Category Archives: Kevin Lee

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2515 with Kevin Lee and Simon Samano

Stream or download Friday’s episode of MMAjunkie Radio with Kevin Lee and Simon Samano.

Lee discussed his recently announced fight at UFC 216, where he’ll compete vs. Tony Ferguson for the UFC interim lightweight title. MMAjunkie’s Samano and the hosts covered the latest MMA news and fight bookings. Both guests were in-studio.

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.

You can listen below or download the episode from SoundCloud.

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, Radio, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with Kevin Lee and Simon Samano in studio

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Kevin Lee and Simon Samano.

Lee will be in the studio to co-host the show. He recently got the news he’s about to have the biggest fight of his career. He’ll take on Tony Ferguson for an interim lightweight title on Oct. 7 at UFC 216 in Las Vegas, where he’s based. Samano, one of MMAjunkie’s assistant editors, will co-host, as well, and help the hosts field calls and talk about the latest MMA news.

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

Twitter Mailbag: How big a deal are these eight-ounce gloves for McGregor and Mayweather?

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid4621179066001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5542932196001
Filed under: News, UFC

How much difference will two ounces really make on the fists of McGregor and Mayweather? Why does the UFC middleweight champion still get no respect? With a UFC interim lightweight title bout scheduled, where’s “The Eagle” when you need him?

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

The big deal here isn’t the what, it’s the why. Is there a difference between using eight-ounce gloves and 10-ounce ones? Sure there is. (For a more detailed answer on that, I’d recommend this Twitter thread.) But the big issue here is the Nevada State Athletic Commission reversing what it had previously described as a vital safety rule, and without any very good explanation for why.

The Association of Ringside Physicians came out against the glove switch. The commission itself had said it would need to be presented with compelling evidence in order to issue a waiver. That didn’t happen, but the NSAC issued the waiver anyway. Then it tacked on a request that the gloves be turned over to the commission after the fight, ostensibly for a “study” on the effects of glove size. That this study would also give the commission possession of valuable sports memorabilia seems like a happy accident.

Both Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather are enthusiastically supportive of the glove switch, and it might not make a huge difference in the end. But it is worth asking why the NSAC even has these rules if it will throw them out the window the instant the big money draws ask it to.

This was a social media post that snowballed into an actual rule change. As much as the commission said it didn’t want to be used in any stunts to keep the hype alive, that’s it exactly what it did here, and without putting up much of a fight. Kind of makes you wonder what these people wouldn’t agree to for the sake of a dollar.

I don’t want to speak for everyone, but yes, we do all want that. But according to UFC President Dana White, Khabib Nurmagomedov still isn’t ready. That leaves us with Tony Ferguson vs. Kevin Lee in an interim title fight that’s interesting and all, but is bound to lack that title fight feel.

What it’s going to feel like instead is a fight in which the UFC had a date and an interim belt, and it filled in the names based on availability. The reason it will feel like that is because that’s exactly what it is.

Still, right now the UFC has the advantage of working with a division that’s loaded with talent. It would almost be hard to make a bad fight at 155 pounds right now. That’s good, since who knows if or when the real champ will ever return from his epic payday. It’s not hard to imagine that interim belt suddenly morphing into the real thing.

I think we all kind of get it, even if we also kind of don’t. Even before he had the UFC middleweight title, Michael Bisping was a much better fighter than he got credit for. It’s partially due to his personality – a lot people, fighters and fans, just don’t like him, and therefore don’t want to admit that he has legit skills – but it’s also a question of style.

You look at a lot of Bisping’s biggest victories and you see fights with too much room for debate. The knockout win over Luke Rockhold is a glaring exception to most of his recent work, where he won by small margins after nearly losing. That’s how it went against Anderson Silva. It was a similar story in his lone title defense against Dan Henderson.

And that’s the other thing, which is that his reign as middleweight champ isn’t exactly helping him. He’s had the belt for over a year now and has defended it only once, somewhat unconvincingly, against a non-contender who was rapidly closing in on senior citizen discount territory. That’s not the kind of thing that’s going to earn you a ton of respect.

The question is whether the Georges St-Pierre fight will offer him a better opportunity in that regard. On one hand, St-Pierre was a pound-for-pound great and a legend in the division below Bisping. But if Bisping wins, I’m sure a lot of people will write it off to GSP’s age and time off, not to mention the fact that he’s not even a middleweight.

In that sense, it’s kind of a no-win situation for Bisping. In the financial sense, however, it’s exactly the opposite, which explains how we ended up here.

I’m not sure it’s going to change anybody’s viewing habits, but now would be a fair time to ask the UFC president if he’s reconsidering his support, especially since a lot of CEOs have sprinted away from Donald Trump after his response to the unrest in Charlottesville over the weekend.

I feel like I already know what White would say. He’d probably give us the same spiel about how he’s not really political, and he only gave that speech to help out a friend who had helped him out in the past.

And sure, that will placate people up to a point. But when other business leaders have raced to publicly distance themselves from Trump, it might be time to start wondering if we’ve finally passed that point.

If McGregor beats Mayweather, chances are he’ll have to knock him out. And if he knocks out the best boxer in a generation, giving him his first career loss and beating him at his own game the first time out? Then forget fighter, I don’t see how you don’t crown him athlete of the year.

That’s a very good question. Ronda Rousey was tested nine times in 2016, according to the online USADA test history database. As far as we know, she hasn’t officially retired, so she should still be subject to testing, especially since USADA is still looking for other inactive but not technically retired fighters, such as Nick Diaz.

Yesterday I sent an email to USADA to ask if there’s any reason it is suddenly way less interested in Rousey, but so far I haven’t heard back. I suppose it’s possible that her number just hasn’t come up yet this year. But the more time passes, the less plausible that explanation is going to be.

Seriously? This one is really hard for me to pick. A few years ago and forget it, even with the size difference you’ve got to take St-Pierre all day. But the man’s been gone for nearly four years, all while time has marched brutally onward. It’s true that he doesn’t seem like the type to let himself get too out of shape, and clearly he wasn’t about to rush (ha) his return, even if it jeopardized (in theory) his chances of getting the fight.

But still, we have to admit that we’re just guessing when it comes to what GSP will look like in the cage now. Bisping isn’t an easy guy to take down, and if St-Pierre’s timing is off it could spell trouble for him. Plus, while Bisping isn’t exactly known as a knockout artist against middleweights, he might have more power than we think when he’s throwing at a welterweight. If you make me pick right now, I guess I’ve got to go with the champ.

It depends. What does success look like for a weekly internet fight show? Dana White’s Contender Series is filmed in a gym and the fighters make about half the typical UFC minimum, so it’s relatively cheap to make. And if it helps the UFC lock down some talent or snag some Fight Pass subscribers, that might be all it takes to justify the pretty meager expense. Maybe the better question is, what would failure even look like for something like this?

If you had the ability to be at or near the top of either sport, I can’t imagine why you’d pick MMA. In addition to the differences in pay and contractual restrictions, there are just so many more ways to get hurt in MMA. For a long time we’ve told ourselves that boxers suffer more head trauma over the long term, and that may be true, but it’s not like MMA fighters suffer none, plus I know plenty of MMA retirees who are limping around on bad joints after years of grappling in the gym and the cage.

Also, notice how MMA fighters keep calling out boxing champs, trying to get a piece of that pie now that they see how well it’s working for McGregor? Notice how you don’t see so many boxers trying to do the same thing in reverse? That ought to tell us something.

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

Conor McGregor '100 percent' still considers himself both UFC lightweight, featherweight champ

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid4621179066001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5541881052001
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Conor McGregor’s message to the UFC is still “you’re fooling nobody.”

Although the UFC lightweight champion hasn’t appeared in the octagon since last November and has never defended either of the two tiles he’s won, McGregor said he “100 percent” considers himself the champion of both divisions.

“I mean, how can I not consider myself the UFC featherweight world champion and the UFC lightweight world champion?” McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) said Wednesday during a conference call promoting his foray into boxing against Floyd Mayweather (49-0 boxing) on Aug. 26 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

When it comes to his status in the UFC, McGregor’s reasoning is simple: He owns the 155-pound title and has beat the guy holding the 145-pound belt.

“The current UFC (featherweight) champion is Max Holloway, a man I dismantled. And the former was Jose Aldo. I still reign supreme over that division. And then also the 155-pound division. I know there’s talk of an interim belt. I won that belt and literally one month later there was an interim scheduled.

“But it is what it is. Everyone knows I am the multiple world champion of the UFC featherweight division and lightweight division. I look forward to coming back and continuing where I left off.”

As McGregor’s boxing conquest draws nearer, the UFC plans to crown a new interim lightweight champion after an ill-fated attempt earlier this year. Tony Ferguson will get his second shot at gold when he faces Kevin Lee at UFC 216, which takes place Oct. 7 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Ferguson was scheduled to fight for the interim belt in March at UFC 209, but opponent Khabib Nurmagomedov was forced to withdraw the day before after being hospitalized due to a bad weight cut. Ferguson and Nurmagomedov both have tried to talk their way into a fight with McGregor, no doubt seeking the lightweight title and a lucrative payout with the UFC’s biggest draw.

McGregor is expected to take home at least $75 million for his boxing match with Mayweather, who on Tuesday said he’ll make a staggering $350 million if the event sells as planned.

Holloway isn’t pining for McGregor’s return. In fact, he thinks the Irish champ won’t ever fight MMA again after making such a huge payday against Mayweather. A title defense against ex-lightweight champ Frankie Edgar is likely next on Holloway’s list.

So, the 145-pound and 155-pound classes are moving on in McGregor’s wake. He left quite a stamp on both.

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

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

UFC boss wants Conor McGregor back in MMA: 'What's the point' of Floyd Mayweather rematch?

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid4621179066001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5542346592001
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

LAS VEGAS – Even if Conor McGregor pulls off an upset and beats Floyd Mayweather in their boxing match later this month, what’s the point of a rematch, Dana White wonders.

“What’s the point?” White told MMAjunkie and other reporters during a small media scrum on Tuesday. ” … What’s the point if Conor beats him – to do it again?”

McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC), the reigning UFC lightweight champion, crosses over on Aug. 26, when he meets undefeated boxing legend Mayweather (49-0 boxing) in a boxing pay-per-view blockbuster at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

It’s supposed to be a one-off, one-night MMA-vs.-boxing spectacle – with massive potential paydays for all involved. Mayweather is approximately a 6-1 favorite (though he arguably should be a much bigger one), though there’s no contractual obligation to grant a rematch if McGregor pulls off the upset.

“I guess, if that happened, we’d talk about it, but there’s no rematch clause in there,” White said. “I’m ready for Conor to get back to MMA.”

And what’s he coming back? Likely a fight with Tony Ferguson (23-3 MMA, 13-1 UFC), who’s No. 3 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA lightweight rankings, or No. 8 Kevin Lee (16-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC), who are now slated to fight for an interim title at UFC 216 on Oct. 7.

No. 1-ranked McGregor is expected to face the winner, but White said McGregor is still entertaining the idea of future boxing bouts (watch the full scrum).

“We’ll see,” White said. “When you deal with Conor, I’ll take it day-by-day.”

While an embarrassing loss to Mayweather could force the Irish superstar back to MMA on a permanent basis, White said he hopes McGregor pulls off the upset.

“Conor’s going to get in there and rough him up – probably fight him a lot like (Marcos Maidana did in 2014),” he said. ” … I stopped doubting the kid a long time ago, and I’m hoping for this knockout. I’m hoping for him to knock Floyd out.”

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

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

Tony Ferguson, Kevin Lee will fight at UFC 216 for interim lightweight title

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LAS VEGAS – Move over, Conor McGregor. A second UFC lightweight champion is coming.

An interim title fight between Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee has been booked for UFC 216, UFC President Dana White told reporters on Tuesday.

White said he was unsure if the bout between Ferguson (23-3 MMA, 13-1 UFC) and Lee (16-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) would serve as the headliner for the pay-per-view event, which takes place Oct. 7 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Ferguson gets his second chance to win an interim UFC title after a thrice-canceled fight with undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov (24-0 MMA, 8-0 UFC). The pair were scheduled to fight for the belt at UFC 209 before Nurmagomedov was hospitalized after a bad weight-cut.

In July, UFC President Dana White said he wanted to try booking them against each other a fourth time and would consider Ferguson against red-hot prospect Justin Gaethje – who accepted an offer to coach on “The Ultimate Fighter 26” – if Nurmagomedov wasn’t ready.

It’s not clear why Nurmagomedov was taken out of consideration for the interim title. White simply said, “Khabib’s not ready.” A request for comment to Nurmagomedov’s representative went unanswered. This past week, he sparred on Twitter with Ferguson, writing, “I’m waiting for you in New York … just take this fight, everybody waiting your decision.”

Ferguson shot back, “Your (manager Ali Abdelaziz) Informed @ufc U Are Not Well Enough To Fight Me At MSG, Turned Down The Fight On Your Behalf. Don’t Fool Your Fans.”

Nurmagomedov responded, “You don’t need my manager, I’m the one who fights with you. Take the fight or tell fans that you looking for easy way.”

Even with Lee getting the interim opportunity, Nurmagomedov still appears to have other lucrative options. White recently told MMAjunkie that current undisputed champ McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) had the undefeated fighter in his crosshairs, which McGregor later confirmed while on the world tour for his upcoming boxing showdown with Floyd Mayweather.

With the addition, the latest UFC 216 card now includes:

  • Tony Ferguson vs. Kevin Lee – for interim lightweight title
  • Will Brooks vs. Nik Lentz
  • Bobby Green vs. Lando Vannata
  • Beneil Dariush vs. Evan Dunham
  • Thales Leites vs. Brad Tavares
  • Magomed Bibulatov vs. John Moraga
  • Marco Beltran vs. Matt Schnell
  • Mark Godbeer vs. Walt Harris
  • Jessica Eye vs. Paige VanZant

For more on UFC 216, visit the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

UFC globetrotter Paul Felder wants U.S. fight (and Kevin Lee or Al Iaquinta would do fine)

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid4621179066001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5529111960001
Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

UFC lightweight Paul Felder’s most recent octagon outings involved trips to Brazil, Canada and Scotland. They also involved, respectively, meeting a Brazilian, a Canadian and a Scotsman.

With that in mind, one can see where Felder (14-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC)  is coming from with this simple request for his next fight.

“I would like to fight in the United States, and there are quite a few cards coming up,” Felder told MMAjunkie Radio. “These Japan cards and all – they’re a little soon. As cool as that would be – I’d go there as a guest fighter. But right now I want to fight on my own country.”

In fairness, Felder should have a few goodwill chips stored with the promotion at this point. Not only is he coming off big back-to-back wins – both involving first-round elbow brutality – but he’s also proven to be valuable outside of the cage, with his current role as an analyst for Dana White’s Contender Series.

Fresh off his “Performance of the Night” knockout of Stevie Ray at last month’s UFC Fight Night 113 event, Felder said he’s healthy and somewhat ready to go. The only thing, he says, is the weight – which the lightweight estimates currently sits at around 190 pounds.

With that in mind, he’s eyeing a return between October and December – though, in his typical company man fashion, he could find a way to be ready before should an opportunity arise. And he’s not even making too many demands when it comes to that.

“I’d love a top-15 guy, but I’m not pushing that so much as I just want another exciting fight and another win,” Felder said. “I’m nearing the end of this contract, so a good win puts me in good standing with the UFC to get another big contract coming out and keep going.”

As far as those possible opponents go, Felder is not going around issuing callouts. Mostly, he’s interested in fighters who, like him, have a penchant for exciting striking battles. While he would love to acquiesce to some fan requests, like a meeting with lightweight contender Kevin Lee, he’s also realistic.

“Knowing rankings – I’m not even in the top 15 yet to be getting a shot with a guy like Lee would be – I’d take it, but it would be crazy,” Felder said.

He does have one stylistic dream fight, though. And, should it somehow materialize at UFC 217, set for Nov. 4 in New York City, “The Irish Dragon” probably wouldn’t be mad.

“That fight alone is a fight that I would love to have, with (Al Iaquinta),” Felder said. “Most of the time, any time I’m matched up people are like, ‘This going to be fight of the night.’

“Can you imagine if me and him got matched up at Madison Square Garden? Listen up, UFC. Let’s do it.”

Another scenario that Felder is very comfortable with is UFC 218, which takes place Dec. 2 at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. That would fit well within his desire to get a fight near his Philadelphia home grounds.

But ultimately, when it comes to Felder, it seems like there’s very little that can’t be negotiated.

“If they gave me like a co-main event, main event overseas, I’m all about it,” Felder said. “I want to be kind of putting my name out there and taking these big spots. I’ll take a main event. I’d love a five-round fight with somebody. I don’t care if it’s literally in their kitchen. I’ll take it. I want to fight five rounds for the UFC before I retire.”

To hear more from Felder, check out the video above.

And for more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

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

Kevin Lee ran into 'old, washed-up' Eddie Alvarez at TUF Gym – then got his autograph

Eddie Alvarez and Kevin Lee aren’t opposing coaches on the upcoming season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” but that didn’t prevent the lightweights from having an encounter in Las Vegas.

Alvarez (28-5 MMA, 3-2 UFC), a former UFC lightweight champion, is currently filming Season 26 of the long-running reality series opposite Justin Gaethje. “Motown Phenom” wanted one of coaching spots, in part because he thinks the current pair will produce horrendous television, but UFC officials went a different direction.

Outspoken Lee (16-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) made is clear he’s not afraid to mix it up with anyone in his weight class. Each Tuesday night, The Ultimate Fighter Gym is the set of Dana White’s Contender Series, and as a Las Vegas resident, Lee decided to pop in for this week’s card.

He ran into Alvarez while entering the gym, and while the interaction was mostly lighthearted and comical, there was a clear competitive undertone (via Instagram):

Instagram Photo

Alvarez also took to Instagram to post his perspective of the encounter:

Instagram Photo

“TUF 26” debuts Aug. 30 on FS1 with Alvarez and Gaethje coaching a cast of women’s flyweights who fight in a tournament to determine the UFC’s first champion in the weight class. Lee, meanwhile, is looking for his next fight after his first-round submission win over Michael Chiesa in June’s UFC Fight Night 112 headliner.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, 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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Filed under: Blue Corner, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Kevin Lee: 'TUF 26' will be terrible with 'brain dead' coaches Eddie Alvarez, Justin Gaethje

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid4621179066001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5508966683001
Filed under: Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC

Kevin Lee is asked how he feels about Eddie Alvarez and Justin Gaethje being tabbed as “The Ultimate Fighter 26” coaches, and his first response is that he’s only “a little disappointed.”

Lee keeps talking, though, and the more he talks, the more he sounds pretty salty about the snub.

“I think if you even ask anybody in the UFC, and they say (me vs. Gaethje) is the better fight to make,” Lee told MMAjunkie. “That’s the better TV. If they really wanted to push ‘TUF,’ I think that would’ve been the better option, and I think if you ask anybody in the know, they would’ve said the same thing.

“You’ve got Eddie, and you’ve got Gathje, who are both brain dead. They’re going to go in there, they’re going to talk, and they’re going to slur some words at each other. Nobody is going to watch it. It’s going to be terrible. I feel sorry for the women on the show, because they’re not going to get as many eyeballs.”

“TUF 26” will feature the debut of women’s flyweights, with the show’s finale crowning a new “TUF” champion and the inaugural women’s 125-pound champ. The show, which already has begun filming, is set to debut Aug. 30 on FS1.

Lee (16-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC), on a five-fight winning streak and ranked 8th in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA lightweight rankings, pushed to be on the show opposite Gaethje (18-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC), but former champ Alvarez (28-5 MMA, 3-2 UFC) got the nod instead.

It’s a big move for Gaethje after an incredible UFC debut this month, when he stormed back for a TKO win over Michael Johnson. Lee was asked what he thought of Gaethje’s performance in the leading “Fight of the Year” candidate.

“Oh, as the ‘Fight of the Year?’ OK,” Lee said, scoffing.

He continued, “Johnson, to me, he’s a journeyman. He’s always been a journeyman. And apparently beating Michael Johnson really means something in this game. You had Khabib (Nurmagomedov) that beat him, and people think he’s the No. 1 contender for beating Michael Johnson. To me, Mike’s a journeyman. What else can you say? I think he quit in the first minute of the first round. You see it in his eyes. …

“You see in the first round (that) he quits, and he’s still able to hurt Gaethje. He’s still able to hurt him just off his skill and just off them back-the-(expletive)-up-off-me punches. You look at Gaethje’s skill, he’s basic. He’s hitable. He likes to be hit. I want to see how many punches he can take against a dangerous fighter.”

Lee, of course, would like that “dangerous fighter” to be him. Although a fight between them won’t happen in the near future, much to Lee’s chagrin, he explained why he thought he and Gaethje as coaches made more sense for Gaethje, as well.

“If Gaethje beats me, you say, ‘Oh, he beats a smart fighter,’” Lee said. “… If he knocks Eddie out in the first round, the story line will be that Eddie’s done. The story line won’t be that Gaethje’s a great fighter.”

Kevin Lee isn’t bitter; you’re bitter.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, visit the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

OSAC dismisses Michael Chiesa's appeal to overturn controversial UFC Fight Night 112 loss

Controversial or not, Kevin Lee’s rear-naked choke finish of Michael Chiesa at UFC Fight Night 112 will stand.

After discussing Chiesa’s (14-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC) request for a formal hearing to try and change Lee’s (16-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) submission win into a no-contest, the Oklahoma State Athletic Commission decided there “wasn’t enough evidence” to overturn referee Mario Yamasaki’s decision to stop the headlining contest in the first round.

The lightweight bout took place at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City on June 25.

In a statement obtained by MMAjunkie, OSAC administrator Joe Miller wrote that officials reviewed the tape of the bout “in detail” and read the statements from both Chiesa and Yamasaki before the consensus ruling.

“In the referee’s opinion, just prior to the stoppage, your hands stopped defending the choke, were in mid-air, wobbly and limp, and were moving toward your waist,” the statement read. “This is confirmed by watching the tape in super slow motion.

“The referee had no way to know that you were actually relaxing, engaging your core and shoulders to shrug or release the pressure and flex your neck muscles. At that point, he was in perfect position and acted to what he was seeing.”

Chiesa cited Yamasaki’s “long history of failing to meet the standards officials are held to” in his formal appeal. The lightweight was very vocal in his outrage with the ref’s stoppage from the get-go, claiming he was never unconscious and was still defending himself. UFC president Dana White shared the lightweight’s discontentment.

Yamasaki, in turn, stood by the decision in an interview with MMAjunkie. The ref maintained that it’s his job to intervene whenever a fighter is no longer capable of intelligently defending themselves, and said that he stepped in as soon as Chiesa “went out.”

The OSAC administrator, however, did agree with Chiesa in another bit of his appeal – in which the fighter said the ref failed to see a number of “illegal downward elbows” that later required stitches.

“I do concur that two 12-to-6 elbows were thrown,” the statement said. “But those strikes did not impact the outcome of the bout and I have addressed this mistake with Mr. Yamasaki.”

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

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie