Archive for the ‘MMA’ Category

UFC fighter Paige VanZant believes there’s an opportunity for crossover with the WWE and is still interested in working there, according to MMANews.com.

VanZant, who competes in the women’s flyweight division, is one of the most popular females in MMA to have never held a belt, and has already shown mainstream appeal after finishing second on Dancing with the Stars in 2016.

Currently in Portugal attending the global tech conference Web Summit, where WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon is one of the main speakers, VanZant said:-

“I’m not ready to leave the UFC just yet…I also think the WWE is an amazing organisation and it’s a very athletic entertainment industry which would suit me. There’s probably huge potential for a crossover down the line and of course I’m a big fan of what they do, so it would be great to be a part of.”

Perhaps seeking a deal similar to Brock Lesnar’s which would allow her to compete in both organisations, and of course following in the footsteps of current RAW Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey, VanZant apparently spoke to McMahon at the conference regarding a potential deal.

Holding a UFC record of 4-3, VanZant is currently ranked 15th in the women’s flyweight division, and many have called for her to make the transition into professional wrestling.

Nevertheless, for now she is focused on her return to the Octagon after a year away, where she faces Rachael Ostovich on 19th January in Brooklyn for UFC’s ESPN+ debut.

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CM Punk’s next move in mixed martial arts is assuredly safer than stepping inside the cage.

Punk, who made the ballyhooed move from WWE straight to UFC in 2014 , is set to turn in headlocks for a headset when he takes the microphone for the Cage Fury Fighting Championships card next month in New Jersey .

Punk with a live mic?

This is the wrestler that made ”pipe bomb ” part of the WWE lexicon when he crossed his legs on stage and cut a scathing promo about the state of his career and the industry that left even insiders curious about the legitimacy of the stunt.

But the straight-edge superstar is set to play it straight when he helps call the action on the CFFC card on Dec. 14 at the Borgata in Atlantic city. Punk will provide color commentary with play-by-play broadcaster Mike Gill and analyst Brian Palakow for the show scheduled to air on UFC Fight Pass. Cesar Balmaceda will fight for the CFFC interim lightweight title, one of three championship bouts on the card.

Punk would rather pack a punch with viewers for a night than take one in a fight.

”Somebody at home is probably thinking, ‘Hmm, that’s barbaric, I can’t relate to that, I’ve never been punched in the face,”’ Punk said. ”I kind of want to humanize everybody, get to the bottom of their story, who they are and why they do what they do.”

The 40-year-old Punk’s story is that he’s still an MMA fighter, though he faces an uncertain future in the sport after two decisive losses in UFC. Punk, the stage name of Phil Brooks, brought a wave of publicity to the sport when he made the jump with just a dash of true MMA skills. Punk never threw a punch in a loss to Mickey Gall in 2016 and was pounded in a unanimous decision defeat to Mike Jackson at UFC 225 in June. UFC President Dana White said Punk should ”call it a day” and was likely finished with the promotion.

Punk realized the clock is ticking on his fighting career.

”Since my last fight, I’ve been juggling a half-dozen things,” Punk said. ”I kind of gave myself a deadline of the beginning of the new year to find out what is coming next. I don’t rule anything out, absolutely not.”

So, after initial pause when he was offered the job, Punk took the leap into broadcasting for a promotion that was founded in 2006 and helped launch the career of Kimbo Slice and current UFC fighters Paul Felder and Jim Miller. Led by President Rob Haydak, CFFC has become one of the more prominent developmental MMA organizations in the industry. It’s the type of organization that perhaps Punk would have benefited from had he become an MMA pro earlier in his career.

”I did things backward,” Punk said, with a laugh. ”I jumped in the deep end. But everybody’s path is different. I do think there needs to be a feeder system where people can get their feet wet.”

With a third UFC fight out of reach, Punk said he had no regrets about the gutsy transition from wrestling to fighting.

”I was presented with an opportunity that, if I was talking to you today and didn’t do, I’d regret,” Punk said. ”I absolutely do not regret my decision one bit.”

Punk, who held the WWE championship for 434 days before an acrimonious split with the company, could be funny and ferocious on the mic. His promos helped him rise on the card and soar in popularity with fans as much as his ”best in the world” talent. He dabbled in commentary on WWE shows (“look at her jumping around !” he said of future wife AJ Lee) and his comfort in front of the camera helped with his transition into acting.

Punk found bliss as a comic book author and co-hosted the Netflix obstacle course competition show ”Ultimate Beastmaster.”

Yet, five years – and one nasty, victorious lawsuit – later, Punk is still remembered by wrestling fans who chant his name at WWE live events.

”You stop it and five years later people still talk about you? Fans still chant your name? That’s powerful to me,” Punk said.

He waded back into the sports entertainment world when he made a rare autograph signing in September before a major independent wrestling show that sparked rumors he would lace up the boots one more time. Punk continued to rule out a wrestling comeback.

”I don’t pay attention,” Punk said. ”People seem to get upset when I say that.”

But they can still catch him in combat sports, where he’s prepping to scrutinize fights, and at Roufusport MMA Academy where he continues to train should another fight arise.

”Y’all can’t get rid of me,” he said.

Khabib Nurmagomedov’s management team has some lucrative plans for the undefeated UFC lightweight champion. Specifically, manager Ali Abdelaziz wants “$50M to $100M” for Khabib’s next fight, arguing that the Dagestani had already bypassed Conor McGregor as a global superstar.

This salary demand was brought up to Dana White during the UFC 232 press conference ahead of UFC 230 late last week, which the UFC president had issued a response to.

“Sure,” White said with a laugh (transcript via MMA Fighting). “Come on! They know what’s realistic for them. They know the answer to that question. It’s fun to say though, $50 million.”

McGregor already stated that he is willing to fight someone else if he would not be granted an immediate rematch with Khabib. That sentiment remains the same according to White, who was able to have a long talk with the Irishman.

“Conor and I talked for an hour last week,” White said. “Typical Conor. ‘I would love an immediate rematch. I want to fight him again but I’ll fight whoever I gotta fight to get back to him if that’s not the case.’”

Both McGregor and Khabib are under indefinite suspension for the UFC 229 post-fight melee. Their sanctions will be decided upon during the Nevada Athletic Commission meeting on December 10th.

The UFC has started to inform fighters of its plan to dissolve the men’s flyweight division, according to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani.

FloCombat, which noted the division could be completely extinct by the end of 2018, first reported the move.

At least two members of the 125-pound class – Jose Torres and Jarred Brooks – revealed on Wednesday that the UFC is releasing them with fights still left on their contracts.

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Jose Shorty Torres@ShortyTorres125

Im the 1st to be let go. I didnt get to finish my UFC contract with 2 fights left because they are cutting most of my division n not giving some of us a chance to bump up n prove ourselves like myself. So now it’s time to move on to bigger and better things. Good luck small guys!

504 people are talking about this

UFC flyweight champion Henry Cejudo is expected to move up to the bantamweight division and face titleholder T.J. Dillashaw for his belt early next year.

The flyweight division was introduced in 2012. Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson held the flyweight title from its inception up until his loss to Cejudo at UFC 227 in August. Johnson was recently traded from the UFC to ONE Championship for welterweight Ben Askren.

It appears a potential trilogy fight between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier is off the table.

Days after Jones said he wouldn’t grant Cormier a shot at the light heavyweight belt – should he defeat Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232 on Dec. 29 – the double champion claimed he has no interest in battling his heated rival for the third time.

“I don’t need (the Jon Jones fight) anymore,” Cormier said on “Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show,” according to ESPN’s Greg Rosenstein. “Sometimes you need things and sometimes you don’t. I’ve come to terms with everything. Because he was gone so much, I had to remove myself from the situation so completely that it almost became not reality.”

Cormier defeated Derrick Lewis at UFC 230 to retain the heavyweight title via rear-naked choke. He has said he plans on retiring by age 40, which he will turn in March 2019, and hopes his next bout will be against Brock Lesnar.

Jones defeated Cormier in their two previous fights, though the latter was changed to a no-contest and Jones was stripped of the belt after he tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug.

“Can I really trust that he’s going to be back in the game?” Cormier asked. “History shows that there will probably be some sort of issue either before the Gustafsson fight or after the Gustafsson fight. We schedule a fight? There’s definitely going to be an issue because there’s always been an issue.”

That “built-up energy and aggression” that Paige VanZant possesses because of a long layoff? She’ll soon be able to release it.

On Tuesday, a UFC official confirmed to Newsday that VanZant will make her return to the octagon in a flyweight bout against Rachael Ostovich on at UFC on ESPN+ 1 on Jan. 18 from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. MMAjunkie had previously reported back in August that the fight was in the works.

VanZant, 24, suffered a broken right arm in her unanimous-decision loss to Jessica-Rose Clark at UFC Fight Night 124 in January. She had surgery shortly after, but months later it was discovered the healing process didn’t go well. VanZant underwent a second procedure on July 19.

It will have been a full year without competing for VanZant, who has struggled to remain an active fighter. After opening her professional career with eight bouts from 2012 to 2015, VanZant has fought just three times in the last two years, missing all of 2017.

VanZant last month explained to MMAjunkie last month just how frustrating it’s been having her MMA career be at a standstill for so long.

“This (layoff) was different because it wasn’t by choice,” VanZant said. “And having something this important taken away from you. And be told that you kind of just have to sit and watch is awful. And what made it even worse is I kind of anticipated like a typical surgery and a typical timeline for that. I thought I would be back training in eight weeks, and it’s been nine months.

“And two surgeries and then hip surgery that will help, like, fix the arm. So it’s been a very long process that I didn’t anticipate having to go through.”

Ostovich (4-4 MMA, 1-1 UFC), 27, was a contestant last year on “The Ultimate Fighter 26.” She has split her first two fights in the UFC, most recently losing to Montana De La Rosa in July at The Ultimate Fighter 27 Finale.

This whole Khabib Nurmagomedov-UFC-Conor McGregor triangle has taken an interesting turn, as the reigning lightweight champion issued a threat to the promotion he currently competes for. On social media Thursday, Nurmagomedov let it be known that he will walk away from his contract if his teammate, Zubaira Tukhugov, is released from the contract.

Tukhugov was part of the crew that jumped McGregor after UFC 229 this past weekend inside the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Nurmagomedov, who went after McGregor’s teammate Dillon Danis, asked for any consequences to be put on him and not Tukhugov.

“In any case, punish me, Zubaira Tukhugov has nothing to do with that,” Nurmagomedov wrote. “If you think that I’ll keep silent then you are mistaken. You canceled Zubaira’s fight and you want to dismiss him just because he hit Conor. But don’t forget that it was Conor who had hit my another Brother FIRST, just check the video.

“if you decide to fire him, you should know that you’ll lose me too. We never give up on our brothers in Russia and I will go to the end for my Brother. If you still decide to fire him, don’t forget to send me my broken contract, otherwise I’ll break it myself.”

Nurmagomedov also questioned the UFC’s decision to not punish anyone from McGregor’s team that was involved in the incident earlier this year where the former champion attacked two vehicles filled with UFC fighters in New Jersey.

“Why didn’t you fire anyone when their team attacked the bus and injured a couple of people? They could have killed someone there, why no one says anything about insulting my homeland, religion, nation, family?” he asked. “Why do you have to punish my team, when both teams fought. If you say that I started it, then I do not agree, I finished what he had started.”