Cagewriter

  • Five questions that will be answered by UFC on Fox 5

    (Getty)The UFC's fifth appearance on Fox goes down on Saturday night, with one of the more stacked cards to air on the network since. What will come from the card? Read on.

    Who will walk away with the lightweight belt? The biggest question of the evening goes to the main event. Benson Henderson will have the chance to show off his skills against someone other than Frankie Edgar. Diaz thinks he can't win a judges' decision, so will he be able to stop Henderson, who hasn't loss by a stoppage since 2007? Or will Henderson hold onto the championship?

    Is this B.J. Penn's last stand? Penn is a legend in the UFC. His first fight was was in 2001 at UFC 31. He even dabbled with retirement until young buck Rory MacDonald called him out. Will Penn be able to stop the 13-1 MacDonald, or will the young fighter's star continue to rise?

    Read More »from Five questions that will be answered by UFC on Fox 5
  • (Getty)

    Though the UFC had focused on making a superfight between welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre and middleweight champ Anderson Silva, and Johny Hendricks was supposed to be the next welterweight contender, another fighter will get a shot at GSP before Silva or Hendricks. At the UFC on Fox 5 press conference, UFC president Dana White said Nick Diaz will get the next shot at St-Pierre.

    Diaz is coming off of a close decision loss to Carlos Condit. He is also suspended because the Nevada Athletic Commission found marijuana metabolites during his drug test. Still, he's seen as the ideal candidate over Hendricks, who won his last five fights. Two of his last three wins were knockouts in under a minute.

    Hendricks immediately took to Twitter after he heard the news:

    He has a point. Hendricks has the credentials for the title shot, and White said Hendricks was the no. 1 contender after he knocked out Martin Kampmann at UFC 154.

    "He looked damn good tonight," White said. "It was a replica of the Jon Fitch fight. He even landed it in the same spot (as the Jon Fitch fight). It was impressive, so I would say yes, he is (the No. 1 contender)."

    Diaz jumping to the front of the line is yet another reminder that the UFC is a business first. It's their job to sell pay-per-views and attract viewers to fights on Fox, FX and Fuel. The fighter who has earned his way to the top isn't always the best one to attract viewers.

    Read More »from Nick Diaz, not Johny Hendricks, to get next shot at Georges St-Pierre and welterweight belt
  • Ronda Rousey now has championship belt, first UFC opponent

    (Tracy Lee)It's official: Ronda Rousey is the UFC's first female champion. The one-time Strikeforce bantamweight champion is the first female champ in the UFC, and received her belt on Thursday to prove it.

    Rousey also has her first opponent. Rousey will fight Liz Carmouche at UFC 157 in Anaheim.

    "It means a lot," said Rousey at the UFC on Fox 5 press conference. "I feel like we have a lot to prove at this event and no one's going to be disappointed. The women are here to stay and we're gonna prove it."

    [Also: Rising UFC star Rory MacDonald can only go so far]

    The UFC will break two barriers with this fight. Not only will it be the first time two women fight for the UFC, but it's also the first time an openly gay fighter will take to the Octagon. Carmouche is a lesbian who served under Marines "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, which is no longer in place. She has been out for much of her MMA career.

    It's a career with a record of 7-2. Her losses are to former Strikeforce bantamweight champions Marloes Coenen and Sarah Kaufman. Rousey is undefeated, with all six wins coming in the first round.

    Read More »from Ronda Rousey now has championship belt, first UFC opponent
  • (Getty)When Matt Brown gets into the octagon with Mike Swick at UFC on Fox 5 on Saturday, he'll be facing a fighter he was a fan of. Brown told MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani that after Swick appeared on first season of "The Ultimate Fighter," Brown sent him a message via the once-popular social network MySpace.

    "He was the first fighter I really looked up to on 'The Ultimate Fighter 1.' I wrote him a message on MySpace, and I was real pissed when he never replied to my message. Was like, 'he's an [expletive.]"

    He smiled at the idea that this slight serves as an incentive for him to win.

    "That's my whole motivation for this camp. I didn't get a reply on My Space."

    Brown appeared on the seventh season of "The Ultimate Fighter." He has put together an 8-5 record in the UFC since appearing on the reality show, and is riding a three-fight winning streak. Will Brown continue the streak this Saturday? Speak up in the comments, Twitter or on Facebook. (But not MySpace.)

    Read More »from Matt Brown ready for bout with Mike Swick, who never answered him on MySpace
  • Forrest Griffin latest UFC 155er to fall to injury

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    The hits just keep on comin'. UFC president Dana White tweeted today that Forrest Griffin injured his knee.

    Griffin was scheduled to fight Phil Davis at UFC 155 at the end of the month. Originally, he was supposed to fight Chael Sonnen, but Sonnen was then matched up with UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones for a bout after their stints coaching on "The Ultimate Fighter." Davis stepped in, but now Griffin is apparently out.

    UFC 155 is headlined by heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos' rematch with former champ Cain Velasquez. The card took a hit recently when Chris Weidman was forced out of his bout with Tim Boetsch because of injury. But strong cards being decimated by injuries for has been par for the course for the UFC in 2012.

    Read More »from Forrest Griffin latest UFC 155er to fall to injury
  • (Getty)UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz has suffered a major setback in his recovery from a torn ACL. He explained on "UFC Tonight" that the cadaver ligament that replaced his torn ligament was not completely healed when he reinjured his knee the day after Thanksgiving. He had surgery less than a week later, and will likely not be able to return to fighting until late 2013.

    He was emotional when talking about how he reacted when he found out he would be unable to fight for an even longer time than he thought. His last bout was an Oct. '11 win over current flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson.

    "The only way I can explain my emotions is to people out there who don't have to rely on their body for their money and their career is to say is the closest thing is when you've been dumped by the girlfriend you've been with for years and you love her, or something like that. Or if you lose a family member. I felt like I lost a family member."

    Though the UFC has not talked about stripping him of the belt, he knows that the bantamweight division must keep moving in order to stay strong.

    "It means everything to me to have [the belt], but I'm here to build the 135-lb. division. I have to look at myself as part of the bantamweight business. That being said, the bantamweight division has other fighters in it. It has to keep growing."

    The interim belt, put in place to keep the division from being stagnant in Cruz's absence, will keep on keeping on. Interim champ Renan Barao will put his belt on the line against Michael McDonald in 2013. A date and place has not been set for the bout.

    Read More »from Bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz reinjured his knee, so Renan Barao will face Michael McDonald
  • Frankie Edgar, the one-time UFC lightweight champ and the featherweight contender, is a proud native of New Jersey. He grew up on the Jersey Shore, one of the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy. In this video, Edgar tours what used to be the boardwalk and where he used to go for fun as a kid and then brought his kids for fun.

    Edgar filmed this video so people around the world would see the devastation, and not forget that the Jersey Shore needs help even though the hurricane isn't on the front page any longer. Check out Restore the Shore to donate or buy items that will benefit the cause.

  • (Getty)Your MMA watching schedule will look drastically different in 2013. You will be able to catch MMA from the UFC and Bellator on weeknights.

    According to MMA Junkie, an advertisement in the next edition of UFC 360 (formerly the UFC magazine) said the next edition of the show will air on Tuesdays on FX. Chael Sonnen and UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones are the coaches for the next season. Currently, the show airs on Friday nights, and ratings have taken a nosedive. With a new night and two of their most popular fighters serving as coaches, the UFC is hoping to right the TUF ship.

    Bellator announced Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal's debut will air on Jan. 17, a Thursday, according to MMA Fighting. There have also been reports that the promotion's first show on Spike will air on Jan. 10, but only the Jan. 17 date has been confirmed. This signals the promotion's move from Friday to Thursday nights.

    The best part of this is that the two promotions won't be fighting for MMA fans' eyes. Tuesday nights are generally light on sports, so the UFC has a chance not just to have MMA fans tune in, but also to pick up new fans.

    For Bellator, their season begins when the NFL is in playoffs. They won't have to compete with football on Thursday nights. The new night and the move to Spike -- and a widely available HD channel -- should help to get more eyes on the tournament-based promotion.

    Will the night change affect how much you watch "The Ultimate Fighter" and Bellator? Speak up in the comments, on Facebook or on Twitter.

    Read More »from Bellator and ‘TUF’ to new nights: How your MMA-watching will be different in 2013
  • (Getty)At UFC 152, Demetrious Johnson became the UFC's first flyweight champion. He will attempt to defend that belt against John Dodson at UFC on Fox 6 in Chicago. He spoke with Cagewriter about the fight, life as the champion, and training during the holidays.

    Cagewriter: How has life changed since becoming the champion?
    Demetrious Johnson: Life has pretty much stayed the same. A lot more people are noticing me. Training is the same. It's still good.

    CW: With people noticing you, have you had any weird fan encounters?
    DJ: Actually yes. On my Facebook page, there's a guy from Belgium who fights in the Shooto Belgian League. He wants to fight me. I didn't respond, and he said, 'You're scared to fight me.' I didn't even say anything back to him.

    CW: With your fight on Fox, casual fans will get to see flyweight fights. What should they expect?
    DJ: Flyweights are the most exciting weight class in the UFC. We've got the cardio, the power, the technique, the speed. Fans say I want to see fights finished, but you're going to see great fights in general.

    Read More »from Demetrious Johnson talks about life as the champ, the skill of flyweights and more
  • Benson Henderson teaches you how to give your opponent a sad face (VIDEO)

    UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson will fight Nate Diaz on Fox on Saturday, but before his bout, he showed off some of his signature moves. Henderson's favorite thing during a fight is to give his opponent "a sad face."

    Diaz is generally sporting a mean mug during fights. Will Henderson be able to turn it into a sad face? Speak up in the comments, on Facebook or on Twitter.

  • UFC president Dana White portrayed a homeless person on Fox NFL Sunday (Courtesy Fox NFL Sunday)

    A tiny role as a homeless guy in a not-so-funny betting skit on the "Fox NFL Sunday" show has created yet another Internet uproar about UFC president Dana White.

    In a skit in which comedian Rob Riggle was doing a rather flat impersonation of a pro football tipster, White appeared toward the end as a homeless man in a box. In the skit, Riggle had been bragging about his network of sources and said he'd take information from anyone who could help him make his picks.

    The video cuts to White, who said in an odd voice, "Cam Newton is pregnant. Ha ha ha ha!"

    The cast on the "Fox NFL Sunday" show laughed and pointed out that it was White and that the UFC has a card airing on Saturday from Key Arena in Seattle. It seemed like a harmless, though not very funny, way to get a free mention of his fight card during a highly watched NFL broadcast.

    But then, one of White's nearly 2.4 million Twitter followers, Jason Wozny, chastised him. Wozny, whose handle is @UFCWozny, gave the UFC president a bit of blowback.

    Wozny wrote, "Ahh, done in bad taste Dana. Not funny for those who actually live out of a box. Should apologize."

    If you know White even remotely well, you knew there would be a response but that it wouldn't be an apology. And, of course, White's response created a firestorm of its own.

    He took a shot at Wozny and referred to him with a slang word for coward.

    Wozny stuck to his guns and told White he thought the skit was in bad taste. White responded with another insult and urged him to get a sense of humor.

    Read More »from Dana White stirs up controversy in role as homeless man during Fox NFL Sunday
  • UFC heavyweight Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira starred in a Brazilian ad for Honda motorcycles that's about ... I'm not sure. You need to watch it.

    Maybe it's about how the guy wants to be like Big Nog? Or how Big Nog eats pineapples in a way that ensures he'll never taste the fruit part of it? Or how to improperly take care of gloves? Part of the problem is that I don't speak Portuguese, but I bet if I was fluent it would still not make a ton of sense.

    Nogueira has been doing more than film bizarre commercials. He is working on the next season of the Brazilian "Ultimate Fighter," coaching against Fabricio Werdum. He's slated to fight Werdum in June in Brazil.

  • Ronda Rousey: ‘I try to have as much sex as possible before I fight’

    UFC/Strikeforce women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey appeared on Jim Rome's show on Wednesday. What does the champion use as her training secret? Does she have high-level training methods not available to amateur athletes and workout warriors?

    (Getty)Nope. She likes to have as much sex as possible before fights. Though Mick advised Rocky that women weaken the legs, Rousey believes it has the opposite effect on women.

    "For girls it raises your testosterone, so I try to have as much sex as possible before I fight actually. Not with like everybody, I don't put out like a Craigslist ads or anything, but if I got a steady I'm going to be like, 'Yo, fight time's coming up,'" Rousey said.

    She is not the first athlete to claim sex has benefits on the field of play. Elias Figueroa, a Chilean soccer player, said his coach advised him to have sex before important games. Argentinian soccer players were advised they could have sex during the World Cup, as long as it was with a regular partner and not accompanied by champagne.

    There is little medical evidence that says sex has an effect, positive or negative, on an athletic performance.

    Read More »from Ronda Rousey: ‘I try to have as much sex as possible before I fight’
  • Forrest Griffin has no intention to lose to a man in pink tights

    Forrest Griffin talked to UFC.com about his UFC 155 bout with Phil Davis. The original "The Ultimate Fighter" winner is 2-1 in his last three fights, and has no intentions of dropping a bout to someone who wear pink shorts, like Davis has since UFC 112.

    "I really don't want to beat up by a guy in pink tights," Griffin said. He also talked about Davis' nickname of Mr. Wonderful.

    "I don't know the origin story behind it. Maybe there's a comic book that explains that it's really powerful. Maybe there's a nuclear material that turned his shorts pink. I don't know that."

    Davis wears pink shorts in honor of breast cancer survivors. Several women close to him have battled the disease, and he spoke about how the shorts have prompted people affected by breast cancer to share their stories.

    "As soon as people recognize me as the guy with the pink shorts in support of breast cancer awareness, they feel compelled to share their story," he said.

    "Sometimes it's about their mom or sister who beat

    Read More »from Forrest Griffin has no intention to lose to a man in pink tights
  • Nate Diaz worried about judges’ decision in fight with Benson Henderson

    (Getty)Nate Diaz is fighting Benson Henderson at UFC on Fox 5, and he has taken the idea "don't leave it in the hands of the judges" to a whole new level. He does not think he can win if it is put in the judges' hands.

    "I don't think I've got a chance of winning any type of decision. So I gotta go out there and do what I can do to try and finish my opponent, try to be the better fighter and win the fight," said Diaz said to Inside MMA. "Either way, if it goes to a decision, I'm going to try to be the one outscoring, outpointing and outdoing him."

    Winning by a finish is a pretty tough feat for Diaz to accomplish. Henderson has never been knocked out. He lost once by submission and once by a decision. The submission loss was in 2007. Since then, he's been in some tricky spots but hasn't tapped. In both fights against Donald Cerrone and in fighting Jim Miller, Henderson was memorably stuck in positions which seemed close to a submission. But instead of tapping, Henderson would give the thumbs up and went on to win all three fights.

    Decisions in bouts with Henderson are also a likely occurrence. His last six fights were decisions, with five ending with Henderson getting his hand raised. Diaz isn't as successful in decisions, so you could see why he might be nervous. Of his seven losses, six are by decision. Only two of his 13 wins came via the judges' card.

    Should Diaz be concerned? Speak up in the comments, on Facebook or on Twitter.

    Read More »from Nate Diaz worried about judges’ decision in fight with Benson Henderson
  • UK fighter tries to fake a glove tap, gets knocked out (VIDEO)

    At Absolute Adrenaline Platinum in Dorset, England, Adam Fyfe tried to pull the old-fake-a-glove-tap-and-go-in-for-the-knockout shtick. It didn't work. His opponent Alex Thorne recognized it, then came back to knock Fyfe out in 29 seconds.

    Fyfe was never taught the old adage that cheaters never win, and winners never cheat.

    By the way, eight days after Fyfe was knocked out here, he made his pro debut and was knocked out in less than a minute. The UK regularly hosts the UFC and will do so again in February for an event at Wembley Stadium. It has several burgeoning smaller promotions, but it looks like their regulation leaves much to be desired.

  • How to help Dennis Hallman’s family after devastating house fire

    (Getty)As we mentioned last week, former UFC fighter Dennis Hallman lost his home the night before Thanksgiving to a fire. Luckily, no one was home and no one was injured in the fire that took six hours to put out. The MMA community has responded to help Hallman and his four children rebuild.

    Fighter Benji Radach has put together a fund to help Hallman rebuild. 113 people have already donated to get the total over $10,000. To donate, click here. People have already contributed amounts ranging from $5 to $500.

    Hallman has been fighting since 1996, and he told Sports Illustrated that the worst things he lost in the fire were irreplaceable items like pictures of his family and programs from his fights.

    "That's the stuff that makes you want to cry when you think about it. At first, I was angry about it, but sitting there with my sons around me, I thought, I can't take any of that stuff with me to the grave," said Hallman.

    Read More »from How to help Dennis Hallman’s family after devastating house fire
  • Luke Rockhold off Strikeforce event with wrist injury

    (Getty)Strikeforce: Champions just took another hit. The Jan. 12 event, which is rumored to be Strikeforce's last, lost Luke Rockhold to injury. The middleweight champion has a wrist injury and had to withdraw from his bout with Lorenz Larkin.

    Larkin was apparently not happy about Rockhold's decision to withdraw, because he sent several tweets ripping Rockhold.

    The two were supposed to meet at the Nov. 3 Strikeforce event. Rockhold withdrew from that bout with a wrist injury, and the event was scrapped.

    The Rockhold injury is another blow to Strikeforce. They canceled event in September and November, leading to rumors about their demise. Having a event called "Champions" without many champions doesn't inspire much confident about their future.

    Read More »from Luke Rockhold off Strikeforce event with wrist injury
  • Former UFC fighter loses his house to fire on Thanksgiving

    (Getty)Former UFC fighter Dennis Hallman lost his home to a fire on Thanksgiving. The lightweight who has been fighting since 1996 shared the sad news on his Facebook page.

    Sad thanks giving for me and my family. My house burned down early this AM. Thank God no one was hurt and I have that to be thankful for. Something like this makes my recent direction change all the harder...the one person that could make me feel okay about everything is no longer here. When God wants you to have a fresh start sometimes he really wants to make his point clear.

    He and his family were unhurt, but a report on a fire at Hallman's address said it amounts to more than $180,000 in damage. The first floor was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived on the scene.

    [Also: GSP returns to MMA rankings]

    It's been a rough stretch for the 36-year-old fighter. He blew weight for his UFC on FX 5 bout with Thiago Tavares. The bout was canceled after Hallman said he was not fit to fight and dealing with personal issues.

    Read More »from Former UFC fighter loses his house to fire on Thanksgiving
  • Chris Weidman out, Costa Phillipou in against Tim Boetsch at UFC 155

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    According to Newsday, Chris Weidman is out of UFC 155 with an injury. Costa Phillipou, whose UFC 154 bout was canceled at the last minute because of opponent Nick Ring's illness, will step in to fight Tim Boetsch.

    Weidman is one of the top contenders at middleweight. He is undefeated, and has recent wins over Demian Maia and Mark Munoz.

    This injury is the second blow to Weidman in the past month. His home in Long Island was severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Though no one in his family was injured, much of the house was wrecked.

    Read More »from Chris Weidman out, Costa Phillipou in against Tim Boetsch at UFC 155