• 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 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
  • Brock Lesnar boasted in an ESPN interview that he was “the modern-day Bo Jackson” after announcing his return to the UFC after spending the past four years as a professional wrestler.

    But the man he compared himself to isn't at all familiar with Lesnar.

    "I don't even know who Brock Lesnar is, man, Jackson said when approached by TMZ.

    The former NFL Pro Bowler and MLB All-Star was a superstar in the '80s and '90s when he was a dominant force in both sports. But when it comes to Lesnar, Jackson was clueless.Former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar fights Mark Hunt on July 9 in Las Vegas. (Getty)Former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar fights Mark Hunt on July 9 in Las Vegas. (Getty)

    "I don't watch [UFC and pro wrestling],” Jackson said. “If I didn't make money in it, I don't know nothing about it."

    But perhaps someone who knows the road Lesnar has traveled would be able to weigh in a bit better than Jackson.

    Ken Shamrock traversed the landscapes of mixed martial arts and pro wrestling before Lesnar and knows a thing or two about bouncing between the two worlds. And because of his experience, Shamrock believes that Lesnar will be at a disadvantage when he faces

    Read More »from Bo Jackson doesn't 'even know who Brock Lesnar is' after Lesnar compares them
  • Michael Bisping won the middleweight title at UFC 199 on June 4. (Getty Images)Michael Bisping won the middleweight title at UFC 199 on June 4. (Getty Images)Now that the shock has worn off from Michael Bisping’s stunning first-round knockout of Luke Rockhold at UFC 199, the conversation has shifted to the middleweight champion’s first title defense. And the Brit isn’t short on suitors who are both deserving and eager to get a crack at Bisping.

    There’s obviously Rockhold, who Bisping defeated and evened up the series to one victory each. Then there’s Chris Weidman, the former champion who Bisping replaced on just over two weeks' notice to get the opportunity of a lifetime. Jacare Souza, who dominated Vitor Belfort in his last outing, is also someone who could factor into the equation.

    But of all the possible opponents mentioned, Bisping doesn’t appear to be interested in any of them. He’s already dismissed an immediate rematch with Rockhold and said that Weidman needed to get back into the win column before challenging for the title. As for Jacare, he’s in the mix but not necessarily at the top of the list. The man who Bisping could be

    Read More »from Michael Bisping has variety of options for first UFC title defense
  • 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

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

    Read More »from Kimbo Slice dead at 42
  • 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