Opinion: Maycee Barber Is Ready For The UFC

Maycee “The Future” Barber is fighting for the first time in the UFC this Saturday at UFC Denver and we should all be excited! She is one of the new waves of next-gen fighters who are elite everywhere and have trained every discipline of martial arts since they had the ability to walk. Barber has one goal, to become the youngest ever UFC champion, and at the age of 20 she has the time to do it, but it needs to be quick to beat Jon Jones’ current record.

Continue reading “Opinion: Maycee Barber Is Ready For The UFC”

News: Paulo Costa injured, Yoel Romero calls for Anderson Silva instead

Once again, a reported middleweight clash between perennial contender Yoel Romero and rising challenger Paulo Costa has fallen out.

Both behemoths at 185lbs were scheduled to meet at the recent UFC 230 event in Madison Square Garden, with Cuban wrestler Romero opting to recover from multiple injuries sustained against Robert Whittaker, leaving the undefeated Belo Horizonte native without a dance partner in New York.

The promotion were believed to have eyed an eventual clash between the pair at their premier ESPN+ 1 event on the 19th of January in the new year, but Paulo Costa has picked up an injury, ruling him out of the expected headlining slot.

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Romero sustained a nasty broken orbital bone in his rematch with current middleweight best Robert Whittaker in the second round of their back and forth clash. After yet another botched weight cut to 185lbs, the now 41 year-old former Olympian was widely expected to make the leap to a more comfortable home of 205lbs, with a clash alongside Alexander Gustafsson momentarily suggested for an Interim crown at UFC 230 failing to materialize.

Romero has seen weight issues prevent him from clinching a UFC title on multiple occasions, namely his UFC 221 Interim middleweight title knockout win over Luke Rockhold and his UFC 224 split decision loss to Whittaker in which many had the Pinar del Rio favourite narrowly edging out the Aussie. In both match ups, #1 ranked Yoel failed to make weight successfully.

Fast approaching the top five of 185lbs, Paulo Costa has so far displayed unparalleled striking power at middleweight maybe only matched by Romero himself in his first four walks to the Octagon. The Brazilian made hard work of the hot and cold Uriah Hall in his most recent fight, eventually finishing the flashy kickboxer in the second round, earning him the #8 rank in the murderers row that is 185lbs.

In a somewhat bizarre ply to earn a fourth tilt at championship honours, the explosive Romero has issued a challenge to the iconic former division king Anderson Silva who recently served a reduced suspension after a USADA test returned positive for hydrochlorothiazide and methyltestosterone, later discovered to be present in a contaminated substance consumed by the Curitiba counter striker. This subsequently allowed him to return to active competition in November 2018.

‘The Spider’ last competed at the controversial UFC 208 in Brooklyn, scoring a unanimous decision win over Derek Brunson.  Silva, who will turn 44 next April, has recently dropped losses to Daniel Cormier on short notice and a razor thin decision defeat to Michael Bisping, which ultimately earned the British striker his successful siege of the middleweight crown against Luke Rockhold.

UFC Fight Night 143 takes place at the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn, New York on January 19th, and currently features a welterweight match up between Belal Muhammed and Geoff Neal, and a Women’s flyweigth clash between prospects Paige VanZant and Rachael Ostovich-Berdon.

Report: Jose Torres and Jarred Brooks the first of a number of expected roster cuts as UFC liquidates flyweight division

Speculation that the UFC were on the brink of closing down their flyweight division began last month with the news that long time champion Demetrious Johnson had been ‘traded’ to ONE Championship with undefeated welterweight Ben Askren coming the other way.

Continue reading “Report: Jose Torres and Jarred Brooks the first of a number of expected roster cuts as UFC liquidates flyweight division”

News: Paige VanZant and Rachael Ostovich meet at UFC on ESPN

An interesting women’s flyweight clash makes its way onto the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s premier event of 2019 and their ESPN network debut. The exciting Paige VanZant features alongside The Ultimate Fighter competitor Rachael Ostovich on January 19th in Brooklyn. Continue reading “News: Paige VanZant and Rachael Ostovich meet at UFC on ESPN”

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.

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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.

 

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.

Report: BRAVE CF owner defends Zubaira Tukhugov and offers him a place on their roster after UFC 229 melee

A little under a week after the events of UFC 229, there has been a lot to take in. Conor McGregor’s loss, as well as all of the out-of-cage brawl, has become one of the biggest talking points of UFC history.

One particular event that has caused a real split of opinion is the decision by the UFC to pull Zubaira Tukhugov from his scheduled fight with McGregor’s teammate Artem Lobov after his actions in the skirmish after the UFC 229 main event.

If you have been living under a rock for the last week and require a recap, Tukhugov was one of the three guys that set upon McGregor inside the cage after his loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Since all is said and done, the UFC made the decision to pull Tukhugov from his next fight and state that he will never compete under the UFC banner again. This has caused a split in opinion inside the MMA community, where some call for the UFC to reconsider and allow Tukhugov to stay on their roster.

One of these sympathisers is BRAVE CF owner Khaled Hamad Alkhalifa. In a recent Instagram post, Alkhalifa defends Tukhogov and offers him an open invitation to their roster.

Brave CF is currently the largest middle eastern promotion and is ever growing. This is surely a sufficient safety net for Tukhogov should the UFC stick to their guns and he is expelled from the promotion.

As a side note, Conor McGregor’s loyal teammate that was charged with McGregor for the New York bus incident, Cian Cowley is also on the Brave CF books. Should Tukhogov decide to make a change and head to the Bahrainian based promotion, this could be one hell of a fight to make, with both fighters having unquestionable loyalty to either side.

Since the UFC’s decision, Khabib Nurmagomedov has issued a statement advising that he will not fight in the UFC unless Tukhogov is reinstated. As of this moment, the UFC is yet to respond and both sides are locked in a stalemate.

– Brad Dalrymple

Follow me on Twitter @Brad_MMA

Opinion: Is Tony Ferguson The Real Winner Following Last Night’s Antics?

Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson showed the world again last night that he is one of the very best in the world and cemented himself as one of the greatest lightweights in the game after beating Anthony Pettis via TKO (corner stoppage). Ferguson’s dominant performance was made even more impressive as just six months prior he underwent major knee surgery which usually takes a minimum of 10 months to heal fully. As always, “El Cucuy” was very complimentary of his opposing lightweights when he said: ” Where you at McNugget’s you f*****g piece of s**t?” before more pleasantries were exchanged.

Following the main event where Khabib Nurmagomedov submitted Conor McGregor, Khabib proceeded to leap out of the cage and attack Dillon Danis (a teammate of McGregor’s) making his future inside the UFC unclear. It may be Ferguson who comes out of all this smelling of roses as he was the UFC interim lightweight champion before being stripped due to an injury forcing him out of the fight with the champion. But “El Cucuy” is unbeaten in 11 outing’s and consistently performs beyond expectations.

Ferguson is one of the more deserving fighters in the UFC for a title shot, but with everything so unclear at the moment at the top of the lightweight division, we will have to wait and see if the American gets the shot he desires.

So what are the possible outcomes for Ferguson?

1. Ferguson vs Nurmagomedov

The more logical outcome would be for the UFC to book Ferguson vs Nurmagomedov. However, if the Nevada State Athletic Commission were to ban the Russian the UFC may strip him leaving the prospect of this fight in jeopardy.

2. Ferguson vs McGregor

Should the UFC strip Nurmagomedov, they may book Ferguson vs McGregor for the vacant title. The two have a certain amount of hatred for each other so the fight would sell well and would make the best out of a bad situation.

3. Ferguson vs Diaz/Poirier winner

The ranked outside option would be if Nurmagomedov was stripped and Nate Diaz and Dustin Poirier move into the main event spot at UFC 230 and fight for the vacant belt. This is an option as some mud has been thrown at the UFC for booking the woman’s flyweight title fight at the main event, after promising something huge. Diaz vs Poirier for the belt would fit the bill, with Ferguson waiting patiently for the winner.

So the future of “El Cucuy” is unclear at this time, but I’m sure whatever is in store for the 34-year-old will be special, and Ferguson could well end up as the king at 155lbs!

Ryan Cambridge

News: UFC confirm details of new UK distribution partnership with Eleven Sports

After months of speculation regarding the future of UFC TV rights in the UK and Ireland, the promotion have today confirmed the details of their new partnership with global sports distributor Eleven Sports, set to begin in January 2019.

Continue reading “News: UFC confirm details of new UK distribution partnership with Eleven Sports”

Live Results: UFC Fight Night 137 – Santos vs. Anders

Saturday 22nd September – Ibirapuera Gymnasium, Sao Paulo, Brazil.

In the main event, Thiago “Marreta” Santos (18-6) makes the jump to light heavyweight for the first time to take on Eryk Anders (11-1) at short notice after Jimi Manuwa pulled out with an injury last week. In the co-main event, we will see the Brazilian Cowboy, Alex Oliveira take on Carlo Pedersoli Jr in a welterweight scrap.

The card also features Randa Markos, “Smilin” Sam Alvey and Chase Sherman looking to upset the Brazilian applecart with wins over the natives.

We will bring you all of the action as it happens over on the MMAMotion Twitter page (@MMA_Motion), and all of the official results will be updated in real time below. Give us a follow and join us for the ride.

Main Card

  • Thiago Santos def. Eryk Anders via TKO (stoppage) at 5:00 of R3
  • Alex Oliveira def. Carlo Pedersoli via KO (punches) at :39 of R1
  • Antonio Rogerio Nogueira def. Sam Alvey via KO (punches) at 1:00 of R2
  • Andre Ewell def. Renan Barao via split decision (29-28, 28-28, 29-28)
  • Randa Markos and Marina Rodriguez fight to majority draw (29-28, 28-28, 28-28)

Preliminary Card

  • Charles Oliveira def. Christos Giagos via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:22 of R2
  • Francisco Trinaldo def. Evan Dunham via KO (knee to the liver) at 4:10 of R2
  • Ryan Spann def. Luis Henrique via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
  • Augusto Sakai def. Chase Sherman via TKO (strikes) at 4:03 of R3

Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass)

  • Sergio Moraes def. Ben Saunders via submission (arm triangle choke) at 4:42 of R2
  • Mayra Bueno Silva def. Gillian Robertson via submission (armbar) at 4:55 of R1
  • Thales Leites def. Hector Lombard via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos def. Luigi Vendramini via KO (strikes) at 1:20 of R2
  • Livia Souza def. Alex Chambers via submission (mounted guillotine) at 1:21 of R1

 

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