Shevchenko details advantages over Jedrzejczyk
Former UFC bantamweight title challenger Valentina Shevchenko fights former strawweight champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk for the vacated flyweight belt at UFC 231. The pair fought three times under Muay Thai rules from 2006-2008 with 'Bullet' going 3-0. "I know Joanna what her style is," said Shevchenko on MMAjunkie Radio. "I’ve seen her recent fights and everything. She’s a good fighter and a very high-level striker... In the close distance, the high distance I can use more weapons as well because I can throw turning kicks, spinning kicks – everything. This is the more advantage that I have. I have more wide techniques I can choose for her. ... We can be 100 percent sure that this fight will happen, because Joanna is professional. She will do everything right to prepare for the fight. I can be more relaxed without thinking, ‘Oh, maybe it will be someone else at the final minute, my opponent will drop out and they’ll have to find a replacement.’ Now I can be more relaxed preparing just exactly for Joanna.” H/T MMAjunkie
Michael Chiesa makes welterweight debut vs. Carlos Condit at UFC 232
In his last fight, a losing effort vs. Anthony Pettis, Michael Chiesa missed weight the non-title lightweight limit by 1.5 pounds, and vowed to move up a division. He will now make his welterweight debut vs. Carlos Condit at UFC 232 on December 29, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Chiesa lost his last two, to Pettis and Kevin Lee. Condit is on a four-fight losing streak, to Robbie Lawler, Demian Maia, Neil Magny, and most recently Alex Oliveira. And the fight should be mighty. H/T ESPN
Ngannou wants to clear the air with UFC boss
Francis Ngannou came up short vs. then UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic and was utterly uninspired in his next fight, losing a lackluster decision to Derrick Lewis. For reason he has not detailed, UFC president Dana White has offered a series of bitter remarks about The Predator. Now at UFC Fight Night 141 on November 24 in Beijing, China, #4 Ngannou fights #3 Curtis Blaydes in a rematch; the first fight ended with Round 2 TKO doctor stoppage for Ngannou on April 10, 2016. During a recent appearance on The Ariel Helwani MMA Show, Ngannou said he wants to clear the air with his boss. “I haven’t seen him, I haven’t talked with him,” said Ngannou. “Yes, I want to [clear the air] but I don’t know how I’m gonna handle that. Since my fight against Stipe, I haven’t seen Dana White. I never called him. We never spoke on the phone. I have to put that out of my head, people got disappointed with my performance. I have to put that away, that distraction, and focus on the fight.” H/T MMA Mania.
Ref, judges selected for Khabib vs. McGregor at UFC 229 on 10/6
The Nevada State Athletic Commission voted unanimously for Herb Dean to ref the UFC 229 main event between UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and former champ Conor McGregor. Judges Derek Cleary, Sal D’Amato, and Junichiro Kamijo were likewise unanimously approved. Dean will receive $1,900 for his efforts that night, while the judges will receive $1,600 each.
Woodley: Fight vs. Conor makes sense with win over Khabib
Conor McGregor has never defended a full UFC belt, so isn't likely to if he beats Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229. On the latest episode of his TMZ show, The Hollywood Beatdown, welterweight champion Tyron Woodley argues that he's the next rational choice. "I'll be working the desk,” said Woodley. “I would think that if Khabib’s really about that action, he’s going to do what he says and it’s going to be really tough for Conor to have any lead in that arm to throw that knockout punch in the fourth or fifth round, so I would say Khabib [wins]. But just for selfish purposes, if Conor wins, then the only fight that makes sense is for him to fight me. Try to get a third belt. ... I would smash him. He’s too little. He’s got one punch. What fighter have I ever fought that’s been able to beat me with one tool? ... From my analyst hat, my mind says Khabib, but my bank account and my legacy says Conor. I would take that fight in a heartbeat." H/T MMA Fighting
Manager: Gustafsson or DC next logical fights for Jon Jones
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones returns from a doping suspension next month. During a recent appearance on Luke Thomas's The MMA Hour, Jones' manager Malki Kawa said either Daniel Cormier of Alexander Gustafsson are next. “I think Jon would have a claim to fight for that light heavyweight belt,” said Kawa. “If DC decides to fight at light heavyweight before he fights Brock, then I think you see Jon versus DC. I think those are the two logical options, I just don’t know for sure which route they go. [Jones] wants his light heavyweight belt back. Daniel has both of them. Daniel is saying he’s going to wait until he fights Brock, so I don’t know what’s gonna happen." Since Cormier is absolutely waiting for a monster money fight vs. Lesnar, it looks like Gustafsson is next.
White: Conor McGregor is worth it
When former UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor attacked a fighter bus with a handtruck, injuring two fighters to the point they couldn't compete (and amusing his intended target soon to be division champ Khabib Nurmagomedov), UFC president Dana White called it, "the most disgusting thing that has ever happened in the history of the company." Now it's a massive marketing tool. In an interview with ESPN’s “Get Up” White conceded that Conor is different. “Conor works very well with us," said White. "We’ve worked very well with him. There are obviously certain things you have to deal with, with a Conor McGregor. He’s worth it. ... For example, the New York thing. The fact that he thought he could come here and have this beef with Khabib in the middle of New York City and the way that it was done, that’s obviously the craziest thing." UFC 229 is expected to be the most lucrative fight in league history. H/T MMA Weekly
DAZN VP: PPV model is not sustainable
Pay per view television is one of the UFC's main revenue streams, and is priced at $64.99 for high def. With 13 shows per year, a fan who buys all of them is looking at around $850. North American senior vice president Joseph Markowski of the new Bellator + Combate Americas + boxing streaming service DAZN argues that's, "a cost to the working man and woman of the U.S. that is unsustainable. Long-term, the impact of that is to shrink the size of the addressable audience." By contrast, DAZN is $9.99 month, which Markowski describes as “a very low incremental add given the value of those offers, and one that comes with the complete flexibility to the consumer. ... We’re taking pay-per-view level fights off of pay-per-view and making those available in high volume at a very low cost,. So that represents a dramatic cost savings for an MMA fan.”
Miesha Tate: Amanda Nunes hits like a man, has power to KO Cris Cyborg
Former UFC women's bantamweight champion Miesha Tate appeared recently on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show and talked about current division champ Amanda Nunes moving up to fight featherweight champ Cris Cyborg at UFC 232 on December 29. “I obviously think Cyborg is going to win, she is the woman to beat and until I see something largely monumental going against Cyborg, she is pretty much going to be the one I always pick against any other woman on this planet,” said Tate. “That being said, Amanda hits like a man. I can say first-hand that she hits so hard. And it looks effortless, she is very natural at it. She’s got this falcon-like wingspan, it’s very long. Cyborg may be surprised by how hard she gets hit by Amanda. I don’t believe Cyborg is going to want to walk through the punches like she does with every other female she’s ever fought. You’re not going to want to do that against Amanda. She might be smaller than you, but she packs one hell of a punch and she could hurt Cyborg. She has the power to knock Cyborg out, I do believe that. I don’t think it will happen this fight, but if Cyborg doesn’t actually come in with a strategy and just wants to bully Amanda, she might get hurt." H/T MMA Mania
DAZN acquires UFC rights in Germany and Austria
The streaming service DAZN seeks to become the Netflix of sports. In the US market it has secured the rights to Bellator, Combate Americas, and some major boxing. Now it has signed a three-year agreement with the UFC for rights in Germany and Austria; DAZN replaces broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 which has televised the UFC since 2015 in the nations in question. The contract will begin with UFC 229 on October 6 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada; the event is headlined by light weight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. former champ Conor McGregor.
Jessica Aguilar vs. Weili Zhang at UFC Fight Night 141 on 11/24 in Beijing, China
Jessica Aguilar fights Weili Zhang at UFC Fight Night 141 on November 24, at Cadillac Arena in Beijing, China. Zhang lost her pro debut, but then won an extraordinary 16 fights in a row, with only two going to decision. She is coming off a win over Danielle Taylor at UFC 227 on August 8. Aguilar, 36, was once the consensus #1 strawweight in the sport, and is coming off a win over Jodie Esquibel at UFC Fight Night 133 on July 14. Due to injuries, she has fought only three times in the past four years. For all upcoming UFC fights, click here.
Khabib Nurmagomedov: ‘I am the Floyd Mayweather in MMA’
UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has never lost, and never even lost a round in the UFC, a record that some liken to that of prizefighter Floyd Mayweather, who stopped former UFC lightweight champ Conor McGregor in one of the most lucrative boxing matches in history. At the UFC 229 press conference in New York, 'The Eagle' made the case. "I am the Floyd Mayweather in MMA," argued Nurmagmedov. "Right now, I am most active and dominant UFC champion. This is my third fight in last nine months and 26-0, never lose round. I don't know what [McGregor] is talking about. I don't understand what he gonna do 6 October. He think whiskey gonna help him?" H/T MMA Weekly
Serra: Aging fighters are like aging strippers
UFC Hall of Famer Matt Serra is 44, some four years younger than Chuck Liddell, who is having a trilogy fight this year vs. Tito Ortiz, 43. However, 'The Terra' retired in 2010, and explains why. "I always say an aging fighter is like an aging stripper," explained Serra. "Fighters, they're not as funny. An aging stripper is funny. But who wants to see that? I don't want to take my shirt off on TV. ... Here's when I knew it was time not to fight anymore. Usually, when someone would say they want to fight me, back in the day, I'd get pissed off, and I'd be like, 'oh really? You just made the mistake of your life, motherf@$%er' And I remember, literally, I was on my iPhone and I was about to go to the park with my kid, and I saw someone call me out, and I was like, ‘I don't give a s***.' That's when I knew it was over." H/T MMA Fighting
Markos feels she got home cooked decision in Brazil
Iraqi-born Canadian strawweight Randa Markos isn't a fan of fighting opponents in their hometown. She lost a split decision to Mexico's Alexa Grass in Mexico City on August 5, 2017. And that followed a Split Decision win over the USA's Carla Esparza in Halifax, NS on February 19, 2017. She didn't want to fight Brazil's Mariana Rodriguez on Saturday in Sao Paulo. “I didn’t have a choice for this fight,” said Markos post-fight. “It was short notice, and I was kind of told I needed to take this fight.” She ended with a Majority Draw, and was asked if had gotten a little “home cooking” from judges. “Definitely,” replied Markos. “I’ve been through that before. I completely dominated the first round, and every time we were inside, I was throwing uppercuts to her face over and over and over."
Little Nog: I want to fight again soon, and have to think about my retirement
Antonio Rogerio 'Little Nog' Nogueira smashed Sam Alvey on Saturday at UFC Fight Night 137, and then the 42 year old, whose brother 'Big Nog' retired in 2015, detailed the trials leading up to the fight, which including a back injury that left him unable to train early in the camp, and an infection that hospitalized him for ten days a month before the fight. “I intend on coming back to fight,” said Nogueira. “I want to come back. I want to feel the octagon again. For as long as I can train well. And if my back injury doesn’t put me to the side, I intend on fighting again. ... I’m 42. I think in the UFC, there’s not many fighters my age. Dan Henderson and Randy Couture fought at 44, 45 years old. But definitely I have to think about my retirement. It’s not something out of the question, but I think tonight’s performance maybe will put that to the side a little bit more. I intend on fighting this year again; I’m going to ask to see if I can fight before the end of the year, or the beginning of next year.” H/T MMAjunkie
Patricky Freire makes case for title shot over Michael Chandler following Bellator 205 KO
Lightweight Patricky Freire set a new promotion record for finishes via strikes with a KO win over Roger Huerta at Bellator 205 on Friday. Now he wants a shot at division champion Brent Primus. “I’m going to take your belt, and take your head,” he promised. ... "I wait to beat the champion and take my belt. He’s the best because he is the champion. I am ready. I’m the No. 1 contender."
Evan Dunham retires at age 36
UFC lightweight Evan Dunham retired following a TKO (knee to body) loss to Francisco Trinaldo at UFC Fight Night 137 in Sao Paulo on Saturday night. He leaves the sport with a record of 18-8-1, 10-8-1 in the UFC, where he won four Fight of the Night bonuses, and an additional performance bonus. Career wins include Tyson Griffin, Gleison Tibau, and Joe Lauzon. “I already knew what I was going to do, going into this fight win, lose or draw,” he said post-fight. “My last three losses have come by body shot knockout. I have a responsibility to myself and the fighters coming up behind me to know when you’re body is telling you to quit. It’s time to quit, time to hang it up.I’m very happy with my career and wouldn’t change a single thing. ... I’m not coming back. I’m happy. I’ve got plans. I’ve got things already set up and going that I want to do….I have no intentions of coming back at all. I’m ready to move on.” H/T Sherdog
UFC Fight Night 137 performance bonus winners
UFC Fight 137 in Sao Paulo, Brazil saw four $50,000 performance bonuses awarded: Fight of the Night: Thiago Santos vs. Eryk Anders, Performance of the Night: Charles Oliveira, Performance of the Night: Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
Now Russian citizen Jeff Monson likes Khabib over Conor
Former UFC heavyweight title challenger Jeff Monson recently received Russian citizenship and offered TASS a fight prediction for UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. former champ Conor McGregor at UFC 229 on October 6. "Khabib will be destroying Conor during all five rounds of the fight. I do not think he wants to finish the fight quickly, he will exhaust the opponent, and then he will decide how to win."
McGregor praises Poirier, Diaz
Conor McGregor fights UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 on October 6. With a win, the first challenger may be the winner of Dustin Poirier vs. Nate Diaz at UFC 230 on November 3. “I think it’s gonna be a great fight," said McGregor Two amazing fighters,” said McGregor at the recent press conference. “Nate Diaz as tough as they come. Dustin Poirier took that loss on the chin and came back and has showcased a good mental strength and has had some great, phenomenal fights and wins inside the Octagon."