Jim Wallhead out at UFC Fight Night 118, promotion seeks new foe for Warlley Alves

British vet “Judo” Jim Wallhead (29-11 MMA, 0-2 UFC) has been forced to withdraw from next week’s UFC Fight Night 118 event, and matchmakers are seeking a new opponent for Warlley Alves (10-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC).

MMAjunkie today confirmed the Wallhead injury with UFC officials.

Featuring a headlining contest between Donald Cerrone and Darren Till, UFC Fight Night 118 takes place Saturday at Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland. The entire card streams on UFC Fight Pass.

Alves, 26, was the middleweight winner of “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3,” though he immediately returned to the welterweight division for his next three contests, where he earned victories over Alan Jouban, Nordine Taleb and Colby Covington. However, Alves has struggled in his past two outings, suffering losses to Bryan Barberena and Kamaru Usman and now finds himself looking to break a two-fight losing streak.

Meanwhile, Wallhead, 37, is a longtime veteran of the European scene, competing professionally since 2005 and earning notable career wins over the likes of Igor Araujo, Che Mills, Frank Trigg and Joey Villasenor, among others. His persistence finally earned a UFC call in late 2016, but he’s since suffered back-to-back losses to Jessin Ayari and Luan Chagas, and was looking at a third shot at picking up a first UFC win.

A timetable for Wallhead’s return was not immediately clear.

With the change to the card, UFC Fight Night 118 currently includes:

MAIN CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 3 p.m. ET)

  • Donald Cerrone vs. Darren Till
  • Jodie Esquibel vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz
  • Jan Blachowicz vs. Devin Clark
  • Oskar Piechota vs. Jonathan Wilson

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 11:45 a.m. ET )

  • Nasrat Haqparast vs. Marcin Held
  • Anthony Hamilton vs. Adam Wieczorek
  • Brian Kelleher vs. Damian Stasiak
  • Sam Alvey vs. Ramazan Emeev
  • Andre Fili vs. Artem Lobov
  • Warlley Alves vs. opponent TBA
  • Aspen Ladd vs. Lina Lansberg
  • Felipe Arantes vs. Josh Emmett

For more on UFC Fight Night 118, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

LFA 24 results, video: Curtis Millender scores highlight-reel finish, Mackenzie Dern stays perfect

Four-time Bellator veteran Curtis Millender (13-3) is looking for a return to the big show, and he certainly helped his cause with a 38-second knockout of a tough Matthew Frincu (11-3).

The welterweight contest served as the headlining bout of Friday’s LFA 24 event, which aired on AXS TV from Comerica Theatre in Phoenix.

The two explosive fighters came out looking to bang, and it was Frincu who flashed powerful high kicks to open. However, Millender patiently absorbed the blows, adjusted his angles and countered with a right high kick of his own that landed flush on the chin and sent his opponent crashing to the floor. Millender was poised to follow with additional strikes, but the referee called off the fight at just 38 seconds.

Afterward, an emotional Millender pleaded for a UFC invite, insisting his “circumstances need to change.”

In the bantamweight co-feature, Brazilian import Vinicius Zani (11-4) picked up his fourth consecutive win in impressive fashion, outgunning Joey Miolla (9-3) in a three-round striking battle.

Both fighters came out ready to trade shots, sitting down on every blow from the start. Both landed flush in spots – and both immediately insisted it didn’t hurt – before Miolla eventually brought the fight to the floor. However, he couldn’t keep it there, with Zani popping quickly back to his feet to resume the entertaining exchanges.

The pace slowed a bit in the second, thought both men were still throwing meaningful strikes. Zani controlled the center of the cage for most of the round, and he punctuated his highlights with applause and knowing nods, much to the delight of a vocal crowd.

Zani seemed to gain control as the third unfolded. Powerful low kicks started to dot his opponent’s lead leg, and while Miolla’s returns were still loaded with power, they weren’t thrown frequently or quickly enough to prove truly effective. Miolla scored a takedown with 80 seconds left, but Zani simply pushed the head away, drove elbows inside and created enough space to scramble back to his feet. Zani finished strong with punches and kicks to seal the result, 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27.

In a featured women’s flyweight fight, submission specialist Mackenzie Dern (4-0) earned another tapout, but it was her hands, not her grappling, that earned the win over Mandy Polk (3-4).

After a brief striking exchange to start the contest, it was Dern who looked first for the takedown, though Polk displayed excellent defense to remain upright. Forced to adjust, Dern backed away and fired wild haymakers, rocking Polk with one and sending her to the canvas with another. With Polk dazed on her knees, Dern followed to the floor, slipped to her back and locked in a rear-naked choke, earning a tap at the 2:55 mark of the first frame.

LFA 24 results include:

  • Curtis Millender def. Matthew Frincu via knockout (kick) – Round 1, 0:38
  • Vinicius Zani def. Joey Miolla via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
  • Mackenzie Dern def. Mandy Polk via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 2:55
  • LaRue Burley def. Maycon Mendonca via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Cory Sandhagen def. Luiz Gavinho via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 3:00
  • Glen Baker def. Kevin Natividad via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 0:09
  • Keoni Diggs def. Nick Chasteen via submission (kneebar) – Round 3, 1:53

For more on LFA 24, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News
Source: MMA Junkie

The MMA Road Show with John Morgan No. 133 – Las Vegas: Marcin Tybura, featuring Demetrious Johnson

Episode No. 133 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.

Cold Coffee is wrapping up his vacation in Spain, so John Morgan is rolling solo since “The MMA Road Show” never misses a beat. Morgan recounts his experience at UFC 216 and shares a few minutes of an exuberant Demetrious Johnson. Morgan also discusses a few hot topics in MMA, including the ongoing Mark Hunt saga, and shares an interview with UFC Fight Night 121 headliner Marcin Tybura.

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

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

New UFC champ Tony Ferguson: I'm going to expose Conor McGregor

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

The UFC’s new interim lightweight champ is willing to let Conor McGregor avoid a confrontation by vacating share of the title, but he’d rather deliver an ass-whooping to entertain the masses.

“What (McGregor) needs to do is defend or vacate,” Tony Ferguson told MMAjunkie Radio. “That dude’s got like less than a month. I mean compared to what UFC rules state, he’s got a year to start defending his belt. I’m more then ready for December. He said he wants to fight in 2017. I think the fans deserve it. I think I deserve it.

“What sounds better than 10 consecutive? Eleven, and it’s got Conor’s name written all over that mother(expletive). You guys heard my post-speech. There’s nowhere for him to run, man. He’s got me to deal with, and I’m going to expose that dude.”

Ferguson (23-3 MMA, 13-1 UFC), currently ranked No. 2 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA lightweight rankings, claimed his share of the belt with an impressive win over a very tough Kevin Lee at this past weekend’s UFC 216 event. It was Ferguson’s 10th consecutive victory.

Meanwhile, McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) – ranked No. 1 – originally claimed the undisputed belt at this past November’s UFC 205 but hasn’t entered the octagon since, instead taking a boxing match with Floyd Mayweather this past August.

There’s debate about McGregor’s next move, since a trilogy fight with rival Nate Diaz would obviously be a huge pay-per-view event, but UFC President Dana White insisted that wasn’t the current plan, instead pointing to a unification fight with Ferguson as the fight that “has to happen.”

Ferguson agrees, insisting marketability is no way to decide a championship fight.

“It’s not about the money fight,” Ferguson said. “It’s about the pride fight, and this dude’s going to be sitting on the sidelines if he doesn’t want to fight.

“I don’t think he wants that grubby little belt to be in my hands because I’ll enjoy it, and I will defend it. That dude hasn’t defended that belt one time – not one time. I will probably defend my interim belt more times than that dude would ever defend that belt.”

McGregor has stated he’d like to fight at the UFC’s year-end show on Dec. 30, but if that’s to happen, the promotion will need to make arrangements fairly quickly. Ferguson said he’s going to take a few days off for vacation but keep himself in shape and prepared for that very opportunity.

Unless McGregor wants to streamline the whole process and just rid himself of the belt.

“I already told him one time: Just set it down and walk away and nobody will get hurt. But also in every reality, we want the fans to have the fight, and I think the fans deserve it, straight up, because he’s the next one in line, and Khabib (Nurmagomedov) is not there. He’s out of line. He’s not even in the picture.

“So Conor, you need to either (expletive) defend or vacate. You need to get your (expletive) together and come fight me, straight up.”

For complete coverage of UFC 216, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Video: Watch Tony Ferguson, Kevin Lee face off at UFC 216 weigh-ins – while 'El Cucuy' jams out

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

LAS VEGAS – For one final time before Saturday’s UFC 216 main event, heated lightweight rivals Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee got face to face.

And Ferguson was intent on not hearing anything Lee had to say. Instead, he came equipped with his buds in, listening, he said, to “Strawberry Letter 23” by The Brothers Johnson, a 40-year-old funk song.

Ferguson (23-3 MMA, 13-1 UFC) and Lee (16-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) meet Saturday for the interim lightweight title in the UFC 216 main event, which takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and UFC Fight Pass.

Ahead of their headliner, check out the title challengers facing off at the ceremonial weigh-ins today at T-Mobile Arena, where UFC President Dana White made sure the two didn’t get that close to each other.

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

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

The MMA Road Show with John Morgan No. 132 – Las Vegas: UFC 216 preview with Samano and Barboza, featuring Ferguson and Lee

Episode No. 132 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.

Cold Coffee is off to Spain, but not before he sits down with John Morgan and MMAjunkie’s Simon Samano to preview UFC 216, as well as discuss the vibe in Las Vegas following a tragic weekend. Along the way, hear Morgan’s interview with Edson Barboza, as well as the media day talks with Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee.

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

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Yancy Medeiros vs. Alex Oliveira booked for UFC 218 in Detroit

A welterweight scrap between two athletes with a penchant for good fights has been booked for UFC 218.

Yancy Medeiros (14-4 MMA, 5-4 UFC) and Alex Oliveira (17-4-1 MMA, 7-2 UFC) have agreed to meet, MMAjunkie confirmed with a person with knowledge of the deal who is not authorized to publicly discuss such matters. Brazilian outlet GloboEsporte.com first reported the contest.

UFC 218 takes place Dec. 2 at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. The night’s main card airs on pay-per-view, though an official bout order has yet to be revealed.

Medeiros, 30, is a Hawaiian fighter who brings a two-fight winning streak to the cage following back-to-back stoppage wins over Erick Silva and Sean Spencer. The Spencer win earned Medeiros a “Performance of the Night” bonus, marking his second consecutive bonus-winning effort after also scoring a “Fight of the Night” check in a UFC 198 loss to Francisco Trinaldo.

Oliveira, 29, carries a four-fight winning streak into the contest, notching consecutive wins over Ryan LaFlare, Tim Means, Will Brooks and James Moontasri. A no contest does slightly mar that run, when Brazilian Oliveira was felled by a UFC 207 barrage of Means knees that were ruled illegal.

With the addition to the card, UFC 218 now includes:

  • Francis Ngannou vs. Alistair Overeem
  • Henry Cejudo vs. Sergio Pettis
  • Yancy Medeiros vs. Alex Oliveira
  • Cortney Casey vs. Felice Herrig
  • Razak Al-Hassan vs. Sabah Homasi
  • Drakkar Klose vs. David Teymur

For more on UFC 218, 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. 131 – Las Vegas: UFC, Bellator recap, featuring Carano, Werdum, Ferguson

Episode No. 131 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 and Cold Coffee are back together in Las Vegas and recapping their weeks at UFC Fight Night 117, Bellator 183 and Bellator Kickboxing 7. As they recap their weekends on opposite sides of the Pacific Ocean, Morgan also shares his interview with Gina Carano, not to mention the wild scene that unfolded in Los Angeles with Fabricio Werdum and Tony Ferguson, as well as the latest headlines in MMA.

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

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

Undefeated A.J. McKee set to fight Jeremy Petley at Bellator 187 in Ireland

Undefeated Bellator featherweight A.J. McKee was hoping to finally fight rival James Gallagher in his next fight. That won’t happen, but they’ll be in the same building.

McKee has been booked to face Jeremy Petley at Bellator 187, promotion officials today told MMAjunkie. The fight is set for the main card of Bellator 187, which takes place Nov. 10 at 3Arena in Dublin Ireland and airs on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

The event is headlined by the Irish Gallagher, a teammate of UFC champion Conor McGregor, taking on Jeremiah Labiano in his native country.

McKee (9-0 MMA, 9-0 BMMA) is coming off a unanimous-decision win over Blair Tugman at last month’s Bellator 182. The 22-year-old McKee, one of Bellator’s fast rising stars, owns the longest winning streak in company history at nine. He and the undefeated Gallagher have beefed in recent months. They appear to be on a collision course for a showdown, though it will have to wait for another day.

In Petley (11-8 MMA, 1-0 BMMA), McKee faces a fighter who snapped a four-fight losing streak in his previous bout, when he defeated Chase Morton by decision in May in his Bellator debut.

With the addition, the Bellator 187 lineup now includes:

  • James Gallagher vs. Jeremiah Labiano
  • John Redmond vs. Charlie Ward
  • Andre Goncalvez vs. Brian Moore
  • A.J. McKee vs. Jeremy Petley

For more on Bellator 187, visit the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Michael Bisping has spies watching GSP, promises first-round KO at UFC 217

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Filed under: News, UFC

UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping (30-7 MMA, 20-7 UFC) puts his belt on the line against former welterweight title holder and all-time MMA great Georges St-Pierre (25-2 MMA, 19-2 UFC) in the main event of November’s blockbuster UFC 217 event.

While it’s no surprise that with any Michael Bisping fight comes a little trashtalk, “The Count” is rolling out a new wrinkle ahead of what could be his final UFC fight.

As the two fighters ramp up preparation for the Nov. 4 fight card at New York’s Madison Square Garden, Bisping took a moment on the latest edition of his “Believe You Me” podcast to tell co-host Luis J. Gomez that he has spies monitoring St-Pierre’s training.

“(St-Pierre) is actually in LA a lot these days,” Bisping said. “He’s been at the Wild Card Boxing gym, training with Freddie Roach. I have a couple of spies in there, by the way, and they told me some info.

“Georges, if you’re listening buddy, that’s a public domain. I know people in there. I know what you’re working on, pal. I know what you’re working on, and it ain’t going to work on me, Georgie boy.”

Oddsmakers currently have St-Pierre listed as a slight favorite, but with nearly five years away from competition, there certainly a few question marks surrounding the French-Canadian.

But Bisping believes predicting the outcome is simple. As the bigger man, not to mention the current champion, Bisping believes he’ll end the fight impressively – and early.

“Generally, when I fight wrestlers in the past, I move around a lot,” Bisping said. “I utilize a lot of lateral movement, forward and back movement, side to side, because if you’re moving, it’s hard for a wrestler to shoot a double leg on you because you’re a moving target. I won’t be doing that this time.

“I’m going to stand right in front of him, I’m going to plant my feet, I’m going to walk him down, put him on the back foot, and I’m going to knock him out in the first round. You have my word.”

For more on UFC 217, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie