Category Archives: Donald Cerrone

Donald Cerrone, in 'new-age Tombstone outfit,' talks new film, Ray Borg, not studying opponents

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

EDMONTON – Donald Cerrone spent UFC 215 Fight Week in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada doing a little bit of everything, which culminated with an interview session with media.

Cerrone (32-9 MMA, 19-6 UFC), looking spiffy in what he called a “new age Tombstone outfit,” addressed a variety of topics, including his appearance in a new film called “Puppy Love” that’s slated for release early next year, teammate Ray Borg’s withdrawal from the UFC 215 main event and why he’s not studying film of UFC Fight Night 118 opponent Darren Till.

Check out the video above to hear from “Cowboy.”

And for more on UFC Fight Night 118, visit 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

Darren Till guarantees win: 'I'm going to build my name off Donald Cerrone'

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Cursing the cancellation of a contest long since giddily penciled in to their calendar has become all too commonplace for the average MMA fan, but occasionally the improvised matchmaking that follows presents fighters with an opportunity for which they’ve been desperately waiting.

Just ask Nate Diaz, who stepped in on short notice for then-lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos to face Conor McGregor at UFC 196 and went on to earn a career-best victory and purse. In spite of losing, their rematch at UFC 202 certainly did Diaz’s bank balance no harm, either.

Darren Till

And then there’s UFC welterweight Darren Till (15-0-1 MMA, 3-0-1 UFC). Just over a week ago, the Liverpool native was backstage at Ahoy Rotterdam in the Netherlands, toasting his bruising unanimous decision victory over Bojan Velickovic at UFC Fight Night 115, when an unexpected offer came his way via Sean Shelby, the UFC’s Senior Vice President of Talent Relations.

“After the fight, me and Sean Shelby were in the bar having a drink, and he was saying that they were struggling to find a main event for Gdansk,” Till told MMAjunkie. “He asked me if I wanted to fight in main event and I said, ‘Of course. I’ll fight anyone so get that fight on.’ Within a matter of days, it was sorted, and I knew it was going to be ‘Cowboy.’”

The “Cowboy” in question is, of course, Donald Cerrone (32-9 MMA, 19-6 UFC), who ranks among the promotion’s most prolific and exciting fighters, and just days after extending his undefeated record against the comparatively unknown Velickovic, Till had signed on to face him in the five-round main event of UFC Fight Night 118 on Oct. 21 at Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland.

The showcase is to be streamed live on UFC Fight Pass, and it will be the first time during his stint with the company that Till features atop of the bill. The 24-year-old took little issue with Cerrone admitting to having never heard of him but is quite sure the former UFC lightweight title challenger will be enlightened soon enough.

“It’s been good getting a bit of attention,” Till said. “And he said he doesn’t know me, which is fine because it’s not disrespect. On Instagram, Jackson-Wink put up ‘Donald Cerrone versus who,’ but I’m sure they’re researching me now and thinking, ‘We have to take this kid seriously.’

“At the end of the day, Donald Cerrone is a 34-year-old man who is on his way out and drinks every day. I’m a 210-pound gorilla, and they should be scared because I’m not scared, and I’m going to go in there and knock him out.”

A non-traditional path

The truth is, if Till’s name is unfamiliar to his North American contemporaries, that’s hardly surprising. For starters, he’s never fought there, and a shoulder injury recently kept the muay Thai specialist out of action for the better part of two years.

Such prolonged absences invariably slow the momentum of fighters still making their name, even one as dynamic as Till, whose journey to this juncture has proven anything but straightforward.

He returned to the octagon in May with a unanimous decision win over Jessin Ayari at UFC Fight Night 109 in Stockholm, but had weighed in at 176-pounds and was forced to forgo a significant chunk of his first payday in what felt like an age. However, his performance was a comprehensive masterclass.

Nicolas Dalby and Darren Till

Before that, Till had last fought in a “Fight of Night”-awarded draw with Nicolas Dalby at Dublin’s 3Arena in October 2015 – the lone blemish on his record – and the lack of income in the interim was particularly arduous for the father of one.

“It really was a bad injury, and it required surgery, which is why I was out for so long,” Till said. “I had to be really careful with my money so not to fall into hard times. It was a difficult two years, but life isn’t always about highs – there has to be lows as well.

“The guy (Ayari) took 30 percent of my purse, and that’s no bother. My body just wasn’t used to that cut anymore, so that’s why it happened, but I’ve come back and made championship weight, so I’ve just proved everybody wrong.”

Unlike most prospects from the U.K. and Ireland, Till did not come to the UFC’s attention through shows such as Cage Warriors and BAMMA because his formative years as a mixed martial artist were spent in Brazil.

At just 19, and on the advice of his coach at Team Kaobon, Colin Heron, he travelled the 6,187 miles from Liverpool to Balneario Camboriu in southern Brazil. The circumstances that precipitated the bold move were of the gravest kind.

“I got stabbed twice in the back,” Till explained. “It was just one of them things – I was at a party and a fight happened. I went in to have a fight with the guys who were fighting my mate and some guy came up behind me and stabbed me twice. You have people like that in this life but, as I say, it was just another obstacle in life that I had to recover from.”

In 2012, Heron sent him to the Astra Fight Team, under head coach Marcelo Brigadeiro, but Till would arrive without a word of Portuguese, little knowledge of the grappling arts, no reputation to speak of, and just enough money to get situated in an apartment. Needless to say, before he departed, his friends and family were more than a little skeptical.

“Sometimes, when you tell people about your plans and dreams, they don’t actually start to believe in you until you go and do it,” Till said. “I’d always tell my friends and family that I was going to be this and that, and they’d listen to me, but I don’t think they ever believed it. But right now, let me tell you something, they believe it.

“I haven’t been in school since I was 14 – my job has always been fighting. At the start in Brazil it was horrible, with a different culture and people speaking a different language, but I gritted my teeth and got on with life. I started speaking the language and swore to be the best fighter in Brazil.”

Till began muay Thai at 12 and from then only envisioned combat sports as a possible professional future. He had won the K-1 European title, but coming to Brazil as an MMA novice meant almost starting from scratch, and all the while attempting to assimilate to a profoundly different way of life.

“I (had) just done a little bit of grappling and wrestling at Team Kaobom,” Till said. “My striking was always there but, to be fair, I wasn’t very good with the grappling. But with a lot of dedication, belief and talent, I can happily say that I was tapping black belts while I was there.

“The first two months were difficult. I didn’t really know what I was doing or where I was going, and I wasn’t sure if it was going to pan out. But I settled, got myself together, and it was fun, and now I consider Brazil a second home.”

He went 3-0 as an amateur before turning pro and, aside from his debut, not one of Till’s first 12 pro bouts went the distance.

The striking standout explained that the main difference between regional circuits in Brazil and Europe is that a fighter could compete on a weekly basis in the South American nation, such is the frequency shows are staged there. In 2013 alone, Till fought eight times.

As is so often the case, the call for his UFC debut came in May 2015 on extremely short notice, but Till accepted the bout with Wendell de Oliveira without a moment’s hesitation. At UFC Fight Night 67 in Goiania, Brazil, the Englishman disposed of de Oliveira with a vicious, elbow-laden second-round knockout.

The victory was accompanied by great elation and an even greater desire to succeed, which was significantly heightened given Till’s daughter had been born during his stay in his adopted homeland.

“Ever since I got that first win, I’ve known that I’m going to be one of the pinnacle fighters in the UFC,” Till said. “I left the arena that night very emotional not just for me but my daughter. It’s all just obstacles for us. In this life, you can either quit or carry on. Anything that’s thrown at me, it doesn’t matter because I’ll overcome it.”

A promise, and a guarantee

Speaking to Till, it’s abundantly clear that he doesn’t so much welcome adversity, but readily gleans any lessons to be had when it occurs. To him, each travail provides the chance to demonstrate his resolve.

Last Christmas, he made his most harrowing decision yet. He returned to Liverpool so as to reunite with Colin Heron and make the necessary improvements he believed only their partnership could yield, but that required saying goodbye to his beloved daughter.

“I’ll go back to her again and, it might sound boring, but it’s another obstacle,” Till said. “It’s not easy being away from my daughter because I love her and she’s my little bit of daylight. This is all for her and me and her mother, because I want us all to have a good life.

“When I see myself getting paid good money by the UFC and I know my daughter is watching me on the TV, it’s all worth it in the end, to be away from her for that much time. It’s a big sacrifice, but it’s worth it.”

Till’s rapport with Heron, who founded Team Kaobon, goes far beyond that of master and student. The former holds the latter in such high esteem that the admiration is palpable.

“Since I’ve been back with Colin, I’ve had two great wins so I definitely made the right choice. Colin is not just a coach; he’s like a father, life mentor and everything he says should be guarded in a safe because it’s all words of wisdom. I just love being around Colin.

“I know that Colin knows what’s needed, so I just do what he tells me to because I trust him 100 percent. The relationship I have with him is like no other. It was all thanks to Colin. I owe Colin my life and he means everything to me.”

Team Kaobon has fostered the talents of other UFC veterans such Paul Kelly, Paul Sass, Paul Taylor and Terry Etim, the only fighter Till has ever remotely idolized.

Despite their shared muay Thai background, the Liverpudlian never watched Cerrone from afar and dreamed of emulating him. There’s a healthy respect, but nothing more. Till is also acutely aware his foe is contemplating three consecutive losses for the first time in an 11-year career. The youngster smells blood in the water.

Darren Till

“He’s got to come in and win because he’s on a losing streak, but I’ve got to come in and prove who I am,” Till said. “This is for me to now build my name, and I’m going to build my name off Donald Cerrone.

“I’m over the moon, and I can’t stop thinking about the opportunity the UFC have given me. I’m grateful to Donald, too, because this is a risky fight for him, so you’ve got to take your hat off to him because he’ll fight anyone at any time. It’s still a bad move and he shouldn’t have taken the fight against me, because I’m a gorilla.”

As you’d expect from a person with such unflappable self-belief, Till is no way perturbed by the prospect of closing out a show or, for that matter, potentially fighting 25 minutes. The sole focus is on taking his biggest scalp yet.

“Whether it’s five rounds, the main event or pressure, I don’t care,” Till said. “If you can’t handle them things then you shouldn’t bother fighting and you may as well quit. I honestly don’t care – I’m just going in there to beat Donald Cerrone.

“I’m straight back into camp, no messing about. I’ve had a week off just to get over a few little injuries, but we start again this week. I’m coming to destroy Donald Cerrone in one round, and that’s what’s going to happen.”

In today’s UFC, it’s almost impossible to predict just where a convincing win over a man of Cerrone’s pedigree would land Till – title shots have been granted for far less. What is not up for debate, however, is Till’s surety that after Oct. 21, no one will ever again hear his name and wonder who he is.

“These types of sacrifices and commitments have got to be made, because I just don’t want to be an everyday UFC fighter,” Till said. “As I’ve said, I want to be the greatest, and that comes with responsibility and sacrifice. You’ve just got to do it, and it’s a long road but achievable.

“There’s no other outcome to this fight than my hand being raised – let me guarantee that to everyone.”

For more on UFC Fight Night 118, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

Donald Cerrone: Unbeaten Darren Till 'might be more dangerous' than Robbie Lawler

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EDMONTON – Donald Cerrone is unsurprisingly thrilled to return to the octagon next month at UFC Fight Night 118, even if he has to travel for his first fight overseas in a decade.

Cerrone (32-9 MMA, 19-6 UFC) will headline UFC Fight Night 118 opposite undefeated welterweight prospect Darren Till (15-0-1 MMA, 3-0-1 UFC). The event takes place Oct. 21 at Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland, and streams on UFC Fight Pass.

There’s no secret “Cowboy” is ready and willing to fight anyone at any time. Till asked for a marquee matchup following his unanimous-decision win over Bojan Velickovic at UFC Fight Night 115 this past weekend, calling himself the best striker in the 170-pound division.

Cerrone, No. 12 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA welterweight rankings, said he’s ready to help figure out whether that’s true.

“We’ll find out (if he’s the best striker),” Cerrone told MMAjunkie. “Good, I hope you are. It’s good fun. I love fighting, and apparently he does too. It’s going to be in Poland. Euro-trip 2017, here we come. … I don’t even watch my own fights let alone other people’s. I don’t know anything about him, but good. Right on. It’s a good opportunity for him.”

Cerrone is coming off a unanimous-decision loss to former UFC champ Robbie Lawler at UFC 214 in July. It was one of the most anticipated fights of the year, and now he moves into a bout against a foe he admittedly knows nothing about. Despite his lack of awareness about Till, Cerrone said he’s taking the fight as seriously as any other in his career.

“I know Robbie, so this new guy might be more dangerous,” Cerrone said. “I was up-and-coming once. I was in his shoes. He might be the next guy. You can’t look at him like, ‘Oh, this guy sucks.’ He’s undefeated. We’ll see. It’s like going from like a farm team, called up to the big show and now he’s the main event, five rounds – that’s a lot. Lights, camera, action.

“We’ll see how he does with the pressure and everything. I don’t know much about the guy, but I’m sure he’s super pumped. He has five weeks. It’s not like he has a lot of time to worry about this. Oh (expletive), here we go.”

Although Cerrone doesn’t care much for repercussions, it’s hard to deny accepting a fight with Till at this point is risky. Cerrone is sitting on a two-fight losing skid for the first time in his career and certainly has no desire for it to stretch to three.

The American said he’s not putting pressure on himself, though. He’s going to enter the fight with a smile on his face like always, and if he performs well, a return to the win column will come.

“Fighting Robbie was probably one of the funnest fights I’ve ever had,” Cerrone said. “I took a loss, but I don’t think I lost much credit. Hopefully not. Hopefully people aren’t mad. Back-to-back losses sucks. I don’t think about it like that. I just go and do what I love. Now I get to go to Europe and do what I love.”

For more on UFC Fight Night 118, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Donald Cerrone vs. Darren Till expected for UFC Fight Night 118 headliner in Poland

A welterweight headliner between two striking specialists is expected to serve as the headliner for UFC Fight Night 118.

Multiple sources have confirmed that both Donald Cerrone (32-9 MMA, 19-6 UFC) and Darren Till (15-0-1 MMA, 3-0-1 UFC) have verbally agreed to meet in the main event of the Oct. 21 event, which takes place at Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland. The entire card streams live on UFC Fight Pass.

The matchup was first reported by MMAUNO.com. Till has since posted a photo of him apparently signing a UFC bout agreement. An official announcement is expected shortly.

Cerrone is currently ranked No. 12 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA welterweight rankings, while Till is hoping to break into the list with a win.

Fan-favorite Cerrone comes into the bout on the first two-fight losing streak of his professional career after dropping back-to-back outings to Robbie Lawler and Jorge Masvidal. Prior to the losses, Cerrone had won 12 of 13.

Meanwhile, Till was in acton at this past weekend’s UFC Fight Night 115 event, impressing in a three-round decision win over Bojan Velickovic. The Englishman showed flashes of brilliance and brimmed with confidence through the striking battle.

With the addition to the card, UFC Fight Night 118 now includes:

  • Donald Cerrone vs. Darren Till
  • Ramazan Emeev vs. Trevor Smith
  • Oskar Piechota vs. Jonathan Wilson
  • Dmitrii Smoliakov vs. Adam Wieczorek
  • Jan Blachowicz vs. Devin Clark
  • Andre Fili vs. Artem Lobov
  • Marcin Held vs. Teemu Packalen
  • Jodie Esquibel vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz

For more on UFC Fight Night 118, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Now sitting on 4 straight wins, UFC-Rotterdam's Leon Edwards calls for Donald Cerrone – again

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Leon Edwards is ready to break out of the circuit of smaller UFC shows in Europe and take his talents to an American audience following his victory over Bryan Barberena at UFC Fight Night 115.

Edwards (14-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC) pushed his winning streak to four in the UFC welterweight division on Saturday when he outworked Barberena (13-5 MMA, 4-3 UFC) to a unanimous decision in the UFC Fight Pass-streamed bout at Ahoy Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

All of the fights in Edward’s current run have taken place overseas. Now, the Brit wants to be booked on a major fight card in Las Vegas or another city where he’ll be exposed to a new section of the UFC fan base.

“I’ve never lost in Europe, and I enjoy fighting here, but I think it’s time for the American fans now to go out there and really appreciate my work,” Edwards told reporters during the post-fight news conference. “So, my next fight should be on a big card in Vegas or somewhere in the U.S.”

Edwards has fought stateside once before, and it didn’t go his way. He dropped a decision to Kamaru Usman at UFC on FOX 17 in Dec. 2015 in a fight that represents the most recent loss on his record. He wants to redeem himself, though, and for the second straight time had a specific opponent in mind to do that.

Fighting in the main event of that same UFC on FOX 17 was Donald Cerrone (32-9 MMA, 19-6 UFC), who at the time was challenging for the UFC lightweight title. “Cowboy” has since moved up to 170 pounds, and despite the fact he’s coming off back-to-back losses against Jorge Masvidal and Robbie Lawler, “Rocky” said it’s a matchup he desires.

“(I called him out) after I fought the last time,” Edwards said. “It would be a good contest, me and him. I want to keep moving up. I’m 26 years old now. I want to keep moving up the rankings and hopefully get top 15, top 10 next. I’m on a four-fight win streak now, so that should be guaranteed.”

Edwards would not be in the position to call out a name like Cerrone had he lost to Barberena. It was a competitive fight in which he had to overcome a second-round knockdown in order to secure the decision, but Edwards said there was never doubt his hand would be raised at the end.

“I thought I had Round 1 and Round 3, so I wasn’t very nervous (about the decision),” Edwards said. “I knew I had the victory, so it was good.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 115, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC 214's 'Thrill and Agony' captures Tito Ortiz calling Jon Jones the 'best always'

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Folks were lining up to give Jon Jones his props after reclaiming the UFC light-heavyweight title, as we see in the latest “Thrill and Agony” video.

The “Thrill and Agony” series takes us up close and behind the scenes of pay-per-view events, and at UFC 214, we saw joy, as well as the agony, that followed two title fights: Jones’ (23-1 MMA, 17-1 UFC) third-round knockout win over Daniel Cormier (19-2 MMA, 8-2 UFC) in the headliner, as well as Cristiane Justino (17-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) claiming the vacant women’s featherweight belt with a third-round TKO of Tonya Evinger (19-5 MMA, 0-0 UFC) in a main-card bout.

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

In “Thrill and Agony,” raw emotion is put on display, primarily with the corner and cageside cams that captured teammates, friends and family reacting to the fights.

They also captured the action backstage, where folks – including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Jerry Cerrone (UFC 214 fighter Donald Cerrone’s grandmother) – congratulated Jones. UFC Hall of Famer and former light-heavyweight kingpin Tito Ortiz, who cornered “Cyborg” Justino, was also there to give Jones his props.

“You are the best,” Ortiz tells Jones. “You are the best. Good job. You’re the best always.”

It clearly meant a lot to Jones, who called Ortiz an inspiration. Check it out above.

The video is a preview of “Thrill and Agony.” UFC Fight Pass subscribers can now watch the entire episode, which eventually will make its way to YouTube.

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

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Donald Cerrone says eye injury already cleared after UFC 214, rallying for UFC 216 spot

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LAS VEGAS – Despite initial concerns around an eye injury stemming from his UFC 214 loss to ex-champ Robbie Lawler on Saturday, Donald Cerrone says he’s cleared and good to go.

And to the surprise of no one, he doesn’t want to sit out for too long.

“I was just at the office rallying for Oct. 7 (UFC 216),” Cerrone told MMAjunkie at The Ultimate Fighter Gym in Las Vegas, where he watched Dana White’s Contender Series 4 on Tuesday. “So we’ll see. I didn’t get knocked out this time, so I was like, ‘I’m OK.’

“I got my eye cleared up. I had a six-month (medical) suspension, so that’s another reason why I’m here. I went and took my eye – I got it cleared, and I’m good to go – 20/5 vision. You’d think I could see the punches coming.”

Cerrone (32-8 MMA, 19-5 UFC) and Lawler (28-11 MMA, 13-5 UFC) were expected to bring the violence in Saturday’s pay-per-view main-card bout at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. And they delivered, showing both aggression and technique in a three-round battle that saw Lawler emerging victorious via unanimous decision.

The result, obviously, wasn’t exactly what the welterweight was gunning for. But much like most of those who watched it, “Cowboy” said he thoroughly enjoyed the process.

“I wish we had two more rounds, man,” Cerrone said. “God, I had a good time. I really did. I knew that fight was going to be that exact thing: meeting in the middle and (expletive) just fighting. The judges – whatever. I don’t have any control over that. I can’t say ‘(Expletive) them.’

“I guess I should have fought harder, right? They always say, ‘Don’t leave it to the judges.’ So that’s that. Like I said, I wish I had two more rounds. But I legitimately have a sickness, and that was fun to me. Like fun, fun.”

With 29-28 scorecards across the board, Lawler’s win wasn’t exactly a landslide. In fact, though they were a minority, a few media members scored it for Cerrone, according to MMADecisions.com. So does “Cowboy” himself believe he did enough to win?

“Yeah, I mean – it’s hard when you’re in there,” Cerrone said. “Of course, you think you’re (expletive) winning all the time – unless you’re not. But I wish I’d maybe secured another takedown, would have (expletive) done it, or pushed a little – steps forward.

“I felt like he was more aggressive in the third round toward me, (but) I feel like I was landing the shots. I don’t (expletive) know. Who cares? It’s done now. We’re moving on.”

Cerrone – who’s now on a two-fight skid that includes a UFC on FOX 23 TKO loss to Jorge Masvidal – has already made it clear that he’d like this “moving on” to take place in Las Vegas, at UFC 216.

But, suspicious that his employers have a different idea, it seems like he can be swayed.

“I think they’re going to hold me off and put me on Madison Square Garden (UFC 217, set for Nov. 4)” Cerrone said. “I have a silly hunch. But who cares? I like to fight. So bring that (expletive) on.”

To hear from a gleeful Cerrone, check out the video above.

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

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

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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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Source: MMA Junkie

Sean Shelby's Shoes: What's next for Daniel Cormier and UFC 214's other losing fighters?

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

UFC 214’s main card saw stunning results, big knockouts and somewhat underwhelming action. Nevertheless, all the losing fighters on the card were part of the biggest pay-per-view card of the year, which took place at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.

Daniel Cormier’s (19-2 MMA, 8-2 UFC) more than two-year reign as light-heavyweight champion came to a decisive end in the main event when he was stopped for the first time in his career courtesy of a third-round knockout from Jon Jones (23-1 MMA, 17-1 UFC).

Demian Maia (25-7 MMA, 19-7 UFC) and Tonya Evinger (19-6 MMA, 0-1 UFC) also came up short in title fights, while Donald Cerrone (32-9 MMA, 19-6 UFC) and Jimi Manuwa (17-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) dropped fights which could have arguably earned them title shots of their own.

After every event, fans wonder whom the losing fighters 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 214’s losing fighters.

* * * *

Jimi Manuwa

Daniel Cormier

Should fight: Cormier
Why they should fight: Manuwa’s chin failed to hold up to the power-punching of rising UFC light-heavyweight contender Volkan Oezdemir, and it led to a somewhat stunning 42-second knockout defeat.

Manuwa went from being a standby in case anything went wrong in the headlining bout between Cormier and Jones to experiencing the worst loss of his career, showing the utterly unforgiving nature of the sport. Fortunately for “Poster Boy,” he is still one of the top contenders in the 205-pound division, and the thin nature of the weight class will likely afford him another marquee fight next.

It seems backward that losing to Oezdemir could lead the Brit into a matchup with ex-champ Cormier, but strangely that’s how the sport works sometimes. Manuwa and Cormier were briefly linked to fight at UFC 214 before Jones decided against a warmup bout after his long layoff, forcing Manuwa into the matchup with Oezdemir.

Now that both are coming off knockout losses at the same event, though, a matchup is arguably more logical than ever, especially because of the history of trash-talk.

Donald Cerrone

Should fight: Dong Hyun Kim
Why they should fight: Cerrone fell just short of matching the UFC’s all-time wins record when he dropped a unanimous decision to former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler, marking the first time in his career that he’s dropped back-to-back fights.

“Cowboy” gave Lawler everything he could handle in the contest, but the judges didn’t view it as enough. Regardless of the outcome, the performance proved without a doubt that Cerrone belongs in the octagon with the best in the 170-pound division, and any talks of a drop back down to lightweight should be silenced for good.

Cerrone needs to be careful when selecting his next fight to avoid dropping three straight and falling into a dangerous territory in his career. The majority of his losses have come against fighters capable of beating him on the feet, and while Kim (22-4-1 MMA, 13-4 UFC) does have decent striking, he’s primarily a grappler, a type of fighter Cerrone has largely succeeded against.

Daniel Cormier, Demian Maia, Tonya Evinger

Should fight: Watch the video above to see why Cormier should fight Manuwa, Maia should fight Colby Covington (12-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) and Evinger should fight Julianna Pena (8-3 MMA, 4-1 UFC) after their UFC 214 title-fight losses.

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

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UFC 214 video highlights: Robbie Lawler vs. Donald Cerrone

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As expected, Robbie Lawler and Donald Cerrone met in the center of the cage and got to work on a violent masterpiece that was as much a street fight as it was a tactical, technical battle.

But thanks to a strong start and stronger finish, Lawler (28-11 MMA, 13-5 UFC) outpointed Cerrone (32-8 MMA, 19-5 UFC) by a slim margin, nabbing the unanimous decision victory with scores of 29-28 from all three judges.

The welterweight bout was part of the main card of today’s UFC 214 event at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. It aired on pay-per-view following prelims on FXX and UFC Fight Pass.

Check out the highlights above.

Also see:

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

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