CSAC reschedules Jon Jones' steroids hearing for early 2018

It’ll be a while longer before the California State Athletic Commission decides Jon Jones’ fate.

Jones, whose original hearing for his doping case was set for Dec. 12 in Sacramento, has been granted a continuance, CSAC executive office Andy Foster told MMAjunkie on Tuesday. While Foster was unable to give a specific date for the rescheduled hearing, he said it would occur “early next year” at the commission’s first meeting of 2018. Foster gave late February/early March as a time frame.

Jones (21-1-1 MMA, 15-1-1 UFC) originally was flagged for a potential doping violation Aug. 22 for an out-of-competition sample collected ahead of his UFC 214 title fight with Daniel Cormier. Jones’ B sample also tested positive.

As a result, the CSAC, which regulated the July 29 headliner at Honda Center in Anaheim, overturned Jones’ TKO win to a no-contest. The UFC, in turn, stripped Jones of the light heavyweight belt and reinstated Cormier as champion.

The failed drug test marked Jones’ second in two years. In 2016, he failed a test at UFC 200, which canceled his title-unifying main event with Cormier. Jones’ explanation was that he took a tainted sexual enhancement pill containing estrogen blockers that work in conjunction with steroids. He used that defense during arbitration with U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which stopped short of declaring him a cheater, though he was still handed a one-year suspension for negligence.

Jones, who had denied knowingly cheating, is headed for arbitration again with USADA. If found guilty this time, he faces up to a four-year ban.

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


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Source: MMA Junkie

Francis Ngannou's motivation goes deeper than MMA ahead of UFC 218 fight vs. Alistair Overeem


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LAS VEGAS – The biggest fight of Francis Ngannou’s young career is right around the corner, and it’s not lost on the UFC heavyweight rising star why he’s reached this point so quickly.

Ngannou, who’s fought MMA professionally for just four years, is set to take on Alistair Overeem in what is widely considered a title eliminator Dec. 2 at UFC 218 from Little Caesar’s Arena in Detroit. Not only are the stakes the highest they’ve ever been for Ngannou, it’s also his first appearance on pay-per-view – and in the co-main event, no less.

Through five UFC fights, Ngannou’s power and athleticism have overwhelmed opponents, leading to all five victories via stoppage. Take one look at his massive frame, and his ability seems natural. Ngannou, though, says it’s bigger than that.

“I think the main thing is motivation,” Ngannou said Monday following an open workout at the UFC Performance Institute. “My strength, my power, it’s all about my mind. When I look back where I’m from, look at my family, it’s kind of scary. I want to change things back. I don’t want my kids or my son to live the same thing I lived in my life. That is motivation.”

Ngannou’s journey from homelessness to UFC contender has been documented before. He never forgets where he came from. And as he prepares to face Overeem, Ngannou’s mother, who remains in his native Cameroon, continues to weigh on his mind.

“When I look at my family, when I look at my mom, I hope I will be able to help her,” Ngannou said. “I hope she will be proud of me. She gave all of what she had for us. That’s my motivation.”

It’s a big reason Ngannou left Paris and moved to Las Vegas this year in hopes of further advancing his career by taking advantage of all the state-of-the-art UFC Performance Institute has to offer.

In Overeem (43-15 MMA, 8-4 UFC), Ngannou  (10-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC) faces his biggest challenge to date. For his part, Ngannou said there isn’t one particular skill he’s honing in preparation for the former Strikeforce and DREAM heavyweight champion.

“We aren’t working on anything, because I’m an opportunity fighter,” Ngannou said. “I’m not just a striker. I’m not a wrestler or grappler. I’m a fighter, an opportunity fighter. I like to finish my fight and be able to shape my skills and take every opportunity I get in the fight.”

Speaking of opportunity, despite Fabricio Werdum’s belief that he’s deserving of a title shot following his UFC Fight Night 121 victory over the weekend, Ngannou said there’s no way to keep him from a date with champ Stipe Miocic if he beats Overeem.

“Stipe took the belt from Werdum, and that was not a long time ago,” Ngannou said. “Yes, Werdum deserves, but right now I deserve it more. I win this fight, I will be the legit challenger.”

He added, “If I beat the No. 1, there’s no way to avoid it.”

To hear more from Ngannou, check out the video above. And to watch his workout from Monday, click on the video below.

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


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Source: MMA Junkie

After choking out Will Brooks, Nik Lentz ready for whoever else from American Top Team


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SYDNEY – Former American Top Team teammates Nik Lentz and Will Brooks originally were supposed to fight last month at UFC 216 until Lentz wound up having diabetic-like symptoms that turned out to be hypoglycemia (non-diabetic low blood sugar), which forced his withdrawal from the lightweight bout.

It was no joking matter. And yet, it made him the target of trash talk by Brooks and others at ATT.

That didn’t sit well with Lentz, who submitted Brooks with a guillotine choke on Saturday at UFC Fight Night 121 from Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney.

“This is one of the first times that I’ve had, like, a serious medical issue, and my old team threw it in my face,” Lentz told MMAjunkie after his win, which aired during the FS1 prelims. “Like, ‘Hey, you’re running, you’re scared.’ Not one of them even messaged me to check on me or anything. And I have to admit that hurts. That’s supposed to be my family.”

You can imagine just how satisfying the win was for Lentz, who explained why he willingly took damage.

“I told everyone exactly how this was going to happen,” Lentz said.

He continued, “I knew that I could take that jab, and I knew if I took a couple jabs I could get him to play my game. And that’s what happened.”

What about earlier? Why was Brooks able to get out of a previous guillotine choke attempt? Lentz said he made a conscious in-fight decision to release.

“I didn’t get the guillotine on purpose, because I knew,” Lentz said. “I had it. I knew I wasn’t going to waste it. I was going to let him roll out the first time, (let him) think that he knew how to get out. And then the second time I was going to lock that b*tch up, and he ain’t ever getting away.”

With the win over Brooks out of the way, Lentz isn’t forgetting about the words directed at him from ATT. And he said he’s ready to take on anyone from the gym.

“When it comes down to it, it was f*cked up. And there’s no two ways to put it,” Lentz said. “It’s f*cked up when your old family throws you under the bus and says you’re scared. Because I ain’t scared of Will Brooks. I ain’t scared of anyone at ATT.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 121, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Belal Muhammad called out Colby Covington because of ignorant '5th-grade trash-talk'


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SYDNEY – UFC welterweight Belal Muhammad scored the biggest win of his career and immediately knew who he wanted to fight next.

Following his split decision over Tim Means on Saturday at UFC Fight Night 121, Muhammad (13-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) used his octagon interview to put some heat on MMA’s current biggest villain, Colby Covington, calling him a “little coward” and promising a hospital visit if they run into each other on the street.

“I just want to get a top-15 guy, hopefully Colby Covington,” Muhammad, who’s won three straight, told MMAjunkie backstage at Qudos Bank Arena. “He’s sitting on the sidelines begging (UFC champion Tyron) Woodley for a fight, but Woodley’s hurt. So, there’s nobody else for him to fight. All these other guys are already booked.

“Colby Covington needs an opponent. I’m here, December 30th, let’s do it. What’s up?”

Covington (13-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) has been at the center of much controversy lately. It started last month after he defeated Demian Maia in Sao Paulo at UFC Fight Night 118, where he called the people of Brazil “filthy animals” during his post-fight speech. Covington hasn’t been the least bit apologetic for his racist remarks, instead only fanning the flames.

Covington’s ant-Brazil sentiment continued this week during an altercation with Fabricio Werdum that was caught on camera. The Brazilian heavyweight was charged with common assault for allegedly hitting Covington with a boomerang. Werdum said Covington was the instigator when he called Werdum a “Brazilian animal” as they crossed paths in the hotel lobby.

Near the end of his live-stream, Covington again went on an anti-Brazil tirade.

“F*ck Brazil. F*ck Fabricio Werdum. Little b*tch ass,” Covington said. “F*ck Brazil. A bunch of filthy animals. And they wonder why they get talked to like that. Because they’re a bunch of animals.”

It’s that kind of talk that Muhammad has no tolerance for. And that’s why he wants a piece of Covington inside the octagon.

“I got a lot of Brazilian fans, a lot of Brazilian friends. My coach is Brazilian,” Muhammad said. “When you disrespect the whole country like that, and it’s not even in a good way. You have like fifth-grade trash-talk. So it’s not even good trash-talk. It’s just being ignorant for no reason. When people talk like that, they deserve to get slapped. And I’m the guy to do the slapping.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 121, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC exec: Conclusions on alleged Fabricio Werdum assault of Colby Covington premature


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SYDNEY – The UFC is taking its time in determining what happened during the altercation between Fabricio Werdum and Colby Covington.

Werdum, 40, was charged this past week with common assault for allegedly throwing and hitting Covington, 29, with a boomerang outside the Hilton Sydney, which served as the host hotel for UFC Fight Night 121.

The UFC’s initial response in a statement was that it would investigate to determine if either fighter broke Athlete Conduct Policy regulations. According to vice president of international content Dave Shaw, that investigation is ongoing.

“From a company standpoint, we’re still collecting as much information as we can,” Shaw said in a press conference at Qudos Bank Arena following UFC Fight Night 121. “We’ve spoken to Werdum and his team. We spoke to Covington. We spoke to the hotel security. We spoke to police.

“So we are not at a point to make any conclusions yet. It’s just too early. There’s still a process that we need to go through. And, listen, at this point, it’s in the hands of the New South Wales Police. I think Werdum is going to have some conversations in the next few weeks at least with them.”

The encounter between Werdum and Covington took place Wednesday (Thursday locally), and parts of it were captured in two videos.

Werdum told MMAjunkie the incident started in the hotel lobby, where he crossed paths with Covington, who called him a “Brazilian animal.” During a live-stream, Covington claimed Werdum punched him, which Werdum denied. Werdum did not make mention of the alleged assault with the boomerang, which was filmed separately and posted to Facebook.

Covington ended his live stream with racist remarks, calling the people of Brazil “filthy animals.”

“F*ck Brazil. F*ck Fabricio Werdum. Little b*tch ass,” Covington says. “F*ck Brazil. A bunch of filthy animals. And they wonder why they get talked to like that. Because they’re a bunch of animals.”

Werdum, who was victorious in Saturday’s FS1-televised main event against Marcin Tybura, is expected to appear in court on Dec. 13.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 121, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC champion Cris Cyborg signs new deal with promotion


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Not only does Cris Cyborg have her first UFC title defense coming up next month, she has a new deal to go with it.

Cyborg, the women’s featherweight champion, announced on her web site today that she’s signed a new UFC contract that will keep her with the promotion for “at least the next 15 months,” making her the “highest paid female fighter currently on the UFC roster.”

The new deal comes one day after the UFC announced Cyborg (18-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) will defend her title against ex-bantamweight champion Holly Holm (11-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) on Dec. 30 at the UFC 219 pay-per-view from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

“I am excited to be committed to the UFC,” Cyborg said in a statement. “Dana White has proven himself as the best promoter in the sport, and with the recent addition of Mick Maynard as women’s matchmaker, I felt it was time to come to an agreement where we can both work together and be committed in both building the UFC and the Cris Cyborg brands. … I am excited to start this new chapter in my career as a real partner with the UFC and the fights we will promote together.”

Cyborg shed light on her contract situation back in July, prior to her title win over Tonya Evinger at UFC 214. Cyborg said then that her deal with the UFC was set to expire in October, but she was hopeful she’d sign a new one.

The relationship between Cyborg and the UFC hasn’t always been smooth. UFC President Dana White and analyst Joe Rogan, in particular, have made some unnecessary and harsh comments about Cyborg over the years. But things began to turn earlier this year when White admitted to MMAjunkie that the UFC has “made some mistakes” in its dealings with Cyborg.

Cyborg is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, fighters in women’s MMA history. She hasn’t lost since 2005 on her way to winning championships in Strikeforce, Invicta and the UFC.

For more on UFC 219, visit the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Aljamain Sterling gets Marlon Moraes as UFC-Fresno replacement opponent

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Aljamain Sterling has been in need of a replacement opponent, and he’s found one in Marlon Moraes.

A bantamweight fight between Sterling (14-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) and Moraes (19-5-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) is set for UFC Fight Night 123, people with knowledge of the situation told MMAjunkie. The people requested anonymity because the UFC had yet to make an announcement.

Sterling originally was slated to face Rani Yahya at the FS1-televised event Dec. 9 in Fresno, Calif., until Yahya was forced out because of injury. Moraes will be making a quick turnaround after picking up a split decision over John Dodson last week at UFC Fight Night 120.

Sterling, No. 12 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA bantamweight rankings, brings a two-fight winning streak to the cage after decisions over former UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barao and top Brazilian prospect Augusto Mendes. Six of his 14 career wins have come by way of submission, including four by rear-naked choke, though all were prior to his UFC run.

Sterling had been hoping to land a fight with No. 5 Jimmie Rivera, who remains in need of a replacement opponent for UFC 219 after ex-champ Dominick Cruz withdrew because of injury. Moraes wanted the same and used his post-fight interview last week for an impassioned plea to step in and fight Rivera.

As it turns out, it’ll be Sterling and Moraes going at each other instead.

With the addition, UFC Fight Night 123 now includes:

  • Cub Swanson vs. Brian Ortega
  • Marlon Moraes vs. Aljamain Sterling
  • Liz Carmouche vs. Alexis Davis
  • Scott Holtzman vs. Darrell Horcher
  • Eryk Anders vs. Markus Perez
  • Trevin Giles vs. Antonio Braga Neto
  • Carls John de Tomas vs. Alex Perez
  • Chris Gruetzemacher vs. Davi Ramos
  • Bryan Caraway vs. Luke Sanders
  • Merab Dvalishvili vs. Frankie Saenz
  • Benito Lopez vs. Albert Morales
  • Gabriel Benitez vs. Jason Knight

For more on UFC Fight Night 123, visit the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Jorge Masvidal on 'crazy' Colby Covington's antics: 'He's going to do whatever he wants'


Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

SYDNEY – It’s been an eventful past few weeks for UFC welterweight Colby Covington – and that might be putting it mildly.

The whirlwind started last month immediately after Covington’s unanimous-decision win over Demian Maia in Sao Paulo, where Covington used his octagon interview to spew disdain for Brazil, calling the people there “filthy animals.”

It continued with a fake apology, followed by callout after callout of UFC champion Tyron Woodley.

That brings us to this week, with Covington getting into a heated altercation with heavyweight Fabricio Werdum in Sydney, which resulted in Werdum allegedly hitting Covington with a boomerang and now facing a common assault charge for his actions.

It’s unknown who instigated the encounter, but parts of it – including the alleged assault – were caught on video. One thing made clear from Covington’s live-stream was his continued anti-Brazil sentiment.

“F*ck Brazil. F*ck Fabricio Werdum. Little b*tch ass,” Covington told his followers. “F*ck Brazil. A bunch of filthy animals. And they wonder why they get talked to like that. Because they’re a bunch of animals.”

If you’re a friend or teammate of Covington’s, you might think it’d be hard to defend his antics of late, which have called into question Covington’s perceived racism. But fellow American Top Team competitor Jorge Masvidal chalks it up, basically, to Colby being Colby.

“Colby’s Colby. That’s my partner,” said Masvidal, a guest this week for UFC Fight Night 121, which takes place Saturday at Qudos Bank Arena. “He’s going to do whatever he wants. He’s not going to definitely listen to me. He’s crazy.”

Masvidal, at least in some way, can relate to what Covington went through with Werdum. During UFC 217 fight week in New York, Masvidal got into a heated exchange with middleweight Michael Bisping – not once, but twice.

Without knowing for sure how things escalated between Werdum and Covington, all Masvidal could speak to is that sometimes, even when you don’t look for trouble, trouble finds you.

“It’s crazy, because I don’t want to be starting more bad press for my sport and getting fines,” Masvidal said. “So, in a way, I’m glad that (I wasn’t there). I don’t want to be part of the chaos. I’m not going to run from it. If there’s a fight, and somebody’s picking it with me, well, that’s what I love to do. So, f*ck it. Might have to do a free one here and there.

“But I don’t want to, though. I don’t want to get in trouble. I don’t want no extra negative media on me.”

Is that a message Masvidal could impart on his friend?

“He’s on a different vibe. He’s got different plans,” Masvidal said of Covington. “I don’t tell him what to do when it comes to that type of stuff. He’ll listen to me, but at the end of the day that dude’s crazy. He’s going to do whatever he wants to do.”

For more on UFC Fight Night 121, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.


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Source: MMA Junkie

Fabricio Werdum wants to erase Colby Covington from his mind with UFC-Sydney fight looming


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SYDNEY – Fabricio Werdum is putting Colby Covington out of his mind.

Werdum on Thursday (Friday locally) was charged with common assault for allegedly throwing and hitting Covington with a boomerang outside the Hilton Sydney, the host hotel for UFC Fight Night 121.

The ugly incident caught on camera, and its subsequent ramifications, were an unexpected distraction for Werdum (22-7-1 MMA, 10-4 UFC) as he prepares for his headlining bout with Marcin Tybura (16-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) on Saturday in the FS1-televised headliner. And now, with his fight just days away, Werdum would like to shift focus back to what brought him to Australia in the first place.

“I just talk about my fight. My focus, I’m here for a fight,” Werdum told MMAjunkie. “Talking about my fight is best for me.”

Given the unexpected events that have unfolded since Wednesday, and with a December court date in Sydney now looming over him, can Werdum completely focus on the task at hand?

“I have focus for sure. This doesn’t affect nothing, my job. This is nothing for me,” Werdum said. “I’m just focusing on the fight. I have my career. I’m here to fight Marcin Tybura, and he’s a very tough guy. That’s it, man. Sunday, I want to put on a big show for the fans. That’s my big thing here.”

Though he faces legal trouble as the result for his encounter with Covington (13-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC), Werdum said the UFC assured him the “main event is going to happen, 100 percent.”

Earlier in the day, Werdum spoke about being tired of the growing trash-talk culture in MMA, which Covington has embraced in controversial fashion. Werdum reiterated his feelings, citing newly crowned women’s strawweight champion Rose Namajunas’ post-UFC 217 message as the example for how he wishes fighters would conduct themselves.

“She’s amazing, man,” Werdum said. I saw the interview. I posted it on my Instagram. She’s very emotional. She said very nice, real things. Why is this new generation starting to talk bad things and saying bad things about your country … this is no good. Martial arts is about respect. Why don’t we respect everyone?”

For more on UFC Fight Night 121, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.


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Source: MMA Junkie

Cris Cyborg-Holly Holm title fight officially booked for UFC 219

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The long talked-about women’s featherweight title fight between champion Cris Cyborg and Holly Holm is officially on.

The UFC tonight announced that the bout has been booked for UFC 219, which takes place Dec. 30 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and airs on pay-per-view. It’s uncertain if the showdown will serve as the main event.

Arriving here has been quite the journey.

Cyborg (18-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) and Holm (11-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) have feuded for weeks on social media, seemingly hyping a fight that once felt inevitable. But then last week Holm’s longtime manager, Lenny Frequez, told MMAFighting.com the deal is “dead” after he and the promotion “could not come to financial terms.”

Cyborg’s manager, George Prajin, told MMAjunkie in response that Holm was intentionally “pricing herself out,” because she didn’t want to fight Cyborg.

“The big fights are the ones you want as a fighter,” Prajin said. “Those lead to the most money. I can’t speak for her camp. All I can say is that Cris has agreed to the fight.”

Things have changed obviously now with the official booking.

UFC President Dana White all along was optimistic about getting a deal done, despite Holm expressing concerns over drug testing that eventually spilled into a social media fight in which Cyborg and Holm verbally sparred over the issue.

Cyborg complained she’s been targeted by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and questioned whether Holm’s camp – which she claimed had perpetuated more doping violations than any other camp – was under the same scrutiny. Holm shot back a video reply pointing out she’d actually been tested on more occasions in the most recent quarter of the year.

Now, after weeks of fighting through the media, the two women will finally face off in the cage.

Cyborg will attempt to make her first successful title defense after winning the vacant belt with a TKO of Tonya Evinger in July at UFC 214. Holm, the former women’s bantamweight champion, most recently knocked out Bethe Correia in June to snap a three-fight losing streak.

Holm was given the first shot at the newly created women’s 145-pound title earlier this year at UFC 208 but dropped a unanimous decision to Germaine de Randamie, who later vacated the belt after refusing to defend it vs. Cyborg.

For more on UFC 219, visit the UFC Rumors section of the site.


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