Category: MMA & UFC

MMA & UFC News

Cyborg willing to face Ronda Rousey…in a WWE ring

Ronda Rousey’s coach Edmond Tarverdyan suggested that if the former UFC women’s bantamweight champion were to have one more fight, it would be against longtime rival Cris “Cyborg” Justino.

Justino caught wind of Tarverdyan’s comments on The MMA Hour and agreed that a bout against Rousey would be best for business…just not in a sanctioned MMA match. Instead, Cyborg believes that the world of sports entertainment would be the perfect place to have them meet.

“If Ronda is wanting to make the fight for the fans, I would still be willing to give them it,” Justino said in a post on her website. “But I think it would be better to take place inside the WWE ring. For her it gets her one step closer to Hollywood and for me it would be another exciting challenge and a chance to test my athletic ability.”

Cyborg vs. Rousey has long been a dream fight for MMA fans considering their respective dominance over their competition. However, interest has dwindled with Rousey’s back to back knockout losses in a last two fights and there is speculation that she will never compete in MMA again. Cyborg has since continued her run through competition and is currently the UFC women’s featherweight champion. With their careers going in opposite directions, Cyborg doesn’t see the need for them to fight.

“When I wanted to fight her, it was because she was at the top of her game and she had all of the confidence in the world,” she said. “She had not been KO’d twice in a row, and some people were actually saying she could beat Floyd Mayweather in a fight.”

Cyborg recalled a time when she tried everything she could to land the fight with Rousey but, for one reason or another, it never came to fruition.

“I wanted the challenge so bad I almost killed myself trying to make the lowest weight possible just to give this fight to the fans, and she made every excuse for it not to happen,” Cyborg said. “Both of us are now at different chapters in our careers, and for me that chapter is finished.”

Ronda Rousey's coach wants her to fight one more time against Cris Cyborg

In the months since Ronda Rousey’s second consecutive knockout loss to Amanda Nunes in December, all signs pointed toward the former UFC women’s bantamweight champion hanging up the gloves. She’s remained relatively silent about her MMA future, married Travis Browne and appears to be making a transition into the world of professional wrestling. Fighting seems to be the last thing on her mind.

However, her coach would like for her to make the walk into the Octagon one more time before bidding the sport farewell. And Edmond Tarverdyan has only one opponent in mind for Rousey’s farewell.

Cris Cyborg.

You read that right, the current UFC women’s featherweight champion that has decimated all opposition over the past decade and was once the opponent that fight fans wanted to see Rousey face is exactly who Tarverdyan believes the former champion should square off against.

And he is certain that Rousey can beat Cyborg.

“That’s the one,” Tarverdyan said on The MMA Hour. “I want that fight. When I trained Ronda, I know Ronda could beat Cyborg. I know that. Cyborg is too slow.”

Tarverdyan isn’t sure that Rousey will return, but believes that a Cyborg fight would motivate the former champion to take one more fight.

“I don’t know,” he said. “I don’t know. We’ll live and we’ll see. If injuries weren’t there and everything was where it was, we would take that fight and I’m telling you she’s too slow for us. And Ronda will beat her. Ronda needs a challenge that she really needs to be like this person is no good and I need to prove something to the whole world. That’s how Ronda works good.”

Rousey’s biggest hole in her game has been her striking and was exposed by both Holly Holm and Nunes, who are experienced strikers. And it’s no secret that Cyborg is the most feared striker in all of women’s MMA, and it’s not even close.

But having the deck stacked against her in a fight against a rival is something that Tarverdyan believes can squeeze one more fight out of Rousey. But all that being said, he’s still unsure if it will be enough to lure the 30-year-old back into the UFC.

“It’s gonna be her decision, if she fights,” Tarverdyan said. “One more, I don’t know. I’ve spoken to her. I don’t know if she’ll do it. One more fight, maybe. If she really can. If her body does give her one more fight and she really wants to mentally, she might. It’s 50-50 right now I would say.”

Ex-world champion boxer Ana Julaton signs deal with Bellator

Former boxing world champion Ana Julaton signed a deal to compete as a flyweight for Bellator. (Courtesy AnaJulaton.com)

Ana Julaton, a former world champion boxer who holds black belts in Kenpo karate and Taekwondo, has signed a multi-fight agreement to continue her MMA career with Bellator.

Julaton, 37, has held the IBA super bantamweight title and had two stints as the WBO super bantamweight champion during her nine-year boxing career. She competed for a spot on the UFC’s reality series, “The Ultimate Fighter,” earlier this year and when she wasn’t chosen, she opted to sign a deal with Bellator.

Julaton, who trains with ex-UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir, is along with ex-UFC champion Holly Holm the most decorated female boxer to make the switch to MMA. Julaton is 2-2 in MMA, having fought in One Championship in 2014-15.

She trained heavily in grappling when she first began in MMA, because she knew her hands were good enough to compete. She worked with noted grappling trainer Ricky Lundell early in her MMA career and many of her fights in One reflected that training.

After leaving One, Julaton boxed again, going 1-0-1. Her contract with Bellator allows her the opportunity to box and she expects to compete in both sports.

She didn’t want to give up on MMA, particularly feeling as good as she has.

“I know I can’t do this forever,” she said. “But I’m 37 and I feel so great. I thought about it and I just felt I didn’t want to pass the opportunity when I was feeling so good. I’m in great shape and I feel so good and I just want to try this.”

She’ll compete as a flyweight, though Bellator has not announced her first bout with the promotion.

Bellator MMA flyweight Ana Julaton poses with her boxing title belts. (Courtesy AnaJulaton.com)

Daniel Cormier reinstated as UFC light heavyweight champ after Jon Jones' latest failed drug test

ANAHEIM, CA – JULY 28: (L-R) Daniel Cormier speaks with commentator Joe Rogan during the UFC 214 weigh-in at Honda Center on July 28, 2017 in Anaheim, California. Cormier is fighting Jon Jones in the light heavyweight title bout. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

For the third time in his mixed martial arts career, Jon Jones has been stripped of the UFC light heavyweight title. It is a title that he has never lost in a fight but his transgressions outside of the Octagon have, once again, cost him the coveted title.

The troubled 30-year-old was flagged by USADA for the banned steroid Turinabol stemming from an in-competition sample collected on July 28, the day before he scored a third-round knockout of Daniel Cormier. Although Jones’ camp disputed the result, his B-sample also came back positive on Sept. 12. The confirmation that Jones indeed had a banned substance led to the California State Athletic Commission overturning the fight to a no contest.
The prevailing thought was that Daniel Cormier would be reinstated as champion and that was confirmed in a statement issued by the UFC.
“The ruling changes the Jones ‘win’ to a ‘no contest’ following a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an in-competition sample collected after Jones’ weigh-in on July 28, 2017,” the statement said. “As this was a title bout, Cormier will be reinstated as UFC light heavyweight champion.”

Cormier addressed the situation on “UFC Tonight” and stated that he was told by UFC president Dana White that he would be champion once again.
“If it’s a no contest, then the fight didn’t happen,” Cormier said. “He said, ‘If one of you guys would have missed weight, he would have won the fight, but you still would have kept the belt. Because of that, the championship is getting returned to you.’ The fight is a no contest. If he cheated, he could not have fought and cheated and still won the fight.”
With Cormier being reinstated as champion despite losing twice to Jones, the 38-year-old recognizes that there will be some criticism from fans.
“Now, people will say stuff like, ‘Well, you got handed the belt,’” Cormier said. “He cheated, and the reality is, for me to say I don’t want this title when I was going to be in championship fights anyways, financially it’s just a big difference if I don’t fight as the champion as opposed to fighting for a vacant title. I’m taking the belt.”
Jones’ future remains in doubt as he is facing a possible four-year suspension from USADA and could be subject to additional punishment from the CSAC.
Cormier was critical of the circumstances surrounding Jones and his failed drug test.
“You don’t cheat the sports, you don’t cheat the fans, you don’t cheat me. You have all the physical advantages, sir. You’re 30 years old, you’re 6-4, you have 85-inch reach,” he said. “It’s an unfortunate situation. We had one of the biggest fights of the year, and once again this guy has made a mockery of the sport.”

Daniel Cormier reinstated as UFC light heavyweight champion after Jon Jones failed UFC 214 drug test

For the third time in his mixed martial arts career, Jon Jones has been stripped of the UFC light heavyweight title. It is a title that he has never lost in a fight but his transgressions outside of the Octagon have, once again, cost him the coveted title.

The troubled 30-year-old was flagged by USADA for the banned steroid Turinabol stemming from an in-competition sample collected on July 28th, the day before he scored a third round knockout of Daniel Cormier. Although Jones’ camp disputed the result, his B sample also came back positive on September 12. The confirmation that Jones indeed had a banned substance led to the California State Athletic Commission overturning the fight to a no contest.
The prevailing thought was that Daniel Cormier would be reinstated as champion and that was confirmed in a statement issued by the UFC.
“The ruling changes the Jones ‘win’ to a ‘no contest’ following a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an in-competition sample collected after Jones’ weigh-in on July 28, 2017,” the statement said. “As this was a title bout, Cormier will be reinstated as UFC light heavyweight champion.”

Cormier addressed the situation on UFC Tonight and stated that he was told by UFC president Dana White that he would be champion once again.
“If it’s a no contest, then the fight didn’t happen,” Cormier said. “He said, ‘If one of you guys would have missed weight, he would have won the fight, but you still would have kept the belt. Because of that, the championship is getting returned to you.’ The fight is a no contest. If he cheated, he could not have fought and cheated and still won the fight.”
With Cormier being reinstated as champion despite losing twice to Jones, the 38-year-old recognizes that there will be some criticism from fans.
“Now, people will say stuff like, ‘Well, you got handed the belt,’” Cormier said. “He cheated, and the reality is, for me to say I don’t want this title when I was going to be in championship fight anyways, financially it’s just a big difference if I don’t fight as the champion as opposed to fighting for a vacant title. I’m taking the belt.”
Jones’ future remains in doubt as he is facing a possible four-year suspension from USADA and could be subject to additional punishment from the CSAC.
Cormier was critical of the circumstances surrounding Jones and his failed drug test.
“You don’t cheat the sports, you don’t cheat the fans, you don’t cheat me. You have all the physical advantages, sir. You’re 30 years old, you’re 6-4, you have 85-inch reach,” he said. “It’s an unfortunate situation. We had one of the biggest fights of the year, and once again this guy has made a mockery of the sport.”

Amanda Nunes squeaks out a split decision over Valentina Shevchenko to retain UFC belt

Valentina Shevchenko was irate, and rightly so. She’d just lost a razor-thin split decision to champion Amanda Nunes Saturday at Rogers Place in Edmonton in the main event of UFC 215, and she could hardly believe it.

She lost a shot at the women’s bantamweight title by the thinnest of margins. Two judges scored it 48-47 for Nunes and the third had it 48-47 for Shevchenko, as Nunes retained her title via split decision in one of the closest fights you’ll see. Yahoo Sports had it 48-47 for Nunes.

But one one of the two judges gone the other way in an unbelievably close final round, a new champion would have been crowned and it would have been Nunes and her fans who would have been screaming robbery and bloody murder.

Both women had a right to feel they won because there was so little to choose between them. This is what happens when two fighters with the same skills who are so evenly matched compete. They fought at UFC 196 19 months earlier and Nunes took another close decision in a non-title bout on March 5, 2016.

If there is a third fight, it would probably turn out the same way. The crowd booed the decision and many on the internet were screaming robbery, but it would likely have been the same thing had Shevchenko won. Then, fans would have been saying Shevchenko hadn’t definitively taken it from the champion.

Nunes had no issue with how it turned out, though. Asked if she was concerned when the decision was being read, she shook her head.

“I wasn’t concerned with anything,” she said, beaming.

Across the ring, Shevchenko stood in utter disbelief, her arms upraised as the crowd booed. She was angry and said Nunes, arguably the hardest-hitting woman in the sport, landed nothing of significance.

“Look at her face,” Shevchenko said, angrily. “Her nose is red from my punches. I really don’t understand why the decision went to the other side.”

Nunes scored a takedown in the final minute when Shevchenko went for a head-and-arm throw and failed to complete it. Nunes got her back at first, and then took her down, but did nothing with it. That, though, may have won her the fight.

Shevchenko spent the night looking to counter and to push the fight into the later rounds, because Nunes has been known to fade. But with little grappling, the match was essentially a kick boxing bout and it didn’t tax Nunes. She had plenty of energy as the second half of the fight unfolded.

“I made sure I knew she would be the one who would be tired, not me,” Nunes said.

The bout became the main event of the show late on Thursday when Ray Borg had to pull out of his bout with flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson because of a viral infection. But the fight wasn’t the exciting slugfest many had expected and by the middle of the bout, Edmonton fans were chanting, “Let’s go Oilers,” after NHL MVP Connor McDavid and some of his teammates were shown on the scoreboard.

Nunes was all smiles, though, and gleefully posed for photos with the hockey players later. Shevchenko remained steamed.

“I definitely won this fight,” she said. “I totally disagree with this decision.”

As did half of those who saw it. The other half, of course, thought Nunes had won it.

It was that kind of a fight.

 

Demetrious Johnson's quest for history ends when bout is canceled after Ray Borg falls ill

LAS VEGAS, NV – DECEMBER 30: Ray Borg reacts to his victory over Louis Smolka in their flyweight bout during the UFC 207 event on December 30, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Ray Borg reacts to his victory over Louis Smolka in their flyweight bout during the UFC 207 event on December 30, 2016 in Las Vegas. Borg was supposed to fight Demetrious Johnson for the flyweight title Saturday, but pulled out because of illness. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)Demetrious Johnson is going to have to wait for the opportunity to make UFC history.

His flyweight title fight with Ray Borg, which was set to be the main event of UFC 215 Saturday at the Rogers Place in Edmonton, was canceled early Friday E.T. when Borg was deemed medically unfit to compete because of a viral illness.

The women’s bantamweight title fight between champion Amanda Nunes and No. 1 contender Valentina Shevchenko will now serve as the main event. Ironically, Nunes was set to fight Shevchenko in July in the main event of UFC 213 in Las Vegas but withdrew on the morning of the fight with a sinus issue.

Fans who want a refund can obtain it at the point of purchase.

In a statement, the UFC said:

Due to a viral illness to UFC flyweight contender Ray Borg, the main event bout against champion Demetrious Johnson at UFC 215 has been cancelled. Borg was deemed unfit to compete by the UFC medical team.

UFC 215, which is now headlined by the women’s bantamweight championship between Amanda Nunes and Valentina Shevchenko, will proceed as scheduled with 11 bouts at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Canada. Moving to the Pay-Per-View main card will be the flyweight bout between Henry Cejudo and Wilson Reis. Additionally, the Mitch Clarke and Alex White lightweight contest will now kick off the FS1 prelims.

With the removal of Johnson vs. Borg, customers may request a full refund of purchased tickets at point of sale.

The cancelation temporarily ends Johnson’s bid to break the UFC record for most consecutive title defenses. He is tied at 10 with former middleweight champion Ray Borg.

Johnson-Borg is the second significant bout that fell off UFC 215. Heavyweight contenders Francis Ngannou and Junior dos Santos were scheduled to meet, but dos Santos was pulled when he failed a drug test. Dos Santos has vehemently denied using any performance enhancing substances.

MMA Fighting first reported the possibility that Borg was ill and would be forced off the card.

Like Conor McGregor, 'Cyborg' is ready to step in the boxing ring

If nobody wants to fight Cris “Cyborg” Justino in the Octagon, the UFC’s current women’s featherweight champion will seek a fight in a boxing ring.

Cyborg was granted a professional boxing license in the state of California and has plans to make her boxing debut in 2018, as long as the UFC allows it.

“If the girls from MMA don’t want to accept the fights, let the girls of boxing know #cyborgnation isn’t scared of a challenge,” Justino said while confirming that she received her boxing license on Instagram.

Cyborg won the women’s featherweight title back in July against Tonya Evinger, but has had difficult finding opponents willing to step into the cage with her. She has been undefeated since losing her professional MMA debut back in 2005. Recognized as the most feared female striker in all of MMA, Cyborg has finished 16 of her 20 opponents and hasn’t allowed a fight to reach the judges’ scorecards since 2008.

She was recently seen sparring with two-time boxing Olympic gold medalist and current WBC female super middleweight champion Claressa Shields. She’s hoping to land a fight with former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm on Dec. 30, but that has yet to be confirmed by the UFC.

“She wants to professionally box in 2018, while of course taking into consideration how Zuffa [UFC’s parent company] feels about it. Any decision on a boxing match would be made with that in mind,” George Prajin, Cyborg’s manager, told ESPN.

Cyborg’s current contract with the UFC is set to expire in October but she will not become an unrestricted free agent as the UFC has the right to a one-year negotiating window. If or how that will affect her stepping into a boxing ring has yet to be seen but Cyborg will certainly keep her options open when it comes to competing in the squared circle.

Ronda Rousey and Travis Browne share first wedding photos

Ronda Rousey was not one of the millions who watched (legally or otherwise) Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor’s fight on Saturday.

Why?

Turns out she had more important things to do, like getting married.

Rosey and her now-husband, fellow UFC fighter Travis Browne, got married in Hawaii on Saturday, and photos of the ceremony are making their way to social media.

Rousey, 30, and Browne, 35, confirmed their relationship in 2015 and announced their engagement this past April. Browne proposed to Rousey underneath a waterfall in New Zealand, telling TMZ “it felt like the right place to do it.

Congrats, Ronda and Travis.

UFC heavyweight Derrick Lewis aides Hurricane Harvey victims, including Confederate flag supporter

Derrick Lewis is mostly known for his knockout power and unique sense of humor, but the UFC heavyweight also has a huge heart.

Although he’s in preparation for his UFC 216 showdown with Fabricio Werdum, the 32-year-old took time out to lend a helping hand to those in need during the devastating hurricane that is barreling through Texas.

The fighter, who resides in Texas, posted a few videos of him helping out those in need in the midst of Hurricane Harvey wreaking havoc throughout Houston, Texas.

In the posts, Lewis can be seen assisting with getting people out of flooded homes. People can be heard off camera thanking Lewis for his help.

It feels good to help people pic.twitter.com/RtyYIkdGor

— Derrick Lewis (@Thebeast_ufc) August 28, 2017

He took time out of his rescue mission to briefly speak with The MMA Hour’s Ariel Helwani.

“My family is good, my neighborhood is dry, I mean, it’s raining but there is no flood or anyhting like that,” Lewis said. “But outside of my neighborhood, everyone is going through a tough time, right now, I’m waiting for an elderly couple to get on the back of my truck as we speak.”

pic.twitter.com/SSWZoNpZI5

— Derrick Lewis (@Thebeast_ufc) August 28, 2017

Lewis has been in the streets of Houston for the past two days helping people get through the trying time and can’t count how many people he’s helped in total. But one might stick out above the rest.

“I picked up one guy and his family, his wife – he just kept apologizing to me, because all he really had was his clothes, and he wanted to take his Confederate flag,” Lewis said to MMA Junkie. “He wanted to take that with him, and he just apologized and said, ‘Man, I’ll sit in the back of your truck, man. I don’t want to have my flag inside of your truck like this.’ I said, ‘Man, I’m not worried about that.’”

The divisive symbol that has caused a stir wasn’t of Lewis’ concern. Instead, “The Black Beast” only wanted to get the man to safety.

“I don’t care about that,” Lewis said. “I live in Texas. It ain’t nothing new. I’ve been living in the South all my life, and it ain’t nothing I hadn’t seen before or discussed about. I don’t care about that type of stuff. I just wanted to help him.”