- Andreas Hale at Cagewriter6 hrs ago
Ever since Phil “CM Punk” Brooks signed with the UFC, people have questioned whether or not the former professional wrestler was serious about an MMA career or simply trying out a newfound hobby to pass the time.
But when the ex-WWE superstar appeared on the Colin Cowherd’s “The Herd,” he expressed under no uncertain terms that he had plans that extended beyond a perceived publicity stunt. Not only does Punk have his eyes set on a fruitful MMA career, but he also has a desire to become a champion.
“I know people think this is a publicity stunt, I’m never going to set foot in the Octagon,” Punk said.
After 18 months of waiting, dealing with injuries and training, Punk finally secured his first professional fight at UFC 203 against Mickey Gall, who earned the opportunity to face the debuting fighter when he defeated Mike Jackson in March. Sportsbook Review has Punk as a +235 underdog, and for good reason. Without an extensive background in any combat sport, the 37-year-old is essentially coming into the sport as green as any amateur with only 18 months of training under his belt.
- Andreas Hale at Cagewriter9 hrs ago
(Editor’s note: Yahoo Sports will be rolling out a new list of its favorite moments and figures each weekday in anticipation of UFC 200. First up was our Top 10 best fighters. Next: Top 10 trash talkers)
You don’t have to be a trash talker to be a great MMA fighter, but a great MMA fighter with exceptional trash talking abilities happens to go a long way in establishing crossover stars.
The vaunted gift of gab is a unique trait that few fighters have. And the ones that do have it, struggle to back it up. But then there are those unique fighters who have mastered the art of verbal jousting and, when coupled with winning ways, the combination of quick wits and flying fists equal an enhanced entertainment value.
No longer just a sideline story, trash talking is a selling point and helps drive home a narrative that engages fight fans. Honestly, there’s nothing like a little animosity between fighters and seeing it all culminate in a big fight. It’s the reason why we are so compelled with the UFC 200 main-event rematch between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier.
- Andreas Hale at Cagewriter1 day ago
Although Conor McGregor and the UFC made amends in order for the Irishman to get a second chance at Nate Diaz at UFC 202, that doesn’t necessarily mean that everything is kosher between the two sides. As a matter of fact, McGregor revealed that he and the UFC don’t exactly see eye-to-eye when it comes to the very reason that McGregor was pulled from UFC 200: media obligations.
While at an event to promote his coach John Kavanagh’s new book, “Win or Learn,” McGregor talked about the ongoing dispute as to how much press the bombastic fighter will need to do.
“We’re still back-and-forth with media obligations,” McGregor said. “It’s going on right to this second. It’s never-ending. They want to pull you left and right.”
- Andreas Hale at Cagewriter5 days ago
The mere thought of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson fighting in the UFC may sound far-fetched, but it may have been closer to reality than you would originally think.
Before he became a wildly successful actor, the former WWE superstar was tempted to try his hand at mixed martial arts. The Rock revealed his one-time desire to transition from pro wrestling to MMA in an interview on the UFC Unfiltered podcast.
In the early 2000s, The Rock was at the pinnacle of success as a WWE superstar. He was the champion and easily the most recognizable face in sports entertainment – alongside “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. His crossover success opened doors for him to become an actor and Johnson decided to depart from the WWE full-time in 2004 to pursue the new career path. But the success that he hoped for in Hollywood had eluded and, eventually, frustrated him.
- Andreas Hale at Cagewriter5 days ago
There have been questions when (or if) former WWE superstar Phil “CM Punk” Brooks would ever make his UFC debut after signing with the MMA promotion 18 months ago. But CM Punk finally revealed that he will enter the cage at UFC 203 on Sept. 10 in Cleveland.
His opponent will be Mickey Gall, who earned the fight by scoring a 45-second submission victory over Mike Jackson back in February.
- Andreas Hale at Cagewriter6 days ago
Before Ronda Rousey had crossover success in the worlds of mixed martial arts and Hollywood, there was Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. The former UFC light heavyweight champion, who will return to fighting after a one-year layoff when he faces Satoshi Ishii at Bellator 157 on June 24, has seen his fair share of success as an actor as well as a MMA fighter.
After having a prominent role in 2010’s “The A-Team” remake as B.A. Baracus, Rampage could have thrust himself into Hollywood’s arms and tried to balance a career in both. However, the 38-year-old explains that fighters who try to juggle two two careers will likely find themselves failing at one of them.
“There’s no way you can do both at the same time,” Jackson told Yahoo Sports. “You can’t train for a fight and shoot a movie. Your focus has to be on that fight.”
- Andreas Hale at Cagewriter7 days ago
With the rumors and conflicting stories circulating about the possible sale of the UFC, everyone involved with mixed martial arts is weighing in on the future of the biggest organization in all of MMA.
Former UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champion Randy Couture offered his take on the situation during an appearance on ESPN100.
"I've heard a strong rumor that it is sold,” Couture said. “... Lorenzo's [Fertitta] out. Dana [White] is still in. Four-billion-dollar price tag, somewhere thereabouts. I heard from fairly reliable sources that that's happening."
Couture conducted the interview prior to a FloCombat story saying Zuffa had accepted a $4.2 billion bid for the UFC. Couture’s take bears many similarities, but the UFC is vehemently denying that the company has been sold.
- Kevin Iole at Cagewriter8 days ago
A UFC spokesman on Monday shot down a FloCombat report that indicated ownership had accepted an offer of $4.2 billion to sell the company.
Dave Sholler, the UFC's vice president of public relations, athlete marketing and development, sent a statement to Yahoo Sports late Monday denying the story.
"FloCombat.com's report indicating that the UFC has been sold is false," Sholler said in the statement. "We've communicated that to our staff members tonight via an internal memo."
Sholler would not answer questions and UFC president Dana White declined comment. ESPN reported on May 9 that the UFC was in the advanced stages of talks to sell the company. White denied that to Yahoo Sports on that day.
- Andreas Hale at Cagewriter10 days ago
Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson staked his claim as the No. 1 contender to Robbie Lawler’s UFC welterweight title with a tactical dissection of Rory MacDonald en route to a unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night 89 at the TD Place Arena in Ottawa, Canada.
The No. 2-ranked Thompson utilized his world-class kickboxing and takedown defense to nullify any grappling advantages that the No. 1-ranked MacDonald was assumed to have coming into the fight. But it was an extremely technical fight as Thompson carefully placed his punches and kicks while MacDonald, who is a counterstriker, tried his best to find an opening.
In the end, Thompson prevailed with scores of 50-45, 50-45 and 48-47 in a fight that was much closer than the scorecards may indicate.
"Title belt! Robbie Lawler!” Thompson said afterward, clearly indicating that he has his eyes set on the welterweight title. “I want the winner of Robbie Lawler and Tyron Woodley in New York!"
- Andreas Hale at Cagewriter11 days ago
The highly anticipated return of Fedor Emelianenko was expected to be a glorified sparring session – one that would have fight fans salivating for the greatest MMA fighter who has never fought in the UFC to finally appear in the Octagon.
It was anything but.
The legendary Russian fighter barely survived a savage first-round assault by Fabio Maldonado to win a controversial decision in the main event of EFN 50 in St. Petersburg, Russia. It aired live on UFC Fight Pass.
Emelianenko, who is widely regarded as the greatest heavyweight of all-time and once went unbeaten for 10 years, appeared to be on the verge of signing a UFC contract after negotiating with the most prominent MMA organization for several years. All that he had to do was get past Maldonado, a durable fighter but not one who was considered a threat to a fighter the caliber of Emelianenko.