim Elliott but losing decisions to division standouts Jussier “Formiga”, John Dodson and Joseph Benavidez.

He is an inch shorter than Dustin Ortiz (15-6) at 5’4.”

Ortiz opened his UFC career 3-1, defeating top prospects Ray Borg and Justin Scoggins in the process. He is likewise on a 1-3 stretch at the moment, including losses to the aforementioned “Formiga” and Benavidez.

He replaces the injured John Moraga on one month’s notice.

Both of these guys are significantly better than their UFC records suggest. Indeed, the opponents I mentioned above are all Top 5-ranked talent at Flyweight and the worst ZUFFA loss between them is probably Ortiz’s questionable decision loss to John Moraga, who is himself a former title challenger.

The key factor that has me picking Makovsky is the fact that Wilson Reis gave Ortiz the exact kind of scramble-heavy battle he thrives in and dominated him anyway. Makovsky’s issues stem from his lack of stopping power on the feet –against someone who will engage him on the mat, his technical prowess shines. Expect a fun, competitive ground battle that sees Makovsky take enough dominant positions to earn the win.

Prediction: Makovsky via unanimous decision

Be sure to check back tomorrow night, Maniacs, as we preview and predict what’s in store for UFC 206 on FOX Sports 1, which will feature a meaningful 205-pound clash and a battle between 155-pound fighters looking to crack the Top 15, among others.

Remember, too, that will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 206 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, and then the remaining undercard balance on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.

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After Delivering a Show, Demetrious Johnson Is Owed a Star Opponent

It was almost 10 years ago when the mixed martial arts world was shaken by a thunderbolt. The moment featured a UFC retread who won a reality show to jump the line of merit-based contenders, a seemingly dominant champion and a sudden, shocking finish.

The scene at Saturday night’s UFC: Tournament of Champions Finale was primed for a remake of the original. Every great story gets one these days, right? 

The timing was right, so was the setting. All this time later, the moment hasn’t been forgotten, even though the lesson has. 

Demetrious Johnson almost learned it the hard way, but he’s too smart and too good to get caught slipping. Instead, it was just a scare for him, a first-round hiccup on a run toward history. A few minutes of trouble and made-for-TV drama and then a return to excellence.

His unanimous decision win over Tim Elliott was his 11th straight overall, and his ninth flyweight title defense, putting him just one behind Anderson Silva’s UFC record.

The win was impressive, but on a resume like his rings a bit hollow, through no fault of his own. It’s a win that does little for his legacy, and it was always destined to be that way after the UFC picked this path for him. 

Of the 16 competitors that filled the season’s Ultimate Fighter’s tournament bracket, 14 had never before fought in the UFC, while two had short runs. One of those, Elliott, turned out to be the winner. Yet, his undistinguished 2-4 mark in his first UFC stint had already proved him to be a step below the division’s best. 

It wasn’t exactly an indignity for Johnson to face a reality show winner, but it wasn’t exactly right, either.

The problem with greatness is that it is often unapproachable, difficult to measure with any real precision until nights like last night. In the fight game, that leads to careers that are both brilliant and underappreciated. 

That’s how we end up with Saturday night, with Johnson against…some guy.

Any connoisseur of fisticuffs tuning into the broadcast last night probably couldn’t help but shake their head in reluctant acceptance of the surreal scene unfolding before them. Johnson, the No. 1 ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC, was facing…Tim Elliott? The UFC washout?

Yes, that is where we were. 

That is also where Johnson is, in such rarefied air that in attempting to match him up in some meaningful way, the UFC did something that has no parallel in any other sport. They rounded up a group of 16 high-level UFC wannabes, put them in a blender and whipped up a ready-made “contender.” 

They got a season of entertainment out of it and a reasonably competitive challenger for Johnson. Still, it’s impossible to leave the scene without thinking Johnson deserves more.

Part of his relatively low profile is his own doing. When asked who he wants to face, he never has a preference and true to form, after winning Saturday, that trend continued.

“I’m sure [UFC matchmaker] Sean Shelby has something up his sleeve,” he said during the post-fight press conference.

It’s always mystifying when someone so assertive in the cage can be so passive outside of it but if Johnson’s not going to ask for something more, it’s time for some of us to do it for him.

So how about a matchup with the winner of UFC 207’s Dominick Cruz vs. Cody Garbrandt bantamweight title bout? How about T.J. Dillashaw in a catchweight fight? One of those two should be Johnson’s next option in order to raise his profile before time starts catching up with him. 

The options in his natural home are limited. During his 11-fight win streak, Johnson has already defeated six of the division’s current top 10 (including Joseph Benavidez twice), and another man who is now ranked in the bantamweight top 10 (John Dodson) twice. 

There aren’t many fresh divisional contenders waiting for him, other than No. 4 Jussier Formiga and No. 5 Wilson Reis, and neither is what you might call popular.

For now, Johnson hasn’t shown much interest in moving up for a champion vs. champion fight without some financial incentive, but that seems like a reasonable request. Otherwise it’s back to risking it all without the same upside, and that seems something close to cruel.

With the knowledge of Johnson’s result, imagine what could have happened in that troublesome first round, when guillotine and D’arce chokes put him in mild danger, and an Elliott left hook wobbled him in the round’s final minute. 

It was only his poise that turned things around, Johnson doing as he does, making adjustments in step with his unrelenting speed as if he’s powered by Silicon Valley’s latest processor chip. Within minutes, Elliott was robbed of his space and then sapped of energy, and before he knew it he was spending huge chunks of time on his back, existing in bursts of resistance.

In the pantheon of reality show winners vs. UFC champions, Elliott finished somewhere between Travis Lutter and Matt Serra. That’s no knock. Lutter, it’s mostly forgotten, had full mount on Anderson Silva before he eventually ran out of gas and submitted to a triangle choke.

A couple of months later, Serra knocked out Georges St-Pierre. Elliott didn’t win, but for 25 minutes he fought like a man who realized he was in the midst of the opportunity of a lifetime and couldn’t stomach the thought of regrets.

“Tim’s a hell of a fighter,” Johnson said on the UFC broadcast shortly after winning. “It’s like wrestling a damn muskrat. I just had to neutralize him, man.”

Opportunity granted and danger averted, it would be nice to see Johnson get some of his just desserts. When the pound-for-pound king is fighting a reality show winner, there’s a problem. As the champion, the risk is always bigger than the reward, but the gap shouldn’t be this wide. On Saturday night, it worked as good theater.

But for the UFC, it’s time to pay the man back for the show with one that’s truly worthy of his spotlight talent.

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Demetrious Johnson: Once I Made My Adjustments, It Was ‘Downhill’ for Tim Elliott

The popular narrative that will emerge from “The Ultimate Fighter 24” finale main event is that Tim Elliott gave Demetrious Johnson the most difficult test of his flyweight reign. View full post on Recent News on

Jon Jones Admits He Used To Get Blackout Drunk Leading Up To His Fights

For a man serving a year-long suspension from the sport of MMA, Jon Jones is keeping himself busy. He’s got a grappling match against Dan Henderson on December 11th under Chael Sonnen’s Submission Underground promotion. And today he decided to make an appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience Podcast to address all the controversy surrounding his last second removal from UFC 200 over “dick pills.”

Jones recently claimed on Twitter that he’s up to 15 months of sobriety, and maybe it’s that distance that’s allowed him to open up about the serious problems he seems to have with substances, be they cocaine or alcohol. The cocaine thing blew up in his face when traces of the metabolite showed up in a drug test at the start of 2015. But it turns out he was playing an even more dangerous game with alcohol at the same time. Via MMA Fighting:

“I literally would, one week before every fight,” Jones said. “I would go out and I would get blacked out wasted. And my logic was, if this guy were to beat me somehow, I can look myself in the mirror and say, the reason I lost is because I got hammered the week before the fight.”

“I trained for the [Gustafsson] fight, but I definitely had this thing where I felt invincible,” Jones said. “And I did a lot of wild stuff leading up to the fight. I definitely didn’t give it my all. Really partying, drinking, staying up all night.”

“My relationship with alcohol was never healthy, and I never went through a period in which I had a mature, healthy, responsible relationship with it.”

This all led up to a hung over drive home from a party that turned into a car crash that then escalated further into a hit-and-run as Jones fled the scene of the crime. That behavior resulted in the stripping of his title and 18 months of supervised probation. Many hoped this would finally be the wake up call that would get Jones’ head straight and back into the fight game. But then he took some mystery sex pills a teammate gave him and ended up right back on the sidelines for another year.

Jon may not be able to stay out of trouble, but at least he seems to be learning from past mistakes? Another couple of years and he’ll have screwed himself over in every way possible, and maybe then he can finally get back to cementing his legacy as the best fighter in the UFC. We hope. I’d rather be writing about Jones fighting in the Octagon than the fights with his demons.

(via MMA Fighting)

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Yes, Conor McGregor Still Has Two UFC Belts

The motherfucking champ champ! @jetsmarter

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

If you thought Conor McGregor wasn’t going to flash his championship gold just because the UFC took one of his belts away, you are wrong.

McGregor, who won the lightweight title last month over Eddie Alvarez, “relinquished” the featherweight strap recently.

But it appears “Notorious” is still parading around with both titles on his shoulders.

The post Yes, Conor McGregor Still Has Two UFC Belts appeared first on

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Bellator 169 lineup set with five fights on main card in Dublin, including Daniel Weichel vs. Brian Moore

With a pair of changes to the lineup, plus a new addition to the card, the lineup for Bellator 169 is set for later this month in Dublin.

With Paul Redmond (10-6 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) out with an injury, as previously reported, Daniel Weichel now will face fellow featherweight Brian Moore (9-4 MMA, 0-0 BMMA). And with Bruna Ellen (2-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) out, Helen Harper (4-1 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) now will take on another Bruna – Bruna Vargas (2-1 MMA, 1-0 BMMA).

In addition, the event has added a bantamweight bout between Shay Walsh (14-4 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) and Luiz Tosta (9-2-1 MMA, 0-0-1 BMMA), which will open up the main card on Spike.

Bellator 169, which is a joint venture with BAMMA, takes place Dec. 16 at 3Arena in Dublin. The main card airs on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie. In the main event, Muhammed Lawal meets Satoshi Ishii in a heavyweight fight.

The complete Bellator 169 card, including the BAMMA 27 card in the prelims, now includes:


  • Satoshi Ishii vs. Muhammed Lawal
  • James Gallagher vs. Anthony Taylor
  • Brian Moore vs. Daniel Weichel
  • Helen Harper vs. Bruna Vargas
  • Luiz Tosta vs. Shay Walsh

BAMMA 27 card

  • Tom Duquesnoy vs. Alan Philpott – for BAMMA bantamweight title
  • Andrew Clamp vs. Chris Fields
  • Niklas Backstrom vs. Ronnie Mann
  • Sean Tobin vs. Dylan Tuke
  • Jai Herbert vs. Rhys McKee
  • Kiefer Crosbie vs. Conor Riordan
  • Walter Gahadza vs. Nathan Jones
  • Ian Cleary vs. Andrew Lofthouse
  • Terry Brazier vs. Niklas Stolze
  • Sinead Kavanagh vs. Eeva Siiskonen
  • Conor Dillon vs. Richie Smullen
  • Blaine O’Driscoll vs. Neil Ward
  • Richard Kiely vs. Keith McCabe
  • Will Fleury vs. Kyle Mclurkin

For more on Bellator 169, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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

Hall, Font among big winners at TUF prelims

HALL vs. MAYNARDUltimate Fighter season 22 winner Ryan Hall made his first post-TUF start a winning one at the Pearl at the Palms in Las Vegas on Saturday, as he scored a three-round unanimous decision over Gray Maynard in a featherweight bout.Scores were 30-27 twice and 29-28 for Hall, now 6-1; Maynard falls to 13-7-1 with 1 NC.After avoiding Hall’s first two somersault takedown attempts, Maynard got brought to the mat on the third one but was able to quickly escape and get upright. Another trip to the mat followed, as the unorthodox Hall did whatever necessary to get the fight on the g … Read the Full Article Here View full post on UFC News

Bjorn Rebney: UFC, new owners are bullies – ‘They need a ‘Superman’ punch in the back of the head’

Last week, former Bellator MMA CEO Bjorn Rebney took part in a conference call alongside Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) stars Tim Kennedy, Cain Velasquez, T.J. Dillashaw and Donald Cerrone, as well as former Welterweight champion, Georges St-Pierre, to announce the formation of Mixed Martial Arts Athletes Association (MMAAA).

The association (not a union) aims to fight for the rights of UFC fighters and, more importantly, a bigger piece of the profit pie. Rebney — who claims he will not make decisions on behalf of the group because he is an adviser — today revealed that one of his motivating factors behind the formation of the association is to beat back against two big bullies, UFC and its new WME-IMG owners.

“I hate racists and I hate bullies more than anything on Earth,” Rebney said during a recent edition of “The MMA Hour” via MMA Fighting. “They’re bottom feeders. And WME-IMG and UFC today — that conglomerate — they’re bullies. And it may not be with their hands, but it’s with their money and it’s with their power and it’s with their influence.”

Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, along with Dana White, sold the promotion to WME-IMG earlier this year for a whopping $4 billion, which prompted many fighters to realize that they weren’t getting a fair share of the revenue. As Rebney sees it, however, that sale was not only made possible by the aforementioned trio, but with the blood, sweat and tears of the countless fighters who are getting the short end of the stick.

“That didn’t come from Dana or Lorenzo,” Rebney said. “That came on the backs of fighters who packed the arenas, drove the pay-per-view buy rates, drove the international and domestic television, the sponsorships, the closed circuit, etc., etc. They deserve to get paid what’s fair. And to be able to fight that fight, to be able to be in the middle of that and also to be able to Superman punch bullies in the back of the head, that’s a very attractive proposition for me just given my personality.”

While many applauded the bravery of fighters currently under UFC contract to step up and speak out, they also questioned the involvement of Rebney, who doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to being fighter-friendly. Just ask Eddie Alvarez. That said, Rebney isn’t shocked at the initial reaction. In fact, he anticipated it.

“I expected it,” he said. “I was the second largest mixed martial promoter in the world for a number of years. I didn’t expect people would look at me and go, ‘Oh my god, what a natural transition that is. I didn’t expect people to go, ‘Oh that’s awesome, what a great dude.’ I expected people to go, ‘Ahh, why is he doing this? That guy was part of the problem. Why is he now part of the solution?’ Yeah, I expected that. The good news is the negative vibe has been focused on me, which is exactly where it should be. But, the better news is that the reaction has been big.”

For Rebney — who made out nice after selling Bellator MMA to Viacom — joining MMAAA isn’t about fattening his pockets, but rather those of the athletes, who can possibly secure pension plans and medical insurance, among other things, in the not-so distant future if everything falls into place.

For more on MMAAA’s plans and goals click here and here.

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The Ultimate Fighter 24 Finale: Matches to Make for the Winners and Losers

Tim Elliott earned his shot at flyweight glory at The Ultimate Fighter 24 Finale, but he came up short Saturday in his attempt at dethroning the best pound-for-pound fighter.

Demetrious Johnson retained his championship by unanimous decision. It was his ninth defense, just one shy of Anderson Silva’s UFC record.

Also in action, TUF coaches and flyweight contenders Joseph Benavidez and Henry Cejudo went to war, and Benavidez edged out Cejudo. In addition, Sara McMann defeated a returning Alexis Davis to inch closer to being a top contender at 135 pounds.

Who’s next for all these athletes? That’s what we’ll look at in the aftermath of the latest TUF finale.

Begin Slideshow

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Jessica Andrade-Maryna Moroz Strawweight Bout Tabbed for UFC 207 on Dec. 30 in Las Vegas

Rising Brazilian strawweight contender Jessica Andrade will make her third Octagon appearance at 115 pounds, taking on Ukraine’s Maryna Moroz at UFC 207 on Dec. 30 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. View full post on Recent News on

An MMA Fighter Capped Off A Brutal Knockout By Giving His Opponent The Peace Sign

There’s getting slammed, there’s getting slammed really hard, and then there’s what Gerald Harris did to Aaron Cobb did on Friday night. Harris, a former UFC competitor who last competed in August of 2013, faced off against Cobb at Legacy Fighting Championship 63. The fight ended when Harris tried his best to slam Cobb through the center of the earth, and while he was unable to do that, he was able to get the win via knockout in the first round.

Harris had Cobb up against the cage and decided to pick him up. Cobb, in an act of self-preservation, tried his best to throw a few punches, but it was all for naught. Harris then turned and just obliterated Cobb, the fight was called, and the announcers lost their minds. One even screamed “that was freakin’ awesome” because, well, it was freakin’ awesome.

Here’s the slam from a few other angles.

The best part of this was Harris’ initial reaction to the slam. He started to get up, noticed that Cobb was out, and threw up a peace sign. Cobb was so dazed that instead of doing anything else, Harris decided to just say “deuces” and move on to celebrating. You know you’re a bad man when you can just say peace out with so much certainty at the end of a fight. You’re also a bad man when you can manhandle another human like this, but that part was obvious.

(Via BroBible)

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Bellator 167 Event Highlights Featuring Darrion Caldwell

Check out highlights from the recent Bellator 167 event in the video above.

The card featured Darrion Caldwell besting Joe Taimanglo.

The post Bellator 167 Event Highlights Featuring Darrion Caldwell appeared first on

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Jessica Andrade vs. Maryna Moroz added to year-end UFC 207 card in Las Vegas

The UFC appears to have added a women’s strawweight fight to the main card of the year-end UFC 207 event.

Jessica Andrade (15-5 MMA, 6-3 UFC) has been booked for a fight against Maryna Moroz (8-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC). Although the UFC has not yet made a formal announcement of the booking, the matchup was revealed on the UFC 206 “Inside the Octagon” episode, which was released today.

UFC 207 takes place Dec. 30 (a Friday) at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Andrade, from Brazil, has back-to-back stoppage wins since making the drop from bantamweight to strawweight earlier this year. After a submission loss to Raquel Pennington at UFC 191 in September 2015, Andrade dropped to strawweight and stopped Jessica Penne with a second-round TKO at UFC 199 in June. In September at UFC 203, she choked out Joanne Calderwood in the first round for a “Performance of the Night” bonus.

Maryna Moroz

Maryna Moroz

Moroz, from the Ukraine, has a pair of wins in 2016, as well. After a decision loss to Valerie Letourneau in Saskatoon in August 2015, she picked up a decision win over Cristina Stanciu in Croatia in April, then followed that up with a split call over Danielle Taylor at UFC Fight Night 92 in Salt Lake City in August. Her promotion debut in April 2015 was a submission of Calderwood.

With the addition, the UFC 207 card now includes:

  • Champ Amanda Nunes vs. Ronda Rousey – for women’s bantamweight title
  • Champ Dominick Cruz vs. Cody Garbrandt – for bantamweight title
  • Cain Velasquez vs. Fabricio Werdum
  • T.J. Dillashaw vs. John Lineker
  • Jessica Andrade vs. Maryna Moroz
  • Johny Hendricks vs. Neil Magny
  • Dong Hyun Kim vs. Tarec Saffiedine
  • Alex Garcia vs. Mike Pyle
  • Tim Means vs. Alex Oliveira
  • Antonio Carlos Junior vs. Marvin Vettori
  • Sabah Homasi vs. Brandon Thatch
  • Ray Borg vs. Louis Smolka

For more on UFC 207, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC View full post on News | MMAjunkie

Final: The Ultimate Fighter Finale results and news

Who were the winners at The Ultimate Fighter 24: Tournament of Champions finale? Click below to get the results for all the fights at The Palms in Las Vegas on Saturday, December 3, 2016.
Johnson vs Elliott | Benavidez vs Cejudo | Ellenberger vs Masvidal | Cutelaba vs Cannonier | McMann vs Davis | Moreno vs Benoit | Maynard vs Hall | Font vs Schnell | Kim vs O’Reilly | Curran vs Moyle | Mutapcic vs Smith | Stansbury vs Clark
The Ultimate Fighter 24: Tournament of Champions finale main card
Main event: Demetrious Johnson defeats Timothy Elliott The most dominant champion on the acti … Read the Full Article Here View full post on UFC News

Midnight Mania! McGregor’s Game of Featherweight Thrones, GSP’s alien encounter and more

Bringing you the weird and wild from the world of MMA each and every night …

Welcome to Midnight Mania, where sleep is gone but you belong. Tonight, we’ve got Georges St-Pierre discussing aliens (again), UFC Fight Night 102’s Derrick Lewis being his same bad self, Conor McGregor still walking around with his Featherweight belt (while other people fight for the interim title), and the rumor that “Notorious” might make an appearance in the actual “Game of Thrones.” Or is his life the actual Game of Thrones?

Oh, and in case you hadn’t heard, there is another UFC event this weekend (Fri., Dec. 9, 2016) in Albany, New York. What’s that you say? Not the one you were thinking of, especially with UFC 206 taking place one day later? Oh, well, neither was I. I kept forgetting all about it … until I found this corny (but easy) way to remind myself where UFC’s second recent event in “The Empire State” is located.

SoozieCuzie is a fountain of UFC-related puns. Occasionally, she is also funny. She keeps track of how much commercial time you end up watching during UFC broadcasts. (Hint: It’s way more than you wanted to know) So, if you feel like diving down a rabbit hole of numbers …

What’s going here #getchaweightup

A video posted by Worldwide (@teammakinmoves) on

That’s a lot of lost time.

Speaking of lost time and rabbit holes, remember how St-Pierre had this thing blaming lost time on aliens? Well, he details his UFC, sorry, UFO, experience here, with Rashad Evans, in case you missed it:

And if you haven’t seen this old cartoon yet, it’s pretty great.

GSP’s accent is so fun.

Speaking of pay-per-view (PPV) cards he should be headlining …. I love that mixed martial arts (MMA) is now mainstream. It gives us a chance to witness how little the mainstream media knows about our sport.

Here’s what you should be looking at instead:

The Toronto card is a little more exciting than that Albany card, eh? Nothing against the aforementioned Lewis, who is headlining Friday night’s Fight Pass-televised event in Albany. He’s scary … and hilarious. Take a look at his social media account for all the latest and funniest videos and memes. Stuff like this:

A video posted by Derrick Lewis (@thebeastufc) on

And he had this to say about his upcoming fight:

Don’t forget I’m fighting on @ufcfightpass vs Shamil arraaghsjjkxkbxxjxjjxjxxnxjjdiskalaloz in Albany New York

A video posted by Derrick Lewis (@thebeastufc) on

I can get behind that kind of message! On the other hand, Anthony Pettis is out here training hard for showtime.

That isn’t the only great fight at UFC 206, either. Every main card fight is interesting. And the PPV main card opener between Cub Swanson and Doo Ho Choi has an especially high entertainment quotient. You wanna hear someone get hyped about it? Robin Black will get hype. He will. I promise you.

Oh, and while we are on analysis, check out Jack Slack breaking down last weekend’s event. It was highly entertaining, with a touch of the bizarre, the brilliant, and full of breakneck action. Ryan Hall’s performance against Gray Maynard fell into that first category. Some found it frustrating, others found it incredibly entertaining. Gray Maynard was definitely the former — he had a lot to say afterward on social media. Hall responded with this.

Grown men with tramp stamps are never safe. This burn might even be a little more brutal than his kicking game, which, to be fair, has come a long way. Not sure about this though:

For the guy who pioneered the kinds of kicks Hall was using, take a look at Bill “Superfoot” Wallace, one of the stars of early American kickboxing.

Back onto future fight hype,UFC released Ronda Rousey’s Octagon debut against Liz Carmouche from back in 2013.

And a bunch of random things happen in this UFC 206 “Embedded” episode, some of them interesting.

And, of course, the UFC 206 “Countdown” show was on point:

In other news, Glory has a kickboxing event, Glory Collision, coming up on Fight Pass. Tiffany “Time Bomb” is out here kicking trees in preparation:

Podcasts And Audio:

Demetrious Johnson thinks Cody Garbrandt takes down his old foe Dominick Cruz.

The latest “Co-Main Event Podcast.”

“The MMA Hour” (or, as the CME guys call it, the MMA Fortnight)

Quick Hits:

The motherfucking champ champ! @jetsmarter

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

He is taking very good care of them, putting them on display in a VERY nice hotel suite …

Thanks @JetSmarter for flying the champ champ and friends out on business #readyjetgo

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

Oh, did you know he might end up on Game of Thrones? Perhaps they want him to teach Jaime Lannister to fight left-handed. He’s already sparred the Mountain once:

I just wonder how they are going to cover his tattoos.

What would be the saying of House McGregor? Here are some ideas: “We’re not here to take part, we’re here to take over!”; “If one of us goes to war, we all go to war!”; “I would just like to apologize … TO ABSOLUTELY NOBODY!”

This might mean we get to see this interaction between McGregor and Jon Snow:

Although, before you get too excited, it’s still just a rumor at this point.

Playing games with my hopes and expectations, I see…

Valar Morghulis, Maniacs.

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Bjorn Rebney of MMA Union: UFC ‘Outrageous, Despicable’ in Fighter Treatment

Bjorn Rebney isn’t known for playing nice. As one of the faces of a new move toward fighter unionization, he’s not curbing that behavior now.

The former head of the Bellator MMA promotion company, who as of last week officially co-directs the Mixed Martial Arts Athletes Association (MMAAA), went on The MMA Hour broadcast Monday and told host Ariel Helwani he was prepared to fight his past and current nemesis: the big, bad UFC and their owners, WME-IMG.

“I hate bullies more than anything else on Earth,” Rebney said. “They’re bottom feeders. And the UFC and WME-IMG, today, that conglomerate, they’re bullies. It may not be with their hands, but it’s with their money and it’s with their power and it’s with their influence.”

Welterweight GOAT and current (alleged, according to MMA Fighting’s Marc Raimondi) free agent Georges St-Pierre, former UFC champs Cain Velasquez and T.J. Dillashaw and current welterweight Donald Cerrone, among Rebney and others, form the nucleus of the new association. No one has yet revealed who initiated the MMAAA‘s formation, and Rebney declined Monday to name them. But Rebney‘s inclusion has ruffled feathers among some who say that he, during his time running Bellator, was not a pro-fighter presence. On Monday, he tried to put a brave spin on the reaction while steering the conversation back toward the union.

“I didn’t expect people to go, ‘Oh that’s awesome, what a great dude,’” Rebney said. “The good news is the negative vibe has been focused on me, which is exactly where it should be. But the better news is that the reaction has been big.”

Rebney focused many of his comments on WME-IMG, the UFC’s new ownership, and attacked MMA honchos for what he suggested was exploitative behavior. 

As you start diving into it, and you start to look at the numbers. … I said, ‘This is insane, this is unethical, it’s outrageous, it’s despicable.’ I’ve been around combat sports athletes since I was six years old. I see what happens to combat sports athletes when they’re 35, 40, 45 years old. And it’s frightening. Not for everybody, but for a lot of these guys that evolution is a very, very scary evolution.

MMAAA leaders are hoping for a financial settlement for active and retired fighters, greater revenue sharing and more collective bargaining power. Rebney told Helwani Monday:

There is no way mixed martial arts can continue down this trajectory and survive. It can’t. And that’s not hyperbole, that’s not a threat, that’s not me sending out a message to [WME-IMG co-CEO] Ari Emanuel. That’s the god’s honest truth. It will not survive. It has to change. … I can’t stress enough how vitally, vitally important this is. So I felt it was time to say something.

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Daniel Weichel, Helen Harper Get New Opponents for Dec. 16 Bellator 169 Bill in Dublin

Daniel Weichel and Helen Harper have new opponents for Bellator 169. View full post on Recent News on

Perpetually upbeat Brandon Moreno – lowest seed on ‘TUF 24’ – discusses his 2-0 UFC start

Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

LAS VEGAS – Brandon Moreno suffered some lows in 2016, but he finished the year strong and now has a very promising UFC future heading into 2017.

Moreno (13-3 MMA, 2-0 UFC) put a bow on the current year after scoring a split-decision victory over fellow flyweight Ryan Benoit (9-5 MMA, 2-3 UFC) on Saturday at The Ultimate Fighter 24 Finale, which aired on FS1 from The Pearl at Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.

Moreno, an honorable mention in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA flyweight rankings, was wobbled multiple times and dropped in the second round of the main-card opener, but he hung on to pick up the decision victory via 28-29, 29-28 and 29-28 scores.

After the bout, the 22-year-old Mexican fighter was all smiles as he recapped his emergence on MMA’s biggest stage and his most recent victory.

“I was surprised with Ryan Benoit because he’s really durable,” Moreno said. “I punched his face really, really hard. He stayed in front of me and traded some punches with me. He’s so durable. He’s so strong. But thank God – I have the victory right now.”

It’s not his only one this year, though. Moreno was one of 16 regional-show champs who appeared on “TUF 24,” where the tournament winner got a shot at flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson on Saturday. Moreno, though, was the lowly No. 16 seed in the 16-man tournament, and he was quickly eliminated by No. 1 seed Alexandre Pantoja in the season’s first episode.

That could’ve signaled a quick end to Moreno’s current UFC run. However, before “TUF 24” had even finished airing, Moreno got an opportunity to fill in for injured Sergio Pettis, and he made the most of it after scoring an upset win over 5-1 favorite Louis Smolka in October. Now with a win over another tough vet in Benoit, Moreno is suddenly a proven – and rather upbeat – addition to the UFC flyweight ranks.

“Next year, I want to fight three or four times before the end of the year and put my name in the (division’s) big plans,” he said. “I want (to be) top 10.”

Check out the full conversation with the perpetually pleasant prospect, who now owns an overall 10-fight winning streak, above.

And for more on The Ultimate Fighter 24 Finale, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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TUF Finale talking points: DJ, Benavidez and more

Demetrious Johnson, flyweight champion and pound-for-pound king, had just failed Saturday night on a kimura and armbar attempt in the final minute of the fourth round. Tim Elliott, once a UFC castaway-turned-Ultimate Fighter winner – in the midst of the title shot he earned by winning the show – spent the first 20 minutes of the fight giving the champ fits. With just seconds left in the fourth round against a stubborn Johnson, Elliott scrambled back to his feet, determined to keep pestering “Mighty Mouse” for five more minutes. And all Johnson could do was grin. The … Read the Full Article Here View full post on UFC News

Latest UFC 207 fight card, rumors, and updates for ‘Nunes vs Rousey’ PPV on Dec. 30 in Las Vegas

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey will try to reclaim her spot atop the 135-pound throne when she tangles with newly-minted 135-pound queenpin Amanda Nunes at the upcoming UFC 207 pay-per-view (PPV) event on Sat., Dec. 30, 2016 inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, also featuring a bevy of welterweight showdowns with serious title implications like Johny Hendricks vs. Neil Magny!

Event: UFC 207 “Nunes vs. Rousey”
Date: Sat., Dec. 30, 2016
Location: T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada
Broadcast: Pay-Per-View (PPV)

UFC 207 PPV Main Event:

135 lbs.: UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes vs. Ronda Rousey

UFC 207 PPV Co-Main Event:

135 lbs.: Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz vs. Cody Garbrandt

Other Scheduled UFC 207 Bouts (PPV, FS1, Fight Pass):

265 lbs.: Fabricio Werdum vs. Cain Velasquez
135 lbs.: T.J. Dillashaw vs. John Lineker
170 lbs.: Johny Hendricks vs. Neil Magny
170 lbs.: Tarec Saffiedine vs. Dong Hyun Kim
170 lbs.: Mike Pyle vs. Alex Garcia
125 lbs.: Louis Smolka vs. Ray Borg
170 lbs.: Tim Means vs. Alex Oliveira
185 lbs.: Marvin Vettori vs. Antonio Carlos Jr.
170 lbs.: Sabah Homasi vs. Brandon Thatch
115 lbs.: Jessica Andrade vs. Maryna Moroz

For more upcoming UFC events click here.

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TUF 24 Finale Results: 5 Burning Questions Heading into UFC 206, Fight Night 102

The Ultimate Fighter Season 24’s Finale is in the books. The results are as follows:

Main Card (Fox Sports 1)

  • Demetrious Johnson def. Tim Elliott by unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-45)
  • Joseph Benavidez def. Henry Cejudo by Split Decision (27-29, 30-26, 29-27)
  • Jorge Masvidal def. Jake Ellenberger by TKO via Punches at 4:05 of Round 1
  • Jared Cannonier def. Ion Cutelaba by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Sara McMann def. Alexis Davis by Submission via Arm-Triangle Choke at 2:52 of Round 2
  • Brandon Moreno def. Ryan Benoit via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Preliminary Card (Fox Sports 1)

  • Ryan Hall def. Gray Maynard via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
  • Rob Font def. Matt Schnell by TKO via Knee and Punches at 3:47 of Round 1
  • Dong-Hyun Kim def. Brendan O’Reilly via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Jamie Moyle def. Kailin Curran via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass)

  • Anthony Smith def. Elvis Mutapcic by TKO via Elbow and Punches at 3:27 of Round 2
  • Devin Clark def. Josh Stansbury by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Next up? A double-header of UFC cards in Friday’s UFC Fight Night 102, and Saturday’s UFC 206.

206 has been a hot topic of discussion due to the UFC’s stripping Conor McGregor of the featherweight title and owning what might be the all-time weakest main event in UFC pay-per-view history (more on that later). That said…there are some fun fights on that card. Fight Night 102, though…not so much.

Anyway, get down and read up on the Burning Questions ahead of these two cards.

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Bellator 166 Broadcast on Spike Draws 613,000 Viewers in Initial TV Ratings

Initial ratings are positive for Bellator 166, with preliminary Neilsen estimates pegging the Dec. 2 event at 613,000 average viewers, with 289,000 viewers in the 18-49 demographic. View full post on Recent News on

Conor McGregor Rumored To Be On ‘Game Of Thrones’ Next Season

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We may not have seen the last of McGregor versus The Mountain. According to Irish newspaper Sunday Life, UFC superstar Conor McGregor will have a Game of Thrones cameo sometime in the show’s seventh season. Here’s the report:

“It’s been agreed that McGregor will appear in one of the remaining two seasons of Game of Thrones. He was headhunted as it were by HBO, as one of the GoT directors is a huge UFC fan. They believed that he would be a perfect fit for the show.”

Tabloid newspapers being little better than websites, we were a bit skeptical at first. But consider this: the number one Game of Thrones news site Watchers On The Wall is carrying the rumor as well. And filming for Game of Thrones goes down at sites in Northern Ireland, a short drive from McGregor’s home in Dublin.

But wait, there’s more! As reported in the Sunday Life article, Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss are indeed major UFC fans. So much so that they appeared on the UFC Unfiltered podcast when it first started as a favor to UFC president Dana White. Conor McGregor also has connections with several of the stars from the show. Ser Davos himself, Liam Cunningham, trains at McGregor’s Straight Blast Gym. And as we mentioned in the past, The Mountain Hafthór Björnsson has turned up in videos at Straight Blast sparring with McGregor.

It all adds up to a whole lotta smoke. But until the eagle eyed fans following the production of the show catch him on set, there’s no fire. Even if McGregor ends up a bandit in a second’s worth of scene, we doubt the biggest fighter in the world could end up on the biggest show on television without someone talking. Until then, check out this list of other Game of Thrones cameos from past seasons.

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UFC 206 Embedded, Episode 1: “Cowboy” From Cabo

On episode one of UFC 206 Embedded, UFC welterweight Matt Brown wraps up his Colorado training camp, while opponent Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone takes his team to work in Cabo.

Interim featherweight title contender Max Holloway promotes his championship fight in LA, as former lightweight champion Anthony “Showtime” Pettis, now vying for a title in a second weight division, rewards himself with a steak dinner.

The post UFC 206 Embedded, Episode 1: “Cowboy” From Cabo appeared first on

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TUF 24 Finale’s Jared Cannonier didn’t want slugfest with Cutelaba, but won one, anyway

Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

LAS VEGAS – It wasn’t UFC light heavyweight Jared Cannonier’s intention to get into a slugfest with Ion Cutelaba at The Ultimate Fighter 24 Finale.

But once one broke out, he found a nice little advantage – a little more mileage on his punches.

“I ain’t scared to take no shots,” he told MMAjunkie backstage at The Pearl at Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, which hosted the FS1-televised event this past Saturday. “But they will be scared once I start hitting them. Once they start missing, and I start hitting them, they’re gonna go backward. I can promise you that.”

Cannonier (9-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) was feeling so good about his advantage, he spent the last minutes of the fight walking down Cutelaba (12-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC) with his hands at his sides, daring the fighter from Moldova to hit him.

“I put that Twinkie on a stick, dangled it in his face to see if he bit, and he bit a few times,” Cannonier said. “I need to work on being able to capitalize on that a little bit more effectively.”

In other words, he wasn’t able to put his bloodied opponent away despite landing several big shots. He went on to win a unanimous decision (, picking up his second UFC win.

He joked that after a grueling three-round fight, he’d rather have a “potato” of an opponent rather than one who tested his chin like Cutelaba did in the first round.

“I’m not in this game to take shots and give shots,” Cannonier said. “I’m not with that stand and bang crap.”

Still, Cannonier said he feels so good competing at light heavyweight that he’s seriously thinking about doubling down and going to middleweight, where his punching power really would pay dividends.

“It’s not the near future,” he said. “I want to test the waters at 205. There’s a lot of 205ers out there I’d like to fight, maybe two or three more fights, and if everything goes well, maybe I’ll stick around.

“I’m 32 years old. I’m one of the older guys in the division. The lifespan isn’t long for a mixed martial artist, so who knows.”

He hasn’t been at 185 pounds since college, and there was a lot of praying to lose that last bit of weight. That would make the upcoming holiday season a dangerous one for his future goals, if he were that type of guy.

“I don’t celebrate Christmas,” he said. “Christmas is a pagan holiday. I don’t celebrate man-made holidays. I might celebrate Hannukah. I’m just going to stay warm. Every day’s a holiday when you live my life.”

Check out the above video to get Cannonier’s rundown on the fight (and his special callout to MMAjunkie’s John Morgan).

For complete coverage of The Ultimate Fighter 24 Finale, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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TUF Finale bonuses: Who got extra $$$?

Fight Of The Night: Jared Cannonier vs. Ion Cutelaba Performance Bonuses: Sara McMann, Anthony Smith • All four fighters earn $50k for their efforts tonight Read the Full Article Here View full post on UFC News

Latest UFC rankings update: Tim Elliott cracks top 15 after surviving ‘Mouse’ trap

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) recently tied a ribbon around its Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 24 Finale on FOX Sports 1, which took place last Sat. night (Dec. 3, 2016) inside Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada (results and play-by-play here).

Unfortunately, there wasn’t much to talk about when all was said and done.

Demetrious Johnson is still the best fighter in the 125-pound division and Joseph Benavidez is still ranked directly beneath him. In addition, Henry Cejudo didn’t lose any ground after a split-decision loss to “Joe Jitsu” in the co-main event (watch it), while TUF 24 champ Tim Elliott made his rankings debut following a gritty performance (video) against “Mighty Mouse.”

Not long after he announced his move to bantamweight.

Here’s what the latest ranking field looks like courtesy of Note: (+/- = movement in rankings, *NR = Not previously ranked).

1 Demetrious Johnson
2 Conor McGregor
3 Dominick Cruz
4 Daniel Cormier
5 Jose Aldo
6 Stipe Miocic
7 Joanna Jedrzejczyk
8 Tyron Woodley
9 Michael Bisping
10 Cris Cyborg
11 Robbie Lawler
12 Luke Rockhold
13 Amanda Nunes
14 Khabib Nurmagomedov
15 TJ Dillashaw

Champion: Demetrious Johnson
1 Joseph Benavidez
2 Henry Cejudo
3 Kyoji Horiguchi
4 Jussier Formiga
5 Wilson Reis
6 Ian McCall
7 Zach Makovsky
8 Ali Bagautinov
9 John Moraga
10 Brandon Moreno +2
11 Dustin Ortiz -1
12 Louis Smolka -1
13 Ray Borg
14 Sergio Pettis
15 Tim Elliott *NR

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

Champion: Jose Aldo
1 Frankie Edgar
2 Max Holloway
3 Ricardo Lamas
4 Cub Swanson
5 Anthony Pettis
6 Jeremy Stephens
7 Charles Oliveira
8 Dennis Bermudez
9 Brian Ortega
10 Yair Rodriguez
11 Dooho Choi
12 Mirsad Bektic
13 Darren Elkins
14 Renan Barao
15 Andre Fili *NR

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

Champion: Tyron Woodley
1 Stephen Thompson
2 Robbie Lawler
3 Demian Maia
4 Carlos Condit
5 Donald Cerrone
6 Johny Hendricks
7 Lorenz Larkin
8 Neil Magny
8 Dong Hyun Kim +2
10 Rick Story +1
11 Kelvin Gastelum -3
12 Gunnar Nelson
13 Tarec Saffiedine
14 Matt Brown
15 Jorge Masvidal *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 Tim Kennedy
11 Krzysztof Jotko
12 Uriah Hall +1
13 Thales Leites -1
14 Tim Boetsch +1
15 Rafael Natal *NR

Champion: Daniel Cormier
1 Anthony Johnson
2 Alexander Gustafsson
3 Glover Teixeira
4 Ryan Bader
5 Jimi Manuwa
6 Ovince Saint Preux
7 Mauricio Rua
8 Nikita Krylov
9 Corey Anderson
10 Rogerio Nogueira
11 Ilir Latifi
12 Patrick Cummins
13 Misha Cirkunov
14 Gian Villante +1
15 Rashad Evans -1

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

Champion: Joanna Jedrzejczyk
1 Claudia Gadelha
2 Karolina Kowalkiewicz
3 Carla Esparza
4 Rose Namajunas
5 Jessica Andrade
6 Tecia Torres
7 Joanne Calderwood
8 Paige VanZant
9 Valerie Letourneau
10 Maryna Moroz
11 Jessica Aguilar
12 Michelle Waterson
13 Jessica Penne
14 Alexa Grasso
15 Juliana Lima

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

There you have it.

You can expect these standings to change in just a few days as UFC Fight Night 102, as well as the UFC 206 pay-per-view (PPV) event, both pop off this weekend as part of a busy month of December. To see who is fighting on those respective cards click here and here.

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

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Gray Maynard on the Most Exasperating Fight of His UFC Career with Ryan Hall

Professional prizefighters are not, typically, morning people. They conduct their business at night, whether in glitzy casinos, Indian reservations or National Guard armories. Fighters prepare their bodies to be at peak efficiency in the evenings—mornings are not the best time to reach a man who fights in the cage for a living.

But at 5 a.m. Sunday morning, roughly 10 hours after his 23rd MMA contest at The Ultimate Fighter 24 Finale, former UFC title contender Gray Maynard reached out. His loss to Ryan Hall, jiu-jitsu artist and professional flopper, rankled. He hadn’t slept, not a wink, and wanted to talk with somebody, anybody, who is willing to do a post-mortem on the most frustrating bout of his career.

“I’ve just been going over it in my head,” Maynard told Bleacher Report. “I checked it out on tape. It’s definitely frustrating. I get that you want to play keep away. But every time a guy gets within two feet, you can’t just sprint away or just drop to the floor. He literally just dropped down to the floor. To the f–king floor. I’ve never seen that in my life.” 

When Maynard says he hasn’t seen something in the cage, that carries weight. He’s fought a collection of the sport’s best fighters, including top strikers, wrestlers and jiu-jitsu players. Frankie Edgar, Nate Diaz and Kenny Florian have all fallen to his potent combination of NCAA All-American wrestling and heavy hands. 

Hall, however, is a different beast entirely. 

A proponent of the 50-50 position in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, an esoteric leglock-heavy style that has earned him a bevy of wins in grappling contests, Hall is a fearsome submission artist. In his world, one spent on the mat in front of light crowds at grappling contests streamed on the internet for a niche audience, he’s as good as they come. 

While some of Hall’s gymnastics were meant to be offensive in nature—something Maynard trained for with Wolfgang Steel at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegasthere were nearly as many somersaults with no discernible purpose other than avoiding contact. At times, he even sprinted across the cage to avoid a standing exchange. 

According to MMAjunkie’s Steven Marrocco, Hall’s unorthodox style made it clear he wasn‘t looking for a conventional fight: “Hall made no effort to hide his desire to get the fight to the mat, repeatedly somersaulting to the ground as Maynard got within spitting distance of a punch…The dance wasn’t the most entertaining to watch; the audience certainly wasn’t amused after more than two rounds of it.”

Seven times in the first round alone Hall dropped to the mat when he sensed danger. On two other occasions, he turned his back and ran from the action. The rest of the fight played out in similar fashion, with Hall throwing kicks from long distance and then avoiding the fight entirely when Maynard closed in on him. 

The tactics cost Maynard precious opportunities and, purposely or not, drained minutes off the clock, allowing Hall to cruise to an uneventful unanimous decision without ever really coming under fire. Fans booed him mercilessly, both in the arena and virtually on Twitter.

“Everyone who knew him told us that he was scared to death of getting punched in the face. But this is MMA. You’re bound to get punched a couple of times,” Maynard said. “I understand he’s good at jiu-jitsu. Here’s a job for him—he has to learn how to take me down. You can’t just drop to your butt. He’ll keep doing that as long as he can. But where are the rules at? Who is enforcing the rules?” 

The team at Xtreme Couture had doubts when the UFC first offered the fight. Watching Hall on video, Maynard knew right away that “it’s going to be a f–king boring, awful fight.” They had seen him pull similar stunts in previous fights, though not to this extreme, and were afraid it was going to be the kind of fight that left audiences bored out of their skulls.   

“We asked the ref (Chris Tognoniin the locker room before the fight, what he was going to do,” Maynard said. “If he’s on his butt, how many times do you have to tell him to get up before you start taking action? And he told us there were rules against timidity, and that if he [Hall] avoided fighting, he was going to ding a point. Well, what was happening? The referee had no control.” 

With the power of hindsight, Maynard says he would probably defy his coaches and common sense and leap into Hall’s guard. The few times Hall managed to get in on his ankles and the two engaged on the mat, Maynard didn’t feel like the jiu-jitsu ace felt all that strong. 

“I should have seen if he was everything he claims to be,” he said. “I would have played the game a little bit more. We were going to test him. The plan was to push him up against the cage, get the double and test him in half guard. But I couldn’t get near him without him dropping to his back or running away. I was f–king tripping, wondering, ‘Is he really doing this?'”

If he had played Hall’s game, at least they would have been playing something. But Maynard maintains he shouldn’t have been forced to make that decision. The referee, instead, should have required Hall to engage as the Unified Rules require.

“I understand that he wants to avoid punishment,” Maynard said. “But we signed the dotted line to give the people a fight. They came to see a fight. If you want to do jiu-jitsu, that’s fine. Take me to the mat—if you can. There has to be rules in place to stop that from happening.” 

Usually, after a tough loss, a fighter craves nothing more than getting back in the cage with the man who vanquished him. But Maynard has no interest in another Hall fight. For the 37-year-old, it was a waste of precious time in a career that is winding down. 

“This was terrible. We didn’t give the people a good look. We didn’t give the sport a good look,” Maynard said. “I don’t want to fight that guy again. That was the most annoying bulls–t.” 


Jonathan Snowden covers combat sports for Bleacher Report.

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