- Yahoo Sports17 hrs ago
Only minutes after Georges St-Pierre had made a difficult-to-understand statement in the cage following a controversial victory over Johny Hendricks in their welterweight title bout at UFC 167 on Nov. 16 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Robbie Lawler spoke.
St-Pierre had yet to arrive at the post-fight news conference, and no one, not even UFC president Dana White, knew exactly what St-Pierre meant in his comments to Joe Rogan in the cage after his bout with Hendricks.
St-Pierre hinted that he might be walking away from the sport, but he wasn't particularly definitive. As the topic of St-Pierre's intentions were debated, Lawler suggested that he fight Hendricks for an interim title and that the winner fight St-Pierre when he was ready to fight.
It turns out that as good of a fighter as Lawler is, he's better as a prognosticator. His suggestion is almost exactly how it turned out.
- Yahoo Sports1 day ago
Ryan Benoit pulled over to the side of the road, his worst nightmare come true. The 1999 Dodge Intrepid he was driving, a car he was given by his aunt when the engine on his own car blew out, finally died.
This drive to the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport was perhaps the most important trip of Benoit's life, and now, he might not make it on time. A police officer pushed his car to a safe area, and Benoit called his mother for a ride.
Benoit had been trying to make it as a professional MMA fighter since 2009. He'd won more than he lost, and devoted much of his life to the cause, but as he was driving to the airport, he had little to show for his efforts.
He was 7-2, but his training bills were mounting. As the quality of his opponents increased, so, too, did the training requirements.
"People don't understand, it's not cheap to train, especially when you get to a little bit of a higher level," Benoit said.
Despite fighting and holding down three jobs, Benoit estimated his year-to-date earnings as he was driving to the airport that day at no more than $20,000.
It's not much to support one person, let alone a wife, a baby and a fight career.
- Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports2 days ago
Dec. 9: Boxing Person of the Year Dec. 16: 25 Most Influential People in Boxing Dec. 23: Prospects of the Year Dec. 24: Trainer of the Year Dec. 25: Fighter of the Year Dec. 26: Fight of the Year Dec. 30: Up-and-Coming Fighters to Watch One of the problems with choosing a list of the most powerful and/or influential persons in a given entity changes depending upon the viewpoint.
In boxing, it's difficult because there are so many layers to the sport's success. There's the in-ring competition, there's the in-arena atmosphere, there's the television production, the marketing, the publicity, the sponsorships and many other areas that ultimately impact the final product presented to the fan.
- Yahoo Sports3 days ago
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – With one crushing right hand, showing punching power many did not believe he had, Demetrious Johnson knocked out Joseph Benavidez, retained his UFC flyweight championship and put himself squarely in the middle of the race for 2013 Fighter of the Year.
Johnson watched tape of his 2012 bout with Benavidez at UFC 152 and noticed that his footwork was leaving Benavidez open for counters. He was correct, and it led him to his third win of the year, including his second finish in a row. No current UFC champion has more consecutive finishes in title bouts than Johnson.
The end came at 2:08 of the first round Saturday before a heavily pro-Benavidez crowd of 11,573 at Sleep Train Arena. Benavidez went to throw a wide shot and it took far too long to get to its target. After going over so much film with coach Matt Hume, Johnson knew he had to come back with a counter right.
He landed to the side of Benavidez's face, dropping him, then cracked him with four hammer fists before referee John McCarthy mercifully ended it.
- Yahoo Sports4 days ago
For years, UFC welterweight Georges St-Pierre set the standard for his peers. He was always in magnificent condition. He was constantly looking to evolve as a fighter. He landed a mega-sponsorship deal with UnderArmour.
He did every interview, showed up on time at every appearance, and was unfailingly polite and congenial. He was always a gentleman and was a classy representative for the sport.
On Friday, when he announced plans to take a sabbatical to tend to undisclosed personal issues and relieve the pressure he feels from being the face of the sport, he showed yet again how a true professional does things.
St-Pierre announced during a conference call Friday that he would vacate his title and take time off from the sport that made him rich and famous in order to try to resolve his private matters. He vacated his title "out of respect to the other competitors." St-Pierre could have asked to hold onto the title for several months until he was more sure what he wanted to do. Given what he has done for and meant to the UFC, he would likely have been permitted to do so.
- Yahoo Sports5 days ago
Richard Schaefer, the Golden Boy Promotions CEO, needed to have a chat with Adrien Broner. For months, Schaefer had been receiving complaints about the unbeaten boxer's antics, from releasing sex tapes to vulgar rants on social media to a video of him flushing money down a toilet.
A news conference in San Antonio to announce Broner's welterweight title bout Saturday with Marcos Maidana had just ended, and an unhappy Schaefer felt the need to confront Broner about his behavior.
It was a similar talk to one Schaefer had with Floyd Mayweather Jr. on a plane in 2007. Mayweather was preparing to fight Oscar De La Hoya at the time and the group was on an international tour to promote the fight.
Mayweather's antics were designed to irritate De La Hoya. He taunted De La Hoya at every turn. He stole his meals. He presented him with a live chicken at a news conference. He was frequently boorish and crass.
Schaefer, who was brought into the boxing business by De La Hoya, was irate.
"I was ready to send him home [off the tour]," Schaefer said of Mayweather.
- Yahoo Sports5 days ago
Edson Barboza Jr. stepped off a plane in Miami five years ago and entered a new world. He was 23 years old and by himself. He didn't speak the language. He didn't have any friends. He didn't know how to order food in a restaurant or get from Point A to Point B.
But it was no big deal to the UFC's lightweight contender, who had been used to solving problems since his birth. He'll face tough Danny Castillo on Saturday at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, Calif., on a Fox-televised card in a bout in which a win moves him a step closer to title contention.
Barboza's story is one of perseverance, faith and survival, of a man repeatedly overcoming monstrous odds against him at almost every turn.
The fact that Barboza was even born is a miracle, but that he survived to become one of the world's best fighters is a storyline that would be hard to believe even in the movies.
Barboza was a premature baby, born at 28 weeks, and had a roughly 50-50 chance of survival under the best of circumstances.
- Yahoo Sports6 days ago
For a small, gifted and fortunate percentage of athletes, sports are a path to unfathomable riches.
The first thing many of those athletes do upon signing a multimillion dollar contract is buy a car. And then they find the nightclubs where a bottle of champagne goes for $5,000 or more. Eventually, there are multiple sports cars, sometimes an airplane, vacations at posh resorts, $10,000 suits, $2,500 pairs of shoes and, often, a lifetime of regret later when the physical skills disappears and the money runs out.
Demetrious Johnson has no use for any of that. The UFC flyweight champion, who defends his title Saturday at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, Calif., in the main event of a card televised nationally on Fox, is more concerned with making sure that his fight career sets his family up for the future.
"When this is all over, I don't want to have to write a book and say, 'Oh, I'm broke and I have all these issues,' " Johnson said.
- Yahoo Sports6 days ago
I have a dream, Keith Thurman says. It is, more or less, a variation of the same dream – always vivid, rich in details, completely unforgettable.
With a fight approaching – Thurman meets hard-nosed Jesus Soto Karass on Saturday in San Antonio for the interim WBA welterweight title in the co-main event of a Showtime-televised card at the Alamodome – Thurman expects to relive his dream several times this week.
Though it's not a nightmare, it's a dream that Thurman wishes he didn't have.
He dreams of his late trainer, mentor, and close friend, Ben Getty, a hard-nosed man who was the janitor at his Florida elementary school and who introduced him to boxing.
Thurman and Getty were, in many ways, the odd couple, of diverse backgrounds and upbringings, but they developed a bond that lasted for the rest of their days together, until Getty's untimely death.
Before he met Getty, Thurman never thought of being a fighter. Thurman's father, Keith Jr., was sort of the Kimbo Slice in his day, and would regale his young son as they watched Bruce Lee and Steven Segal movies with stories of his backyard brawls in Ohio.
- Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports7 days ago
The UFC has such a strong public relations and marketing team that very few of its fighters are ever underrated, or not given their just due.
But flyweight Joseph Benavidez is one of the rare elite UFC fighters who isn't given nearly enough credit for how talented of a fighter he is and how much he has accomplished in the sport.
Benavidez is 19-3 heading into a flyweight title bout on Saturday at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, Calif., against champion Demetrious Johnson in the main event of a Fox-televised card.
His losses came to two men – two to bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and one to Johnson, the reigning flyweight champion – and two of those three were close.
The loss to Johnson was an agonizingly close decision that could have gone either way.
Benavidez, though, isn't the type to spend much time talking about his accomplishments or about his stature in the game. Those who watch him regularly and know him the best know how talented he is and how highly regarded he should be.
"Joseph is a fantastic fighter," Johnson said.