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LAS VEGAS – Shudder to think, but it very well could have been any of us on the chronicling side of things to get plucked from a media scrum and stuck into a cage to fight for the right to face CM Punk. It ended up being Mike Jackson, a Houston-based journalist-cum-prizefighter, who found himself answering questions on Wednesday about a fight coming up he still can’t believe he’s taking part in. When asked what in the actual hell was going on, Jackson shrugged his shoulders and wondered aloud if it weren’t a big hoax.
The truth is, nobody’s real sure. The one certainty seems to be it’s happening. Of all the media members that have badgered Dana White over the years, Jackson is the first who will take off his shirt and let his hands fly for a betting public.
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive degenerative disease found in people who have suffered repetitive brain trauma, including sub-concussive hits to the head that do not cause immediate symptoms. The disease was previously called dementia pugilistica, and familiarly as "punch drunk."
Formerly believed to be limited primarily to boxing, its high rate in the NFL is now being acknowledged. It has also been found in soccer, ice hockey, professional wrestling, and other contact sports who have experienced repetitive brain trauma.
Bellator MMA signed Benson Henderson this week, and veteran heavyweight Sergei Kharitonov, and now has signed Chris Leben. The announcement was made by president Scott Coker on AXS TV's “Inside MMA.”
“He’s got some physicals to pass, but pending his passing of all his physicals, he will be a Bellator fighter. ... From the very beginning, we made a public statement - we've been transparent about this - that we’re looking for the best free agents that make the most sense for our roster. There are free agents out there. Some we will go after, some we won't. … We have a great roster in place. We’re building fighters from the ground up. ... And when the free agents we want are available, we’ll go after them, as well. So we're going to build this roster from the bottom up, and from the top down."
Gunmen opened fire at a boxing weigh-in at Dublin’s Regency Hotel on Feb. 5, killing at least one man and wounding two others. A statement from An Garda Síochána, Ireland’s police force, said the victims were “all in their 20s or 30s.”
One man was pronounced dead at the scene, and the two wounded men were hospitalized, police said. The weigh-in was for an MGM “Clash of the Clans” event.
As always, to the victor go the spoils. Dominick Cruz was one of three fighters to earn a six-figure paycheck at UFC Fight Night 81, pocketing $110,000 for his UFC bantamweight championship win over T.J. Dillashaw. The Massachusetts State Athletic Commission on Friday released the event's disclosed payroll to MMA Fighting via open records request.
Cruz captured a split decision over Dillashaw in his long-awaited return to competition, claiming scores of 48-47 and 49-46 on two of the three judges' scorecards to earn back the title he lost via injury. Dillashaw took home $70,000 in a losing effort.
Jonathan Shrager, Kirik Jenness and Chris Palmquist quiz "The Outlaw" on his prospective Octagon return, his personal evolution as a martial artist and within MMA in general, how his analysis translates into his game, and his desire to compete in all facets of his beloved sport.
B.J. Penn fully expects he'll make his return to the Octagon on March 5. And it probably won't be against Nik Lentz.
The UFC Hall of Famer, one of just two fighters to hold UFC titles in two weight classes, "guarantees" he'll be fighting at UFC 196 on March 5 in Las Vegas, MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani reported on Wednesday's edition of UFC Tonight.
While there's no official opponent lined up, word has it that veteran Dennis Siver has emerged as a possible opponent for the former welterweight and lightweight champ.
Russian MMA promotion by the name of Absolute Championship Berkut recently announced that they would begin to implement a new weigh-in system as well as introduce new weight classes in the latter half of 2016.
According to an interview with the promotion's founder Mairbek Khasiev, weigh-ins will take place six hours before the fights actually take place, instead of the day before. The plans also include a new superheavyweight division...
The new weight classes layout is as follows:
Flyweight - 58kg (127.8 lbs.)
Bantamweight - 63kg (138.9 lbs.)
Featherweight - 68kg (149.9 lbs.)
Lightweight - 74kg (163.1 lbs.)
Welterweight - 80kg (176.3 lbs.)
Middleweight - 87kg (191.8 lbs.)
Light-heavyweight - 96kg (211.6 lbs.)
Heavyweight - 107kg (235.9 lbs.)
Superheavyweight - 107kg+ (over 235.9 lbs.)
Rafael Sobral won the vacant Shooto Brazil bantamweight championship with a decision win over Luciano Benicio on Nov. 13, but failed a drug test right after his win.
The Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission (CABMMA) announced on Thursday that Sobral (5-6-1, 1 NC) tested positive for drostanolone. The 30-year-old fighter was issued a two-year suspension.
CABMMA announced that Sobral’s win was overturned to a loss, making Nova Uniao’s Benicio (10-1) the new Shooto Brazil 135-pound champion.
Former UFC fighter Karlos Vemola has been sentenced to serve one year in jail for his role in a string of illegal cannabis farms within the United Kingdom, according to multiple reports.
Vemola, 30, is reportedly one of four individuals jailed for his involvement in the farms, which stretched across three properties in Hertsmere, England. Authorities were reported to find approximately £20,000 ($29,179) worth of cannabis, "as well as UV lighting, ducting and plastic sheeting during raids on the three properties," according to the International Business Times.
Two rising featherweight prospects will meet at Bellator 151, as Japanese-Brazilian Goiti Yamauchi faces Bubba Jenkins in Thackerville, Okla., on March 4. Sources close to the situation confirmed the match-up to MMAFighting.com.
Yamauchi (19-2) holds a 5-1 record inside the Bellator cage with four stoppage victories, while Jenkins (10-2) knocked out four opponents in his 7-2 run in the promotion.
The path for professional wrestler turned professional fighter CM Punk has been set. On Saturday, UFC newcomer Mickey Gall will get the first crack at Punk if he defeats Mike Jackson at UFC Fight Night 82.
Punk has no athletic or competitive martial arts experience background and at age 37, no one is exactly sure what to make of his fighting ability. So, what happens if the fight with Gall happens and Punk loses badly? Will he fight again?
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) booked a sensational strawweight match up -- one with serious title implications -- for the upcoming UFC on FOX 19 mixed martial arts (MMA) event on April 16, 2016, according to MMA Fighting.
That's when Tecia Torres (7-0) will give Rose Namajunas (4-2) a rematch inside the Octagon, after the "Tiny Tornado" was able to capture a unanimous decision win over "Thug Rose" under the Invicta banner back in 2013.
Benson Henderson doesn’t take everything UFC President Dana White says to heart. He can’t. It’d be foolish.
When the former UFC lightweight champ heard White’s parting comment following Henderson’s new deal with Bellator, telling MMAjunkie “we’re looking for top-5 guys, guys that are going from (No. 1) 15 to (No. 1) 1, not the other way around,” he shrugged it off.
It’s Dana White, after all.
“We know Dana,” Henderson (23-5 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) told MMAjunkie Radio. “You know Dana. I know Dana. We’ve heard some other things he said. That was the worst he said? He didn’t say my momma was ugly; he didn’t say I was the worst fighter in history? If that’s all he said, that’s not too bad, considering his history of outlandish quotes.”
Max Holloway has been recovering from a thumb surgery since a unanimous-decision win over Jeremy Stephens at UFC 194 in December.
Still in a cast, Holloway (15-3 MMA, 11-3 UFC) said his rehab should be finished within six weeks. Barring any hiccups, “Blessed” said he expects an early-summer return to the octagon, and he’s already set his sights on a number of potential opponents.
With the longest active winning streak in the UFC featherweight division at seven, and with an eight consecutive wins overall dating back to 2013, Holloway, No. 4 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA featherweight rankings, wants nothing short of a top contender or a title shot next time out.
With Tim Means out, this month’s UFC Fight Night 83 headliner will feature “Cowboy” vs. “Cowboy.”
Means (25-7-1 MMA, 8-4 UFC) was slated to fight fellow welterweight Donald Cerrone (28-7 MMA, 15-4 UFC) in the Feb. 21 headliner before a potential USADA drug-testing violation forced “Dirty” out.
The latest UFC Fight Night 83 card includes:
Donald Cerrone vs. Alex Oliveira
Derek Brunson vs. Roan Carneiro
Cody Garbrandt vs. John Lineker
Siyar Bahadurzada vs. Brandon Thatch
Dennis Bermudez vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri
Shane Campbell vs. James Krause
Alex Garcia vs. Sean Strickland
Ashlee Evans-Smith vs. Marion Reneau
Chris Camozzi vs. Joe Riggs
Oluwale Bamgbose vs. Daniel Sarafian
Trevor Smith vs. Leonardo Augusto Guimaraes
Sarah Moras vs. Lauren Murphy
Shamil Abdurakhimov vs. Anthony Hamilton
Nathan Coy vs. Jonavin Webb
WSOF 29 has a complete main card following the announcement of three new bouts.
The bouts, which were announced via WSOF press release, include Josh Copeland (11-3) taking on Mike Hayes (19-10-2) in a heavyweight co-main event, a middleweight bout between Cory Devela (16-6) and Louis Taylor (11-3) and a welterweight fight as Josh Cavan (11-6) faces Kris Hocum (7-4).
WSOF 29 takes place March 12 at Bank of Colorado Arena in Greeley, Colo. The main card airs on NBCSN following prelims on MMAjunkie. It is headlined by a lightweight title bout with Justin Gaethje (15-0) defending his belt against Brian Foster (25-8).
With the additions, the WSOF 29 card includes:
Champ Justin Gaethje vs. Brian Foster – for lightweight title
Josh Copeland vs. Mike Hayes
Cory Devela vs. Louis Taylor
Josh Cavan vs. Kris Hocum
The UFC’s debut event in Croatia had added three new bouts that include a handful of promotional newcomers.
UFC officials today announced the matchups.
UFC Fight Night 86 takes place April 10 at Zagreb Arena in Zagreb, Croatia. It airs on FOX Sports 1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.
The latest UFC Fight Night 86 card includes:
Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Ruslan Magomedov
Jan Blachowicz vs. Igor Pokrajac
Bojan Mihajlovic vs. Francis Ngannou
Nicolas Dalby vs. Bartosz Fabinski
Timothy Johnson vs. Marcin Tybura
Alessio Di Chirico vs. Bojan Velickovic
Damir Hadzovic vs. Mairbek Taisumov
Jon Jones will get the chance to rematch his biggest rival when he faces off with Daniel Cormier in April. At least, that’s the plan according to UFC President Dana White.
While speaking with FOX Sports, White said of the rematch, “It’s probably going to happen in April.”
As for a time and place? That’s still up in the air as well. Though UFC 197, currently scheduled for April 23 would seem a strong contender.
7 hours ago
I wanted to update you all on how my injury has been progressing.
First off, I want to thank you all for your amazing support. Your messages and your support have really helped me and my family through a tough time.
I had orthoscopic surgery on Monday morning to remove some bone spurs that were pinching my sciatic nerve. The surgery was a complete success and I can’t tell you how well I’m feeling already.
My doctors have recommended I take it easy for now but can begin light training in about two weeks. They also think I’ll be able to train at 100% in about four to five weeks. I’ll follow their orders but I can’t wait to get back in there.
I’ll keep updating everyone right here and on Twitter.