Posts Tagged ‘MMA’

11-year UFC veteran and former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar only wants big fights for himself, and rightly so. One of the matchups he is now eyeing on is a possible featherweight title fight against current 145-pound champion Max Holloway.

Edgar and Holloway had been slated to face each other twice already, at UFC 218 in 2017 and UFC 222 in March, but injuries on both men had caused the matchup to fall through. Instead, Edgar was dealt his first knockout loss at UFC 222 by Brian Ortega, which ultimately derailed his shot at the title.

Currently ranked number three behind Ortega and Jose Aldo respectively, “The Answer” feels a title shot is the only sensible next move to make.

”I’m hoping I get Max. I’m hoping Max sticks around at 45, and we get to finally get to square up. I think it makes the most sense,” Edgar told TMZ Sports.

“We were supposed to link up, and I think a lot of people talk about that matchup. I don’t think he’s fought someone like myself. I could definitely do some different things in there that Ortega can’t. So that’s what I’m gunning for.”

A move up to 155 pounds could be in the immediate future of Holloway, with a fight against Tony Ferguson already laid out on the table. So if a 145-pound title fight does not pan out for Edgar, he has a backup plan for himself.

“Maybe Conor’s free,” he said. “Conor wants to get down and fight. We were supposed to fight a long time too. If I’m not fighting for the belt, then I guess Conor’s the next best thing.”

Edgar stated that he is willing to move back up to 155 just to make this legacy fight happen for him.

“He’s the most popular guy of my era. Let’s be real, he is,” Edgar said of McGregor. “It’ll be a shame if I retire down the road and I get my kids and grandkids ask me if I ever fought Conor McGregor and I get to say no. I wanna say yeah.”

The 37-year-old Edgar (23-6-1, with 11 wins by stoppage) last fought Cub Swanson in a rematch last April in Atlantic City. He won via unanimous decision.

Advertisements

Well, that escalated quickly.

One day after Dana White called Oscar De La Hoya a “cokehead junkie” for making the Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz trilogy, the retired boxing champion’s personal publicist released a statement on his behalf in response to the UFC president’s rant.

“Dana is so small and threatened by our success with DAZN and now in MMA that he is bringing up news from a decade ago to try to stay relevant,” De La Hoya said, according to a statement, sent by Stefan Friedman. “Boxing has entirely rejected him. And MMA fighters are now realizing they don’t have to risk their lives just so he can get rich.

“Golden Boy and I are moving forward and are bigger than ever. Dana should shut the (expletive) up and try to figure out how to save his own company.”

This past week, De La Hoya told MMAjunkie he’d apologized and made peacewith White after attacking “The Money Fight” between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor.

White agrees the beef started there, but apparently he didn’t get the olive branch. In a 10-minute rant, he put De La Hoya on blast for allowing Liddell vs. Ortiz 3 to happen this past Saturday in the headliner of Golden Boy’s MMA debut. Ortiz, 43, defeated the 48-year-old Liddell by first-round knockout.

Triggered by De La Hoya’s opinion that he had no right to tell Liddell to retire, White went straight for the jugular, referring to his rival as “the cokehead, Oscar De La Weirdo” and “Oscar De La Dummy” and mocking a claim that the UFC underpays its fighters.

“Oscar (expletive) De La Hoya says, ‘Oh, come over to Golden Boy where we respect the fighters,’ and it makes me sick what these fighters were paid and all this (expletive),” White said. “Out of 14 fights on the card, five bouts were amateur fights, which means he didn’t pay them jack (expletive). And 12 of the professional fighters on the card made less than ($3,000 and $3,000). What the (expletive) are you talking about, you cokehead junkie? And some of the guys on the card made $1,000 and $1,000. And he respects the fighters so much, he couldn’t remember their names at the press conference.

“I hope somebody talks De La Hoya into fighting again. I hope the state of California makes the fight, and I hope he gets knocked out just like Chuck Liddell in the first round. (Expletive) cokehead nutball.”

Ortiz, who hopes to take a promotional job with Golden Boy after announcing his re-retirement from MMA, stepped to De La Hoya’s defense, writing on Instagram, “This is not about you, it is not about me… I want it to be about the fighters & giving them the opportunity to share in all the rewards this business has to offer to where they don’t have to fight when they are 43 (and) 48.”

The trilogy fight drew almost 8,000 fans to The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. The card underwent multiple changes before its final confirmation, and the pay-per-view purchase of $49.95 was discounted by $10. A Black Friday offer of $19.95 was canceled due to “contractual restrictions.”

Ortiz knocked out Liddell inside one round, avenging a pair of losses to his fellow UFC Hall of Famer over one decade ago. The matchup was roundly criticized in the wake of Liddell’s performance, and the California State Athletic Commission indefinitely suspended “The Iceman.”

Details of the alleged beating Rachael Ostovich took from her husband are out in the open.

On Wednesday, TMZ cited court documents in reporting Ostovich’s account of the domestic violence incident she claims occurred with her husband, MMA fighter Arnold Berdon, on Nov. 18 in Hawaii.

“After a night out with family, (Arnold Berdon) punched me repeatedly on the head, face, ribs, making me fall to the ground,” Ostovich said in her petition for a restraining order, which was granted on a temporary basis. “I gasped for breath and escaped thru (sic) balcony. I coughed up blood, threw up sev. times. Cracked orbital.”

TMZ also reported, citing the documents, that Ostovich alleged a past incident of domestic abuse with Berdon. On May 6, she claims, he left bruises on her legs by punching her repeatedly.

Ostovich, 27, was hospitalized with a fractured orbital bone, among other injuries, as a result of the Nov. 18 incident. Berdon, 27, has been arrested on suspicion of second-degree attempted murder, though he had yet to be formally charged as of Wednesday. He remained in the custody of the Honolulu Police Department.

Berdon’s arrest came several days after what Ostovich’s management company, SuckerPunch Entertainment, described in a statement only as “a very unfortunate incident.” The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported that Ostovich was hospitalized following an argument and assault early Sunday morning.

Ostovich (4-4 MMA, 1-1 UFC) had been scheduled to face Paige VanZant at UFC on ESPN+ 1 on Jan. 19, but she has been removed from the fight.

Ostovich was a cast member on “The Ultimate Fighter 26,” bowing out in the quarterfinals after losing a unanimous decision to Barb Honchak. However, Ostovich was brought back for the season’s live finale, where she submitted Karine Gevorgyan in the opening round.

Ostovich competed most recently in July, suffering a submission loss to Montana De La Rosa at The Ultimate Fighter 27 Finale.

Dana White says the only way Floyd Mayweather Jr. will get his desired nine-figure paycheck from fight Khabib Nurmagomedov is if they square off in the Octagon.

Mayweather told TMZ Sports earlier this week that a potential crossover fight against Nurmagomedov would have to be under his terms, and he’s only interested in a boxing match. However, White isn’t willing to give into Mayweather’s demands.

“The answer is ‘no.’ He’s gonna have to come here and get his ass whoopin’,” White told TMZ Sports. “We did that last time. You gotta come here this time.

“Every time he wants to box. You wanna fight? Want to make 150 million? Come over here and get your ass whooped.”

Mayweather is scheduled to face Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa in an exhibition fight on Dec. 31. He has also teased a rematch against Manny Pacquiao.

Honolulu police arrested a mixed martial arts fighter on charges of attempted murder after he allegedly punched his wife and fellow fighter in the head, face and ribs, fracturing her eye socket.

Honolulu police arrested Arnold Berdon on Tuesday after he turned himself in.

His wife, Rachael Ostovich Berdon, filed a request for a temporary restraining order alleging he punched her on Sunday after a night out with family. She says she fell to the ground, gasped for air and escaped through a balcony.

Her representative, Brian Butler-Au, posted on social media that she won’t compete in a January UFC bout against Paige VanZant because of her injuries.

Berdon was in custody Wednesday. Police declined to make him available for comment. His attorney’s name was not immediately available.

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.

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.