- Ryan McKinnell at Cagewriter20 hrs ago
Ronda Rousey is all about setting trends and breaking records.
Labeled the “World’s Most Dominant Athlete” by Sports Illustrated, “Rowdy” has had an unreal 2015.
At UFC 191, Rousey snagged her first million-buy PPV – a first for women, and a rarity for men – when she knocked out Bethe Correia in the first round.
The fight against Correia wasn’t the champ’s first career KO, but it was her first, clean, one-punch knockout. And it came in the midst of a blossoming Hollywood career (Entourage, Fast 7).
Rousey even published a best-selling autobiography in 2015, “My Fight, Your Fight.” It is currently being adapted into a feature film with Rousey set to play the lead.
Now, the 28-year-old superstar is adding another ‘first’ to her résumé: SportsCenter anchor.
ESPN announced in a press release that the UFC bantamweight champion will be hosting Wednesday’s 6 p.m. ET edition of SportsCenter alongside Lindsay Czarniak.
It will be the first time a female athlete has co-hosted the flagship program.
- Ryan McKinnell at Cagewriter22 hrs ago
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson's future as a fighter doesn't look good.
Jackson, 37, returned to the UFC in April after spending 2013-2014 fighting for the UFC's rival, Viacom-owned Bellator.
He would leave Bellator after only three fights, citing breach of contract and quickly re-signing with the UFC.
The UFC booked Jackson's return fight for the co-main event of UFC 186 against Fabio Maldonado. Unfortunately for fans, days before the fight, Jackson was slapped with a lawsuit from Viacom citing their own breach of contract.
Viacom and Bellator won their preliminary injunction against Jackson and he was removed from UFC 186.
Then, in a surprising fight-week twist, a New Jersey Superior Court Judge overturned the preliminary ruling, making Jackson eligible to compete. And the fight was back on.
Jackson won a unanimous decision against Maldonado, in what would be his fourth win in a row.
And according to the former light heavyweight champ — who is still battling Viacom in court — that might have been the last time you ever see "Rampage" Jackson fight again.
- Ryan McKinnell at Cagewriter1 day ago
UFC fighter Nick Diaz’s five-year suspension for marijuana is getting a lot of attention.
Marijuana is being discussed more frequently and with more tolerance than at any other time in history. States are legalizing (or talking about legalizing) and politicians are using their thoughts on the drug as a regular talking point heading into the 2016 presidential elections.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission gave their thoughts on the drug and people were shocked at the half-decade exile. After all, Nevada has dealt with repeat steroid abusers and been far more lenient with them in years past.
Incensed fans and advocates immediately petitioned through WhiteHouse.gov to have the ruling examined.
- Andreas Hale at Cagewriter1 day ago
The highly competitive showdown that saw Daniel Cormier retain his light heavyweight title against Alexander Gustafsson on Saturday night at UFC 192 had many MMA fans gushing over the entertaining bout on social media, including one who had a vested interest in the outcome.
Jon “Bones” Jones, who was embroiled in a heated rivalry with Cormier and had his toughest test in the Octagon against Gustafsson, had been silently sitting on the social media sidelines after he was stripped of the title – which Cormier now holds – and subsequently suspended after some personal problems and a run-in with the law.
- Ryan McKinnell at Cagewriter2 days ago
On May 29, 2010, UFC fighter Rashad Evans met Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at UFC 114 in Las Vegas.
The fight against Jackson was a rousing success, reaching one million buys. With that, it catapulted Evans into select company as one of the only fighters to ever reach that coveted benchmark.
Jackson and Evans had a heated, visceral rivalry. And fans responded accordingly by making Evans one of the most popular stars in the UFC after his unanimous decision victory over “Rampage” on that summer night five years ago.
Three years later, in 2013, Evans would defeat Chael Sonnen at UFC 167. That fight against Sonnen would be the last fans would see of “Suga” for the next two years, as lingering knee and leg problems stalled his career.
The former light heavyweight champion made his long awaited returned to the Octagon on Saturday against No. 4-ranked Ryan Bader.
Unfortunately for the 36-year-old veteran, the time away from the cage was too much to overcome, as Bader earned a unanimous decision victory over Evans (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
The story of the fight wasn’t so much Evans’ obvious ring rust, as much as it was a showcase for Bader’s continued improvement in his stand-up attack.
- Kevin Iole at Cagewriter4 days ago
When then-champion Jon Jones defended the light heavyweight championship against Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165 in Toronto in 2013, much of the marketing centered around Gustafsson's height advantage.
The 6-4 Jones had run roughshod through some of the best competition in the history of the division, and few were seriously giving the 6-5 Gustafsson much of a chance. And so when the UFC played up the difference in height, fans and media alike scoffed.
But it took everything in Jones' power to win a decision that night in a fight that was much more difficult than expected. And that came even though Jones only gave up one inch in height and enjoyed a five-inch edge in reach.
On Saturday at UFC 192 at the Toyota Center in Houston, reigning light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier will make the first defense of the belt he won in May when he meets Gustafsson. And this time, the 5-11 Cormier will give away six inches in height and seven inches in reach to the Swedish challenger.
Rashad Evans talks about his fight with Ryan Bader, friend Daniel Cormier’s obsession with Jon JonesAndreas Hale at Cagewriter5 days ago
Rashad Evans knows exactly what it’s like to come up on the losing end of an emotionally charged feud with Jon Jones.
In 2011, he and Jones had a massive falling out after an injured Evans was replaced by Jones to face then-light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. After Jones won the title, Evans decided to depart Jackson’s MMA, where he was a teammate of Jones’, to start the Blackzilians and a bitter war of words ensued. Unfortunately for Evans, he was unable to pry the title from Jones at UFC 145 in April 2012.
As Evans discussed his return to face Ryan Bader at UFC 192, he also talked about Jones, the legal troubles that culminated with his former teammate being stripped of the light heavyweight title, and Jones’ heated feud with Daniel Cormier.
“It’s kind of hard,” Evans said about watching Jones’ fall from grace. “I would like to believe that if I was there and we built up our relationship stronger that I would have been able to pull his coat when I saw him going down the wrong path.”
- Ryan McKinnell at Cagewriter5 days ago
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell knows a thing or two about fighting aggressively.
“The Iceman” ruled over the 205-pound division in the mid-2000s. With his signature Mohawk and devastating right hand, Liddell pummeled his way into the UFC Hall of Fame. Now at age 45, Liddell is enjoying his retirement as a UFC company man.
Despite being in the front office, Liddell still keeps up with the fights.
One fighter Liddell doesn't enjoy watching, however, is one of the UFC's greatest champions: Jon "Bones" Jones.
Liddell won 21 fights in his professional career. Thirteen of those came by way of knockout (with one submission). In an era of dominating punchers, Liddell threw caution to the wind and engaged in wild – sometimes reckless – brawls.
And if Liddell had his way, so would Jon Jones.
"He fights too safe," Liddell said about Jones in a recent interview with rapper Snoop Dogg. "Here's the problem. Like [Georges St-Pierre], I love GSP. He's a great fighter. He makes some really good guys look stupid but he doesn't try to finish fights. He likes to go out, beat you, follow the game plan, make sure he wins the fight.
- Ryan McKinnell at Cagewriter5 days ago
Shortly after being knocked unconscious by Anthony Johnson in January in front of 30,000 of his hometown fans, Alexander Gustafsson found himself in a bad place.
In a fight that he absolutely couldn’t lose, he lost.
Gustafsson is from Arboga, Sweden, which lies 95 miles west of the Tele2 Arena in Stockholm – the arena where the fight with Johnson took place.
Those 30,000-plus in attendance were there to see one man, and one man only. And he let them down.
Gustafsson, 28, was so shaken by the devastating knockout that he contemplated retirement.
“I was supposed to win this fight, but I didn’t,” admitted Gustafsson to MMAJunkie back in June. “I was thinking about that: To quit the sport. I was really depressed after the fight.”
That was a startling revelation for a fighter to make – especially one with such a high standing in the sport, and with such a presumably large paycheck to go along with it.
In the fight world, an admission like that could also be perceived as mental weakness.
And in the fight world, mental weakness or even the impression of mental weakness could be your proverbial death knell.
- Ryan McKinnell at Cagewriter7 days ago
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is one step closer to becoming a professional athlete again.
On Tuesday, Jones appeared in Bernalillo County Court to answer for his part in an April hit-and-run that left a local pregnant woman with a broken arm. Jones pleaded guilty to a felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident and was granted a conditional discharge by Judge Charles Brown.
Under the requirements of the plea deal, Jones will serve 18 months of supervised probation and be required to make 72 appearances for various charities and speaking engagements with children.
After the ruling was handed down, Jones released a statement to the media.