MMA's week out of the cage: Mourning Hugh Hefner, Benson's new arrival, more

Social media has become a significant part of the sporting landscape. But few, if any, professional sports match the level of interaction and personal access provided by MMA.

In an individual competition in which nearly every athlete is chasing the same goal of financial success and championship glory, it’s important for fighters to provide insight into their lives in order to connect with fans and gain followings.

Although the life of a fighter often can be mundane and repetitive, there still are moments of interest that take place outside the cage, ring or training room. Here are some of the most interesting of those occurrences from the past week.

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RIP Hef

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Weekly eats

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

UFC Matchmakers Break Down the UFC 216 Marquee Match-ups

(Courtesy of UFC)

The UFC’s matchmakers – Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard – alongside commentator Jon Anik, break down the most intriguing match-ups for UFC 216, which takes place on Saturday, Oct. 7, in Las Vegas.

TRENDING > Tony Ferguson: Conor McGregor Needs to Defend or Vacate (Video)

Tony Ferguson squares off with Kevin Lee in the night’s main event, as the two vie for the interim UFC lightweight championship. In addition to that bout, flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson puts his belt on the line for the eleventh time when he meets Ray Borg in the co-main event. If Johnson wins, he separates himself from Anderson Silva and takes sole possession of the UFC record for most career title defenses.

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Source: MMA Weekly

Watch Jonno Mears channel WWE's Chris Jericho with a Boston Crab; what's next, a Camel Clutch?

There are a few rare submissions in the MMA world. Today brought another one for the list.

Earlier this month, we saw Ovince Saint Preux get his third Von Flue choke finish in the UFC, and we gushed over how he had three of the five all time in UFC history. But what would you say to a Boston Crab?

You know the Boston Crab. It’s the old-school pro wrestling move that has the victim, for lack of a better term, tapping when his legs and back are being bent toward his head while he lies face down on the canvas, with the eventual winner pulling on his legs from a standing position, torquing back.

WWE superstar Chris Jericho uses a modified elevated version of the hold as his signature finish, “The Walls of Jericho.”

Today in Manchester, England, at Full Contact Contender 19, Jonno Mears forced Aaron Jones to tap to the seldom, if ever, seen-in-MMA hold. And he stuck his tongue out while doing it, 90 seconds into the first round.

So how long before that one makes its way across the pond to a Stateside MMA event? Think we’ll see one in a UFC show any time soon?

For more on MMA’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: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC 216 preview: A closer look at Demetrious Johnson's career statistics

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

UFC flyweight champion and pound-for-pound great Demetrious Johnson returns to the octagon in search of history next Saturday in the co-main event of UFC 216, which takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Johnson (26-2-1 MMA, 14-1-1 UFC) has openly discussed his desire to break all the standing UFC records, mainly the all-time title-defense record. He has the chance take sole possession of the record of 11 when he takes on Ray Borg (11-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) in Oct. 7 pay-per-view title fight, which follows prelims on FX and UFC Fight Pass.

With arguably the most significant fight in Johnson’s career just around the corner, there’s no better time to take a closer look at everything he’s achieved to date and what records are in store if his success continues beyond UFC 216.

General statistics

Demetrious Johnson

Johnson currently is ranked No. 1 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA flyweight rankings and No. 2 in the pound-for-pound rankings, as well.

He will compete in his 14th UFC flyweight bout, the most appearances in divisional history.

His current 12-fight UFC winning streak is the longest active streak in the flyweight division and the longest streak of consecutive victories in the history of the weight class.

His 12-fight UFC winning streak is tied with Georges St-Pierre for the longest of any fighter on the active roster.

His current winning streak is tied with St-Pierre for the third longest in UFC history behind Anderson Silva (16) and Jon Jones (13).

He’s one of six fighters in UFC history to earn a 10-fight winning streak. Silva, St-Pierre, Jones, Royce Gracie and Max Holloway also accomplished the feat.

His 12 victories in UFC flyweight competition are the most in divisional history.

His six stoppage victories in UFC flyweight competition are the most in divisional history.

His four submission victories in UFC flyweight competition are most in divisional history.

His seven fight-night bonuses for UFC flyweight bouts are the most in divisional history.

Championship statistics

Demetrious Johnson

His title reign of 1,841 days (as of Saturday) is fourth longest in UFC history behind Silva (2,457), St-Pierre (2,064) and Jose Aldo (1,848).

His 10 consecutive UFC title defenses are most among current titleholders.

His 10 consecutive UFC title defenses are tied with Silva for the longest defense streak in company history.

His 11 victories in UFC title fights are tied with Silva for second most in company history behind St-Pierre (12).

His six stoppage victories in UFC title fights are tied with Ronda Rousey for third most in company history behind Silva (nine) and Matt Hughes (eight).

He’s the only fighter in UFC history to earn a kimura victory in a title fight. He accomplished the feat against Chris Cariaso at UFC 178.

In-fight statistics

Demetrious Johnson

He’s never been knocked out or submitted in MMA competition.

His average fight time of 17:46 in UFC flyweight competition is the longest in divisional history.

His 1,385 total strikes landed in UFC flyweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Johnson’s 338 significant clinch strikes are most in UFC history.

He lands 55.8 percent of his significant strike attempts in UFC flyweight competition, the second highest rate in divisional history behind Justin Scoggins (56 percent).

He defends 69 percent of all opponent significant strike attempts in UFC flyweight competition, the highest rate in divisional history.

His 49 takedowns landed in UFC flyweight competition are most in divisional history.

His 65 takedowns landed overall in UFC competition are tied for fourth most in company history behind St-Pierre (87), Gleison Tibau (84) and Frankie Edgar (67).

He’s the only fighter in UFC history to record 10 or more takedowns in three separate bouts.

His submission of Kyoji Horiguchi at the 4:59 mark of Round 5 at UFC 186 stands as the latest stoppage in a UFC fight.

He is one of two fighters in UFC history to earn two fifth-round stoppage victories. T.J. Dillashaw also accomplished the feat.

For more on UFC 216, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Tony Ferguson takes all business to another level ahead of UFC 216 title fight vs. Kevin Lee

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Tony Ferguson just wrapped up several grueling weeks of training camp at elevation in Big Bear, Calif., when he was dragged to an upscale Los Angeles restaurant this week for a media lunch to promote UFC 216.

Sporting a black ball cap, black hoodie over his head and sunglasses, Ferguson resembles a poker player who’s all business. That’s because, with his interim lightweight title fight against Kevin Lee just around the corner, Ferguson is just that – all business.

He’s not interested in being fake or sugar-coating his thoughts. And he’s in no mood to eat the “bougie-ass food” being served on this day.

“I’m a Neanderthal, man. I just came down from the mountain,” Ferguson says. “Last thing I want to f*cking do is engulf myself in some bougie-ass shit, because I know it’s going to make me weak. I’m not here to play this game. I’m not here for you guys in the media. I’m here for one f*cking reason. It’s to remind you b*tches that this is my f*cking show. This is my time. I didn’t talk my way here. I earned my way here.”

Moments later, Ferguson and Fabricio Werdum have an ugly confrontation that nearly gets out of hand. Afterward, it’s a few verbal cheap shots about Werdum before Ferguson is back to talking business.

“It doesn’t matter who steps in front of me,” Ferguson says. “I don’t look past them, I look through them. Even with my glasses on I can see through these fake-ass b*tches.”

There’s no arguing Ferguson (22-3 MMA, 12-1 UFC) has earned this title shot. Including his 2011 win in “The Ultimate Fighter 13” final, he’s lost just once and finds himself on a nine-fight winning streak as he prepares for Lee (16-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC).

It’s that preparation that Ferguson is proud of and hammers home when he answers questions.

“I’m not bougie one f*cking bit,” Ferguson said. “This whole entire trip, all I did was kick steel poles, beat the shit out of myself and really push myself to the limit.”

“What I did up there in Big Bear mountain was incredible,” he added. “The reason I’m so hard-nosed is because the shit I did.”

Ferguson and Lee will fight in a pay-per-view headliner for an interim belt next Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, and they’ll do so with no guarantee of a unification bout with champion Conor McGregor, who seems more interested in a third Nate Diaz fight.

“Pieces of shit” is what Ferguson has to say about both fighters and the idea of a trilogy. Still, he doesn’t care what happens and remains focused on one thing only – taking care of business against Lee.

Ferguson, 33, is complimentary of the 25-year-old rising star. But don’t get it twisted. He intends on putting Lee in his place.

“Kevin Lee has got more heart than half these dudes in the top five. And that’s what I think about it. And since he’s got more heart, we’re going to go in there and give you guy a f*cking show. …

“He’s a very well rounded fighter. He’s an athlete. … (But) I know how to beat this kid. He’s mentally weak, like half the roster in the UFC.”

For more on UFC 216, visit the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

Matt Brown Addresses Retirement, Diego Sanchez, and What Comes Next

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Former podcast co-host Matt Brown returns to his old stomping grounds to join the Fight Society podcast this week to discuss his recent announcement about retiring from the sport after facing Diego Sanchez in November.

Brown also addresses if there’s a chance he may return to the Octagon and what he plans on doing after fighting is finished.

TRENDING > Lauren Murphy Blasts Eddie Alvarez for Comments Made on ‘The Ultimate Fighter’

Brown will meet Sanchez at UFC Fight Night 120 on Nov. 11 in Virginia in what is expected to be the final fight of his career.

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Source: MMA Weekly

UFC veteran Kyle Noke has 'that fire again,' announces return from retirement

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Filed under: News, UFC

Many MMA retirements don’t last long. Veteran welterweight Kyle Noke’s is the latest, and he’s ended his just 10 months after announcing he was done with the sport.

Following a three-fight losing skid that was capped off by a unanimous-decision loss to Omari Akhmedov at UFC Fight Night 101 in November 2016, Noke (22-10-1 MMA, 6-6 UFC) announced he was hanging up his gloves after 14 years and 33 professional bouts.

The 37-year-old, a former security guard for the late “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin, hasn’t won a fight since a first-round TKO victory over Peter Sobotta at UFC 193 in November 2015, and while the stretch of losses that followed could be chalked up to declining performance, Noke said it came down to his effort in preparation.

The time off has apparently brought back Noke’s hunger and determination, and the Australian recently announced he’s ready to resume his fighting career (via Instagram):

Instagram Photo

My last few fights I lost that fire, I was just in there because I didn’t know anything else…… now that I’ve had time to rest and heal, time away from the grueling training sessions and constant grind, I miss it now more than ever. I will fight again. I have that fire 🔥 again.

Noke didn’t reveal if his comeback will take place under the UFC banner. He’s been part of the organization since a stint on Season 11 of “The Ultimate Fighter” in 2010, but his current contract status – and whether the UFC wants to keep him around given his recent record – remain unknown.

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

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UFC Fight Night 123 Fresno Fight Card

UFC Fight Night 123
Date: December 9 22, 2017
Venue: Save Mart Center
Location: Fresno, CA

 

UFC Fight Night 123 News

UFC Fight Night 123 Videos

 

UFC Fight Night 123 Fight Card

  • Liz Carmouche (11-5) vs. Alexis Davis (18-7)
  • Scott Holtzman (10-2) vs. Darrell Horcher (13-2)
  • Eryk Anders (9-0) vs. John Phillips (21-6-0, 1NC)
  • Antônio Braga Neto (9-2, 1NC) vs. Trevin Giles (10-0)
  • Alex Perez (18-4) vs. Carls John de Tomas (8-1)

 

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Source: MMA Weekly

UFC Fight Night 117 Fresno Fight Card

UFC Fight Night 123
Date: December 9 22, 2017
Venue: Save Mart Center
Location: Fresno, CA

 

UFC Fight Night 123 News

UFC Fight Night 123 Videos

 

UFC Fight Night 123 Fight Card

  • Liz Carmouche (11-5) vs. Alexis Davis (18-7)
  • Scott Holtzman (10-2) vs. Darrell Horcher (13-2)
  • Eryk Anders (9-0) vs. John Phillips (21-6-0, 1NC)
  • Antônio Braga Neto (9-2, 1NC) vs. Trevin Giles (10-0)
  • Alex Perez (18-4) vs. Carls John de Tomas (8-1)

 

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Source: MMA Weekly

Fabricio Werdum faces 'zero, zero pressure,' will try to finish Derrick Lewis on mat at UFC 216

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum knows Derrick Lewis can’t match him on the mat. So he plans to take the fight there when they meet at UFC 216.

“I think, I hope, I finish Derrick Lewis,” Werdum said during a media luncheon this week in support of his Oct. 7 pay-per-view fight with Lewis at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. “I want to try to finish him on the ground.”

Werdum (21-7-1 MMA, 9-4 UFC), a decorated submission grappler and former ADCC champ, is no longer the one-sided threat of his early days. So he could stand and trade with Lewis (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC), a certified slugger who’s knocked out all but one of his UFC opponents. Still, it might be wiser to use jiu-jitsu.

Whatever path Werdum takes, he’s convinced it will be a more exciting fight than his previous one.

“I know it’s a good fight,” Werdum said. “It will be a good submission or a good knockout.”

Werdum’s previous fight, a rematch with onetime UFC title challenger Alistair Overeem, wasn’t much better than their first meeting six years prior. And it ended in a majority-decision loss.

But then again, Werdum thinks the fight was so indecisive that it didn’t count much against him.

“Normally when you lose, it’s like three steps down,” he said. “When you have one victory, it’s one step up. But this loss to Overeem, it’s a very small step down.”

Because he didn’t suffer a blowout, Werdum can come into the fight against Lewis without being scared of the possible result.

“I have zero, zero pressure for this fight,” Werdum said. “I lost my last fight by decision. The fans said I won the fight; I believe it, too.”

Provided he doesn’t wind up on the end of a highlight-reel knockout or a bum decision, Werdum expects it won’t be long before he’s back to the top of the heavyweight division.

“I think the next one is a title shot,” Werdum said. “I hope I get a very nice submission, and I go directly to a title shot, because Stipe Miocic hasn’t fought for a very long time, and it’s not good for the heavyweight division.”

For more on UFC 216, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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