• Joe Lauzon
    (Associated Press)

    A Joe Lauzon and Diego Sanchez fight at UFC 200 sounds like a no-brainer considering that these two fighters – who have a combined 19 post-fight bonuses between them – have never met in the Octagon despite having been a part of the UFC for a decade.

    So it makes sense that MMA fans lost their collective minds when the fight was added to the biggest card in UFC history. Fans created posters for this fight with the two, battered, bloodied and bruised fighters, because there is an expectation that this could be a “Fight of the Year” candidate.

    “This fight has always been one of those things that people have asked for,” Lauzon told Yahoo Sports, although he had never really considered the fight himself until recently. “If we don’t completely paint the canvas red, people are going to be sorely disappointed. They want a bloodbath.”

    The two were originally booked to square off at UFC 180 in Mexico but both went down with injuries. That’s when Lauzon realized how big the fight

    Read More »from UFC 200: 'Human Bonus Machine' Joe Lauzon ready to cash in
  •  TJ Dillashaw reacts after his fight with Dominick Cruz at a UFC Fight Night event on Jan. 17, 2016. (Getty)

    UFC’s bantamweight division has quietly become one of the most competitive weight classes in the entire promotion. With established fighters destined for the hall of fame (Urijah Faber), seasoned veterans champing at the bit for a shot at the title (Bryan Caraway), and up-and-coming talent that represents the future of the division (Cody Garbrandt), the class of fighters at 125 is an intriguing group.

    Former bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw is amongst that group of fighters jockeying for a crack at the champion Dominick Cruz. Dillashaw tangled with Cruz back in January and lost his title via narrow split decision. Immediate rematches are seemingly tough to come by these days so Dillashaw must get past Raphael Assuncao at UFC 200 to stake his claim. It’s a rematch of their 2013 fight where Dillashaw also lost a narrow decision that he still believes he won to this day.

    The two split decisions that he’s lost still leave a bad taste in the Californian’s mouth and he hopes to avenge them

    Read More »from TJ Dillashaw explains difference between Urijah Faber, Dominick Cruz feuds
  • Top 10 rivalries since UFC 100

    Editor’s note: Yahoo Sports will be rolling out a new list of its favorite moments and figures each weekday in anticipation of UFC 200.

    More from this series: Best fighters | Best trash talkers | Best fights | Best walkout songs

    Rivalries are the lifeblood of any one-on-one sport. And the UFC has had plenty of heated rivalries over the years.

    As the sport matured in the seven years since UFC 100, there haven’t been as many high-profile rivalries, but there has been enough of them to pique fan interest for sure.

    The chief among them, Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones, will see their feud played out on the biggest stage when they meet for the undisputed light heavyweight title on July 9 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas in the main event of UFC 200.

    Now, it would have been easy to select Michael Bisping and list every other fighter in the middleweight division. And it would have been just as easy to choose Vitor Belfort and any of a number of other guys.

    But the feuds I’ve chosen were real and

    Read More »from Top 10 rivalries since UFC 100
  • Why WWE doesn't mind Brock Lesnar's one-off UFC fight

    Brock Lesnar in attendance during the UFC 184 event at Staples Center on February 28, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

    When it was announced that Brock Lesnar would return to the UFC to compete at UFC 200 against Mark Hunt, it came as a huge surprise to everyone. Not just because Lesnar had not competed in the Octagon since December of 2011, but also because he was in the middle of a contract with the WWE where he had recently participated in their annual Wrestlemania event.

    As proposed by the WWE, this fight would be a one-off opportunity and the former UFC heavyweight champion would return to the WWE for their SummerSlam event in August regardless of whether he won or lost against Hunt.

    WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon explained why the pro wrestling promotion would allow Lesnar to go back to the UFC, even if it is just for one night.

    “Brock is a unique proposition, but just to get to the broader question: UFC is not a competitor to the WWE because we are entertainment and UFC is competitive sport,” McMahon said in an interview with Business Insider. “It’s very different. WWE is all about

    Read More »from Why WWE doesn't mind Brock Lesnar's one-off UFC fight
  • Sage Northcutt
    (Associated Press)

    Sage Northcutt wasn’t old enough to drive when Brock Lesnar annihilated Frank Mir at UFC 100 in 2009. Most kids that were Northcutt’s age were going through puberty and had no idea what the future held for them.

    But not Sage Northcutt.

    Unlike most 13-year-olds, Northcutt was already a highly decorated martial artist who had won multiple world championships while having stamps in his passport from Russia and Italy, among other countries.

    Seven years later, the 20-year-old will be fighting Enrique Marin on a historic UFC card that will again feature Brock Lesnar. As we’ve come to expect from the young fighter, the sheer notion of this is nothing short “awesome.”

    “Brock is awesome!” Northcutt told Yahoo Sports when asked what it is like to share a card with one of the most popular MMA figures of all-time. But in true Northcutt fashion, he had to spread the awesomeness around.

    “Everybody who is fighting at UFC 200 is awesome! It’s going to be awesome to get to meet

    Read More »from UFC 200: Despite a loss, life is still 'awesome' for Sage Northcutt
  • Top 10 best UFC walkout songs

    Editor’s note: Yahoo Sports will be rolling out a new list of its favorite moments and figures each weekday in anticipation of UFC 200.

    More from this series: Top 10 best fighters | Top 10 best trash talkers | Top 10 best fights

    The walkout song is an integral part of a fighter’s personality. Although, it doesn’t have anything to do with what happens inside of the Octagon, it’s the first thing that fans see before the gladiator goes to combat. Some fighters just want to get the walk over with so they pick something and make their way to the cage.

    But then there are those fighters who put a lot of thought into the songs they choose and how the make their entrance. Some look to intimidate while others pick something that is reflective of their personality.

    These are our top 10 walkout songs:

    10. Roy Nelson: Weird Al Yankovic – “Fat”

    When you think of a UFC fighter, you don’t think of a body type that resembles the one Roy Nelson has. But it hasn’t mattered because the extra weight

    Read More »from Top 10 best UFC walkout songs
  • UFC 200: Adult Swim rolls out new Jones-Cormier commercial

    Daniel Cormier-Jon Jones
    (Courtesy of Dana White)

    Dana White doesn’t have a lot of free time on his hands, but the UFC president devotes what little he does to watching The Cartoon Network.

    OK, to be fair, White has become, in his words, “a crazy, huge fan,” of Adult Swim, a cable network that airs from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. ET/PT on The Cartoon Network.

    He sits in front of the television every evening laughing at shows like “King of the Hill,” “Bob’s Burgers,” “Family Guy,” “The Cleveland Show,” and “American Dad.”

    The commercials on Adult Swim are, again in White’s inimitable style, “crazy [expletive] up stuff that is targeted at the younger generation.” All the blockbuster movies are advertised on the network, though in a non-traditional way.

    White got so into the network that he began to research it, as well as its ratings and its audience. What he learned in essence was that Adult Swim’s audience and the MMA audience is eerily similar.

    The demographic for the channel is 18-to-34-year-old males which,

    Read More »from UFC 200: Adult Swim rolls out new Jones-Cormier commercial
  • CM Punk: With a few UFC wins, 'who's to say I don't get a title shot?'

    CM Punk
    CM Punk thinks if he can put some UFC wins together, a title shot is not out of the picture. (Getty Images)

    Ever since Phil “CM Punk” Brooks signed with the UFC, people have questioned whether or not the former professional wrestler was serious about an MMA career or simply trying out a newfound hobby to pass the time.

    But when the ex-WWE superstar appeared on the Colin Cowherd’s “The Herd,” he expressed under no uncertain terms that he had plans that extended beyond a perceived publicity stunt. Not only does Punk have his eyes set on a fruitful MMA career, but he also has a desire to become a champion.

    “I know people think this is a publicity stunt, I’m never going to set foot in the Octagon,” Punk said.

    After 18 months of waiting, dealing with injuries and training, Punk finally secured his first professional fight at UFC 203 against Mickey Gall, who earned the opportunity to face the debuting fighter when he defeated Mike Jackson in March. Sportsbook Review has Punk as a +235

    Read More »from CM Punk: With a few UFC wins, 'who's to say I don't get a title shot?'
  • UFC 200: Top 10 modern-day trash talkers

    (Editor’s note: Yahoo Sports will be rolling out a new list of its favorite moments and figures each weekday in anticipation of UFC 200. First up was our Top 10 best fighters. Next: Top 10 trash talkers)

    You don’t have to be a trash talker to be a great MMA fighter, but a great MMA fighter with exceptional trash talking abilities happens to go a long way in establishing crossover stars.

    The vaunted gift of gab is a unique trait that few fighters have. And the ones that do have it, struggle to back it up. But then there are those unique fighters who have mastered the art of verbal jousting and, when coupled with winning ways, the combination of quick wits and flying fists equal an enhanced entertainment value.

    No longer just a sideline story, trash talking is a selling point and helps drive home a narrative that engages fight fans. Honestly, there’s nothing like a little animosity between fighters and seeing it all culminate in a big fight. It’s the reason why we are so compelled with

    Read More »from UFC 200: Top 10 modern-day trash talkers
  • Conor McGregor still at odds with UFC over media obligations

    Conor McGregor speaking with the press.
    Conor McGregor still isn’t a fan of the UFC’s media obligations. (Getty Images)

    Although Conor McGregor and the UFC made amends in order for the Irishman to get a second chance at Nate Diaz at UFC 202, that doesn’t necessarily mean that everything is kosher between the two sides. As a matter of fact, McGregor revealed that he and the UFC don’t exactly see eye-to-eye when it comes to the very reason that McGregor was pulled from UFC 200: media obligations.

    While at an event to promote his coach John Kavanagh’s new book, “Win or Learn,” McGregor talked about the ongoing dispute as to how much press the bombastic fighter will need to do.

    “We’re still back-and-forth with media obligations,” McGregor said. “It’s going on right to this second. It’s never-ending. They want to pull you left and right.”

    McGregor’s refusal to fly out to Las Vegas for a UFC 200 press conference and commercial shoot back in April led to a very public rift that found McGregor going as far as announcing his

    Read More »from Conor McGregor still at odds with UFC over media obligations
  • The mere thought of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson fighting in the UFC may sound far-fetched, but it may have been closer to reality than you would originally think.

    The Rock briefly considered getting involved in mixed martial arts. (AP Images for WWE)The Rock briefly considered getting involved in mixed martial arts. (AP Images for WWE)Before he became a wildly successful actor, the former WWE superstar was tempted to try his hand at mixed martial arts. The Rock revealed his one-time desire to transition from pro wrestling to MMA in an interview on the UFC Unfiltered podcast.

    In the early 2000s, The Rock was at the pinnacle of success as a WWE superstar. He was the champion and easily the most recognizable face in sports entertainment – alongside “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. His crossover success opened doors for him to become an actor and Johnson decided to depart from the WWE full-time in 2004 to pursue the new career path. But the success that he hoped for in Hollywood had eluded and, eventually, frustrated him.

    “There was a time when my movies weren’t doing that well and I had a hard time finding my groove and figuring out what the audiences wanted to see

    Read More »from The time The Rock thought about competing in MMA
  • There have been questions when (or if) former WWE superstar Phil “CM Punk” Brooks would ever make his UFC debut after signing with the MMA promotion 18 months ago. But CM Punk finally revealed that he will enter the cage at UFC 203 on Sept. 10 in Cleveland.

    CM Punk will make his UFC debut against Mickey Gall on Sept. 10. CM Punk will make his UFC debut against Mickey Gall on Sept. 10. His opponent will be Mickey Gall, who earned the fight by scoring a 45-second submission victory over Mike Jackson back in February.

    This will finally end the speculation regarding whether the former sports entertainer can make the transition to mixed martial arts. Unlike Brock Lesnar, who successfully took to the sport and became a heavyweight champion, Punk doesn’t have amateur wrestling credentials or freakish size and athleticism. He’s been a work in progress since joining Duke Roufus’ Roufusport MMA Academy in Milwaukee and rumors regarding Punk’s progression have been littering the web.

    Injuries have slowed down his training since signing in December 2014. A shoulder injury put him on the shelf last October and just when it

    Read More »from The date for CM Punk’s UFC debut has finally been set
  • Before Ronda Rousey had crossover success in the worlds of mixed martial arts and Hollywood, there was Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. The former UFC light heavyweight champion, who will return to fighting after a one-year layoff when he faces Satoshi Ishii at Bellator 157 on June 24, has seen his fair share of success as an actor as well as a MMA fighter.

    After having a prominent role in 2010’s “The A-Team” remake as B.A. Baracus, Rampage could have thrust himself into Hollywood’s arms and tried to balance a career in both. However, the 38-year-old explains that fighters who try to juggle two two careers will likely find themselves failing at one of them.

    “There’s no way you can do both at the same time,” Jackson told Yahoo Sports. “You can’t train for a fight and shoot a movie. Your focus has to be on that fight.”

    As a fighter who tried to walk the tightrope, albeit briefly, perhaps he can understand the challenges that Rousey has had better than most. Some have suggested that she has

    Read More »from Why 'Rampage' Jackson turned down a role in 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine'
  • With the rumors and conflicting stories circulating about the possible sale of the UFC, everyone involved with mixed martial arts is weighing in on the future of the biggest organization in all of MMA.

    Former UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champion Randy Couture offered his take on the situation during an appearance on ESPN100.

    "I've heard a strong rumor that it is sold,” Couture said. “... Lorenzo's [Fertitta] out. Dana [White] is still in. Four-billion-dollar price tag, somewhere thereabouts. I heard from fairly reliable sources that that's happening."Randy Couture has famously butted heads with UFC president Dana White over the years. (Getty)Randy Couture has famously butted heads with UFC president Dana White over the years. (Getty)

    Couture conducted the interview prior to a FloCombat story saying Zuffa had accepted a $4.2 billion bid for the UFC. Couture’s take bears many similarities, but the UFC is vehemently denying that the company has been sold.

    Couture stands as one of the most prominent figures to compete in the UFC; he started his career there back at UFC 13 in 1997 and fought his final fight for the organization in 2011 at UFC 129. He’s been

    Read More »from MMA legend Randy Couture: UFC has an 'image problem'
  • UFC tells employees that report of $4.2 billion sale is false

    A UFC spokesman on Monday shot down a FloCombat report that indicated ownership had accepted an offer of $4.2 billion to sell the company.

    Dave Sholler, the UFC's vice president of public relations, athlete marketing and development, sent a statement to Yahoo Sports late Monday denying the story.

    "'s report indicating that the UFC has been sold is false," Sholler said in the statement. "We've communicated that to our staff members tonight via an internal memo."

    Sholler would not answer questions and UFC president Dana White declined comment. ESPN reported on May 9 that the UFC was in the advanced stages of talks to sell the company. White denied that to Yahoo Sports on that day.

    Jeremy Botter of FloCombat reported Monday that according to multiple unnamed sources, a group led by WME/IMG would purchase the UFC for $4.2 billion. According to Botter's report, the majority of money for the deal would come from Chinese companies Dalian Wanda Group and TenCent Holdings. In

    Read More »from UFC tells employees that report of $4.2 billion sale is false
  • Stephen Thompson has now won seven fights in a row in the UFC. (AP)Stephen Thompson has now won seven fights in a row in the UFC. (AP)

    Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson staked his claim as the No. 1 contender to Robbie Lawler’s UFC welterweight title with a tactical dissection of Rory MacDonald en route to a unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night 89 at the TD Place Arena in Ottawa, Canada.

    The No. 2-ranked Thompson utilized his world-class kickboxing and takedown defense to nullify any grappling advantages that the No. 1-ranked MacDonald was assumed to have coming into the fight. But it was an extremely technical fight as Thompson carefully placed his punches and kicks while MacDonald, who is a counterstriker, tried his best to find an opening.

    In the end, Thompson prevailed with scores of 50-45, 50-45 and 48-47 in a fight that was much closer than the scorecards may indicate.

    "Title belt! Robbie Lawler!” Thompson said afterward, clearly indicating that he has his eyes set on the welterweight title. “I want the winner of Robbie Lawler and Tyron Woodley in New York!"

    He’s certainly deserving of a title shot as his current

    Read More »from Stephen Thompson earns title shot, but new welterweight contender emerges
  • Fedor EmelianenkoFedor Emelianenko

    The highly anticipated return of Fedor Emelianenko was expected to be a glorified sparring session – one that would have fight fans salivating for the greatest MMA fighter who has never fought in the UFC to finally appear in the Octagon.

    It was anything but.

    The legendary Russian fighter barely survived a savage first-round assault by Fabio Maldonado to win a controversial decision in the main event of EFN 50 in St. Petersburg, Russia. It aired live on UFC Fight Pass.

    Emelianenko, who is widely regarded as the greatest heavyweight of all-time and once went unbeaten for 10 years, appeared to be on the verge of signing a UFC contract after negotiating with the most prominent MMA organization for several years. All that he had to do was get past Maldonado, a durable fighter but not one who was considered a threat to a fighter the caliber of Emelianenko.

    The 39-year-old opened the fight with an overwhelming onslaught of punches in an attempt to take out Maldonado before he knew what

    Read More »from Fedor Emelianenko wins in controversial fashion in Russia
  • Donald Cerrone would rather chase good fights instead of UFC gold

    Donald Cerrone
    Donald Cerrone looks for his 30th MMA win on Saturday vs. Patrick Cote.

    Little has changed in Donald Cerrone’s approach to his career: He’ll fight pretty much anyone, anywhere, and at any time. Pay him and he’ll be there.

    He’s fighting Patrick Cote on Saturday on the main card of a Fox Sports 1-televised show from Ottawa in his second consecutive fight at welterweight.

    He submitted Alex Oliveira in Pittsburgh in February with a triangle choke in his debut at welterweight. Now, fighting a second time in a row at 170 pounds, it seems that Cerrone is a welterweight.

    But is he? Well, the man himself isn’t sure. There are plenty of hints that he’s probably still a lightweight, given his top target is No. 1 lightweight contender Khabib Nurmagomedov, but the man himself isn’t ready to commit to a division.

    “[Expletive] man, I don’t [expletive] know,” he said in that slow drawl of his that has become so familiar over the years. “I’m just looking for some good fights.”

    In Cote, he’ll be meeting

    Read More »from Donald Cerrone would rather chase good fights instead of UFC gold
  • One of the best lightweights in the world is coming to the UFC as Will Brooks will make his UFC debut against Ross Pearson at The Ultimate Fighter 23 finale on July 8 in Las Vegas.

    Lightweight Will Brooks will make his UFC debut on July 8 in Las Vegas (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal)Lightweight Will Brooks will make his UFC debut on July 8 in Las Vegas (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal)It’s an interesting turn of events after Bellator severed ties with their lightweight champion after Brooks (17-1) and president Scott Coker just couldn’t see eye to eye. Brooks was critical of his former employer on social media and Bellator responded by handing him his walking papers.

    But there’s a rainbow on the other side of those clouds for Brooks, as he’ll get to fulfill his dream of competing in the UFC.

    “This is an emotional rollercoaster,” Brooks told Yahoo Sports about the deal that came together in less than 24 hours. “I broke down and cried. There’s excitement, nervousness, fear, happiness – everything at once. It’s a beautiful thing to be in this position.”

    The signing comes at a time when Brooks had some significant happenings in his personal life. The 29-year-old recently became a father with

    Read More »from Will Brooks on signing with UFC: 'I broke down and cried'
  • Dan Henderson reveals his dream final opponent

    Dan Henderson has earned many accolades during his two-decade mixed martial arts career. However, the one thing that has proven to be elusive for the 45-year-old is capturing UFC gold. After holding off retirement with a remarkable come-from-behind knockout of Hector Lombard at UFC 199, Henderson has his eyes set on one last fight against the current UFC middleweight champion, Michael Bisping.

    Dan Henderson wants his final fight to be against UFC middleweight champ Michael Bisping. (Getty Images)Dan Henderson wants his final fight to be against UFC middleweight champ Michael Bisping. (Getty Images)In the aftermath of his knockout, which happened to be on the same card that Bisping captured the middleweight title from Luke Rockhold, there has been tremendous support from MMA fans to see a rematch of the UFC 100 showdown where Bisping was knocked out cold by Henderson in the second round.

    Although he’s currently ranked No. 13 among middleweights, the fight does carry a lot of intrigue and it’s something that Henderson would like to have the opportunity to do before riding off into the sunset.

    "[Fighting Bisping] is definitely something that I would do," Henderson said on the MMA Discussion

    Read More »from Dan Henderson reveals his dream final opponent