Category Archives: Radio Highlight

UFC Fight Night 112's Felice Herrig doesn't know what UFC is going to do with her

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

After beating Alexa Grasso, UFC women’s strawweight Felice Herrig figured she could write her own ticket in the division.

Grasso was billed by many as the next big thing when she took on Herrig at UFC Fight Night 104 in Februarh. Herrig was a stepping stone on the way to bigger fights. Instead, Herrig picked apart the Mexican prospect for a unanimous decision.

Now, Herrig is not so sure what’s in her future. She thought she might steal Grasso’s thunder. A booking against Justine Kish (6-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 112 left her scratching her head as to the promotion’s plans.

“With the way the UFC does things, I really don’t know,” Herrig (12-6 MMA, 3-1 UFC) told MMAjunkie about her upcoming bout on the event’s FS1-televised main card at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla. “I thought beating Grasso, an undefeated prospect that’s supposed to be the next big thing and pretty close to the next title shot, I thought that would put me directly (in line for a title shot). And it didn’t.”

Of course, Herrig was probably getting ahead of herself. A two-fight winning streak doesn’t usually qualify a UFC fighter for a title shot, and with fighters like Claudia Gadelha, Rose Namajunas and Karolina Kowalkiewicz in the picture, she appears to have much work to do.

But at the same time, Herrig would like a little more clarity about what she needs to do to break through the pack in the 115-pound division.

“I think the true fans who really follow the sport know what’s up know that the UFC rankings don’t mean that much,” she said. “But I don’t know what the UFC is going to do with me. It depends on them. I just want to keep getting better.

“I don’t know if it’s going to be recognized. I know what I’m capable of, and I know I’m a hard fight for anybody. But I just feel sometimes like I get looked over.”

Herrig has tried her best to make sure that doesn’t happen. Perhaps more than anyone else in her division, she pays attention to marketing. She unapologetically uses her sexuality to get the male-dominated UFC fanbase to watch. In doing so, she’s exposed herself to the dark corners of the Internet, which preys on female fighters.

“That’s why I don’t look at my comments – ever,” she said. “Here and there, I see them. You can’t avoid it. But even the good ones, I appreciate the comments that are nice. But in all actuality, none of it really means anything, whether it’s a good or a bad comment.

“It’s a shame that people abuse it and treat you like you’re not a person. Because if people actually knew, I’ve cried over things people have said and the way people have treated me in the past. And that’s why I don’t give myself as much as I used to, because it’s like, for what? You’re giving a piece of your soul, and they don’t always appreciate it. So sometimes, it’s like, why waste the energy?”

Now in her eighth year of professional MMA, Herrig doesn’t want to waste any more time with her career. She’s been a reliable presence in women’s MMA for almost a decade, but she needs it to pay off in a measurable way.

“I’ve really just solidified myself over the years as a true MMA fighter, and I feel like I get labeled what people want to label me, and how they want to market the fight,” she said. “But I don’t mind being the underdog. It’s less pressure on me.”

Herrig and Kish are just about even in the odds leading into Sunday’s fight, so it appears some fans continue to see Herrig as the underdog. Despite a 3-1 record in the octagon, they haven’t seen her strength.

But Herrig plans on showing them just that on Sunday night.

For more on UFC Fight Night 112, 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: Featured, Featured Videos, News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator champ Michael Chandler glad he's finally outgrown 'here goes nothing' fighting style

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured Videos, News, Radio Highlight, Videos

On Saturday Michael Chandler hits the milestone 20-fight mark for his MMA career, and it comes on the biggest stage yet.

Performing in a historic venue such as New York City’s Madison Square Garden can carry different meanings for different fighters. For some, it may just be another stage. But for Chandler (16-3 MMA, 13-3 BMMA), who defends Bellator’s lightweight belt against Brent Primus (7-0 MMA, 5-0 BMMA) in a pay-per-view main card affair, the accomplishment is nothing short of amazing.

“I was there promoting the fight a couple of months ago, and you walk into that place – the air is different, the lights are different, the scenery is different,” Chandler told MMAjunkie Radio on Monday. “The energy is just different. It’s crazy to sit here and think that just six days from now I’ll be fighting in that arena. You try not to think about it too much, because you’ve got a big task ahead of you, and you don’t want to focus on the arena.

“You don’t want to focus on the pressure of the situation, you just want to focus on the task at hand. But as soon as I get my hand raised and knock Brent Primus out, that weight will be lifted and I’ll finally be able to take a deep breath and look back. And someday, I’ll be able to tell my kids that dad fought at Madison Square Garden.”

Chandler looks to spoil Primus’ undefeated record in what will be his second title defense since reclaiming the 155-pound crown with the Bellator 157 highlight-reel knockout of Patricky Freire. The champ rides a four-fight streak, capped off by a decision over former UFC titleholder Benson Henderson last November.

After so many years of a mostly winning formula, Chandler says there were no major changes in the camp ahead of Primus. The key, he says, has always been putting 90 percent of the focus on himself, with the remaining 10 percent going into fighter-specific preparation.

And the focus on his own rehab, sleep and nutrition has certainly paid off. Chandler can’t overstate how glad he is to walk into a fight entirely healthy.

“It gives me chills thinking about where I am now,” Chandler said. “And how confident I am in my abilities. When I look in the mirror, I truly see the best fighter I’ve ever been.”

What has changed as of late, however, is Chandler’s approach to the fights in themselves. After years of getting by with a somewhat carelessly aggressive approach, with fight-finishing power put into every blow, he now sees himself more capable of gauging his opponent’s reactions in order to place proper strikes.

While Chandler did have success with his overly reckless style on numerous occasions, such as the Bellator 58 scrap with Eddie Alvarez that first gave him Bellator’s lightweight title, Chandler points to the beautifully timed punch that dispatched Freire as the example of the benefits of taking his foot off the gas.

“I used to just be like, ‘Here goes nothing, let’s go hard and let’s put on a show,’” Chandler said. “Now it’s just cool to finally see myself – it only took me 16, 17, 18 fights in this sport and a couple of dozen sets of stitches to realize that you can still be exciting and dominant, and still let the fight materialize. I definitely started to step things more now and knowing that little pop shots here and there are going to pay dividends later on in the fight.

“In these last couple of fights, being able to be veteran enough to not rush in and not go 1000 miles an hour, I still might be going at 999 miles an hour and faster than a lot of people, but I’m not going at that pace. I still keep that high pace, but it’s a calculated pace. There’s more of a veteran riding the ship the whole fight, throwing almost little traps out there. Almost experimental punches, if you will.”

The big stage, the pay-per-view appearance and the 20th fight in a highly successful career are certainly enough reason for Chandler to celebrate. But he wants more out of Saturday’s mega-event.

“I’m excited to go out there and show how hard I’ve been working and how big of a calling I truly have in my life,” Chandler said.” It’s good, man. I’m going to go out there and dominate. I’m going to put on a great performance. I will steal the show, as I always do every single time I step into that Bellator cage.”

For more on Bellator NYC, 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: Bellator, Featured Videos, News, Radio Highlight, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

After getting his life in order, Geane Herrera is motivated to start fighting at a high level

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Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

Geane Herrera was open about the rough times he was going through before his fight with Ben Nguyen last November.

Herrera (9-3 MMA, 1-3 UFC) dropped a decision to Nguyen and was cut from the UFC. But what could have been a tough blow ended up being just what Herrera needed to recuperate the joy he used to get from training. And, after “getting his life together,” Herrera is now itching to return to the cages.

“If the opportunity came up, and I got that call, I would jump on it right away,” Herrera recently told MMAjunkie Radio. “I feel like this time off has been good. It’s been crucial, and much-needed, to be quite honest. And I’m just ready to continue where I left off.”

Amid the personal turmoil, Herrera had to turn down an offer by Russian promotion ABC. But he is now in a good place. He’s got a good, decent-paying job. He’s not only been able to put his son in a new school, but has also been helping him perform well at it.

And the difficult times, he says, are now motivation fuel.

“(ABC) are really cool – they were going to take care of me,” Herrera said. “But it was just – it wasn’t in me. I felt like I really just needed to get my life in order. Fnally, now I think I’ve got the ball rolling in my life. Now I’ve been training. I’m ready to go out there and start fighting at a high level.

“I’m ready for that next step. I feel I’ve grown so much because of having to go through all of this. And I’m not living out of my car anymore. That’s a blow to the ego, like I can’t explain it.”

Herrera, who was undefeated before joining the UFC in 2015, is now officially back in business and open to offers from promotions. But there is one stage in particular that he’s got his sights on.

“For a while, I’ve looked at Bellator,” Herrera said. “Since before I was even in the UFC. But they didn’t have a 125 division. But I’ve had a couple of buddies of mine who fought for them. And it’s a really good promotion. From what I hear, they take really good care of their fighters.

“Nothing against the UFC, but I hear that Bellator really just shows a lot of appreciation for the people who are in it. And the fighters who are out there performing.”

Herrera is more than open to jumping up to 135 pounds if that opportunity presents itself. But one thing he won’t do to get his foot into a big promotion again? Fill in as a last-minute replacement.

“I couldn’t do that,” Herrera said. “I felt like the UFC taught me that sometimes you have to be smart with the way you pick your fights. And the big fights will come. If you plan on doing this the long run, those fights will come eventually. It’s just a matter of how you go in them. Short-notice doesn’t really allow me to give the performance that I know I can give.”

For more on the upcoming MMA schedule, 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, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Al Iaquinta gives Conor McGregor chance vs. Floyd Mayweather: 'I hope he shocks the world'

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Not too many people are giving UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor a chance against boxing legend Floyd Mayweather in their recently announced Aug. 26 encounter.

But the Irishman has found some perhaps surprising support in fellow UFC 155-pounder and resident truth-teller Al Iaquinta. While Iaquinta (13-3-1 MMA, 8-2 UFC) does agree with the popular opinion that Mayweather (49-0 boxing) will most likely keep his record unblemished, he’s not counting McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) out.

“(McGregor)’s got the ability to surprise a lot of people,” Iaquinta told MMAjunkie Radio. “He’s been doing it since Day 1. I don’t think anyone’s in the position to doubt the guy.

“On the other hand, he’s fighting Floyd, who’s the best of the best. So, defensively, I think (Mayweather) can slow that fight down. He can make it a decision, doesn’t get hit, makes it look easy – doesn’t even really break a sweat kind of thing. I think that’s probably how it goes.”

One of the arguments made in favor of McGregor’s actual shot at winning the match is that Mayweather has a harder time dealing with southpaws – which is McGregor’s case. Iaquinta, however, was there in person to see Mayweather beat Manny Pacquiao, also a southpaw, in their 2015 “Fight of the Century.”

So why does Iaquinta think McGregor has a chance?

“The reason I’m giving McGregor a chance is because he’s defied the odds – he’s backed up everything he says,” Iaquinta said. “The first time, you doubt him. The second time, you doubt him. The third time, you know, wherever we’re at right now, he’s talked a lot of (expletive) and he’s backed it up. Honestly, I hope he goes out there and I hope he shocks the world. I hope he does. I think it will be a great story.

“And Floyd Mayweather owes me a couple of grand from that (expletive) ticket I bought. It was the worst fight ever.”

The match between McGregor and Mayweather was announced and detailed this past week, putting an end to months of growing speculation. The two will meet at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena, under boxing rules, in a 12-round, 154-pound (super welterweight) affair.

After all the cash that went into a ticket to the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao affair, would Iaquinta be willing to do the same to see McGregor try his luck? The answer is no, but he did go from a categorical “not a shot” to a tamer answer upon further reflection.

“I don’t know, though, there’s the shot that McGregor does something big,” Iaquinta said. “You know how crazy that’s going to be? That’s going to be insane. But I’m not going to buy a ticket, no.”

While he’s pulling for his fellow MMA fighter, Iaquinta also knows that Mayweather is the favorite. And he expects this favoritism to grow the further the fight progresses, making McGregor’s chances bigger within the first 15 minutes.

“I think (McGregor)’s got to hit him with a hard left hand pretty early,” Iaquinta said.

But, whatever happens, one thing’s for sure.

“I’m keeping it real,” Iaquinta said. “I think if it goes the way it’s supposed to go, it’s going to be 12 rounds. And who knows if Conor can even go 12 rounds with the guy. He gets a little tired later, gets a little sloppy. But Floyd’s getting up there. He’s never been really a finisher. I don’t know.

“I’ll tell you one thing: I’ll be watching. It’s going to be interesting. It’s going to be a spectacle.”

For more on “The Money Fight: Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor,” 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: Featured Videos, News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Title shot? Sure, but Ben Nguyen also happy to welcome T.J. Dillashaw to flyweight

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A quick win over a former title challenger has opened up an array of possibilities for Ben Nguyen, but in the complicated flyweight division, it’s hard to pinpoint what’s next.

Nguyen walked into his recent UFC Fight Night 110 flyweight bout with “The Ultimate Fighter 24” winner Tim Elliott an underdog, but he walked away with a 49-second submission win and a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus. Life, Nguyen will understandably tell you, is good.

But as bright as Nguyen’s octagon future looks, it’s also up in the air. With flyweight kingpin Demetrious Johnson currently engaged in a public battle with the UFC, the next challenger undefined, and the division’s existence possibly endangered, he has a few scenarios ahead of him.

First, of course, is the ideal one: becoming the 125-pound division’s next title challenger.

“I’ve been doing some reading online, and a lot of people have been speculating and talking,” Nguyen told MMAjunkie Radio. “And people are saying, ‘Ben defeated Tim Elliott, the guy who went the distance with the champ and gave him a pretty tough time. So maybe Ben should have the next shot.’ Especially with all this stupid drama going on with (T.J. Dillashaw) coming down to flyweight, and (UFC President Dana White) threatening to shut down the division.

“Maybe they should just have me jump in. I’ve got the momentum. I’ve got the style. I’ve just beat one of the top guys. So, maybe I’m not too far off. If it was offered to me, obviously I’d have to take it. It makes me really excited, like I could be fighting the champ next.”

While we’ve seen stranger things happen, a title shot doesn’t seem like the most realistic scenario for Nguyen (17-6 MMA, 4-1 UFC), currently ranked No. 5 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA flyweight rankings. After all, two other possible challengers have been in the forefront of the public dispute all along.

First, there’s No. 5 ranked flyweight Ray Borg (11-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC), whom the champ had accepted to face before things escalated. And then there’s ex-135-pound champ Dillashaw (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) – whom the promotion has been pushing to get a shot at Johnson (26-2-1 MMA, 14-1-1 UFC) in what would be the ex-bantamweight titleholder’s first 125-pound outing.

If it helps clear out the situation, Nguyen would also be happy to meet either of the two in a title-eliminator scenario. Especially considering that he agrees with both Borg and Johnson that Dillashaw must first prove he can actually perform as a flyweight before getting a chance to rule the entire division.

“That’s an option as well, fighting Borg,” Nguyen said. “Fighting T.J., I just think that would be a fun fight. I think T.J. should have a fight with someone else in the flyweight division if he wants to actually fight for the belt – just to see if he can make the weight, if he can even perform at a lower weight class. That way the belt isn’t tied up with someone who might not be able to defend it later on.”

And last but not least, there’s the one who got away: perennial contender Joseph Benavidez. The two-time title challenger was actually slated to be Nguyen’s opponent for UFC Fight Night 110, but he had to pull out a month before the fight due to an injury.

“I still want to fight Joseph Benavidez,” Nguyen said. “I still want that fight so bad. But I know he’s going to be out until next year – I think he said early next year, he’ll be ready then.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 110, check out the UFC Events 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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Source: MMA Junkie

Kevin Lee: UFC officials not mad I popped Michael Chiesa at press conference

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You might think getting kicked out of a UFC press conference was a bad thing. But when you’re Kevin Lee, you apparently get a little more leeway.

That was the case this past month when Lee (15-2 MMA, 8-2 UFC) was booted from the “UFC Summer Kickoff” presser along with Michael Chiesa (14-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC), his fellow headliner at the upcoming FS1-televised UFC Fight Night 112 event, after the two clashed onstage.

The outspoken Lee had referenced Chiesa’s mother. That prompted Chiesa to rush Lee as though he would start a fight. Lee’s fist got there before security officials separated the two. The fighters later returned for a brief, profanity-laced face-off.

Officially, it’s bad business for the promotion when fighters brawl outside the cage, though it ultimately makes for great marketing material. Still, in the UFC’s home state of Nevada, at least four fighters have gotten suspended when things got too heated.

Lee might have gotten dressed down when he got backstage at the gathering. But instead, he told MMAjunkie Radio, he got a sympathetic ear.

“They understand it wasn’t on me; I wasn’t the one to do it,” he said of the scrap, which brought some heat to the June 25 fight at Chesapeake Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla. “(Chiesa) was the one to stand up and say he was going to slap the (expletive) out of me. When you say that, and then you walk up on them, what do you think is going to happen? The UFC isn’t stupid.”

Besides, Lee added, if Chiesa had really wanted to started a fight, he might not have announced it so obviously, berating his opponent before walking across the stage.

“If it was me and I really felt disrespected, I’m burning the building down,” Lee said. “I’m sorry. I’m going to jail. Otherwise, my mom would be disappointed in me.”

Chiesa might just have been thrown off by the outspoken Lee, who’s made a habit of dogging fighters he’s trying to fight. The talk is all in service of moving his career forward, of course, which is why some discount his words even before he opens his mouth.

But as the Chiesa fight demonstrates, Lee is making moves in the lightweight division. It doesn’t hurt that he’s won four straight UFC bouts, putting him up in the path of the No. 9 fighter in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA lightweight rankings.

Chiesa, meanwhile, is making his return after an injury kept him out of the cage for a year. On a three-fight winning streak, he’s the one with the most to lose against Lee, who’s an honorable mention in the rankings.

Maybe that’s why things got so heated at the press conference. In any event, Chiesa knows what’s coming the next time the two face off. And Lee knows he can be the bad guy.

For more on UFC Fight Night 112, 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: Featured Videos, News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC-Singapore's Colby Covington already setting up fight with champ Tyron Woodley

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It’s no secret UFC welterweight Colby Covington is an ambitious guy. But it turns out he’s also impatient.

Covington (11-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) expects to be fighting for a title within one year if he’s able to beat South Korean standout Dong Hyun Kim (22-3-1 MMA, 13-3) on Saturday at UFC Fight Night 111, which takes place at Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore and streams live on UFC Fight Pass.

Covington already is laying the groundwork for a fight with Tyron Woodley, saying the champ “already knows what happened the last time we trained together, so I’m looking for that title shot within a fight.”

Woodley (25-6 MMA, 19-6 UFC) trained sporadically at Covington’s home base at American Top Team before starting his own affiliate gym, ATT Evolution, in St. Louis.

Usually, there’s an unspoken rule that gym business stays between fighters. But Covington has been around long enough to know there are no guarantees when it comes to title shots, so if he has to step on a few toes to get the chance, he’ll do it.

Just a few months back, Covington was standing on a traffic median shouting at oncoming traffic for a fight. He’s already shown he’ll go the extra mile if it benefits his career.

Covington thanked Kim for taking Saturday’s bout – and then resumed talking smack.

Of course, there’s a reason the up-and-comer thinks he should get fast-tracked on the UFC welterweight ladder over the next year. He sees a dearth of fresh faces in the division.

“The guys on top right now have already fought for a title,” he said. “They’re all old, man. All these guys are all coming off USADA (drug testing), so they’re all looking old, and they’re not looking very good any more.”

One veteran would take exception to that characterization. Demian Maia (17-3-1 MMA, 7-2-1 UFC), 39, has looked nothing short of phenomenal as he rebuilt himself as a 170-pound fighter after falling short of the middleweight title. He earned seven straight wins, waiting patiently for his shot at gold while Woodley fought a pair of fights with Stephen Thompson. The submission ace will be next for Woodley later this year.

In the meantime, Covington needs to take out Kim, a longtime standout in the welterweight division with a track record of taking out vets with a lot more professional experience.

But the outspoken Covington figures if he’s going to make moves in the division, he might as well make them as bold as possible.

“Just like (UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway) was saying, if you want to dethrone a king, you’ve got to go to his backyard,” he said.

For more on UFC Fight Night 111, 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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Source: MMA Junkie

Brendan Schaub talks comedy career, fighter nerves and (sort of?) Bellator conversations

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Filed under: Bellator, News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

Two-and-a-half years removed from his last MMA bout, Brendan Schaub seems to have fully replaced the thrills he got from the cage with the ones he gets on stage.

Since the fateful first-round TKO loss to Travis Browne at UFC 181, Schaub has been dedicating himself to comedy. And, so far immune to the itch that has drawn so many of his peers back into the cage, the former UFC heavyweight now gets his adrenaline fix from performing standup routines in front of live audiences.

“(Being on stage) is a rush I can’t explain,” Schaub told MMAjunkie Radio. “It just feels natural for me up there. And that kind of replaces whatever I was searching for inside the octagon. I’m super fortunate, and a lot of athletes don’t ever (fill) that kind of void.”

Schaub (10-5 MMA, 6-5 UFC) announced his decision to step away from MMA in October of 2015 after a five-year run with the UFC. While his octagon record was ultimately positive, his very public criticism of the UFC’s sponsorship deal with Rebook led to a rocky relationship with the promotion later on.

By the final stretch of his MMA tenure, “Big Brown” had already found success as the co-host of the popular podcast “The Fighter and the Kid.” And,  despite the fact he was still an active fighter, he had no problem speaking candidly about his own vulnerabilities and experiences. With his comedy, it seems to be no different.

As self-deprecatory as he may come across, Schaub said he is proud of the career he built in MMA. He’s just interested in touching on subjects that others might not be as comfortable addressing.

“It’s more about things that guy don’t talk about,” Schaub said. “I’ve always been curious about that. Obviously while you’re in the middle of a pursuit of a belt, or getting to the top, you can’t really talk about this stuff. Because It shows a chink in your armor. For me, especially from a comic’s aspect, I just think this kind of the best way to go. No one’s talking about these things. Especially on the ‘Fighter and the Kid,’ when I was going through that (Andrei) Arlovski camp, and the (Matt) Mitrione camp, and the Travis Browne camp. Bryan (Callen, friend and co-host) would ask me about it, and I was like, ‘I’m scared, man. I’m terrified.’

“People had weird reactions to it, like, ‘What? You can’t be scared. You shouldn’t be terrified.’ I’m like, ‘I hate to tell you, but most guys are.’ They just won’t admit it. You talk to the Diaz brothers and some of the killers out there, and maybe they’re not. They’ll go, ‘Maybe fighting is not for you if you feel that way.’ And I disagree. I think it’s natural. I think it shows a sign of intelligence. Because you’re about to get in an octagon with one of the best fighters in the world. I think it’s normal to have these nerves and stuff like that.”

The butterflies he got performing as a fighter, Schaub said, are still there when he performs in front of a live audience. The alleviating factor is that now he gets to have bigger control over the outcome.

“No one’s trying to punch me in my face anymore,” Schaub said. “Don’t get me wrong, I get nerves – I’m always nervous before I do standup, especially on a theater. The other night, my set was between Dane Cook and Joe Rogan. And then the two weeks before that I went after Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle. That stuff is nerve-wrecking.

“It’s just a different animal, because I know my material. I know what works, I’ve trained it, and I practiced it. You can kind of get your confidence from that. In fighting, I put all the training in. I did everything I could. But you still don’t come away feeling good sometimes. That other guy across you is going to be pretty damn good.”

Schaub is currently keeping busy with international tours for “The Big Brown Breakdown” and “The Fighter and the Kid.” As far as a cage return goes, however, he is quite adamant.

“I had a meeting with (Bellator President) Scott Coker two days ago about some other stuff,” said Schaub, who will host a Bellator NYC pre-event show on Spike later this month. “More entertainment stuff. And they brought up some stuff, talked about fighting. And I can’t even entertain the idea.

“I made a joke about it and told him it would have to be some crazy number. And they said, ‘Think of a number.’ And it was off to the races after that.”

Asked what that number to fight again would theoretically be – maybe a cool million? – he replied with a laugh.

“Yeah, to start,” Schaub said. “Flat.”

For more on the upcoming MMA schedule, 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 to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

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

Cub Swanson wants title shot with Max Holloway; '100 percent' would've got it if Jose Aldo won

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

Cub Swanson is 13 years and 32 fights into his pro career, and “I’ve never been better than I am right now,” he said.

That’s why, he told MMAjunkie Radio, “All I’m asking for is the opportunity.”

The opportunity? A title shot, which thus far has been elusive during his decade-plus in the WEC and UFC.

However, Swanson’s time could be here. Or maybe it’s here (again) for multi-time title challenger and former champion Frankie Edgar (22-5-1 MMA, 16-5-1 UFC). We don’t know who’s up first, but it does appear it’ll be either Swanson or Edgar who gets the first crack at new undisputed featherweight champion Max Holloway (18-3 MMA, 14-3 UFC), who dethroned longtime 145-pound great Jose Aldo (26-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC) via third-round TKO this past weekend in UFC 212’s pay-per-view headliner in Rio de Janeiro.

Edgar has made his case for the fight, as has Swanson. In fact, Swanson, who’s No. 6 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA featherweight rankings, suffered back-to-back submission losses to both No. 3 Edgar and No. 1 Holloway in 2014-2015. Since then, though, the 33-year-old has posted four consecutive victories, which included a decision victory over durable Artem Lobov in UFC Fight Night 108’s recent headliner.

With the way UFC 212 played out, Swanson thinks he deserves the Holloway fight next.

“We both knew going in that if Aldo won, I 100 percent was going to get (the next title shot),” he said. “And then if Max won, it was going to be a tossup between the two of us. That’s just because Frankie never fought Holloway.

“The reason I was going to get it over him either way was just because Frankie has fought for the title a bunch of times. And when you fight for the title a bunch of times and you don’t win, it’s hard to sell that.”

Swanson just hopes his sales pitch isn’t taken as a slight at Edgar, a fan favorite who’s fought nearly every major name at 145 and 155 pounds, though he’s come up short in recent title fights to Aldo and Henderson (both twice).

“I’m not taking anything away from him,” Swanson said. “I respect the guy. I think he’s an amazing fighter. He has a win over me. But since then, I’ve been on a tear. And the fact is he’s 0-4 in his last four title fights.

“That fact you can get that many title fights is crazy. I’m just looking for one. I’ve never had the opportunity, and I’ve been promised multiple times and had it taken away. … All I’m asking for is the opportunity.”

For complete coverage of UFC 212, check out the UFC Events 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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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 110's Vinc Pichel's thoughts on 3-year layoff? '(Expletive) rust'

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Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

Set to end a three-year octagon layoff in New Zealand this weekend, UFC lightweight Vinc Pichel wants to start making up for lost time.

Pichel, who hasn’t fought since a UFC 173 win back in May of 2014, is set to meet Damien Brown (17-9 MMA, 2-1 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 110, Pichel. Now recovered from the injuries that plagued his first two years away, the 34-year-old Pinchel (9-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) wants to stay as active as possible moving forward.

“I’ve just got a new four-fight deal; (the UFC) just hooked me up,” Pichel told MMAjunkie Radio. “So I’m planning on running through this fight, getting another fight hopefully in like a month, even less if I can, and just steamroll them from then, man. Right now, I’ve just got so much momentum behind me and so much confidence in my skill and my health that I’m just going to steamroll, I’m not stopping.”

The lightweight bout is part of UFC Fight Night 101’s FS1-televised preliminary card, which follows early prelims on UFC Fight Pass. The event at Vector Arena in Auckland, New Zealand, takes place Sunday (but airs live in the U.S. on Saturday due to time difference).

Australia’s Brown comes off a two-fight streak, with the knockout of Cesar Arzamendia and a split decision over Jon Tuck. “From Hell” Pichel, in turn, rides a two-fight streak, with decisions over Anthony Njokuani and Garett Whiteley. A semifinalist on “The Ultimate Fighter 15,” Pichel only suffered one loss in his pro career – a first-round knockout to Rustam Khabilov at the TUF 16 Finale.

While the lack of activity might be a concern for some fighters, that isn’t the case for Pichel.

“(Expletive) rust,” Pichel said right off the bat. “There ain’t no such thing.”

If anything, the strides Pichel has been making as he goes “full blast” at the gym make him absolutely confident that he’ll return with a vengeance. Don’t believe him? Then maybe you should check with some of his poor teammates.

“I’ve jumped up so much in my striking that in my training I’ve been kind of been hurting my partners a little bit, because I’m so sharp right now with my technique,” Pichel said. “And my grappling, I’ve jumped up so much I’ve honestly just got my brown belt the other night. I’ve been a purple belt for a couple of years, and they just gave me my brown belt because of the leaps and bounds I’ve been making over the last year and my determination.

“So, honestly, when I fight on June 10, you’re going to kind of see a different person out there. It’s going to be me, but things are going to be a little bit different.”

For more on UFC Fight Night 110, 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.

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

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