MMA Fighting's statement on UFC's media actions Saturday night
MMA Fighting reporter and host Ariel Helwani was removed from UFC 199, along with MMA Fighting photo journalist Esther Lin and MMA Fighting videographer Casey Leydon, after Ariel accurately broke the news of Brock Lesnar's return to the UFC and the forthcoming Nate Diaz vs. Conor McGregor rematch.
MMA Fighting and SB Nation fully support Ariel, Casey, Esther and the entire MMA Fighting staff. And we appreciate the support we have received from the MMA Fighting audience and community.
The UFC has not been in contact with us since revoking the credentials of Ariel, Esther and Casey. But we will keep you, our audience, informed of the situation.
Ariel will address what occurred at UFC 199 on tomorrow's MMA Hour. The show begins at 1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT
Kevin Lockland is the VP of Editorial Operations at SB Nation. Bryan Tucker is the managing editor of MMA Fighting.
With UFC 199, a great night was spoiled by a petty media banning
What a time to be a fight fan, I found myself thinking as Bisping stood there in the octagon, patting that gold belt like he couldn’t believe it was real. If only the night’s news had ended there.
But see, the thing that spoiled the evening for me was when I looked on Twitter and saw a missive from Ariel Helwani (via Twitter), the MMAFighting.com reporter who broke the news that Lesnar was in talks to return to the cage shortly before the UFC 200 promo confirmed it.
According to Helwani, not long after he reported that scoop UFC staff escorted him out of the building, relieved him of his media credential, and – again, according to Helwani’s characterization of events – told he was “banned for life”
Rematch between Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor set for UFC 202
It’s been scheduled, cancelled, talked about endlessly and now it’s done. The rematch between Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor is officially set for UFC 202.
The UFC announced the match-up during the pay-per-view broadcast for UFC 199. The event will take place August 20 from a venue to be determined. The main card will air on pay-per-view.
MMA legend Don Frye set for induction into UFC Hall of Fame
MMA legend Don Frye is the newest member of the UFC Hall of Fame.
UFC officials today announced that Frye (20-9-1 MMA, 9-1 UFC) will be inducted in the UFC Hall of Fame as part of this summer’s International Fight Week festivities along with heavyweight legend Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and UFC co-founder Bob Meyrowitz.
Brock Lesnar close to finalizing deal to fight at UFC 200
Here comes the pain. Again?
The UFC is in serious talks with former heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar to have him fight at UFC 200 on July 9 in Las Vegas, multiple sources confirmed with MMA Fighting.
Both sides are close to finalizing a deal, and if all goes well, Lesnar's return to mixed martial arts could be announced imminently.
UFC 199 pre-fight facts: Inside the numbers for a pair of title-fight rematches in SoCal
The UFC’s second pay-per-view event in a 21-day period takes place Saturday with UFC 199 at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif.
In the main event, middleweight titleholder Luke Rockhold (15-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC) goes for his first title defense when he takes on Michael Bisping (28-7 MMA, 18-7 UFC).
The co-headliner features a rare championship trilogy contest when longtime rivals Dominick Cruz (21-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) and Urijah Faber (33-8 MMA, 9-4 UFC) look to settle their differences once and for all with the bantamweight belt up for grabs.
While two title fights would ordinarily be enough to carry a card, the organization has stacked the deck with several other bouts of significance. For more on the numbers behind all those matchups, check out 80 pre-fight facts about UFC 199...
Michael Bisping: ‘A lot of the UFC roster' are ‘posers' -- ‘I'm a real fighter'
As they have been all week, tensions were high between UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold and Michael Bisping at Friday's UFC 199 weigh-ins.
After both fighters successfully tipped the scales at the 185-pound middleweight limit, Bisping kicked off the customary staredown with a playful jab to Rockhold's stomach. From there the expletives flew as UFC president Dana White tried valiantly to keep the two rivals separated ahead of their rematch on Saturday night in the main event of UFC 199.
CSAC doctor: Champ Luke Rockhold has Grade II MCL sprain, but OK to fight at UFC 199
The all-clear has been given on UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold’s knee, paving the way for his fight with Michael Bisping at UFC 199.
Concerns were raised at Thursday’s news conference for the pay-per-view event when Rockhold claimed to have suffered a torn MCL in preparation for his first title defense, which takes place at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif.
But the fighter passed an examination by a ringside physician from the California State Athletic Commission, which will regulate Saturday’s pay-per-view event. The doctor who checked him out said that while Rockhold has a Grade II “strain” of his medical collateral ligament, he has good stability in his knee and is healthy enough to compete.
“As far as his physical exam, no, (there is no evidence of an MCL tear),” said Dr. Diego Allende, an osteopathic, family medicine, and anti-aging doctor who spoke to MMAjunkie today after preliminary weigh-ins for the event. “He has good stability, good range of motion; he cleared completely on the examination. I have all the confidence in the world that that won’t be an issue in his competition tomorrow night.”
Nikita Krylov vs. Ed Herman added to UFC 201 in Atlanta
Nikita Krylov (20-4 MMA, 5-2 UFC) will go for his fifth straight UFC victory when he meets Ed Herman (23-11 MMA, 10-7 UFC) at UFC 201.
UFC officials today announced the bout via UFC.com.
UFC 201 takes place July 30 at Atlanta’s Philips Arena. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FOX Sports 1 and UFC Fight Pass, though the bout order hasn’t been finalized.
Krylov, a 24-year-old Ukrainian, joined the UFC as a heavyweight in 2013 and suffered a TKO loss to Soa Palelei. After an eventual drop to light heavyweight, he’s recently found plenty of success. He’s currently riding a four-fight winning streak that includes a TKO victory over Cody Donovan and submission wins over Stanislav Nedkov, Marcos Rogerio de Lima and Francimar Barroso.
Luke Rockhold reveals he tore MCL in training before UFC 199
INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- Those paying close attention knew Luke Rockhold had a knee injury leading up to UFC 199. He was wearing a brace in some pictures. Rockhold also vaguely alluded to the knee being hurt.
On Thursday, though, the UFC middleweight champion revealed the extent of the injury during the UFC 199 pre-fight press conference: he actually tore his MCL.
That's a fairly serious ailment to deal with heading into a fight. Rockhold said it obviously made life difficult in camp.
Fighters react to earlier UFC 199 weigh-in, new CSAC rules
INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- The way Ricardo Lamas describes it, the backstage area at many MMA weigh-ins resembles a triage unit.
"When we go outside [the curtains], the crowd kind of pumps us up," Lamas told MMA Fighting on Thursday at UFC 199 media day at The Forum. "If you go behind there and you see guys doubled over, leaning on tables. It looks horrible."
Fans and onlookers only see the end of the weigh-cutting process. They see fighters walk on stage, step on the scale and square off. That's it. The few hours prior to that are absolutely loathsome to most fighters.
Stevie Ray out, Kevin Lee in against Jake Matthews at TUF 23 Finale
Lightweight prospect Stevie Ray has been forced to withdraw from his fight on July 8 against Jake Matthews at The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale, the UFC confirmed on Thursday following an initial report by The Daily Telegraph. In Ray's stead, Matthews will take on fellow prospect Kevin Lee, who steps in as a replacement on five weeks' notice.
Lee (12-2) is a 23-year-old former Division II wrestler who has won five of his seven contests inside the Octagon since debuting in 2014.
Christian Colombo Gets UFC Contract
Dane Christian Colombo looks to be headed to the Octagon. GNP1.de is reporting that “Godzilla” will be facing Jarjis Danho at the UFC in Hamburg, Germany on September 3. Colombo brings in an 8 win and 1 loss record, including six straight wins.
The heavyweight let on a little about some pending news, when last week he posted on Facebook, “Big news start next week and yes it is about Fighting….”
Colombo was last in the cage in December, when he TKO’d Tom Sasaki. He will become the first Danish heavyweight in the 8 sided cage. The big man turned pro back in 2010, and has only had one fight since 2013.
UFC Fight Night 88 salaries: 23-fight UFC vet Jeremy Stephens earns top payout
Jeremy Stephens, who’s fought 23 times under the UFC banner, earned the largest disclosed payout at Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 88 event.
MMAjunkie today requested and received the list of disclosed paydays from the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which oversaw the event.
UFC Fight Night 88 took place Sunday at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The card aired on FOX Sports 1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.
Stephens (25-12 MMA, 12-11 UFC) earned a unanimous-decision victory over former bantamweight champion Renan Barao (33-4 MMA, 8-3 UFC), who moved up to featherweight for the fight, in the night’s co-headliner. Like Stephens, Barao earned $50,000 to show, and he would’ve earned a $50,000 win bonus if victorious.
Cody Garbrandt wants Bryan Caraway at UFC 203: 'I'm on a different level'
Cody Garbrandt notched the biggest victory of his young career Sunday evening at UFC Fight Night 88, knocking out the previously undefeated Thomas Almeida in Round 1.
Now, "No Love" turns his attention to his next opponent, and he already has a name and a date in mind.
"Going into this fight with Thomas Almeida, obviously Aljamain Sterling and Bryan Caraway [were] matched up [on the card] too, and they talked about the winners facing each other," Garbrandt told Ariel Helwani on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour. "So, I have no doubt in my mind that if Aljamain would’ve won, I’d be fighting Aljamain. Bryan won, so now why can’t I fight Bryan? Why shouldn’t I be fighting Bryan for the next in line for a title shot or that ranking up there? I think I just got ranked fifth, he’s fourth, so let’s fight Sept. 10 [at UFC 203]."
Jack Hermansson Signed to UFC, Booked for Hamburg
Jack Hermansson (13-2) has signed with the UFC. It became official today, as the UFC announced that the Swede will be facing the UK’s Scott Askham at the UFC in Hamburg, Germany on September 3. “It feels fantastic, I am looking forward to it like crazy!! ” says an excited Hermansson to MMAViking.com immediately after the signing.