UFC 217's Johny Hendricks reports this time he's not sick, not fat – just chillin'

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

NEW YORK – Former UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks maintains an illness kept him from making weight in his previous fight. He playfully chided the media for reporting the information, despite the fact that he hadn’t informed anyone about it.

Now on the verge of his third bout as a middleweight, a twitchy Hendricks (18-7 MMA, 13-7 UFC) claimed all systems are a go for a must-win fight against Paulo Borrachinha (10-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) at UFC 217. He said the Brazilian will have a bad night when they meet on the event’s pay-per-view main card at Madison Square Garden in New York.

“I’m not going to get sick this time,” Hendricks told reporters at Wednesday’s media day. “If I don’t get sick, it’s an easy weight cut. Easy weight cut means good fight for me.”

So far, those have been in short supply. Hendricks came in heavy for a bout against Tim Boetsch at UFC Fight Night 112, adding to a long list of weight-induced struggles outside the cage. He was stopped in the second round, bringing him to 2-5 in his past seven outings.

Hendricks has taken drastic measures to pull out of his current stall. The Texan drove across state lines to train at the famed Jackson Wink Academy in Albuquerque, N.M., getting in rounds with a bevy of top-tier UFC fighters.

The undefeated Borrachinha stands between Hendricks and redemption. The up-and-comer has stopped his past two opponents with fists. All but one of them have made it out of the first round.

“Yeah, he’s a large human being,” Hendricks said. “He feeds his muscles babies, and that’s the jist of it. All show, no go – that’s what I like to say. And we’ll find out on Saturday if they have any go in them.”

That’s likely the question most fans will be asking of Hendricks when he steps into the octagon. Looming before that fight is a battle with the scale.

Hendricks said there are many struggles behind the scenes that the public never knows about. Unlike other professions, he said, fighters have to suck it up and keep going. Plenty of times, he has come in less than 100 percent, whether he let the world know or not.

This time, though, he said everything is going just smoothly.

“I’m not sick,” he said. “I’m not fat. I’m just chillin’.”

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

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

MMAjunkie reader predictions: Make your picks for UFC 217 in the Big Apple

We want your predictions for Saturday’s big 217 event and championship tripleheader in New York.

Our staff picks feature includes the consensus picks from MMAjunkie readers. Simply cast your vote for each bout below, and we’ll use the official tallies that are registered by Thursday at noon ET (9 a.m. PT).

Those MMAjunkie MMA reader consensus picks will be part of the UFC 217 staff picks we release Friday ahead of the event. UFC 217 takes place Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York, and the main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

* * * *

Michael Bisping vs. Georges St-Pierre

Records: Champ Michael Bisping (30-7 MMA, 20-7 UFC), Georges St-Pierre (25-2 MMA, 19-2 UFC)
Past five: Bisping 5-0, St-Pierre 5-0
Division: Middleweight
Rankings: Bisping No. 1 (No. 13 pound-for-pound), St-Pierre not eligible (inactivity)
Odds (as of 10/29/17): St-Pierre -120, Bisping -110

Take Our Poll
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Cody Garbrandt vs. T.J. Dillashaw

Records: Champ Cody Garbrandt (11-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC), T.J. Dillashaw (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC)
Past five: Garbrandt 5-0, Dillashaw 4-1
Division: Bantamweight
Rankings: Garbrandt No. 1 (No. 6 pound-for-pound), Dillashaw No. 3
Odds (as of 10/29/17): Garbrandt -160, Dillashaw -130

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Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Rose Namajunas

Records: Champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk (14-0 MMA, 8-0 UFC), Rose Namajunas (6-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC)
Past five: Jedrzejczyk 5-0, Namajunas 4-1
Division: Women’s strawweight
Rankings: Jedrzejczyk No. 1, Namajunas No. 6
Odds (as of 10/29/17): Jedrzejczyk -400, Namajunas +325

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Jorge Masvidal vs. Stephen Thompson

Records: Jorge Masvidal (32-12 MMA, 9-5 UFC), Stephen Thompson (13-2-1 MMA, 8-2-1 UFC)
Past five: Masvidal 3-2, Thompson 3-1-1
Division: Welterweight
Rankings: Thompson No. 2, Masvidal No. 8
Odds (as of 10/29/17): Thompson -160, Masvidal +130

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Johny Hendricks vs. Paulo Borrachinha

Records: Johny Hendricks (18-7 MMA, 13-7 UFC), Paulo Borrachinha (10-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC)
Past five: Borrachinha 5-0, Hendricks 1-4
Division: Middleweight
Rankings: Borrachinha honorable mention
Odds (as of 10/29/17): Borrachinha -205, Hendricks +175

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

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Source: MMA Junkie

Godbeer-Harris rebooked for UFC 217, Hendricks-Borrachinha rounds out main card

A heavyweight matchup expected to take place at UFC 216 has been booked again for UFC 217, instead.

UFC officials today announced that Mark Godbeer and Walt Harris fill face off on the FS1-televised prelims of next month’s UFC 217 event, which takes place Nov. 4 at Madison Square Garden in New York.

With the new contest, a middleweight matchup between Johny Hendricks (18-7 MMA, 13-7 UFC) and Paulo Borrachinha (10-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) has been moved up to the evening’s pay-per-view main card.

Godbeer and Harris were slated to meet at this past weekend’s UFC 216 before a Derrick Lewis back injury flared up the day of the contest, and Harris was plucked from the prelim bout and placed into a main card matchup with top contender Fabricio Werdum, who needed just 65 seconds to finish the fight via armbar.

Hendricks will look to untie the 1-1 record that he’s amassed since moving up to the UFC’s middleweight division. After a decision win over Hector Lombard at UFC Fight Night 105, Hendricks was knocked out by Tim Boetsch in the second round of their UFC Fight Night 112 encounter.

Borrachinha, in turn, comes impressive off back-to-back UFC wins – which cap off an undefeated professional record. The 25-year-old fighter followed a quick knockout over Garreth McLellan, at UFC Fight Night 106, with another TKO, this time over Oluwale Bamgbose, at June’s UFC 212. He has finished all of his fights to date.

The full UFC 217 lineup includes:

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

  • 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
  • Jorge Masvidal vs. Stephen Thompson
  • Paulo Borrachinha vs. Johny Hendricks

PRELIMINARY CARD (FS1, 8 p.m. ET)

  • Joseph Duffy vs. James Vick
  • Mark Godbeer vs. Walt Harris
  • Ion Cutelaba vs. Michal Oleksiejczuk
  • Randy Brown vs. Mickey Gall

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 6:30 p.m. ET)

  • Curtis Blaydes vs. Aleksei Oleinik
  • Corey Anderson vs. Patrick Cummins
  • Ricardo Ramos vs. Aiemann Zahabi

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

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Ex-UFC champ Johny Hendricks opens up on move to Jackson Wink MMA

After a loss to Tim Boetsch that left his recent UFC record at 2-4, Johny Hendricks decided he could no longer afford to walk the same path. He needed a change of scenery from his native Texas.

“I really didn’t want to leave my kids,” Hendricks on Wednesday told MMAjunkie Radio. “But it’s to a point to where, do I want to just compete, or do I want to win again?”

Once the top man at 170 pounds, the former champion Hendrick (18-7 MMA, 13-7 UFC) is running out of options as he tries to pull out of a long career slide. A fight against unbeaten Paulo Borrachinha (10-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) at UFC 217 could be his last chance to correct course.

Hendricks, 34, seems to grasp the stakes. He made headlines earlier this month by traveling to Albuquerque, N.M., for a residency with the famed Jackson Wink MMA Academy, which has trained two of his former opponents.

“I know I can fight better,” Hendricks said. “I’ve proven it, but I’ve got to do it consistently now.”

In the buildup to the Nov. 4 fight, headlined by his two-time foe Georges St-Pierre at Madison Square Garden in New York, Henricks plans to split time between New Mexico and Texas, driving home on the weekends to see his family. It’s an uncomfortable move, but a necessary one. By making it, Hendricks said he primarily sought out something he lacked in previous camps: sparring partners.

“That’s my problem,” Hendricks said. “One camp might be really good, but the next one sucks, and the reason why is I can’t get any training partners.”

Earlier in his career, when his management was overseen by Team Takedown, Hendricks was able to tailor his work in the gym toward his opponents. He had sparring partners flown out to the team’s facility in Arlington, Texas.

Since the team’s collapse amid a fight with its management, Hendricks largely has been on his own. Although he’s continued to work with individual coaches, he’s struggled to rebuild a reliable infrastructure around his preparation.

When he thought about how to fix the problem, Jackson Wink immediately came to mind. He remembered facing fighters from the team and being impressed by the coaching that was coming from their corners. He figured if anything, coaches Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn didn’t need a refresher on what he brought to the table.

Plus, the Southwestern facility is a one-stop shop for UFC fighters and coaches. It’s home to some of the brightest talent in the sport.

Through a mutual friend, Hendricks reached out to Winkeljohn, who cleared the request through the rest of the team before giving the green light.

Hendricks drove to Albuquerque and stayed with UFC welterweight Donald Cerrone, who owns the “BMF” training facility and ranch that has housed many Jackson Wink fighters.

Although Hendricks was uncertain at the response he’d receive from team members, he said he was eagerly welcomed. Then, everyone got to work.

Hendricks trained with established fighters such as Cerrone and said he also got good looks from up-and-comers looking to give him a tough time in the cage.

“I sparred 12 times in a week,” Hendricks said. “Sometimes, that’s what my whole camp is. By the end of the week, I’m starting to pick up things.”

Now, Hendricks is certain he made the right choice. He said even the support staff is on a different level for fighters as they prepare for bouts.

“They have people that can work on you there, so after practice, you have something that’s not feeling right, they do their job, and by the next day, it’s almost healed,” Hendricks said. “That’s going to further my career, as well. Just training smarter.”

Hendricks said Jackson has a plan for his training at the gym and when he returns home. But Hendricks already gets the sense that he’s turning a corner in the way he fights.

It took a blowout loss to Boetsch to get him there, but Hendricks is resolved to see through his resolution to train the way he needs to ensure victory.

“I just took a step back and said this is where I need to be,” Hendricks said. “If I want to do what I want to do, I have to make that sacrifice.”

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

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Source: MMA Junkie

Former champion Johny Hendricks set to meet Brazil's Paulo Borrachinha at UFC 217

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It may not be Vitor Belfort, but up-and-comer Paulo Borrachinha has managed to land himself another ex-champ.

The Brazilian middleweight meets former welterweight titleholder Johny Hendricks (18-7 MMA, 13-7 UFC) at UFC 217, which takes place Nov. 4 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The matchup, which was confirmed by MMAjunkie with Borrachinha’s (10-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) camp, was first reported by Combate.com. UFC officials have not made a formal announcement of the booking.

Hendricks will look to untie the 1-1 record that he’s amassed since moving up to the UFC’s middleweight division. After a decision win over Hector Lombard at UFC Fight Night 105, Hendricks was knocked out by Tim Boetsch in the second round of their UFC Fight Night 112 encounter.

It’s a delicate moment for the 33-year-old fighter. After multiple issues making the 170-pound limit, he also failed to make weight for his 185-pound bout with Boetsch. Hendricks, who beat fellow ex-champ Robbie Lawler at UFC 171 to earn the vacant 170-pound title, was on a three-fight skid before the move up.

Paulo Borrachinha

Borrachinha, in turn, comes impressive off back-to-back UFC wins – which cap off an undefeated professional record. The 25-year-old fighter followed a quick knockout over Garreth McLellan, at UFC Fight Night 106, with another TKO, this time over Oluwale Bamgbose, at June’s UFC 212. He has finished all of his fights to date.

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

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

Paulo Borrachinha says he was offered Vitor Belfort but thinks UFC vet 'wants an easier fight'

Before he even joined the UFC, middleweight Paulo Borrachinha helped Vitor Belfort prepare for two of his own octagon battles. Now, he wants to meet the veteran inside of it.

The problem is that, according to Borrachinha (10-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC), the desire doesn’t seem mutual. The fighter, who took to social media to ask Belfort (26-13 MMA, 15-10 UFC) to accept a battle at UFC 215 in Edmonton, Canada, guarantees he was actually offered the matchup by the promotion. And he says he agreed in a heartbeat.

While he’s yet to hear a definite no, he has seen some signs. Including an Instagram one, posted shortly before Chris Weidman and Kelvin Gastelum met at last Saturday’s UFC on FOX 25. In it, Belfort said he’d like either a rematch with Gastelum or a meeting with Derek Brunson, referencing only a “beginner” that he was offered.

Instagram Photo

“This looks more like an attempt of changing the focus from the fight with me,” Borrachinha told MMAjunkie. “I saw he said he was offered a beginner – as if it wasn’t a good thing for him. But even if it were, I think the fact that he didn’t name me means he doesn’t want to fight me.

“He wants to erase the possibility of this fight happening. I think it’s very hard for this fight to happen, because we can’t make anyone fight. I respect the UFC’s policies, but I think if they’re paying the athlete, they shouldn’t be picking too much. But OK. It looks like he wants an easier fight.”

Reached for comment by MMAjunkie, Belfort’s camp sent the following reply:

“We wish him the best. He’s a kid, just starting out in the sport, with great potential. May he keep his head in place, and have the perseverance and patience to reach his goals.”

Borrachinha is at a much different point of his career than his 40-year-old target. At 26, he’s only had two UFC fights, which cap off an undefeated 10-fight record made up of finishes. Of those, nine were knockouts. After starching his first UFC opponent, Garrett McLellan, at UFC Fight Night 206, he got his second straight TKO over Oluwale Bamgbose at UFC 212.

Belfort, in turn, is coming off his own UFC 212 win – a decision over fellow veteran Nate Marquardt. Despite a rough 1-4 recent patch, Belfort has fought some of the biggest names in the sport throughout his more than 20-year career. He’s held a UFC title and fought for it another three times. And though he’s put the thought on hold, he has flirted with the idea of retirement.

While Borrachinha says he didn’t actively pursue the matchup with the veteran, he’s still quite interested in it. First, he clarifies that he has “nothing personal against” Belfort – in fact, it would be an honor to meet some who’s part of the sport’s history. Also, he’s been asking to get a crack at a top-10 opponent – and No. 11 Belfort (in the official UFC rankings) is close enough.

But there’s more to it.

“I wanted the fight to happen – I still do,” Borrachinha said. “It’s a good fight. He’s a well-known guy. I think I’d beat him, too. Without much difficulty. I think despite the fact he’s very experienced, I think I could beat him in the first round.

“Therefore, I’d like the fight. That’s simply it. But it didn’t come from me. The UFC offered it.”

Borrachinha seems encouraged by what he saw in his contact with the former champion. As Belfort’s camp confirmed with MMAjunkie, the up-and-comer was in fact brought in to help the veteran prepare for his UFC 187 title fight with then-champ Weidman and UFC Fight Night 77’s trilogy fight with Dan Henderson.

“He knows me,” Borrachinha said. “He knows my fight style. Even though we didn’t do any intense sparring there, like what I do here – which is more competitive, heavier training.

“With him, it was lighter training. But we got to know each other well. Know each other’s tools, strengths and weaknesses. Maybe that’s why he turned it down. Who knows.”

In case that fails to materialize, Borrachinha says he doesn’t have any other particular names in mind for his next bout. Given his confidence that it’s time to prove his case in the UFC with a bigger name, he’d like someone in the top-10. But he’ll fight outside of it, too. The same way he’ll fight fellow countrymen – case in point – or whomever else the UFC deems fit.

“I’m not here to turn down fights, to handpick who I will or won’t fight,” Borrachinha said.

He would, however, like to get in another fight before year’s end – the UFC’s next incursion in Brazil, rumored for Oct. 28, seems ideal for his camp efforts. After all, that would fit perfectly with the very specific plan he had laid out for the next 18 months.

“I started in the UFC in March – I fought twice,” Borrachinha said. “I intend to fight once mor this year, that will make it three. Next year, I intend to do four fights. The last one – I want it to be for the belt.

“I know it may look recent, but my division is very volatile. It changes very fast. We just saw Weidman beating Gastelum – He was coming off three straight losses, and I think if he wins one more he will be credentialed to fight for the belt again. I think with those four fights next year I can make it up there to the stab at the belt.”

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

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC 212 staff picks: Forget the staff – MMAjunkie readers are split like never before

brightcove.createExperiences();
Filed under: News, UFC

Aldo
vs.
Holloway
Gadelha
vs.
Kowalkiewicz
Belfort
vs.
Marquardt
Bamgbose
vs.
Borrachinha
Medeiros
vs.
Silva
MMAjunkie readers’
consensus picks
2017: 45-33
holloway2017
Holloway
(51%)
kowalkiewicz2017
Kowalkiewicz
(52%)
belfort2017
Belfort
(56%)
borrachinha2017
Borrachinha
(61%)
esilva2017
Silva
(51%)
Matt Erickson @MMAjunkieMatt
2017: 52-26
holloway2017
Holloway
gadelha2017
Gadelha
belfort2017
Belfort
borrachinha2017
Borrachinha
esilva2017
Silva
Simon Samano
@SJSamano
2017: 49-29
holloway2017
Holloway
gadelha2017
Gadelha
belfort2017
Belfort
borrachinha2017
Borrachinha
medeiros2017
Medeiros
Dann Stupp
@DannStupp
2017: 47-25
trophy copy 2015 Champion
aldo2017
Aldo
gadelha2017
Gadelha
belfort2017
Belfort
borrachinha2017
Borrachinha
esilva2017
Silva
Ben Fowlkes @BenFowlkesMMA
2017: 47-31
trophy copy 2016 Champion
holloway2017
Holloway
gadelha2017
Gadelha
marquardt2017
Marquardt
borrachinha2017
Borrachinha
medeiros2017
Medeiros
Mike Bohn @MikeBohnMMA
2017: 45-33
trophy copy 2014 Champion
holloway2017
Holloway
gadelha2017
Gadelha
belfort2017
Belfort
borrachinha2017
Borrachinha
medeiros2017
Medeiros
Brian Garcia
@thegoze
2017: 45-33
aldo2017
Aldo
gadelha2017
Gadelha
belfort2017
Belfort
borrachinha2017
Borrachinha
esilva2017
Silva
Fernanda Prates @nandaprates_
2017: 45-33
aldo2017
Aldo
gadelha2017
Gadelha
belfort2017
Belfort
borrachinha2017
Borrachinha
medeiros2017
Medeiros
Steven Marrocco @MMAjunkieSteven
2017: 45-33
aldo2017
Aldo
gadelha2017
Gadelha
belfort2017
Belfort
borrachinha2017
Borrachinha
medeiros2017
Medeiros
George Garcia @MMAjunkieGeorge
2017: 42-36
holloway2017
Holloway
gadelha2017
Gadelha
belfort2017
Belfort
borrachinha2017
Borrachinha
medeiros2017
Medeiros
John Morgan @MMAjunkieJohn
2017: 38-40
holloway2017
Holloway
gadelha2017
Gadelha
belfort2017
Belfort
borrachinha2017
Borrachinha
esilva2017
Silva

(Click here to open a PDF of the staff picks grid in a separate window.)

The UFC returns to Brazil on Saturday for UFC 212, which features a featherweight title-unification fight at the top of the card.

UFC 212 takes place Saturday at Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, and the main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

In the main event, featherweight champion Jose Aldo (26-2 MMA, 8-1 UFC) is a narrow 6-4 choice over interim titleholder Max Holloway (17-3 MMA, 13-3 UFC).

Also on the card, Claudia Gadelha (14-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) is the unanimous choice over fellow strawweight co-headliner Karolina Kowalkiewicz (10-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC), and Paulo Borrachinha (9-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) is the 10-0 pick over middleweight Oluwale Bamgbose (6-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC).

Additionally, Vitor Belfort (25-13 MMA, 14-10 UFC) is a 9-1 pick over fellow middleweight vet Nate Marquardt (35-17-2 MMA, 13-10 UFC), and Yancy Medeiros (13-4 MMA, 4-4 UFC) is the 6-4 choice over fellow welterweight Erick Silva (19-7 MMA, 7-6 UFC).

In the MMAjunkie reader consensus picks, Holloway, Kowalkiewicz, Belfort, Borrachinha and Silva are the choices, though the results were awfully close.

Check out all the picks above.

And for more on UFC 212, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie