Vitor Belfort May Continue in the Octagon Beyond UFC 212

Vitor Belfort has swung from saying his UFC 212 bout opposite Nate Marquardt would be the final fight of his career to possibly seeking employment elsewhere after the bout to feeling he might just continue his career in the Octagon. 

After his fight with Kelvin Gastelum in March, Belfort said that he hoped to fight at UFC 212 in what he thought would be the final fight of his current UFC contract, ending his career. But then, a couple weeks ago, his manager indicated that it was possible that Belfort might fight for Bellator or some other promotion after completing his UFC contract.

Now, however, Belfort, who spent part of his camp at Georges St-Pierre‘s TriStar Gym in Montreal, appears to be reinvigorated.

Vitor Belfort“I’ll be okay if this is my last fight, but it feels more like a new beginning,” Belfort told ESPN. “I feel this can be the beginning of more fights in the UFC.”

Part of Belfort’s turnabout on fighting again in the Octagon could have to do with his contractual status. Brazilian website Combate reported and MMA Fighting confirmed that Belfort still has one fight left on his deal after facing Marquardt at UFC 212.

Aside from fulfilling his contract, however, Belfort’s outlook on the UFC beyond fighting has also been reinvigorated. While many of his peers continue to rattle the sabers of forming a union, Belfort seems to think he could play a larger role beyond fighting in the Octagon if he remains with the promotion, perhaps foregoing the need for a union.

“The UFC has always been great to me, and I love them. There are new owners of the UFC, and I think I can help a lot. I heard they have a new, great office in Las Vegas. I am a businessman. I think I can be a great way to communicate between the organization and fighters,” he said.

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“I don’t think we need a union. I think we need to make shifts in the organization and make it as successful as it can be. We’ve already grown as entertainment, now let’s grow as a sport. Athletes in basketball get paid not just to compete but to train as well. We need to make this happen in the UFC. I’m very open with this organization, and they are open with me.”

For now, Belfort is focused on the task at hand, which is Nate Marquardt. After UFC 212, we’ll see where his ever-shifting gaze focuses.

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Source: MMA Weekly

Megan Anderson Set to Defend Invicta Belt in July

It’s unclear what the UFC is going to do with Cris “Cyborg” Justino, who is awaiting her next fight, but Invicta FC champion Megan Anderson is set to put her belt on the line in July.

With Germaine de Randamie refusing to fight her, Cyborg had been targeting a fight with Anderson in the Octagon, perhaps for an interim featherweight title. That bout won’t happen, however, at least not yet. Invicta FC president Shannon Knapp confirmed to MMAWeekly.com on Wednesday that Anderson’s next fight will be under the Invcita FC banner.

Megan Anderson vs Charmaine Tweet - Invicta FC 21Anderson will put her Invicta featherweight title on the line against Helena Kolesnyk in the Invicta FC 24 headliner on July 15 in Kansas City, Mo. The fight was first reported by MMA Fighting.

Anderson was more than willing to fight Cyborg, but the UFC never came calling. With the UFC’s women’s featherweight division currently stuck in a quagmire of confusion, Invicta FC will move forward with Anderson sitting atop its 145-pound division. 

Currently sporting an 8-2 record, Anderson won the interim version of her belt by defeating Charmaine Tweet during the span that Cyborg was dealing with a potential anti-doping infraction handed to her by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. After Cyborg vacated the belt in order to pursue the UFC championship, Anderson was named full Invicta champion.

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Currently riding a four-fight winning streak, Anderson will put her belt on the line for the first time against Kolesnyk (5-0). It marks the first time the Ukranian has fought in the U.S. All of her previous bouts took place in Russia, Ukraine, or China. She has finished her opponent in all five of her victories.

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Source: MMA Weekly

Dana White Calls BS on Oscar De La Hoya’s Flip on McGregor vs. Mayweather

It wouldn’t be all that surprising that former boxer and current boxing promoter Oscar De La Hoya didn’t think that Conor McGregor boxing Floyd Mayweather was such a great idea. In fact, he recently commented on the proposed fight, calling it a bad idea that boxing might never recover from

That take on the fight is all well and good, until De La Hoya choked on his own words from several months ago, when he was all for McGregor boxing Canelo Alverez, who just happens to be one of the fighters that De La Hoya’s company Golden Boy promotes.

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Is De La Hoya spinning his take on McGregor boxing to his own interests? Certainly seems that way. And it’s something that wasn’t lost on UFC president Dana White and the guys at FightHype.com. White recently shared a FightHype mash-up of De La Hoya’s comments with the attached comment, “WTF Oscar De La Hoya?”

 

WTF @oscardelahoya ????? @thenotoriousmma @floydmayweather

A post shared by Dana White (@danawhite) on May 31, 2017 at 11:21am PDT

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Source: MMA Weekly

There’s No Place Like Fighting in Brazil (UFC 212 Embedded, Ep 3)

(Courtesy of UFC)

On Episode 3 of UFC 212 Embedded, headlining champion Max Holloway is joined by UFC 212 welterweight Yancy Medeiros on a trip to the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue. Middleweight Oluwale Bamgbose embraces the culture of his host city, as his foe Paulo Borrachinha eats a home-cooked meal. Bantamweight Raphael Assuncao keeps his training on schedule, while debuting opponent Marlon Moraes is energized by his homecoming.

Legendary middleweight Vitor Belfort arrives in Rio with a canine companion, and opponent Nate Marquardt recalls a Brazil trip that didn’t quite go as planned. Strawweight Claudia Gadelha multitasks while signing autographs, strawweight Karolina Kowalkiewicz visits the UFC’s version of Santa Claus, and featherweight champion Jose Aldo checks in, excited for a hometown title unification bout.

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UFC 212 Embedded is an all-access, behind-the-scenes video blog leading up to featherweight title unification bout at UFC 212: Aldo vs. Holloway, taking place Saturday, June 3 on Pay-Per-View.

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Source: MMA Weekly

Conor McGregor, Ronda Rousey, and Anderson Silva Among ESPN’s Top 100 Most Famous Athletes

ESPN released its Top 100 Most Famous Athlete’s List this week. The list included three UFC fighters. Lightweight champion Conor McGregor, Ronda Rousey, and Anderson Silva made the prestigious list of the most recognizable athletes in the world.

The list was compiled using a formula that “combines endorsements with social media following and internet search popularity.” While there’s been some debate in the MMA community about who’s the sport’s biggest star, Rousey came in nine spots ahead of McGregor at 16. McGregor placed 25th. Silva occupied the 39th slot on the list.

Rousey (12-2) last fought in December, losing to champion Amanda Nunes by TKO in just 48 seconds. While her fighting future remains uncertain, her mark on the sport cannot be denied. “Rowdy” pioneered women fighting in the UFC. She’s headlined some of the biggest selling pay-per-view events in the fight promotion’s history. Rousey changed the landscape of MMA.

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McGregor (21-3) became the first fighter in UFC history to hold two divisional belts at the same time when he knocked out Eddie Alvarez in November. The Irish knockout artist changed the game with his relentless self-promotion. He’s made press conferences as big of an attraction as fight nights.

While currently at odds with the UFC, Silva (34-8, 1NC) once sat atop the promotion as one of the top pound-for-pound fighters of all time. He holds the record for most UFC title defenses at 10, a record which flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson recently tied.

Portuguese soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo topped the list. NBA’s LeBron James appeared second on the list.

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Source: MMA Weekly

Knockout Radio LIVE: Max Holloway, Tito Ortiz, Ryan Bader, and Sage Northcutt

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Tune in Wednesday at 3:30 pm ET, for Knockout Radio LIVE! as Randy and crew talk with Max Holloway, Tito Ortiz, Ryan Bader, and Sage Northcutt, and discuss another week of Hot MMA News!

As always, Knockout Radio has the best giveaways, prizes, surprises, and celebrity guests!

TRENDING > Ronda Rousey Set to Return in ‘Battle of the Network Stars’ Reboot

The phone lines will be open from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. EST on our call-in number:  813-321-0987.

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Source: MMA Weekly

Jimi Manuwa and Volkan Oezdemir Set to Meet at UFC 214

Jimi Manuwa and Volkan Oezdemir will try to continue defining the light heavyweight title picture when they meet at UFC 214 on July 29 in Anaheim, Calif. UFC officials announced the bout on Wednesday.

The light heavyweight landscape became a bit clearer on Sunday when Alexander Gustafsson, the No. 1 ranked 205-pounder in the UFC, defeated No. 2 ranked Glover Teixeira in the UFC Stockholm main event.

With champion Daniel Cormier squaring off with returning former champion Jon Jones, who was stripped of the belt, in the UFC 214 main event, Manuwa and Oezdemir can narrow the field of contenders considerably. Manuwa and Oezdemir are currently ranked at No. 3 and No. 5 respectively.

Jimi ManuwaManuwa (17-2) nearly landed the top spot opposite Cormier in the UFC 214 main event after knocking out Corey Anderson in mid-March. Jones could have opted for a warm-up fight in his return from suspension, but instead accepted an offer to rematch Cormier, leaving Manuwa to the undercard, where he will also serve as the primary back-up if Cormier or Jones is unable to compete come fight time.

Oezdemir (14-1) is fresh off of a 28-second knockout of Misha Cirkunov in Stockholm. That was only his second fight in the Octagon, but the quick knockout, which followed a win over Ovince Saint Preux in his promotional debut, launched him toward the top of the division. 

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Should he upset Manuwa, Oezdemir would immediately leap into title talks alongside Gustafsson, for a shot to challenge the winner of the Cormier vs. Jones rematch. 

UFC 214: Cormier vs. Jones 2 takes place on July 29 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.

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Source: MMA Weekly

Watch Claudia Gadelha Beat Jessica Aguilar to Earn Title Shot (UFC 212 Free Fight)

(Courtesy of UFC)

Check out Claudia Gadelha’s victory over Jessica Aguilar at UFC 190 back in 2015 to earn a title shot against Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Gadelha next faces Karolina Kowalkiewicz in the co-main event at UFC 212 on June 3.

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Source: MMA Weekly