All posts by John Morgan

Junior Dos Santos notified of potential doping violation, pulled from UFC 215

Former UFC heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos (18-5 MMA, 12-4 UFC) has been pulled from a planned fight with Francis Ngannou (10-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC) due to a potential doping violation.

UFC officials today revealed the news after being notified by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy.

Dos Santos was flagged after an out-of-competition drug test conducted Aug. 10. Per standard USADA procedure, details on the nature of his anti-doping violation are being withheld during the results management process.

“Because of the proximity to Dos Santos’ upcoming scheduled bout at UFC 215 in Edmonton, Canada against Francis Ngannou, Dos Santos has been removed from the card and the UFC is currently seeking a replacement,” the UFC’s statement read. “Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, there is a full and fair legal process that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed. Additional information will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward.”

Dos Santos’ representatives issued a statement to MMAjunkie insisting the heavyweight has never taken performance-enhancing drugs and remains adamantly against their use in the sport.

“We are still trying to understand the test results, so that we can investigate and determine what happened,” the statement read. “What we know as of now is that Junior Dos Santos has never taken PED’s, has never knowingly used any banned substances, and has always supported USADA’s policies and efforts to keep the sport clean. If ever there was a fighter who made his position on this issue unequivocal, it’s Junior. We are confident that that we will be able to figure out what happened, and will provide an explanation once we have one.”

Ngannou immediately took to Twitter to post his frustration with the scrapped contest.

Dos Santos is currently ranked No. 5 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA heavyweight rankings, while Ngannou sits at No. 9.

Dos Santos last saw action in May, when he suffered a first-round knockout loss to current champ Stipe Miocic at UFC 211 in a failed bid to regain the title. Despite the result, the Brazilian slugger was anxious for a quick return to the cage.

Featuring a pair of championship matchups, UFC 215 takes place Sept. 9 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The night’s main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

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

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

The MMA Road Show with John Morgan No. 125 – Las Vegas: The Money Fight talk, featuring Conor McGregor, Dana White

mma-road-show-podcast

Episode No. 125 of “The MMA Road Show with John Morgan” podcast is now available for streaming and download.

MMAjunkie lead staff reporter John Morgan hosts the show while traveling the world to cover the sport.

It’s just one more week until The Money Fight, and John Morgan and Cold Coffee are right in the thick of it all, as you’d expect. Get all the details of a busy week in Las Vegas, including highlights of Conor McGregor’s media day, as well as UFC President Dana White’s media scrum following the latest Contender Series event.

You can check it out on iTunes or at themmaroadshow.com. You can also subscribe via RSS.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Conor McGregor workout video highlights: I've been lacing up the gloves my whole life

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

LAS VEGAS – What does Conor McGregor look like as a boxer?

That’s the question everyone wanted answered as a massive swarm of media crowded into the UFC Performance Institute on Friday in Las Vegas. The UFC lightweight champion obliged with a lengthy workout, including 12 simulated rounds of work on the bags, in which the bold Irishman maintained a high output of punches from start to finish.

After an equally lengthy break to shower and eat, McGregor returned to the workout floor, where he held court in front of dozens of cameras for close to 40 minutes.

McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-3 UFC), of course, takes on all-time boxing great Floyd Mayweather (49-0 boxing) on Aug. 26 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas in what could very well prove the biggest combat sporting event of all time.

Check out highlights of McGregor’s work on the mats and on the mic in the video above, and check out an exclusive photo gallery of the day below.

For more on “The Money Fight: Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor,” check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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

The MMA Road Show with John Morgan No. 124 – Las Vegas: The Money Fight talk, featuring Floyd Mayweather, Leonard Ellerbe

mma-road-show-podcast

Episode No. 124 of “The MMA Road Show with John Morgan” podcast is now available for streaming and download.

MMAjunkie lead staff reporter John Morgan hosts the show while traveling the world to cover the sport.

Two weeks out from The Money Fight, Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor are already hosting media days, and John Morgan and Cold Coffee are home in Las Vegas to cover it all. Hear highlights from the first day of coverage in Sin City, kicking off a two-week build up to one of the biggest combat sports events in history.

You can check it out on iTunes or at themmaroadshow.com. You can also subscribe via RSS.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Floyd Mayweather media workout video highlights, photo gallery

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

LAS VEGAS – Media workouts aren’t normally held two weeks before a big fight, but then again, nothing about The Money Fight is really normal.

Today at Mayweather Boxing Club in Las Vegas, former five-division world boxing champion Floyd Mayweather (49-0 boxing) held a workout and interview session in advance of his Aug. 26 boxing match with UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-3 UFC).

MMAjunkie was on scene for the chaotic scene, and Mayweather was more than happy to take the spotlight. Check out the video above for highlights of his lengthy effort, and check out a gallery of photos from the session below.

For more on “The Money Fight: Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor,” check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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

Fast-rising bantamweight Marlon Vera eyes New York to fight alongside 'idol' Georges St-Pierre

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Filed under: News, UFC

Ecuador’s Marlon Vera is the type of fighter who insists he’ll face anyone willing to sign the dotted line. But if he can offer the UFC a little advice on when and where he’d like to compete, “Chito” says UFC 217 in New York sounds just about right.

“I would love to fight in Vegas in a big show someday,” Vera told MMAjunkie. “That’s like the capital. That’s one of my goals – a big fight in Vegas. But also, I saw (Georges St-Pierre) is fighting Nov. 4 in Madison Square Garden. That’s the guy, that’s the reason I’m fighting today.

“That my biggest idol in life, my role model. He’s a guy that doesn’t talk too much, fights well, always looking good, never letting people talk about him doing dumb things. … He’s just a role model for me. It would be a huge dream for me, fighting on the same card.”

While it’s not official just yet, St-Pierre is expected to make his long-awaited comeback at UFC 217, which takes place Nov. 4 at Madison Square Garden. There, the former UFC welterweight champ is expected to face current middleweight title holder Michael Bisping for the 185-pound belt.

Vera said he’d be honored to compete at the event, where he would be looking to extend a current three-fight winning streak.

“I just want to keep this momentum going,” Vera said. “I want to keep active. I’m not the type of person that I’m thinking about who I beat before; that’s already gone for me. It’s everything from today to let’s see what happens tomorrow. I want to see who’s next, and I would love to fight one more time this year – even two more times. (Expletive), I’m down.”

Of course, Vera has proven thus far in his UFC career that he’s always willing to step in when asked, so don’t be surprised if you see him before UFC 217.

“You never know – this sport is crazy,” Vera said. “Sometimes, somebody gets injured, and everybody says, ‘Oh, I’m not ready. I’m not ready.’ For me, it’s different. If I’m in the gym, I’m ready.

“At the end of the day, it’s a fist fight. One punch can change everything.”

To hear more from Vera, check out the video above.

And for the latest on UFC 217, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

The MMA Road Show with John Morgan No. 123 – Mexico City: Volkan Oezdemir, Rodrigo Del Campo

mma-road-show-podcast

Episode No. 123 of “The MMA Road Show with John Morgan” podcast is now available for streaming and download.

MMAjunkie lead staff reporter John Morgan hosts the show while traveling the world to cover the sport.

John Morgan is rolling solo in Mexico City for UFC Fight Night 114, so he brings in Indiscutido.com editor-in-chief Rodrigo Del Campo to help break down the card and talk about the state of the UFC in Mexico and Latin America. Additionally, Morgan shares an interview he did earlier in the week with UFC light heavyweight contender Volkan Oezdemir, who scored a big win at this past week’s UFC 214 event.

You can check it out on iTunes or at themmaroadshow.com. You can also subscribe via RSS.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Video: UFC-Mexico City face-offs, where Randa Markos and Alexa Grasso were all smiles

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

MEXICO CITY – Today’s UFC Fight Night 114 fighter face-offs proved a largely friendly and upbeat affair, and that included co-headliners Randa Markos and Alexa Grasso.

The face-offs were part of today’s media day at Hotel W in Mexico City. The nearby Mexico City Arena plays host to Saturday’s FS1-televised event.

Markos (7-4 MMA, 3-3 UFC) and Grasso (9-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC), who meet in a strawweight bout, have second billing on the card.

Top billing goes to flyweight headliners Sergio Pettis (15-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) and Brandon Moreno (14-3 MMA, 3-0 UFC), who were all business for their face-off.

Also facing off were welterweights Alan Jouban (15-5 MMA, 6-3 UFC) vs. Niko Price (10-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC), featherweights Humberto Bandenay (13-4 MMA, 0-0 UFC) vs. Martin Bravo (11-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC), middleweights Sam Alvey (30-9 MMA, 7-4 UFC) vs. Rashad Evans (19-6-1 MMA, 14-6-1 UFC), and bantamweights Alejandro Perez (17-6-1 MMA, 3-1-1 UFC) vs. Andre Soukhamthath (11-4 MMA, 0-1 UFC).

For more on UFC Fight Night 114, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

DWCS 4's Julian Marquez on that viral head-kick KO: 'He didn't go down all nice and easy'

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

LAS VEGAS – Julian Marquez made the most of his time at Dana White’s Contender Series 4, where he scored a massive knockout, but he almost didn’t get there.

Marquez (6-1) earned his way into the UFC with a crushing knockout of middleweight Phil Hawes (4-2) on Tuesday. It was the featured bout of Dana White’s Contender Series 4, which took place at The Ultimate Fighter Gym in Las Vegas and streamed on UFC Fight Pass.

Marquez said he envisioned this exact scenario – winning the fight and getting a UFC contract – but he had a few hurdles. Chief among them? His weight cut.

“If you would have seen me – if I released the pictures of me cutting weight last night – you guys would definitely laugh and be like, ‘Holy (expletive),’” the former LFA/Bellator/Combate Americas fighter told MMAjunkie. “I lost a good amount.

“I was the last person in the sauna. And actually, I was lucky enough to get an extension because they said they opened up an hour early. I was there at 5 a.m. At 4:50, no one was there, and it was down to the wire, but I made the weight, and now I’m here.”

The 27-year-old ultimately connected on a head-kick KO that had social media buzzing (via Twitter):

After Hawes attempted a takedown, Marquez said he made his opponent pay on the next one.

“On the second takedown, I pushed him up against the cage, and I saw the same thing,” he said. “So I backed up and waited to let him get up, and I just let the kick go, and it just so happened to find his chin.”

And the aftermath?

“It felt amazing,” he said. “It was a shocker. I hope he heals fast. It was a pretty nasty blow. He didn’t go down all nice and easy. He went down pretty hard.”

Check out the full post-fight interview above.

And for more on Dana White’s Contender Series 4, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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

UFC 214 weigh-in photo gallery and highlights – with the 'DC' and 'Bones' show

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

CERRITOS, Calif. – Check out the video highlights and photo gallery from today’s early and official UFC 214 fighter weigh-ins, where three title fights were cleared.

The early weigh-ins, which preceded the ceremonial affair, took place at the UFC host hotel inUFC host hotel in Cerritos, Calif. Honda Center in Anaheim hosts the ceremonial weigh-ins, as well as Saturday’s pay-per-view fight card following prelims on FXX and UFC Fight Pass.

Get the full rundown in our UFC 214 official weigh-in results post.

Among those weighing in were light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier (19-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC), who was the first to weigh in, and former champ Jon Jones (22-1 MMA, 16-1 UFC), who meet in a rematch for the title in the headliner. “DC” weighed 205 pounds, and challenger “Bones” was 204.5.

Check out our highlights video from the proceedings above, and don’t miss our photo gallery below.

For more on UFC 214, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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