Posts Tagged ‘MMA’

UFC 225 was a massive box office flop for the mixed martial arts organisation, reportedly scoring less than 150,000 pay-per-view buys despite a stacked card.

Headlined by Middleweight Champion Robert Whittaker’s non-title split decision victory over Yoel Romero, the main card also featured an Interim Welterweight Title fight, and was opened by former WWE Champion CM Punk vs. fellow 0-1 fighter Mike Jackson.

Punk was destroyed. He scored an opportunistic first-round takedown on Jackson, but again looked well out of his depth, with his opponent openly clowning him from full mount in the second and third rounds. Jackson could have finished the fight at several points, but coasted to a lopsided 30-26 unanimous decision victory instead.

That UFC 225 drew so poorly is a huge surprise, not only because it presented an all-star lineup, but because Punk’s presence on UFC 203 reportedly added an estimated 125,000-225,000 extra buys in September 2016.

Many factors will have contributed to 225’s demise, but the cratered numbers suggest that any morbid curiosity PPV-buying fans had in Punk fighting died the moment he was submitted by Mickey Gall, and with Dana White confirming his UFC departure, the future looks uncertain.

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After his second high-profile loss in the Octagon last night, Dana White appears to have called time on former WWE star CM Punk’s UFC future.

Punk was outclassed by Mike Jackson at UFC 255, with the judges awarding a unanimous decision to the latter. Speaking in the post-show press conference, UFC honcho White said:

“It should be a wrap. The guy’s 39 years old. I love the guy – he’s the nicest guy in the world. We gave him two shots, and he had a lot of heart tonight in this fight. And yeah, I think he should call it a wrap.”

White took a similar position following Punk’s debut annihilation at the hands of Mickey Gall just over two years ago. With the latest defeat dealing another damaging blow to the ex-wrestler’s drawing power, there’s every chance the UFC impresario is being sincere this time.

Punk was taken to hospital for a facial CT scan after his loss, and as a result missed the press conference. He later Tweeted:

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White’s compliments did not extend to Punk’s conqueror Jackson, who he called a “goofball” and a “complete f*cking idiot” for appearing to toy with his bested opponent.

WWE’s Ronda Rousey will become the first women inducted into the Modern Wing of UFC’s Hall of Fame at the UFC Fan Expo in Las Vegas on 5 July. The news was confirmed by the promotion in a video at last night’s UFC 225 in Chicago.

“This is an immense honour, to not only take part in bringing women to the forefront of this sport, but now the UFC Hall of Fame,” Rousey said. “May I be the first of many.”

In the official statement, UFC President Dana White said the following:

“There would be no women in UFC without Ronda Rousey. Ronda is an absolute pioneer who helped me personally, and a lot of other people, look at women in combat sports differently. She accomplished everything she set out to do with UFC and became a global icon and role model in the process. Today, the women’s divisions are packed with incredibly talented fighters and they produce some of the best fights you’ll ever see. We’re proud to announce Ronda as the first woman to be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame.”

The ‘Baddest Women on Earth’ will be joining Matt Serra (Pioneers wing), Art Davie, Bruce Connal (both Contributors wing), and Mauricio Rua vs. Dan Henderson (Fights wing) in the event.

Ronda Rousey’s impact on the UFC and the wider sporting world is unquestionable. The former Women’s Bantamweight Champion held a professional MMA record of 12-2, main-eventing six UFC events, including UFC 193, which drew a UFC-record attendance of 56,214. Among her other notable achievements is a bronze medal in judo at the 2008 Olympic Games. To say she deserved to be inducted into UFC’s hallowed hall goes without saying.

 

CM Punk took part in a UFC 225 open workout media scrum ahead of his upcoming fight with Mike Jackson (0-1) on Saturday in Chicago. While Punk made the transition from WWE to UFC, his friend Ronda Rousey did the opposite, going from the UFC to WWE. During the scrum, Punk was asked if he spoke to Rousey before she made her WWE debut at WrestleMania 34 this past April.

“The only thing I’ve told her is to just have fun,” Punk said. “I don’t know what it’s like back there in this current environment. I know she’d probably get treated differently, just as like I know I get probably treated differently here. The only thing I ever told her is that I know you’ve got a lot of people telling you, ‘do this, don’t do this.’ I just said, whatever you do, when you go out there for WrestleMania, make sure you have fun. Period.”

Punk noted that he did not watch Rousey’s WrestleMania match, where she teamed with Kurt Angle to defeat Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, although he saw some clips “here and there.” He noted that it’s hard for him to watch WWE because of how overproduced it has gotten.

“When I say it’s hard for me to watch wrestling, it’s not like an anxiety thing, it’s not like, ‘I can’t do it!’ I literally can’t get through eight seconds without being like, ‘OK, I’m bored, I gotta watch something else.’ They’ve got like… it’s like going to a baseball game at CitiField. I like Wrigley Field, it’s old school. Going to a baseball game at CitiField, it’s like a guy takes ball four and they blow off fireworks and there’s LED screens on everything and wrestling now is completely like that. There’s LED screens everywhere and there’s flashing lights and I feel like I’m gonna have like a seizure.”

Punk noted that he doesn’t watch wrestling outside of WWE either, stating that there’s a “disconnect.”

“I don’t know why,” Punk stated. “Subconsciously, there’s like a disconnect. I see clips of stuff, like I know Kenny Omega is the hot guy and he’s probably one of the better guys in the world right now, but it’s the same thing. I’ll watch clips of matches, I don’t see myself watching like a full match. I just can’t do it.”

Punk said that today’s product is too glossy, but it’s been that way for awhile. He noted that he liked the old school pro wrestling feel at house shows back in the day.

“I think it’s definitely too glossy, but it’s been like that for a very long time,” Punk said. “My jam was house shows before they started calling them live events, where it was a curtain and a ring and a light above the ring. That was my jam, that was my world, that was where I liked to thrive.”

When asked if he preferred the PWG-style more, Punk said that the promotion was very different when he worked there, adding that he might have had the worst PWG match of all time.

From a winner on The Ultimate Fighter to becoming the middleweight champion, Michael Bisping left a lasting impression on the world of MMA and the UFC. Bisping announced his retirement on his podcast “Believe You Me” on Monday following more complications from a detached retina he suffered years ago.

“You can’t do it forever,” Bisping said. “I’ve done it for a long time. I’ve got issues with my eye and after the (Kelvin) Gastelum fight, I started having issues with my good eye.”

Bisping did add that a bout between himself and fellow former TUF winner and ex-UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans was at one time being considered, but said it’s “probably a good thing” the bout never happened.

The 39-year-old Bisping won Season 3 of The Ultimate Fighter and is the only British competitor to ever claim UFC gold. He knocked out Luke Rockhold for the belt in 2016, defended it vs. Dan Henderson and was toppled by Georges St-Pierre last year.

A few weeks after the loss to GSP, Bisping replaced Anderson Silva vs. Gastelum and suffered another loss. He finishes his career 30-9 overall, including a UFC record 29 bouts. Bisping is tied with GSP and Donald Cerrone at 20 wins inside the Octagon.

Former UFC title challenger Nick Diaz has been arrested in Las Vegas on multiple charges of domestic violence. Diaz, 34 years old, was charged by the Las Vegas Metro Police Department on charges of domestic battery by strangulation and first-degree domestic battery, according to MMA Fighting.

Diaz, who has not fought inside the Octagon since 2015, recently served a suspension for violating the UFC’s anti-doping policy. However, he was cleared to return to action last month.

The fighter is currently behind held inside the Clark County Detention Center on a total of $18,000 bail. His first court appearance is scheduled for Saturday morning.

According to multiple reports, police were dispatched to a residence Thursday night and had probable cause to make an arrest, Las Vegas Metro Police spokesperson Larry Hadfield said.

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Speculation is mounting that CM Punk is preparing to make his long-awaited wrestling return at September’s historic All In show.

The former WWE star, currently competing in UFC, will be in Illinois for a meet-and-greet the same week that Cody Rhodes and co. head to Hoffman Estates, a suburb of Chicago.

While his attendance has not been formally announced by the event’s organisers, Rhodes strongly hinted that he would be involved in some capacity during a press conference yesterday. “I can confirm he will be here the day before, as part of All In weekend,” he said. “He’s in town, but we literally can say nothing.”

Punk has been in self-imposed wrestling exile for the last four years, having departed WWE in 2014 amid differences with management. The fall-out – taking the form of an ongoing lawsuit with in-house doctor Chris Amann – is still ongoing. The 39-year-old claimed in subsequent interviews that he was now “retired” from the business.

With or without the ex-ROH World Champion, All In already looks set to be a roaring success. Originally conceived as a wager with the Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer – who dismissed the idea of an independent show drawing 10,000 spectators – tickets sold out in just 30 minutes after going on sale Sunday afternoon. Get your wallet on the table, Big Dave.


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