Cagewriter

  • 'Cyborg' vacates Invicta title, plans to pursue UFC featherweight belt

    Cris “Cyborg” Justino (L), putting the finishing touches on Lina Lansberg, will surrender her Invicta FC belt and pursue the UFC title. (Getty Images)

    The UFC’s newly created featherweight division received a major jolt Friday. Cris “Cyborg” Justino vacated her Invicta championship and plans to make a run at the UFC belt held by Germaine de Randamie.

    Invicta president Shannon Knapp confirmed the news, first reported by MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani on Twitter, to Yahoo Sports.

    “Cris is a tremendous athlete and has been a great champion,” Knapp told Yahoo Sports. “We are sad to see her go, but we wish her much success. She will always have a special place here at Invicta.”

    Neither Justino nor UFC president Dana White could be reached for comment on Friday, but Justino’s addition will instantly drive up

    Read More »from 'Cyborg' vacates Invicta title, plans to pursue UFC featherweight belt
  • Ex-MMA fighter Jonathan “War Machine” Koppenhaver was found guilty on 29 of 34 possible charges by a Clark County, Nev., jury stemming from his assault case with ex-girlfriend Christine “Christy Mack” Mackinday and Corey Thomas.

    The 35-year-old Koppenhaver was on trial for a brutal assault back in August of 2014 that left Mack with a litany of injuries including 10 broken bones, a broken nose, missing teeth, a punctured lung, a fractured rib and a severely ruptured liver. Thomas also suffered injuries that included multiple contusions and a bone fracture. The incident began when the former competitor on “The Ultimate Fighter” reality show broke into Mack’s Las Vegas home and assaulted them both. After the attack, Koppenhaver fled to California, where he was eventually captured and arrested by police a few days later.

    Mack testified for two days during the trial and detailed a troubling history of abuse she endured before it all culminated in the brutal attack.

    Koppenhaver’s charges

    Read More »from Ex-MMA fighter War Machine found guilty on 29 charges in Christy Mack assault
  • In the days leading up to this week’s UFC Fight Night 107 in London, Marc ‘Bonecrusher’ Diakiese insisted people put some “respect” on his name.

    If they didn’t hear him then, they sure do now.

    The British lightweight put on a show during Saturday’s bout with Teemu Packalen, ending the fight with a sensational knockout 30 seconds into the match, and capping his victory with a celebration befitting of his emerging star.

    Diakiese is known for his dynamic footwork but it was a powerful right-handed punch that dropped Packalen to the floor moments into the opening round. Equally eye-catching was the celebration that followed.

    “I’ve been saying it all week and I’ll say it again: That was easy work,” the 24-year-old said on the UFC broadcast. “I’m one of the best and I will keep proving it.”

    The emphatic knockout improved Diakiese to 12-0 in his career and 3-0 in

    Read More »from Marc 'Bonecrusher' Diakiese celebrates stunning knockout with breakdance
  • Nick and Nate Diaz
    Dana White provided an update on the Diaz brothers. (Getty Images)

    Fight fans have been waiting to see when Nick and Nate Diaz will make their respective returns to the UFC. However, it appears that neither brother is too interested in stepping back into the Octagon in the near future.

    UFC president Dana White revealed that he has offered both Diaz brothers fights over the past couple of months and the Stockton, California natives have scoffed in response.

    “We keep offering Nate fights and he keeps turning them down. Nick, too,” White told TMZ.

    Nate Diaz was last seen in a blockbuster rematch with Conor McGregor at UFC 202. Diaz lost a decision but the bout earned him a massive payday as McGregor evened up the series. But with McGregor waiting to land a megafight with Floyd Mayweather, the trilogy is on hold. In the interim, Diaz allegedly shuttered a bout with former UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez and the belief is that he’s holding out until he lands the McGregor fight.

    “I

    Read More »from Dana White: Nick and Nate Diaz keep turning down fights
  • Referee Dan Miragliotta tends to Matt Hughes after Hughes was knocked out in 21 seconds by B.J. Penn at UFC 123 on Sept. 20, 2010. (The Associated Press)

    Critics have alleged, with much evidence, that mixed martial arts is increasingly becoming more about money and spectacle than it is about the purity of competition.

    More evidence to back that point came on Wednesday when word leaked that 43-year-old UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes is contemplating a comeback.

    Should Hughes go through with it and decide to return to competition for the first time since Sept. 24, 2011, when he was stopped by Josh Koscheck in the first round at UFC 135, who is his most likely opponent?

    It appears it would be none other than 50-year Royce Gracie, whom Hughes mauled at UFC 60 in Los Angeles on May 27, 2006.

    “If I could find an opponent that I think I can beat, I would go again,” Hughes told Joe Buck for an upcoming episode of AT&T Audience Network’s ‘Undeniable with Joe Buck.’ The episode will air in late

    Read More »from Matt Hughes considering a return to MMA and possible bout with Royce Gracie
  • Anderson Silva to meet Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 212 in Rio de Janeiro

    Former middleweight champion Anderson Silva, above prior to his bout with Derek Brunson at UFC 208, will meet Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 212 on June 3 in Rio de Janeiro. (Getty Images)

    Kelvin Gastelum will continue on his Legends Tour of the middleweight division on June 3 when he meets former champion Anderson Silva at UFC 212 in Rio de Janeiro.

    Since moving back to middleweight for a bout with Tim Kennedy at UFC 206 in Toronto, Gastelum has been sensational. He dominated Kennedy and stopped him in the third round of their Dec. 10 bout at the Air Canada Centre, and then blew out Vitor Belfort in one round on Saturday in Fortaleza, Brazil.

    After the fight, Gastelum said he wanted Silva and on Tuesday, the UFC granted him his wish.

    The significance of the bout is obvious for Gastelum, who is a young fighter on the

    Read More »from Anderson Silva to meet Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 212 in Rio de Janeiro
  • Dillon Danis, Conor McGregor's grappling partner and close friend, signs with Bellator

    Jiu-jitsu star Dillon Danis (L), along with Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo (C) and close friend Conor McGregor of the UFC (R), signed a promotional deal with Bellator MMA on Monday. (Getty Images)

    Dillon Danis’ name isn’t as widely known as his good friend, UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor, just yet. But after signing a promotional deal with Bellator on Monday, the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt will soon get the opportunity to make his own name.

    Danis and McGregor are close friends, and Danis helped McGregor prepare for his rematch with Nate Diaz at UFC 202 in August by working on his grappling.

    McGregor’s trademark confidence has obviously rubbed off on Danis, who is confident enough in his grappling skills to smack UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones on Twitter.

    And, like McGregor, Danis’ goals are anything but modest, even though he has yet to have an MMA fight.

    He’s proud of his friendship with McGregor, but Danis, a black belt under Marcelo Garcia at Alliance New

    Read More »from Dillon Danis, Conor McGregor's grappling partner and close friend, signs with Bellator
  • There isn’t a more exciting finish to an MMA bout than the rare double knockout.

    The unlikely feat has happened a few times in various promotions over the years, most notably in the legendary eight-second fight between Tyler Bryan and Shaun Parker, with the latest incident coming Saturday night at a Shamrock FC event in Kansas City.

    Axel Cavares and Alan Vasquez hit each other with hard right hands simultaneously and dropped to the mat. Vasquez managed to recover before the referee called the fight, while Cavares was dazed and stumbled as he tried to get to his feet, bringing an end to the bout.

    Vasquez was declared the winner via first round knockout, but was left with a nasty-looking broken nose.

    Check it out in the clip below, or watch the full fight video here.

    Awsome double ko tonight at #shamrockfc

    A post shared by William Joplin (@thearmadillo1) on Mar 11, 2017 at 6:11pm PST

    Read More »from Watch: MMA fight ends with rare double knockout
  • Kelvin Gastelum celebrates after beating Vitor Belfort during their fight night bout in Brazi. (Getty)
    Kelvin Gastelum celebrates after beating Vitor Belfort during their Fight Night bout in Fortaleza, Brazil. (Getty)

    Kelvin Gastelum was invading enemy territory heading into Saturday’s UFC Fight Night main event against Vitor Belfort.

    The fight was taking place Belfort’s home country in Fortaleza, Brazil. This was the first time Gastelum faced someone who had been a world champion. Add in the fact that Gastelum headed into the bout a 3-1 favorite and it’s a recipe for a letdown. He could have easily overlooked Belfort, who had lost three of his last four fights, but had only lost one UFC fight in Brazil.

    The danger was there but Gastelum kept it all together and defeated Belfort by TKO at the 3:52 mark of the first round.

    About a minute into the fight, Gastelum was playing with fire by trading shots with the former UFC light heavyweight champion. Out of Belfort’s 25 career victories, 18 of them have been in the opening round.

    Gastelum’s strategy proved to be the right one when he dropped

    Read More »from Kelvin Gastelum calls out Anderson Silva after knocking out Vitor Belfort in opening round
  • Floyd Mayweather is 'out of retirement,' calls for June fight with Conor McGregor

    The story that will never die reared its ugly head again on Saturday, when Floyd Mayweather announced in England that he is coming out of retirement.

    This, of course, is massive news for boxing, given that Mayweather is the greatest boxer of his era and one of the best of all-time. And, being the showman he is, he played it for all it’s worth.

    “Everybody get your phone out,” Mayweather says. “Post this to the internet as soon as possible.”

    But he’s not coming out to face unified welterweight champion Keith Thurman. Or rising prospect Errol Spence. Or even a super welterweight fight with Canelo Alvarez or Gennady Golovkin.

    No, Mayweather has set his sights, yet again, on UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor.

    And then he went into a long and tortured explanation of how he, and not McGregor, would be the A-side in the fight. If you’re a boxing fan, it’s familiar talk. He said it all multiple times in the six years that fans were clamoring for him to fight Manny Pacquiao.

    “When I faced

    Read More »from Floyd Mayweather is 'out of retirement,' calls for June fight with Conor McGregor
  • Conor McGregor will never fight Khabib Nurmagomedov after Nurmagomedov’s failure to make weight at UFC 209, middleweight champ Michael Bisping said. (Getty Images)

    Khabib Nurmagomedov may have lost more than just one payday on March 3 when he failed to make weight for his interim lightweight title fight that was scheduled for March 4 in the co-main event of UFC 209 in Las Vegas if middleweight champion Michael Bisping is correct.

    A fight between Nurmagomedov and lightweight champion Conor McGregor could have been one for the ages.

    It would have pitted the smothering grappling style of the Russian against the accurate, powerful striker from Dublin, Ireland. Combine those attributes with their ability as two of the best trash talkers in the sport, and it was a bout that seemed destined for 1 million pay-per-view sales as well as a career-best payday for Nurmagomedov.

    If Nurmagomedov hadn’t needed to be hospitalized and had made weight and then won his UFC 209 bout with Tony Ferguson, a

    Read More »from Michael Bisping: Khabib blew his shot to fight Conor McGregor
  • Joe Rogan isn’t fond of the idea of Georges St-Pierre getting an immediate title shot against Michael Bisping. (Getty)

    UFC commentator Joe Rogan isn’t too fond of the idea that former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre is returning after a three-year hiatus to face Michael Bisping for his middleweight title. And Rogan isn’t holding back his feelings about the recently announced fight.

    Rogan appeared on ESPN’s 5ive Rounds podcast to voice his opinion on the fight, which doesn’t have a date but all signs are pointing to UFC 213 in July.

    “As a person who deeply respects the position of champion – if you’re gonna do this whole interim title thing and you’re gonna have guys come back after being out of the sport for three years and get a shot right at the title, why have [expletive] championships at all?” Rogan said.

    “Why have a champion at all? Just set up great fights,” Rogan continued. “And if you’re just setting up great fights, well that’s a great fight. Bisping versus GSP is a

    Read More »from Joe Rogan on GSP-Bisping: Why even have championships at all?
  • Ronda Rousey will guest star in an upcoming episode of
    Ronda Rousey supports A Day Without A Woman in protest of President Trump. (Getty)

    Ronda Rousey’s future in mixed martial arts may be in doubt, but that doesn’t mean that she won’t continue to fight.

    The former UFC women’s bantamweight champion has said nothing about her future after losing by knockout for the second consecutive time against Amanda Nunes at UFC 207 in December. But rather than go into hiding completely, Rousey has surfaced with images on social media in support of everything from the protestors at Standing Rock to battling President Trump’s immigration policies.

    Her latest ventures on Instagram found Rousey honoring the Day Without A Woman movement, in protest of Donald Trump. She posted an image of the “Fearless Girl” statue in New York by artist Kristen Visbal, which finds a little girl fearlessly staring down a charging bull statue on Wall Street, with the caption of #DayWithoutAWoman and #Resist.

    #DayWithoutaWoman #resist

    A post shared by rondarousey

    Read More »from With UFC future in question, Ronda Rousey continues protest of President Trump
  • UFC 209: Tyron Woodley wins narrow, controversial decision over Stephen Thompson

    LAS VEGAS – There were a slew of great storylines at UFC 209 Saturday at T-Mobile Arena.

    Alistair Overeem knocked out Mark Hunt, despite spending much of Thursday night and Friday morning battling a case of food poisoning. He needed to get an IV, and first had to get a therapeutic use exemption to avoid running afoul of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s rules against IV usage. Still, it was touch-and-go he would be able to fight, and then he went out and put on a terrific performance.

    “If I would have felt this morning the way I did [Friday], I wouldn’t have been able to compete,” Overeem said.

    Darren Elkins completed one of the most incredible comebacks in UFC history when he roared back in the third to stop Mirsad Bektic in a come-from-behind win that might rank only behind Anderson Silva’s middleweight title-saving win over Chael Sonnen at UFC 117.

    The main event, though, wasn’t an all-timer. Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson had fought to a draw in their bout for the welterweight

    Read More »from UFC 209: Tyron Woodley wins narrow, controversial decision over Stephen Thompson
  • Rashad Evans was unsuccessful in his UFC middleweight debut. (GETTY)

    Could this be the end of the road for Rashad Evans?

    The former UFC light heavyweight champion attempted to jumpstart his career after losing his last two fights at 205 pound by dropping down to 185 pounds for the first time in his 13-year career. The result of the weight cut was not what Evans would have hoped for as he dropped a split decision to Daniel Kelly on the main card of UFC 209.

    The former UFC light heavyweight champion was unable to utilize his speed, wrestling and power — advantages he possessed during his rise to light heavyweight prominence almost a decade ago — but fought a spirited bout against his Australian opponent.

    It was a long road for Evans after being unable to get medically cleared to fight at UFC 205 and UFC 206. The 37 year old was finally granted the opportunity to make his middleweight debut at UFC 209 but he was unable to make the most of it.

    Evans looked excellent from a physical

    Read More »from UFC 209: Rashad Evans falls in unimpressive middleweight debut
  •  Alistair Overeem (R) stands by after knocking out Mark Hunt in the third round of a heavyweight bout at UFC 209. (Getty)
    Alistair Overeem (R) stands by after knocking out Mark Hunt in the third round of a heavyweight bout at UFC 209. (Getty)

    Heading into his fight against Mark Hunt at UFC 209, Alistair Overeem’s name was hardly brought up. More was centered on the legal battle between Hunt and the UFC as Hunt has a pending lawsuit against his employer claiming breach of contract, fraud, racketeering and negligence among things after it was revealed that former opponent Brock Lesnar failed two drug tests in conjunction with their fight at UFC 200.

    The only time Overeem’s name was brought up was when Hunt would do pre-fight interviews and accuse the Greg Jackson-Mike Winkeljohn fighter of being on performance-enhancing drugs.

    The former Strikeforce heavyweight champion and UFC heavyweight title challenger did his talking in the Octagon, knocking out Hunt at the 1:44 mark of the third round.

    In the first round, Overeem kept himself composed, threw the harder shots and seemed to fluster Hunt. The highlight of

    Read More »from UFC 209: Alistair Overeem back in title contention after devastating KO win over Mark Hunt
  • The UFC returns for their second pay-per-view of 2017 as UFC 209 takes place on Saturday night at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

    The main event features a rematch for the welterweight title as champion Tyron Woodley takes on Stephen Thompson. The co-main event was supposed be for the interim lightweight title featuring Khabib Nurmagomedov against Tony Ferguson. On Friday morning, however, the card took a huge hit when the fight was pulled after Nurmagomedov entered a Las Vegas hospital due to a weight-cutting issue.

    Woodley (16-3-1) and Thompson (13-1-1) put on a show at UFC 205. The back-and-forth battle was declared a draw. Woodley had Thompson nearly finished in the first and fourth rounds and the challenger had controlled the second, third and fifth round to have the fight scored a draw. After the fight, UFC president Dana White felt it warranted a rematch and we get it on Saturday evening.

    Despite the co-main event being canceled, there are plenty of reasons to watch UFC 209.

    Read More »from Is UFC 209 still worth it? Here are 5 storylines that remain intact after co-main event cancellation
  • Mark Hunt is in a unique position.

    The heavyweight will step into the Octagon Saturday night to face Alistair Overeem at UFC 209 while in the midst of a lawsuit against the UFC, president Dana White and Hunt’s UFC 200 opponent, Brock Lesnar.

    The lawsuit stems from Hunt’s loss to Lesnar last July and the subsequent revelation that Lesnar had failed both his pre and post-fight drug tests. Although Lesnar was suspended and fined, Hunt was not satisfied with the idea that Lesnar was allowed to fight, make $2.5 million, and put his health at risk in the process.

    With the lawsuit still pending, Hunt finds himself fighting for the very promotion he’s suing and explained that he’s not pleased with how things turned out. However, he had no choice in the matter.

    “I was forced to be here,” Hunt said on Thursday. “I wasn’t supposed to be here and they said if you don’t take this fight it’s against your contract.”

    Hunt — who is a +115 underdog against Overeem, according to Sportsbook Review — is

    Read More »from Mark Hunt says he's 'forced' to fight at UFC 209 despite lawsuit
  • Khabib Nurmagomedov was checked into a Las Vegas hospital on Friday with weight management medical issues. (Getty)
    Khabib Nurmagomedov was checked into a Las Vegas hospital on Friday with weight management medical issues. (Getty)

    The UFC 209 fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson was the most highly anticipated matchup to begin 2017.

    The key word there is was as Nurmagomedov (24-0) has been pulled from the fight and the bout has been canceled.

    “UFC lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov was transported to Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center Thursday evening due to weight management medical issues,” the UFC said in a press release. “He was treated and has been discharged, UFC officials confirmed.”

    This is the third time Nurmagomedov and Ferguson were supposed to fight.

    The Dagestani has had to pull out twice now, the first time being in 2015 due to an injury and Ferguson once in 2016 also due to injury.

    “I feel bad for Tony and his camp, I really do,” Nurmagomedov’s manager Ali Abdel Aziz told MMA Fighting. “The most important thing right now is Khabib’s health. He’s currently resting in his

    Read More »from UFC 209: Khabib Nurmagomedov out of title fight after weight cut-related hospital trip
  • A lot has been made of Conor McGregor going up against Floyd Mayweather. Many obstacles remain for the fight to occur and it is far from certain if it will even happen.

    One person who hasn’t said too much on the matter is McGregor’s head coach at Straight Blast Gym in Ireland. Unlike those who believe the showdown will not take place, John Kavanagh believes his protégé will step in against the boxing great.

    “I can’t answer that because I’m not privy to all that’s going on,” Kavanagh told Submission Radio. “It seems like it’s coming. When or how definite, I don’t know, but it’s looking more likely. And the two guys seem to want it and they’re making moves towards it, but I won’t lie, I don’t know is the short answer. There seems to be a lot of steps to get over with various commissions involved and different promotions involved and so on and so forth, but it’s a fight that’s getting more and more momentum every day and more and more people want to see it. So if you ask just me, my

    Read More »from Conor McGregor's coach wants Irishman to fight Khabib or Nate Diaz next