Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Master of Motivation? Mike Tyson (Quick Pic)

Getting ready to step in the cage with Tony Ferguson at UFC 209, Khabib Nurmagomedov is taking motivation from wherever he can get it. And what better source of motivation than former heavyweight boxing great Mike Tyson

That’s one that Nurmagomedov can check off his bucket list… now, about that UFC title…

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Two Title Fights Headline Victor Fighting Championship’s 2017 Debut

A pair of title bouts will be front and center when Victory Fighting Championship gets its 2017 schedule under way on Friday, April 14 at the Baxter Arena in Omaha, Nebraska, and live on UFC FIGHT PASS.

Two-division champion Rob “The Saint” Emerson puts his bantamweight belt at stake as he takes on undefeated phenom Raufeon “Supa” Stots in the main event. The co-main event will mark the first title defense for newly crowned welterweight kingpin Kassius “Killa Kayne” Holdorf with challenger Yuri Villefort standing in the opposing corner. 

Tickets for VFC 56 will be available at www.ticketmaster.com

“These are two outstanding title fights featuring four of the very best talents on the Victory Fighting Championship roster,” said Ryan Stoddard, President & CEO of Victory Fighting Championship.

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“Rob Emerson is a veteran competitor who still has designs on competing at the highest level but to get back to the UFC, he is going to have to defend his Victory Fighting Championship belt against unquestionably one of the top prospects in Raufeon Stots.

“Kassius ‘Killa Kayne’ is great mix with enough fights to now boast veteran-level experience but he is also a high-end prospect as well. Yuri Villefort has really turned his career around and is now back to competing at level everyone has expected from him.”

Rob “The Saint” Emerson (19-11, 1 NC) vs. Raufeon “Supa” Stots (7-0)

VFC 56 fight posterEmerson returns to the VFC cage after successfully claiming his second title when added the featherweight crown at VFC 54 in December with a first-round TKO stoppage over Ryan Roberts. The Huntington Beach, California, product scored the bantamweight title last June at VFC 51 when he registered a second-round submission verdict against Shawn West. The 35-year-old has notable career wins over Joe Taimanglo and Jared Downing, and also went 3-3 with one no-contest in the UFC. Inside the Octagon, Emerson picked up decision wins over Phillipe Nover and Keita Nakamura, and also dispatched Manny Gamburyan with a 12-second knockout.

Stots, who hails from Houston, Texas, and fights out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is one of the most highly prospects in all of MMA. His stock soared after his victory at VFC 53 when he dominated veteran Jeff Curran and took a clear-cut unanimous decision. Prior to that, Stots secured three straight finishes inside the VFC cage. He coaxed a tapout in the second round against Charlie Dubray at VFC 52, knocked out William Joplin in the first round of their meeting at VFC 49, and submitted Demetrious Wilson in the third round at VFC 47.

Kassius “Killa Kayne” Holdorf (8-3) vs. Yuri Villefort (9-5)

At VFC 52 last December, Holdorf turned in the most memorable and meaningful performance of his blossoming career. After nearly finishing arch-rival Maki Pitolo at the end of Round 1, Holdorf didn’t waste a moment in making sure a sensational verdict was in his grasp as he blasted Pitolo with an uppercut and earned a knockout win only five seconds into the second round to claim the belt. It was sweet revenge for the Omaha, Nebraska, native after he lost a heartbreaking decision to Pitolo in their original matchup – a fight he took on short notice yet went the distance in last July. In a bit of irony, Holdorf had been scheduled to face Villefort at VFC 52 before filling in against Pitolo, which ultimately led to title shot. The 30-year-old had won four of five prior to that narrow decision defeat.

Villefort, who is originally from Brasilia, Brazil, and now fights out of Boca Raton, Florida, had registered impressive finishes in seven of his nine victories, including his first-round knockout (knee) of Kenneth Glenn at VFC 47. The 25-year-old also bested Cody Carillo via decision at VFC 50. Villefort made two previous appearances in the UFC including Fight Night 28 in his home country. 

More bouts for the VFC 56 card will be announced in the very near future.

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John Dodson vs. Eddie Wineland Added to UFC Fight Night Nashville

A bout between ranked bantamweights John Dodson and Eddie Wineland has been added to the UFC Fight Night 108 fight card in Nashville. UFC officials announced the match-up on Tuesday.

Dodson (18-8), a former flyweight title contender, returned to the bantamweight division following his loss to champion Demetrious Johnson at at UFC 191. He knocked out Manny Gamburyan in his 135-pound return, but is coming off of a split-decision loss to John Lineker. “The Magician” hopes to start a bantamweight title run starting with defeating Wineland.

Eddie Wineland at WEC 49Wineland (23-11-1) fought for the interim bantamweight title at UFC 165. He plans to get back into contender status by defeating Dodson on April 22. Wineland is coming off back-to-back knockout wins over Frankie Saenz and Takeya Mizugaki. He hopes to continue the streak.

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UFC Fight Night 108: Swanson vs. Lobov takes place on April 22 at Bridgestone Arena in downtown Nashville. Featherweight contender Cub Swanson takes on hard-hitting Artem Lobov in the fight card’s main event.

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Alexander Gustafsson vs. Glover Teixeira Headlines UFC Return to Sweden

The UFC on Tuesday revealed its return to Sweden with a headlining bout pitting Alexander Gustafsson vs. Glover Teixeira, the No. 2 and 3 ranked light heavyweights, respectively. Several other bouts were also announced.

UFC Fight Night: Gustafsson vs. Teixeira is slated for Sunday, May 28, at Ericsson Globe in Stockholm. Tickets for the event go on general sale on Friday, March 31.

Gustafsson (17-4) hasn’t fought since last August, when he won a unanimous decision over Jan Blachowicz. He had been scheduled to face Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC Fight Night 100 in November, but had to withdraw from the fight due to a back injury. 

Alexander Gustafsson vs Glover TeixeiraReady to return, he’ll face Teixeira (26-5), who is coming off of a victory over Jarred Cannonier at UFC 208 on Feb. 11.

The winner of the bout etches his name in the running for a shot at the light heavyweight title currently held by Daniel Cormier, who is slated to put the belt on the line against Anthony Johnson at UFC 210 in April.

Also announced for the fight card is a middleweight bout between Swede Magnus Cedenblad (14-5) and American Chris Camozzi (24-12) Other bouts include Denmark’s Christian Colombo (8-2-1) facing Poland’s Damian Grabowski (20-4) in a heavyweight battle, and Norwegian Jack Hermansson (14-3) taking on American Alex Nicholson (7-3) in another middleweight match-up. 

UFC has held a total of four events in Stockholm, Sweden, most recently in January 2015, setting a record for the highest attended UFC event in Europe, as 30,000 fans filled the Tele2 Arena. 

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“Our fans in Sweden have been demanding another event for the past two years and we are thrilled to deliver another stand out event for them this May,” said James Elliott, Vice President, UFC EMEA. “Sweden has always been a very engaged market for us and, alongside our partners at Viaplay and Stockholm Live, this will be a can’t miss event for sports fans not just in Sweden but across Scandinavia.”

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Tyron Woodley Recounts His La La Land-Moonlight UFC 205 Moment (UFC 209 video)

(Courtesy of UFC)

On Episode 2 of UFC 209 Embedded, interim lightweight title contender Khabib Nurmagomedov is motivated to win a championship and follow in the footsteps of his training partners Cain Velasquez, Luke Rockhold and Daniel Cormier. His opponent Tony Ferguson leaves his wife and child in the hotel room to take a nighttime run through Las Vegas. Welterweight title challenger Stephen Thompson relaxes with a game of Frisbee golf, while champion Tyron Woodley juggles media duties to promote the fight.

RELATED > Khabib Nurmagomedov Fans Send Conor McGregor a Warning (UFC 209 Embedded, Episode 1)

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Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson: Inside the Octagon Preview

(Video Courtesy of UFC)

John Gooden and Dan Hardy break down the co-main event of UFC 209, Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson, for the UFC interim lightweight championship.

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Chris Honeycutt Looking to ‘Tear Kendall Grove Up’ at Bellator 174

Though he might have stumbled a bit coming out of the block in 2017, middleweight Chris Honeycutt was able to right himself and close out the year on a winning streak.

Coming off a TKO loss to Paul Bradley in January of last year, Honeycutt picked up three straight unanimous decision wins to put himself back into middleweight title contention.

“It didn’t star off well,” Honeycutt told MMAWeekly.com. “I had my first and loss (to Bradley), and that got the wheels spinning again.

“As soon as I was able to get cleared to fight, I got right back to work. Against Matt Secor, I won, and about six weeks later I was fighting Mikkel Parlo, and then finished the year with Ben Reiter. As a year overall I thought it was a good year for me.”

The four bouts Honeycutt had in 2016 were his most in a year to date, and if he had his way, he’d continue to have the same kind of output going forward.

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“I love to, as long as I’m healthy, fight five or six times,” he said. “If I can go in there and fight and not take too much damage, (I’d like to) keep the wheels going.

“It’s such a physically demanding sport, and there’s only enough lifespan a fighter has, and while I’m not really young, I’m not really old, I’m kind of right before the middle, and I feel at my strongest and athletic ability, so now is the time to crank out as many fights as I can.”

Honeycutt (9-1) will look to pick up his fourth straight win when he takes on veteran Kendall Grove (23-16) in a main card 185-pound bout at Bellator 174 in Thackerville, Okla., on Friday.

“He’s a tall guy and has a pretty good reach, so it’s a no-brainer that his strength is his range,” said Honeycutt of Grove. “I’ll be in his punching range before I can even touch him, so to beat him I have to get past that without taking too much damage.

“Being able to be explosive on the way win will be to my favor, so get inside there and tear him up.”

After having put himself back on the right track, Honeycutt is eager to get his opportunity to become a champion in Bellator this year and solidify his standings as one of the best middleweights in the world.

“I always take it fight by fight as far as preparation and stuff like that, but long-term goals are always necessary to have,” he said. “I think 2017 will be my year. This year I should not only be the champion, but have at least defended it once or twice.

“As long as I’m healthy I’m ready to fight. I’m not shying away from it. I’m not someone to get the belt and just hold it in desperation, I want to hold onto it by the number of fights I’ve had defending it.”

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Tyron Woodley vs. Stephen Thompson 2: Inside the Octagon Preview

(Video Courtesy of UFC)

Inside the Octagon is back as John Gooden and Dan Hardy break down the main event rematch between Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson at UFC 209.

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Khabib Nurmagomedov Reviewing Romantic Comedies is as Hilarious as it Sounds

Khabib Nurmagomedov’s post-fight career is now a lock.

Everyone’s favorite Russian fighter not named Fedor is a man of few words. He’s a fairly straight-to-the-point kind of guy, so it’s clear that doing something like reviewing films will produce a unique yet expected outcome.

And it’s glorious.

Ahead of his UFC 209 fight this weekend, Khabib caught up with the guys over at The Chive and he agreed to give his take on romantic comedies. The outcome is priceless and worth every moment. 

To the footage!

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UFC Matchmakers Break Down UFC 209 Key Matches (video)

(Video Courtesy of UFC)

UFC commentator Jon Anik sits down with Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard to preview UFC 209: Woodley vs. Thompson 2.

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