Posts Tagged ‘MMA’

He may no longer own a title, but Michael Bisping can still go out on his own terms.

Mere days after he agreed to face Kelvin Gastelum at UFC Fight Night 122 in Shanghai, China, on just two weeks’ notice, the former middleweight champion revealed he’s aiming to fight on the UFC’s March bill in London, England, before calling it a career during a Monday appearance on “The MMA Hour.”

The 38-year-old had aimed to defeat Georges St-Pierre at UFC 217 before going out with another title defense in his home country – preferably in his native Manchester – but he’ll settle for the English capital now that St-Pierre owns the crown.

Bisping became the UFC’s first British champion with a knockout of Luke Rockhold two Junes ago before defending the belt against Dan Henderson in Manchester last October. The latter victory gave him sole ownership of the UFC’s win record with 20, a distinction St-Pierre matched when he submitted the Brit at UFC 217 just nine days ago.

As for why he agreed to the three-week turnaround, the former titleholder repeated to Ariel Helwani on Monday what he told FloCombat’s Damon Martin upon replacing Anderson Silva to face Gastelum: He had to jump at the opportunity to rebound from his submission loss to GSP.

“I can’t see how I cannot take this fight,” Bisping told Martin. “I’m serious because the homework is done. I’ve got no injuries. I like to fight, and I’ve got a bad taste in my mouth from my last performance. That’s what’s bothering me. The UFC head of legal, Hunter Campbell, he was checking ‘Are you OK, are you OK?’ and physically I’m fine. Mentally, I’m very frustrated.

“So this gives me a chance to exorcise my demons and get some decent mental space back. Physically, I’m totally fine. Mentally, I’m pissed off. So for me it’s almost a gift from the gods.”

Bisping will aim to get back in the win column when he meets Gastelum in UFC Fight Night 122’s main event on Nov. 25. His ideal swan song – UFC Fight Night 127 – is currently scheduled for March 17 at London’s O2 Arena.

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With his dramatic win at UFC 217 over Michael Bisping in his debut fight at middleweight, many people were quick to proclaim that Georges St-Pierre is the greatest MMA fighter of all time.

While the praise is certainly flattering, St-Pierre doesn’t agree with the claim, mostly because the Canadian star doesn’t think that title actually exists.

“There is no such thing as the greatest of all time,” St-Pierre said on a conference call Thursday. “Even though you are the best, it doesn’t mean you can’t lose and it doesn’t mean nobody can beat you. For example, I fought Michael Bisping Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. On that particular night, at that particular moment, at that particular place I beat Michael Bisping, but that doesn’t mean if I fight him tomorrow, he’s not going to beat me.”

St-Pierre compared the fight game to other sports where even the best teams can lose on any given night. While many feel that MMA is different and the strongest survive each time, the 36-year-old was quick to point out that’s not the case.

“People think fighting is different, ‘This guy is stronger than that guy so he’s always going to win,'” St-Pierre said. “That’s not true. Maybe one day I will make a mistake and lose to a guy who’s not as good as me. Maybe nine times out of 10 I will beat him. There’s no such thing as the greatest of all time, it doesn’t exist. It’s an illusion.”

Miesha Tate and Ronda Rousey may never fight in the Octagon again, but that doesn’t mean their rivalry is squashed.

Tate, who retired after a loss in November 2016 at UFC 205, hasn’t expressed any interest in returning to the sport as a participant, however, during a Reddit Ask Me Anything session Wednesday, she expressed confidence when discussing a potential third fight with Rousey.

“The animosity is very real,” Tate replied when asked about the hatred between the two fighters. “It’s just not at the forefront of my life anymore.

“If we fought a third time, I know I would win.”

Rousey defeated Tate by submission in both of their previous contests, in March 2012 and December 2013.

While Tate has officially retired, Rousey walked away after two embarrassing losses without much explanation, a move her rival did not approve of.

“We all lose,” Tate replied when asked if she feels sympathy for Rousey. “It just depends how you take it afterwards.

“I don’t really respect her decision to walk away from the sport that gave her so much.”

Anderson Silva has been provisionally suspended by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency for a potential violation of the promotion’s anti-doping policy, the UFC announced Friday. As a result, he’s been removed from UFC Fight Night 122’s middleweight main event against Kelvin Gastelum in Shanghai, scheduled for Nov. 25.

The potential violation was discovered via an out-of-competition sample collected on Oct. 26.

The UFC is in the process of finding a replacement for Silva on the card. The former middleweight champ could face a full suspension from the USADA upon further review.

He was suspended one year for PED use by the Nevada State Athletic Commission in 2015 after failing two drug tests, and his unanimous decision win over Nick Diaz at UFC 183 was overturned to a no-contest. It remains to be seen whether the ban will play a role in the severity of any sanctions USADA hands down, as the agency was not the UFC’s anti-doping partner at the time.

Sage Northcutt may be headed for the silver screen.

The 21-year-old UFC fighter revealed to MMA Fighting that he has sent in audition tapes in the hopes of playing Ivan Drago’s son in the upcoming “Rocky” spinoff sequel “Creed 2.”

“The new ‘Creed 2’ movie’s coming out so I actually was going to audition for that,” Northcutt said on Ariel Helwani’s “The MMA Hour.” “Did a little audition tape so hopefully that goes through. That would be pretty neat. Being Ivan Drago’s son in the movie? That would be pretty fun.”

“Creed 2,” which is being written and directed by Sylvester Stallone, is slated to hit theaters in November 2018.

What four-year layoff?

Georges St-Pierre made a triumphant return in his first fight since November 2013 at Saturday’s UFC 217, where he put Michael Bisping to sleep with a rear-naked choke in the third round of the main event to win the middleweight crown at Madison Square Garden.

In addition to becoming only the fourth two-division champion in promotional history on a night that saw three new champions crowned, the former welterweight king tied Bisping for the most wins in UFC history with 20, and extended the winning run he’d put on hold to a baker’s dozen fights. Bisping, on the other hand, graciously handled the second submission loss of his 38-fight career – this, after relentlessly trashing St-Pierre in the lead-up to the fight – and maintained he wouldn’t be hanging up his gloves just yet during his postfight interview.

St-Pierre relinquished the welterweight strap following a close split decision win over Johny Hendricks at UFC 167, and looked like his well-rounded self in a fight he and Bisping had delayed for months due to injury, after GSP had agreed to return to the Octagon on a four-fight deal early this year.

The 36-year-old took the center of the cage and pumped his vaunted jab as Bisping appeared uncharacteristically gun shy in Round 1, which he closed with a Superman jab and a wheel kick that didn’t inflict much damage, but had the Brit retreating and those in attendance clutching their hearts out of sheer nostalgia.

While GSP managed to take Bisping down to the mat in each of the first two frames, the defending champ refused to stay pinned there and ended the second stanza strong as he settled into a rhythm on the feet.

An apparently tiring St-Pierre opened the third with a takedown, only for Bisping to cut him open with elbows from his back that had the Quebec native’s head dripping crimson. But after Bisping fought his way up to his feet, GSP sent him back to the canvas – this time with a counter left hook – and followed up with his patented ground-and-pound. The Brit gave up his back while trying to defend the onslaught, only for St-Pierre to slap on a rear-naked choke that sent him to dreamland and crowned GSP middleweight king at the 4:23 mark.

Saturday’s defeat snapped a five-fight win streak for Bisping, whose reign as the UFC’s first British champion ends with one successful title defense over Dan Henderson.

The day Demian Maia hangs up his gloves has not yet dawned.

In just three months, the 39-year-old Brazilian went from the welterweight contender’s table to (premature) retirement watch. As he told the media following Saturday’s decision loss to Colby Covington, though, we haven’t seen the last of him.

“I intend on fighting for another year or two,” Maia said in his native Sao Paulo after UFC Fight Night 119, according to MMA Fighting’s Dave Doyle.

He added, “My goal is to keep on fighting. It’s a very tough sport. MMA is a tough sport, I will think about that. I have been in the UFC for 10 years and every time it is an emotional roller coaster. It’s something that if you’ve never been in it you’ll never understand.”

The jiu-jitsu ace has called the UFC home since October 2007, and reportedly has one fight remaining on his existing deal.

Maia had MMA diehards clamoring for him to get a crack at Tyron Woodley’s title after mounting a seven-fight win streak. However, he’s now failed to secure a takedown in over 30 attempts across his losses to the champ and Covington – a bad omen for a grappler of his ilk. Having fought three members of American Top Team consecutively, the Brazilian chalked up the slump in part to the extensive tape at the camp’s disposal.

“I had problems taking Woodley down and we changed a lot of things, but we also have to remember that I fought against two great wrestlers in my last two fights,” Maia said. “Woodley and Colby, an All-American from Oregon University. For sure, I fought against three wrestlers from American Top Team in my last three fights, and people try to figure (out) your game plan, they study, and it gets harder.”