Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2601 with UFC featherweight Darren Elkins

Stream or download Tuesday’s episode of MMAjunkie Radio with guest Darren Elkins.

Elkins is coming off of a comeback submission win over Michael Johnson at UFC Fight Night 124 in St. Louis on Sunday. He called in to the show to talk about that fight and what he wants next. The hosts also covered the latest MMA news.

You can listen or stream the entire episode on AudioBoom.com.

Source: MMA Junkie

UFC featherweight contender Brian Ortega explains decision to wait for shot at title

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ST. LOUIS – Brian Ortega had just returned from a trip to Mexico, on the heels of a big submission win over Cub Swanson at UFC Fight Night 123, when he got a work-related call.

It said that if “T-City” wanted it, there was a fight available for him at UFC on FOX 28, set for Feb. 24. The proposed opponent was Josh Emmett, himself fresh off his biggest win yet – a first-round knockout of ex-title-challenger Ricardo Lamas.

He was given some time for an answer, and Ortega says he took everything into consideration.

“I’m not going to disrespect (Emmett) or nothing, but I’m waiting for that title,” Ortega told MMAjunkie backstage at UFC Fight Night 124 on Sunday. “Truth is, I’ve finished every single one of my opponents. And I feel that I deserve the title shot out of the winner of (Frankie Edgar) and (Max Holloway).

“We’ll see how it goes. We’ll see how that fight goes. And if I get it. If not, then we’ll see what we have to do.”

Sunday night in St. Louis, Ortega (13-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) became the target of two of the night’s biggest winners: Headliner Jeremy Stephens, who demolished Dooho Choi to earn “Fight of the Night” honors, and Darren Elkins, who added a sixth victory to his winning streak with a “Performance of the Night” over Michael Johnson.

Still, judging by what Stephens said in his own interview backstage, Ortega’s mind remained unaltered by the night’s event.

A title shot will involve some waiting. After beating ex-champ Jose Aldo in a rematch, Holloway (19-3 MMA, 15-3 UFC) is now set to try to defend his unified title for a second time. The title bout, a re-booked meeting with ex-lightweight-champ Edgar (22-5-1 MMA, 16-5-1 UFC), will take place March 3 at UFC 122.

Add to it whatever time the champ might need (or want) to recover and the 26-year-old contender might be looking at quite the layoff there. Still, despite Elkins’ advice, that’s where Ortega stands.

“I’m leaving it up to whoever wins March 30,” Ortega said. “Whenever they feel like they want – get some time off, vacation. I’m going to keep training. I’m going to be grinding. And if the shot there, we’re going to take it. If the shot is not there, then we’ll go back and talk to the UFC and the management and we’ll see what we can make happen to secure that spot.”

Say Ortega’s plan does pan out and he gets the winner of the next featherweight title fight. Who will that be?

“I think if Holloway plays his cards right and his takedown defense is on point, he’ll be able to pretty much outstrike Frankie, because he’s punching down,” Ortega said. “But Frankie, if that guy gets a hold of you and puts you on the ground, it’s a wrap. He’s a good expert.”

There’s one thing that Ortega can say with more certainty, though.

“I’m going to go that fight,” Ortega said. “I want to sit there and watch it. I want to study these guys.”

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

And for more on UFC 222, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with UFC-St. Louis winner Darren Elkins

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with Darren Elkins.

Elkins picked up his sixth straight win on Sunday night when he submitted Michael Johnson in the second round of their featherweight bout at UFC Fight Night 124 in St. Louis. Similar to his “Comeback of the Year” winner over Mirsad Bektic 10 months ago, Elkins got beat up a bit in the first round before rallying to get a finish. He’ll talk about this latest win as well as his prospects as a new title contender at 145 pounds.

MMAjunkie Radio airs from 1 to 3 p.m. ET (10 a.m. to noon PT), live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. You can watch and listen live on MMAjunkie’s Facebook and YouTube pages. Additionally, SiriusXM Rush (Ch. 93) carries a replay later in the day (8-10 p.m. ET) and the following morning (7-9 a.m. ET), or catch a replay on demand.

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

  • HOW TO WATCH (ON WEB): Watch a live stream on MMAjunkie’s Facebook or YouTube pages.
  • HOW TO CALL: MMAjunkie Radio takes phone calls from listeners throughout the show. Call into the MMAjunkie Radio hotline at (866) 522-2846.
  • HOW TO DISCUSS: The MMAjunkie MMA Forums has a section devoted solely to MMAjunkie Radio. Stop by the MMAjunkie Radio forum to discuss the show, interact with the hosts, suggest future guests and catch up on the latest MMAjunkie Radio news.
  • HOW TO VISIT THE SHOW: You can watch MMAjunkie Radio live and in person at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The booth is located in the resort’s Race & Sports Book next to the Mandalay Bay poker room. To plan a trip to Sin City and MMAjunkie Radio, go to www.mandalaybay.com.

Source: MMA Junkie

A record number of attempts later, Darren Elkins finally got his first UFC submission

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Darren Elkins is recognized for his grinding, grappling-heavy fighting style which wears opponents down and eventually causes them to break. That’s what makes the fact that his win over Michael Johnson was his first by submission in the UFC so surprising.

Elkins (24-5 MMA, 14-5 UFC) made a bit of UFC history when he tapped out Johnson (17-13 MMA, 9-9 UFC) with a rear-naked choke in the second round of their featherweight bout Sunday at UFC Fight Night 124, which took place at Scottrade Center in St. Louis and aired on FS1. He got “The Menace” to give up to what was his 21st submission attempt in UFC competition, the most by any fighter ever before landing a finish.

The Team Alpha Male product went 0-for-20 on submission attempts prior to UFC Fight Night 124. He’s committed to holds against the likes of Dennis Bermudez, Jeremy Stephens and more but could never lock on a fight-ending hold. He got the job done against Johnson, though, and credited jiu-jitsu coach Chris Holdsworth for the positive influence in preparation.

“I get on the back all the time,” Elkins told MMAjunkie after his first submission win since his pre-UFC career in May 2009. “I get in a lot of positions where I’m on people’s back. I have like the most submissions attempted in the division, but guess what? I had no submissions in the UFC until tonight. I worked a lot with Chris Holdsworth, and all we did was back takes. I was like, ‘Listen, I’m in this position all the time. This is where I need to finish a guy. If I’m here I don’t want to last and do a three-round fight again. I just want to finish the fight here.’”

Elkins elaborated, explaining exactly how he stopped Johnson to push his winning streak to six consecutive fights at 145 pounds.

“We settled in, we had hand positioning, head positioning,” Elkins said. “I had it just a little bit underneath his chin, but I knew I had enough where it was going to start choking him. It was starting to choke him well then I slid my hand all the way underneath there, and I knew I had him. I had that body triangle on him, I had that choke.”

With Elkins’ victory with his 21st submission attempt, he breaks the previous record held by Jacob Volkmann, who finally got his first UFC submission victory in his 15th attempt against Shane Roller at UFC on FX 5 in October 2012.

FightMetric research analyst and live statistics producer Michael Carroll contributed to this story.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 124, check out the UFC Events 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 Jeremy Stephens, UFC Fight Night 124's other winning fighters?

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Jeremy Stephens further established himself as a featherweight contender to watch on Sunday when he scored an emphatic victory over Dooho Choi in the UFC Fight Night 124 main event.

Stephens (27-14 MMA, 14-13 UFC) put another brutal finish on his highlight reel when he stopped Choi (14-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) with strikes for the second-round TKO in the FS1-televised headliner at Scottrade Center in St. Louis. Early prelims streamed on UFC Fight Pass.

Three others put their names in the title mix of their respective weight classes. Jessica-Rose Clark (9-4 MMA, 2-0 UFC) became the first to earn two wins in the new women’s flyweight division, Kamaru Usman (12-1 MMA, 7-0 UFC) stayed perfect at welterweight, and Darren Elkins (24-5 MMA, 14-4 UFC) continued his run at featherweight.

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 Fight Night 124’s winning fighters.

* * * *

Darren Elkins

Jeremy Stephens

Should fight: Jeremy Stephens
Why they should fight: The streaking Elkins spoiled Michael Johnson’s debut in the featherweight division and continued his own momentum with yet another thrilling comeback victory in the main-card opener.

Elkins rallied from a tough first round to submit Johnson with a rear-naked choke in the second, extending his winning streak to six consecutive fights at 145 pounds. “The Damage” has surprised over and over during his run, and now he deserves a notable fight in his weight class.

A fight against Stephens, who scored a scintillating finish of his own in the main event, would be a reasonable matchup for both men given the landscape of the weight class. Moreover, there’s a backstory, with “Lil’ Heathen” owning a unanimous-decision win over Elkins from UFC on FOX 10 in January 2014.

Kamaru Usman

Colby Covington

Should fight: Colby Covington
Why they should fight: Usman did not thrill fans with his performance, but the welterweight contender managed to remain unbeaten in the UFC when he controlled Emil Meek for a unanimous decision.

“The Nigerian Nightmare” moved to 7-0 inside the octagon against an opponent in Meek who he felt was unworthy of competing against him. He said in his post-fight interview that he was only 30 percent healthy for the fight and implored any 170-pound contender to test him when he’s at 100 percent.

Usman called out Covington (13-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) in his post-fight for a matchup that’s been brewing for quite some time. Usman named Covington as an opponent that was avoiding a fight with him during his pre-fight interview with MMAjunkie, and he doubled down after his victory. Now it remains to be seen if Covington will oblige.

Jessica-Rose Clark

Alexis Davis

Should fight: Alexis Davis
Why they should fight: In the span of 57 days, Clark went from making her UFC debut to becoming one of the more notable figures in the recently introduced women’s flyweight division after her victory over Paige VanZant.

Clark outworked VanZant to a unanimous decision in the co-headlining matchup and put herself in good position in the 125-pound weight class. Pinpointing exactly where she stands is a challenge, though, because a real pecking order has yet to be established.

With Clark’s UFC wins coming against VanZant and Bec Rawlings, she’s yet to fight anyone on an upswing in the promotion. She needs to fight a more established talent, and former UFC title challenger Davis (19-7 MMA, 6-2 UFC) is exactly that. The Canadian has the overall game to give Clark her toughest test and prove whether or not she’s for real.

Jeremy Stephens

Should fight: Darren Elkins
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why Stephens should rematch Elkins next.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 124, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 124 post-event facts: Jeremy Stephens on cusp of all-time knockdowns record

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Jeremy Stephens is one of the longest-tenured UFC fighters, and on Sunday he added another chapter to his career with a victory over Dooho Choi in UFC Fight Night 124’s main event.

Stephens’ (27-14 MMA, 14-13 UFC) power was again on display in the FS1-televised headliner at Scottrade Center in St. Louis (early prelims streamed on UFC Fight Pass). He put Choi (14-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) down in the second round, giving him a TKO win that placed him nearly the top of the list of one of the most notable categories in UFC history.

For more on the numbers to come out of the first UFC event of 2018, check out 40 post-event facts to come out of UFC Fight Night 124.

* * * *

General

Jeremy Stephens

The UFC-Reebok Athlete Outfitting payout for the event totaled $135,000.

Debuting fighters went 0-1 at the event.

Stephens, Choi, Darren Elkins and Marco Polo Reyes earned $50,000 UFC Fight Night 124 fight-night bonuses.

UFC Fight Night 124 drew an announced attendance of 10,052 for a live gate of $812,995.

Betting favorites went 6-5 on the card.

Total fight time for the 11-bout card was 2:05:51.

Main card

Jeremy Stephens

Stephens improved to 7-5 since he dropped to the UFC featherweight division in May 2013.

Stephens’ 17 knockdowns landed in UFC competition are second most in company history behind Anderson Silva (18).

Stephens’ 10 knockdowns landed in UFC featherweight competition are most in divisional history.

Choi suffered consecutive losses for the first time in his career. He hasn’t earned a victory since July 2016.

Jessica-Rose Clark and Paige VanZant

Jessica-Rose Clark (9-4 MMA, 2-0 UFC) earned her second UFC victory in a 57-day stretch. She also beat Bec Rawlings at UFC Fight Night 121 in November.

Clark has earned both of her UFC victories by decision.

Paige VanZant (7-4 MMA, 4-3 UFC) was unsuccessful in her UFC flyweight debut.

VanZant suffered consecutive losses for the first time in his career. She hasn’t earned a victory since August 2016.

Kamaru Usman

Kamaru Usman (12-1 MMA, 7-0 UFC) extended his winning streak to 11 fights. He hasn’t suffered a defeat since May 2013.

Usman’s seven-fight UFC winning streak in welterweight competition is the longest active streak in the division.

Usman became the first welterweight since Jon Fitch to start his UFC career with seven consecutive victories.

Usman has completed 28 takedowns in his seven UFC appearances

Emil Meek (9-3-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) suffered the first decision loss of his career.

Darren Elkins

Elkins (24-5 MMA, 14-4 UFC) improved to 13-3 since he dropped to the UFC featherweight division in June 2011.

Elkins’ 13 UFC featherweight victories are second most in divisional history behind champ Max Holloway (14).

Elkins’ six-fight UFC winning streak in featherweight competition is the second-longest active streak in the division behind Holloway (11).

Elkins earned his first submission victory since May 30, 2009 – a span of 3,151 days (more than eight years) and 21 fights.

Elkins’ 36 takedowns landed in UFC featherweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Dennis Bermudez (39).

Darren Elkins and Michael Johnson

Elkins’ 21 submission attempts in UFC featherweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Elkins has landed 1,565 total strikes in UFC featherweight competition, the most in divisional history.

Michael Johnson (17-13 MMA, 9-9 UFC) was unsuccessful in his UFC featherweight debut.

Johnson fell to 1-5 in his past six fights dating back to August 2015.

Johnson suffered the eighth submission loss of his career. He’s been tapped out in all but one of his career stoppage losses.

Preliminary card

James Krause and Alex White

Alex White (12-4 MMA, 3-4 UFC) fell to 1-2 since he moved up to the UFC lightweight division in January 2017.

Polo Reyes (8-3 MMA, 4-1 UFC) has earned seven of his eight career victories by stoppage.

Matt Frevola (6-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) had his six-fight winning streak snapped for the first defeat of his career.

Irene Aldana (8-4 MMA, 1-2 UFC) earned the first decision victory of her career.

Talita Bernardo (5-3 MMA, 0-2 UFC) suffered consecutive losses for the first time in her career.

Kyung Ho Kang

Kyung Ho Kang (14-7 MMA, 3-1 UFC) was successful in his return to competition from a nearly 3.5-year layoff.

Guido Cannetti (7-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC) has suffered all three of his career losses by submission.

Jessica Eye (12-6 MMA, 2-5 UFC) was successful in her UFC flyweight debut.

Eye snapped her four-fight losing skid for her first victory since November 2014. She’s 2-5 in her past seven fights.

Kalindra Faria (18-7-1 MMA, 0-2 UFC) became the first fighter in UFC history to suffer two losses in women’s flyweight competition.

J.J. Aldrich’s (6-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC) two-fight UFC winning streak in strawweight competition is tied for the third longest active streak in the division behind Felice Herrig (four) and Tecia Torres (three).

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 124, 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

Jeremy Stephens: I'm there if someone drops out of UFC title fight

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ST. LOUIS – After dismantling Dooho Choi in Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 124’s main event, Jeremy Stephens has a few ideas as to what can be next for him.

One of them, we know, is Brian Ortega (13-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC). Stephens (27-14 MMA, 14-13 UFC) made that one quite clear while still in the octagon immediately after dispatching Choi (14-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) in the second round of their “Fight of the Night” headliner at Scotttrade Center in St. Louis.

Backstage, Stephens elaborated.

“I know he’s in front of me, coming off a good win, a grappling win,” Stephens said after the FS1-televised featherweight bout. “Stylistically, I’m a striker, and he’s a grappler. I’m good at not getting submitted. I think that calls for a good fight.”

It wouldn’t be an entirely unreasonable matchup. With Ortega’s recent upset of perennial contender Cub Swanson, both fighters are coming off big finishes in UFC headliners. Stephens is now on his first winning streak since 2014, after mangling Gilbert Melendez’s legs en route to a UFC 215 win this past September.

But then there’s the fact that Ortega, who’s never lost an MMA bout, is now on a five-fight winning streak in his unbeaten UFC run. And taking out the experienced Swanson in such fashion has probably catapulted him into the 145-pound title picture.

That’s exactly where Ortega is aiming, according to what Stephens could gather from a post-fight exchange with “T-City.”

“He’d rather sit on his ass and wait for a paycheck,” Stephens said. “I just won a (expletive)-ton of money tonight by being active, so that’s the way I want to be. If he wants to wait, fine. But who’s in front of me? Let’s go.”

Stephens is right in that a title shot at this point will most likely take waiting. After all, champ Max Holloway (19-3 MMA, 15-3 UFC) already has a title defense scheduled for UFC 222 on March 3, against former lightweight champion and two-time featherweight challenger Frankie Edgar (22-5-1 MMA, 16-5-1 UFC) .

But as their own failed original booking showed, just because a fight is set to take place doesn’t mean that it will. In the event of that happening again, Stephens would like to throw his name in the hat.

“Bring me someone who’s close to the title,” Stephens said. “If not, I’m there if somebody drops out of the title (fight). I fought both them guys. Max Holloway, he danced around and ran. (Stephens lost an unanimous decision at UFC 194.) He didn’t fight me like he fought Jose Aldo. I feel like I can make the adjustments now.

“Frankie Edgar, I really wasn’t with the Alliance camp around that fight. (Stephens lost an unanimous decision at UFC 205.) I would love to go back and fight him again with (coach) Eric Del Fierro in my corner. I feel like I’ve made those good adjustments, and I learned a lot from those losses. Those were very tough guys, at the top of the division. And I had razor-close decisions with them. I’m one fight away – if not, I’m right there.”

Of course, this rides on one big if. So how about Darren Elkins (24-5 MMA, 14-5 UFC), who called for a No. 1 contender fight on Sunday after picking up a “Performance of the Night” bonus with yet another comeback win?

“I already whooped Darren Elkins’ ass, so – next?” Stephens said.

To hear more from Stephens on his big win, check out the video above.

And for complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 124, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Darren Elkins says Brian Ortega should fight or risk losing No. 1 contender's spot

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ST. LOUIS – Darren Elkins said it’s a bad idea for Brian Ortega to sit on the sidelines and wait for a UFC featherweight title shot. The division might pass him by, he said.

Elkins (24-5 MMA, 14-5 UFC) picked up his sixth consecutive victory at 145 pounds when he scored a second-round submission victory over Michael Johnson (17-13 MMA, 9-9 UFC) on Sunday at UFC Fight Night 124, which took place at Scottrade Center in St. Louis and aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

“The Damage” cannot be denied as a legitimate title contender, and with the second longest active streak in the division behind champion Max Holloway (19-3 MMA, 15-3 UFC), he said he should be in line for a No. 1 contender fight.

With Holloway set to defend his title against Frankie Edgar (22-5-1 MMA, 16-5-1 UFC) at UFC 222 in March, other contenders in the division are jockeying for the next shot. Ortega (13-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) has won his past five fights, which includes a submission victory over Cub Swanson at UFC Fight Night 123 in December, and Elkins thinks he needs to meet “T-City” in a title eliminator.

“In my eyes I think we should (fight),” Elkins told MMAjunkie. “It’s going to be a while before Frankie Edgar and Holloway are going to fight. Then it’s going to be a while before someone fights anyway, so let’s fight this out and see who really the No. 1 contender is. Maybe if he waits around, he loses his title shot. We’ve seen that happen before too. I don’t think I’m going to wait it out because I don’t think I’m going to get it, so let’s fight for the No. 1 contendership.”

Elkins once again pulled out a resounding comeback victory. After getting repeatedly tagged with Johnson’s strikes in the opening round of Sunday’s bout, the Team Alpha Male product and got himself together in the second frame. He put “The Menace” on the ground and locked in a rear-naked choke to finish the fight, continuing his trend of come-from-behind victories.

Although that’s not how he wants every fight to unfold, Elkins said he knows his toughness and durability is a key attribute in his game.

“I don’t have the quickness he has, so I had to slow him down, and I had to make him work,” Elkins said. “I had to keep my defense as high as I could and absorb the big punches. You could tell right at the end of the second he was starting to fade some, especially because he hit me with some big shots and I was standing right in front of him. It frustrates people. You hit some people with some of those exact same shots, they’re sleeping, and I’m still there. Other people just run away, but I’m coming right at you. That was part of it. The pressure I was putting on him, even when I was getting hit, it kind of broke him in the second.”

Ortega has shown an ability to rally in fights in which he’s not leading, as well, and that makes a matchup with Elkins particularly interesting. Ortega has yet to suffer a loss in his career, but Elkins said he could be the one to hand him his first blemish.

“He’s on a five-fight (winning streak), and I’m on a six-fight (streak),” Elkins said. “He’s definitely earned his position. He’s looked great, I’ve watched his fights, and I’m a fan of his, but that fight makes sense to me. Let’s do me and Ortega. Winner gets a title shot.

“He’s tough, but I thrive on those type of fights.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 124, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 124 Athlete Outfitting pay: New tier structure brings higher total

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ST. LOUIS – Fighters from Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 124 event took home UFC Athlete Outfitting pay, a program that launched after the UFC’s deal with Reebok, totaling $135,000.

UFC Fight Night 124 took place at Scottrade Center in St. Louis. The card aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Leading the way was Jeremy Stephens (27-14 MMA, 14-13 UFC), who on top of a TKO victory over Dooho Choi (14-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) in the event headliner, received $20,000 for his 27th octagon appearance.

The full UFC Fight Night 124 UFC Athlete Outfitting payouts included:

Jeremy Stephens: $20,000
def. Dooho Choi: $5,000

Jessica-Rose Clark: $3,500
def. Paige VanZant: $5,000

Kamaru Usman: $5,000
def. Emil Meek: $3,500

Darren Elkins: $15,000
def. Michael Johnson: $15,000

James Krause: $10,000
def. Alex White: $5,000

Polo Reyes: $5,000
def. Matt Frevola: $3,500

Irene Aldana: $3,500
def. Talita Bernardo: $3,500

Kyung Ho Kang: $5,000
def. Guido Cannetti: $3,500

Jessica Eye: $5,000
def. Kalindra Faria: $3,500

J.J. Aldrich: $3,500
def. Danielle Taylor: $5,000

Mads Burnell: $3,500
def. Mike Santiago: $3,500

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 1-3 bouts receive $3,500 per appearance; 4-10 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 2018 UFC-Reebok sponsorship payouts:

Year-to-date total: $135,000
2017 total: $6,295,000
2016 total: $7,138,000
2015 total: $3,185,000
Program-to-date total: $16,753,000

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 124, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 124 bonuses: Darren Elkins' latest crazy comeback was worth an extra $50,000

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ST. LOUIS – Jeremy Stephens, Dooho Choi, Darren Elkins and Marco Polo Reyes each earned $50,000 fight-night bonuses at Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 124 event.

Elkins and Reyes picked up “Performance of the Night” bonuses, and Stephens and Choi took home “Fight of the Night” honors.

UFC officials announced the winners after the card, which MMAjunkie attended.

Stephens (27-14 MMA, 14-13 UFC) and Choi (14-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) slugged it out from the get-go in the featherweight main event. And Choi had plenty of success in the first round – even taking the round on two of the three judges’ scorecards. But in the second, Stephens caught him flush with a right hand and put him on the canvas. And there, he decimated the young up-and-comer with big elbows and fists to get the stoppage.

Elkins (24-5 MMA, 14-5 UFC) ran his winning streak to six straight in the featherweight division with a second-round submission of Michael Johnson (17-13 MMA, 9-9 UFC). In typical “Damage” fashion, he took a bunch of it in the first round. But in the second, he got a takedown early, then took Johnson’s back when he tried to work back to his feet. From there, he sank in a rear-naked choke that forced Johnson to tap – for his third straight stoppage loss.

The bonus was Elkins’ second in his past three fights. He also picked up $50,000 for another comeback victory – his third-round knockout of Mirsad Bektic at UFC 209 10 months ago, which also got him “Comeback of the Year” honors in 2017 from MMAjunkie.

Reyes (8-4 MMA, 4-1 UFC) came out swinging with Matt Frevola (6-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) right away and knocked the UFC newcomer’s mouthpiece out. After a restart, Reyes got back going quickly and put together a big combination that ultimately finished Frevola off with a big right hand.

UFC Fight Night 124 took place at Scottrade Center in St. Louis, and it aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 124, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Source: MMA Junkie