Category Archives: Featured

Bellator President Scott Coker: UFC-Reebok deal 'should be against the labor laws or something'

One of the reasons Bellator could become more attractive to prospective free-agent fighters is the UFC Athlete Outfitting Partnership with Reebok.

The UFC-Reebok deal certainly hasn’t received better than a mix of positive and negative reactions since coming about in Dec. 2014.

It certainly weighed heavily on Bellator light heavyweight champion Ryan Bader, who signed with Bellator in March after eight years in the UFC and won the title over Phil Davis at Bellator 180. In the lead-up to this past Saturday’s fight, Bader (23-5 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) raised some eyebrows when he told MMAjunkie in April he would make “three to four times” more in sponsorship money with Bellator than under the UFC-Reebok deal, which earned him just $15,000 in his 20th and final fight.

Bader’s situation might not necessarily be the norm, though. Benson Henderson, who was among the first in what’s become a notable list of fighters to jump from the UFC to Bellator, said he struggled to find sponsors because the market had largely dried up.

In any case, Bellator President Scott Coker can’t understand how the UFC-Reebok deal is even legal.

“Listen, they’re independent contractors. How they’re forced to wear a uniform, to this day, still baffles me,” Coker said during “The MMA Hour” on Monday. “It should be against the labor laws or something. Because you have to wear this sponsor thing? You have to wear this certain uniform when you fight? To me, they’re independent contractors. They should go out and get whatever sponsors they want, and if Ryan Bader or whoever went out and made a million dollars in sponsorship, good for you. We don’t touch any of that.”

Whether you’re in favor of the UFC-Reebok deal or against it, the fact remains it was agreed to without fighters involved in negotiations. And isn’t it fair to wonder if they should have say in something like this?

For more on the upcoming Bellator and UFC schedules, visit the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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

Manny Pacquiao will pass on watching Mayweather-McGregor fight that 'could be very boring'

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If negotiations had fallen apart between Floyd Mayweather, Conor McGregor and the UFC, Manny Pacquiao would’ve gladly stepped in, according to Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, who promotes Pacquiao and made the declaration last month.

As we know, that didn’t happen, and here we are on the precipice of a fantasy fight once thought impossible taking place Aug. 26 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Just because Pacquiao apparently was willing to fill in if given the opportunity, that doesn’t mean he approves of Mayweather (49-0 boxing) fighting UFC lightweight champion McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC).

Pacquiao is very interested in the boxing superfight going down between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin on Sept. 16. But three weeks earlier, Pacquiao told Yahoo.com he won’t waste his time on the Mayweather-McGregor spectacle.

“The real fight and the best fight is Golovkin vs. Canelo,” Pacquiao said. “The best vs. the best. That’s the fight I will be watching.”

The reason why falls in line with the thinking of many folks, considering the bout pits a 49-0 boxer in Mayweather vs. an 0-0 boxer in McGregor.

“McGregor has no chance in this fight,” Pacquiao said. “In fact, it could be very boring. … There is no way he will be able to land a meaningful punch on Floyd. How could he? He has no professional experience in boxing.”

Pacquiao barely managed to land a few meaningful punches on Mayweather during their much-anticipated superfight in 2015, which failed to live up to the hype (but drew a record 4.6 million pay-per-view buys) and resulted in a unanimous-decision win for Mayweather.

It was boring, and Pacquiao has to know this now looking back at it. So surely you could see where he’s coming from.

For more on “The Money Fight: Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor,” check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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

UFC-Oklahoma City's 10 memorable moments, with controversy and comebacks, good and bad

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

The main event of Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 112 fight card was supposed to set up the victor for a matchup against a top contender in the lightweight division. That could still happen – after all, Kevin Lee did earn a first-round submission win over Michael Chiesa, but the level of controversy surrounding the stoppage, and more precisely the man who made the call, referee Mario Yamasaki, might prevent Lee from getting that immediate jump up in competition.

The co-main event had no such drama. In that bout, Tim Boetsch put Johny Hendricks away with a head kick and punches, earning himself a TKO victory early in the second round.

UFC Fight Night 112 took place at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla.

Here are 10 memorable moments from the event.

1. You got yourself a situation there, UFC

Before his bout against Chiesa, Lee claimed he was the better fighter in every respect. Controversial stoppage aside, Lee backed up those words at UFC Fight Night 112. Chiesa had opportunities early, missing a takedown and briefly working for a couple of submissions. However, Chiesa failed to stick any of his offense, and when Chiesa (14-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC) gave up his back, Lee (16-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) took control, securing a body lock and a rear-naked choke.

Lee appeared to have the choke in deep, and as the clock ticked down, Yamasaki waved off the fight at the 4:37 mark of Round 1. The problem with that was Chiesa had not tapped nor lost consciousness, and Chiesa immediately protested the stoppage.

It was a messy ending to an important lightweight bout. While Lee, an honorable mention in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA lightweight rankings before the fight, did get the win, the UFC has some thinking to do about what’s next for him and Chiesa, who was ranked No. 9 before his controversial defeat.

2. Everybody’s talkin’

Chiesa didn’t have much to say regarding Yamasaki during his time on the mic with UFC commentator Jon Anik, but during his backstage chat with the media, Chiesa was less reserved.

“This is the main event – that is JV bull(expletive),” Chiesa said. “That guy (Yamasaki) is too focused on being some kind of playboy in front of the cameras, making his little heart logos. Maybe he should go back and read the (expletive) rule book.”

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UFC President Dana White also got involved, taking to Instagram to let his feelings be known.

Instagram Photo

For his part, Lee didn’t see the issue.

“Mario’s a very experienced ref,” Lee said. “Mario saw it and stopped the fight. If he wouldn’t have, there was still 45 seconds left in the fight. I don’t see what the controversy is about. It wasn’t like I was going to let go.”

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Chiesa, Lee and White weren’t the only ones offering opinions on the stoppage, social media was alive with opinions following the bout.

3. Something has to change

If Hendricks plans to succeed at middleweight, he’s going to need to add to his arsenal – and make weight. After coming in two pounds heavy, the former welterweight champion was largely ineffective against Boetsch (21-11 MMA, 12-10 UFC). “The Barbarian” used kicks to prevent Hendricks (18-7 MMA, 13-7 UFC) from setting up and landing his patented overhand left.

Not only did those kicks stop Hendricks from establishing his offense, but they also ended the fight. Early in Round 2, Boetsch stunned Hendricks with a head kick and then swarmed, finishing him with punches against the cage.

The “Performance of the Night”-winning stoppage earned Boetsch his third TKO win in his last four outings. As for Hendricks, not only has he missed weight three times in his last four fights, but he is 1-3 in those contests and 3-6 dating back to November 2013.

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4. Speaking up

Felice Herrig is on the best run of her UFC career. Her unanimous decision win over Justine Kish was her third straight victory and second straight win over a formerly undefeated opponent. Despite her winning streak, Herrig is feeling under-appreciated.

“Honestly, if you want to know the truth, I just feel like I’m not young and beautiful for the UFC to want to promote me,” she said. “It’s sad because I’ve really worked hard to be here. It’s hard to see these people who’ve not been through what I’ve been through and just got to the UFC at the right time, and they’re now getting all these opportunities.

“I’ve seen how hard I’ve worked to get here, and it just doesn’t matter because I just feel I’m not pretty enough, and I’m not getting any younger.”

After her last win, Herrig (13-6 MMA, 4-1 UFC) called for a fight against either Michelle Waterson or Paige VanZant. She didn’t call out another fighter after defeating Kish (6-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC), but based on her winning streak, Herrig should get a top 15 strawweight opponent in her next outing.

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5. Remember, a sense of humor is important

Kish was close to being choked out by Herrig in the third round, but Kish fought through the choke, using muscle and force of will more than technique to break free from the submission hold. However, Kish paid a price for her efforts, something she acknowledged on social media following the fight.

6. A good June

Dominick Reyes has had a good month. On June 2, fighting for LFA, he delivered a highlight-reel knockout which earned him a short notice call up from the UFC. In his debut with the promotion, Reyes (7-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) wrapped things up quickly, blasting Joachim Christensen with a straight left that put Christensen (14-6 MMA, 1-3 UFC) on the mat, forcing the referee to wave off the fight 29 seconds into the first round.

Reyes absorbed just one strike during the light heavyweight fight while landing 13 of the 16 he threw.

As debuts go, things could not have gone much better for Reyes, who earned a “Performance of the Night” bonus for his efforts.

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7. Struggles continue

B.J. Penn almost had his first win since his November 2010 KO of Matt Hughes. Penn dropped Dennis Siver in the second round of their featherweight contest, but he was unable to get the finish, and instead of turning up the heat in the third round, Penn came out flat. Actually, flat might be too kind. Penn (16-12-2 MMA, 12-11-2 UFC) looked like he just wanted to survive the final five minutes of the fight, throwing a paltry 27 strikes to Siver’s 117 in the last round. In the end, Siver (23-11 MMA, 12-8 UFC), fighting for the first time in two years, got the majority decision win, handing Penn his fifth straight defeat.

Before the fight, Penn told MMAjunkie, “We’re going to take this as far as it can go,” which leads to the question, has Penn reached the end of the line?

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8. Back on track

Where Penn struggled at UFC Fight Night 112, another long-tenured UFC combatant showed he has some fight left in him. Clay Guida, competing at lightweight for the first time in five years, earned a unanimous decision victory over Erik Koch.

Guida looked excellent in his return to 155. His cardio was off the charts as usual, and his striking and defense were impressive, but where he excelled was in his pressure and takedown game. Guida (33-17 MMA, 13-11 UFC) forced Koch (14-5 MMA, 4-4 UFC) to the cage for a prolonged period in the first round and controlled the fight on the mat for most of the second and third round.

Guida was never close to getting a finish, but he looked good, and he should get a step up in completion in his next outing.

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9. A major comeback

Darrell Horcher’s run in the UFC has spanned 14 eventful months. In April 2016 he was called in on short notice duty to face Khabib Nurmagomedov. Unsurprisingly he lost that fight. One month later he was involved in a motorcycle accident which left him with a cringeworthy list of injuries.

Horcher (13-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) was told he would never fight again, but he did, earning a split decision over Devin Powell (8-3 MMA, 0-2 UFC) in a lightweight contest at UFC Fight Night 112.

“It was so emotional for me to get back,” Horcher told MMAjunkie. “I fought so hard to be here. It was a long year and what I’ve come from, most would people say a year is very short. And if you look at it on paper it is, but for me it was very hard. I pushed myself to do this, to come back, to get a win.”

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10. Give him a call

The one misstep Jared Gordon made in his UFC debut came on the scale, where he missed the featherweight limit by four pounds. Gordon is a well-rounded fighter who was comfortable wherever his fight went against Michel Quinones. On the feet Gordon (11-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) was aggressive, using pressure to close distance and not allow Quinones (8-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) the space he needed to mount any offense. On the ground Gordon was just as good, coupling a heavy top game with effective ground strikes, which earned him the second-round TKO.

After the fight, the former Cage Fury champion, who has struggled with substance abuse issues, let fans know they could reach out to him if need be.

“If you have any problems or anything, you can contact me on Twitter, (or) Instagram and I will take my day to talk to you guys,” Gordon told Anik.

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For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 112, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

Sean Shelby's Shoes: What's next for Kevin Lee and UFC Fight Night 112's other winning fighters?

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Filed under: Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC

The UFC made its second stop in Oklahoma City, Okla., on Sunday with UFC Fight Night 112, which took place at Chesapeake Energy Arena. The FS1-televised main card featured six fights, with half ending in a stoppage.

In the main event, Kevin Lee (16-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) continued to establish himself as threat in the UFC lightweight division when he picked up a first-round submission victory over Michael Chiesa (14-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC), albeit with some controversy involved.

Tim Boetsch (21-11 MMA, 12-10 UFC) added another memorable win to his lengthy UFC career in the co-headliner, beating ex-UFC champ Johny Hendricks (18-7 MMA, 13-7 UFC). Other winners included Felice Herrig (13-6 MMA, 4-1 UFC), Dominick Reyes (7-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC), Tim Means (27-8-1 MMA, 9-5 UFC) and Dennis Siver (23-11 MMA, 12-8 UFC).

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 112’s winning fighters.

* * * *

Dennis Siver

Dooho Choi

Should fight: Dooho Choi
Why they should fight: After a more than two-year hiatus, Siver made a triumphant return to the octagon and earned arguably the signature win of his career by beating UFC Hall of Famer B.J. Penn.

Although it seems Penn is far past his expiration date, his name still carries weight in the sport. Siver’s majority-decision win over the former UFC champ is a memory he can cherish, even if it doesn’t do much for him in terms of advancing his place in the featherweight division.

At 38, Siver has admitted his time in the sport is limited. He’s coming off a big high, though, and if he can keep that momentum, things could get interesting for him again. Siver is a cagey veteran, but Choi (14-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) is a heavily hyped prospect.

“The Korean Superboy” had to recently pull out of a fight due to injury following his “Fight of the Year” clash with Cub Swanson in December, but if he can get healthy, Siver would be a good test and a matchup with big excitement potential.

Tim Means

Bryan Barberena

Should fight: Bryan Barberena
Why they should fight: Means was unable to put on another dazzling display of violence inside the octagon, but he did manage to rebound from a two-fight winless skid with a smartly fought unanimous-decision victory over Alex Garcia.

It’s almost impossible to put “The Dirty Bird” into a truly boring fight, and while he would need a dramatic career shift to be considered a title contender, he’s a reliable member of the welterweight division.

Many fighters have similar reputations at 170 pounds, and Barberena (13-4 MMA, 3-2 UFC) is one. Although the fight wouldn’t have much stakes in terms of rankings relevance, it’s a matchup that both fighters would likely embrace, and it could make for a fan-pleasing affair.

Dominick Reyes

Jeremy Kimball

Should fight: Jeremy Kimball
Why they should fight: Fighting in an FS1-televised bout on short notice in his UFC debut, Reyes overcame a challenging situation when he defeated Joachim Christensen by TKO in just 29 seconds.

Reyes showed the UFC made a wise choice by giving him an opportunity, and he scored a solid win against a far more experience opponent on the biggest stage of his career.

Still young in his career, “The Devastator” is a promising addition to the suddenly flourishing light heavyweight division. Kimball (15-6 MMA, 1-1 UFC) is in a similar position after scoring a first-round TKO of Josh Stansbury during the early prelims, and matching up two fighters looking to make a name at 205 pounds is a logical decision.

Felice Herrig

Michelle Waterson

Should fight: Michelle Waterson
Why they should fight: Herrig continued to show her lone UFC defeat against Paige VanZant was not indicative of her overall ability when she pushed her strawweight winning streak to three against by beating Justine Kish.

Herrig picked up a unanimous-decision win, marking her third straight triumph over a prospect at 115 pounds. She won’t allow an up-and-comer to make her name off her veteran status, and in every fight, she solidifies the idea she’s a contender worth paying attention to.

“Lil’ Bulldog” is deserving of a noteworthy fight that will help move her up the rankings, and Waterson (14-5 MMA, 2-1 UFC) fits the description. Herrig called for a fight with “The Karate Hottie” following her win over Alex Grasso at UFC Fight Night 104 in February, and with Waterson coming off a loss to No. 1 contender Rose Namajunas, a bout with Herrig would provide an opportunity to rebound.

Tim Boetsch

David Branch

Should fight: David Branch
Why they should fight: Boetsch has had a knack for playing spoiler throughout his UFC career. He did it again when he derailed the middleweight revival of Oklahoma’s own Johny Hendricks.

Boetsch handed the former UFC welterweight champion his first loss at 185 pounds with a second-round TKO in what was his 22nd UFC appearance. “The Barbarian” had had an up-and-down run inside the octagon, but every so often he shows what he’s capable of against a big-name foe.

Consistency has been the grinder’s biggest problem, and while the win over Hendricks was significant, the 36-year-old has to prove it’s not too late to make a run.

Boetsch has won three of his past four bouts, though, and he’s earned another chance to break into the 185-pound rankings. Branch (21-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC), who’s riding a 12-fight winning streak, holds the No. 7 spot in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middleweight rankings, and it’d be interesting to see how Boetsch’s style would clash with the former two-division WSOF champion.

Kevin Lee

Should fight: Edson Barboza
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why Lee should fight Barboza (19-4 MMA, 13-4 UFC) next.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 112, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

Glory days are over for B.J. Penn and Fedor Emelianenko, so why won't anyone tell them?

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, UFC

The circumstances alone tell you how far B.J. Penn has fallen. Sunday night, a relatively lackluster UFC Fight Night event on cable TV, and he’s there opening the main-card portion of the show against a journeyman fighter coming off a two-year layoff.

Even worse, he loses.

This is the reality now for Penn. The UFC keeps giving him more chances to turn things around, lowering the bar each time he fails to clear it, and Penn keeps finding new ways to trip over it. This one – a majority decision loss to Dennis Siver at UFC Fight Night 112 in Oklahoma City< Okla. – wasn’t even as bad as some of the others.

He didn’t get knocked out. He didn’t get embarrassed. In fact, he came closer to winning than he has in at least six years. A solid right hand put Siver (23-11 MMA, 12-8 UFC) down in the second round, and a few followup strikes from Penn (16-12-2 MMA, 12-11-2 UFC) threatened to finish him off.

But when Siver didn’t roll over and quit, Penn faced a real problem. Whatever he had, he’d just spent. Siver came out for the third round looking to do some work whereas Penn looked like he’d rather go home. Surviving seemed like enough for him then, and he barely accomplished that.

Put that in perspective, would you? The great B.J. Penn, a former two-division champ, one of the best lightweights in UFC history, and now he’s lucky to survive three rounds with an aging and rusty Dennis Siver. If he can’t do any better than that, why do it at all?

It’s a question you could just as easily put to Fedor Emelianenko, another ghost from MMA’s past who added to his list of losses this past weekend. Emelianenko (36-5 MMA, 0-1 BMMA)  got put to sleep by Matt Mitrione (12-5 MMA, 3-0 BMMA) at Bellator NYC on Saturday night, which was his reward for being the slower party in the immediate aftermath of a rare double knockdown.

While Penn’s latest loss added to the worst losing streak of his career, Emelianenko’s snapped an actual winning streak. You know, sort of. Fighting in a string of smaller promotions in recent years has given Emelianenko the advantage of the friendliest possible matchmaking, along with some friendly judging to serve as an extra safety net.

It wasn’t until he signed with Bellator that he was forced to fight a real heavyweight for the first time in several years, and it ended with him laid out on the mat a little over a minute into the fight. Like Penn, he now finds himself a long way from the glory days of 2009.

And those days, they aren’t coming back. Not for Emelianenko and not for Penn. They must know that on some level, but they keep at it because they can. They can still pocket a paycheck for it. There are enough people for whom their names still mean something.

They have not yet been forcibly ejected from the sport, which means that as long they’re willing to take the beatings, they still have a home here. The pain and the public embarrassment is the rent they pay. As long as they regard it as a fair exchange, and as long as no one close to them can convince them to stop making it, here we are.

This is nothing new in combat sports, but that doesn’t make it fun to sit through. The current climate rewards name brands and nostalgia over actual skill and talent, meaning it’s never been a better time to be a past-his-prime fighter willing to trade what’s left of his reputation and brain cells for a few more nights in the cage.

Of course, another way of looking at it is that it’s never been a worse time to be one of those fighters, since those late career letdowns don’t come for free. There’s a price to be paid, and it’s not just in cable bills and pay-per-view dollars.

Penn and Emelianenko both seem eager to keep paying it, even if they might not know for years what the final bill comes to. The rest of us, we seem strangely addicted to this specific brand of sadness. We want to see fighters we know, even when it’s painfully apparent that the name is all that’s left of the man. We get that jolt of recognition, followed by the depressing reminder of their ongoing and inevitable deterioration.

Eventually, maybe we’ll decide it’s not such a good trade. Then again, we keep waiting for guys like Penn and Emelianenko to decide the same thing. So far neither one of us is truly ready to quit.

For complete coverage of Bellator NYC and UFC Fight Night 112, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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

Michael Chiesa goes off on ref Mario Yamasaki, pleas for rematch after being 'robbed'

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

OKLAHOMA CITY – Needless to say, Michael Chiesa is not a fan of Mario Yamasaki.

Chiesa (14-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC) saw the first headlining spot of his UFC career end on a controversial note on Sunday, when referee Yamasaki called a first-round stop to his UFC Fight Night 112 contest with Kevin Lee (16-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC). Chiesa was on the bad end of a seemingly tight rear-naked choke, but with just a few seconds left on the clock, he was still conscious when Yamasaki stepped in.

Chiesa was at least alert enough to immediately contest the ending of the FS1-televised event at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla. Between the stoppage and the official announcement of Lee’s win, Chiesa could be seen angrily pacing around the octagon and mouthing some of his thoughts on the ref (via Twitter):

Chiesa’s feelings on Yamasaki hadn’t changed when he talked to the media immediately after the event. The lightweight’s tirade might have lacked “fancy words,” but it certainly didn’t lack passion.

“This is the main event – that is JV bull(expletive),” Chiesa said. “That guy is too focused on being some kind of playboy in front of the cameras, making his little heart logos. Maybe he should go back and read the (expletive) rule book.

“I’m not trying to sound like a poor sport, but it’s really hard to be positive right now when I’ve been striving for this main-event spot. And I get it. And it feels like I just got (expletive) robbed. It’s hard not to feel that way.”

For Chiesa, the sting was made even worse by his history with stoppages. His last setback before Sunday’s, stemming from a “Fight of the Night” with Joe Lauzon in 2014, was the result of a doctor’s call due to a deep gash above Chiesa’s right eye. Between Lauzon and Lee, Chiesa put together a three-fight winning streak, with wins over Mitch Clarke, Jim Miller and Beneil Dariush.

To make his case as to why the stoppage was premature, the 155-pounder brought up the example of fellow UFC lightweight Al Iaquinta – who rode out a submission attempt by Lee before coming out victorious of their UFC 169 scrap – and broke down his decision-making process.

“I fought the best grapplers at lightweight,” Chiesa said. “The best. They all had my back in Round 1, and I got out every single time. I’ve studied my film on Kevin. It’s a palm-to-palm rear-naked choke. An arm-pump choke. I fight the hands when he’s going RNC, switch to palm-to-palm, shrink your shoulders in, flex your neck, get your elbows in.

“When he loosens up, you elbow down, turn in. I saw there was a short time on the clock. I went into what I know. And the next thing I know the fight is getting stopped.”

Chiesa has yet to look at the footage. But as someone who watches a lot of fights, he said Yamasaki’s call felt “like the worst stoppage ever.” The lightweight also questioned the very fact that “poor official” Yamasaki was even appointed to a headliner in the first place.

“Here’s what’s frustrating: You put a guy who’s just swirled in controversy in charge of a main event?” Chiesa said. “You realize that this defects ours lives. I’m not talking from a financial standpoint – I don’t care about the money. You’re talking – (if) I win this fight I go into the top five. I’m on the brink of a title shot.

“The opportunity got taken away from me. Now Kevin technically has got a win over me, swirled in controversy. That’s taken away from him. And then the fans. You think the fans want to watch a main event on a Sunday night end like this? No. It’s just pathetic. I really feel like this is a (expletive) dream. Between the Joe Lauzon fight and this, (I can’t believe it).”

Chiesa, however, doesn’t intend to leave it alone. On the official end of things, he plans to appeal the call with the local commission. But not overly confident that’s going to get him anywhere, he also wants a chance to make things right in the octagon.

“We’re going to seek due diligence,” Chiesa said. “This really is bull(expletive). Chances are it’s not going to get overturned, but I’m not going to go down without a fight. And best case scenario, I get a (expletive) rematch in Detroit. I’ll fight him in his backyard. I’ll fight him right now.”

While Lee reiterated his desire to meet Khabib Nurmagomedov next, Chiesa doesn’t see that happening. And while he maintains there is no personal beef with Lee, in spite of the heated press conference moment the two had shared weeks before, he is absolutely driven to get a do-over.

“If you think you really beat me, then beat me again,” Chiesa said. “Prove it. There’s no way you’re going to ride this win thinking you won. You did not beat me. You did not beat me. There’s no way. I’m fine. I heard he’s limping around on crutches. He’s supposed to be the striker. I landed one punch and put him on his ass. Let’s run it back.

“I want to prove that I was going to win that fight. I want to prove that I got robbed. And I want to prove Yamasaki that he’s so (expletive) wrong that he can’t even see straight.”

Between the controversy and their pre-fight shennanigans, Chiesa said that, promotion-wise, the matchup is a no-brainer. And he is so confident that he can beat Lee that he’ll not only give him a trilogy – he’ll let his new favorite ref join the cage with them.

“I’ll let Yamasaki actually be the ref both times,” Chiesa said. “And his poor officiating won’t be able to (expletive) do anything with the results, because I’ll make it very definitive.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 112, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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UFC Fight Night 112 winner Darrell Horcher discusses emotional comeback after near-death

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Darrell Horcher successfully returned to competition just 13 months after a gruesome motorcycle accident, defeating Devin Powell at UFC Fight Night 112.

Despite being thrown more than 100 feet and sustaining broken bones, ligament tears and internal injuries, Horcher’s (13-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) seemingly miraculous return to the octagon was an achievement in and of itself. The fight he capped it off – a the split decision win over Powell (8-3 MMA, 0-2 UFC) – was the icing on the cake.

At first doctor’s told Horcher he would never fight again. He proved them wrong, though, by beating Powell at Sunday’s event, which took place at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla.

“It was so emotional for me to get back,” Horcher told MMAjunkie. “I fought so hard to be here. It was a long year and what I’ve come from, most would people say a year is very short. And if you look at it on paper it is, but for me it was very hard. I pushed myself to do this, to come back, to get a win.”

Just one month before the accident, Horcher made his UFC debut. He stepped in on short notice against Khabib Nurmagomedov, the No. 2-ranked lightweight in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA lightweight rankings, and lost by second-round TKO.

Horcher was already overmatched, and the circumstances made his odds even worse. He had much more time to prepare ahead of UFC Fight Night 112, and he said the fact he came out on top was a redeeming moment.

“My goal was to get back here, to step in that octagon and get a W,” Horcher said. “I came up short in my debut, and, you know, you fight the No. 1 (contender) in the division on eight days’ notice, I lost 25 pounds in seven days. I came off the couch, I hadn’t trained in months. This was my real debut.”

After his career was nearly over and he was forced to sit on the sidelines for more than a year, it would come as no surprise if Horcher wanted a quick turnaround to make up for lost time. He said that’s not the case, though.

“I don’t feel like I have to fight quick, but I do want to fight before the end of the year,” Horcher said. “It was a stepping stone for me, a stepping stone to see how my body would react. My body did fine; I held up fine. Nerves killed my cardio a little bit. I have better cardio than I showed. I’ll heal up a little bit, and I’ll get back into training, and I just keep getting better. I’ve only been fighting for seven years.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 112, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 112 video highlights: Kevin Lee vs. Michael Chiesa

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A referee error from Mario Yamasaki brought an end to a grudge match between Kevin Lee (16-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) and Michael Chiesa (14-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC) in their headliner at UFC Fight Night 112, with Lee scoring a controversial submission win at the 4:37 mark of Round 1.

The lightweight bout was the main event of today’s UFC Fight Night 112 event at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla. It aired on FS1 following prelims on FS2 and UFC Fight Pass.

Check out the highlights above.

Also see:

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 112, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Kevin Lee says Michael Chiesa 'went limp,' shrugs off UFC Fight Night 112 controversy

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OKLAHOMA CITY – UFC lightweight Kevin Lee contends Michael Chiesa went limp, prompting referee Mario Yamasaki to step in and stop their grudge match at UFC Fight Night 112.

Lee (16-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) doesn’t quite get the controversy surrounding the fight, which immediately erupted when Chiesa (14-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC) didn’t tap and appeared to be fully conscious when Yamasaki stepped in late in the first round.

“(Chiesa) went limp,” Lee said backstage at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla., which hosted the FS1-televised headliner. “You can see he’s fighting the choke. I switch from palm to palm; as soon as I do, his arms go limp.”

Lee’s nonchalance was not shared by all. UFC President Dana White even chimed in his disgust, calling Yamasaki “Mario Mazzagatti” after another hated official, Steve Mazzagatti.

“Mario’s a very experienced ref,” Lee said. “Mario saw it and stopped the fight. If he wouldn’t have, there was still 45 seconds left in the fight. I don’t see what the controversy is about. It wasn’t like I was going to let go.”

Chiesa immediately protested the stoppage and yelled at Yamasaki before taking the high road in his post-fight interview, calling for a rematch.

Despite the controversial finish, Lee said he’d be open to that idea. Yet he prefers to face opponents like the one he called out after his fifth straight UFC win: Khabib Nurmagomedov (24-0 MMA, 8-0 UFC).

“I will (rematch Chiesa) just for the easy money, but it will wake me up a bit more to fight one of these big names,” Lee said.

The other goal, he said, is to bring the UFC to his hometown of Detroit by the end of the year. Nothing has changed about that, except for the top-10 ranking that’s should be attached to his name from here on out.

Watch Lee’s full interview above.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 112, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Justine Kish jokes about defecating during UFC Fight Night 112 loss (hey, it happens)

Well, at least Justine Kish has a sense of humor about her unfortunate in-cage accident.

It happens.

Kish (6-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) fought her heart out for three rounds against Felice Herrig (13-6 MMA, 4-1 UFC), once coming seconds away from losing consciousness before losing a unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night 112, which took place at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla., and aired on FS1.

The gutsy performance from the once-undefeated fighter was on everyone’s mind. But unfortunately for Kish, so was something else.

Replays appeared to confirm a substance left on the canvas was the result of Kish losing control of her bowels during a grappling exchange between the women’s strawweights.

“I am a warrior, and I will never quit #(Expletive)Happens haha be back soon,” she wrote tonight on Twitter.

It happens, but not many fighters admit to it. So props to Kish.

Herrig, meanwhile, picked up her third straight win at 115 pounds and asked the UFC to recognize her talent.

Kish had made every minute of the fight tough. It just so happens she fought so hard she couldn’t keep everything in.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 112, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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