Marcin Tybura enjoying unexpected benefit of Mark Hunt-Dana White feud

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At this point, Marcin Tybura will tell you, with a laugh, calls from his manager are met with expectations of bad news. But that’s not what he got when his phone rang a little more than a week ago.

Tybura (16-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) was set to headline next month’s UFC Fight Night 121 event at Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena opposite Mark Hunt (13-11-1 MMA, 8-5-1 UFC). The call was meant to inform him that was no longer happening. But then came the twist: Tybura had the option of meeting former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum (22-7-1 MMA, 10-4 UFC) instead.

Tybura first ran it by his coaches. But the “yes” to the new matchup took no longer than an hour to come. Sure, Tybura is now dealing with a “completely different” opponent, with a completely different style. But with six weeks to go, altering the game plan seemed like a minor sacrifice in light of the possible rewards.

“It’s really special for me to fight a Top-2 fighter in the world already in Fabricio,” Tybura told MMAjunkie. “I recognize (he’s) one of the best heavyweights in the world – even the best, because he beat Fedor (Emelianenko) in his prime time, and he beat Cain (Velasquez) at a time when he was unbeatable.

“This guy has something special. I know he’s good. This is the top. That’s what I wanted to do when I came into the UFC, and now it’s happening. So I’m just happy.”

Tybura believed he couldn’t get any more motivated than he already had while training for Hunt, who’s currenly No. 10 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA heavyweight rankings. But the name of No. 3-ranked Werdum, fresh off a 65-second submission win over late replacement Walt Harris at UFC 216, managed to bring that up a notch.

Of course, what ended up being fine news for Tybura led to a much less uplifting situation involving Hunt. After the UFC cited health concerns and pulled him from the headliner, the ever-candid Hunt made his (ill) feelings on the promotion’s decision public.

Amid threats of a lawsuit against the UFC – another one, that is – Hunt said he was “misquoted” in story (that he penned himself) in which he addressed the toll that his career as a fighter may have had in his brain, including slurred speech and memory loss.

Asked about his feelings upon hearing some of his peers discuss brain trauma, Tybura clarified he doesn’t have access to all the information around Hunt’s health status. But he’s not on board with the way he went about addressing them.

“We all try to show that this is a sport; it’s not only striking somebody in the head,” Tybura said. “I don’t think he should say some stuff like this. But I also don’t think I should be the one to say if somebody is healthy to fight or not.

“I don’t actually know all the details. I’ve just seen the news, the interview he did. I think he shouldn’t say that. He shouldn’t say that.”

On his end, Tybura is certainly enjoying the journey. Now riding a three-fight winning streak, capped off by a UFC Fight Night 111 decision win over Andrei Arlovski, Tybura has recently taken a big step to up his game: He temporarily relocated from his native Poland to the U.S.

Seven weeks into his training at Jackson-Wink MMA, the 31-year-old seems to be happy with his choice.

“So far, it’s amazing, a completely different camp that I used to do,” Tybura said. “And I think it’s much better than what I did before.”

There are a few reasons for that. Apart from the experienced coaches, who offer their expertise not only in training but strategy-wise, Tybura gets to train and spar with high-level talent from all over. While he already felt he was making steady progress in his homeland, his evolution is clear to him.

Of course, there’s a downside to it all; it’s not really easy being away from home. But even that doesn’t faze the heavyweight.

“I’m actually chasing my dream,” Tybura said. “So that’s the price, and I’m cool with that completely.”

Whether his sacrifices will pay off remains to be seen, but beating Werdum would certainly bring some serious validation to the Polish heavyweight’s rise. While Tybura is only four fights into his UFC career, there’s something to be said for getting past an ex-champ in a somewhat shallow division.

Of course, there’s a lot to happen atop the heavyweight ladder. Alistair Overeem, for instance, is scheduled for a high-stakes UFC 218 bout with Francis Ngannou. Velasquez, who’s recently said he’s at “80 percent” in his recovery from injury, is eyeing a 2018 return.

But Tybura is already daring to think a little higher.

“I never talk about what the future is after the fight,” Tybura said. “I actually like to be focused on my task, which is to fight Fabricio Werdum. But, you know, he was a champion like a few months ago.

“So me beating him would be, I think – nothing less than ask for a title shot.”

For more on UFC Fight Night 121, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Mark Hunt threatens another lawsuit after fight removal, curses 'bald-headed prick' Dana White

Mark Hunt is furious about his removal from the UFC Fight Night 121 main event and said he plans on taking action toward the UFC and company president Dana White.

New broke on Tuesday that Hunt (13-11-1 MMA, 8-5-1 UFC) had been pulled from his scheduled UFC Fight Night 121 headliner with Marcin Tybura (16-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) due to “medical concerns” stemming from recent statements about brain trauma sustained during his career. He’s been replaced by Fabricio Werdum (22-7-1 MMA, 10-4 UFC)

Hunt was apparently not on board with the UFC’s decision, and he made it well known on social media (via Instagram):

Instagram Photo

@danawhite u peice of shit motherfuker why u fuckers pull me from the fight u getting another lawsuit u fuckwit u can kiss my ass u bald headed prick🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕 u put that chicken shit bitch in get fucked cocksucker

Hunt already has an ongoing lawsuit with the UFC stemming from his UFC 200 bout with Brock Lesnar in July 2016. The promotion waved a drug testing rule for its U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) program that allowed the former UFC heavyweight champion to make a short-notice return to the octagon, then Lesnar subsequently failed multiple drug tests around the time of the fight.

“The Super Samoan” apparently plans to take further legal action over the UFC not allowing him to fight at UFC Fight Night 121, which takes place Nov. 18 at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney. The card airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

For more on UFC Fight Night 121, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC cites 'medical concerns,' pulls Mark Hunt from UFC Fight Night 121 in favor of Fabricio Werdum

UFC officials today announced that Mark Hunt will no longer compete in the promotions’s return to Australia.

Citing “medical concerns,” Hunt (13-11-1 MMA, 8-5-1 UFC) has been pulled from a planned headlining matchup with Marcin Tybura (16-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) at November’s UFC Fight Night 121 event at Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena. Fresh off a win at this past weekend’s UFC 216, Fabricio Werdum (22-7-1 MMA, 10-4 UFC) replaces Hunt in the night’s main event.

Hunt recently penned a piece for PlayersVoice.com.au entitled “If I die fighting, that’s fine,” in which he admitted trouble sleeping and said he’s begin to stutter and slur his words. That prompted UFC officials to pull the 43-year-old slugger from the card.

“Following a recent first-person article published by UFC heavyweight Mark Hunt, UFC has taken the precautionary steps of removing Hunt from a previously announced bout in Sydney, Australia,” a statement first issued to News.com.au read. “The health-related statements made by Hunt in the article represent the first time UFC was made aware of these claims. Athlete health and safety is of the utmost importance to the organization and it would never knowingly schedule an athlete complaining of health issues for a fight. The organization will require that Hunt undergo further testing and evaluations prior to competing in any future UFC bout.”

Hunt immediately took to social media to voice his displeasure with the promotion’s decision.

Instagram Photo

For more on UFC Fight Night 121, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Sean Shelby's Shoes: What's next for Tony Ferguson, Demetrious Johnson and UFC 216's other winners?

(ALSO SEE: Sean Shelby’s Shoes: What’s next for UFC 216’s losing fighters?)

UFC 216 took place on Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas with a pay-per-view main card that saw every winner beat her or his opponent by some form of submission.

The two championship fight finishes were especially impressive, with Tony Ferguson (23-3 MMA, 13-1 UFC) winning the interim lightweight title against Kevin Lee (16-3 MMA, 9-3 UFC) in the main event while Demetrious Johnson (27-2-1 MMA, 15-1-1 UFC) produced more excellence with his historic flyweight title defense against Ray Borg (11-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) in the co-headliner.

Fabricio Werdum (22-7-1 MMA, 10-4 UFC) and Mara Romero Borella (12-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC) forced their opponent so tap out in short order, picking up wins early in the first round. The main card also featured one fight that didn’t produce a winner, as Evan Dunham and Beneil Dariush fought to a draw.

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 216’s winning fighters.

* * * *

Mara Romero Borella

Andrea LeeShould fight: Andrea Lee
Why they should fight: Just the second women’s flyweight fight in UFC history went in the favor of Romero Borella, who earned a main card victory over fellow promotional newcomer Kalindra Faria.

Romero Borella made her UFC debut on less than a week’s notice and managed to top a seasoned veteran in Faria by first-round submission, immediately putting her on the radar in the budding 125-pound division.

She will likely have to wait a little while to get another fight as the UFC rolls out the new weight class with the ongoing season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” which will crown the inaugural women’s flyweight champion.

Romero Borella could fight anyone who doesn’t make it to the finals of that show, but giving her a fight with Lee (8-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC), who she stepped in for at the event, in the first quarter of 2018 would also be an option that would work.

Fabricio Werdum

Should fight: Cain Velasquez
Why they should fight: Former UFC heavyweight champion Werdum bounced back from his loss to Alistair Overeem over the summer with a crucial first-round submission of outmatched last-minute replacement Walt Harris.

Had he lost, Werdum would be 1-3 in his past four octagon appearances. Instead, he’s 2-2 and can still make the argument he’s one of the top contenders in the heavyweight division.

Although Werdum seems to believe the win over Harris puts him at the top of the line to rematch current UFC champ Stipe Miocic, that’s not likely to be the case. He can strengthen his argument with another win against a contender, and if Velasquez (13-2 MMA, 11-2 UFC) can get healthy, it’s the fight to make.

Werdum won the UFC title from Velasquez by submission at UFC 188 in June 2015. The promotion has attempted to set up a rematch several times since, but for one reason or another it hasn’t happened. Velasquez recently said he’s seeking a return to action in early 2018, and that would be a perfect timeframe for Werdum’s return.

Demetrious Johnson

Sergio Pettis

Should fight: Winner of Henry Cejudo vs. Sergio Pettis at UFC 218
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why Johnson should fight the winner of the UFC 218 bout between Cejudo (11-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) and Pettis (16-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC) next for his 12th consecutive title defense.

Tony Ferguson

Should fight: Conor McGregor
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why Ferguson should meet McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) next in a lightweight title unification bout.

For complete coverage of UFC 216, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

UFC 216 post-event facts: Demetrious Johnson's resume must be seen to be believed

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Despite going through four fight changes in the final two weeks, UFC 216 delivered an action-packed card on Saturdayat T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Both championship fights at the top of the pay-per-view lineup, which followed prelims on FX and UFC Fight Pass, ended with a submission. Tony Ferguson (23-3 MMA, 13-1 UFC) claimed the interim UFC lightweight title with a third-round triangle choke of Kevin Lee (16-3 MMA, 9-3 UFC) in the headliner, while flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson (27-2-1 MMA, 15-1-1 UFC) made history for most consecutive title defenses with a dazzling fifth-round armbar victory over Ray Borg (11-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC).

Both Ferguson and Johnson landed a prominent place in the UFC record books with their crafty finishes, but they weren’t the only UFC 216 fighters with noteworthy results. For more on the numbers to come out of the event, check below for 60 post-event facts from UFC 216.

* * * *

General

UFC 216 joined UFC 22 in September 2001 as the only events in UFC history with two draws.

The UFC-Reebok Athlete Outfitting payout for the event totaled $242,500.

Johnson, John Moraga, Lando Vannata and Bobby Green earned $50,000 UFC 216 fight-night bonuses.

Debuting fighters went 2-0 on the card.

UFC 216 drew an announced attendance of 10,638 for a live gate of $677,999.50.

Betting favorites went 6-3 on the card. Two fights ended in a draw.

Total fight time for the 11-bout card was 2:12:54.

Main card

Ferguson improved to 16-1 in his past 17 fights. The lone defeat in that stretch came to Michael Johnson at UFC on FOX 3 in May 2012.

Ferguson’s 13-1 record after 14 UFC appearances is the best of any fighter to come from “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series.

Ferguson’s 10-fight UFC winning streak in lightweight competition is the longest in active streak in the division.

Ferguson’s 10-fight UFC winning streak in lightweight competition is the longest in divisional history.

Ferguson’s 10-fight winning streak in UFC competition is the fourth longest active streak in the company behind D. Johnson (13), Georges St-Pierre (12) and Max Holloway (11).

Ferguson has earned 19 of his 23 career victories by stoppage. That includes nine of his 13 UFC wins.

Ferguson became the second fight in UFC history to win a title fight by triangle choke. Anderson Silva also accomplished the feat against Chael Sonnen at UFC 117.

Kevin Lee

Lee suffered the first submission loss of his career.

Lee has completed at least one takedown against 11 of his 12 UFC opponents.

Lee’s 28 takedowns since 2014 in UFC lightweight competition are most in the division.

Johnson’s 11 consecutive UFC title defenses are most among current titleholders.

Johnson’s 11 consecutive title defenses are the most in UFC history.

Johnson’s 12 victories in UFC title fights are tied with St-Pierre for most in company history.

Johnson’s seven stoppage victories in UFC title fights are third most in company history behind Silva (nine) and Matt Hughes (eight).

Johnson’s 13-fight UFC winning streak in flyweight competition is the longest active streak in the division.

Johnson’s 13-fight UFC winning streak is the longest active streak in the company.

Johnson’s 13-fight UFC winning streak is tied with Jon Jones for the second longest streak in company history behind Silva (16).

Johnson’s 13 victories in UFC flyweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Johnson’s seven stoppage victories in UFC flyweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Johnson’s five submission victories in UFC flyweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Johnson’s three fifth-round stoppage victories are most in UFC history.

Johnson’s 57 takedowns landed in UFC flyweight competition are most in divisional history.

Johnson’s 73 takedowns landed overall in UFC competition are third most in company history behind St-Pierre (87) and Gleison Tibau (84).

Johnson has been awarded eight fight-night bonuses for UFC flyweight bouts, the most in divisional history.

Borg suffered the first stoppage loss of his career.

Borg’s 22 total strikes landed are the fifth fewest in a UFC title fight to reach the fifth round.

Fabricio Werdum (22-7-1 MMA, 10-4 UFC) improved to 8-2 since he returned to the UFC for a second stint in February 2012.

Werdum has earned seven of his 10 UFC victories by stoppage.

Werdum’s 65-second victory was the fastest of his career.

Werdum’s five submission victories in UFC/Strikeforce heavyweight competition are tied for second most in combined divisional history behind Frank Mir (eight).

Walt Harris (10-6 MMA, 3-5 UFC) fell to 3-2 since he returned to the UFC for a second stint in April 2016.

Harris suffered the first submission loss of his career.

Mara Romero Borella

Mara Romero Borella (12-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC extended her unbeaten streak to seven fights. She hasn’t suffered a defeat since October 2015.

Kalindra Faria (18-6-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) has suffered four of her six career losses by stoppage.

Faria suffered her first submission loss since March 31, 2011 – a span of 2,384 days (more than six years) and 17 fights.

Evan Dunham’s (18-6-1 MMA, 11-6-1 UFC) five-fight UFC unbeaten streak in lightweight competition is tied for the third longest active streak in the division behind Ferguson (10) and Khabib Nurmagomedov (seven).

Preliminary card

Cody Stamann (15-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) has earned both of his UFC victories by decision.

Tom Duquesnoy (15-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) had his 12-fight unbeaten streak snapped for his first defeat since February 2013.

Duquesnoy suffered the first decision loss of his career.

Green (23-8-1 MMA, 4-3-1 UFC) extended the longest winless skid of his career to four fights. He hasn’t earned a victory since July 2014.

Poliana Botelho (6-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) earned the first decision victory of her career.

Pearl Gonzalez (6-3 MMA, 0-2 UFC) has suffered two of her three career losses by decision.

Matt Schnell

Matt Schnell (10-4 MMA, 1-2 UFC) earned his first decision victory since his MMA debut on Sept. 14, 2012 – a span of 1,850 days (more than five years) and 13 fights.

Marco Beltran (8-5 MMA, 3-3 UFC) fell to 0-2 since he dropped to the UFC flyweight division in June 2017.

Beltran suffered the first decision loss of his career.

Moraga’s (18-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC) seven victories in UFC flyweight competition are third most in divisional history behind D. Johnson (13) and Joseph Benavidez (10).

Moraga has earned five of his seven UFC victories by stoppage.

Moraga’s five stoppage victories in UFC flyweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Johnson (seven).

Magomed Bibulatov (14-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) had his 14-fight winning streak snapped for the first defeat of his career.

Brad Tavares

Brad Tavares (16-4 MMA, 11-4 UFC) has earned his past nine UFC victories by decision. His most recent stoppage win was a first-round knockout of Phil Baroni at UFC 125 in January 2011.

Thales Leites (27-8 MMA, 12-7 UFC) fell to 7-4 since he returned to the UFC in August 2013.

Leites fell to 2-4 in his past six UFC appearances.

Leites has suffered seven of his eight career losses by decision.

For complete coverage of UFC 216, 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.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Actually, Fabricio Werdum totally (but only briefly) considered not fighting at UFC 216

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

LAS VEGAS – Surely Fabricio Werdum wanted to fight at UFC 216. Surely he’d take a last-minute opponent change – especially one who seemed easier on paper, right?

Not exactly, the former UFC heavyweight champion said.

Just three hours before Saturday’s fight at UFC 216, where Werdum (22-7-1 MMA, 10-4 UFC) was slated to meet fellow contender Derrick Lewis (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC), the bout was scrapped due to Lewis’ back injury.

Then Werdum’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, told the ex-champ that another opponent was available: the less-heralded Walt Harris (9-6 MMA, 2-5 UFC), who was slated to fight Mark Godbeer (12-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC) on the early prelims on UFC Fight Pass. Just three hours before his fight was slated to air on pay-per-view from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Werdum had a decision to make, and he had to make it quickly.

“It was such a hard decision,” said Werdum, who’ No. 3 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA heavyweight rankings. ” … Imagine that you prepare your body for everything, your strategy, for Derrick Lewis for three months. And then the three hours change everything. It’s such a hard decision, man.”

His initial reaction? He was “very sad,” 40-year-old Werdum said.

But Werdum went through with the opportunity. He crammed as much study and video footage as possible into just 30 or 40 minutes. Sure, Werdum had commentated some of Harris’ past fights, but he still wasn’t too familiar with the hard-hitting 34-year-old, who was on a solid 3-1 run as part of his second and current UFC stint.

Harris, though, didn’t prove much of a challenge, and Werdum tapped him out in 65 seconds with a quick and efficient armbar. For a guy who had a lot to lose and little to gain, Werdum said he gave the type of performance that should earn him his long-awaited next shot at the belt, especially when considering his overall career.

“I showed again I’m ready for the title shot,” said Werdum, who went from fighting No. 12-ranked Lewis to unranked Harris. “I think my performance was an amazing performance – like a one-minute fight, just one minute. He didn’t give one punch – nothing, zero. (I took him) down, mount, take his back and armbar. I think it was a perfect fight.

” … For the next one, I think I deserve (a title shot) not because of this fight. I think my whole career (warrants it). I’ve fought for 20 years. I think I deserve it.”

Lewis, who expects a fairly quick recovery from his back injury, said he’d still like to fight Werdum, possibly before year’s end on one of the organization’s upcoming major PPV cards. Werdum didn’t totally dismiss the idea – he said it’s up to UFC officials – but right now, his focus is solely on reigning champ Stipe Miocic (17-2 MMA, 11-2 UFC).

“I don’t know the UFC’s decision,” said Werdum, who’s 2-1 (with a majority-decision loss to Alistair Overeem) since losing the belt to Miocic in May 2016. “I told you, my big goal is the belt. … It depends on the UFC’s decision. I think I deserve (a title shot) again.

“I want to fight Stipe Miocic. This is my big goal.”

For more on UFC 216, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

Full UFC 216 salaries: New champ Tony Ferguson gets $500K of event's $2.1-million payout

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Newly crowned interim UFC lightweight champion Tony Ferguson was the top earner at Saturday’s UFC 216 event.

Ferguson (23-3 MMA, 13-1 UFC), who picked up a third-round submission victory over Kevin Lee (16-3 MMA, 9-3 UFC) in the headliner, earned a disclosed payout of $500,000 – $250,000 of which was a win bonus. Lee picked up $250,000, and if victorious, would have earned an extra $50,000 as a win bonus.

MMAjunkie obtained the list of disclosed payouts from the Nevada State Athletic Commission on fight night.

UFC 216 took place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, and the main card aired on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and UFC Fight Pass.

Another top earner was flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson (27-2-1 MMA, 15-1-1 UFC), who notched a UFC-record 11th consecutive title defense with a nifty fifth-round tap-out of Ray Borg (11-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) in the co-headliner. “Mighty Mouse” earned a flat rate of $370,000; Borg got $100,000 (and also wasn’t eligible for a win bonus).

The total disclosed payout for the event topped $2 million – $2,148,000, to be precise.

The full list of UFC 216 payouts included:

Tony Ferguson: $500,000 (includes $250,000 win bonus)
def. Kevin Lee: $250,000

Demetrious Johnson: $370,000 (no win bonus)
def. Ray Borg: $100,000

Fabricio Werdum: $400,000 (includes $125,000 win bonus)
def. Walt Harris: $28,000

Mara Romero Borella: $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus)
def. Kalindra Faria: $12,000

Beneil Dariush: $48,000*
vs. Evan Dunham: $40,000*

Cody Stamann: $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus)
def. Tom Duquesnoy: $23,000

Bobby Green: $24,000*
vs. Lando Vannata: $25,000*

Poliana Botelho: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Pearl Gonzalez: $10,000

Matt Schnell: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Marco Beltran: $14,000

John Moraga: $68,000 (includes $34,000 win bonus)
def. Magomed Bibulatov: $17,000

Brad Tavares: $74,000 (includes $37,000 win bonus)
def. Thales Leites: $57,000

* – Fight ended in a draw; no win bonuses given

Now, the usual disclaimer: The figures do not include deductions for items such as insurance, licenses and taxes. Additionally, the figures do not include money paid by sponsors, including the official UFC Athlete Outfitting sponsorship program pay. They also do not include any other “locker room” or special discretionary bonuses the UFC often pays. They also do not include pay-per-view cuts that some top-level fighters receive.

For example, as previously reported, UFC officials handed out additional $50,000 UFC 216 fight-night bonuses to Johnson and Moraga (“Performance of the Night”) and Green and Vannata (“Fight of the Night”).

In other words, the above figures are simply base salaries reported to the commission and do not reflect entire compensation packages for the event.

For more on UFC 216, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

UFC 216 Athlete Outfitting pay: Payout total 2nd highest of any 2017 event

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Filed under: News, UFC

LAS VEGAS – Fighters from Saturday’s UFC 216 event took home UFC Athlete Outfitting pay, a program that launched after the UFC’s deal with Reebok, totaling $242,500.

UFC 216 took place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, and the main card aired on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and UFC Fight Pass.

Leading the way was UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson (27-2-1 MMA, 15-1-1 UFC), who earned a maximum payout of $40,000 for a reigning titleholder. “Mighty Mouse” defeated Ray Borg (11-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) in the event co-headliner.

The full UFC 216 UFC Athlete Outfitting payouts included:

Tony Ferguson: $30,000
def. Kevin Lee: $30,000

Demetrious Johnson: $40,000
def. Ray Borg: $30,000

Fabricio Werdum: $10,000
def. Walt Harris: $5,000

Mara Romero Borella: $2,500
def. Kalindra Faria: $2,500

Beneil Dariush: $10,000
vs. Evan Dunham: $15,000

Cody Stamann: $2,500
def. Tom Duquesnoy: $2,500

Lando Vannata: $2,500
vs. Bobby Green: $10,000

Poliana Botelho: $2,500
def. Pearl Gonzalez: $2,500

Matt Schnell: $2,500
def. Marco Beltran: $5,000

John Moraga: $10,000
def. Magomed Bibulatov: $2,500

Brad Tavares: $10,000
def. Thales Leites: $15,000

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: $4,492,500
2016 total: $7,138,000
2015 total: $3,185,000
Program-to-date total: $14,815,500

For complete coverage of UFC 216, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC 216 results: Fabricio Werdum taps late-notice replacement Walt Harris in 65 seconds

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Saturday was a weird one for Fabricio Werdum and Walt Harris. Their fight was made just a few hours before they walked to the cage, but Werdum made sure it didn’t last long.

Harris (10-6 MMA, 3-5 UFC) had to tap to a Werdum (22-7-1 MMA, 10-4 UFC) armbar just 65 seconds into the fight. Werdum was supposed to fight Derrick Lewis. But when Lewis pulled out on fight day with a back injury, Harris moved up the card from a fight with Mark Godbeer. It was a huge opportunity for him against a former champ in Werdum, but Werdum never gave him a chance.

The heavyweight bout was part of the main card of today’s UFC 216 event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. It aired on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and UFC Fight Pass.

Werdum threw a big high kick early and missed, but seconds later he grabbed Harris’ leg and landed a takedown. The Brazilian jumped right to mount. When Harris looked like he was about to escape, Werdum easily transitioned to his back, then took his left arm and rolled with it. It was a picture-perfect armbar, and Harris had to tap in a hurry.

Werdum got back in the win column and avoided the first skid of his pro career after a decision setback to Alistair Overeem in July. Harris is back in the loss column after back-to-back knockout wins in 2017.

Up-to-the-minute UFC 216 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC 216, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s John Morgan and Simon Samano contributed to this report on site in Las Vegas.)

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

Francis Ngannou was willing to fight Fabricio Werdum last minute after Derrick Lewis withdrew

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LAS VEGAS – Francis Ngannou attempted to save the day at UFC 216, but unfortunately an unanswered phone call prevented that from happening.

Ngannou (10-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC) said he had a gut feeling something would happen to derail tonight’s UFC 216 heavyweight bout between Fabricio Werdum (21-7-1 MMA, 9-4 UFC) and Derrick Lewis (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC). The worst happened just minutes before the event was scheduled to begin, when news broke Lewis’ lingering back issues would prevent him from competing.

Ultimately the UFC managed to cobble together a scenario that saw Walt Harris moved up from the undercard into the matchup with Werdum, but Ngannou said he wanted that spot.

“It’s a good matchup. Definitely this is a good matchup that I would never dodge it,” Ngannou said backstage. “I knew I was going to fight Alistair Overeem one day. I’ve been waiting for this fight and got ready for it since a long time ago.

“I got no answer, but I called when I saw the news. I tried to contact the matchmaker (Mick Maynard). He was busy. If I call, and he picks up, I say, ‘OK, I’m ready for him.’ … Honestly I would take the fight. I’ve been preparing for this, maybe something was going to happen between Werdum and Lewis. I’ve been preparing for this in case somebody pull out of this fight. I feel like something was going to happen. I got ready for it. … It was last minute, there was no way to change with the commissions.”

UFC 216 took place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The main card aired on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and UFC Fight Pass.

Ngannou hasn’t fought since a knockout of Andrei Arlovski at UFC on FOX 22 in January. He’s been eager to get back in the octagon since, especially after his planned UFC 215 matchup with Junior Dos Santos was called off just weeks prior to the September event.

“The Predator” said he would have stepped in on fight day at UFC 216 if red tape from the commission wouldn’t have made it impossible, but fortunately, Ngannou still has a massive fight ahead of him.

Ngannou is scheduled to meet Overeem (43-15 MMA, 8-4 UFC) in December’s UFC 218 co-main event. If he were to win, he would be on a divisional-best six-fight winning streak and in perfect position to challenge current heavyweight titleholder Stipe Miocic (17-2 MMA, 11-2 UFC). Although he hasn’t been promised a title shot with a win against Overeem, there’s no doubt from Ngannou that it’s going to happen.

“I think after the fight there is no way to deny me the title shot,” Ngannou said. “I’m sure I’ll beat Alistair and get a title shot. I still haven’t fought the champion. There’s no way not to give me the title shot after this fight.”

For complete coverage of UFC 216, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie