After going 'full Nick Diaz,' Felice Herrig says Cortney Casey threw 'booger blood chunk' at UFC 218

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

DETROIT – Felice Herrig says Cortney Casey threw a “booger blood chunk” at her in their UFC 218 bout, but strangely enough, she’s accustomed to having her opponents release bodily fluids inside the octagon.

Herrig (14-6 MMA, 5-1 UFC) defeated Casey (7-5 MMA, 3-4 UFC) by split decision in their strawweight bout, which took place on Saturday’s preliminary card at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. In the midst of the action, both fighters flipped each other off and Casey actually threw some blood in Herrig’s direction.

The situation may have angered other fighters, but Herrig said she enjoyed it and took everything in stride.

“We both went full Nick Diaz,” Herrig said after the fight. “She got a little upset because I got her with the shot and saw it on her face. Fighters get emotional. She flicked a booger at me – it was great. It was entertaining for the fans. I like being in entertaining fights. I’m not mad at her. It was cool. I was entertained by it. I thought it was entertaining. … It was a booger chunk. It was a booger blood chunk.”

Blood-slinging aside, Herrig and Casey had a competitive three-round fight. “Lil’ Bulldog” left the octagon with her fourth consecutive victory in the 115-pound division, which is the longest active streak in the weight class.

Herrig closed her eyes and was hoping for the decision to go her way while Bruce Buffer was reading the cards, but she said that wasn’t because she thought she lost. She said it was because of the unpredictable nature of MMA judging.

“I definitely thought I had the ‘W,’ but you never know with judges,” Herrig said. “It was hard to tell just because she had the range on me. I thought I landed more shots. She was wanting to lure me in with punches. I could see that. I had to pick and choose my shots.”

On arguably the best run of her career, Herrig said she believes she’s in good position to challenge of the title sooner than later. Joanna Jedrzejczyk is likely to get a rematch with Rose Namajunas after losing the belt in stunning fashion at UFC 217 this past month, but Herrig doesn’t think she’s far behind.

“Four in a row I think I’m coming in like a dark horse,” Herrig said. “I don’t care (who is next), honestly. Every time I think I want somebody they give me somebody else, so I really don’t give a (expletive).”

For complete coverage of UFC 218, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

UFC 218 results: Felice Herrig takes split decision from Cortney Casey in close fight

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It only took a few profane gestures to get Cortney Casey and Felice Herrig going. But by then, the fight was almost over.

The pair engaged in a static shootout over three rounds, with Casey (7-5 MMA, 3-4 UFC) fighting tall and Herrig (14-6 MMA, 5-1 UFC) punching her way inside. It was a close fight, but judges ultimately decided Herrig did more and awarded her a split decision.

The women’s strawweight bout was part of the preliminary card of today’s UFC 218 event at the new Little Caesars Arena in downtown Detroit. It aired on FS1 following additional prelims on UFC Fight Pass and ahead of a main card on pay-per-view.

Two of three judges gave Herrig the fight with a 29-28 tally. One dissented for Casey with the same score. Herrig’s win upped her current win streak to four, while Casey dropped back following a decision over Jessica Aguilar in May.

Much of the scoring centered around Herrig’s boxing attack, simply because there wasn’t much else that was significant. Early on, she found success closing the distance and ducking under Casey’s punches to uncork a left hook. Several times she met Casey’s right hand or check left hook. The two traded leg kicks in a call and response rhythm.

The only detours from that pattern came in the first round, when Casey lit up Herrig as she charged forward, prompting Herrig to secure a body lock and take the fight to the mat. There, she stalled on top, and Casey took the initiative with a kimura threat that allowed her to reverse. In the third, with both corners doing their best to pump up their fighters, Herrig stuck out her tongue at Casey, prompting outstretched arms from the Hawaii native. A middle finger followed for Herrig.

Not content to let those offenses stand, Herrig initiated an attack and briefly was swept to the mat, with a knee to the head greeting her rise. Casey, sporting a shiner under her left eye, celebrated what she thought was a clear victory.

Instead, at the decision, Casey reacted in shock as Herrig cheered her fourth consecutive win.

Up-to-the-minute UFC 218 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC 218, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s Matt Erickson and Mike Bohn contributed to this report on site in Detroit.)

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

UFC 218 breakdown: Betting advice, possible prop bets and fantasy studs

MMAjunkie Radio cohost and MMAjunkie contributor Dan Tom provides an in-depth breakdown of all of UFC 218’s main-card bouts. Today, we look at wagering opportunities and fantasy advice.

UFC 218 takes place Saturday at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. The main card airs on PPV following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

ALSO SEE:

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Disclaimer: The following section is designed for entertainment purposes only. The unit sizes serve as a rough representation of the percentage of bankroll risked, as well as my confidence in said plays. If you intend on gambling, I suggest that you do so responsibly and legally, as it is at your own risk. All lines are drawn from 5Dimes.eu on the day this article was published (Dec. 1, 2017).

Dan’s plays

Props worth looking at:

Summary: Although these plays may appear chalky at first glance (particularly for props), they are some of my more confident choices in a card with crazy potential all around.

Between these two pairings of lightweight matchups, you would be hard-pressed to put together more potential for violence than what we have here.

For that reason, coupled with the playable value and asking price, these props could make for some sharp plays that could also help hedge any sides that you may have taken in the fights listed above (e.g. my straight bet on Paul Felder).

Straight plays:

  • Paul Felder -105 (1 unit)

Summary: For straight plays, I typically look for a fighter who I not only feel confident about (whether it be his sample size or the matchup at hand), but also has a low asking price.

In a card with some sizeable names and betting margins, this was one of the lone options that fit my criteria. I feel that Felder, who is the more durable and dependable fighter (for reasons I elaborate on in the fantasy section below), should be able to get things done here.

He is a considerably stronger striker who I believe has a good enough clinch and counter-wrestling game to shut down the grappling intentions of his opponent Oliveira. Coupled with the fact that Oliveira has been dropped or stopped in three of his past five fights, and I’m willing to make a degenerate play that Felder will be the last man standing.

Playable parlay pieces (my most confident favorites):

Summary: My recommended parlay pieces are typically my most confident picks that could serve as potential legs for whatever play you’re trying to put together. (For what it’s worth: The listed selection above pairs at +101)

For the reasons stated in my official breakdown, Torres earns herself a spot as one of my more confident picks. I’m a fan of Waterson, who has multiple tools on paper, but I feel that this is ultimately a tough matchup for her opportunism to shine through.

Torres is one of the more process-driven fighters in a division in which that can go a long way. Add in the fact that Torres is likely the better wrestler who also averages upward of 45 strikes thrown per round, and I like her chances.

As for my other recommendation, I elected to go with playing the over 2.5 rounds in Herrig vs. Casey. Not only are women’s overs one of your safer plays statistically, but I feel they can also make for sturdy parlay legs when you need them.

In this case, we have two game competitors who are physically durable and stylistically well-rounded (attributes that certainly help when looking at the over). Although I do see Felice getting the better of ground exchanges for her propensity to play on top (as opposed to Casey’s tendency to play off of her back), I ultimately have a hard time seeing either lady finishing the other.

Fights to avoid (live dogs, high intangibles, etc.):

  • Drakkar Klose vs. David Teymur
  • Sabah Homasi vs. Abdul Razak Alhassan
  • Alex Oliveira vs. Yancy Medeiros
  • Justin Willis vs. Alan Crowder

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

15 years into career, all Felice Herrig hopes for is a UFC title shot – but she won't beg

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

DETROIT – Felice Herrig may not embrace the “veteran” title when it comes to her career, but she hopes her years of work eventually pay off in the form of a UFC title shot.

Herrig (13-6 MMA, 4-1 UFC) made her pro MMA debut in February 2009 following a lengthy run in kickboxing. She’s arguably at her best now, though, bringing a three-fight winning streak into Saturday’s strawweight showdown with Cortney Casey (7-4 MMA, 3-3 UFC) at UFC 218, which takes place at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. The fight airs on the FS1-televised prelims following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass and prior to the pay-per-view main card.

Although improving her current run of victories to four would be a colossal achievement, Herrig said she’s not going to beg for a 115-pound title shot. She believes she’s put in more than her fair share of work to get a crack at the gold, and while it would be nice to get an opportunity sooner than later, Herrig said she’s not going to shift too far from her humble approach to make it happen.

“I’ve been in the sport so long, I’m not a (expletive)-talker. I’m not petitioning like, ‘Give me a title,’” Herrig told MMAjunkie. “It’s not something I don’t think about. I’ve overcome a lot of battles in the past few years, and I’m very happy to be where I’m at. I feel very blessed that I keep getting better and better. I think a four-fight win streak is pretty big in the strawweight division. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but in the strawweight division it actually is a lot. I think there’s something to be said with that.

“Before I retire, and I’m not talking about retirement soon, but I’ve been fighting for 15 years,” she continued. “For every fighter it’s inevitable that we’re going to retire. I would like to fight for the belt, for sure, 100 percent. Four fights in a row, I think I would petition to be the next contender or fight one more time.”

After struggling on Season 20 of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series, then losing a decision to Paige VanZant in her second UFC fight in April 2015, Herrig took more than a year off from competition. She said she used that time to regroup and find out why her performances weren’t what she wanted them to be.

Herrig said she worked with some doctors to get her physical and mental affairs in order. Once that happened, the results shifted back in her direction.

“A lot of people don’t realize that over the years there’s wear-and-tear on your body, mentally and physically,” Herrig said. “After the loss I started working with a doctor. We found out everything that was chemically wrong in my body, which was a lot. It affected my performance severely, and it was going down, down, down. It took over a year to rebuild it back, and now I feel like I’m going up, up, up. Everyone can see that every fight I’m getting better, and I’m not steadily declining.

“Now I feel like I’m peaking,” she continued. “I feel like I have a lot more potential now. I can go out there and fight to my full capabilities. … I do feel brand new. I have all the knowledge and experience of being a veteran. I’ve learned from all the dumb, silly mistakes in the past. I’m smart enough to not do those things anymore. I did a lot of my learning in the years prior to the UFC. A lot of people are just getting their start in the UFC.”

With some momentum on her side going into UFC 218, Herrig said she’s solely focused on beating Casey and continuing her run. She dismissed the prospect of potentially moving up to the newly opened UFC women’s flyweight division, revealing that her weight cut is easier than most and that strawweight is “the ideal weight for me.”

A victory against Casey would open up Herrig to some massive fight opportunities going forward. That’s exactly what “Lil’ Bulldog” wants, but she said she won’t count her chickens before they hatch.

She knows a tough fight awaits her at UFC 218.

“I never take any fighter lightly,” Herrig said. “I never overestimate my opponents; I never underestimate them. I should be confident in my skills, and I am, but I also know every fighter is a dangerous fighter. Cortney, she’s had success. She wins one, she loses one, but she’s also fought a lot of really tough opponents. You have to give her credit for that.”

For more on UFC 218, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

MMA's week out of the cage: Thanksgiving, Chopstick Challenge, Felice Herrig's Fruit Loops shoot, more

Social media has become a significant part of the sporting landscape. But few, if any, professional sports match the level of interaction and personal access provided by MMA.

In an individual competition in which nearly every athlete is chasing the same goal of financial success and championship glory, it’s important for fighters to provide insight into their lives in order to connect with fans and gain followings.

Although the life of a fighter often can be mundane and repetitive, there still are moments of interest that take place outside the cage, ring or training room. Here are some of the most interesting of those occurrences from the past week.

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The chopstick challenge

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Thanksgiving celebrations

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Animals of Instagram

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Children of MMA

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Weekly eats

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Fruit Loops for life

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Shooting, hunting, fishing

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Activities and adventures

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The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

Filed under: Bellator, Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Felice Herrig announces UFC 218 bout vs. Cortney Casey in Detroit

A women’s strawweight bout between Felice Herrig and Cortney Casey is apparently the first fight on tap for December’s UFC 218 lineup.

Herrig (13-6 MMA, 4-1 UFC) today revealed the matchup with Casey (7-4 MMA, 3-3 UFC) on social media (via Instagram). UFC brass has yet to make an official announcement.

Instagram Photo

UFC 218 takes place Dec. 2 at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass, though the bout order hasn’t been finalized.

Herrig is riding a three-fight winning streak at 115 pounds, her longest since 2013. “Lil’ Bulldog” earned a unanimous decision win over Justin Kish in her most recent bout at UFC Fight Night 112 in June, and afterward made some emotional comments about how she thinks her age and looks have prevented her from some of the biggest opportunities.

She will get a chance to move further up the ladder when she meets Casey, No. 15 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA women’s strawweight rankings. “Cast Iron” is coming off a unanimous-decision win over former WSOF champ Jessica Aguilar at UFC 211 in May. Afterward, she was caught up in a doping situation which ended with her being cleared of any wrongdoing.

For more on UFC 218, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Twitter Mailbag: On why UFC 214 is suddenly stacked, Felice Herrig's complaint and more

UFC 214 just got even more exciting. Is that at least partially because a few of its primary elements are slightly unreliable? Plus, where can Johny Hendricks go from here? And is there a single good reason for B.J. Penn to fight again?

All that and more in this week’s Twitter Mailbag. To ask a question of your own, tweet to @BenFowlkesMMA.

Let’s deal with the facts here. UFC 214 is headlined by Jon Jones fighting to reclaim his light heavyweight title. Further down the card, you’ve got Cristiane Justino fighting a replacement from another organization and weight class. So yeah, you can bet your Butterfinger the Tyron Woodley vs. Demian Maia welterweight title fight is something of a backup.

Can you blame the UFC if that’s the idea? Jones has proven to be unreliable. Justino has a way of reminding opponents of some very important task they need to run off and complete. The lesson the UFC learned from injury-ravaged years past is that you’d better have a Plan B if you want to sell pay-per-views.

And really, this is a pretty good one. Now UFC 214 could withstand some hits. It’s not like some other cards we’ve seen, where we’re never more than one tweaked knee from canceling the whole thing. You want to have a big fight card in the middle of the summer? This is how you do it. Now let’s just everybody try to stay healthy until then.

Tonya Evinger is skilled and ornery enough that you can never count her out completely. That said, this is a tough one. Usually Evinger wins with a style of grappling that looks like what your big sister would have done to you if she were a black belt. It’s not the flashiest or the slickest ground game you’ve ever seen, but it is mean and relentless.

Thing is, I don’t know how that’s going to work against Cristiane Justino. “Cyborg” will be bigger and stronger than Evinger, and it’s not as if she’s a novice on the ground. You’re not just going to bully that woman, and I doubt Evinger wants to stand there and trade punches with her for too long.

Credit to Evinger for taking the fight, especially since we just saw a champion literally give up the belt without a fight just to avoid it. But she’s going to have a tough night of work on July 29.

It’s somewhere in between. The California State Athletic Commission, led by executive director Andy Foster, himself a former professional MMA fighter, has made this issue a priority of late. The CSAC has been uncommonly proactive about trying to mitigate the dangers of extreme weight-cutting in MMA, and this is a part of that effort.

It’s an admirable one, too. If we actually want to do something about this problem, regulators can’t keep turning a blind eye for the sake of getting along with promoters. The question is whether or not one commission can spur a change throughout the entire sport.

That’s the problem with the state commission approach to regulating this sport. Standards differ between athletic commissions, sometimes greatly. So does funding and experience and the level of professionalism. Just ask Cortney Casey about her experiences with Texas, and you’ll see what I mean.

I’m glad to see California flexing its regulator muscle in the name of athlete health and safety. But what happens if Renan Barao wants to fight at bantamweight in Brazil next? Or in Pennsylvania? Or in Florida? I like what California is trying to do, but it can’t do it alone.

I won’t speculate on what the goal was in having Tony Ferguson sit at the FOX Sports desk and grill a potential future opponent on TV, but I can tell you what the pros and cons of the situation were in the end. You ready?

Pro: Now there’s some heat between Ferguson and Kevin Lee, which might prove handy in promoting a fight between them soon.

Con: Remember that part where Lee asked if they could “put a real journalist on” rather than having a fellow fighter masquerade as one for the sake of that interview? Turned out the answer was no, they couldn’t. Which, if I’m a viewer, really serves to remind me what I’m actually watching here.

You know how pro wrestling used to have those shows within the show, where it looked like a real news desk with two or three pundits talking and doing “interviews,” but in reality everyone was working for the wrestling promoter and their job was to push these narratives along? This felt a lot like that.

It was another reminder that we’re dealing with state-run TV here. And I guess that’s fine if that’s how FOX Sports (which just axed all its writers, thereby giving up the claim that it was still pursuing actual sports journalism, even if it was only online) and the UFC want to play.

Just seems like a bummer for fans, because this is pretty much the only TV show left in America that’s focused solely on this sport, and you can’t even watch it without being reminded that it’s all one big commercial.

It might be a valid complaint, but I can’t help but wish it had come from someone else.

Right now, Felice Herrig is a better fighter than she’s ever been. She’s won three straight in the UFC, and her last two victories came against undefeated opponents. But she feels like the promotional push from the UFC isn’t there, in part because it would rather focus on the young and the beautiful, regardless of what their records look like.

There’s something to that criticism, but I can recall a time not so long ago when Herrig was on the other end of it. She seemed content to exploit that dynamic and ignore the criticism from it before she was in the UFC. Now that she’s there and winning fights, it seems like she’s changed her mind.

The fight game is a sales business at heart, and everyone in it sells what they can. I’m not going to criticize Herrig for using sex appeal to market herself earlier in her career, but I would expect her to be a little more understanding when other people – whether it’s younger fighters or the UFC itself – do the same. Now that she’s stacking up meaningful wins, maybe the thing for her to do is focus on where that can take her.

I read that Johny Hendricks blamed his latest weigh-in miss on a fever, and I have no real reason to doubt that he’s telling the truth. If he hadn’t missed weight all those other times, people might be inclined to cut him some slack on this one.

Hendricks’ career decline is one of the sharpest we’ve ever seen in this sport. It’s not just one bad night here or there. This is a habitual thing for him now, and he’s already been given more latitude than lots of other fighters have gotten.

The trouble is that, as a former champion, the UFC is going to expect him to fight someone with a name. There aren’t any easy ones waiting for him out there. He has to know that. Maybe the thing for him to do now is be honest about himself about what it’s going to take to be ready for it.

I think the punishment for watching those fights was contained in the fights themselves. If not, I sure wish we’d known in advance what kind of trade we were making. I think most of us would have chosen to keep Donald Cerrone vs. Robbie Lawler intact. But maybe this pairing is too glorious to ever pass out of the realm of fantasy and into reality.

Up until recently I would have answered the first part of this question with Justin Gaethje. Now the UFC’s scooped him up, and it’s not hard to see why, since the guy has an exciting style that seems designed to make sure no one leaves the cage without a headache – including the referee if he gets too close to the backflip celebration.

If I can’t say Gaethje anymore, guess I have to go with the obvious choice: Baruto.

As for who I like to write about the most, I can’t say I’m familiar with this McDoogle fellow you mentioned. There’s a fighter by the name of Conor McGregor who fans seem to really like to read about. Then there are fighters whose honesty and intelligence and willingness to engage in self-reflection makes them interesting interview subjects.

But honestly, I like talking to the fighters who are at least a few years removed from active careers. I did a lot of it for this story on PRIDE a few months ago, and it reminded me that you get a different perspective from people who can stand at a certain point removed from it all. They’re also more likely to tell you the truth, if only because there are fewer people around who can punish them for it.

I can give you several bad ones.

– Maybe B.J. Penn feels like he doesn’t know who he is if he’s not a fighter.
– Maybe he can’t stand the thought of going out on this terrible losing streak.
– Maybe he feels like he needs the training to keep his life together, and he can’t stay motivated for the training without the promise of a fight at the end.
– Maybe he likes the paychecks and the attention and the adrenaline rush.

All of those are understandable to some extent, but not one is a good enough reason to keep going in a sport this brutal and unforgiving.

I’m with you. Michael Chiesa is an exciting fighter and a likable guy, and I think there are plenty of other fights available for him in possibly the most talent-rich division in all of MMA. Pick a name out of a hat. Is it someone good? Probably. Will that person rile you up by merely mentioning  you have a mother? Maybe. And we’re off. It beats waiting half a year to fight a guy you just fought.

Ben Fowlkes is MMAjunkie and USA TODAY’s MMA columnist. Follow him on Twitter at @BenFowlkesMMA. Twitter Mailbag appears every Thursday on MMAjunkie.

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

Felice Herrig: UFC promoting me in 'hot girl' fights isn't good enough

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

In the moments following her impressive performance at UFC Fight Night 112, Felice Herrig fought back tears as she talked about feeling “not young and beautiful enough” for the UFC to want to promote her.

The frustration for Herrig (13-6 MMA, 4-1 UFC) seemed to stem from the fact that, while she’s on a three-fight winning streak, which includes knocking off two previously undefeated opponents, the 32-year-old veteran wonders if the opportunity to become a star is out of reach.

On Tuesday, Herrig expounded on why she feels that way durng an appearance on “The Luke Thomas Show.”

“I get promoted when it’s like, ‘Oh, it’s a hot girl fight.,’” Herrig said. “But I’m not the one they’re promoting. They’re promoting my opponent. I feel like I’m a stepping stone. I’m getting put on the main card every time, so obviously I’m some kind of draw. But, unfortunately, I’m fighting opponents who they’re trying to pump up and build.”

Herrig points to recent fights with Kailin Curran and Alexa Grasso as evidence. Herrig pointed out that Grasso, 23, was asked by the UFC to make more promotional appearances for their UFC Fight Night 104 co-headliner and was more prominent on the event poster, not just because she had been undefeated but also, as Herrig claims, because she’s young and attractive.

Which brings us to UFC Fight Night 112, this past Sunday in Oklahoma City, where Herrig knocked off another undefeated opponent in Justine Kish. Herrig wonders where all the promotion was leading up to the fight.

“Obviously it was a draw. People knew it was gong to be a great fight, because look where it was on the card,” Herrig said. “It was on the main card right before the main event. It got zero marketing behind it, zero pulse, zero attention, zero promotion. Why? Because it wasn’t a hot girl fight?”

Herrig’s arguments aren’t reserved for just female fighters, either, as she mentioned UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway and Sage Northcutt as examples of the company’s reluctance to push certain accomplished fighters, while others get special treatment because of their looks.

“It’s not just me. I’m not just speaking on my behalf. I’m speaking for all the fighters who feel this way,” Herrig said. “I am not the only one who feels slighted. … Look at someone like Max Holloway – 11-fight win streak, has more wins in his division than anyone in the UFC. Is he even getting attention? The respect that he deserves now that he’s the champ? I don’t think so. …

“Why is somebody like Sage Northcutt coming in, with what, two pro fights, he wins one fight in the UFC, and he does a backflip, and all of a sudden, ‘We’re going to pay you a (expletive)-ton of money. We’re going to pay you more than a guy who’s been in the UFC for 10 years.’ And then he gets choked out in his next two fights. And he’s still getting all this media attention?”

Despite how it might appear, Herrig wants to make it clear that she’s not against fighters; she’s against “the big machine,” as she calls it.

“I’m not against the fighters,” Herrig said. “I’m 100 percent not against the fighters. I’m against the system, because the system is (expletive).”

She continued, “this is not about beauty, and it’s not about looks. It’s about all the fighters who are getting overlooked who are very talented. If they even had just a little bit of push from the big machine, not even about their looks, just a little chance to shine, and to be put on the mainstream stage. That’s what it’s about.”

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-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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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 112 medical suspensions: Chiesa, Boetsch, Herrig get 180-day terms

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Six fighters from Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 112 event face mandatory medical suspensions that could stretch up to six months.

MMAjunkie today requested and obtained the list of suspensions from the Oklahoma State Athletic Commission, which oversaw the event.

UFC Fight Night 112 took place at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla., and the main card aired on FS1 following prelims on FS2 and UFC Fight Pass.

Headliner Michael Chiesa (14-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC), who suffered a controversial first-round submission loss to lightweight Kevin Lee (16-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC), was among the fighters receiving 180-day terms.

The full list of medical suspensions included:

  • Michael Chiesa: suspended 180 days due to a possible left-shoulder injury, though a doctor can clear him early; regardless, 30 days with no contact for 21 days due to a scalp laceration
  • Tim Boetsch: suspended 180 days due to possible right-foot and shin injuries, though a doctor can clear him early
  • Johny Hendricks: suspended for 30 days with no contact for 21 days for precautionary reasons
  • Felice Herrig: suspended 180 days due to a possible left-wrist injury, though a doctor can clear her early; regardless, 30 days with no contact for 21 days for precautionary reasons
  • Justine Kish: suspended for 30 days with no contact for 21 days due to a left-eyebrow laceration
  • Joachim Christensen: suspended for 45 days with no contact for 30 days for precautionary reasons
  • B.J. Penn: suspended for 45 days with no contact for 30 days for precautionary reasons
  • Marvin Vettori: suspended for 30 days with no contact for 21 days for precautionary reasons
  • Vitor Miranda: suspended 180 days due to a possible right-ankle injury, though a doctor can clear him early; regardless, 30 days with no contact for 21 days due to left-ear and nasal lacerations
  • Devin Powell: suspended 180 days due to possible left-ankle injury, though a doctor can clear him early
  • Michel Quinones: suspended for 45 days with no contact for 30 days for precautionary reasons
  • Johnny Case: suspended 180 days due to a possible hand, foot/ankle and nose injuries, though a doctor can clear him early; regardless, 60 days with no contact for 45 days due to a left-orbital laceration
  • Tony Martin: suspended for 30 days with no contact for 21 days for precautionary reasons
  • Josh Stansbury: suspended for 45 days with no contact for 30 days for precautionary reasons

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

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie