- Ryan McKinnell at Cagewriter13 hrs ago
Ronda Rousey is quite the imposing figure. Just ask her opponents; the majority of whom were finished inside the first round.
At 28, Rousey is one of the most feared and respected champions in all of combat sports. One fighter who recognizes Rousey’s skill – and is impressed by her physique – is UFC interim featherweight champion Conor McGregor.
“Notorious” is not one for throwing praise at his contemporaries; in fact, it’s usually the opposite. But the flamboyant champion makes an exception for Rousey.
- Ryan McKinnell at Cagewriter1 day ago
When UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey called out Floyd Mayweather in her ESPY acceptance speech, “Rowdy” unquestionably added a few more fans to her corner.
Four-time NBA league MVP LeBron James was not one of them – that’s because he was already an admirer of the 28-year-old fighting phenom long before she took home the night’s award for “Best Fighter.”
An admirer from a distance, apparently.
@DatDudeDHoov As long as she wanted me to last. I wanted to introduce myself to her at the ESPYs but didn't want her to kick my butt.
- Kevin Iole at Cagewriter1 day ago
The World Series of Fighting on Wednesday will name 50-year-old digital media executive Carlos Silva as its new chief executive officer.
Silva has an extensive background in digital media and sports television and said he hopes to use all available platforms to make the World Series a bigger player in the MMA space.
It already has a television deal with NBC and NBC Sports Network, but is generally regarded as the No. 3 promotion in the U.S. behind the UFC and Bellator.
Silva isn't necessarily looking to take down either of the two MMA giants, though matchmaker Ali Abdel-Aziz insists he's going to seek out the best talent on the market. Abdel-Aziz told Yahoo Sports he plans to make a competitive offer to free agent heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko, who recently announced his intention to come out of retirement.
Silva's goal is to overhaul the World Series' website that will not only have comprehensive information about it, its fighters and events, but also about all of MMA.
Live sports events are the lifeblood of TV networks, Silva said, and the WSOF wants to support that with a rich website that will become a destination for fans.
- Ryan McKinnell at Cagewriter4 days ago
Chicago -- When Renan Barao lost his title to T.J. Dillashaw at UFC 173 in the summer of 2014, many thought that it was a fluke.
After all, Dillashaw was a relative unknown coming out of the Ultimate Fighter feeder system and Barao hadn’t lost in 33 fights over the span of a decade.
On Saturday, Dillashaw shut out any talk of ‘luck’ and picked the Brazilian apart once again, to further cement his place atop the UFC’s 135-pound division.
“I came out more aggressive this time,” Dillashaw said post-fight. “I train harder than him, in my mind.”
Dillashaw admitted being “really pumped” by his performance and that’s for good reason.
After having the rematch with Barao cancelled on two different occasions (Aug. 2014, April 2015) Dillashaw finally got to show everyone in the world what he already knew: he could beat Renan Barao again. And this time was perhaps even more impressive than the first.
Dillashaw came out with a stiff jab and established an authoritative pace from the outset. He battled some early leg kicks from the Brazilian – a signature of Barao’s – and never lost focus.
- Ryan McKinnell at Cagewriter4 days ago
CHICAGO - Miesha Tate has already fought and lost to UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey on two occasions.
And after a gritty performance against Jessica Eye at Saturday’s UFC on FOX, “Cupcake” is once again eyeing down a fight against the world’s most dominant female fighter.
This goes without saying that Rousey must get past Brazilian Bethe Correia at UFC 190 in a week, but when you’re a fighter like Rousey – who evokes visions of a dominant prime 80's Mike Tyson -- it can be quite easy looking for the ‘next’ challenge.
And Tate is seemingly very ready for the challenge to conquer Rousey once again.
The fight with Eye was a battle from the opening frame. Before the first 60 seconds had concluded, Tate was already bloodied from the sneaky jabs of Eye.
Tate weathered the early storm from the Cleveland native and showed improved -- and patient – striking.
Tate's finest moment came midway into the second round when she clipped Eye with a looping over-hand right that sent her opponent reeling to the canvas. It wasn’t a textbook display of overwhelming technique, but it got the job done and Tate quickly followed up with punches on the ground.
- Ryan McKinnell at Cagewriter5 days ago
Life is good when you’re an undefeated fighter coming off a highlight-reel knockout -– just ask UFC lightweight Paul Felder.
Felder, 31, is six months removed from a stunning spinning back-fist knockout of Danny Castillo at UFC 182. The knockout, which was only Felder’s second fight in the company, earned the Philadelphia native a nice $50,000 performance bonus at the end of the night, and had the MMA world buzzing about his future potential.
Felder was all smiles as he fielded questions during a UFC on Fox 16 interview.
“It’s surreal, but I really think it helps,” admitted Felder when discussing all the extra attention. “I don’t think it makes it any better for you to sit in your hotel room and think about the fight. I’ve done all the work I need to do, now it’s time to enjoy this.”
Felder comes from Team Jackson-Winklejohn in Albuquerque, New Mexico. A main training partner and part-time mentor just happens to be another fighter who isn’t much for lollygagging during fight week: Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone.
- Ryan McKinnell at Cagewriter5 days ago
It's been more than two years since UFC fans last saw Tom Lawlor.
It was April 6, 2013 when Lawlor tore his MCL, ACL, and meniscus in a winning effort against Michael Kuiper. On Saturday, "Filthy Tom" makes his return, squaring off against Gian Villante at UFC on FOX 16.
A lot has changed in those two years. For one, Lawlor is a bit heavier these days; he'll be facing off against Villante at light heavyweight, after a career spent fighting at middleweight.
But those aren't the changes Lawlor is concerned with.
"It's just almost like [a] completely different regime from 2013 until now," Lawlor said to Yahoo Sports. "[Former UFC coordinator Burt Watson is] gone – different front office people. The way things are handled in the office is different. I've had some issues getting stuff with medicals done that I didn't have before."
And of course there is the issue of the Reebok sponsorship.
"With the whole Reebok thing, honestly, it's just a different UFC than it was before," he said. "I feel like even a lot of the fighters are on edge. It's just not as friendly of an environment."
- Kevin Iole at Cagewriter8 days ago
The greatest thing about writing about fights and those involved in them for nearly three decades are the wonderful people you meet along the way.
Men, for example, like Stitch Duran and Burt Watson. Duran and Watson are UFC workers who did jobs that are so anonymous and so dreary so well that they became minor celebrities.
Duran is one of the finest cut men in boxing and mixed martial arts. People have been fighting each other for money for more than 100 years, and almost from the time they began, there was someone alongside to tend to them when, inevitably, they were cut.
Until Duran came along, these cut men were virtually anonymous. A few had a bit of notoriety within the tightly knit fight community, but it was mostly because of how effective they were at their jobs.
A cut man as a celebrity, though? It was a laughable notion. And then Jacob “Stitch” Duran came along and, sure enough, he became a celebrity.
The guy wrote a book on his life that has played to rave reviews on Amazon. He’s hounded for photos in Germany, where he’s nearly as big of a star as the fighters he helps.
- Ryan McKinnell at Cagewriter9 days ago
For as bad as Nick Diaz’s career has gone inside the cage, it hasn’t exactly been a cakewalk outside of the Octagon either.
Diaz, who is currently riding a three-fight losing streak, is awaiting a disciplinary hearing by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for a failed pre-fight drug test prior to his UFC 183 bout with Anderson Silva.
However, it is his dual DUIs from 2013 and 2014 in Lodi, California, that will have him serving some jail time.
Rest easy, Diaz fans: It’s only for a couple days.
Diaz’s lawyers struck a deal with prosecutors that had him pleading no contest to DUI with a .08 or higher. With the plea, the 31-year-old will see the rest of his charges thrown out – along with his second DUI.
He was sentenced to two days in jail, three years of informal probation and he must complete DUI education courses. Diaz will receive credit for time served, and is expected to serve 24 hours in jail later this month.
- Kevin Iole at Cagewriter13 days ago
An Andrea Bocelli concert at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas on Dec. 5has led to the UFC's decision to look at the Dallas Cowboys' AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, as the venue for the featherweight title fight between champion Jose Aldo and interim champion Conor McGregor, sources have told Yahoo Sports.
MGM Resorts officials booked the Bocelli concert for Dec. 5 in its Grand Garden, the same night that UFC 194 will be held. Assuming his rib injury is sufficiently healed, the UFC plans to have the hotly anticipated Aldo-McGregor match headline that card. As a result, the MGM wanted to move the UFC card across Las Vegas Boulevard to Mandalay Bay.
But Mandalay Bay is a vastly smaller venue, with a seating capacity for a mixed martial arts card at less than 12,000. The UFC crammed a Nevada-record 16,019 fans into the MGM for UFC 189 on July 11, when McGregor stopped Chad Mendes to win the interim belt.