Cagewriter

  • Daniel Cormier to meet Jon Jones in main event of UFC 200 on July 9

    There was no surprise on Wednesday when the UFC announced on "Good Morning America" that the main event of UFC 200 will be a rematch between champion Daniel Cormier and interim champion Jon Jones for the light heavyweight belt on July 9 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

    Jones, then the outright champion, routed Cormier in the main event of UFC 182 on Jan. 3, 2015, in Las Vegas, taking a lopsided unanimous decision. But Jones had a series of legal problems after that and he was stripped of his title in April 2015 when he was involved in a hit-and-run traffic accident in Albuquerque, N.M., where he trains.

    Cormier won the vacant title in his absence, submitting Anthony "Rumble" Johnson in the second round of UFC 187 on May 23 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

    The bout replaces Conor McGregor-Nate Diaz II, which was to be the main event until the UFC yanked it when McGregor balked at participating in promotional activities.

    UFC light heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier. (Photo by Mike Roach/Getty Images)UFC light heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier. (Photo by Mike Roach/Getty Images)The Jones-Cormier rematch was originally scheduled for UFC 197 on

    Read More »from Daniel Cormier to meet Jon Jones in main event of UFC 200 on July 9
  • If Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz are going to have their rematch, it almost certainly won’t be at UFC 200.

    Conor McGregor (AP Photo)Conor McGregor (AP Photo)The proposed rematch was originally scheduled to headline UFC 200 until McGregor was pulled from the card after he didn't make himself available for a news conference in Las Vegas last week. Despite public outcry to allow the Irishman to fight, UFC president Dana White has stood firm that McGregor would not be placed back on the July card and reiterated his position under no uncertain terms when approached by TMZ Tuesday morning.

    "Conor's his own guy, he's going to do what he's going to do but he's not fighting on [UFC] 200,” White said while mentioning that he has no ill will toward McGregor. “Listen, he'll fight on 201, 202, 203, whatever, I don't know when, but we'll get it figured out."

    The other half of the equation, Nate Diaz, made headlines when he stated at Friday’s UFC 200 news conference that he was not interested in facing another opponent and would instead go “on

    Read More »from Dana White: Conor McGregor will 'fight on 201, 202, 203'
  • Bellator lightweight Djamil Chan overcomes autism to make the big time

    Djamil Chan said he doesn't want to be pitied. The Bellator MMA newcomer is autistic, which makes the fact that he finds himself competing at the highest level of mixed martial arts all the more amazing.

    Djamil Chan (Getty Images)Djamil Chan (Getty Images)And anyone who watched Chan's Bellator debut last week against Richard Patishnock would no doubt be pitying Patishnock and not Chan.

    After working his way off the ground, Chan landed one of the best overhand rights of the year that all but finished Patishnock. The rest were the formalities, like how long it would take the referee to get in to stop the bout. It was over at 3:09 of the first round.

    Chan, 25, grew up in The Netherlands, where so many of the great kick boxers train. He was into fighting from a young age and said he dropped out of school while he was in high school.

    He said he prefers not to discuss his autism, because he doesn't want to be pitied. He wants to be judged as a fighter and said he's taking his job more seriously now that he is a father.

    "I love fighting and I

    Read More »from Bellator lightweight Djamil Chan overcomes autism to make the big time
  • As the Conor McGregor vs. UFC saga continues to unfold, some new details about what transpired have surfaced. For the past week, we have heard little from Conor McGregor and his team aside from a few posts on social media here and there. But now his coach, John Kavanagh, has surfaced to give his side of what transpired behind the scenes that led to the current situation that finds the Irishman out of a highly anticipated rematch with Nate Diaz at UFC 200.

    Conor McGregor (Getty Images)Conor McGregor (Getty Images)Speaking to “The MMA Hour” on Monday, Kavanagh sounded somewhat optimistic that McGregor would still end up fighting at UFC 200 and is a little confused as to why Dana White and the UFC are standing their ground.

    "I'm 51 percent optimistic and 49 percent pessimistic, if you want to know my feelings on it, "Kavanagh said. “At some stage you've got to see that maybe it's pointless to upset so many fans that want to see this fight and ignore the kind of numbers that are going to be brought in. Things seem to be swinging in the right way

    Read More »from Conor McGregor's coach not ready to close the door on UFC 200
  • Conor McGregor tweets he's back on UFC 200, but White says it's untrue

    Conor McGregor has once again gotten the mixed martial arts world buzzing with a tweet. This time, the UFC featherweight champion has tweeted that he is back on the UFC 200 card, only three days after UFC president Dana White officially ruled him out because he did not show up in Las Vegas for promotional activities related to the summer blockbuster card.

    At about 2 a.m. ET on Monday, McGregor continued his pattern of issuing a single tweet and then going silent. In this one, he thanks White and UFC chairman for fixing the issue and making certain that he's back on the blockbuster summer card, which will be July 9 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

    It appears McGregor's tweet was simply about leverage. White told Yahoo Sports, "It's not true. We haven't talked to Conor or his manager since the press

    Read More »from Conor McGregor tweets he's back on UFC 200, but White says it's untrue
  • LAS VEGAS — There has been a significant amount of hype behind featherweight prospect Yair Rodriguez and the 23-year-old gave the mixed martial arts world something to talk about with a highlight-reel worthy knockout of Andre Fili in the second round at UFC 197 on Saturday night.

    Yair Rodriguez (AP Photo)Yair Rodriguez (AP Photo)The winner of “The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America” drilled Fili with a jumping switch kick that connected with a sickening thud and immediately separated his opponent from his consciousness.

    The featherweight bout kicked off the pay-per-view portion of UFC 197 with a bang and put the featherweight division — where Conor McGregor still remains king — on notice.

    After a first round that saw Rodriguez takedown an eager Fili, it appeared that Rodriguez had plans to utilize his ground and pound to win the fight. However, in the second frame it all changed when the highly touted prospect showed why he’s arguably one of the most lethal fighters in all of MMA with his feet.

    With just enough distance between them,

    Read More »from Featherweight prospect Yair Rodriguez delivers brutal KO at UFC 197
  • UFC 197: Jones vs. Saint Preux analysis

  • Conor McGregor will not fight at UFC 200, but Jon Jones just might

    LAS VEGAS – Conor McGregor did not show up at the MGM Grand Garden for a news conference on Friday and UFC president Dana White said that as a result, the featherweight champion is officially off the July 9 UFC 200 card and won't fight Nate Diaz as planned.

    White on Tuesday yanked McGregor from the card when McGregor declined to leave Iceland, where he is training, to fly to Las Vegas to do a news conference, participate in a commercial shoot and other promotional activities. On Thursday on Facebook, McGregor offered to fly to New York on Wednesday for a news conference, but said otherwise his training must take precedence.

    White did say that ex-light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, who faces Ovince Saint Preux Saturday for the interim title in the main event of UFC 197, could meet champion Daniel Cormier at UFC 200.

    It was hardly shocking that White took the stance he did, because to allow McGregor to skip would have caused problems with many other stars, few of whom like to do such

    Read More »from Conor McGregor will not fight at UFC 200, but Jon Jones just might
  • Despite the fact that Demetrious Johnson is the longest reigning champion in the UFC and ranked as the No. 2 pound-for-pound fighter in the world, Mighty Mouse feels that he hasn’t quite peaked yet.

    Demetrious Johnson, left, and Henry Cejudo on Thursday. (AP)Demetrious Johnson, left, and Henry Cejudo on Thursday. (AP)And while some fighters aspire to be the greatest pound-for-pound fighter of all time, the UFC flyweight champion would much rather prefer to be remembered as perfect.

    “My goal is to be the perfect fighter,” Johnson said in an interview with Sherdog. “Everybody’s opinion changes on the greatest fighter of all time. I want to say that right now the best fighter is Jon Jones. He’s done some amazing things. But then there are some things that I would like to see him do. There are also some things in the Octagon that I want to see myself do that I haven’t been able to do yet.”

    Johnson will continue to strive for perfection Saturday when he faces unbeaten Olympic wrestling gold medalist Henry Cejudo at UFC 197. It will be the first time that Johnson has faced someone with the type of wrestling

    Read More »from Demetrious Johnson still striving for perfection
  • Conor McGregor: 'I AM NOT RETIRED'

    Two days after tweeting that he had retired as a fighter, UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor reversed course, issuing a 651-word statement on Facebook in which he wrote in all capital letters, "I AM NOT RETIRED."

    He also noted that he is open to fight Nate Diaz at UFC 200 on July 9 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and to fly to New York next week for a news conference at Madison Square Garden to promote the fight.

    But by refusing to come to Las Vegas for a 2 p.m. PT news conference that will be held at the MGM Grand Garden on Friday that UFC officials insisted he do, McGregor did not satisfy all of the company's requirements. On Wednesday during an appearance on Fox Sports 1, UFC president Dana White said McGregor was off the card because he was already missing so many things that needed to be done to promote the event.

    Friday is not the first day of promotion. All of the fighters are here right now. Ten million dollars is going to be spent on promotion and the commercial alone

    Read More »from Conor McGregor: 'I AM NOT RETIRED'
  • Time’s up. The window for Conor McGregor to compete at UFC 200 officially closed, says UFC president Dana White.

    During an appearance on “UFC Tonight” Wednesday, White made it clear that he hasn’t heard from McGregor and the featherweight champion will not compete at UFC 200 in a highly anticipated rematch against Nate Diaz.

    While the UFC looks to fill the massive void on UFC 200, White has turned his attention to whether McGregor is really set on retirement. If so, he would vacate the featherweight championship and the fight between Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar at UFC 200 would be for the undisputed featherweight title. Conor McGregor (Getty Images)

    “It isn’t about whether or not Conor McGregor is fighting at UFC 200 because it’s been announced that he’s not fighting,” White said. “The big question is if he’s retired because if he is, that belt is vacant and they will fight for the title.”

    The MMA world was turned on its ear Tuesday when McGregor tweeted his abrupt retirement from the sport. Things became more

    Read More »from Dana White: McGregor has to vacate championship if he's retiring
  • Dana White announces Conor McGregor has been yanked from UFC 200

    Several hours after featherweight champion Conor McGregor sent out a tweet announcing his retirement, UFC president Dana White announced on "SportsCenter" Tuesday that the Irish superstar has been yanked from the main event of UFC 200 opposite Nate Diaz.

    The announcement marked a stunning turn of events in a strange day that began with what many regarded as a joke when McGregor tweeted he had retired. McGregor on Monday announced via social media that he had arrived in Reykjavik, Iceland, to train.

    On Tuesday, at approximately 2:30 p.m. ET, he wrote on Twitter, "I have decided to retire young. Thanks for the cheese. Catch ya's later."

    There was silence for the next 5 1/2 hours, as White and McGregor manager Audie Attar failed to return numerous messages seeking comment. But at around 8 p.m. ET, White appeared on "SportsCenter" and said McGregor had been pulled from

    Read More »from Dana White announces Conor McGregor has been yanked from UFC 200
  • 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