Kevin Iole

  • Chael Sonnen signs deal to serve as MMA analyst on WSOF broadcasts

    Kevin Iole at Cagewriter 4 hrs ago

    The World Series of Fighting on Tuesday hired ex-UFC title challenger Chael Sonnen as an analyst for its NBC Sports Network television broadcasts. He will debut in his new job on Sept. 18 for WSOF 23 from Phoenix, when Justin Gaethje defends his lightweight belt in a rematch against Luis Palomino.

    Sonnen's broadcast career began while he was still an active fighter in the UFC, not long after the UFC began its deal with Fox in 2012. Sonnen was the host of UFC Tonight and became very popular for his in-studio work.

    But Sonnen failed multiple drug tests prior to a planned fight last year in Las Vegas against Wanderlei Silva, and lied about it repeatedly. Both the UFC and Fox cut ties with him.

    In November, ESPN hired Sonnen to serve as a part-time MMA analyst. He's done studio analysis on all of the big fights since the deal was done.

    Sonnen praised the WSOF and the quality of its fighters in a statement.

    Sonnen, who has admitted all of his drug transgressions, also does a popular weekly podcast that is heavily though not exclusively MMA-focused called, "You're Welcome."

     

  • John Dodson ready to rid UFC of 'plague' in flyweight division

    Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports 5 hrs ago

    He's widely regarded as one of the three finest pound-for-pound fighters in the world.

    Yet, John Dodson, his opponent on Saturday in the main event of UFC 191 at the MGM Grand, calls him "a plague on the flyweight division. Who wants to see the guy?"

    When a reporter answered in the affirmative, Dodson didn't flinch.

    "OK, you and who else? Yeah, I forgot, his mother, for sure," Dodson said. "You and his mother. Who else? OK, maybe his wife."

    Dodson chuckles and then, as if to twist the dagger he just inserted, makes one last taunt.

    " Maybe his wife," he says, firmly, laughing at his own joke. "Maybe. And that's it. We have such a great division, and he's bringing it down. He's giving us a bad name."

    Dodson aims to make the flyweights "the most awesome and amazing division in this sport, just like me."

    But for all his words, he has had a chance to rid the division of the man he calls the plague, and he failed.

    It was Johnson who was awesome and amazing on that frigid January night in Chicago in 2013 when they first met. He survived a second-round knockdown to pull out a unanimous decision victory.

  • The fight that boxing is supposed to be about

    Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports 2 days ago

    LOS ANGELES – Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares threw more than 2,000 punches at each other, bouncing shots off the head, arms, shoulders and mid-section in a stirring battle for Southern California supremacy.

    Their featherweight bout, which Santa Cruz won by majority decision, is what boxing is supposed to be all about.

    It had an engaged crowd, which began roaring lustily during the pre-fight introductions and rarely stopped during the non-stop action at Staples Center. When the fight ended, the largely Hispanic crowd began to sing.

    The fighters left everything they had in the ring and competed with passion, pride and poise. Mares literally raced out of his corner at the opening bell and fired a hard shot at Santa Cruz, his long-time Los Angeles rival, signifying the kind of night this would be.

    Mares smothered Santa Cruz early, and did brilliant work on the inside, taking away Santa Cruz’s punching room.

    But Santa Cruz showed his class and made an adjustment. He used his jab, often hooking off of it, to slow Mares’ assault and keep him at a distance. Whenever they were at a distance, Santa Cruz was raking Mares with hard shots.

  • Injury to Robbie Lawler sends Ronda Rousey to Australia to headline UFC 193

    Kevin Iole at Cagewriter 3 days ago

    An injury to welterweight champion Robbie Lawler forced a postponement of his Nov. 15 title defense against Carlos Condit in the main event of UFC 193 in Melbourne, Australia. 

    As he often does, UFC president Dana White turned to women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey to fill the void. White said Friday on "SportsCenter" that Rousey's title defense against Holly Holm, which was previously announced as the headliner for UFC 195 on Jan. 2 in Las Vegas, will now headline UFC 193 in the 90,000-seat Etihad Stadium.

    White told Yahoo Sports on Friday he is not certain when Lawler will fight again, but said it is not a serious injury.

    He said when he heard that Lawler needed time to recover, he had no problem granting it. But he needed Rousey to bail him out given the importance the company is placing on UFC 193.

    White, who said Rousey is the UFC's highest-paid fighter "even before pay-per-view," said he hopes to set a new attendance record for an MMA event.

     

  • UFC reinstates Travis Browne after investigation is inconclusive

    Kevin Iole at Cagewriter 3 days ago

    The UFC reinstated heavyweight Travis Browne on Friday following a seven-week suspension after the results of an investigation into allegations of domestic violence were inconclusive.

    Browne was suspended July 9 after his wife, Jenna Renee Webb, posted pictures to her Instragram account showing marks and bruises on her arms, neck and face that she said were the result of a beating from her 6-foot-7 husband. The UFC immediately suspended Browne and barred him from all International Fight Week activities he was scheduled for at the time the incident became public.

    The UFC hired the highly regarded Las Vegas law firm of Campbell & Williams to investigate. Donald Campbell, the firm's partner, hired an FBI agent with more than 25 years of experience to head the investigation. On Friday, the UFC reinstated Browne after the results were deemed inconclusive:

    From the UFC's statement announcing Browne's suspension had ended:

    In the statement, it noted:

     Good for the UFC for acting so swiftly to correct a glaring problem.

  • This fight encapsulates everything that is wrong with pro boxing

    Kevin Iole at Boxing 4 days ago

    You want to know what is wrong with boxing? Well, nothing paints the picture more clearly than this: Adrien Broner will fight for a world title yet again.

    It's enough to make one physically ill. Yet, Broner will challenge Khabib Allakhverdiev (19-1, 9 KOs) for the WBA super lightweight championship on Oct 3 on Showtime.

    Broner is coming off a clear defeat to Shawn Porter in the main event of a Premier Boxing Champions card on June 20 in Las Vegas. There were many complaints by fans that week about the way Broner treated them, both before and after the fight.

    It would have been a lot easier to overlook his arrogance and his crude antics had he actually done his job in the ring. But he was a clear failure. 

    He was outworked by Porter and didn't seem to much care. Only in the 12th round, when his corner told him he was way behind, did he step it up and fight up to his capabilities. He knocked Porter down and showed glimpses of the fighter he could be. It's not acceptable, though, for a fighter to try in only one of 12 rounds, but Broner has routinely gotten away with it.

    Broner is nowhere near the dedicated, complete boxer that Mayweather is.

  • UFC fighter Alexis Davis gets great news on multiple fronts

    Kevin Iole at Cagewriter 5 days ago

    Alexis Davis is going to be out of action for well more than a year. In a rarity for a professional fighter, that's a good thing.

    Davis, a one-time challenger for the UFC women's bantamweight championship, announced Tuesday on Instagram that she is pregnant and expecting her first child on March 14. But just as significantly, Davis said that her 5-year-old niece, Hayden, who was diagnosed earlier this year with Stage 4 neuroblastoma, is making considerable progress.

    Neuroblastoma is a type of cancer common in children that attacks nerves that control the heartbeat and blood pressure. The tumor often spreads. The Stage 4 diagnosis indicates that the tumor has spread to distant organs. The five-year survival rate for a child diagnosed at age 5, according to Cancer.gov, is 52 percent.

    Hayden certainly is by no means out of the woods yet, though her tumor has shrunk. She still faces many obstacles, but Davis said the family is optimistic.

  • Santa Cruz, Mares vow to make L.A. proud

    Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports 5 days ago

    Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares have established themselves as two of the finest lighter weight fighters in the world over the past five years.

    To be determined on Saturday at Staples Center, however, is the identity of the best lighter weight fighter from Southern California.

    They’ll meet in Los Angeles and in front of a national television audience on ESPN in one of the most significant featherweight bouts of the 21st century.

    It’s the kind of fight between two elite fighters in their primes of which boxing needs much more.

    It’s reminiscent in some ways of another Southern California battle held 38 years ago at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif.

    The non-title bout, which is known in boxing lore as “The Battle of the Z Boys,” brought the city to a halt on April 23, 1977. It paired 45-0 Carlos Zarate against 32-0 Alfonso Zamora in a bout that had boxing fans drooling.

    They had knocked out 66 of their combined 67 opponents leading into the match and had a rivalry fueled by the fact that both were trained and managed by Arturo Hernandez Sr.

    “That was a crazy, hyped-up fight,” recalled Richard Steele, who refereed the bout. “Just being there was exciting. It was a very electric atmosphere.”

  • Floyd Mayweather's $4.8M car is nice, but his flashy show is nearing an end

    Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports 5 days ago

    LAS VEGAS – Floyd Mayweather’s media day on Wednesday was kind of like the first episode of the final season of a long-running television show.

    His legendary boxing career will end sometime around 10 p.m. Pacific time on Sept. 12 after he’s beaten up Andre Berto at the MGM Grand Garden. On Wednesday, the characters and the storylines that have become so familiar over the years were on hand yet again before the final goodbye.

    The gym was sweltering as a smaller than usual media crowd awaited Mayweather’s arrival. When he was supposedly 15 minutes away, Mayweather’s publicist began to usher the photographers and videographers into the parking lot of the tiny strip mall in the Chinatown section of this gambling city where the Mayweather Boxing Club is located to document his arrival in his new Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita.

    According to Koenigsegg.com, the Trevita is only one of two ever made. Mayweather wrote on his Instagram account last week that he paid $4.8 million to purchase it.

    Mayweather said several times in a brief conversation with reporters that this fight will be it. There will be no comeback.

  • Ronda Rousey says she makes more per second than Floyd Mayweather

    Kevin Iole at Cagewriter 6 days ago

    But UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey says that while her total compensation isn't anywhere near Mayweather's, she believes she makes more per second than the boxer does.

    Rousey was stopped on the street by a reporter for TMZ and, quickly, the conversation turned to Mayweather, whom Rousey topped last month for the ESPY as "Best Fighter."

    During the conversation with TMZ, Rousey said she makes two to three times more per second than Mayweather.

    "I don't know if you saw the Floyd thing, where he said, 'When you make $300 million in a night, give me a call.' I actually did the math and given the numbers in my last fight, I'm actually the highest-paid UFC fighter, and I'm a woman. And I think I actually make two to three times more than he does per second. So when he learns to read and write, he can text me then."

    So by any standard, she's doing well.