- Kevin Iole at Cagewriter17 hrs ago
It appears the prodigal son is about to return.
Welterweight Nick Diaz, who was last seen in the Octagon when he was routed by Georges St-Pierre in a title fight in Montreal on March 16, 2013, plans to fight soon.
Diaz was in Las Vegas on Thursday to meet with UFC president Dana White and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta, according to a story on UFC.com.
Next year I guess. Whatever, though. I can fight tomorrow, tonight. You have to do what you have to do. ... [I came today] to sort things out with Dana White and Lorenzo. It was hard times for a little bit, but people act like I've been doing nothing. I've been getting some things done. Just because I'm not getting punched around every day doesn't mean I'm not focused on what I'm doing. Now, here we are.
Diaz has long been one of the sport's most popular fighters, but he might have been at the peak of his popularity on the night of his unanimous decision loss to St-Pierre at the Bell Centre.
- Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports20 hrs ago
A 15-hour flight awaits Noad Lahat on Sunday morning, only hours after he faces Steven Siler on Saturday in a three-round featherweight bout at UFC Fight Night 12 at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif.
Little good will come of the trip, but Lahat, 30, has few options.
He's headed to war, to join his countrymen in the seemingly never-ending struggle to defend Israel.
He was born in Alfei Menashe, Samaria, Israel, and has lived his entire life in the country except for those periods since 2009 when he's lived in San Jose during his mixed martial arts training camps.
His preparations for the bout with Siler, though, have been more difficult than normal. He doesn't want to be in the gym. He doesn't want to be in the U.S. His heart and mind are thousands of miles away, on the other side of the world, where his countrymen are fighting the Palestinians in Gaza.
"It's been really hard," Lahat told Yahoo Sports. "I've been on my phone all the time, checking messages, checking the news, stuff like that. The only time I get some peace and get to isolate myself from all of this is when I'm in the gym training.
- Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports21 hrs ago
Anthony Daniels is a fighter and soon will become a boxer. Despite his burgeoning interest in the sweet science, the 23-year-old former hockey player from Ridgewood, N.J., has been a fighter long before he ever pulled on a pair of boxing gloves.
Daniels is an athlete and is proud of his past. He was a good enough high school hockey player that he was recruited to play collegiately at Division III Norwich University in Northfield, Vt.
The last few years haven't been easy for Daniels and a fluke accident ended his hockey career.
It was a crisp, bright January day, and Daniels and his buddies had just finished a day of playing pond hockey. Daniels owned a regulation-sized hockey net, which he brought home on the back of a friend's car.
The friend pulled into his driveway, but disaster occurred. Daniels was between the back end of the car and the net. The car somehow went into reverse. Daniels' foot was caught on the bumper. The net acted as a post.
His leg snapped in half, he said. Doctors put a full cast on it and he couldn't walk for seven months. His dream of collegiate hockey was just about over.
- Kevin Iole at Cagewriter1 day ago
The moment that Daniel Cormier decided to drop to light heavyweight from heavyweight, the former Oklahoma State wrestling star and 2008 U.S. Olympic wrestling captain put his sights squarely on champion Jon Jones.
Cormier got his wish on Wednesday when he was chosen to replace Alexander Gustafsson opposite Jones in the light heavyweight championship bout that will headline UFC 178 on Sept. 27 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Gustafsson, who nearly defeated Jones last year in an epic battle at UFC 165 in Toronto in one of the great matches in UFC history, tore the meniscus a knee in training that forced his withdrawal.
There is no extent of the severity of the injury or how long he'll be out. UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta said Gustafsson was hurt while training in Sweden. He said because of the time difference between Sweden and Las Vegas, it's been difficult for him to get information from Gustafsson's camp.
- Kevin Iole at Boxing1 day ago
LAS VEGAS – Floyd Mayweather bucked the system for much of his career in boxing, battling with promoters and attempting to change the status quo in order to favor the boxers.
Now, though, Mayweather is officially a part of the system he fought, when his company, Mayweather Promotions, was granted a promoter's license in Nevada.
Mayweather Promotions was licensed three weeks ago in New York, but the ability to promote in Nevada, his long-time home and the boxing capital of the world, was significant.
Mayweather, who faces Marcos Maidana on Sept. 13 at the MGM Grand in a rematch of their May 3 bout, said he could have been licensed long ago, but wanted to make certain the timing is right.
"We didn't want to rush and we wanted to do it when the time was right," Mayweather said following the quick hearing and 5-0 vote in his favor. "That time is now."
The challenge he'll face once his career over is he won't have a star anywhere near himself in his stable. He'll need to develop fighters, as Top Rank's Bruce Trampler did so ably with him and Oscar De La Hoya in the 1990s, and build fighters into ticket-selling and pay-per-view selling attractions.
- Kevin Iole at Cagewriter1 day ago
LAS VEGAS -- Vitor Belfort was given a license by a 5-0 vote by the Nevada Athletic Commission on Wednesday, freeing him to challenge Chris Weidman for the middleweight title on Dec. 6 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in the main event of UFC 181.
Whether he'd have gotten that affirmative vote had he announced that the fight would be in Brazil instead of Las Vegas will never be known.
But be sure that it didn't hurt his cause at all. Prior to UFC 175, which was also at Mandalay Bay, UFC president Dana White told Yahoo Sports that the card would have a non-gaming economic impact of $175 million on Las Vegas' economy. A Weidman-Belfort title fight, with a potential Ronda Rousey-Gina Carano women's bantamweight title fight underneath it, would do massive business and would likely attract a paid gate in excess of $4 million.
- Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports1 day ago
LAS VEGAS – A humble and contrite Chael Sonnen appeared before the Nevada Athletic Commission on Wednesday and offered no evidence in his own defense after failing back-to-back drug tests.
The former UFC contender was ultimately suspended for two years for testing positive for Clomiphene, Anastrozole, HCG, HGH and EPO in separate tests, given on May 24 and June 5. He was also forced to pay the costs of the tests that ultimately nabbed him.
But the five members of the commission seemed to alternate between going for blood and asking him out for a drink.
At one point, commissioner Anthony Marnell, a one-time catcher in the San Diego Padres' organization, brashly denounced Sonnen's cheating and demanded a lifetime ban. Marnell spoke of how angry he was as a baseball player when he was subjected to random tests but players on the 40-man roster were not. He pleaded for strong action against Sonnen.
But at other times, the commissioners seemed to want to pat Sonnen on the back and apologize for having to trouble him to appear at the disciplinary hearing.
- Kevin Iole at Cagewriter2 days ago
The one thing that was guaranteed after a massive crowd turned out for Conor McGregor Saturday in Dublin, Ireland, following weeks of frequently over-the-top trash talking that everybody and his brother would want to fight him if he won.
McGregor stopped Diego Brandao in the first round and, predictably, heard a lot of fighters calling his name.
Dustin Poirier, though, is the one who will get the call. The UFC announced the bout Tuesday on its Twitter page. It will occur at UFC 178 in Las Vegas, where Jon Jones will defend his light heavyweight title in the main event against Alexander Gustafsson.
The Jones-Gustafsson bout is a rematch of one of the greatest in UFC history, and one that had a close and somewhat disputed ending.
- Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports2 days ago
On the day in late March when Robbie Lawler signed an eight-fight extension to his contract, UFC president Dana White was pacing animatedly around his office.
Lawler was coming off a tough defeat to Johny Hendricks a few weeks earlier in a bout for the vacant UFC welterweight title. Though he'd lost that bout, Lawler had grabbed White's attention.
Getting Lawler's name on a long contract extension pleased White to no end. He kept ranting excitedly about all of the great potential fights that could come during the long contract.
In that regard, little had changed with the UFC welterweight contender. Expectations had always been high.
Somehow, though, this was different.
It wasn't as if White thought Lawler would be good. This time, he knew it. He'd seen it with his eyes. Lawler had harnessed his prodigious physical gifts and packaged them together with the help of the staff at the American Top Team in Florida, where he'd developed into one of the most fearsome 170-pounders in the world.
Lawler had turned professional as an 18-year-old with oodles of talent, and expectations to match. He was just 20 and not yet physically mature when he made his UFC debut.
- Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports3 days ago
Years from now, I suspect, there will be those who will write about what a privilege it was to watch Gennady Golovkin, to cover this nearly perfect fighting machine as he tore through his career nearly unchallenged.
The WBA middleweight champion is 29-0 with 26 knockouts heading into perhaps the toughest match of his career Saturday on HBO against Daniel Geale at Madison Square Garden. As good as Golovkin is in the ring, the hype that surrounds him exceeds it.
He's got crushing puncher power, surprising agility, a keen understanding of timing, leverage and movement, and he seems to be one of those athletes who's never satisfied with just winning. He's the kind of guy who loves to make a statement and yearns to put on a show.
Those are the kinds of fighters who are typically celebrated far and wide in boxing, who appear in beer commercials, earn eight-figure paydays and sell enormous numbers of pay-per-view.
But Golovkin is 32 years old, struggles to communicate in English, hasn't faced much significant opposition and lacks that potential signature opponent who could make him a breakout star.