Rory MacDonald's all-caps Reddit AMA included a Robbie Lawler PED accusation

Dann StuppFormer UFC welterweight title challenger and current Bellator contender Rory MacDonald didn’t hold back during today’s Reddit AMA.

MacDonald (19-4 MMA, 1-0 BMMA), who recently made a successful Bellator debut with a submission victory over vet Paul Daley in May, answered a number of questions from fans as part of the social-media site’s “ask me anything” event.

However, one answer stuck out – one that involved former champion Robbie Lawler, who scored a come-from-behind TKO victory over MacDonald in a legendary bout that was named MMAjunkie’s 2015 “Fight of the Year.”

During today’s Reddit AMA, user “cczzrr” asked Macdonald if Lawler “was on peds when you fought.”

His answer (which came in all caps, like all of his other answers) was succinct: “IM CONVINCED HE WAS.”

The July 2015 bout took place just weeks after the UFC launched its drug-testing program with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). According to the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which also tested UFC 189 fighters, all of the tests – including Lawler’s – came back clean.

MacDonald, though, seems convinced otherwise, though he didn’t go into details or elaborate during the AMA.

The 28-year-old Canadian also weighed in a number of other topics, including:

What he did for the first few weeks after the UFC 189 fight with Lawler:

“FIRST 3 DAYS I LAYED IN BED. AFTER THAT I PARTIED AND DID WHATEVER I WANTED EVERYDAY AND NIGHT FOR THE REST OF SUMMER”

Thought on Jon Jones’ latest failed drug test:

“SHAMEFUL, LIKE EVERY OTHER GUY THAT DOES THIS CRAP AND HIDES IT, YET GLOATS DURING VICTORY”

Best/worst walkout song:

“MC HAMMER CANT TOUCH THIS WAS THE WORST”

“THAT ONE (TOOl’s ‘Forty Six & 2’) WAS THE BEST FORSURE”

Reaction to speculation that some especially tough fights may mean a shortened career:

“I FEEL BETTER THEN EVER TBH, NOT REALLY WORRIED ABOUT WHAT PPL MAY BELIEVE, I CAN ONLY TRUST HOW IM GENUINELY FEELING. I FORSEE MANY MORE YEARS COMPETING AT THE TOP RANKS OF THE SPORT”

On watching the recent fight between UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley and Demian Maia, knowing he’s got past wins over both of them:

“NOT REALLY, I KNOW I WILL HAVE THE CHANCE TO SHOW I AM THE BEST WITHOUT A DOUBT AT SOME POINT IN MY CAREER”

Thoughts on Woodley:

“I THINK TYRON IS A VERY STRONG COMPETITOR, VERY STRATEGIC, ATHLETIC BUT I AM AWARE OF HIS WEAKNESSES ALSO”

If he rematched Woodley:

“I WOULD SUBMIT OR TKO HIM”

What if “some billionaire offered you $800k to walk up to Brock Lesnar and give him a ‘Stockton Slap,’” would he do it?:

“YES”

If not MMA, what would he have done for a career?

“PROLLY LIVE IN THE WOODS AND DO RANDOM SHIT”

Potential next fights?

“I BELIEVE IF MY NEXT FIGHT IS FOR THE TITLE I WILL BEAT (CHAMP DOUGLAS) LIMA THEN FIGHT THE WINNER OF (GEGARD) MOUSASI VS (RAFAEL) CARVALHO.”

Why Bellator?

“THE MONEY WAS THE BIGGEST FACTOR FOR ME AT THIS POINT OF MY CAREER”

Hobbies?

“I LIKE SPENDING TIME WITH MY DAUGHTER, I LIKE THINKING ABOUT GOD AND THE BIBLE, INVESTMENTS, BITCOIN.

“I WOULD TELL MYSELF TO KEEP IT SIMPLE AND TRUST IN YOUR STRENGTHS.

“HEADBUTTS, KNEES AND KICKS TO HEAD ON THE GROUND.”

What it would take to fight Cris Cyborg:

“1 MILL”

On whether UFC flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson is MMA’s pound-for-pound fighter:

“HONESTLY I THINK I AM”

On whether he broke “your caps lock on your keyboard” during the AMA:

“YES”

For more on the Bellator’s upcoming schedule, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

Filed under: Bellator, Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator Veteran Sergio Da Silva Arrested After Alleged Involvement in Bank Robbery

Bellator veteran Sergio Da Silva has been arrested in connection with a bank robbery that took place in New York just a few days ago.

According to a report from TMZ, Da Silva was arrested after allegedly bursting into a Citibank in Queens, NY on Aug. 24 and making off with a stack of cash. The report states the money stolen was around $50,000.

The criminal in question wore a ski mask and jumped over a glass counter at the bank, claiming to have a gun and threatening to shoot people while robbing the bank.

The report states that the police identified Da Silva by his fingerprints left at the scene before he was arrested on Thursday. The Bellator veteran reportedly lives on the same street where the bank robbery took place.

Da Silva was taken into custody but there’s been no further word from police.

Da Silva most recently competed inside the Bellator MMA cage when he fought at the pay-per-view card in June headlined by Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva. Da Silva made an infamous name for himself ahead of the card as he desperately attempted to make weight despite coming in well over the 130-pound limit for his bout against Matt Rizzo.

The trickery didn’t work and Da Silva ultimately lost the contest by third round arm triangle choke.

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Source: MMA Weekly

UFC champ Demetrious Johnson: Mayweather-McGregor hoopla can't take away from my history

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

The UFC  lately was so focused on promoting “The Money Fight” between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor as the fight drew near, you could be forgiven if it slipped your mind that flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson is on the verge of making significant history next weekend.

The UFC 215 headliner between Johnson and Ray Borg was announced on July 20. In case you’d been living under a rock, you know that was right in the middle of the madness that was Mayweather-McGregor, which was coming off a much-ballyhooed world tour.

Since then, the UFC hasn’t done much to hype Johnson’s impending history with a potential 11th consecutive title defense to surpass Anderson Silva. At least that’s how it feels coming off the Mayweather-McGregor hoopla that dominated the news cycle for the past two months.

Johnson, for what it’s worth, doesn’t seem to have much of a problem that his shot at history isn’t necessarily being played up the way it could – or should.

“At the end of the day it’s still going to be a historic night for me whether I win or lose. I plan on winning,” Johnson said on a conference call Thursday with reporters. “So, with that being said, I’m not going to let McGregor or Mayweather or their 6.5 million pay-per-view buys water down my thing. Or the UFC advertising UFC 216 instead of UFC 215 and (advertising) the May-Mac pay-per-views. That just shows you where their mind is at right now when it comes to promoting.

That’s a question you have to ask Dana White. For me, I’m focused to go out there and do what I do best.”

UFC 215 takes place Sept. 9 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

In Borg (11-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC), Johnson (26-2-1 MMA, 14-1-1 UFC) faces an opponent not lacking confidence. Borg, the No. 5 fighter in the current USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA flyweight rankings, feels he has a lot going for him in terms of youth, preparation and standing out from Johnson’s previous competition.

“I’m going to be a lot younger,” Borg said. “I’m going to be a lot healthier, and I plan on using that to my advantage. …

“We stepped it up just to make sure that five rounds is going to be as easy as three rounds is. I’m not (Henry) Cejudo, I’m not Wilson (Reis). I’m not just a jiu-jitsu player. Wilson is just a jiu-jitsu player. Cejudo is just a wrestler. I’ve been training strictly MMA my whole life, so I can combine the wrestling and the jiu-jitsu and the boxing. … None of those guys were me.”

Borg’s confidence is so high, in fact, that he told MMAjunkie last week he would retire Johnson, a statement the champ simply laughs off.

“He ain’t retiring shit,” Johnson said. “I’m just getting started. I’m 31 years old. I’m feeling better than ever. Training is going easy, and I’ve already fought the hardest hitters and most athletic guys in the division. He’s a tough competitor, and we’ll see where his mouth is after fight night.”

For more on UFC 215, visit the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

Triple H Ready to Offer Ronda Rousey an Opportunity in WWE Right Now

If Ronda Rousey wants to transition from mixed martial arts to professional wrestling, she’s got a standing offer on the table from the biggest promotion in the world.

After making an appearance at WWE WrestleMania a few years ago, Rousey has teased the possibility that she might make a return to the sports entertainment industry at some point in the future.

Now Paul Levesque — better known by his stage name ‘Triple H’ — who is the executive vice president of talent at WWE says that he’s ready to give Rousey her chance in the WWE right away.

“Ronda has been a huge fan of WWE her whole life, she’s been very adamant about that. She’s done stuff with us before. She’s a huge fan. It’s something that I think she’s definitely interested in and I’ll throw it out right now, if she’s interested, I’ll give her the opportunity,” Levesque told ESPN on Thursday.

“We’re all about personalities, that’s what she brings to the table. I think she’s shown it in UFC, she’s shown it in Hollywood. She’s shown it everywhere. Her personality will drive fan interest.”

While Rousey has made no formal announcement, UFC president Dana White has stated numerous times that he believes the former women’s bantamweight champion will retire from MMA following her loss to Amanda Nunes this past December.

Over the weekend, Rousey wed UFC heavyweight Travis Browne in a private ceremony so her mind is definitely on other things right now but it will be interesting to see how she responds to the offer from WWE.

One of Rousey’s best friends and fellow UFC veteran Shayna Baszler is currently competing on WWE programming as part of the “Mae Young Classic” involving 32 women’s wrestlers from around the world.

Whether or not Rousey joins her in the WWE is unknown but there is definitely an offer on the table to make it happen.

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Source: MMA Weekly

'UFC on the Fly': Behind the scenes with hard-working Leon Edwards before UFC Rotterdam

Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

England’s Leon Edwards took the UFC by storm two and a half years ago when he knocked out Seth Baczynski in eight seconds in Poland.

That victory was his first in the UFC and started his current 5-1 run at welterweight, including three in a row. Edwards (13-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC) returns on Saturday to open up the main card at UFC Fight Night 115 against Bryan Barberena (13-4 MMA, 4-2 UFC).

UFC Fight Night 115 takes place at Ahoy Rotterdam in the Netherlands. The entire event streams on UFC Fight Pass. And Edwards has enjoyed fighting in Rotterdam before – he took a decision from Dominic Waters there in May 2016 to start his current three-fight run.

The latest edition of “UFC on the Fly” catches up Edwards ahead of his fight against Barberena, in which he’s a 3-1 favorite. Check out the full video above.

For more on UFC Fight Night 115, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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CSAC executive director: UFC champ Jon Jones situation 'doesn't make any sense'

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If you’re baffled by the details of Jon Jones’ most recent drug-test failure, you’re not alone.

In the week since news broke that the UFC light heavyweight champion tested positive for turinabol in an in-competition test conducted the day before his third-round knockout victory over Daniel Cormier at UFC 214, the Internet has been flooded with theories to explain it.

A Jackson-Wink MMA coach alleged a “setup” in the immediate aftermath. Jones’ agent, Malki Kawa, has said a supplement is likely to blame. Several others have hypothesized that he might have meant to take one performance-enhancing substance, perhaps something short-acting for the purposes of increasing aggression, only to receive a different substance by mistake.

Still, none of those explanations fully explain why, after reportedly passing two different drug tests on July 6 and 7, Jones (23-1 MMA, 17-1 UFC) would fail one on July 28. Why would he begin using a new substance so close to the fight? And if he was looking for a fast-acting pre-fight boost, why would he take it prior to the day of the fight itself, and on a day when he knew he would be tested?

It’s not just perplexed fans and Internet analysts asking this question. You can include California State Athletic Commission Executive Director Andy Foster among the confused.

“This entire situation doesn’t make any sense to me,” Foster told MMAjunkie. “It just doesn’t.”

One explanation that’s been put forth is that turinabol, the substance Jones tested positive for, wasn’t included in earlier USADA tests, which would explain why it didn’t show up until the test conducted following pre-fight weigh-ins.

“No, that’s not true,” Foster said. “If you’re doing a steroid panel, then this drug is going to show up every time. The fact that it didn’t show up on (July 6 and 7) when he was tested before, that’s an indication that he was not on that drug at that time.”

(USADA officials did not return a request for comment.)

As for other possible explanations, Foster stressed that Jones is entitled to due process, which includes the careful testing of his “B” sample. If that comes back positive for the same substance, however, the potential options begin to narrow drastically.

“At that point, one of two things is probably going on here: He’s either extremely careless, or he’s a cheater,” Foster said. “I know he’s already been extremely careless once in his career … but none of this makes any sense. That’s why I think it’s very important that we vet this and look at all the available evidence before we jump to conclusions and hang this guy out to dry.”

According to Foster, the CSAC has five different attorneys already working on this case. A positive test of the “B” sample would trigger a suspension, but in order to get a hearing, Jones would need to appeal. Foster said he expects that appeal to be heard in a hearing likely to be held on Oct. 17 in Los Angeles.

As for potential punishments Jones, who’s No. 1 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA pound-for-pound rankings, might face for his second failed test in a little over a year, it’s possible that USADA could suspend him for up to four years. That doesn’t include the penalty that the CSAC might decide on, which Foster cautioned would be more immediately meaningful, since it affects Jones’ license and not just his standing under the UFC’s anti-doping program, which is specific to his status as a UFC-contracted fighter.

“We’d actually be suspending him in the association database, which would affect his license and his ability to get a license somewhere else,” Foster said. “It’ll hurt him with (USADA) because he’s under a UFC contract, but I would be surprised if USADA did more than the commission on this.”

As for what will happen to the UFC light heavyweight title if Jones’ test result is upheld and the bout is declared a no-contest, that’s “entirely up to the UFC,” Foster said.

As for how all the theories match with the reality of the story told by the tests, that has yet to be determined. But one thing’s for certain, according to Foster, and it’s that the California commission is devoting significant resources to answering these questions.

“We’ve got to figure this out because this is just crazy,” Foster said. “We’re going to get to the bottom of it.”

For complete coverage of UFC 214, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

Live audio: UFC 215 media call with Johnson-Borg, Nunes-Shevchenko at 5 p.m. ET

Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

You can listen to a live stream of today’s UFC 215 media call with the headliners and co-headliners here on MMAjunkie beginning at 5 p.m. ET (2 p.m. PT).

The call features flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson (26-2-1 MMA, 14-1-1 UFC) and fellow headliner, Ray Borg (11-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC). Also on the call is women’s bantamweight titleholder Amanda Nunes (14-4 MMA, 7-1 UFC), who rematches Valentina Shevchenko in the co-main event.

UFC 215 takes place Sept. 9 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and the main card airs on pay-per-view following four prelims on FS1 and three on UFC Fight Pass.

For more on UFC 215, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Twitter Mailbag: Is Jon Jones now the biggest screw-up in MMA history?

Who’s the biggest screw-up in MMA history? Who was really being represented when an MMA fighter took on a boxer? And now that the circus is over, what actual MMA fight are we most looking forward to in the month ahead?

All that and more in this week’s Twitter Mailbag. To ask a question of your own, tweet to @BenFowlkesMMA.

* * * *

First of all, let’s examine what we mean by “(expletive) up,” and what it would really take to claim the top spot in a sport that has produced multiple felons, some of whom will likely spend the rest of their lives in prison.

Does committing horrible crimes against others make you a (expletive) up? Because if so, War Machine is definitely a frontrunner for the all-time title. Are we looking at the sheer scale of your (expletive) up? Because if that’s the case, how about Lee Murray being the alleged mastermind behind the biggest cash heist in history? Are we going for sheer dirtbag points? Then you have to at least mention former UFC heavyweight champ and vet Ricco Rodriguez and his “Celebrity Rehab” story about dragging what he thought was his girlfriend’s dead body into the driver’s seat of a car he wrecked, all to avoid punishment.

But I suspect that what Joe Rogan was talking about was the fighter who had done the most to squander immense talent with unforced errors outside the cage. And since Jon Jones has arguably the most talent to begin with, and since he may have just ruled himself ineligible for up to four years, yeah, it’s hard to argue with Rogan’s characterization.

As far as who comes in second by that metric, I’m tempted to say it’s Drew Fickett, whose list of (expletive) ups is pretty extensive. Everyone who ever trained with or fought him talks about him like his raw talent was almost limitless, but he did his best to sabotage almost every big opportunity he ever got. He went to jail instead of going on “The Ultimate Fighter.” He showed up to fight drunk. He got himself kicked out of the UFC on a win.

Did he have as much talent to squander as Jones does? Maybe not. But the thing that gets him on this list is that we never really got a chance to find out.

A little bit of all three, but in different amounts. The main entity that Conor McGregor represented in the ring this past Saturday night was himself. It was his personal brand on the line more than any other, and he represented it surprisingly well, considering the circumstances and the expectations.

He lost, but didn’t get embarrassed. He took it well and showed off the charisma that’s helped make him a star. If you showed up to watch this without any idea who he was or why he was famous, you probably went away feeling like you understood the appeal, at least a little.

But whether or not he wanted to, he was also representing the sport and the UFC. If he’d proven to be a feeble boxer, plenty of people would have used that to disparage the striking skills of all MMA fighters. If he’d gone and got himself disqualified with too many hammerfists to the back of the head, stories the next day would have focused on what thugs these UFC fighters were.

Instead, McGregor managed to put up a decent fight in someone else’s world. And it’s not like there are too many top boxers aching to try the same thing in reverse right now.

“Intriguing” is a very nice way of putting it. One week after a boxing mega fight that may or may not have shattered pay-per-view records, the UFC returns with Stefan Struve vs. Alexander Volkov in a fight that features nearly 14 combined feet of humanity competing for unclear stakes.

Is this a contender fight? Not really. Is it the setup to a contender fight? Maybe, if some of the guys higher up the list aren’t available. Will the current champ even care enough to fire up his UFC Fight Pass and watch it? Possibly, assuming he’s not fighting fires that day.

Basically the only reason it’s a main event is because the event is in Rotterdam and Struve is a local. Beyond that, and the sheer tonnage of humanity that will occupy the same cage at the same time, I can’t say there’s anything special going on here.

You’re joking, but you’re also not wrong. Right about the time I saw a boxer make his entrance while cosplaying as Grimace, I was reminded of all the weirdness that’s possible when you’re not hemmed in by Reebok fight kits. It made me miss the old days when Akihiro Gono could dress his cornermen up in evening gowns and Rich Franklin could show up looking like a damn ice cream cone.

Plus, I think we can agree that McGregor’s decision to have his cornermen all look like old-timey barbers ready to whip out the hot towels and straight razors was undeniably awesome. How are they supposed to go back to the Reebok jumpsuits after that? How are any of us?

Honestly? You probably could have convinced me that Clay Guida and Joe Lauzon did fight each other five years ago.

For all we know, it might be Joanna Jedrzejczyk herself who moves up and takes that women’s 125-pound belt from the eventual “TUF 26” winner. The thing that makes it hard to predict the future of that division is the fact that it was created so long after the two on either side of it. You had women fighting up or down a weight class from where they might be best suited, all because it was the only way to get into the UFC. Now this door is being opened, and it’s tough to say who’ll walk through it.

If I had to pick an early favorite, however, it’d probably be Barb Honchak, who held the 125-pound title in Invicta FC until an extended absence. If she can come back as good as she left, she’ll be tough to beat.

There are definitely more meaningful fights on the schedule, but man, Mike Perry vs. Thiago Alves at UFC Fight Night 116 has violence written all over it. Should be a fitting appetizer for the UFC debut of Gokhan Saki the following weekend.

It’s still too early to make too many sweeping assessments of WME-IMG’s purchase and whether it got in at the right time or price. Remember, it’s only been a little over a year since the sale. So far, we can’t say we’ve seen too many changes instituted by WME, apart from all the layoffs and the elimination of those cushy do-nothing jobs for retired star fighters.

The lack of pay-per-view draws ought to be somewhat concerning, but that well has a way of replenishing itself when given the right opportunity and environment. I’d be more worried about the potential legal and regulatory issues on the horizon. The UFC is only a few key lawsuits and/or legislative changes away from having its whole business model upended. Then there’s no telling what comes next.

I’m still unclear on what it would mean for McGregor to co-promote a UFC fight. Giving him equity in the company, sure, that’s simple enough, especially now that ownership shares are spread all over the place.

Putting his name on the canvas, as he did with the Mayweather fight? That seems like a play to his ego, especially because the company being promoted there – McGregor Sports and Entertainment – doesn’t actually appear to be doing anything else right now, at least as far as we can tell.

But playing to his ego, one way or another, is probably going to have to be part of the UFC’s attempt to lure him back. He needs to feel like he is taking a step forward rather than back, like he’s returning as a conqueror rather than just another wage-earner in the lesser-paying of the two major combat sports. And there’s only so much money the UFC can pay him and still turn a profit.

You’re preaching to the choir there, Molly. I guess it must be the same reason you can clinch and it’s an automatic sign that the ref needs to get involved. Compared to MMA, boxing is the sport that stops the fight right when it’s about to enter an interesting new phase. Let it give us an appreciation of what we have, even when it gets weird.

If I were going to pick the next MMA fighter to make a big, immediate splash in boxing, would I pick Jose Aldo – the guy known for his kicks and his somewhat flat personality? No, I can’t say that I would.

Ben Fowlkes is MMAjunkie and USA TODAY’s MMA columnist. Follow him on Twitter at @BenFowlkesMMA. Twitter Mailbag appears every Thursday on MMAjunkie.

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Filed under: News, UFC
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Could Nate Diaz Command $20-to-$30 Million Payday for Conor McGregor Trilogy?

Following Conor McGregor‘s loss to Floyd Mayweather in his professional boxing debut, he has frequently mentioned a Nate Diaz trilogy fight. Should the fight come to fruition, McGregor wants it in the lightweight class, where he currently holds UFC gold, but it would come at a price. 

Diaz and his brother Nick have made no bones about it in recent years, much like McGregor, they are hunting paychecks, not titles. So if McGregor vs. Diaz 3 takes place, Diaz is going to want to make some bank.

Just how much bank?

Nate Diaz“At least $20 million, $30 million,” Diaz’s boxing coach, Richard Perez, told Submission Radio. “UFC is making a whole lot of money, a whole lot of money, and they’re pocketing it. They’re giving more to McGregor, so it’s not fair because it takes two in that ring to draw a crowd. I mean, a good two fighters.

“It’s just like Mayweather when he fought Berto. It was not even sold out at all. It was embarrassing. It’s because (Berto) couldn’t draw a crowd. That’s what I’m saying, it’s the fighters that draw the crowd, and Nathan and McGregor, third one would be outstanding. Everyone knows that. So he needs to get paid at least $30 million, easy.”

Not only does Perez think that a third fight between McGregor and Diaz would sell, he feels that it would be a walk-off win for his fighter. 

Diaz submitted McGregor in the second round of their first fight, while McGregor took a controversial nod via majority decision in the rematch. Perez doesn’t see Diaz having the same issues in a third fight as he did in the second.

“If Nathan goes through training camp with no injuries, McGregor’s not gonna have a chance. I’ll tell you that right now. If you watch some of the fights, like when Nathan fought Cowboy Cerrone and some other guys, he was in tip-top shape. He wasn’t injured or anything. He went out there and did it. He boxed them,” Perez said. “And when he’s in tip-top shape, he can box. I mean, they think McGregor can box, Nathan can box.

“In the last two fights he fought (McGregor), the first time was 11-day notice, so it wasn’t enough time, but it was enough time to get a win. Second time, he got injured, so he had to lay back. So it put him back as far as being in shape and being accurate in timing,” he continued.

TRENDING > Conor McGregor Releases First Statement Following Fight with Floyd Mayweather

“So as far as McGregor coming out in the cage if he fights Nathan and Nathan gets in shape, it should be a good fight, a great fight, because Nathan can move and he’s got great footwork and he can throw a lot of combinations and make McGregor miss, counter off of it, use his reach.”

There are, of course, several UFC options on the table for McGregor when he steps back into the Octagon. UFC president Dana White has mentioned McGregor’s desire to fight undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov on his home turf in Russia. Top contenders Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee are poised to square off for the interim UFC lightweight title in October. And then there’s Nate Diaz. 

Once the dust settles from Mayweather vs. McGregor, we’ll likely see a quick turn toward what’s next for the UFC’s biggest star.

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Source: MMA Weekly

Bryan Barberena, 'The Prospect Killer'? UFC Fight Night 115 opponent Leon Edwards disagrees

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

ROTTERDAM – England’s Leon Edwards will enter the octagon at Ahoy Rotterdam on Saturday riding some solid momentum.

Edwards, who put his name on the map after an eight-second starching of Seth Baczynski in 2015, comes off a big win over touted prospect Vicente Luque to cap off a three-fight streak. At only 26, and looking more comfortable with each showing, he’s certainly one of England’s current best octagon bets.

In the opposite corner, however, stands a man who’s become pretty much known for his ability to stop hype trains dead on their tracks – as Warlley Alves and Sage Northcutt, both undefeated before their meetings with Bryan Barberena, can attest to.

Barberena’s first time entering a bout as a favorite was, in fact, his most recent one – which ended in a demolition of Joe Proctor. For his script-flipping skills, he started being regarded as the “The Prospect Killer.”

Still, his UFC Fight Night 115 opponent is not impressed.

“Skill-wise, he’s a pretty average fighter,” Edwards told MMAjunkie ahead of the main-card welterweight bout, which streams live on UFC Fight Pass from Rotterdam in the Netherlands. “I think he relies more on his toughness, and trying to outwear people. I think that’s it, really.

“As far as ‘Prospect Killer’ goes: Who has he beat, really? Sage? It wouldn’t be Sage (as a prospect), you know what I mean? Who did he kill? I don’t understand.”

Edwards (13-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC) clearly isn’t too intimidated by what Barberena (13-4 MMA, 4-2 UFC) presents. In fact, he’ll quite nonchalantly tell you he imagines himself getting the job done against “Bam Bam” either in the first or second rounds.

“I can see myself putting him away,” Edwards said.

That’s the immediate future, of course. A little further down the road, though, Edwards also has some ideas in mind. While he is riding an impressive streak, all of them took place in his native Europe. Now, Edwards thinks it’s time to expand his fanbase.

And, of course, climb the 170-pound ladder in the process.

“For next year, I’d like to travel out and fight in America, and get the American fans on board,” Edwards said. “I think the European fans, they recognize and they know what I’m about.

“So I think it’s time now, after this fight, to get someone at the top-10, top-15, and go to the U.S.A, (make) my mark there.”

To hear from Edwards, check out the video above.

And for more on UFC Fight Night 115, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie