UFC 218's Angela Magana talks bouncing back from Hurricane Maria, blood disease

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Filed under: News, UFC

DETROIT – UFC women’s strawweight Angela Magana has had a crazy journey on the way to her third UFC appearance.

When she fights Amanda Cooper at UFC 218, the veteran of “The Ultimate Fighter 20” will fight with a renewed vigor after getting treatment for a blood disease. But she’ll also carry her adopted home on her back, she said, after riding out Hurricane Maria, one of the worst natural disasters in history.

“She’s going to feel what I’ve been through with my fighting,” Magana (11-8 MMA, 0-2 UFC), who faces Cooper (2-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC) on the UFC Fight Pass-streamed opener of Saturday’s fight card at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, told MMAjunkie.

In September 2016, Magana asked her Twitter followers for suggestions on a vacation. It was 14 months after a blowout loss to Michelle Waterson that had many fans writing her off. She settled on Puerto Rico, thinking it was tropical and didn’t require a visa. She fell in love with the island and its boxing roots, and decided to stay.

This past Tuesday, one week before she departed for Michigan, electricity finally came back on in Magana’s home. Much of the island had remained in blackness more than two months after the Category 5 hurricane. Critical infrastructure was completely wiped out, and help was slow to arrive.

The official estimate of dead from the hurricane is 58 people, but other reports claim the number is much higher, possibly as high as 1,095.

“I’ve been in the middle of gunfights over places to stay,” Magana said. “People burying their loved ones in their front yard because the hospitals don’t have refrigeration to keep the bodies. The hospitals being shut down because the bodies are rotting.

“I would get hungry, and I would cry, because to get food was such an assache. To get to the grocery store, you have to wait in lines. To get gas, it was an eight-hour line. Then there were gas rations. When you go to get water, you only get one gallon day. You need a gallon a day just for yourself for training, just because it’s so hot there.”

Magana could have left the island when the severity of the storm became apparent, but she said she couldn’t bear the thought of leaving when things got tough. She hunkered down in her house as the storm made landfall and fought the wind and flooding that soon arrived.

After the storm subsided, she and her training partners began to rebuild. Encouraged by the island’s Olympic boxing and wrestling teams, they joined training sessions set up outside on mats. To keep down water intake and beat the heat, they worked early in the mornings.

“We made it work,” she said. “Do soldiers get ready for war in air conditioning and sleeping in a nice bed? Those uncivilized conditions, I believe, made me more ready for war in the end.”

It didn’t hurt that Magana physically felt better than ever. Her training regimen over the past year had led to the discovery of a blood disease, which she said lead to heart palpitations and an enlarged left ventricle. With treatment, she felt like a new athlete.

“I have all this knowledge and life experience, and I get back to go back to high school … with his new body,” she said.

Now, she plans to use her newfound energy and pent-up emotion from the hurricane to beat Cooper, a runner-up on “The Ultimate Fighter 23.” She also plans to donate 10 percent of her purse to relief efforts, which she’s raised money for on Twitter since the disaster struck.

“It’s a very odd thing to have to live through,” Magana said. “Things are getting better slowly, but a lot of it has to do with the political crap that’s going on. Things could have been done a lot faster and a lot sooner. It’s just sad that the president and other people would rather focus on other things rather than human life.”

For more on UFC 218, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Nate Diaz Stockton Slaps Dana White Over Lying About Proposed Fight with Tyron Woodley

UFC president Dana White recently shot down speculation that a fight between welterweight champion Tyron Woodley and Nate Diaz was ever on the table. 

White said it was a UFC employee that went “off the reservation,” having exploratory conversations about the fight, but the fight was never offered.

Since White’s comments, Woodley and now Diaz have both questioned the sincerity of their bosses denial. 

Once the bout was officially dead, Woodley said that he has decided to move forward with shoulder surgery that he was willing to put off in order to fight Diaz. 

Diaz, on the other hand, took dead aim at White, blasting him with an Instagram post asking why he was lying and throwing in a little Stockton slap for good measure.

TRENDING > Dana White: Nate Diaz Turned Down Fights with Everybody on the UFC Roster

 

Shutup bitch. Your both thirsty …. And why is u lying

A post shared by natediaz209 (@natediaz209) on Nov 30, 2017 at 2:12pm PST

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Source: MMA Weekly

Nate Diaz responds to Dana White's claim he was never offered Tyron Woodley: 'Shut up, (expletive)'

Nate Diaz had a swift and bold response to UFC President Dana White claiming that he was never offered a UFC welterweight championship fight with Tyron Woodley.

Diaz (19-11 MMA, 14-9 UFC) took to social media to offer a reply to White’s recent statements about the potential Woodley (18-3-1 MMA, 8-2-1 UFC) bout, posting a video of the UFC boss talking about the situation (check out the full media scrum below) followed by a clip of his infamous slap of White.

The icing on the cake, however, is the caption (via Instagram):

Instagram Photo

“Shutup bitch.
Your both thirsty ….
And why is u lying 😎

Diaz hasn’t competed since a majority-decision loss to UFC lightweight champ Conor McGregor at UFC 202 in August 2016. He said immediately afterward that he would hold out for a trilogy with “The Notorious,” but with McGregor’s fighting future uncertain, it remains to be seen if that will ever happen.

In the meantime, White claims Diaz has turned down fight with “everyone on the roster.” Woodley, meanwhile, said Diaz asked for a $15 million payday as a way to price himself out of the fight.

It’s clear the Stockton slugger didn’t care much for those comments.

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

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

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

Sean O'Malley says UFC debut already done, planning another 'Sugar' show

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LAS VEGAS – Officially, Sean O’Malley makes his UFC debut at Friday’s The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale, but the undefeated prospect believes he’s already banked that experience.

“That last fight, that kid was, I think, UFC caliber,” O’Malley told MMAjunkie. “I look at it like that was my first UFC fight. I think that kid and this kid I’m fighting are super similar, and I think the same outcome is going to come out, too.”

O’Malley first appeared on the UFC radar at July’s Dana White’s Contender Series 2 event, where he scored a scintillating first-round knockout of Alfred Khashakyan. O’Malley’s performance caught the eye of UFC commentator and rap superstar Snoop Dogg, not to mention ESPN.

O’Malley admits he still receives messages about the performance on a daily basis via social media but insists he didn’t let the early notoriety go to his head.

“Everything has been the same,” O’Malley said. “I was training twice a day before, I’m training twice a day now. I bought a house, and that was the only thing that’s been different. Everything has been the same.”

O’Malley (8-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) returns to action against Terrion Ware (17-6 MMA, 0-1 UFC) at Friday’s The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale, which takes place at Park Theater in Las Vegas and airs on FS1 following an early prelim on UFC Fight Pass.

Oddsmakers have installed O’Malley as a sizable favorite, but he said he’s not feeling any pressure to replicate his Contender Series performance. Instead, he insists that type of show is always his intention.

“I expect from myself to go out there and knock him out, so that’s just kind of how I feel, and I don’t feel any more pressure or nothing,” O’Malley said. “That’s what I want to go out there and do, so anything other than that, I would be kind of disappointed.”

If O’Malley is capable of turning in another show-stealing victory – and with seven finishes in eight career wins, it certainly doesn’t seem impossible – the 23-year-old MMA Lab product could very well find himself on the fast track to contention in the bantamweight division.

Bring it on, says “Sugar.”

“I’m going to take it one fight at a time,” O’Malley said. “I’m going to go out there and knock this dude out, enjoy it, then talk about it later, maybe next week, or talk about it after the fight.”

To hear more from O’Malley, check out the video above.

And for more on The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

Title Fight Set, One Bout Cancelled: Bellator 189 Weigh-in Results

The athletes competing on Friday’s Bellator 189: Budd vs. Blencowe 2 fight card in Thackerville, Okla., officially weighed in on Thursday.

The event takes place at the WinStar World Casino and is headlined by a women’s featherweight title bout between champion Julia Budd and challenger Arlene Blencowe. Budd holds a majority decision win over Blencowe from Bellator 162 in October 2016.

The fight card was originally supposed to featured a featherweight fight between Alexis Dufresne and Amber Leibrock, but the bout was cancelled when Dufresne missed weight.

TRENDING > Cris Cyborg and Holly Holm Face-Off for the First Time (Video)

Complete Bellator 189: Budd vs. Blencowe Fight Card:

  • Women’s Featherweight World Championship: Julia Budd (143.9) vs. Arlene Blencowe (144.6)
  • Middleweight Feature Bout: Rafael Lovato Jr. (185.7) vs. Chris Honeycutt (185.4)
  • Middleweight Feature Bout: Hisaki Kato (185.2) vs. Chidi Njokuani (185.3)
  • 160 lb. Catchweight Feature Bout: David Rickels (160.7) vs. Adam Piccolotti (160.6)

Preliminary Card:

  • 130 lb. Women’s Catchweight Prelim Bout: Stephanie Geltmacher (130.9) vs. Ky Bennett (130.9)
  • Welterweight Prelim Bout: Kemmyelle Haley (169.5) vs. Brian Grinnell (169.9)
  • Featherweight Prelim Bout: Cris Williams (145.6) vs. Thomas Lopez (145.7)
  • Featherweight Prelim Bout: Marcos Galvao (145.8) vs. Sam Sicilia (146)
  • Women’s Flyweight Prelim Bout: Na Ling (125) vs. Juliana Velasquez (126)
  • 135 lb. Catchweight Prelim Bout: Jordan Howard (134.7) vs. Brandon Phillips (135)
  • Lightweight Prelim Bout: Mandel Nallo (155.4) vs. Alec Williams (155.4)
  • 150 lb. Catchweight Prelim Bout: Gaston Bolanos (151) vs. Rick Gutierrez (148.4)
  • Middleweight Prelim Bout: Frank Patterson (185.4) vs. Andrew Parker (184.7)

*The featherweight bout between Alexis Dufresne and Amber Leibrock was cancelled due to Dufresne missing weight.

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Source: MMA Weekly

Derrick Lewis vs. Marcin Tybura Agreed for UFC Fight Night in Austin, Texas

Derrick Lewis will finally get to fight close to home as a UFC heavyweight.

Lewis is expected to meet Marcin Tybura in a matchup taking place at UFC Fight Night in Austin, Texas on Feb. 13.

Sources close to the matchup confirmed the news to MMAWeekly on Thursday following an initial report from MMAJunkie.com.

Lewis, who hails from Houston, has long wanted to represent his home state inside the UFC Octagon and now he’ll get his chance as he makes his return to action after a lingering back injury cost him a fight back in October against former heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum.

As for Tybura, he actually is fresh off a loss to Werdum at the UFC Fight Night card in Australia earlier this month and he’ll attempt to bounce back when he faces Lewis in February.

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Source: MMA Weekly

Bellator 189 weigh-ins: Budd-Blecowe title fight set, but Dufresne again misses weight

The headlining title fight is set, but Friday’s Bellator 189 card has lost a fight.

Women’s featherweight champion Julia Budd (10-2 MMA, 4-0 BMMA) and challenger Arlene Blencowe (10-6 MMA, 3-2 BMMA) both successfully made weight for the main event.

Budd weighed 143.9 pounds, and Blencowe was 144.6.

Bellator 189 takes place at WinStar World Casino & Resort in Thackerville, Okla., and airs on Spike following prelims streamed on MMAjunkie.

Although the headliners were on the mark, a preliminary-card bout between Alexis Dufresne (6-3 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) and Amber Leibrock (2-1 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) was scrapped. Dufresne missed weight for the featherweight bout, and officials canceled the bout.

It’s Dufresne’s fifth straight time missing weight. Her previous failure cost her a shot at the Bellator belt.

The full Bellator 189 weigh-in results included:

MAIN CARD (Spike, 9 p.m. ET)

  • Champ Julia Budd (143.9) vs. Arlene Blencowe (144.6) – for women’s featherweight title
  • Chris Honeycutt (185.4) vs. Rafael Lovato (185.7)
  • Hisaki Kato (185.2) vs. Chidi Njokuani (185.3)
  • Adam Piccolotti (160.6) vs. David Rickels (160.7) – 160-pound catchweight

PRELIMINARY CARD (MMAjunkie, 7 p.m. ET)

  • Ky Bennett (130.9) vs. Stephanie Geltmacher (130.9) – 130-pound catchweight
  • Kemmyelle Haley (169.5) vs. Brian Grinnell (169.9)
  • Thomas Lopez (145.7) vs. Cris Williams (145.6)
  • Marcos Galvao (145.8) vs. Sam Sicilia (146)
  • Na Ling (125) vs. Juliana Velasquez (126)
  • Jordan Howard (134.7) vs. Brandon Phillips (135)
  • Mandel Nallo (155.4) vs. Alec Williams (155.4)
  • Gaston Bolanos (151) vs. Rick Gutierrez (148.4) – 150-pound catchweight
  • Franklin Patterson (185.4) vs. Andrew Parker (184.7)

For more on Bellator 189, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Watch The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale Weigh-in Live at 8:30 PM ET

(Courtesy of UFC)

Watch The Ultimate Fighter: A New World Champion Finale official weigh-in streaming live from Las Vegas at 8:30 p.m. ET.

TRENDING > Sijara Eubanks Releases Statement After She Was Pulled from Flyweight Title Fight at TUF 26 Finale

Follow along on MMAWeekly.com on Friday for The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale full results and live fight stats. The first bout is slated to begin at 7:30 p.m. ET / 4:30 p.m. PT. Nicco Montano and Roxanne Modafferi will meet in the main event to fight for the inaugural UFC women’s flyweight championship.

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Source: MMA Weekly

'TUF 26' coaches Eddie Alvarez, Justin Gaethje not surprised by Sijara Eubanks missing weight

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DETROIT – Sijara Eubanks’ inability to step on the scale and weigh in for Friday’s inaugural UFC women’s flyweight title fight at The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale didn’t come as much of a surprise to “TUF 26” head coaches Eddie Alvarez and Justin Gaethje.

Alvarez (28-5 MMA, 3-2 UFC), who served as Eubanks’ coach during her run on the reality series, said he heard rumors the fighter was struggling to hit the 125-pound mark earlier today. He hoped she would get over the hurdle after she successfully (but narrowly) made weight three times during the tournament. However, Eubanks was hospitalized and pulled from the card.

It was a stunning turn of events, and as a result, replacement Roxanne Modafferi (21-13 MMA, 0-0 UFC) now meets finalist Nicco Montano (3-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) in the 125-pound title headliner, which airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass from Park Theatre in Las Vegas.

“Behind the scenes I kind of heart some fluttering, but (I’m) disappointed,” Alvarez told MMAjunkie. “Seriously disappointing. We never know the reasoning behind these kind of things. Personally I don’t think there’s an excuse for it. But I’m going to have to call to Vegas and see what’s going on.”

Gaethje (18-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC), who fights Alvarez on Saturday’s UFC 218 pay-per-view main card, which takes place at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass, was not exactly stunned by the situation, either. He was well aware of Eubanks’ weight-cutting struggles throughout “TUF,” so when news broke that she was out of the title fight, Gaethje said he wasn’t surprised.

“No (it doesn’t surprise me),” Gaethje said. “I had the very first pick on the very first fight, and Sarj weighed 155 pounds. My coaches wanted me to pick her, but if I did pick her she would not have made weight and she would not have even been in the discussion right now. I should have done it because she would have learned a hard lesson then instead of now on the biggest stage. She showed up 20 pounds over probably, or 20 to 25. Stupid.”

Gaethje and Alvarez have never missed weight in a combined 51 fights. They both believe that it’s unprofessional to miss under any circumstance, but for a UFC title fight, Eubanks’ error is particularly egregious, they said.

“The first 27, 28 pounds are the easy ones,” Alvarez said. “It’s the last three-quarters of a pound, (one) pound left that kind of breaks your spirit. It’s sad because Sarj, she made weight three times in a series of like three weeks, which is an incredible feat. This is a wold title, man. This is huge. That’s a huge disappointment.”

For more on The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale and UFC 218, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Barb Honchak Now Expected to Face Lauren Murphy at the TUF 26 Finale

The shake ups at “The Ultimate Fighter” 26 Finale continued on Thursday with another fight being made on 24-hours notice after the main event was already changed.

With Roxanne Modafferi being pulled to fight in the main event against Nicco Montano to determine the first ever UFC women’s flyweight champion, Barb Honchak will now face fellow TUF 26 alum Lauren Murphy on Friday night.

Sources close to the matchup confirmed to MMAWeekly both fighters have agreed to the matchup taking place in the flyweight division.

While Honchak was originally scheduled to meet Modafferi on the card, Murphy was actually on standby as an alternate after her opponent was pulled from the event due to visa issues getting into the United States.

Murphy still weighed in Thursday morning with hopes of competing on the card and she ultimately got her wish with the fight against Honchak at “The Ultimate Fighter” 26 Finale.

The entire situation unfolded after Sijara Eubanks was pulled from the card for medical reasons, which left Nicco Montano without an opponent for the main event until the UFC put Modafferi in the fight. 

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Source: MMA Weekly