Kevin Iole

  • At career crossroads, Nick Diaz's future is far from certain

    Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports 8 hrs ago

    LAS VEGAS – The UFC may suddenly have a Nick Diaz problem.

    That's hardly breaking news, since it's had one sort of an issue or another with the mercurial former Strikeforce champion for much of the time it's had him under contract.

    This problem, though, has little to do with Diaz missing airplanes or skipping public workouts, as he's wont to do.

    After dropping all five rounds on all three cards to Georges St-Pierre in his last UFC appearance almost two years ago, Diaz was again on the wrong end of a similar result Saturday at the MGM Grand.

    Former middleweight champion Anderson Silva made a triumphant return to the sport he'd dominated for years, winning a unanimous decision by scores of 50-45, 50-45 and 49-46 in the main event of UFC 183 at the MGM Grand Garden.

    On the other side, the loss was Diaz's third in a row and left him with a murky future. He hasn't won a fight since man-handling B.J. Penn on Oct. 29, 2011, and isn't thrilled to continually come up on the short end.

    He said he spoke to Dr. Steven Saunders, who had operated on Silva, and Saunders told him there might be bone chips or bone spurs that could be removed surgically.

  • Anderson Silva makes triumphant return with decision win over Nick Diaz

    Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports 11 hrs ago

    LAS VEGAS – Anderson Silva fell to his back in tears only seconds after ring announcer Bruce Buffer read the scores that gave him a unanimous decision victory over Nick Diaz in the main event of UFC 183 at the MGM Grand Garden.

    It was Silva's first fight in 13 months, as he returned from a gruesome broken leg at UFC 168 when he kicked Chris Weidman.

    Saturday, judges had it 50-45, 49-46 and 50-45 for the former middleweight champion and widely acknowledged greatest fighter of all-time.

    But though he clearly earned the victory, it was hardly vintage Silva. He didn't have the speed or the explosiveness that marked him during his nearly seven-year reign as middleweight champion.

    He didn't clown or fool around and went after Diaz with the intention to finish him. But when there appeared to be openings, he didn't seem to have the speed or the ability to get it there.

    He's only a little more than two months from his 40th birthday and on Saturday, he looked very much like an aging fighter who hadn't fought in more than a year.

    Still, Diaz believed he'd done enough.

    Diaz helped him up and the two embraced.

  • Tyron Woodley defeats Kelvin Gastelum but declines 30 percent fine

    Kevin Iole at Cagewriter 11 hrs 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

     

  • Floyd Mayweather via social media: 'Fight Not Made yet'

    Kevin Iole at Boxing 20 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.

     

     

  • Chris Weidman injured, title defense versus Vitor Belfort at UFC 184 is off

    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.

  • Miesha Tate hoping for third shot vs. Ronda Rousey that may never come

    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.

    Except.

    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.

  • Pressure shifts to HBO Sports as Mayweather-Pacquiao talks intensify

    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.

     

  • Adviser decidedly more optimistic about likelihood of Mayweather-Pacquiao bout

    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.

  • Study: Increased blows to head linked to smaller brain volume

    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.

     

  • Popular promoter Cedric Kushner dies of heart attack at 66

    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.