Chael Sonnen thinks Conor McGregor made 'a big mistake'
As everyone is by now aware, Conor McGregor tweeted that he was retiring. Shortly afterwards, Dana White announced that the UFC had removed McGregor from his scheduled bout at UFC 200. And for the rest of the afternoon and evening, MMA fans the world over desperately scoured the internet to figure out what precipitated all of this.
Well Chael Sonnen thinks he knows. Last night after all the hoopla, Sonnen did a Facebook live chat where he answered many listener comments surrounding McGregor's situation and talked about his knowledge of the behind the scenes workings.
"I don't have any inside info on this. Just being around the business since the 90's, I know how it works. I know how this whole thing went down. And if I tell you what I think, I guarantee I'm 98 percent right if not 100.
"Conor had a deal with the UFC. And Conor's now going back and trying to renegotiate and it just doesn't work that way. It can't. You can't write everything down, you can't get your contracts done all the time in this business. There's 500 guys under contract. There's not even that many employees in the UFC. I think there's like 340 employees with 500 fighters. There's 53 shows scheduled for a year that only has 52 weeks in the year. You have to be able to make a phone call, count on whatever the guy says, hang up the phone and that's the end of it. You have to be able to do that.
"Conor has a contract, he made a deal, somewhere he didn't sign it. Let the promotion go out, let the money get spent and then realized ‘I've got the upper hand. Now I can come back and renegotiate. Who's going to tell me no when the advertising is already done?' That's what he did. Guaranteed. With no inside knowledge, guaranteed that's what happened."
Former middleweight champ Brandon Halsey faces John Salter at Bellator 156
Brandon Halsey will resume his attempt to recapture the middleweight title when he faces John Salter at Bellator 156.
The bout was announced via a press release.
Bellator 156 takes place June 17 at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif. The main card airs on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.
Halsey (9-1 MMA, 7-1 BMMA) didn’t lose his title in the ring, instead dropping it on the scales when he failed to make weight against Kendall Grove at Bellator 137. He returned to action after stopping Grove by suffering his first career loss when he was stopped by a Rafael Carvalho body kick in the second round of their Bellator 144 bout.
Dana White: Conor McGregor has been pulled from UFC 200 headliner vs. Nate Diaz
The UFC 200 main event between featherweight champion Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz is off, promotion President Dana White said today.
White, appearing on ESPN’s “SportsCenter,” said the Irish titleholder – one of the company’s two most bankable fighters – has been pulled from a rematch with Diaz this July in Las Vegas after failing to agree to some of the required promotion for the event.
UFC superstar Conor McGregor already retiring?
With tasting defeat for the first time in the UFC against UFC veteran Nate Diaz at UFC 196, the two are set for an immediate rematch once again in a non-title welterweight bout that will headline UFC 200. However, McGregor tweeted on Tuesday out of nowhere that he is looking to close the curtains on his MMA career.
Hawaii police begin second-degree sexual assault investigation of BJ Penn
MMA Fighting reports that the police in former lightweight and welterweight champion BJ Penn's home town have begun a sexual-assault investigation of allegations made against the fighter by the girlfriend of the former editor of his website.
"Hilo (Hawaii) Police Department has launced a second-degree assault investigation into the UFC legend stemming from allegations made by the girlfriend of a former employee," the report reads.
"The alleged victim filed an incident report in February regarding the matter in Delaware County (Ohio), where she currently lives. Hilo PD public information officer Chris Loos confirmed to MMA Fighting on Monday that the Hilo PD received a hard copy of that incident report last week."
Penn said through a statement two months ago that the allegations made public by his former website editor were attempts at extorting him. No charges have been filed against Penn on this matter, yet, as far as we know.
Dana White: Rousey targeted for UFC's NY debut
When the UFC makes its long-awaited debut in New York, there’s a good chance former titleholder Ronda Rousey will be part of the card.
Earlier this month, MMA’s longtime ban in New York was lifted, and UFC officials quickly announced a Nov. 12 pay-per-view event at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Many fighters, especially those who hail from New York, have been stumping for a slot on the card, which comes on the 23rd anniversary of the first UFC event. But UFC President Dana White said one of the organization’s biggest stars – former women’s bantamweight champion Rousey (12-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) – could be a central piece of the lineup.
“(Rousey) definitely is part of the discussion,” White told ESPN’s “Beadle & Shelburne Show.” “She will fight whoever has that belt when she comes back.”
Jon Jones "I was a drug addict", blames weed for his downfall
“I was a drug addict,” Jones says as lunch arrives at an Albuquerque restaurant midway through the course of a day spent with USA TODAY Sports in late March, a month out from his UFC 197 headline bout with Ovince Saint Preux in Las Vegas on Saturday.
“One thing people don’t realize is that you can be a drug addict even if you are a stoner. If you are waking up every day and smoking, smoking before you eat, smoking before you train, smoke before you sleep, smoking before you watch a movie, smoking before your study session, you are an addict. It doesn’t have to be a hard drug to be an addict.
“If you’re spending lots of money on it and all your friends are people who do it as well and you don’t really associate with people who are completely sober, then, yeah, you are an addict. I think that’s why people have these issues with marijuana, because they don’t really consider it a drug.”
Report: Former Sengoku champ among 4 fighters removed from UFC roster
April appears to have been an especially deep month for UFC roster trimming. To date, ten fighters have either been removed from the ranks over at UFC.com, or have self reported their release from the promotion. The latest names include strawweight Emily Peters Kagan, bantamweight Masanori Kanehara, featherweight Damon Jackson, and recent TUF alum Martin Svensson. UFCFIGHTERSiNFO reported most of the changes to the UFC's database via Twitter.
Latest Kimbo Slice booking proves that, as long as we watch, anything goes in Bellator
A little more than two months ago, Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson fought and nearly killed a man at Bellator 149 in Houston, then tested positive for steroids, and now he’s already got another fight lined up as if none of it happened.
Actually, wait, that makes it sound worse than it really was, and that’s not fair. A more fair way of putting it would be to say that Slice fought a man who nearly died – or who did die, only to return, according to that man himself, Dhafir “Dada 5000” Harris – but that near-tragedy happened not so much as a result of Slice’s efforts as adjacent to them...
Dana White says Rose Namajunas needs another 'fight or 2' before next title shot
Pump the brakes on rushing to declare Rose Namajunas was No. 1 contender in the UFC strawweight division following her victory over Tecia Torres this past Saturday at UFC on FOX 19.
Namajunas (5-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) earned her third consecutive victory in a FOX-televised co-headliner at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla., topping the previously unbeaten Torres (7-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) by unanimous decision to avenge a July 2013 loss to “The Tiny Tornado” under the Invicta FC banner.
Alexey Oleinik reveals UFC offered Fedor more money than Rizin
Less than 24 hours removed from the announcement that Fedor will meet UFC veteran Fabio Maldonado in the main event of a Fight Nights show in June, Russian heavyweight Alexey Oleinik has already publicly criticized the match-up.
According to the UFC fighter, Fedor has many interesting challengers at his disposal, yet opted to face a fighter on a significant losing streak.
Top flyweight Magomed Bibulatov sets sights on UFC title following Akhmat Grand Prix
At the start of 2016, the World Fighting Championships of Akhmat (WFCA) compiled an extensive list of foreign fighters to form various Grand Prix tournaments against their scores of Chechen fighters. Fighter such as Desmond Green, Kurt Holobaugh, Thiago Silva and Paulo Thiago were flown over to Grozny for the opening rounds of their respective tournaments. However, the crowning jewel of the first show was WSOF flyweight champion Magomed Bibulatov.
UFC Makes First Trip To South Dakota In July
The Octagon will set down in South Dakota for the first time on Wednesday, July 13, as the UFC presents a UFC Fight Night Event at the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls.
FOX Sports 1 will televise the event. No bouts have been determined for the card as of yet. Stay tuned to UFC.com for ticket on-sale dates and fight card announcements.
Diego Brandao arrested after allegedly striking strip club employee with gun
UFC featherweight Diego Brandao has been arrested after allegedly striking a strip club employee in the face with a gun, according to a report from Albuquerque Journal.
According to the report, “TUF 14” winner Brandao (20-11 MMA, 6-4 UFC) argued with the DJ at Albuquerque strip club Knockouts before leaving the establishment. He was later denied reentry and allegedly began attempting to punch club employees before leaving a second time and returning with a gun. Brandao then allegedly pointed the gun at a patron and employee before striking the employee with the weapon.
Brandao was reportedly charged with aggravated battery and three counts of aggravated assault.
Fedor vs. Fabio Maldonado - July 17th - Fight Nights - St. Petersburg, Russia
Fedor Emelianenko is fighting Fabio Maldonado on July 17th in St. Petersburg Russia. The event is being put on by Fight Nights, and according to one source is going to be a co-promotion with Rizin, but I'm not sure about that.
Vadim and M-1 are counter-programming the event with a tournament and a Shlemenko fight. Vadim said "St. Petersburg is his city"
The first two sources are both in foreign languages, but if you use google chrome, all you have to do is right-click and select "translate to english"
MMA corner also covered the story but they're reporting that "Rizin is targeting the match"
RFA 37 results: Devin Clark, Leandro Higo claim titles in night of finishes
Devin Clark (6-0) is the first light heavyweight champion in RFA history. He scored a second-round TKO victory over Rafael Viana (6-1).
The contest served as the headlining bout of Friday’s RFA 37 event, which took place at Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D., and aired on AXS TV.
After a wild opening exchange in which both men damaged their opponent in a torrid flurry, the pace settled a bit as Clark and Viana battled from the clinch for the remainder of the frame.
Clark scored a takedown early in the second, though Viana worked immediately back to his feet. It didn’t matter, as Clark simply outworked him on the feet and then eventually drove his foe back to the canvas. Viana appeared to have trouble with his right hand, but with UFC President Dana White in the crowd watching, he declined to opt out of the fight during the round. However, the injury did end up costing him the fight, as he declined to answer the bell for the third, eventually blaming a broken finger.
Randy Brown vs. Michael Graves moves to UFC on FOX 19 FOX-televised prelims
Tonight’s UFC on FOX 19 card has undergone one final (we hope) shuffle.
Late Friday, after the weigh-ins for the card, a lightweight bout between Drew Dober (16-7 MMA, 2-3 UFC) and Islam Makhachev (12-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) was scrapped from the prelims due to a potential failed pre-fight drug test for Makhachev.
The final UFC on FOX 19 lineup now includes:
MAIN CARD (FOX, 8 p.m. ET)
•Rashad Evans vs. Glover Teixeira
•Rose Namajunas vs. Tecia Torres
•Darrell Horcher vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov
•Hacran Dias vs. Cub Swanson
PRELIMINARY CARD (FOX, 6 p.m. ET)
•Michael Chiesa vs. Beneil Dariush
•Bethe Correia vs. Raquel Pennington
•Court McGee vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio
•Randy Brown vs. Michael Graves
PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 4:30 p.m. ET)
•John Dodson vs. Manny Gamburyan
•Oluwale Bamgbose vs. Cezar Ferreira
•Omari Akhmedov vs. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos
Jiri Prochazka, Kazuyuki Fujita on Point for Rizin FF 1; Yuki Motoya Misses FLW Limit
Czech prospect Jiri Prochazka and longtime Japanese MMA veteran Kazuyuki Fujita both hit the scales Saturday morning in Nagoya, Japan, to make their Rizin Fighting Federation main event official.
Rizin Fighting Federation 1 Weigh-in Results:
Jiri Prochazka (217) vs. Kazuyuki Fujita (240)
Vadim Nemkov (204) vs. Karl Albrektsson (205)
Teodoras Aukstuolis (215) vs. Jaideep Singh (214)
Gabi Garcia (209) vs. Anna Malyukova (200)
Tag Team Grappling Bout
Kazushi Sakuraba (181) / Hideo Tokoro (151) vs. Wanderlei Silva (220) / Kiyoshi Tamura (185)
Rena Kubota (112) vs. Cyndi Alves (112)
Daron Cruickshank (154) vs. Shinji Sasaki (154)
Kirill Sidelnikov (259) vs. Chris Barnett (301)
Yuta Watanabe (193) vs. Hisaki Kato (193)
Yuki Motoya (N/A) vs. Allan Nascimento (125)
Kanako Murata (117) vs. Natalya Denisova (115)
Hiroto Yamaguchi (141) vs. Tetsuya Yamato (141)
Danilo Zanolini (161) vs. Norihisa Amimoto (159)
Yuya Yamato (132) vs. Yuki (130)
White says Robbie Lawler targeted for UFC 201 or UFC 202, likely against Tyron Woodley
UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler doesn’t have his next fight booked just yet, but UFC President Dana White said that could change very soon.
White told AXS TV Fights broadcasters Pat Miletich and Michael Schiavello that he’s hoping to put Lawler on UFC 201 or UFC 202, and that while his opponent has not yet been secured, “It’s more than likely going to be (Tyron) Woodley.”
Lawler Robbie (27-10 MMA, 12-4 UFC) currently is ranked No. 1 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAunkie MMA welterweight rankings, while Woodley (15-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC) checks in at No. 3.
White was cageside at Friday’s RFA 37 event at Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D., where he was scouting new talent for his web series “Dana White: Lookin’ For a Fight.” He was interviewed during the event’s AXS TV broadcast.