Posts Tagged ‘UFC’

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Michael Bisping’s days in 4-ounce gloves are numbered.

In a Monday appearance on “The MMA Hour,” the UFC middleweight champion revealed his upcoming date with Georges St-Pierre at UFC 217 might be his last.

“There’s a possibility this might be my last fight. I don’t know if I’ll ever fight again after this,” Bisping said. “What a way to go out if it is.

“I don’t know. We’ll see. We’ll see what the future holds. There’s a possibility, yeah. This may be my last fight, so if anyone wants to see Michael Bisping get knocked out, this is your last chance to do it, guys.”

The 38-year-old Brit won the title with a first-round KO of Luke Rockhold at UFC 199, a decade into his promotional stint and a dozen years into his 37-fight career after battling injuries and rebounding from several failed attempts to earn a title shot. In January, he publicly mulled hanging up his gloves following two more wins, but going out on top against the greatest welterweight of all time – at Madison Square Garden, no less – is not outside the realm of possibility.

“I’ve done it for so long. I’ve done it for so long now, and there’s other things to do in life,” Bisping said. “I mean, I still love this, don’t get me wrong, but you can’t do it forever. You can’t do it forever, and Georges should’ve stayed retired. He should’ve retired as a champion. I’m going to beat Georges and I’ll retire as a champion – maybe – I haven’t made my mind up on that yet. It depends, if there’s enough money involved, maybe I’ll stick around, but as of right now, I don’t know.”

Bisping said his inner circle has been urging him to retire for some time. With a regular gig on the UFC’s FOX Sports 1 desk and a career on both the big and small screen, he’s far better prepared for post-Octagon life than most, although he maintained retiring with a win at MSG would maximize those revenue streams.

He welcomes St-Pierre to the middleweight division Nov. 4 in the main event of a star-studded UFC 217.

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Joanna Champion got her wish.

The UFC announced Tuesday that the women’s strawweight champion will defend her title at UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden in New York, as she had hoped, where she will take on No. 3-ranked Rose Namajunas.

After her successful title defense against Jessica Andrade in May, Jedrzejczyk said she wanted her next fight to come at the famed New York arena.

Jedrzejczyk is a sparkling 14-0 and has defended her title five times.

She may meet her toughest match in Namajunas, however. “Thug Rose” is coming off a second-round submission of Michelle Waterson at UFC Fight Night in April. She has won four of her last five bouts.

Her last defeat came at UFC 201 in July 2016 against Karolina Kowalkiewicz, an opponent Jedrzejczyk defeated at UFC 205 via unanimous decision.

The fight joins a loaded UFC 217 card, which also features a middleweight title bout between Michael Bisping and Georges St-Pierre.

UFC 182: Jones v Cormier

The B sample from Jon Jones’ failed drug test before his light heavyweight title fight at UFC 214 confirmed the presence of an illegal substance, sources told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto.

Jones had been flagged by the USADA for testing positive for an anabolic steroid called Turinabol after defeating Daniel Cormier for the title. He faces a four-year suspension and loss of his title due to the positive test.

Jones has denied knowingly taking steroids and his team says it is investigating how the positive test happened, but the failed B sample likely means that any reasoning that is found won’t stop a USADA suspension.

The result of the UFC 214 main event has yet to be modified, though it will likely be changed to a no contest and Cormier will be returned the light heavyweight title. The UFC can only strip Jones of the title, while the USADA can levy a suspension.

Jones passed a blood test, though the substance in question is not detectable through that means of investigation.

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It turns out Paige VanZant suffered far more than a couple of defeats while competing as a strawweight.

The 23-year-old joined “The MMA Hour” on Tuesday ahead of her flyweight debut opposite Jessica Eye at UFC 216, and revealed her last few cuts down to 115 pounds had been far from kind to her, with her most recent struggles nearly scrapping last December’s bout with Michelle Waterson.

“It’s a big cut for me,” VanZant said, per MMA Fighting’s Marc Raimondi. “I’m a lot heavier than people realize. I was honestly killing myself for this sport. In my last I want to say two fights or three fights, I’ve passed out in my bathroom. This last one, I passed out and had the doctors almost not clear me for the fight.”

VanZant is just one of several UFC fighters to have already made the move to the promotion’s newly launched weight class – her next opponent included – and with its inaugural champ less than three months away from being crowned, the Oregon native thought there was no time like the present to spare her body the grueling weight cuts and move up to 125 pounds.

“The 125 division is finally getting built, so it just made sense for me to try it out. I’m moving up. I’m a big advocate for body positivity and I was putting myself through an eating disorder to make weight. And it became not fun for me anymore. I hate cutting. I hated the process. Obviously, passing out on your bathroom floor is not fun, because you’re dying in a bathtub.”

The UFC vet’s pair of submission losses and opportunities outside the cage have prompted many to question her dedication to her fighting career, but she maintained that not only was an early exit the furthest thing from her mind during her strawweight stint, but that we have yet to see the best of her in the Octagon.

“I’m not going anywhere. People are crazy if they think that I’m quitting this game. I’m not going anywhere. I plan on fighting for a long time. I’m a fighter first. Of course I’m gonna pursue other opportunities that are coming my way, because they’re amazing and I would never pass up something that I’m still passionate about it. But I’m a fighter, first and foremost.”

She meets Eye on Oct. 7 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

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Karolina Kowalkiewicz will face off against Jodie Esquibel at UFC Gdansk on Oct. 21, the promotion announced Wednesday.

This marks Esquibel’s first fight with the UFC after competing with Invicta FC. She’s recorded a 7-2 mixed martial arts record and previously worked as a professional boxer.

Kowalkiewicz (10-2) enters the contest on a two-fight losing streak after submitting to Claudia Gadelha via rear-naked choke at UFC 212.

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The long-awaited transferal of one of MMA’s biggest stars to the squared-circle is edging ever closer, as Ronda Rousey appeared at WWE’s Mae Young classic to issue a challenge to the organisation’s elite group of female grapplers.

Rousey and fellow ‘Horsewomen’ Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke were on hand in support of the fourth spoke to their wheel, Shayna Baszler, as she progressed to the tournament’s third round. Whilst speaking about the pride in their colleague’s victory after the show, the trio were suddenly interrupted by three of WWE’s own ‘Four Horsewomen’, Charlotte, Becky Lynch, and Bayley.

The six then stood around awkwardly for a little while until Rousey laid down the gauntlet, telling the interlopers, “Name the time, name the place.” The prevailing theory is that the two quartets will collide in a traditional 4-vs-4 contest at November’s Survivor Series.

Rousey and co. are long admirers of the wrestling business – their ‘Four Horsewomen’ moniker derives from Ric Flair’s famous stable of the ’80s – and so the transition from the Octagon to the ring has seemed inevitable for a while. Ronda appeared at WrestleMania 31 where she vaulted the barricade to share the spotlight with The Rock in a high-profile angle opposite Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, whilst Shafir is currently engaged to NXT standout Bobby Roode. Baszler herself has obviously already made the switch, with WWE said to be extremely positive about her performances so far.

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Eleven may not be the magic number for Demetrious Johnson after all.

The flyweight champ will look to obtain sole ownership of the UFC title defense record when he meets Ray Borg at UFC 215 next week, and while building anything remotely resembling that kind of longevity is a tall enough order in itself, Johnson prefers cleaning house and further extending his reign to another foray at 135 pounds.

“A friend of mine said, ‘You know, 10 (title defenses), that’s attainable. Eleven, that’s attainable. Fifteen is f—ing legendary.’ He goes, ‘Why don’t you just go to 15?’ Why not?” Johnson said on a conference call Wednesday. “I’m 31 years old, I feel good, you’ve got a lot of new, up-and-coming guys coming into the division, so why not keep doing it as much as I can? I mean, it’s not like 135 is going anywhere.

“When I get 35, 36, or 37 years old, when I get tired of dieting and not having Oreos a week before my fight, then I’ll go up to 135, but right now I’m focused on setting the record as high as I can. And then if the money’s right to go up to 135, then let’s make it happen.”

Johnson’s contentment with taking on all comers at 125 pounds hasn’t kept him from being targeted by a pair of bantamweight stalwarts. Both incumbent champ Cody Garbrandt and former titleholder TJ Dillashaw have had the flyweight king in their sights for some time, but as unconcerned as he may be with moving up in weight, Johnson admittedly relishes whatever callouts reach his ears.

“It cracks me up because everybody keeps throwing my name out of their mouth, and for me, I’m just focused on doing what I do best and cleaning out my division. Everybody in the UFC, everybody in the world says, ‘He’s the most boring fighter, he doesn’t sell any pay-per-views,’ but every one of them wants to fight me, so I don’t know why they keep saying that, but that makes me happy that my name keeps coming out of their mouths.”

That being said, “Mighty Mouse” isn’t averse to a date with Garbrandt, although he says both sides would have to hammer out whether they’d be meeting at 125 or 135 pounds. Johnson hasn’t competed at bantamweight since falling to then-champion Dominick Cruz nearly seven years ago, while Garbrandt has never fought as a flyweight.

The flyweight champ will aim to successfully defend his crown for the 11th time against Borg on Sep. 9 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta.