The Joe Rogan Podcast: #952 – Thaddeus Russell

Thaddeus Russell is an author of A Renegade History of The United States. He is currently visiting faculty at Willamette University and the founder of Renegade University. Check out his new podcast ca View full post on MMAPodcast.com RSS feed

A Look at Some NFL Players Turned MMA Fighters – champions.co


champions.co

A Look at Some NFL Players Turned MMA Fighters
champions.co
In honor of the 2017 NFL Draft, we've decided to showcase the few fighters who've dabbled in both MMA and professional football. The success of these fighters vary, but in most cases, these former football players faired well in their foray into combat

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Lion Fight 36 Weigh-In Results

Weigh-ins for Lion Fight 36 took place earlier in the day.

The event airs live on AXS TV Friday night from Connecticut.

In the headline bout, Lerdsila PhuketTopTeam faces Jacob Hebeisen.

Complete weigh-in results are below:

Lerdsila PhuketTopTeam (Phuket, Thailand; 183-31-5) – 133.0 lbs. vs. Jacob Hebeisen (Marietta, GA; 7-4) – 135.0 lbs.

Brett Hlavacek (New York, NY; 17-4) – 186.0 lbs. vs. Paul Banasiak (East Hartford, CT; 4-0) – 184.0 lbs.

D.C. Pratt (Atlanta, GA; 20-4) – 154.0 lbs. vs. Amadeu Cristiano (Boston, MA; 51-16) – 154.0 lbs.

Matt Coleman (Lynchburg, VA; 1-1) – 201.0 lbs. vs. Chip Moraza-Pollard (Plymouth, MA; 3-0) – 196.0 lbs.

P.J. Sweda (Philadelphia, PA; 2-1) – 161.0 lbs. vs. Eddie Abasolo (Dublin, CA; 7-1) – 158.0 lbs.

Jonathan George (Lorton, VA; 2-0-1) 136.0 lbs. vs. Amine Ballafrikh (Sterling, VA; 7-4); 137.0 lbs.

The post Lion Fight 36 Weigh-In Results appeared first on Fightline.com.

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The MMA Depressed-us: Melendez vs. Ayoki – Bloody Elbow


Bloody Elbow

The MMA Depressed-us: Melendez vs. Ayoki
Bloody Elbow
Zane Simon, Connor Ruebusch, and Phil Mackenzie get together for another non-fight week to watch the worst MMA they can find. This week we're watching Travis Browne vs. Fabricio Werdum 2, Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Gilles Arsene, and Gilbert Melendez vs.

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Ben Askren masters the art of both thanking his opponent, promising to destroy him at ONE Championship 55

Along with the usual pre-fight threats, ONE Championship welterweight champion Ben Askren had to add a thank you to upcoming opponent Agilan Thani.

After all, Thani (7-0) did what others apparently were unable or unwilling to do – sign a contract.

“Part of my time off was due to other opponents failing to – although they said in the media they wanted to fight – sign the contract to step in the cage,” said Askren (15-0) during a teleconference in support of his meeting Thani at “ONE Championship 55: Dynasty of Heroes.” “I do really appreciate Agilan’s willingness to step in the cage, and frankly, that’s what being a fighter is all about. It’s about when your opportunity comes, you sign the contract and step in the cage to fight someone.”

“ONE Championship 55: Dynasty of Heroes” takes place May 26 at Singapore Indoor Stadium. The event streams live via internet pay-per-view on the promotion’s website.

It wasn’t Askren’s choice to sit on the sidelines for one year. But he didn’t have much of a choice when a title defense this past fall against Vitaly Bigdash was canceled initially by the death of Thailand’s king, Bhumibol Adulyadej. Then it was called off when Bigdash wouldn’t agree to reschedule.

“I don’t know why he changed his mind, but he changed his mind,” said ONE Championship CEO Victor Cui. “It just seems like we had a round of bad luck and poor timing. We hope to see him more active this year, and I think we’re on track for that.”

Cui previously has found himself in an awkward position trying to get Askren in the cage. A scheduled title defense against Luis Santos at ONE Championship 32 was canceled when Sapos came in heavy and then refused to compete at a catchweight.

It hasn’t been an easy road for the champ, who said he has a lot of ground to make up. Undoubtedly, the time off has done him no favors physically or financially.

“I really need to be more active this year,” Askren said. “Obviously, I’m 32 years old now, and I am getting a little bit older, and I’ve been fairly inactive for the last few years, so I need to have a lot of fights this year, and hopefully ONE is going to provide that for me.”

Thani is the first offering since the run of bad luck. Undefeated in seven pro fights, the Malaysian fighter is undoubtedly the underdog heading into a fight with Askren, whose record remains spotless after 15 outings. But the champ said he’s taking his opponent seriously.

Askren cited his experience as an underdog in a Bellator meeting with Dan Hornbuckle as the reason fans shouldn’t count out Thani.

“Everyone wrote me off,” he said. “I think I was a 6-1 underdog, and I went in there and beat the tar out of him, and that was the start of my career. Although (Agilan) might be an underdog, I am not taking this fight lightly.”

Still, when Askren finally gets in the cage after an unwanted break, he has no plans on treating his opponent any differently than others.

“Ag, you’ve got about four-and-a-half weeks until you’re in the cage with me,” he said. “I’m just going to tell you like I’ve told the rest of my opponents, this is the scary truth: I will come across the cage, I will grab you, I will put you on your back, and I will punch you until you ask the referee to stop me from doing so. So enjoy the next four-and-a-half weeks weeks.

“I hope you enjoy the challenge. It’s only four-and-a-half weeks and a few minutes until you’re on your back.”

For more on “ONE Championship 55: Dynasty of Heroes,” check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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That Time UFC’s Steve Bosse Threw Down in Classic Hockey Fight in Pre-MMA Days – Bleacher Report

That Time UFC's Steve Bosse Threw Down in Classic Hockey Fight in Pre-MMA Days
Bleacher Report
UFC light heavyweight Steve Bosse was booked for his fourth bout in the promotion this week. The light heavyweight will lock horns with Jared Cannonier at The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale this summer, a classic striker versus grappler matchup that should …

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Bellator 180 fight card update: Ryan Couture, Neiman Gracie and Aaron Pico join NYC line up

Bellator 180: “Sonnen vs. Silva” takes place on June 24, 2017 at historic Madison Square Garden in New York, N.Y., featuring a pay-per-view (PPV) main event between Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva, who have been bitter rivals since their Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) days.

The card has been been getting shuffled this week, with the latest hand from the deck revealing a Phil Davis title defense against Ryan Bader scheduled to headline Spike TV’s Bellator 180 broadcast before the PPV begins. More names have now been added to this already stacked line-up, including Ryan Couture (10-5) — son of MMA legend Randy “The Natural” Couture — who will anchor the Spike.com “Prelims” undercard broadcast against Haim Gozali (7-3). He’s looking to rebound from a two-fight losing streak following a knockout loss to Patricky Freire and an armbar loss to Goiti Yamauchi.

In addition, the undefeated Neiman Gracie (5-0) — a multiple time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion and student of the local Renzo Gracie academy — will seek to keep his perfect record intact against the unheralded Dave Marfone (5-2) on the Spike TV broadcast. Meanwhile, the PPV portion has gained an important fight as blue chip wrestling prospect Aaron Pico makes his professional mixed martial arts (MMA) debut on the biggest stage possible against a very experienced opponent in Zach Freeman (8-2). Freeman has lost two of his last three, but that includes a grueling five round decision challenging Thiago Moses for the Lightweight title at RFA 44.

All of these changes and more can be found in the updated Bellator line-up below.

Bellator 180 Main Card (PPV):

Light Heavyweight: Chael Sonnen (29-15-1) vs. Wanderlei Silva (35-12-1, 1 NC)
Heavyweight: Fedor Emelianenko (36-4, 1 NC) vs. Matt Mitrione (11-5)
Welterweight: Douglas Lima (28-6) vs. Lorenz Larkin (18-5, 1 NC)
Lightweight: Michael Chandler (16-3) vs. Brent Primus (7-0)
Lightweight: Aaron Pico (Debut) vs. Zach Freeman (8-2)

Bellator 180 “Prelims” Undercard (Spike TV):

Light Heavyweight: Phil Davis (17-3, 1 NC) vs. Ryan Bader (22-5)
Featherweight: James Gallagher (6-0) vs. Chinzo Machida (5-2)
Welterweight: Neiman Gracie (5-0) vs. Dave Marfone (5-2)

Bellator 180 “Prelims” Undercard (Spike.com)

Welterweight: Ryan Couture (10-5) vs. Haim Gozali (7-3)
Lightweight: Jerome Mickle (2-1) vs. Anthony Giacchina (1-1)
Catchweight (168 lbs.): John Salgado (4-7-1) vs. Hugh McKenna (0-1)
Catchweight (130 lbs.): Matt Rizzo (9-2, 1 NC) vs. Sergio da Silva (6-8)

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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Could the UFC stream fights on Twitter? The social media giant sure seems to think so – MMAjunkie.com


MMAjunkie.com

Could the UFC stream fights on Twitter? The social media giant sure seems to think so
MMAjunkie.com
The UFC has long embraced social media as a means of pushing its athletes and its content. So could the promotion wind up streaming live fights on Twitter? According to a high-ranking official of the networking service, it could absolutely happen in
Future Twitter Live Video Streams Could Include UFC Bouts, According to Company ExecutiveSherdog.com
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Twitter Is Considering Replacing Thursday Night Football Streams With UFC FightsUPROXX
FanSided
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MMA Beat podcast: The MMA Beat – Episode 146

On this week’s episode of the show, the panel will discuss Al Iaquinta’s recent comments about the UFC, the Bellator 180 additions, Cris Cyborg’s future, the status of the Bisping-GSP fight and much m View full post on MMAPodcast.com RSS feed

Could the UFC stream fights on Twitter? The social media giant sure seems to think so

The UFC has long embraced social media as a means of pushing its athletes and its content. So could the promotion wind up streaming live fights on Twitter? According to a high-ranking official of the networking service, it could absolutely happen in the very near future.

In a recent interview with BuzzFeed.com, Twitter COO and CFO Anthony Noto outline his company’s plan to expand its live streaming options and made it a point to mention UFC content as a real possibility.

“We have a really big audience when there’s a pay-per-view UFC match,” Noto told BuzzFeed News. “Should we provide that content to the audience on Twitter that’s not watching it, but might like to after seeing tweets about it? That’s something we’d consider.”

Twitter spent $10 million to air Thursday night NFL games in the 2016 season, but Amazon picked up a similar package for 2017 for $50 million, leaving Twitter with an opportunity to bring on new content.

UFC officials did not immediately respond to multiple requests for comment.

BuzzFeed news pointed out that while Twitter is losing the NFL, the one-season deal proved a successful experiment by “letting programmers know it was dead serious about live, and demonstrating an infrastructure that could handle millions of viewers tuning in at once.”

Noto agreed.

“It was instrumental [in generating additional interest],” Noto told BuzzFeed News. “It’s a really high-profile brand and one that has really high expectations for product quality. It caused people to come and see if we could deliver.”

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

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The Art of Fighting in the UFC Has Changed. Here’s How. – Bleacher Report

The Art of Fighting in the UFC Has Changed. Here's How.
Bleacher Report
Since July 2014, I've written 110 previews of UFC events. In that time, I've seen every single fight the promotion has put on and thousands more besides in order to do the necessary film study to write my guides. Just two UFC events in that period have …

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Bellator 178 ratings: ‘Straus vs Pitbull 4’ peaks at more than one million viewers

Bellator 178: “Straus vs. Pitbull 4” went down this past weekend (April 21, 2017) at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., featuring a main event that saw Daniel Straus fighting Patricio “Pitbull” Freire for a historic fourth — and hopefully final — time in a Featherweight title defense.

While Straus may be unhappy with the outcome, officials from Bellator MMA and Spike are clearly pleased, sending out a press release to tout the show’s ratings. Indeed, the main event averaged 949,000 viewers and peaked at 1,033,000 viewers at 10:38 p.m. ET.

The broadcast pulled in a solid 733,000 (DVR +3) eyeballs, which is below the promotion’s overall average of 922,000 (DVR +7) viewers, but nothing to sneeze at when you consider said average constitutes the highest viewership totals in Bellator franchise history.

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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Two Title Fights Headline Victory FC 57 on May 5

Victory FC announced this week that the promotion’s heavyweight titlist will be facing a new opponent at VFC 57. View full post on Recent News on Sherdog.com

Bellator’s A.J. McKee aspires to be ‘Mayweather of MMA’ and beat … – MMAjunkie.com


MMAjunkie.com

Bellator's A.J. McKee aspires to be 'Mayweather of MMA' and beat …
MMAjunkie.com
A.J. McKee is only 22, but he has grand aspirations for his career, such as claiming a Bellator belt before his next birthday.
No MMA This Weekend? Watch Knight Fights Instead! | champions.cochampions.co
Marianas Variety – MMA-rianas: A 'League' of their ownMarianas Variety
MMA Mock Draft: 2017 Edition – Combat PressCombat Press

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Ronda Rousey Has Been Busy

When not getting smoked in the cage and accepting engagement rings from heavyweight fighters, former champ Ronda Rousey still manages to occupy her time and keep busy. Oddly enough, that’s by acting. Apparently Rousey is prominently featured in an NBC TV show called “Blindspot”. According to Wikipedia, the premise of the show involves a protagonist […]

The post Ronda Rousey Has Been Busy appeared first on Caged Insider.

The post Ronda Rousey Has Been Busy appeared first on Fightline.com.

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MMA – Ferguson tells Diaz to stop acting like McGregor’s ex … – ESPN (blog)


ESPN (blog)

MMA – Ferguson tells Diaz to stop acting like McGregor's ex …
ESPN (blog)
Tony Ferguson had choice words for both Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor as he attempts to get himself into a high-profile fight this summer.
Morning Report: Tony Ferguson calls out Nate Diaz with the Diaz …MMA Fighting
Tony Ferguson – ESPN – ESPN.comESPN.com

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Josh Thomson appealing knockout loss to Patricky Freire at Bellator 172


Filed under: Bellator, News

Bellator lightweight Josh Thomson wants the California State Athletic Commission to overturn his knockout loss to Patricky Freire in the headliner of Bellator 172, MMAjunkie has learned.

CSAC Executive Director Andy Foster confirmed Thomson’s appeal request after veteran referee “Big” John McCarthy on Wednesday told MMAjunkie Radio he will offer his testimony during the process. Thomson also told MMAjunkie he is seeking a no-contest ruling and declined further comment.

Officially, the Feb. 18 bout is on the books as a knockout win for Freire (17-8 MMA, 10-7 BMMA), who caught Thomson (22-9 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) with a vicious uppercut early in the fight’s second round in the Spike-televised headliner at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif. (watch the highlights above). McCarthy on Wednesday said he stopped the bout based on Freire’s strike, but he wasn’t sure whether a knockdown that immediately preceded it was caused by a legal blow or inadvertent clash of heads.

“I see Patricky go after Josh, Josh gets knocked down, I see his hand go back to brace his fall, he gets himself back up, starts swinging, and gets hit with an uppercut, and it knocks him out,” McCarthy said. “And in that situation, I was not sure. Was Josh hurt by what seemed to be a clash of heads, or was that a punch?

“I went to one of my judges and said, ‘Did you see if that was a head-butt or a punch?’ And he said, ‘It was a punch.’ And he gave me the wrong information, because if you go back and watch, that first knockdown was a head-butt. So Josh is going to contest that fight based on, ‘I got hurt by a head-butt.’”

In the case of an accidental foul that involves a concussive impact to the head and renders a fighter incapable of continuing, a no-contest should result if a three-round bout hasn’t gone past the second round. There’s also precedent in California for Freire’s win to be overturned; a third-round TKO for Robbie Peralta over Mackens Semerzier at UFC on FOX 1 was changed to a no contest when the CSAC determined that an accidental head-butt had set the finish in motion. McCarthy recommended the change in a letter to the commission.

As for what happens in Thomson’s case, the veteran referee isn’t sure. But based upon his review of the fight afterward, he believes an accidental foul led to a finish, though he couldn’t see it at the time.

“Now, is that going to change it? That’s for the state athletic commission to say,” McCarthy said. “But I’m going to be honest and say I saw something, (and) I wasn’t sure if it was a punch or a clash of the heads that hurt him.

“I went and asked somebody, and got information saying it was a punch, so it was the end of the fight based on a punch that I did see land that was legal that did land that was legal that did knock him out that was the end of the fight.”

For more on Bellator 172, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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

Justin Gaethje apparently heading to UFC as Professional Fighters League launches recruiting for 2018 season – MMAjunkie.com


MMAjunkie.com

Justin Gaethje apparently heading to UFC as Professional Fighters League launches recruiting for 2018 season
MMAjunkie.com
LAS VEGAS – WSOF lightweight champion Justin Gaethje is heading to the UFC, according to his now-former employers. With the WSOF currently rebranding as the Professional Fighters League and focused on recruiting new talent for a new look in 2018, …
Is WSOF Lightweight Champion Justin Gaethje Signing With the UFC?champions.co

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Rankings: Moreno, Iaquinta move up in latest release

Brandon Moreno had his dreams dashed in the first round on The Ultimate Fighter season 24, losing his preliminary bout early in the competition.But since getting his chance in the UFC after the show concluded, “The Baby Assassin” has been one of the hottest fighters in the organization. He’s run off three wins in a row and he put an exclamation point on his contender status with a second-round submission win vs. Dustin Ortiz in Nashville last weekend.In the official UFC rankings release, Moreno moved up three spots to No. 7 in the flyweight division. He now sits above Ortiz ( … Read the Full Article Here View full post on UFC News

Michael Bisping on not-smart Al Iaquinta’s UFC rampage – ‘Don’t bite the hand that feeds you’

Al Iaquinta is not happy with his current employer, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), as the “Raging” Lightweight contender has gone on a warpath against the mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion.

It all began at UFC 205, when Iaquinta pulled out of his scheduled fight against Thiago Alves because of a contract dispute. After stepping back into the cage this past weekend (Sat., April 22, 2017) and knocking out Diego Sanchez in the first round at UFC Fight Night 108 (see it), Iaquinta slammed the promotion — and Dana White — for not giving him a $50,000 bonus.

And earlier this week, the hard-hitting 155-pound fighter took it one step further, slamming Reebok, as well as innocent bystander, Sage Northcutt. It’s all a bad move on his part, according to current Middleweight champion, Michael Bisping, who declared on his “Believe You Me” podcast that while he’s a fan of Ianquinta and appreciates his brutal honesty, sometimes you have to take a step back and chill out. In addition, he isn’t buying Iaquinta’s claims that he can make more money selling real estate as opposed to fighting for UFC.

“I saw all these tweets and they are laden with spelling mistakes. And I am not trying to insult his intelligence, I just know for a fact that he’s done all this after a few drinks. That is my assumption. Now listen, first and foremost, after the fight he was talking shit about the UFC. That’s his opinion, that’s his right, whatever you want to say. I’m, just saying, those tweets, in my opinion, after the fight, he’s at home he’s like, ’Fuck it, I’m out of training camp, I’m going to enjoy myself.’ So he’s taking to Twitter to vent his frustrations. That’s my assumption on that. He also went on The MMA Hour and said, ‘Fuck the UFC if they don’t get behind me and I don’t need to fight.’ Listen, I like Al Iaquinta, I really do, I like the way he fights, he is very exciting, he’s a knockout artist and brings a lot to the table, but he’s not being the smartest man right now. He’s really not. He’s saying he can go off and become a real estate agent and make more money. The fact is you can’t, there is more money to be made in UFC and it’s as simple as that. Period. Al has the potential to be one of those guys and he has the potential to be a champion and make it to the money and be a fan favorite. But, going up against the UFC and saying, ‘Fuck you Dana’ and stuff like that, it’s just not smart. And I’m not saying you have to be an ass kisser, you don’t have to be, but in any line of work, and this will endear him to some people ... and it’s fun to see people go on a rampage and go against the system; but think a little bit and don’t bite the hand that feeds you. Speak your mind, be honest, but you don’t have to go too crazy.”

Indeed, if anyone knows about venting one’s frustration in a controlled manner, it’s “The Count,” as he recently expressed his disappointment of never getting a million-dollar payday with the promotion, despite all of his years of service.

As a result, he got his wish, as the promotion booked him to face former Welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre in what is sure-to-be Bisping’s highest-paying fight to date.

Whether or not the promotion will bow down to Iaquinta the same way, remains to be seen. But something tells me Al isn’t done with his crusade just yet.

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UFC 216 Scheduled for Sept. 9 in Edmonton

The Ultimate Fighting Championship will hold its first-ever event in Edmonton on Sept. 9. View full post on Recent News on Sherdog.com

Conor McGregor causes outrage as UFC superstar films himself driving without seatbelt – Mirror.co.uk


Mirror.co.uk

Conor McGregor causes outrage as UFC superstar films himself driving without seatbelt
Mirror.co.uk
However his focus did not appear to be on the road as he drove his car. A number of social media users hit out at the UFC champion for his reckless behaviour. Conor McGregor at Liverpool's Mansion Nightclub recently (Photo: Mansion Nightclub).
UFC news: Conor McGregor shows boxing skills as Mayweather fight loomsDaily Star

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fightsgoneby: Fights Gone By #36

We review the career of Diego Sanchez, praise the technical striking of Mike Perry, and despair over Japanese MMA’s freak fights. View full post on MMAPodcast.com RSS feed

Twitter Is Considering Replacing Thursday Night Football Streams With UFC Fights

Getty Image

You may not have been aware, but Twitter is much more than just a place for you to argue with people you don’t know about issues without clear solutions. Last fall the social media company signed a deal with the NFL to stream Thursday Night Football over their network, and the marriage of easy to access game feeds with the network you talk about those sports on was a pretty big success. Unfortunately for Twitter, Amazon then stepped in and snapped up NFL streaming rights for this season.

But that won’t stop Twitter from expanding on live streams. In a new interview with Buzzfeed News, Twitter COO and CFO Anthony Noto declared that Twitter will eventually be broadcasting live video 24 hours a day. At the top of the list of sports Noto thinks could replace the NFL following their defection? The UFC.

“We have a really big audience when there’s a pay-per-view UFC match,” Noto told Buzzfeed News. “Should we provide that content to the audience on Twitter that’s not watching it, but might like to after seeing tweets about it? That’s something we’d consider.”

The UFC and Twitter have long been part of a mutual admiration society that saw the league adopt Twitter early and push it hard amongst its athletes and fans. That’s led to the organization have a huge number of fans engaged with the sport through the social network, something the company has responded to by creating custom emojis during larger UFC events.

Teaming up with Twitter would be a no-brainer for the promotion, although some would note the quality of UFC cards is already feeling watered down with its current 40+ event a year slate. But one of the biggest problems fans of the UFC face is trying to watch the content. If you don’t have FOX Sports 1 or heaven forbid live in Canada where events are on Ocho-like channels such as TSN5, knowing you can easily watch events on Twitter could be a game changer.

Not clear in this article is whether there’s an imminent deal with the UFC and Twitter in the works or if this will have to wait until the UFC’s current deal with FOX ends in 2018. But it goes to show you that both the UFC and Twitter are thinking outside the box when it comes to getting more live broadcasts out to sports fans.

(via Buzzfeed News)

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Tony Ferguson Trying to Talk His Way Into a Money Fight

Tony Ferguson lost out on the opportunity to smash Khabib Nurmagomedov when the Dagestani blew his weight cut and fell ill, so now it’s Plan B in terms of making the most of his career. That’s right, if a title shot is eluding him, the next best thing is to talk his way into a […]

The post Tony Ferguson Trying to Talk His Way Into a Money Fight appeared first on Caged Insider.

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Morning Report: Tony Ferguson calls out Nate Diaz with the Diaz motto: ‘Don’t be scared homie’ – MMA Fighting


MMA Fighting

Morning Report: Tony Ferguson calls out Nate Diaz with the Diaz motto: 'Don't be scared homie'
MMA Fighting
A well-known fighter in his own right, Diaz rocketed to MMA superstardom when he choked out McGregor last year at UFC 196. Their rematch at UFC 202 was the biggest pay-per-view in UFC history and cemented Diaz's status as a legitimate star.

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Justin Gaethje apparently heading to UFC as Professional Fighters League launches recruiting for 2018 season

LAS VEGAS – WSOF lightweight champion Justin Gaethje is heading to the UFC, according to his now-former employers.

With the WSOF currently rebranding as the Professional Fighters League and focused on recruiting new talent for a new look in 2018, the organization elected to allow Gaethje (17-0), currently ranked No. 8 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA lightweight rankings, an opportunity to depart for the world’s biggest MMA promotion, a Professional Fighters League official told MMAjunkie.

A UFC official said Gaethje was not under contract just yet but confirmed negotiations are ongoing.

“Professional Fighters League will miss Justin, but the thrill, drama, excitement of the regular season, playoffs and championship is about more than one fighter – and the glory of finding a true champion, and rewarding that champion with $1 million is what we’re really excited about,” a person inside the Professional Fighters League official stated to MMAjunkie on the condition of anonymity because the new deal has not been made public.

Gaethje’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, was not immediately available for comment, but WSOF President Ray Sefo took to Twitter to express similar sentiment.

The 28-year-old Gaethje is a Trevor Wittman-trained athlete who went a remarkable 10-0 under the WSOF banner. “The Highlight” earned the inaugural WSOF lightweight belt with a first-round knockout of Richard Patishnock in January 2014 and would successfully defend the title five times, all by way of knockout. He also downed Melvin Guillard via decision in a non-title affair after “The Young Assassin” failed to make weight. He leaves the organization as the company’s only 155-pound title holder.

As MMAjunkie previously reported, the newly-minted Professional Fighters League is expected to debut in January 2018, putting up $10 million dollars in prize money over seven weight divisions.

According to the company’s initial announcement, the new promotion will feature a regular season, during which fighters will compete in superfights. At the end of each season, those with the best records will advance to a single-elimination postseason playoff tournament over seven weight divisions. Tournament winners will get $1 million, with an additional $3 million to be “shared between other regular season and playoff competitors,” according to a Professional Fighters League release.

The WSOF’s current broadcast deal with NBC expires at the end of this year, and the Professional Fighters League is currently courting new broadcast partners while also searching for new fighters, as well.

For on the WSOF and Professional Fight League’s upcoming schedule, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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

UFC reportedly considering shocking potential catchweight fight for Anderson Silva – BJPenn.com (press release) (blog)


BJPenn.com (press release) (blog)

UFC reportedly considering shocking potential catchweight fight for Anderson Silva
BJPenn.com (press release) (blog)
Recently, former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva found himself without an opponent for his UFC 212 scrap after streaking contender Kelvin Gastelum was forced out of the fight with a USADA violation stemming from a failed fight night drug test
Daniel Cormier won't allow USADA-regulated Jon Jones to have UFC tune-up fightMMAmania.com
Daniel Cormier sends a message to Jon Jones about proposed fight …FOXSports.com
Daniel Cormier demands Jon Jones accepts UFC 214 rematch: 'It's …MMAjunkie.com
Daily Star –Bloody Elbow
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UFC Edmonton debut set for UFC 216 on Sept. 9

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will finally make its Edmonton debut when the UFC 216 pay-per-view (PPV) event comes to Rogers Place on Sat., Sept. 9, 2017, marking the 10th city — and 24th fight card overall — to land in Canada.

UFC announced the upcoming event on Thursday.

“Edmonton is a great sports city and what we’ve been able to accomplish, and the energy and excitement we’ve been able to bring to Rogers Place is truly remarkable,” Bob Nicholson, Oilers Entertainment Group CEO & Vice Chair said in today’s release. “I can’t think of a better way to celebrate our one year anniversary and say thank you to fans in Edmonton and across Western Canada than by bringing a championship UFC fight to Rogers Place.”

No bouts have been announced for the Edmonton fight card; however, that is likely to change in the coming weeks. Depending on when Georges St-Pierre fights Michael Bisping (more on that here), there is a chance “Rush” could be a part of that debut.

Stay tuned.

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