Report: Ben Askren vs Robbie Lawler in the works

It appears in late January of 2019, “the Funky one” goes against one of the top UFC welterweights, Robbie Lawler.

Askren has been causing a storm of press engaging and challenging with well-known UFC fighters on Twitter.

As reported by ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, the former ONE champion will make his debut in UFC 233, the first pay-per-view of next year and will have a chance to showcase his liberally boasted skill against one of the UFC’s most popular stars.

robbie-lawler-ufc-on-fox-262

There is no word from Robbie Lawler or his gym about the news. In fact, there has been little to no conversation between Askren and Lawler, either in person or in social media, prior or during this development. This caused those in the MMA community to criticize Askren once the news came.

Ruthless’s last fight was last year was a main event bout against Rafael dos Anjos, which makes this his return after a year off. As of today, this is the first match of the Anaheim card that is confirmed, and will continue to fill as 2018 closes out.

 

Opinion: What next for double champ Daniel Cormier and the other UFC 230 main card winners?

It wasn’t until after UFC 230 was over that I remembered that this card should have included Nate Diaz, Dustin Poirier, Yoel Romero and Luke Rockhold. It’s testement to the quality of the fights we saw on Saturday night that it honestly didn’t matter than we’d seen so many changes to the original line up.

While the UFC’s marquee event at Madison Square Garden may have lacked the volume of title fights that their previous visits claimed, the event definitely didn’t scrimp on the action with exciting fights, dramatic finishes and standout performances up and down the card.

Let’s take a look at what could come next after an historic night for Daniel Cormier and the other UFC 230 main card winners.

Continue reading “Opinion: What next for double champ Daniel Cormier and the other UFC 230 main card winners?”

Results: UFC 230 – Cormier vs. Lewis live results

Saturday, November 3rd  – Madison Square Garden, N.Y.

The UFC delivers with a spectacular card of fights at the most grand stadium in New York City. Spearheading the evening is a heavyweight fight to determine the baddest man on the planet: Two- Division Champion Daniel Cormier battles Houston’s Black Beast, Derrick Lewis. A match for the history books that will reward either DC’s first title defense in the top division, or Lewis’s dominant run through the ranks, with the championship belt.

The results will be updated below, and live play by play action will be courtesy of @TheDantyMan over on the @MMA_Motion Twitter account.

The main card kicks off @ 10:00PM ET/7:00PM PT on PPV and the Prelim card is UFC Fight Pass exclusive @ 6:15 EST/3:15 PST.

Main Card (PPV 10:00pm ET/ 7:00pm PT)

Daniel Cormier def. Derrick Lewis via Second Round submission (Rear Naked Choke).

Ronaldo Jacare Souza def. Chris Weidman via Third Round TKO.

Jared Cannonier def. David Branch via Second Round TKO.

Karl Roberson def. Jack Marshman via unanimous decision (30-26 x2, 30-27)

Israel Adesanya def. Derek Brunson via First Round TKO.

Fox Prelims (FS1 8:00PM ET/5:00PM PT)

Jordan Rinaldi def. Jason Knight via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-25, 30-26)

Sijara Eubanks def Roxanne Modafferi via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

Sheymon Moraes def. Julio Arce via split decision (30-26, 29-28)

Lyman Good def. Ben Saunders via First Round KO.

Prelim Card (Fight Pass 6:15PM ET/3:15PM PT)

Matt Frevola vs. Lando Vannata – Majority Draw (28-28 x2)

Shane Burgos def. Kurt Holobaugh via First Round submission (Armbar)

Brian Kelleher vs. Montel Jackson (Cancelled)

Marcos Rogerio de Lima def. Adam Wieczorek via Unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

News: Brendan Loughnane and Kane Mousah set to return to action at Celtic Gladiator 22

Manchester’s own Brendan Loughnane and Kane Mousah are amongst a slew of fighters set to feature on an action packed card as Celtic Gladiator return to Manchester, more than nine months since their first show in the city.

Unbeaten prospects Lerone “The Miracle” Murphy (6-0-0) and Jordan Barton (4-0-0) compliment what is shaping up to be a memorable evening for both European and domestic mixed martial arts.

Continue reading “News: Brendan Loughnane and Kane Mousah set to return to action at Celtic Gladiator 22”

Opinion: ‘Don’t Sleep On This’ UFC 230 Edition: The Brunson/Adesanya Rivalry

If you’re not familiar with Derek Brunson and Israel Adesanya’s rivalry, let me catch you up in time for Saturday…

Former kickboxer Israel Adesanya came into the UFC on an 11-fight win streak. He extended his undefeated record to 14-0 with wins over Rob Wilkinson, Marvin Vettori and most recently Brad Tavares. After that win in July, Adesanya called out Paulo Costa and Anderson Silva. Those fights never came to be, but middleweight contender Derek Brunson called for ‘The Last Stylebender’, wanting to fight at Madison Square Garden on the November card and accompanying it with this video.

Continue reading “Opinion: ‘Don’t Sleep On This’ UFC 230 Edition: The Brunson/Adesanya Rivalry”

Report: Khabib Nurmagomedov to fight GSP in the works

The official Team Dagestan Twitter page has tweeted an announcement about a work-in-progress fight between their own Khabib Nurmamogedov and the former welterweight and middleweight champion, Georges St-Pierre.

This appears to be the “big news” that MMA manager Ali Abdelaziz referred to in his tweet yesterday.

News about huge fights, however small, were announced first by Team Dagestan in the past, the last being the fight between Artem Lobov vs Zubaira Tukhugov, although the match was called of in light of the brawl at UFC 229, and had to be changed.

If negotiations go through and the fight is confirmed, the 155-pound Dagestani champion will defend his belt for the second time. However, pending punishment from the NSAC for the UFC 229 brawl, the fight will likely not happen this year.

georges-st-pierre-661047

On the other side of this story, GSP has been vocal about his interest in fighters long after his win over Michael Bisping, eying the winner of the UFC 229 main-event fight between Khabib and  McGregor. Whether he was fighting again in the welterweight or the lightweight division was still a mystery. However, the recent tweet from team Dagestan may clarify St. Pierre’s intentions.

BackBin July, he was offered by the UFC to fight against Nate Diaz, but the Canadian was not interested, as he saw this as a money opportunity, and was instead seeking legacy fights.

As this news develops, we shall he if a legacy fight comes to fruition.

 

Report: UFC welterweights respond to Ben Askren’s Twitter challenge

Following the news that we are on the brink of an historic ‘trade’ deal which would see UFC flyweight great Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson and ONE Championship’s undefeated welterweight king “Funky” Ben Askren switch promotions, Askren has wasted no time at all in calling out half of the UFC’s top 10 welterweights.

Continue reading “Report: UFC welterweights respond to Ben Askren’s Twitter challenge”

News: UFC and ONE close to finalizing trade between Askren and DJ

Posted only a short while ago via ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, the UFC and ONE Championship are close to finalizing what could be considered the first major trade in mixed martial arts history. As per multiple sources, a deal has been proposed in which the UFC would release former flyweight champion Demetrious ‘Might Mouse’ Johnson from his contract in order to allow him to sign with ONE. In exchange, ONE Championship will release former Bellator and ONE welterweight champion Ben Askren from his contract so he could finally join the UFC.

This is something that has came from basically nowhere and while it is still young in the MMA news at the minute, it is hard to really get our heads around it and properly understand as to what it will mean for MMA as we know it. Both are huge names within the MMA ‘die hard’ fan base, however they may not be favorable within the ‘casual’ fan base, particularly Askren who is fairly unknown to that kind of audience.

Sources say the “trade” isn’t finalized just yet, however, it has been discussed at length and is categorized by multiple sources as close to getting done. All parties involved are hopeful it will be finalized soon. On Monday, Askren tweeted that there was a “98 percent” chance of him joining the UFC, catching many off guard considering he has not exactly seen ‘eye to eye’ a few occasions with UFC president Dana White.

 

 

Johnson (27-3-1) recently lost the flyweight title to Henry Cejudo in August. The loss snapped his 13-fight winning streak, as well his record-breaking 11-fight successful title defense streak and saw him drop significantly in the UFC P4P Rankings. Following his win, Henry Cejudo has called for a super-fight with 135 pound champion TJ Dillashaw. As a result of this and the recent rumours of the creation of a 165 pound division, this makes all the more sense for the deal to take place.

It is also worth noting, Matt Hume, Johnson’s head coach at AMC Pankration in Kirkland, Washington, also serves as ONE’s vice president of operations.

For anyone who isnt familiar with Ben Askren, he is 18-0 and has held the welterweight belts in both Bellator and ONE Championship. While he is one of the very best grapplers in the world, people have always questioned the level of competition he has faced. However, he has dominated top fighters such as Douglas Lima, Andrey Koreshkov and Shinaya Aoki. Askren has also competed as Olympic level and was also Pan-American and United States champion in Freestyle Wrestling.

It is clear to anyone that has followed MMA both in and outside that both these fighters are very special and among the very best in the world. This is a deal that favours all four parties involved and one that will very much be a positive for both fighters, both in monetary gain and for their legacy. It will be very exciting to see how this plays out and I for one am very much excited about finally seeing Ben Askren in the UFC, taking on the best such as Georges Saint-Pierre, Khabib Nurmagomedov etc.

Opinion: “Don’t Sleep On This” UFC Moncton Edition – Volkan Oezdemir Vs. Anthony Smith

“Don’t Sleep on This” is a new segment I’m going to pump out leading up to every card about a fighter and/or matchup that should not be missed (a/k/a slept on).

This weekend the UFC is back after the drama that unfolded 3 weeks ago at UFC 229. This is the promotion’s first time in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, and the fans there will get to see a main event involving two of the UFCs heaviest hitters. Former title challenger and #2 ranked Volkan ‘No Time’ Oezdemir will take on former middleweight and #10 ranked Anthony ‘Lionheart’ Smith.

Anthony Smith is a journeyman. With over 40 professional fights to his name, including bouts with promotions Strikeforce, Bellator, CFFC, RFA and others, Smith’s first stint with the UFC only lasted one fight. Smith found his way back to the UFC after going on 7-fight win streak and finishing 6 of those 7 opponents. Since returning, Smith has gone 6-2 with 5 finishes, taking out Ultimate Fighter winner Andrew Sanchez (which was a great comeback fight), former Bellator champ Hector Lombard and former champions and future HOF’ers Rashad Evans and Shogun Rua. Smith’s two fights at light heavyweight ended in the first round, and were devastating knockouts.

Volkan Oezdemir seems like he came out of nowhere when he was picked up by the UFC. A former kickboxer and Bellator fighter, Volkan made his debut last year and won a split decision against former title challenger Ovince Saint Preux. In his next fight, he stopped the hype train and 8-fight win streak of Misha Cirkunov and then dropped title contender Jimi Manuwa. Both of those fights ended in under a minute, which explains the nickname ‘No Time’. In January, Volkan challenged the champion Daniel Cormier, but was stopped in the 2nd round.

If you’re a betting man, count on this fight not making it to a second round. Smith has been more active, this will be his fourth fight this year and third fight in the last five months, while Volkan is nine months removed from his last fight due to Visa issues. Will ‘Lionheart’ keep his body count going or will Volkan finish him in ‘No Time’? Don’t blink.

UFC Moncton begins on UFC Fight Pass @ 6:30PM ET/3:30PM PT and continues with the prelims on Fox Sports 2 @ 8:00PM ET/5:00PM PT followed by the main card on Fox Sports 1 @ 10:00PM ET/7:00PM PT.