- Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports2 hrs ago
None of the cutting one-liners or the funny zingers will matter much anymore if Michael Bisping is unable to beat Cung Le on Saturday in Macau.
The UFC middleweight has been one of the sport’s key figures for the last seven years or so, at or near the top of both divisions in which he’s competed. He’s 24-6 and has yet to lose back-to-back fights. Four of the six losses on his record can, in some way, be questioned.
He’s been beaten by Rashad Evans, Dan Henderson, Wanderlei Silva, Chael Sonnen, Vitor Belfort and Tim Kennedy. Three of those opponents – Henderson, Sonnen and Belfort – were known users of testosterone replacement therapy when Bisping fought them. Sonnen recently received a two-year suspension for testing positive for five banned substances, including EPO and human growth hormone. The Nevada Athletic Commission is expected to lower the boom on Silva at a meeting Thursday for evading a surprise drug test in May.
- Kevin Iole at Cagewriter18 hrs ago
Eddie Alvarez has long believed he's the best fighter in the world. Now, the former Bellator lightweight champion is going to get the opportunity to prove it.
A whirlwind day ended for Alvarez Tuesday with a series of interviews, after he agreed to a new UFC contract and will face Donald Cerrone in the first bout of his new dealat UFC 178 at the MGM Grand Garden on Sept. 27.
Alvarez had been in a protracted legal dispute with Bellator and had sued to get out of his deal. But Alvarez settled and came back to fight one fight final, a rematch for the lightweight title against Michael Chandler last year. Alvarez won that bout to win the title in a sensational battle after he'd lost to Chandler in an epic match in 2011.
- Kevin Iole at Boxing20 hrs ago
Gennady Golovkin, who is quickly establishing a reputation as boxing's most exciting fighter, will make his West Coast debut on Oct. 18 when he defends his WBA middleweight title at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., against veteran Marco Antonio Rubio, promoter Tom Loeffler told Yahoo Sports.
Golovkin, who is 30-0 with 27 knockouts, has fought five times in the U.S., all of them in New York state and four of them in New York city. The Oct. 18 bout versus Rubio is an attempt by K2 to expose Golovkin to a new audience.
It clearly makes sense. Whenever Golovkin has appeared as a spectator at a West Coast fight, he's mobbed by fans. He could barely move when he attended the Juan Manuel Marquez-Mike Alvarado fight at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., on May 17. He was swarmed by autograph seekers everywhere he went that night.
"This is a strategic step in developing him into the sport's next superstar," Loeffler said of bringing Golovkin West. "We've had a lot of success on the East Coast and some great reaction. But there has been a big demand from the fans in California, particularly in Los Angeles, and this is a perfect match against Rubio."
- Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports1 day ago
It's difficult for a lot of fight fans to understand how someone who looked so good, so dominant, so complete as Austin Trout did against Miguel Cotto could then, a year later, look as feeble as Trout did in a one-sided defeat to Erislandy Lara.
Trout, who after his Dec. 1, 2012, victory over Cotto at Madison Square Garden was near the top of the sport, didn't have his heart into his bout against Lara and suffered a severe beating.
Lara dominated Trout at the Barclays Center in the New York borough of Brooklyn on Dec. 7, 2013, knocking him down in the 11th round to punctuate a surprisingly one-sided match. Two of the judges gave Lara nine of the 12 rounds and the third gave him 10 of the 12.
To be honest, it probably wasn’t that close.
Trout hasn't been seen since, but he'll return to the ring on Friday when he takes on Daniel Dawson at the Pechanga Resort in Temecula, Calif., in a match televised on ESPN2.
His promoter for Friday's bout, Dan Goossen, comes from a long line of boxing siblings. His younger brother, Joe, is one of the sport's finest trainers.
And so Dan Goossen has a great perspective on what ailed Trout.
- Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports1 day ago
Bellator MMA was in no danger of going under when its owner, Viacom, made the decision on June 18 to replace Bjorn Rebney as Bellator's chairman and CEO.
But it was lacking relevance.
Scott Coker's hiring as Bellator’s new president will change that. There are few with a better eye for talent than Coker, who was itching to get back into the business.
With Strikeforce in serious debt, hemorrhaging money and his partners unhappy, Coker made the decision to sell the promotion he founded to Zuffa, the UFC's parent company.
But when the remaining Strikeforce fighters were folded into the UFC, there was little for Coker to do. He'd become a wealthy man after the sale, but life wasn't fulfilling in the way he'd grown to love.
"I played golf four times a week, and that was great, and I'd gone to Europe twice a year," Coker said. "But I'd seen all of the places I wanted to see twice. When this opportunity came up, it seemed like a perfect fit."
Bellator desperately needed someone not only with a great eye for talent, but also one who was liked and respected throughout the industry.
- Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports4 days ago
The first time Ronda Rousey saw "The Expendables 3," she watched the movie while covering her face with her hands.
Rousey, the UFC women's bantamweight champion, plays Luna in the film, which opened nationwide Friday. Luna, Rousey says, "is a lot more cold-blooded than I am."
She spent eight weeks on a set in Bulgaria last year, shortly before she returned home to defend her title in a grudge match in Las Vegas against Miesha Tate at UFC 168. Rousey said seeing herself on the screen for the first time was nerve wracking, though.
As she watched with a group of friends, she knew they'd be peeking a glance at her. This woman, who seems totally comfortable fighting or doing interviews in front of crowds, struggled to deal with the scrutiny the first time around.
"Anyone I was watching the movie with would look at my face to see my reaction to watching myself and so I got self-conscious about how I looked watching me," Rousey told Yahoo Sports, chuckling.
- Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports5 days ago
Guys like Shawn Porter make boxing great.
He's an easy-going, charismatic sort; kind to fans and approachable with media. He gives plenty of himself to help promote the sport he loves.
He's a talented fighter who seemingly gets better each time out, but he's never satisfied. He's so eager to impress, to put on a show, that if someone mentions he hasn't always been on such a fast-moving upward arc, he doesn't take it personally.
A reporter mentioned that Porter is currently on a roll, but that his career seemed like a series of plateaus and upward movement. He'd get better, stay at one level for a while, than dramatically rocket upward.
He's in one of those upward periods now, coming off three fights against Julio Diaz, Devon Alexander and Paulie Malignaggi where he looked increasingly better each time.
- Kevin Iole at Cagewriter5 days ago
Several sources have told Yahoo Sports that popular referee John McCarthy will receive an official's license from the Nevada Athletic Commission and be assigned to work at UFC 178 at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas on Sept. 27.
The card, which will be headlined by a flyweight title bout between champion Demetrious Johnson and challenger Chris Cariaso, will be the first McCarthy has worked in the "Fight Capital of the World," since 2007.
McCarthy, who along with Herb Dean is considered one of mixed martial arts' two finest referees, announced a brief retirement after working a show at the Palms in Las Vegas on Dec. 8, 2007, to take a broadcast position with The Fight Network.
- Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports6 days ago
Lauren Murphy easily rips off four-letter words as if they're part of the Oxford American Dictionary, somehow making her sound like a female version of UFC president Dana White.
When she realizes she's dropped a handful of F-bombs during the beginning of an interview, she laughs nervously, not sure if she's in trouble.
"Is it OK if I swear?" she asks sheepishly.
Told it's fine, Murphy breathes a sigh of relief. She's not your typical mixed martial arts fighter who speaks in clichés and lives in a cookie-cutter world.
Murphy, who is 8-0, will make her UFC debut on Saturday in Bangor, Maine, when she faces former title challenger Sara McMann in a three-round bantamweight fight.
Few fighters have taken a stranger route to the UFC and lived a more eventful life.
"Some days, I ask myself that exact same question: How in the [expletive] did we get here?" Murphy said. "I don't even know. We could break it all down, but if we did, it'd be pretty [expletive] crazy."
- Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports6 days ago
There is an opportunity for a wonderful kind of Daily Double to be completed in boxing on Saturday.
For the second week in a row, a boxer who has beaten cancer is fighting for a world title. Last week, Daniel Jacobs, who couldn't walk at one point because of osteosarcoma, defeated Jarrod Fletcher in a brilliant performance to win the regular version of the WBA middleweight championship at the Barclays Center in New York.
On Saturday at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., fellow cancer survivor Anthony Dirrell will challenge WBC super middleweight champion Sakio Bika for his belt in a rematch of a hotly disputed split draw on Dec. 7. One judge had Bika winning, one had Dirrell and the third had it even in an ugly, foul-filled match.
Dirrell was diagnosed in 2006 with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma after finding a lump in his chest.
"I was in Vegas training for a fight and I had this pain in my chest," Dirrell said. "I went to the doctor and he found a tumor in the middle of my chest. He said it could be [benign] or it could be [malignant]. Obviously, you're afraid and you hope it isn't cancer, but there is a lot of uncertainty around it at first."