Dave Doyle at Yahoo Sports 3 days ago
Legendary backyard brawler-turned-MMA ratings phenomenon Kimbo Slice is a peripheral player in the popular documentary “Dawg Fight,” which can be seen on Netflix.
The documentary chronicles the backyard Miami fight subculture from which Slice emerged, a scene which had been carried on by Dhafir Harris, better known as "Dada 5000," after Slice went legit.
Early in the documentary, footage is shown of Harris in Slice’s dressing room the night of the latter’s first pro MMA bout, against boxer Ray Mercer. Later, when Harris makes his MMA debut on a small-time show in South Florida, the camera pans on Slice, who clearly wants no part of the film crew, in the audience.
Where Slice calls home, this sort of antagonism requires a response.
Slice will face off with "Dada 5000" in the co-feature bout at Bellator 149 at Houston’s Toyota Center on February 19, a fight Slice considers the most intensely personal of his career.
Over the course of his career, Slice’s story evolved. He went out of his way to prove himself as a true MMA fighter – as was chronicled during his stint on “The Ultimate Fighter” and through his time spent at the elite American Top Team gym.
Dave Doyle at Yahoo Sports 10 days ago
August 15, 2009: A trailblazer in women’s athletics, Gina Carano, led an unprecedented evening of mixed martial arts in San Jose, Calif. The red-hot, undefeated Carano met the then-Cris “Cyborg” Santos in the main event of a Strikeforce card. Nearly 14,000 people showed up for the novelty of a women’s fighting main event, which set a Showtime-record rating for an MMA card.
Santos went out and scored a one-sided TKO victory. Carano heeded Hollywood’s call and never fought again.
Nov. 15, 2015: The leader of the next generation in women’s MMA, Ronda Rousey, took the sport beyond what even the wildest of imaginations could have conceived on the night of the Carano-Santos fight. A crowd of 56,214, the biggest in the UFC’s 22-year history, showed up at Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium to see the undefeated Rousey take on Holly Holm, who was also undefeated, but assumed by too many people just to be happy to be there.
Like Carano, Rousey also has Hollywood offers on her plate, at a scale to which Carano could have only dreamed.
So the multimillion-dollar question is, where does Rousey go from here?
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Dave Doyle at Yahoo Sports 21 days ago
LOS ANGELES – UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey has made a habit out of beating her opponents at their strengths.
Sara McMann was an Olympic silver medalist in wrestling, but Rousey out-grappled her before knocking her out. Cat Zingano was supposed to be a killer finisher on the ground, but Rousey took her down and submitted her in 14 seconds. Bethe Correia was said to be a heavy hitter, but Rousey's striking made her faceplant less than a minute into their fight.
Despite this growing body of evidence that mixed martial arts' biggest star can beat most of her opponents at their own games, Holly Holm remains unfazed.
Holm isn't a newbie to the combat sports world. She launched a professional boxing career in 2002 and held world championships in multiple weight classes before turning her full attention to mixed martial arts in 2013.
And while Holm (9-0 in MMA) never had a matchup as grand in scale as her UFC 193 title fight with Rousey (12-0) – a UFC-record crowd is expected at the 70,000-seat capacity Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Australia on Nov. 14 – Holm's been around long enough to separate the bluster from the real talk.
LOS ANGELES – Just how epic was the UFC welterweight title fight between champion Robbie Lawler and Rory MacDonald at UFC 189 in Las Vegas on July 11?
So much so that another elite fighter found himself reacting like a fan in the cheap seats.
“I was impressed and I was entertained,” said Carlos Condit, the former UFC interim champion and WEC titleholder. “Fights like that, when I’ve been in those really gritty wars, that’s what I live for. I love that stuff.”
That type of attitude has worked out pretty well for Condit, because he will meet Lawler in the main event of UFC 195 in Las Vegas. And it’s little secret the bout has been put together in large part because it promises the sort of fireworks Lawler-MacDonald provided.
Whenever either Lawler or Condit steps into the Octagon, a potential Fight of the Year-caliber bout can go down.
“I’m just going to go out there and fight the way I fight,” Lawler said. “If someone else pushes me, then I’m going to push back. I think that’s what happens usually. I push back and they keep pushing and that’s how I fight.”
With some time away from the spotlight, Lawler’s been able to reflect on the fight.
He’ll have another chance to do that on Jan. 2.
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.
Follow Dave Doyle on Twitter: @DaveDoyleMMA
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.
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.
Dave Doyle at Yahoo Sports 3 mths ago
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.