Anthony Pettis vs. Dustin Poirier official as UFC Fight Night 120 headliner

UFC Fight Night 120 has a main event you won’t want to miss.

The UFC announced late Wednesday that former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis will take on Dustin Poirier in the headliner of the FS1-televised event Nov. 11 at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va.

Pettis (20-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC) had called for a matchup with Poirier (21-5 MMA, 13-4 UFC) and will get his wish. The bout was first confirmed last month by Pettis’ longtime head coach and mentor on social media.

Pettis, No. 11 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA lightweight rankings, has had an up-and-down run over the past few years. After dropping the 155-pound belt in March 2015, “Showtime” suffered four losses in five fights.

Part of Pettis’ skid included a failed stint in the featherweight division. He won one 145-pound fight before an interim title bout with Max Holloway at UFC 206 in December. It didn’t go Pettis’ way, and it prompted a return to the lightweight division, where he recently earned a unanimous-decision win over Jim Miller at UFC 213 in July.

No. 14-ranked Poirier, meanwhile, made his most recent octagon appearance at UFC 211 in March, where he had a firefight with former 155-pound champ Eddie Alvarez. The fight ended in a controversial no-contest after Alvarez landed a series of illegal knees.

UFC Fight Night 120 marks Poirier’s second UFC headliner in Virginia; he suffered a fourth-round submission loss to Chan Sung Jung in the UFC on FUEL TV 3 main event in May 2012, which took place in Fairfax.

The latest UFC Fight Night 120 card includes:

  • Anthony Pettis vs. Dustin Poirier
  • Matt Brown vs. Diego Sanchez
  • Nina Ansaroff vs. Angela Hill
  • Cezar Ferreira vs. Nate Marquardt
  • Karl Roberson vs. Darren Stewart
  • Jake Collier vs. Marcel Fortuna
  • Junior Albini vs. Andrei Arlovski
  • Court McGee vs. Sean Strickland
  • Clay Guida vs. Joe Lauzon
  • Viviane Pereira vs. Tatiana Suarez
  • John Dodson vs. Marlon Moraes

For more on UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Trainer: Ex-champ Anthony Pettis vs. Dustin Poirier at UFC Fight Night 120 in Virginia

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Ask and you shall receive; former UFC lightweight champ Anthony Pettis had called for a matchup with Dustin Poirier, and he will apparently get his wish in UFC Fight Night 120’s main event.

UFC officials haven’t formally announced the bout, though Pettis’ (20-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC) longtime head coach and mentor confirmed the showdown with Poirier (21-5 MMA, 13-4 UFC) on social media (via Instagram):

Instagram Photo

UFC Fight Night 120 takes place Nov. 11 at Ted Constant Convocation Center inNorfolk, Va. It airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, though the fight card and bout order haven’t been finalized.

Pettis, No. 11 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA lightweight rankings, has had an up-and-down run over the past few years. After dropping the 155-pound belt in March 2015, “Showtime” lost four losses in five fights.

Part of Pettis’ skid included a failed stint in the featherweight division. He won one 145-pound fight before an interim title bout with Max Holloway at UFC 206 in December. It didn’t go Pettis’ way, and it prompted a return to the lightweight division, where he recently earned a unanimous-decision win over Jim Miller at UFC 213 in July.

No. 14-ranked Poirier, meanwhile, made his most recent octagon appearance at UFC 211 in March, where he had a firefight with former 155-pound champ Eddie Alvarez. The fight ended in a controversial no-contest after Alvarez landed a series of illegal knees.

UFC Fight Night 120 marks Poirier’s second UFC headliner in Virginia; he suffered a fourth-round submission loss to Chan Sung Jung in the UFC on FUEL TV 3 main event in May 2012, which took place in Fairfax.

With the addition of the main event, the latest UFC Fight Night 120 card now includes:

  • Anthony Pettis vs. Dustin Poirier
  • Karl Roberson vs. Darren Stewart
  • Cezar Ferreira vs. Nate Marquardt

For more on UFC Fight Night 120 check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

Ex-UFC champ Anthony Pettis calls for fall showdown with Dustin Poirier, who says 'I'm down'

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Former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis is eyeing his next fight, and he wants a showdown with fellow WEC alumni Dustin Poirier.

Pettis (20-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC), who was in Mexico City to corner his brother, Sergio Pettis (21-5 MMA, 13-4 UFC), for Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 114 headliner, was interviewed on the FS1 broadcast about his younger sibling’s fight with Brandon Moreno. At the conclusion of the interview he was asked what could be next in his own career, and he provided a blunt and concise answer.

“We’re hoping for Dustin Poirier,” Pettis said. “Either in New York or Vegas.”

Pettis is coming off a unanimous-decision win over Jim Miller at UFC 213 in May. The fight marked his return to the lightweight division after a failed stint at featherweight.

Poirier, meanwhile, made his most recent octagon appearance at UFC 211 in March. He was involved in a firefight with former 155-pound champ Eddie Alvarez, but the fight ended in a controversial no-contest after Alvarez landed a series of illegal knees.

“Showtime” said he wants the fight with Poirier at two potential upcoming pay-per-view events: UFC 216 on Oct. 7 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, or UFC 217 on Nov. 4 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

“The Diamond” quickly replied that he’s up for the challenge (via Twitter).

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

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

Texas commission initially rejects Dustin Poirier's UFC 211 appeal, but manager presses on

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The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation informed Dustin Poirier the no-contest declared in his UFC 211 bout against Eddie Alvarez will stand.

But Poirier’s rep is not giving up and argues the Texas commission is trying to sweep a bad decision under the rug.

“It’s so bizarre to me that they’re trying to railroad him without anybody knowing,” Poirier’s manager Robert Roveta told MMAjunkie.

In a letter sent May 31 to Roveta, obtained via public records request by MMAjunkie, TDLR Executive Director Brian Francis wrote that referee Herb Dean’s call was “consistent with the rules and laws and therefore did not affect the outcome of the bout.”

Dean called the bout a no-contest, ruling Alvarez (28-5 MMA, 3-2 UFC) did not intentionally land three illegal knees to the downed Poirier (21-5 MMA, 13-4 UFC) in the May 13 bout, which was regulated by the TDLR’s combative sports division and took place at American Airlines Center in Dallas.

Francis cited the TDLR’s statute on accidental injuries, which states a no-contest must be ruled if a competitor is accidentally injured in the first four rounds of bout.

“Although the referee determined that Mr. Alvarez committed a foul, the referee also determined that the foul was accidental and occurred in the first round … of the bout,” he wrote.

Roveta, however, said he did not receive the TDLR’s denial and was shocked to hear the commission had done so prior to receiving his formal appeal, which, according to the documents obtained via records request, he filed June 7 – one week after the denial.

“I never received the response on May 31,” Roveta said. “I had multiple conversations via telephone and email letting them know we were drafting a formal appeal and requesting as much information as possible on their appeals process and expected timelines.”

The TDLR disputes that claim, however. Susan Stanford, the regulator’s public information officer, said the TDLR treated an email sent by Roveta on May 15 as a complaint that triggered the investigation and subsequent denial.

“This decision was made on that first email complaint,” she said. “He filed a complaint immediately after the fight, and that’s what we responded to.”

Stanford added the TDLR is currently preparing a response to Poirier’s June 7 appeal, in which Roveta and attorney Rob Cardenas lay out the case for the bout’s decision to be overturned.

In the appeal, Roveta and Cardenas actually anticipate the argument Francis makes in the initial denial, countering the rule about accidental injuries is “inapplicable” because it doesn’t address intent.

“Mr. Poirier was not ‘accidentally injured,’” the appeal states. “This was not akin to an inadvertent eye-poke; rather, Mr. Alvarez intended to land knees to the head of Mr. Poirier. He succeeded in doing so. The resulting injury was not an accident.”

Citing the rules in place that night, they argue Dean made a bad call, not relying on the previous version of the unified rules, which allows a fighter to be considered downed merely by touching the canvas, the position Poirier was in when he took two of the three illegal shots.

“Since Texas has not adopted and/or implemented the changes to the unified rules, all three knees were illegal,” stated the appeal, which can be read here. “After being struck by illegal knees to the head, Mr. Poirier was unable to continue. Under existing Texas rules, codes and law, all three knees were illegal, and therefore a disqualification of Mr. Alvarez was warranted.”

The appeal also argues Dean acted improperly by consulting UFC executive Marc Ratner prior to declaring the no-contest, stating, “Mr. Poirier submits that Herb Dean went beyond his authority in first conferring with the promoter and then instituting his own subjective interpretation of what Mr. Alvarez may have heard and/or seen.”

Poirier’s reps want the no-contest overturned to a disqualification win, noting the UFC lightweight missed out on a $65,000 win bonus, suffered a concussion, and was denied the chance to move up the rankings with the uncertain result.

“This Commission has an opportunity to right a wrong and render a decision, which comports and complies with the rules and code governing UFC 211,” stated Poirier’s appeal. “This Commission has an opportunity to enforce (its) rules in order to send a message of clarity and consistency to the fight industry. Without enforcement, the industry runs the risk of having fighters violate the rules with no fear of repercussion.

“If a fighter is allowed to end a fight via an illegal tactic and/or foul and simply receive a No Contest, the integrity of the sport, along with its promoters and its governing commissions, will be forever jeopardized. There are rules governing this sport and there are ramifications for violating those rules. There has to be an enforcement of those rules. This Commission has an important opportunity in this case to do just that.”

After hearing of the initial denial, Roveta said he simply wants the commission to review the appeal before making a final decision.

“How can they make a decision without reviewing the appeal?” he said.

Reached for comment on Wednesday, Poirier said he wants a rematch with Alvarez whether or not his appeal is successful.

For complete coverage of UFC 211, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie