- Ryan McKinnell at Cagewriter11 hrs ago
Life is good when you’re the champ.
It’s even better when you’re the champ coming off one of the most shocking victories in the history of your sport.
Just ask newly-minted UFC women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm. Coming off her head-kick KO over Ronda Rousey earlier this month, Holm has blitzed the national TV circuit with multiple appearances and is showing off her new gold at every stop.
The last week has understandably been a blur for Holm. So, when she found herself making a recent megastar slip-up at a star-studded Las Vegas viewing party for the Miguel Cotto-Canelo Alvarez pay-per-view Saturday, she deservedly earned herself a pass.
“I met Jay-Z,” recalled Holm to Albuquerque’s KRQE, “and he says, ‘This is my wife.’ And I say, ‘Oh, hi, what is your name?’ Because that’s what I do when I meet someone’s wife.
“As I’m shaking her hand, I keep thinking to myself: Why did I just say that? Why did I just say that, that’s Beyoncé. So then Jay-Z is asking me about the fight and I can’t even focus on what he’s saying because I just put my foot in my mouth.”
Holm quickly apologized to Beyoncé, who assured her that it was perfectly fine.
- Ryan McKinnell at Cagewriter12 hrs ago
Three years ago, Jon Jones decided against fighting Chael Sonnen at UFC 151 on eight days' notice.
When he did, the UFC cancelled the entire event, and Jones was rescheduled for a fight against Vitor Belfort at UFC 152 three weeks later.
That wasn’t before UFC president Dana White got in a few choice words about Jones and more specifically his trainer, Greg Jackson, in an official conference call, calling Jackson a ‘sport killer.’
After three years, one would think that bygones would be bygones, and with all the mutual money made between fighter and promoter, that the incident at UFC 151 would be water under the bridge.
Apparently that's not the case for Jon Jones.
“They wanted me to sacrifice everything that I’ve worked for, for the greater good of the company,” Jones said in a revelatory tell-all to MMAFighting.com. “This is a dog-eat-dog world and I’ve seen so many fighters who once they retire they don’t get jobs by the UFC. They don’t get checks by the UFC.
- Ryan McKinnell at Cagewriter5 days ago
Ed Soares knows a thing or two about the fight game.
Primarily known as the bald-headed, soft-spoken manager/guru behind former UFC champions Anderson Silva, Lyoto Machida and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Soares is also a successful gym owner and fight promoter.
In 2006, Soares formed the fight gym, Blackhouse MMA, in Brazil. Then, in late 2009, he moved the operation to Southern California along with his stable of champions. The gym has been a fixture on the MMA scene ever since.
Soares also serves as president of Resurrection Fighting Alliance, which airs on AXS TV and has created a pipeline for fighters to get to the UFC. Among those who have graduated from RFA to the UFC are unbeaten prospects Johnny Case (4-0 in the UFC) and Mirsad Bektic (3-0).
Long established as one of MMA’s top minds, Soares has now turned his attention to boxing.
Blackhouse has created a boxing division that has five fighters under contract. Soares has high hopes for Roy Tapia, an unbeaten super bantamweight who is signed with Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions.
Tapia (11-0-2, 6 KOs) will meet Erik Ruiz Friday at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas in an eight-rounder.
- Kevin Iole at Cagewriter6 days ago
The eight-man one-night tournament is largely a relic of MMA's past. Athletic commissions generally hate them because they present a slew of safety concerns, and fight managers aren't always pleased with them because the best man doesn't always win in an event like this.
But the World Series of Fighting is going to give it a shot on Friday, and give the winner the ultimate prize, a chance at its lightweight championship, currently held by Justin Gaethje.
Ali Abdelaziz, the WSOF's senior vice president, said there have been rules modifications made in an effort to make it safer for the fighters. The finalists are going to have to fight three times for a potential of seven rounds. Fighters will fight two five-minute rounds in the quarterfinals and then again in the semifinals. The tournament championship match will be three five-minute rounds.
In addition, there will be no elbows.
"The reason is that we don't want guys bleeding all over the place," he said.
- Ryan McKinnell at Cagewriter8 days ago
Prior to Saturday’s shocking upset of Ronda Rousey at UFC 193, Holly Holm was a relative unknown to most casual sports fans.
That all changed with a crisp high-kick to Rousey’s face, and now Holm’s career arc is looking more promising than ever.
Not many people know this, but Holly Holm and Ronda Rousey have more in common than just their now-legendary fight.
Much like Rousey, Holm also is an aspiring actress.
Fans can get a glimpse at the new champ in this trailer for “Fight Valley,” featuring other longtime Rousey rivals Miesha Tate, and Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino.
Check it out:
“Aspiring actress,” perhaps, but gosh, that was a chore getting through.
Now, listen. I’m not a movie critic – just a small, petty combat sports journalist – but I’m not sure what I just watched. Of course there was the awesome 2015 nu-metal chorus playing throughout, and who didn’t love all the gratuitous blood (there was even a lesbian kiss!).
I know this is MMA, but let’s try and raise the bar a little bit, shall we? Can we at least not promote every horrible stereotype mixed martial arts represents?
- Ryan McKinnell at Cagewriter8 days ago
Former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva knows first-hand just how devastating a shocking knockout can be for your career – and in a champion’s case, their legacy.
In July 2013, a then-relatively unknown Chris Weidman shocked the MMA world by defeating the “The Spider” with a vicious KO in the second round of their UFC 162 main event. The shocking loss sent Silva’s career into chaos – another loss to Weidman would follow, and then a failed drug test for steroids came in early 2015 after his victory over Nick Diaz.
Needless to say, his legendary career has never quite fully recovered.
So, when UFC women’s bantamweight darling Ronda Rousey got head-kicked into oblivion at Saturday’s UFC 193 by Holly Holm, Silva felt her pain.
Almost immediately the Internet was run amok with cruel photoshops, I-told-you-so snark and brutal images of Rousey’s face – not dissimilar to the very same treatment Silva received two years ago after Weidman knocked him out.
With this in mind, Silva, 40, recently took to social media and shared a heartfelt and lengthy letter to Rousey.
- Kevin Iole at Cagewriter8 days ago
Ali Abdelaziz, the senior vice president of the World Series of Fighting, represented Egypt as an 18-year-old in judo at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. A five-time national champion, Abdelaziz got to know former UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey very well while both were on the judo circuit. He said he's also very close with Justin Flores, Rousey's judo coach.
Abdelaziz, who had a brief career as an MMA fighter, trained at Jackson's in Albuquerque, N.M., for four years, and became close friends with Holly Holm, the woman who dethroned Rousey in one of the greatest upsets in UFC history Saturday in Melbourne, Australia.
Abdelaziz lived in Holm coach Greg Jackson's home and said the new champion "is like a sister to me." He said he still talks to Holm striking coach Mike Winkeljohn at least once a week.
- Andreas Hale at Cagewriter9 days ago
Now that the dust has settled and we are somewhat back to our senses after Holly Holm shocked the world Saturday night with a scintillating second-round knockout of the seemingly indestructible Ronda Rousey at UFC 193, it’s time to put into perspective how big of an upset this was in the history of combat sports.
Let’s be clear: regardless of whatever revisionist history takes place over the next several months in which some will suggest they were confident Holm would win, it was hard to find anyone on fight night who thought Holm would even make it out of the first round.
But Holm did the unthinkable and completely dismantled Rousey en route to a knockout that will be remembered for years to come. So how does this upset stack up to the biggest stunners in combat sports histoy?
- Ryan McKinnell at Cagewriter9 days ago
Ronda Rousey took a beating on Saturday night at UFC 193.
And not just any beating. The beating. Holly Holm, the former boxing and kickboxing world champion, kicked “Rowdy” so hard in the head it only took a matter of seconds before social media was blasted with snarky memes and brutal images of Rousey’s bloodied face.
Even Rousey’s two biggest rivals, Miesha Tate and Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino, got in the mix, reveling in Rousey’s misery.
But as one old, washed-up fictional boxer once said: “It ain’t about how hard you can hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”
Rousey has her hands full coming back from Saturday night and the memories of Holly Holm, but she has always appeared as one of the more mentally tough fighters in any weight class.
In fact, the former champ took to social media on Sunday night to let everybody know that, yes, she got hit, but rest assured, she’ll be moving forward as a professional fighter.
Popular MMA video on Yahoo Sports:
- Ryan McKinnell at Cagewriter9 days ago
It comes as no surprise that Holly Holm was emotional in various interviews after her win over Ronda Rousey at Saturday’s UFC 193.
After all, Rousey is the biggest star in the entire sport, male or female, and she was a previously unbeaten wrecking machine of previously unseen proportions.
And Holly Holm ended all that with one, swift kick to the head.
So, when Holm broke down in various interviews after the fight, she became an endearing replacement to the icy persona Rousey had portrayed for years.
After the fight concluded, Holm answered questions in the bowels of Etihad Stadium in Melbourne. Emotions were running high, and Holm admitted she hadn't had much time to let the moment fully sink in.
“This fight was a lot for me, mentally,” Holm said. “I couldn’t tell you how many times I cried in the gym leading up to this fight. It’s a lot to take in. But those kind of fights are the ones that, a loss is that devastating, but a win is that sweet of a victory. It’s uncomfortable sometimes, but I just really like to take the chance and believe in myself.