Will Brooks vs. Nik Lentz targeted for UFC Fight Night 121

The UFC is targeting a do-over for Will Brooks and Nik Lentz at UFC Fight Night 121.

A Brooks team member today told MMAjunkie the two will be rebooked for next month’s UFC return to Australia. UFC officials have not yet made a formal announcement of the booking.

Earlier today, Brooks (18-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC) tweeted he will fight at the event, which takes place Nov. 19 (but airs Nov. 18 in the U.S. due to the time difference) at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney. The card will air on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

The fight marks a rebooking for the veteran lightweights, who were scheduled to meet earlier this month at UFC 216 before Lentz (27-8-2 MMA, 11-5-1 UFC) wasn’t medically cleared to fight and was scratched from the card.

Nik Lentz

Lentz later released a statement saying his body wasn’t responding to insulin and he was having “diabetic like” issues that left him unable to cut weight.

On Twitter, Brooks indicated he received compensation for the canceled bout despite a statement from UFC 216’s official regulator, Nevada State Athletic Commission, that said he wasn’t paid.

Now, the former Bellator lightweight champ will work on reversing a career slide. He’s dropped his past two octagon bouts, losing via stoppage to Alex Oliveira and Charles Oliveira after a promotional debut win over Ross Pearson.

Lentz is 2-1 since returning to the lightweight division from featherweight. In February, he suffered a decision loss to Islam Makhachev.

The latest UFC Fight Night 121 card now includes:

  • Fabricio Werdum vs. Marcin Tybura
  • Joanne Calderwood vs. Bec Rawlings
  • Tim Means vs. Belal Muhammad
  • Daniel Kelly vs. Elias Theodorou
  • Humberto Bandenay vs. Alex Volkanovski
  • Ryan Benoit vs. Ashkan Mokhtarian
  • Jenel Lausa vs. Eric Shelton
  • Alex Chambers vs. Nadia Kassem
  • Rashad Coulter vs. Tai Tuivasa
  • Jake Matthews vs. Bojan Velickovic
  • Will Brooks vs. Nik LentzFor more on UFC Fight Night 121, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Why are we so tolerant of the absurd insanity of weight-cutting in MMA?

At this point it’s basically a part of the routine. Fight week rolls around, the photo ops come and go, then suddenly it’s Friday morning, and we all wait to see who will show up looking like a walking corpse ready to have his remains weighed on the official scale.

At UFC 216, it was Kevin Lee’s turn. After bragging about feasting on tiramisu for dessert, he needed two tries to hit the lightweight mark, looking progressively cadaverous with each attempt. If that wasn’t enough of a fighter safety risk, we learned after the fight that he also had a staph infection on his chest. The Nevada State Athletic Commission deemed him fit to fight anyway, for reasons it wouldn’t fully explain.

Lee wasn’t the only one who struggled in Las Vegas. Nik Lentz was pulled from the event entirely after being hospitalized due to what he called “diabetic-like issues.” It seems his hands and feet went numb during his weight cut, which probably isn’t a good sign just a couple days before you’re supposed to get into a cage and fight.

This all happened just two weeks after Mizuta Hirota was scratched from UFC Fight Night 117 when he nearly fell off the scales at weigh-ins.

As if to drive home the point that it can always get worse, Pancrase weighed in a nearly unconscious Daniel Lima in Japan over the weekend, and then let him go through with the fight anyway, despite the fact that he had to be literally carried on and off the scales.

As longtime MMA referee Marc Goddard asked in a Facebook video, what if “the unthinkable” had happened in that fight, which is really not so unthinkable after seeing how depleted Lima was at the weigh-in?

“Who would take that blame?” Goddard asked. “That’s (expletive) manslaughter.”

What makes this practice more insane is how unnecessary it is. Think about weight-cutting for what it really is. A day before the competition, two athletes of roughly equal size shed their bodies of enough water and nutrients to hit the same arbitrary mark on a scale, all so they can frantically put the weight back on in time for the fight the next day, at which point they will be roughly the same size again.

As dangerous and difficult as it is, nobody’s getting a significant advantage through weight-cutting anymore. What they’re doing with all that suffering is preventing their opponents from having a significant advantage. It’s an absurd price to pay just to end up on a mostly level playing field in the end.

But how do you fix it? More weight classes aren’t going to do it, because fighters looking for an edge (or just for a fresh start in a new division) will still push their bodies to the absolute limit if they’re allowed to.

So maybe you stop allowing it. You institute hydration tests and out-of-competition weigh-ins to get a sense of what each fighter really weighs in the hopes of establishing a safe fighting weight for everyone.

That’s the direction that the California State Athletic Commission is heading in, but it’s going to take more than one commission in one state. This is a change the whole sport needs to make, if we’re going to really address the issue. The entire culture needs to change, and that’s never easy to do.

But if we’re not yet convinced that this is a problem, what’s going to change our minds? People have died cutting weight. They’ve died in the fights that followed rough weigh cuts. They’ve been hospitalized so often that it’s barely even newsworthy anymore. They’ve squandered the weeks and months spent training for a fight, all because they couldn’t survive their own weight cuts in a healthy enough state to go through with them.

The worst things that can possibly happen have already happened. The not-quite-as-bad-but-still-pretty-troubling things have also happened, and with alarming frequency.

Still, most of the powers that be in MMA don’t seem ready to make a change this big. Apparently they’re fine with the almost weekly ridiculousness of pro fighters making themselves sick on the eve of their most dangerous assignments. They’re too used to it, maybe. Too comfortable with it.

Or maybe they just need to see how bad it can really get. But if that hasn’t happened by now, I hate to think of what it’s going to take.

Filed under: AXS TV Fights, Bellator, News, PFL, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Nik Lentz releases statement on UFC 216 scratch, says it's not his fault

Nik Lentz said his decision to go to the hospital because of a health issue forced his withdrawal from tonight’ UFC 216 event.

Lentz (27-8-2 MMA, 11-5-1 UFC) was slated to fight lightweight Will Brooks (18-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC) on the FX-televised prelims of tonight’s UFC 216 pay-per-view event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

However, while the early and official weigh-ins were underway, UFC officials announced that “medical issues” had forced Lentz, who had previously fought at featherweight, off the card.

Brooks, the former Bellator champ who was looking to halt a two-fight skid, had already made weight before the announcement was made.

On Friday Lentz posted a statement explaining his withdrawal (via Twitter):

As he wrote:

“I didn’t make it to weigh ins this morning because I was in the hospital. My body is not responding to insulin correctly and during my weight cut last night my feet and hands went numb, I stopped sweating, my heart rate went through the roof and I didn’t know what was going on. I decided to go to the hospital and stayed there through the night into the morning. I’m not sure just yet as to the diagnosis of what’s happening, but I’m having diabetic like issues. I figured I could push through them and still fight. I was wrong. I’m sorry to everyone involved. I bit off more than I could chew and even though my health problem is not my fault, I should have handled it differently. God Bless everyone for their support throughout my camp. I will be back soon.”

Lentz had been competed at featherweight up until two bouts ago, when he moved back up to lightweight. He was on a 3-1 run before a recent decision loss to Islam Makhachev at UFC 208.

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

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC 216 loses a featured prelim on eve of event

So much for that UFC 216 bout between Will Brooks and Nik Lentz.

Brooks (18-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC) and Lentz (27-8-2 MMA, 11-5-1 UFC), lightweights who were scheduled to compete in one of the featured preliminary-card bouts at Saturday’s UFC 216 event, have been scratched from the card.

UFC officials today announced the cancellation, citing “medical issues” for Lentz. CombatPress.com first reported the scrapped bout.

Brooks had actually weighed in and successfully made weight before officials announced the cancellation.

UFC 216 takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and UFC Fight Pass.

Taking Lentz and Brooks’ slot on the FX prelims is a flyweight fight between Marco Beltran (8-5 MMA, 3-2 UFC) and Matt Schnell (9-4 MMA, 0-2 UFC), which was originally slated to kick off the event. The fight was originally set to stream on UFC Fight Pass.

Lentz had been competed at featherweight up until two bouts ago, when he moved back up to lightweight. He was on a 3-1 run before a recent decision loss to Islam Makhachev at UFC 208. Brooks, meanwhile, is a former Bellator champ who was hoping to get back in the win column following back-to-back UFC losses to Alex Oliveira and Charles Oliveira.

The latest UFC 216 card now includes:

MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)

  • Tony Ferguson vs. Kevin Lee – for interim lightweight title
  • Champ Demetrious Johnson vs. Ray Borg – for flyweight title
  • Mara Romero Borella vs. Kalindra Faria
  • Derrick Lewis vs. Fabricio Werdum
  • Beneil Dariush vs. Evan Dunham

PRELIMINARY CARD (FX, 8 p.m. ET)

  • Tom Duquesnoy vs. Cody Stamann
  • Marco Beltran vs. Matt Schnell
  • Poliana Botelho vs. Pearl Gonzalez
  • Bobby Green vs. Lando Vannata

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 6:45 p.m. ET)

  • Mark Godbeer vs. Walt Harris
  • Magomed Bibulatov vs. John Moraga
  • Thales Leites vs. Brad Tavares

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

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Nik Lentz, Will Brooks agree to fight each other at UFC 216 in Las Vegas

Lightweights Nik Lentz and Will Brooks have agreed to face off at UFC 216.

Lentz (27-8-2 MMA, 11-5-1 UFC) today tweeted he’s verbally committed to the matchup, and a person close to Brooks (18-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC) confirmed the former Bellator champion has done the same. The person requested anonymity because the fight hasn’t been made public.

UFC 216 reportedly takes place Oct. 7 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The event airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Lentz and Brooks both seek redemption after recent setbacks.

In February, Lentz suffered a decision loss to Islam Makhachev at UFC 208, bringing his first loss since returning to the lightweight division from featherweight. Brooks, meanwhile, is in dire need of a turnaround after back-to-back losses. In April, he was submitted by Charles Oliveira at UFC 210, which followed a TKO loss to Alex Oliveira.

Prior to his octagon setbacks, Brooks had won nine straight fights, with all but one served under Bellator, where he won the interim lightweight title and then unified the belt, defending it twice before joining the UFC.

Lentz was recently called out by Chris Wade (12-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC), who picked up a unanimous-decision victory at this past Saturday’s UFC on FOX 25. But it appears Brooks’ dance card is full.

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

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

After being dissed at UFC athlete retreat, UFC on FOX 25's Chris Wade wants a shot at Nik Lentz

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Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

UNIONDALE, N.Y. – Chris Wade has just settled one outside-the-cage beef, but he’s already looking to move on the next one.

After beating Frankie Perez (10-4 MMA, 1-3 UFC) at a Ring of Combat event in 2014, Wade (12-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC) went 2-0 over the same foe with another decision at their UFC on FOX 25 rematch on Saturday. The win not only snapped a two-fight skid for Wade but paved the way for an unexpected callout of Nik Lentz (27-8-2 MMA, 11-5-1 UFC).

The motivation? Well, it seems Wade didn’t take too kindly to being dissed during this March’s UFC Athlete Retreat 2017.

“He and I fought Islam (Makhachev, who beat both Wade and Lentz), who’s as tough as it gets in this division, in my opinion,” Wade said. “So I tried to have a conversation with him about us both having fought Islam. And he couldn’t have been ruder to me. I don’t know if he remembers it, but I remember it.

“He just wouldn’t even acknowledge me. He looked at me like I was almost part of the wall. He made this grunting noise and turned his back on me. And I was like, ‘Really?’ And I kind of asked him, and he just kept going. That’s the weirdest guy I’ve ever come across in my life in this sport. So if he wants to get beat up, I’m cool with it.”

Lentz has since been made aware of the callout, and promptly took to Twitter to respond. First, he said he didn’t even know who Wade was and had a “real fight” coming up at UFC 216 (though no matchups involving Lentz have been announced for that date yet).

But when Lentz accused Wade of making the situation up, Wade offered a full account of the incident and left his own little jab.

If the matchup does end up happening, the hostile build-up might end up coming in handy for Wade. At least if Saturday’s lightweight scrap – which streamed on UFC Fight Pass from NYCB LIVE at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y. – is any indication.

Wade says he was friendly with Perez and his family after their first encounter, only to find out recently that the respect wasn’t mutual. The slap in the face, he says, ended up being the push that he needed.

“I think it gave me a little bit of an extra incentive,” Wade said. “I think he made a mistake doing that. When you fight someone and there’s almost too much respect, sometimes you go in there a little bit soft.

“This isn’t the sport where you can go in there soft. Sometimes you need a chip on your shoulder.”

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

And for complete coverage of UFC on FOX 25, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

The Speed Bag: Nik Lentz, what are you trying to accomplish with these B.J. Penn tweets?

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

To watch B.J. Penn, who used to be so good, go out and look so normal in a majority-decision loss to Dennis Siever at UFC Fight Night 112, was sad. Even sadder, though, might’ve been Nik Lentz afterward.

The UFC lightweight, in a a continued effort to start beefing with Penn, took to Twitter to gloat – gloat! – about the 38-year-old UFC legend losing his fifth fight in a row.

Not only is kicking Penn while he’s down just downright mean; it’s a bad idea for two reasons. All it does is make Lentz look desperate for attention, No. 1. And, No. 2, even if he succeeds in getting a fight with Penn, who is obviously on the decline in the twilight of his career, what good comes out of winning a fight against a guy who is no better than a shell of himself?

Check out the video above for my complete thoughts on this.

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

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

Nik Lentz blasts old rival B.J. Penn, labels him a 'walking punchline'

UFC lightweight Nik Lentz (27-8-2 MMA, 11-5-1 UFC) apparently has absolutely no problem with kicking a man when he’s down – at least if that man happens to be B.J. Penn(16-12-2 MMA, 12-11-2 UFC).

Penn suffered a majority decision loss to Dennis Siver at this past weekend’s UFC 112 event, and today, Lentz took to social media to rub a little salt in his old rival’s wound.

Lentz and Penn’s rivalry dates back a few years, with “The Carny” even at one point turning to poetry to slam the UFC Hall of Famer. Penn later offered a formal challenge to Lentz to meet in the octagon, though the bout never came to fruition.

Instagram Photo

Lentz was in action most recently in February, losing a unanimous decision to Islam Makhachev at UFC 208.

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

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie