After being dissed at UFC athlete retreat, UFC on FOX 25's Chris Wade wants a shot at Nik Lentz

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UNIONDALE, N.Y. – Chris Wade has just settled one outside-the-cage beef, but he’s already looking to move on the next one.

After beating Frankie Perez (10-4 MMA, 1-3 UFC) at a Ring of Combat event in 2014, Wade (12-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC) went 2-0 over the same foe with another decision at their UFC on FOX 25 rematch on Saturday. The win not only snapped a two-fight skid for Wade but paved the way for an unexpected callout of Nik Lentz (27-8-2 MMA, 11-5-1 UFC).

The motivation? Well, it seems Wade didn’t take too kindly to being dissed during this March’s UFC Athlete Retreat 2017.

“He and I fought Islam (Makhachev, who beat both Wade and Lentz), who’s as tough as it gets in this division, in my opinion,” Wade said. “So I tried to have a conversation with him about us both having fought Islam. And he couldn’t have been ruder to me. I don’t know if he remembers it, but I remember it.

“He just wouldn’t even acknowledge me. He looked at me like I was almost part of the wall. He made this grunting noise and turned his back on me. And I was like, ‘Really?’ And I kind of asked him, and he just kept going. That’s the weirdest guy I’ve ever come across in my life in this sport. So if he wants to get beat up, I’m cool with it.”

Lentz has since been made aware of the callout, and promptly took to Twitter to respond. First, he said he didn’t even know who Wade was and had a “real fight” coming up at UFC 216 (though no matchups involving Lentz have been announced for that date yet).

But when Lentz accused Wade of making the situation up, Wade offered a full account of the incident and left his own little jab.

If the matchup does end up happening, the hostile build-up might end up coming in handy for Wade. At least if Saturday’s lightweight scrap – which streamed on UFC Fight Pass from NYCB LIVE at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y. – is any indication.

Wade says he was friendly with Perez and his family after their first encounter, only to find out recently that the respect wasn’t mutual. The slap in the face, he says, ended up being the push that he needed.

“I think it gave me a little bit of an extra incentive,” Wade said. “I think he made a mistake doing that. When you fight someone and there’s almost too much respect, sometimes you go in there a little bit soft.

“This isn’t the sport where you can go in there soft. Sometimes you need a chip on your shoulder.”

To hear more from Wade, check out the video above.

And for complete coverage of UFC on FOX 25, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

UFC on FOX 25 Athlete Outfitting pay: Headliners combine for $20,000 payout

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UNIONDALE, N.Y – Fighters from Saturday’s UFC on FOX 25 event took home UFC Athlete Outfitting pay, a program that launched after the UFC’s deal with Reebok, totaling $140,000.

UFC on FOX 25 took place at NYCB LIVE in Uniondale, N.Y., and the card aired on FOX following early prelims UFC Fight Pass.

Leading the way were a pair of longtime octagon veterans. Darren Elkins (23-5 MMA, 13-4 UFC), who beat Dennis Bermudez in the co-main event, and Rafael Natal (22-8-1 MMA, 9-7-1 UFC), who lost to Eryk Anders on the preliminary card, each received $15,000 for their 17th UFC appearance.

The full UFC on FOX 25 UFC Athlete Outfitting payouts included:

Chris Weidman: $10,000
def. Kelvin Gastelum: $10,000

Darren Elkins: $15,000
def. Dennis Bermudez: $10,000

Patrick Cummins: $5,000
def. Gian Villante: $10,000

Jimmie Rivera: $2,500
def. Thomas Almeida: $5,000

Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos: $2,500
def. Lyman Good: $2,500

Eryk Anders: $2,500
def. Rafael Natal: $15,000

Alex Oliveira: $5,000
def. Ryan LaFlare: $5,000

Damian Grabowski: $2,500
def. Chase Sherman: $2,500

Jeremy Kennedy: $2,500
def. Kyle Bochniak: $2,500

Marlon Vera: $5,000
def. Brian Kelleher: $2,500

Junior Albini: $2,500
def. Timothy Johnson: $5,000

Shane Burgos: $2,500
def. Godofredo Pepey: $5,000

Chris Wade: $5,000
def. Frankie Perez: $2,500

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: $3,330,000
2016 total: $7,138,000
2015 total: $3,185,000
Program-to-date total: $13,653,000

For complete coverage of UFC on FOX 25, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Fight Tracks: The walkout songs of UFC on FOX 25, including Chris Weidman's multiple selections

While it take intense training, world-class skills and maybe even a bit of luck to register a UFC win, picking the right song to accompany you to the cage is a key talent, as well.

See what the fighters of Saturday’s UFC on FOX 25 event in Uniondale, N.Y., went with as their backing tracks.

* * * *

Chris Weidman def. Kelvin Gastelum via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 3, 3:45

Chris Weidman: “Coming Home/I Won’t Back Down” by Diddy feat. Skylar Grey/Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

Kelvin Gastelum: “Aguanile” by Marc Anthony

Darren Elkins def. Dennis Bermudez via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-29)

Darren Elkins: “Get Ready” by Eric Herzog

N/A

Dennis Bermudez: “Hall of Fame” by The Script feat. will.i.am

Patrick Cummins def. Gian Villante via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Patrick Cummins: “Oblivion” by Grimes

Gian Villante: “The Downeaster Alexa” by Billy Joel

Jimmie Rivera def. Thomas Almeida via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-26, 30-27)

Jimmie Rivera: “Conteo” by Don Omar

Thomas Almeida: “Hypnotize” by The Notorious B.I.G.

Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos def. Lyman Good via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 30-27)

Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos: “The Final Countdown” by Europe

Lyman Good: “This is Now” by Hatebreed

Eryk Anders def. Rafael Natal via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 2:54

Eryk Anders: “Set it Off” by Lil’ Boosie

Rafael Natal: “Bad Moon Rising” by Credence Clearwater Revival

Alex Oliveira def. Ryan LaFlare via knockout (punch) – Round 2, 1:50

Alex Oliveira: “Balada Tch Tcherere Tch Tch” by Gusttavo Lima

Ryan LaFlare: “Put On” by Young Jeezy

Chase Sherman def. Damian Grabowski via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-27)

Chase Sherman: “The Chain” by Fleetwood Mac

Damian Grabowski: “40:1” by Sabaton

Jeremy Kennedy def. Kyle Bochniak via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28

Jeremy Kennedy: “Jungle” by Andre Nickatina

Kyle Bochniak: “Into My Fist” by Mailman Carl

N/A

Marlon Vera def. Brian Kelleher via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 2:18

Marlon Vera: “Latinoamerica” by Calle 13

Brian Kelleher: “Shine” by Meek Mill

Junior Albini def. Timothy Johnson via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 2:51

Junior Albini: “It’s a Fight” by Three 6 Mafia

Timothy Johnson: “Money for Nothing” by Dire Straits

Shane Burgos def. Godofredo Pepey via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 29-28)

Shane Burgos: “Invincible” by Machine Gun Kelly

Godofredo Pepey: “Till I Collapse”

Chris Wade def. Frankie Perez via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

Chris Wade: “HUMBLE” by Kendrick Lamar

Frankie Perez: “Suavemente” by Elvis Crespo

For complete coverage of UFC on FOX 25, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC on FOX 25 results: Chris Wade smothers Frankie Perez, wins rematch via unanimous decision

In a rematch of East Coast MMA vets, Chris Wade gave Frankie Perez few opportunities other than to defend his wrestling.

Wade (12-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC) smothered Perez (10-4 MMA, 1-3 UFC) over three rounds to pick up a unanimous decision with scores of 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27.

The lightweight bout opened up the preliminary card of today’s UFC on FOX 25 event at NYCB LIVE at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y. It streamed on UFC Fight Pass ahead of the rest of the card on FOX.

Wade snapped a two-fight skid and picked up his second win over Perez after a split-call on points in 2014. Perez is now 1-3 in the octagon after a unanimous decision loss to Mark Diakiese this past December.

Wade made no secret of his gameplan early in the fight, nabbing an early takedown. By the time Perez managed to get up, half of the opening frame had expired. And when Perez tried to get revenge with his own takedown, he struggled to avoid a kimura and managed only one minute of top time after getting a trip.

Advised by his coaches to circle and strike, Perez tried his best to make Wade slug it out. But whether exhausted from the previous round’s grappling or worried about getting put on his back, Perez wound up losing striking exchanges before taking another trip to the mat.

Wade again stuffed Perez against the fence in the final frame, using a guillotine attempt to reverse position after Perez took a punch and shot for a takedown. Perez managed to escape, but with only one minute to work, he couldn’t turn the tables.

Up-to-the-minute UFC on FOX 25 results include:

  • Chris Wade def. Frankie Perez via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

For complete coverage of UFC on FOX 25, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s Matt Erickson contributed to this report on site in New York.)

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

10 reasons to watch UFC on FOX 25, including a must-win middleweight feature

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The UFC heads back to New York for Saturday’s UFC on FOX 25. While this is the promotion’s fifth trip to the Empire State in eight months, it is the UFC’s first visit to NYCB LIVE at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale. Unsurprisingly, the card is packed with local fighters, including former middleweight champion and Long Island native Chris Weidman, who competes in the headlining bout opposite Kelvin Gastelum.

Weidman is under significant pressure. Not only is he fighting just a short drive from his home, but he’s also mired in the worst stretch of his career, losing his last three fights, with his two most recent setbacks happening in New York. As for Gastelum, a victory over the former champ would do wonders for his rising profile at 185 pounds.

In the co-main event, Darren Elkins, who will be up for some end-of-the-year awards thanks to his gritty come-from-behind victory over Mirsad Bektic, looks to carry the momentum from that March battle into his matchup against Dennis Bermudez.

UFC on FOX 25 airs on FOX following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Here are 10 reasons to watch the event.

1. Time marches on

On May 10, 2015, Robert Whittaker fought for the second time at middleweight. Thirteen days later, Weidman defended that weight division’s title for the third time, knocking out Vitor Belfort. Today, Whittaker is 7-0 at 185 pounds and the current interim champ. Weidman is 0-3 since defeating Belfort, losing each fight by knockout. The former champ has dropped to No. 8 over that time, according to the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middleweight rankings.

Weidman (13-3 MMA, 9-3 UFC) looks to end his slide and take a few steps up the rankings against No. 13 ranked Gastelum (13-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC), who could establish himself as a top middleweight contender with a win.

Gastelum is coming off a first-round TKO victory over Belfort. That win was later ruled a no-contest after Gastelum failed a fight-day drug test for carboxy-tetrahydrocannabinol or “THC,” a metabolite found in marijuana.

2. A man of will

It took Elkins 16 UFC fights before he earned his first fight-night bonus. Elkins, currently No. 13 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA featherweight rankings, spent most of his bout against Bektic absorbing strikes — and bleeding. It looked like the best Elkins could hope for would be a one-sided decision loss, but midway through the third round Bektic provided an opening. Elkins took Bektic’s back and stopped him via head strikes as Bektic attempted to get to his feet. The TKO win, Elkins’ fourth consecutive victory, will undoubtedly be a contender for “Comeback of the Year.”

Coming off that fight, Elkins (22-5 MMA, 12-4 UFC) has never had a higher profile. He makes the first co-main event appearance of his UFC career opposite Bermudez (16-6 MMA, 9-4 UFC).

Bermudez needs a comeback of his own. A rankings honorable mention, he is coming off a first-round knockout loss to Chan Sung Jung which ended his two-fight winning streak.

3. Staying alive

Gian Villante and Patrick Cummins are talented athletes. The problem they’ve both endured during their UFC careers is they’ve been unable to translate those talents into long-term success.

Cummins has a great wrestling base but struggles with defending strikes. Those defensive deficiencies have led to each of Cummins’ (9-4 MMA, 5-4 UFC) four defeats, which have all come via TKO. Villante (15-8 MMA, 5-5 UFC) is a powerful striker with strong takedown defense, but he often fades as fights wear on, which leaves him susceptible to strikes.

Both these competitors have 2-3 records over their last five outings. A win here might be the last chance for the victor to make a run up the light heavyweight rankings.

4. Rising bantamweight stars

A crucial bantamweight contest opens the main card. In one corner, you have No. 7-ranked Jimmie Rivera, who has won 19 straight, four of which have come with the UFC. Opposite Rivera is No. 12-ranked Thomas Almeida, who saw his 21-fight winning streak come to an end last May when he was knocked out by current bantamweight champ Cody Garbrandt.

Almeida (21-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC), a flashy striker, is the underdog in this matchup, a first during his six-fight run in the UFC. One reason for that might be Almeida’s loss to Garbrandt, another might be Rivera’s (20-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) ability to combine power, volume, a fast pace over three rounds and effective combinations on the counter.

Almeida hasn’t gone the distance since his UFC debut in 2014. He needs to be ready for a full three rounds from an opponent who has heard the final bell in 15 of his 21 fights.

5. Back on the accelerator

Lyman Good was 22 fights – and 10 years – into his career before getting the call from the UFC. The former Bellator welterweight champ vacated his Cage Fury welterweight belt for the opportunity to face Andrew Craig at UFC Fight Night 71. Good knocked out Craig in the second round of that contest. After some time off due to injury, Good was booked to face Belal Muhammad at UFC 205.

Good was pulled from that fight after being notified of potential anti-doping violation stemming from an out-of-competition test. A tainted supplement was the cause of Good’s failed test and he received a six-month suspension.

Now, more than two years removed from his win over Craig, Good (19-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC) looks to regain the momentum he had in 2015. Good faces Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos (16-5 MMA, 1-2 UFC), who is coming of a “Fight of the Night” bonus-winning victory over Keita Nakamura.

6. Moving fast

Before LFA 6, Eryk Anders predicted he would defeat Jon Kirk and then fight for the LFA middleweight title. Those predictions came true. He TKOd Kirk in 95 seconds and then won the inaugural LFA title in June with a decision over Brendan Allen. Before that win, he said he felt a victory over Allen would get him a shot in the UFC. He was right about that, as well.

The former Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker replaces an injured Alessio Di Chirico (10-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) vs. Rafael Natal (21-8-1 MMA, 9-6-1 UFC) at UFC on FOX 25. An undrafted signee of the Cleveland Browns upon leaving college, Anders (7-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) was a 2010 training camp cut by the NFL team. Anders went on to have brief stints in the Canadian Football League and Arena Football League before deciding to concentrate on MMA, where he remains unbeaten as a pro.

Anders gets a stiff step up in competition in his UFC debut, facing Natal, a 16-fight UFC veteran who is coming off losses to current interim middleweight champ Whittaker and Tim Boetsch.

7. Exuding confidence

Winning improves a fighter’s confidence. A knockout victory that scores a “Fight of the Night” bonus improves confidence exponentially, at least for heavyweight Chase Sherman.

Sherman stopped Rashad Coulter in the second round of a wild striking battle at UFC 211, ending a two-fight losing skid. After the win, Sherman took some shots at the rest of the division.

“I’m blessed enough to be in a division that’s not very stacked,” Sherman said. “It’s not stacked with very young, athletic guys.”

The 27-year-old Sherman (10-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC) meets Damian Grabowski in Long Island. Grabowski (20-4 MMA, 0-2 UFC), a 37-year-old former M-1 heavyweight champ, has lost both of his UFC bouts by first-round knockout.

8. Young and unbeaten

The UFC Fight Pass prelims feature a pair of young featherweight fighters looking to extend unbeaten streaks. In the featured Fight Pass prelim, Jeremy Kennedy (10-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) looks to take his streak to 11 straight against Kyle Bochniak (7-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC). Further down the card, Shane Burgos (9-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) hopes to move into double digits in consecutive victories vs. UFC veteran Godofredo Pepey (13-4 MMA, 5-4 UFC). Bochniak and Pepey are both 1-1 in their last two outings.

9. Big man, big step

The UFC’s heavyweight division is rare in that one win can mark a fighter as a rising contender. If that fighter happens to be under 30 years of age, that tends to increase the amount of hype. Junior Albini gets his chance to start his hype train rolling against five-fight UFC veteran Timothy Johnson.

The 26-year-old Albini (13-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has won his last nine fights, but the 32-year-old Johnson (11-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC), who is coming off a split-decision win over Daniel Omielanczuk is a big step up in competition for the young Brazilian. At worst, this fight will be an indicator of what Albini needs to shore up to grow as a UFC competitor. At best, Albini adds a 12th career stoppage to his resume and becomes an instant player in the division.

10. A rematch three years in the making

The first time Frankie Perez and Chris Wade fought, Wade was the reigning Ring of Combat lightweight champion. Wade (11-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC) won that contest by split decision, handing Perez (10-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC) his first career defeat. Wade moved on to the UFC after that victory, opening his promotional run with a 4-0 record. He’s stumbled in his two most recent bouts, dropping decisions to Rustam Khabilov and Islam Makhachev.

Meanwhile, Perez picked up a win with WSOF before he was signed by the UFC. After a loss in his promotional debut, Perez defeated Sam Stout and abruptly retired. Perez returned in December, dropping a decision to Marc Diakiese.

To add to the rematch angle, there seems to be some lingering hard feelings between these two.

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

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Source: MMA Junkie