Kevin Iole

  • Floyd Mayweather Jr. stripped of WBO title after failing to pay sanction fee

    Kevin Iole at Boxing 12 hrs ago

    Floyd Mayweather isn't frugal by any means, but with dozens of world title belts scattered around his home, $200,000 was a bit much even for a boxer nicknamed "Money" to pay for a title belt.

    Mayweather failed to pay the $200,000 sanction fee required by the World Boxing Organization for the belt he won on May 2 when he defeated Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas by the deadline, which was the end of the business day on Friday. So on Monday, the Puerto Rico-based organization stripped Mayweather of its title.

    It elevated Timothy Bradley, who defeated Jessie Vargas on June 27 for the interim championship, to full champion status.

    Both the WBO and the WBC have taken great steps forward in recent years, and have done much to clean up their end of the business. 

    The fact that the WBO stood firm and followed its rules is encouraging.

  • Gilbert Melendez banned one year after failing UFC 188 drug test

    Kevin Iole at Cagewriter 18 hrs ago

    Gilbert Melendez failed his post-fight drug test at UFC 188 in Mexico City, for what the promotion said in a news release announcing his one-year suspension were "testosterone metabolites" in his system.

    Melendez, who lost a close decision to Eddie Alvarez on June 13, accepted the penalty handed down. He was fortunate that his failed test came before the July 1 switch to drug testing run by the United States Anti-Doping Agency, because at that point, it would have been a minimum two-year suspension.

    But it was disappointing to hear Melendez, as so many fighters who fail their tests do, blame it on a product (presumably a nutritional supplement) he used.

    The UFC did not specify in its release which product Melendez was referring to and a spokesman said he had no further information.

    As a result of the failed test and the penalty, Melendez will no longer fight Al Iaquinta on July 15 in San Diego, as had been planned.

    No opponent for Iaquinta has been named.

  • Why Conor McGregor has a chance to become a UFC legend

    Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports 18 hrs ago

    LAS VEGAS – In the nearly 22 years of its existence, there have been many great fighters and over-the-top, larger-than-life personalities who have competed in the UFC.

    Only a handful of them, however, have truly transformed the business.

    It’s obvious by their actions that UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta and UFC president Dana White are convinced that featherweight contender Conor McGregor is about to join that group.

    To his credit, McGregor almost singlehandedly managed to turn just another defense for taciturn champion Jose Aldo into a worldwide event.

    Almost from the minute he signed with the UFC, McGregor targeted Aldo. He spoke disparagingly of the highly respected champion, who arguably is the finest pound-for-pound fighter in the world, as if he were little more than a Brazilian version of Kimbo Slice.

    He was so consistent and so outlandish that the UFC not only matched him with Aldo, but set up an eight-city, five-country tour to promote the fight.

    White suggested that UFC 189, which is Saturday at the MGM Grand and was to feature Aldo-McGregor in the main event, had a chance to become the best-selling pay-per-view in the sport’s history.

  • Jose Aldo's rib injury, withdrawal from UFC 189 lead to wild speculation

    Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports 3 days ago

    LAS VEGAS – There has been endless debate for nearly two weeks about whether UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo actually fractured a rib during training or whether he had a deep bruise, as the UFC has said.

    The injury, whatever it was, forced Aldo on Tuesday to withdraw from a planned title defense on July 11 against Conor McGregor in the main event of UFC 189 at the MGM Grand Garden. It also set off wild speculation on social media about Aldo's toughness and the motivations of UFC president Dana White.

    Aldo has come under attack for pulling out of a fight for the fifth time in his brief UFC career.

    White, who's expressed concern and support to the Aldo camp, has been lambasted on social media for supposedly trying to force an athlete to compete with a serious injury.

    Doctors interviewed by Yahoo Sports, including the UFC's Jeff Davidson, and two who declined to speak on the record because they did not personally examine Aldo, all said either injury would have been extraordinarily painful.

    Despite the treatments he took, which included plasma rich protein therapy (PRP), Aldo did not feel better, Pederneiras said in his statement.

  • Dana White says UFC 189 will become first U.S. card with $7 million gate

    Kevin Iole at Cagewriter 5 days ago

    UFC president Dana White told Yahoo Sports Wednesday that UFC 189 will set promotion records for largest paid gate in the U.S. and will set a Nevada record for attendance, even after the loss of featherweight champion Jose Aldo from the main event of the July 11 card at the MGM Grand.

    A broken rib suffered in training on Tuesday forced Aldo out of his title defense against archrival Conor McGregor. The UFC replaced him with Chad Mendes, and they'll meet in the newly constituted main event for the interim featherweight crown. Aldo is expected to fight the winner when he's healthy.

    The co-main event will remain the same, a welterweight title fight between Robbie Lawler and challenger Rory MacDonald.

    White said the UFC had only received 50 requests for refunds since word of Aldo's withdrawal became public.

    "We had to get creative," Dropick said. "We stayed within the fire code, but we had to get creative. We have seats in some places we've never had seats before."


  • Top Rank latest promoter to file suit against Al Haymon

    Kevin Iole at Boxing 5 days ago

    The lawsuits against Al Haymon continue to arrive at a dizzying rate.

    Powerful Las Vegas-based Top Rank joined the ever-expanding ranks of promoters that have filed suit against Haymon, filing an antitrust suit in federal court in California. The suit also named Waddell & Reed, an asset management company that invested more than $400 million into the Premier Boxing Champions series created by Haymon, as a defendant.

    Haymon was supposed to give a deposition in the Bad Dog Productions case on Tuesday in Florida, but BDP attorney Jorge L. Fors Jr. told Yahoo Sports that Haymon was ill and postponed the deposition.

    In its lawsuit, Top Rank alleged that Haymon is violating the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act by serving as both a manager and a promoter. To support that allegation, it posted a photo that boxer Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. posted, and later deleted, to the social media website Instagram.


  • Legend of 'Scarface': How Jose Aldo's latest withdrawal could impact his legacy

    Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports 6 days ago

    This fight, as we've said repeatedly, was all about Conor McGregor because, well, it had to be about McGregor.

    The UFC simply couldn't risk putting all its chips in on the man who just well may be the greatest fighter in the world.

    Jose Aldo has seven UFC fights and, as of late Tuesday, five UFC withdrawals.

    The Brazilian is a brilliant talent who at 28 is only now entering his prime. He's fast, has perhaps the sport's finest takedown defense, is a powerful and accurate striker and is as good as it gets on the ground.

    He's the featherweight champion, and unbeaten in nearly 10 years, for a reason. He's reached Fedor Emelianenko levels of dominance. As of Tuesday, Aldo's gone nine years, seven months and three days since the sole loss of his career, a submission to Luciano Azevedo on Nov. 26, 2005, in Manaus, Brazil.

    Emelianenko, the great Russian heavyweight, went nine years, six months and two days between losses.

    The pain was too great, and he couldn't compete.

    In this case, though, he's right.

  • Rib injury KOs champ Jose Aldo, McGregor-Mendes tops UFC 189

    Kevin Iole at Cagewriter 6 days ago

    One of the most hotly anticipated fights in mixed martial arts history was scrapped on Tuesday when Jose Aldo said his rib injury was too painful and would prevent him from defending his featherweight title against Conor McGregor on July 11 at the MGM Grand in the main event of UFC 189.

    UFC president Dana White made the announcement during an appearance with McGregor on Tuesday on SportsCenter. Chad Mendes, who lost a tough match to Aldo for the belt last year in Brazil, will now meet McGregor for the interim title.

    It's the fifth time in his UFC career that Aldo has pulled out of a bout with injury, but far and away the most devastating. Previously, injuries prevented Aldo from participating in UFC 125, UFC 149, UFC 153 and UFC 176.

    This one, though, is the toughest one for all concerned to take. The bout pitted the long-time champion, one of the great fighters in the sport's history, against a fast-rising star who in just two years has skyrocketed to stardom.

  • UFC’s sponsorship deal with Reebok about more than a new look

    Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports 6 days ago

    At the end of a news conference in New York on Tuesday to unveil the uniforms UFC fighters will wear beginning July 11, Corrina Werkle, the general manager of Reebok's training business unit, wrapped it up by giving a summary.

    The kits are all about flexibility, strength, customization and fit, she said. They will transform the UFC, she noted, and elevate the sport of mixed martial arts forever.

    Ignoring, for a moment, Werkle's overreaching, self-serving statements, the truth of it is that it is all about money – television money, to be exact.

    That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it is the truth. This deal was done, quite simply, to provide a better look for television so that the product is more appealing to TV networks when the UFC's current deal with Fox expires in 2018.

    The best-case scenario for the UFC would be for Fox to bid for its rights against a competing network, such as ESPN.

    Nobody can argue the wisdom of that move, and the long-range consequences it could have for the athletes. In making the decision to eliminate all logos but Reebok's from fighter gear during UFC events, however, it dramatically impacts the fighters.

  • UFC 189 will determine just how big of a star Conor McGregor has become

    Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports 7 days ago

    McGregor will fight champion Jose Aldo for the featherweight title in the main event of UFC 189 on July 11 at the MGM Grand in small part because of his five consecutive wins without a loss in the promotion. It's largely, however, because of his brilliance as a marketer that he's gotten the title fight.

    One can fairly say that the outspoken Irishman has literally talked his way to the top, though that would ignore his athletic accomplishments.

    He won the Cage Warriors title at both featherweight and lightweight, earning him his 2013 promotion to the UFC. That feat alone proves he can fight to some degree.

    And with each succeeding win in the UFC – against Marcus Brimage, Max Holloway, Diego Brandao, Dustin Poirier and Dennis Siver – he's answered a few more questions about his ability at the highest level.

    In his five fights, he's won Knockout of the Night once and Performance of the Night three times. In his only UFC bout in which he didn't receive a fight-night bonus, he severely injured his knee in the first round of his bout with Holloway and still went on to win a clear decision.

    That puts the burden on McGregor to sell, and in some ways sets him up to fail.