Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2530 with Joe Lauzon, the other Jon Jones, Eric Nicksick

Stream or download Friday’s episode of MMAjunkie Radio with guests Joe Lauzon, Jon Jones and Eric Nicksick.

Lauzon fights CLay Guida at UFC Fight Night 120 in November in Virginia – and he’s still hungry for bonuses. Jones – the one who is not the embattled former UFC champion – talked about constantly being mistaken on social media for the fighter. Xtreme Couture’s Nicksick co-hosted the show in the studio.

You can stream the entire episode at AudioBoom.com or listen below.

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

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with Jon Jones (not that one), Joe Lauzon, Eric Nicksick, Jason Buchamer

Filed under: News, UFC

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Jon Jones (not that one), Joe Lauzon, Eric Nicksick and Jason Buchamer.

Jones the game developer (not to be confused with Jon Jones the UFC fighter) has become an MMA semi-celebrity of sorts due to his humorous @jonjones Twitter account. Lauzon fights Clay Guida at UFC Fight Night 120. Nicksick, our in-studio guest host, is Xtreme Couture’s general manager and head coach. Buchamer, MMAjunkie Radio’s former intern, recaps the latest “The Ultimate Fighter 26” happenings.

MMAjunkie Radio airs from 1 to 3 p.m. ET (10 a.m. to noon PT), live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. You can watch and listen live on MMAjunkie’s Facebook and YouTube pages. Additionally, SiriusXM Rush (Ch. 93) carries a replay later in the day (8-10 p.m. ET) and the following morning (7-9 a.m. ET), or catch a replay on demand.

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

  • HOW TO WATCH (ON WEB): Watch a live stream on MMAjunkie’s Facebook or YouTube pages.
  • HOW TO CALL: MMAjunkie Radio takes phone calls from listeners throughout the show. Call into the MMAjunkie Radio hotline at (866) 522-2846.
  • HOW TO DISCUSS: The MMAjunkie MMA Forums has a section devoted solely to MMAjunkie Radio. Stop by the MMAjunkie Radio forum to discuss the show, interact with the hosts, suggest future guests and catch up on the latest MMAjunkie Radio news.
  • HOW TO VISIT THE SHOW: You can watch MMAjunkie Radio live and in person at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The booth is located in the resort’s Race & Sports Book next to the Mandalay Bay poker room. To plan a trip to Sin City and MMAjunkie Radio, go to www.mandalaybay.com.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with Stephen Thompson, Joe Lauzon, Hector Lombard, Tony Martin

Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Stephen Thompson, Joe Lauzon, Hector Lombard, and Tony Martin.

Thompson will give an update on the status of his scheduled fight with Jorge Masvidal on Nov. 4 at UFC 217. Lauzon recently signed to fight Clay Guida on Nov. 11 at UFC Fight Night 120 for his 25th fight with the promotion. Lombard faces Anthony Smith on Sept. 16 at UFC Fight Night 116. Martin faces Olivier Aubin-Mercier at UFC Fight Night 116. All four guests will call in to discuss their upcoming matchups and more.

Also, call in for a spot on the Canelo-GGG board for the chance to win a signed glove by Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin, who face off in a boxing superfight on Sept. 16. All you have to do is tell the hosts who wins and what round, and if the spot is available, it’s yours. The outcome of the fight will determine the giveaway winners.

MMAjunkie Radio airs from 1 to 3 p.m. ET (10 a.m. to noon PT), live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. You can watch and listen live on MMAjunkie’s Facebook and YouTubepages. Additionally, SiriusXM Rush (Ch. 93) carries a replay later in the day (8-10 p.m. ET) and the following morning (7-9 a.m. ET), or catch a replay on demand.

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

  • HOW TO WATCH (ON WEB): Watch a live stream on MMAjunkie’s Facebook or YouTube pages.
  • HOW TO CALL: MMAjunkie Radio takes phone calls from listeners throughout the show. Call into the MMAjunkie Radio hotline at (866) 522-2846.
  • HOW TO DISCUSS: The MMAjunkie MMA Forums has a section devoted solely to MMAjunkie Radio. Stop by the MMAjunkie Radio forum to discuss the show, interact with the hosts, suggest future guests and catch up on the latest MMAjunkie Radio news.
  • HOW TO VISIT THE SHOW: You can watch MMAjunkie Radio live and in person at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The booth is located in the resort’s Race & Sports Book next to the Mandalay Bay poker room. To plan a trip to Sin City and MMAjunkie Radio, go to www.mandalaybay.com.

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

Twitter Mailbag: Is Jon Jones now the biggest screw-up in MMA history?

Who’s the biggest screw-up in MMA history? Who was really being represented when an MMA fighter took on a boxer? And now that the circus is over, what actual MMA fight are we most looking forward to in the month ahead?

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

* * * *

First of all, let’s examine what we mean by “(expletive) up,” and what it would really take to claim the top spot in a sport that has produced multiple felons, some of whom will likely spend the rest of their lives in prison.

Does committing horrible crimes against others make you a (expletive) up? Because if so, War Machine is definitely a frontrunner for the all-time title. Are we looking at the sheer scale of your (expletive) up? Because if that’s the case, how about Lee Murray being the alleged mastermind behind the biggest cash heist in history? Are we going for sheer dirtbag points? Then you have to at least mention former UFC heavyweight champ and vet Ricco Rodriguez and his “Celebrity Rehab” story about dragging what he thought was his girlfriend’s dead body into the driver’s seat of a car he wrecked, all to avoid punishment.

But I suspect that what Joe Rogan was talking about was the fighter who had done the most to squander immense talent with unforced errors outside the cage. And since Jon Jones has arguably the most talent to begin with, and since he may have just ruled himself ineligible for up to four years, yeah, it’s hard to argue with Rogan’s characterization.

As far as who comes in second by that metric, I’m tempted to say it’s Drew Fickett, whose list of (expletive) ups is pretty extensive. Everyone who ever trained with or fought him talks about him like his raw talent was almost limitless, but he did his best to sabotage almost every big opportunity he ever got. He went to jail instead of going on “The Ultimate Fighter.” He showed up to fight drunk. He got himself kicked out of the UFC on a win.

Did he have as much talent to squander as Jones does? Maybe not. But the thing that gets him on this list is that we never really got a chance to find out.

A little bit of all three, but in different amounts. The main entity that Conor McGregor represented in the ring this past Saturday night was himself. It was his personal brand on the line more than any other, and he represented it surprisingly well, considering the circumstances and the expectations.

He lost, but didn’t get embarrassed. He took it well and showed off the charisma that’s helped make him a star. If you showed up to watch this without any idea who he was or why he was famous, you probably went away feeling like you understood the appeal, at least a little.

But whether or not he wanted to, he was also representing the sport and the UFC. If he’d proven to be a feeble boxer, plenty of people would have used that to disparage the striking skills of all MMA fighters. If he’d gone and got himself disqualified with too many hammerfists to the back of the head, stories the next day would have focused on what thugs these UFC fighters were.

Instead, McGregor managed to put up a decent fight in someone else’s world. And it’s not like there are too many top boxers aching to try the same thing in reverse right now.

“Intriguing” is a very nice way of putting it. One week after a boxing mega fight that may or may not have shattered pay-per-view records, the UFC returns with Stefan Struve vs. Alexander Volkov in a fight that features nearly 14 combined feet of humanity competing for unclear stakes.

Is this a contender fight? Not really. Is it the setup to a contender fight? Maybe, if some of the guys higher up the list aren’t available. Will the current champ even care enough to fire up his UFC Fight Pass and watch it? Possibly, assuming he’s not fighting fires that day.

Basically the only reason it’s a main event is because the event is in Rotterdam and Struve is a local. Beyond that, and the sheer tonnage of humanity that will occupy the same cage at the same time, I can’t say there’s anything special going on here.

You’re joking, but you’re also not wrong. Right about the time I saw a boxer make his entrance while cosplaying as Grimace, I was reminded of all the weirdness that’s possible when you’re not hemmed in by Reebok fight kits. It made me miss the old days when Akihiro Gono could dress his cornermen up in evening gowns and Rich Franklin could show up looking like a damn ice cream cone.

Plus, I think we can agree that McGregor’s decision to have his cornermen all look like old-timey barbers ready to whip out the hot towels and straight razors was undeniably awesome. How are they supposed to go back to the Reebok jumpsuits after that? How are any of us?

Honestly? You probably could have convinced me that Clay Guida and Joe Lauzon did fight each other five years ago.

For all we know, it might be Joanna Jedrzejczyk herself who moves up and takes that women’s 125-pound belt from the eventual “TUF 26” winner. The thing that makes it hard to predict the future of that division is the fact that it was created so long after the two on either side of it. You had women fighting up or down a weight class from where they might be best suited, all because it was the only way to get into the UFC. Now this door is being opened, and it’s tough to say who’ll walk through it.

If I had to pick an early favorite, however, it’d probably be Barb Honchak, who held the 125-pound title in Invicta FC until an extended absence. If she can come back as good as she left, she’ll be tough to beat.

There are definitely more meaningful fights on the schedule, but man, Mike Perry vs. Thiago Alves at UFC Fight Night 116 has violence written all over it. Should be a fitting appetizer for the UFC debut of Gokhan Saki the following weekend.

It’s still too early to make too many sweeping assessments of WME-IMG’s purchase and whether it got in at the right time or price. Remember, it’s only been a little over a year since the sale. So far, we can’t say we’ve seen too many changes instituted by WME, apart from all the layoffs and the elimination of those cushy do-nothing jobs for retired star fighters.

The lack of pay-per-view draws ought to be somewhat concerning, but that well has a way of replenishing itself when given the right opportunity and environment. I’d be more worried about the potential legal and regulatory issues on the horizon. The UFC is only a few key lawsuits and/or legislative changes away from having its whole business model upended. Then there’s no telling what comes next.

I’m still unclear on what it would mean for McGregor to co-promote a UFC fight. Giving him equity in the company, sure, that’s simple enough, especially now that ownership shares are spread all over the place.

Putting his name on the canvas, as he did with the Mayweather fight? That seems like a play to his ego, especially because the company being promoted there – McGregor Sports and Entertainment – doesn’t actually appear to be doing anything else right now, at least as far as we can tell.

But playing to his ego, one way or another, is probably going to have to be part of the UFC’s attempt to lure him back. He needs to feel like he is taking a step forward rather than back, like he’s returning as a conqueror rather than just another wage-earner in the lesser-paying of the two major combat sports. And there’s only so much money the UFC can pay him and still turn a profit.

You’re preaching to the choir there, Molly. I guess it must be the same reason you can clinch and it’s an automatic sign that the ref needs to get involved. Compared to MMA, boxing is the sport that stops the fight right when it’s about to enter an interesting new phase. Let it give us an appreciation of what we have, even when it gets weird.

If I were going to pick the next MMA fighter to make a big, immediate splash in boxing, would I pick Jose Aldo – the guy known for his kicks and his somewhat flat personality? No, I can’t say that I would.

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

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Write the bonus check now: Joe Lauzon meets Clay Guida at UFC Fight Night 120

A lightweight showdown between a pair of veterans with 24 UFC bonuses between them … yes, 24 … has been queued up for the promotion’s return to Virginia this fall.

Joe Lauzon (27-13 MMA, 14-10 UFC), who has 15 fight-night bonuses on his resume, and Clay Guida (33-17 MMA, 13-11 UFC), who has nine, will meet at UFC Fight Night 120 in November. UFC officials announced the new booking today.

UFC Fight Night 120 takes place Nov. 11 at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va. The event airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Lauzon has been up and down for his past eight fights. After a TKO win over Michael Chiesa, he was stopped by Al Iaquinta with a second-round TKO at UFC 183. But he bounced back in July 2015 in Chicago with a TKO of Takanori Gomi. It was back to the loss column later that year with a decision setback to Evan Dunham, though.

But at UFC 200 this past July, he rebounded by koncking out Diego Sanchez for a bonus at UFC 200. His follow-up was a “Fight of the Night” winner, but a decision loss to fellow veteran Jim Miller.

In January at UFC Fight Night 104, he took a split decision from Marcin Held – a win he even admitted he didn’t deserve. But the MMA judging gods appeared to pay him back in April when he lost a majority decision to Stevie Ray in Nashville.

WIth the addition, the latest UFC Fight Night 120 card now includes:

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

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

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

Twitter Mailbag: Does McGregor stand a chance? And what's the MMAJA for, anyway?

In this week’s Twitter Mailbag, let’s be serious now that the fight is set: Does Conor McGregor have any realistic chance of beating Floyd Mayweather? Even a little? Plus, what does the MMA Journalists Association hope to do, now that it’s a real thing? And is it worth waking up early on Saturday morning to see Holly Holm vs. Bethe Correia?

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

The number of times in the past 24 hours I’ve been asked some version of this question by friends who don’t follow MMA or boxing helps to explain how and why this fight got made. It’s ridiculous, when you think about it. But it’s the exact brand of ridiculous that captures our attention, and with it our money, so there’s a good argument to be made that winning or losing isn’t even the point anymore.

If you’re looking for reasons to think that Conor McGregor might actually beat Floyd Mayweather – and, just to be clear, this is if you are actively searching for reasons, scouring the earth for hope in any form – I can give you three.

1. The puncher’s chance
McGregor hits hard, right? This we know. He knocked out Jose Aldo in 13 seconds. He at least annoyed Nate Diaz. If he connects with that left hand, who knows?

The problem is that Mayweather is primarily known as a defensive genius. He doesn’t get hit much, and that’s when he’s up against the best boxers in the world. What good is all that power if you can’t lay a glove on the guy? And if the glove you’re wearing is of the boxing variety, which comes with significantly more padding, will the power still be as devastating?

2. The positive thinker’s chance
Let’s take a moment and appreciate what McGregor has done. Just a few years ago he was an Internet stream fighter from Ireland talking all kinds of outlandish mess. He was effectively a nobody who kept saying he was going to beat the greatest featherweight of all time. Many of us didn’t believe him, of course, but he turned out to be right. Then he said he was going to take the lightweight title, too, which he did. After that he set his sights on Mayweather, and here we are.

If you’re looking to sell DVDs of “The Secret” right now, McGregor is your huckleberry. This whole thing feels like a manifestation of his thoughts. Is the physical world an illusion? Are we all just characters in McGregor’s opioid dream? I mean, I don’t think so, but at this point I have to at least question it.

Then again, this whole scenario I’ve just laid out? The one in which he wins because he thinks good thoughts and the universe sees that and therefore he gets everything he wants? That’s insane. That is literally some stuff that people shout about on public transportation. So let’s just say I wouldn’t place a bet based on this alone.

3. The “Great White Hype” chance
This situation mirrors the underrated 1996 sports comedy film in a lot of ways. White guy with no professional boxing matches is somehow sanctioned (in Las Vegas) to take on a dominant black champion. This time the white guy actually is Irish, though the dominant champion is significantly less likable than Damon Wayons.

The movie’s 20 years old so I guess I’m not spoiling it by telling you that the white guy loses. Still, he kind of almost wins, mainly because the champion barely bothers to prepare for the fight.

I guess that could happen here. So sure of his victory, and comfortable in his pseudo-retirement, Mayweather might not put in the toughest training camp. Though it’s worth mentioning that in the movie all it takes is for the improbable challenger to land one good shot – his signature punch is the overhand right rather than the straight left, but still – and then the champ gets mad enough to pull it together. After that, “Danny Boy” becomes a slow, sad dirge.

I get what Joe Lauzon is saying. Sort of. The UFC made this deal with Reebok, and that deal cost many fighters many thousands of dollars. They got no say in it whatsoever, even though lots of them were in the middle of UFC contracts that they’d signed with a certain understanding about sponsor income, only to have that completely obliterated while their end of the contractual obligations remained.

Still, shouldn’t that make them mad at the UFC instead of Reebok? What good does it do to trash Reebok in public? That’s not going to put any more money in fighters’ pockets.

I definitely see the logic in that argument, but where do you go from there? Docile acceptance doesn’t seem like it’s going to change anything. Politely asking the UFC to give you more of the money that Reebok gave it also seems like a strategy with limited chances for success.

Some fighters seem to think that the only way forward is to be a good soldier and trust that the money will flow in the end. But it doesn’t. People don’t give money away unless they have to. So if you want more money, the question becomes how to make people feel like they have to. Maybe bashing Reebok on Facebook or Twitter won’t do it, but it’s fair to ask what will.

I’d be considerably more interested if Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 111 event didn’t start at 2:30 a.m. in the One True Time Zone. That’s the exact worst time! Should I stay up on Friday night and try to make it all the way to the main event at roughly 8 a.m. Saturday morning? Or do I try to go to bed early and set an alarm for bar closing time? What a conundrum.

But I admit, I am interested. Holly Holm is in such a strange place in her career right now. She dethroned Ronda Rousey and then sat on top of the world for about 15 minutes before it all came crashing down.

Now she’s somehow lost three in a row, including two title fights. How did it come to that? Holm is better than this … isn’t she? Style-wise, a fight with Bethe Correia right now seems designed to help her prove it. If she can’t pass that test, I hesitate to think of what comes next.

Simple stuff, mostly. Establishing members. Electing officers. Agreeing on a code of conduct. I think those are all attainable goals by the end of our first year.

A lot of people have asked why MMA journalists need an association in the first place. One reason is strength through unity. As we’ve seen in the past, some fight promoters like to isolate and bully journalists who do work they don’t like, even when that work is literally the journalist’s job. In instances like that, an association allows you to speak with one strong voice in response, and that would be very useful in this sport.

But just as importantly is the ability to establish standards within the industry. MMA is a young sport, which means MMA journalism is also a young occupation. Just as the sport grew up in public view, thanks to the Internet, so did the reporting on it. We’ve made mistakes. Hopefully we’ve learned from them.

I think we’ve also seen that when other MMA media members (or even just MMA media hopefuls) are trying to figure out what to do or not do, they’re looking around at each other, at their colleagues, at us. We are setting standards whether we mean to or not, so we should work to consciously set good ones. An association helps us not only set those standards, but also put something behind them. That will hopefully improve the media environment and the end product.

This effort started as a big group, in sputters and starts, and then the authority to push it forward was delegated to small group, those of us who you see as the initial interim officers on the website. But this isn’t our thing. It doesn’t belong to us. Once we have our first election, members can choose whoever they want to fill those roles, and those of us who have been involved in the long, tedious process just to get to this point might not mind a break from those positions.

The important thing is that the association lasts, and that it doesn’t lose sight of its goals. It doesn’t matter who gets to put their names on it. It matters that it works.

My experience helping to establish the MMAJA mostly taught me that this is a lot harder than it looks. It’s time-consuming. It’s boring. It’s frustrating.

On the flip side, you get to learn new stuff about your colleagues. I was surprised at some of the people who turned out to be valuable allies in making this happen. I was pleased at their ability to put aside differences and work together. It’s not always easy for competitors to become teammates on something like this, and I’d imagine that dynamic is many times tougher for pro fighters than it is for pro writers.

That said, their situation is very different from ours. We had the support of our employers and a lot of very generous legal and logistical help from the people at Vox Media, and it still wasn’t easy or quick. Fighters have more working against them, but in the end they may also have more to gain.

I like the existing Bellator commentary team, so I can’t say that that’s where I was hoping to see the company spend its money. Still, Mauro Ranallo is a good pickup for any combat sports broadcast and I look forward to seeing what he adds to Bellator.

It’s the Mike Goldberg hire that stumps me. Is Bellator hoping to trick people into thinking they’re watching the UFC? Is it part of a prolonged effort to court the viewers who liked the UFC when it was on Spike TV but not enough to follow it to another channel?

I know some people really liked Goldberg on UFC broadcasts. I didn’t. Especially later in his run, he seemed uninterested in learning anything new about the sport or the athletes in it, up to and including the proper pronunciation of their names. He was basically a human speak-and-spell, repeating the same phrases and banal observations.

But that’s just my opinion, and opinions on commentators can vary wildly. Maybe to some people the voice of Mike Goldberg is what big time MMA sounds like. Just seems to me like Bellator might be going a step too far in recycling the UFC’s castoffs.

Wait, is 10 the most crazy? Or is that the most sane? Regardless, I’ll put him right in the middle at about a five. Cub Swanson is smart enough to know that the metric you’re using – you know, wins and losses and common opponents – is the old way. The UFC doesn’t do it like that anymore. Now you just have to prove that you can sell. And a Swanson-Holloway title fight? I’d buy that.

If Frankie Edgar claims a second UFC title in a second division, he’ll have to go down as one of the best fighters and greatest overperformers in MMA history, especially when you consider that he’s probably undersized for both divisions.

Old Man Edgar is also 35, so taking the belt off a man a decade younger would be a huge feel-good story for what we are led to believe is the UFC’s aging demographic. If nothing else, maybe that would land him a Life Alert sponsorship or something.

In fairness to Jose Aldo and Andre Pederneiras, it’s not just when Aldo loses that we get to hear about his injuries. We’ve seen detailed images of the man’s ribs, heard tales of his many training woes, and that’s when he was one of the most dominant champs in the UFC.

Still, the time when people are least interested in hearing about your injuries is in the month or so following a big loss. And if you’re going to tell us how hurt you are, don’t make it some boring leg injury. Go cracked skull or go home.

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: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie