Anthony Smith suffering 'outpouring of hatred' ahead of Jones fight at UFC 235
“[My coach Marc Montoya] tells me all the time that I need to worry about impressing myself and no one else, and that’s the piece that I’m going to struggle with a little bit. It’s going to be really hard for me to stay humble talking to Joe Rogan afterwards, because the outpouring of hatred has been incredible. It doesn’t necessarily bother me too much, but it is a little bit shocking - how so many people can care so much one way or the other just blows my mind. But there is a little bit of the ‘sticking it to the haters’ feeling there, for sure. ... As the fight gets closer and closer, I do see that it’s changing a little bit. I don’t see as many, ‘Jon Jones is going to beat your ass, you p@$$%’ comments as much anymore. I don’t see a whole lot of believers, but I see a lot of people that really, really hope.” h/t MMA Fighting • Watch The MMA Hour
Zoila Frausto believes she’s better than Combate 31 opponent 'everywhere'
Former Bellator titleholder Zoila Frausto split from her husband former UFC fighter Jorge Gurgel, returned to California from Ohio, and focused on Muay Thai and kickboxing winning multiple titles. This year she's a back in MMA, vs. Jamiee Nievera in the co-main event of Combate Americas 31 on 2/22; the event will stream on DAZN. “I still wanted to fight, but everything MMA was so connected to [Gurgel] that I didn’t want to do it. ... I’ve been doing everything for MMA, but just haven’t been competing in it. ... She’s fought three of my teammates and my sister, so I know her very well. I feel like she’s good everywhere ... but I feel that I’m better than her everywhere. A lot of women are making a pretty good living. Even up to this point I’ve had to work other jobs and do other things, but now I’m at a point where I can make other opportunities happen if I really want to stay focused on this and continue to do this.” h/t MMA Weekly
Bellator signs sambo champ Marina Mokhnatkina at featherweight
The St. Petersburg, Russia-based Mokhnatina, 30, is a four-time world champion in Sambo. She turned pro in 2016, and got four Round 1 submission wins, two leg locks, two armbars. Then a year ago she dropped a Majority Decision vs. Fight Nights Global champ Liana Jojua, and has not fought since. Her debut opponents are TBA, but with success, she may face Bellator women’s featherweight champ Julia Budd. h/t MMAjunkie
Nagnnou: I haven't talked to Dana in over a year
In 2017 it was widely believed Francis Ngannou was the Next Big Thing in MMA. Then in 2018, he lost twice. Now The Predator has won the last two in spectacular fashion. However, UFC president Dana White had had some harsh words for the Cameroonian-Frenchman, and they are out of communication: “I haven’t talked to Dana White since one year ago, maybe more. I haven’t talked to him. We are not calling each other. That would change what? ... I just want to fight for the title. I don’t know if it would be interim or a challenge against DC but however, I want to fight for the title. ... Once again, it’s up to the executives. We don’t have a hand in it. They decide everything but I think I deserve it.” White said a fight for DC is in the works, but it's not Ngannou. h/t MMA Fighting • Watch Ariel Helwani's MMA Show
Coach: Nurmagomedov won’t fight until teammates' suspensions are over
Abubakar Nurmagomedov and Zubaira Tukhugov got 12-month suspensions from the NAC for their roles in the UFC 229 post-fight brawl. Khabib Nurmagomedov got nine months, reduced to six if he did an anti-bulllying PSA. However, The Eagle said Nevada allows gambling, drugs, and prostitution, and thus is in no position to morally dictate. And Khabib's coach Javier Vasquez says The Eagle won't return until his teammates can: “From what I know from talking to Khabib, he’s pretty much very loyal to his guys and the thing about the suspension is he doesn’t care. He’s like, whatever. If they want me to come back and do an anti-bullying thing, he was the one being bullied. He’s not going to do that. Screw them. That’s his attitude. He ain’t going to fight for them. He says he ain’t going to fight in Vegas. He says he won’t come back until his guys are off of suspension, and I kind of have to agree with him. He’s sticking to his guys because all they did was try to defend him." h/t Yahoo Sports • Listen to the UFC Unfiltered podcast
Satoshi Ishii vs. former Heavyweight Champ in KSW debut
Earlier this week it was announced that Olympic Gold Medalist Satoshi Ishii signed a multi-fight contract with KSW; now he looks set to make his promotional debut at KSW 47 at the Atlas Arena in Lodz, Poland on March 23 vs. former heavyweight champion Fernando Rodrigues Jr. The Brazilian has earned a fierce reputation as being an aggressive fighter and has amassed ten stoppage victories, eight via TKO, so far in his career. This includes his second round TKO win over the longest reigning KSW heavyweight champion Karol Bedorf at KSW 37 to capture title. The 31-year-old then dropped the title and suffered back to back defeats at KSW 39 and KSW 41, respectively, before bouncing back with a win over former KSW title challenger and UFC veteran James McSweeney outside the promotion last year.
Rousey has lost none of her shadow boxing skills
DC attempts Sub-Zero's Head Shatter #YeahScience
CSAC upholds Megan Anderson’s UFC 232 win vs, Cat Zingano
Anderson threw a high kick at Zingano and her toe made impact on the eye, and as a consequence, Zingano was unable to defend herself, and lost. Cat appeared on Tuesday in front of the commission arguing that a finger poke to the eye would have led to an NC or conceivably a DQ win, so a toe should too. However, there is no toe prohibition, as human's don't have comparable dexterity with their toes. Zingano described the pain as far worse than childbirth, and is still suffering symptoms, but is not believed to have suffered permanent damage.
Rogan explains why he isn't doing UFC on ESPN shows
“I’m not interested. I would take this [JRE Fight Companion] for zero money over being in Phoenix right now. Although I would like to see those fights live and call those fights live, I’m good with 10 a year. 10 a year is what I like. Once a month, two months off. I was thinking I was on my way out, but I still love it. And I love it way more now because I don’t have to do it as much. And I love it way more now because we do this because we can do all of this $#!@-talking, have fun and be silly.” h/t MMA Mania • Watch
ONE continues to soar, signs Yushin Okami
Nurmagomedov said to be in training for boxing match in September at 81,000 seat Luzhniki Stadium
$1 million ROAD FC tournament finals on 2/23
ROAD Fighting Championship 052 on 2/23 at Jangchung Arena in Seoul, South Korea will be headlined by Shamil Zavurov vs. Mansour Barnaoui in the finals of the $1 Million lightweight tournament. After three regional trials and an international trial start up, sixteen fighters made it to the opening round of the Road to A-Sol tournament. Training with his cousin, UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, Zavurov defeated Kim Wong-Gi, Leo Kuntz, Khuukhenkhuu Amartuvshin, and Ronys Torres, all by decision. Barnaoui hold submission wins over Ki Won-Bin, Kim Chang-Hyun, Nandin-Erdene, and Kota Shimoishi, the first three in Round 1. The event will stream on DAZN.
Coach: Velasquez never mentioned knee tweak seen on Open Workout video
Cain Velasquez attributed his loss vs. Francis Ngannou to a knee that gave out. A video from the UFC on ESPN 1 Open Workouts shows him stop immediately after his leg appears to slip or otherwise give out, on a left hook. CLICK TO WATCH. Cain's coach Javier Mendez says he hadn't heard about it: “No, he never said nothing to me about it if that happened. He didn’t say a word to me about that. No, nothing. So if that did happen, he didn’t tell me. And I would hope he would’ve told me. He didn’t tell me nothing.” h/t MMAjunkie
Darren Till not impressed with Piers Morgan
Black breaks down Drake
Rogan: Ngannou is the scariest guy I ever seen
“It seems like he had a weird spot, but you know what I really like about that weird spot that he got into? He was honest about it. He said, ‘I carried over fear from my last fight.’ A guy that can look at himself that honestly... Francis is the scariest of all time. The thing about Francis is, he’s learning at this really rapid rate when you look at a guy that’s only been doing it for how many years now? 100 percent training, he’s been fighting for maybe five years. I think five years from the time he learned martial arts. Dude, he’s a movie character.” h/t MMA Fighting • Watch Fight Companion podcast
Brave signs exclusive broadcast deal with TV5 in the Philippines
Brave CF announced the signing of an exclusive broadcast deal with TV5 in the Philippines, prior to its first event in the country, Brave 22, on March 15. Founded in 1960, TV5 is the flagship broadcaster in the country and home of ESPN5, the Filipino version of the "worldwide leader in sports". TV5 will join Abu Dhabi Sports, the official broadcaster of Brave CF, and the Brazilian conglomerate Globo, among others, as one of the official homes of Brave in broadcast television. President Mohammed Shahid: "Having TV5 and ESPN5 are the official broadcasting partners of Brave Combat Federation in the Philippines is a major step to cement both brands presence in the market and bring the sport of Mixed Martial Arts and the country of Philippines its worthy value."