Fedor vs. Maldonado controversy reveals conflict of interest
Several days ahead of the anticipated Fedor vs. Maldonado showdown, the Russian MMA Union assigned the three judges who would be responsible for the scorecards in the main event: Evgeny Gribkov, Alexey Gorokhov, and Maria Makhmutova.
The announcement came as a surprise to many within the industry. The three officials were Russian natives for a contest that pitted a Russian against a Brazilian fighter. The shocking elements was that the Russian MMA Union was actually headed by Fedor himself. The legendary fighter is the unanimously voted president of the association several years prior and still maintained that role behind the scenes.
White: Helwani 'stole from fans', threw a 'pity party'
It appears that UFC president Dana White is still fuming over the fallout from UFC 199.
During the PPV show, MMA journalist Ariel Helwani was escorted out of the building ahead of the Michael Bisping vs. Luke Rockhold main event for accurately reporting that Brock Lesnar had signed with the UFC. The promotion's decision evidently garnered more mainstream attention than they had anticipated, which eventually led to them reinstating MMAFighting.com's credentials following a short-lived lifetime ban.
While Helwani and the remainder of the team are no longer banned from UFC events, they are far from being in Dana White's good graces, as he revealed on the first episode of 'UFC Unfiltered' with Matt Serra and Jim Norton. (Audio starts at the 47:00 timestamp)
UFC exec says reports of UFC sale are 'false,' internal email to staff offers same message
The world’s largest MMA promotion may eventually change hands at some point, but UFC officials insist that no such transaction has taken place at this time.
FloCombat.com today reported that UFC officials had accepted a bid of $4.2 billion from “a group consisting of WME-IMG, the Dalian Wanda Group, The Kraft Group and Tencent Holdings.” However, UFC Vice President of Public Relations Dave Sholler said those reports are untrue.
“FloCombat.com’s report indicating that the UFC has been sold is false,” Sholler told MMAjunkie. “We’ve communicated that to our staff members tonight via an internal memo.”
MMAjunkie obtained the email sent to all UFC employees denying the legitimacy of the FloCombat.com report and signed by UFC co-owner and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta.
“A report today by FloCombat.com indicating that the company has been sold is false,” the email read. “This follows other false speculation in the press recently.
“Such misrepresentation of facts in the media negatively impacts our business, staff members and athletes. We have instructed our attorneys to investigate and take all appropriate legal actions against the parties publishing and contributing to these false stories.
“With International Fight Week and the historic UFC 200 rapidly approaching, we look forward to once again delivering a series of events that our fans won’t soon forget. We appreciate your hard work, diligence and commitment, and thank you for your focus as we continue to take the sport to new heights.”
Georges St-Pierre announces he is ready to return to fighting
Georges St-Pierre, a man widely considered to be the greatest welterweight to ever compete in mixed martial arts, is ready to give it one more good run. St-Pierre announced Monday on The MMA Hour that he has decided to end his nearly three-year hiatus and return to the Octagon, provided that his management and the UFC are able to come to terms on a deal.
Report: Zuffa accepts bid of $4.2 billion for UFC sale, White staying on
It sounds like the sale of the UFC is marching ahead successfully. FloCombat reports that sources close to the company are saying that a group of investors have put together a $4.2 billion bid for the MMA organization and that Zuffa has accepted it.
This potential new ownership group apparently consists of WME-IMG, the Dailan Wanda Group, The Kraft Group, and Tencent Holdings. Alongside this news are reports that, despite selling his shares as part of the deal, President of Operations Dana White would be staying on in his role with the promotion, apparently receiving a new stake in the company as well.
Stephen Thompson would rather fight Robbie Lawler than Tyron Woodley for UFC title
Say whatever you want about Stephen Thompson, but he clearly isn't a man who prefers the easy road.
Thompson not only called for his shot at the UFC welterweight title after capturing a unanimous decision over Rory MacDonald at UFC Fight Night 89, but he also made it clear that he would rather face the incumbent champion, Robbie Lawler, rather than challenger Tyron Woodley after the two American Top Team teammates meet with the belt on the line at UFC 201.
Donald Cerrone: 'According to my pay, I don't mean sh*t to the UFC'
Donald Cerrone is all about chasing that paper. And it sounds like he isn't too happy with where he's at in the race.
After being read a list of his impressive accomplishments in the UFC, "Cowboy" slammed the promotion -- with a smirk on his face -- about how much he's getting compensated. Just a few hours earlier Saturday, Cerrone had walked over welterweight stalwart Patrick Cote en route to one of his most impressive wins.
"God, that all sounds nice," Cerrone said at the UFC Fight Night: MacDonald vs. Thompson post-fight press conference. "According to my pay, I don't mean sh*t to the UFC. But we'll see. Maybe I'll talk to [UFC president] Dana [White] after this and see if we can figure that out."
Chad Mendes makes first public comment since being flagged by USADA
Chad Mendes had not commented at all since being flagged by USADA. Until Saturday.
The perennial UFC featherweight contender tweeted about his situation Saturday, saying he would "own it" and "pay for it."
The UFC announced that Mendes (17-4) was facing a potential USADA anti-doping violation June 10. That usually means a fighter failed a drug test or informed USADA that he or she unknowingly took a banned substance. USADA won't release any more information on the situation until the adjudication process is over.
Fabio Maldonado’s team to appeal controversial loss to Fedor Emelianenko
Fabio Maldonado came close to finishing Fedor Emelianenko in the main event of Fight Night Global 50 on Friday night, and his team isn’t happy with the majority decision loss in St. Petersburg, Russia.
One judge scored the contest a draw (28-28), while two others saw it 29-28 in favor of Emelianenko, scoring the first round a 10-9 in Maldonado’s favor despite the fact that the Brazilian almost knocked the legendary heavyweight out.
Maldonado’s manager Stefano Sartori released a statement to MMA Fighting revealing that they will appeal the "strange" loss to Russian MMA Union, which assigned the judges -- and is headed by Emelianenko.
Derek Brunson out of UFC 200 bout against Gegard Mousasi
Derek Brunson won't be competing against Gegard Mousasi at UFC 200. The news was first reported by Sherdog on Sunday, and was later confirmed by MMA Fighting.
Brunson, who's currently ranked No. 11 in the UFC's middleweight rankings, was forced to pull out of his bout with former Strikeforce middleweight champion Mousasi for unknown reasons. The 32-year-old middleweight is currently 6-1 in his past seven trips to the octagon. He last fought on February at UFC Fight Night 83, defeating Roan Carneiro. His fight with Mousasi was to serve as a UFC Fight Pass preliminary bout.
Alexander Gustafsson vs. Jan Blachowicz among UFC Fight Night 93 additions
September’s UFC return to Germany has two new additions, and one of them includes a former title challenger.
Former light-heavyweight challenger Alexander Gustafsson (16-4 MMA, 8-4 UFC) and fellow contender Jan Blachowicz (19-5 MMA, 2-2 UFC) are slated for the event, and bantamweights Brad Pickett (25-11 MMA, 5-6 UFC) and Henry Briones (16-5-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) have also been booked.
UFC Fight Night 93 takes place Sept. 3 at Barclaycard Arena in Hamburg, Germany. The entire event streams on UFC Fight Pass, though the bout order hasn’t been finalized.
Paul Felder vs. Francisco Trinaldo in the works for UFC’s return to Brazil
The UFC will return to Brazil on Sept. 23, and the promotion is already working on the card.
The yet-to-be-named UFC event will feature a lightweight clash between Paul Felder and Francisco Trinaldo, multiple sources close to the situation told MMA Fighting.
Felder (12-2), who has competed outside of the United States only once in his MMA career, enters the bout coming off back-to-back wins over Daron Cruickshank and Josh Burkman, improving to 4-2 under the UFC banner.
An in-depth look at shady billionaire who attempted to buy the UFC and now promotes Fedor in Russia
Russian oligarch share many things in common: ostentatious behavior, lavish lifestyles, and questionable pasts are some of the ones that come to mind. Few, however, can be found in a Moscow gym, dressed in a tracksuit, training with professional fighters.
Ziyavudin Magomedov is not your average Russian billionaire.
Born and raised in Dagestan, Ziyavudin emerged from a troubled childhood on the streets of Makhachkala to become one of the republic's most prosperous businessmen. According to Forbes, he is the chairman of Summa Group, a "conglomerate invested in port logistics, engineering, construction, telecommunications, and oil and gas." His estimated wealth fluctuates regularly but was recently estimated at 1.2bn.
Jorge Masvidal replaces Claudio Silva, meets Siyar Bahadurzada at UFC 201
Jorge Masvidal (29-11 MMA, 6-4 UFC) has stepped in for an injured Claudio Silva (11-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) and now will meet Siyar Bahadurzada (22-6-1 MMA, 2-2 UFC) at UFC 201.
UFC officials today announced the change in plans.
With the change to the card, UFC 201 now includes:
Champ Robbie Lawler vs. Tyron Woodley – for welterweight title
Champ Demetrious Johnson vs. Wilson Reis – for flyweight title
Cesar Arzamendia vs. Damien Brown
Michael Graves vs. Bojan Velickovic
Erik Perez vs. Francisco Rivera
Damian Grabowski vs. Anthony Hamilton
Matt Brown vs. Jake Ellenberger
Ed Herman vs. Nikita Krylov
Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs. Rose Namajunas
Siyar Bahadurzada vs. Jorge Masvidal
Ian McCall vs. Justin Scoggins
Bellator 160 targeted for Aug. 26 in Memphis
Bellator could be headed down south for a late summer event on Spike.
Bellator 160 is targeted for Aug. 26, and Landers Center in Southaven, Miss., is a heavy favorite to host, multiple sources told MMAjunkie on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the news publicly.
Landers Center previously hosted Bellator 120, which featured a light heavyweight grudge match between Quinton Jackson and Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal that ended in a controversial decision for Jackson and a raucous post-fight press conference.
Cortney Casey vs. Cristina Stanciu added to UFC Fight Night 91
UFC Fight Night 91 has added a strawweight showdown between Cortney Casey and Cristina Stanciu.
The UFC announced the bout on its official website.
With the addition, UFC Fight Night 91 includes:
Michael Chiesa vs. Tony Ferguson
John Lineker vs. Michael McDonald
Tim Boetsch vs. Josh Samman
Scott Holtzman vs. Cody Pfister
Keita Nakamura vs. Kyle Noke
Ben Nguyen vs. Louis Smolka
Devin Clark vs. Alex Nicholson
Alexey Oleinik vs. Daniel Omielanczuk
Matthew Lopez vs. Rani Yahya
Ryan Hall vs. Alex White
Cortney Casey vs. Cristina Stanciu
At age 33, John Howard finally freed by diagnosis of clinical autism
A few months ago, as the ink still dried on his new World Series of Fighting contract, John Howard stumbled headfirst into a conversation he never expected to have. He was midway through a neurological exam, the kind required of 33-year-old fighters who are closer to the home stretch than the starting line, and the discussion turned to his elementary school days in south Boston. The stroll down memory lane ended up being more than small talk.
There were certain patterns doctors kept picking up in Howard's stories, little signs that pointed towards a larger narrative, too many to be a coincidence. Howard left that day with a recommendation to undergo a series of non-invasive neurological tests, just to see if there might be something worth unraveling inside that fighter's mind. So he did exactly that, and the results confirmed a reality the UFC veteran always suspected, an explanation for two decades of quiet frustration that Howard never had the science nor desire to seek out.