Go inside Georges St-Pierre's return and 3 title fights in UFC 217 extended preview

Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

When the UFC descends on New York City for the second straight November, there once again will be three titles on the line.

In the UFC 217 main event next month, Georges St-Pierre (25-2 MMA, 19-2 UFC) returns to the octagon after a four-year layoff to challenge champ Michael Bisping (30-7 MMA, 20-7 UFC) for the UFC middleweight title. St-Pierre was a longtime welterweight champ before he walked away from the sport, and now will attempt to become just the fourth two-division champ in the UFC’s history.

In the co-main event, there is bad blood all over the place when bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt (11-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) meets former teammate T.J. Dillashaw (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC). The two coached opposite each other on Season 25 of “The Ultimate Fighter” and were supposed to meet over the summer until a Garbrandt surgery delayed things.

And also on the main card, strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk (14-0 MMA, 8-0 UFC) will defend her title against Rose Namajunas (6-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC). With a win, Jedrzejczyk will hold the record for most title wins by a UFC women’s fighter.

The way Kevin Lee sees it, destiny placed him opposite Tony Ferguson.

“Me and Tony were bound to fight, whether it was going to be headlining at T-Mobile Arena for a world championship, or if it was going to be in my backyard,” Lee said in an extended preview for UFC 216.

UFC 217 takes place Nov. 4 at Madison Square Garden in New York City and airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass. It will be the UFC’s second show at MSG following the historic UFC 205 in November 2016.

In the extended video preview above, go inside the three title fights atop the card in New York City.

And for more on UFC 217, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk right where she wants to be defending title vs. Rose Namajunas at MSG

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

LAS VEGAS – Joanna Jedrzejczyk looked Rose Namajunas dead in the eyes and told her straight up, “I’m going to f*ck you up,” before kissing her own fist and extending it toward Namajunas’ face.

Take it as a sign this is exactly where the UFC strawweight champion wants to be.

Jedrzejczyk (14-0 MMA, 8-0 UFC) will defend her title against Namajunas (6-3 MMA, 4-2) at UFC 217 on Nov. 4 at Madison Square Garden in New York as she aims to make a little bit of history. And she told UFC President Dana White after her last title defense, a unanimous decision over Jessica Andrade, that the Big Apple is where she wanted to make it.

“I’m very happy that Dana agreed with me, and here we go,” Jedrzejczyk said during a press conference Friday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. “I want to tie Ronda Rousey’s record of six title defenses (for a woman) and become the first female fighter with seven title fights. It’s a big deal.”

It also seems to have snuck up on Jedrzejczyk.

She became the second-ever strawweight champion in March 2015 with a dominant TKO of Carla Esparaza and has been unstoppable ever since. Now 30 and more than two years into her title reign, Jedrzejczyk is a bit more particular about when she fights, something she’s earned given how dominant she’s been.

“I like to plan my life. I like to plan my fighting career,” she said. “I’m not that young anymore. I used to fight every month. When I was competing in muay Thai, I used to do tournament after tournament. So, two, three fights in a year is really enough. …

“I beat all the challengers from top to bottom. Now it’s going to be my ninth fight in the UFC, and the time went so fast. I just work hard, and hard work pays off. That’s why I’m here, why I will fight at Madison Square Garden. We know that I can put on a show. It’s all about trust. I always prepare good. I put on good fights, and they can always count on me.”

And how does Jedrzejczyk feel about the woman standing in front of her?

“She’s very talented, she’s still young, but she’s getting closer and closer to this belt,” Jedrzejczyk said. “… Now it’s time for Rose.

“She’s very sneaky, very tricky,” she added. “We all know that her jiu-jitsu is on point.”

Namajunas, coming off a dominant submission win over Michelle Waterson in April, is flattered by nice words from the champion. But she’s coming in with a chip on her shoulder.

“I’m here to show everybody my skills and show everybody that I’m ready,” Namajunas said. “Everybody thinks that maybe I’m not all the way there mentally or whatever, like I got all the talent in the world but, ‘Oh, she’s this and that.’

“I’m just here to prove to everybody that I’m getting stronger every day with every experience. I’m becoming more poised, and my desire to win is growing more and more.”

Enough to dethrone the woman known as “Joanna Champion?” That remains to be seen.

For more on UFC 217, visit the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

Watch today's UFC 217 press conference with Bisping, GSP, others at 6:30 p.m. ET

Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

LAS VEGAS – Check out a live stream of today’s UFC 217 press conference, which includes all six title-fight participants, live here on MMAjunkie at 6:30 p.m. ET (3:30 p.m. PT).

UFC 217 takes place Nov. 4 at iconic Madison Square Garden in New York City. The main card – one of the best of the year – airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Today’s kickoff press conference, which Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena hosts, includes all of the big names.

In UFC 217’s featured bout, UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping (30-7 MMA, 20-7 UFC) takes on former longtime welterweight titleholder and all-time MMA great Georges St-Pierre (25-2 MMA, 19-2 UFC), who returns from a four-year absence and moves up a weight class for the fight. Additionally, bantamweight champ Cody Garbrandt (11-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) takes on challenger T.J. Dillashaw (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) in the co-headliner, and women’s strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk (14-0 MMA, 8-0 UFC) meets Rose Namajunas (6-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC).

MMAjunkie will have full coverage of today’s fan and media event.

For more on UFC 217, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

That big UFC 217 event with 3 title fights? Here's the official poster

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

Dann StuppAs far as UFC events go, UFC 217 is a biggie, and now the November blockbuster has an official poster.

UFC 217, which features three title fights, takes place Nov. 4 at iconic Madison Square Garden in New York City. The main card – one of the best of the year – airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Here’s the official poster for the card:

The headliners obviously have top billing on the poster. In UFC 217’s featured bout, UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping (30-7 MMA, 20-7 UFC) takes on former longtime welterweight titleholder and all-time MMA great Georges St-Pierre (25-2 MMA, 19-2 UFC), who returns from a four-year absence and moves up a weight class for the fight.

Also slated for UFC 217? Bantamweight champ Cody Garbrandt (11-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) and challenger T.J. Dillashaw (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC), who meet in the co-headliner, and women’s strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk (14-0 MMA, 8-0 UFC) vs. Rose Namajunas (6-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC).

All six fighters are part of Friday’s special UFC 217 press conference in Las Vegas, which MMAjunkie will stream live.

How do you rate UFC 217’s poster? Give it a grade:

Take Our Poll
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For more on UFC 217, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

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Source: MMA Junkie

Ahead of UFC 217 press conference with GSP, watch Michael Bisping's best trash-talk

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid4621179066001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5413787796001
Filed under: News, UFC

If you’re going to be in Las Vegas next week, you’ve got a chance to see UFC 217’s headliners – and budding rivals – in person.

Prior to UFC 216 ceremonial weigh-ins on this coming Friday, Oct. 5, UFC 217’s six featured fighters will be part of a press conference, which is free and open to fans. That includes UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping (30-7 MMA, 20-7 UFC) and former longtime welterweight titleholder and all-time MMA great Georges St-Pierre (25-2 MMA, 19-2 UFC), who returns from a four-year absence and moves up a weight class for the fight.

The press conference takes place at 6:30 p.m. ET (3:30 p.m. PT local time) at T-Mobile Arena. MMAjunkie will be on scene and covering the event, and we’ll have a live video stream available.

UFC 217, which features three title fights, takes place Nov. 4 at iconic Madison Square Garden in New York City. The main card – one of the best of the year – airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Except some fireworks from Bisping and St-Pierre, who were booked in a fight that caught some fans by surprise. The matchup has been an on-again, off-again mess after it was announced in March, but injuries to both fighters delayed, then scrapped and ultimately forced a rebooking of the fight.

Although GSP is widely revered as a fan favorite – and a favorite among fellow fighters – Bisping has been his usual brash self as he talks up the fight. He’s dismissed St-Pierre as relevant, alleged he has spies in GSP’s camp, and even suggested he may retire after beating him.

At the press conference, you can expect some trash-talk, especially from Bisping (check out the video above to learn why).

Also slated for the UFC 217 press conference? Bantamweight champ Cody Garbrandt (11-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) and challenger T.J. Dillashaw (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC), who meet in the co-headliner, and women’s strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk (14-0 MMA, 8-0 UFC) and opponent Rose Namajunas (6-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC), who kick off the night’s championship tripleheader.

The latest UFC 217 card includes:

  • Champ Michael Bisping vs. Georges St-Pierre – for middleweight title
  • Champ Cody Garbrandt vs. T.J. Dillashaw – for bantamweight title
  • Champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Rose Namajunas – for women’s strawweight title
  • Ricardo Ramos vs. Aiemann Zahabi
  • Paulo Borrachinha vs. Johny Hendricks
  • Curtis Blaydes vs. Aleksei Oleinik
  • Gadzhimurad Antigulov vs. Ion Cutelaba
  • Jorge Masvidal vs. Stephen Thompson
  • Corey Anderson vs. Patrick Cummins
  • Randy Brown vs. Mickey Gall
  • Joseph Duffy vs. James Vick

For more on UFC 217, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie rankings, Sept. 26: Does Jessica Andrade deserve another title shot?

With both the UFC and Bellator in action over the weekend, plenty of fighters had a chance to make a statement, but perhaps none did more so than Jessica Andrade (17-6 MMA, 8-4 UFC).

The strawweight contender picked up the most significant win of her career at UFC Fight Night 117, earning a hard-fought and bloody decision over fellow Brazilian Claudia Gadelha (15-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) in the night’s co-feature. With that result, Andrade now stands at No. 2 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA strawweight rankings, while Gadelha slips to No. 3.

Current No. 1 Joanna Jedrzejczyk (14-0 MMA, 8-0 UFC) faces No. 6 Rose Namajunas (6-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC) at November’s blockbuster UFC 217. Andrade lost to Jedrzejczyk earlier this year, so a win from the undefeated Polish striker might mean a roadblock for Andrade, but a Namajunas upset could allow “Bata Estaca” to take a second crack at the title.

What do you think? Should Andrade get a title shot, regardless of the result at UFC 217? Or is a Jedrzejczyk rematch a possibility based on Andrade’s latest win. Let us know in the poll below. And check out the rest of the updated rankings list following this past weekend’s events.

Take Our Poll
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Filed under: Bellator, MMA Rankings, News, PFL, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk hopes to break Ronda Rousey's record – 125 then possible

UFC women’s strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk has made no secret of her interest in the UFC’s newly minted female flyweight division.

More specifically, having so far beaten every 115-pound opponent who’s crossed paths with her in the UFC octagon, Jedrzejczyk has her sights set on becoming the first woman to achieve dual-division championship status in the UFC.

But the undefeated Polish champ, who competed at 125 pounds in both muay Thai competition and in her pre-UFC MMA career, is not putting a definitive timestamp on that move just yet.

“I’m very excited that the UFC made this decision to bring the new division,” Jedrzejczyk told “UFC Tonight” on Wednesday. “I was looking at the 125 division, but it was at that time when I had such big problems with making weight, with making 115.

“But that time, I didn’t work with Perfecting Athletes. Right now I feel great. I put on weight. I feel strong. I feel healthy. And I make my weight easy. I can fight at 115, but maybe next year I will make this decision to move up and I will, of course, defend both titles.”

Here’s the clip (via Twitter):

It makes sense, considering Jedrzejczyk (14-0 MMA, 8-0 UFC) has more immediate concerns in mind. Before thinking of going for the 125-pound title, which will find its first owner with the winner of “The Ultimate Fighter 26” tournament Jedrzejczyk has to defend the 115-pound title against Rose Namajunas (6-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC).

A win at UFC 217, which takes place Nov. 4 in New York City, would be special in its own right; Jedrzejczyk would tie former bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey’s record of most UFC title defenses made by a woman (six). Jedrzejczyk and Rousey, of course, are friends. But, hey, a record is a record.

“I love Ronda Rousey,” Jedrzejczyk said. “We have a very good relationship, and like I said so many times, she has done so much for this sport, for the UFC and not only for the female fighters.

“Of course, it’s all about winning the fight, defending the title and about the records. It’s going to be nice that I will tie Ronda Rousey’s record after I win against Rose Namajunas. But I’m looking forward, because I want to defend my strawweight belt in 2018. And then I will see. Maybe I will move up.”

There are some perks associated with being such a dominant force in the UFC. It was Jedrzejczyk, for instance, who requested a spot at Madison Square Garden – the same stage of her most recent title defense, against compatriot Karolina Kowalkiewicz. And, understandably, “Joanna Champion” got it with UFC 217, which boasts three title fights.

But still, Jedrzejczyk is not resting on her laurels – or underestimating her opponent, who carries a big submission win over Michelle Waterson into the bout. In fact, by the time of the interview, she was just rolling into her American Top Team headquarters.

“I’m working hard,” Jedrzejczyk said. “This is what I always do. I’m still the champion, but the thing is that I feel that with every camp I feel more confident. I feel that I’m learning. I’m challenging myself.

“And for sure, Nov. 4, I will bring new weapons to the fight with Rose Namajunas.”

For more on UFC 217, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Give a (expletive)? Tickets for UFC 217 on sale today

When UFC President Dana White is your social media manager, don’t expect Madison Avenue messaging.

White today announced UFC 217 tickets on sale in the way that only Dana White can, adding a special caption to the poster the Nov. 4 pay-per-view.

“For those of u who give a (expletive)….. tickets for UFC at MSG go on sale today,” White wrote.

He might not sound like it, but White hopes fans do give one. It’s the UFC’s much-anticipated return to Madison Square Garden in New York City, and the promotion is coming in hot with the return of former UFC welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre (25-2 MMA, 19-2 UFC). “Rush” adds 15 pounds to his usual frame to take on perennial heel and middleweight champ Michael Bisping (30-7 MMA, 20-7 UFC).

Adding star power to the card are a pair of title fights. Bantamweight champ Cody Garbrandt (11-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) defends against longtime rival T.J. Dillashaw (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC), and women’s strawweight champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk (14-0 MMA, 8-0 UFC) attempting to tie ex-champ Ronda Rousey’s title defense record at six in a bout against Rose Namajunas (6-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC). It’s quite rare the UFC brings three title fights in one night.

Tickets went on sale at 7 a.m. today, and as of 1:30 ET, the buy in was $306 on Ticketmaster with a pair of front-row seats going for $6,512.

Of course, there’s still two months until the event. If prices perform anything like they did for “The Money Fight,” there could be discounts to be had.

So buy them or don’t, you goofs.

For more on UFC 217, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

Filed under: Blue Corner, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Valentina Shevchenko changes tune, targets drop to UFC women's flyweight division

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

From the second she lost to UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes at UFC 215, Valentina Shevchenko was asking for a rematch.

Shevchenko (14-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) blasted the judges who handed her a split-decision loss and even contemplated filing an appeal in lieu of a third fight with the Brazilian.

But after some time to simmer down, she appears to have had a change of heart. Rather than push for another shot at Nunes (15-4 MMA, 8-1 UFC), she’s targeting the newly opened flyweight class as her next conquest.

“Now I’m thinking to move to 125 (pounds), and I think more probably my next fight it will be in this division,” Shevchenko told Submission Radio on Thursday. “Because 125 is like much closer weight for me. It’s my real weight category, and even at 135 I feel comfortable, and I feel like 125 I will be able to use all my techniques and all my skills because I will fight with the same-sized opponents as me.”

The UFC formally opened the women’s 125-pound division earlier this year with “The Ultimate Fighter 26,” which debuted this past month and features 16 flyweight female fighters vying for the inaugural title belt.

Shevchenko had little incentive to move with 135-pound gold within her grasp. But now that she’s fallen short and dropped two fights to Nunes, she sees it as a more logical move than trying to get an immediate rematch or appeal the fight.

“I want to win my belt in a fair battle and to receive the belt from the fight, not only from legal situation or fighting like appeal or something like that,” she said. “And I know it will come; I will have my time. And will do everything great next time. So, I prefer to be the champion in the fight, not on the paper.”

The move to 125 pounds will be very familiar for the Russian. While competing in muay Thai, she fought as a flyweight and won several championships. One of her victims in the ring was none other than women’s strawweight champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

“Just a little bit of cutting, and it will be everything perfect,” Shevchenko said. “Because, in my Muay Thai fights, I was fighting every time at 125. The last year I was moving a little bit up in weight class, but it was 130. So I feel very comfortable at 125.

“And even at 125, we can have like opponents (that are) very tall, but of course it will be the same physical conditions – the same head, the same size arms and everything, the same like mine.”

Shevchenko hasn’t totally let go of a possible third fight with Nunes. She eventually plans to return to the bantamweight division to exact revenge.

“And for the next time, not give any chance to make this like this decision that was made a few days ago,” Shevchenko said. “Of course, it’s on my mind, and I still want it. Not right now, not in the near future, but definitely it will happen.”

Now, Shevchenko can start entertaining a matchup repeatedly posed to her by fans and journalists who were aware of her kickboxing past at flyweight.

“Every time when people ask me about Joanna, I say that, why not? Because we have our history, our era in fighting Muay Thai, and now we can start to do the same in MMA in the UFC,” she said.

For complete coverage of UFC 215, check out the UFC Events section of MMAjunkie.

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

Tickets on sale this week for Georges St-Pierre's return at UFC 217 in New York City

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Four years after he walked away from the sport, Georges St-Pierre will make his return this fall on an historic stage.

Tickets go on sale this week for the promotion’s return to New York City for UFC 217. In the main event, Michael Bisping (30-7 MMA, 20-7 UFC) will defend his middleweight title against former welterweight champ St-Pierre (25-2 MMA, 19-2 UFC). And a second title will be on the line in the co-feature when bantamweight champ Cody Garbrandt (11-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) takes on rival T.J. Dillashaw (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC).

And just today, the organization announced a third title fight: women’s strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk (14-0 MMA, 8-0 UFC) and Rose Namajunas (6-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC

UFC 217 takes place Nov. 4 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Tickets go on sale to the general public through Ticketmaster Friday beginning at 10 a.m. ET. But ahead of that, two pre-sale periods are available. UFC Fight Club members can buy seats Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET, and UFC.com e-newsletter subscribers can purchase tickets Thursday at 10 a.m. ET.

The latest UFC 217 card includes:

  • Champ Michael Bisping vs. Georges St-Pierre – for middleweight title
  • Champ Cody Garbrandt vs. T.J. Dillashaw – for bantamweight title
  • Champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Rose Namajunas – for women’s strawweight title
  • Ricardo Ramos vs. Aiemann Zahabi
  • Paulo Borrachinha vs. Johny Hendricks
  • Curtis Blaydes vs. Aleksei Oleinik
  • Gadzhimurad Antigulov vs. Ion Cutelaba
  • Jorge Masvidal vs. Stephen Thompson
  • Corey Anderson vs. Patrick Cummins
  • Randy Brown vs. Mickey Gall

For more on UFC 217, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie