Watch Dana White goof on the tattoos of Conor McGregor, Brock Lesnar, Alan Belcher

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

Dann StuppUFC President Dana White says he isn’t really a tattoo guy, which might be surprising for an MMA promoter.

In a new video from GQ.com, White plays a game of “Guess Those Tattoos.” And in the world of MMA, there’s no shortage of ink.

It gives White ample opportunity to goof on the likes of UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor, ex-heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, former interim titleholder Carlos Condit, former contender Alan Belcher (and his infamous Johnny Cash ink), vet Darren Elkins, WWE star turned MMA fighter Phil “CM Punk” Brooks and others.

“I think tattoos are a bad idea, whether you’re a fighter or not,” White says. “But man, fighters got some bad taste in tattoos.”

When asked to identify fighters by their tattoos alone, White had a surprisingly solid success rate.

Check out the full video above.

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

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Sean Shelby's Shoes: What's next for Derek Brunson and UFC Fight Night 119's other winning fighters?

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Derek Brunson’s early knockout power has proven to be a major threat in recent years. He displayed another example with an early finish of Lyoto Machida in Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 119 main event.

Brunson (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC) handed former UFC champ Machida (23-7 MMA, 15-7 UFC) the fastest loss of his career in the FS1-televised middleweight headliner at Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo, improving his standing among the top contenders in the weight class.

Prior to Brunson’s win, Colby Covington (13-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC), Pedro Munhoz (15-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC), Rob Font (15-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC), Francisco Trinaldo (22-5 MMA, 12-4 UFC), Thiago “Marreta” Santos (16-5 MMA, 8-4 UFC) and John Lineker (30-8 MMA, 11-3 UFC) picked up notable victories on the main card.

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 matchmaker for UFC Fight Night 119’s winning fighters.

* * * *

John Lineker

Should fight: Thomas Almeida
Why they should fight: Lineker rebounded from an 11-month layoff due to a broken jaw with a solid performance in a unanimous decision victory over rising bantamweight prospect Marlon Vera.

Lineker showed improved control of his aggression to snap Vera’s winning streak. He apologized for what he considered to be a sloppy showing, but nevertheless walked away with an important victory for his career.

“Hands of Stone” has suffered just three losses in his past 27 fights, two of which came against a former UFC champion and a former title challenger. It’s clear the Brazilian is elite, but he’s struggled to get over the hump. At just 27, though, Lineker still has tremendous upside and potential to make more runs at the belt.

Another fighter in a similar position is Almeida (21-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC), who despite coming off a loss to Jimmie Rivera at UFC on FOX 25 in July, is still among the most dangerous 135-pound fighters on the roster. A matchup with Lineker has “Fight of the Night” written all over it, and more than that, has the potential to be one of the great action fights in recent memory.

Thiago “Marreta” Santos

Should fight: Tim Boetsch
Why they should fight: Santos showed why again why his striking is among the most dangerous of anyone in the UFC middleweight division when he became the first to stop Jack Hermansson with strikes.

“Marreta” not only put Hermansson away, but he did it in fierce fashion inside one round, giving him his sixth victory in his past eight octagon appearances. The Brazilian is riding a three-fight streak of knockouts and appears to be improving with every performance.

The Brazilian has few flaws offensively, but issues with durability have proven to be his downfall. It doesn’t matter much if he takes his opponents out first, though, and that’s what’s happened of late, putting Santos in position for another noteworthy matchup at 185 pounds.

Boetsch (21-11 MMA, 12-10 UFC) is a long-time UFC veteran who has essentially seen and done it all inside the octagon. His relentless style causes problems for a lot of fighters, and following his win over former UFC champ Johny Hendricks at UFC Fight Night 112 in July, “The Barbarian” would be a good test for Santos.

James Vick

Francisco Trinaldo

Should fight: Winner of James Vick vs. Joseph Duffy at UFC 217
Why they should fight: Trinaldo spoiled Jim Miller’s historic 28th trip to the UFC cage when he outworked the most seen fighter in company history for a unanimous decision, taking two of three rounds on all three scorecards.

Trinaldo has essentially been a model of consistency since joining the UFC roster in 2012. He’s won 12 of 16 fights and hasn’t fallen easily in any of his losses. “Massuranduba” might be 39, but he still shows signs of advancement against tough competition.

The Brazilian is a stellar 8-1 in his past nine fights, with the lone defeat coming against top contender Kevin Lee. He’s proven to be a talent worthy of a rankings beside his name in the lightweight division, and he should fight someone of a similar status. The winner of the UFC 217 fight between Vick (11-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) and Duffy (16-2 MMA, 4-1 UFC) is in that territory,

Pedro Munhoz

Should fight: Eddie Wineland
Why they should fight: Munhoz has become an exciting addition to the UFC bantamweight division in recent years, and his submission win over Rob Font was another example of what he can do.

Munhoz finished Font with a one-armed guillotine choke. That’s a nifty way to make an opponent tap out for the first time, and the effort was rewarded with a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus.

The 135-pound division is rather top-heavy at the moment, and more of the numbers close to the title are already booked. Munhoz will get there if he continues his current form, though, and a showdown with a divisional standout like Wineland (23-12-1 MMA, 5-6 UFC) would be a helpful step for his career.

Stephen Thompson

Colby Covington

Should fight: Stephen Thompson or winner of Carlos Condit vs. Neil Magny at UFC 219
Why they should fight: Covington’s rise up the UFC welterweight ranks took a direct shot closer to the championship when he went to Brazilian and stunned former multi-time title challenger Demian Maia.

Although Covington has become a polarizing personality outside the octagon, he’s doing tremendous work inside of it. He beat Maia by unanimous decision, marking his fifth consecutive win in the welterweight division. ‘

Covington has been calling for a matchup with 170-pound champ Tyron Woodley, but with December’s UFC on FOX 26 fight between Robbie Lawler and Rafael dos Anjos pegged as a title eliminator, he’s likely not going to be next in line.

Although it’s hard to move up from Maia in terms of ranked contenders, a fight with the winner of UFC 219’s bout between Condit (30-10 MMA, 7-6 UFC) and Magny (19-6 MMA, 12-5 UFC), whom he has called out many times, would be a fitting affair. If not that, “Wonderboy” Thompson (13-2-1 MMA, 8-2-1 UFC) would be a good matchup if he can get past Covington’s teammate, Jorge Masvidal, on Saturday at UFC 217.

Derek Brunson

Should fight: Chris Weidman
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why Brunson should fight Weidman (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) next.

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

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

Carlos Condit returns to face Neil Magny at UFC 219

Carlos Condit wanted a fight from the UFC, and now he’s got one.

Two weeks after lobbying UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby for a bout, the promotion today announced it has booked Condit (30-10 MMA, 7-6 UFC) to face Neil Magny (19-6 MMA, 12-5 UFC) at UFC 219, the year’s final show at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The event, slated for Dec. 30, will air on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Condit, 33, last was seen in the octagon 13 months ago at UFC on FOX 21. He hoped to get back into title contention with a win over Demain Maia. Instead, he wound up tapping to the Brazilian submission ace.

The loss left Condit 2-5 in his past seven appearances, with two of his setbacks coming in title bouts. Condit had already pondered retirement after falling short against champ Robbie Lawler in a nail-biter at UFC 195.

After the Maia loss, Condit wondered if he had what it took to compete at the highest level. But he shied away from making any definitive statements about his future. Then Condit retreated from the spotlight and mostly kept quiet about his life. Speculation about a career as a personal trainer was stoked by a post on social media.

Three years ago, Condit took on current champion Tyron Woodley (18-3-1 MMA, 8-2-1 UFC) in a bout with title implications. After getting rocked in the first round, Condit suffered a knee injury that prematurely ended the fight.

In Magny, Condit faces a fighter who’s 4-3 in his past seven contests and was most recently submitted via arm-triangle choke by Rafael dos Anjos last month at UFC 215. Magny recently had been called out by Kamaru Usman, but that fight will have to wait.

With the addition, the UFC 216 lineup now includes:

  • Dominick Cruz vs. Jimmie Rivera
  • Carlos Condit vs. Neil Magny
  • Cynthia Calvillo vs. Carla Esparza
  • Matheus Nicolau vs. Louis Smolka

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

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Source: MMA Junkie

Twitter Mailbag: Will Michael Bisping really retire? Would Georges St-Pierre really defend?

In this week’s Twitter Mailbag, is the UFC middleweight champ really considering retiring, or just playing us for a few extra pay-per-view buys? Plus, is the UFC Fight Night 117 headliner the weakest in recent memory? And should we care why someone failed a drug test, or is it the fighter’s responsibility to test clean no matter what?

All that and more in this week’s Twitter Mailbag. To ask a question of your own, tweet to @BenFowlkesMMA.

I believe that multiple people in Michael Bisping’s life are telling him to retire after the Georges St-Pierre fight, and why wouldn’t they?

He’ll be 39 in a few months. He’s taken a lot of damage over the course of his very memorable career. And the other top 185-pounders who are gunning for his spot? They are a group of terrifying individuals. If Bisping wins this fight and has to defend his UFC middleweight belt against actual UFC middleweight contenders, there’s no way he doesn’t end up in tougher fights for less money than he’ll make at UFC 217.

If there was a time to take the money and run, brother, it’s now.

But Bisping’s savvy enough to know a good sales angle when he sees one. He knows that a large number of MMA fans always want to see him get beat up, which is why he’s teasing retirement now. He wants those people to think that soon they won’t have Michael Bisping to kick around anymore, so they better pay their money and enjoy this last ride.

Will he really do it? I have my doubts. Bisping is a stubborn and fiercely competitive person, which is a big part of how he’s made it this far in his career. If he beats GSP, could he admit to himself that he’s better off not testing himself against the likes of Bobby Knuckles? Could he turn down that one extra payday? Could he walk away as the middleweight champ who never defended his title against a single middleweight contender?

Seems like he’s spent his whole career trying to get to this very spot. I have a hard time believing he’ll give it up without being forcibly ejected.

That’s easy: Elias Theodorou, who also happens to be one of my favorite fighters on social media. You’re telling me you don’t want to see a polite Canadian roll in there with his wavy locks and put the hurt on some Twitter troll who way overreacted to his reasonable opinions? Of course you do. Watching him kick the Mtn Dew out of an online hater would be pay-per-view material.

 

That is one thing that might hurt interest in the Bisping-GSP fight. When Luke Rockhold said that St-Pierre wouldn’t fight any top middleweights even if he does win, it had the ring of truth. And Bisping is already talking about getting out, win or lose, after UFC 217.

So how excited are we supposed to get for a middleweight title fight that might end up meaning nothing at all for the middleweight division?

If you ask me who you’d have to beat to become the top middleweight in the world right now, without question I say it’s Robert Whittaker. But if his interim title morphs into the real thing just because no actual champ will fight him, that’s bound to feel a little anti-climactic.

If it’s not, it’ll do until the weakest gets here. But let’s be honest, it’s not like any of us were that heartbroken to hear that Ovince Saint Preux vs. Mauricio Rua II was off. That rematch made no sense and mattered not at all to the light heavyweight division. It was an attempt to throw the Japanese fans a bone.

Hey, you guys used to like “Shogun,” right? Well here he is again, held together by duct tape and chewing gum, back to fight for your nostalgic pleasure.

Is it really so much different to go from Rua to a hometown figure like Yushin Okami? Yes, the fight itself is silly and doesn’t mean much. (The UFC decided Okami wasn’t worth keeping as a middleweight, and now he’s back as a light heavyweight?) Then again, the fight it’s replacing was silly and didn’t mean much, albeit for different reasons. It might be weak, but at least it’s not here in place of something strong.

The changes to the USADA rules announced earlier this year make it easier for replacement fighters to slide in without a long testing period, which seems both practical and about as fair as it can realistically be. If you need a replacement on six days’ notice, you’re probably going to have to go outside the UFC to find one. If the USADA policy didn’t allow for that possibility at all, we’d seen even more canceled fights.

Does it open the door to potential dopers sliding into a fight without having faced the same vetting their opponents did? Sure. But if you know you’ve been doping and getting away with it thanks to minimal or even non-existent testing in another organization, and you also know that USADA will be waiting for you in the UFC, wouldn’t that make you less likely to accept a short-notice fight? You won’t have time to clean out your system, and even if you get through the fight before getting popped, then you’re faced with a long suspension.

It’s not a perfect system, but when you take into account the practical realities at work, it seems like a reasonable compromise.

Sure, no problem. When I’m done with it, should I go ahead and solve crime next? How about unhappiness?

Look, we can’t set the bar for anti-doping success at complete eradication. We will never get there. As long as steroids work and winning fighters earn more money than losing ones (whether in the short or the long term), someone will be willing to take the risk.

The best we can hope for is that the testing is good enough and the punishments strong enough to act as a deterrent. I suspect that’s already happened to some extent. I’m sure somewhere out there is a UFC fighter who would have doped, who seriously considered it, but decided that the chances of being caught were too great, and the consequences too severe to make it worth it.

If we get to a point where no one is getting caught, we shouldn’t take that as a sign that the battle has been won. We should take it as a sign that the testing probably isn’t working.

First of all, GSP’s been out of the sport for that long, but not out of the public eye. In a way, it feels like he’s been back in our lives for at least a year now, because he wouldn’t stop talking about this fight while he was on the very slow train to Comebacktown. If you gave Conor McGregor a year to talk before fighting, I feel like he’d do just fine. So would Ronda Rousey, I expect.

But it is worth wondering how the former “king of pay-per-view” will draw in his return. This feels like a different era for the UFC. It’s the era where “money fight” came into our lexicon. It’s when we learned that shirts are actually optional at press conferences, and energy drink cans are pretty aerodynamic.

Can you still be the star of the show as the clean-cut French-Canadian who’s super polite to the point of being kind of boring? And what if St-Pierre loses, which is a real possibility going up a weight class after such an extended layoff? Will a lot of newer fans just write him off as someone who used to be good according to a bunch of old fogies?

The good news is, right now the UFC doesn’t have a whole lot else planned for the coming months. If you want in on a big fight, you’ve pretty much got to show up for this one. So at least the payday should be worth it.

Is it too late to get Brian Stann back? Could we sprint to the train station just in time and run along the platform, shouting at him that we can change before we run face first into a pole?

Then again, I guess it depends what we want out of a president. Dana White has his flaws, but for many years he also had the virtues of his faults. Those media scrums he used to do after press conferences? Those were so popular precisely because he was so unguarded, so free with the news nuggets, so likely to say something worth reporting. That’s the upside of the same personality defect that leads to him getting on Twitter and telling his customers that they’re fat, ugly idiots.

But White was definitely what the UFC needed for a long time. He was a loud, bombastic carnival barker who could shepherd people into the tent when the show was about to start. And maybe the UFC still needs that more than it needs a buttoned-up professional-type like Stann, but you don’t see White doing nearly as much of it. These days it’s not even a given that he’ll show up to his own events.

I pick Demian Maia, for sure. Because if I get choked out by Maia, at least I can go tell the story to all my jiu-jitsu buddies and maybe even trick them into buying me lunch in the process. If I get flattened out by Rockhold, I might end up drinking that lunch through a straw.

Definitely the best boxing movie, one of the best sports movies, even one of the best biopics. How could it not be? It’s a Martin Scorsese film about a tragic figure, and it’s got Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci in it. The death of Jake LaMotta is as good an excuse as any to go back and watch it. If you’d prefer to do some reading, I’d also recommend this story on LaMotta.

I’m old enough to remember when Carlos Condit said he was unsure of his future due to concerns about head trauma, so it’s tough to be totally enthusiastic about seeing him come back for more. Still, Condit’s so much fun to watch. If he feels up to it, how can I not get hyped to see him jump back into the fire?

Who he should fight is a tough question, though. You look around the welterweight class and you see a lot of young hitters who’d love a chance to make their name off a potentially rusty Condit. That’d be a little depressing, even if the cannibalization of yesterday’s heroes is something of a sad tradition in combat sports. Plus, Condit has fought most of the guys at or near the top, so what else can you do with him if he really wants to fight within a few months?

Just saying, if the MMA gods won’t give us Mike Perry vs. Robbie Lawler, then “Platinum Mike” vs. The NBK would be a very acceptable substitute.

For the most part, yes, I agree. But if we can do so with a reasonable degree of certainty, it is worth the effort to distinguish the intentional dopers from the careless pill and supplement-takers. That’s especially true when the supplement industry is so unregulated that you could conceivably buy a new batch of the same product you took without incident six months ago and still end up with banned substances in your system. It doesn’t make you blameless, but it also doesn’t quite make you a cheat.

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

Ben Fowlkes is MMAjunkie and USA TODAY’s MMA columnist. Follow him on Twitter at @BenFowlkesMMA. Twitter Mailbag appears every Thursday on MMAjunkie.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Return of 'The Natural Born Killer': Carlos Condit lobbies for UFC fight in December or January

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There was a time not long ago when many thought former interim UFC welterweight champion Carlos Condit was done fighting.

But today, Condit (30-10 MMA, 7-6 UFC) emerged on Twitter to ask UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby for a fight.

“Yo! @seanshelby,” Condit wrote. “What’s up big guy…? I’m wanting to fight in December or January… what say you!?”

Condit, 33, last was seen in the octagon 13 months ago at UFC on FOX 21. He hoped to get back into title contention with a win over Demain Maia. Instead, he wound up tapping to the Brazilian submission ace.

The loss left Condit 2-5 in his past seven appearances, with two of his setbacks coming in title bouts. Condit had already pondered retirement after falling short against champ Robbie Lawler in a nail-biter at UFC 195.

After the Maia loss, Condit wondered if he had what it took to compete at the highest level. But he shied away from making any definitive statements about his future. Then Condit retreated from the spotlight and mostly kept quiet about his life. Speculation about a career as a personal trainer was stoked by a post on social media.

Now, it appears “The Natural Born Killer” is ready to get back in the mix. And his return comes at an interesting time.

Three years ago, Condit took on current champion Tyron Woodley (18-3-1 MMA, 8-2-1 UFC) in a bout with title implications. After getting rocked in the first round, Condit suffered a knee injury that prematurely ended the fight.

Undoubtedly, Condit eyes a shot at UFC gold so he can rematch Woodley. The question now is who will welcome him back to the octagon.

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

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie