ABC head expects UFC will sanction Conor McGregor for Bellator 187 cage jump – and says he's off UFC 219

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, UFC

Association of Boxing Commissions President Mike Mazzulli is currently evaluating his legal options for how to handle the cage-hopping incident involving Conor McGregor at this past Friday’s Bellator 187.

In the meantime, Mazzulli has been assured the UFC is taking action against the UFC lightweight champ. Two hours after McGregor jumped the fence, inciting a brief melee at 3Arena in Dublin, the regulator said a UFC executive called to tell him McGregor’s actions were “totally unacceptable.”

More serious, Mazzulli said, the executive claimed the UFC champ has been removed from a scheduled spot at UFC 219, which is set for Dec. 30 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

“Mr. McGregor was planned for Dec. 30 card, but he will not be fighting,” Mazzulli today told MMAjunkie.

Multiple requests for comment from the UFC to verify Mazzulli’s account were not immediately returned. Officially, McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) remains unscheduled pending negotiations for his next fight.

This past Friday’s incident was touched off when longtime McGregor teammate Charlie Ward (4-3 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) dropped opponent John Redmond (7-13 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) with a hook late in the first round. Referee Marc Goddard stepped in and stopped the bout. McGregor then hopped the fence and tackled Ward in apparent celebration.

Goddard ordered McGregor out of the cage – the second time he’s had words with the Irish star over his cageside demeanor – only to have McGregor curse him out and shove him as officials tried to calm the situation.

McGregor then exited the cage, only to march back in after officials tried to usher him out. Then he hopped the cage once more, and when a Bellator employee named Michael Johnson tried to stop him, he appeared to reply with a slap to the face.

Unlicensed as a corner or fighter for the event, and unlicensed with the MTDAR, Mazzulli said McGregor was not subject to his authority as a regulator that night. McGregor could have been arrested by police, he added, but the fighter fled the arena before that was an option. The main concern was ensuring the safety of the fighters during the incident.

Mazzulli admits McGregor’s civilian status at Bellator 187 presents a challenge for administering any type of formal punishment. But he commends the UFC for taking the issue seriously.

“They’re basically going to sanction him on their end,” Mazzulli said. “I’m still waiting to hear what they plan on doing. My understanding is that he was scheduled to fight Dec. 30, and he will not be fighting this year. That’s one step. The second step is I reached out to the (commissions) that presently have him licensed. Of course, they’re fully aware of what he did.”

This past Friday’s incident quickly went viral, and Bellator highlighted McGregor’s cage-hop in promotions for the tape-delayed broadcast on Spike. Mazzulli issued a statement condemning McGregor’s behavior and communication with UFC officials over the matter. Goddard released his own statement and took the high road.

Early this morning on social media, McGregor posted a defiant message about his role in the incident before deleting his post.

“Bloke KO’d on floor bout a minute straight and ref trying to say fights not over Conor,” he wrote. “That’s when I lost it. F— yous all.”

McGregor is a licensed combatant in Nevada and New York, where his most recent fights have taken place. The commissions have not commented on the incident.

Mazzulli had been hired by Bellator to serve as the event’s regulator at 3Arena because there is no athletic commission with jurisdiction over MMA in Ireland. It’s a role comparable to UFC VP of Regulatory Affairs and former Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Marc Ratner for UFC events at which no official state oversight exists.

Mazzulli has overseen multiple overseas events for Bellator, as well as in the U.S., where he frequently works with tribal commissions in addition to his work with the MTDAR. On Friday, he will oversee Bellator 188 in Tel Aviv, Israel.

“My biggest concern is the fighter safety aspect of it,” Mazzulli said of the melee. “If that had occurred at Mohegan Sun, Mr. McGregor would have been removed and arrested. Fighter safety is No. 1 in my eyes, when I’m representing Mohegan, or representing Bellator.”

Mazzulli stressed that McGregor is not bigger than the sport of MMA and can’t be allowed to behave the way he did this past weekend. As for what can formally be done to deter future episodes, that will be determined shortly.

“I’m speaking to my legal team, but I do expect a sanction by the UFC, and I expect it to be a stiff one, too,” he said. “I don’t expect it to be a little slap on the wrist.”

For complete coverage of Bellator 187, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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

How do you live after dying in the cage? LFA's C.J. Hancock is figuring that out

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Filed under: Featured, News

C.J. Hancock remembers taking a couple of shots, staggering backward and then falling down.

Then he remembers waking up in the hospital, surrounded by his family. A doctor told him his heart had stopped twice, and he’d been brought back to life by a defibrillator.

“On top of that, the doctor didn’t think I should ever fight again,” Hancock told MMAjunkie. “That was a double-whammy. It was very emotional. Everybody was crying.”

Hancock was in the second round of a fight with Charlie Ontiveros last week at LFA 26 in Houston when his body suddenly shut off. Medical personnel rushed to his aide, administering CPR, and then zapped his heart with electricity. He was rushed to a nearby hospital. By the time he woke up, he had gone through eight bags of saline, the result of severe dehydration and a heart contusion, or heart bruise.

Hancock (2-3) faced Ontiveros (9-5) as a welterweight, his second appearance at 170 pounds after fighting at middleweight and light heavyweight. But unlike that previous bout, in which he dieted down and cut five pounds, he started his weight cut three days from the fight – at 215 pounds.

Welterweight was a division with opportunity for Hancock, which is why he agreed to face the more experienced Ontiveros. LFA is well known as a feeder show for the UFC. He figured with his size, he would have a weight advantage. Maybe the UFC would call.

“When your game is jiu-jitsu, to take the guy down and submit him, it makes it tougher when they’re stronger than you,” Hancock said.

Besides, weight-cutting was nothing new. Wrestling in high school, he cut scores of weight to compete. So when he started feeling he needed to throw up in the sauna before the fight, he just toughed it out like always.

Hancock made weight. To his surprise, he felt much better once he rehydrated and ate following weigh-ins. Not 100 percent, but good enough to fight. No one except those closest to him knew what he’d gone through to make it into the cage at the Arena Theatre. No one from the athletic commission asked how much weight he’d cut (via Instagram):

Instagram Photo

“Obviously, they know all the guys cutting weight, but they never ask how much weight you’re cutting,” Hancock said.

When he stepped into the cage, though, he felt off. His heart rate started to skyrocket. He couldn’t execute the techniques he’d trained.

“When you get to a certain level, you don’t even have to tell your body to do certain things – it just does it,” Hancock said. “I was telling it to do certain things, and it just wasn’t. It was just giving out on me.”

Did he think about stopping?

“Yeah, but you can’t do that,” he said. “If you stop a fight, it’s over. I thought if I was mentally tough, my body could take whatever it could throw at it, and apparently I was wrong.”

Life after death

Hancock has been sitting at his Houston home for the past three days. He’s restricted from elevating his heart rate for six weeks. He’s been sleeping a lot.

“I don’t know if it’s the medication, or the shock from dying for five minutes,” he said.

The pain pills his doctor prescribed make the memories of what happened fuzzy. There’s still a big blank spot from the time he fell on the mat until he woke up at the hospital.

Hancock has been cast in interviews as the fighter who died and came back to life. LFA President Ed Soares praised the quick actions of the promotion’s cutman, David Maldonado, and EMTs who worked to revive Hancock. The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, which oversees the Combative Sports Program that regulated LFA 26, maintains the commission did its job.

“The TDLR is vigilant in its responsibility for the safety of all combative sports participants,” read a statement provided to MMAjunkie. “TDLR actively maintains an on-going review of its safety procedures.

“TDLR staff and attending ringside physicians followed all matchup, pre-fight, in-fight and post-fight safety procedures during Mr. Hancock’s bout. Our thoughts and prayers are with C.J. and his family for his continued recovery.”

The way Hancock sees it, though, he’s a guy that needs to find out his purpose in life.

“I feel like I’m alive,” he said. “I better take advantage of it.”

For now, that means getting back to his first love of jiu-jitsu. He plans to compete in submission grappling tournaments. He wants to coach more. And he wants to spread the word about the dangers of weight-cutting.

Hancock said the issue is one of the most pressing in the sport. He ventures his career might have gone a different direction had there been additional weight classes in which to compete, as the Association of Boxing Commissions recently voted for. He was planning to compete for another six years – until his heart stopped.

Hancock doesn’t want others to follow in his footsteps. He never wants to have to see those looks on his family’s faces. And yet, he’s finding it tough to say he’s completely done with fighting. Asked whether he might ever return to the cage, he hedged.

“Well, there is a chance, but it would have to be something crazy,” Hancock said. “Like if the UFC offered me a fight against ‘CM Punk.’”

For more on LFA 26, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Filed under: Featured, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Matt Brown after UFC-Norfolk knockout win: Retirement decision can wait until later

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

NORFOLK, Va. – The question of whether Matt Brown’s highlight-reel knockout of Diego Sanchez at UFC Fight Night 120 will be his last will have to wait to be answered.

Brown isn’t ready to make the call yet, despite announcing that Saturday’s appearance would be his last in the octagon.

“To be honest, I’m not even thinking about it right now,” Brown told MMAjunkie after his FS1-televised win at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va. “It’s not even really a thought in my mind. I’m thinking about enjoying tonight, and we’ll talk about it later.”

In the cage after his win, Brown (21-16 MMA, 14-10 UFC) said he would discuss the subject of retirement with friends and family before making a final decision. Until the final weeks prior to the fight, that appeared to be made. But then he walked back his declaration that he would call it a career after his meeting with Sanchez (27-11 MMA, 16-11 UFC).

A stellar training camp made Brown reconsider his end date. But there were also plenty of people telling him he shouldn’t hang it up.

“I’ve definitely had more people tell me not to retire than to retire,” Brown said. “But nobody other than me and my family really has any bearing on that – and close friends. So I’m not even going to allow anybody else’s opinions to get into my mind like that.”

Brown’s win not only added another impressive win to his resume. It also snapped a losing skid that likely motivated his decision to give himself one final chance of turning things around.

“Ending (the skid) feels good, but I felt like I needed a finish, because I wasn’t getting the job done, Brown said. “I had to at least show myself that I’m better than I’ve been fighting.”

Now that he’s done that, it’s hard to imagine Brown deciding he’s finished. But that’s a decision he’ll make for himself.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Dustin Poirier adamant about Eddie Alvarez rematch after TKO win over Anthony Pettis

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

NORFOLK, Va. – Dustin Poirier is rooting for Eddie Alvarez to take out surging lightweight Justin Gaethje when they meet next month at UFC 218.

Even after taking out his frustrations on ex-lightweight champ Anthony Pettis (20-7 MMA, 7-6 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 120, Poirier (22-5 MMA, 14-4 UFC) hasn’t forgotten about the chain of events that led him to his fight on Saturday night, and he’s got a score to settle with Alvarez (28-5 MMA, 3-2 UFC).

“I hope Eddie wins, so we can build this up to what it should be,” Poirier told MMAjunkie after his third-round TKO over Pettis in the headliner of Saturday’s fight card at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va. “I should have (had) an automatic rematch. He shouldn’t have been rewarded with a TV show and more publicity and another big fight against another ranked guy.

“He cheated and got out of a fight that he was losing, and he should have been forced to run it back with me.”

Poirier is speaking about the no contest declared in his meeting with Alvarez in May at UFC 211. Alvarez landed a trio of illegal knees against Poirier in the second round, but the blows were ruled accidental and no winner was declared. Poirier later appealed the result to no avail.

Poirier hoped to get an immediate rematch with the ex-champ. But instead, Alvarez was booked as a coach opposite Gaethje (18-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) on “The Ultimate Fighter 26,” a setup to a showdown at UFC 218.

The winner of Alvarez vs. Gaethje could be on the short list for a title shot. That’s why Poirier is demanding he first meet the winner of the fight. There’s no hiding the chip on his shoulder or his ambition to cut the line of contenders.

“I’m the guy who got robbed in that fight,” Poirier said. “(Alvarez) got rewarded.”

After Pettis tapped out in the third round, Poirier immediately walked to the cage and yelled at UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby, ordering him to green light a showdown with the winner of Alvarez vs. Gaethje.

Historically, the rate of success on career demands is far less than 100 percent. But Poirier is certain he’ll get what he wants.

“100 percent,” he said. “I mean, I’ve earned it. I don’t deserve it. I’m not begging for it. I’ve earned it, and then we move on.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

Jarred Brooks got nods from Jose Aldo, Anthony Kiedis, now wants to replace Henry Cejudo

UFC flyweight Jarred Brooks is not all bent out of shape after his first professional loss, even if the people around him are.

There was talk in his camp of an appeal of a split-call loss to Deiveson Figueiredo (13-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 119, which took place Oct. 28 at Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Brooks (13-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) isn’t interested in going that route.

“Everyone’s like, ‘Oh, this undefeated thing,’ and it’s not a big deal,” Brooks told MMAjunkie. “I don’t really care if I take a loss. I’m still looking down the road, and I’m still looking at a UFC belt. If I take losses on the way to the UFC belt, that’s my learning process.”

Brooks appeared to control much of the fight with his wrestling and avoid Figueiredo’s power shots. But the ones that landed convinced two of three judges to give the Brazilian the fight via scores of 29-28.

It didn’t take long for Brooks to arrive at the conclusion he had to let it go. Five minutes after the fight, he was already thinking about his next step.

“I’ve lost in wrestling, and I’ve tried to dwell on my losses too much in wrestling, and it made me hate the sport,” he said. “So I’m not going to do that in this sport. I love it too much.”

The blow of Brooks’ first loss certainly was softened by the response he got when he left the cage. He was approached by UFC executive Reed Harris, who said Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis was watching the fight and thought he got the shaft. Then he saw former UFC featherweight champ Jose Aldo, who said the same thing.

“Man, I was really starstruck,” Brooks said. “I was like, in awe.”

What would help the up-and-comer really get over the whole experience is a quick turnaround. Brooks is eyeing a short-notice replacement if the opportunity arises. A fight with Sergio Pettis would be top on his list, of course, if Pettis’ opponent, onetime title challenger Henry Cejudo, is unable to fight at UFC 218 after a close call in the recent fires in Northern California.

Then there’s up-and-comer Ben Nguyen, who’s won four of five in the octagon and most recently dispatched onetime title challenger Tim Elliott.

Whoever it is, Brooks is undeterred by his recent setback.

“I’m going to get that UFC belt,” he said.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 119, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Campbell McLaren, John Castaneda talk $100k Copa Combate tournament

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Filed under: News, Videos

Former UFC executive and Combate Americas CEO Campbell McLaren is banking on national pride to fuel Friday’s Copa Combate tournament.

Fighters from seven different countries – all but one Spanish-speaking – will face off in a one-night tournament for $100,000. McLaren thinks of it as MMA’s answer to the World Cup and hopes the same rabid passions are stirred for the combatants.

“You’re bringing in a fighter to represent an entire country – in addition to wanting the cash,” McLaren told MMAjunkie Radio. “$100,000 is a real first prize.”

The event, “Combate Americas: Copa Combate,” takes place Saturday at Grand Oasis Cancun in Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Preliminary card fights stream live on NBCSports.com before main card fights on NBCSN.

McLaren’s prize remains the Latin American market for MMA. He boasts his promotion “continues to demolish” the ratings of industry juggernaut UFC in Mexico and doubles the industry-leader’s numbers in Spain.

Combate recently linked up with Telemundo to air Saturday’s tournament, which McLaren expects will provide another boost in recognition.

Conceiving tomorrow’s event, McLaren borrowed from a previous project he worked on, “Iron Ring,” to bring more excitement to the action. The short-lived show on BET featured an elimination tournament where contestants got one five-minute round to advance from the qualifying round.

“There may not be a lot of strategy involved in a five-minute round, but there’s a heck of a lot of action involved in a five-minute round, which is a heck of a way to kick off the tournament,” he said.

The quarterfinal and semifinal rounds feature three three-minute rounds, while the final features three, five-minute rounds. Elbows are only permitted during the championship final to minimize the potential damage rising fighters take.

Copa Combates participant John Castaneda (14-2), who faces Kevin Moreyra (3-1) in the elimination round, has a survival strategy centered around the fighters he considers to be the toughest threats.

“There’s no way to prepare for so many different styles, so I’ve done my own research, my coach has done his research, and we’ve broken it down to two main fighters – two of the biggest threats,” he said. “I’m implementing my camp around those two styles.”

If he gets those unnamed opponents, he’ll be more than ready. And he’s not sweating the others, apparently.

Castaneda doesn’t consider himself a tournament kind of guy. It hasn’t been on his competitive bucket list. But the chance to be a part of a historical event – and bank a sweet paycheck – is something he can’t pass up.

For more on “Combate Americas: Copa Combate,” check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Congressman grills UFC executive during Ali Expansion Act hearing

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

It was a scrap almost from the gavel.

Congressman Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., grilled UFC executive Marc Ratner during a subcommittee hearing today in Washington, D.C., calling the industry-leading promotion the “Don King of MMA” after several testy exchanges over the way fighters are ranked and promoted.

Mullin, a former MMA fighter and co-sponsor of a bill to expand Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act to include MMA fighters, accused Ratner of “misleading the American people” about a statement in opposition to the bill.

“When you say boxers are treated like MMA fighters, clarify that statement that you’re talking about the health of the fighter, but not the professional ranking system, and not about the financial disclosures, because there are distinct differences,” said Mullin, who represents Oklahoma’s 2nd district in the house. “And the Ali Act is the backstop to boxers. There is no backstop for MMA fighter. It’s take it or leave it, and that’s why I say the UFC has become the Don King of MMA.”

Today’s hearing was the second time the Ali Expansion Act was publicly discussed on Capitol Hill. The bill’s first version, introduced during the 114th session of Congress, died in committee. Mullin reintroduced a new version, H.R. 44, during the 115th session.

The current bill has 57 co-sponsors and remains in the house’s Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection, which is a part of the house Energy and Commerce committee.

The bill, explored in depth in an MMAjunkie report this past year, aims to provide greater protections for MMA fighters by forcing promoters to provide greater disclosure of the revenues they earn, forbidding coercive contracts, establishing an independent rankings system, and eliminating conflicts of interest.

Ratner, vice president of regulatory affairs for the UFC, appeared on behalf of the promotion to argue why the expansion act wasn’t suited for the sport of MMA. Opposite on the dais was UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture, a vocal advocate for the Act’s expansion since the bill was introduced, as well as Dr. Kristen Dams-O’Connor, an expert on brain trauma, and Greg Sirb, the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission’s executive director.

Ratner read from a prepared statement that expressed the UFC’s commitment to health and safety standards and its contribution to the regulatory framework of the sport. He argued MMA fighters and boxers are treated the same from a regulatory standpoint, and that current regulatory standards are working as intended. He argued the imposition of a sanctioning model would run contrary to the promotion’s “merit-based, competitive matchmaking decisions.”

“We put on the fights that the fans want to see,” Ratner said. “Fighters, fans and sports reporters keep MMA promoters accountable. H.R. 44 would remove from the promoter the decisions regarding when and against whom fighters are matched, and might force inter-promotional fights. Because
different promotions have less comprehensive health and safety standards than the UFC, our fighters would be endangered.”

Mullin immediately went on the offensive in response to Ratner’s focus on health and safety, as well as his claim that MMA fighters and boxers are treated the same. He cited several instances where the promotion circumvented its own ranking systems to make fights, including this past Saturday’s UFC 217 headliner between Georges St-Pierre (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC) and Michael Bisping (30-8 MMA, 20-8 UFC).

“If the UFC is considered a professional sport, then it should be on a merit-based rankings system,” Mullin said, “when the fans know the No. 1 contender actually has a shot at the title. Because we haven’t seen that at (middleweight). How did Dan Henderson – and I like Dan Henderson, this is no knock on him – but he wasn’t even in the top-10, and when was he last in the top-10? He got to fight Bisping for the title shot. Did the (No.) 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 (ranked contenders) refuse?

“When Dan Henderson fought Michael Bisping, it was a natural rematch from a fight four or five years ago,” Ratner countered.

“But then it wasn’t a title shot, but yet it was for a title shot,” Mullin shot back. “Then that means the world championship belt that the UFC has isn’t really a world championship belt. It’s really what (UFC Chief Operating Officer) Lawrence Epstein personally told me: It’s simply an award they bestow on the best fighter that night. That’s insulting to every professional athlete.

“How did (Georges St-Pierre) get a fight for the title when he hasn’t had a fight in four years, much less at 185 pounds, where he never fought for the belt?”

“St-Pierre hadn’t fought in four years, you’re absolutely right,” Ratner answered.

“So how did he get a title shot?” Mullin questioned.

“St-Pierre was a former champion,” Ratner replied, “a former pound-for-pound best fighter in the world, according to our. …”

“So he still didn’t fight for a title,” Mullin persisted. “He fought for an award bestowed upon the best fighter of the night.”

Check out the above video to watch Mullin’s questioning of Ratner.

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

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

UFC champ Georges St-Pierre injured but won't 'freeze' division

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Newly crowned middleweight champion Georges St-Pierre today revealed a neck injury he suffered during his title-winning fight against Michael Bisping, but he said he still plans to fight interim titleholder Robert Whittaker.

“There’s going to be news about it in the next few weeks, but I don’t plan to hold the title and not defend it,” St-Pierre told reporters today during a media call five days after his win at UFC 217 in New York.

St-Pierre (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC), who submitted Bisping (30-8 MMA, 20-8 UFC) via rear-naked choke in the third round of the pay-per-view headliner at Madison Square Garden, said the injury occurred in the first round of the fight when the Brit threw an elbow from the bottom that contacted that back of his head.

“It looked very insignificant when it happened,” St-Pierre said. “It wasn’t the strength of the hit. It was more the precision of it. It’s not his fault. We’re not allowed to hit there, but it was just in the heat of the fight, and it’s normal.

“My neck was so inflamed, when I was on the floor, I had a hard time posturing up because it was hurting very bad. It felt like I couldn’t contract my head to posture up. After the fight when I cooled down, it was terrible. It was like my neck couldn’t move. Now it’s still sore, but it got a lot better. I got treatment on it, so I’ll be back 100 percent.”

First on the new champ’s itinerary, however, is a vacation to “forget about fighting.” He plans to talk with UFC officials about their plans for unifying the middleweight title against Whittaker (19-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC), who welcomed a meeting with St-Pierre in February at UFC 221 in Perth, Australia.

But St-Pierre resisted repeated questions to tie him down to a timeline.

“(UFC President) Dana White is going to talk with my agent, they’re going to figure it out, and we’ll see after I come back from vacation,” he told MMAjunkie when asked if he would be interested in unifying the title at UFC 221, or would prefer to fight elsewhere.

Whatever he decides, St-Pierre said he’ll make up his mind soon.

“We’ll see what I want to do and where my head is,” he said. “I have no intention of holding onto the belt and freezing the division. That’s not what I want to do. Robert Whittaker is in my contract. If I want to fight again, it has to be against Robert Whittaker at 185 (pounds). That’s in my contract. I cannot, for example, go fight (welterweight champ) Tyron Woodley or go fight another guy.”

St-Pierre said he didn’t know if he’d return to the welterweight division following a fight with Whittaker.

Asked if he might simply retire instead of returning to middleweight, the new champ giggled.

“I don’t know,” he said. “It’s the same question from a different angle. That’s why I can’t talk about this – I don’t know right now

“I understand it’s normal, but I don’t even know for myself what’s going to be the next move.”

For complete coverage of UFC 217, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

Cris Cyborg rep: Holly Holm 'pricing herself out' of UFC 219 title fight intentionally

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg agreed to fight Holly Holm at UFC 219 – that’s what her camp knows.

If money is what’s preventing the fight from happening, a representative for Cyborg says they’ll just have to move on.

“The big fights are the ones you want as a fighter,” manager George Prajin today told MMAjunkie. “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.”

Cyborg remains on good terms with the UFC and awaits her next matchup, Prajin said. That search remains active as the date for her possible return approaches.

Camps for Cyborg (18-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) and Holm (11-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) were in talks for a fight at UFC 219, which takes place Dec. 30 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. But today Holm’s longtime manager, Lenny Frequez, told MMAFighting.com the dead is “dead” after he and the promotion “could not come to financial terms.”

“I would assume Holly doesn’t want to fight Cris,” Prajin said. “Holly is pricing herself out of the fight because she doesn’t want to fight her.”

Fresquez didn’t immediately reply to a message requesting comment.

UFC President Dana White was optimistic about getting a deal done, as was Holm, though she expressed 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.

Prajin, though, shot down the idea that drug testing had anything to do with the difficulty putting the fight together. The real problem, he added, is finding a willing opponent.

“There aren’t many girls willing to fight her in the first place,” Prajin said. “So whoever’s willing to take that courageous step, hey, we welcome it.”

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

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

Reports: Frankie Edgar injured, off UFC 218 title fight vs. Max Holloway

Frankie Edgar has suffered an injury and will not be able to compete against featherweight champion Max Holloway at UFC 218.

Brazilian outlet Combate first reported the news, which ESPN.com’s Brett Okamoto confirmed. Sources close to the fighters told MMAjunkie that Edgar suffered a fractured orbital bone.

The title fight was set to headline the UFC 218 pay-per-view, which takes place at Dec. 2 at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.

Representatives for Edgar (22-5-1 MMA, 16-5-1 UFC) declined comment to MMAjunkie on the situation.

The Combate report states a search is underway for a replacement to face Holloway (18-3 MMA, 14-2 UFC), who was to make his first title defense as undisputed champ after unifying the title with a dominant win over Jose Aldo at UFC 212.

Edgar most recently notched a win over up-and-comer Yair Rodriguez at UFC 211, upping his current win streak to two after a loss to Aldo in a fight for the interim featherweight title at UFC 200.

The UFC 218 lineup now includes:

MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)

  • Champ Max Holloway vs. TBA – for featherweight title
  • Francis Ngannou vs. Alistair Overeem
  • Henry Cejudo vs. Sergio Pettis
  • Eddie Alvarez vs. Justin Gaethje
  • Tecia Torres vs. Michelle Waterson

PRELIMINARY CARD (FS1, 8 p.m. ET)

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 6:15 p.m. ET)

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

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