- Andreas Hale at Cagewriter8 hrs ago
When it was announced that Brock Lesnar would return to the UFC to compete at UFC 200 against Mark Hunt, it came as a huge surprise to everyone. Not just because Lesnar had not competed in the Octagon since December of 2011, but also because he was in the middle of a contract with the WWE where he had recently participated in their annual Wrestlemania event.
As proposed by the WWE, this fight would be a one-off opportunity and the former UFC heavyweight champion would return to the WWE for their SummerSlam event in August regardless of whether he won or lost against Hunt.
WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon explained why the pro wrestling promotion would allow Lesnar to go back to the UFC, even if it is just for one night.
“Brock is a unique proposition, but just to get to the broader question: UFC is not a competitor to the WWE because we are entertainment and UFC is competitive sport,” McMahon said in an interview with Business Insider. “It’s very different. WWE is all about protagonists and antagonists where ultimately our conflicts are settled in the ring with action that is akin to Hollywood.”
- Cagewriter8 hrs ago
Sage Northcutt wasn’t old enough to drive when Brock Lesnar annihilated Frank Mir at UFC 100 in 2009. Most kids that were Northcutt’s age were going through puberty and had no idea what the future held for them.
But not Sage Northcutt.
Unlike most 13-year-olds, Northcutt was already a highly decorated martial artist who had won multiple world championships while having stamps in his passport from Russia and Italy, among other countries.
Seven years later, the 20-year-old will be fighting Enrique Marin on a historic UFC card that will again feature Brock Lesnar. As we’ve come to expect from the young fighter, the sheer notion of this is nothing short “awesome.”
“Brock is awesome!” Northcutt told Yahoo Sports when asked what it is like to share a card with one of the most popular MMA figures of all-time. But in true Northcutt fashion, he had to spread the awesomeness around.
“Everybody who is fighting at UFC 200 is awesome! It’s going to be awesome to get to meet everybody. I’m excited.”
If you’re counting, that’s three awesomes in four sentences.
- Andreas Hale at Cagewriter10 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.
The walkout song is an integral part of a fighter’s personality. Although, it doesn’t have anything to do with what happens inside of the Octagon, it’s the first thing that fans see before the gladiator goes to combat. Some fighters just want to get the walk over with so they pick something and make their way to the cage.
But then there are those fighters who put a lot of thought into the songs they choose and how the make their entrance. Some look to intimidate while others pick something that is reflective of their personality.
These are our top 10 walkout songs:
10. Roy Nelson: Weird Al Yankovic – “Fat”
- Kevin Iole at Cagewriter1 day ago
Dana White doesn’t have a lot of free time on his hands, but the UFC president devotes what little he does to watching The Cartoon Network.
OK, to be fair, White has become, in his words, “a crazy, huge fan,” of Adult Swim, a cable network that airs from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. ET/PT on The Cartoon Network.
He sits in front of the television every evening laughing at shows like “King of the Hill,” “Bob’s Burgers,” “Family Guy,” “The Cleveland Show,” and “American Dad.”
The commercials on Adult Swim are, again in White’s inimitable style, “crazy [expletive] up stuff that is targeted at the younger generation.” All the blockbuster movies are advertised on the network, though in a non-traditional way.
White got so into the network that he began to research it, as well as its ratings and its audience. What he learned in essence was that Adult Swim’s audience and the MMA audience is eerily similar.
The demographic for the channel is 18-to-34-year-old males which, coincidentally, happens to be the UFC’s primary demo.
- Andreas Hale at Cagewriter2 days 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 Cagewriter2 days 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 Cagewriter3 days 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 Cagewriter7 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 Cagewriter7 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 Cagewriter8 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.”