According to a report from MMA Junkie, former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva has been cleared to resume MMA training by his doctor at the Kerlan Jobe Clinic in Los Angeles. It has been only five months since Silva had his leg snapped in half by Chris Weidman in their title rematch late last year.
The horrific injury, combined with the beating Silva took twice in a row at the hands of Weidman, spurred talk of retirement for the 39 year-old legend. However, Silva has rapidly and steadily healed ahead of schedule - walking unassisted, kicking, grappling and even attending the LAPD academy (really) in recent weeks and months.
Now that he has been cleared by doctors to resume more comprehensive training, "The Spider" and his management are looking for a fight from the UFC, likely within a year's time.
We've talked with the UFC, and we'll see what they come up with," MMA Junkie quoted Silva's manager Ed Soares as saying.
When the outlet asked UFC president Dana White if he'd be open to Silva returning to action by the end of 2014, he replied, "that would be great."
As for who Silva might face in his return bout, so far the fighter's management is maintaining that he's open to whomever. "He's not one to call anyone out particularly," said Soares.
Who do you want to see Silva fight upon his return? Let us know in the comments section!
The UFC announced yesterday that former featherweight title challenger Ricardo Lamas will jump back into the Octagon against Hacran Dias on the June 28 UFC Fight night card in San Antonio. The fight will be Lamas’ first since losing a decision to champion Jose Aldo at UFC 169 last February.
That bout saw Lamas take Aldo’s big shots and keep coming forward, ultimately ending the fight with momentum, but also with time having run out on his championship hopes, at least for the time being. The Chicago-area native kept his normal post-fight routine after the loss to Aldo and was back in the gym just a couple days afterwards.
“I was back in the gym the Tuesday after the fight,” Lamas tells Cagewriter.
“Basically, there was no time off. I got back in there – which is what I normally do, regardless of whether I win or lose.”
Lamas was frustrated with his performance against Aldo, and wanted to get right back into the cage and the featherweight mix – which has led to his showdown with Dias in June.
“We asked for a couple guys that the UFC just straight out said ‘no’ to. They said they wanted to match me with someone who is on the same path. I don’t know what that means. Dias actually wasn’t on my radar before that but he was the only guy available,” Lamas admits.
“I didn’t want to wait around until the end of summer for ‘Korean Zombie,’ or someone like that so I just decided to get in there as soon as possible because I also want to try and get on that Mexico card in November.”
Lamas feels that he fought to cautiously against Aldo and is eager to never make that mistake again. “I didn’t fight like myself,” he says.
“I was very tentative…I think I overanalyzed things a bit. I also think I expected him to come out more aggressively in the beginning so when he didn’t, I thought too much. I think it was a combination of all those things.”
Frustrations aside, Lamas says that the positive is that he learned a lot in his five round battle for the title with Aldo. “I don’t look at a loss as a loss,” he says.
“I look at it as a learning experience. Basically, I learned not to fight like that ever again.”
Vitor Belfort backed out of a UFC middleweight title shot originally scheduled for this month because the testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) he'd used for years was recently, effectively banned in the sport of MMA. Belfort said he needed to take some time to adjust to life without TRT and, if a recent interview with MMA Fighting is to be believed, he already has.
"I feel like an animal," Belfort said.
"The Holy Spirit gives me everything I need. I’m training like an animal. Nobody trains harder than me."
The faith-filled Belfort believes that his belief in God helps him overcome a low testosterone level. Those wondering if the resurging Belfort would have to retire without TRT can rest assured that he won't, he said.
"My hormone stays at 200 today, and the normal range is from 300 to 800. (TRT) raised my levels to a normal range according to the commission. My hormone was at the same level of my opponents’, so they are in advantage now," Belfort taunted.
"People say ‘oh, so you should retire.’ Yeah, you want me to retire so you won’t get knocked out. I won’t retire. I will be back and I will win."
Do you think Belfort will come back strong without TRT? Do you even think he'll actually give it up, or will he keep continued use secret or even resort to banned steroids as he has in the past?
Let us know in the comments section.
Lyoto Machida has looked reborn at middleweight. The former light heavyweight champion went 3-4 in his last seven bouts at 205 pounds before moving down to the 185 pound class and earning two impressive wins - the first, a KO over Mark Munoz, and the second a decision over Gegard Mousasi.
Now, Machida will get a crack at middleweight champ Chris Weidman July 5 in the main event of UFC 175. Does the 35 year old feel he knows how to dethrone the young champion?
"I sure do, but I won’t tell you how now," Machida laughed recntly during an interview with Guilherme Cruz.
"The Dragon" watched Weidman's two bouts with his friend and long-time champion Anderson Silva carefully, and knows that "The All-American" has many strengths. "He has a good wrestling game and hits hard," Machida said, as examples.
That said, Machida has complete faith in himself and his unique style "He has a good cardio but I believe a lot in what I do and in my work. I believe in me," he went on.
Machida was originally called upon to fight Weidman on relatively short notice to replace Vitor Belfort (who pulled out of his title shot against the champ after the testosterone replacement therapy he used was effectively banned in California and Nevada) May 24, but then the New Yorker himself dropped out to get surgeries on both his knees. Machida said he was primed and ready to take on Weidman this month but feels that the additional time in training camp will only strengthen his chances.
"I was training hard and would be ready to fight in May even though I got the offer with two months’ notice, but I will use the extra weeks to work even better and get in there stronger," he said.
Machida also expects Weidman to be at 100 percent, despite the two surgeries an short recovery time.
"As a champion, I know he would never take risks if he really didn’t need it," Machida rationalized.
"I don’t think he will be in disadvantage because of the surgeries. He wouldn’t risk his title, so I believe he will be 100 percent ready."
Chad Mendes has won five straight fights since losing to UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo in early 2012, and on Aug. 2 he'll get another crack at both the Brazilian and his world title. Lance Pugmire reports that Aldo will defend his belt against Mendes at UFC 176 in Los Angeles at The Staples Center.
Since stopping Mendes in his native Brazil in the last second of the first round back in 2012, Aldo has fought and won three times. Overall, the champ is 24-1, and has not lost since 2005. Four out of Mendes' last five wins were knockouts and he appears well-positioned to try and avenge his only career loss.
Tickets for UFC 176 go on sale June 13. Who are you choosing in this rematch?
Let us know in the comments section!
'The Axe Murderer' is one of MMA's most beloved fighters, but his actions on 'TUF' have turned many fans against him.
Chael Sonnen certainly appeared to get the better of Wanderlei Silva in their brief brawl on the set of TUF: Brazil 3. Sonnen ducked under Silva's initial blow, took the former champ down with ease and then landed punches from on top of the Brazilian.
The only problem was, of course, that Silva's assistant coach Andre Dida jumped in to help his teammate and punched Sonnen in the back of the head a number of times. In an interview with The Wrestling Observer, Sonnen said that he felt fine after the skirmish, but later realized that he likely suffered some short-term memory loss as a result.
"I felt like I was okay, but I had dialog with some guys, including one guy in production the next day and he told me the dialog wasn't coherent the next day. I told him a story that I thought was a pretty good story, but I wasn't getting much of a reaction. He said, `The problem is, you told me the story yesterday,'" Sonnen said.
The trash-talking wrestler went on to say that he still wasn't concerned enough to go to a hospital, however. Sonnen will get his chance to go one-on-one with Silva at UFC 175 and knows that "The Axe Murderer" can still pack a punch.
"This won't go down in a 30-second match," Sonnen said.
"We're going to have to work hard. I can tease Wanderlei, but he's got tremendous heart, he hits extremely hard, especially early. He's a little wild, but if the shot lands, I'm not above being in trouble."
Bethe Correia won a unanimous decision over Jessamyn Duke at UFC 172 and then promptly - though symbollically - called out the rest of the Four Horsewomen. The leader of the pro-wrestling inspired MMA stable, UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, recently guest co-hosted an episode of The Fighter and the Kid podcast along with Brendan Schaub.
During the episode, Rousey addressed the undefeated Correia and cited her as a viable future possible title contender. First, though, Rousey teammate Shayna Baszler may get her hands on the Brazilian.
“Shayna called this girl out, and I think Shayna is going to be fighting her next,” Rousey said.
"Rowdy" Ronda defends her belt next against Alexis Davis in July but thinks its possible that she could fight Correia soon after.
“This chick is undefeated,” Rousey said.
“She’s fighting Shayna, so Shayna’s UFC debut is either going to be a huge win for Shayna or this girl is going to be still undefeated, and I’m going to have a huge title fight because this girl is going to have fought both of my girls and is coming after me.
“That’s a storyline. That’s Shayna’s storyline right now. And either she beats [Correia] and moves on and has a bigger name, or it moves on to be my storyline.”
Not that Rousey believes Correira will get past Baszler, however.
“I think Shayna can [expletive] handle it and will shove this [expletive] in this girl’s face, but there’s no lose in this situation,” Rousey said.
“It’s a huge win for Shayna, or it’s a huge setup for a fight [between Correia and Rousey].
In closing, Rousey managed to squeeze in another shot at her two-time foe, Miesha Tate. “If Miesha Tate can get a title shot and she hadn’t even won a single match in the UFC, this chick who’s undefeated and beat two of my friends could be a very interesting fight for me," she said.
Did you see Correia's last bout? If so, do you think she has what it takes to compete with Rousey?
Let us know in the comments section!
Yesterday you read what Cole Miller had to say about his just-announced July 19th UFC main event in Dublin against Conor McGregor. The Irish sensation had plenty to say himself on UFC Tonight when interviewed by Kenny Florian.
"I stay ready," said McGregor, when asked if he'll be fully healed from his ACL injury and surgery.
"Me coming back from this injury is a man possessed. I'm going go in there and I'm going to break him in the very first exchange."
McGregor was fired up about facing Miller, who has called out and bashed the UFC newcomer after his own bouts. "[Miller] opened his mouth, he was under the influence of post-fight adrenaline. It has the same effect as alcohol. It makes you brave. He spoke with bravery, but guess what happened? It wore off. Now he's faced with the reality that he's going to face me July 19," he said.
As for all the advantages that Cole says he will have over Conor come fight night, the bombastic featherweight was dismissive.
"It does not matter," said McGregor.
"He does not have a reach advantage. He's slow, he's scared, I'm fast, I'm fearless. It's no contest. The first exchange I'm going to break him. I see it in his voice. I see it in his body language. He's petrified. I'm coming to get him. Not just him. Forget him. I've been listening to everyone calling me out and saying this and that while I'm forced to sit on the sideline. Now I'm back."
Per usual, McGregor didn't limit the scope of his trash talk to just one future opponent. The proud Dubliner is looking past Cole Miller to other featehrweight contenders as well as champion Jose Aldo.
"I'm going to stop Cole. Whoever's next. Cub [Swanson], I'll break Cub," he said.
"I'll embarrass Chad [Mendes]. I'll annihilate Jose [Aldo]. I'm coming to takeover the division. It's my division."
Do you think Miller's size and Jiu Jitsu will prevail, or will McGregor's speed and unpredictable strikes take the day? Let us know in the comments section.Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda & @YahooCagewriter
Long rumored, a featherweight contender matchup between Cole Miller and Conor McGregor has officially been announced by the UFC as the July 19 Dublin card main event.
McGregor has won his first two UFC bouts and last ten, overall. Miller has won three out of his last four fights, including his last two.
When Cagewriter last spoke with Miller about he and McGregor's feud, the American Top Team fighter wasn't even cleared to resume training after injuring his hand. McGregor himself will be returning after a long lay-off because of a torn ACL.
Miller tells us today, however, that he's healthy and ready to go. "I got cleared a few weeks back," he says.
It took a great deal of prodding from Miller but he finally got this fight, which he had taunted McGregor to get for some time. However, Miller will have to fight the charismatic Irish star on his home turf.
"People keep saying I'm going to fight on his home turf. I've [expletive] fought eighteen times in the UFC Octagon - Sixteen UFC fights and two on The Ultimate Fighter," Miller counters.
"The way I see it, it will be more my home than his. I think he's going to feel that once the door closes."
After the UFC announced the fight, McGregor said in an interview that he isn't going to show Miller any mercy. That's fine with "Magrinho."
"I won't show him any mercy, so I wouldn’t expect him to show me any," Miller says flatly.
Beyond all the bluster and money-making trash talk, Miller simply likes the matchup between he and McGregor. In addition to experience, Miller believes he'll have the advantage in size, strength and technique.
"I like the matchup because, well, I’m a lot bigger than he is, for one," the 30 year-old says.
"I’m going to be a lot stronger than he is. On the ground, he will probably never, in his lifeteime, be as good as I am on the floor as I am at this point.The moment it hits the floor, he’s going to be [expletive]. All this training he's doing with ADCC vet Gunnar Nelson isn't going to help him. I'm the best ground fighter that he has ever been in the cage with.
"I'm also the best striker he's ever been in the cage with. I'm really not seeing a whole lot of possibilities for him."
After last week's UFC 172, Dana White called Jon Jones the best fighter in the world, pound for pound, but also mentioned that something needs to be done about the light heavyweight champ's frequent eye-poking. That was about the right chord to hit, as far as we're concerned.
Jones is an amazing fighter and looked dominant against a top challenger Saturday night. In addition to receiving just-credit for being a dazzling fighter, however, it is entirely appropriate to bring up the issue of Jones' eye-poking.
He did it a couple times to Glover Teixeira at UFC 172 without penalty. Jones recently responded to the call for his eye-pokes to stop on Instagram in a very Jon Jones way - he posted something silly and embarrassing and then tried to erase it from memory soon after.
Jones posted a close-up video of his face mocking fans and critics of his eye-poking, essentially calling them cry babies. Then, it seems that he erased the video.
Unfortunately for Jones, the Internet has a way of saving things even when you try to erase things. Check out the video below.
On the one hand, we can see where Jones is coming from. The guy has a good deal of hate thrown his way by many fans and, no doubt, some try to take away from his amazing accomplishments.
This writer has already argued that Jones deserves none of our hate. He isn't beyond criticism, at times, however.
Look, Jon, you may make fun of fans who complain about your eye-poking but it is a serious issue. I don't think anyone can say that you've won any fights because of your eye-poking, but let's not act as if you don't do it all the time.
You poked Teixeira in the eyes multiple times. You poked Gustafsson in the eyes more than once. You poked "Rampage" Jackson in the eyes. You poked Lyoto Machida in the eyes. You poked Rashad Evans in the eyes. You poked Mauricio "Shogun" Rua in the eyes, while standing and while on the ground.
Dude, you pretty much poke everyone in the eye, all the time. You should stop.
So, while Jones has earned the right to bask in the glow of his well-earned victories, he should probably not gloat about all the cheating he does and gets away with in fights. Given that he took down the video on Instagram, he probably realizes that now.
This, of course, is on the heels of the played-down scandal of homophobic slurs coming from Jones' Instagram account before UFC 172, directed at a fight fan. Supposedly, Jones himself didn't post those offending things, even though he, Dana White and his management all seemed to give different alibis and explanations.
Jon Jones is a true champion and deserves our respect for it. Hopefully, for his sake, he learns to deal with the fame, hate and legitimate criticisms in a more professional way.
Former UFC light heavyweight champion and current Bellator fighter Tito Ortiz has pleaded no contest to a DUI charge and avoided jail time, according to a report from Dave Doyle. Ortiz was arrested last January and charged with DUI after crashing his sports car early in the morning in Southern California.
Ortiz and two passengers were reportedly coming from a party at the Playboy mansion in Beverly Hills. According to Doyle's report, "While Ortiz could have received up to six months in county jail under California vehicle codes 23152 (A) and 23152 (B), a plea of no-contest will keep him out of jail. A first-time offender, Ortiz will instead do three years' probation and must enroll in and complete an alcohol education program."
Ortiz pulled out of a scheduled fight against former training partner Quinton "Rampage" Jackson last year because of a broken neck. He has recently said that he's ready to fight again.
Ortiz briefly retired from MMA competition after a loss to Forrest Griffin in 2012. The 39 year old has not fought since then.
Ortiz held a UFC title from April 14, 2000 until he lost a unanimous decision to Randy Couture in September of 2003. Going back to late 2006, Ortiz won only one of his last nine fights.
Trainer Robert Garcia has worked with many boxing champions, including Antonio Margarito, Kelly Pavlik, Brandon Rios and Floyd Mayweather's next opponent - Marcos Maidana, and he believes that UFC heavyweight king Cain Velasquez also has the ability to be a top boxer. Garcia recently spoke with Sherdog about three days he spent training Velasquez in Oxnard, California.
“I think this guy is not only great at what he does but he could also be a great boxer, because he’s got tremendous power," he said.
"When I hold the mits with Cain Velasquez, right away I told his people that brought him, I said, ‘What do you guys think about training for boxing, because this guy could make a lot of noise in professional boxing?’ He’s got skills and tremendous power. He’s got good boxing skills."
Garcia went even further, saying that Velasquez could become a heavyweight boxing champion, if he chose to. “I think a good trainer could teach him how to fight, build up a good record in two or three years and become a champion. I honestly believe so," he said.
Would you be interested in seeing how someone like Velasquez would do in straight boxing matches? Let us know in the comments section.
Five years ago, top kick boxer Pat Barry gave up the sport to transition into MMA. The former K-1 fighter soon made it into the UFC and used his elite striking skills in the world's top MMA promotion ever since.
After losing two straight in the UFC last year, however, Barry asked the UFC for his release and decided to go back into professional kickboxing. K-1 is pretty much dead and gone, but Glory has stepped up in the past year and become the top kickboxing promotion in the world.
It was Glory's emergence that encouraged Barry to leave MMA and go back to his roots. "HD" Barry tells Cagewriter that he always knew he'd go back to kickboxing.
"I always knew I’d come back," he says.
"Kickboxing didn’t die, but if you didn’t want to do it for $200 a fight in a bar, it wasn’t an option any more, for awhile. Now Glory has come along and provided a new professional avenue for top kick boxers."
About a month ago, Barry took a warm up kickboxing bout and was successful with a knockout (clip below). On Saturday, Barry will make his Glory debut, fighting in his new home of Denver. The colorful KO artist tells us that he's been having the time of his life being back in a strictly kickboxing training camp.
"I'm elated," he says.
"It feels great."
The 34 year-old isn't back in kickboxing just for thrills, however. He wants to become the heavyweight champion.
"I want that Glory belt," he says.
"I never got to be K-1 champion and I really want to be champion now. I'm not getting ahead of myself, I know I need to win one fight at a time but the end-goal is becoming the best."
Though Barry had an accomplished MMA career, fighting the best in the world and walking away with many wins, we wonder out loud to him if he feels he could have done even better had he simply "loved" it as he does kickboxing. "It’s not that I didn’t love MMA – I did," he clarifies.
"I just loved kickboxing more. It’s like having a great meal at a restaurant. You might love it, it might be excellent but if you ask me if I prefer that or my mom’s home cooking, I’m going with mom’s home cooking every time."
It's finally official - Cain Velasquez will defend his UFC heavyweight title against Fabricio Werdum Nov. 15 at UFC 180 in Mexico City. The pair will first coach opposite one another on the first season of The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America.
The season will begin filming May 12 in Las Vegas and will air in the U.S. and in Mexico on Televisa beginning August 18. The announcements came Tuesday from UFC president Dana White at a press conference.
"It's a great day for me and the UFC," he said.
"Anyone who has followed this company and this sport knows I've been talking abut Mexico for a very long time. I thought Mexico worked very well with this demographic and this sport. And I always knew it would be big here if we had a chance to come here."
Velasquez is of Mexican descent and Werdum is Brazilian, though is also fluent in Spanish and is one of the UFC's Spanish-language event commentators. Werdum last fought and won April 19, dominating Travis Browne and earning the title shot.
Velasquez has not fought since last October when he stopped Junior Dos Santos in their rubber match, and is currently recovering from shoulder surgery. Coming back from just the latest serious injury in his career will be a challenge for Velasquez, he knows, but the champ is confident he'll shine in Mexico City.
"I'm going to do whatever I can do fight here in Mexico," he said.
"I'm going to be ready to do whatever it takes to give you a great fight. I've had an injury and I know what I have to do to be ready."
Neither fighter had bad things to say about the other. The challenger simply promised a good fight.
"I don't have to say bad things about Cain. He's a good person," Werdum said.
"I've had the opportunity to interview him and we've always had a cordial relationship. What we can promise is the fight is going to be a great fight. The rest of the UFC Mexico City card is not yet set but White promised that the promotion would try to fill it with solid match ups in order to make a splash in the new market.
Who are you picking to win this heavyweight battle? Let us know in the comments section.
There’s only so much Tecia Torres knows and only so much she can prepare, but she’s doing everything she can think of. The undefeated 115 pound MMA contender is set to leave her Florida home in late spring or early summer to take part in the next Ultimate Fighter reality show competition.
“Honestly I wish we had a little bit more details but all I know is that the date we leave is supposed to be in late spring or early summer,” Torres tells Cagewriter.
“Right now, there’s only a little bit more time left so I don’t have that much time to prep. What I’m doing right now before I leave is pay my bills and take care of personal stuff.”
This season of TUF will have the series’ biggest prize in the show’s history – a UFC belt. To start the promotion’s new 115 pound women’s division, the UFC brought over most of Invicta FC’s top 115 pounders and put them on the show.
Unlike past seasons of TUF, this season isn’t filled with prospects, but with elite fighters in a weight class who are just a couple steps away from a title. So, the opportunity is big for the 24 year old Torres.
Given that she doesn’t even know when she’ll be called and plucked from her normal life, team and society in general to move for a couple months to the TUF House, Torres is just trying to train as much as possible and leave her personal affairs in order.
“When I go in there, my coaches will definitely be in my heart and mind. Everybody is a potential opponent on the show so I’ve got to be ready for fifteen different styles,” she says.
“I’m upping my game in all aspects – striking, Jiu Jitsu, wrestling - so I can be ready for every single thing. All my coaches and teammates who have been on TUF or Fight Master before have given me advice. My coaches have looked at tape of a lot of the girls on the show. We haven’t gone into detail about game plans, we are just working on the basics. From what I hear the biggest issue is the mental aspect of being on the show. Weight cutting won’t be an issue for me. But not having access to the world and your people is a mental challenge.”
Not only will Torres live with potential opponents while filming TUF, she’s already fought a number of the other cast. “The Tiny Tornado” can’t speak for how the other women will approach the awkward situation, but she claims to not have any particular axes to grind.
“I don’t know if the other girls will be weird, and not talk to anybody,” she says.”
“I’ve never been in a situation like this before. I have been to summer camp when I was young. It will probably be a little different from that because we’re grown women and fighting for one prize, though [laughs].
"I don’t have beef with anybody. Carla Esparza has kind of called me out already because I beat her best friend Felice Herrig. So, if there’s beef in the house, it will be them towards me. I’m not going to be the one to do that but if they want to, I’ll be there. I’m sure it will make for good television.”
The entirety of the situation may still be too surreal for Torres for her to get caught up in hypothetical TUF House beefs. The undefeated contender may seem on the rise in the sport, but – like season 1 winner Forrest Griffin before her - she was actually on her way out of the sport before getting a call from UFC president Dana White.
“I loved fighting and wanted to do it but it wasn’t something I necessarily thought of as a career path to make money,” Torres reveals.
“I thought I could do this for awhile and go back to kickboxing if I needed to. I didn’t think of it as a career until Invicta signed me. But even then, I was coming to a point where I was going to probably have to stop fighting full-time. Invicta treats the girls well but it wasn’t enough to make a living off of. I’m 24 now and I told my mom that if, by 25, it doesn’t happen for me in MMA, I would realistically go back to work. I went to college and studied criminal justice. I always thought I was going to be a cop until I decided that I didn’t want to harm or kill anyone.”
Torres’ only chance to continue to fight full-time, then, was if the UFC decided to pluck Invicta’s top fighters and sign them to the promotion. Torres heard rumors but didn’t get her hopes up.
“Honestly, all we heard about it were rumors. All of the sudden there were rumors that the UFC was going to sign us, then the rumor was that they weren’t going to do it. I thought, ‘if it happens, great. If not, I’ll start another career.’ I would still have fought, I just would not have been as active. Then, Dana called,” she remembers.
“I got a call and it was from a Nevada number. My boyfriends said, ‘that’s Dana White,’ but I thought that was crazy. It was also like 10pm. But then I answer it and the voice says, ‘Hi, this is Dana White.’ I thought, ‘No [expletive] way. But he said, ‘yeah it’s me.’ He told me that he just wanted to welcome me to the UFC and season 20 of TUF. He told me that the show winner would be the champion and some other quick details. It was just about 10 minutes.”
Torres’ whirlwind then began and she is now suddenly closer to goals she and many other women didn’t think were attainable just a few months ago. More than that, Torres may have the additional pressure of being seen as a favorite in the TUF 20 tournament, since she’s managed to beat several other top fighters in her brief pro career.
The American Top Team fighter brushes that notion aside, however. “Some people ask me that – if I think I’m a favorite. I don’t think of myself in that way at all,” she says.
“I definitely know that people are calling me a favorite. But, in reality, I don’t have that much pro experience. Most of the other girls have a lot more experience than me. In my head, I’m the underdog. I don’t want to be in any other mindset. I’m going into this 0-0.”
UFC President Dana White was effusive in his praise of light heavyweight champion Jon Jones after UFC 172 but was also critical of Jones' repeated eye-poking. Jones, who has the longest reach in UFC history, often stretches out his lead arm in order to keep opponents away.
He did that repeatedly, palming challenger Glover Teixeira's head before unloading shots. Jones also repeatedly poked the Brazilian in the eye in their UFC 172 main event, as he has done a number of other times to opponents throughout his career.
"We gotta stop that stuff," White said in a post-fight interview with Fox.
"The opening of the hands and putting the hands on the face. It's something bad, but you know, it happens with guys who have reach. They do that a lot."
Watch White's full interview below and let us know what you think in the comments section.
Perhaps it's because he found success so quickly in the UFC, perhaps it's because he's beaten some legendary fan favorites, perhaps it's because he's admittedly a little arrogant while also being young, rich and black. Maybe it's a little bit of all of these things.
But, for whatever combination of reasons, UFC champion Jon Jones seems to get an inordinate amount of hate from fans. Saturday night at UFC 172, Jones got plenty of cheers from the Baltimore crowd, however, and it felt good.
"It was just great to have the crowd on my side again," said Jones at the UFC 172 post fight press conference (full video below).
Jones paid homage to retired Baltimore Ravens middle linebacker Ray Lewis as he headed to the Octagon with a little hot-dogging and the arena crowd ate it up. So did Lewis, who is in attendance along with Jones' NFL-player brothers, Arthur (a former Raven) and Chandler.
"It has been a long time since I've had cheers. I figured it would be that way so I said let me really embrace this, let me really give this audience some entertainment. So it was just great. I was living it up. I figured Ray Lewis would be there, a lot of Ravens would be there, so I was just playing it up, and practiced that dance all day, and aced it, I hear. I haven't seen it yet. Ray was happy and, yeah, I'm happy," Jones said.
Jon Jones getting his Ray Lewis on:
Apparently the people of Baltimore didn't begrudge Arthur for taking a big new contract with the Colts and leaving the Ravens. "The people of Baltimore...they still respect [Arthur] a lot. Arthur gets a great reception here… It's great to see that the love is still there. And obviously it trickled into my world, too - I got a lot of respect, and a lot of cheers, which made me feel amazing. I really do appreciate it. I mean the boos I've learned to live with, but it's so rewarding to get some love and respect for once," Jones said.
Do you think Jones will continue to get the reception he deserves from fans moving forward? Well, other than if he fights Alexander Gustafsson in Sweden, of course.
Let us know in the comments section!
Watch the full UFC 172 post-event press conference below:
So, as you may have read on these digital pages - the Brothers Diaz aren't very happy with the UFC or champing at the bit to get back into the Octagon. Lightweight Nate Diaz has asked for his release, complained about his contract and said the promotion pulled a confidence game on him.
Older brother and welterweight Nick Diaz hasn't fought since losing a decision to Georges St. Pierre in March, 2013. He's asked for everything from his contract to be bought out by Roy Jones Jr. to $500,000 to return or a title shot despite losing his last two fights.
Nate Diaz was in Baltimore for UFC 172 to corner teammate Yancy Medeiros and UFC president Dana White was asked if he'd spoken with the former title challenger. "I didn't, no," said White.
White did say that he believed UFC matchmaker Joe Silva had spoken with Nate, however, and the word he'd gotten back was that Diaz is ready to fight again.
"I think Joe Silva did and Nate said he's ready to fight, so, he told Joe to call him," White went on.
Nick Diaz is a different story, though. "No Nick. No Nick," said White, echoing Anderson Silva's famous lament of "no baby. Baby, no."
"Nick's got a lot of money, man. I think Nick's just going to kick back until he has to fight."
Who do you want to hear Nate complain about fighting next before fighting him? Let us know in the comments section.
Gray Maynard lost twice, badly, in 2013. After two consecutive brutal KO losses, to T.J. Grant and Nate Diaz, Maynard took some time off, got his head checked out and is looking to make a return around July, according to a recent interview.
"Last year was the worst year of my life," Maynard told MMA Fighting.
"No wonder they don’t have the 13th floor in buildings. Thirteen sucks. I hate it. It was a tough year. There was a lot going on, the losses, my dogs died…we had a new baby, but the baby was born in 2012. If she was born in 2013, I wouldn’t be able to call it the worst year of my life. But she was born in 2012, so 2013 was the worst year of my life. Just a crazy year, so it was good to get it done with and start a new year."
It has been a rough past few years for "The Bully," actually. The top-contender has won only once in his last five fights - a controversial decision win over Clay Guida.
Maynard's last clear-cut win was way back in 2010, when he earned a decision over Kenny Florian. More worrisome than that, however, is the fact that Maynard was undefeated prior to this rough patch and, that all three of his career losses have occurred recently and all were knockouts.
Maynard said that UFC brass ordered him to undergo brain examinations to determine if he's sustained damage. "After the Nate bout, I took some time off and I did some testing on my head, obviously, just to check that everything was alright," he revealed.
"To be honest, the day after and even a couple of days after, I didn’t have headaches, I wasn’t hurting. Just a couple of scrapes. But then people who were close to me, Dana [White], the Fertittas, they wanted me to get checked out...It all came back great."
Even so, Maynard thought it best to take time off from fighting and rest his mind and body. The fighter plans to return mid-summer and said he'd reveal changes he's making to his training next month.
"I still took off some time just to make sure," he said.
"You hear all kinds of horror stories with boxers, horror stories about whomever. I just think the last couple of fights it was more of a lapse in judgment and not being prepared to compete."
Who do you want to see Maynard fight next? Let us know in the comments section.