LFA 14 Results & Highlights: Eryk Anders and Roberto Sanchez Score Gold!

(Video courtesy of AXS TV Fights | Viewing may be limited due to broadcast rights restrictions)

Two new champions were crowned at LFA 14 on Friday night. In the main event, Eryk Anders (8-0) and Brendan Allen (7-2) delivered a five-round slugfest, with Anders, a former Alabama football star, winning the inaugural LFA middleweight title by unanimous decision.

In the co-main event, Roberto Sanchez (7-0) caught fellow undefeated prospect Jerome Rivera (7-1) in an armbar in the third round to win the inaugural LFA flyweight belt.

Colbey Northcutt (0-1), sister of UFC fighter and Legacy Fighting Championship alum Sage Northcutt, and Courtney King (1-0) made their pro MMA debuts tonight, with King winning by TKO after the referee stopped the fight in the second round.

Strawweight Maycee Barber (1-0) kicked off the night submitting Itzel Esquivel (2-1) with an armbar in the first round.

TRENDING > Kevin Lee: Conor McGregor Has the Power to Hurt Floyd Mayweather

LFA 14: Allen vs. Anders Results

  • Eryk Anders (8-0) defeated Brendan Allen (7-2) by unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)
  • Roberto Sanchez (7-0) submitted Jerome Rivera (7-1) with an amrbar at 3:41 in round three.
  • Danny Orr (5-1) defeated Noel Ligon (5-2) via split decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27).
  • Dulani Perry (4-0) out-punched Dave Acosta (5-2) to win by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
  • Courtney King (1-0) defeated Colbey Northcutt (0-1) by TKO (referee stoppage) at 3:27 in round two.
  • Maycee Barber (1-0) submits Itzel Esquivel (2-1) with an armbar at 3:52 in round one.

(Photo courtesy of Mike Jackson/LFA)

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Tim Boetsch licking his chops at chance to put away ex-champ in hostile territory

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Hard-hitting middleweight Tim Boetsch has never backed down from a challenge, and when he was offered a shot at former UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks, “The Barbarian” said he absolutely jumped on the opportunity.

“I was really excited,” Boetsch told MMAjunkie. “I knew Johny was moving up in weight class, and any time you get to fight a former world champ, me personally, I like to jump all over that opportunity. So here we are, and right in his backyard, so it’s going to be a great fight.”

Boetsch (20-11 MMA, 11-10 UFC) and Hendricks (18-6 MMA, 13-6 UFC) meet in the co-main event of Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 112 event, which takes place at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla. The main card airs on FS1 following prelims on FS2 and UFC Fight Pass.

Hendricks now lives in Texas but was born in Ada, Okla., just 80 miles from Oklahoma City. He was also a former collegiate wrestling national champion at the nearby Oklahoma State University, so the crowd will certainly be on his side.

Boetsch is undeterred.

“I know the fans are going to be awesome – probably a lot of them will be rooting for Johny, but that’s OK,” Boetsch said. “I’ve been in hostile territory before, and it’s turned out alright for me, so I’m excited.”

More than anything, the fight might serve as an evaluation of what Hendricks can accomplish at middleweight. He swears he’s done with cutting to 170 pounds, but his 5-foot-9 frame could be outsized at 185.

Both men are known for their heavy hands, and Boetsch insists he’s not taking the former welterweight lightly – but is expected one heck of a scrap.

“It’s going to be a great fight, and matchup-wise, I think it’s going to be very exciting for everyone involved,” Boetsch said.

To hear more from Boetsch, check out his complete media scrum from Friday’s open workout session in the video above. Or check out his workout in the video below.

And for more on UFC Fight Night 112, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

 

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Source: MMA Junkie

Michael Chiesa insists victorious return more important than sending message to Kevin Lee

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Michael Chiesa and Kevin Lee both admit their budding rivalry has been a fun part of the lead up to UFC Fight Night 112, but “Maverick” is putting any emotion on hold for now.

“On fight night, we leave emotion out of it,” Chiesa said. “He can say what he wants, he can do what he wants, but I’ve got ice running through my veins, and I’m just going to go out there and execute.”

Chiesa (14-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC) and Lee (15-2 MMA, 8-2 UFC) meet in the featured bout of Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 112 event, which takes place at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla. The main card airs on FS1 following prelims on FS2 and UFC Fight Pass.

Chiesa and Lee’s infamous press conference exchange set the tone for Sunday’s fight, and both men have happily embraced their differences ahead of the clash. Sure, punches were briefly thrown at that infamous first meeting, but this time security won’t be stepping in the way.

But Chiesa insists that the rivalry won’t add any emotion to a potential victory. Getting back to work after 14 months on the sidelines due to a back injury will be what really means the most, Chiesa said.

“It’s just going to be extra sweet to get back out there and compete,” Chiesa said. “I’m not going to let him – you know, my rivalry with him and everything that’s going on between us is not going to overshadow what’s most important, and that’s me coming back. I’m coming back.

“I’m ranked No. 6 in the world. This is my comeback tour.”

Chiesa is actually a slight underdog according to the oddsmakers, even though he enjoys a higher ranking in both the UFC’s official list, as well as the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA lightweight rankings, where Chiesa sits at No. 9 and Lee is an honorable mention.

But Lee has been front and center in recent months, while Chiesa has been stuck on the sidelines. For “The Ultimate Fighter 15” winner, Sunday represents his first opportunity to start rebuilding his reputation, and Chiesa said that means more than any bragging rights over a boisterous foe.

“I could care less about the rivalry,” Chiesa said. “That’s just whatever. That’s just like a little extra bonus. For me, it’s like the best part about this thing is I get to come back, compete, open workouts, main event – I’m back.

“‘Maverick’ is back, and I’m here to stay,” Chiesa said

To hear more from Chiesa, check out his complete media scrum from Friday’s open workout session in the video above. Or check out his workout in the video below.

And for more on UFC Fight Night 112, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Johny Hendricks not concerned about slugging it out with heavy hitter Tim Boetsch

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Former UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks knows he’s going to be facing some monsters in the middleweight division if he hopes to continue moving up the ranks. He believes his bout with Tim Boetsch will show how he intends to handle them.

“I’m pretty excited,” Hendricks told MMAjunkie. “He is a big guy, but I think speed is going to be the dictator of this. I think that’s really what’s going to sort of help me in the 185-division, is my speed.”

Hendricks (18-6 MMA, 13-6 UFC) and Boetsch (20-11 MMA, 11-10 UFC) meet in the co-main event of Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 112 event, which takes place at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla. The main card airs on FS1 following prelims on FS2 and UFC Fight Pass.

Hendricks does own eight knockouts among his 18 career wins, including memorable highlight-reel finishes of guys like Jon Fitch, Martin Kampmann and T.J. Waldburger. But as Hendricks struggled to make weight late in his 170-pound run, his power seemed to fail.

That would seem to be a big concern as he moves up to middleweight and faces Boetsch, a true knockout artist in his own right. But Hendricks believes he’s far healthier now that he’s not depleting himself and will be able to silence some doubters on Sunday night.

“I do have heavy hands,” Hendricks said. “I can get stronger now that I’m moving up in weight, and so now, that’s really all my mindset is – is getting a little bit stronger, getting more accurate, start using the speed and power.”

It could be a recipe for disaster – or it could show the world that Hendricks is a force to be reckoned with in his new division. As “Bigg Rigg” explains it, he enjoys beating fighters at their strength – and that would mean going toe-to-toe with “The Barbarian.”

“I’ve never backed down,” Hendricks said.

To hear more from Hendricks, check out his complete media scrum from Friday’s open workout session in the video above. Or check out his workout – and fan Q&A session – in the video below.

And for more on UFC Fight Night 112, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

LFA 14 live and official results

LFA 14 takes place today at Arena Theatre in Houston, and you can join us for live and official results beginning at 9 p.m. ET (6 p.m. PT).

The main card streams live on AXS TV and features a pair of title fights.

In featherweight action, Colbey Northcutt (0-1) – who had brother and UFC fighter Sage Northcutt as a guest commentator during the bout – had a rough welcome to the pro ranks, where Courtney King (1-0) had the clear edge on the mat over the karate specialist and ultimately forced a stoppage via second-round ground and pound.

In the main-card opener, 19-year-old flyweight Maycee Barber (1-0) made a successful professional debut with a dominant win over Itzel Esquivel (2-1), which came via deep first-round armbar.

Official LFA 14 results included:

  • Brendan Allen vs. Eryk Anders – for inaugural middleweight title
  • Jerome Rivera vs. Roberto Sanchez – for inaugural flyweight title
  • Noel Ligon vs. Darryl Orr
  • David Acosta vs. Dulani Perry
  • Courtney King def. Colbey Northcutt via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 3:27
  • Maycee Barber def. Itzel Esquivel via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 3:52

For more on LFA 14, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

B.J. Penn: ‘We’re Going to Take This As Far As It Can Go’ (UFC Oklahoma City video)

(Courtesy of USA TODAY Sports)

UFC Hall of Fame inductee B.J. Penn nearly walked away after his loss in January, but has regrouped and is ready to take it as far as he can.  Penn takes on Dennis Siver on Sunday in Oklahoma City.

TRENDING > Dana White Thinks Mayweather vs. McGregor Will Do Over 5 Million PPV Buys

You can follow along for all the UFC Fight Night 112 Live Results and Fight Stats on MMAWeekly.com beginning at 5:30 p.m. ET on Sunday.

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Anti-doping chief: UFC may steer away from Texas after Cortney Casey cleared of wrongdoing

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According to the UFC’s anti-doping czar, Cortney Casey has been cleared of wrongdoing both by a WADA-accredited lab and a testing laboratory hired by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation after she failed a post-fight drug test at UFC 211, which took place May 13 in Dallas.

After an initial test by a laboratory hired by the commission revealed a testosterone-to-epitestosterone (T/E) ratio slightly higher than 4-1, Casey’s “B” sample came back negative for banned substances and synthetic testosterone, Jeff Novitzky, the promotion’s VP of athlete health and performance, told MMAjunkie.

“Basically, she hadn’t done anything wrong,” he today said.

Yet the UFC women’s strawweight’s case remains “still under review” by the TDLR, which upon receiving the initial positive overturned Casey’s (6-4 MMA, 2-3 UFC) unanimous-decision win over Jessica Aguilar (19-5 MMA, 0-1 UFC), suspended her for 90 days, and ordered her to pay a fine between $2,000 and $5,000.

“It’s burning me up because the whole process has been unfair to begin with, and here we are 36 hours later,” said Novitzky, who said the WADA-accredited Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory confirmed Casey’s negative and forwarded the results to the commission and UFC officials.

“This girl should be cleared publicly, and she hasn’t been yet,” he said.

Novitzky urged the TDLR to reverse its decision and cautioned the promotion could steer away future UFC events from Texas if the issue isn’t resolved.

“I think it’s pretty extreme, but thinking through things, if these problems aren’t fixed, the only recourse may be that we don’t make our athletes subject to this, and in the future, we can’t go to Texas,” he said. “I don’t think it’s going to get to that level, but certainly that’s been a topic of discussion.”

In a prepared statement, TDLR spokesperson Susan Stanford declined to comment on the matter and stated it’s still an open case.

She added: “The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) consistently reviews all Combative Sports program rules, including those related to anti-doping. During the last review of the rules TDLR received a single public comment related to drug testing procedures. That comment sought to include all prohibited drugs in the standard testing panel.

“The Department welcomes additional comments about anti-doping and other concerns from the public and industry affecting the combative sports program.”

Casey did not express confidence the matter would be resolved quickly and said she’s preparing to fight the decision if it’s not reversed.

“I just want things to be right,” she told MMAjunkie. “There have been mistakes. It’s just been an extreme lack of professionalism on their part. I really hope everything gets fixed and I can move on from this. But the way it looks, it’s not going to be that easy.”

Casey said the TDLR notified her via email on May 26 of the positive test, stating her T/E ratio was 5.4-1. After informing Novitzky, she took the TDLR’s offer to have her “B” sample tested at her expense.

Since then, she said she’s heard little from the commission other than receiving a phone call in early June from a TDLR inspector that flatly asked, “What did you take to elevate your testosterone?”

Novitzky said upon hearing of Casey’s failure, he immediately contacted the regulator and cautioned that Casey’s elevated levels could’ve come from a legal substance such as birth control, which the fighter takes, she said, “so I don’t get pregnant so I can fight.”

“There are instances where athletes have physiological issues within their body that they just naturally have higher T/E ratios,” Novitzky said. “An athlete could potentially be taking an allowed substance, potentially birth control, (and) they could suppress some of the epitestosterone and show a mildly elevated level.”

The response, Novitzky said, was a blanket statement that any T/E result over 4-1 is a positive test.

On Thursday morning, Novitzky said he was informed by the TDLR’s drug testing laboratory, Austin Mobile Drug Testing, that Casey had come back negative for banned substances and exogenous testosterone, backing a result forwarded to him by SMRTL.

“I reached out to the attorney general’s office, the commission, and the investigator – I said, ‘Hey, here are the results. When can we expect a redaction of her previously announced positive test?’” he said. “And it’s been complete radio silence. Here we are 36 hours later, and they have not communicated with me, and they have not communicated with Cortney.”

The alleged mistake highlighted a last-minute request from the TDLR to handle all drug testing for the event, Novitzky said. The UFC anti-doping partner had agreed to cover the majority of drug tests for the event but changed course just beforehand and announced they would test all competitors.

Still, Novitzky said USADA did conduct drug tests at the event, which is how Casey’s situation came into focus.

“It’s an awful scenario for her,” he said. “She’s always going to have to live with that. It’s a headline on Page 1 and a redaction on Page 12. My concern is that there will be others that don’t hear she was cleared and always will look at her as a cheater, and that’s simply not the case.”

Casey laughed when asked whether she felt vindicated by the test results. It’s not the first time she’s encountered trouble with an athletic commission overseeing her fight. A previous decision loss to Claudia Gadelha at UFC Fight Night 100 was marred with accusations from the Brazilian Athletic Commission (CABMMA) that she faked an injury to sell an illegal head kick from Gadelha. The commission later toned down its remarks.

“I knew from the beginning that it’s just a waiting game to get the test results back,” she said. “It was a shock to me when I was told about the original test results. I hardly take any supplements. It was just a matter of the proper testing being done to prove I wasn’t at fault in any way.

“But at the same time, my win’s taken away. Articles have been written. Until all that gets reversed, I don’t feel vindicated at all. I already knew that was clean. I already knew that I didn’t do anything wrong. They chose to release everything to the public. So now I’m having to backtrack instead of doing the test to begin with before they say anything. They kind of put me in the position where I have to do damage control.”

For more on UFC 211, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Plenty of security keeps Chael Sonnen, Wanderlei Silva separated at Bellator NYC ceremonial weigh-ins

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NEW YORK – Knowing what was likely to go down if the Bellator NYC headliners got too close to each other Friday night, security detail was on red alert for Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva.

The main event light heavyweights, who meet Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York at Bellator’s second pay-per-view event, got face to face Friday night at the ceremonial weigh-ins, which took place at The Theater at MSG.

After Sonnen stepped on the same scale used by Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali at “The Fight of the Century” in 1971 at The Garden, security personnel made sure things stayed on as much of an even keel as possible when Silva took the stage. Sonnen extended his arm to shake Silva’s hand, but the Brazilian wanted none of it and waved his finger at the American.

Also stepping onto the stage for the fans were co-main event heavyweights Fedor Emelianenko and Matt Mitrione. Bellator NYC also features a trio of title fights. Michael Chandler defends his lightweight title against Brent Primus on the main card. Welterweight champ Douglas Lima meets Lorenz Larkin with his belt on the line. And to close out the Bellator 180 portion of the event on Spike, light heavyweight champ Phil Davis meets Ryan Bader in a rematch.

Check out the highlights from those face-offs, as well as the face-offs between Alice Yauger and Heather Hardy and Chinzo Machida and James Gallagher, in the video above.

And for more on Bellator NYC and Bellator 180, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

For Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva, a clash of rivals is also one of peers – like it or not

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At least Wanderlei Silva understood. Standing there with Chael Sonnen at Thursday’s Bellator NYC press conference, he knew we needed something. He sensed it, maybe. Or he only knows one way to be, and he just couldn’t help himself.

So with Bellator President Scott Coker standing in between them, Silva (35-12-1 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) reached over with one hand to give Sonnen (28-15-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) a little shove. Nothing much. A subtle attention-getter, really. A little poke to the Dip Your Car logo to remind us what the sales pitch is here.

Oh yeah, these two don’t like each other. And now they’re going to fight. Finally.

So what if it’s about three years past the first proposed meeting? And so what if it’s been four years since Silva has had a fight and nearly as long since Sonnen has won one? Grudge matches have a way of extending their expiration dates, as long as the grudge itself is strong enough, and thank goodness for that, since where would Bellator be without it?

This is a pay-per-view headlined by two fighters with 80 years of life and nearly 100 professional MMA fights between them. It’s not a fight that’s for anything in the traditional combat sports sense, but you almost get the sense they’d both hate to lose it even more than they’d like to win it.

For Sonnen, this fight fits easily into the persona he’s built for himself in the latter half of his career. His one-man war against the nation of Brazil started with Anderson Silva and spread to the Nogueira brothers before eventually clashing with Silva. You might say Sonnen has a sense of humor that Brazilian fighters just don’t get – or don’t appreciate, since so often they’re his favorite punchline.

Silva is a perfect counterpart for that routine, if only because of his tendency to treat every interaction as an intense battle for respect.

He’s not the same ferocious buzzsaw of a man that he was in his PRIDE heyday. He shows up now with a face that looks like it’s out on loan and sits there at press events breathing like a very old bulldog. But he bears just enough resemblance to the old “Axe Murderer” that he can almost convince you, especially when he’s shoving people around for the cameras, playing the role of the man so overflowing with violence that he can’t even wait another couple days for the proper time to unleash it.

And when that appointed hour comes, will we have learned anything? There’s bragging rights on the line, sure. Maybe there’s also the question of redemption – for both men.

Sonnen left the UFC in disgrace after the drug test failures piled up too high for him to talk his way around them, then he resurfaced in Bellator with a quick loss to Tito Ortiz. Silva’s last fight was a win over current UFC commentator and former UFC fighter Brian Stann, a man who’s been retired so long he’s built an entirely new career for himself in the time that Silva had to wait just to return to his old one.

For a while it seemed like Silva’s legacy might be the drug test he ran from in Las Vegas, and the lifetime ban the commission there unfairly heaved at him. He fought back against the punishment and won, in a way, but it didn’t exactly leave his reputation in the best of shape.

That’s one thing these two have in common. Another is that they share the fate of all fighters smart enough to develop a persona and a following, yet too stubborn to walk away while it’s still working the way it should.

What happens eventually, if you’re not careful, is that you drift into the realm of self-parody. You become the aging rock band, touring the county fairs and playing your greatest hits. It’s not the worst thing that can happen – there’s still a paycheck in it at the end of the day – but there’s also something sad about it.

To look across the cage and see that same sadness hovering over the man who is both your rival and your peer, that must be a strange feeling. But then that’s where the fighting comes in. Because if you can beat that other guy, at least it means you’re not him.

Not yet, anyway.

For more on Bellator NYC and Bellator 180, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Conor McGregor’s Coach Expects Him to Fight in the UFC Late This Year

Conor McGregor last fought inside the Octagon in November of 2016, defeating Eddie Alvarez to capture the UFC’s 155-pound title. He took time off to adjust to fatherhood and a blockbuster boxing bout against Floyd Mayweather Jr. materialized. He’ll take on the unbeaten boxer in August, but his coach, John Kavanagh, expects McGregor to back in the cage this year.

“Many of the questions I’ve been receiving over the past week have focused on when Conor will fight in the UFC again. My expectation is that it will happen this year, although it’s always difficult to predict what Conor is going to do next,” wrote Kavanagh in an article for The 42.

The only hiccup could be if McGregor goes out and stuns the world by knocking out Mayweather. That could lead to talks of a rematch and delay his return to mixed martial arts.

“If he goes in there and knocks out Mayweather in the first round, there will probably be talk of rematches and stuff like that. But the tentative plan, as I see it, is certainly for a fight in the UFC in December. But in the meantime we’re completely focused on boxing and Floyd Mayweather,” he wrote.

TRENDING > Dana White Thinks Mayweather vs. McGregor Will Do Over 5 Million PPV Buys

McGregor has not defended his UFC lightweight title. The fight promotion put together an interim lightweight title fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson for UFC 209, but the fight fell through prior to the weigh-in after Nurmagomedov was hospitalized due to weight cutting issues.

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