'Dolly' McGregor plea deal said to avoid jail or deportation
TMZ reports that Conor ‘Dolly’ McGregor’s legal team is in the final stages of negotiating a plea deal in the case arising from his hapless dolly-throwing attack on Khabib Nurmagomedov, that left ‘The Eagle’ amused, but cut two fighters on the bus to the point they couldn’t fight at UFC 223 on April 7. Prosecutors are reportedly amenable to probation and community service, with no jail time. Of critical importance, the felony charge will be reduced to a misdemeanor; felony could have jeopardized McGregor’s ability to fight in the USA. McGregor is expected in court on Thursday. He will also face civil court action, from at least one of the fighters he injured. And the UFC has yet to punish the fighter.
PFL4 reportedly gets 101k viewers
Mitch Metcalf for Showbuzz Daily reports that the Neilsen ratings for PFL 4 on Thursday were 101K viewers with a 0.01 market share. This is the lowest viewership to date (PFL1 -116,000 viewers, PFL2 - 150,000 viewers, PFL3 - 146,000 viewers), and if true would place the event outside the top 150 shows. The PFL4 prelims aired on Facebook Watch where they got 692 Shares and 327K Views in English and 1.3K Shares and 466K Views in Spanish. The PFL4 main card broadcast on NBC Sports Network. Hopefully, MMA fans grow to understand and appreciate the playoff concept, and interest grows as we head towards the playoffs in the fall.
Lesnar tested for first time since re entering USADA testing pool
Former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar re entered the USADA testing pool on July 3, to complete the remaining six months of his current USADA suspension. USADA’s Athlete Test History page shows Lesnar has been tested. This will not be the last time. The test results have no come back yet. Lesnar will be eligible to fight Jan. 8, 2019; he is expected to fight champ champ Daniel Cormier thereafter.
Krzysztof Jotko vs. undefeated 'Beard' Yandiev at UFC Moscow
MMA Today reports that Polish middleweight Krzysztof Jotko will fight Russia's undefeated Adam 'Beard' Yandiev at UFC Fight Night 136 on September 15, 2018 at Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Moscow, Russia. Click image for list of ALL UPCOMING UFC FIGHTS.
'T-City': Dana White compensated me
When Brian Ortega declined a fight vs. Frankie Edgar after Max Holloway late withdrew from UFC 226 with post-concussive like symptoms, he initially believed he would not be compensated anything. However, he tells AXS TV that, "I talked to Dana just the other day, and everything is good between me and him. He compensated me – we reached an agreement.”
Salikhov flagged by USADA
Today the UFC released a statement that it had been notified that Dagestani-born Russian welterweight Muslim Salikhov has had a potential anti-doping violation from an out-of-competition test on June 7th in his home country.
Salikhov is 1-1 in the UFC Octagon, having last fought in April of 2018, a win over Rick Rainey in Glendale, Arizona. Salikhov will be placed under a temporary suspension pending due process before any officlal sanction.
Gustafsson willing to move up to heavy to rematch Cormier
#1 light heavyweight contender Alexander Gustafsson spoke recently with MMAnytt, and said he didn't believe that champ champ Daniel Cormier would ever return to 205, and that he was willing to move up to heavyweight for a rematch. "He loves food and loves to eat," said 'The Mauler'. "To sacrifice so much with dieting and food and then going down to face me? I think I will have to move to heavyweight to get a piece of DC again.”
Grasso knee injury will not require surgery
'Undisclosed reasons" were initially referenced when Alexa Grasso withdrew from a fight vs. Angela Hill at UFC Fight Night 135 on August 25, in Lincoln, Nebraska. The fighter, 23, has now announced on her social network that suffered a partial LCL tear in her knee. Luckily no surgery is necessary; physical therapy and rehab is sufficient. Grasoo reports she can and will be doing basic calisthenics.
Lil Nog vs. Alvey at UFC Sao Paulo
Combate reports that Antonio Rogerio Nogueira will fight Sam Alvey UFC Fight Night 137 on September 22, at Ginasio do Ibirapuera in Sao Paulo, Brazil. 'Lil Nog' is coming off a two year USADA suspension, that followed a TKO loss to Ryan Bader. Alvey is on a two-fight win streak since moving to light heavyweight, with wins over Marcin Prachnio and Gian Villante. Check out all upcoming UFC fights.
Till claims Woodley turned down title challenge
The UFC wanted to book welterweight champion Tyron Woodley vs. interim champ Coly Covington at UFC 228 on September 8; however, Covington is apparently not available so a title challenge from Darren Hill is reportedly in the works. And now Till says Woodley won't take that one. “I’ve been offered Tyron Woodley and he turned the fight down,” said Till to Ken Pishna for MMA Weekly. “I’m not too bothered about it, but I get a feeling that [Woodley] thinks that nobody is worthy of fighting him for the title. I think he just wants to hold onto the belt for as long as he can. ... It’s a weird one, but I’m just waiting to see what happens.”
UFC reportedly considering stripping Covington of interim belt
Because welterweight champion Tyron Woodley was recovering for an extended period from surgery, the UFC controversially created an interim title fight between Covington and Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 225 on June 9. Covington won a decision, and the plan was for a unification fight. The league wanted to hold that at UFC 228 on September 8, but for undisclosed reasons, Covington was unavailable. Now Ariel Helwani reports for ESPN reports that the UFC is planning to book Woodley's first title defense vs. Darren Till, and further, may strip Covington of his interim belt.
Silva: GSP fight still a possibility
When Anderson Silva and Georges St-Pierre were both at the highest level of UFC stardom, a superfight between the two was one of the biggest hopes for fans. Years later, with Silva on suspension and St-Pierre's future unclear, it seems unlikely the two will ever meet in the Octagon. However, recently Anderson Silva told MMAFighting that he believes the superfight of superfights could still happen.
Fedor vs. Chael semi-final GP fight set
The Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix semifinals between Fedor Emelianenko and Chael Sonnen will take place on October 13 at NYCB LIVE’s Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, in Uniondale, New York. The previously announced Matt Mitrione vs. Ryan Bader semi-final fight takes place the day before at Mohegan Sun, Connecticut.
Karate Combat will now livestream on UFC Fight Pass
The first event will stream on on Saturday, July 28, live from Athens, Greece. Bas Rutten and Sean Wheelock will do the commentary. The promotion total on Fight Pass is now 17: InvictaFC, TitanFC, Pancrase, VictoryFC, Eddie Bravo Invitational, GLORY World Series Kickboxing, CageWarriorsFC, TKO MMA, AlaskaFC, Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series, Polaris Professional Jiu-Jitsu Invitational, IslandFights MMA+Boxing, FridayNightFights Muay Thai, Sakuraba’s QUINTET, Bangkok Night’s Muay Thai, and Karate Combat! H/T MMASucka
Jason's wife has cancer, GoFundMe established
Jason Palmquist is a retired Marine, Systems Software Programmer for Minnesota's Hennepin County, volunteer firefighter, early participant in the Massachusetts MMA scene, and head mod of The UnderGround. Jason is a man who has ever given, to his country, his community, and his family, to an inspiring degree. His wife, with whom he has two sons, was recently diagnosed with adrenal cortical carcinoma, a rare and virulent form of cancer, which has left her unable to work. A GoFundMe has been established to help cover medical costs not covered by insurance; donations are extraordinarily appreciated. https://www.gofundme.com/wife-has-rare-cancer
Daley comes to terms with Bellator, is entering Welterweight GP
Paul 'Semtex' Daley has had a sometimes contentious relationship with management during his three years with Bellator MMA, but ESPN's Ariel Helwani reports that he has re-signed with the promotion, and is is the 10th and final fighter in the 2018 Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix. It's believed that he will fight the undefeated Michael 'Venom' Page, but president Scott Coker said no final decision as to opponent has been made. The GP kicks begins on Sept. 29 in San Jose, Calif with former champs Douglas Lima and Andrey Koreshkov.
Nicco Montano to defend flyweight title vs. Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 228
ESPN's Ariel Helwani is reporting that UFC flyweight champion Nicco Montano will make her first title defense vs. monster striker Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 228 on September 8, 2018 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. Montano improbably became the inaugural women's 125 champ defeating Roxanne Modafferi in the fight of the night at The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale on December 1, 2017. Montano entered TUF coming off a loss, with a 3-2 record.
A.J. McKee vs. Pat Curran to headline Bellator 205 on Sept. 21
A.J. McKee fights Pat Curran in the main event of Bellator 205 Bellator 205 on Sept. 21 at CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho. McKee, son of the highly-respected coach and retired fighter Antonio McKee, holds the Bellator record for consecutive victories, is 11-0. Former champ Curran in on a three-fight win streak. Undefeated BJJ monster Rafael Lovato Jr. fights John Salter in the co-main.
Bellator 202 draws 405,000 viewers
ShowBuzz Daily reports that Friday's Bellator 202 Nielsen ratings were 405,000 viewers, with 0.12 in the 18-49 demographic, below the 2018 average of 463,000 viewers. It's the third consecutive event with < 500,000 viewers, and part of general downward trend in mixed martial arts ratings in North America. In the main event, Julia Budd TKOed Talita Nogueira to retain her Bellator featherweight belt. H/T MMAPayout.com
DC reaffirms Brock in 2018 will be last fight of his career
“He’ll be the last one," said champ champ Daniel Cormier to MMANytt. "He’ll be the last fight of my career. ... But I’ve still got a belt to defend at 205 to think about.” DC mentioned he could fight Shogun if the Brazilian beats Anthony Smith on Sunday at UFC Fight Night 134 in Hamburg, Germany. Is he trolling Alexander Gustafsson with the Shogun talk? “I’ll let you guys figure that one out,” said Cormier, laughing.