Dave Doyle

  • UFC legend Matt Serra: Sage Northcutt's 'best fights are ahead of him'

    Dave Doyle at Yahoo Sports 2 days ago

    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.”

     

  • UFC hype train derailed as Sage Northcutt suffers fall from grace

    Dave Doyle at Yahoo Sports 5 days ago

    Sage Northcutt had barely finished tapping out in his first professional mixed martial arts loss before a host of fighters took to Twitter to gloat over his misfortune.

    "Woo!! Tapped like a little [expletive] and tried to tell the ref different!!" tweeted top lightweight contender Tony Ferguson after Northcutt's submission loss to Bryan Barberena on Saturday night.

    "OMG what a [expletive]" said undefeated lightweight James Vick at the start of a profane rant. "Dude gave up. No heart."

    "Wow, we got a new president of the quick tap club," said former WEC featherweight champion Mike Brown, now one of the sport's leading trainers at American Top Team.

    On and on the fighters went, gleefully piling on to Northcutt, who lost in the second round to late replacement Barberena on the main-card opener of UFC on FOX in Newark, N.J.

    Follow Dave Doyle on Twitter: @DaveDoyleMMA

  • Conor McGregor has caught the ire of Fabricio Werdum

    Dave Doyle at Yahoo Sports 14 days ago

    LOS ANGELES — Ever the instigator, UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor has taken to prodding lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos about his country of residence in the buildup to their UFC 197, 155-pound title fight in Las Vegas on March 6.

    Dos Anjos, a native of Niteroi, Brazil, has permanently relocated to Orange County, Calif. In the eyes of McGregor, who bleeds Irish green, this is akin to turning your back on your homeland.

    "We're sending Rafael on a four-day media run throughout Brazil, and we've got to book him a hotel," McGregor said at Wednesday's UFC 197 press conference. "I've got to book him a hotel in his own home country. That should tell you all you need to know."

    To that, UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum can only shake his head and laugh.

    As far as Werdum is concerned, there are no borders in the fight world, no culture in which you can't learn and grow.

    If he can also become the first person in the 21-year history of the heavyweight (previously Superfight) title to successfully defend his title twice, it will become hard to argue against Werdum's case.

  • Eddie Alvarez proves he's UFC elite with win over Anthony Pettis

    Dave Doyle at Yahoo Sports 18 days ago

    From its founding in 2009, Eddie Alvarez was Bellator’s shining star, an upstart company’s biggest claim to legitimacy in a mixed martial arts world dominated by the UFC.

    The affable Philadelphia native’s talents were such that a nasty legal brawl broke out between the UFC and Bellator when Alvarez came up for free agency in 2013 before the lightweight finally landed in the UFC in 2014.

    All those years Alvarez lorded over Bellator’s 155-pound class, though, there would always be naysayers, those who believed he was simply the king of the minor leagues.

    But there’s no more disputing Alvarez’s credentials after his latest accomplishment, a split-decision victory over Anthony Pettis on Sunday night in the co-feature bout of UFC Fight Night 81 at Boston’s TD Garden.

    Alvarez’s win over the former UFC and WEC champion comes on the heels of his UFC 188 decision over former Strikeforce champ Gilbert Melendez, making him the clear-cut winner of a round-robin of sorts between elite fighters who spent years chirping at one another while collecting all the major titles outside the UFC.

    That said, Alvarez admits he would have liked the opportunity to mix it up a little more.

  • Six biggest MMA storylines of 2016

    Dave Doyle at Yahoo Sports 27 days ago

    The UFC had a spectacular finish to a very successful year over the closing months of 2015. Holly Holm’s upset victory over Ronda Rousey in front of a record crowd at UFC 193 in Australia was followed by Conor McGregor’s stunning 13-second knockout of Jose Aldo at UFC 194 in December, making for the biggest back-to-back events since the heyday of Brock Lesnar in 2008-09.

    So what does the UFC, and the sport of mixed martial arts overall, do for an encore in 2016? Thursday night’s breaking news of a UFC 197 megacard featuring lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos vs. featherweight champ Conor McGregor and women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm vs. Miesha Tate was the tumble of a major domino setting the events of the year in motion.

    Conor McGregor chases history

    To date, the only fighter in MMA history to hold simultaneous championships that were considered to have credible “world title” claims was Dan Henderson, who held PRIDE’s 183- and 205-pound titles in 2007. The short-term loser due to the McGregor-dos Anjos bout is top featherweight contender Frankie Edgar, who will have to wait and see what happens in the UFC 197 fight before finding out his fate.

    What’s next for Ronda Rousey?

  • Stipe Miocic made case for next heavyweight title shot, but should he get it?

    Dave Doyle at Yahoo Sports 1 mth ago

    LAS VEGAS – UFC president Dana White didn't get to his stature in a business as rough and tumble as the fight game by showing fear in front of his fighters.

    It takes an iron will to stay on top of a game in which you control the fates and fortunes of hundreds of men and women who use their fists and feet as lethal weapons.

    But even mixed martial arts' leading promoter had to take a step back when heavyweight Stipe Miocic came raging in his direction like a silverback gorilla on Saturday night.

    The Cleveland native went into full beast mode after knocking out former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski in less than a minute in the co-feature bout of UFC 195 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. He charged toward White and UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta, who were seated front row cageside, demanding a shot at the championship.

    "Who the hell was going to say no to him?" White said at the UFC 195 postfight news conference. "He was like a psycho. I wasn't going to say no."

    Assuming Velasquez doesn't take the title in a manner that demands an immediate trilogy fight, there is an opening for the next title contender.

  • Royce Gracie, Ken Shamrock eager to renew rivalry

    Dave Doyle at Yahoo Sports 1 mth ago

    GMT Studios Stage 6 is the space in which the classic video to the Nirvana hit “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was shot in 1991.

    That was a full two years before Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock made history of their own, as they were two of the competitors who launched the sport of mixed martial arts in 1993 at the seminal UFC 1.

    Just like Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl and Co. had no clue that what they did on the lot in '91 would forever change the pop-culture business, nor could Gracie and Shamrock have contemplated that on the night of Nov. 12, 1993, in Denver, they were enacting permanent change in the history of combat sports.

    Or that they’d launch an animus that would rage 22 years later.

    Regardless, there's still animosity on both sides.

    “I don’t like him because of the way he acts,” Gracie said. “It’s nothing to do with his technique. It’s the way he acts. Acts like a tough [expletive]. He runs his mouth.”

    Gracie and Shamrock meet in the main event of Bellator 149 in Houston on Feb. 19. No one is expecting the fight between the UFC hall of famers to be a classic.

    So, to this day, Shamrock disputes the finish, in which he claims Gracie used the gi to choke him out.

  • Conor McGregor still owns conversation after UFC on FOX card

    Dave Doyle at Yahoo Sports 1 mth ago

    Freshly minted UFC featherweight champ Conor McGregor took to Twitter late Saturday night – Sunday morning Dublin time – with a reminder on where he stands in the mixed martial arts world.

    The tweet featured a picture of McGregor standing in front of a luxury car, with the tag line: “Line them up on their knees with their hands out. I want them to beg me.”

    While that might seem like standard McGregor bombast, he didn’t just come out and taunt the rest of his competition just for the sake of doing so.

    Saturday’s UFC on FOX 17 at the Amway Center in Orlando might as well have been an infomercial for the McGregor brand.

    A wild night of fights left fans with plenty of potential discussion points. There was lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos’ swift and stunning finish of Donald Cerrone in the main event. There was heavyweight Ailstair Overeem’s brutal knockout of former champion Junior dos Santos. And there was a wild lightweight scrap between fan favorite Nate Diaz and Michael Johnson.

    Follow Dave Doyle on Twitter: @DaveDoyleMMA

  • Conor McGregor's stunning win caps UFC's most tumultuous year yet

    Dave Doyle at Yahoo Sports 1 mth ago

    LAS VEGAS – When 2015 began, Jose Aldo Jr. was the UFC’s longest-reigning defending champion.

    Jon Jones looked to be invincible. The UFC light heavyweight champion of four years kicked off the UFC's 2015 slate with a memorable win over Daniel Cormier in a grudge match. The debate was on as to whether Jones had surpassed Anderson Silva as the greatest fighter of all time.

    Anthony Pettis was going to be the company’s next big thing, as evidenced by the then-lightweight champion's featured place as the first mixed martial artist to grace a Wheaties box.

    Ronda Rousey was popular, but there were still skeptics about her drawing power: She was originally slated for the co-feature slot at UFC 184 on Feb. 28 before the original main event of Chris Weidman vs. Vitor Belfort dropped out.

    Oh, and, some guy you may have heard of named Conor McGregor was routinely accused in many corners of being protected by the UFC, a hype job coddled by the company due to his promotional abilities. After all, when 2015 started, he had but one win over a top-10 featherweight (Dustin Poirier) to his credit.

    Sometimes the cliché is unavoidable: What a difference a year makes.

  • 'Rocky' comparisons aside, Conor McGregor toning down rhetoric ahead of title tilt

    Dave Doyle at Yahoo Sports 2 mths ago

    In the third installment of the legendary film series, Rocky Balboa is a fat and happy world champion who gets knocked off his throne by the gritty and hungry Clubber Lang, prompting Balboa to recommit to his roots and regain the title at the end.

    Perhaps even more curious is that McGregor, the UFC interim featherweight champion, says he can identify with both major roles in the movie.

    Leading up to his highly anticipated UFC 194 main event with longtime featherweight champion Jose Aldo on Dec. 12 at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena, the Irish firebrand believes that he’s living in Rocky’s world of fame while retaining the desire the up-and-coming Lang displayed in taking the fictional title.

    “I was watching 'Rocky III' the other day,” McGregor said. “If you’ve ever seen 'Rocky III', Rocky was doing ads and talk shows and this and that, and Clubber Lang was coming up in the shadows, hungry. I thought maybe that was a reference to that. I’m like Rocky then, I have it all, I do it all, but then I’m still training like Clubber. Still grinding, still hungry.”

    Follow Dave Doyle on Twitter: https://twitter.com/davedoylemma