All posts by Steven Marrocco

Dennis Bermudez 'looking to do exactly what Bektic did' to Darren Elkins – just not gas out

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Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

NEW HYDE PARK, N.Y. – Every MMA fan remembers the last 30 seconds of Darren Elkins’ bout with Mirsad Bektic at UFC 209. They might remember less the degree to which Bektic dominated Elkins before a sudden shift in momentum.

Dennis Bermudez doesn’t.

In fact, Bermudez (16-6 MMA, 9-4 UFC) is counting on delivering the same type of one-sided drubbing Bektic did when he faces Elkins (22-5 MMA, 12-4 UFC) on Saturday at UFC on FOX 25.

“We’re looking to do exactly what Bektic did – but just not get tired,” said Bermudez, who meets Elkins in the FOX-televised co-headliner at NYCB LIVE in Uniondale, N.Y. “And do that for 15 minutes, rather than 12-and-a-half.”

That would satisfy Bermudez greatly after his previous outing, a knockout loss in February to Chan Sung Jung that suddenly went wrong when he “moved the wrong way” and caught the punch that turned out his lights.

Bermudez would like to wipe that memory clean from fans’ minds.

“I want to get in there come Saturday night and show everybody that that’s not the real Dennis Bermudez,” he said. “We had a little slip-up.”

Fighting in his home state of New York, Bermudez is extra motivated to earn redemption in front of a friendly crowd.

“It’s in my hometown, right in my back yard, so I can’t let Darren Elkins come in and kick my dog,” he said.

Watch the video above to hear more from Bermudez.

And for more on UFC on FOX 25, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

Chris Weidman wanted Gegard Mousasi rematch, promises to be his best at UFC on FOX 25

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Filed under: Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

NEW HYDE PARK, N.Y. – Former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman thought his next trip to the octagon would bring redemption for his previous fight.

Unfortunately, the source of that redemption didn’t cooperate.

When the UFC offered a fight with Kelvin Gastelum (13-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC) at UFC on FOX 25, Weidman (13-3 MMA, 9-3 UFC) had to let go of his original plan to rematch Gegard Mousasi, who defected to Bellator earlier this month.

“There was a little hesitation, because I wanted the Mousasi rematch,” Weidman told MMAjunkie at an open workout for his FOX-televised headliner at Saturday’s event, which takes place at NYCB LIVE in Uniondale, N.Y. “And then we were finding out that he probably wasn’t going to (re-sign with the UFC), they offered me this fight, and I couldn’t turn it down.”

Weidman now chooses to focus on the thrill of fighting on home soil again over avenging a loss to Mousasi (42-6-2 MMA, 9-3 UFC), who beat him three months ago in a controversial fight at UFC 210.

“I’m over it,” Weidman said. “He’s moved on. You don’t hold on to things. It’s the match I wanted, but he moved on; he’s doing whatever he has to do for himself, and I’ve got to focus on what I’ve got to do.”

First and foremost, Weidman needs a win. He’s lost his past three UFC bouts after an appeal to overturn the controversial fight failed. His most recent victory was in May 2015 when he stopped Vitor Belfort in the first round to notch his third title defense at UFC 187.

Weidman maintains he was winning all of the fights he lost until a single mistake cost him the victory. But when he faces Gastelum on Saturday, he said there will be no doubt that he’s still a world champion on the road back to the belt.

“People are going to see on Saturday night who the best guy in the world is,” Weidman said. “The truth speaks volumes. I don’t have to say a word.”

Watch the video above to hear more from Weidman.

And for more on UFC on FOX 25, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

UFC on FOX 25's Darren Elkins talks hero turn in last fight, lightning striking twice vs. Dennis Bermudez

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Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

NEW HYDE PARK, N.Y. – If you thought UFC featherweight Darren Elkins’ most recent fight was a thrill, imagine how he felt.

“It was like an adrenaline rush for, like, three weeks straight, where it’s like, ‘Wow, that really did happen,’” Elkins said of his UFC 209 win over Mirsad Bektic.

Bektic had battered him for much of the fight when Elkins (22-5 MMA, 12-4 UFC) suddenly turned the tables. A head kick and punch stopped Bektic cold and completed one of the most impressive comebacks seen in the octagon.

Fans flocked to Elkins. For a guy known for grinding out opponents with wrestling, it was a new experience. Suddenly, people were paying attention.

“I went from most people knowing me, to people really becoming fans of mine,” he said. “Even people who aren’t MMA fans watched that fight were inspired by it. I get a lot of people reaching out to me, telling me how gutsy it was and how much of a force I was.”

More validation arrived when the UFC offered a well regarded and highly ranked opponent for his next fight. Elkins is now No. 14 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA featherweight rankings.

Elkins’ head is held high as he marches toward a FOX-televised meeting with Dennis Bermudez (16-6 MMA, 9-4 UFC) at UFC on FOX 25. But he’s also working on another goal for his next time out: not getting hit so much.

“The focus on this camp was, work on my defense,” Elkins told MMAjunkie at an open workout for Saturday’s fight at NYCB LIVE in Uniondale, N.Y. “I don’t want to take that much abuse this time, obviously. It was make it a (expletive) exciting fight and make it a fast-paced fight.

“I think me and him are going to have a lot of scrambles, and then (I’ll) KO him at the end.”

That’s the dream Elkins just lived, so it’s hard for him not to be optimistic about doing it again. The likelihood of that happening is pretty slim, of course. But he’ll try to hit that sweet spot between creating excitement and avoiding excessive brain damage.

If he can climb the featherweight ladder while doing it, all the better.

Watch the interview above to hear more from Elkins.

And for more on UFC on FOX 25, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

UFC on FOX 25's Kelvin Gastelum thinks he's next for middleweight title shot, but not letting 170 go

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Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

NEW HYDE PARK, N.Y. – UFC middleweight Kelvin Gastelum doesn’t see any contenders in the way of a title shot if he beats ex-champ Chris Weidman on Saturday at UFC on FOX 25.

With Gegard Mousasi signed to Bellator, ex-champ Luke Rockhold “missing in action,” and top contenders Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and Yoel Romero coming off losses, Gastelum said he’s got the best argument for facing the winner of an upcoming title unifier between champs Michael Bisping and Robert Whittaker.

“I think it would make more sense to put me in next,” Gastelum (14-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) told MMAjunkie at an open workout in support of his FOX-televised headliner at NYCB LIVE in Uniondale, N.Y.

Whittaker (19-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC) just won the interim title earlier this month at UFC 213, so no date has been set for his meeting with Bisping (30-7 MMA, 20-7 UFC). That leaves Gastelum time to line up his shot with a win over Weidman (13-3 MMA, 9-3 UFC), who’s met a precipitous decline since the loss of his belt two years ago, losing three straight.

For the opportunity to beat an ex-champ, Gastelum put aside hesitation over competing in an event regulated by the New York State Athletic Commission, which suspended him for six months when a botched weight cut led him to no-show a scheduled fight against Donald Cerrone at UFC 205.

Gastelum has won all of his fights at middleweight, though a recent win over ex-champ Vitor Belfort was overturned due to a positive marijuana test that cost him a fight against ex-champ Anderson Silva. But even with his success at 185 pounds, he still hasn’t given up on the idea of winning the title at welterweight.

Although UFC President Dana White famously said he would never allow Gastelum to fight again in the 170-pound class, where four of “The Ultimate Fighter 17” winner’s fights have been disrupted due to weight issues, Gastelum his eye on beating Tyron Woodley.

Gastelum thinks he beat the current UFC welterweight champ when they met two years ago at UFC 183, though Woodley officially earned a split-decision victory. He wants revenge – and the UFC welterweight title.

“I just want to make that fight right,” Gastelum said. “I want to make the weight. I want to beat his ass.”

But so far, he’s keeping his ambitions in check as he pursues the belt at middleweight. The timing is right for a title run at 185 pounds. He may have to wait a long time before the same is true of 170 pounds.

For more on UFC on FOX 25, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

Manager on Max Holloway's 1st UFC title defense: 'It's probably going to be' Frankie Edgar

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

Max Holloway’s first title defense as the undisputed UFC featherweight champion is likely to come against ex-lightweight champ Frankie Edgar, according to his longtime manager.

“We are in negotiations right now with Max and getting a new deal in place, and once that’s in place, we’ll be ready to commit,” Brian Butler told MMAjunkie Radio of a potential fight between Holloway (18-3 MMA, 14-3 UFC) and Edgar (22-5-1 MMA, 16-5-1 UFC). “It’s looking like it’s probably going to be Frankie.”

Holloway and Butler met with the UFC earlier this month in Las Vegas to discuss a new contract. Holloway talked up a new deal that would bump up his salary after an impressive stoppage of now-former champ Jose Aldo at UFC 212, a victory that unified the 145-pound title after Holloway won an interim title this past December.

Of those talks, Butler said “things seemed to be moving in the right direction” but added, “we’re going to need more time.”

Holloway has won a staggering 11 straight fights in the octagon, not falling short since a 2013 decision setback to Conor McGregor, who held the featherweight title before he was stripped of it after winning the lightweight belt. That’s left the 25-year-old Hawaiian looking for greener pastures.

Butler said UFC President Dana White promised a better deal “a few fights back” when he renegotiated Holloway’s contract. Holloway loudly reminded White of that fact after stopping Aldo this past month.

“We didn’t get quite what we wanted then, but we kind of met in the middle,” Butler said. “Dana’s like, ‘Listen, guys, if Max goes out there and does his thing and wins the belt, we’ll be sitting back here at brunch having this meeting again, and we’re not going to fight this contract.’ So Max did everything he did, and I think he did it in stellar (fashion).”

Since Holloway’s title win, featherweight contenders have jockeyed to be Holloway’s first challenge. Edgar and top contender Cub Swanson (25-7 MMA, 10-3 UFC) both have stated their cases for being the No. 1 contender.

Edgar fell short in an interim title bout one year ago against Aldo but has rebounded with two straight wins and owns a submission win over Swanson, who’s won his past four since a submission loss to Holloway in 2015.

Edgar is the No. 3 fighter in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA featherweight rankings, while Swanson is No. 6. Holloway is No. 1 at 145 and No 8 on the pound-for-pound list.

Holloway is pushing hard to fight on home soil. So far, he’s been unsuccessful in getting the UFC to promote a fight in Hawaii, though Butler said the industry-leader’s hesitance isn’t for a lack of a desire to pop up its tent on the islands. The margins of doing business in Hawaii might be the greatest obstacle.

“If you had the opportunity to do it in Vegas, where you know you’re going to clear several million, or do it in Hawaii, where you’re not, what are you going to do?” Butler said.

Still, Butler feels confident an event will take place next year. He said Holloway’s stardom is now on par with Hawaiian MMA pioneer and UFC Hall of Famer B.J. Penn; a welcome home celebration after his title win drew 1,000 fans to Honolulu airport and a parade drew a line of people 17 miles long.

Any chance for local fans to see Holloway fight will be a big deal, Butler indicated. But now his priority is getting his client paid.

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

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

UFC-Glasgow medical suspensions: 'Fight of the Night' recipient Daniel Teymur gets potential 6-month term

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A “Fight of the Night” bout between Danny Henry and Daniel Teymur at UFC Fight Night 113 left one fighter with a potentially long medical suspension.

Teymur (6-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) needs doctor’s clearance for his right hand after going three hard rounds with Henry (11-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC), who earned a unanimous-decision win. Otherwise, he faces a six-month suspension, according to medical suspensions the UFC sent to MMAjunkie.

UFC Fight Night 113 took place Sunday at SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland. The main card aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

The UFC acts as the de-facto athletic commission in jurisdictions where MMA isn’t officially sanctioned.

All 24 fighters were given a minimum suspension of seven days if not suspended longer for more serious injuries. Four fighters were given potential six-month terms requiring doctor’s clearance.

Event headliner Gunnar Nelson (16-3-1 MMA, 7-3 UFC) is out 45 days following his first-round TKO loss to Santiago Ponzinibbio (25-3 MMA, 7-2 UFC) in the event’s headliner. Ponzinibbio also took home a $50,000 bonus for “Performance of the Night.”

The full list of UFC Fight Night 113 medical suspensions that last more than seven days include:

  • Gunnar Nelson: suspended 45 days with 30 days no contact for TKO
  • Cynthia Calvillo: suspended 30 days with 21 days no contact; left forearm X-ray was negative
  • Joanne Calderwood: suspended 30 days with 21 days no contact for hard bout
  • Paul Felder: suspended 30 days with 21 days no contact for right eyelid laceration
  • Stevie Ray: suspended 60 days with 45 days no contact for TKO
  • Jack Marshman: suspended 30 days with 21 days no contact for hard bout; CT scan negative
  • Ryan Lanes: suspended 30 days with 21 days no contact for right cheek laceration
  • Paul Craig: suspended 60 days with 45 days no contact for TKO; head CT was negative
  • James Mulheron: suspended 45 days with 30 days no contact for hard bout
  • Justin Willis: suspended 180 days or until cleared by doctor for ribs; suspended a minimum of 30 days
  • Bobby Nash: suspended 45 days with 30 days no contact for TKO
  • Alexandre Pantoja: suspended 30 days with 21 days no contact
  • Neil Seery: suspended 180 days or until cleared by doctor for ribs; suspended a minimum of 45 days
  • Charlie Ward: suspended 60 days with 45 days no contact for KO
  • Daniel Teymur: suspended 180 days or until cleared by doctor for right hand; suspended a minimum 45 days
  • Brett Johns: suspended 180 days or until cleared by negative MRI on right shoulder; suspended a minimum 30 days
  • Albert Morales: suspended 30 days with 21 days no contact for brow laceration
  • Leslie Smith: suspended 30 days with 21 days no contact; X-ray was negative
  • Amanda Lemos: suspended 180 days or until cleared by negative X-ray on right thumb; suspended a minimum 45 days

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 113, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC's Alistair Overeem won't be calling out boxing champ Anthony Joshua – been there, done that

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Filed under: Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

It’s all the rage for UFC fighters to call out champion boxers since Conor McGregor set up a fight with Floyd Mayweather. But count out Alistair Overeem.

Overeem (43-15 MMA, 8-4 UFC) just isn’t that enthused about being the next crossover star by fighting heavyweight boxing champ Anthony Joshua (19-0 boxing), even if it might be the most lucrative opportunity of his career.

The way he sees it? Been there, done that.

“I don’t shy away from challenges,” Overeem told MMAjunkie backstage at UFC Fight Night 113. “Does Anthony Joshua shy away from challenges? I don’t know. He could come into the UFC – that would be great.

“Personally, I’m not looking for new challenges. I already had all that. My challenge is the UFC championship.”

The 37-year-old veteran said his McGregor moment came eight years ago. When his Japanese promoter made a last-minute switch, offering him a kickboxing fight with decorated striker Badr Hari instead of a scheduled rematch against Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic, Overeem rolled with it. That started his kickboxing career, which led to his appearance in the 2009 K-1 Grand Prix and his win in the 2010 competition.

An MMA titleholder in now-defunct promotions Strikeforce and DREAM and kickboxing champ in K-1, Overeem belongs to a very short list of MMA fighters with major titles in both sports.

“I never had the intention of doing it, but I kind of liked it,” Overeem said of his achievement. “It was a great experience, and it all came by accident. But I liked it, and I believed in myself. I went for it, and I got my K-1 title.”

Now, he’s going for a UFC title that’s proved more elusive than any other belt. A win over Brock Lesnar in 2011 put him on the fast track to a title shot. But subsequent KO losses to Antonio Silva and Travis Browne stalled his career.

A rebound brought Overeem four straight wins and a title shot this past September at UFC 203. But after early success against current champ Stipe Miocic (17-2 MMA, 11-2 UFC), he tripped to the mat and was knocked out by a flurry of punches.

Despite recent wins over Mark Hunt (13-11-1 MMA, 8-5-1 UFC) and ex-champ Fabricio Werdum (21-7-1 MMA, 9-4 UFC), Overeem is in a holding pattern. UFC President Dana White wasn’t thrilled by his win over Werdum, and up-and-comer Francis Ngannou (10-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC) looks like a lock for a title shot if he can beat ex-champ Junior Dos Santos (18-5 MMA, 12-4 UFC) in September at UFC 215.

Overeem isn’t banking on that, however.

“What he does not have going for him is he hasn’t faced any top-quality opponents,” Overeem said of Ngannou. “When (Dos Santos beats Ngannou), nothing stands in the way of my title shot.”

Except, perhaps, the crossover ambitions of the current champ.

Since McGregor started circling Mayweather, Miocic has repeatedly called out boxing champ Joshua.

Maybe Miocic has been paying attention to how much McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) is going to make when he gets down with Mayweather (49-0 boxing) on Aug. 26.

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

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

Anderson Silva, apparently not interested in retiring anymore, calls for Nick Diaz rematch

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Two months after threatening to retire from MMA, Anderson Silva is calling for a rematch with Nick Diaz.

“I believe this was one of the best fights in the history of this sport,” Silva wrote to Diaz on his Instagram account. “With all my respect Nick. Let’s show how it’s done. I will wait your reply, maximum respect to the Diaz family.”

Instagram Photo

Silva fumed at the UFC for not giving him an interim middleweight title fight with Yoel Romero after a bout with Kelvin Gastelum fell through at UFC 212. The battle lines seemed drawn between the former middleweight champ and the promotion. Silva promised to call it quits if he didn’t get the fight. UFC President Dana White called his bluff.

Now, “The Spider” is pivoting, curiously toward an old foe, one that led to the most controversial period of his long and decorated career.

Silva (34-8 MMA, 17-4 UFC) and Diaz (26-10 MMA, 7-7 UFC) met two years ago at UFC 183. The fight was pivotal for both fighters. Silva had lost his title at UFC 162 after an upset knockout at the hands of Chris Weidman and then broken his leg in a rematch. Diaz hadn’t fought since a decision loss to now-former welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre prompted him to walk away from the sport. The fight, in Silva’s middleweight division, was an expected and widely celebrated booking.

Over three rounds, Silva consistently outstruck Diaz and earned a unanimous decision for his first win in three years. But just one month after the fight, the fighters’ worlds were turned upside-down when Silva tested positive for a pair of steroids and Diaz tested positive for marijuana.

The pair took wildly divergent approaches to diluting the findings, with Silva professing innocence by claiming he’d taken an off-brand sexual enhancement substance on the recommendation of a training partner in Thailand.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission, which oversaw the fight, didn’t buy the excuse and suspended him one year, adding a dig in accusing the former champ of “soft testimony.” Meanwhile, Silva’s colleagues and the public questioned whether his legacy had been permanently tainted.

Diaz, meanwhile, came in looking to fight his suspension, which marked his third such punishment for marijuana. The NSAC threw the proverbial book at him, suspending him an incredible five years and fining him $165,000. The severity of the punishment created a major backlash in the public, leading to a White House petition and support from celebrities. The NSAC later backtracked, shortening Diaz’s punishment to 18 months with a $100,00 fine.

This past August, Diaz’s suspension ended, opening the door to a return. But according to White, the former Strikeforce champ turned down multiple fight offers.

“The most difficult to get into the octagon? Right now, it’s the Diaz brothers – right here, right now,” White said.

Diaz’s younger brother, Nate Diaz (19-11 MMA,14-9 UFC), recently turned down a fight with Tony Ferguson (22-3 MMA, 12-1 UFC) at UFC 213 before rejecting it when the UFC wouldn’t up his pay.

As the younger brother subsequently suggested, any Diaz return would have to be accompanied by a very healthy payday.

Would Silva provide that? We’ll find out soon enough.

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

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

Manager: Conor McGregor striking most lucrative sponsorship deals ever for 'The Money Tour'

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Filed under: Featured, Featured Videos, Radio, UFC, Videos

The minimum bid to sponsor a boxing megafight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao was reportedly $1 million. By the time the champs touched gloves, beer maker Tecate had plunked down $5.6 million for a spot in the ring, beating out a $5.2 million bid from Corona.

Will Mayweather’s (49-0 boxing) spectacle against UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) draw a similar number, even with no title at stake and McGregor’s inexperience in boxing?

Of course, the suits are optimistic.

“There’s a lot of great deals that we’re going to be announcing,” McGregor’s manager Audie Attar told MMAjunkie this past Friday at the last stop of a four-city press tour for “The Money Fight.” “But it’s still a work in progress.”

There’s a limited amount of physical real estate on which to advertise – and a limited amount of time to cut deals. The pay-per-view fight – priced at just under $99.95 for the HD version – takes place Aug. 26 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

If the spectacle draws the numbers expected, an audience of tens of millions will be watching. The viewership numbers from this past week’s press tour suggested a blockbuster, with more than a half-million tuning in online to watch the boxer and MMA fighter berate each other in a gaudy, crass affair. Mayweather and McGregor also reach more than 55 million impressions on social media.

Competition among brands should be fierce.

For “The Fight of the Century,” Mayweather got $1 million for Hublot and FanDuel patches on his shorts and an extra $1 million to have “The Burger King” accompany him to the ring, according to ESPN.com. Pacquiao took home $2.5 million.

Fighting in the UFC, McGregor was encumbered by the promotion’s apparel deal, which requires fighters to wear Reebok gear to the cage and all fight-week related activities. But Attar said the UFC champ is a free agent for sponsorships after an exclusive deal with Reebok expired.

With Reebok payouts topping $40,000 per fight for UFC champions, it’s safe to say McGregor will make more sponsor money than he’s ever seen before when he faces Mayweather in the ring.

“I think yes, they have been (the most lucrative deals we’ve ever done), and that goes hand and hand with the fight we’re a part of that he’s not only a fighter in, but a promoter in,” said Attar, adding, “that I also negotiated.”

Unlike previous fights, McGregor is acting not only as a competitor, but a promoter. His company, McGregor Sports Entertainment, joined Mayweather Promotions on banners promoting the fight during the press tour. As an owner, he shares a greater responsibility of pulling off the improbable event. But he also shares more in the profits that result from it.

“We’re not just thinking short term; we’re thinking long term,” Attar said.

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

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 113's Santiago Ponzinibbio calls out Neil Magny, Carlos Condit

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GLASGOW – Fresh of an upset win over Gunnar Nelson, Santiago Ponzinibbio dropped a pair of names for his next desired bout.

Ponzinibbio said he’d like to face Neil Magny (19-5 MMA, 12-4 UFC) and Carlos Condit (30-10 MMA, 7-6 UFC), leaning more heavily on the former.

“I like this division,” Ponzinibbio (25-3 MMA, 7-2 UFC) said after his first-round knockout of Nelson (16-3-1 MMA, 7-3 UFC) in the FS1-televised headliner at SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland. “It’s got huge talent. I’d like to fight those guys, or anyone. I’ve been training very hard. It’s my fifth victory in the road. Neil Magny is a good match.”

Lucky for him, the Magny fight appears to make more sense in the current state of the welterweight division. Former interim UFC welterweight champ Carlos Condit hasn’t fought since a first-round submission loss to Demian Maia one year ago, and he may never compete again due to concerns over head trauma.

Although Condit hasn’t made a formal announcement on the matter, he appears to be laying low rather than thinking about a return to the octagon.

Magny, on the other hand, is a ready-made opponent. He appears to be unbooked seven months after a decision win over ex-champ Johny Hendricks, though at least one up-and-comer recently called him out.

As the No. 10 fighter in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA welterweight rankings, Magny offers a bridge to better opposition for Ponzinibbio, who was unranked when he stopped honorable mention Nelson in the first round.

Ponzinibbio argued the Condit pairing fulfills a long-held goal in the welterweight division. But he remains open on the issue.

“I’d like to fight the best strikers in the world, so people can understand I’m the best striker in the division,” he said. “OK, (Condit) hasn’t fought for a long time, but he is not a new guy. It’s a good match for people to see high-level striker.

“Maybe Neil Magny too. He’s a good striker and good on the floor. But I’m ready for everything in this division.”

One thing is for sure. After such an emphatic victory, Ponzinibbio certainly has earned the right to move up in the UFC’s marquee weight class.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 113, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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