Tickets for UFC's debut in Fresno go on sale today

The UFC will debut in Fresno, Calif., in December, and tickets for the event go on sale today.

Featuring a pivotal clash of top-10 featherweights between Cub Swanson (25-7 MMA, 10-3 UFC) and unbeaten Brian Ortega (12-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) in the main event, UFC Fight Night 123 takes Dec. 9 at Save Mart Center and airs on FS1 with prelims on FS2 and UFC Fight Pass.

Tickets are priced at $125, $90, $75 and $50. They go on sale to the general public Friday at noon PT on Ticketmaster.com.

UFC newsletter subscribers have access to a special pre-sale beginning Thursday at 10 a.m. PT, while UFC Fight Club members can purchase tickets Wednesday at 10 a.m. PT.

In addition to the main event, UFC Fight Night 123 features the return of Bryan Caraway (21-7 MMA, 6-2 UFC) , who takes on Luke Sanders, after more than a year away from the octagon.

The UFC Fight Night 123 card currently includes:

  • Cub Swanson vs. Brian Ortega
  • Bryan Caraway vs. Luke Sanders
  • Aljamain Sterling vs. Rani Yahya
  • Carls John de Tomas vs. Alex Perez
  • Liz Carmouche vs. Alexis Davis
  • Eryk Anders vs. John Phillips
  • Scott Holtzman vs. Darrell Horcher
  • Trevin Giles vs. Antonio Braga Neto
  • Chris Gruetzemacher vs. Davi Ramos
  • Benito Lopez vs. Albert Morales

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

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Cub Swanson: Brian Ortega 'ain't making a name off of me' at UFC Fight Night 123

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Brian Ortega is close to reaching critical mass as a UFC featherweight. After all, he’s booked against veteran Cub Swanson for his next bout at UFC Fight Night 123.

Ortega (12-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC), the No. 7 fighter in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA featherweight rankings, has carved out an impressive niche in his octagon career, submitting four consecutive opponents in the third round. He’s earned a test.

The No. 6 Swanson (25-7 MMA, 10-3 UFC), a grizzled veteran who’s come within a step of a title shot, is just that type of opponent. The UFC will either mint a new star or certify an existing one.

Overall, the fight offers more upside for the 26-year-old Ortega, who’s got plenty of time to reset in the event of a setback. Swanson, 33, doesn’t have that luxury.

When the pair meet in the FS1-televised headliner of UFC Fight Night 123 on Dec. 9 at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif., it will be the final fight on Swanson’s contract.

Calling his choice to test free agency “a power move,” Swanson is making a bet he’ll increase his leverage with the promotion by beating the red-hot Ortega, getting a salary increase through a new contract with the UFC or one with another promotion.

It’s a bet many fighters have taken over the past two years, to mixed results. Swanson figures now is the right time to make his move. He just welcomed his first child and wants to set himself up so he doesn’t need to take physical punishment to make a living.

He chooses to reframe the high stakes as a chance to show off his skills.

“It actually feels good,” Swanson said. “It feels like less pressure. Some people may take more pressure being the favorite, but man, I feel like I’ve worked so hard to be here, and I don’t see somebody coming and taking it from me.

“So whenever a guy that’s the new thing, they’re like, ‘Oh, this is the guy you’re fighting?’ I’m like, ‘He ain’t making a name off of me.’ I’m going to show him why I’m in the spot I’m in, and why I’ve been here so long. I keep getting better. Bring it on.”

Although Swanson believes he’s already a rightful contender for the title, he’s no longer dwelling on opportunities not offered. Ortega is the one in front of him that must be overcome.

“I don’t know exactly how he’s going to come into the fight,” Swanson said. “I know he likes to bang, but I’m sure he’ll try to use his jiu-jitsu, as well. I just see that he’s stylistically a great matchup for me.

“Every fight, I’m chasing the perfect performance and feel like I’m getting closer and closer, and that’s what makes me keep fighting. I feel like this could be it. This could be your perfect performance.”

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

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

Cub Swanson says he's headlining UFC Fight Night 123 against Brian Ortega

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UFC Fight Night 123 in California appears to have its headliner.

Cub Swanson (25-7 MMA, 10-3 UFC) today announced he’s fighting undefeated Brian Ortega (12-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) at the December event. His announcement follows an initial report from Farah Hannoun (via Instagram):

Instagram Photo

UFC officials haven’t made a formal announcement.

UFC Fight Night 123 takes place Dec. 9 at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif. The event airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, though the full fight card and bout order haven’t been finalized.

Swanson is No. 6 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA featherweight rankings, and Ortega is No. 7.

Swanson, a 33-year-old Californian, looks for his fifth straight victory following decision wins over Hacran Dias, Tatsuya Kawajiri, Dooho Choi and Artem Lobov. The latest wins – over Choi and Lobov – earned “Fight of the Night” honors (and the Choi fight was a popular “Fight of the Year” pick in 2016). Swanson’s been out of action since his April main-event win over Lobov after breaking a hand for the 10th time in his eight-year career.

He now fights Ortega, a 26-year-old who also calls California home. The undefeated up-and-comer and former RFA champ is 4-0 in the UFC (with one no-contest/overturned win due to a 2014 failed drug test). In his most recent fight, he picked up his second “Fight of the Night” award with a submission victory over Renato Moicano at UFC 214 in July. All of his UFC victories have come via stoppage – all in the third round.

The latest UFC Fight Night 123 card includes:

  • Brian Ortega vs. Cub Swanson
  • Liz Carmouche vs. Alexis Davis
  • Scott Holtzman vs. Darrell Horcher
  • Eryk Anders vs. John Phillips
  • Trevin Giles vs. Antonio Braga Neto
  • Carls John de Tomas vs. Alex Perez

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

 

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

Sean Shelby's Shoes: What's next for Amanda Nunes and UFC 215's other winners?

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

(ALSO SEE: Sean Shelby’s Shoes: What’s next for UFC 215’s losing fighters?)

The UFC’s first pay-per-view event in Canada this year took place on Saturday with UFC 215, which went down at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

The five-fight lineup saw Amanda Nunes (15-4 MMA, 8-1 UFC) defend her UFC women’s bantamweight championship for the second time when she earned a hotly contested split-decision victory over rival Valentina Shevchenko (14-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) in the headliner.

Several other impressive performances were turned in, with former champ Rafael dos Anjos (27-9 MMA, 16-7 UFC), Henry Cejudo (11-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC), Ilir Latifi (13-5 MMA, 6-3 UFC) and Jeremy Stephens (26-14 MMA, 13-13 UFC) turning in convincing winning performances against their opponents.

After every event, fans wonder whom the winners will be matched up with next. And with another night of UFC action in the rearview mirror, it’s time to look forward, put on a pair of Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard’s shoes, and play UFC matchmaker for UFC 215’s winning fighters.

* * * *

Jeremy Stephens

Brian Ortega

Should fight: Brian Ortega
Why they should fight: Stephens once again bounced back from a two-fight losing skid inside the UFC octagon when he earned one of the more noteworthy victories of his career, this time against former Strikeforce champ Gilbert Melendez.

With the help of vicious leg kicks, Stephens earned a dominant unanimous-decision win over “El’ Nino” to get him back on track. Despite 26 UFC appearances, Stephens is still only 31 and said he still has a lot of competitive years left.

Although Melendez is a established name in the sport, he’s not currently considered a top title threat, nor is he someone who should elevate Stephens into the title-shot discussion. There are names out there who could do more for him, though, and an undefeated rising star like Ortega (12-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) would make for a compelling affair.

Ortega is young, dynamic and a fighter with some buzz in the weight class. Stephens would be a big test, but if he handles him, that would legitimize him in a whole new light.

Ilir Latifi

Mauricio Rua

Should fight: Winner of Mauricio Rua vs. Ovince Saint Preux at UFC Fight Night 117
Why they should fight: Latifi returned to the octagon for the first time in more than a year and halted the undefeated streak of rising light heavyweight Tyson Pedro.

Latifi improved to 4-1 in his past five UFC appearances with a unanimous-decision victory over Pedro. He’s lined himself up for a greater opportunity next time out, and the winner of the UFC Fight Night 117 headliner between Rua (25-10 MMA, 9-8 UFC) and Saint Preux (20-10 MMA, 8-5 UFC) later this month could be the perfect fit.

Although “Shogun” and “OSP” have accomplished as much in the sport as anyone Latifi has fought thus far, a victory over the winner of their upcoming matchup would help legitimize himself at 205 pounds and allow him to join the title-contender discussion.

Henry Cejudo

Sergio Pettis

Should fight: Sergio Pettis
Why they should fight: Cejudo turned in easily the most impressive performance of his career when he completely outclassed fellow former flyweight title challenger Wilson Reis for a second-round knockout win.

After beating his opponents on the scorecards in his first four UFC wins, Cejudo made a definitive statement with a stellar striking performance against Reis to help him rebound from a two-fight skid against 125-pound champ Demetrious Johnson and top-ranked contender Joseph Benavidez.

Although Cejudo eventually wants a title rematch with Johnson, he named Pettis (16-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC) as a possible next opponent. They were scheduled to fight at UFC 211 in May, but Cejudo was forced to withdraw during fight week due to a hand injury. Pettis is coming off a decision win over fast-rising Brandon Moreno at UFC Fight Night 114 in August, and Cejudo said he would be very interested in booking that fight again to further strengthen his title-shot argument.

Rafael dos Anjos

Tyron Woodley

Should fight: Tyron Woodley
Why they should fight: Former UFC lightweight champion dos Anjos continued a successful venture into the welterweight division when he defeated longtime contender Neil Magny.

Dos Anjos earned a first-round submission win to improve to 2-0 since he moved up to 170 pounds earlier this year. The Brazilian has made a quick rise in the division, and he would have already fought for the title against Woodley (18-3-1 MMA, 8-2-1 UFC) in July if Demian Maia had been unable to accept.

Woodley is still nursing some injuries from his UFC 214 win over Maia, but that works perfectly for the Brazilian, who said he’s eager to take some time off after two fights in three months. Although Woodley somewhat dismissed dos Anjos as a legitimate next challenger at this time, there are few better options available in the weight class. Dos Anjos’ performance against Magny paired with his status as a former UFC titleholder should get him the next shot.

Amanda Nunes

Should fight: Raquel Pennington
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why Nunes should face Pennington (9-5 MMA, 6-2 UFC) for her third title defense.

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

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

MMAjunkie's 'Fight of the Month' for July: A long-awaited debut meets expectations

With another action-packed month of MMA in the books, MMAjunkie looks at the best fights from July. Here are the five nominees, listed in chronological order, and winner of MMAjunkie’s “Fight of the Month” award for July.

At the bottom of the post, let us know if we got it right by voting on your choice.

* * * *

The nominees

Justin Gaethje def. Michael Johnson at TUF 25 Finale

Justin Gaethje (18-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) promised a big splash in his UFC debut, and the former WSOF champ delivered when he defeated lightweight contender Michael Johnson (17-12 MMA, 9-8 UFC).

Gaethje added yet another victory to his undefeated record when he beat Johnson by second-round TKO in a “Fight of the Year” contender, putting himself on the map in the loaded 155-pound weight class.

Robert Whittaker def. Yoel Romero at UFC 213

Robert Whittaker (19-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC) came into his UFC interim middleweight title fight against Yoel Romero (12-2 MMA, 8-1 UFC) with a bum left knee, but he didn’t expect it to give him any trouble.

That all changed in the first round, though, when Romero hit Whittaker with a side kick. Whittaker felt the pain that would stick with him for the remainder of the bout. It didn’t hinder him completely, and he pushed through with his game plan and seemingly came back from an 0-2 hole to win a unanimous decision.

Instagram Photo

Derek Campos def Brandon Girtz at Bellator 181

Derek Campos (19-6 MMA, 8-4 BMMA) and Brandon Girtz (14-7 MMA, 6-5 BMMA) have met three times under the Bellator banner, and their trilogy proved an instant classic.

The two lightweights came to bang in the catchweight contest. Ultimately, Campos took home a TKO at the close of the second round when doctors determined a nasty gash on Girtz’s forehead was bad enough to end the fight.

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid4621179066001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5508776133001

Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos def. Lyman Good at UFC on FOX 25

Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos (17-5 MMA, 2-2 UFC) and Lyman Good (19-4 MMA, 1-1 UFC) threw down for 15 minutes, but dos Santos brought a few more weapons and a little more energy.

Although one judge dissented for Good, Brazilian vet dos Santos picked up two scorecards to take home the split-decision call in the entertaining welterweight affair.

Instagram Photo

Brian Ortega def. Renato Moicano at UFC 214

Brian Ortega (12-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) and Renato Moicano (11-1-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) were nearly two-and-a-half rounds into a striking war that fans at cageside could hear as well as they could see. Then Moicano made the questionable decision to take down Ortega.

It played right into Ortega’s submission strengths as Moicano inadvertently stuck his neck into a guillotine choke that Ortega squeezed for the finish, forcing the tap at the 2:59 mark of Round 3.

* * * *

The winner: Gaethje vs. Johnson

Michael Johnson and Justin Gaethje

The contempt between Gaethje and Johnson finally came to a head inside the octagon, and it was a sight to behold.

Gaethje overcame nearly being finished twice to storm back for a finish of his own, defeating Johnson via second-round TKO in one of the most memorable UFC debuts in history.

“You cannot break me,” Gaethje said. “I promise you. You better put me to sleep.”

It appeared that came close to happening on two occasions during this slugfest. Gaethje was getting the better of some spectacular exchanges for most of the first round, but Johnson connected flush with a right hook that badly wobbled the newcomer. Johnson went for the finish, and he might’ve gotten it, but the bell sounded.

Both fighters came out swinging again in the second round, and again Johnson landed a right hand that wobbled Gaethje but didn’t drop him. Although Johnson failed to finish, he settled in and found holes in Gaethje’s defense, allowing him to land the better shots.

That is, until Gaethje hit an uppercut in the final 90 seconds that discombobulated Johnson. From there, Gaethje continued to pour it on with more uppercuts, busting up Johnson’s face until a knee signaled the end when “Big” John McCarthy stepped in at the 4:42 mark.

“Where is my equal at?” he asked the crowd. “I’m 18-0 with 15 knockouts. Who is my equal? That’s who I want.”

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

MMAjunkie's 'Submission of the Month' for July: One of the prettiest transitions you'll see in MMA

With another action-packed month of MMA in the books, MMAjunkie looks at the best submissions from July. Here are the five nominees, listed in chronological order, and winner of MMAjunkie’s “Submission of the Month” award for July.

At the bottom of the post, let us know if we got it right by voting for your choice.

* * * *

The nominees

Tecia Torres def. Juliana Lima at TUF 25 Finale

After going to a decision in nine consecutive fights to open her pro career, Tecia Torres (9-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) finally picked up her first stoppage win when she choked out durable Brazilian Juliana Lima (9-4 MMA, 3-3 UFC)

Torres became the first to tap Lima when she found a way to her opponent’s back early in the second round of the women’s strawweight bout. She secured a rear-naked choke moments later, earning a win without the help of the judges for the first time (via Instagram):

Instagram Photo

Jimmy Flick def. Johnny Bedford at LFA 16

UFC veteran Johnny Bedford (23-13-1) was a 5-1 favorite heading into his bantamweight main event, and it made Jimmy Flick’s (10-3) third-round submission win all the sweeter.

Flick, who closed as a +350 underdog to -500 favorite Bedford at the sports books, picked up arguably the biggest win of his career. He threw out a number of submission attempts, and it was finally a D’Arce choke that stuck for the finish (via Twitter):

Marlon Vera def. Brian Kelleher at UFC on FOX 25

After picking up a surprising and quick submission win in his UFC debut earlier this year, Brian Kelleher (17-8 MMA, 1-1 UFC) experienced the other side of the coin when he tapped out early in the first frame of his fight with Marlon Vera (10-3-1 MMA, 4-2 UFC).

In a grappling exchange in the bantamweight bout, Vera transitioned to a slick armbar, which forced Kelleher to tap out, giving Vera his third consecutive victory (via Twitter):

Chris Weidman def. Kelvin Gastelum at UFC on FOX 25

Chris Weidman (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) won’t back down. The former UFC middleweight champion survived a knockdown from Kelvin Gastelum (13-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC) in the opening frame before taking over on the mat, securing an arm triangle at the 3:45 mark of Round 3.

Weidman snapped a three-fight losing skid that had many MMA observers doubting whether he’d be able to keep his UFC job, let alone return to championship form. He did so by becoming the first to stop Gastelum inside the distance (via Instagram):

Instagram Photo

Brian Ortega def. Renato Moicano at UFC 214

Brian Ortega (12-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) and Renato Moicano (11-1-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) were nearly two-and-a-half rounds into a striking war that cageside fans could hear as well as they could see. Then Moicano made the questionable decision to take down Ortega in the featherweight fight.

It played right into Ortega’s submission strengths as Moicano inadvertently stuck his neck into a guillotine choke that Ortega squeezed for the finish, forcing the tap at the 2:59 mark of Round 3 (via Twitter):

* * * *

The winner: Marlon Vera

Marlon Vera

It started out looking like a run-of-the-mill submission defense by Vera, who trapped Kelleher’s arm to stop the single-leg takedown early in the opening round.

It turned into much more.

When Kelleher tried to give up on the takedown, Vera stuck with the kimura trap, using it to transition into a slick armbar that forced the submission at the 2:18 mark of Round 1.

The transition to the armbar was about as smooth a submission as you’re likely to see, and it clearly caught Kelleher off-guard. He started off well, moving to an early takedown attempt with Vera pressed against the cage.

But when Vera reached down to snag Kelleher’s arm in a kimura, it halted Kelleher’s hopes for a takedown and forced him to bail on the move. When he went to back out of the single-leg takedown, however, Vera clamped down harder on his arm, using it to spin him around before spinning himself right into position for the armbar.

Kelleher tried to get his arm back, but by that point, it was too late. Vera already had the limb extended and showed no indication that he was willing to give it back.

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

UFC 214 medical suspensions: Donald Cerrone gets potential 6 months for eye issue

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Filed under: News, UFC

UFC welterweight standout Donald Cerrone is facing a six-month suspension for a possible eye injury following his loss to ex-champ Robbie Lawler at UFC 214.

Cerrone, who was outpointed on the event’s pay-per-view main card, needs doctor clearance for a “possible fracture to the left eye,” according to medical suspensions issued by the California State Athletic Commission, which regulated the event at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.

According to cageside doctors notes, Cerrone’s (32-8 MMA, 19-5 UFC) pupil was constricted, indicating a possible fracture after his slugfest against Lawler (28-11 MMA, 13-5 UFC).

In other suspensions, headliner and now-former UFC light heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier (19-2 MMA, 8-2 UFC) must sit out 60 days after suffering a knockout loss to re-crowned champ Jon Jones (23-1 MMA, 17-1 UFC).

Additionally, the CSAC made official an order requiring lightweight Drew Dober move up to the welterweight division because his fight-day weight was 18 percent above the 155-pound limit, or approximately 183 pounds. The commission earlier this year passed a 10-point plan that recommends fighters move up a division if they are over 10 percent above their contracted weight on fight day.

Following his first-round knockout of Josh Burkman (28-16 MMA, 6-11 UFC), Dober (18-8 MMA, 4-4 UFC) advocated for a 165-pound weight class.

The full list of UFC 214 medical suspensions includes:

  • Jon Jones: suspended 7 days
  • Daniel Cormier: suspended mandatory 7 days; also suspended 45 days with 30 days no contact for knockout, and suspended 60 days with 60 days no contact, or until cleared by physician, for laceration to right eye. Neurological clearance required
  • Tyron Woodley: suspended 7 days
  • Demian Maia: suspended 7 days
  • Cristiane Justino: suspended 7 days
  • Tonya Evinger: suspended 7 days; also suspended 45 days with 30 days no contact for TKO
  • Robbie Lawler: suspended 7 days
  • Donald Cerrone: suspended 7 days; also suspended 180 days with 180 days no contact, or until cleared by physician, for possible left eye fracture (traumatic myosis)
  • Volkan Oezdemir: suspended 7 days
  • Jimi Manuwa: suspended mandatory 7 days; also suspended 45 days with 30 days no contact for knockout, and suspended 60 days with 60 days no contact, or until cleared by physician, for laceration to right eyebrow
  • Ricardo Lamas: suspended mandatory 7 days
  • Jason Knight: suspended 7 days; also suspended 45 days with 30 days no contact for TKO
  • Aljamain Sterling: suspended mandatory 7 days
  • Renan Barao: suspended mandatory 7 days
  • Brian Ortega: suspended mandatory 7 days
  • Renato Moicano: suspended 7 days; also suspended 180 days with 180 days no contact, or until cleared by physician, for possible jaw/facial fracture
  • Calvin Kattar: suspended mandatory 7 days
  • Andre Fili: suspended 7 days; also suspended 60 days with 60 days no contact, or until cleared by physician, for right upper eyelid
  • Alexandra Albu: suspended mandatory 7 days; also suspended 45 days with 30 days no contact for hard bout; suspended 60 days with 60 days no contact, or until cleared by physician, for laceration to nose; suspended 180 days with 180 days no contact, or until cleared via CT scan by physician, for possible fracture to left orbital
  • Kailin Curran: suspended 7 days; also suspended 45 days with 30 days no contact for hard bout
  • Jarred Brooks: suspended mandatory 7 days
  • Eric Shelton: suspended mandatory 7 days
  • Drew Dober: suspended mandatory 7 days; must be cleared by physician or must move up in weight due to greater than 18 percent weight increase. Fighter needs to be in a heavier weight class per medical evaluation
  • Josh Burkman: suspended 7 days; also suspended 45 days with 30 days no contact for KO

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

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC 214's 10 memorable moments: Jon Jones reclaims his crown, ends feud with Daniel Cormier

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

The stacked main card of Saturday’s UFC 214 did not disappoint.

In the main event, Jon Jones returned to the octagon for the first time in 15 months and put on a nearly flawless performance, regaining both the light heavyweight title and his ranking as the best 205-pound fighter in UFC history with a third-round knockout of Daniel Cormier.

In the co-main event, Tyron Woodley focused on defense, much to the chagrin of fans and UFC President Dana White, while retaining welterweight crown against challenger Demian Maia with a unanimous decision.

In the first title fight of the night, the most feared woman in MMA, Cristiane Justino, became a UFC champion with a third-round TKO victory over a very game Tonya Evinger.

UFC 214 took place at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. The main card aired on pay-per-view following prelims on FXX and UFC Fight Pass.

Here are the most memorable moments from the biggest UFC fight card of 2017.

1. New reign, new man?

After dispatching Cormier in the third round with a head kick and ground strikes, Jones began his second stint as light heavyweight champion. The “Performance of the Night” bonus-winning victory solidified Jones as the greatest light heavyweight in MMA history. The respect Jones (23-1 MMA, 17-1 UFC) paid Cormier (19-2 MMA, 8-2 UFC) after the fight was almost as noteworthy as his victory.

We don’t know if Jones has turned a corner in his life. We don’t know if the time he spent on the sidelines due to his actions and decisions has made him a more thoughtful person. But during that brief speech, Jones provided some hope that he has learned at least some lessons.

As for Cormier, he offered his congratulations to Jones and his team via social media late Sunday night.

2. Heartbreak and confusion

The decision to speak to Cormier after his knockout loss was unwise, something UFC commentator Joe Rogan acknowledged on Sunday in his apology, but Rogan did make that decision. The brief interview provided fans a glimpse of a man who was heartbroken and confused.

“I don’t know, man,” Cormier said when asked what he was feeling. “I thought the fight was going well. I don’t even know what happened. I think I got kicked in the head. It’s so disappointing.”

The raw moment revealed to everyone just how much this fight meant to Cormier and how emotionally invested he was in defeating Jones and cementing his legacy as an all-time great.

“I guess if he wins both fights, there is no rivalry,” Cormier said, fighting back tears. “I don’t know.”

3. Recoup the losses

During his first title reign, Jones defended the light heavyweight title eight times. In his last defense, Jones earned a reported $500,000. Since then he has fought twice, taking in a reported $1 million in total for those two contests. In short, Jones left a lot of money on the table while he sat on the sidelines due to his self-destructive behavior.

What better way to get some of that money back than to follow Conor McGregor’s lead and call for the most bankable fight possible?

“Brock Lesnar, if you want to know what it feels like to get your ass kicked by a guy that weights 40 pounds less than you, meet me in the octagon,” Jones said after defeating Cormier.

While that fight is far from a lock, Jones’ callout did get the attention of the former heavyweight champion.

4. Losing by winning

Woodley (18-3-1 MMA, 8-2-1 UFC) stopped each of the 21 takedowns Maia (25-7 MMA, 19-7 UFC) attempted during their fight. That defense-first strategy allowed Woodley to retain his title via decision. Unfortunately, it seemingly cost him a fight against former champion Georges St-Pierre, which UFC President Dana White had said was “the plan” just days before Woodley’s win over Maia.

“Michael Bisping will show up, and he will fight,” White said when revealing the change at the post-fight press conference “So, yeah. I’m going to give it to him.”

Woodley, who predicted the St-Pierre fight wouldn’t come to fruition, was not surprised with the switch.

5. So dominant

How good is Justino (18-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC)? So good that a lot of the post-fight talk wasn’t about her knockout win over Evinger but of how tough Evinger (19-6 MMA, 0-1 UFC) was for extending the fight into the third round before Justino finished her.

“Tonya Evinger was awesome,” a smiling Michael Bisping said on the UFC on FOX post-fight show. “She went out there and took a beating really, really well.”

Justino was patient and technical. She never got too aggressive until the finish was in sight. While Justino’s approach might have disappointed fans of her previous fights, it showed she’s added a new, and maybe more frightening, wrinkle to her arsenal, that of the predator tiring her prey before moving in for the kill.

6. Taking shots

For someone who didn’t compete at UFC 214, former women’s featherweight champion Germaine de Randamie took a beating in Anaheim.

“I think it’s really important to mention that Germaine de Randamie, who won the title against Holly Holm, just did not want to fight this woman,” Rogan said before the Justino vs. Evinger fight began. “She said, ‘I’m not doing it. I’m stepping down, and I’m relinquishing my title.”

Rogan later said that while he was enjoying the Justino-Evinger bout, he felt “robbed” that de Randamie was not fighting.

“That proves that Evinger would put up a better fight,” replied fellow commentator Dominick Cruz. “She (de Randamie) didn’t even want to get in here; Evinger’s here.”

The duo then speculated what de Randamie must be thinking knowing someone was “tougher than her to take the fight.”

These comments came days after Evinger referred to de Randamie as a “coward” during her pre-fight media interview.

De Randamie was stripped of the belt in June due to her unwillingness to fight Justino.

7. Back in the mix

Almost one year to the day since losing the welterweight title to Woodley, Robbie Lawler returned to the title hunt with a unanimous-decision victory over Donald Cerrone.

As expected, Lawler (28-11 MMA, 13-5 UFC) and Cerrone (32-8 MMA, 19-5 UFC) delivered an exciting back and forth striking battle.

The win showed that Lawler remains one of the best welterweights in the UFC. More impressive was Lawler was without his good friend, former UFC champion Matt Hughes, who was in a terrible accident, throughout training camp. Lawler acknowledged it after the fight.

“I’m pretty good at focusing on the task at hand,” Lawler said post-fight. “But obviously, it’s a buddy of mine. He would’ve been right around the corner right now. He would have been here this whole week. It’s tough, but he’s fighting a fight now.”

8. Big time

Jimi Manuwa was an insurance policy, booked on UFC 214 as a safety net in case Cormier or Jones could not compete in the main event.

Manuwa (17-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) did not get the opportunity to fight for the title in Anaheim, and after getting knocked out in 42 seconds by Volkan Oezdemir (a.k.a. “No Time”) he won’t be getting a title fight soon. As for Oezdemir (15-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC), who joined the UFC in February, he’s now 3-0 with two knockouts, including his “Performance of the Night” bonus-winning stoppage of Manuwa.

 

9. Nice try

Jason Knight attempted to leap up the featherweight rankings at UFC 214, stepping in to face former featherweight title contender Ricardo Lamas. It didn’t work out well for Knight.

Lamas (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC) was too technical for the brawling and still developing Knight (17-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC), picking him apart on the feet with precise striking. Knight showed he’s a game fighter, taking everything Lamas had to offer before referee Mike Beltran came in to stop the fight in the first round.

The win gives Lamas two-straight victories and stops Knight’s four-fight winning streak. Lamas remains a player in the featherweight division, and while Knight lost via TKO, it’s hard to see the defeat hurting him too much since he took the fight on short notice against a more seasoned opponent.

10. Keep away

A word of warning for the featherweight division: If you think you have a lead over Brian Ortega heading into the third round, do whatever you can to stay out of his grasp for those 5 minutes.

At UFC 214, Ortega finished his record-breaking fourth consecutive fight with a third-round submission of Renato Moicano. Like his previous three wins, this one looked like it could have gone either way had it made it to the scorecards, but once again Ortega ensured it didn’t.

Ortega (12-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) and Moicano (11-1-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) slugged it out on the feet for the majority of this “Fight of the Night” winning contest, but for some reason, Moicano attempted a takedown halfway through the final stanza. As soon as Ortega hit the mat he locked in a guillotine choke and forced the quick tap from Moicano.

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

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UFC 214 post-event facts: Jon Jones' resume makes it tough to argue against GOAT status

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Jon Jones put on one of the best performances of his career Saturday when he returned from a 15-month layoff to reclaim the light heavyweight title from Daniel Cormier in the UFC 214 headliner.

Jones (23-1 MMA, 17-1 UFC) defeated rival Cormier (19-2 MMA, 8-2 UFC) for the second time in the pay-per-view main event at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. (prelims aired on FXX and UFC Fight Pass). But this time he did it in a more decisive manner, finishing the fight by third-round knockout.

“Bones’” resume already was extraordinary coming into the fight, and it’s even better after it. For more on the numbers behind his win, as well as the 11 other fights that took place at the UFC’s seventh card in Anaheim, check out 60 post-event facts to come out of UFC 214.

* * * *

General

The Reebok Athlete Outfitting payout for the event totaled $327,500.

Jones, Volkan Oezdemir, Brian Ortega and Renato Moicano earned $50,000 UFC 214 fight-night bonuses.

Debuting fighters went 2-1 on the card.

UFC 214 drew an announced attendance of 16,610 for a live gate of $2,448,870.

Betting favorites went 7-5 on the card.

Total fight time for the 12-bout card was 2:26:16.

Main card

Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier

Jones’ 17 victories in UFC light-heavyweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Jones’ 14-fight UFC winning streak is the longest among active fighters in the company.

Jones 14-fight UFC winning streak is the second longest in company history behind Anderson Silva (16).

Jones’ 14-fight UFC winning streak in light-heavyweight competition is the longest active streak in the weight class and longest in divisional history.

Jones’ 11 victories in UFC championship fights are tied with Silva and Demetrious Johnson for second most in company history behind Georges St-Pierre (12).

Jones’ six stoppage victories in UFC title fights are tied for third most in company history behind Silva (nine) and Matt Hughes (nine).

Jones’ 10 stoppage victories in UFC light-heavyweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Jones’ 1,368 total strikes landed in UFC light-heavyweight competition are most in divisional history.

Jones’ 1,116 significant strikes landed in UFC light-heavyweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Jones’ eight fight-night bonuses for UFC light-heavyweight bouts are most in divisional history.

Jones’ total fight time of 4:13:13 in UFC light-heavyweight competition is most in divisional history.

Cormier has suffered both of his career losses by Jones.

Cormier fell to 6-2 since he dropped to the UFC light heavyweight division in February 2014.

Cormier suffered the first stoppage loss of his career.

Tyron Woodley and Demian Maia

Tyron Woodley (18-3-1 MMA, 8-2-1 UFC) extended his unbeaten streak to six consecutive fights. He hasn’t suffered a defeat since June 2014.

Woodley’s three consecutive UFC title defenses are tied for third most among current champions behind Johnson (10) and Joanna Jedrzejczyk (five).

Woodley’s fight consisted of just 85 combined significant strikes landed, the fewest in UFC history for a title fight that went all five rounds.

Demian Maia (25-7 MMA, 19-7 UFC) fell to 10-3 since he dropped to the UFC welterweight division in July 2012.

Maia fell to 0-2 in UFC championship fights.

Maia was unsuccessful on all 21 of his takedown attempts, the second worst title-fight output in UFC history behind Diego Sanchez’s 0-for-27 against B.J. Penn at UFC 107.

Maia has suffered six of his seven UFC losses by decision.

Cristiane Justino and Tonya Evinger

Cristiane Justino (18-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) became the second UFC women’s featherweight champion.

Justino extended her unbeaten streak (18-0 with one no-contest) to 19 fights. She hasn’t suffered a defeat since her MMA debut in May 2005.

Justino has earned 16 of her 18 career victories by knockout.

Justino has earned all three of her UFC victories by knockout.

Justino has outlanded her three UFC opponents 184-48 in significant strikes.

Tonya Evinger (19-6 MMA, 0-1 UFC) had her 11-fight unbeaten streak snapped for her first defeat sine July 2011.

Evinger suffered the first knockout loss of her career.

Robbie Lawler, right, and Donald Cerrone

Robbie Lawler (28-11 MMA, 13-5 UFC) improved to 9-2 since he returned to the UFC for a second stint in February 2013.

Donald Cerrone (32-9 MMA, 19-6 UFC) fell to 4-2 since he moved up to the UFC welterweight division in February 2015.

Cerrone suffered consecutive losses for the first time in his career.

Oezdemir’s (15-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) three-fight UFC winning streak in light-heavyweight competition is tied for the second longest active streak in the division behind Jones (14).

Oezdemir has earned 12 of his 15 career victories by stoppage.

Jimi Manuwa (17-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) has suffered all three of his career losses by knockout.

Preliminary card

Ricardo Lamas and Jason Knight

Ricardo Lamas (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC) improved to 9-3 since he dropped to the UFC featherweight division in June 2011.

Lamas’ six stoppage victories in UFC featherweight competition are tied for second most in divisional history behind champ Max Holloway (eight).

Jason Knight (20-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC) suffered the first knockout loss of his career.

Renan Barao and Aljamain Sterling

Renan Barao (34-5 MMA, 9-4 UFC) fell to 2-4 in his past six fights after going on a 33-fight unbeaten streak that lasted more than nine years.

Barao was taken down for the first time in his UFC career. He stopped 33 consecutive takedowns prior to the fight.

Ortega’s (12-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) four-fight UFC winning streak in featherweight competition is tied for the fourth longest active streak in the division behind Holloway (10), McGregor (seven) and Darren Elkins (five).

Ortega has earned all four of his UFC victories by stoppage.

Ortega’s four-fight stoppage streak in UFC featherweight bouts is the second longest active streak in the division behind McGregor (five).

Ortega is the only fighter UFC history to earn four consecutive third-round stoppage victories, breaking his own record of three.

Renato Carneiro (11-1-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) had his 12-fight unbeaten streak snapped for the first defeat of his professional career.

Calvin Kattar and Andre Fili

Calvin Kattar (17-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) extended his winning streak to nine fights. He hasn’t suffered a defeat since February 2010.

Andre Fili (16-5 MMA, 4-4 UFC) has alternated wins and losses over his eight-fight UFC career.

Fili suffered the first decision loss of his career.

Aleksandra Albu (3-0 MA, 2-0 UFC) earned the first decision victory of her career.

Kailin Curran’s (4-5 MMA, 1-5 UFC) five UFC losses are tied with Jessica Eye for most of any female in company history.

Curran suffered her third consecutive loss to extend the longest skid of her career.

Curran fell to 1-5 in her past six bouts.

Eric Shelton (10-4 MMA, 0-2 UFC) has suffered all four of his career losses by decision.

Josh Burkman (28-16 MMA, 6-11 UFC) fell to 1-6 (with one no-contest) since he returned to the UFC for a second stint in January 2015.

Burkman’s 11 UFC losses are tied for second most in company history behind Jeremy Stephens (13).

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

FightMetric research analyst and live statistics producer Michael Carroll contributed to this story. Follow him on Twitter @MJCflipdascript.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC 214 Athlete Outfitting pay: Event sees 2nd highest payout in program history

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Filed under: News, UFC

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Fighters from Saturday’s UFC 214 event took home UFC Athlete Outfitting pay, a program that launched after the UFC’s deal with Reebok, totaling $327,500.

UFC 214 took place at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., and the main card aired on pay-per-view following prelims on FXX and UFC Fight Pass.

Leading the way were one current champion and one former one. Daniel Cormier (19-2 MMA, 8-2 UFC), who dropped the light heavyweight title to Jon Jones (23-1 MMA, 17-1 UFC) in the main event, and Tyron Woodley (18-3-1 MMA, 8-2-1 UFC), who defended the welterweight belt against Demian Maia (25-7 MMA, 19-7 UFC), each earned a maximum Athlete Outfitting Policy payout of $40,000.

The full UFC 214 UFC Athlete Outfitting payouts included:

Jon Jones: $30,000
def. Daniel Cormier: $40,000

Tyron Woodley: $40,000
def. Demian Maia: $30,000

Cristiane Justino: $30,000
def. Tonya Evinger: $30,000

Robbie Lawler: $20,000
def. Donald Cerrone: $20,000

Volkan Oezdemir: $2,500
def. Jimi Manuwa: $5,000

Ricardo Lamas: $15,000
def. Jason Knight: $5,000

Aljamain Sterling: $5,000
def. Renan Barao: $10,000

Brian Ortega: $2,500
def. Renato Moicano: $2,500

Calvin Kattar: $2,500
def. Andre Fili: $5,000

Alexandra Albu: $2,500
def. Kailin Curran: $5,000

Jarred Brooks: $2,500
def. Eric Shelton: $2,500

Drew Dober: $5,000
def. Josh Burkman: $15,000

Under the UFC Athlete Outfitting program’s payout tiers, which appropriate the money generated by Reebok’s multi-year sponsorship with the UFC, fighters are paid based on their total number of UFC bouts, as well as Zuffa-era WEC fights (January 2007 and later) and Zuffa-era Strikeforce bouts (April 2011 and later). Fighters with 1-5 bouts receive $2,500 per appearance; 6-10 bouts get $5,000; 11-15 bouts earn $10,000; 16-20 bouts pocket $15,000; and 21 bouts and more get $20,000. Additionally, champions earn $40,000 while title challengers get $30,000.

In addition to experience-based pay, UFC fighters will receive in perpetuity royalty payments amounting to 20-30 percent of any UFC merchandise sold that bears their likeness, according to officials.

Full 2017 UFC-Reebok sponsorship payouts:

Year-to-date total: $3,657,500
2016 total: $7,138,000
2015 total: $3,185,000
Program-to-date total: $13,980,500

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

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