Dave Doyle at Yahoo Sports 8 days ago
HOUSTON – At the end of a debut week unlike any other in UFC history, Sage Northcutt was ready to do it all again.
"I'm ready right now," the ever-enthusiastic Northcutt (6-0) said after blitzing Francisco Trevino in 57 seconds Saturday night at UFC 192. "If I could get two fights right now, I'm ready."
At 19 years, seven months, and one day, Northcutt, a resident of nearby Katy, Texas, became the youngest competitor in UFC history to win his debut fight.
One week ago, only the most hardcore fans knew of Northcutt, who made his pro debut last November. But Northcutt started going viral after Wednesday's open workouts, when he wowed the crowd with quick striking and flashy backflips.
If it wasn't already clear this kid was something out of the ordinary, it became more evident during his interview after the workout, in which he addressed reporters as "sir," called Dana White "Mr. White," and repeatedly referenced what an honor it was to simply be included in the festivities.
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Dave Doyle at Yahoo Sports 14 days ago
LOS ANGELES – Everywhere Daniel Cormier goes, Jon Jones follows.
Not literally, of course. But so long as Cormier carries around a UFC light heavyweight title belt which Jones never lost in the Octagon, the questions about the legitimacy of Cormier’s reign are never going to quite go away.
“You can’t satisfy everyone,” Cormier (16-1) said Monday. “I can’t stop people from saying my belt’s not real.”
All the ingredients are in place to ensure Jones stays in the headlines this week.
For one thing, Jones, who was stripped of his light heavyweight title after a felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident involving great bodily harm or death in an April 26 incident, has his plea hearing in an Albuquerque courtroom on Tuesday. It will likely shed light on when Jones might be able to return to competition. Jones is expected to angle for a plea bargain.
For another, come Saturday, Cormier will make the first defense of the title he won on May 23 with a submission victory over Anthony Johnson, when he meets Alexander Gustafsson in the main event of UFC 192 in Houston.
By Monday, though, Cormier seemed to make peace with the fact Jones’ specter won’t disappear any time soon.
Dave Doyle at Yahoo Sports 22 days ago
After Tito Ortiz lost to Liam McGeary in the main event of Bellator: Dynamite on Saturday night, Ortiz went to place McGeary’s Bellator light heavyweight title belt around the victor’s waist.
It was a vintage Ortiz move, an attempted spotlight theft masked as a magnanimous gesture. Except, Ortiz somehow missed the mark, and the belt nearly hit the ground before Bellator CEO Scott Coker made the save and made sure the champion had his moment in the sun.
In its own bizarre way, the final scene was a fitting coda to an unusual night at San Jose’s SAP Center.
Bellator: Dynamite was an event, on paper, which was supposed to have a little bit of everything for everyone. Modeled after larger-than-life Japanese combat sports events from that country’s MMA boom about 15 years ago, the Spike TV card was a co-promotion between Bellator and kickboxing promotion Glory.
An over-the-top arena setup, with a cage and a ring on the arena floor, and a stage, ramp, big screen and fireworks, was meant to underscore the magnitude of the event.
By the end of the Glory portion of the card, it appeared the evening was about to go off the rails.
LOS ANGELES – Urijah Faber is known as one of the smartest businessmen in mixed martial arts.
Faber rode a wave as the sport’s first popular lighter-weight fighter during his run as WEC featherweight champion, and he leveraged his time in the spotlight to the hilt. Faber runs the successful Team Alpha Male gym in Sacramento, made plenty of money in outside sponsorships, particularly with the Torque clothing line, and invests in real estate and other ventures so his finances remain secure when his fighting days inevitably end.
Conor McGregor, on the other hand, seems to be spending his paychecks as fast as they come in, and isn’t afraid to flaunt his newfound affluence. The 27-year-old McGregor, who coaches against Faber on the new season of "The Ultimate Fighter," which debuted Wednesday on FOX Sports 1, always makes sure to be seen in the finest clothes and the most expensive cars.
But the 36-year-old Faber has a word of advice for the UFC's current flavor of the month: The ride doesn’t last forever.
“You can make a lot of money,” Faber said at a Wednesday media event. “But the key is how much you can hang on to.”
LOS ANGELES – It's hard to blame UFC interim featherweight champion Conor McGregor for deciding to shoot for the moon.
After all, we're barely two years removed from the bombastic Irishman's humble UFC start, a win over Marcus Brimage that was live-streamed over Facebook.
Nowadays, McGregor's pulling into media events in downtown LA with the top down on a rented Bentley convertible.
Nearly everything McGregor has predicted for his career has come true, in the face of throngs of detractors, from his long win streak in the featherweight division to his pay-per-view stardom.
So can you blame McGregor for turning up the volume on his set of predictions?
McGregor cranked the knob to 11 on Wednesday when asked whether AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, would sell out for a UFC card with both McGregor and UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey on the bill.
"I think me and Ronda could sell out Cowboys Stadium separately," McGregor said. "I think that's the level we are at."
Rafael dos Anjos and Donald Cerrone will fight for dos Anjos' lightweight title on Dec. 19 in Orlando. McGregor went ahead and took aim at both.
Don’t come to Paige VanZant with your Ronda Rousey hate. She’s not going to tolerate it.
Rousey’s meteoric rise beyond the mixed martial arts’ self-contained little world and into mainstream superstardom has come with the detractors that go with the territory – from MMA fans, fellow fighters, or just people bitter toward successful people in general.
But you’re not going to hear any jealousy from the 21-year-old VanZant, who many feel has the potential for breakthrough stardom of her own.
Just the opposite.
“Ronda’s been awesome to me,” VanZant told Yahoo Sports. “I don’t see how anyone can look at her and see anything except for, she’s the person you want to emulate and admire. If someone is saying bad things about Ronda, it’s because they’re jealous, they’re small-minded people who would rather tear someone down than build themselves up.”
As it turns out, VanZant is doing a solid job of building herself up. The Reno, Nev., native who has competed in martial arts much since she could walk, has been touted as the fighter with the best chance at gaining stardom in the newly established 115-pound weight class.
The idea that UFC president Dana White and UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz disagree on an issue, in and of itself, isn’t newsworthy.
The duo have proven time and again over the past 15 years that if one believes it’s a sunny day, the other will immediately go out and proclaim the weather cloudy and rainy.
But the online dustup between the two over the weekend was something a little different than the norm, even by their own lofty standards.
At the end of an extraordinary week in which UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey received an unprecedented wave of media attention for a mixed martial arts fighter, the mere mention of Rousey and future opponents is enough to generate headlines.
Ortiz, Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino’s former manager and current training partner, knows that popping off about a potential superfight between Rousey and Justino will make headlines, and he proved such on Friday’s edition of AXS TV’s “Inside MMA."
Ortiz claimed that Justino was offered a shot at Rousey on a rumored December megashow at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys.
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UFC president Dana White has plenty of motivation to match up UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, his mainstream, breakthrough star, against her rival-in-exile, Invicta FC featherweight champ Cristiane "Cyborg" Justino.
At this stage of the game, such a battle would be all but a license to print money.
"I think that fight does 2.5 million buys," a giddy White said late Saturday night, after Rousey knocked out Bethe Correia in 34 seconds. "I think that fight is massive."
Rousey, meanwhile, laid out the reason why the fight hasn't happened yet, and why she won't place "Cyborg" next on her agenda.
"I fight in the UFC 135-pound division," Rousey said at the UFC 190 post-fight news conference in Rio de Janeiro. "She can fight 145 pumped full of steroids, and she can make weight just like everybody else without 'em."
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CHICAGO -- You don’t exactly need to put Miesha Tate in an armbar to get her to agree to another fight with her most bitter rival, Ronda Rousey.
So Tate, having racked up her fourth consecutive victory Saturday night with a dominant performance against Jessica Eye in the co-feature bout at UFC on FOX 16, was succinct about her thoughts on the third fight with Rousey, which UFC president Dana White said is coming her way.
“I love punching Ronda in the face,” Tate said at the post-fight news conference at United Center.
Two years ago, the idea of another bantamweight title shot for Tate seemed farfetched. She was finished by Cat Zingano in a bout to determine the next contender for Rousey’s title in June 2013. She lucked into the title shot when Zingano injured her knee. Then at UFC 168 she lost to Rousey, who also defeated her for the Strikeforce belt in 2012.
But two years after that second defeat, Tate has shown remarkable resilience and improvement as a fighter, and that was enough to convince White that Tate deserves another crack at the belt (assuming he’s not simply using the prospect of a Tate rematch to steer Rousey toward a fight with Cris “Cyborg” Justino).
"Oh absolutely, I have a lot of respect for Fedor," Mir said. “It would be an honor.”
Before we continue, perhaps we should stop here and clear something up. We did not dig back into the vault for this quote. This was not the Mir of 2004, then the UFC heavyweight champion, talking about a potential unification fight against Emelianenko, at the time the PRIDE heavyweight champion.
No, this is the summer of 2015. And in the back-to-the-future heavyweight picture, the 36-year-old Mir, who everyone thought was washed up a year ago, is being asked about a fighter who has been retired for three years, the 38-year-old Emelianenko, about a potential match.
Not only is this fight feasible, it’s also potentially big. And this doesn’t even take into account that a contemporary of theirs, former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski, also wants a piece of “The Last Emperor.”
So how has this all happened? Well, Mir (18-9) did his part with a ferocious 73-second knockout victory over Todd Duffee on Wednesday night in the main event of UFC Fight Night 71 at the Valley View Casino Center.
But time off and a change of approach got Mir back on the right path.