Cagewriter

  • Benson Henderson once said that he planned to retire from MMA at the age of 33. But with his 33rd birthday approaching and Henderson preparing to start his new career as a Bellator fighter this weekend against Andrey Koreshkov for the welterweight title, does the former UFC lightweight champion still have plans to call it quits?

    Not anymore.

    While appearing on The MMA Hour, Henderson revealed exactly what was behind his proposed retirement age. And it had nothing to do with his in-ring prowess. Instead, it had everything to do with giving back to his country as a member of the military.

    "The real reason, to be frank with you, is that I will end up joining the military ranks," Henderson told Ariel Helwani. "I’ve always held a pretty strong civic duty. Us as Americans, we need to do a better job period."

    Henderson initially thought that there were age limitations for joining the military and age 33 was the cut off. However, he has since found out that he can join the reserves and

    Read More »from Benson Henderson sticking with plan of enlisting in the military
  • All sides hush hush after Conor McGregor tweets that he is retiring

    UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor created a furor on Tuesday when in a brief tweet he announced that he was retiring. The furor only intensified with the hours-long silence that followed from all sides involved.

    Yahoo Sports couldn't reach McGregor, his coach John Kavanagh, McGregor's manager Audie Attar or UFC president Dana White for comment. UFC vice president and spokesman Dave Sholler was on a plane flying back to Las Vegas.

    On Monday, McGregor tweeted a photo of himself that he said was taken at Mjolnir MMA in Reykjavik, Iceland. He is scheduled to rematch Nate Diaz in the main event of UFC 200 on July 9 in Las Vegas.

    But at about 1:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, he tweeted about his retirement and then went silent.

    About an hour later, Kavanagh of the Straight Blast Gym in Dublin, Ireland, tweeted as well:

    Read More »from All sides hush hush after Conor McGregor tweets that he is retiring
  • Jon “Bones” Jones has had his fair share of enemies. But that doesn’t necessarily mean he holds grudges for an extended period of time. Before he was involved in a heated war of words with current rival Daniel Cormier, Jones had a public feud with Rashad Evans. The former training partners’ friendship went south when Jones leapfrogged Evans for a shot at the UFC light heavyweight championship in 2011 after an injury prevented Evans from facing Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.

    Jon Jones once had a serious beef with Rashad Evans.Jon Jones once had a serious beef with Rashad Evans.Jones would win the title, but Evans split from the Jackson-Wink MMA Academy and engaged in a strenuous feud that would extend into 2012 when the pair finally met at UFC 145. Jones retained his title by unanimous decision and the two fighters would head down drastically different paths. Evans has since lost four of his past six fights with his most recent loss coming by way of brutal first-round knockout at the hands of Glover Teixeira at UFC on Fox.

    Although Jones has been known to pour salt in the wounds of his enemies,

    Read More »from Jon Jones squashes one beef while another intensifies
  • Kimbo Slice to headline Bellator show in July despite positive steroids test

    Performance-enhancing drug usage remains a significant problem in mixed martial arts despite the UFC's intensive testing program run by the United States Anti-Doping Agency since last year.

    Kimbo Slice (Getty Images)Kimbo Slice (Getty Images)No other combat sports promotion takes PED usage as seriously as the UFC, and yet it still has fighters test positive regularly. At least, however, there is a serious program with teeth in place to address the issue.

    By its actions on Sunday in booking Kimbo Slice against James Thompson for a July 16 show in London, Bellator acts as if it isn't concerned about the issue.

    Slice, whose real name is Kevin Ferguson, tested positive for the anabolic steroid nandrolone after his Feb. 19 fight with Dada 5000 (real name Dhafir Harris) in Houston. He also had an elevated testosterone-to-epitestosterone (T/E) ratio after that bout.

    But if he was going to test positive, he did it in the right state. Texas is one of the most lenient states in the country when it comes to assessing penalties for PED usage, with

    Read More »from Kimbo Slice to headline Bellator show in July despite positive steroids test
  • Errol Spence Jr. looks sensational, dominates Chris Algieri in five rounds

    If there was a criticism of 2012 Olympian Errol Spence Jr., it was that he had largely feasted on lower-level opposition.

    He took a decided step up in competition on Saturday when he faced veteran Chris Algieri and looked sensational, becoming the first man to stop Algieri. Spence, who pounded the body continuously, knocked Algieri down once in the fourth and twice in the fifth.

    After the final knockdown, a crushing left that put Algieri onto the seat of his pants, referee Benjy Esteves stepped in to halt it at 48 seconds of the fifth.

    "I thought it would be a little later, to tell you the truth," Spence said of the finish that raised his mark to 20-0 with 17 knockouts. "Chris Algieri is a tough fighter and I thank him for the opportunity. He tested me a little, but he didn't push me into deep waters. I was prepared for everything he came with."

    Spence stopped him in the fifth, but he won the fight in the early rounds when he began to dig early and often to Algieri's body. He clearly

    Read More »from Errol Spence Jr. looks sensational, dominates Chris Algieri in five rounds
  • Junior dos Santos learning to deal with critics and downsides of a public career

    Junior dos Santos said he cuts and swells easily. (Getty Images)Junior dos Santos said he cuts and swells easily. (Getty Images)Junior dos Santos has spent the last seven-plus years fighting the toughest heavyweights in the world, and he has yet to lose back-to-back fights. He's 18-4 overall as a pro and 12-3 since joining the UFC with a stunning knockout of current champion Fabricio Werdum in 2008.

    As he prepared at the American Top Team in Florida the last few months for his April 10 bout with Ben Rothwell, which he won by unanimous decision, dos Santos found himself agitated when he heard fans say he was washed up, no longer a contender, should consider retirement and other less-than-flattering things.

    On Friday, he was his usual easy-going, jovial self as he discussed his win over Rothwell and the reaction to the first struggles of his career.

    "Oh, the fans," he said, laughing. "Those fans. People love you when you're winning. The bad times? Well, they don't like to give you credit for anything you've done."

    Dos Santos' 22 MMA fights mark the entirety of his athletic career, pro and amateur. He didn't

    Read More »from Junior dos Santos learning to deal with critics and downsides of a public career
  • Rafael dos Anjos to face Eddie Alvarez on UFC Fight Pass streaming service

    It was hardly a surprise on Friday when the UFC announced that lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos would return from a broken foot to defend his belt against Eddie Alvarez. The stunner was the announcement that the bout will be live streamed on UFC Fight Pass on July 7 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, two days before UFC 200.

    The UFC has worked hard to beef up its digital subscription service since launching it amid much fanfare in late 2013.

    Last year, it hired Eric Winter, a long-time Yahoo Sports executive, to run Fight Pass. I joined Yahoo Sports nine years ago this month and in 2007, Winter and I had many conversations about creating a streaming service on Yahoo Sports which I referred to as something akin to the iTunes store of the fight game.

    It never happened, and never really came close to happening, but it was no shock when Winter left to take the UFC job because he'd always had interest in that sort of project.

    When the UFC announced Fight Pass in 2013, I thought it was an

    Read More »from Rafael dos Anjos to face Eddie Alvarez on UFC Fight Pass streaming service
  • Daniel Cormier saw a huge opportunity evaporate when a knee injury forced him out of a rematch with Jon Jones at UFC 197.

    Will Jon Jones struggle in his return to the Octagon? Daniel Cormier thinks so. (Getty)Will Jon Jones struggle in his return to the Octagon? Daniel Cormier thinks so. (Getty)The current light heavyweight champion wanted to avenge his lose to Jones from last year and prove that the title that Jones never lost in a fight deserves to be around Cormier’s waist.

    And if you ask him, the best opportunity possible to take advantage of Jon Jones is right now.

    “I've never pulled out of a fight before and there was a lot that went into this decision,” Cormier explained on SiriusXM Rush about his initial resistance to pull out of the fight. “Because I truly do believe, and I think this is why it was so hard to actually make the call, because I truly do believe that right now is when he's primed to get beat."

    But the reasons that Cormier proceeded to lay out had nothing to do with the legal troubles Jones has been facing over the past year. Instead, Cormier sees this as a potential test of Jones’ physicality considering he hasn’t fought in the past

    Read More »from Daniel Cormier thinks Jon Jones is ripe for an upset
  • First UFC card since ban was lifted to be in Madison Square Garden on Nov. 12

    At a signing ceremony to formalize the legalization of mixed martial arts in New York Thursday, UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta said that the promotion would hold its first event in the state since a ban on MMA was instituted in 1997 at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 12. He also said a second event would be held in New York prior to the end of the year, but said the date and venue was not finalized.

    Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the bill Thursday that became a formality after years of effort when it passed the state assembly on March 22 by an overwhelming 113-25 vote. Cuomo raved about the impact hosting mixed martial arts events in New York would have on tourism and said he was looking forward to attending the event, which will be UFC 205, at Madison Square Garden.

    Several prominent fighters, including ex-champions Chris Weidman and Ronda Rousey, attended the ceremony. Rousey spoke from the dais and thanked lawmakers for the vote to legalize the sport. She also introduced Cuomo for his remarks.

    Ronda Rousey, shown at an event last month, called the legalization of mixed martial arts in New York a dream come true at a signing ceremony Thursday at Madison Square Garden. (Photo by Gary Miller/Getty Images)Ronda Rousey, shown at an event last month, called the legalization of mixed martial arts in New York a dream come true at a signing ceremony Thursday at Madison Square Garden. (Photo by Gary Miller/Getty Images)"I

    Read More »from First UFC card since ban was lifted to be in Madison Square Garden on Nov. 12
  • A potential Georges St-Pierre return to the UFC appears to be a real possibility.

    The former UFC welterweight champion was courtside at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto to see the Raptors host the visiting Philadelphia 76ers when he spoke to TSN about whether or not we’d ever see him fight again. For the first time since he voluntarily vacated the 170-pound title and drifted into a semi-retirement back in late 2013, St-Pierre had an optimistic outlook on competing inside an Octagon again.Could Georges St-Pierre make his return to MMA at UFC 200? (Getty)Could Georges St-Pierre make his return to MMA at UFC 200? (Getty)

    “I’m on good terms with the UFC – we’re talking,” St-Pierre said. “Everything is possible, but I don’t know right now. I can’t tell you everything. I have to keep some secrets.”

    There were rumors about a possible return at UFC 200 recently when St-Pierre showed up cageside for UFC 196. With the main event being the ever-so-popular Conor McGregor making his welterweight debut against Nate Diaz, there was some speculation that the UFC would pair McGregor against St-Pierre at the promotion’s biggest

    Read More »from Georges St-Pierre 'talking' with UFC about potential return
  • Dana White confirms Hall of Famer B.J. Penn to face Dennis Siver at UFC 199

    Dana White confirmed that B.J. Penn will face Dennis Siver at UFC 199. (Getty Images)Dana White confirmed that B.J. Penn will face Dennis Siver at UFC 199. (Getty Images)UFC Hall of Famer B.J. Penn will return to the Octagon for the first time since he was stopped by Frankie Edgar on July 6, 2014, when he faces Dennis Siver at UFC 199 on June 4 in Los Angeles. UFC president Dana White confirmed the news to Yahoo Sports on Tuesday.

    The fight was made after an internal UFC investigation into sexual assault allegations made against Penn could not be substantiated, according to Lawrence Epstein, the UFC's chief operating officer.

    An ex-employee of Penn's website accused him on social media of sexually assaulting his girlfriend. No charges have been filed. Penn has denied wrongdoing.

    "We have taken a look at the available facts, which aren't too substantial, and there are two stories of what happened," Epstein said. "To date, there has no action at all taken by any law enforcement agency. We decided to allow B.J. to fight. However, we are going to continue to monitor to the situation. If new information, more information, becomes available to us, obviously,

    Read More »from Dana White confirms Hall of Famer B.J. Penn to face Dennis Siver at UFC 199
  • The MMA world is still reeling from the announcement that Miesha Tate’s first title defense will be against Amanda Nunes at UFC 200 and with good reason.

    The decision to accept a fight with Nunes has drawn heavy criticism as many figured that a rematch with Holly Holm, who she defeated with a come-from-behind fifth-round submission to win the title at UFC 196, would be in order. However, Tate and her team have offered a number of different reasons as to why they didn’t give Holm a rematch.

    Holm appeared on "The MMA Hour" to discuss being passed up for a title opportunity and it was evident that she was disappointed.Instead of a rematch with Holly Holm, Miesha Tate will be defending her title against Amanda Nunes. (Getty)Instead of a rematch with Holly Holm, Miesha Tate will be defending her title against Amanda Nunes. (Getty)

    “I was kinda bummed out,” Holm revealed while also saying that she found out at the same time as the rest of the world that Tate accepted a fight with Nunes over a rematch. “I’ll keep training and who knows when they’ll give me another fight.”

    Tate’s reasoning for not giving Holm an immediate rematch was that Holm wasn’t a “long-reigning champion” and that Nunes, who is

    Read More »from Miesha Tate's next opponent leaves bantamweight division in awkward mess
  • Boxing promoter Bob Arum has been on his best behavior with the world of mixed martial arts ever since he suggested the sport was filled with “skinheads” who are “rolling around like homosexuals” back in 2009. He’s since left the sport alone as he’s been focused on his own affairs in the boxing world.

    Founder and Top Rank CEO Bob Arum. (Getty Images)Founder and Top Rank CEO Bob Arum. (Getty Images)But while in Las Vegas promoting the Saturday showdown between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley, the old Bob was back at it again. When asked about the UFC and how mixed martial arts has gained traction in the mainstream, Arum decided to take aim at the UFC and fold the conversation into one that also takes shots at Donald Trump.

    "Well the UFC, they've done a great job promoting, but one thing I've said, and I'll say again, I'll say it straight out — the fans of the UFC are Donald Trump supporters,” the Top Rank CEO said.

    It’s of no coincidence that Arum is calling the undercard of Pacquiao-Bradley that features mostly Hispanic fighters "No Trump" as a shot against the GOP

    Read More »from Bob Arum: 'Fans of the UFC are Donald Trump supporters'
  • After suffering her first defeat in the Octagon last November to Holly Holm, it appears that Ronda Rousey is ready to get back to work. However, any thought of her fighting at UFC 200 has been dashed as UFC president Dana White revealed that the former UFC women’s bantamweight champion will likely wait until the end of the year to compete.

    Ronda Rousey has a return date in mind for 2016. Ronda Rousey has a return date in mind for 2016. “She’s in a great place mentally, physically and emotionally; every way you can be good, she’s good,” White told TMZ Sports about a recent dinner meeting he had with Rousey. “She’s talking about coming back at the end of this year. She’s either talking about coming back in November or December.”

    Although Rousey was supposed to be away filming a pair of movie projects – a remake of “Road House” and a film with Mark Wahlberg titled “Mile 22” – there was some speculation that Rousey could return earlier than that after Holm lost the title to Miesha Tate at UFC 196. After the fight, White told ESPN that he had spoken to Rousey and the 29-year-old vowed

    Read More »from Dana White reveals when Ronda Rousey might return to the UFC
  • Jon Jones will face Ovince Saint Preux for interim 205-pound title at UFC 197

    Jon Jones will face Ovince Saint Preux on April 23 at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas for the interim light heavyweight title in the main event of UFC 197, Dana White announced Saturday on SportsCenter.

    Saint Preux replaces light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, who on Friday had to pull out of the bout with what the UFC said in a news release is an injury to the interosseous membrane in his left leg.

    White said he attempted to get Anthony "Rumble" Johnson as Cormier's replacement, but said Johnson recently had dental surgery and can't even put a mouthpiece in for three weeks.

    Jones will be fighting for the first time since he routed Cormier in a light heavyweight title defense in the main event of UFC 182 on Jan. 3, 2015. Jones was stripped of the title following his involvement in a hit-and-run auto accident several months later, and Cormier won the vacant belt by submitting Johnson.

    Ex-Tennessee football player Ovince Saint Preux (R) will get a shot at the interim UFC light heavyweight title when he fights Jon Jones on April 23 in Las Vegas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)Ex-Tennessee football player Ovince Saint Preux (R) will get a shot at the interim UFC light heavyweight title when he fights Jon Jones on April 23 in Las Vegas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)Now, Saint Preux, a former Tennessee football player, gets the biggest fight of his life. He's

    Read More »from Jon Jones will face Ovince Saint Preux for interim 205-pound title at UFC 197
  • Daniel Cormier out of grudge match with Jon Jones at UFC 197 with injury

    Light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier suffered a leg injury and has been forced to pull out of his April 23 grudge match against Jon Jones that has been set as the main event of UFC 197 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

    BJPenn.com first reported the news, noting that Cormier was seen at a wrestling tournament recently favoring his left leg. Yahoo Sports has confirmed that Cormier is out of the bout, but can not independently confirm the specifics of his injury.

    The Cormier-Jones bout is a rematch of a 2015 bout that Jones won by dominant unanimous decision. The build-up to that match was intense, with a brawl between them in the lobby of the MGM Grand at a news conference setting the tone.

    Jones had an incident in Albuquerque, N.M., earlier this week which led him to spend two nights in jail. He was on probation for his involvement in a 2015 hit-and-run accident when he received five traffic tickets. But Jones was expected to be able to fight.

     

    Read More »from Daniel Cormier out of grudge match with Jon Jones at UFC 197 with injury
  • Jose Aldo says he was caught with lucky punch and still 'Feels like the champion'

    Jose Aldo was the only featherweight champion the UFC had known until a counter left hook from Conor McGregor knocked him cold just 13 seconds into their title bout in the main event of UFC 194 in December.

    Despite no longer having the belt, Aldo insists he still feels like he is the champion and is fine with facing Frankie Edgar for the interim title at UFC 200 on July 9 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

    The UFC announced on Wednesday that McGregor would rematch Nate Diaz, who submitted him in the second round on March 5 at UFC 196, in a welterweight bout in the main event of UFC 200. At the same time, it announced that Aldo and Edgar would fight a rematch of their outstanding bout from UFC 156 in 2013 for the interim title.

    UFC president Dana White said that win, lose or draw against Diaz, McGregor would fight an immediate rematch against the Aldo-Edgar winner for the full featherweight title.

    Aldo told Yahoo Sports Friday that "I definitely wanted to fight for the title," and though

    Read More »from Jose Aldo says he was caught with lucky punch and still 'Feels like the champion'
  • Nate Diaz says UFC babies Conor McGregor, gives him whatever he wants

    Nate Diaz has fought 22 times in the UFC against 21 different opponents while compiling a 14-8 mark in the promotion. After each of those eight losses, to Clay Guida, Joe Stevenson, Gray Maynard, Dong Hyun Kim, Rory MacDonald, Benson Henderson, Josh Thomson and Rafael dos Anjos, he wanted a chance at revenge.

    The only time, though, he got it was when he met Maynard, but it was nearly four years before he got the chance to make amends.

    Diaz became animated when asked if he respected Conor McGregor for seeking a rematch against him at the same terms as they were in their bout in UFC 196 on March 5. Diaz submitted McGregor with a rear naked choke in the second round of that fight, leading to a rematch on July 9 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas which will headline UFC 200.

    "It's the biggest fight out there," said Diaz, who has made it clear he only wants big fights.

    But Diaz wasn't about to pat his opponent on the back. McGregor is the featherweight champion, which has a limit of 145 pounds,

    Read More »from Nate Diaz says UFC babies Conor McGregor, gives him whatever he wants
  • Jon Jones was released from jail on Thursday. (AP Photo)Jon Jones was released from jail on Thursday. (AP Photo)The highly anticipated main event of UFC 197 between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier remains intact.

    After being in custody at the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center in New Mexico since Tuesday due to a probation violation stemming from five traffic citations, Jones was released after a judge added some extra stipulations to his current probation.

    Jones appeared at his hearing in the New Mexico Second Judicial District Court Thursday morning and Judge Michael E. Martinez allowed Jones to go home as long as the 28-year-old agrees to attend anger management and driver improvement classes, commit to 60 hours of community service and get approval from his probation officer every time he wants to drive.

    Things could have gone much worse for Jones and there was some concern that his latest run-in with the law could have cost him his chance at competing for the UFC light heavyweight title he was stripped of last year. Instead, “Bones” will have to be even more careful than he was

    Read More »from Jon Jones slapped with extra probation stipulations
  • As Miesha Tate waits to find out who the first challenger to her UFC women’s bantamweight title will be, the freshly minted champ had the opportunity to sit down and talk about a few things outside of fighting with Maxim magazine. In the interview, Tate discussed being in her first movie as a lead in “Fight Valley,” launching her podcast and the origins of her nickname “Cupcake.”

    Then the conversation turned to politics and whom Tate was going to vote for in the coming presidential election.Miesha Tate, right, celebrates her victory over Holly Holm at UFC 196. (AP)Miesha Tate, right, celebrates her victory over Holly Holm at UFC 196. (AP)

    “I’m probably going to get a lot of flack for this but I feel that we’ve been Democratic for too long and we need balance,” Tate said. “We need a Republican in office.”

    With the controversial Donald Trump appearing to be the frontrunner for the GOP nomination, does that mean that Tate is throwing her endorsement behind the business tycoon?

    “I don’t know enough about Cruz,” Tate said while adding that she plans on doing some more research before casting her ballot this November. But she did manage

    Read More »from Miesha Tate explains why she's voting GOP in the presidential election