Anthony Hamilton vs. Marcel Fortuna added to UFC Fight Night 104 in Houston

A heavyweight matchup will serve as a late addition to next month’s UFC Fight Night 104 event in Houston.

UFC officials recently announced that seven-time UFC veteran Anthony Hamilton (15-6 MMA, 3-4 UFC) will face Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist and octagon newcomer Marcel Fortuna (8-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) at the event.

UFC Fight Night 104 takes place Feb. 4 at Toyota Center in Houston. The card airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, though the bout order hasn’t been finalized.

Hamilton has alternated wins and losses in each of his UFC appearances, yet to score consecutive wins or suffer back-to-back losses. Most recently, he was submitted in the opening round of a UFC Fight Night 102 bout with Francis Ngannou.

Meanwhile, Fortuna carries a five-fight winning streak into his UFC debut, though he hasn’t stepped into the cage since June 2015. Five of Fortuna’s eight career wins have come by submission.

With the addition to the card, UFC Fight Night 104 now includes:

  • Dennis Bermudez vs. Chan Sung Jung
  • Alexa Grasso vs. Felice Herrig
  • Volkan Oezdemir vs. Ovince Saint Preux
  • Abel Trujillo vs. James Vick
  • Justin Ledet vs. Dmitriy Sosnovskiy
  • Curtis Blaydes vs. Adam Milstead
  • Chris Gruetzemacher vs. Chas Skelly
  • Daniel Jolly vs. Khalil Rountree
  • Alex Morono vs. opponent TBA
  • Bec Rawlings vs. Tecia Torres
  • Ricardo Lucas Ramos vs. Michinori Tanaka
  • Jessica Andrade vs. Angela Hill
  • Marcel Fortuna vs. Anthony Hamilton

For more on UFC Fight Night 104, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

Midnight Mania! Jones calls out Ortiz, Latifi rides an elephant

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

Welcome to Midnight Mania! Tonight we have Dana White giving Mike Goldberg the silent treatment on the way out, Jon Jones calling out Tito Ortiz to a grappling match (would watch), Gina Carano with some advice for Ronda Rousey, sumo, knockouts, podcasts, Ilir Latifi being awesome, and much more.

Mike Goldberg was let go from the UFC, and while we weren’t always fans of his work, many were sad he didn’t get a better send-off. Seems that lack of care extended behind the scenes as well- Mike got no exit interview, no words from Dana White on the way out.

Jon Jones was disrespected by Tito Ortiz- who is all about respect– and fired back savagely and without hesitation.

Please, let this one happen. No matter what result, it would be glorious.

Amanda Nunes chokes out celebrities and professional fighters alike

Speaking of famous female fighters, Gina Carano has some advice for fellow movie star and MMA pioneer Ronda Rousey:

You have to find something after MMA to make you happy, eventually.

Bobs and Weaves

He’s known mostly for his amazing defense and counter right hand these days, but young Floyd Mayweather was defined by incredible speed and had a killer left hook

All the more reason McGregor has little to no chance against the all-time great.

Many joke about fighters duking it out like rock-em sock-em robots but this guy even had the punching mechanics down until getting his head popped out of place by a counter shot out of nowhere. Just exactly like the game.

Greatest Common Multiple was a regional MMA promotion that seems to have had really cracking fights back in the day. Even Yushin Okami was exciting.

Luke Rockhold nails the perfect surreal fighter pic here.

Step your game up @joey_griffiths

A photo posted by Luke Rockhold (@lukerockhold) on


Ilir Latifi just continues being an absolute legend.

How exactly do you get this job?

Slips, Rips, and KO Clips

Nothing like high level striking

Podcasts and Video

The MMA Hour

The Monday Morning Analyst

The CME Podcast discusses the rumors about Ortiz and Sonnen being a worked bout.

Quick Hits

  • Rory Macdonald laughs at Paul Daley’s threats
  • Check out the second part of Schwan Humes’ exploration of the reason scouts are so underutilized in MMA compared to mainstream sports (spoiler alert: it’s green and made of paper)
  • 2016 was the UFC’s best ever– but 2017 is unlikely to top it


Stay woke, Maniacs!

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Jussier da Silva Returns Versus Ray Borg at UFC Fight Night 106 on March 4 in Fortaleza

Injury hasn’t kept Jussier da Silva on the sideline long and now he’s got another date in the The Ultimate Fighting Championship. View full post on Recent News on

UFC On FOX 23 Change: Jeremy Kimball Steps In On Short Notice

Jeremy Kimball will make his Octagon debut this coming Saturday night, replacing John Phillips at UFC on FOX 23.

Kimball faces Marcos Rogerio de Lima at the event, which takes place from the Pepsi Center in Denver.

In the main event, Julianna Pena meets Valentina Shevchenko in a female bantamweight title-eliminator.

Below is the current fight card:

Female Bantamweight: Julianna Pena vs. Valentina Shevchenko

Welterweight: Donald Cerrone vs. Jorge Masvidal

Heavyweight: Andrei Arlovski vs. Francis Ngannou

Bantamweight: Raphael Assuncao vs. Aljamain Sterling

Middleweight: Sam Alvey vs. Nate Marquardt

Lightweight: Jason Gonzalez vs. J.C. Cottrell

Flyweight: Eric Shelton vs. Alexandre Pantoja

Light Heavyweight: Marcos Rogerio de Lima vs. Jeremy Kimball

Welterweight: Li Jingliang vs. Bobby Nash

Middleweight: Alessio Di Chirico vs. Eric Spicely

Light Heavyweight: Luis Henrique da Silva vs. Jordan Johnson

Featherweight: Alex Caceres vs. Jason Knight

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UFC on FOX 23’s Jorge Masvidal aims to make Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone pay for stealing opponents

UFC welterweight Jorge Masvidal can point to the UFC octagon and Donald Cerrone as two major sources of financial woe.

When Masvidal stopped Jake Ellenberger this past month at The Ultimate Fighter 24 Finale, he said Ellenberger’s freak accident with the cage – getting his toe stuck between it and the canvas – robbed him of a performance bonus.

“It’s pent-up from frustration because I feel like that cage took $50,000 from me,” Masvidal (31-11 MMA, 8-4 UFC) told MMAjunkie Radio in advance of his Saturday meeting with Cerrone (32-7 MMA, 19-4 UFC) on the FOX-televised main card of UFC on FOX 23 at Pepsi Center in Denver. “I feel like I should have got it, though. The first toe-bar in MMA, and it’s due to me, and I don’t get nothing.”

As far as “Cowboy” Cerrone, the complaint amounts to lost opportunity.

“I’ve had signed bout agreements to fight another top-ranked opponent – it’s happened to me four times – but out of the four, two of them he was the reason why I didn’t get to fight those ranked opponents,” Masvidal said.

Look at Masvidal’s history, and you can see why he might be upset. His first opponent that went to Cerrone was at UFC 178, where he was slated to fight Bobby Green. Instead, Cerrone got the fight and he was slated to face James Krause. Cerrone wound up fighting Eddie Alvarez and notching a major win.

The second, and, according to Masvidal, more aggravating case, was this past November’s UFC Fight Night 98. There, he was scheduled to face the No. 5-ranked Kelvin Gastelum, but the promotion pulled Gastelum for a fight with Cerrone at UFC 205. Masivdal went on to face Ellenberger at The Ultimate Fighter 24 Finale, while Gastlum saw his bout canceled when he failed to make weight.

Although Cerrone, No. 7 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA welterweight rankings, would probably argue the unranked Masvidal should take up his case with the UFC rather than him, that’s not the way “Gamebred” sees things.

“Whether he knew or not, somebody’s got to pay with interest for what was done with me, and it’s going to be ‘Cowboy,’” Masvidal said.

The effortlessly technical style of Cerrone has felled countless top-tier opponents, most recently Matt Brown at UFC 206. But Masvidal said he’s got something that separates him from the pack.

“Mainly, it comes down to who’s tougher mentally, who’s going to sprint for the longest and keep pushing,” he said. “We’re both going to get tired at some point, but who’s going to push through that? That’s what I’m eager to show the world: He can’t push like me on any day.”

Plus, a win over Cerrone would be huge for Masvidal’s career, which has seen its share of ups and downs in the lightweight and welterweight divisions.

“Back then when we were both in the 155-pound division, (I was thinking about) kicking this guy’s ass over and over,” Masvidal said. “One of us does not give a (expletive). One of us just wants to fight because it’s what they like to do, and the other one is like a part-time actor, part-time fighter. We’re going to find out who that is on Jan. 28.”

For more on UFC on FOX 23, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

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UFC on FOX 23 predictions: ‘Denver’ Fight Pass ‘Prelims’ undercard preview, Pt. 1

More fights are coming to Fight Pass and FOX Sports 1 this weekend (Sat. Jan. 28, 2017) when UFC on FOX 23: “Shevchenko vs. Pena” storms Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado.’s Patrick Stumberg kicks off the UFC on FOX 23 “Prelims” party with the first installment of a two-part undercard preview series.

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women’s Bantamweight champion, Amanda Nunes, will discover her next challenger this Saturday evening (Jan. 28, 2017) as kickboxing standout Valentina Shevchenko takes on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 18 winner, Julianna Pena, in UFC on FOX 23’s main event inside Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado.

The co-featured fight of the night pits Donald Cerrone against Jorge Masvidal in a fantastic Welterweight striking match up, while Andrei Arlovski vs. Francis Ngannou and Alex Caceres vs. Jason Knight round out FOX’s main card. Before that, however, we’ve got eight “Prelims” undercard matches to preview and predict, four each on Fight Pass and FOX Sports 1.


185 lbs.: Alessio Di Chirico vs. Eric Spicely

The first Italian to step foot in the Octagon since Alessio Sakara’s exit, Alessio Di Chirico (10-1) saw his unbeaten record slip away against Bojan Velickovic in his Octagon debut. Undaunted, he returned to the cage in Aug. 2016 to take a split decision over Garreth McLellan.

At 6’0,” he is two inches shorter than Eric Spicely (9-1).

Team Claudia Gadelha’s second Light Heavyweight pick on TUF 23, Spicely reached the semifinals before running afoul of teammate and eventual winner, Andrew Sanchez. He fell to a Sam Alvey guillotine in his promotional debut, but managed to submit Thiago Santos at a 4.5:1 underdog.

He owns five wins via submission and two via technical knockout.

Both fighters defied my expectations in their last fights, though in decidedly different ways. I expected Di Chirico to dominate McLellan and Spicely to get knocked silly by Santos. After those performances, I’ve got Spicely. Whatever issues Spicely has, he’s a damn good grappler and Di Chirico wound up on his back far too often against “Soldier Boy.” Unless Di Chirico can lay hands on him early, expect TUF vet to earn another early finish.

Prediction: Spicely via first-round submission

205 lbs.: Marcos Rogerio de Lima vs. Jeremy Kimball

After falling short in Strikeforce and on TUF: “Brazil,” Marcos Rogerio de Lima (14-4-1) joined UFC proper in 2014 and has gone 3-2 with three first-round finishes. Most recently, “Pezao” took on top Russian prospect Gadzhimurad Antigulov and tapped to a guillotine 67 seconds in.

At 6’2″, he is three inches taller than Jeremy Kimball (14-5).

Kimball split his two Bellator bouts, knocking out Keith Berry before tapping to a Perry Filkins guillotine. After falling to Chris Camozzi, he rattled off four consecutive wins, including a knockout of Maro Perak for a regional title.

He replaces the injured John Phillips on a week’s notice.

I’ve given up hope that “Pezao” will ever have the defensive grappling to challenge the division elite, but he ought to win big here. Kimball is not a Light Heavyweight — he weighed in at 201.8 pounds in June 2016 and carries a lot of unnecessary fat. Further, he seems to be undisciplined, missing weight by four pounds in Jan. 2016 while looking extremely soft. He still moves well, but not well enough to overcome this kind of size and strength discrepancy.

“Pezao’s” monster power carries him to a first-round victory.

Prediction: Rogerio de Lima via first-round technical knockout

125 lbs.: Eric Shelton vs. Alexandre Pantoja

Ranked No. 15 and carrying the Caged Aggression Flyweight title, Eric Shelton (10-2) upset Yoni Sherbatov and Ronaldo Cadido on his way to TUF 24’s semifinals. There, he faced Tim Elliott and lost a controversial decision to the eventual tournament winner.

Six of his 10 wins have come by submission.

With a nine-fight win streak, including a submission over castmate Damacio Page, Alexandre Pantoja (16-2) earned the No. 1 rank and became TUF 24 coach Henry Cejudo’s first pick. His grappling carried him all the way to the semis, where he fell to the show’s No. 5-ranked Hiromasa Ogikubo by decision.

He owns six wins apiece by knockout and submission.

Both fighters looked great on the show, but looking outside reveals a massive discrepancy in high-level experience. Pantoja is far more proven on the world stage, taking on men who — at least at the time — were among the best outside UFC. He’s also fighting out of the stronger camp in Nova Uniao and, at least based on what I’ve seen, should have at least a slight edge wherever the fight goes.

Shelton has an extremely high ceiling and Pantoja’s struggles with Ogikubo’s top control have me concerned, but the Brazilian just seems like the stronger overall fighter at this point. Effectvie kicks and well-timed takedowns carry him to victory.

Prediction: Pantoja via unanimous decision

155 lbs.: Jason Gonzalez vs. J.C. Cottrell

Jason Gonzalez (10-3) joined Team Urijah Faber on TUF 22, knocking out Tim Welch in the elimination round before dropping a decision to Abner Lloveras. After a win outside UFC, he made his promotional debut on short notice at UFC 203, suffering a first-round knockout at the hands of Drew Dober.

He owns six wins by submission and four by knockout.

J.C. Cottrell (17-4) brought a six-fight win streak into his own Octagon debut, which pitted him against experienced grinder Michel Prazeres. “Superstar” struggled with his foe’s wrestling and ultimately lost for just the second time since 2010.

He will give up five inches of height to the 6’2″ Gonzalez.

The stylistic match up seems to favor Cottrell in this bout. In addition to having experience going 15 minutes, his wrestling is generally effective when not fighting tanks like Prazeres. Gonzalez’s takedown defense is generally underwhelming and I’m not convinced he can maintain his customary pace in a grinding battle. The jury’s out on Cottrell’s ceiling, but it looks quite a bit higher than Gonzalez’s. Regular takedowns earn him the decision.

Prediction: Cottrell via unanimous decision

Four more UFC on FOX 23 “Prelims” fights remain to preview and predict, including a clash of Top 10-ranked Bantamweight contenders. Same time as always tomorrow, Maniacs! will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC on FOX 23 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. ET, and then the remaining under card balance on FOX Sports 1 at 5 p.m. ET, before the FOX main card start time at 8 p.m. ET.

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Travis Browne-Derrick Lewis Moved From UFC 208 to Headlining Slot on Feb. 19 in Halifax

The The Ultimate Fighting Championship‘s return to Halifax, Nova Scotia, now has a new main event, courtesy of UFC 208. View full post on Recent News on

Ronda Rousey Gets Some Advice From The Original Face Of Women’s MMA, Gina Carano

While Ronda Rousey is credited with blowing the roof off women’s MMA and getting female fighters into the UFC, the original face of women’s MMA was Gina Carano. The muay thai kickboxer turned mixed martial artist was a huge star in the sport from 2006 to 2009 and headlined several record breaking events on national television. Her fighting career came to an end with a rough first round TKO at the hands of bruiser Cris Cyborg, so she knows a little about what it’s like to be Ronda Rousey these days.

Fight Hub TV caught up with Gina Carano cageside at a local MMA event, and she shared a positive message for the former UFC women’s bantamweight champion.

“I think Ronda should do whatever she wants to do, she’s only 29,” Carano said. “She’s an amazing athlete, but she needs to express herself as an artist, too, so let her do what she wants to do.”

Carano followed her heart after the Cyborg loss, and it took her out of the cage and to Hollywood where she’s starred in several films from the Steven Soderbergh project Haywire to the massively successful Deadpool movie. She heard the exact same things that Ronda did: that she was a terrible actor, that no one in Hollywood would want to hire her after the loss she took, and making it in the movies would now be impossible. It took her a while, but she’s proved those doubters wrong with a solid career and ever-growing filmography.

If Gina can do it, why not Ronda? Considering Rousey has listed Carano as someone she tries to emulate in her career, we feel like this is some advice she may actually take.

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Bellator Books “Rampage” Vs. “King Mo” Rematch For March

Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal will square off for a second time at Bellator 175 this March.

The two will headline the March 31 event, which has yet to find a location.

Below is a press release:

When MMA superstars “Rampage” Jackson (37-11) and “King Mo” (20-6, 1 NC) first met during the main event of Bellator 120, “Rampage” emerged with a heavily-disputed victory. Now, nearly three years later, the two Bellator veterans will meet again, this time fighting at heavyweight during the main event of Bellator 175: Rampage vs. King Mo 2 on Friday, March 31 – a card that will air live and free on SPIKE.

A four-fight veteran of Bellator MMA, “Rampage’s” legendary career has seen him compete against some of the top names in the sport, generating a loyal army of fans along the way. Jackson is the proud owner of many epic highlight reel slams and knockouts that he has racked up throughout his battles with competitors like: Chuck Liddell, Dan Henderson, Kevin Randleman, Ricardo Arona, Marvin Eastman, and perhaps most-notably his trilogy with fellow Bellator warrior Wanderlei Silva.

When he’s not beating people up in his MMA fights, Jackson’s larger than life personality has earned him multiple film roles, where he’s been able to beat people up on the big screen. Now, the 38-year-old returns to action for the fifth time under the Bellator MMA banner, where he looks to continue his undefeated record with the promotion and put an exclamation mark on his rivalry with the man who wears the crown.

Fresh off facing Mirko Cro Cop in Japan, “King Mo” will again fight at heavyweight and look to build off his success within the division following recent wins against Satoshi Ishii and Cheick Kongo. A winner in eight out of his last 10 fights, it will be interesting what fuels Lawal this time against Jackson. Will the 36-year-old look to claim heavyweight gold in 2017 and add to his championship collection that already includes a STRIKEFORCE belt? Or will the grudge that propelled these two men forward during their first meeting rear its ugly head again?

Ticket information, as well as a location for the event will be announced shortly.

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UFC on FOX 23 broadcast lineup set, Alex Caceres vs. Jason Knight kicks off main card

The lineup is set for Saturday’s UFC on FOX 23 lineup is complete, and a featherweight matchup kicks off the evening’s four-bout main card.

Featuring a women’s bantamweight headliner between Valentina Shevchenko (13-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC) and Julianna Pena (8-2 MMA, 4-0 UFC), UFC on FOX 23 takes place at Pepsi Center in Denver. The main card airs on FOX following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

UFC officials today announced that Alex Caceres (12-9 MMA, 7-7 UFC) vs. Jason Knight (15-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC) kicks off the main card.

Heavyweights Andrei Arlovski (25-13 MMA, 14-7 UFC) vs. Francis Ngannou (9-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) and welterweights Donald Cerrone (32-7 MMA, 19-4 UFC) vs. Jorge Masvidal (31-11 MMA, 8-4 UFC) then lead to the main event.

Middleweights Sam Alvey (29-8 MMA, 6-3 UFC) vs. Nate Marquardt (35-16-2 MMA, 13-9 UFC) enjoy the featured prelim slot on FS1, while Alexandre Pantoja (16-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) vs. Eric Shelton (10-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) serves as the featured fight on UFC Fight Pass.

The full bout order includes:

MAIN CARD (FOX, 8 p.m. ET)

  • Valentina Shevchenko vs. Julianna Pena
  • Donald Cerrone vs. Jorge Masvidal
  • Andrei Arlovski vs. Francis Ngannou
  • Alex Caceres vs. Jason Knight


PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 4 p.m. ET)

For more on UFC on FOX 23, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

UFC champ Tyron Woodley: I’m not race baiting, I’m simply bold enough to speak the truth

Last week, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight champion Tyron Woodley revealed that his race played a huge part in the way he was getting treated as champion, saying he was “by far the worst-treated champion in UFC history, blatantly, facts.”

And you have to look no further than his social media accounts to see the constant racist remarks left by unruly and racist fans, according to “The Chosen One.”

During a recent appearance on The MMA Hour, Woodley spoke in depth on his stance, saying he wasn’t going to back down and says that American culture is subliminally insensitive and most don’t realize that they are indeed being racist or are discriminating against someone.

And he has his own experiences to prove his point.

“There have been obstacles in my life, and I have overcome those obstacles. And me bringing those things up will make it seem as if I’m complaining and everybody is waiting for me to be the race-baiting, or race card player. But, if you look at the history of our sport, not even our sport, the history of the American culture, certain things are subliminally embraced that people do not understand that are racist. When you say to me, ‘Tyron, you are well-spoken.’ What does that mean? Does that mean I’m well-spoken compared to all the mixed martial artists, the 500 UFC fighters on the roster? Or does that mean that as a black male in America you are well-spoken compared to other African-Americans? What does that mean? People say that and don’t understand what it means. When you say that I am a freak athlete, does that mean I don’t work hard? That I am going to fade in the later rounds? That I don’t have great cardio, that I don’t have a great skill set? It comes off to me like, ‘Man, you are a strong person.’ And it almost sounds barbaric like, you are strong, knock people out but if it gets to the later rounds you might get tired, fade and those muscles will come at a cost. I think that the mindset of the American public, we are subliminally insensitive that these things take place. We are insensitive to the fact that some people are discriminated on.”

Prior to Woodley, there have been countless African-American champions who have gone on to received big paydays, top sponsorships and the respect and treatment most people would say is far from being poorly-treated from fans and promoters alike, including Quinton Jackson, Jon Jones, Anderson Silva, and Demetrious Johnson.

Yet, not once have any of those aforementioned fighters ever “pulled the race card” or hinted at racism and discrimination in the sport. But as Woodley stated, the difference between himself and any of those champions is that he is actually speaking up on the issue and even has some of their support.

“It’s not that I am different, it’s just that I’m speaking and I was bold enough to speak on it. I am not going to name names, but if I could show you the direct messages and calls I have gotten from some of those champions we’re talking about, and also Caucasian Americans, Indian Americans, and they say, ‘Tyron, it’s a bold thing that you are doing, but I support it. I have experienced this and I am glad you said it because I have been going through this and it’s tough spot can’t really say something about it.’ Think about the athlete, not just African-Americans, but the athlete in general when you go out on something so boldly when you already know that some people will say your playing the victim. And in doing that, you think if you take a loss that you will no longer be with the company or that you won’t get that sponsorship or opportunities and they are fearful for saying it. And I was one of those individuals in 2016, but when Muhammad Ali died, I started thinking about what he did and it was never convenient. It was never comfortable or the right time. Same thing with any other freedom fighter, Martin Luther King, and I’m not comparing myself to them, because I know people will take this to left field; I’m not comparing myself to Muhammad Ali or Martin Luther King; I’m just telling you that at that time they did not know they were going to be Muhammad Ali or Martin Luther King, figures that did so much outside of their field to impact change. They did it because it was right. So I am bringing to light some situations that happened to me, to some of my peers that exist in this sport. not only in this sport, but sports in general. We need to bring this out on the table as uncomfortable as it is, we need to discuss it and talk about it.”

Woodley admits he’s taking advantage of his current platform as welterweight champion mainly because he has three young boys to worry about and protect and set an example for; which is obviously commendable.

That said, most — Stephen Thompson included — don’t think there is an issue of racism in mixed martial arts (MMA). But you won’t convince Woodley otherwise and it won’t stop him from trying to fight for what he feels is right and for the respect he feels he deserves.

As far as using “the race card,” Woodley says that’s far from what he’s doing, as he is successful enough as a UFC champion, an actor, mentor, and an analyst to bring attention to the issue without using his race as a reason for someone keeping him down since he’s overcome the obstacles.

Tyron will next step foot inside the Octagon for a rematch against the aforementioned Thompson in the headlining bout of UFC 209 on March 4, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Whether or not all of the extra attention and perhaps some of the backlash of his recent comments prove to be any distraction, remains to be seen.

That said, Woodley did reveal that the UFC Public Relations office has contacted him to discuss what he sees as unfair treatment and promotion as a fighter to see how they can remedy the issue together.

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Carmouche-McMann, Janes-Meerschaert, Sicilia-Tucker Added To Halifax’s UFC Fight Night 102

The UFC Fight Night 105 card in Halifax doesn’t just have a new main event, it has a host of new bouts. View full post on Recent News on

UFC Fight Night 105 adds Carmouche vs. McMann, Janes vs. Meerschaert, Sicilia vs. Tucker

The UFC Fight Night 105 lineup is finally filling out, and UFC officials have announced three new contests for the card, as well as a rebuilt contest.

The additions include a women’s bantamweight matchup between Liz Carmouche (11-5 MMA, 3-3 UFC) and Sara McMann (10-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC), a middleweight contest with Ryan Janes (9-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) vs. Gerald Meerschaert (25-8 MMA, 1-0 UFC) and a featherweight bout with Sam Sicilia (15-7 MMA, 5-6 UFC) vs. Gavin Tucker (9-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC).

UFC officials also confirmed a previously reported matchup of Johny Hendricks vs. Hector Lombard. Additionally, injuries forced a shuffle of planned lightweight bouts, and Paul Felder (12-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC) now meets Alessandro Ricci (10-4 MMA, 0-1 UFC) at the event.

Felder had been expected to face Gilbert Burns at UFC 208, while Ricci was matched up with Alvaro Herrera at UFC Fight Night 105.

UFC Fight Night 105 takes place Feb. 19 at Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. A newly announced headliner of Travis Browne vs. Derrick Lewis tops the bill for the FS1-broadcast event.

Carmouche, the onetime UFC title challenger, carries a two-fight winning streak into the bout after picking up victories over Katlyn Chookagian and Lauren Murphy. She now faces another woman who came up short in a bid for the UFC title in McMann, who also boasts a two-fight winning streak after downing Alexis Davis and Jessica Eye.

McMann sits at No. 8 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA women’s bantamweight rankings, while Carmouche checks in at No. 11.

Janes made his UFC debut in December, picking up a decision win over Keith Berish at UFC Fight Night 102 and now owns an eight-fight winning streak. He now meets Meerschaert, who also made his promotional debut at UFC Fight Night 102, scoring a first-round submission win over Joseph Gigliotti. Meerschaert is currently 10-1 in his past 11 appearances.

Sicilia finds himself in a must-win position after coming up short in recent outings against Gabriel Benitez and Dooho Choi. He’ll welcome undefeated Canadian Tucker to the octagon. Fighting professionally since 2011 and boasts four knockouts and four submissions in his nine career wins.

The UFC Fight Night 105 lineup now includes:

  • Travis Browne vs. Derrick Lewis
  • Johny Hendricks vs. Hector Lombard
  • Carla Esparza vs. Randa Markos
  • Cezar Ferreira vs. Elias Theodorou
  • Liz Carmouche vs. Sara McMann
  • Jack Marshman vs. Thiago “Marreta” Santos
  • Paul Felder vs. Alessandro Ricci
  • Santiago Ponzinibbio vs. Nordine Taleb
  • Ryan Janes vs. Gerald Meerschaert
  • Sam Sicilia vs. Gavin Tucker
  • Reginaldo Vieira vs. Aiemann Zahabi

For more on UFC Fight Night 105, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Tito Ortiz: Chael Sonnen owes me public apology for trash-talking family – ‘Let’s see if he has the balls’

Bellator 170: “Ortiz vs. Sonnen” went down last Saturday night (Jan. 21, 2017) at The Forum in Inglewood, California. And ore than two decades after losing a collegiate wrestling match to Chael Sonnen, the two met in a Spike TV-televised Light Heavyweight main event that lasted little more than two minutes, with Ortiz finally exacting revenge with a rear-naked choke finish to tie a ribbon around his mixed martial arts (MMA) career.

However, because of some nasty pre-fight trash talking fro both sides, Ortiz is not quite satisfied with the outcome. Indeed, even after he held onto the submission longer than he should have because of “ill will,” it appears as though he still unwilling to squash their beef.Speaking to Fight Hub TV after the bout, “Huntington Beach Bad Boy” demanded that “American Gangster” issue a public apology for insulting statements made about his family.

“He came to my dressing room (afterward) and said, ‘Good fight, it was an honor, da da da’ and I go, ‘You’ve got to apologize to me in public,’ Ortiz revealed. “So we’re gonna see if he has enough balls to apologize to me in public.”

Apparently, saying that the mother of Ortiz’ children, retired porn star Jenna Jameson, made her money with her mouth was the last straw.

“Talking about another person’s family is something wrong to do and for what he did, that’s just the wrong thing to do,” Ortiz said. “That’s always my three rules of shit talking — you don’t talk about a person’s family, you don’t talk about a person’s country, and you don’t lie about a person. He did all three of those things.”

Whether Sonnen apologizes or not, Ortiz still gets the satisfaction of retiring with a win in his last fight. And for whatever it’s worth, Jameson — with whom Ortiz has twin boys — was unfazed by the “obvious” remarks.

To check out the latest Bellator MMA-related news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive news archive right here.

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Carmouche-McMann, Janes-Meerschaert, Sicilia-Tucker Added To Halifax’s UFC Fight Night 102 Card

The UFC Fight Night 105 card in Halifax doesn’t just have a new main event, it has a host of new bouts. View full post on Recent News on

UFC Interview: Lawrence Epsteins Shows Off UFC Global Headquarters

UFC Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Lawrence Epstein spoke at the brand new UFC campus in Las Vegas about the upcoming opening of the venue, which includes a new state-of-the-art UFC Performance Institute.

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Rony Jason vs. Jeremy Kennedy added to UFC Fight Night 106 in Brazil

Featherweight Rony Jason will welcome an undefeated Canadian to Brazil at UFC Fight Night 106.

UFC officials today announced that Jason (14-6 MMA, 4-3 UFC), the featherweight winner of the debut season of “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil,” will face Jeremy Kennedy (9-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 106 at March 11 at Centro de Formacao Olimpica do Nordeste in Fortaleza, Ceara, Brazil.

The night’s bout order hasn’t been revealed, but the main card airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Jason finds himself in need of a win following an August 2016 loss to Dennis Bermudez. While Jason did score a May 2015 victory over Damon Jackson, that result was overturned when Jason tested positive for a diuretic, and he now stands at 1-3 in his past four official appearances.

Meanwhile, Kennedy has been competing professionally since June 2013. He made his UFC debut at August’s UFC on FOX 21, scoring a decision win over Alessandro Ricci.

The UFC Fight Night 106 lineup now includes:

  • Vitor Belfort vs. Kelvin Gastelum
  • Edson Barboza vs. Beneil Dariush
  • Mauricio Rua vs. Gian Villante
  • Paulo Henrique Costa vs. Garreth McLellan
  • Bethe Correia vs. Marion Reneau
  • Josh Burkman vs. Michel Prazeres
  • Rony Jason vs. Jeremy Kennedy

For more on UFC Fight Night 106, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Video: Gina Carano has advice for fallen UFC champ Ronda Rousey

It only takes one fight to go from cat’s meow to kitty litter.

Just ask former Strikeforce women’s featherweight sensation Gina Carano, who was the face of women’s mixed martial arts (MMA) — until it was caved in by Brazilian bruiser Cristiane Justino in summer 2009.

Seeing is believing.

Carano has not been seen inside the cage ever since her first round drubbing against “Cyborg” — despite this tease — but was able to parlay her combat sports achievements into a successful movie career, one of many options for ex-UFC champ Ronda Rousey.

“Ronda should so whatever she wants to do, she’s only 29,” Carano told Fight Hub TV. “She’s an amazing athlete, but she needs to express herself as an artist, too, so let her do what she wants to do.”

Popular opinion these days.

After a 12-0 run at the top of the UFC mountain, Rousey went on to lose back-to-back fights by way of blistering knockout, the most recent of which came at the heavy hands of reigning women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes (watch it).

Her next move remains to be seen, but “Conviction” wants Rousey to “do what she’s passionate about.”

Like this?

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Marcin Wrzosek Defends 145 Title Against Kleber Koike Erbst at KSW Stadium Show on May 24

Konfrontacja Sztuk Walki has firmed up its second title fight for the promotion’s first stadium show. View full post on Recent News on

Junior Dos Santos Confirms He Is Off Upcoming UFC Card

Former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos will not be competing anytime soon, as “Cigano” confirmed no replacement for Stefan Struve could be found.

The two were scheduled to meet when the UFC heads to Halifax, Nova Scotia later this year, but an injury and subsequent surgery for Struve scrapped the bout.

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If you’re just tuning in now, there are some things you should know about Tito Ortiz

Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, UFC

Tito Ortiz is done fighting for a living, or so he would have us believe after his submission victory over Chael Sonnen at Bellator 170. And when a fighter like Ortiz calls it quits, we face a problem.

How are we supposed to explain this guy to the newer fans of MMA, or even the not-so new fans of MMA, when for so much of his recent history he’s been a running punchline in this sport, the guy who made his excuses and mangled his words and was always good for some unintentional comedy whenever he showed up on the scene?

Because you can see how, for someone who started following this sport only in the past few years, it might be hard to understand why Ortiz matters. Even someone who started following MMA a full 10 years ago would have witnessed an Ortiz who went 4-8-1, with half of his victories at light heavyweight coming against middleweights. He finishes his career with a record of 19-12-1. Not exactly killing it, at least on paper.

Why, a person new to all this might ask, do people still care about this guy? Why do they act like he’s a big deal on his way out the door?

But Ortiz really was a big deal. One of the ways you can tell is by how resilient his name has proven to be, even after the beatings it took over the last decade. His best highlights might not come in HD, but they did come at an important time for the sport, back when MMA was in need of a figure to help drag it out of the primordial ooze.

Ortiz belonged to that generation of fighters who, mostly due to a lack of other options, debuted in the UFC. His first two pro fights (both in the same night, naturally) came at UFC 13 in 1997. He didn’t start out on the small shows because there really weren’t any. Back then, the UFC was still so raw that it had yet to stumble upon idea of putting its own initials on the (optional) gloves.

It’s rare enough for any fighter from that era to still be around for this one. To still be a ratings draw after all that time is a borderline miracle.

That’s part of Ortiz’s legacy, that resilient brand of fame that somehow outlasts what it was originally about. But there’s also what he actually did inside the cage, back when a tiny sliver of the populace was watching.

Ortiz wasn’t the first fighter to prove that you could go far in MMA with a little bit of wrestling and a willingness to hang out in someone’s guard and elbow holes in his face. He was, however, one of the first ones to make it seem like an art unto itself. Ground-and-pound wasn’t just something Ortiz did on accident back in those days. It was something he studied, something he helped to develop.

When Ortiz fought Frank Shamrock at UFC 22 in 1999, it was one of those fights that gave us a glimpse of where the sport was headed. It wasn’t just style vs. style. Although Ortiz eventually tapped to strikes in the fourth round, it was one of the first fights in which you could see both participants pursuing strategies and exhibiting techniques that were specific to this new sport and its developing rules.

After that came the longest winning streak of Ortiz’s career, when he reeled off six straight while claiming and then defending the newly vacant and newly renamed UFC light-heavyweight title.

That was the beginning of what would become the UFC’s glamour division, back in the heyday of Ortiz and Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture. Ortiz was the first real star in the 205-pound class.

He’d show up with his bleached blond hair and his trademark shorts, black with orange flames reaching up the thigh, and he’d remind you that you were there to be entertained and you didn’t need to feel ashamed of it. When he won, he had a T-shirt ready, something that looked like he’d gone to the local mall and said, “What can you sell me to make sure my opponents want to fight me all over again immediately after I beat them?”

When Ortiz fought Ken Shamrock at UFC 40, it was the first UFC pay-per-view to feel like a real event, something you had to get together with your friends to watch live, premium prices be damned. You just couldn’t sit around and wait for that one to hit VHS.

The fight was a mismatch, of course. Shamrock was old for a fighter even then. Ortiz wasn’t. After three rounds Shamrock’s face looked like an impressionist painting. He had blood in his eyes and lumps all over his skull. For Ortiz, that was about as good as it was ever going to get.

He lost his belt to Couture in his next fight, and he then got knocked out by former training partner Liddell right after that. Ortiz would never again hold any MMA title of any kind, but he remained a household name for a decade more.

Plenty of that was his own doing. From the days of homemade shirts on, Ortiz was a natural self-promoter. He often spoke in tortured cliches that he couldn’t quite get right, but the force of his personality made him someone people still wanted to listen to.

From his feuds with his boss to his very public relationship woes to the Rolls Royce he crashed while texting and driving, Ortiz hit all the usual notes for a famous MMA fighter, and a lot of them he hit first. He showed us what it looks like to be an MMA star, for better and for worse.

By the end, Ortiz was a favorite punching bag of the MMA community. We loved to make fun of his losses and his missteps, but we also kept tuning in to see him fight without ever expecting much more than a semi-ironic hit of nostalgia.

He always gave us that. Occasionally he even gave us something extra, and through all the insults and the jokes he kept on giving what he had long after his contemporaries had mostly stopped trying. Whatever else we say about Ortiz, we have to give him that. If we’re being fair about who he was and what he meant to this sport, we probably have to give him even more.

For more on Bellator 170, check out the MMA Events section of MMAjunkie.

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Jon Jones rips Tito Ortiz following Bellator ‘JV’ win, challenges ‘Bad Boy’ to submission grappling match

Prior to his appearance in the Bellator 170 main event, which took place last Saturday night (Jan. 21, 2017) in Inglewood, California (results here), Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) hall of famer Tito Ortiz scoffed at the idea that Jon Jones was legendary.

Despite the fact that “Bones” broke the “Bad Boy’s” light heavyweight record.

“He says he is the greatest, he was never the greatest,” Ortiz said of the former UFC 205-pound kingpin (via Fight Hype). “He’s never done anything. He says he calls himself a legend. What kind of legendary stuff has he ever done? Nothing.”

Not surprisingly, Jones was quick to fire back.

“I guarantee he would bow down if given the opportunity to face me,” Jones wrote on Twitter. “That man better enjoy his JV victory and stay in his lane, I’d make him look like a white belt.”

He wouldn’t be the first one.

Jones, currently serving a one-year disciplinary suspension (for this) dating back to July, also hinted at a potential grappling match for Submission Underground, where he currently sits at 1-0.

Ortiz, 42, retired from mixed martial arts (MMA) with a submission win over Chael Sonnen on Spike TV (watch it). Prior to his transition to Bellator MMA, “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” insisted he would wreck Jones if both fighters were in their prime.

Maybe it’s time to try to succeed where this legend failed?

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UFC’s Kelvin Gastelum bothered by weight doubts but admits ‘I’ve brought it onto myself’

When it comes to performance, Kelvin Gastelum has made a habit of defying the odds.

In spite of his recurrent underdog role, Gastelum has managed to consistently come out on top, emerging victorious to win “The Ultimate Fighter 17” against heavy favorite Uriah Hall – and then going on to beat seven of his next nine competitors. Of his two career losses, both close split calls, one was to current champ Tyron Woodley.

As he prepares to face Vitor Belfort (25-13 MMA, 14-9 UFC) in his opponent’s home country, Gastelum (13-2 MMA, 8-2 UFC) does see a personal achievement component in headlining a card opposite one of MMA’s most recognizable names.

But, then again, there’s a personal achievement component in the mere fact that he’s still around.

“It’s a big accomplishment for me to even just be here,” Gastelum told MMAjunkie. “First of all, because I wasn’t supposed to be here. I was picked last on ‘The Ultimate Fighter.’ I was the underdog in all my fights. I was supposed to lose all of them, and here I am, kicking ass, and I’m in the main event against a legend like Vitor Belfort.

“For me to be here is a big accomplishment in itself.”

The middleweight scrap headlines UFC Fight Night 106, which takes place March 11 at Centro de Formacao Olimpica do Nordeste in Fortaleza, Ceara, Brazil. The card airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, though the bout order hasn’t been finalized.

Gastelum, of course, didn’t just land the fight by accident. In fact, he explicitly asked for it – right after earning a dominant TKO win over now-retired Tim Kennedy in a middleweight scrap. Then torn between returning to his original 170-pound class, where he’d repeatedly failed to make the weight limit, or hanging around longer, Gastelum had a pretty simple reasoning behind the callout.

“I said at the post-fight press conference if I had a fight that would interest me in middleweight, I would stay here; (otherwise) I’d go back down to welterweight,” Gastelum said. “So I said if I get a fight like Vitor Belfort, who’s a big name, a legend in MMA, and he’s ranked above me.

“So they gave me the fight, the main event in Brazil. I’ve got a new contract, and things are looking good right now.”

While his request ultimately had a happy ending, another bit of his post-fight remarks elicited less-than-positive reactions: his wish to go back to welterweight. Gastelum’s well-known issues with the scale reached a critical point at UFC 205 when the commission forced him out of his bout with Donald Cerrone before he even got a chance to weigh in.

The incident had UFC President Dana White promising Gastelum would never go back to 170, which, paired with a solid display over Kennedy, amounted to some public pressure for the fighter to give up on making the previous cut.

Being surrounded by so much suspicion and having his weight once again steal the spotlight – and the headlines – is not a particularly warm-and-fuzzy feeling for Gastelum. But it’s a sentiment that he knows is not exactly unwarranted.

“It does bother me,” Gastelum said. “But at the same time, I’ve brought it onto myself. I have to face the consequences on a media standpoint now. It does bother me. It bothers me a lot. But I have to take it. I’m not one of those guys who shies away from his problems. I like to handle it upfront and kind of grab the bull by the horns.”

Failing to make weight, he said, is not only a public-relations problem; it’s a hindrance to performance, as well. That’s why, even though he won’t commit to “eating leaves” all the time, Gastelum is set on making lifestyle changes should he go back down.

“I don’t know how much physically – but mentally and emotionally, it affects you big time going into the fight,” Gastelum said. “Because you know people are talking so much trash, you know people are talking about you, you know you failed to make weight, and it’s just a big heavy burden that you go into the fight knowing all this. It’s a heavy burden.

“For me, I just have to learn to keep my weight down outside of camp. That was my main problem. I get too heavy. And I eat carelessly, I drink carelessly outside of camp, and that’s my fault. That’s not going to happen anymore. That’s a hard lesson learned, but I’m just trying to stay positive and learn from my mistakes.”

‘I want the fight that will give me a title shot’

But even the return to his original weight class, Gastelum clarified, remains an “if.” After all, he’s got one commitment at this moment: getting to the belt – in whatever division comes first.

“It’s not a definite that I’m going back down,” Gastelum said. “I’m going to weigh my options after this fight. I could stay at middleweight if a fight that I think interests me is given to me, or I’ll go back down and ask for a No. 1 contender. Because I want to fight for the belt in either division.

“I want to fight the contenders at middleweight, or I want to fight the contenders at welterweight. I want a fight for the No. 1 contender’s fight, at middle or welter. I want a title shot. I want a fight that will get me the title shot.”

And, as far as his physical attributes go, Gastelum doesn’t see himself at a disadvantage against the bigger middleweights.

“I don’t see (height) as a problem at all,” Gastelum said. “Guys are going to have to come down to me. What I mean is my center of gravity is going to be lower than a lot of these taller guys. It’s hard to even take me down. You have to really come under me to take me down, which is kind of hard to do if you’re tall.”

In any case, Gastelum’s possible future as a middleweight is now riding on the immediate challenge. In spite of a recent up-and-down run capped off by back-to-back knockout losses, Belfort is still – quite literally, if these images are to be believed – a tall order.

Used to being the underdog, Gastelum said he isn’t sure which will be his status coming in to March 11’s appointment. But, intrigued by the matchup, he is not about to overlook the always-dangerous “Phenom.”

“He’s been in this position before,” Gastelum said. “He’s coming off losses and he’s been up again, and winning again, and almost fought for another title again. So I’m not underestimating him at all. He’s been in this position before, and he’s dangerous, especially in the first round. So I have a lot of respect for him as fighter and a person.”

“Stylistically, I think we’re very similar. He has great boxing. He’s a southpaw. So am I. He’s got good jiu-jitsu. I’ve got my wrestling background. So I think stylistically, it’s going to be interesting because we’re both southpaws, we’re both good punchers, and we’re no slouch on the ground either.

“It’s going to be pretty evenly matched all around, except obviously I think I can win.”

And if he does win? Well, the 25-year-old has no reason to believe that gold – at whatever weight that may be – isn’t waiting right around the corner.

“I take it one fight at a time, but I want to be champ now,” Gastelum. “I think I can be champion now. I think it’s time. I think it’s time for me to really go on a mission for gold.”

For more on UFC Fight Night 106, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Gilbert Melendez contemplating drop to featherweight, eyes UFC title shot

When former Strikeforce 155-pound Champion Gilbert Melendez said goodbye to Scott Coker and Co. to ply his trade for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), “El Nino” was ranked No. 1 in the world, second only to then-lightweight titleholder Benson Henderson.

Fast forward nearly four years and Melendez, 34, can’t even crack the top 10.

That’s because the longtime “Skrap Pack” member has been unable to find the win column in his last three outings, dropping four of his last five and managing just one victory inside the Octagon.

Which is why Melendez told MMA Junkie he’s contemplating a drop to 145 pounds.

“Until I book a fight at 145, I can’t really confirm that, but yeah, that’s my goal right now. I’m trying to slim up. I’m really trying to diet and lose this fat around the belly a little bit more and really maximize my body’s potential. Once I get to that point, which should be in the next few weeks, I’ll really be able to make that jump and make that big decision. That’s my goal, is to make 145. That’s what I’m working on right now at this point.”

Gilbert Melendez vs. Frankie Edgar? I’d watch.

Melendez (22-6) is perhaps best known for his wars against Josh Thomson in Strikeforce; however, his 2013 win over Diego Sanchez was widely considered one of the best lightweight fights of all time.

Can he replicate that success in the featherweight division and pursue what he calls “one last title run” before calling it quits?

Time will tell.

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Gilbert Melendez wants ‘one last run’ at UFC title – and at featherweight

Filed under: Featured Videos, News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

With three consecutive losses on his record, Gilbert Melendez is looking to make a significant change as he heads down the final stretch of a nearly 15-year career.

Melendez (22-6 MMA, 1-4 UFC), a former Strikeforce lightweight champion and UFC title challenger, is planning a move down to the featherweight division for his next fight. He hasn’t competed at 145 pounds or lighter since a bout under the Shooto banner in 2005, but with his career currently at a crossroads, he said it’s time for a change.

“Until I book a fight at 145, I can’t really confirm that (I’m dropping), but yeah, that’s my goal right now,” Melendez told MMAjunkie Radio. “I’m trying to slim up. I’m really trying to diet and lose this fat around the belly a little bit more and really maximize my body’s potential. Once I get to that point, which should be in the next few weeks, I’ll really be able to make that jump and make that big decision. That’s my goal, is to make 145. That’s what I’m working on right now at this point.”

“El Nino” hasn’t competed since a one-sided unanimous-decision loss to Edson Barboza at UFC on FOX 20 in July. The bout marked his third consecutive defeat and fourth in five fights overall. As with Barboza, the losses came to notables: former UFC champions Eddie Alvarez, Anthony Pettis and Benson Henderson.

The low point of that run likely came after Melendez’s UFC 188 loss to Alvarez in June 2015, when he tested positive for a banned substance and was suspended for one year.

Dropping down a weight class isn’t as easy a task as it may have been earlier in Melendez’s career. The 34-year-old said he’s taking the right steps to ensure the move is safe and practical. He’ll then talk with UFC officials about his next opponent.

“I haven’t really reached out to them to tell them exactly, ‘This is what I want and what I’m going with,’” Melendez said. “I haven’t got to that point yet. I’m trying to get ready mentally, physically. I’m trying to get to that point where I’m just about there, and I’ll be reaching that soon and be able to pull the trigger on this.”

Although Melendez said he’s not yet ready to book a fight, he’s already begun looking at the featherweight division and potential matchups. No specific name leads the pack, but Melendez knows he wants an opponent capable of pushing him toward a title shot.

“I’d like to prove I’m one of the toughest in the division with a solid opponent who is willing to fight me and not stick and move,” Melendez said. “If I can get that, it would be great. I’m looking for one last (title) run.”

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

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

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Pic: Brennan Ward’s cut suffered at Bellator 170 is NSFW!

Granted, it’s early in 2017, but Paul Daley delivered a “Knockout of the Year” contender last night (Sat., Jan. 21, 2017) at Bellator 170 in Los Angeles, California, wiping out Brennan Ward with a spinning back fist, flying knee combination that had fight fans reeling.

Full video replay here.

And the aftermath was not pretty, as Ward took to Instagram to post a picture of the gruesome cut he suffered thanks to Paul’s well-placed knee. Warning, it’s extremely graphic.


After the win, “Semtex” admitted he had “mixed emotions,” as he was happy to get the victory, but bummed that it had to come against a man he had developed a friendship with. To make it worse, he had to see Brennan get carried out on a stretcher.

Nevertheless, Daley now has his sights set on bigger and better things, as he immediately called out former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight standout, Rory MacDonald, for his first fight under the Bellator MMA umbrella.

As for Ward, he will be on the mend for a while. How does his cut stack up against the gnarly ones suffered un MMA in the past?

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Pic: Brennan Ward’s eye got mangled by that flying knee at Bellator 170 (warning: graphic)

Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News

Paul Daley’s flying-knee knockout at Bellator 170 not only sent Brennan Ward out on a stretcher, but it also gave him a scar that could last a lifetime.

Daley (39-14-2 MMA, 5-1 BMMA) delivered the most violent moment of Saturday’s Spike-televised fight card, which took place The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., when he connected with the perfect flying knee to Ward’s (14-5 MMA, 9-5 BMMA) face in the opening round of their welterweight co-main event (watch the highlights above).

The bout was touted as a clash of knockout artists, and Daley certainly lived up to his end of the bargain with the highlight-reel finish, which put Ward to sleep and forced officials to remove him from the cage on a stretcher for precautionary reasons.

Although Bellator officials stated Ward was alert and responsive in the immediate aftermath of the contest, there was no mention of the horrific cut opened around his left eye, which Ward revealed today (via Instagram):

The latest revelation is almost certain to make Daley feel even worse. At the post-event press conference, he praised Ward as a fighter he respects and said the memorable finish didn’t bring him complete joy.

“To get a victory, it was kind of mixed emotions,” Daley said. “The first two minutes was running around like a headless chicken and going crazy. And then I look across, and I see his girlfriend, and she’s crying.

“It was hard. I just hope he’s OK.”

For complete coverage of Bellator 170, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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Bellator 170 payouts and salaries: Tito Ortiz breaks the bank, pockets $300K for retirement fight

Bellator 170 fighter payouts for those athletes competing at the “Ortiz vs. Sonnen” mixed martial arts (MMA) event last weekend (Sat., Jan. 21, 2017) from inside The Forum in Inglewood, were released earlier today by California State Athletic Commission (CSAC).

The total disclosed payroll was $766,125.

The top earner of the night was Tito Otiz, who hauled in a massive $300,000 payday after submitting Chael Sonnen in the very first round (see it again here). For his efforts, Chael picked $50,000 in defeat. The only fighters who came near to that were the ones listed right here (recap).

That’s not all.

Here is the complete list of Bellator 170 payouts and salaries, courtesy of MMA Fighting:

Tito Ortiz ($300,000 + no win bonus = $300,000) def. Chael Sonnen ($50,000)
Paul Daley ($50,000 + no win bonus = $50,000) def. Brennan Ward ($50,000)
Hisaki Kato ($30,000 + no win bonus = $33,000) def. Ralek Gracie ($33,000)
Emmanuel Sanchez ($20,000 + $20,000 = $40,000) def. Georgi Karakhanyan ($24,000)
Derek Campos (19,200 + $15,000 = $34,200) def. Derek Anderson ($7,800)
Henry Corrales ($14,000 + $14,000 = $28,000) def. Cody Bollinger ($2,500)
Guilherme Bomba ($12,000 + $12,000 = $24,000) def. John Mercurio ($2,000)
Kevin Casey ($10,000) fought to draw with Keith Berry ($3,000)
Alex Soto ($3,000 + $3,000 – $6,000*) def. Demarcus Brown ($2,000)
Chinzo Machida ($10,000 + $10,000) def. Jacar Ocampo ($1,500)
Jacob Rosales ($2,000 + $2,000 = $4,000) def. Ian Butler ($1,500)
Mike Segura ($1,500 + $1,500 = $3,000) def. Tommy Aaron ($2,000)
James Barnes ($2,000 + $2,000 = $4,000) def. Rob Gooch ($2,000)
Curtis Millender ($2,000 + $2,000 = $4,000) def. Johnny Cisneros ($2,000)
Colleen Schneider ($3,000* + $3,000 = $6,000) def. Chrissie Daniels ($4,500)
Jalin Turner ($1,500 + $1,500 = $3,000) def. Gabriel Green ($2,000)
Jack May ($2,000 + $2,000 = $4,000) def. Dave Cryer ($2,000)
Daniel Rodriguez ($1,500 + $1,500 = $3,000) def. Christina Gonzalez ($1,500*)

*fined 20 percent of purse, 10 of which goes to opponent, for missing weight

Keep in mind the salaries listed above do not include fight bonuses, sponsorships, percentages and other unofficial payments. It also does not include deductions for expenses such as insurance, taxes, etc.

To check out the latest Bellator MMA-related news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive news archive right here.

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Video: Bellator 170’s Chinzo Machida happy with his late rally – but sees work ahead

Filed under: Bellator, Featured Videos, News, Videos

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – After a come-from-behind TKO win at Saturday’s Bellator 170 event, Chinzo Machida is happy – but not entirely satisfied.

Heading into the third round of his scrap against Jamar Ocampo (2-1, 0-1 BMMA), Machida (5-2, 2-0 BMMA) was told by his cornermen that he was behind on the scorecards. So the karate expert stayed on the lookout for a finish, which came via a head kick followed up by a devastating right hand that sent Ocampo face down to the mat (via Twitter):

And while his ability to withstand adversity and emerge victorious is something to be celebrated, Machida said the match showed there’s still work to be done.

“I think I need to improve a little bit the takedown defense and the ground work for sure,” Machida said. “But at the same time, I’m proud of me because I fought almost three rounds.

” … I’m so happy, but at the same time, I know I have to work a little bit more on the takedown and on the ground, as well.”

The featherweight bout was part of the MMAjunkie-streamed preliminary card of Bellator 170, which took place at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. The five-fight main card, including Tito Ortiz’s first-round submission of Chael Sonnen, aired on Spike.

Machida, it turns out, was not alone in critiquing his own performance. Apparently his younger brother, former UFC champ and fellow karate expert Lyoto Machida, also had some observations about his sibling’s display.

“(Lyoto) was happy, but he said that even on the standup technique, I was too anxious to finish the fight,” Machida said. “So I have to keep more calm and get a good timing and a good distance. Because sometimes I took a good shot (to him), but I wanted to finish the fight at the moment, and the guy took me down.

“So I think I have to wait for the good moment and not be so anxious to finish the fight.”

Now on a four-fight wining streak that includes three finishes, however, Machida was ultimately happy with an outcome that was only made possible by keeping in mind that it isn’t over until the final bell.

“My corner told me I was losing, because at the end of the first round, and at the end of the second round, my opponent was on top and I was on the bottom,” Machida said. “I think I was losing the fight, so for that reason, to the end I was looking for the knockout.

“I always put it on my mind that maybe I was losing the fight, but I had not lost the fight. Until the end, I put (it) in my mind that I can win the fight at any moment.”

To hear more from Machida, check out the video above.

And for complete coverage of Bellator 170, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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UFC on FOX 23 free fight video: Watch Julianna Pena obliterate Jessica Rakoczy in UFC debut

Before Julianna Pena faces off against Valentina Schevchenko in the main event of UFC on FOX 23 on Jan. 28, 2017 inside Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado, take a trip back to see “The Venezuelan Vixen” make her Octagon debut.

After punching her ticket to the finals of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): “Team Rousey vs. Team Tate,” Pena collided with Jessica Rakoczy in the Finale on November 30, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

What ensued was a one-side beatdown, which saw Pena deliver a dominant performance and pull off a last-second victory, literally, thanks to some vicious ground-and-pound that forced the referee to stop the action with one second remaining in round one.

Winner of four straight, Pena will look to finally get her shot at the women’s Bantamweight title (or else) as she faces off against hard-hitting Valentina Schevchenko — who is fresh of an impressive win over Holly Holm — in the headlining act of UFC on FOX 23

For more on that intriguing women’s bantamweight bout click here.

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