Dave Doyle at Yahoo Sports 2 days ago
"We were there for each other when we needed it the most," said Browne, who will meet Cain Velasquez in a heavyweight matchup at UFC 200. "When we felt like everybody was against us, when everybody was trying to knock us down, we were there for each other.”
Of course, while Rousey and Browne both found themselves facing trying times in 2015, they were for very different reasons.
Rousey, Browne’s girlfriend, became as big a star as the sport of mixed martial arts has ever experienced during her pioneering run as UFC women’s bantamweight champion. She then found out about the ugly side of fame in the modern world after her head-kick knockout loss to Holly Holm at UFC 193, when she was made the butt of jokes everywhere from Twitter to late-night TV talk shows.
"It was hard to listen, to see what people were saying about me," Browne said. "But at the same time, I know what I did and what I didn't do. And I was able to sleep at night — no problem.”
Dave Doyle at Yahoo Sports 6 days ago
It was just over a year ago the Milwaukee native was not just the UFC lightweight champion, but also a fighter who seemed poised for a superstar breakthrough.
Pettis was the first mixed martial artist ever featured on a Wheaties box. He was capable of moves — like his famed “Showtime Kick” — that seemed more suited for a video game than a real-life sporting competition.
How the mighty have fallen.
Pettis was schooled by veteran Edson Barboza on Saturday night at UFC 197, losing by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
That marked the former champion’s third straight loss in 13 months and Pettis’ remarkable run of nine wins in 10 fights from 2010-14, in which he laid waste to the division and collected UFC and WEC belts in the process, further into the rear-view mirror.
It also was yet another indicator the UFC’s lightweight division, the deepest on the company’s roster, is an absolute shark tank.
But in a January fight against Eddie Alvarez in Boston, Alvarez stayed in Pettis’ face for 15 minutes, outwrestling him and taking the clinch battles in a dull but effective decision win.
Dave Doyle at Yahoo Sports 23 days ago
LOS ANGELES – Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber found themselves together at a media gathering Wednesday in downtown Los Angeles promoting their UFC bantamweight title fight at UFC 199.
But the event may as well have been held about 10 miles northwest, because the catty manner in which they tore into one another made it feel like the hallways of Beverly Hills High School in 90210.
“He’s a car salesman,” said Cruz (21-1), the defending champion. “Everyone likes the car salesman until he gives you the keys and then he never remembers you in the end. Faber’s just looking to give you guys the keys real quick.”
Faber, for his part, sees his nemesis as the type who starts trouble and then runs away.
“He’s like the kid at recess who will talk a bunch of trash,” said Faber (33-8). “Maybe throw something at you, then they go hide behind the yard lady.”
Sacramento’s Faber and San Diego’s Cruz have been at this NorCal vs. SoCal war of words nearly a decade. The duo first crossed paths in World Extreme Cagefighting, where Faber, then the reigning WEC featherweight champion, submitted Cruz in the first round of a 2007 fight in Las Vegas for what stands as Cruz’s only career defeat.
Dave Doyle at Yahoo Sports 1 mth ago
The stated reason keeping Cris “Cyborg” Justino out of the UFC over the past several years was that the former Strikeforce and current Invicta featherweight champion competes at 145 pounds and the company’s heaviest women’s division is 135.
Though fans longed for a superfight between Justino and rival Ronda Rousey, Rousey refused to budge on the notion of contesting such a matchup anywhere except in her weight class during her long bantamweight title reign, ruling out meeting somewhere in the middle.
And UFC president Dana White, always the smart promoter, stuck by his one-woman pay-per-view money-making machine.
“[Justino] has to make the weight,” White told reporters as recently as last summer. “She has to make the weight, she has to fight, and she has to be healthy.”
So it had to come as a surprise to those who haven’t recently paid close attention to Justino’s saga when the UFC announced Monday that she would meet Leslie “The Peacemaker” Smith at a catchweight of 140 pounds at UFC 198 on May 14 at Brazil’s Arena Atletico Paranaense.
Dave Doyle at Yahoo Sports 1 mth ago
The recent news of a potential rematch between Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor at UFC 200 isn’t going over so well in some circles.
Especially among the UFC’s featherweight division.
Most understand why Diaz and McGregor are likely to square off once again. Their first fight, at UFC 196, was exciting, a smashing success at the box office and in online buzz. With Ronda Rousey not returning soon and rumors of a Georges St-Pierre return not (yet) true, Diaz-McGregor 2 is the highest-profile available matchup for what promises to be a landmark event in Las Vegas on July 9.
But there’s been a strong undercurrent of criticism over the fact that going with this rematch, which is expected to be contested at welterweight, means that McGregor’s featherweight title will once again be put on hold.
And the rank and file fighters at 145 pounds aren’t thrilled about it.
But it’s not just the two fighters jostling for the top contender spot that are in a holding pattern while the UFC indulges McGregor’s outside-the-division dalliances.
LOS ANGELES – Holly Holm heard all the business arguments in the wake of her stunning knockout victory over Ronda Rousey at UFC 193 in November.
Conventional wisdom was that the smart route for the new UFC women’s bantamweight champion would be to hold out until next July and fight Rousey in a rematch at UFC 200 in Las Vegas, which would bring in a bigger payday than she ever could have imagined when she began her combat sports career.
Even UFC president Dana White came out and said he should have his promoter’s license revoked if he didn’t make the Holm-Rousey rematch.
It’s a moot point now, because it turned out Rousey won’t be ready for a return within that time frame. But from day one, Holm says, the financial arguments for holding out on a second Rousey fight went in one ear and out the other.
“I told myself I would never fight for money or for fame,” Holm said. “I would fight for passion.”
Holm is in an unusual spot as a fighter. She’s a seasoned combat sports competitor, a former three-weight class world women’s boxing champion, and she's in her mid-30s. But Holm is still learning MMA, having committed to the sport full-time just three years ago.
(Warning: Video contains strong and offensive language. Viewer discretion is advised.)
TORRANCE, Calif. – Those who doubted that giving Nate Diaz the spot opposite Conor McGregor in the main event of UFC 196 was a good move for business should have seen the scene in Los Angeles’ South Bay area Wednesday.
Less than 24 hours after the younger brother of mixed martial arts’ hardcore antihero, Nick Diaz, was announced as the substitute for injured lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos against McGregor at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena on March 5, the masses flocked to a news conference promoting the impromptu welterweight bout.
An hour before the event’s scheduled start time – McGregor, as it turned out, showed up a half-hour late – the parking lot outside the UFC Gym was jammed, and the line to get in stretched all the way around the block and behind the building. Inside, fans stood on unused weight benches to try to get a better view of the combatants as the raucous crowd jostled for position. On YouTube, 222,000 viewers tuned in for the live stream – a number cable shows would kill for.
It didn’t take long after McGregor arrived to get the show started with a bang.
Dhafir Harris isn’t too impressed with Kimbo Slice’s accomplishments.
Harris, better known as Dada 5000, comes from the same suburb of Miami, West Perrine, where Slice made his name a decade ago as the original YouTube street fighting sensation.
But Slice went mainstream, deftly parlaying Internet infamy into mainstream credibility as a record ratings mover in the mixed martial arts world. These days, Slice owns a nice home in Coral Gables as he puts his oldest children through college.
As far as Harris is concerned, though, Slice has abandoned the neighborhood that made him. Harris is best known as the key figure in the popular Netflix documentary "Dawg Fight," promoting backyard fights in West Perrine.
When the two meet on Friday night in the co-main event of Bellator 149 at Houston’s Toyota Center, Dada 5000 believes he’ll deliver a message on behalf of the neighborhood.
“I still stay where he left, the same streets where he’s from,” Harris said. “I’m still there. I’m still seeing guys get gunned down, even on Thanksgiving. He’s a seven-figure [expletive] now who’s moved in with the white folks.“
TORRANCE, Calif. — Longtime UFC middleweight contender Michael Bisping hasn't often needed much prompting to get his mouth running.
So when a fan at Thursday's open workouts, where he was promoting his Feb. 27 fight against former champion Anderson Silva, asked him if he had a message for his opponent, Bisping was only too happy to oblige.
"Tell Anderson to take all his steroids and [erectile] pills and stick 'em where the sun don't shine," Bisping said to the roar of the crowd at the UFC Gym.
That quip set the tone for what's going to be one of the more intriguing morality plays to go down inside the Octagon in recent years in this bold new era of stringent USADA drug testing.
It was a bitter pill to swallow for a fighter who has passed every drug test he's ever taken in his career.
"I wouldn't be able to look myself in the mirror if I had used," Bisping said. "I wouldn't be able to stand here and talk to you guys. My hair is already going grey; it would be going greyer."
WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. – It would be hard to blame Matt Serra for feeling like he’s a bit more invested in Sage Northcutt’s future than he is in most new fighters trying to make their name in the UFC.
In what’s already gone down as a legendary night in the history of mixed martial arts, Serra, the former UFC welterweight champion, and UFC president Dana White discovered Northcutt on a small-time show during the pilot episode of the new reality series “Dana White: Lookin’ for a Fight.”
Just 19, Northcutt was signed to a UFC contract and received unprecedented hype for a fighter of his age and experience level, blazing a path which ran straight into a brick wall when he was submitted on network television last weekend by journeyman Bryan Barberena.
If anyone is well-positioned enough to offer Northcutt advice after his first career loss, it’s Serra, whose career featured momentum swings which were wild even by mixed martial arts’ unstable standards.
“I started my career off on the wrong side of a highlight finish I still see to this day,” said Serra. “They still show that clip. You gotta have a thick skin to be a fighter. You gotta be able to brush it off.”