UFC signs deal with Weibo, China's Facebook
The UFC has signed a strategic partnership deal with Weibo, China’s leading social media platform, as it looks to raise its profile in the country. Weibo, with over 400 million active monthly users, will become the official social media platform of the UFC in China. The partnership will produce a variety of content for fans, including exclusive interviews, highlights, fight announcements, and more. Additionally, highlights will also be shown from the UFC Performance Institute in Shanghai, the world’s largest MMA facility; costing a reported US$13 million to build, PI China is set to open in the second quarter of 2019. h/t Sports Pro Media
Duke Roufus: I'm going to act 209 in training Pettis for Diaz
Duke Roufus, whose protege Anthony Pettis fights Nate Diaz on August 17 at UFC 241: “I respect the Diaz brothers and I respect their stance. That being said, their stance is easy to fight — their mentality, they’re not going to like you. ... It’s kinda like the scene in Scarface — ‘For a green card, I’ll kill him. But oh, he’s a communist? Then I’m going to carve him up real nice.’ That’s the mentality he has when he doesn’t like guys, so that’s why I’m looking forward to this one. ... A funny story Joe Silva told me years ago about when Nate fought Clay Guida, he kept saying ‘209 bitch’ the whole time during the fight. [Guida] comes back to the corner and asks his coach, ‘What’s 209? I don’t know.’ He’s in your face. So I’m going to be a crazy coach, I’m going to be talking a lot of mess in training to Anthony. That’s some of the psychological tricks my brothers and I used to do growing up. I’m a method coach — when he’s fighting one of the guys I’m fighting, I become that guy in the pads, I become that guy in training, so they get used to that mentality; a guy trash-talking, up in your face, howling and scowling the best way they can from the 209. So I’m going to integrate and get into that mindset. I’m going to be a homie for a while.” h/t MMA Fighting • Watch The MMA Hour
Aldo comments on UFC 237 loss
I would like to thank everyone who was there in the arena and in their homes. Thank you very much, thank all my team Andre Pederneiras, Maria Amélia Bogéa, Flavia Guidarelli, the trainers Emerson Falcão, Aleksandro Ferreira, Piratiev Wrestling Team, Rafael Vinicius Bertho got me like I've never been before!
But I have never fought so badly in my life, with no excuses because I am not like that. Not taking any merit away from my opponent, he fought his fight, but I'm upset with myself, and I transfer all responsibility to myself because I let it happen, and I did not do the fight I was supposed to do. It's over now and we're going to the next! h/t Instagram • via Google translate
Combate Americas main and co-main set for 6/7 in Tucson
There's a new main and co-main for the “Cricket Wireless Presents Combate Americas: Tucson Unbreakable” return to AVA Amphitheater at Casino Del Sol in Tucson, AZ, presented by Cricket Wireless, on Friday, June 7, streaming live in English in the U.S. and Canada on DAZN (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT). Former world champion Jose “Pochito” Alday of Tucson fights Juan Pablo “El Molo” Gonzalez of Buenos Aires, Argentina in the main; Irwin “The Beast” Rivera was originally to fight Alday, but was forced to withdraw. Also announced today was a lightweight co-main event featuring the return of 9-0 phenom Rafa “Gifted” Garcia, who will face the most seasoned opponent of his career in Estevan “El Terrible” Payan (17-12, 1 NC).
Anderson Silva: Why pain is your friend
”Until the limit, pain is your friend. It shows you’re not dead yet. They say that great symbols become great targets. Maybe. But the most important thing is not to victimize yourself. If you fall, get up. If it’s broken, fix it. No giving up or thinking that you can’t because you lost one battle. The saying is, I’m going until the end and the more they pressure me, the more I’ll want to to go until the end. There’s nothing more wild than feeling sorry for yourself. An old lion, surrounded by hungry hyenas, crazy to eat him, and he stills fights until death without ever giving up or feeling sorry for himself. And it won’t be different with me. Strength and honor.” h/t Instagram • MMA Fighting
Michael Bisping: Anderson Silva doesn't need to fight again
“Anderson Silva is a true legend of the sport. He’s given so much, a longtime champion, but he’s 44 years old. A lot of people wondered, ‘Why is he still fighting?’ I think tonight, even though he looked OK, the fight obviously ended. He took an inside leg kick and I think that he tore his ACL. I don’t think we’ll ever see Anderson Silva fight again. He certainly doesn’t need to. Father Time has caught him up. With the greatest of respect, Anderson Silva needs to retire. He’s already given so much to this sport. He doesn’t need to give anymore. Enjoy retirement.” h/t MMA Fighting • Watch
'Super' Sage Northcutt ready for ONE: Enter the Dragon
Northcutt, who fights former Muay Thai world champion Cosmo 'Good Boy' Alexandre in his promotional debut, at ONE Championship on Friday, 17 May: "I’m actually fighting in Singapore. I think that’s going to be the coolest thing – fighting overseas for the first time for mixed martial arts. That’s going to be so much fun. ONE Championship has the most world whampions out of any league. So not only do they have mixed martial arts, but they also have kickboxing, they have Muay Thai, they have submission grappling, and they’ve even had boxing. I’m always looking to go for the finish. I love striking, and Cosmo Alexandre is a great striker, so it will be fun getting to strike with a great striker. I know ONE Championship will love that, and I’m looking forward to putting on a great show doing that. I’m going to fight smart, too. I’m so excited, and it’s going to be so much fun. I can’t wait to get out there.” h/t Newsie
A.J. McKee wants to fight Patricio Freire for either Bellator belt, or both
A.J. McKee decisioned former featherweight champion Pat Curran at Bellator 221, while current featherweight champ Patricio Freire ascended to champ championhood with a KO win over now former lightweight champ Michael Chandler. Now McKee wants it all: “What belt do you want to fight me for? ’45? ’55? Which one do you want to give me? I just beat a former champ. I’m ready for that belt. He’s ready. Chandler’s going to need some time to recover a little bit – he did get rocked. You can call it an early stoppage. I feel it was an early stoppage. But at the end of the day, he got rocked. … Meanwhile, let me get one of these belts.” The route to a title shot may be a spot in this fall's 16-man Bellator featherweight GP, but McKee has reservations: “I would have a little problem with it, honestly, just because it’s not just about the belt. It’s about that check at the end of the day. Me going into that tournament as champion, that’s a whole different level of money for me.”
The Rules, #173: Never bicker bitterly on Twitter with Ben Askren
Ben Askren: Jake Hager just said “I have a boner”! One of the weirdest post-fight speeches ever.
Jack Swagger: You’re talking about weird Funky?
Ben Askren: I may do some strange things, but getting aroused by grappling men who have very little skill is not one of them.
Ronda Rousey: UFC debut felt bigger than WrestleMania
“[WrestleMania] felt big, it’s just I think it just has to do with the time, with the perspective. Me and Liz Carmouche, it felt bigger to me. Even though it was years ago and not as many people watched and it was in the Honda Center, which maybe holds like 16 to 20 thousand compared to WrestleMania, where it was in front of like 80,000 people and millions of people watching. I just felt like me and Carmouche was the most pivotal moment, where everything had to happen that way or else women’s MMA would have ended before it started.n With WrestleMania, it just felt like all the stars were aligned and the whole universe was conspiring for us to succeed and I had not a single doubt in my mind that we would. But for Carmouche, it was so many outside factors of like, the numbers had to do well and I had to win the match, but I had to win the match in an exciting way. There were just so many other different factors that I had to worry about and I feel like the stakes were higher in a way even though the venue and the audience was smaller.” h/t MMA Fighting • Watch Megan Olivi interview
Is this the 2019 coach of the year?
French bantamweight prospect Tom Duquesnoy retires at 25
LFA 66 highlights
Bellator 221 highlights
MVP gives a lesson in how to lose with class
Michael Page, who's undefeated record ended Saturday night vs. Douglas Lima in the Bellator World Welterweight Grand Prix semis: “In all honesty, if I could lose to anybody I’m glad it was him. He’s an amazing martial artist and person. Right away I said I respected this man. If I could lose to anybody it would be him. So I’m kind of over it. It’s more about bouncing back now and what path I should take. ... It’s not over for me. I’m going to enjoy the comments after this one. I know a lot of people have been waiting for it. I’m going to enjoy it. I’m going to soak it up, and then I’m going to go piss some more people off.” h/t MMA Junkie • Watch
Rose Namajunas: Not making any decisions, but I want to do something else
”I realized once I’ve become a champ and defending the belt, having the belt itself is ... it’s cool, but it doesn’t mean as much as I think people put meaning on it. It’s just a materialistic thing that ends up controlling your life, and really, it’s like ... I went out there and had fun and I challenged myself. I have so many other things to look forward to. It’s just a part of me and it’s an accomplishment. Maybe I’ll get it again, maybe I won’t. I don’t know. Maybe I’ll never do this again. We’ll see. I definitely know I can beat her. ... I just want to do something else with my life right now. I don’t know. We’ll see. I’m not going to make any decisions right now. I don’t know. It was just ... hard to keep having fun with this.” h/t MMA Mania • Watch interview with TSN's Aaron Bronsteter
Conor McGregor reacts to BJ Penn losses
UFC Hall of Famer BJ Penn, 40, set a UFC record for straight losses, with 7; there's a widespread feeling he'd be better off retired, but Conor McGregor disagreed in a new deleted tweet: "Soldier on soldier! Zero concussive KOs on record. Some repetitive blows yes. But zero lights out. There are fighters with way worse on the clock, way more mental issues, and are paraded to continue. People in this game are fools. Blind sheep.” h/t Low Kick MMA
Patricio Freire wants to box Canelo Alvarez
Both Bellator and Canelo Alvarez stream on DAZN, and after Patricio Freire became Bellator champ champ on Saturday night, the Brazilian discussed fighting the obvious next fight, A.J. McKee, and insanely large money fight: “[McKee] was afraid. Let’s do. I’m going to kill him. If he can do it at featherweight, let’s go.” But the first choice is boxing Canelo: “I think I can do well with him. I watched his last fight, and I believe I can fight him. Now I have two belts. He has a lot of belts, too, and it’s going to be a good match.” Freire hadn’t Bellator president Scott Coker or DAZN about the idea, but he has now simply by floating the idea. h/t MMA Junkie • Watch
Jessica Andrade breaks down the title winning slam
"Blood got in my eyes and I couldn’t see anything, but I stayed calm because the strategy was right. ... When I put her against the fence, [my coach] said, ‘Go for it, go for it because it will work.’ ... I saw her lying there, that she was out, and I still landed two punches before the referee stepped in. But I hadn’t realized how serious it was. I got worried because we train to go in there and fight and everyone comes out okay. She woke up later and I relaxed, ‘Okay, I can celebrate for real now because she’s fine. Everything went fine, I didn’t kill her [laughs].’ I didn’t imagine that would happen. I believe the pile driver worked because she kept holding my arm and I think she was going for a submission, but since I took her too high and moved her over my head and threw her, there was no way, she fell on her face and went out immediately.” h/t MMA Fighting • Watch post-fight press conference