• Brock Lesnar granted waiver from four-month drug testing requirement

    The UFC Anti-Doping Policy requires fighters who are coming out of retirement, such as former heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, to notify the promotion in writing four months in advance of an intended return to competition, and to make themselves available for random testing for four months.

    Lesnar on Friday agreed to terms and signed his bout agreement to fight Mark Hunt at UFC 200 on July 9 in Las Vegas. He entered into the testing pool on Monday. He thus would not be able to fight, though the clause also covers situations such as Lesnar.

    The reason is for fairness and when it is impossible to comply.

    Paragraph 5.7.1 of the testing policy covers both the four-month requirement for athletes who come out of retirement as well as the ability to grant an exemption.

    5.7.1 An Athlete who gives notice of retirement to UFC, or has otherwise ceased to have a contractual relationship with UFC, may not resume competing in UFC Bouts until he/she has given UFC written notice of his/her intent

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  • Kimbo Slice had congestive heart failure, was in need of heart transplant

    Kimbo Slice's cause of death was congestive heart failure, according to a report in a South Florida newspaper. He also had a mass on his liver and was being prepared to be flown to Cleveland where he could be placed on an organ donor list in order to receive a heart transplant, according to the report.

    The Bellator MMA fighter, who rose to fame in the previous decade as a street brawler whose videos garnered millions of views on YouTube, died Monday in a Margate, Fla., hospital at 42.

    The Sun-Sentinel reported Tuesday that Slice, whose birth name was Kevin Ferguson, had been admitted to Northwest Medical Center on June 3, complaining of abdominal pain, shortness of breath and nausea.

    He had been on a ventilator in intensive care. Doctors were preparing to send him to Cleveland where he could have gotten a heart transplant, the newspaper said. It said he had no history of drug usage and that the death did not come due to trauma or foul play.

    Fight talk with Kevin Iole on Ali, Lesnar,

    Read More »from Kimbo Slice had congestive heart failure, was in need of heart transplant
  • Spike plans one-hour tribute show to Kimbo Slice on June 24

    Spike TV announced Tuesday it will broadcast a one-hour tribute special to Kimbo Slice, the 42-year-old, one-time backyard brawler-turned-mixed martial arts fighter who unexpectedly died in South Florida on Monday, June 24.

    Details of the show are still to be determined. But Spike has broadcast two of Slice's Bellator events as well as his first official UFC appearance, a win over Houston Alexander.

    Slice, whose real name was Kevin Ferguson, gained popularity in the early part of this century through YouTube videos of his backyard brawls. He later turned pro in MMA and boxing. He was 5-2 with a no contest in MMA and 7-0 with six knockouts as a boxer.

    As of Tuesday, officlals in South Florida have yet to release a cause of death.

    He became a big name in the MMA community and drew large ratings for most of his fights despite modest skills. Slice left behind three sons and three daughters, as well as a fiance.

    Read More »from Spike plans one-hour tribute show to Kimbo Slice on June 24
  • Shocked by the sudden death of popular mixed martial arts fighter Kimbo Slice, the MMA community took to social media in paying tribute to the beloved figure.

    Read More »from MMA community reacts to Kimbo Slice's sudden death
  • Kimbo Slice dead at 42

    Popular mixed martial arts fighter Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson has died. He was 42. 

    Slice was stricken at his South Florida home and taken Monday afternoon to the Northwest Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale, a spokeswoman for the Coral Springs, Fla., Police told Yahoo Sports on Monday. He later died.

    Bellator president Scott Coker confirmed Slice's death in a statement:

    "We are all shocked and saddened by the devastating and untimely loss of Kimbo Slice, a beloved member of the Bellator family. One of the most popular MMA fighters ever, Kimbo was a charismatic, larger-than-life personality that trancended the sport."

    "Outside the cage, he was a friendly, gentle giant and a devoted family man. His loss leaves us all with extremely heavy hearts, and our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Ferguson family and all of Kimbo's friends, fans, and teammates."

    Sgt. Carla Kmiotek of the Coral Springs police told Yahoo Sports no foul play is suspected. She said the department dispatched

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  • UFC lifts ban on MMA journalist Ariel Helwani

    After a tumultuous weekend in mixed martial arts where an MMA reporter being banned became the most talked-about story in the sport, the UFC has had a change of heart.

    Ariel Helwani is no longer banned by the UFC. Ariel Helwani is no longer banned by the UFC. In a statement released by the UFC, MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani – who was escorted out of UFC 199 in Los Angeles and subsequently slapped with a lifetime ban after correctly reporting that Brock Lesnar was returning to the MMA world at UFC 200 – will be able to apply for UFC credentials again.

    “Following a conversation with the editorial team at SB Nation, UFC will not prevent from receiving media credentials to cover live UFC events,” the statement read. “We respect the role the media plays in our sport and beyond, including MMAFighting’s ability to report news.”

    Helwani was first to report the surprising story that Lesnar would be returning after a four-and-a-half year hiatus from the sport before the UFC had the opportunity to announce it during the broadcast. Helwani, along with videographer E. Casey

    Read More »from UFC lifts ban on MMA journalist Ariel Helwani
  • For all of the remarkable stories that came out of UFC 199 – Michael Bisping finally becoming champion, Dan Henderson’s scintillating knockout, Diaz-McGregor 2 and the return of Brock Lesnar – the story that has overshadowed it all ironically has to do with an MMA journalist who reports news to mixed martial arts fans.

    MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani was escorted from UFC 199 and banned for life from the promotion after he correctly reported that Brock Lesnar would return to the UFC for a fight at UFC 200.

    The news of Helwani being forced to leave The Forum in Los Angeles, along with videographer E. Casey Laydon and photographer Esther Lin, spread like wildfire and dominated the conversation as multiple websites, including non-MMA outlets, covered the story.

    An emotional Helwani flew solo Monday on his popular YouTube show, "The MMA Hour," and offered up his side of what took place at UFC 199 and the chain of events that led to him being banned for life.

    “I hate the fact I’m not talking

    Read More »from MMA reporter Ariel Helwani opens up about lifetime UFC ban
  • Michael Bisping shocked the world by scoring a first-round knockout win over Luke Rockhold to claim the UFC middleweight title at UFC 199. And, for a moment, the heel persona that has followed the British fighter since debuting on season three of “The Ultimate Fighter” had been lifted.

    But then came the post-fight news conference and a heated exchange between the new champion and the former champion ended with Bisping calling Rockhold an anti-gay slur.

    After the news conference, Rockhold refused to shake Bisping’s hand and the verbal jabs came fast and furious. “Give your respect, don’t be a smug [expletive] about it,” Rockhold said. This caused Bisping to launch into a furious expletive filled tirade.

    “Don’t get knocked out again [expletive]!” Bisping fired back.

    UFC officials got between the two fighters before things intensified any further but Bisping was still incensed and continued to talk.Michael Bisping directed a homophobic slur at Luke Rockhold following UFC 199. (Getty Images)Michael Bisping directed a homophobic slur at Luke Rockhold following UFC 199. (Getty Images)

    “I [expletive] knocked you out twice now!” Bisping said in reference to his huge UFC 199

    Read More »from Michael Bisping calls Luke Rockhold anti-gay slur after UFC 199
  • INGLEWOOD, Calif. — After a decade in the UFC, England’s Michael Bisping found himself in his very first title fight on Saturday night at UFC 199.

    His opponent, Luke Rockhold, promised Bisping’s “Cinderella story” would instead be his “swan song.”

    Oh, how wrong he was.Michael Bisping reacts after defeating Luke Rockhold at UFC 199 at The Forum. (Getty)Michael Bisping reacts after defeating Luke Rockhold at UFC 199 at The Forum. (Getty)

    With one swift left hook and a snappy stoppage from UFC referee John McCarthy, “The Count” put away Rockhold at 3:36 of the very first round to win the UFC middleweight championship, and the crowd inside The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., erupted in a combination of utter shock and complete amazement.

    With the finish, Bisping capped off one of the truly remarkable championship upsets in UFC history.

    “I started fighting when I came out my mother, really,” said the 37-year-old veteran. “I have always been a fighter. It's often gotten me into trouble but there is nothing better than I do, fighting.”

    Flanked by his children and wife, Bisping was visibly overcome with emotion. Thanking his mother and father, and his home country

    Read More »from UFC 199: Michael Bisping knocks out Luke Rockhold to win UFC middleweight title
  • INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Dominick Cruz finally has the last word in his longstanding rivalry with Urijah Faber.

    The UFC bantamweight champ used his trademark stick-and-move style to largely elude Faber and landed a variety of significant strikes to win a unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45 and 49-46) at UFC 199 at The Forum.

    The third meeting between the two bitter rivals didn't disappoint as they went at each other early and often. But Cruz just proved to be too quick for Faber, darting in and out with his awkward style to land a multitude of kicks and punches and avoiding the majority of Faber's counters.

    Still, Faber persevered and continued throwing haymakers while eating punches. He seemingly earned his rival's respect with the performance despite the loss, as the two shared a reluctant hug at the conclusion of the fight.

    "I’m not surprised [with Faber's toughness]," Cruz said. "He’s been a champion before and he’s tough. Everyone in this Octagon is tough."

    It was the first defense of

    Read More »from Dominick Cruz wins grudge match as Urijah Faber says he'll consider retiring
  • Brock Lesnar to return at UFC 200; McGregor-Diaz 2 set for UFC 202

    The UFC kept dropping bombshells during the broadcast of UFC 199, and it had nothing to do with the action in the cage at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif.

    During the pay-per-view broadcast, in two separate announcements, the UFC announced that ex-heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar would return to fight against an opponent to be named later at UFC 200 on July 9 in Las Vegas. It also announced the rematch between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz for UFC 202 on Aug. 20, an event that will also be held at T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas.

    Lesnar won the UFC heavyweight title in just his fourth professional fight at UFC 91 when he stopped Randy Couture on Nov. 15, 2008. He lost the title to Cain Velasquez at UFC 121, and then fought just one more time, losing to Alistair Overeem at UFC 141 on Dec. 30, 2011.

    He battled diverticulitis during his UFC stint and never was fully healthy. On March 24, 2015, Lesnar announced that he had signed a new contract to stay in the WWE rather than attempt a return to

    Read More »from Brock Lesnar to return at UFC 200; McGregor-Diaz 2 set for UFC 202
  • After weeks of negotiating and a number of hurdles along the way, the rematch between Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor is set for UFC 202 on Aug. 20 the UFC announced on Saturday night during UFC 199. While the location hasn’t been confirmed, it will reportedly take place in Las Vegas according to

    McGregor will look to get revenge after Diaz submitted him as a short notice opponent in the second round of their 170-pound fight at UFC 196 back in March.

    Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz are slated to headline UFC 202 in a highly anticipated rematch.Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz are slated to headline UFC 202 in a highly anticipated rematch.The highly anticipated return bout was originally scheduled for UFC 200, but it ended up being canned when McGregor refused to travel to Las Vegas for a press conference surrounding the UFC’s huge event. McGregor infamously tweeted that he was retiring young and sent the MMA world spiraling out of control. Just when it appeared that McGregor and the UFC were on good terms, a bizarre rumor started by

    Read More »from Conor McGregor-Nate Diaz II to headline UFC 202
  • Kevin Casey fought at UFC 199 one day after the death of father-in-law Muhammad Ali. (Getty Images)Kevin Casey fought at UFC 199 one day after the death of father-in-law Muhammad Ali. (Getty Images)INGLEWOOD, Calif. — It’s been an emotional 24 hours for Kevin Casey.

    The 34-year-old middleweight stepped inside the Octagon at UFC 199 one day after the death of his father-in-law, legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, who died Friday night of septic shock “due to unspecified natural causes" at the age of 74.

    Casey is married to Hana Ali, Muhammad Ali’s daughter with his third wife, Veronica Porsche. Hana Ali is the older sister of Laila Ali. Instead of pulling out of the fight at the last minute, Casey fulfilled his UFC obligations and fought Elvis Mutapcic to a split draw (29-28, 28-29, 28-28) at The Forum on Saturday night.

    “It’s a lot to go through before a fight,” Casey told UFC commentator Joe Rogan after the fight. “Thank you guys for the support and God bless my family.”

    In addition to fighting in his hometown of Inglewood for the first time, Casey had the opportunity to fight at the same arena as Ali. On Sept. 10, 1973, Ali stepped inside the ring at The Forum and defeated Ken Norton

    Read More »from UFC 199: Kevin Casey, Muhammad Ali’s son-in-law, fights to split draw
  • UFC 199 live updates and analysis

  • Sports world reacts to Muhammad Ali's death

    As news broke that boxing great Muhammad Ali died at 74, the sports world took to Twitter to share its thoughts on the legend.

    [PHOTOS: Muhammad Ali through the years]

    Read More »from Sports world reacts to Muhammad Ali's death
  • It looks like the world is going to have to wait just a little bit longer for the return of Ronda Rousey.

    The former UFC women’s bantamweight champion hasn’t been seen in the Octagon since her stunning knockout loss to Holly Holm last November. According to UFC president Dana White, it appears that her impending return has been delayed even further after Rousey underwent a minor knee surgery.

    "I'm hoping we're going to get Ronda back this year," White said on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” Thursday. “She actually … she just had surgery on her knee yesterday. Nothing serious, just get in there and scope it, clean it out a little bit."Ronda Rousey might be out of action until 2017. (Getty Images)Ronda Rousey might be out of action until 2017. (Getty Images)

    Since the loss, there have been questions regarding when Rousey would be seen back in action. There was some speculation that Rousey would participate at UFC 200 in July but those hopes were squashed when White revealed earlier this year that Rousey was targeting an October or November return. A November return put her on course with the UFC’s first show in New

    Read More »from Ronda Rousey's UFC return delayed due to knee surgery
  • Conor McGregor is ready to put all of the nonsensical distractions behind him and focus on getting revenge against the last man who beat him.

    In an interview with ESPN, the UFC featherweight champion explained why he sought a rematch with Nate Diaz, who campaigns at lightweight, at the welterweight limit. The only reason their first fight was at 170 pounds was because it was on short notice after McGregor’s original opponent, Rafael dos Anjos, was sidelined with an injury less than two weeks before the fight.Nate Diaz lands a punch on Conor McGregor during their UFC 196 fight. (Getty)Nate Diaz lands a punch on Conor McGregor during their UFC 196 fight. (Getty)

    McGregor’s decision to face Diaz at 170 pounds would prove to be a mistake as the bigger Diaz was able to absorb McGregor’s punching power, wear the smaller man down and secure a second-round submission victory.

    Although the fight has yet to be booked after their original date at UFC 200 was scratched, McGregor is determined to get the rematch under the same circumstances.

    "What kind of fighter would I be, if I said, 'Hey, I didn't get you at 170, let me try to get you at 155,'"

    Read More »from Conor McGregor says he's solely focused on Nate Diaz, not his division
  • UFC women’s bantamweight Valentina Shevchenko and her trainer, Pavel Fedotov, were caught in middle of a shootout during a robbery at a restaurant in Peru that resulted in Fedotov being hit by gunfire and taken to the emergency room.Valentina Shevchenko walks to her corner during her UFC 196 fight against Amanda Nunes. (AP)Valentina Shevchenko walks to her corner during her UFC 196 fight against Amanda Nunes. (AP)

    The shootout took place during a robbery attempt at the restaurant in the Chorrilos distract of Lima, Peru, and was captured by security cameras. According to Peru’s El Comercio, three armed individuals entered the restaurant on Sunday evening and demanded employees and patrons to hand over their belongings, which included cash, cell phones, purses and wallets.

    There were conflicting reports as to how the shootout started. El Comercio initially reported that Fedotov started firing at the assailants when they were trying to escape. However, FPP reported that Fedotov pulled out his gun and fired after the robbers started firing their weapons, injuring a female customer in the process. Another restaurant patron also reportedly engaged in the shootout that led

    Read More »from UFC fighter unharmed after getting caught up in robbery shootout in Peru
  • Cody Garbrandt flattens Thomas Almeida to remain undefeated

    LAS VEGAS – The battle of the UFC’s young and unbeaten knockout artists was no contest.

    Cody Garbrandt is still undefeated after stopping Thomas Almeida. (AP Photo)Cody Garbrandt is still undefeated after stopping Thomas Almeida. (AP Photo)From the moment the bell rang, Cody Garbrandt was dominant over Thomas Almeida in the main event of their bantamweight fight Sunday at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.

    They entered the bout a combined 29-0 and were seen as the future of the 135-pound division. Almeida, who was 21-0, was ranked fourth, though Garbrandt was unranked.

    But in racking up his ninth win in as many tries, Garbrandt pretty much guaranteed that he’ll be way up in the rankings when they come out later in the week.

    “When the lights are shining, that’s when I’m at my best,” Garbrandt said.

    Garbrandt knocked Almeida out with a brutal right cross that sent the Brazilian crashing to the canvas. The super aggressive Garbrandt could have pulled a Mark Hunt and simply walked away, because it was obviously over the moment that right landed.

    But Garbrandt was amped and out to make a point and he followed Almeida to the floor before

    Read More »from Cody Garbrandt flattens Thomas Almeida to remain undefeated
  • Former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum will look to get back on track to regain his championship when he faces Ben Rothwell at UFC 203 from the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland on Sept. 10. The announcement came during the UFC Fight Night 88 main card on Fox Sports 1.

    Fabricio Werdum will fight Ben Rothwell at UFC 203 in Cleveland. Fabricio Werdum will fight Ben Rothwell at UFC 203 in Cleveland. Werdum will be on the same card with the man who knocked him out to take his title at UFC 198 as Stipe Miocic will headline in his hometown against Alistair Overeem for the UFC heavyweight championship.

    The Brazilian will look to reset after losing for the first time in seven fights when Miocic dropped him with one punch. Before then, Werdum had one of most intriguing stories in MMA. After losing to Overeem in 2011 at the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, he appeared to turn a corner and peeled off six straight victories that culminated in beating Cain Velasquez for the UFC heavyweight title at UFC 188 last June.

    His opponent has experienced a similar resurgence over the past few years. Rothwell had won four

    Read More »from Fabricio Werdum, Ben Rothwell set for UFC 203 heavyweight clash