Mickey Gall after 'soccer-mom small talk' with CM Punk: 'I get to beat up a superstar'
LAS VEGAS – Mickey Gall’s UFC debut had it all: plenty of media attention, a quick finish, a pivotal win and an awkward in-cage face-off with his next opponent.
In one of Saturday’s more peculiar UFC Fight Night 82 matchups, Gall (2-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) needed a mere 45 seconds to choke out fellow welterweight Mike Jackson (0-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) in the night’s final UFC Fight Pass-streamed preliminary-card bout (via Twitter):
Johny Hendricks won't blame training camp change for loss to 'Wonderboy'
Johny Hendricks came into a UFC fight for the first time without flying the Team Takedown banner Saturday night. That bout ended in a first-round loss for the former UFC welterweight champion.
Hendricks, though, did not want to blame the camp and management change for his TKO defeat against Stephen Thompson in the main event of UFC Fight Night 82 in Las Vegas.
"Stephen Thompson was just a better man tonight," Hendricks said at the post-fight press conference. "What can I say? He performed. I hesitated. I don't hesitate usually. A lot of it goes into preparation. I switched camps and all these other things. But no excuses. He was just a better man."
Click Debate: Aljamain Sterling, free agency and the concept of value in MMA
In any other sport, Aljamain Sterling would be the prototype of what any franchise would want.
He's one of the very best in the world in his category and has the numbers to back it up. At 26, Sterling is not quite at his physical peak. He's athletic, fundamentally sound and intelligent in competition.
Outside competition, he's charismatic and good with the media. He's never been in any kind of trouble. Sterling may be critical of some aspects of management on social media, but he's hardly a malcontent.
Stephen Thompson’s virtuoso performance places him in complicated title picture
LAS VEGAS – If Stephen Thompson was ever going to announce that he had arrived, Saturday night was a good time to do it. His UFC 196 pay-per-view co-main event with Johny Hendricks became a UFC Fight Night main event on free television when the Cain Velasquez-Fabricio Werdum heavyweight title fight fell out. Hendricks was a former champion who was still positioned near the top of the division. And it was ripe set-up for a knockout artist like "Wonderboy" to prove that even the most infallible chins cave in behind his touch.
UFC 197 set for April 23 in Vegas with Cormier-Jones 2, Johnson-Cejudo title fights
Jon Jones’ return to the octagon is official. The former UFC light heavyweight champion will attempt to regain the belt he never lost in the cage when he faces current titleholder Daniel Cormier in a rematch at UFC 197 on April 23.
Complimenting the 205-pound grudge match between Cormier (17-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) and Jones (21-1 MMA, 15-1 UFC) at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena will be a flyweight title contest. Reigning 125-pound champion Demetrious Johnson (23-2-1 MMA, 11-1-1 UFC) will look for his eighth consecutive title defense against undefeated challenger Henry Cejudo (10-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC).
The UFC announced both fights during tonight’s UFC Fight Night 82 broadcast on FOX Sports 1.
John Dodson vs. Bryan Caraway scrapped; Dodson vs. Rani Yahya could be up next
Another potential Bryan Caraway fight has passed by.
It seems everyone at 135 pounds wants to fight the polarizing bantamweight. Most recently, John Dodson was the name linked to Caraway for a matchup.
But that potential fight is off, and Dodson will look for another opponent for his bantamweight return, MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani reported on Wednesday's edition of UFC Tonight.
The sticking point was that Caraway did not want to fight in April, which was the proposed time frame, due to "personal reasons." Dodson is itching to get back to action and doesn't want to wait any longer.
Sweepstakes bout to face CM Punk is just about the damdest thing you’ll see
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.
UFC donates $1,000,000 to Ruvo Center
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.
UFC Fight Night 81 salaries: Dominick Cruz earns $110,000 in championship return
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.
B.J. Penn 'guarantees' he'll fight at UFC 196; potentially against Dennis Siver
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.
Report: Ex-UFC fighter Karlos Vemola sentenced to one year in jail for illegal cannabis farming
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.
If CM Punk loses in UFC debut, Dana White will leave fighting again 'up to him'
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?
UFC on FOX 19: Tecia Torres vs Rose Namajunas rematch likely for April 16
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.
'Bendo' brushes off White's parting shot, now advising other potential free agents
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 eyes summer UFC return, wants McGregor, Mendes, Aldo or Edgar
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.
'Cowboy' vs. 'Cowboy' set as new UFC Fight Night 83 headliner (Updated)
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
UFC Fight Night 86 in Croatia adds three bouts with handful of newcomers
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
Dana White: Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier rematch 'probably going to happen in April'
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.