USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA rankings, Nov. 28: As Askren exits, Gastelum climbs

With a victory in his career finale, Ben Askren has exited the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA rankings.

The undefeated ONE Championship titleholder, who was ranked No. 7 at welterweight, defeated Shinya Aoki this past weekend in is retirement fight. With his fighting career now (seemingly) over, Askren exits the top 15.

Also this past weekend, Kelvin Gastelum got a major boost up the middleweight ranks with a knockout of ex-champ Michael Bisping.

Check out all of the rankings above.

 

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

USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA rankings, Nov. 21: Can Gastelum make big leap?

The UFC is in mainland China for the first time this week, and “The Ultimate Fighter 17” winner Kelvin Gastelum is poised for a potentially massive leap.

Gastelum (13-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC), who currently stands as an honorable mention in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middleweight rankings, meets former UFC 185-pound champion Michael Bisping (30-8 UFC, 20-8 UFC) in the main event of UFC Fight Night 122, which takes place Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai.

Bisping stands No. 3, meaning Gastelum could potentially make a big run up the list should he prove victorious in the UFC Fight Pass-streamed headliner. Just how far remains to be seen, provided he can get past a stern test against Bisping.

Check out all of the rankings above.

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

MMA's week out of the cage: Veterans Day, Namajunas' first NFL game, Rockhold pets jellyfish

Social media has become a significant part of the sporting landscape. But few, if any, professional sports match the level of interaction and personal access provided by MMA.

In an individual competition in which nearly every athlete is chasing the same goal of financial success and championship glory, it’s important for fighters to provide insight into their lives in order to connect with fans and gain followings.

Although the life of a fighter often can be mundane and repetitive, there still are moments of interest that take place outside the cage, ring or training room. Here are some of the most interesting of those occurrences from the past week.

* * * *

Veterans Day

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Animals of Instagram

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Weekly eats

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Filed under: Bellator, Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, PFL, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie rankings, Nov. 14: Poirier rises; big week for Tybura

With a win over a former champion, Dustin Poirier is on the rise in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie rankings.

Poirier defeated former titleholder Anthony Pettis in UFC Fight Night 120’s headliner, which moved him from No. 13 to No. 11 at lightweight. Pettis, meanwhile, falls from No. 11 to No. 12.

As for upcoming events, Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 121 headliner offers rankings honorable mention Marcin Tybura a chance to jump in the top 15 in the heavyweight division when he takes on former titleholder and No. 3-ranked Fabricio Werdum.

Check out all of the rankings above.

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

USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie rankings, Nov. 7: GSP back on the pound-for-pound list

After four years away from the competition, Georges St-Pierre is once again a UFC champion.

This time, of course, it’s in the middleweight division. So what do you do with the former welterweight title holder in both the 185-pound and pound-for-pound rankings? Well, in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA rankings, St-Pierre moves to the very top of the middleweight ranks, while settling in at No. 9 on the pound-for-pound list.

Take a look at how those divisions look with St-Pierre back in action, and inspect the rankings across every division following a stacked UFC 217 event, as well as Bellator 186.

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

'PFL: Fight Night' live video stream and official results (8:25 p.m. ET)

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“PFL: Fight Night” takes place tonight, and you can join us for a live video stream and official results from the four-fight card here on MMAjunkie at 8:25 p.m. ET (5:25 p.m. PT).

“PFL: Fight Night” takes place at the Washington Hilton in Washington D.C.

Former WSOF heavyweight champion Blagoy Ivanov (15-1) and Brazilian veteran Caio Alencar (11-1) headline the card.

The event serves as a partnership project with Fight For Children, “a nonprofit based in Washington D.C. with a mission to ensure all kids in the District of Columbia region, especially those in the highest need areas, receive a quality early education and solid foundation for future success,” according to PFL officials.

Official “PFL: Fight Night” results include:

  • Blagoy Ivanov vs. Caio Alencar
  • Lance Palmer vs. Steven Siler
  • Daniel Gallemore vs. Mike Kyle
  • Josenaldo Silva vs. Timur Valiev

For more on “PFL: Fight Night,” check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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

'PFL: Fight Night' co-headliner Steven Siler just trying to 'have fun beating people up'

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Filed under: News, PFL

Steven Siler had his run in the UFC, going 5-4 inside the octagon from December 2011 until his final fight with the industry leader in June 2014. Back then, the focus was 100 percent on training and fighting.

That’s a little tougher these days.

Siler (29-16), who takes Lance Palmer (11-3) in the co-main event of tonight’s “PFL: Fight Night” event in Washington D.C. (8 p.m. ET on MMAjunkie), has fought for four different promotions since leaving the UFC. PFL will mark his fifth.

Things are different as he now holds a regular day job in the mornings to balance with training for MMA fights. He is, however, thankful for the support he gets from his wife, who’s been doing well in real estate to allow him to concentrate more on training.

“That’s helped us out quite a bit,” Siler told MMAjunkie Radio. “Let me train a lot more, teach and just get ready for some fights.”

Because fighting is what he still enjoys most.

“I’m just trying to have fun in the gym, have fun beating people up,” Siler said.

To hear more from Siler, including his thoughts on his matchup with Palmer, check out the video above.

And for more on “PFL: Fight Night,” check out the MMA 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 towww.mmajunkie.com/radio.

Filed under: News, PFL
Source: MMA Junkie

With plans to retire before 35, PFL's Lance Palmer wants to make most of time in MMA

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Filed under: News, PFL, Radio Highlight, Videos

Lance Palmer is coming off a loss, but given the circumstances, he’s not beating himself up too much over it.

Palmer (11-3) meets Steven Siler (29-16) at Thursday’s “PFL: Fight Night” – a joint charity effort between the promotion and nonprofit Fight For Children. The bout, which co-headlines the card, will also mark the former WSOF champion’s first outing since a title-costing loss to Andre Harrison at WSOF 35 back in March.

There was, however, an extenuating factor there: Palmer broke his hand in the first round of the five-round affair. In fact, that was the second fight in a row that happened.

Still, Palmer made it to the judges’ scorecards. Sure, Palmer will say, there are always lessons – good and bad – to be taken from losses. But as he returned to the locker room from this one, his focus was more on the aftermath of the injury than on anything else.

“The things that go through your mind after a loss are obviously, ‘What could I have done better and things that I could have done differently?” Palmer told MMAjunkie Radio ahead of the event, which streams on the promotion’s website and MMAjunkie. “(But) that fight was more that I was pissed that I broke my hand in the first round. And it kind of hindered everything that I wanted to show in the fight. And everything that I wanted to do in that fight against Andre.”

That doesn’t mean Palmer doesn’t respect Harrison’s skills as a fighter. In fact, he would love to meet him in the finals of the million-dollar tournament that PFL has in the works for next year. But considering he fought with a single hand for four rounds, Palmer thinks his performance was “pretty great.”

Between the past encounter with Harrison and a possible future one sits the one with Siler, a UFC veteran and former Titan FC title challenger who’s also looking to get back on the winning path after a WSOF 35 loss of his own. The two meet on the co-headliner at the Washington Hilton in Washington D.C.

Palmer has some added weapons for this specific preparation. At his Team Alpha Male training grounds, he was able to gather some knowledge from former two-time UFC 145-pound title challenger Chad Mendes and UFC featherweight Darren Elkins – both of whom have fought (and beaten) Siler in the past.

But while the four-time NCAA Division I All-American wrestler did make the most of the insight, there’s a limit to how much he’s drawing from them.

“We have a good game plan going in,” Palmer said. “But obviously every matchup is different. It doesn’t matter if Elkins fought him a certain way or Chad fought him another way. My style is different than both of those guys, so I’m going to have to go about it another way.”

The future after this particular fight is up in the air, as Palmer has yet to figure out the specifics of his deal with his current promotion. The reason being: Palmer still had two more fights with WSOF before the promotion became PFL. With the change, he’s not yet sure where he stands, something he’s hoping to clarify within the next few weeks.

But his plans for further down the road are clearer. Palmer, who turns 31 early next year, only expects to fight until he’s 35. So, rather than trying to revolutionize his style or expect major leaps in training, he’s learned to make the best of what he’s got while he has it.

“I think the main thing for me is just enjoying the time while I’m in this sport,” Palmer said. “And making it something special and giving people fights to remember and things like that as I go through it. Just improving every day. And little aspects of every area of the fight game. Not really trying to make crazy gains in certain areas because that’s unrealistic.

“You just have to look for the little details every day. And look at improving even one area a day is something that keeps me motivated. And that’s what I enjoy.”

To hear from Palmer, check out the video above.

And for more on “PFL: Fight Night,” check out the MMA 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 towww.mmajunkie.com/radio.

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

'PFL: Fight Night' weigh-ins results

Filed under: News, PFL, Videos

“PFL: Fight Night” is good to go as all eight fighters made weight today.

In the headliner, Blagoy Ivanov (15-1) and Caio Alencar (11-1) clash in a heavyweight bout. And in the co-main event, former two-time WSOF featherweight champion Lance Palmer (11-3) meets ex-UFC fighter Steven Siler (29-16).

“PFL: Fight Night” takes place Thursday at the Washington Hilton in Washington D.C. and airs at 8 p.m. ET on MMAjunkie.

Below are the full weigh-in results:

  • Blagoy Ivanov (262) vs. Caio Alencar (253.4)
  • Lance Palmer (145.8) vs. Steven Siler (145.4)
  • Daniel Gallemore (261) vs. Mike Kyle (241.4)
  • Josenaldo Silva (135.2) vs. Timur Valiev (135.8)

For more on “PFL: Fight Night,” check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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

USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie rankings, Oct. 31: 'Chaos' in the welterweight division

He may have angered a few folks in the process, but Colby Covington picked up a big win this past weekend to take a major stride in the rankings.

Covington posted a dominant decision victory over former title challenger Demian Maia in UFC Fight Night 119’s co-headliner. With the win, which came with a heavy dose of gloating, “Chaos” moves from No. 9 to No. 5 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA welterweight rankings.

He wasn’t the only fighter on the move, though. Check out all of the rankings above.

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