- Kevin Iole at Cagewriter18 hrs ago
Two world title fights will still lead UFC 181 on Dec. 6 in Las Vegas. It's just that it will be a different title fight at the top of the card than originally planned.
Middleweight champion Chris Weidman pulled out of his title defense against Vitor Belfort that was to headline the show because he broke his left left while punching during a recent training session. The UFC quickly added a welterweight title rematch between Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler to replace it at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
Weidman has a hairline fracture. It will be casted 4 weeks, cleared in 6. He'll be fighting Vitor in February now.
Robbie Lawler will face Johny Hendricks for the title at UFC 181 on Dec. 6. http://t.co/io3IUjchdz
The co-main event of UFC 181 will remain a lightweight title fight between champion Anthony "Showtime" Pettis and former Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez.
Hendricks, Lawler, Pettis and Melendez will take part in a news conference Friday at 2 p.m. PT in the MGM Grand's Premier ballroom that is free and open to the public.
- Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports20 hrs ago
LAS VEGAS – The five members of the Nevada Athletic Commission would be well advised to do a search of the Internet and read Floyd Mayweather's own words from May 1, 2012, as they question him Tuesday.
Chairman Francisco Aguilar ordered Mayweather, not only the world's best pound-for-pound boxer but the owner of the Nevada-licensed Mayweather Promotions, to appear in front of the commission Tuesday to answer for several questionable scenes in Showtime's "All Access" series used to promote his Sept. 13 rematch against Marcos Maidana at the MGM Grand Garden.
In one scene, Mayweather refers to his gym as the doghouse and says, "The rules are, you fight until whoever quits." Later, he smilingly adds, "Guys fight to the death. It's not right, but it's dog-house rules."
It's all in a day's promotion, tough talk designed to sell a fight.
But Mayweather's words of 2012 are particularly telling and should be considered as well.
Mayweather was talking with a group of reporters, inside the VIP lounge at the MGM Grand, a few days before he was to fight Miguel Cotto.
- Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports23 hrs ago
LAS VEGAS – There is a fine line in a sport like fighting, where the size of one's paycheck is dependent upon self-promotion nearly as much as performance.
Conor McGregor obliterated that line long ago. The Irish featherweight, who faces Dustin Poirier on Saturday in one of the key bouts at UFC 178 at the MGM Grand Garden, makes women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey look like the shy, retiring type.
The UFC's reigning King of Hyperbole still has much to prove in the eyes of many. He's 3-0 in the UFC, with wins over Marcus Brimage, Max Holloway and Diego Brandao.
It's a good start to a career, but it's hardly a reason to mention him in the same sentence as light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. That, though, is exactly how McGregor has chosen to market himself for this, the most significant bout of his young career: as the best fighter in the world.
Jones has held the UFC belt for 3 ½ years and delivered the kind of devastation in his wins that convinces those who are thinking of becoming fighters to come up with a new career plan.
- Kevin Iole at Cagewriter1 day ago
The first tiny steps down the path that may lead to a match with UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey will be taken on Dec. 5, when Cristiane "Cyborg" Justino will make her 135-pound debut in the main event of an Invicta card that will be streamed on UFC FightPass.
No opponent or venue has been announced.
Since the night in 2012 that Rousey defeated Miesha Tate on Showtime to win the Strikeforce bantamweight title, there have been calls for a match between the ex-American Olympian and Justino, the Brazilian striker who'd held the Strikeforce 145-pound title.
UFC president Dana White has so far steadfastly refused to pit the two, citing a news conference Justino and then-manager Tito Ortiz held in which Ortiz said a doctor told Justino she could be risking her life trying to cut to 135 pounds. Ortiz, who is a longtime White nemesis, was hoping to make the fight at 145 pounds, the weight in which Rousey began her mixed martial arts career.
- Kevin Iole at Cagewriter2 days ago
It's not all that surprising when a fight with fighters weighing a combined 524 pounds ends in a devastating one-punch knockout.
What is surprising, though, is that one of them was able to score a massive knockout after having a pretty incredible battle with the scale.
A UFC source who asked not to be identified told Yahoo Sports a day before the weigh-in at UFC Fight Night 52 at the Saitama Super Arena in Tokyothat Mark Hunt had to cut 19 pounds to make the heavyweight limit of 265. Hunt, who was 284 the day before the weigh in, worked the weight off and weighed 264 officially.
He then went out and performed like a star, catching Roy Nelson with a perfectly placed right uppercut that knocked "Big Country" cold. Nelson went down face first as referee Leon Roberts immediately stopped the fight while Hunt simply walked away.
- Kevin Iole at Cagewriter3 days ago
This must be what it feels like these days to cover the NFL.
Two cases of domestic violence, an athlete holding a gun, allegations of drug use and an unhappy fighter ripping his organization highlighted the news that happened Friday in the UFC.
Iconic light heavyweight Wanderlei Silva, one of the most popular fighters in mixed martial arts history, announced his retirement in a sometimes rambling video he posted on YouTube in which he blasted the UFC for the way it treated fighters and for underpaying them.
Earlier in the day, the company announced in a terse statement it posted on its website that it had indefinitely suspended light heavyweight Anthony Johnson, who is No. 5 in its ratings, after the mother of two of his children obtained a temporary protective order against him. She told police he'd knocked out two of her teeth in 2012.
The UFC noted in its statement it had hired "a third-party law firm" to investigate the allegations against Johnson, which he denies.
- Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports4 days ago
Miesha Tate didn't have the most enjoyable trip to Tokyo. The former Strikeforce women's bantamweight champion missed her flight in Los Angeles and when she got to Japan, her luggage didn't show up.
She didn't have a lot of time to acclimate to the time zone in Tokyo, 16 hours ahead of her home in Las Vegas. She didn't have her luggage. She had plenty of interviews to do.
Tate, though, didn't stress even as her fight on a UFC Fight Pass card on Saturday against Rin Nakai rapidly approached.
She'd broken a two-fight losing skid in her last outing when she bested Liz Carmouche in Orlando, Fla., in April, and conceded it's easier to be positive coming off a win.
She went into that fight with Carmouche in a difficult spot. She'd lost two in a row – to champion Ronda Rousey and top contender Cat Zingano – and three of four.
But most felt she was no worse than the third-best fighter after Rousey and Zingano, and perhaps second-best, in the UFC.
Still, fighting isn't about what people believe. The results in the cage speak for themselves and with back-to-back losses, the Carmouche fight was huge for Tate.
- Kevin Iole at Boxing4 days ago
Despite allowing himself to be mired into the domestic violence controversy involving ex-Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, it doesn't appear it hurt Floyd Mayweather at the box office.
A source who has been generally reliable on such numbers confirmed that Mayweather's rematch with Marcos Maidana on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden sold 925,000 pay-per-views. That is 25,000 better than their May fight, which sold roughly 900,000.
Showtime adopted a company policy earlier this year of not releasing pay-per-view figures, so Stephen Espinoza, Showtime's executive vice president and general manager, declined comment.
- Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports4 days ago
LAS VEGAS – For more than 40 years, a majority of the world's most significant fights have been held in this gambling town. They're frequently lavish events that attract the best and brightest from sports, entertainment and business and give another reason for the red carpet to be rolled out.
Big-time boxing is a way for casinos to lure their best gamblers back to town and further line their coffers.
For all of those 40-plus years, the Nevada Athletic Commission has come under scrutiny for handling promoters and prominent boxers with kid gloves.
Sometimes it's justified, but often it's not. Perception hasn't changed, though: The commission is perceived to be easy on the promoters and big-name fighters because of the money they bring to the state. It doesn't regulate in nearly the stern manner that the Nevada Gaming Commission does.
As recently as a July 23 hearing at the Sawyer State Office Building, that inconsistency was on display for the world to see.
Don Mouton, a largely unknown fighter who had competed three times previously in Nevada, requested a license from the commission to fight on the inaugural BKB card in August.
- Kevin Iole at Cagewriter5 days ago
It's Friday in Japan and it's probably safe to say it's not going to be the most enjoyable day for UFC heavyweight Mark Hunt.
Hunt, who said he began his training camp at an astounding 340 pounds, weighed 284 on Thursday in Japan, a UFC source confirmed to Yahoo Sports. That means that by the 4 p.m. Tokyo time weigh-in, Hunt will have to shed an additional 19 pounds to make the heavyweight limit of 265 for his bout at the Saitama Super Arena against Roy "Big Country" Nelson.
It's almost certain Hunt is going to spend most of his Friday in the sauna trying to shed 19 pounds.
It's hard to imagine he'll be able to lose all of that weight. If he misses, then it will be up to Nelson if the fight goes forward. Hunt weighed 262 pounds for his December bout against Antonio "Big Foot" Silva that went down as one of the greatest matches in UFC history.
In the event Hunt misses weight, Nelson will have the opportunity to decline to fight, which is highly unlikely. If Nelson declines, he wouldn't be paid, either.
But if Nelson chooses to fight anway, he would get 20 percent of Hunt's purse in addition to his own.