Jon Jones breaks silence, says he's 'expecting to be back in the Octagon really soon'
The Jon Jones saga is not even close to being over. As the greatest talent to ever enter the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Octagon, it's going to be very tough to keep the former Light Heavyweight champion away from a comeback.
But as Jones gets dragged through the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) process after testing positive for banned substances prior to his UFC 200 title rematch with Daniel Cormier, which Jones got yanked from, what's going to be left of the 29-year-old superstar? And for that matter, when can fight fans expect Jones back?
Leave it up to the pound-for-pound legend to finally break his silence following UFC 200's debacle, reach out to his fans and give an update about his current state of play, recently posting this video to Instagram
Travis Browne steps in for Ben Rothwell, rematches Fabricio Werdum at UFC 203
Travis Browne will get a second crack at Fabricio Werdum.
MMAjunkie today confirmed with two people familiar with the agreement that Browne and Werdum have verbally committed to meet at UFC 203. Those people spoke on the condition of anonymity because they are not publicly authorized to discuss such matters.
The move was necessitated by an injury to Ben Rothwell, who was originally expected to face Werdum. Bout agreements for the new contest are expected to be finalized shortly.
The UFC 203 lineup now includes:
Stipe Miocic vs. Alistair Overeem
Travis Browne vs. Fabricio Werdum
Nik Lentz vs. Mairbek Taisumov
Damir Hadzovic vs. Yukawa Kazuya
Mickey Gall vs. CM Punk
Bethe Correia vs. Jessica Eye
Urijah Faber vs. Jimmie Rivera
Jessica Andrade vs. Joanne Calderwood
Ray Borg vs. Ian McCall
Caio Magalhaes vs. Brad Tavares
Drew Dober vs. Jason Gonzalez
Injury forces Ben Rothwell out of UFC 203 co-main event with Fabricio Werdum
UFC heavyweight Ben Rothwell is withdrawing from UFC 203 due to a knee injury, multiple sources today told MMAjunkie.
The UFC is seeking a replacement for ex-champ Fabricio Werdum (20-6-1 MMA, 8-3 UFC) for the event, which takes place Sept. 10 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.
A team representative said Rothwell (36-10 MMA, 6-4 UFC) may have suffered a torn meniscus and could have an ACL injury.
Not cut, Ben Saunders explains why he’s no longer on the UFC roster
Ben Saunders wanted to clear up a few things, so he took to the UG forum Monday evening.
After news surfaced that he was no longer with the UFC, the popular welterweight fighter explained his version of what went on over the last few months. Saunders said he was not cut by the UFC. Instead, he said he fought out his contract and, due to multiple personal reasons, was not quick to re-sign.
Once Saunders did feel ready to put pen on paper, he said, it was too late. The UFC had already moved on without him.
Benson Henderson: Mackenzie Dern ‘will be bigger than Ronda Rousey'
Benson Henderson's MMA Lab has long been one of the top fight camps in the world. However one of the team's brightest stars is still in the infancy of her mixed martial arts career.
At the age of 23, jiu-jitsu prodigy Mackenzie Dern showcased her vast potential at Legacy FC 58 in July, dominating Kenia Rosas to win her professional debut with a one-sided decision. Now, with her first step out of the way, Henderson sees big things ahead in Dern's fighting future.
"She will be bigger than Ronda Rousey before Ronda Rousey lost," Henderson said Monday on The MMA Hour. "She's going to be huge. She's going to be big. She has an excellent work ethic.
"Go look her up, she is a multiple-time jiu-jitsu world champion. She's won ADCC. She's won Abu Dhabi. She's won Worlds. She's the current No. 1 ranked female jiu-jitsu practitioner on the planet. She has an amazing work ethic. She's an amazing athlete. She definitely needs to work on her MMA skills, but her ground game is phenomenal. Any woman on the planet goes to the ground with Mackenzie and Mackenzie is going to tap her, or dominate her like she did her first opponent."
Dern is indeed the current No. 1 ranked IBJJF female jiu-jitsu player in the world, and her list of accolades rivals those of any female grappler in history.
A jiu-jitsu black belt under her father Wellington "Megaton" Dias, Dern won many of her grappling titles competing between 127 and 132 pounds, however she cut down to the 115-pound strawweight division for her MMA debut and has stated that her goal is to sign with the UFC in 2017.
Demetrious Johnson now targeting December return against TUF 24 winner
Demetrious Johnson was hoping to get two more fights in before the end of the year, but that doesn't appear to be the case anymore.
The UFC flyweight champion is now targeting a return to the Octagon in December, according to sources. His opponent will be the winner of "The Ultimate Fighter" season 24, which will feature flyweight champions from outside the UFC competing for a title shot.
Former Interim Heavyweight Champ Shane Carwin Considering UFC Return
Carwin, now 41 years old, initially announced his retirement from MMA on May 7, 2013 following a six-bout stint with the UFC. The end of his tenure was plagued by injuries, as the Grudge Training Center product first had back surgery following a loss to Junior dos Santos at UFC 131. He returned to coach “The Ultimate Fighter 13” opposite Roy Nelson but was unable to face “Big Country” at the show’s finale due to a knee injury. The loss to dos Santos would ultimately be his last fight.
Cro Cop: USADA Offered Me Protection If I Snitched
Shortly after retiring following being slapped with a two-year suspension from the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), mixed martial arts (MMA) legend Mirko Cro Cop was reportedly offered protection from his two-year ban if he would ‘snitch on another fighter’.
Ina Ferencic took to Twitter to break the story, stating Cro Cop revealed the news on a Croatian RTL video interview:
Done with major MMA gyms, Melvin Guillard's goal is to collect full paycheck at Bellator 159
More than two years have passed since Melvin Guillard was credited with a full paycheck. It’s all by his own doing, though; he’s either failed to collect his win bonus, or a portion of his contracted money was taken away due to missing weight.
It’s been a rough couple of years for Guillard (32-16-2 MMA, 0-2 BMMA), who Friday’s Bellator 159 co-main event showdown with David Rickels (17-4 MMA, 11-4 BMMA) on the first three-fight losing skid of his career. He has just three victories in his past 12 fights overall.
The past five years have been a forgettable stretch for “The Young Assassin,” who at 33 and with more than 50 professional fights on his resume, isn’t all that young anymore.
UFC heavyweight Roy Nelson lands role in 'Kickboxer: Retaliation'
UFC strawweight Paige VanZant may have chosen to take a pass on filming a role for ‘Kickboxer: Retaliation” but heavyweight Roy Nelson did not.
According to a press release, “Big Country” Nelson (21-13 MMA, 8-9 UFC) has joined the cast for the second film of a planned trilogy. He’ll appear alongside one of the most unique casts in motion picture history...
Mayhem Miller arrested again after alleged tussle with two women
Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller is facing yet more legal trouble. This time the former UFC fighter was detained due to an incident at a sports bar in Costa Mesa, California late on Saturday night.
n what is becoming a sad and concerning trend, former UFC fighter Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller was arrested this weekend after he was allegedly involved in an altercation with two women. The incident occurred at 2.a.m on Sunday at Saddle Ranch Chop House in Costa Mesa, California.
According to Chris Haire of The Orange County Registrar Miller was observed arguing with two women inside the establishment. The OC Registrar stated that one of the women slapped Miller and in response, the veteran of over thirty professional mixed-martial-arts fights grabbed the woman and attempted to punch her. At this point, the establishment’s security personnel were able to intervene. Miller was then taken down to the ground and hhandcuffed.
Amanda Nunes reacts to becoming the first openly gay UFC champion
Amanda Nunes made history on a big night.
With her win over Miesha Tate, Nunes became the first openly gay champion ever in the UFC. The talented Brazilian submitted Tate in the first round with a rear-naked choke in the main event of UFC 200 on Saturday to take home the women's bantamweight title.
"It's amazing," Nunes said of becoming the UFC's first openly gay champ. "The most important thing is I'm happy with my life. That's the most important thing."
UFC 200 Aftermath: Brock Lesnar proves his point
As Brock Lesnar took the podium for his one-man press conference in a sweltering, makeshift tent outside T-Mobile Arena (they couldn't find money in the new joint's $375 million construction budget for a proper press conference room?), he looked like a man who had exercised his demons.
The way Lesnar left the sport of mixed martial arts five years ago wasn't exactly the sort of closing chapter any fighter wants to have. Lesnar, who had mastered the ability of channeling his ridiculous size and strength for MMA wrestling purposes, never quite did the same with his standup game.
UFC star Conor McGregor appears naked on the cover of ESPN the Magazine's annual 'Body Issue.'
On July 6th, ESPN the Magazine releases its eighth edition of the "Body Issue" for online consumption (July 8th for those of you who still enjoy picking up a hard copy). A total of 19 athletes will be represented in the issue – known for presenting strong types in vulnerable ways – and here's a sneak peek at MMA star Conor McGregor's body-baring cover photo. Never shy, this was McGregor's first interview following his April 19th tweet suggesting that he was retiring early, and he explained some of his mental tactics.
Ricardo Abreu informed of potential USADA anti-doping violation following out-of-competition test
Two-time UFC middleweight veteran Ricardo Abreu has been notified of a potential UFC anti-doping policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample.
UFC officials today announced the finding after being informed of the result by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.
“USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case,” the statement read. “It is important to note that, under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, there is a full and fair review process that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed. Additional information will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward.”
Georges St-Pierre says he could 'easily' fight at lightweight in UFC comeback
Georges St-Pierre teased a move up to middleweight to challenge UFC champion Michael Bisping for his long-awaited UFC comeback, but that isn't the only weight class in the sights of the returning welterweight legend.
"If I wanted to, I could fight at lightweight as well. Easy. Easy," St-Pierre said Monday on The MMA Hour.
"I'm not a big welterweight," St-Pierre said. "I walk around 187 (pounds). I'm 186, 187 when I wake up in the morning, and I could easily make it (with) a diet, because a lot of lightweights are bigger than me. Welterweight, I don't even talk about it because most of them are bigger than me, of course, and middleweight, they're much bigger than me. But it's not really about size. It's about skills."
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)
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.
Fedor Emelianenko says he's closer than ever to signing with the UFC
Fedor Emelianenko to the UFC? Finally? It could happen in 2016, said the man himself.
Emelianenko told Ariel Helwani on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour that he is closer than ever to signing a contract with the world's leading MMA promotion. And his next fight, after this weekend's bout under the Eurasia Fight Nights banner, could very well be in the Octagon.
"Yes," Emelianenko said through a translator. "In a word, yes. That possibility does exist."
Chad Mendes flagged for 'potential' USADA violation
The dominoes continue to fall in the UFC's crusade for a cleaner sport.
The UFC announced Friday that two-time featherweight title contender Chad Mendes has been flagged for a "potential Anti-Doping Policy violation" stemming from an out-of-competition drug test collected by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). The UFC did not specify the nature of the banned substance found in Mendes' sample.
The UFC's statement can be read below.
"The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Chad Mendes of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample collection.
USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case. It is important to note that, under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, there is a full and fair review process that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed. Additional information will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward."