UFC leaves FOX with a big bang
UFC on FOX 31, the final fight before ESPN becomes the league's new broadcast partner had the highest overnight ratings in two years - 2,153,000 viewers, 0.7 in the 18-49 demo, #1 among the major networks, according to Dave Meltzer: "The fast nationals measure only the 8-10 p.m time slot for FOX and the corresponding network slots, 7-9 p.m. Central, 6-8 p.m. Mountain and 8-10 p.m. Pacific. Because of that, it measures lower rated filler programming on the West Coast where the show aired starting at 5 p.m. In addition, most of the Iaquinta vs. Lee fight took place after 10 p.m., meaning it wasn’t measured. So, with a five-round main event where the outcome was in doubt until the finish, and West Coast numbers added in, the final numbers should be significantly higher." h/t MMA Fighting
Diaz denies he has signed to fight Jorge Masvidal at UFC 235
“I think it’s rude of the UFC to try and lowball me and expect me to negotiate a deal while I’m training for a fight. It’s not gonna go down like that. If anybody wants to fight me they know where to find me. I’m not a hard guy to find. Come get some. I have a lot going on trying to manage a few different businesses. Once things make sense for everybody in that they actually have some fighters that they respect and I respect, we can try and come to a deal and do a show. That’s how I feel. As soon as I am in a good place with what I’m working on and things look the way it should, I’ll be happy to give the fans what they need,” Diaz said. “But I think they will be OK for now with what’s out there. There aren’t any fights for me until someone stands out. I’ll fight if they can be more reasonable, but, really, I didn’t even talk about what it would or could [take]. They are the one’s tripping. I’ll walk through Woodley. He knows it. I didn’t need to say [in response to him]. That man has a life. I fight for one, like I always have.” h/t ESPN
10-0 Indian fighter: Brave will transform Indian MMA
India's undefeated Kantaraj Shankar fights Jordan's Jalal Al Daaja at Brave 20 on December 22: "I come from a traditional wrestling background and adopted Judo in the past. In our tradition, we are taught to always respect our opponents. So when it comes to Jalal, I just want to tell him all the best and welcome to India. I will give my best in the cage and will fight to win. It is always a great honor for me to represent my country. It will be a proud moment to compete in front of my people. In India, there are so many talented athletes. The global exposure will definitely benefit them to come forward and embrace their passion. By introducing International fighters and global standards within an Indian scenario, Brave Combat Federation is pushing Indian athletes to improve their skills and level of performance. This is beneficial for the sport and to improve the current state of Mixed Martial Arts in India. Eventually, I dream to train at the famous KHK MMA Bahrain." h/t SportsKeeda
Coker on cancellation of UFC 233: They ran out of bullets
“It didn’t work out for them because to me, it’s a roster issue. Who’s gonna fight? And if you’re gonna bring somebody to fight against the Fedor-Bader card, which is free on Paramount and on DAZN, and you’re gonna run on pay-per-view, you better have you’re A-Game. I just think they ran out of bullets, so here we are.” h/t BE • Watch
3 life certainties: Death, taxes, and Nick Newell putting @$$es in seat in CT
Time to stop saying 'Queer Street'?
Blessed breaks down his ink
Olympic Judo coach Satoshi Ishii teaches 'New Kimura'
Brave pres has big plans for Shorty' Torres
Mohammed Shahid: "Brave is setting unprecedented marks in the sport since it first came to the scene, less than 30 months ago. 'Shorty' Torres is a long-time associate of KHK MMA and His Highness Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa's initiatives, and having him back, as one of the hottest and most disputed free agents in the market, cements our position as the fastest-growing promotion in the world. Torres has accomplished a lot in his career so far but we're positive that the best days are still yet to come, and that is a vision that he shares. He's a fighter with a potential to be among the best in both the flyweight and bantamweight divisions, and we're already sitting and discussing what's going to be his first step alongside Brave CF."
Sub of the Week wasn't UFC or Bellator ...
Hooker staying in hospital an extra day for observation
Iaquinta wants Conor McGregor
"With the right preparation, with the right fight, I can beat anybody in the lightweight division. If Conor thinks he's getting a rematch [vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov] before me I think that's some nonsense. I think I'm the guy he's gotta get through if he wants to get a rematch. I'm the guy. No immediate rematch for him. He tapped out, I took it like a man on a week's notice. He had all the time in the world to prepare and he wanted a way out." h/t MMA Weekly
Dana White: Barboza vs. Hooker should have been stopped earlier
'Embarrassed' Lee considers move to welterweight
“Devastating, embarrassed. This sport sometimes has the lowest of lows, and it really don’t feel lower than now, but I’ll be all right. ... I think I let the mind games play into me a little bit, but honestly, I can’t make no excuses. I had a great camp. It was a great cut. Everything felt on fire tonight. The first three rounds I thought for sure I had them. Then I just took my foot off the gas. Those are just tactical mistakes that a guy like me shouldn’t be making, and I couldn’t be more disappointed in myself for it. ... I know that I could’ve went a lot harder. ... It might be time for me to make that change. I knew it about a year ago, but I’m a real stubborn son of a b!@$%, so I’m just going to try to make as many adjustments as I can and make it as clean as I can, but it still is very rough for me to get down to this weight. Maybe now it’s time to just go up and look at other options. I think I can compete very, very well at 170 and be fast in and out of the pocket, too. I don’t know. We’ll see as I kind of get healed up and everything.” h/t MMAjunkie • Watch