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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Rafael dos Anjos puts title on line against Eddie Alvarez at UFC Fight Night 90
Rafael dos Anjos will be the first male fighter to defend a title on UFC Fight Pass this July when he puts his belt on the line against Eddie Alvarez at UFC Fight Night 90.
UFC Fight Night 90 is a part of the massive week of fights surrounding UFC 200. The event takes place Thursday, July 7 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The entire event will stream on UFC Fight Pass.
Jessica Andrade Drops to Strawweight to Fight Jessica Penne at UFC 199
After struggling to crack the title picture at bantamweight, Jessica Andrade drops to 115 pounds to face Jessica Penne at UFC 199 on June 4 in Los Angeles. UFC officials announced the bout on Thursday.
Andrade (13-5) started strong in the Octagon, winning three of her first four fights. She has since gone 1-2, thus making the decision to give strawweight a go. She’ll be dropping a full 20 pounds to make the shift in weight classes.
UFC Heavyweight Mark Hunt Signs 6-Fight, Multi-Million Dollar Contract
UFC heavyweight Mark Hunt has signed a multi-fight contract to remain with the Las Vegas-based promotion until the end of his mixed martial arts career.
UFC Tonight confirmed the news on Wednesday, but specific terms of Hunt’s deal were not disclosed on the show. According to a report from New Zealand-based stuff.co.nz, Hunt’s new contract is a “six fight multi-million dollar deal” that spans 30 months in total.
Dan Henderson to meet Hector Lombard at UFC 199
Lyoto Machida's drug testing issues removed him from this weekend's UFC on Fox 19 bout with Dan Henderson, but the UFC is apparently re-booking Hendo fairly soon. According to a report from Sherdog, Henderson will meet Hector Lombard at middleweight at UFC 199 on June 4th in Los Angeles.
The 45-year-old Henderson (31-14, 8-8 UFC) is coming off a quick loss to Vitor Belfort last November. He's 1-2 since he returned to the 185-pound division, with a knockout win over Tim Boetsch along with the Belfort loss and a loss to Gegard Mousasi.
Head coach: Joseph Benavidez no longer with Team Alpha Male
UFC flyweight contender Joseph Benavidez is the latest fighter to leave Sacramento's Team Alpha Male.
Team Alpha Male head coach Justin Buchholz confirmed Benavidez is no longer with the team and hasn't trained at the Ultimate Fitness facilities since December, when Buchholz took over as head coach, on his podcast, Stud Show Radio, Wednesday night.
"He did leave the team," Buchholz said. "I mean, you train here in Sacramento, you're part of Team Alpha Male, or you don't live here.
"He hasn't trained at all since I took over as head coach. I mean, I don't know. I thought Joe would at least give a chance of me, and Danny, and Holdsworth running this new program along with Master Thong and Joey. But he never did. He came in town for one week, he moved his house, did, like, one boxing class.
Ortega Battles Guida at UFC 199
Unbeaten featherweight prospect Brian Ortega will fight in his southern California backyard for the first time as a UFC fighter on June 4 when he faces veteran Clay Guida in a UFC 199 bout at The Forum in Inglewood, California.
Machida admits use of banned substance, UFC scraps Fox 19 fight with Henderson
UFC on Fox 19 just took another major hit. The bad news started rolling in last week, when officials announced that Tony Ferguson had been pulled from his headlining bout against Khabib Nurmagomedov, following a fluid buildup in his lungs. Eventually a replacement was found to fight Khabib on the main card, newcomer Darrell Horcher, but it was a major blow to the card's lineup of meaningful bouts.
And that ball is still rolling, as the UFC announced today via press release that Lyoto Machida has been removed from this week's Fox card as well, and his planned fight with Dan Henderson has been cancelled. It's not injury related though, as this appears to be one of the rare times where USADA testing has cancelled a big fight.
UFC releases statement on B.J. Penn investigation
The UFC made official on Wednesday the return of UFC Hall of Famer B.J. Penn, as well as the results of an investigation conducted into allegations of misconduct.
Penn, 37, will meet Dennis Siver in a featherweight bout at UFC 199 at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., his first fight since announcing his retirement in the summer of 2014. The bout was initially reported by Yahoo Sports.
The former UFC welterweight and lightweight champion announced his intentions to return earlier in the year, but was put on hold when a string of sexual assault allegations surfaced.
Thursday, the UFC released a formal statement on the matter, which noted that no actions, civil or criminal, have been taken against Penn involving the allegations, but reserved the right to act based should new information come to light.
"Following a review of the matter by Campbell & Williams, a Las Vegas-based law firm hired by UFC to evaluate the situation, UFC has been informed that no criminal or civil charges have been filed against Penn to date, nor has any action been taken by local law enforcement. It should be noted that UFC reserves the right to reevaluate the matter should new information be made available," the UFC statement read.
Mike Jackson released by UFC after just one bout, headed for the boxing ring
The situation was all a little novel, but Mike Jackson -- who made his UFC debut against fellow debutant Mickey Gall on Feb. 6 in Las Vegas -- was never long for the Octagon.
Jackson has been released by the promotion after getting submitted in 45 seconds against Gall, the fighter who was discovered during an airing of Lookin' For A Fight being groomed for the chance to face pro wrestler-turned-mixed martial artist CM Punk (real name Phil Brooks).
Tito Ortiz suing manager of Jon Jones, Wayne Harriman, for unpaid 'loan'
A lawsuit filed by former UFC light heavyweight champion and current Bellator star Jacob "Tito" Ortiz against veteran MMA promoter and manager Wayne Harriman in Clark County, Nevada District Court last October for "breach of contract" is now progressing to the discovery phase.
In a complaint filed on October 22, 2015 by Tito Ortiz's attorneys, Martin Little and Taylor Waite, it is claimed that on July 19, 2011 Ortiz loaned Wayne Harriman "a sum of money in excess of Ten Thousand and no/100 dollars" (according to the March 30th, 2016 Commissioner's decision on request for exemption the amount was $125,000.) Harriman is alleged by Ortiz to have signed a "Simple Promissory Note (the "Note") wherein he expressly agreed to pay back the Loan, plus interest, by no later than August 1, 2012."
UFC earns best afternoon ratings ever on Fox Sports 1 with UFC Fight Night 86
A heavyweight contenders battle with Junior Dos Santos beating Ben Rothwell on Sunday did 781,000 viewers, the most-watched of the four afternoon live main cards to date on FS 1, and doubling the numbers of a similar show last year.
Sunday's Junior dos Santos vs. Ben Rothwell fight scored strong numbers, setting records for a live UFC afternoon show on FS 1.
The main card averaged 781,000 viewers, airing between 2 p.m. at 5:20 p.m. Eastern time. The UFC led FS1 to first place in viewership among all the sports cable networks in the time slot.
The audience was larger than several shows in 2015 that aired in prime time, as UFC ratings continue to be significantly up from last year's levels.
It was the most-watched UFC Fight Night show that aired outside of prime time on FS1 to date. It more than doubled the previous afternoon show one year ago that did 389,000 viewers, a show headlined by Chad Mendes' win over Ricardo Lamas. UFC had done three previous afternoon shows on FS1.