Kevin Iole at Cagewriter 1 hr ago
LAS VEGAS -- Kelvin Gastelum was sick on Friday with flu-like symptoms and wound up in the hospital, hours before the UFC 183 weigh-in. Doctors cleared him to fight, but only after telling him he could no longer cut weight for his bout Saturday at the MGM Grand with Tyron Woodley.
After Gastelum weighed in at 180 pounds, nine pounds over the 171-pound limit for non-title welterweight matches, negotiations between Woodley, Gastelum and UFC president Dana White were held. In order for the fight to go forward, Gastelum agreed to give 30 percent of his $30,000 purse to Woodley.
Woodley won a split decision in a back-and-forth fight in the co-main event of UFC 183 Saturday. But after the fight, he told broadcaster Joe Rogan that he didn't want the fine money.
"That's his money," Woodley said. "He came in here and fought and he got the loss. He's suffered enough already."
So we may not have heard the last of this issue
Kevin Iole at Boxing 9 hrs ago
The celebrity gossip website TMZ sent social media into a frenzy on Friday when it erroneously reported that a deal had been reached to pit Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao against each other.
Insiders representing both fighters laughed the TMZ report off. Though progress had been made throughout the week, sources say rather than moving forward on Friday, talks took a backward step. But the most definitive denial came Saturday from Mayweather via his Shots account.
Mayweather used the hash tag "FightNotMadeYet" to deny the TMZ report.
Laying back, relaxing, enjoying good weather, palm trees, and piña coladas. While they continue to lie about making the fight... I'm just going to continue to travel and explore the world on my private jet. #FightNotMadeYet
There also remain issues on the promotional end of the deal.
Many of the terms have been agreed upon, including a split feed of the bout in which both Showtime and HBO talent would be involved. The fight is being targeted for May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas.
Kevin Iole at Cagewriter 1 day ago
The way things are going, the middleweight title fight between Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort may never occur.
For the third time, a planned bout between the men has been postponed. Weidman suffered a rib injury in training and the UFC announced on Friday that he will be unable to defend his belt against the Brazilian slugger in the main event of UFC 184 on Feb. 28 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The new main event will feature women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey against No. 1 contender Cat Zingano. The UFC moved the debut of former boxing champion Holly Holm into the co-main event spot against Raquel Pennington.
It's quite a blow to the card, because a Holm-Pennington bout has nowhere near the kind of buzz that the Weidman-Belfort match did.
This is the third time one or the other of the men has pulled out of the bout. They were first supposed to fight at UFC 173 at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas on May 24, 2014. But Belfort had problems with a drug test and withdrew his request for a license from the Nevada Athletic Commission.
Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports 1 day ago
LAS VEGAS – One of the odd things about the fight game is that, despite the many impressive victories, Miesha Tate really vaulted to stardom in the UFC after a pair of losses.
The former Strikeforce women's bantamweight champion dropped a pair of bouts to UFC champion Ronda Rousey, but in those encounters extended Rousey like no other woman has in mixed martial arts.
Tate, No. 2 in the division, faces No. 3 Sara McMann at MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday. Given that Rousey will defend her belt on Feb. 28 at Staples Center in Los Angeles against No. 1 Cat Zingano, it seems it's a setup to have the winners meet in a mega-match in the summer.
Rousey has beaten both Tate and McMann, stopping McMann in a little more than a minute at UFC 170. If Zingano were to upset Rousey, a rematch would seem to be in order.
And if Rousey successfully defends her title, UFC president Dana White might not want to go back to either Tate or McMann, no matter how good the winner looks, given that they've already had chances.
But to get another crack at Rousey, the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist in judo, Tate needs to get past McMann, the 2004 Olympic silver medalist in wrestling.
Kevin Iole at Boxing 1 day ago
In the mid-1990s, pressure began to mount from boxing fans for Showtime and HBO to iron out their differences and make a fight between heavyweights Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis.
Tyson was under an exclusive deal with Showtime after becoming a star on HBO. Lewis was on a similar deal with HBO, rising to prominence after Tyson bolted the network. For years, their network affiliations kept them apart and prevented a fight that fans were desperate to see.
Even though Tyson was the bigger name, HBO Sports was clearly the more dominant network at the time and thus held the upper hand in talks. It had been successfully doing pay-per-view shows for years, had a larger subscriber base and a much deeper roster of big-name fighters.
Executives for the networks eventually hammered out an agreement and the fight occurred in Memphis, Tenn., in 2002. It was a joint pay-per-view, but the sides agreed that the replay would be on the network whose fighter won. When Lewis stopped Tyson in the eighth, the replay went on HBO.
Unless one of the fighters has a late change of heart, which is possible but seems unlikely, the only barrier remaining would be for Showtime and HBO to finalize a deal.
Kevin Iole at Boxing 2 days ago
A key member of Manny Pacquiao's staff told Yahoo Sports on Thursday he is optimistic an agreement can be reached to finalize a bout between the Filipino congressman and Floyd Mayweather Jr., the pound-for-pound top fighter in the world.
After a chance encounter between the fighters Tuesday at the Miami Heat-Milwaukee Bucks NBA game at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Mayweather visited Pacqiuao in his suite at the Trump National Doral hotel later that night.
Pacquiao adviser Michael Koncz called the meeting highly productive and said he is optimistic that the long-awaited fight can finally be made.
Pacquiao said earlier in January that he had agreed to all of Mayweather's terms and conditions. Executives for Showtime, which has an exclusive contract with Mayweather, and HBO, which has a deal with Pacquiao, have worked out many of the issues between them relating to the broadcast.
Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports 2 days ago
LAS VEGAS – Nearly four years into a landmark Professional Fighter Brain Health Study being led by neurologist Charles Bernick, research has discovered that repeated blows to the head are linked to smaller brain structure volume and slower processing speed.
Researchers have developed a formula they've dubbed the Fight Exposure Score (FES) that essentially assists doctors in evaluating a fighter's risk of developing cognitive impairment as he or she continues to fight.
The study, being conducted at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas and soon to expand to the clinic's main campus in Cleveland, has nearly 500 participants. That includes currently active and retired boxers and mixed martial arts fighters, as well as a control group.
The athletes were given an MRI scan and were tested for verbal memory, processing speed, fine motor skills and reaction time. The MRI was used to assess the volume of particular areas of the brain, particularly the thalamus and the caudate nucleus.
Some of the athletes have come back to repeat the test multiple times.
The reason for that, Bernick said, isn't so simple to determine at this stage.
Kevin Iole at Boxing 2 days ago
Cedric Kushner, a big man who had a knack for promoting the biggest men in boxing, died Thursday in New York after suffering a heart attack, his longtime friend, promoter Lou DiBella, told Yahoo Sports.
He was 66.
DiBella was a health proxy for Kushner and was called to the hospital when the South African was stricken.
"I'm just getting to the hospital now, but I'd spoken to the doctors and they had him on life support," DiBella said. "He was suffering and I was going to the hospital to pull the plug, and he died while I was on the way."
Kushner promoted a number of stars, including Shane Mosley, and major heavyweights, including former champion Hasim Rahman, David Tua and Ike Ibeabuchi. But until Rahman knocked out Lewis in a stunning upset in South Africa in 2001, none of Kushner's heavyweights could win the big one.
But Kushner's joy at finally having a heavyweight champion was short-lived. Shortly after defeating Lewis, Rahman signed with promoter Don King. Kushner sued King under federal racketeering statutes.
Services are pending.
Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports 2 days ago
LAS VEGAS – The last time Anderson Silva was in these parts, he had snapped his lower leg in shocking, gruesome fashion.
As he shrieked in agony and emergency personnel gently lifted him onto a stretcher, it didn't take much to quickly come to the conclusion that Silva's legendary career might be coming to an abrupt and unexpected end.
On Wednesday, a little more than two months from his 40th birthday, Silva was back, entertaining a packed crowd at the MGM Grand in an intense and nearly hour-long public workout.
His opponent in the main event of UFC 183 on Saturday, Nick Diaz, predictably skipped the proceedings, which couldn't have helped the already slow ticket sales.
Diaz finally showed up in Las Vegas late Wednesday afternoon after his luggage arrived on a flight from Sacramento, Calif., earlier in the day without him.
Silva graciously answered questions and did his best to compensate for the mercurial Diaz's unexplained and inexplicable absence.
He's talked of fulfilling a contract that will take him years to complete, and he'll get a chance to fight for the middleweight title he so proudly owned for more than six years if he defeats Diaz.
Kevin Iole at Boxing 4 days ago
Manny Pacquiao happened to have a free day in Miami on Tuesday and decided to go to the Heat-Bucks game at American Airlines Arena. Pacquiao, who is a player/coach in the Philippine Basketball League, is friends with Heat coach Erik Spoelstra.
But Pacquiao wasn't the only prominent boxer to attend Tuesday's NBA game. Pound-for-pound champion Floyd Mayweather Jr., who has a home in Miami, also attended the game.
The Miami Heat put a picture of the two on the scoreboard during the first quarter of the game with the caption, "Coming in 2015?" on top of it.
It gets better.
From the AP's Tim Reynolds:
Pacquiao says Mayweather gave him his cell number and told him it’s time for them to work this fight out themselves. Pac says he got told 1 minute before halftime that Floyd was coming over for a chat. Pacquiao said he never spoke to Floyd in person before tonight. Thank Winter Storm Juno if this fight ever happens. Pac wasn’t supposed to be here tonight — but his flight was canceled.
Koncz told Yahoo Sports he was pleased with their conversation.